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.

Pages

Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Floridians & The Affordable Care Act

The new Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, requires most people to get health insurance or pay a fine.

10/01/13 - Tuesday's Topical Currents examines how the Affordable Care Act will affect Floridians.  It’s an “At Your Service” edition.  State government has resisted the federal health overhaul initiative.  Florida is one of a dozen states which have not expanded Medicaid.  Governor Rick Scott has barred health care “navigators” to assist Floridians with “Obamacare,” but some counties are resisting that order.  We’ll take your calls on the issue.  That’s Topical Currents Tuesday at one 1pm.

Read more
Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Florida Wage Theft Issues

Donna Ballman
http://twitter.com/EmployeeAtty

09/30/13 - Monday’s Topical Currents examines the issue of wage-theft, particularly among low income and day workers.  But unpaid wages are a widespread problem within other Florida industries, including tourism, retail trade and construction.  Many cases go unreported by workers who can least afford to be shorted.  We’ll have panel of regional experts . . . and take your calls.  That’s Topical Currents . . . Monday at 1pm on WLRN. 

  • Guests/links:
  • Wage Theft Claims, Miami-Dade Consumer Service: 305-375-3677  
  • http://www.miamidade.gov/business/wage-theft.asp
  • Cynthia S Hernandez, Senior Research Associate, Instructor & Director of Internship Programs Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy Center for Labor Research & Studies Florida International University www.risep-fiu.org
  • Jeanette Smith Executive Director South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice Member of the Wage Theft Task Force  www.sfiwj.org
  • Donna M. Ballman, P.A. Employment Attorney  www.ballmanfirm.com

Read more
Food and Dining
1:00 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

15 Years of Food & Dining & Wine, Oh My!

Linda Gassenheimer
http://www.dinnerinminutes.com/

Fundraising edition of the program.

09/26/13 - Thursday’s Topical Currents is with chef, author and syndicated columnist Linda Gassenheimer and wine columnist Fred Tasker.  Linda’s “Food & Dining” segments have been broadcast weekly now for some 15 years, and she discusses some of her favorite programs . . . and what new challenges are presented.  Many internationally renowned chefs, authors, Food Network stars and others have appeared.  That’s Topical Currents . . .Thursday at 1pm on WLRN.

Read more
Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Critical Historical Preservation Projects

Bonnie Berman, Joseph Cooper and Dr. Paul George
Cesar Barroso of miamihoje.com

09/24/13 - Today's Topical Currents is with noted historian Dr. Paul George of Miami-Dade College and HISTORY/MIAMI.  He’s conducted countless South Florida “History Tours,” and is co-host of our popular Topical Currents History Quiz program.  On this program, however, he’ll break down the most critical historical preservation projects for the area.

Read more
Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Why Having Too Little Means So Much

Eldar Shafir
psych.princeton.edu

09/23/13 - Monday’s Topical Currents is with Princeton University Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, Eldar Shafir.  He specializes in cognitive science and behavioral economics.   Shafir is the co-author of SCARCITY:  Why Having Too Little Means So Much.  They say scarcity predicts that daily errors are common and unavoidable . . . no matter how motivated the person.

Read more
Food And Dining
1:00 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

The Country's Largest Display Of Food & Gadgets

Honey Orange Almond Chicken
Credit http://www.dinnerinminutes.com/

09/19/13 - Thursday's Topical Currents is with chef, author and syndicated columnist Linda Gassenheimer.  It’s her annual “Fancy Food” show report.   The Fancy Food gathering is the largest display of food related products in the country.  It sets trends for the industry.  Linda will show us – and have us taste – her favorites.

Read more
Ariel Gonzalez
1:30 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Every Boy Should Have a Man

Author Preston L. Allen
© PEN American Center/Susan Horgan.

09/18/13 - Ariel Gonzalez with local author Preston Allen about his novel,EVERY BOY SHOULD HAVE A MAN

Read more
Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

A Key To America’s Prosperity: Parents

Dr. Jack C. Westman
www.jackwestman.com

09/18/13 - Wednesday's Topical Currents looks at parental influences on kids and their educational experience.  There are frequent urgings to increase budgets and hire skilled teachers to motivate school-kids . . . but plans seldom mention the importance of parents.  We’ll speak with University of Wisconsin professor-emeritus Dr.

Read more
Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Watchdog Report: Dade County Budget Hardball

www.watchdogreport.net

09/17/13 - Tuesday's Topical Currents features regular contributor Dan Ricker, publisher of the weekly “Watchdog Report.”  Topics include the budget hardball being played out in Miami-Dade County.  Funding for libraries has been restored, but there are still battles with union workers, who look for benefits to be restored.  Coconut Grove residents say more police officers are needed to curb crime in their village.  Learn more . . . and call in with concerns . . .

Read more
Ariel Gonzalez
1:30 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Leftover Angst About The Vietnam War

Tim O'Brien
wikipedia.org

09/16/13 - Ariel Gonzalez interviews Tim O’Brien, about his book "JULY, JULY," which deals with leftover angst about the Vietnam War.  Mr.

Read more
Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

The Trauma of Everyday Life

Dr Mark Epstein
www.facebook.com/pages/Mark-Epstein-MD/201450013207216

09/16/13 - Monday’s Topical Currents is with psychiatrist Dr. Mark Epstein.  He’s written THE TRAUMA OF EVERYDAY LIFE.  Most of us have a limited – and limiting – understanding of trauma.   Epstein says trauma is more than death, chronic illness or cataclysmic life events in the news . . . that it isn’t a rare event . . . but is central to our psychological makeup.

Read more
Food and Dining
1:30 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Tasty Tailgate Treats from Chef Howie Kleinberg

Chef Howie Kleinberg
www.bulldog-bbq.com

09/12/13 - 1:30 - Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman interview with Bulldog Barbecue restaurant chef/owner Howie Kleinberg.  Football season is in full swing.  Howie gives us tips for tailgate parties and we taste some tailgate treats.  In the second half of Topical Currents, Thursday at 1:30 on WLRN-HD1.

Read more
Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Admitting Ignorance (Except When You Shouldn't)

I Don't Know: Admitting Ignorance (Except When You Shouldn't)
www.leahhagercohen.com

09/12/13 - Thursday's Topical Currents begins with the notion that it’s OK to say “I Don’t Know.”   Is it human nature to pretend we do even when we don’t?  Parents seldom want kids to know they don’t have an answer:  “Daddy, why is the sky blue?”  Perhaps politicians would be better off to admit they don’t know either.

Read more
Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

The Path to a Better Way of Death

Knocking On Heaven's Door
katybutler.com

09/11/13 - Wednesday's Topical Currents ponders the overuse of life-prolonging medical care, with journalist  Katy Butler (Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death). There are some 6-million Americans over the age of 85.  They’re now the nation’s fastest growing age group. The vast majority  hope to die at home, but 44% die in hospitals, a fifth of those in intensive care.

Read more
Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

40 Years Of Bee Gees Hits

The Bee Gees at their Middle Ear Studios in Miami.
courtesy of Dick Ashb

09/10/13 - Tuesday's Topical Currents examines the 40 year hit parade ride of the Bee Gees, with rock biographer David Meyer (The Bee Gees: The Biography).  The brothers Gibb began their unique harmonic careers in Australia.  They moved back to England and international stardom. They sold some 250 million records, were the darlings of the disco era, and of course, had strong South Florida ties. Who can’t hum a Bee Gees pop classic? Tune in for Topical Currents and a Bee Gees retrospective Tuesday at 1pm on WLRN.

Read more

Pages