Primary analysis — looking ahead to fall

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What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, May 16, 2018:

Wednesday’s Smart Talk features Franklin and Marshall College political analyst and pollster Dr. G. Terry Madonna breaking down Tuesday’s primary election results and looks ahead to the fall campaigns.

The primary was noteworthy for several reasons.  New Congressional district boundaries, ordered by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, drew more candidates than in past years and more women candidates than ever before.  Several incumbent Congressmen are leaving office too.  Many voters had choices they haven’t had before.

State Senator Scott Wagner won the Republican nomination for governor and will challenge Democratic incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf this fall.

Democrat John Fetterman defeated incumbent Lieutenant Gov. Mike Stack — the first time an incumbent lieutenant governor has lost a primary and Republican Jeff Bartos will be Wagner’s running mate on the Republican side.

Republican Congressman Lou Barletta faces Democratic incumbent U.S. Senator Bob Casey in November. 

In the new Congressional districts, Republican John Joyce won in the 13th, Democrat George Scott in the 10th, and Democrat Denny Wolff and Republican Dan Meuser will face off in the 9th, incumbent Republican Lloyd Smucker emerged in the 11th and the Democrat facing Republican incumbent Tom Marino in the 12th hasn’t been determined because the race is too close to call.

Smart Talk will speak with the candidates again this fall leading up to the November election.

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Dr. G. Terry Madonna


Washington Week’s Robert Costa/Mifflin House saved by casino?

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What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, May 14, 2018:

Robert Costa, the moderator of Washington Week on PBS and national political reporter for the Washington Post joins us on Monday’s Smart Talk to discuss a host of issues.

Tuesday is primary election day in Pennsylvania when Republicans and Democrats will be nominating candidates for governor, the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Pennsylvania House of Representatives and half the State Senate.  Even the primaries for the mid-term elections are getting national attention because control of Congress and the Trump Administration’s agenda are at stake.  Most Republican candidates in the region are running in full support of President Trump while Democrats are energized to oppose him.

President Trump is scheduled to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next month.  The president is seeking the denuclearization of North Korea.  What Kim wants is only speculation at this point.

These are just two of the issues we’ll discuss with Costa on Monday’s program.

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Robert Costa, Host Washington Week on PBS

Also, the Mifflin House in Hellam Township, York County was (and may be still) in danger of being demolished.  A coalition of historic preservationists have campaigned to save the structure that is said to have been on stop on the Underground Railroad that helped escaped slaves on their way to freedom.

What may ultimately save the Mifflin House is a mini-casino that Penn National Gaming will bring to the area.

Historian Randolph Harris is on Monday’s Smart Talk to explain.

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Historian Randolph Harris

Answering your gardening questions

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What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, May 11, 2018:

Spring is here, and that means flowers are in bloom, trees are leafing out and it is time to plan and plant vegetable gardens. It also means it is time for Smart Talk’s annual gardening show.

Erica Jo Shaffer, the nursery manager at Highland Gardens in Camp Hill, joins us to answer your questions about gardening, planting, and maintaining your flowers, plants, and trees.

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Erica Jo Shaffer

The early bloomers were a little later than usual this year in Central Pennsylvania, due to cooler temperatures that seemed to hang on longer.  But spring has indeed arrived, and trees and perennials are blooming at the same time. That means beautiful colors, but also, a tough one-two punch for allergy sufferers. 

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The pests that take a toll on your plants are also making their first appearances, so you may need to think about strategies for dealing with them, as well.

Do you have a question for Ms. Shaffer?

Send us a photograph of your colorful flowers, plants, or trees and we’ll post them on our website! Post them on WITF’s Facebook page.

Three Weed Salad

Three Weed Salad Recipe:

2 cups dandelion greens chopped

2 cups chickweed chopped

1 1/2 cup of almonds

Zest of one lemon

Juice of one lemon

2  teaspoons of turmeric

3 cloves of garlic

1 cup of shredded parmesan

Mix together in a food processor

Then add 1/2 cup of olive oil

Embellish with Wild Violets

Too many lawsuits?/On the road with candidates for governor

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What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, May 10, 2018:

Penn State University has been criticized after its decision to disband the school’s outdoors or outing club, the Nittany Grotto Caving Club and the Nittany Divers Scuba Club. Penn State said the clubs were being eliminated because they presented an “unacceptable safety risk.” 

Speculation is the university was concerned about possible lawsuits over any injuries students in the clubs could sustain. Is it an example of a society that is more concerned about being sued than the benefits the activities may have?

The Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform says it is “dedicated to bringing fairness to our courts by elevating awareness of civil justice issues and advocating for legal reform in the legislature. Pennsylvania’s civil justice system faces increasing challenges – with a lack of balance in certain laws, legal precedents and courtrooms.”

The organization’s Executive Director Curt Schroder appears on Thursday’s Smart Talk.

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Curt Schroder

Just five days before Pennsylvania’s primary election, WITF’s Capitol Bureau Chief Katie Meyer is on Smart Talk to describe following the three Republicans running for governor and joins us to provide some insight as well as talk about a few other issues at the Capitol.

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Katie Meyer

Congressional candidates Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson/Bernard Washabaugh

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What to look for Smart Talk Wednesday, May 9, 2018:

We’re down to the home stretch before next Tuesday’s primary election In Pennsylvania.  Smart Talk has featured conversations with the candidates who have opponents in the primary.  They include those running for the U.S. Senate, governor and U.S. House of Representatives.  More than 20 candidates have spoken with us and all those interviews are posted on on the Elections web page.

Two more candidates appear on Wednesday’s Smart Talk  Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson is a Democrat running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 10th Congressional District.  The 10th District is made up of Dauphin County, the northern half of York County and eastern Cumberland County.

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Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson

Bernard Washabaugh, is a Republican running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 13th Congressional District.  The 13th District includes Adams and Franklin Counties and western Cumberland County in the WITF listening area.

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Bernard Washabaugh


Local governments expanding social media posts/Democratic Congressional candidate Denny Wolff

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What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, May 8, 2018:

Social media use has exploded in the past ten years, with more than half of all users saying they visit sites daily — some multiple times a day.

Municipalities are jumping on board, leveraging platforms to engage constituents and push important information to the public.

Social media experts say that cities, boroughs and counties now have an easy, low-cost way to hold two-way conversations with residents and reach previously disengaged populations. Municipalities also use social media to help gauge public opinion, get feedback, and analyze posts so they can make more informed decisions about services.

Which social media platforms work best for information dissemination, and how can residents take advantage of these two-way communication sites?

Should you tweet, snap or post your way to more information?

Rachel Bryson, the director of communications for Cumberland County, is on Tuesday’s Smart Talk to discuss how the county uses social media to reach residents.

Janelle DelSignore is the Marketing Director of LaunchUX, a firm specializing in online digital marketing and social media. She is in the studio to talk about how the platforms differ and the industry trends. 

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Janelle DelSignore & Rachel Bryson

Also, Pennsylvania’s primary election is scheduled for a week from Tuesday on May 15th.  Smart Talk is speaking with candidates on the ballot before the primary.

Denny Wolff, Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in the 9th Congressional District appears on Tuesday’s program.. The new 9th Congrssional District is made up of Lebanon, Schuylkill, Columbia and parts of Berks, Carbon, Northumberland, Luzerne, and Montour Counties.

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Denny Wolff

Untested rape kits/George Scott, Democratic Congressional candidate

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What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, May 7, 2018:

Pennsylvania has more than 900 rape kits that have not been tested.  That number is actually down in the last three years.  So how can a rape case go to trial or criminal proceedings continue without the important evidence a rape kit could provide if so many rape kits are not tested?  Often — they can’t and the rapist isn’t brought to justice or it takes a long period of time before they do. 

A new documentary film called I Am Evidence will be shown Tuesday night at 6 at the Forum in Harrisburg.  It describes the nationwide issue of rape kits that are not tested.  I Am Evidence is produced by Law and Order:Special Victim’s Unit Mariska Hargitay.

Watch the I Am Evidence Trailer.

An audit by Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale in 2015 brought attention to the number of untested rape kits.  He’ll appear on Monday’s Smart Talk along with Kristen Houser, Chief Public Affairs Officer with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

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Kristen Hauser

Pennsylvania’s May 15th primary election is a week from Tuesday.  Smart Talk continues conversations with the candidates Monday with George Scott – A Democrat running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 10th Congressional District.  The 10th District includes Dauphin County, the northern half of York County and Eastern Cumberland County.  

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George Scott

House candidate Doug Mastriano/Give Local York/Justice reform?

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What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, May 4, 2018:

As the days wind down to the May 15th primary election, Friday’s Smart Talk features another candidate for Congress.  Appearing on the program is Doug Mastriano, a Republican running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 13th Congressional District.  The 13th District includes Adams, Franklin and western Cumberland County in the WITF listening area.*

Also, Give Local York is a 24-hour online giving spree that begins at midnight Friday to benefit hundreds of York County nonprofits. The goal is to inspire York Countians to support the work of local nonprofits.  There are prizes and a 100 thousand dollar stretch pool too.

Jenny Englerth, the chair of the York Fellows Alumni Association, the presenting organization for Give Local York joins us on Smart Talk to discuss the event.

Finally, with an outpouring of support from entertainers and athletes, Philadelphia rap music artist Meek Mill was released from prison last week amid calls for criminal justice reform.  Mill was serving a two-to-four year prison term for repeatedly violating terms of parole for earlier criminal violations.  Mill and others claim the sentence was too long and called into question the credibility of an arresting police office in 2007. 

Philadelphia District Attorney didn’t oppose Mill’s release and Gov. Tom Wolf also supports it.  The Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association is now weighing in.

Berks County District Attorney John Adams, who is President of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association is with us.


Congressional candidates Doug McLinko and Art Halvorson

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What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, May 3, 2018:

In the days leading up to the May 15 primary election, Smart Talk has featured candidates running for governor, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. The purpose of the conversations is to let voters hear where the candidates stand on the issues.  All candidates who have primary opponents and are running in the WITF listening area were invited to participate.

Appearing on Thursday’s Smart Talk are two Republicans seeking separate seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Doug McLinko is challenging incumbent Republican Congressman Tim Marino in the 12th Congressional District. The 12th District includes Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder, Union Counties and parts of Northumberland and Montour Counties in the WITF listening area.

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Douglas McLinko

Art Halvorson is one of eight candidates in a crowded race in the 13th Congressional District.  The 13th District includes Adams and Franklin Counties and western Cumberland County in the WITF listening area.

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Art Halvorson

Autism rates rise/Congressional candidate John Eichelberger

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What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, May 2, 2018:

Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by social and communication impairments, combined with limited interests and repetitive behaviors. Early diagnosis and intervention are key to improving learning and skills.

In a new report, the Centers for Disease Control increased its estimates of children with autism.  The CDC now says one in 59 kids are on the Autism Spectrum.  That’s a 15% increase from two years ago.

Most believe autism isn’t affecting more children but is being recognized and diagnosed more often.

On Wednesday’s Smart Talk, we discuss the numbers found in the new CDC report, the important of early detection and the education and treatment for children with autism.  Our guests are Erin Edwards, Autism Clinical Care Coordinator in the Penn State Hershey’s Department of Psychiatry and Kirsten Yurich, CEO of The Vista School, The Vista Foundation and Vista Adult Services.

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Erin Edwards & Kirsten Yurich

Also, we continue our profile conversations with the candidates before the May 15 primary election.  On Wednesday’s program, Smart Talk is joined by John Eichelberger, a current State Senator, who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 13th Congressional District.  The 13th District includes Adams and Franklin Counties and western Cumberland County in the WITF listening area.