Smart Talk

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)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Allergies and climate change; No welfare for drug dealers; Bald eagle numbers explode

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jul 17, 2014 2:58 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, July 18, 2014:

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Could climate change be causing more people to have seasonal allergies and worse allergy symptoms?  The Allegheny Front’s senior reporter Julie Grant appears on Smart Talk to discuss what she found when she spoke with allergists and those who suffer from allergies. 

Republican State Representative Mike Regan, whose district includes parts of York and Cumberland Counties, has introduced legislation that would keep convicted drug dealers from receiving welfare benefits.  Rep. Regan appears on the program to explain why he believes it makes sense and could save taxpayers’ money.

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Patti Barber, wildlife biologist with the PA Game Commission

Numbers of active bald eagle nests in Pennsylvania have soared to the highest level in 30 years.  Once driven almost to extinction, partially from the effects of DDT, bald eagles have slowly been making a comeback since a reintroduction program was created in 1983.  Patti Barber, an endangered and non-game biologist with the Pennsylvania Game Commission tells us about the gradual return of our national bird.

WITF’s Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson joins us on Smart Talk to discuss the 2014 gubernatorial race which is already in high gear on the airwaves, Governor Corbett’s continuing efforts toward pension reform, and an addition to the portraits of four former state legislative leaders at the capitol who were convicted of crimes.

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-07-18 08:20

    Jeff emails:

    No logic to this gentleman's proposal. Would every criminal be made ineligible for welfare benefits after release? Prisons don't always rehabilitate.

    Fraud ... fix it!! Better yet fix the social/economic causes for welfare need.

  • Desiree img 2014-07-18 10:48

    Rep. Regan says his legislation is to serve as a deterrent to "immoral" behavior, but he does not understand that the hypothetical possibility of prison (and subsequent ineligibility for welfare) is less of a threat than REAL immediate starvation/illness/danger. Many drug dealers do what they do because it makes the most sense--especially in a capitalist economy--for providing for themselves and their families. Drugs are profitable and are always in high demand by disadvantaged people as self-medication for pain, emotional trauma, and mental illness that go untreated and impede economic progress. Why? Because poor people lack the resources to gain "moral" employment and adequate medical care. Because they are victims of generational poverty with, often, no clue how to change. There are a slew of middle class social behaviors that impoverished people have no access to or knowledge of.

    As a person who had to overcome immense obstacles to climb out of debilitating generational poverty, including having to leave family behind, I was offended by Rep. Regan's comments. Thank you, Scott LaMar, for asking the important questions and making me feel like there are empathetic and open-minded humans.