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.

Ways to Connect

  

(8-25-2016) Linda Gassenheimer’s annual “back-to-school” lunch edition.  We learn what’s in store for school meals and after school activities in Broward & Dade.

Guests:

Penny Parham, Administrative Director, Department of Food and Nutrition, Miami-Dade County Schools Mary Mulder, Director Food Nutrition Services for Broward County Schools 

Dinner in Minutes:

Roast Chicken Pasta Salad

Fred gives his wine suggestions.

    (8-25-2016) Today’s Topical Currents features a blend of songs and stories about our National Park Service, with Biscayne National Park rangers Gary Bremen and Megan Davenport.  Besides incredible vistas and wildlife, the Parks contribute moving human stories.

(8-24-2016) Today’s Topical Currents is an “At Your Service” edition, with a focus on employee rights and legalities in the workplace.  We’ll visit with regular contributor, attorney and author, Donna Ballman.

She’s the author of STAND UP FOR YOURSELF WITHOUT GETTING FIRED, and represents employees in workplace disputes.

We take listener calls throughout the hour.

(8-23-2016) Today’s Topical Currents considers how individuals and small organizations can have meaningful impact on regional issues.

The bromide, “You can’t fight City Hall,” is commonplace . . . for many citizens feel helpless before government officials and special interests.

We hear from two experts who know the ropes:  Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, and public defense attorney and quintessential community activist, Sara Yousuf. 

(8-22-2016) Today’s Topical Currents looks at a rising inequality gap, and how it can modify a kid’s family life, neighborhoods and schools.

The rich have always had advantages . . . but in today’s landscape, it’s increasing.

We visit with Harvard Public Policy professor Robert Putnam, whose latest work is OUR KIDS:  The American Dream in Crisis.  Putnam also wrote the highly praised Bowling Alone book.

(8-18-2016) Food and Dining: Miami Spice Months with  Bill Talbert, President and CEO Greater Miami Convention and Business Bureau, and Beaker and Gray Chef, Brian Nasajon. Bill gives us tips on how to navigate the offering for this year’s Miami Spice – August and September -  $39 for a 3 course dinner, $23 for lunch. Brian will talk about why he decided to participate and will bring us a taste of his Miami Spice menu.

Dinner in Minutes:

Thai Beef Pasta Salad

Fred Tasker gives his wine suggestions

www.dinnerinminutes.com

www.ilovemiamispice.com

(8-18-2016)  Do you pride yourself on getting the best bargains? Then don’t miss today’s Topical Currents. We chat with the Sun-Sentinel columnist who never pays full-price for ANYTHING . . . Doreen Christensen. 

Learn about oodles of back-to-school deals - even including new student loan discounts.

(8-17-2016)  Identity theft is now so commonplace that it’s nearly a “not IF, but  WHEN” situation.

On Today’s Topical Currents we learn just how pervasive these attacks are.  There really are NO airtight passwords, and internet and social media use helps criminals discover User-ID questions.

In a TC rebroadcast, We speak with Adam Levin, author of SWIPED:  HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF IN A WORLD FULL OF SCAMMERS, PHISHERS, AND IDENTITY THIEVES.

(8-16-2016) Now’s the most chancy part of hurricane season.  Have you thought about pet care during a storm?

A good idea is to get a microchip for dogs and cats at the vet.  And where will that kitty or pooch ride out the storm?

Some shelters allow pets, others don’t.

Listen for our veterinarian “At Your Service” pet care edition of Topical Currents, where we share significant information, and also, take your calls.

Guests:

(8-15-2016) Today’s Topical Currents chronicles Florida’s worst disaster:  the Hurricane of 1928.  In total, some 7,000 lives were lost, about 2,500 in Florida.

The storm tossed the waters of mammoth Lake Okeechobee into the marshes to the south.  In the aftermath, some 700 African-Americans were buried in a mass grave.

We learn more of the tragedy from reporter and historian Elliott Kleinberg, author of BLACK CLOUD.

(8-9-2016) In the Sunshine State, one would assume solar to be a dominant energy source. 

So why is Florida one of only four U.S. states without distributed consumer solar power?

Today’s Topical Currents reviews the state’s solar issues, including two state Constitutional questions:  Amendments One and Four.  Amendment Four is on the August 30th primary ballot, but Amendment One is slated for November.

We also discuss the latest in solar and “green” technologies.

(8-8-2016) Today's Topical Currents looks at the plight of captive animals, and the growing movement to free or retire them.

We visit with the founder and director of Animal Hero Kids, Susan Hargreaves, as well as activist Wendy King, and Dr. Ian Kupkee of Sabal Chase Animal Clinic in Miami.

Resources:

Linda Gassenheimer celebrates the world’s tastiest bi-valve:  the oyster.  We’ll learn how they’re harvested—21st century style—and how to best enjoy.

www.dinnerinminutes.com

www.izzysmiami.com

Waze

Aug 4, 2016

(08-04-2016) Today’s Topical Currents features the two-way traffic app, WAZE.  It’s a citizen’s connection, which keeps aware of delays, as you drive.  Enter a destination . . . keep it open . . . and know about construction or accidents.  And help others, by pointing out delays.

http://www.miamidade.gov/transit/transit-tracker-app.asp

(08-03-2016) Those who worry a lot have some advantages.  They’re on top of things.  And they aren’t surprised by change.

Today’s Topical Currents is with University of North Carolina medical school psychiatrist, Dr. Reid Wilson.  He’s the author of STOPPING THE NOISE IN YOUR HEAD.

His antidote for worry is counterintuitive:  to embrace it, and say “I actually WANT this feeling.”

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