Smart Talk

Radio Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Radio Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Hosted by: Scott LaMar



TV Smart Talk: From politics to economy, from health care to the environment, WITF's TV Smart Talk covers the issues and ideas that matter to you. It's never been easier to discover and share the news and information of your world and ours.

Hosted by: Nell McCormack Abom

  • Is climate change spawning the recent tornadoes?

    Written by Scott LaMar, Director of Radio Smart Talk

    Is climate change spawning the recent tornadoes?

    Radio Smart Talk for Wednesday, June 1:

    More than 1300 tornadoes have been confirmed in the U.S. this year, including three twisters that touched down in the midstate last Thursday night.  Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Joplin, Missouri are now synonymous with death and destruction caused by tornadoes after storms ripped through those two cities this spring.  More than 500 people have been killed in tornadoes in 2011.

     

    With a record-setting month of April (875 tornadoes) and strong storms throughout the nation, many are asking if the severe weather is related to climate change.

     

    Wednesday's Radio Smart Talk examines whether there is any relationship between the tornadoes and climate change with Dr. Donald A. Brown, Associate Professor, Environmental Ethics, Science, and Law, Penn State University.

    Learn more in Tornadoes 101 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    LISTEN TO PROGRAM:  {mp3remote}http://witf.vo.llnwd.net/o35/smarttalk/radiosmarttalk/RST_June012011.mp3{/mp3remote}

    Published in Smart Talk

    Tagged under Radio

    Tuesday, 31 May 2011 19:20

  • Eliminating mandates on schools to reduce spending?

    Written by Scott LaMar, Director of Radio Smart Talk

    Eliminating mandates on schools to reduce spending?

    Radio Smart Talk for Tuesday, May 31:

    Pennsylvania faces a four billion dollar budget deficit.  Gov. Tom Corbett has proposed a one billion dollar cut in funding to the state's public schools.  For years, school boards have said one of the driving forces behind spending on the local level is that they are mandated to pay for many programs by the state.  Now with the budget numbers part of every conversation at the state capitol, there is a move to eliminate some of the mandates on local school districts.  The thinking is that removing the mandates will result in cost savings and maybe even reduce the need for tax increases on the local level.

    On today's Radio Smart Talk, we'll feature a conversation with Tom Gentzel, executive director of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and Matthew Brouillette, the president and CEO of the conservative think tank, Commonwealth Foundation.  These two groups don't agree on several issues related to education but they do believe there are too many mandates.

    LISTEN TO PROGRAM:  {mp3remote}http://witf.vo.llnwd.net/o35/smarttalk/radiosmarttalk/RST_May312011.mp3{/mp3remote}

    Published in Smart Talk

    Tagged under Corbett, Radio

    Tuesday, 31 May 2011 12:23

  • Green Action Day -- live from Green Center of Central PA

    Written by Scott LaMar, Director of Radio Smart Talk

    Green Action Day -- live from Green Center of Central PA

    witf wrapped up Green Action Day with a special live broadcast from the Green Center of Central PA in midtown Harrisburg Thursday evening, but it wasn't an ordinary program.  For the entire hour, a violent thunderstorm raged outside with two inches of rain pelting the windows, 50 mile-per-hour winds blowing branches down the street outside, a door being held from flying off it's hinges by one of witf's engineers, and a burst of hale that sounded like machine gun fire.  It had to be one of the most unique live broadcast in witf's almost 50 year history.

    door being held from flying off it's hinges by one of witf's engineersThe storm didn't detract from the content of the show -- a focus on green technology curriculums and generally education efforts toward living greener.  The panelists -- Doug Neidich of GreenWorks Development; Ron Young, interim president at HACC -- Central PA's Community College; Dan Wagner, Director of Manufacturing and Green Technologies at HACC; and Dr. Rick Ciocci, an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Penn State/Harrisburg didn't miss a beat as they provided compelling information while the chaos swirled around them.  Listen to the program below.

    witf's Green Action Day is a multimedia effort, in partnership with PPL Electric Utilities, designed to encourage audiences to take action and live green. Join us throughout the day as witf provides practical everyday tips on radio, tv and the web to help you save energy, reduce your carbon footprint and support sustainability. Discover ways to save money plus have a positive impact on the environment. Together we can make a difference

     

    LISTEN TO PROGRAM:  {mp3remote}http://witf.vo.llnwd.net/o35/smarttalk/radiosmarttalk/RST_May262011B.mp3{/mp3remote}

    Published in Smart Talk

    Tagged under Radio

    Friday, 27 May 2011 15:49

  • End of Life Care on Smart Talk TV

    Written by Nell McCormack Abom, Host Smart Talk TV

    End of Life Care on Smart Talk TV

    A cancer diagnosis can undoubtedly be overwhelming.  You may be forced to think about things you never wanted to consider.  Will you be able to beat the disease?

    Today, millions of people are living with or have had cancer.  In 2010, it’s estimated that over 1.5 million people were diagnosed in the US, while over 500,000 lost the battle with cancer.

    Join us as we address thoughts about the end of life.  Should someone who is facing a cancer diagnosis prepare for the worst?  We’ll discuss everything from palliative care to the decision to end treatment.

    Our panel of experts will be prepared to answer the difficult questions.  Dr. Karen Mechanic, head of psychiatry for the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia will help us sort through thoughts about the end of life.  She’ll be joined by Dr. Arlene Bobonich from PinnacleHealth Palliative Care who will be able to offer information about care options.  Dr. Joan Harrold, the medical director for the Hospice of Lancaster County will share her knowledge of hospice care.  And our final guest, Dr. Amir Tabatabai, an oncologist with Cancer Care of York will talk about medical decisions relating to a terminal diagnosis.

    Share your cancer story by creating a digital patch

    Published in Smart Talk

    Tagged under 9/11, Armed Forces, Facing Cancer Together, Terrorism, TV

    Thursday, 26 May 2011 17:08

  • Green Action Day on Radio Smart Talk

    Written by Scott LaMar, Director of Radio Smart Talk

    Green Action Day on Radio Smart Talk

    Radio Smart Talk for Thursday, May 26:

     It's Green Action Day at witf -- a multimedia effort, in partnership with PPL Electric Utilities, designed to encourage audiences to take action and live green. Join us throughout the day as witf provides practical everyday tips on radio, tv and the web to help you save energy, reduce your carbon footprint and support sustainability. Discover ways to save money plus have a positive impact on the environment. Together we can make a difference.

    This morning's program features "green tips."  Tune in to hear ways to live greener and maybe offer a few of your town.

     

    LISTEN TO PROGRAM:  {mp3remote}http://witf.vo.llnwd.net/o35/smarttalk/radiosmarttalk/RST_May262011.mp3{/mp3remote}

    Published in Smart Talk

    Tagged under Green Action Day, Radio

    Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:00

  • A Tribute to Pennsylvania's Fallen Heroes - Smart Talk TV

    Written by Nell McCormack Abom, Host Smart Talk TV

    A Tribute to Pennsylvania's Fallen Heroes - Smart Talk TV

    In my early television career, I worked with a talented videographer, Mike Kondor of York, PA.  Mike and his wife Cher took great pride in their professional lives, but drew even more fulfillment and joy from their family and their children's achievements.  One of their sons, Specialist Martin Kondor, was killed by a roadside bomb while serving with the Army in Baquba, Iraq in 2004. The Kondors lost someone precious, but they have turned Martin's death into a catalyst for community action.  We'll profile Martin Kondor and other fallen heroes, as well as their American Gold Star Mothers, on Smart Talk, Thursday night at 8 on witf TV.

    Martin enlisted in the Army in 2002 and was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment.  In Iraq, he volunteered for a risky assignment: as gunner on a Humvee providing personal security to a colonel who traveled every day from the secure Army base to meet in a town with Iraqi officials.  Their convoy was a popular target for insurgents. On April 29, 2004, a roadside bomb took Martin's life.

    Mike wrote a moving tribute to his son that appeared as an op-ed in the New York Times in 2009.  As he reflected on the meaning of Memorial Day, Mike wrote that he had come to a new appreciation of the holiday. He noted,  " ... while most people think of Memorial Day as just a day off from work, an occasion for a backyard cookout or a chance to score a good deal at a spectacular sale, for families like mine, Memorial Day has a more somber meaning. For us, the day is a further reminder that our loved one is gone forever.

    "It's not that we need another reminder. Not a day goes by that we don't think of Martin. My wife and I each carry one of his dog tags with us at all times. His picture hangs on the living room wall with those of his two brothers, and his bedroom has been left essentially as it was when he was alive. Two of the last packages we sent to him were returned after his death, and they've sat unopened in a corner of the room ... "

    Rather than linger in their grief, however, Mike and Cher, who joined the Pennsylvania department of the American Gold Star Mothers, started a fundraising drive to create a Veterans Memorial Gold Star Healing & Peace Garden in York.  The garden, to be built in Veterans Memorial Park, will become a sanctuary of hope, teaming with floral life that will flourish and honor the troops who have fallen in the War on Terror.

    York Water Company President and CEO Jeff Hines served a tour of duty in Kuwait and Afghanistan in 2002 as a member of the Army Reserves.  He is chairman of York County's Joint Veterans' Council Supreme Sacrifice Committee and a major supporter of the garden project. He will join Cher Kondor on Thursday night's program.  (For more information on how to register for a May 30 bike/run/walk fundraiser for the garden, click here.) 

    Barbara Benard of Columbia, Lancaster County shares the pain felt by the Kondors.  Her son, Sgt. 1st Class Brent Allen Adams, was killed in action in Ramadi, Iraq on December, 1 2005.  He was 40 years old and a member of the Army National Guard, 2nd Battalion Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, when a rocket-propelled IED hit his vehicle.  He had wanted to give his men a break that day, so he volunteered for a mission to help the Marines build a new base for the Iraqi Army.  He left behind his wife, Marilyn, and then-4-year-old son Daniel.

    "I was scared when he was being deployed to Iraq, especially when I found out he was going to Ramadi, because that was an insurgent stronghold back in 2005," Barb says. 

    Brent's death led her to join the American Gold Star Mothers.  It comforts her and allows her to keep alive the memory of her son.  "Another mother who has been through a similar experience of losing a child, especially in battle in a violent way, has an understanding between the two of you that no one else can ever understand," Barb explains. "They provide support to each other.  We can tell each other the story of our sons so they will never be forgotten.  It's like a sisterhood that bonds us together."

    Barb is national treasurer of the AGSM and a past president of the Pennsylvania Department of the AGSM.  She helps with community projects, like the Peace Garden in York, to ensure that all of us remember the lasting contributions of Brent and other fallen fighters.   "We have had several fundraisers throughout the years to raise money for a scholarship in his memory at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  And I also take part in patriotic events like Wreaths Across America."  

    The national American Gold Star Mothers has helped raise money for the Fisher House at Dover Air Force Base, a "comfort home" where families of the fallen can stay for free as they await the return of their loved one's body.  A similar house is planned for Pittsburgh. 

    Maureen Fromm of Stewartstown, York County, lost her oldest son, Lt. Friedrich Fromm, in a training accident at Fort Benning, Georgia, in November 1988.  "Fritz,"as he was known to family and close friends, had been the top ROTC cadet at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and was commander of the entire ROTC company his senior year.   He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant as he graduated and was undergoing advanced training at Ft. Benning as a member of the 101st Airborne.  Maureen's second son, Jason, graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1992 and went to flight school to fly "heavy" planes.  He serves now as a Lt. Colonel, flying out of McGuire Air Force Base.  And her youngest son, James, enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1990.  He was a combat engineer with the 24th Mechanised Infantry and served two years of active duty, most of that in Operation Desert Storm.  James returned home a Specialist and served several more years in the Army Reserves.

    Before he died, Fritz had encouraged his parents to adopt children.  They did - three siblings with special needs.  It's a fascinating story of love and devotion to country that Maureen, an American Gold Star Mother, will share with us tomorrow night.

    As we get ready to celebrate Memorial Day, let's reflect on something Mike Kondor wrote in 2009.   " ... before heading out to the big sale or the opening of the town pool or the neighbors' backyard barbecue, take some time to attend a local Memorial Day ceremony," he suggested. "Do this not just to glance over the gravestones or the plaques or the markers that list the fallen soldiers' names, but out of respect for the friends, family members and comrades they leave behind — some of whom have died or are still alive or have yet to confront their fate."

    We welcome your questions and tributes to the troops Thursday night at 8. Please call in live to 1-800-729-7532, send an email to smarttalk@witf.org,or post a comment to witf's facebook.

    Published in Smart Talk

    Tagged under Armed Forces, Terrorism, TV

    Wednesday, 25 May 2011 19:00

  • Allergies wreak havoc on midstate

    Written by Scott LaMar, Director of Radio Smart Talk

    Allergies wreak havoc on midstate

    Radio Smart Talk for Wednesday, May 25:

    Radio Smart Talk for Wednesday, May 25:[Achoo!] Good grief, allergies are wreaking havoc these days. Whether it's cat dander you didn't know was in the apartment, or shellfish you didn't know you ate, or simply pollen in grass and weeds leading hay fever, we welcome your questions about allergies.

    LISTEN TO PROGRAM:  {mp3remote}http://witf.vo.llnwd.net/o35/smarttalk/radiosmarttalk/RST_May252011.mp3{/mp3remote}

    Published in Smart Talk

    Tagged under Radio

    Tuesday, 24 May 2011 19:57

  • PA State Treasurer; Talking to kids about cancer

    Written by Scott LaMar, Director of Radio Smart Talk

    PA State Treasurer; Talking to kids about cancer

    Radio Smart Talk for Tuesday, May 24:

    We'll explore the state of the state's economy on Tuesday's Radio Smart Talk. Pennsylvania Treasurer James McCord will join us to take your questions about state investments, pensions for public employees, and other economic issues. We'll also discuss how the Commonwealth's annual appropriations to Pennsylvania schools have compared over the last five years.

    Then, we'll talk with Kathy Allen, a licensed social worker with the York Cancer Center, about talking to kids about cancer, as part of Facing Cancer Together, witf's interactive multi-media effort to connect the stories and lives of people touched by cancer.

    LISTEN TO PROGRAM:  {mp3remote}http://witf.vo.llnwd.net/o35/smarttalk/radiosmarttalk/RST_May242011.mp3{/mp3remote}

    Published in Smart Talk

    Tagged under Facing Cancer Together, Radio

    Monday, 23 May 2011 19:43

  • Real Life Real Issue -- Marcellus Shale impact fee

    Written by Scott LaMar, Director of Radio Smart Talk

    Real Life Real Issue -- Marcellus Shale impact fee

    Radio Smart Talk for Monday, May 23:

    Natural gas drilling beneath the Marcellus Shale affects the land under which the drilling and extraction takes place, but also the community that surrounds it. While much has been stated about the potential economic benefits of a company moving into town to drill for natural gas, according to local and county governments, gas drilling creates higher costs in infrastructure, law enforcement and environmental protection.

    Gas companies cite efforts to work with local governments to mitigate such costs, but some would still like to see funds developed and designated for local communities to address this impact.

    We'll explore the local impact of natural gas extraction beneath the Marcellus Shale as part of our continuing Real Life | Real Issues series for May.

     

    LISTEN TO PROGRAM:  {mp3remote}http://witf.vo.llnwd.net/o35/smarttalk/radiosmarttalk/RST_May232011.mp3{/mp3remote}

     

    Published in Smart Talk

    Tagged under Corbett, Marcellus Shale, Radio, Real Life | Real Issues

    Friday, 20 May 2011 18:03

  • Facing Cancer Together -- living wills and end-of-life directives

    Written by Scott LaMar, Director of Radio Smart Talk

    Facing Cancer Together -- living wills and end-of-life directives

    Radio Smart Talk for Friday, May 20:

    As part of witf's  Facing Cancer Together, our interactive multi-media effort to connect the stories and lives of people touched by cancer, we're going to discuss steps you may take to ensure your wishes are followed during cancer treatment - and in the case of a terminal diagnosis - after you pass on.

    On Friday's Radio Smart Talk, we'll talk with attorney Jan L. Brown, who specializes in elder law, and Dr. Joan Harrold, from Hospice of Lancaster County, about some of the steps you may wish to take to prepare yourself and loved ones for the circumstances you all may face in light of a cancer diagnosis.

    LISTEN TO PROGRAM:  {mp3remote}http://witf.vo.llnwd.net/o35/smarttalk/radiosmarttalk/RST_May202011.mp3{/mp3remote}

    Published in Smart Talk

    Tagged under Facing Cancer Together, Radio

    Thursday, 19 May 2011 16:53