Joe Donahue

Senior Director of 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

Ballet Nacional de Cuba perform Alicia Alonso's magical "Giselle"
Carlos Quezada

National Ballet of Cuba dancers are known around the world for their exuberant flair and uniquely Cuban style. The company has embraced a tradition of romantic and classical excellence since Alicia Alonso, Fernando Alonso, and Alberto Alonso (the first professional dancer in Cuba) founded it in 1948.

National Ballet of Cuba will bring their passionate production of “Giselle” to The Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York on June 6, 7, and 8.

Octavio Roca is the author of several books including “Cuban Ballet,” with forewords by Alicia Alonso and Mikhail Baryshnikov. He has been music and dance critic for The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as Associate Professor of Philosophy at Miami Dade College. Last night he presented an evening of history and conversation about National Ballet of Cuba to prep audiences for their arrival early next month.

Octavio Roca joins us along with SPAC President and CEO Elizabeth Sobol.

When Mark Zuckerberg changed the mission of Facebook this summer to be focused on community, he hired Jennifer Dulski to lead Groups, at the center of their new strategy, and used by more than one billion people to build meaningful communities around the world.

With a career as a tech executive at Yahoo! and Google, a startup founder and CEO, and a social change leader as president of Change.org, Dulski is now combining her own experience with stories of other inspiring leaders to show how we all have the power to start movements that matter.

In her new book, "Purposeful," she walks through the steps to go from idea to impact and shares specific tips and stories from real movement starters whose movements have created everything from new laws to new companies.

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

Seen: "Deadpool 2," "Pope Francis: Man of His Word"

Upcoming:

  • "Don’t Dress for Dinner" - Curtain Call Theatre, Latham, Thursday 5/24 at 7:30 PM; through June 16
  • Mama’s Broke - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Thursday 5/24, 7 PM
  • NorthEast Theatre’s production of Chekhov’s "The Seagull" - Mabee Farm Historic Site, Rotterdam Junction, Friday 5/25 at 7 PM; Saturday 5/26 at 2 & 7 PM; Sunday 5/27 at 2 PM
  • Kevin Hart: The Irresponsible Tour - Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, Friday 5/25, 8 PM
  • Primus, Mastodon - Cool Insuring Arena (aka Glens Falls Civic Center), Glens Falls, Friday 5/25, 7 PM
  • Soul Rebels - MASS MoCA, Hunter Center or Courtyard C, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 5/26, 8 PM
  • Apocalyptica (Metallica for 4 Cellos) - The Egg, Albany, Sunday 5/27, 8 PM
  • Sir Sly - Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, Mass., Wednesday 5/30, 8:30 PM
  • "On Your Feet!" - Proctors, Schenectady, Wednesday 5/30 at 7:30 PM, through June 2

New movies: "Solo: A Star Wars Story," "Beast," "Let the Sun Shine In"

5/24/18 Panel

7 hours ago

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, College of St. Rose Journalism Professor Cailin Brown, and former Albany City Council President Helen Desfosses, who currently teaches  Presidential Politics at George Mason University.

CNN anchor and correspondent Jake Tapper is known for his hard-nosed interviews that seek to get at the truth of our contentious times. But now in his new novel, Tapper turns his attention to another fractious period in U.S. history.

In "The Hellfire Club," a political thriller set in 1950s Washington, Tapper writes about a time when the Red Scare and McCarthyism ruled the city.

As for the day job - Tapper hosts “The Lead” and “State of the Union” on CNN and brings attention to some of the biggest political headlines. Tapper talks to us about the inspiration for his foray into fiction, his life as a journalist, and which recent news stories have captured his full attention.

It is always exciting to find out what the Musicians of Ma’alwyck are up to. The groups is a professional chamber music ensemble performing in and around Schenectady, NY

This morning, we find out about their productions of "Aleda or the Flight of the Suff Bird Women" an opera in one act by Max Caplan, commissioned and produced by Musicians of Ma’alwyck and paired with "The Burden of the Ballot," an original one-act play about Albany’s Anti-Suffrage movement by Krysta Dennis.

We welcome Ann-Marie Schwartz, Director of the Musicians Of Ma'alwyck; composer Max Caplan; and stage director and creator of the opening play "Burden of the Ballot," Krysta Dennis.

Philip Roth has died at the age of 85. The Pulitzer, National Book Award, and Man Booker International Prize-winning novelist first had success in 1959 with his short story collection, “Goodbye Columbus.”  A decade later “Portnoy's Complaint” earned him great notoriety and a place in the American canon. His 1997 work, “American Pastoral,” won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

We spoke with Philip Roth in 2008 when his novel “Indignation” was published. In this archival interview we talk about his career and process. 

The Hyde Park Education Foundation's mission is to provide financial resources to individual schools and district-wide programs that encourage and enhance the educational opportunities of the students in the Hyde Park Central School District.

From Saturday, May 26 through Monday, May 28, the Hyde Park Education Foundation will host a Field of Honor flag display at the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site. Hundreds of American flags will fly in a patriotic display honoring veterans, first responders and hometown heroes.

David Roosevelt is the President of the Board of The Hyde Park Education Foundation.

5/23/18 Panel

May 23, 2018

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Albany County District Attorney David Soares, Berkshire Eagle Reporter Jenn Smith, and Corporate Attorney Rich Honen.

Kirk Walla Johnson and Book cover "The Feather Thief
Marie-Josee Cantin Johnson

Kirk Wallace Johnson’s new book, “The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession and the Natural History Heist of the Century,” is a true story which explores the 2009 theft of rare Victorian-era bird feathers from a British museum by American music student Edwin Rist who was obsessed with using the feathers for exotic fishing lures.

When Jonathan Cain and the iconic band Journey were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cain could say he had finally arrived. But Cain's journey wasn't always easy and his true arrival in life had more to do with faith than fame.

His new memoir is "Don't Stop Believin': The Man, the Band, and the Song that Inspired Generations."

Journey's 58-city North American tour with Def Leppard will be in Albany at The Times Union Center on Wednesday, May 23.

lawgazette.co.uk

Our tech guru Jesse Feiler joins us this morning as we discuss privacy regulations and what's new in Facebook's upcoming discussions.

Jesse Feiler is an app developer, author, and consultant specializing in small business and nonprofit organizations. His most recent books are “The Nonprofit Risk Book: Finding and Managing Risk in Nonprofits and NGOs” written with Gail B. Nayowith and “Learn Computer Science with Swift.” His most recent apps are “CyberContinuity,” a free app to learn about your vulnerabilities and “The Nonprofit Risk App,” a companion to the book.

Thomas Chulak and Kara Polito from Chatham Bookstore in Chatham, NY join us with this week's Book Picks.

List:
"Ruthless Tide: The Heroes and Villains of the Johnstown Flood, America's Astonishing Gilded Age Disaster" by Al Roker - event at Chatham Bookstore on June 9
"Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America" by James and Deborah Fallows
"The Ashokan Way: Landscape's Path Into Consciousness" by Gail Straub
"The Spirit Photographer" by Jon Michael Varese
"Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces" by Michael Chabon
"What I Leave Behind" by Alison McGhee

Why do we do the things we do? Robert Sapolsky, celebrated Stanford primatologist and neurobiologist and recipient of a MacArthur Foundation genius grant, tackles this age-old question in his investigation into the science of human behavior, "Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst," now available in paperback.

From violence and aggression to cooperation and empathy, Sapolsky explores what we can do to better understand our relationships to one another. He argues that we should not distinguish between aspects of a behavior that are biological and those that are cultural because they are utterly intertwined.

5/22/18 Panel

May 22, 2018

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

Today's panelists were: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain, Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois and the Empire Report’s J.P. Miller.

The Phoenicia Playhouse’s second annual Starry Starry Night Fundraiser event will take place on May 27. The event is a fundraiser for the renovation and reinvention of the 1887 playhouse.

The fundraiser this Memorial Day features five stars from Daytime Drama. Many of the cast and writers are Emmy Award winners from "Guiding Light" and have a great following to this day.

To tell us more we welcome Bruce Barry – he received 2 Daytime Emmy Awards for Best Direction and the Director’s Guild of America Award. He was the senior director of the daytime drama Guiding Light for 27 years. He also directed "Captain Kangaroo" before that.

Robert Newman is a two-time Daytime Emmy nominee and we also welcome Daytime Emmy award winning actress Ellen Parker back to the program.

While Joe Kennedy was grooming his sons for the White House and the Senate, his Stanford-educated daughter Eunice was tapping her father’s fortune and her brothers’ political power to engineer one of the great civil rights movements of our time on behalf of millions of children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Now, in "Eunice," Pulitzer Prize winner Eileen McNamara finally brings Eunice Kennedy Shriver out from her brothers’ shadow.

Ian Bremmer is the president and founder of Eurasia Group, the leading global political risk research and consulting firm.

Those who championed globalization once promised a world of winners, one in which free trade would lift all the world's boats, and extremes of left and right would give way to universally embraced liberal values. The past few years have shattered this fantasy, as those who've paid the price for globalism's gains have turned to populist and nationalist politicians to express fury at the political, media, and corporate elites they blame for their losses.

In his new book, "Us vs. Them: The Failure of Globalism," Bremmer writes that globalism creates plenty of both winners and losers, and those who've missed out want to set things right.

5/21/18 Panel

May 21, 2018

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

Today's panelists were: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Executive Editor of The Times-Herald Record Barry Lewis, and Political Consultant Libby Post.

When Prince Harry of Wales took his American girlfriend, Meghan Markle, to have tea with his grandmother the queen, avid royal watchers had a hunch that a royal wedding was not far off. That prediction came true on November 27, 2017, when the twosome announced their engagement to the world. As they prepare to tie the knot in a stunning ceremony on May 19, 2018, that will be unprecedented in royal history, people are clamoring to know more about the beautiful American who captured Prince Harry’s heart.

In "American Princess," Leslie Carroll provides context to Harry and Meghan’s romance by leading readers through centuries of Britain’s rule-breaking royal marriages.

John T. Shaw has covered Congress for Market News International for nearly twenty-five years, and has also been a contributing writer for the Washington Diplomat and has been a guest on PBS NewsHour and C-SPAN.

In "Rising Star, Setting Sun," John T. Shaw focuses on the intense ten-week transition between JFK’s electoral victory and his inauguration on January 20, 1961. After winning the presidency by a razor-thin victory on November 8, 1960 over Richard Nixon, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s former vice president, John F. Kennedy became the thirty-fifth president of the United States. But beneath the stately veneers of both Ike and JFK, there was a complex and consequential rivalry.

Suzy Fincham-Gray is a veterinarian and board-certified small-animal internal medicine specialist. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of California, Riverside–Palm Desert.

In her first book, "My Patients and Other Animals," is a moving memoir of a life spent in the company of animals.

logo for A New York Minute In History podcast
WAMC | The New York State Museum

The New York State Museum, WAMC/Northeast Public Radio and Archivist Media are excited to announce the launch of a new podcast today. “A New York Minute In History” explores the story of New York State and the unique tales of New Yorkers. 

5/18/18 Panel

May 18, 2018

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

Today's panelists were: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Former EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck, Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti, and Albany County District Attorney David Soares.

Former Long Island Congressman Steve Israel has traded in a political career for one as an author – but, the politics have not been discarded completely – especially as the issue of guns in America continues with massive demonstrations led by the teens who survived the shooting at their high school in Parkland, FL in February.

In his new novel, Big Guns, the gun lobby controls the political direction of the U.S., requiring that every American over the age of four carry a gun. What ensues is a discomfiting, hilarious indictment of the current state of American politics.

The novel is set in a fictional town on Long Island that becomes ground zero for a pitched battle over gun rights and gun control.

Lawrence Wright is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of nine previous books of nonfiction, including "In the New World," "Remembering Satan," "The Looming Tower," "Going Clear," "Thirteen Days in September," and "The Terror Years," and one novel, "God's Favorite." His books have received many prizes and honors, including a Pulitzer Prize for "The Looming Tower." He is also a playwright and screenwriter.

His new book, "God Save Texas," is a journey through the most controversial state in America. It is a red state in the heart of Trumpland that hasn't elected a Democrat to a statewide office in more than twenty years; but it is also a state in which minorities already form a majority.

Lucy Cooke is an award-winning filmmaker who has written, produced, and directed several popular documentary series for the BBC, PBS, Discovery, and National Geographic. Her first book, "A Little Book of Sloth," was a New York Times bestseller. She hold an MA in zoology from the University of Oxford.

In her new book, "The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife," she takes the reader on a worldwide journey to meet everyone from a Colombian hippo castrator to a Chinese panda porn peddler, all to lay bare the secret (and often hilarious) habits of the animal kingdom.

The First American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force, better known as The Flying Tigers, was composed of pilots from the United States Army Air Corps, Navy, and Marine Corps, recruited under secret presidential authority. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, they were the first Americans to directly engage with the Japanese, and their exploits became the stuff of legend. 

5/16/18 Panel

May 16, 2018

 

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

Today's panelists are: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Corporate Attorney Rich Honen, Communications Consultant Joe Bonilla, and Chairman of Capital District Latinos Dan Irizarry.

Sue Halpern is the author of seven books of fiction and nonfiction. Her new novel, “Summer Hours at the Robbers Library,” tells us about a little New England library that has become the heart of a small town. In the book, we meet an unlikely trio who are drawn to each other and who come to terms with how their lives have unraveled and how they finally can reclaim their stories.

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