Joe Donahue

Vice President, News and Programming

Joe talks to people on the radio for a living. In addition to countless impressive human "gets" - he has talked to a lot of Muppets. Joe grew up in Philadelphia, has been on the area airwaves for more than 25 years and currently lives in Washington County, NY with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Brady. And yes, he reads every single book. 

Ways to Connect

In his popular new TED Talk "What reality are you creating for yourself?," former Saved by the Bell teen star-turned-entrepreneur Isaac Lidsky recalls how the sales person he waved to in the store was really a mannequin, and how he reached down to wash his hands and realized it was a urinal and not a sink.

He learned of his diagnosis at thirteen: a degenerative eye disease that would lead to his blindness by age 25. After initially believing his blindness signaled the end of his independence and achievement, Lidsky found other pathways of perception, turning his life around with his Eyes Wide Open philosophy.

He graduated from Harvard Law School, worked as a law clerk under the guidance of Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and eventually became an entrepreneur.

His new book is Eyes Wide Open: Overcoming Obstacles And Recognizing Opportunities In A World That Can't See Clearly, where Isaac Lidsky probes the many facets of perception, detailing the neuroscience of sight and drawing on his own experience to show how our perception shapes—and often limits—our reality. 

3/15/17 Panel

Mar 15, 2017

 The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Communications Specialist Theresa Bourgeois, Associate Editor of the Times Union, Mike Spain, and corporate attorney, Rich Honen.

At the end of Mark Twain’s masterwork, Huckleberry Finn declares that he plans to “light out for the Territory” to avoid getting “sivilized.”

For 130-plus years, readers have been left guessing about the adventures in the West. But now, Huck is back, thanks to prize-winning novelist Robert Coover. His novel is Huck Out West.

Peter Barrett

Fish & Game restaurant in Hudson, New York, is a leader in the local foods movement. Its core approach—engaging intimately with nature both wild and domestic, building relationships with farmers, and exploring the joys of fermentation—is one of interest to anyone, anywhere, who yearns to cook and eat better food.

Project 258: Making Dinner at Fish & Game presents an enticing selection of seasonal recipes, profiles of key producers who supply the restaurant, and a fascinating, beautifully illustrated look at the processes—both intellectual and culinary—behind the food at Fish & Game.

Chef Zakary Pelaccio and artist Peter Barrett join us to tell us more.

  Giovanni Boivin from The Book Loft in Great Barrington, MA joins us with this week's Book Picks list.

List:
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
2084: The End of the World by Boualem Sansal
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Gilded Cage by James Vic
100 Plants to Feed the Bees by the Xerces Society
Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter

Elliot Ackerman is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Green on Blue, is based out of Istanbul, where he has covered the Syrian Civil War since 2013. His writings have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications, and his stories have been included in The Best American Short Stories. He is both a former White House Fellow and Marine, and served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan where he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart.

In his new novel, Dark at the Crossing, Haris Abadi is a man in search of a cause. An Arab American with a conflicted past, he is now in Turkey, attempting to cross into Syria and join the fight against Bashar al-Assad's regime.

But he is robbed before he can make it, and is taken in by Amir, a charismatic Syrian refugee and former revolutionary, and Amir's wife, Daphne, a sophisticated beauty haunted by grief. As it becomes clear that Daphne is also desperate to return to Syria, Haris's choices become ever more wrenching: Whose side is he really on? Is he a true radical or simply an idealist? 

Sheldon Whitehouse represents Rhode Island in the U.S. Senate. He has served as a federal and state prosecutor, business regulator, courtroom litigator, environmental advocate, and government reformer.

In his new book, Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy, he offers an eye-opening take on what corporate influence looks like today from the Senate Floor, adding a first-hand perspective to Jane Mayer’s Dark Money

The Hudson Opera House in Hudson, NY has completed the final phase of a major restoration project begun in April of 2016. The re-opening of the historic theater is accompanied by a name change: the Hudson Opera House will be renamed Henry Hudson Hall.

In honoring the city’s historic namesake, Henry Hudson, the new name marks a significant evolution for the iconic venue, which, from its founding in 1855 until the building was abandoned in 1962, has witnessed some of the most exciting cultural, social and political events of the day.

The 2017 season at Henry Hudson Hall Center for the Arts opens with The Proprietors Ball on Saturday, April 22, followed by a Community Day on Sunday, May 21 with free performances and workshops by Hudson’s own Bindlestiff Family Cirkus

Here to tell us more about the restoration and upcoming exciting events are Gary Schiro, Executive Director of the Hudson Opera House, and Megan Kent, founder of the Megan Kent Branding Group.

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

Brad Shear is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, the oldest and largest animal protection organization in New York’s Capital Region.  He has worked in the animal protection field since 1996 and has been the Director of the Society since April 2007.  

3/13/17 Panel

Mar 13, 2017

    The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, political consultant and lobbyist, Libby Post, and Communications Specialist Theresa Bourgeois.

In The President Will See You Now, devoted Reagan insider Peggy Grande shares behind-the-scenes stories, intimate moments, and insights into one of America's most beloved presidents.

Grande, who started in the Office of Ronald Reagan as a college student and earned her way into a coveted role as the president's Executive Assistant, offers an unparalleled perspective on the post-presidency of a political icon. 

In 2005, beekeepers in the United States began observing a mysterious and disturbing phenomenon: once-healthy colonies of bees were suddenly collapsing, leaving behind empty hives full of honey and pollen. 

Vanishing Bees takes us inside the debates over widespread honeybee deaths, introducing the various groups with a stake in solving the mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), including beekeepers, entomologists, growers, agrichemical companies, and government regulators. Drawing from extensive interviews and first-hand observations, Sainath Suryanarayanan and Daniel Lee Kleinman examine how members of each group have acquired, disseminated, and evaluated knowledge about CCD.

3/10/17 Panel

Mar 10, 2017

 

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Associate Editor of the Times Union Mike Spain, and Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao, and author and activist, Barbara Smith.  

  Traditional economics measures the ways in which we spend our income, but doesn't attribute worth to the crucial human interactions that give our lives meaning.

Clair Brown, an economics professor at U.C. Berkeley and a practicing Buddhist, has developed a holistic model, one based on the notion that quality of life should be measured by more than national income. 

Her book is Buddhist Economics: An Enlightened Approach to the Dismal Science.

Creative License was founded by Capital Region theater artists Aaron Holbritter and Casey Polomaine in March of 2014.

Their current production – opening tomorrow at The Albany Barn – is The Picture of Dorian Gray, a theatrical adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s famous novel by Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa.

We are joined by the production’s director, Aaron Holbritter, producer Casey Polomaine, and actor Ian LaChance who plays the title character.

The show runs March 10-April 1.

In his new book, A Generation of Sociopaths, author Bruce Cannon Gibney looks to show how America was hijacked by Baby Boomers, a generation, he believes, whose reckless self-indulgence degraded the foundations of American prosperity. A former partner in a leading venture capital firm, Gibney examines the policies of the most powerful generation in modern history, saying Boomers enriched themselves at the expense of future generations.

Gibney says acting without empathy, prudence, or respect for facts--acting, in other words, as sociopaths--the Boomers turned American dynamism into stagnation, inequality, and bipartisan fiasco. Gibney argues that younger generations have a window to hold the Boomers accountable and begin restoring America.

Bruce Gibney is a writer and venture capitalist, working at a hedge fund and as a partner at one of Silicon Valley’s leading venture firms, Founders Fund. 

  Shawn Stone, Digital Editor of The Alt joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: Logan, Wampum World: An Art Installation by Renée Ridgway at AIHA

Upcoming:

  • 8 Borders, 8 Days with filmmaker Amanda Bailly - Madison Theater, Albany, Thursday 3/9, 7 PM
  • Riverdance - Stanley Theatre, Utica, Thursday 3/9, 7:30 PM
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Zankel Music Center/Skidmore College, Thursday 3/9, 7:30 PM
  • Into The Woods - Schenectady Light Opera Company, opens Friday 3/10, 8 PM, through 3/19
  • Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood - Times Union Center, Albany, Fri-Sun, 3/10-11-12, 7 PM
  • Red Baraat - The Egg, Albany, Saturday 3/11, 7:30 PM
  • Cosy Sheridan & Sloan Wainwright - The Eighth Step at Underground at Proctors, Saturday 3/11, 7:30 PM
  • Marc Maron - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Saturday, 3/11, 8 PM
  • The Sting - Palace Theatre, Albany, Monday, 3/13, 7 PM
  • The High Kings - The Egg, Albany, Tuesday, 3/14, 7:30 PM

New movies: Kong: Skull Island, Kedi (aka Nine Lives: Cats in Istanbul)

3/9/17 Panel

Mar 9, 2017

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao and Daily Freeman Publisher Emeritus Ira Fusfeld.

Yaddo and Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, NY will present Emily Jeanne Miller discussing her new novel, "The News from the End of the World” tomorrow night. Emily joins us this morning.

In the novel, when Vance Lake—broke, jobless, and recently dumped—takes refuge with twin brother Craig back home on Cape Cod, he unwittingly finds himself smack in the middle of a crisis that would test the bonds of even the most cohesive family, let alone the Lakes.

Craig is strangely mournful and angry at equal turns. His exasperated wife, Gina, is on the brink of an affair. At the center of it all is seventeen-year-old Amanda: adored niece, rebellious daughter, and stubborn stepdaughter. She’s also pregnant.

South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo was launched into international spotlight when they sang with Paul Simon on his 1986 Graceland album. The group has been nominated 17 times, won five Grammy Awards, and has warmed the hearts of audiences worldwide with uplifting vocal harmonies, signature dance moves and charming stage presence. 

They will perform at Skidmore College's Zankel Music Center in Saratoga Springs, NY on March 9th at 7:30 p.m.

Albert Mazibuko has been a member of Ladysmith Black Mambazo since 1969 and he joins us to discuss the music, Paul Simon, and the late Nelson Mandela.

Helene Cooper is the Pulitzer Prize–winning Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times, having previously served as White House Correspondent, diplomatic correspondent, and the assistant editorial page editor. Prior to moving to the Times, Helene spent twelve years as a reporter and foreign correspondent at The Wall Street Journal.

She is the author of the bestselling memoir, The House at Sugar Beach (Simon & Schuster, 2008). Her new book, Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will be featured on The Book Show in the near future. In this interview we speak with her about current events and what it's like to be at The Pentagon in the early weeks of the Trump Administration.

A record number 16-teams consisting of more than 300 professionals from local architecture, engineering and construction firms, as well as design students, built massive structures made entirely out of canned goods at the New York State Museum on last night.

Now, this year’s Canstruction “Go Team” themed program at the New York State Museum benefiting The Food Pantries for the Capital District is underway. This year’s participants have been challenged to collect 105,000 pounds of food in addition to a monetary donation to support local food pantries.

The seventh annual Capital Region Canstruction is open to the public today through Wednesday, March 22,  2017 at the New York State Museum. To tell us more we welcome Canstruction President Sara Stein, Jill Shorter – Vice President of teaming and Natasha Pernicka – Executive Director of the Food Pantries fore the Capital District.

3/8/17 Panel

Mar 8, 2017

    The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao, and corporate attorney Rich Honen.

George Saunders is considered one of the great masters of the short-story. He’s now written his first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo – a novel that comes from the real-life death of Willie Lincoln, the 11 year-old son of Abe and Mary Lincoln in 1862. 

Investigating numerical misinformation, Daniel Levitin shows how mishandled statistics and graphs can give a grossly distorted perspective and lead us to terrible decisions. Wordy arguments on the other hand can easily be persuasive as they drift away from the facts in an appealing yet misguided way.

Ultimately, Levitin turns to what underlies our ability to determine if something is true or false: the scientific method. He grapples with the limits of what we can and cannot know. Case studies are offered to demonstrate the applications of logical thinking to quite varied settings, spanning courtroom testimony, medical decision making, magic, modern physics, and conspiracy theories.

Levitin is the James McGill Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Music at McGill University, Montreal, where he also holds appointments in the Program in Behavioral Neuroscience. His new book is: Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era

     This week's Book Picks from Amy Lane at The Open Door Bookstore and Gift Gallery in Schenectady, NY.

List:
We'll Always have Casablanca by Noah Isenberg
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
300 Arguments by Sarah Manguso
In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri
Wake of of Vultures by Lila Bowen
The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy and Eugene Yelchin
The Legendary Miss Lena Horne by Carole Boston Weatherford, art by Elizabeth Zunon

Lonni Sue Johnson was a renowned artist who regularly produced covers for The New Yorker, a gifted musician, a skilled amateur pilot, and a joyful presence to all who knew her. But in late 2007, she contracted encephalitis. The disease burned through her hippocampus like wildfire, leaving her severely amnesic, living in a present that rarely progresses beyond ten to fifteen minutes.

     Remarkably, she still retains much of the intellect and artistic skills from her previous life, but it's not at all clear how closely her consciousness resembles yours or mine. In The Perpetual Now: A Story of Amnesia, Memory, and Love, award-winning science journalist Michael D. Lemonick uses the unique drama of Lonni Sue Johnson's day-to-day life to give us a nuanced and intimate understanding of the science that lies at the very heart of human nature.

3/7/17 Panel

Mar 7, 2017

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Associate Editor of the Times Union Mike Spain, and Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao.

William D. Cohan is no knee-jerk advocate for Wall Street and the big banks. He’s one of America’s most respected financial journalists and the progressive bestselling author of House of Cards. 

He has long been critical of the bad behavior that plagued much of Wall Street in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, and because he spent seventeen years as an investment banker on Wall Street, he is an expert on its inner workings as well.

Mark Sundeen is the author of several books, including The Man Who Quit Money and the coauthor of North by Northwestern, which was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller.

His latest, The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today's America, is a work of immersive journalism that traces the search for the simple life through the stories of these new pioneers and what inspired each of them to look for - or create - a better existence.

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