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Programming Highlights

Sunday, October 4, 2015 - 9:00pm

Ethel Payne was considered the First Lady of the Black press from the fifties and for decades after “but she was generally out of sight of white America.”. This driven and intrepid journalist was there to cover the modern history of the struggle for civil rights and was a Washington correspondent, did field reporting from the Vietnam War, reported from many countries in Africa and around the world. She was a tenacious reporter who witnessed race relations in an international arena. Tonight on Inquiry, we talk with writer and biographer JAMES MCGRATH MORRIS about his wonderful new biography: EYE ON THE STRUGGLE: ETHEL PAYNE, THE FIRST LADY OF THE BLACK PRESS.

When this novel was published in the early 1950s, it caused an extraordinary uproar. Conservatives thought it was filth; while liberals considered it lowbrow trash. The author did not conform to cultural ideals of what a woman novelist should look like or behave. But the novel was immensely popular because it spoke to women about things that were important in their lives but that were never mentioned in “polite society”. Tonight on Inquiry, we talk with ARDIS CAMERON , Professor of American and New England Studies at the University of Southern Maine about her revealing new book: UNBUTTONING AMERICA: A BIOGRAPHY OF PEYTON PLACE.

Sunday, October 4, 2015 - 10:00pm

In an encore of The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D’Agostino, strategic partner of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb, interviews, Rafael Mares, is a senior attorney working on transportation and environmental justice issues for the Conservation Law Foundation, which is based in Boston. They talk about getting the Bay State’s public-transit system back on track. This episode aired originally on August 2, 2015.

Since 1966 – almost half a century – CLF has used the law, science, policymaking, and the business market to find pragmatic, innovative solutions to New England’s toughest environmental problems.

Whether that means cleaning up Boston Harbor, protecting ocean fisheries to ensure continued supply, stopping unnecessary highway construction in scenic areas, or expanding access to public transportation, CLF is driven to make all of New England a better place to live, work, and play.

What’s more, CLF has the toughness to hold polluters accountable, and the tenacity to see complex challenges through to their conclusion.

CLF is also nimble enough to adjust course as conditions change to achieve the best outcomes.

Rafael Mares joined CLF in 2009. For 10 years beforehand, he served as a clinical instructor and lecturer on law at the WilmerHale Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, where he founded the Healthy Homes and Environmental Justice Project.

Before and during law school, Rafael worked on environmental justice issues in Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Boston.

Sunday, October 4, 2015 - 10:30pm

In OUR ROBOTS, OURSELVES: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy MIT professor David A. Mindell uses firsthand experience and the latest research to tackle common myths that pervade our beliefs on robots and provides a more reasoned outlook on this often overhyped topic. Transporting us to sites rarely seen by the average person, Mindell offers an insider’s look at technology like the Predator and Reaper, the U.S. Air Force’s public faces of “drone warfare,” and the first ever look at the Predator’s control room; autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) used for deep-sea exploration; and the Mars Exploration Rover which has allowed Earth-bound scientists to explore Mars’ surface for over a decade after its planned demise. Tune in this Sunday evening at 10:30 when Al speaks with David Mindell about his new book.

Monday, October 5, 2015 - 6:00pm

Wayne Shorter revisits some of his most career-defining work in this rare opportunity to hear a true jazz master exploring his back catalog. Joined by the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, Shorter touches on a lifetime of brilliance and trail-blazing in this special episode of Jazz Night In America.

Monday, October 5, 2015 - 7:00pm

He was arguably the most talented (and tortured) of them all. Donny Hathaway' s soulful, gospel-infused vocals just scratched the surface. He wrote, produced, arranged, played keyboards and worked with some of the best soul artists ever. This week marks his 75th birthdate. Join host Tom Shaker and celebrate an incredible lost soul. It all starts at 7pm!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 - 6:00pm

Drummer, vibes and piano are the instruments of multi-talented musician John Cocuzzi, who discusses the inspiration he's gotten from his father, and how playing each of these instruments influences the other.

Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 6:00pm

Chasing epic sax player Jerry Bergonzi down is no easy thing, but well worth the effort. Jerry is an internationally lauded composer, tenor saxophone player, educator and Boston native. When you hear his music you will understand why Jerry receives rave reviews wherever he plays across the globe. It’s an honor to have him on the program. Can’t wait to share his music with our audience.

Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 7:00pm

An annual FOLK REVIVAL feature, as host Nick Noble shares many of his favorite recordings over four hours.

Sunday, October 11, 2015 - 9:00pm

Tonight on Inquiry we talk with artist GINA SIEPEL about her latest series of drawings of John James Audubon’s actual bird specimens. Also in the studio is KATE WELLSPRING, Curator and Collections Manager at the Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College, which houses the Audubon collection that Sieple is working with. This is a unique art project that reinterprets American ornithology and history. Be sure to tune in.

Tonight on Inquiry we speak with artist MICHELLE SAMOUR, whose work was recently on exhibit at the Fitchburg Art Museum. Her work is about the aesthetics of the natural world and our obsession with classification and collecting. Eyes and viruses are just a few of the inspirations for her work, which is made with pigmented abaca fiber among other material. Tune in for a fascinating talk with a very unique artist. To see examples of Michelle’s work that she talks about in the interview, go to:

Sunday, October 11, 2015 - 10:00pm

In an encore of The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D’Agostino of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb interviews Ronnie Cummins, co-founder and international director of the Organic Consumers Association, and Ben Grosscup, coordinator of the 2015 Summer Conference of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. They talk about the business and politics of organic food. This episode aired originally on August  9, 2015.

More than 1,000 backyard gardeners, health-conscious consumers, organic-farming families, and food activists converged on August 14 through 16 at UMass-Amherst for NOFA’s 41st annual Summer Conference. Participants were able to choose from more than 140 workshops on topics such as organic farming, gardening, land and animal care, sustainability, nutrition, and food politics.

Many workshops and the two keynote addresses highlighted this year's conference theme, "Healing the Climate, Healing Ourselves: Regeneration through Microbiology." Those presentations showed how microbiology is at work in the soil and human body, and how they are essential partners in solving some if our biggest problems today, including widespread chronic disease and global climate disruption.

One of the keynote speakers offered a similarly hopeful message in relation to the role of soil microbes in achieving a healthy climate. He’s Ronnie Cummins, who contends that humanity can reverse the global climate crisis by restoring healthy microbial life in our soils. Farmers and land managers along with conscious consumers can play a crucial role in this restoration, he argues, because the methods we use to manage soil microbial communities in combination with growing plants can produce dramatic impacts on the climate.

Regenerative organic agriculture focuses on providing soil life with favorable growing conditions, thus facilitating efficient photosynthesis and vigorous plant growth. Properly managed, this process can transform excessive atmospheric carbon concentrations into stable, soil-based carbon compounds that enhance soil fertility. By contrast, commonly used pesticides and herbicides kill the soil life, compromising soil integrity and causing soil carbon to oxidize into the atmosphere where it contributes to further global warming.

Sunday, October 11, 2015 - 10:30pm

The fascinating Trump family history details three generations of Trump businessmen, showing how Donald Trump’s grandfather and father shaped him into the man he is today.  Trump’s current bid for the republican nomination, his lifetime of experience as a real estate mogul and billionaire businessman, along with the lessons he learned from his father and grandfather, may or may not prepare him for the job. Why does Trump succeed? Whether conquering the real estate frontier, battling back from bankruptcy or scandal, or talking over his competitors during a presidential debate and leading the polls. Tune in this Sunday evening at 10:30 when Al is joined by Trump biographer Gwenda Blair.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 6:00pm

Pianist John Eaton is a legend in his hometown of Washington D.C. and an acknowledged authority of American popular song, about which he’s written and lectured extensively.  Judy and John discuss their long friendship and mutual admiration for great songwriters and stride piano.

Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 7:00pm

Live from the WICN Performance Studio, host Nick Noble will be welcoming some amazing local talent: Dale LePage, Lori Diamond & Fred Abatelli, Lydia Harrell, Kim Jennings, Geoffrey Watson Oehling, Joe D’Angelo, Denise Cascione, Thomas Spears, Pete Premo, and Derek Varnum. It’s going to be a terrific night of marvelous music! “All music is folk music” after all.

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