Lessons learned from My Lai/Caregivers to wounded vets

My Lai headline 600 x 340.jpg

What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, March 16, 2018:

Fifty years ago, the United States was embroiled in a protected military conflcit in Vietnam — with no clear end in sight.

The Tet Offensive began in early 1968 and American and South Vietnamese forces were engaged in near constant warfare for several months.

On March 16, 1968 — 50 years ago Friday — a U.S. Army infantry company was on a search and destroy mission to eliminate pockets of resistance near the village of My Lai.  Even though there were reports that enemy Viet Cong guerillas were in the village, the soldiers encountered only women, children and older men.  They shot and killed between 347 and 504 of them.

The world didn’t find out about My Lai for another 18 months, but what happened there would affect the strategic direction of the war and divide the nation.

We discuss the My Lai Massacre and the lessons learned from it on Friday’s Smart Talk with Dr. Conrad Crane from the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle and Lt. Col. Gary Law from the U.S. Army War College.

Fo an in-depth look at how the Vietnam War impacted the people of South Central Pennsylvania visit The Vietnam War: WITF Stories.

Untitled design (32).png

Also on Friday’s Smart Talk, the U.S. Army Heritage Center Foundation is showing the Pennsylvania premier of the documentary film, The Weight of Honor next Thursday, March 22.  AHEC says It is the first comprehensive documentary to chronicle the lives of caregivers and families of veterans who have been catastrophically wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The film’s subjects are the spouses, parents, and children who give a rare glimpse into their lives, as everyone grapples with finding a ‘new normal’ after the devastating effects of war time injuries. .

The film will be moderated by LTC (P) David and Mrs. Kim Rozelle. Lt. Col. Rozelle is the author of Back in Action, an autobiography of his being wounded, losing a leg and the lengthy rehabilitation struggles. David did his rehabilitation at Walter Reed then returned to command in Iraq.  He appears on Friday’s Smart Talk along with the film’s Director and Producer Stephenie Seldin Howard.

How does media gain trust?/Artist with 3 exhibits in midstate

press freedom montage 600 x 340.jpg

What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, March 15, 2018:

Throughout American history, the press has been criticized by those in power — often when there was a story they didn’t like or that made them look bad. While Thomas Jefferson was a champion of freedom of the press, he also had a contentious relationship with the media and is quoted as saying, “”Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.”

So, attacks on the media are nothing new.  However, President Trump’s criticism of journalists is unique in recent years and maybe even more aggressive than from any American president.

The president has called the press the enemy of the people and often refers to fake news when there is a story he doesn’t like.  Trump’s supporters have followed his lead and often point fingers at the media.

Even before Trump became president, the American public did not have a lot of trust in the press.

How have journalists reacted to being called out in such a public way and what do they have to do to be trusted by Listeners, viewers and readers?

Author and former Los Angeles Times Media Critic Tom Rosenstiel is now Executive Director of the American Press Institute and he joins us on Thursday’s Smart Talk.

Untitled design (31).png

Works by Ladislav Hanka–Dragonfly Embraced and Enveloped by Honey Bees (Left) & Scriptum Arborum Embalmed (Right

Also, three exhibits by one artist – all very close to one another.  The artist is renowned Printmaker and Naturalist Ladislav Hanka and the exhibits can be seen now through April 29 at Susquehanna Art Museum in Harrisburg and at High Center and Murray Library on the campus of Messiah College.

Hanka is with us on Thursday’s Smart Talk.

How are PA schools handling student walkouts over violence?/Bill addresses puppy mills/York County recognized as destination

student protests 600 x 340.jpg

What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, March 14, 2018:

One month after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida left 17 people dead, students across the country are walking out of classrooms today or holding other types of gatherings — mostly to demand tougher gun laws.

Some schools have embraced the walkouts as a teachable moment while others don’t want class disruptions and have threatened disciplinary action against the students.

On Wednesday’s Smart Talk, we discuss what Pennsylvania schools are doing in wake of the demonstrations.

Untitled design (30).png

Left to Right: Kate DePasquale, Scott LaMar, Yankee, Kristen Tullo

Also, a puppy mill is defined as a large-scale commercial dog breeding facility where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs.  Unfortunately, Pennsylvania has a reputation of being home to puppy mills.  Legislation has been introduced that would ban the sale of dogs and cats raised in puppy mills at pet stores. Joining us are Kristen Tullo, Pennsylvania State Director, Humane Society of the United States and Kate DePasquale, Community Advocate with the Humane Society and volunteer at A Tail to Tell Puppy Rescue.

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of 600px × 340px - Untitled Design (1).png

York Farmers Market

Finally, last week, we talked about Forbes.com naming Lancaster as one of the best places to visit in the U.S.  York County has also gotten national attention as the program CBS This Morning named York as one of two must-see destinations in the U.S.

Smart Talk discusses York County tourism with Anne Druck, Executive Director and President, York County Covention and Visitors Bureau.

Peter Greenburg who appears on CBS This Morning also hosts “The Travel Detective” on PBS (and WITF TV).  His episode where he visits York County airs on WITF May 6 at 11am. 

Is PA ready for property tax reform?/All eyes on PA Congressional race

property tax house on pile of money 600 x 340.jpg

What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, March 13, 2018:

Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts collect about $14.4 billion.  There’s a good chance that number will rise next year because property taxes increase almost every year in most school districts. It’s one of the reasons funding schools through property taxes is so unpopular.

Even though most Pennsylvanians don’t like property taxes, efforts to eliminate them have failed in the past.  The bottom line is that $14 billion has to be replaced and there will be winners and losers if that happens.

Republican State Senator David Argall of Schuylkill County has made property tax reform a priority.  Legislation that would have eliminated property taxes and increased income and sales taxes and expanded the number of items subject to the sales tax failed by one vote in 2015.

Armed with a referendum approved by voters last fall that makes a few changes, Argall plans to re-introduce his property tax plan.

He explains on Tuesday’s Smart Talk.

The special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District is the center of the political universe Tuesday.  Republican Rick Saccone and Democrat Conor Lamb are competing to replace anti-abortion Republican Congressman Tim Murphy, who resigned after word came out that he encouraged his mistress to have an abortion.

President Trump campaigned for Saccone last weekend and almost $16 million has been spent on the campaign – much of it from outside the district – all for a term in office that will last nine months.

NPR’s Scott Detrow is in the district and reporting on the special election that could have national ramifications.  He joins us on Smart Talk.

York County Opioid OD deaths jump/Coal jobs update


What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, March 12, 2018:

Some 175 people died of drug overdoses in York County last year.  The county has seen a big jump in the number of deadly overdoses in the last several years.  But it is still alarming when York County Coroner Pam Gay reported there were 13 drug overdose deaths in a 10-day period ending last Tuesday.  Gay said the victims probably overdosed on heroin and fentanyl.

To date, York County has had around 25 overdose deaths in 2018.  That’s about the same pace as last year which may or may not mean the opioid crisis is holding steady rather than getting worse.

Pam Gay has been one of the leading voices in the fight against opioids.  She appears on Monday’s Smart Talk.

Pam Gay.png

York County Coroner Pam Gay

Coal Jobs & Production

One of the promises Donald Trump made when he ran for president was to end the “war on coal” that he claimed the Obama Administration had undertaken.

In 2017 – between 700 and a thousand new coal mining jobs were created and coal production was up almost 2%.  The Administration cites the rollback of a half-dozen regulations for the increased numbers.  However, others say the rise in jobs and production is due mostly to overseas demand.

At least two mines opened in Pennsylvania last year, but word came recently about the shutdown of the 4 West Mine in Greene County near West Virginia.  The Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier reported this story for StateImpact Pennsylvania and joins us on Monday’s Smart Talk.

Reid R. Frazier.png

Reid Frazier

Janice Kaplan: How Luck Happens/PA Charter Day

Janice Kaplan.png

Author Janice Kaplan

What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, March 9, 2018:

Catch a lucky break. Pick the lucky numbers. Being in the right place at the right time. Some people are just luckier than others, right? Do some people really have all the luck? The answer may be yes AND no.

Joining us on Friday’s Smart Talk is bestselling author Janice Kaplan. Her latest book, co-authored with Barnaby Marsh, is How Luck Happens: Using the Science of Luck to Transform Work, Love, and Life. It investigates the “seemingly mysterious luck-forces shaping our lives.”

The authors say there is a formula for luck and anyone can have more control over the lucky events in life so be lucky enough to tune in.

­Sunday, March 11, is Pennsylvania Charter Day, the 337th birthday of the land grant issued by England’s King Charles II for what is now Pennsylvania. This document is sometimes referred to as Pennsylvania’s “birth certificate.”

William Penn’s personal copy of the 1681 Charter will be on display at the State Museum of Pennsylvania from noon to 5pm on March 11.

Smart Talk guest and State Archivist David Carmichael will be in the studio to talk about the rare document, the founding of Pennsylvania and activities for Charter Day.

Steven Johnson talks innovation-ideas/Spinal leak and headaches

Steven Johnson 600 x 340.jpg

Steven Johnson

What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, March 8, 2018:

How a flute made from the bones of extinct animals can be traced to the invention of the programmable computer?  It’s just one story from best-selling popular science author and media theorist Steven Johnson, who appears on Thursday’s Smart Talk.

Johnson is considered one of the world’s best thinkers when it comes to innovation.  One of his most popular books was Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation.  In the book, Johnson describes “the slow hunch” and how ideas and creativity are often the product of a slow process rather than an “eureka” moment.

His latest book is Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World where he provides examples of where the adage “necessity is the mother of invention” by pointing out that many innovations occurred in science, technology, politics and society when someone was at play or doing something thye enjoy rather than working on a project.

Steven Johnson Book image.png

Steven Johnson appears at Penn State/Harrisburg Tuesday, March 13 at 11:30 a.m. as part of PNC’s Thought Leaders Lecture Series.  PNC’s Regional President for Central Pennsylvania Jim Hoehn will explain the series on Smart Talk.

Also, spinal celebrospinal fluid (brain-spinal fluid) leak is a little known medical condition that can cause severe headaches when one stands up or is upright.  What actually happens is the fluid that supports the brain and spinal cord leaks through a hole or tear.

Camp Hill Dr. Connie Deline is vice president and chair of the Medical Advisory Board of the Spinal CSF Leak Foundation.  and she’ll be on Thursday’s program.

Dr. Connie Deline.png

Dr. Connie Deline

Invasive insects invade PA/Chesapeake Bay update

spotted lanternfly 600 x 340.jpg

What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, March 7, 2018:

Insects that aren’t native to Pennsylvania have invaded the state’s forests, farm fields and homes and new ones appear every few years.

Recently, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug made its way from Asia. This nuisance pest was first spotted in Allentown in 1998 and has now spread throughout most of eastern and western North America. The stink bug is a serious threat to fruit and vegetable crops and will likely be found continent-wide within a few years.  It also is a real pest inside homes, although it isn’t destructive inside a house.

The Emerald Ash Borer was first confirmed in Pennsylvania in 2007.  The Ash Borer has killed an estimated 40 million trees across the country and the infestation is spreading. As just one example, there are a lot fewer baseball bats made of ash.

Now, growers are sounding the alarm over the Spotted Lanternfly. This bug was first found in Pennsylvania in 2014. The Lanternfly is a potential threat to several important crops, including fruit trees and timber.

From area farms to your backyard, what can be done about the growing threat of invasive bug species?

To answer that question on Wednesday’s Smart Talk is Dr. Michael Skvarla, a Penn State Extension Insect Identification Lab Director.

Also, the Chesapeake Bay Program released a report earlier this year indicating improvements in the health of the bay.  The Bay Barometer: Health and Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed 2016 – 2017 used twenty different metrics to record the cleanliness and sustainability of the bay, including the viability of underwater flora, water-life populations and pollution content.

Many targets were met; the blue crab population is thriving; nitrogen and phosphorus levels are dropping significantly and water quality in the bay and its tributaries are meeting standards.  The CBP report also recorded civic engagement in the preservation of the Chesapeake; “Environmental Literacy and Planning, Student Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences and Citizen Stewardship” were all factors in considering the bay’s health.

On Wednesday’s Smart Talk, we discuss the findings of the report, what this means for recreation and commerce on the bay and what aspects of the Chesapeake’s sustainability still need to be addressed with Harry Campbell Executive Director Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Alison Prost, Interim Vice President of Environmental Protection & Restoration for the Bay Foundation.

Landowners question gas royalty payments/Lancaster a cool city — Forbes

gas well with house and farm fields.jpg

What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, March 6, 2018:

Drive through areas of Pennsylvania where natural gas has been successfully drilled over the past 10 years and you’ll see new barns, farm equipment, or other items like boats or pick-up trucks that indicate new wealth.  Some landowners in the Marcellus Shale region have made a lot of money by leasing their land to gas companies.

But others haven’t — even though gas is being recovered under their land.  According to StateImpact Pennsylvania, a project that includes WITF and reports on Pennsylvania’s energy economy, the disparity in how royalties are paid to landowners “stems from a complex web of laws, court rulings and legal jargon that determines how money is distributed to property owners who allow energy companies to tap the minerals below their land.”

Often, landowners who don’t get big royalty checks because gas companies take “post-production costs” out of the royalties.

Tuesday’s Smart Talk explains the royalty controversy with State Impact Pennsylvania’s Marie Cusick and Amy Sisk.

Marie Cusick and Amy Sisk.png

State Impact Pennsylvania’s Marie Cusick and Amy Sisk

Also, Forbes.com has named Lancaster as one of the nation’s “coolest cities to visit.”  The accompanying article said the city had a bustling food scene and is becoming a cultural hotbed, citing Lancaster art galleries and the Fulton Theatre.

Tuesday’s Smart Talk takes a look at the what makes Lancaster a cool place with Discover Lancaster President Kathleen Frankford.

Kathleen Frankford.png

Discover Lancaster President Kathleen Frankford

PA anti-semitic incidents increase/Witnessing a life saved from overdose

antisemitism definition 600 x 340.jpg

What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, March 5, 2018:

Last summer, white supremists marched in Charlottesville, Virginia chanting “Jews will not replace us.”  It’s a recent example of how Jewish people are still targeted for hate.

Unfortunately, Charlottesville wasn’t an isolated incident.  In Pennsylvania, last year, there were 96 incidents of anti-Semitism — a 43% increase over 2016.  Vandalism against Jewish people and institutions doubled in the state from the year before.  Many of the vandalisms included swastikas painted on Jewish homes or buildings.

Across the country, there was a 60% increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents.

The statistics come from a new report by the Anti-Defamation League in Philadelphia.  The ADL’s Regional Director Nancy Baron-Baer appears on Monday’s Smart Talk to discuss why the anti-Semitic incidents are growing and what can be done about it.

Brett Sholtis, Nancy Baron-Baer.png

Brett Sholtis, Transforming Health and Nancy Baron-Baer, Regional Director of Anti-Defamation League

Also, WITF’s Transforming Health reporter Brett Sholtis recently rode along with a Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County EMS crew.  During the evening Brett was with the first responders, a call came in that a man had overdosed on opioids.  The man was revived and possibly saved from dying by Naloxone.  It turns out it was the second straight day the man overdosed.

On Monday’s program, we’ll hear Brett’s story of his ride-along and also he updates us on safety at Central York High School where classes were cancelled for three days two weeks ago after a threat was made.