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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.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Smart Talk Friday is a fast-paced program featuring thoughtful and engaging conversations about the politics, policy and people who are shaping Pennsylvania’s future. Host Scott LaMar and WITF Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson invite your multimedia interaction before, during and after the program.


Hosts: Scott LaMar and Mary Wilson

STF: Fighting blight; 3 trailers on trucks?; Tougher child abuse reporting requirements; Ricky Skaggs

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | May 8, 2014 2:50 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Friday:

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Fighting blight is a challenge for most American cities.  It takes money for one thing and not many cities have much to spare.  Another problem is locating the people who own abandoned, falling down properties and getting them to either make repairs, clean up or even pay taxes on their properties.

WITF's new Keystone Crossroads project reporter, Emily Previti learned first hand how difficult that can be when she wrote about it for the Patriot-News/PennLive.  Emily describes what she learned on Friday's program.

The federal government is considering new laws that would allow three-trailer trucks on highways and increase the maximum weight limits for tractor trailers.  The thinking behind it is there would be fewer trucks on the road.  Opponents say they would be dangerous.

The Carlisle Sentinel's Daniel Walmer reported the story this week and joins us with more information.

Gov. Tom Corbett is signing legislation to toughen the child abuse reporting requirements in schools.  One of the bill's original sponsors -- Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) appears on Smart Talk Friday to explain.

Finally, country and bluegrass music superstar Ricky Skaggs headlines the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival next Saturday night, May 17.  Skaggs talks to us about his career and music.  The festival is scheduled for May 15-18.  Learn more about it here.

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Comments: 3

  • Scott LaMar img 2014-05-09 09:23

    Thomas writes...
    i am a landlord in the city of lancaster, i own four properties, my standard of purchase is this. if i would not live in it i do not want it.

    i have tried to get other property owners to do improvements on their properties and it is an uphill battle, i cannot even get the city of lancaster to really get serious.
    i can show you a property that residents are living in without windows.

    any suggestions on what i can do.

  • Scott LaMar img 2014-05-09 09:26

    Bryan says...
    We should be moving this freight more so by rail which uses less fossil fuel and creates less wear in our roads and bridges. If the Obama admin. was serious about reducing carbon emissions then they wouldn't be encouraging more truck traffic.

  • TrinaB img 2014-05-10 19:02

    I was busy at work and didn't get to hear the whole program on the rebroadcast so I'll have to listen to it later. I would love to get a copy of Mr Walmer's article

    It may surprise those who never travel outside PA that in other areas of the country three 28' trailers (not 48' and 53' on a truck is normal, however this is normally done in very rural and on the turnpikes in IN.,OH., and NY. Some states also allow double (2) 48' or 53' trailers but again mostly on turnpikes and rural areas. The program did not seem to make a distinction on exactly what trailers were going to be allowed to be pulled in triple units.

    Lots of states already have higher weight limits and tractor trailers with eight or more axles.

    I suspect that if these new regulations are passed you won't suddenly see every tractor trailer double in size and weight but rather I believe these regulations will be more useful to companies transferring freight from facility of their own.

    I believe in general the trucking and warehousing industry as awhole is so invested in the "standard" 53' x 102" trailer that it will be hard for everyone to change to say a 58' just to gain two pallet positions on a load.

    The company I work for moves the majority of it freight in Intermodal or rail containers of 53'. Generally any freight moving over 300 miles will go on the train to a rail yard closer to the receiving customer. The rails cars can accommodate and container from 20' to 53' but they can't do anything bigger without buying all new cars.

    Unfortunately for my industry I think some money grabbing politicians will get this passed but I sincerely hope it does not.

    I have been driving tractor trailer on and off for just about 18 years. I have done over the road, regional and right now I am driving local running intermodal containers all over central PA, MD, Northern W.V. and V.

    Trina B

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