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

(7-25-2017, originally aired 5-16-2017) Sometimes, an older person asserts, “I wouldn’t have changed a thing in my life.”  Really?  We discuss a recent internet item called, “The 37 Things You’ll Regret When You're Old.”  Was it staying in a really bad relationship?  Maybe, it was failing to ever learn another language.  Did you miss a poignant chance to say “I Love You?”

What are your ultimate regrets?

(7-24-2017) Today’s Topical Currents highlights a Miami-Dade effort to shape and update the Comprehensive Development Master Plan.

This is a Florida state requirement, and occurs every seven years.

There’s an EAR2018 website, where residents can give detailed responses about county issues, especially in regard to development, traffic and environmental concerns.

(7-20-2017) Today's topic is Kid-friendly food. We have 2 guests plus 1 taster.  

Joining us is Senetta Carter, President of the Rayfield Family Literacy facilitates.  She is responsible for providing and organizing free food for 155 camps in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. The kids have a choice of 2 meals a day, choosing from breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner.  The program is supported by the Children’s Trust and paid for with Florida state funding.

(7-20-2017) Today’s Topical Currents features a look at the 2017 Knight Foundation Cities Challenge winners from Miami.  They include two innovative civic engagement plans, as well as a “Green Mobility Network” transportation project.

( 7-19-2017) You wouldn’t think Topical Currents would yield to celebrity adoration, but alas, we too have sold out.

With a public radio twist, of course . . .

We look at celebrity from the viewpoint of Julie Klam, the author of THE STARS IN OUR EYES:  The Famous, The Infamous, and Why We Care Way Too Much About Them.

(7-18-2017) Today we learn about the history of Florida Native tribes . . . the era of what is called the Seminole Wars . . . and how tribes evolved to the modern era. 

The Choctaw, Calusa, Timucua, Tequesta and others lived here in Florida.  The Miccosukee and Seminole remain the only federally recognized Tribes.

(7-17-2017) Today’s Topical Currents goes all-out for experimental music . . . and “sound art.”

The Subtropics-24 experimental music & sound art festival is underway in South Florida.  We visit with its founder—composer and sound artist Gustavo Matamoros--and feature “binaural” recording selections.

Non-driving listeners may want to use earbuds or headphones during the broadcast.

(7-13-2017) Today’s Topical Currents features South Florida Sun-Sentinel consumer columnist, Doreen Christensen.

She scoffs at “paying full price—for anything”—and gives her best savings tips for listeners.

(7-13-2017) Bastille Day is July 14. Today we chat with Café Bonjour co-owner Veronique Youbi.  She and her husband came from Paris and opened this small café in South Miami.  They serve French classics and GREAT pastries. She brings some for us to taste. 

Dinner in Minutes: Moules a la Mariniere (Mussels in White Wine)

www.dinnerinminutes.com
 

(701102017) Do you have a customer service torment story you love to tell?  Of course, doesn’t everyone?

But think of the hilarious stories told by service reps about no-clue customers.

Today we have a session with customer relations professionals from the famed Dale Carnegie Training organization, and learn how fast and courteous customer service doesn’t have to be a relic of more genteel times.

(7-10-2017) Today’s Topical Currents is with photojournalist, author and blogger, Al Crespo.

He’s been an ardent and high-profile critic of Miami City & County governments for decades, and has chastised area news media, as well.

His “Crespo-gram” Report is a strongly-worded attack on public corruption, with stinging accusations against government officials.

We hear about his long career and anti-corruption crusades.

(7-6-2017) July is National Ice Cream Month, and Federico Di Franco, co-owner with his wife, Carla, of Bianco Gelato in Coconut Grove is with us.  His gelato is made with organic milk, and has dairy free, low fat and low sugar options.  Bianco was voted one of America’s top 18 ice cream shops on Yahoo Food.  He brings gelato to taste.

Restaurant news: Jen Karetnick, Miami Magazine Food Critic gives her restaurant tips

Dinner in Minutes: Beef and Berry Pasta Salad, a cool salad for hot summer evenings.

www.dinnerinminutes.com

 

(7-6-2017) Today’s Topical Currents features the Unity360 Summer  Race Dialogue from the South Florida People of Color organization.

Two Saturday sessions in Miami Shores discuss how race, bias and bigotry shape society and daily interactions.

(7-5-2017) .  Today’s Topical Currents is an “At Your Service” edition, with Florida employment lawyer, Donna Ballman.

She updates the latest info about wrongful termination, non-compete agreements, harassment, independent contractor designations, and whistleblower cases.

Donna Ballman is also the author of “How to Stand Up for Your Rights Without Getting Fired.”

(6-29-2017) Today we're joined by Chef Jim Pastor and Mixologist Oscar Amaya from the Rusty Pelican.  They will give tips for a sparkling 4th with food and drink. They have a special party/dinner at the Rusty Pelican for Independence Day.  They bring food and drinks for us to taste. 

Restaurant news: Laine Doss, Miami New Times Food Editor will give her restaurant tips

Dinner in Minutes: Texas Turkey Burger with Corn and Black Bean Salad. Celebrate July 4th with a sparkling burger that gets its bang from jalapeno peppers.

www.dinnerinminutes.com
 

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