Topical Currents

Monday through Thursday at 1:00pm

Bonnie and Joseph
Credit Paul Leary

Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman share the microphone with a wide range of guests including community leaders, artists, scientists, historians, political thinkers and more who bring issues of interest to South Floridians.  Topical Currents first started broadcasting in January 1999. Joseph Cooper is the host and executive producer, Richard Ives is the senior producer, Bonnie Berman joined as co-host and associate producer in September 2012, Jason Zabka is technical director and online producer, and Polly Landess is associate producer, joining the team in mid-2015.

Our listener call-in line is 1-800-743-9576 -- 1-800-743-W-L-R-N (9576)

For cell phone area codes outside South Florida, dial directly 1-305-995-1800

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Latest programs

Ways to Connect

(10-18-2016) Topical Currents is our radio home for history, and Today’s fits the bill . . . We visit with historian Dr. Paul George of History/Miami, and learn all about South Florida in the decade of . . . the 1950s. Think “Ike,” post-war housing and air conditioning . . . plus the Interstate, hula-hoops, poodle skirts, and of course, rock ‘n’ roll.

(10-12-2016) Today’s Topical Currents profiles longtime WLRN staffer and folk music buff, Michael Stock. There are few locally produced radio music programs with a history of some 35 years on the air, but his FOLK AND ACOUSTIC program spins each Sunday with a wide range of authentic music—both recorded and live. So join us for a program of music and down-home fun with Michael Stock . . . only on Topical Currents

(10-11-2016, originally aired 7-27-2016) Most of Florida’s 20-million souls swear they live in the country’s goofiest state. Forget about it California--the Florida peninsula attracts more nutty folks and ideas. Remember, we blew up a Presidential election. We lead the league in Ponzi schemes, insurance fraud, and “stand-your-ground” gun defenses. We speak with reporter Craig Pittman about Oh,...

(10/10/2016) With a close Presidential election less than a month away, we visit with Hamline University political science professor, David Schultz. We examine the all-important “swing states,” so essential in the Electoral College. There are ten vital swing states: as a “purple state,” Florida has the most clout. It’s voted for the Presidential winners in the past five elections.

(10-04-2016) Today’s image of South Beach is of uninhibited élan, wealthy young tourists . . . fashion models. Back when, South Beach was decrepit buildings, elderly poor and transients. But a part of rebirth was Ocean Drive’s News Café, begun by Mark Soyka in 1988. “SoBe” had a root. We profile the famed restaurateur on Today’s Topical Currents . . . (& learn more about his ventures).

(10-03-2016) Today’s edition of Topical Currents is “At Your Service,” with a focus on South Florida gardening and landscape. Forget those “up-north” settings of changing leaves and sweater weather . . . fall means the start of the dry season. Well, perhaps . . . And, it’s a good time to begin growing tomatoes. We have Florida master gardeners on hand . . . to take your questions.

(9-29-2016) Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop. Linda Gassenheimer has the touching story of how a City of Miami fireman’s dream came to fruition with a store in Wynwood.

(9-29-2016) Today’s Topical Currents features Miami civil rights and Coconut Grove pioneer, Thelma Gibson. She was a prime participant and witness to the desegregation movement from the 1950’s through the ‘70s.

(9-28-2016) Today’s Topical Currents features one of Florida’s most beloved, irreverent and prolific Florida writers, Carl Hiassen. Our state’s scams, stings, swindles, and freak factors give him priceless material for both his novels and Miami Herald columns. We get his unique take on all things Florida of course, and take listener calls. He has a new book out, called RAZOR GIRL.

(9-27-2016) A conversation, and listener calls, with Daniel J. Levitin, author of A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age.

(9-26-2016) Who hasn’t heard a horror story of protracted, emotional and destructive divorce? The battle may leave the lives of children scarred, and a couple in financial ruin. Today’s Topical Currents looks at a more sensible, less adversarial split-up, with the “collaborative” divorce method. Florida has adopted laws which help use non-litigated methods, and which may preserve family relationships.

(9-22-2016) Research shows that high school dropout kids can be identified as early as elementary school. In many areas, 50-percent of students need extra support to stay in school. We learn how City Year Miami uses “near peers” to help deter kids from quitting.

(9-22-2016) June Morris, the Marquesa du Vin (co-chair) of Veritage Miami (United Way Food and Wine Festival). She’ll take part in the Crush-a-thon working against 3 others to see who can crush the most grapes by stamping on them. She also talks about this year’s other events. Also with us, Alex Rodriguez, owner Palomilla Grill, a Cuban family-run restaurant. His father started the restaurant in 1975. Alex took over 3 years ago after his father’s death, keeping the Cuban tradition with some...

(9-26-2016) Today’s Topical Currents looks at the Chapman Partnership, a partner of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust. For more than 20 years, the Partnership has operated two Homeless Assistance Centers which serve some five-thousand men, women and children. There’s emergency housing, meals, health and psychiatric care, plus day care and job training and placement. It’s a leading model for homeless assistance centers.

(9-19-2016) Do we humans and our pets share the same neurochemistry, and complex emotional difficulties? Pioneering veterinarian and researcher Dr. Nicholas Dodman has written, PETS ON THE COUCH: Neurotic Dogs, Compulsive Cats, Anxious Birds and New Science of Animal Psychiatry. There’s even a form of Tourette Syndrome . . . in horses.