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

  This week's Book Picks come from Connie Brooks of Battenkill Books in Cambridge, NY.

Black River by Sarah Hulse
Sweetland by Michael Crummey
The Magician's Lie by Greer Macallister
Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad by Eric Foner [Curiosity Forum talk: The Underground Railroad Revisited, 2/15, 4 pm, Hubbard Hall]
Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Bradley

  New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will vacate his post by next week. Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle will serve as interim speaker until an election for the post is held on February 10. So, who will be the next Speaker?

We discuss the contenders with Legislative Director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, Blair Horner.

1/28/15 Panel

Jan 28, 2015

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao, and Political Consultant, Libby Post.

Topics include: Sheldon Silver Steps Down, Bad Forecast, Drunken White House Droner, Koch Bros. Spending, and 529 Plan.

  In novelist Stewart O' Nan’s latest novel, West of Sunset, he imagines F. Scott Fitzgerald's final years, which he spent in Hollywood. He is living in an apartment, in poor health, struggling with alcoholism, and is increasingly despondent over his declining literary reputation.

  Charles Darwin developed his evolutionary theories by looking at physical differences in Galapagos finches and fancy pigeons. Alfred Russell Wallace investigated a range of creatures in the Malay Archipelago. Laurel Braitman got her lessons closer to home—by watching her dog. Oliver snapped at flies that only he could see, ate Ziploc bags, towels, and cartons of eggs. He suffered debilitating separation anxiety, was prone to aggression, and may even have attempted suicide. Her experience with Oliver forced Laurel to acknowledge a form of continuity between humans and other animals that, first as a biology major and later as a PhD student at MIT, she’d never been taught in school. Nonhuman animals can lose their minds. And when they do, it often looks a lot like human mental illness.

  In January 2011, in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, a group of strangers sparked a revolution. Basem, an apolitical middle-class architect, jeopardized the lives of his family when he seized the chance to improve his country. Moaz, a contrarian Muslim Brother, defied his own organization to join the opposition.

These revolutionaries had little more than their idealism with which to battle the secret police, the old oligarchs, and a power-hungry military determined to keep control.

In Once Upon A Revolution: An Egyptian Story, Thanassis Cambanis tells the story of the dreamers who brought Egypt to the brink of freedom, and the dark powerful forces that—for the time being—stopped them short.

  The story of the Lentil Underground begins on a 280-acre homestead rooted in America’s Great Plains: the Oien family farm. Forty years ago, corporate agribusiness told small farmers like the Oiens to “get big or get out.” But twenty-seven-year-old David Oien decided to take a stand, becoming the first in his conservative Montana county to plant a radically different crop: organic lentils. Unlike the chemically dependent grains American farmers had been told to grow, lentils make their own fertilizer and tolerate variable climate conditions, so their farmers aren’t beholden to industrial methods.

  America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Back-Room Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System is Steven Brill’s much-anticipated, sweeping narrative of how the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was written, how it is being implemented, and, most important, how it is changing—and failing to change—the rampant abuses in the healthcare industry.

Brill probed the depths of our nation’s healthcare crisis in his trailblazing Time magazine Special Report, which won the 2014 National Magazine Award for Public Interest.

1/27/15 Panel

Jan 27, 2015

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao, and Associate Editor of The Times Union, Mike Spain.

Topics include: Snow! (?), Koch Bros. Budget, White House Drone, Jeffrey Sterling Convicted, and Sheldon Silver.

  The world is blowing up. Every day a new blaze seems to ignite: the bloody implosion of Iraq and Syria; the East-West standoff in Ukraine; abducted schoolgirls in northern Nigeria. Is there some thread tying these frightening international security crises together?

In a riveting account that weaves history with fast-moving reportage and insider accounts from the Afghanistan war, Sarah Chayes identifies the unexpected link - corruption - in her book, Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security.