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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.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on witf’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Hosted by: Scott LaMar



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Hosted by: Matt Paul and Mary Wilson



witf introduces 'Smart Talk Friday' radio program

Smart Talk: Drones delivering packages; Helping Newtown recover

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Dec 11, 2013 1:09 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, December 12, 2013:

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Amazon photograph

When the Conoy Township, Lancaster County Supervisors voted last March to prohibit unmanned aerial vehicles or drones in their municipality, many people wondered why.  Some thought it was a waste of time dealing with a problem that didn't exist.  Most observers thought the supervisors' action was designed to protect residents' privacy.  The supervisors said that wasn't the case -- it was to keep unmanned aircraft from flying over residents' properties without permission and possibly being a nuisance.

The Conoy Township action was a surprise too because most of the discussion of drones centers on the aircraft being used in battle to strike enemy targets in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Turns out we may be seeing more unmanned flying machines here at home in the next few years. 

The nation's largest on line retailer Amazon says they are a few years away from delivering packages to their customers front doors with drones.

Sandy Hook welcome sign 300 x 170.jpg

Photo by Scott LaMar, witf

On Thursday's Smart Talk, Dr. Jay Parrish, a geological researcher at Penn State University discusses domestic drones.

Also, Rich Harwood of the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation led a group of parents and community leaders in Newtown , Connecticut in their efforts to recover after the mass shooting at Sandy

Hook Elementary School one year ago this week.  Harwood appears on Smart Talk to address how a town recovers from a tragedy like Sandy Hook.

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Dr. Jay Parrish

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Post a comment

Comments: 2

  • Lisa img 2013-12-12 09:44

    Two thoughts that are somewhat tied together over the issue of whether drones have programmed capability for avoidance of other objects in the air. First, what danger do drones pose to birds? Second, I have a neighbor who flies an ultralight out of his backyard -- I'm assuming that he doesn't have to register flight plans with the FAA. Will drones pose a risk for him?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-12-12 09:55

    Nick in York emails this question:

    As an aircraft owner and private pilot I'd like to know what regulations will be put in place to keep pilots safe?

    It is dangerous enough in the air today with unregulated experimental aircraft and unlicensed pilots, not to mention unregulated airspace, how can I be assured in an aircraft without a transponder that I will not collide with a drone?

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