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The Sound of Ideas

The Sound of Ideas: Archive by Date

May 2010

Last Hired, First Fired

Posted May 3, 2010
Topics: Education

To balance its budget and re-align itself with a smaller student population, the Cleveland schools have put 800 jobs on the chopping block. They're far from unique. New York City's schools chancellor, for instance, wants to cut more than 8,000 jobs. In both New York and Ohio, choosing who goes boils down to one rule – last hired, first fired. Monday morning at 9, join host Dan Moulthrop for a look at how districts beyond Ohio are meeting these challenges, in some cases, by changing union rules and long held beliefs about teacher contracts.

Making Sense of the Merger

Posted May 3, 2010
Topics: Economy, Regional Economy/Business - Analysis and Trends, Government/Politics, Other, Transportation

Big airline mergers raise uncertainty for consumers worried about higher fares and for cities wanting to protect air service. Cincinnati's Delta hub is holding on by a thread two years after its merger with Northwest. Continental's CEO, who will be CEO of the merged airlines, says it's "premature to talk about Cleveland service levels, or any hub for that matter." Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson took the long view Monday, telling reporters, "At the end of the day, somebody's going to fly out of Hopkins." Tuesday morning at 9, join host Dan Moulthrop as we measure the merger's potential impact on Northeast Ohio.

Analysis of the Ohio Primary Results

Posted May 5, 2010
Topics: Economy, Government/Politics

The primary election will reveal a great deal beyond who has survived to make it to the general election: it should provide a read on just how much of an impact the nascent Tea Party movement is having on the ballot box and what effect the economic downturn is having on the fortunes of some the 175 school levies across the state. Wednesday morning at 9, join host Dan Moulthrop and a panel of political watchers from across the state for analysis of the the election results.

Reporters Roundtable

Posted May 6, 2010
Topics: Economy, Government/Politics, Other, Courts/Crime - Fire/Law Enforcement, Transportation

Thursday morning at 9, we round up news from across the region, including the northeast Ohio man free after twenty nine years behind bars for a rape he did not commit and the new child abuse cases raising fresh concerns about a troubled county agency. We take a look at the new expansion plans unveiled by the Cleveland Clinic and what's ahead for the new team of designers working on the only part of the Med Mart project most Ohioans will ever see. We also talk with the man taking over the helm at the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.

The Localvore: Food Production and Consumption in Ohio

Posted May 7, 2010
Topics: Arts and Culture, Economy, Environment, Government/Politics

As Americans pay more attention to what and how much they eat, some are also taking more notice of where their food comes from. There are signs consumers, restaurants, grocery stores want increased access to locally grown food and are seeking new production and business models to make that happen. Friday morning at 9 we bring you a special presentation about the local food movement in Northeast Ohio. Why does local food matter? What would it take to help the industry's growth? Tune in for answers from a forum recorded at The City Club of Cleveland (April 27, 2010).

An End to Youth Violence?

Posted May 10, 2010
Topics: Health, Children's Health, Other, Community/Human Interest, Courts/Crime - Fire/Law Enforcement, Parenting/Child Care

Fatal violence doesn't limit itself to the inner city. A recent high profile trial involved college students from the suburbs, a small town campus and a deadly brawl. Ending violence--or at least altering the cycle of violence that many victims fall into--involves more than just an anti-gang task force or tougher sentencing guidelines. Monday morning at 9 we talk with victims of violence from Northeast Ohio and others about importance of individual action and why listening can be as important as the law.

Recession or Recovery?

Posted May 11, 2010
Topics: Economy, Facing the Mortgage Crisis, Help Wanted, Regional Economy/Business - Analysis and Trends, Regional Economy/Business - News, Government/Politics, Other, Housing/Real Estate

The news lately offers no clear picture of where we are in this global recession: employment numbers are up, but so are unemployment numbers; the housing market doesn't seem as bad as it was, but Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have just requested for another $19 billion in relief; Greece may have avoided a debt crisis, but last week showed the market is still volatile. So, is the economy improving or not? Tuesday morning at 9, join host Dan Moulthrop and local and national economists for answers.

Origins of the Mortgage Crisis

Posted May 12, 2010
Topics: Economy, Facing the Mortgage Crisis, Other, Housing/Real Estate

This week, WCPN reports connected the dots between some of the region's devastated neighborhoods and the deals that put Goldman Sachs in hot water with the Senate. In short, backing those Goldman bonds were mortgages on homes in Slavic Village. It's a reminder that Northeast Ohio is very close to the heart of the mortgage crisis. Journalist Alyssa Katz tells another side of that same story in her book: "Our Lot, How Real Estate Came to Own Us." We reprise a conversation with her, Tuesday morning at 9 on 90.3.

Thursday Reporters’ Roundtable

Posted May 13, 2010
Topics: Economy, Government/Politics, Other, Community/Human Interest, Miscellaneous

A fuzzy audio recording made 40 years ago may offer evidence the national guard was ordered to fire on war protesters at Kent State in 1970. Thousands of northeast Ohioans lost their shirts when Akron's Fair Finance went foul. New evidence suggests where some of their money ended up. Senate candidate Lee Fisher lost his shirt in a Republican campaign ad and the Democrats had an off-the-cuff response. Those stories and more are up for discussion on our weekly Sound of Ideas roundtable. Join us with your thoughts Thursday morning at 9:00.

Collecting & Enforcing Child Support

Posted May 14, 2010
Topics: Government/Politics, Health, Children's Health, Other, Courts/Crime - Fire/Law Enforcement, Parenting/Child Care

A local government agency is raking in the bucks in child support collections. Why is it having success where other agencies struggle? The Summit County Prosecutor's Office has collected about $20 million in criminal nonsupport funds since 2001. That's quite a lot considering Cuyahoga County, a much larger neighboring area, is touting figures in the $10 million range. Friday, Regina Brett and guests discuss enforcement of child support laws, what works and what problems still remain.

Fixing the World of Finance

Posted May 17, 2010
Topics: Economy, Facing the Mortgage Crisis, Help Wanted, Government/Politics, Other, Courts/Crime - Fire/Law Enforcement

Lawmakers trying to build consensus around financial reform are focused on who will regulate which institutions and which investments, and whether there ought to be an agency devoted solely to consumer protection. There's another concern: Would any of the proposals have altered the foreclosure wave that demolished Slavic Village along with vast swaths of the rest of the state and nation? Monday morning at 9, join host Dan Moulthrop and guests to talk about where fiancial reform is headed and what difference it might make.

A Labor Dispute at the Heart of the Region’s Livelihood

Posted May 18, 2010
Topics: Education, Government/Politics

Contract talks at Ohio's largest school district have reached an impasse over how to close a $53 million budget gap. Among the sticking points are how to decide which teachers get laid off and how much of a pay cut the rest take. Other school districts across the state face similar questions. As Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has said, the schools' success is vital to 50,000 school children and to the region's future. Tuesday morning at 9, analysis of a labor dispute at the heart of the region's livelihood.

Youngstown: Shrinking City, Expanding Horizons

Posted May 19, 2010
Topics: Economy, Help Wanted, Regional Economy/Business - Analysis and Trends, Regional Economy/Business - News, Government/Politics

President Obama shined more light on Youngstown Tuesday with a visit to a factory poised to start hiring again. It's a well-timed boost, coming seven years after Youngstown embraced its decline in population with talk of reinventing itself as a smaller, greener city. That goal has proved elusive. Wednesday morning at 9, join host Dan Moulthrop for a deeper look at Youngstown, a shrinking city with expanding horizons.

Reporters’ Roundtable

Posted May 20, 2010
Topics: Economy, Education, Government/Politics, Health, Other, Community/Human Interest

A group of ten Ohio charter schools bands together to file a lawsuit against the very company that runs those schools. The schools are questioning the constitutionality of the state's charter school laws, as well as who actually gets to decide how a school operates. Also, lawmakers write rules for the casino industry to establish who will be allowed to play and in what way. Thursday morning at 9, join us for a conversation about those stories, plus Elyria's possible alcohol prohibition and the controversy over sex education in Parma.

A Nun’s Life

Posted May 21, 2010
Topics: Other, Community/Human Interest, Ethics/Religion

The Maltz Museum in Beachwood has just opened a new exhibit about Nuns in America. It's a topic the Vatican has shown interest in in "what are they up to" and "should we be worried?" Regina Brett had her own set of questions when she sat down last year with some nuns from Northeast Ohio and elsewhere: what does it mean to be "called" to serve; how is their role changing and, on the more mundane side of life, do they use cell phones, get movies on Netflix, or go to ball games? Join us, Friday at 9 on 90.3 for *this is an encore presentation.

Bad Customer Service - by design?

Posted May 24, 2010
Topics: Economy, Regional Economy/Business - Analysis and Trends, Regional Economy/Business - News, Government/Politics

For years, some industries have made an art of alienating their customers. Sometimes it’s part of explicit corporate policy, other times customer service is a casualty of cost-cutting or misunderstandings on both sides of the counter. In any case, consumer complaints have been growing recently, leaving many feeling so frustrated they give up seeking a resolution. Monday morning at 9, Plain Dealer Consumer Columnist Sheryl Harris talks with the state Attorney General and others about which industries draw the most customer complaints, why it's all so frustrating and why it seems to be getting worse.

The Long View: 30 Years of Economic Coverage

Posted May 25, 2010
Topics: Economy, Making Change, Regional Economy/Business - Analysis and Trends, Government/Politics

Crain's Cleveland Business turns 30 this week, and we're taking the opportunity to look back a little bit over the last 30 years in the regional economy, to a time when May Company, Higbee's were on Cleveland's Public Square and Halle's was just down the street, when Don Plusquellic was a young man on Akron's city council, and the Browns and the Indians still shared Municipal Stadium. Tuesday morning at 9, join host Dan Moulthrop and guests from Crain's for a look at how we got where we are and where we might be headed.

Exoneration: Raymond Towler’s Second Chance at Life

Posted May 25, 2010
Topics: Other, Community/Human Interest, Courts/Crime - Fire/Law Enforcement

When Raymond Towler was sentenced 29 years ago, a prosecutor on his case said of him "This man, an animal, got what he deserved--life!" After being exonerated three weeks ago based on DNA evidence, Towler is now free and is amazingly positive about his journey. DNA testing has identified perpetrators, elimated suspects and in a few hundred capital cases exonerated the innocent. Wednesday morning at 9, Raymond Towler and representatives of the Ohio Innocence Project join host Dan Moulthrop to discuss second chances and the limitations of our legal system. *photo courtesy The Columbus Dispatch

Efficient Government Now--Quick Pitch

Posted May 27, 2010
Topics: Economy, Making Change, Regional Economy/Business - Analysis and Trends, Regional Economy/Business - News, Government/Politics, Other, Community/Human Interest

Local government in Northeast Ohio costs taxpayers more than $16 billion each year and a sizeable portion of that involves duplication of services. How could the region be more efficient? That's the question EfficientGovNow is putting to citizens in a cash prize contest for the second year in a row. Leaders in the 16-counties are asked to put forward creative ways to make government dollars go further by collaborating more. Winners will be determined by popular vote. Thursday morning at 9, this year's finalists join host Dan Moulthrop to pitch their ideas.

Getting the Life You Want

Posted May 28, 2010
Topics: Health, Mental Health, Other, Community/Human Interest, Miscellaneous

Regina Brett switches to occasional host. Read more here.

Sometimes life seems like the movie Groundhog Day. Every day is just more of the same. Bills pile up, neighbors pester you and the boss makes Mr. Dithers look like Dr. Phil. Getting off the hamster wheel of life can seem impossible. But scientific evidence says that at least 40% of the ability to be happy is up to the individual. We'll find out where to begin, Friday morning at 9 on 90.3.

A Memorial Day Conversation About Afghanistan

Posted May 31, 2010
Topics: Government/Politics, Other, Terrorism

In its ninth year, the war in Afghanistan has now claimed the lives of more than 1,000 American warriors. On Memorial Day, we present a special conversation about the central challenges to bringing an end to that conflict--war crimes that have gone un-prosecuted, a widespread sense of impunity and an absence of the rule of law. "Bringing the Rule of Law to Afghanistan: Problems and Prospects,” a conversation at the City Club with McClatchy News Foreign Affairs Editor Roy Gutman, was co-sponsored by Case Western Reserve University School of Law’s Frederick K. Cox International Law Center and the Greater Cleveland International Lawyer’s Group.


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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.