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Playlist: O'Dark 30 episode 133 (3-29)

Compiled By: KUT

Caption: PRX default Playlist image

KUT's O’Dark 30 has more fun than a barrel of wolverines this week as we bring you more of the very best from the world of independent radio production. Every Sunday at midnight on Austin's KUT 90.5 and also at 4pm on digital KUT2 we present 3 hours of a little bit of everything from the world of independent radio production.

Episode 133 (3-29) includes SOTRU - Vermont: The Small Town State...Snap Judgment #228: Gratitude...SOTRU - Sacramento: All Hands on Deck...#6 - Seizure's Lament

Vermont: The Small Town State

From Al Letson | Part of the State of the Re:Union: Season Three series | 53:53

Quaint storefronts along Main streets, covered bridges over clear streams, cows from dairy farms dotting green valleys: across the state, these are the iconic images of Vermont. But beyond its pastoral beauty, this is a place that prides itself on its independent spirit. Not only in the ways you might have heard of—first state in the nation to legalize same sex civil unions, say—but in the way Vermonters take on everyday life, and the challenges of it. This is truly a “small town state”—a place where individual communities are self determining, where geographic isolation has forced people to get creative, and take their town’s destiny into their own hands. In this hour, we’ll hear a range of stories of the way Vermont’s “small town state” identity manifests: from finding new ways to treat mental health problems, to a gallery with a surprising monthly ritual to dealing with the most devastating natural disaster the state has ever seen.

Vermont_small State of the Re:Union
Vermont: The Small Town State

Host: Al Letson
Producers: Laura Starecheski and Tina Antolini

Description: Quaint storefronts along Main streets, covered bridges over clear streams, cows from dairy farms dotting green valleys: across the state, these are the iconic images of Vermont. But beyond its pastoral beauty, this is a place that prides itself on its independent spirit. Not only in the ways you might have heard of—first state in the nation to legalize same sex civil unions, say—but in the way Vermonters take on everyday life, and the challenges of it. This is truly a “small town state”—a place where individual communities are self determining, where geographic isolation has forced people to get creative, and take their town’s destiny into their own hands. In this hour, we’ll hear a range of stories of the way Vermont’s “small town state” identity manifests: from finding new ways to treat mental health problems, to a gallery with a surprising monthly ritual to dealing with the most devastating natural disaster the state has ever seen.

Billboard (:59)
Incue: From PRX and WJCT
Outcue: But first, this news.

News Hole 1:00-6:00

Segment A (12:29)
Incue: From WJCT in Jacksonville, Florida
Outcue: That's ahead on State of the Re:Union

A.The Small Town State  
We open the episode at a Town Meeting with sociologist Frank Bryan as our guide.  Bryan has been to thousands of Town Meetings—he’s been studying them for decades—and he’ll lay out the tension between the old and the new that plays out in small towns across the state every March.  Bryan stresses that the lessons of local democracy, especially learning to lose a vote and still respect the neighbor who won it, are essential to building community.

B.  Irene Shows Vermonters Who They Are  (and continued in Segment B)
As streams became rivers and rivers overtook roads, fields and homes, people across Vermont were shocked.  No one had expected the Irene flooding to amount to much, but the floodwaters ended up causing arguably the worst natural disaster in the state’s history. In this segment we’ll hear a collection of first-person accounts from people who ended up at the center of their isolated town’s emergency efforts, organized as a series of vignettes that epitomize different aspects of Vermont’s can-do, small town community spirit.

IRENE PART ONE: PITTSFIELD: A New Normal
We begin with one woman’s story of the storm itself:  Traci Templeton, a single mom in Pittsfield, VT, saw the home she’d rented for 10 years was ruined—there was 5 feet of silty mud inside. And when she saw what was happening in the rest of tiny Pittsfield, population 524, Traci realized the situation was far worse than she’d ever have been able to imagine. The road on one end of town was washed out, and the bridge on the other end of town was gone.  That meant no one could come into town, and no one could go out, and the water was still rising. But the days and weeks after the flood were… well, magical.  The first town meeting was called for the night of the flood, where quick decisions were made about what to do next, since the town was cut off entirely from the outside world. The emergency feeling gave way to peaceful “new normal” as the town remained cut off from the outside world.

Segment B (18:59)
Incue: You're listening to ...
Outcue: PRX-dot-ORG

A.  IRENE PART TWO: SOUTH ROYALTON: Neighborliness… To The Extreme
One of the things that defined the way Vermonters handled the aftermath of Irene was the incredible influx of volunteers—both fellow residents helping their neighbors, and complete outsiders, showing up and devoting themselves to the relief effort. Just north of Pittsfield in South Royalton, farmer Geo Honigford exemplified that. Honigford lost all of his crops as the water overtook his fields, but turned his attention immediately to helping his neighbors, assessing their homes to see what could be salvaged, trying to save as many homes as possible.  He spent days literally running up and down country roads, organizing volunteers, assessing damaged houses. In this segment, we hear Geo’s tips for addressing a natural disaster in your neighborhood.

B. IRENE PART THREE: BETHEL: The Other Town
In almost every town, tales of heroism, sacrifice and unity emerged; but in the town of Bethel, which was especially hard hit, politics took over, pitting outside volunteers against locals. This story explores the fault lines in Bethel: the tension between locals and outsiders, and the clash of different factions in town in Bethel’s recovery.  Residents in Bethel seem to agree that the town cannot be rebuilt the same way again, but the coming year will require tough decisions about which parts of the town can be rebuilt, and how to keep the community growing.           

C. Dear Vermont Letter: A letter from musician and author Robin MacArthur, to her state.

Segment C (18:59)
Incue: I'm Al Letson and you're listening to 
Outcue: to bring them back together. (music tail)

A. Dim Sum and Hidden Diversity : Vermont has a rep as the “whitest” state in the nation—and it’s actually deserved. In the 2000 census, just 3.2% of the population was non-white. But that doesn’t mean this place is homogeneous—you just have to look a bit under the surface. Or get invited to Cai Silver’s on just the right Sunday of the month… In Cai’s home in Brattleboro, there’s a monthly transformation of the art gallery in her living room into the state’s only dim sum house.  Cai was born in the Chinese city of ChongQing, in China’s newest province, formerly part of Sichaun. She moved to Brattleboro with her husband, Adam, to make art. From its start as an art experiment, dim sum Sundays have become proof for Cai that however hard it may be to be different in a sea of whiteness, in some small towns, that difference can be embraced, even celebrated.

B. Approaching Mental Illness Another Way

For at least a decade, lawmakers and state government in Vermont have struggled with the question of whether or not to close down the decrepit Vermont State Hospital (VSH) in Waterbury, where people struggling with acute mental illnesses are treated.  Tropical storm Irene made the decision swiftly and decisively, sending floodwaters that precipitated an emergency evacuation of all 51 inpatients. But this short-term post-flood solution is just the beginning: without the state hospital, Vermont has to redesign its infrastructure for treating people with mental illness, while in emergency problem-solving mode.  This story tracks one corner of the new mental health care planning to a unique community center in Montpelier that offers (as its title and its strategy) Another Way.  Another Way is a drop-in center where people in any stage of their struggle with mental illness can socialize, cook, play music, and hang out together. But, Director Steve Morgan says, “It’s not just a group of 30 people who have been diagnosed with major mental illness who sit around and talk about that.  Yes, we have people who are really struggling, hearing voices, sleeping in the woods.  But we also have people who are in a different place, who are working and going on with their lives.”

C-3. MONTAGE: VT Independence (2:00) In this final montage, we ask people why Vermonters go their own way, what creates their independent spirit.

PROGRAM OUT @ 59:00

Vermont: Small Town State is available on PRX without charge to all public radio stations, and may be aired an unlimited number of times prior to January 31, 2017. The program may be streamed live on station websites but not archived. Excerpting is permitted for promotional purposes only.

State of the Re:Union is presented by WJCT and distributed by PRX.  Major funding for the State of the Re:Union comes from CPB, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Delores Barr Weaver Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

Thanks for your consideration of State of the Re:Union with Al Letson. 

 

Snap Judgment #228: Gratitude

From Snap Judgment | Part of the Snap Judgment hosted by Glynn Washington - Specials series | 53:57

'Tis the season to consider those things that we are most thankful for. And so this week on Snap Judgment we're taking a look back on some of the stories we've done that touch on this theme of gratitude, because we are so thankful.

Snapseriesprxlogo_small The Orange

Storyteller Joel ben Izzy recalls a conversation he had with an older gent who describes the true beauty of a piece of fruit.

Visit Joel's site for more stories.

Produced by Stephanie Foo



Salted Egg

Thirty years after the tragedy of the Khmer Rouge, a Cambodian Family begins an unlikely search for their missing father.

Produced by Anna Sussman.


Molly
In an amazing performance, Marc Bamuthi Joseph uses his many gifts to transport an entire live audience from San Francisco to the heart of Africa. National Poetry Slam champion, Broadway veteran, GOLDIE award winner, Marc is also an inaugural recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship which annually recognizes 50 of the country's "greatest living artists."


So Embarrassed

For Jeff Greenwald, Tibet was a transcendentalist paradise. The people, the food, and the breathtaking beauty captivated him. And Tibet loved Jeff right back, granting him access to areas no Westerner had ever seen. It was almost like he fit right in.

Almost.

Produced by Roman Mars and Stephanie Foo


The Thanksgiving Foo Mix

Stephanie Foo brings a mashup of thanks.


Just Like Your Father

Tracy never knew her Father. (She never knew that she wanted to...)

Producer: Rita Daniels


Frances Liberty

Frances Liberty was a good Catholic school girl. But that all changed when she decided to serve as a nurse in the army. She served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Grenada, and developed a sass that deeply affected many she came into contact with.

Thank you to the Veterans History Project for providing audio for this story. To hear other veterans' stories, go to http://loc.gov/vets. The painting you see above is a portrait of Frances Liberty by J.D. Nelson.

Producer: Natalia Jaeger and Mark Ristich

Sacramento, CA: All Hands on Deck

From Al Letson | Part of the State of the Re:Union: Season Two series | 53:53

A company town, where the company is government. In a city where one in four households contain a government employee, the crippling state budget deficit, police layoffs, fire engine brown-outs and park closures could easily signal only the bleakest of futures. This is a town where, through sheer force of will, residents and an enthusiastic mayor are keeping their major league basketball team around for another year. Despite the recession gloom, people are figuring out ways — from clothing swaps to home shares — to deal with the hard new economic reality.

Sotru_profile-pic_01_small State of the Re:Union
Sacramento, CA: All Hands on Deck

Host: Al Letson
Producer: Laura Starecheski

DESCRIPTION: A company town, where the company is government. In a city where one in four households contain a government employee, the crippling state budget deficit, police layoffs, fire engine brown-outs and park closures could easily signal only the bleakest of futures. This is a town where, through sheer force of will, residents and an enthusiastic mayor are keeping their major league basketball team around for another year. Despite the recession gloom, people are figuring out ways — from clothing swaps to home shares — to deal with the hard new economic reality.

Billboard (:59)
Incue: From PRX and WJCT
Outcue: But first, this news.

News Hole: 1:00-6:00

SEGMENT A (12:29)
Incue: From WJCT in Jacksonville, Florida
Outcue: That's next on State of the Re:Union (music tail)

A. At the Bottom Rung of the Political Ladder… Hope.

Veteran political reporter A.G. Block has been tirelessly covering capitol politics for decades, and he finds few reasons for optimism these days.  In fact, A.G. says, the will to collaborate and compromise has all but disappeared from the state capital.  But when we meet two of A.G.’s protégés, capitol interns Callin Curry (a Democrat from Oakland) and Catherine Wahlgren (a Republican from Southern California), we find a glimmer of hope in a dark time for California state politics. 

B. Land Park Heroes. 

In the past few years, Sacramento’s budget cuts have shrunk the maintenance staff at Land Park from 50 people down to just six.  Built in the 1930s, with a zoo, golf course, baseball diamonds, gardens and ponds, Land Park has long been the jewel of this city.  So when fifth-generation Sacramentan Craig Powell watched the park sinking into disrepair, he knew he had to do something to save it, even if the city government couldn’t.   Craig’s solution has been so effective that three other city parks have replicated it.  And the enormous team of people he rallied to the cause have started to re-imagine their relationship with the park, and their city. 

SEGMENT B (18:59)
Incue: I'm Al Letson and you're listening
Outcue: PRX-dot-ORG

A.  Keeping the Kings

To a lot of people, Sacramento isn’t really a destination.  It doesn’t have the energy of big cities like San Francisco and L.A.  Way out in a hot, dry valley, it doesn’t have the natural beauty of California’s coast and mountains.  But what it does have… is its basketball team, the Sacramento Kings.  To fans here, the Kings mean a lot. A sports tradition in a small city can be it’s life blood.  But last winter, the King’s owners put in motion a plan to move the team down to Anaheim, outside of L.A.  And as word of their plan began to spread, it sent shudders through the community.  The responses ranged from spur-of-the-moment calls to action that roused thousands of people, to an ingenious harnessing of Twitter and Facebook that connected fans in unprecedented ways.  We follow the ups and downs of the dramatic—and possibly final—Kings season through the voices of local radio host Carmichael Dave, Mayor Kevin Johnson and others, and find that this place hasn’t been the same since.


B. The Last Family Owned Radio Station in Sacramento

About 15 miles outside of town, on a dusty road along the Sacramento River, sits a double-wide trailer with blackberry bushes and fruit trees all around it.  This is the home of KJAY 1430 AM, Sacramento’s last family-owned radio station.  It’s been in Tiffany Powell’s family since the 1960s, but recently its airwaves have been commandeered by a community her classic radio dad Jack Powell most likely never would have imagined: the Hmong community.  At least eight hours a day, Hmong hosts produce live shows about music, politics, culture, even hunting.  For many Hmong people here, who don’t speak or read English, KJAY is one of the few ways to stay connected to the wider world of mainstream Sacramento and beyond. 


C. Letter to Sacramento

In this funny and irreverent “Dear Sacramento” letter, local poet Josh Fernandez scours the streets of his city for his prized possession: his missing Iron Maiden wallet.


SEGMENT C: (18:59)
Incue: I'm Al Letson and you're listening
Outcue: to bring them back together. (music tail)

Homelessness: Beyond the Tent City

A few years ago, the national media swarmed around a so-called breaking story on homelessness in Sacramento.  The coverage focused on the tent city along the river here, where hundreds of people make their homes in tents and makeshift shelters, and the new homeless, people who lost their jobs and went from middle-class lives to surviving on the street. The truth is, though, the tent city has been here for years, and Sacramento has a large chronic homeless population.  And beyond those national headlines are stories you’ve probably never heard, stories of people who have been working on innovative solutions to this crisis for a long time.  In this segment, we meet a few of those people, and hear surprising stories of communities connecting across deep divides.

A. Stopping the Cycle: Tubman House

When you hear that Bridget Alexander works with homeless teens, you probably don’t think of the high-achieving, organized young moms who soothe their babies while paging through weekly planners in the living room of Tubman House.  These young parents live here together, in a program that Bridget and her partner Blithe started almost ten years ago.  Bridget and Blithe were determined not just to give these people shelter, but to help them plan for a life that has room for their children, and their own dreams.  Residents here stay for 12 – 18 months, and everyone has a coach who works with them one-on-one to painstakingly help them build a stable life.  We see how the mission of Tubman House is lived out through the story of one resident, Theresa Hernandez, who has overcome the death of both of her parents when she was 18 and her own subsequent homelessness to make a new start for herself and her son Simon.    


B. Winter Sanctuary

Last winter in Sacramento was cold and rainy, and with deep budget cuts from the city and the county, the city’s usual emergency homeless shelter at the state fair grounds didn’t open. Homelessness advocates here had just two months to orchestrate an extremely cheap solution, or else at least 100 people would be left out in the cold each night—which can be a matter of life and death.  And then it hit them:  churches.  If one church a night would open its doors to the homeless, people would have a warm, dry place to sleep. They called it the Winter Sanctuary program, and it ended up going way beyond just providing shelter.  It changed people on both sides of the equation.  In this story we meet beautician Simon Vu, a member of the congregation at the suburban St. Marks United Methodist Church.  Simon decided to wash, massage and tend to the feet of the homeless at ad hoc spa stations, even giving pedicures upon request, along with his partner Barry.  We hear from Kevin Anderson, a homeless man who remembers having his feet washed last winter.  Then we meet Chuck and Donna McIntyre, volunteers who were very drawn to a young man who asked if he could play the piano at the church.  James Dollson turned out to be an extraordinarily gifted piano player and composer, and his relationship with Chuck and Donna, and St. Marks Church itself, was just beginning when he touched the keys of the basement grand piano last winter. 

C. Wrap-Up // Sacramento Vox // Credits

When we first got to Sacramento, we wondered how the city maintained its dignity through such a long and deep recession.  But in the stories we found, the answer to that question became obvious… people here are quietly and confidently stepping up to fill in the gaps they see in their communities.  Al concludes this episode by reflecting on the larger implications of what’s happening here.  And, we hear from Sacramentans on how their city and their community has been changed.


PROGRAM OUT @ 59:00

Sacramento, CA: All Hands on Deck is available on PRX without charge to all public radio stations, and may be aired an unlimited number of times prior to January 31, 2017. The program may be streamed live on station websites but not archived. Excerpting is permitted for promotional purposes only.

State of the Re:Union is presented by WJCT and distributed by PRX.  Major funding for the State of the Re:Union comes from CPB, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Delores Barr Weaver Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

Thanks for your consideration of State of the Re:Union with Al Letson. 

 

#6 - Seizure's Lament

From HowSound | Part of the HowSound series | 11:21

First person essay meets sound art in a story about seizures.

Polymicrogyria_arrows_small

The Third Coast International Audio Festival is three days of ear candy. Producers from around the world travel to Chicago to share work, talk shop, and, most importantly, listen.

Unfortunately, Third Coast only happens every other year. So, 2012 is a Third Coast year.

However, the geniuses at Third Coast went and invented the Filmless Festival for the off years. It’s a full day of audio hijinks capped with an awards ceremony. This year, the Filmless Festival is Sunday, October 23. Tickets are still available.

On this edition of HowSound, I present one of the stories featured at this year’s Filmless Festival — “Seizure’s Lament” by Canadian producer Carma Jolly. It’s a well-crafted mix of first-person essay and sound art. You might want to wear headphones for this one. Then, when you’re done, make your way to Chicago for more.

Keep listening,

Rob