Marc Bloustein


Hoffman’s Playland in Colonie, New York, is closing this weekend after 62 years. The beloved kiddie park has been a summer destination for three generations of Capital Region residents. Jessica Bloustein Marshall spoke with park owner Dave Hoffman earlier this summer. He says it all started with his grandfather, who bought a parcel of land 6 miles outside of Albany in the 1930s to start a farm.

Pixabay/Public Domain

A child born in 2013 will cost a middle-income American family an average of $245,340. That’s some serious sticker shock, from a report out by the United States Department of Agriculture released this week. Of course there are inherent joys in having children. But are they becoming prohibitively expensive?

8/19/14 Panel

Aug 19, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock and Times Union Associate Editor, Mike Spain.

Topics include:
Jim Jeffords Dies at 80
Glens Falls Civic Center
Mail carriers at risk
The Cost of Raising A Child

    For four consecutive years Shirley Temple was the world’s box-office champion, a record never equaled. By early 1935 her mail was reported as four thousand letters a week, and hers was the second-most popular girl’s name in the country.

What distinguished Shirley Temple from every other Hollywood star of the period—and everyone since—was how brilliantly she shone. Amid the deprivation and despair of the Great Depression, Shirley Temple radiated optimism and plucky good cheer that lifted the spirits of millions and shaped their collective character for generations to come. In The Little Girl Who Fought The Great Depression: Shirley Temple And 1930s America, distinguished cultural historian John F. Kasson shows how the most famous, adored, imitated, and commodified child in the world astonished movie goers, created a new international culture of celebrity, and revolutionized the role of children as consumers.

One in three American children will be arrested by the time they are twenty-three, and many will spend time locked inside horrific detention centers that defy everything we know about how to rehabilitate young offenders.

In a clear-eyed indictment of the juvenile justice system run amok, award-winning journalist Nell Bernstein shows that there is no right way to lock up a child. The very act of isolation denies delinquent children the thing that is most essential to their growth and rehabilitation: positive relationships with caring adults.

    The Double H Ranch/SeriousFun Camp, co-founded by Charles R. Wood and Paul Newman, provides specialized programs and year-round support for children and their families dealing with life-threatening illnesses.

Paul Newman's youngest daughter, Clea Newman, joined SeriousFun Children's Network as a Senior Director of External Affairs in January 2013, where she works as part of the advancement team to raise money to support SeriousFun Camps and Programs around the world. She also serves as a spokesperson for the organization.

Clean Newman joined us to talk about the SeriousFun's 23rd Annual Gala, taking place tonight at 5pm at The Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom.


  Parents are accused of being both permissive and overprotective, unwilling to set limits and afraid to let their kids fail. Young people, meanwhile, are routinely described as entitled and narcissistic...among other unflattering adjectives.

In The Myth of the Spoiled Child, Alfie Kohn systematically debunks these beliefs--not only challenging erroneous factual claims but also exposing the troubling ideology that underlies them. Complaints about pushover parents and coddled kids are hardly new, he shows, and there is no evidence that either phenomenon is especially widespread today--let alone more common than in previous generations.


  In her new memoir, The Madwoman in the Volvo, writer and performer Sandra Tsing Loh tells the story of her personal roller coaster of menopause. It includes an affair with a married man, the explosion of her marriage, and the pressure of keeping her daughters off of Facebook while managing the legal and marital hijinks of her eighty-nine-year-old dad. 

Surprisingly, deeper research into the biological science of menopause suggests that this is all normal. Loh deduces that this midlife “madness” is less about menopause than about the madness of the world: trying to maintain appearances during an epic hormonal (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) change.

Sandra Tsing Loh is a contributing editor to The Atlantic and the author of five previous books. She is a regular commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition and PRI’s This American Life and has performed two solo shows off-Broadway.


  Kids R Kids is a Beacon based, volunteer run program that works to reduce childhood hunger by providing free, nourishing summer lunches to children in need. In 2013, Kids R Kids provided over 61,000 summer meals in Dutchess County.

For Goodness Bake is a bake sale to raise funds and awareness for the Kids R Kids Feeding Program – taking place this Saturday, May 10th from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM in the park on the corner of Main Street and Cross Street in Beacon, NY.

Some of the Hudson Valley’s most celebrated amateur and professional bakers and confectioners are donating their time and talents to the bake sale.

Here to tell us more are Kristen Cronin and Tara Tornello, co-planners of For Goodness Bake, and Jackie Bucelot-Mills, the Executive Director of the Kids R Kids Feeding Program.

Listener Essay - Folding Laundry

Apr 3, 2014

    Pamela Ethington is a writer who divides her time between Syracuse, where her home is, and Woodstock, N.Y., where her heart is. Her work has been published in New Millenium Writings. She is a student of author Martha Frankel in Woodstock.