Joseph Cooper

Host Topical Currents

WLRN Radio's Joseph Cooper says producing and hosting Topical Currents is the most rewarding experience of his long radio career, which began at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in the 1970s.

"It's now an obsession, but I never thought talk radio would be in my future. The wide, wide range of topics, research and reading keeps me hustling all week," he says. "It's similar to a daily newspaper column because, essentially, we write an essay to frame each show before conducting the interviews and taking calls and then it all starts over again for the next day's program."

Topical Currents is put together by a small production team, which includes producer Richard Ives and technical director Bonnie Berman. Syndicated food and dining columnist Linda Gassenheimer frequents the program, as well as a handful of expert regular contributors and regional reporters.

Topical Currents is a sub-tropical blend of regional issues and politics, local profiles, author interviews, "At Your Service" programs, South Florida history and any topic listeners might banter about around the proverbial "water cooler." It was first broadcast in January 1999.

Cooper is often asked to name his "favorite" interview subject.

"Hmmmm," he says with the hint of a smile. "Not necessarily the celebrities or famous authors but the one I've just done. Well usually.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Linda Gassenheimer's "Restaurant Roundabout” December 2014 Edition

12/18/14 - Thursday's Topical Currents is Linda Gassenheimer’s “Restaurant Roundabout” extravaganza!  We have two restaurant connoisseurs on hand:  Miami-based critic & travel writer Jen Karetnick as well as Thrillist Media Group Editor, Matt Meltzer.  He speaks about Broward County eateries. Also, news of the ever-changing South Florida restaurant scene.  Fred Tasker will give his wine suggestions. What’s hot . . . And what’s not.  Openings, closings and chef changes. And of course, we feature you.  Give us a call with favorite spots in the region.  Perhaps you have a particular gripe you need to re-count. 800-743-9576.   That's Topical Currents, Thursday at 1pm.  For a list of places mentioned on the program please go to www.dinnerinminutes.com

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

The Case Against the Death Penalty

Herman Lindsey
www.youtube.com/user/witnesstoinnocence

12/17/14 - Join us for Wednesday’s Topical Currents when we examine death penalty arguments. Twenty-five condemned prisoners have been spared death in Florida since 1973 . . . that’s one exoneration for every four executions. We’ll speak with criminal trial lawyer Richard S. Jaffe of the Birmingham, Alabama law firm of Jaffe and Drennan, P.C.; Mark Elliott, Executive Director of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty; Herman Lindsey, exonerated Florida Death Row inmate. That’s Topical Currents Wednesday at 1pm.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

South Florida's Lip Service: 8 Writers, 8 Stories, in 8 Minutes

Alejandro Santiago Photography — with Asia Samson, Betty Jo Buro, Jan Becker, Andrea Askowitz, Esther Kenniff and David New.
www.facebook.com/LipServiceMiami

12/16/14 -  Tuesday's Topical Currents is a unique hour -- live readings of highly-personal true stories by South Florida's “Lip Service” group. 

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Should Americans Be Wary Fracking?

www.facebook.com/russellgoldtheboom

12/15/14 - Should Americans be wary of hydraulically fractured mines?  You might be more aware of the term “fracking,” as it pertains to natural gas removal.  Join us for Monday’s Topical Currents when we discuss both pro & con fracking. Our guest this hour is Wall Street Journal energy reporter Russell Gold.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Linda’s Favorite Kitchen Gift Gadgets 2014

Balsamic Pork Scaloppini
Credit http://www.dinnerinminutes.com/

12/11/14 - Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman discuss Linda’s favorite kitchen gift gadgets. Pressure cooking is back in style  - a microwave pressure cooker that is easy and fast cooking in a microwave oven.  Or fry ingredients with only 1 tablespoon oil using the T-Fal Actifry, – and much more.

~~Dinner in Minutes~~

Balsamic Pork Scaloppini and Zucchini Sweet Potatoes

Sweet and tart balsamic vinegar dresses up pork scaloppini.  Sweet potato sticks and sugar snap peas add a colorful side dish.

There are many different qualities of balsamic vinegar.  The best ones are made only from grapes; lesser ones add brown sugar or caramel.  Some high quality producers produce a less expensive but good quality vinegar.  Read the label. It should say balsamic vinegar and not have any other added ingredients such as sugar.

From Fast and Flavorful Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table by Linda Gassenheimer, published by the American Diabetic Association.  To order this book call 1-800-232-6733 or order online at www.shopdiabetes.org.

Using the microwave oven, helps speed the potatoes and snap peas.  It also means the dish they’re cooked in can be used as a serving dish and then cleaned in the dishwasher.  I have also given a stove-top method.

 

BALSAMIC PORK SCALOPPINI

3/4 pound pork tenderloin

Olive oil spray

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup diced onion

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons pine nuts

2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)

Remove fat from tenderloin and cut into 2-inch slices.  Flatten the slices with a meat bat or the bottom of a heavy skillet.  Heat a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat.  Spray with olive oil spray. Sauté onion 3 minutes.  Move to sides of skillet. Add pork to the skillet and saute 2 minutes per side.  Remove to a plate; add salt and pepper to taste.  Raise heat to high, add vinegar. Reduce liquid by half, about 1 minute.  Add pine nuts and warm through, about 30 seconds. Divide pork between two dinner plates and spoon the sauce and pine nuts on top. Sprinkle parsley on top.  Makes 2 servings.

GARLIC SWEET POTATOES AND SUGAR SNAP PEAS

1/4 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed

1/2 pound sweet potatoes

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 medium garlic cloves, crushed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash potatoes, do not peel.  Cut potatoes into strips about the same size as the sugar snap peas (about 2-inches by 1/2-inch).

Microwave method:

Place in a microwave oven on high for 5 minutes.

Stove top method:

Bring a sauce pan of water to a boil and add the potatoes.  Boil 3 minutes, add sugar snap peas and boil 2 more minutes. Drain.

When the pork is cooked and removed from skillet, add the oil and garlic to the same skillet used for the pork. Add the potatoes and snow peas. Toss for 2 to 3 minutes or until potatoes are crisp and cooked through.  Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition InformationBalsamic Pork Scalooppini:Per serving: 309 calories (34 percent from fat), 11.8 g fat (2.9 g saturated, 4.3 g monounsaturated), 108 mg cholesterol, 38.6 g protein, 13.1 g carbohydrates, 1.6 g fiber, 88 mg sodium. Garlic Sweet Potatoes and Sugar Snap Peas: Per serving: 181 calories (23 percent from fat), 4.7 g fat (0.6 g saturated,3.3 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 3.6 g protein, 31.8 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g fiber, 14 mg sodium.Shopping List

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s Dinner in Minutes.

To buy: 3/4 pound pork tenderloin, olive oil spray,

1 small bunch parsley, 1/2 pound sweet potatoes,

1/4 pound sugar snap peas and 1 small package pine nuts.

Staples: Onion, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and black peppercorns.

Helpful Hints

  • Thin cut boneless pork chops can be used instead of pork tenderloin.
  • Green beans or snow peas can be substituted for sugar snap peas.  The cooking time and method are the same.
  • Countdown:
    • Microwave potatoes and sugar snap peas and set aside.
    • Make pork.
    • Remove pork from skillet and saute potatoes and sugar snap peas in the same skillet.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

What’s Life For The Average, Poor American?

twitter.com/killermartinis

12/09/14 - What’s life for the average, poor American? 

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Exploring Life’s Most Mystifying Subject: LOVE

Video of Modern Love event at @Chi_Humanities just posted 11/20/14. link below
youtube.com via twitter.com/danjonesnyt

 

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Food and Dining
1:30 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Linda Talks to the Pillsbury Bake Off $1 million Winner

47th Bake-Off® Contest Grand Prize Winner. Live on air, the $1 million prize was awarded to Beth Royals from Richmond, Virginia
ABC via www.pillsbury.com

12/04/14 - 1:30 - Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman interview the Pillsbury million winner Beth Royals from Richmond, Virginia, her winning recipe is Peanutty Pie Crust Clusters.  We taste samples in the studio.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Income Inequality In America Is Getting Worse

12/04/14 - There’s a national issue most might agree on…income inequality in America is getting worse.   Join us for Thursday’s Topical Currents when we begin with author and advisor, John Hope Bryant

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

A Look At Zoning Changes That Threaten Historical Structures

12/03/14 - Join us for Wednesday’s Topical Currents when we address South Florida architectural and land issues. In recent years, developers have razed buildings that some residents consider to have historical value. Many threatened structures are in Miami Beach.  There’s controversy in the Bay Harbor Islands community as well.  Preservation advocates now see a resumption of a South Florida condo construction boom. 

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Bewildering World Of Associations And Their Rules

Credit twitter.com/CondoandHOALaw

12/02/14 - Are you a condo owner or resident?  Perhaps your home is part of a homeowners association. 

If so, you don’t want to miss Tuesday’s Topical Currents. We’ll speak about important issues and the ever-changing rules and regulations governed by municipalities, counties and the State of Florida. Condo/HOA expert Donna Berger will on hand for this “At Your Service” call-in edition. That’s Topical Currents Tuesday at 1pm.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

How Face-to-face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier And Smarter

www.susanpinker.com

12/01/14 - In our increasingly computer-mediated world of emails, text messages, and social media, is there still value in face-to-face contact? 

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

South Florida’s Working Poor: The Struggle for Basic Needs

The Miami Marlins 1,000 Thanksgiving meal distribution is underway at Marlins Park. Big shout out to Pincho Factory for donating the cranberry sauce and stuffing, and to Publix for helping with the turkeys.
www.facebook.com/FeedingSFL

11/25/14 - Today’s Topical Currents examines studies of South Florida’s “working poor.”  Having a job doesn’t preclude a lack of sustenance. Only 1% of those who get food assistance are unemployed.  Seniors often face a choice of paying utilities and rent . . . or going hungry. We’ll learn more about the efforts with guests: United Way of Miami-Dade Sr. Dir.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

What Stays in Vegas? Personal data and gambling

11/24/14 Monday’s  Topical Currents looks at “data digging” and online advertising, including the sophisticated methods employed by Las Vegas casinos.

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