Archive for November, 2010

In “Talismans,” A Young American Woman Seeks The Father Who Abandoned Her

November 30, 2010


Sybil Baker’s collection of linked short stories is called Talismans.  It’s coming out December 7th, and it’s been described as a contemporary Heart of Darkness.  The protagonist, a young American woman named Elise, travels through Southeast Asia.  She goes through Vietnam, through places where her father was stationed during the war.  She never knew him, and she’s over there trying to find–trying to feelsome kind of connection to him.

Baker will have a book signing at Winder Binder Gallery & Book Store, on December 7th at 7 p-m.  You can find more information on her blog.

Listen to an interview with Sybil Baker.

Listen to Baker reading an excerpt.

Blue Cross wants you to Meetup

November 30, 2010

Reporting:  Rabbit Zielke is a social network promoting just about everything you can imagine.  Individuals form meetup groups focusing on an interest and people join to chat, share information and resources, and plan to get together for events.  Many of the groups plan events related to cycling, hiking, running and other physical activities.  Blue Cross Blue Shield is hoping to encourage health and wellness by sponsoring meetup groups in Tennessee.


There is no charge to become a member of and many of the groups are free to join as well.  Blue Cross is offering to cover the cost of hosting groups and currently plans to keep membership in those groups free of charge.   This opportunity is available to anyone in the region with an interest in starting a meetup group.  You do not have to be an employee to start a group or to get involved.  You can apply to have Blue Cross sponsor your meetup group online at Facebook.

Listen to the story.

“Times Square Angel” On-Stage for Circle Series at Chattanooga Theatre Centre

November 29, 2010

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

The Theatre Centre Circle Series continues this Holiday Season by offering a play for adults written and originally performed by Charles Busch and company in 1987.       The following comes from CTC’s Press Release:

Charles Busch’s campy melodramedy is a satire of the Hollywood fantasy films of the 1940s such as It’s A Wonderful Life and The Bishop’s Wife with a bit of A Christmas Carol thrown in there, from the playwright who gave us Psycho Beach Party. An alternative adult holiday entertainment. It’s the story of Irish O’Flanagan, a street urchin who has her dreams dashed by cruel fate, grows into a big burlesque star, and chooses financial security over true love, closing off her heart until the fateful Christmas Eve when she gets one last chance to make things right. Like a steaming lilac-scented bubble bath or an embarrassingly large molten chocolate dessert, the best way to enjoy Times Square Angel is to sit back, turn off the plot-following part of your brain, and just let the sweet, sweet cheesiness flow over you. Suddenly you’ll realize that Irish O’Flanagan and her chorus boy are singing a medley of Christmas carols in which they impugn each other’s age, appearance, talent, and virtue, exactly like a couple of Ann Miller and Debbie Reynolds impersonators on a sketch comedy show. And it won’t be a bad holiday after all.

I read in Theatre Mania that Charles Busch plans to perform a staged-reading of his play as part of a Twelfth Annual event in New York.     He will once again dawn the role of Irish O’Flanagan, the “tough-as-nails nightclub chanteuse in 1940’s Manhatten who makes Scrooge look like a sentimental sap,” according to Dan Bacalzo who did the write up.

Busch has a website at with what may be the original play poster for “Times Square Angel” shown below.      Here’s some more facts related on his website:

Times Square Angel was first performed at the Limbo Lounge in December, 1984.
It was performed Off-Broadway at the Provincetown Playhouse, November 1985.

Listen to the Story:

Colin Beavan Explains Why He Became No-Impact Man

November 24, 2010


Movie poster

Colin Beavan, a New York writer, is known as No-Impact Man.  He earned that nickname because he and his family spent a year trying to make no negative environmental impact of any kind.  He says the average American creates 16,000 pounds of trash a year–with that in mind, he tried to reduce his trash output to nothing.  To keep his garbage can empty, he cut back on shopping, he quit buying pre-packaged food, and he even quit buying–and quit using–toilet paper.

It’s been three years since he did all that.  How much did his experiment help the environment?   It’s controversial. Some people say he did it more as a publicity stunt than to save the earth.  Today, we ask Beavan about his motivations for doing the experiment, and we find out how much it’s really helping the earth.


Listen to the story.


Discussion of “Testing Teachers”

November 24, 2010

Testing Teachers is a radio documentary on education reform that was produced by American RadioWorks.  Part of the focus of this documentary by Emily Hanford featured reforms instituted in the Hamilton County Department of Education to improve some of the lowest scoring urban schools in the system.  These reforms were a collaborative effort of the Benwood Foundation, the Public Education Foundation, and the Hamilton County Department of EducationThe Benwood Initiative invested more than $15 million in professional development and reform efforts in selected urban elementary schools.

On November 21, 2010 WUTC hosted a special airing of the documentary Testing Teachers followed by a one hour special round table discussion hosted by Rabbit.  The guests included:

Corinne Allen – Executive Director, Benwood Foundation

Susan Swanson, Director of the Benwood Initiative, Hamilton  County Department of Education

Frances Haman Prewitt – Director of Communications, Public Education Foundation

Emily Baker –Principal, East Side Elementary School

Penny King – Teacher, Woodmore Elementary School

Joe Curtis – Teacher, Hardy Elementary School

Dr. Jim Scales, Superintendent, Hamilton County Department of Education

Linda Mosley – Hamilton County School Board

Complete transcripts and podcast of the American RadioWorks documentary Testing Teachers is available at

Listen to the discussion that followed the documentary. 

Wild Trails Grants & 50 Mile Race

November 24, 2010

Reporting:  Rabbit Zielke

Wild Trails is accepting applications for grants to be awarded in February 2011.  The nonprofit is expecting local grassroots organizations and nonprofits to propose projects that reflect the mission of Wild Trails.  The grant application and more information can be found online at


Wild Trails is also hosting the final race in the 2010 Rock Creek Trail Race Series on December 18th.  This 50 mile race will explore trails on the Tennessee and Georgia sides of Lookout Mountain.  The 10K race will take place at Covenant College.  Registration for the 50 mile race closes on December 13th.  You can pre-register for the 10K race online or on the day of the event.  More information can be found at

Listen to the story.  


November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

November 23, 2010

Reporting:  Rabbit Zielke

Alzheimer’s is a disease of the brain.  The disease causes death of brain cells and damage to neural connections.  People with Alzheimer’s may be unable to access memories, exhibit changes in personality and experience impaired decision-making.  The disease is incurable, progressive, and terminal.  Alzheimer’s effects 5.1 million Americans, most over the age of 60.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association there is an increasing prevalence of early symptoms in people as young as 40.  Chances of debilitating symptoms of Alzheimer’s increase dramatically for patients over the age of 65.

Alzheimer’s is caused by a protein that attacks and kills brain cells.  When enough brain cells are destroyed, they take neural pathways and cognitive functions with them.  There are medications that can slow the progression of the disease and you can help reduce the onset with some simple activities.   Building new pathways through puzzles, learning new things, or simply changing your daily routine to include new challenges can help delay the onset of symptoms.

Contact the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association for support groups and more information if you or someone you know have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Call 423-265-3600 to learn more.

Listen to the story. 

“Green Health” Panel Discussion Presented by Sierra Club

November 22, 2010

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

The following comes from the “Green, Environmental Medicine” press release:


Cherokee Group

invites you to our presentation of:


at our
Monday, November 29, 7 pm
at Green|Spaces, 63 E. Main Street, Chattanooga TN 37408

Our November Sierra Club meeting provides a Panel of some of our area’s best “Green Health” and Environmental Medicine Practitioners, including:

Dr. Charles Adams MD, Environmental Physician of Full Circle Medical;

June Drennon, CCT (Certified Colon Therapist), Thermographist and Detox Specialist
of Stillpoint Health Associates;

Faye Henry, Energy Medicine Specialist of Touchstone Vibrations;

Jeff Ransom, of Educate Before You Vaccinate; and 

Jeff Hall DC, Environemental/Detox Chiropractor of Chattanooga Natural Medicine Center.

Jenny McCarthy has led a campaign over the past three years to GREEN OUR VACCINES, asking that toxic ingredients (aluminum, mercury, formaldehyde, latex, MSG, phenol, coal tar, and other carcinogens) not be included in vaccines for infants. Too much to ask?  It hasn’t happened yet with today’s children being given an unbelievable 60 vaccines by age 6.  Less vaccines with safer ingredients: GREEN MEDICINE.

Sierra Club members and most people who care about the environment, acknowledge the massive levels of toxins being dumped on our planet. With ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE, practitioners make the connection between a Toxic planet, Toxic people, Nutritional Deficiencies from depleted soils, pesticides, GMO’s and factory farming practices and seek to DETOX the body and provide full NUTRITIONAL support.
In a massively toxic world, with terribly unhealthy food, Green Healthcare goes an additional  step and says detoxification and nutrition are at the forefront of healthcare: GREEN/ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE!

And please BID in our Cherokee Sierra “Green Medicine” Silent Auction thru Nov. 29
We have amazing green/holistic items: massage; ion foot cleanse; chiropractic; acupuncture;
EFT; trigger point therapy; spring forest qi gong full body healing; hydrotherapy fomentations; meditation workshop, yoga classes; hypnotherapy; 3-month Curves membership, and more!!!

( Email for more Silent Auction or Meeting info! )

Listen to the Story:

Historic Tennessee

November 19, 2010

Reporting:  Rabbit Zielke

Robin Hood is a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer and a history buff with a strong interest in preservation.  Perhaps that is why his newest book, Historic Tennessee does such a fine job of traveling through time as well as all across the State of Tennessee.    Robin Hood is perhaps best known for some of his work featuring every day scenes of Americana.  He has captured some of the most common daily activities with stunning clarity, bringing charm and beauty into a scene that might otherwise be overlooked.   It is as if a Norman Rockwell painting has come to life.

In Historic Tennessee, Hood has traveled the state with an assignment to photograph 50 sites of historic significance to be included in this oversized book along with text by James A. Crutchfield.  Each chapter takes you back to the past and explains the significance of the building, location, or events that not only wove the tapestry of Tennessee’s past, but that of our Nation.  Beautiful landscapes, vibrant colors, and striking use of light brings these historic locations to life.

This book was published for the Tennessee Preservation Trust and serves as a breathtaking reminder of just how much of our past has been preserved for now and also for future generations.   According to Hood, none of these preservation efforts were accidental.  Each time a historic location, building or landmark is preserved it is because of efforts by people in the community that worked to save something they felt was an important part of their lives.

The Tennessee Preservation Trust will be joining Cornerstones, Chattanooga’s own preservation organization, for a book signing and celebration of Historic Tennessee.  This fund-raising event will take place at the Tivoli Theater on Monday, November 22 from 5:30 to 7:30.  Some of the photographs from this collection are currently on display at Chattanooga State through November 23rd.  For more information call Cornerstones at 423-265-2825.

Listen to the story.

Remembering Chattanooga Author Pete Chaney

November 18, 2010


Pete Chaney

A local author passed away this summer, after a battle with cancer.  His name was Pete Chaney.  Back in 2009, we interviewed Chaney for Around and About, because he’d just finished writing a historical novel called Valley of the Mules.  But there was much more to his career than just one book.  Today, we’re going to have a retrospective of Chaney’s life, his work, and how he inspired the people around him.  He was, perhaps, best known for co-writing One Day At A Time, the biography of gospel singer Cristy Lane.  He also published IPS Features, an internet syndication service, along with columnist Dalton Roberts.

Listen to the story.


Valley of the Mules cover