87 episodes

There’s a lot going on in Louisville, and WFPL's In Conversation with Rick Howlett gives people a platform to talk -- both to each other, and with the larger community -- about the biggest issues facing our city, state and region. Live at 11 a.m. every Friday on 89.3 WFPL. Miss the show? Listen here as a weekly podcast. +

In Conversation Louisville Public Media

    • Business
    • 4.8, 8 Ratings

There’s a lot going on in Louisville, and WFPL's In Conversation with Rick Howlett gives people a platform to talk -- both to each other, and with the larger community -- about the biggest issues facing our city, state and region. Live at 11 a.m. every Friday on 89.3 WFPL. Miss the show? Listen here as a weekly podcast. +

    Appalachia As A Bellwether For The Country

    Appalachia As A Bellwether For The Country

    The challenges that the Appalachian region faces aren’t just Appalachian problems; they're American problems. Those problems include addiction, poor health outcomes and the need for communities to make a transition from fossil fuel extraction, and they will largely determine whether we, as a nation, can meet challenges of inequality, climate change and economic recovery. Far from being a backwater, Appalachia is a bellwether for the country.
    This week is the debut of Louisville Public Media's very first book, "Appalachian Fall," written by Jeff Young, Managing Editor of the Ohio Valley ReSource collaboration, and the rest of that reporting team. The book is a collection of the reporting this team has done on the future of Appalachia — from the Blackjewel coal miners blocking the train tracks in Harlan County to people on the front lines of the opioid crisis and others fighting for a just economic transition for coal country.
    Kirkus Reviews says the book is: "Blunt, essential reading on today's Appalachia that is less elegiac and more forward-thinking than most."
    This week we talk to Jeff Young, and reporters Brittany Patterson, who covers energy and environment, and Sydney Boles, who covers economic transition in Appalachia.
    Donate to support this and future episodes of In Conversation.

    • 51 min
    What's Next for Downtown Louisville?

    What's Next for Downtown Louisville?

    If you’ve ever looked at historical photos of downtown Louisville, you might have been struck by how busy and bustling it looked. Loads of people were out and about going to work, wearing fancy outfits to the theater, and shopping at department stores. But mid-century “urban renewal” efforts changed downtown, putting parking lots and high rises where multi-use buildings and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks used to be.
    Since then, efforts to revitalize downtown have come and gone (remember the Galleria?), but in the last few years, our city center seemed to gain some momentum. The Yum Center brought people downtown for games and concerts, Whiskey Row reopened with restaurants and shops, and some distilleries opened their doors to teach tourists where the good stuff comes from.
    Enter 2020.
    The coronavirus pandemic shuttered downtown, closing courts and government offices, and sending workers from their high rise cubicles to their dining room tables. Then protests drew opportunistic vandals who broke storefront windows. Buildings are still boarded up. Bars are closed by order of the governor, and restaurants are still operating at limited capacity in the interest of public health.
    What does this all mean for the urban center of Louisville? Will the downtown those workers and sports fans and diners and tourists eventually (hopefully?) go back to look anything like the one they left behind?
    This Friday on “In Conversation,” we’re talking about the challenges this year has brought to downtown Louisville, and what the future might hold.

    • 51 min
    Fancy Farm Without Politicians?

    Fancy Farm Without Politicians?

    The Fancy Farm Picnic is known through the state as the place where political candidates come to stump, kiss babies and encourage the eating of pounds of meat. But with the COVID-19 pandemic, and numbers in the state spiking uncomfortably high, politicians won’t speak at the picnic this year.
    How are politicians campaigning differently this summer? And what will Fancy Farm be like without the rhetoric and heckling? This week, we talk about the history and legacy of the Fancy Farm picnic, and how it went from a simple fundraiser for St. Jerome Catholic Church to an important milestone on the Kentucky campaign trail.
    We also have updates on the LMPD's response to Louisville protests, and coronavirus testing availability in Kentucky, from KYCIR's Jake Ryan, and WFPL's Ryan Van Velzer.

    • 51 min
    School Reopening Plans In Kentucky

    School Reopening Plans In Kentucky

    Getting children and teens ready to go back to school takes on a different meaning this year, as COVID-19 infection rates are spiking around the country and here in Kentucky and Indiana.
    On this week’s “In Conversation,” we explore the decisions educators, administrators and parents have to make to keep students and teachers safe. We also talk about how parents are weighing the pros and cons of sending their children back to school versus delaying their return.
    WFPL’s Education Reporter Jess Clark joins us with the latest school reopening news, and Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Marty Pollio talk about JCPS’s plan. Kerri Massey also join us — she’s a veteran teacher, currently at Smyrna Elementary and has three school aged children herself. And Angie McDonald, a school nurse advisor with the Kentucky Department of Education talks about health and safety protocols in school settings.

    • 51 min
    Confederate Statues And Other Monuments In Public Spaces

    Confederate Statues And Other Monuments In Public Spaces

    Demonstrators across the country who have been demanding an end to racial injustice and excessive police violence have also been calling for the removal of Confederate monuments and other public displays that for many evoke slavery, white supremacy and oppression. Some protesters have taken matters into their own hands, tearing down statues themselves. This week on In Conversation, we jump into the debate over controversial monuments and public art. Donate to support this and future episodes of In Conversation.

    • 51 min
    The Rise Of Substance Use During COVID-19

    The Rise Of Substance Use During COVID-19

    The coronavirus pandemic seems to be changing our relationship with drinking and drugs. Liquor sales are booming. Drinking socially wasn’t an option for a while, so people who never drank alone found themselves mixing up cocktails for one. And why wait for happy hour when most hours of the day are the same?
    Meanwhile, folks with serious substance use problems saw their weekly meetings move to Zoom. Opioid-related drug overdoses nearly doubled in Kentucky.
    Substance use issues are on the rise, and they require different solutions as shutdowns and social distancing affect the ability to get needed help.
    Join us on “In Conversation” this Friday as we talk to experts about the impact of the coronavirus on how we use alcohol and other substances. We’ll talk about people with long time addictions, those dealing with COVID-19 prohibitions in the beginning of their recovery, and how to keep a handle on your own drinking when the cocktail hour seems to have no beginning or end.
    We’ll find out how professionals and advocates are finding news ways to offer support, and hear from members of the community about how they are handling alcohol and drug use while isolated, and dealing with the stress of a growing pandemic. Donate to support this and future episodes of In Conversation.

    • 51 min

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