Archive for The Radio Program

Let’s Go to Summer Camp!


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Just like baseball, apple pie and shooting off fireworks on the 4th of July, an American rite-of-passage is going to “Summer Camp.”

And everyone seems to have a story about an experience at Summer Camp, whether it’s getting stung by a bee, paddling a canoe or cooking s’mores over a campfire.

At least here in America, you can’t grow up unless you’ve been to Summer Camp.

That’s because Summer Camps are uniquely American.

Few other places on the planet send their children off for a couple of weeks every summer to sleep overnight in a tent or go fishing or, at some camps, attend SAT preparation courses, learn a foreign language or sharpen their jump shot.

It’s estimated that there are over 12,000 overnight and day camps in the US.  And more than 11 Million children and adults are involved in some way with a camp, either as a camper or a counselor oprx-logo-B (2)r volunteer.

So, let’s go to camp.  It’s summer time and who better to take us than our friends at the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) and Helen Borton, an NPR producer who’s got a trophy case overflowing with awards, topped off with a Peabody.

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It’s the Fourth of July!


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Many historians say the 13 colonies actually severed their relations with the British crown on July 6, 1775, a year earlier than the date of our national holiday.  That was when a document called the “Declaration of Causes” was adopted by the Second Continental Congress.  It was the rationale for taking up arms against the British, but stopped short of declaring the colonies to be independent.

By the time the Fourth of July in 1776 came along, the Revolutionary War had been underway for over a year and the Continental Army, led by George Washington, had already fought the battles of Lexington and Concord.

The War of Independence, as it’s sometimes called, would become the longest war in the country’s history before the Vietnam conflict.

We Americans do a lot of things well and one of them is celebrating the Fourth of July.  Everyplace you look, there are parades, picnics, baseball games, political speeches and, best of all, fireworks.

And the credit for celebrating the Fourth with fireworks goes to John Adams who said anniversaries of the declaration of independence should be celebrated with “illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward Public Radio Exchangeforever more.”

Happy Fourth of July!

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What Would You Say to Someone on Another Planet?


Listen to StitcherTwo spacecraft were launched in 1977.  They were aptly named Voyager I and Voyager II.

Their mission coincided with an alignment of the solar system’s planets that would let the spacecraft fly by the four, outermost planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

But the mission’s designers had an even more daring journey in mind – for the spacecraft to fly beyond our solar system and into interstellar space.

And that’s exactly what Voyager I has done.  It’s traveled outside our solar system and is headed into deep space where someday it might encounter another world.

And if that happens, what would that encounter be like?  What would we like to say to this new world that Voyager has come to?  What would we like “them” to know about us?  How would we say it?

Voyager’s builders thought about those questions and attached to each spacecraft a 12-inch, gold-plated copper record that’s inscribed, “To the makers of music – all worlds, all times.”

And inscribed on each record are instructions for playing them.

The idea for the golden records was that they would be a time capsule that might explain to some other civilization who we are and what we were.  But what messages would we want to send?

What would we want another civilization to know about us?  How would these messages be interpreted and understood?prx-logo-B (2)

This podcast tries to answer some of those questions, using a creative twist that you’ll enjoy.  The best part of it is thinking about who is learning what from whom.  Do we see more of ourselves when we look, or hear from, others.  Enjoy.

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Fathers – It’s Your Day!


The idea of celebrating Father’s Day is, as you would expect, a response to the popularity of Mother’s Day.

And the first-ever Father’s Day holiday took place in West Virginia in 1908 and was a resounding flop.  No one seemed to like the idea and they didn’t do it again.

But that wasn’t the case in 1910 in Spokane, Washington.  There, Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by her father, a single parent and a Civil War veteran, persuaded her pastor that there should be a Fathers Day celebration.  The first opening on the Pastor’s schedule was the third Sunday in June and we’ve been honoring our fathers on that day ever since.

It took over 60 years to get Fathers Day designated as a national holiday.  President Wilson first tried in 1916, Coolidge also came up empty-handed but Nixon got it done in 1972.

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Since then, celebrating Father’s Day has spread around the world.  And nowhere do they celebrate better than in Germany.  Give a listen to our program and you’ll learn what they do.  Happy Father’s Day.

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Stories and Stuff You Can’t Miss


Listen to StitcherHere’s a podcast of a recent broadcast of our radio program, which we also call “Because It Matters.”  It’s a great example of the variety we offer to our listeners.

The program regularly airs on Sunday afternoons beginning at 2:00 PM.  And can be heard on KPIK-LP (102.9 FM) in Stayton, Oregon.

You can find Stayton by driving about 10 miles southeast from Oregon’s capitol building in downtown Salem.  We’re in the heart of Oregon’s beautiful Willamette valley.  Pay us a visit the next time you’re in the neighborhood.

This program’s menu featured three pieces, each one guaranteed to engage and entertain you.

First up is some consumer education about a complicated financial product called a “Reverse Mortgage.”  It’s heavily promoted as a great way to fix all your cash flow woes if you’re over 62, have a substantial equity in your home and want to stay there.  On the surface they sound tempting but they’re also full of devilish details.  Invest some time to learn about them so you can help your family, friends, neighbors and maybe yourself someday.

Our second piece featured one of the great white-collar scams of the century.  Freshen up your coffee, get comfortable and listen to how a 19-year-old kid, operating out of his parents’ garage, forged over 10,000 documents and took Wall Street for a $280 million ride.  This story will leave you scratching your head in wonderment.

Last but not least is a chance to meet and spend some time with Bruce Cutler, a criminal defense lawyer from Brooklyn.  And his most famous client was John Gotti, the infamousprx-logo-B (2) boss of the Gambino crime family. That’s right – Cutler was the Mafia’s lawyer.  He’s full of opinions and stories that will keep you glued to your seat.

Now you know why you need to become a regular listener and reader of “Because It Matters.”

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