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 the spring of 1942, the United States rounded up 120,000 residents of Japanese ancestry living along the West Coast and sent them to interment camps for the duration of World War II. Many abandoned their land. Many gave up their personal property. Each one of them lost a part of their lives.

Amazingly, the government hired famed photographers Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, and others to document the expulsion--from assembling Japanese Americans at racetracks to confining them in ten camps spread across the country. Their photographs, exactly seventy-five years after the evacuation began, give an emotional, unflinching portrait of a nation concerned more about security than human rights. These photographs are more important than ever.

Fannie Flagg is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café and A Redbird Christmas.

Her latest novel, The Whole Town’s Talking, tells the story of Lordor Nordstrom, his Swedish mail-order bride and their neighbors and descendants as they live, love, die and carry on in mysterious and surprising ways.

A Life In Ornaments

Dec 20, 2016
Elf Christmas ornament
Bob Eisenhardt

First highlighted in the New York Times, Bonnie Mackay’s annual Christmas tree showcases a lifetime collecting almost 3,000 ornaments. 

Now, through beautiful photography and illuminating vignettes, Tree of Treasures shares the heartfelt stories behind a hundred of those cherished possessions, whether it’s the story of a family member, like Mackay’s grandfather, a well-known vaudeville performer; long-held relationships with friends and colleagues in the international community of Christmas crafts makers; a memory of a beloved pet; and much more. 

Our tech guru Jesse Feiler joins us this morning to discuss the ins and outs of writing code. Is it as difficult as it sounds?

Jesse Feiler helps people and organizations get to know and use new technologies. His most recent books are “Learn Apple HomeKit on iOS” and “iPad for Seniors for Dummies.”

Current projects include Utility Smart to manage use of utility resources (with Curt Gervich at SUNY Plattsburgh Risk Management for Nonprofits).

Visit the Congressional App Challenge website.

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

List:
Atlas Obscura by Joshua Foer
A History of Sports in 100 Objects by Cait Murphy
Best American Infographics 2016 by Gareth Cook
Jerusalem by Alan Moore
The Noblest Roman by Jerry Kelly & Misha Beletsky
Hattie's Restaurant Cookbook by Jasper Alexander
Encore: Proctors at 90 by Michael Eck and Richard Lovrich
The Wish Tree words by Kyo Maclear, Pictures by Chris Turnham

12/20/16 Panel

Dec 20, 2016

  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.

In Strangers in Their Own Land, sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country—a stronghold of the conservative right. As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets people whose concerns are actually ones that all Americans share: the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children.

Strangers in Their Own Land goes beyond the commonplace liberal idea that these are people who have been duped into voting against their own interests. Instead, Hochschild finds lives ripped apart by stagnant wages, a loss of home, an elusive American dream—and political choices and views that make sense in the context of their lives. Hochschild draws on her expert knowledge of the sociology of emotion to help us understand what it feels like to live in “red” America.

  On sabbatical from teaching literature to undergraduates, and wanting to educate a different kind of student, Mikita Brottman starts a book club with a group of convicts from the Jessup Correctional Institution in Maryland.

She assigns them ten dark, challenging classics—including Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Poe’s story “The Black Cat,” and Nabokov’s Lolita—books that don’t flinch from evoking the isolation of the human struggle, the pain of conflict, and the cost of transgression. Although Brottman is already familiar with these works, the convicts open them up in completely new ways. Their discussions may “only” be about literature, but for the prisoners, everything is at stake.

Gradually, the inmates open up about their lives and families, their disastrous choices, their guilt and loss. Brottman's book is The Maximum Security Book Club: Reading Literature in a Men's Prison.

12/19/16 Panel

Dec 19, 2016

  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 political consultant and lobbyist, Libby Post.

"A Christmas Carol" at BTG - 2016
Emma Kate Rothenberg-Ware

It is an absolute Christmas Classic. And at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield – it is tradition.

It is the timeless holiday tradition of A Christmas Carol with the whole family, and revel in the joy and redemptive power of Christmas as told in the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the infamous miser who is shown the error of his ways and reformed by four spirits.

We are able to journey back to Victorian England and experience the classic story filled with holiday carols and the wonderment of the season.

Joining us – like ghosts in the night – Berkshire Theatre Group Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, Travis Daly – director of the show and Scrooge himself – Eric Hill. 

Liberals worldwide invoke Scandinavia as a promised land of equality, while most conservatives fear it as a hotbed of liberty-threatening socialism. But the left and right can usually agree on one thing: that the Nordic system is impossible to replicate elsewhere.  
 
In Viking Economics, George Lakey dispels these myths. He explores the inner-workings of the Nordic economies that boast the world’s happiest, most productive workers, and explains how, if we can enact some of the changes the Scandinavians fought for surprisingly recently, we, too, can embrace equality in our economic policy.

12/16/16 Panel

Dec 16, 2016

  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, and author and activist, Barbara Smith.

The Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA is a nonprofit organization working to tell the whole Jewish story by rescuing, translating, and disseminating Yiddish books and presenting innovative educational programs that broaden understanding of modern Jewish identity.

Lisa Newman, Director of Communications at the Yiddish Book Center joins us this morning for a great selection of Hanukkah books.

List:

Modern Jewish Cooking: Recipes and Customs for Today's Kitchen by Leah Koenig 

Stars in The Ring: Jewish Champions in the Golden Age of Boxing by Mike Silver 

The Parakeet Named Dreidel by Isaac Bashevis Singer

The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story by Lemony Snicket

Ben Shahn's New Deal Murals: Jewish Identity in the American Scene by Diana L. Linden

The Abandoned Book and Other Yiddish Stories: An Anthology of Pakn Treger Translations edited by Eitan Kensky

Have I Got A Story For You: More Than a Century of Fiction from the Forward edited by Ezra Glinter

Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking by Michael Solomonov

In Those Nightmarish Days: The Ghetto Reportage of Peretz Opoczynski and Josef Zelkowicz edited by Samuel D. Kassow and translated by David Suchoff

Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm by Molly Yeh

Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have survived more than fifty years of exile and the soul-crushing violence of oppression. Despite their hardships—or, as they would say, because of them—they are two of the most joyful people on the planet.

In The Book of Joy, they look back on their long lives to answer a single burning question: How do we find joy in the fact of life’s inevitable suffering?

The Book of Joy is featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things list for 2016 and is an instant New York Times bestseller. Doug Abrams is the co-writer of The Book of Joy and he joins us. 

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: Office Christmas Party 

Upcoming:

  • Cherish the Ladies - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Thu 12/15, 7:30 PM
  • Gremlins - Madison Theatre, Albany, Thu-Sun 12/15-18, various times
  • Found Footage Festival - It Came From Schenectady, Proctors, Fri 12/16, 7:30 PM
  • The Figgs Christmas Show - The Low Beat, Albany, Fri 12/16, 8 PM
  • Lapalux - EMPAC Studio 1, Troy, Fri 12/16, 8 PM
  • truTV Impractical Jokers - The Tenderloins - Palace Theatre, Albany, Fri 12/16, 6:30 and 9:30 PM
  • It’s a Wonderful Life - Capitol Theatre, Rome, Fri 12/16, 7 PM; Sat 12/17, 2:30 and 7 PM
  • Albany Berkshire Ballet’s The Nutcracker - The Egg, Albany, Sat 12/17, 1:30 and 5:30 PM
  • Christmas, Sinatra Style with the Joey Thomas Big Band - Proctors, Schenectady, Sat 12/17, 7:30 PM
  • Boston Camerata - Union College Memorial Chapel, Schenectady, Sun 12/18, 3 PM
  • Miracle On 34th Street - Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, Tue 12/20, 7 PM

New Movies: Rogue One, Collateral Beauty, and Jackie (opens Tuesday 12/20)

12/15/16 Panel

Dec 15, 2016

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois and Daily Gazette Editor Judy Patrick and, for a portion of the program, Times Union Editor, Rex Smith.  

Julia Turshen is a writer and recipe-developer. She has coauthored such cookbooks as Spain...A Culinary Road Trip with Mario BataliIt's All Good with Gwyneth PaltrowMastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen with Dana Cowin, as well as The Kimchi ChroniclesHot Bread KitchenThe Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries, and Buvette. She hosted the first two seasons of Radio Cherry Bombe and has written for VogueBon AppétitFood & WineSaveur, and The Wall Street Journal

In The Wars of the Roosevelts: The Ruthless Rise of America's Greatest Political Family, William J. Mann presents a modern revisionist biographical history of one of America’s greatest and most influential families—the Roosevelts—exposing heretofore unknown family secrets and detailing complex family rivalries with his signature cinematic flair.

Bellevue Hospital, on New York City's East Side, occupies a colorful and horrifying place in the public imagination: a den of mangled crime victims, vicious psychopaths, assorted derelicts, lunatics, and exotic-disease sufferers. In its two and a half centuries of service, there was hardly an epidemic or social catastrophe—or groundbreaking scientific advance—that did not touch Bellevue.

In Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America's Most Storied Hospital, David Oshinsky chronicles the history of America's oldest hospital and in so doing also charts the rise of New York to the nation's preeminent city, the path of American medicine from butchery and quackery to a professional and scientific endeavor, and the growth of a civic institution. From its origins in 1738 as an almshouse and pesthouse, Bellevue today is a revered public hospital bringing first-class care to anyone in need.

If you are a young person, and you work hard enough, you can get a college degree and set yourself on the path to a good life, right?
 
Not necessarily, says Sara Goldrick-Rab, and with Paying the Price, she shows in damning detail exactly why. Quite simply, college is far too expensive for many people today, and the confusing mix of federal, state, institutional, and private financial aid leaves countless students without the resources they need to pay for it.
 
Drawing on an unprecedented study of 3,000 young adults who entered public colleges and universities in Wisconsin in 2008 with the support of federal aid and Pell Grants, Goldrick-Rab reveals the devastating effect of these shortfalls.

Following on the heels of his New York Times bestselling Telegraph Avenue, Michael Chabon – who won the Pulitzer Prize for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay – delivers his latest, Moonglow, a novel of truth and lies, family legends, and existential adventure. 

  Fighting was a practiced routine for Lieutenant Ivan Castro. But when a mortar round struck the rooftop of his sniper’s post in Iraq, he found himself in a battle more difficult than even he could have imagined. The direct hit killed two other soldiers and nearly claimed Castro’s life as well. Mangled by shrapnel and badly burned, Castro was medevac’d to Germany more dead than alive. His lungs were collapsed. He couldn’t hear. One eye had been blown out, the nerve to the other severed.

In the weeks and months that followed, Castro would find that physical darkness was nothing compared to the emotional darkness of loss and despair. Desperate for a reason to live, he eventually fought his way back to health through exercise and a single-minded goal: running a marathon. 

Today, Castro helps prepare soldiers for combat, working exactly as if he were “sighted.” His book (co-authored by Jim DeFelice) is Fighting Blind: A Green Beret's Story of Extraordinary Courage.

 

Today's Book Picks list comes from Rachel Person of The Northshire Bookstore.

List:
American Cake by Anne Byrn
Swing Time by Zadie Smith
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Snow White by Matt Phelan
Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Richard & Tanya Simon
Leaping Lemmings by John Briggs
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling - illustrated edition
They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

Peak Joel McHale

Dec 13, 2016

For years, Joel McHale’s stand-up performances have sold out venues across the country, and his role in the beloved cult series Community and as the host of E!’s The Soup have made him a household name in comedy and pop culture.

He currently stars in the new CBS comedy The Great Indoors which is about an adventure reporter for an outdoor magazine when he becomes the desk-bound boss to a team of millennials in the magazine's digital department. 

McHale's submission to the vast world of celebrity tell-all books is Thanks for the Money: How to Use My Life Story to Become the Best Joel McHale You Can Be.

12/13/16 Panel

Dec 13, 2016

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 Communications Specialist Theresa Bourgeois.

George Mitchell knows how to bring peace to troubled regions. He was the primary architect of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement for peace in Northern Ireland. But when he served as US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from 2009 to 2011—working to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—diplomacy did not prevail.

In A Path to Peace: A Brief History of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations and a Way Forward in the Middle East, Mitchell offers his insider account of how the Israelis and the Palestinians have progressed (and regressed) in their negotiations through the years and outlines the specific concessions each side must make to finally achieve lasting peace.

In his new show at The Lionheart Gallery in Pound Ridge, N.Y., “Kings & Queens of Late Night,” running through January 2nd, “recovering lawyer” Geoffrey Stein paints collage portraits of an all-star cast of network and cable comedy and punditry.

Stein’s Lionheart Gallery lineup of the late night heroes who wield wit and humor like surgical scalpels includes Jon Stewart, Jay Leno, Amy Schumer, Jimmy Fallon, Chelsea Handler, Samantha Bee, Larry Wilmore, Bill Maher, John Oliver, Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert and David Letterman.

Examples from this exhibit include Jon Stewart’s portrait made with the 9/11 Responders’ act he championed, Amy Schumer done with her cousin Chuck Schumer’s Gun Control bill, Jimmy Fallon created from thank you cards, and John Oliver done with USA Today and the London Tube Map.

Stein, who lives and works in New York City, received an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art in London and has been painting full-time since 2000. 

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.

Today we will learn about Operation Snip, an organization that focuses on TNR (trap-neuter-return) for community cats (otherwise known as feral cats) which live in alleys and vacant buildings throughout Troy and the capital district.

Lynn Kopka is the founder of Operation Snip.

12/12/16 Panel

Dec 12, 2016

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond. Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post and Communications Specialist Theresa Bourgeois.

J.M.W. Turner is one of the most important figures in Western art, and his visionary work paved the way for a revolution in landscape painting. Over the course of his lifetime, Turner strove to liberate painting from an antiquated system of patronage. Bringing a new level of expression and color to his canvases, he paved the way for the modern artist.

Franny Moyle studied Art History at St John's College, Cambridge. She enjoyed a career in arts programming at the BBC that culminated in her becoming the corporation's first Commissioner for Arts and Culture. She is now a freelance executive producer and writer and lives in east London. Her new book is Turner: The Extraordinary Life and Momentous Times of J.M.W. Turner.

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