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Mayor Greg Fischer has released a draft of his State of the City address. Here are the most-used words. We will post full audio of the speech once it’s delivered.

 

Happy Monday, folks!  I hope you all had your fill of street rods, 48-hour films, and art cars over the weekend.  I saw an art car that was covered in moving, singing fish and lobsters.  And a Mazda Miata covered in mirrors like a disco ball.  And don’t even get me started on the street rods or we’ll never get to what’s coming up this week on State of Affairs.

Today we’re talking about losing a spouse.  How do people cope?  Are the needs of young widows and widowers different from those of their older counterparts?  Is it different when the loss in unexpected rather than after a long illness?  And how can you help someone who has recently lost a spouse (hint: this post about what not to say should probably be on your reading list).

This year’s Kids Count Report is out, and we’ll take a look at how children are faring in Kentucky and Indiana tomorrow.

Speaking of the children, Whitney Houston decided long ago that they are our future.  The Kentucky Student Ventures Corporation is teaching them to be entrepreneurs – with an emphasis on green business practices.  We’ll learn about the program and meet one of the students on Wednesday.

On Thursday we find out how a team of U.S. Army robots was modeled after the way schools of fish swim, and how telephone networks were inspired by the intricate work patterns of ant colonies.  We’ll be talking with Peter Miller, author of The Smart Swarm: How Understanding Flocks, Schools, and Colonies Can Make Us Better at Communicating, Decision Making, and Getting Things Done.

Then on Friday we’ll round out the week with State of the News – including analysis of what went down at Fancy Farm and how it will affect the candidates going into fall campaigning.

Hey folks!  This is Laura Ellis with your weekly look at what’s coming up this week on SoA.

Today we’re talking about the rites of the dead.  No wait, it’s the rights of the dead – things like estate taxes, probate court, intellectual property rights, and what becomes of our physical remains.  Our guest is Ray Madoff, author of Immortality and the Law: The Rising Power of the American Dead.  The rites of the dead would be – as we often say around here – a whole other show.

Sure it’s pretty to look at and fun for boating, but the Ohio River is also an important shipping route.  Tomorrow we’ll talk about commerce on the river with an Ohio River historian, a representative from the Waterways Council, and a guest from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Rafe Esquith, author of Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire, is in town Wednesday for the Louisville Free Public Library’s Author Series.  He joins us earlier in the day to talk about his innovative teaching methods and how they’ve improved the test scores of the Hobart Shakespeareans.

Sexual abuse is devastating to both the survivor and the family involved.  On Thursday we’ll talk to therapists and a survivor about the family’s role in recovery.

On Friday it’s time for State of the News – we’ll check in on what made headlines this week around the city and the commonwealth.

And speaking of elsewhere in the commonwealth, today we welcome listeners of WEKU – they’re now broadcasting State of Affairs.  Welcome, new listeners!  Join us at 877-814-8255 or soa@wfpl.org.

This is Laura Ellis with your weekly look at the SoA agenda.

Today we’re talking with Executive Director Bud Schardien to see what’s new at MSD, the Metropolitan Sewer District.  Tomorrow we’ll be investigating the causes, treatment and prevention of headaches and migraines.  On Wednesday – just in time for a break in the heat – we’re going to see what’s new with Metro Parks.

To get us in the right frame of mind for Independence Day, we’re spending Thursday with Ray Raphael, author of Founding Myths: The Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past.

And of course, we’ll head into the weekend well informed after Friday’s State of the News – an hour of news analysis with the reporters who covered the stories.

This post comes to us from Arts & Humanities reporter Elizabeth Kramer.

This year’s Louisville’s Juneteenth Jamboree is set to stage it’s final performances (Thursday through Saturday) with “Passing Ceremonies” by Steve Willis. And when the curtain falls on this play so does the festival of new and emerging African-American plays come to an end. Co-founder Lorna Littleway attributes her decision to close the festival to her responsibilities to caring for her aging father, who lives in New York. But she also says that funding for ethnic specific theater has dwindled since the festival opened as more foundations and government funding agencies look to fund the arts with multiculturalism in mind, which aims to extend support to art inspired by a multitude of cultures.

British playwright Parv Bancil has criticized some of his country’s multicultural arts policies writing for undermining strong voices in Asian and black theater. He’s written that the policies “only serve to keep black and Asian arts ghettoised and, ultimately, to keep ethnic minority practitioners out of the mainstream.”

And the idea of multiculturalism goes against what African-American playwright August Wilson called for in 1997. He spoke about having a separate space and attention for African-American theater, lest it be diluted or even distorted. “We do not need colorblind casting,” he said. “We need some theaters to develop our playwrights.”
August Wilson

August Wilson

The Jamboree, staged by the Juneteenth Legacy Theatre, has worked toward that goal. And although the Jamboree is coming to an end, the theater company will continue some of this work in New York, where it has also worked since the company’s inception.

Meanwhile, there are other theaters in the country that are producing original plays about the African-American experience and staging existing works — from San Francisco’s Lorraine Hainsberry Theater to Midwest institutions including the Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota, and The Black Rep in St. Louis.

In Louisville, the Juneteenth Jamboree’s end does mean loss of opportunity for the city. The festival has helped give life to plays that have gone on to receive stagings from some prominent American theaters. Several years ago, the festival premiered a one-act play called “Till” about Emmett Till, who was murdered in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman. That was expanded in the Play “The Ballad of Emmett Till” that ran at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and The Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles.

Juneteenth Jamboree has definitely helped elevate voices in African-American theater and given Louisville a role in the effort. And, at least for the next season, that voice will have a place in the city’s theater season. In September, the University of Louisville’s theater department will open its season with “The Colored Museum,” by Kentucky-born George C. Wolf, and explore African culture when it closes it in April with “How Orisanmi Chose His Head,” a play inspired by an ancient Nigerian tale. In January, Actors Theatre of Louisville will present August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” a production originally directed by Ron OJ Parson at Chicago’s Court Theatre that received some glowing reviews.
Denzel Washington & Viola Davis in "Fences"

Denzel Washington & Viola Davis in "Fences"

Those who champion new theatrical work about the African-American experience could lament that these plays aren’t new works. But would they also lament the recognition that African-American theater got earlier this week when Wilson’s Broadway revival “Fences” won Tony awards for best revival of a play and its two stars, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, won for best actors in a play? Would they also dismiss other stories at the Tonys that touched on the African-American experience — the awards for best musical, best original score and book that went to “Memphis,” which is about segregation and integration set in the 1950s’ American South? Or would they write off the achievement of African-American choreographer Bill T. Jones in earning his second Tony for choreography for “Fela!”?

What this bodes for the future isn’t clear. But from Louisville to New York, the work that spotlights the African-American experience on stage and recognition of those African-Americans that are shaping theater today could surely be inspiring the future playwrights to add their voices and visions to the stage. And those voices could reveal more to audiences about the vast experiences in the African-American community and, in turn, possibly give us insights into ourselves.

This post comes to us from Laura Ellis

Summer doesn’t just mean hot weather, festivals on the Belvedere, and pork butt on a stick at the State Fair.  Unfortunately the summer months are also when the Red Cross experiences shortages of  all blood types.  But regardless of season, it’s about every two seconds that someone in the U.S. needs blood.

So next Thursday we’re rolling up our sleeves for our annual blood drive!  Join us – it’s the best way to save up to three lives in 45 minutes (that doesn’t involve running into and out of a burning building).

Appointments accepted but not necessary.  We’re at 619 S. 4th Street, next to the Louisville Palace.  Call our front desk at 502-814-6500 with questions or to make an appointment.

Hey folks, it’s Laura Ellis, with a somewhat tardy look at what’s on the State of Affairs agenda this week!

Today we had lots of fun talking about all the fun things there are to do right here in our own city, on a show about staycationing in Louisville.

Tomorrow we’ll talk to author Jasmine Farrier about her book Congressional Ambivalence: The Political Burdens of Constitutional Authority.

On Wednesday we’re taking a look at the causes, symptoms, treatments and prevention of prostate cancer.

Have you ever heard people talk about taking care of their elderly parents express that they feel like they are parenting their own parents?  This Thursday we’ll have a conversation about the rights of the elderly, including the right to privacy (and how that plays out in places like assisted living facilities), and our tendency to infantilize seniors as they grow older and need more assistance.

And of course, Friday brings us another edition of State of the News, where we go behind the headlines, with the reporters who cover the news.

Good morning, fine people.  This is Laura Ellis with a look at what’s coming up this week on SoA.

From now through September, historian Rick Bell will be conducting free walking tours that focus on the history of the waterfront.  He’s joining us today to tell some stories from the riverside.  It wasn’t always a fancy park; it wasn’t until we started prepping for this show that Robin Fisher reminded me of the giant mounds of sand that used to be near the base of the bridge.  Personally, I’m looking forward to the story of the time the river froze solid, and a temporary saloon opened in the middle of it.

The US Department of Health & Human Services recently awarded a $7.9 million grant to the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness.  Tomorrow we’re talking with officials from our health department about the grant, specifically focusing on plans to use some of the money to revamp the school nutrition program in JCPS.

Hoarding – the compulsive collecting of items and resistance to throwing things away – is listed in the DSM-IV as a symptom of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder and can also be a symptom of brain injury, neurodegenerative disorders and other conditions.  The behavior has been getting lots of attention lately because of a TV show that looks at the lives of hoarders.  On Wednesday we’ll learn more about hoarding – what researchers think causes a person to compulsively hold onto belongings, how hoarding is treated, and how likely the treatment is to be successful.

On Thursday author Scott Huler joins us to talk about his book, On the Grid: A Plot of Land, an Average Neighborhood, and the Systems that Make our World Work.  It follows our system of infrastructure from each element’s source to its destination – Wires, pipes, roads, water, etc. - to see how the grid really works to bring us the utilities we need.

On Friday we round out the week with State of the News, a look at what stories are making headlines, with the reporters who cover them.

This is Laura Ellis with a special Tuesday edition of this post, since Monday was a holiday and we broadcast a special program rather than SoA.

Call us today with your technology dilemmas – it’s our semi-annual Tech Talk show and our gadget gurus will be on hand to help the technologically impaired.

We hear a lot about prison conditions, but not much about the plight of the family members left behind when a loved one is incarcerated.  On Wednesday we’ll talk about the issues faced by the children of prisoners, and a program at the YMCA designed to help them.

Newsweek editor Jonathan Alter joins us on Thursday to talk about his newest book, The Promise: President Obama, Year One.

Then on Friday, we’ll wind things up with a look at what’s new, on our weekly State of the News show.

Good morning, folks!  This is Laura Ellis with your weekly look at what’s coming up this week on State of Affairs.

The face of business in Derby City is changing, and today we’ll find out how, by taking a look at immigrant professionals, living and working in Louisville.  We’ll also learn about a new initiative designed to attract the best & brightest international entrepreneurs and businesspeople from varying industries to our city.

Tomorrow, Primary Day is finally upon us!  We’re going to listen back to some coverage from the WFPL newsroom, including features about merger, and pieces focusing on different areas of Louisville and what they most need from our next mayor and city leaders.  We’ll wrap up the show by talking state politics, with veteran political writer and C-J columnist Al Cross.

On Wednesday, it’ll all be over with until November.  Join us for an in-depth post-mortem on the primary and a look at what the results will likely mean for the coming months.

Near the end of 2008, WFPL’s Stephanie Crosby produced a feature about Louisville’s disappearing blue mailboxes.  With people doing more of their bill paying and corresponding online, the use of snail mail has dwindled.  That combined with the economy’s downturn resulted in the Postal Service cutting back the number of public mailboxes, thereby reducing the amount their letter carriers needed to drive each day to pick up mail.  On Thursday we’re checking in with representatives from the USPS to see how online communication has affected their business, and how they are adapting to stay useful in the digital age.

Then on Friday, we round out the week with State of the News, a look at what made headlines this week with the reporters who covered them.

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