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The Sound of Ideas

The Sound of Ideas: Archive by Date

July 2009

Property Values and Tax Burdens

Posted July 1, 2009
Topics: Economy, Facing the Mortgage Crisis, Regional Economy/Business - Analysis and Trends, Government/Politics, Other, Housing/Real Estate

Homeowners in parts of NE Ohio have begun receiving re-valuation notices on their houses, and not surprisingly, most values are being revised downward. Some homeowners may argue the new value isn't actually low enough. Understanding those assesments and challenging them can be a complicated process. And in almost every case, the potential individual property taxes savings comes at a cost to the community. Wednesday morning at 9, we'll talk about how, why and whether to negotiate a lower value for your house and what lower home values mean for our cities.

Reporters’ Roundtable

Posted July 2, 2009
Topics: Economy, Government/Politics, Other, Courts/Crime - Fire/Law Enforcement, Ethics/Religion

Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora breaks a year-long silence on the federal corruption probe. He claims he's the victim of joint GOP-Plain Dealer conspiracy. His calls for a federal investigation into that conspiracy appear to have fallen on deaf ears. Thursday morning at 9, join the reporters roundtable for analysis of this new development, the state budget standoff, and the four candidates vying to unseat Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson.

Rocco Scotti & The Capitol Steps

Posted July 3, 2009
Topics: Arts and Culture, Government/Politics, Other, Community/Human Interest

The National Anthem is a song we're all supposed to know and be able to sing, but as it happens most Americans struggle earnestly to hit the right notes and many can't remember the words. One master of the Star Spangled Banner though is Northeast Ohio's own - Rocco Scotti. For some 20 years he sang it before nearly every Indian's game and performed it on many other stages. On the next Sound of Ideas, we’ll talk with Rocco about the joys and challenges of singing the National Anthem. How does he hit his trademark high G? What does he think of some of the more non-traditional renditions? Join us for Rocco Scotti followed by a July 4th special from The Capitol Steps on SOI at 9 on 90.3.

Reversing Population Decline

Posted July 6, 2009
Topics: Economy, Making Change, Education, Government/Politics, Other, Housing/Real Estate, Immigration

The U.S. census bureau's new population estimates seem to confirm the conventional wisdom about Greater Cleveland: the population decline is continuing. But other struggling industrial metro regions have managed to turn their declines around. After years of urban flight, Chicago, Philadelphia--even Kalamazoo, Michigan--are seeing a resurgence. Join us Monday morning at 9 to hear the secrets of their successes and the scope of the challenges facing Ohio's cities.

The Urgent Need in Urban Education

Posted July 7, 2009
Topics: Education, Government/Politics

What Leigh McGuigan really cares about, she says, is “fundamentally changing urban education... making it work for kids.” McGuigan no longer works in Cleveland. The former Director of Innovative Schools for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District abruptly left that foundation-funded post this Spring, after she and schools CEO Eugene Sanders agreed she was “not a good fit.” Tuesday morning at 9, McGuigan joins us to talk about the challenges facing urban school districts across the country and what she sees as the most effective solutions.

Re-Envisioning Your Lakefront

Posted July 8, 2009
Topics: Economy, Environment, Government/Politics, Other, Community/Human Interest, Housing/Real Estate

The proposed relocation of Cleveland's commercial port, which has sat for decades to the east of the mouth of the Cuyahoga, would leave behind some of the most valuable real estate in Cuyahoga County. When the warehouses, the countless rolls of steel and the piles of sand and stone are are gone, what should be put in their place? The Port Authority's architects, who have redesigned waterfronts in New York City, Shanghai, Los Angeles and Baltimore, have a few ideas--none of them set in stone. Join us Wednesday morning at 9 to talk about the future of your lake front.

Reporters’ Roundtable

Posted July 9, 2009
Topics: Economy, Regional Economy/Business - Analysis and Trends, Government/Politics, Other, Miscellaneous

State lawmakers are working to beat a July 14th budget deadline. If they don't act, Governor Strickland hints he might shut down state government. Voters, meanwhile, are showing signs of budget fatigue. A new poll shows the Governor's popularity falling and a majority now favorably inclined toward casino gambling. As General Motors emerges from bankruptcy, we'll discuss the likely impact on consumers and investors; and an underground fire in a Stark County landfill shows signs of abating after years of smoke and odor. Senator Sherrod Brown tells what he likes and doesn't like about the health reform plan. Join us Thursday at 9:00 for the weekly reporters' roundtable.

A Nun’s Life

Posted July 10, 2009
Topics: Other, Community/Human Interest, Ethics/Religion

Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo is leading an investigation of American Catholic nuns on behalf of the Vatican. Rome says it wants to ensure their fidelity to Catholic teaching on controversial questions of ecumenism, homosexuality and an all-male priesthood. Earlier this year the Vatican ordered another investigation into the “quality of life” for nuns as a response to the dwindling new recruits. Both investigations raise some questions: What are nuns up to today and what’s it like to be one in 2009? What still draws them into this life of service? Get answers from nuns in NE Ohio and bring your ask questions of our own Friday morning at 9:00 on 90.3.

Science Café: Swarm Theory

Posted July 13, 2009

The next time you're at the beach take a look at how the flocks of gulls move as one. The birds don't have a leader. No other bird is telling them what to do. Instead, they are paying close attention to the birds next to them in order to fly in one precise, coordinated movement.This is how one author describes swarm activity. It is a group acting as if it had a collective brain that enables them to act as a single organism. Humans form swarms too. Think: panic in the stock market or stampede at Wal-Mart. But human swarms can also have more positive effects. Think: social networking on Facebook or information sharing on youtube. So, how are scientists using swarm theory to interpret behavior, and how can it be used for the greater good? On Monday’s The Sound of Ideas®, we’ll talk to three experts about the intelligence of the swarm and how we can apply it to our lives.

Lessons from Girls’ Schools

Posted July 14, 2009
Topics: Education, Other, Parenting/Child Care

In many ways, we're in an age of gender equity: after all, a female justice is poised to ascend to the supreme court, and women both begin and complete college at higher rates than men. But when it comes to tests and schools, some problems remain. Consider the stereotype that girls don't do as well as boys in math: the mere reminder of it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy for girls facing a math test. Some local girls schools are turning that around and turning their students into scientists. Join us Tuesday morning at 9, for lessons we all can learn from girls schools.

The Buckeye Budget

Posted July 15, 2009
Topics: Economy, Education, Government/Politics, Health, Other, Courts/Crime - Fire/Law Enforcement

For the last two weeks, Republican legislators have been in a game of budgetary chicken with Ohio Governor Strickland. Now, finally, the Buckeye state has its budget. Slots are in at the racetracks, the state higher education tuition freeze is out. Big losers include mental health services, nursing homes and state employees. Wednesday morning at 9, we'll hear about who won, who lost, and where 51 billion of taxpayer dollars are headed.

Reporters’ Roundtable

Posted July 16, 2009
Topics: Government/Politics, Health, Other, Courts/Crime - Fire/Law Enforcement, Ethics/Religion

As the federal corruption probe continues, two Cuyahoga County commissioners put a stop to their own secret meetings and urge the scandal-tainted third commissioner to take a leave of absence. Thursday morning at 9, we'll catch up with the fallout from the federal investigation and tackle the question "When is a gift a bribe?" We'll also hear about what put former US Attorney Greg White on the witness stand, the administrative shakeup at the Cleveland Clinic and how local hospitals are dealing with new fiscal demands from the state.

Keeping The Brain Agile While Aging

Posted July 17, 2009
Topics: Other, Aging/The Elderly

No matter your age, it's very frustrating to misplace your keys. But when older adults can't find the house, well, that's a more severe form of memory loss. Memory loss may be a natural part of aging but researchers are discovering new strategies to maintain a healthy memory and brain function as we age. One new approach is developing in Cleveland. It's The Brain Emporium and offers seniors a special lab with activities specifically geared to improve retention while promoting social interaction. Researchers say both are vital to strengthing memory. We'll hear how The Brain Emporium works and learn how the brain ages, Friday morning at 9 on The Sound of Ideas.

One Giant Leap

Posted July 20, 2009
Topics: Government/Politics, Other, Miscellaneous, Technology

40 years ago Monday, Ohioan Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon. Apollo 11 was the culmination of a nearly decade-long dream set in motion by President John F. Kennedy who challenged the nation in 1961 to land a man on the moon before the decade was out. The space race led to a quantum leap in technology that has enabled humans to explore the solar system and better understand the natural forces that affect Earth. Monday, on The Sound of Ideas we remember the historic first moon landing. Join us with your memories at 9:00 a.m. on 90.3.

Diabetes 101

Posted July 21, 2009
Topics: Health, Diabetes: The Constant Shadow

Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in America. It has nearly doubled in the last decade and 10% of the U.S. population is expected to have it by 2010. Some 24-million already do and almost a quarter of those don't know it yet. Diabetes often leads to heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and amputations. Even so, it is one of the most preventable of chronic killers. Tuesday morning on the Sound of Ideas, we'll talk about Diabetes 101; what it is, how it affects the body and how its affecting Northeast Ohioans.

Diabetic Amputations Soar

Posted July 22, 2009
Topics: Health, Diabetes: The Constant Shadow

Diabetes related amputations have increased markedly in the last 15 years; a hundred thousand foot amputations a year nationally now, and NE Ohio has an above average rate. America spends billions paying for surgeries, prosthetic devices, rehabilitaiton therapy, lost work days or total disability not to mention the human suffering that comes with loss of toes, feet and legs. Diabetic amputations are most common among the poor, the obese and the elderly. As part of ideastream's week-long, multi-media coverage of Diabetes: The Constant Shadow, join us for a candid conversation about consequences and prevention of diabetes. Wednesday at 9 on the Sound of Ideas.

Health Care Roundtable

Posted July 23, 2009
Topics: Economy, Government/Politics, Health

As part of his effort to convince the American public there’s no time to delay in overhauling health care, President Obama travels to Ohio Thursday for a “town meeting” in Shaker Heights. He promises to extend health insurance coverage to 97% of Americans, improve the quality of care and rein in spiraling health costs without increasing the deficit. It’s all contained in a 1000-page bill House Democrats introduced on July 14th. But what exactly is in the bill? And why do even some Democrats want to slow down the process. Join us Thursday at 9:00 a.m for some answers from our journalists’ roundtable.

An Hour with Al Weatherhead

Posted July 24, 2009
Topics: Economy, Regional Economy/Business - News, Other, Community/Human Interest

The Weatherhead name is attached to some of the most prestigious business schools in the country, including the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Local philanthropist Al Weatherhead says the best business practices come from life’s most difficult personal challenges. He's known plenty. Weatherhead has survived disease, depression and the loss of a child to build a multi-million dollar business allowing him to endow hospitals, universities and charities. He shares his thoughts on the recent financial times and why he invests in northeast Ohio. An hour with Al Weatherhead, Friday at 9am on The Sound of Ideas.

Pitches for Government Efficiency

Posted July 27, 2009
Topics: Economy, Regional Economy/Business - News, Government/Politics

What's the best way to make local governments in NE Ohio more efficient and collaborative? Why by holding a contest with a cash prize, of course. Nothing like a little incentive to bring out the best ideas. At least that's the thinking of the regional grantmaking organization. The Fund for our Economic Future is about to give away some $300,000 to the three best proposals as determined by popular vote. Hear from the finalists and hear our a panel of judges pick them apart. Monday at nine on the Sound of Ideas.

Where is Euclid Avenue Headed?

Posted July 28, 2009
Topics: Economy, Regional Economy/Business - Analysis and Trends, Government/Politics, Health, Mental Health, Other, Community/Human Interest, Courts/Crime - Fire/Law Enforcement, Transportation

Cleveland's Euclid Avenue facelift and the corridor's Health Line were originally pitched as economic catalysts that would bring people, money and jobs to the city. Development is happening, but it has taken a turn many didn't expect: Where city business leaders imagined new retail, restaurants and condos, they're instead seeing housing for the homeless and for the elderly and a 14-acre psychiatric hospital. To put it mildly, not everyone's excited. Tuesday morning at 9, we're searching for Euclid Avenue's new identity.

Deregulation, Choices, and Your Utility Bill

Posted July 29, 2009
Topics: Government/Politics, Other, Energy

Years ago, there used to be just one gas company and just one electric company. Now rate payers are being forced to choose from among a confusing array of competitors. If it seems as though reliable, understandable information on utility providers is in short supply, you're not alone. Wednesday morning at 9, we'll try to fix that and help you inform your decisions.

Reporters’ Roundtable

Posted July 30, 2009
Topics: Economy, Regional Economy/Business - Analysis and Trends, Regional Economy/Business - News, Education, Government/Politics

The city of Akron announces layoffs and the Cleveland school district reveals its cost-cutting measures aren't succeeding, but new school construction continues. Meanwhile, three northeast Ohio companies are poised for expansion. We'll discuss those stories Thursday morning at 9, and as Cuyahoga County voters prepare to decide on whether to restructure county or simply study the issue more, we look back at the last major overhaul in the region – in Summit County in 1979.

Making Sense of Your Credit Score

Posted July 31, 2009

Credit scores are three digit numbers derived from your credit report that help determine whether you get a job or apartment and how much you pay for insurance or a loan. As important as scores are to us in our everyday lives, a 2008 study by the Consumer Federation of America found that 60 percent of consumers don't understand much about credit scores. And it's no wonder. The formulas for credit scoring are largely secret and different scoring companies use different formulas. Also, consumers who buy their credit scores get what's called a consumer score -- it's not the same score that a financial institution would get from the very same scoring company. Plain Dealer consumer columnist Sheryl Harris and guests make sense of credit scores, Friday morning at nine on the Sound of Ideas.


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Every weekday at 9:00 AM (EST), The Sound of Ideas reports the news, explains the news, and sometimes makes news. The Cleveland Press Club awarded it “Best Radio Show” in Ohio and thousands daily find it to be an indispensable source of information about what’s most important to Northeast Ohioans.

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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.