Smart Talk Road Trip visits the Governor’s Residence


What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, December 7, 2018:

The last Smart Talk Road Trip of the year takes us to the Governor’s Residence in Harrisburg. Inside the Front Street home, we’ll discuss Governor Tom Wolf’s recent re-election and his plans and priorities for the next four years. Will Wolf push for more money for education as he has in his first four years in office? What about a tax on natural gas drilling that has failed to make it through the legislature each year? Other issues that may be discussed are what the state will do, if anything, with regards to reducing emissions that contribute to climate change and how Congressional district boundaries will be drawn in the future.

First Lady Frances Wolf also joins the conversation to talk about the initiatives and platforms where she is focusing her attention. Those include the arts and education.

The holiday season is a great time to visit the Governor’s Residence that is decked out with holiday decorations. We’ll have photographs on this site after the show.

The Governor’s Residence is almost 50 years old and has a history of its own. Smart Talk explores that history and the art in the residence with Juli Bossert, Executive Residence Manager.

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Scott LaMar and Gov. Tom Wolf

Drawing new Pennsylvania maps / end-of-year tax tips


What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, December 6, 2018:

It’s wasn’t long ago that if the word gerrymander was used in public, eyes would quickly glaze over. It just wasn’t a topic that generated a lot of passion. That is not the case today – gerrymandering or a majority party drawing legislative boundaries to favor their party’s candidates – is one of the most high profile political issues the nation and Pennsylvania faces.

A new organization called Draw the Lines PA is addressing the gerrymandering issue head on and doing it in a way that involves Pennsylvanians in a meaningful way. It is back to the drawing board, in a manner of speaking.

Appearing on Smart Talk today to lay out the challenge are David Thornburgh, Draw the Lines PA managing director and president and CEO of the Good Government group the Committee of 70, along with Chris Satullo, Draw the Lines PA project director.

Also, while preparing for holiday celebrations, don’t forget to plan for year-end financial tasks and the coming tax season.

Joining Smart Talk with year-end tips and “don’t-forget-to’s” is Jean M. Zahurak, CPA, and senior manager with McKonly & Asbury in Camp Hill and Eric MacCollum, CPA, and principal with Hudak & Company in Lemoyne.

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Eric MacCollum and Jean Zahurak

Human contact improves asthma?/Rep. Bryan Cutler prepares for House leadership role


What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, December 5, 2018:

More than 26 million Americans suffer from asthma. About 1.7 million seek treatment for asthma at hospital emergency rooms each year.

It disproportionately affects poor people.

Asthma is a condition in which airways narrow, swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.

Asthma can’t be cured, but its symptoms can be controlled.

A new study conducted by the Medicaid managed care company AmeriHealth Caritas — based in Philadelphia — found that asthma patients responded better to treatment and weren’t readmitted to the hospital as often if the patient engaged with a healthcare professional more often after being discharged from the hospital.

What makes this unique?

We’ll find out on Wednesday’s Smart Talk from Dr. Andrea Gelzer, the Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs and Registered Nurse Karen Michael — both of AmeriHealth Caritas.

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Dr. Andrea Gelzer and Karen Michael

Also, Republican State Representative Bryan Cutler is the newly-elected Majority Leader in the House of Representatives. Cutler is the first House Leader from Lancaster County in almost a century.

The majority leader manages the daily operations of the majority party — Republicans in Pennsylvania’s case — on the state House floor. The majority leader acts as a spokesperson for the party’s policy positions, schedules the daily calendar, and helps direct the party’s overall legislative agenda.

Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler joins us on Smart Talk Wednesday to discuss his new role and priorities.


State Representative Bryan Cutler

Auditor General aims to reduce gun deaths/Sunday hunting in PA?


What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, November 29, 2018:

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is taking aim at gun safety and has made a dozen recommendations that he thinks will reduce crimes committed with firearms and suicides. In 2016 more than 1,500 Pennsylvanians were killed by guns.

DePasquale says over the last decade, firearm-related injuries cost Pennsylvania taxpayers about $1.5 billion in health care costs.

The Auditor General is calling for a “community approach” to saving lives from firearms. He says his recommendations will not infringe on anyone’s rights to own a firearm

General DePasquale appears on Tuesday’s Smart Talk to discuss the plan.

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Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale

Also, hunting on Sundays in Pennsylvania is currently limited to only crows, coyotes and fox. This is considered a substantial restriction, especially for a state with one of the highest densities of licensed hunters per square mile.

Some hunters and advocates want to see restrictions lifted to allow hunting on Sundays.

Appearing on Smart Talk to discuss the issue are Republican State Senator Dan Laughlin, Bryan Burhans, executive director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Mark O’Neill, director of strategic communications with the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, and Joe Neville, executive director, Keystone Trails Association.

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Mark O’Neill, Bryan Burhans, and Joe Neville


Senator Dan Laughlin

2018 books-as-gifts guide


What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, December 3, 2018:

A Smart Talk holiday tradition is back! One of our favorite shows of the year — the annual books-as-gifts guide.

Everyone enjoys a well-thought gift, especially when it is a good book. Whether it is fiction, a novel, non-fiction, poetry, a how-to book, or one of the classics — books make great gifts.

On Monday’s Smart Talk, we discuss the books that would make great gifts with guests who know their books.

Joining us is Catherine Lawrence, co-owner of the Midtown Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg and a writer herself, Dr. Travis Kurowski, an assistant professor of creative writing at York College of Pennsylvania and Brian Frailey, owner of DogStar Books in Lancaster.

We’d like to hear your suggestions, as well. What books do you like and think your friends or loved-ones would enjoy? What is on your wish list this year?

Click here to view Catherine Lawrence’s recommendations

Click here to view Brian Frailey’s recommendations

Click here to view Dr. Travis Kurowski’s recommendations

See comments section below for our listeners recommendations.

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Brian Frailey, Catherine Lawrence, and Travis Kurowski

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The newspaper industry’s changing landscape

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Today’s broadcast is recorded from a previous Smart Talk program

The newspaper industry has undergone a transformation over the last 10 to 15 years. With the advancement of the internet, newspapers jumped on board to develop a web presence offering ready access to their customers.

While print customers paid for subscription services, the web version was free to anyone with access to a computer.

Eventually, the industry’s advertising-based business model felt the economic pressure of newspapers giving their product away for free. The thinking went that if subscribers can access the news free online, any time of day, why would they pay for a newspaper that arrives hours after the news events occur?

Some say that by offering a free product, the industry set itself up for potential failure.

Today, some newspapers around the country, and in the mid-state, have cut staff and production schedules, while others are placing paywalls between their product and customers.

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Dr. Kyle Heim, Alex Hayes, Cate Barron, Ted Sickler and Scott LaMar

Joining Smart Talk on Friday to talk about the newspaper industry’s changing landscape are Cate Barron, Vice President of Content with PennLive and the Patriot-News, Ted Sickler, LNPMedia Group, Inc.’s Managing Editor of Features and Special Projects, and Alex Hayes, Managing Editor of the Gettysburg Times. Also joining the conversation is Dr. Kyle Heim, Professor of Communication/Journalism, Shippensburg University.

Gun culture in America and ‘Well-Behaved Taverns Seldom Make History’

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Mel Chin, Cross for the Unforgiven: 10th Anniversary Multiple, 2012, AK-47 assault rifles (cut and welded).

What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, November 29, 2018:

Guns in America are ubiquitous. They are part of our national identity; the right to own a gun upheld by our very Constitution.

Guns are a source of fascination, status and disgust, depending on who you are speaking to. And they are, literally, everywhere; in the news, part of our recreation, and the subject of national debate.

Dickinson College’s Trout Gallery is wading into this debate in an exhibit titled, “Unloaded – An Exhibition Exploring Guns in Our Culture.” The exhibit is displayed in the Emil R. Weiss Center for the Arts on the Dickinson College Campus through February 16, 2019.

Appearing on Thursday’s Smart Talk to discuss the exhibit and its reflection of America’s gun culture are Trout Gallery Director Phillip Earenfight and Susanne Slavick, exhibit curator, artist and the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University.

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Susanne Slavick and Phillip Earenfight

Also, what do the American Revolution, the Whiskey Rebellion, and Prohibition have in common?

Pubs. In each historical event, the plans were hatched, and conspiracies formed, in a Pennsylvania pub.

Author M. Diane McCormick joins us on Thursday’s Smart Talk to discuss her book, Well-Behaved Taverns Seldom Make History: Pennsylvania Pubs Where Rabble-Rousers and Rum Runners Stirred Up Revolutions.

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M. Diane McCormick

Cap and Trade in PA? / Pennlive nursing home investigative series

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What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, November 28, 2018:

Led by the Philadelphia-based Clean Air Council, a group of 61 petitioners is calling on state regulators to establish a cap-and-trade program in Pennsylvania to reduce carbon emissions that contributes to climate change. The Constitutional Amendment that says Pennsylvanians have a right to clean air and water is the tool they’re using to force the issue.

Appearing on Wednesday’s Smart Talk to discuss what could be a significant action are John Dernbach, Commonwealth Professor of Law and Sustainability, Director of the Environmental Law and Sustainability Center, Widener University Commonwealth Law School and Marie Cusick, StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter.

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Marie Cusick and John Dernbach

Also, a Pennlive investigative series into nursing homes is garnering attention for exposing problems in what’s often called a broken system.

In 2015, the state attorney general filed a lawsuit against several nursing home chains after findings of widespread mismanagement and failing to provide basic care. At the time, the Pennsylvania Health Department promised a “crack down” of the offending companies, but an eight-month PennLive investigation has found that little has improved.

Joining Smart Talk to discuss the report is Pennlive investigative series managing producer Ron Southwick.

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Ron Southwick

More PA school superintendents are men but women earn more money/Providing musical instruments to kids


What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, November 27, 2018:

Walk into a Pennsylvania public school classroom and you’ll probably see a woman teaching the class. In fact, 73% of teachers in Pennsylvania schools are female. However, the number of women teachers hasn’t translated into females becoming principals or school superintendents. Only 28% of superintendents are women and there are Pennsylvania counties where there are no women superintendents at all.

On the other hand, women superintendents are paid more than their male counterparts on average probably because more women superintendents have their doctoral degrees.

The online PA Post researched and reported on Pennsylvania school superintendents and reporter Ed Mahon joins us on Tuesday’s Smart Talk with more of what he found.

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PA Post reporter Ed Mahon

Also, the number of schools offering music education in Pennsylvania, and the nation, is in a steady decline and has been for more than a decade. Reduced budgets and shifting priorities are often to blame. Music programs are expensive, and many school districts have made the difficult decision to cut extracurricular programs, in order to save money.

Music for Everyone is a Lancaster-based non-profit working to raise awareness and resources to strengthen the role that music plays in schools and the community, in the face of declining music programs.

Music for Everyone provided over 6,000 instruments to Lancaster County schools since 2006, but they soon realized there is little money in school budgets for repair of the instruments. MFE recognized the need and began a program to repair and catalogue every instrument of every public school in Lancaster County.

Joining us on Smart Talk to discuss the program is Dr. John Gerdy, founder and executive director of Music for Everyone and Lisa Sempsey, music teacher and K-12 art and music curriculum coordinator, Columbia Borough school district.

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John Gerdy

World AIDS Day / World is Classroom author

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What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, November 26, 2018:

World AIDS Day takes place on the first day of December each year, and this year the recognition falls on Saturday.

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to remember those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

AIDS is still considered an epidemic by the CDC and world health organizations. An epidemic is characterized by a disease that’s occurence rises above what is expected in a population area. AIDS infections continue to occur at an alarming rate, world-wide and in the U.S.

  • An estimated 1.8 million individuals worldwide became newly infected with HIV in 2017 – about 5,000 new infections per day.
  • More than 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV today, and 1 in 7 of them don’t know it.
  • In 2015, an estimated 1,170 adults and adolescents were diagnosed with HIV in Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania ranked 10th among the 50 states in the number of HIV diagnoses in 2015, the most recent statistics.

Appearing on Smart Talk to discuss advances in HIV treament and prevention are Rosemary Browne, president and CEO, Alder Health Services and Dr. Jarrett Sell, family medicine physician, Penn State Health; medical director, Alder Health Services.

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Rosemary Browne and Dr. Jarrett Sell

Also, Cindy Ross is known as a ‘Triple Crown Hiker.’ To earn this distinction a hiker must complete three major U.S. trails: the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail. Finishing one of these trails is an admirable undertaking, but completing all three places a hiker in an elite category.

Now, imagine taking your family along for your hike on the most difficult of the three.

This is exactly what Ross and her husband Todd Gladfelter did when they led their young children, Sierra and Bryce, on their journey along the Continental Divide Trail; the most remote of the three systems.

Ross says she felt this trip created a whole new way of nurturing and supplementing her children’s education, by exposing them to the natural world and travel.

Cindy Ross wrote about their experiences and joins Smart Talk to discuss her book, “The World is Our Classroom: How One Family Used Nature & Travel to Shape an Extraordinary Education.

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Cindy Ross