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

    (9-8-2016) On Today’s Topical Currents we observe International Coastal Cleanup Day.

In Miami-Dade, more than three-thousand volunteers should pick up five tons of trash at 40 waterfront sites.

www.volunteercleanup.org

(9-8-2016) Food and Dining: The new concept of eco-friendly hotels. An in-studio interview with Kane Sarhan, Vice President of Brand, SH Group and Executive Chef Stephen Ullrich of 1 Hotel and Homes South Beach's restaurant, Beachcraft. They discuss their unique water-saving techniques, how they minimize electricity and how plants are used to restore comfort and oxygen to the hotel.  Chef Stephen will bring food to taste.  

Dinner in Minutes:

Eggplant Parmesan – using the bounty of the season

www.dinnerinminutes.com

(09-06-2016) Today’s Topical Currents concerns the 9-11 attacks on the U.S.

We’ll feature Florida Bulldog founder and editor Dan Christensen.  The Bulldog led a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to declassify documents related to the hijackers while in the U.S.

Also on the program is former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham, Co-chair of the Congressional 9-11 Joint Inquiry, and First Amendment attorney Tom Julin.

(9-1-2016) Do you have the discipline to regularly seek out deals and coupons to save  money? 

On today’s Topical Currents, we have a consumer savings champion on-hand

. . . she’s South Florida Sun-Sentinel columnist Doreen Christensen, with Doreen’s Deals.  

2chambers.com

thepointsguy.com

skiplagged.com

sixt.com

(9-1-2016) .  Linda Gassenheimer’s Food & Dining.  It’s her annual football tailgating program, featuring an interview with Wapo Taco Chef, Jimena de Regil. With football season just starting, she gives us tips for some tailgate parties and will bring some for us to taste. It will be make your own tacos – easy bring along or home party ideas.

Fred will give his wine suggestions.

Dinner in Minutes:

Turkey dogs with coleslaw for a tailgate barbecue party  

(8-31-2016) Today’s Topical Currents recounts the history of Miami’s Virginia Key, and its civil rights history.

Prohibited on all other beaches, Virginia Key Beach had been an area of approved African-American recreation into the 1960s.

We hear from historian Gene Tinnie, activist Dr. Enid Curtis Pinkney and University of Miami professor Greg Bush, author of White Sand, Black Beach.

    (8-30-2016) Today’s Topical Currents is about female pilots on the flight decks of commercial airlines.

Can you guess the percentage of women who fly those planes?  It’s but five-percent. 

We’ll speak with two South Florida-based female pilots, and learn how they broke the male dominated “glass ceiling.”

(8-29-2016) Today’s Topical Currents is with Lynn University history professor and author Robert Watson.

His latest work explains one of history’s worst maritime disasters, which caused some three-times the number of Titanic casualties.  Little is known of this major tragedy.

It’s THE NAZI TITANIC:  The Incredible Untold Story of a Doomed Ship in World War II.

The victims were concentration camp prisoners.

  

(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.

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