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The Sound of Ideas

The Sound of Ideas: Archive by Date

June 2009

The New Business of Doing Business

Posted June 1, 2009
Topics: Economy, Making Change, Regional Economy/Business - News, Education

In this world where giant corporations go bankrupt or go on the government dole, maybe it's time to change the way the business leaders of tomorrow are prepared. Business schools on the cutting edge now tout management tools such as "managing by design" and "appreciative inquiry." Trendy jargon but what does it really mean and how would they change things? Are they the reform that capitalism needs? Some in Northeast Ohio think so. Monday on the Sound of Ideas, it's the new business of doing business and how it will affect the workplace. Join us at 9 on 90.3. *Photo of Case Western University Classroom courtesy of Businessweek

The Rebirth of GM?

Posted June 2, 2009
Topics: Economy, Making Change, Regional Economy/Business - Analysis and Trends, Regional Economy/Business - News, Government/Politics, Other, Community/Human Interest, Transportation

The General Motors bankruptcy raises huge questions about the future of the auto industry and the role the government will play at that car maker. President Barack Obama says the government's "goal is to get GM back on its feet, take a hands off approach and get out quickly." That doesn't answer the question about whether taxpayers will get a return on their investment. Tuesday morning at 9, we explain this complicated bankruptcy and find out what it means for Ohio industry.

Building Consensus on County Reform

Posted June 3, 2009
Topics: Economy, Making Change, Government/Politics, Other, Community/Human Interest

The clock is ticking on efforts to reform Cuyahoga County government. Any plan that will go before voters in November needs 46,000 signatures by July 13th in order to make it on to the ballot. The biggest sticking points right now have to do with minority representation. Hammering out a compromise has gone on for a year behind closed doors. We’ll talk to some county leaders involved in these closed-door sessions to find out what ideas are competing, what obstacles are present and what needs to be done to reach consensus. Join us for the Sound of Ideas at 9 on 90.3.

Reporters’ Roundtable

Posted June 4, 2009
Topics: Arts and Culture, Economy, Regional Economy/Business - News, Education, Government/Politics, Health, Other, Community/Human Interest, Housing/Real Estate, Miscellaneous

State Senate Republicans cut a billion dollars from the state budget while restoring support to hospitals and charter schools. With party line vote approval, the $53 billion budget now comes head to head with a conference committee and new, lower revenue projections. Meanwhile, a corporate giant leaves Dayton, and a former Congressman turned talk show host says he wants to be Ohio's next governor. Analysis of those stories and the rest of the week's news on the next Sound of Ideas. Join us tomorrow at nine on 90.3.

Summer Reading

Posted June 5, 2009
Topics: Arts and Culture, Other, Community/Human Interest, Miscellaneous

Summer is a good time for a fun, light read but it's also an occasion for serious reading. Books that explain why the economy had a meltdown, project America's future, provide biographic revelations or take us behind the scenes of history in the making. Friday on The Sound of Ideas, local librarians and a New York Times book reviewer join us to suggest non-fiction titles that will hold your interest and broaden your mind. Whether it's the life of William F. Buckley, the story of America's "horse soldiers" in Afghanistan or ruminations on what makes people succeed that grabs your fancy, join us for a literary view of politics, history, business and more and bring your summer reading list along too.

Science Café: Rocket Science

Posted June 8, 2009
Topics: Government/Politics, Other, Technology, Transportation

After 124 successful space shuttle missions over the last three decades, space travel has begun to feel a bit unremarkable. But the engineers and researchers who are widely known as "rocket scientists" are doing and have done some pretty astounding things. We have put robots on Mars--they're still sending pictures back. We've sent probes to explore Saturn's rings. Researchers are working on ideas as wild as antimatter propulsion systems and using Neptune's atmosphere to fuel trips beyond the solar system. On the next Sound of Ideas: the latest innovations in rocket science. Monday at 9 on 90.3.

Regulating Payday Lenders

Posted June 9, 2009
Topics: Economy, Regional Economy/Business - Analysis and Trends, Government/Politics, Other, Community/Human Interest

Ohio voters thought they'd outlawed high-interest payday loans. But many lenders found loopholes that allowed them to continue making unsecured loans at even higher rates by levying additional fees. Now, Ohio lawmakers will take another crack at limiting payday loans with a new set of rules contained in House Bill 209. We'll discuss the law with its chief sponsor, talk to an advocate for low income people and hear the industry side from the CEO of a payday lending company with more than 200 offices. Join us with your thoughts Tuesday morning at 9:00.

Pricing Puzzles

Posted June 10, 2009
Topics: Economy, Regional Economy/Business - Analysis and Trends, Regional Economy/Business - News, Other, Community/Human Interest

Popcorn at the movies, a beer at the game, bottled water at the pool... what do these things have in common? They are often outrageously least compared to buying them almost anywhere else. Yet, millions of people indulge in these pleasures of convenience regularly. In today's economy where penny pinching is becoming a national pastime, we'll take a look at the reasoning behind the shameless mark-ups and discuss what...if anything...consumers can do about it. What accounts for concert ticket prices and are "administrative fees" when purchasing a new car just another pricing gimmick? Pricing Puzzles, Wednesday at 9 on 90.3.

Thursday Reporters’ Roundtable

Posted June 11, 2009
Topics: Economy, Regional Economy/Business - News, Government/Politics, Other, Energy, Transportation

After decades of legal wrangling, the Ohio Supreme Court makes an important call: cities like Akron and Cleveland cannot tell their employees where to live. Government reformers have put a new plan on the table in Cuyahoga County. They want to replace county commissioners with an elected, powerful administrator and a county council. Meanwhile, the overseer of municipal courts fights evidence that he works only seven hours a week. And a Toledo man says he's designed an engine that will get 110 miles-per-gallon. Join us with your questions Thursday at 9:00 on The Sound of Ideas.

The New Frontier of Facial Transplants

Posted June 12, 2009
Topics: Education, Health, Other, Community/Human Interest, Technology

Twenty-first century advances have left many exploring the moral, cultural, and emotional boundaries of the medical field. Dr. Maria Siemionow, director of plastic surgery research at the Cleveland Clinic, is on the cusp that with her team's groundbreaking work in facial transplants. In her book, Face to Face: My Quest to Perform the First Full Face Transplant, Dr. Siemionow discusses how the surgery was accomplished and the many challenges of this radical procedure. We'll talk with Dr. Siemionow about that as well as the psychological and social affects of severe disfigurement. Join us Friday for SOI at 9 on 90.3.

Health Care Around the World

Posted June 15, 2009
Topics: Economy, Health, Children's Health, Mental Health, Other, Aging/The Elderly, Community/Human Interest

President Obama promised a health care system that covers everyone regardless of ability to pay and regardless of pre-existing conditions. He's pushing Congress to have a bill on his desk by early fall. But what might a plan that works for everyone look like? What sacrifices in care would have to be made and how will we pay for it all? T.R. Reid, former foreign correspondent for The Washington Post, says there is much to be learned from foreign health care systems. In his Frontline special, Sick Around the World, Reid compares America's system to those in other countries. On Monday's show we'll talk with T.R. Reid about what the rest of the world can teach us about health care. Join us with your questions and analysis, Monday at 9 on 90.3.

State Budget Negotiations

Posted June 16, 2009
Topics: Economy, Environment

The sour economy is giving state budget planners fits. The state Senate pared back the House budget substantially but even that doesn’t come close to balancing the budget and its $3-billion revenue shortfall. It’s up to a conference committee now to come up with solutions by the end of the month. What to cut, what to leave alone and is a tax hike inevitable? We'll discuss the options and invite your thoughts tomorrow morning on The Sound of Ideas.

Exit Interview with Brent Larkin

Posted June 17, 2009
Topics: Arts and Culture, Other, Community/Human Interest

Brent Larkin, the eyes and ears of Cleveland news for over 30 years, has turned in his reporters' notebook. From Larkin's early days as a Cleveland Press reporter to his time as The Plain Dealer editorial director, he exposed scandals, uncovered corruption and offered his two cents worth on just about everything. A political junkie, a sports fanatic and a clamp dog all in one package. Wednesday on the Sound of Ideas, we'll sit down with the man who has become an icon in journalism for Northeast Ohio. Hear this unique perspective on the region's past and get his take on what's next, Wednesday at 9 on 90.3.

Weekly Reporters’ Roundtable

Posted June 18, 2009
Topics: Government/Politics, Health, Other, Courts/Crime - Fire/Law Enforcement, Energy, Technology

Utility executives, the Governor and other public officials team up Thursday for an announcement that would have been hard to envision just a few years ago. Momentum is building to put a new nuclear power plant in Southern Ohio. Federal investigators this week filed the first charges resulting from their long probe of alleged corruption in Cuyahoga County government and some local leaders call on one key suspect to step aside. The Ohio State Medical Association has some reservations about President Obama's health care reform plan. Those are some of the stories we'll review in this week's roundtable. Join us with your thoughts at 9:00 a.m. Thursday on 90.3.

Standout Schools in Northeast Ohio

Posted June 19, 2009
Topics: Education, Other, Community/Human Interest

The numbers have been tallied and the results are in; 12 high schools in NE Ohio are ranked in Newsweek's list of the top 1,300 public high schools in the country. The list, developed by Jay Mathews, The Washington Post's education columnist, is based on the number of students taking advanced placement tests divided by the number of students who graduate. What are these schools doing to stand out above the rest? Can other schools follow suit? How much of their success has to do with the schools and how much is related to the demographics of the student body? Join us for a conversation on what schools can do to reach their achievement levels, and what the levels should be. That's Friday at 9 on 90.3. *Photo Courtesy of The Plain Dealer

A New Take on the Lake: 40th Anniversary of the Cuyahoga River Fire

Posted June 22, 2009
Topics: Environment, Other, Community/Human Interest

“Fifty years ago the river boiled like a cauldron. This was all very black, and just constantly bubbling like a stew on a stove,” said Captain Wayne Bratton of Trident Marine, who worked on the river for 50 years. When TIME magazine reported on the fire in the August 1969 issue, it created environmental concern around the state and country. The river fire helped spur the environmental movement and led to the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972. We’ll talk to people who worked on river before and after the fire, those who pushed for the clean-up, and local officials who are working on sustaining the worlds’ largest single freshwater resource, the Great Lakes.

The Nuclear Option

Posted June 23, 2009
Topics: Economy, Regional Economy/Business - News, Environment, Other, Energy

Ohio's two operating nuclear power plants might one day be joined by a third. Duke Energy announced last week it wants to build a nuclear plant in Piketon, south of Columbus. Duke, with backing from Governor Strickland and other public officials, is touting nuclear as a source of non-polluting green energy. Nuclear power is gaining traction in Congress and with the Obama administration. But critics say even with improvements, nuclear power is still fraught with environmental dangers and isn’t cost-effective. We'll examine the pros and cons of nuclear power Tuesday at 9:00 on 90.3.

A New Era of Consumer Financial Protection?

Posted June 24, 2009
Topics: Economy, Making Change, Government/Politics, Other, Housing/Real Estate

Consumers Beware: President Obama says a failed consumer protection system is at the heart of the financial crisis that has wrecked havoc on the economy. Part of the fix, he says, is to create a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency that would oversee mortgage lenders, credit card companies and even debt collectors. The agency would have the power to re-write rules on how much credit cards can charge in fees and penalties, force banks and other lenders to greatly simplify loan contracts and much more. Can can one agency possibly oversee so many institutions? How will it impact the average consumer of financial services? On the next Sound of Ideas®, it's Consumer Financial Protection. Join the conversation, Wednesday at 9 on 90.3.

Thursday Reporters’ Roundtable

Posted June 25, 2009
Topics: Economy, Regional Economy/Business - News, Government/Politics

Jimmy Dimora decides to give up leadership, temporarily, of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, but keep his day job. Dimora and the other Cuyahoga County Commisioners also have an office building they'll sell you--cheap. A developer has changed his mind about a make-over for the old Ameritrust Tower downtown, leaving the county holding the bag. State lawmakers are besieged by lobbyists hoping to dodge the budget axe. And the Governor embraces slot machine gambling. Join us for the reporters' roundtable Thursday at 9:00 a.m. on the Sound of Ideas.

Making Tough Decisions in Tough Times

Posted June 26, 2009
Topics: Economy, Government/Politics, Other, Ethics/Religion

Should the Governor put library funding on the chopping block or state employee pensions? When layoffs are necessary is it smarter for employers to show loyalty to experienced veterans or protect young, new talent? In the search for health care for all should health care rationing also be part of the mix? There's no doubt about it -- these hard economic times are forcing people to make tough decisions. What kinds of questions should politicians, employers, and individuals ask themselves when faced with choices none of them want to make? We'll ask local leaders to share their strategies for making difficult choices. Tough Decisions in Tough Times, Friday at 9 on 90.3.

The Real Cost of Welfare

Posted June 29, 2009
Topics: Economy, Government/Politics, Other, Aging/The Elderly, Community/Human Interest, Parenting/Child Care

In 1996, President Bill Clinton pledged to “end welfare as we know it” by signing a law that put time limits on long-term public assistance. At first, Welfare rolls began to drop, but in the past year those numbers have started to rise again in Ohio and a majority of other states. This comes at a time when Governor Ted Strickland and state lawmakers are looking to balance the budget by trimming cash assistance to the needy. With welfare caseloads increasing what’s going to happen when the money runs out? Ohio is getting stimulus dollars to help cover the shortfall, but does that undermine the whole idea of moving people off of the public dole? What is welfare as we NOW know it anyway? And is it working? Join us for a discussion about public assistance in a time of recession, Monday morning.

Origins of the Mortgage Crisis

Posted June 30, 2009
Topics: Economy, Facing the Mortgage Crisis, Government/Politics, Other, Housing/Real Estate

It’s well known that Cleveland has been among the hardest-hit cities in the nation by the subprime mortgage debacle but now an author says the country’s current economic crisis, the worldwide recession actually originated here. Alyssa Katz suggests that once the ball really got rolling a meltdown was inevitable. It was a storm brewing for years and, she says, the climate for it to break was just right in Cleveland. Our Lot...How Real Estate Came to Own Us Tuesday morning at 9:00 on 90.3.


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Funding for Ideas/Sound of Ideas comes from The George Gund Foundation, The Cleveland Foundation, Eaton, the George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation, The Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation, and the Nord Family Foundation.