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: Alcohol content of craft beers ; Eminent domain

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Mar 17, 2015 1:11 PM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, March 18, 2015:

Craft beers are becoming more popular all the time.  While the overall sales of beer have been level over the last few years, sales of craft beers were up 22% last year.  Craft beers now make up 11% of the beer marketplace.

While so many beer drinkers enjoy the taste and trying new craft brews, they also have to careful about how much they're drinking.  While most traditional beers range from 4.2 to 5% alcohol by volume for a 12 ounce can or bottle and most craft brews average around 5%, there are some crafts with 9, 10 up to 28% alcohol.

That leaves some wondering how many craft beers they can drink and drive legally and safely or become intoxicated.

Stephen Erni, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania DUI Association appears on Wednesday's Smart Talk to discuss this new challenge and other issues. 

Also, several natural gas pipeline projects have been proposed that will run through Central Pennsylvania.  Homeowners, especially in Lancaster and Lebanon Counties, have protested saying they don't want the pipelines going through their properties.  Most of the opposition is for potential environmental problems, the property owners don't want their yards or land disturbed or torn up, their property values could go down, or the pipelines just don't look good.

There's another reason too: some properties may be claimed for the projects through the use of eminent domain.  That's when private land can be taken from an owner for the public's good, with the property owner getting a fair price for it.

The Rothman family of Dauphin County are history makers when it comes to eminent domain.  Greg Rothman, of RSR Realtors in Lemoyne and Vice Chairman of the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission appears on Wednesday's Smart Talk to explain. Ross Pifer, a Clinical Professor of Law at Penn State Law School also joins us.

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Stephen Erni and Greg Rothman

Published in News, Smart Talk

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  • Lisa img 2015-03-18 08:12

    My local township is currently in the process of taking property from a farm via eminent domain. The township says they must realign the roadway in order to make improvements at an intersection of two state routes. PennDOT is not driving this change, the township is requesting it. However, the new intersection plans show a spur road going through this farm to what is currently a vacant adjacent property. A development is proposed for this adjacent property, but has not even been presented to the township board at this time, let alone approved. Township residents feel that the realignment is not necessary, that traffic lights and widening of existing roadway would be sufficient and that the real reason for this realignment is to provide a required second point of egress for the proposed development. In this case is it legal for the township to take this property, which is about 25% of the farm, when it appears to be mostly to the benefit of a private developer? If not legal, what steps can be taken to stop it?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-03-18 08:39

    Martha emails:

    Your guest already indicated that most craft beer establishments promently post the alcohol content of their offerings but it should be noted that they also put higher alcohol content brews in smaller glasses. Ultimately the consumer has the responsibility to monitor their intake.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-03-18 08:47

    Lee emails:

    Do your experts think that it is ironic that many people are upset that a pipeline company may have the right to use eminent domain to put a pipeline through their property but have no problem, in fact are in favor of, forbidding landowners in the Delaware River Basin from leasing and allowing natural gas drilling on their property?

    Isn't it a use of eminent domain if property owners in one small section of Pennsylvania are forbidden from drilling?

  • farrondbrougher img 2015-03-18 08:50

    Is the Erni the best spokesperson you could find to challenge the craft beer industry's marketing practices? I've been a craft beer consumer since the industry was born in the early 80's in the Pacific Northwest and northern California. The top fermenting yeasts that give craft beers their distinctive flavors also ferment to alcohol levels higher than industrial quality beers like Bud and Miller. Responsible adult drinkers should inform themselves about what they are drinking. It's that simple. We don't need to be scolded by nannies like Stephen Erni.

  • Lisa img 2015-03-18 08:58

    Disappointing that the first half of the show took so much time. The second half could be an entire hour on its own.