The political columnist and unofficial keeper of the English language, William Safire, died this past Sunday at the age of 79. Eight years ago, just after 9-11, we had a wide-ranging conversation with him in front of a live audience at Spirit Square. The then recent attacks shaped our discussion as did his book on The New Language of Politics. We revisit our conversation with William Safire.
William Safire – Political Columnist
Since this is an encore presentation, we won’t be able to take your phone calls.
- Q&A | After the show, the conversation continued informally with audience questions. (Never before aired)
Part One: Charlotte’s Streetcar
A debate on whether Charlotte should have streetcar service along its central corridor has taken several twists and turns. The issue has grown more contentious with the city council overriding Mayor Pat McCrory’s veto of a $4.5 million design contract to study the streetcar route. Supporters say the design is needed now so that the city can apply for federal funds later but detractors say the $450 million, ten mile route is another transportation boondoggle. Charlotte Observer reporter Steve Harrison has covered much of the debate and he shares the streetcar story with us.
Steve Harrison – Savvy Citizen Columnist, The Charlotte Observer
Part Two: A Chorus Line
The “singular sensation” has arrived and is on stage now in the Queen City. We’ll be joined by cast members from the longest running American musical “A Chorus Line.” We’ll find out how this production maintains its relevance over decades on the stage and we’ll also talk with one of the original cast members whose part was based heavily on her experiences.
Clyde Alves – Actor, plays Mike in “A Chorus Line”
Robyn Hurder – Actress, plays Cassie in “A Chorus Line”
Baayork Lee – Co-Choreographer of the revival for Broadway and the tour. She was the original Connie and dance captain, and the role was based heavily on her life.
We’ll talk to Dr. Andrew Weil about his view of the medical field as a doctor and as someone who wants the focus of health care to be more on preventative medicine than disease management. We’ll talk about his proposals for health care reform in America and he’ll share his vision of the future of health care here.
Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. – World renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine
We’ll meet one of the many Charlotteans who was on board Flight 1549 out of New York on January 14th when it made an emergency landing in the Hudson River. Clay Presley, a Charlotte businessman, learned a lot of lessons on that cold winter afternoon that can be applied to our lives and even to business. We’ll talk about his experience and his new outlook.
Clay Presley – President and CEO of Carolina Pad, passenger on Flight 1549
Beth Mchugh – Business woman, passenger on Flight 1549
- Event | Clay Presley speaks Tuesday Sept. 29th at 6pm at the Belk College of Business uptown on “Life and Business Lessons Learned on the Hudson”
Chef Peter Reinhart is back for our monthly food show. Today we celebrate those quintessential American staples, the hot dog and hamburger. Those two basic foods are experiencing a sort of renaissance with dozens and dozens of variations, cooking styles and forms of meat or meat substitutes. Join us on a quest for the perfect hamburger and hot dog.
Peter Reinhart – Chef on Assignment, Johnson & Wales University
Frank Scibelli – Owner, Big Daddy’s Burger Bar
Dave Mueller – Owner, Mueller’s Sandwich Shop
Bruce Kraig – Culinary Historian and Author of Hot Dog: A Global History
A conversation about the true story of Iranian-American Scholar Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, who was imprisoned in Iran in 2007 after a visit to her elderly mother. She’ll share details of her more than 100 day incarceration, including interrogations, intimidation and fear of her tormentors.
Dr. Haleh Esfandiari – Iranian-American academic and Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center
- Amazon | My Prison, My Home: One Woman’s Story of Captivity in Iran by Haleh Esfandiari
- Event | Dr. Esfandiari speaks Sept. 24th at noon and at 7pm
Part One: Darts & the U.S. World Cup Darts Team
Here’s something you might not be aware of, darts is a big sport in North Carolina. In fact, this week, the World Cup of Darts will take place right here in Charlotte. And some of the players on the United States’ World Cup Darts team are from our area. We’ll meet a few of these Darts players and learn more about the sport and its growing popularity.
Ryan Barnette – Member of the U.S. World Cup Darts Team and from Valdese, NC
Steve Brown – Member of the U.S. World Cup Darts Team
Jim Widmayer – Member of the U.S. World Cup Darts Team
Part Two: Charlotte Film Festival
The 4th Annual Charlotte Film Festival is happening this week in the Queen City with the goal of providing the community with “extraordinary cultural experiences by screening the most important works of independent film we can get our hands on.” Those works include world premieres of two documentaries, one about the U.S. Paralympic Team and the other about America’s battle over immigration policy. Also appearing at the festival is a new work by controversial filmmaker Michael Moore. We’ll talk about those films and learn more about independent films and how film festivals work.
Louis Gurgitano – Founder and Director of the Charlotte Film Festival
Brent Renaud – Filmmaker, Director and Producer of Warrior Champions
Annabel Park – Filmmaker for 9500 Liberty
Frequent visitor to Charlotte Talks and UNC Charlotte Economy Professor, John Connaughton is back with his latest economic forecast. Dr. Connaughton has been producing the forecast for over two decades and his current forecast offers glimmers of hope. Connaughton and others say the recession appears to be over, but high unemployment rates persist. How long will a full economic recovery take and can the economy ever be the same? We’ll ask Professor Connaughton those questions and more.
Dr. John Connaughton – Professor of Economics at UNC Charlotte
- UNC Charlotte | North Carolina Economic Forecast from Dr. Connaughton
- Charlotte Talks | Last Quarter’s Forecast from Connaughton
One fall morning almost three years ago, at the age of 46, Laura Mercer, a Charlotte Public Relations Executive, woke up and didn’t know who she was. After multiple tests, she and her family learned that she had early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. The news has been life-changing for Laura’s entire family and a story that is repeated, increasingly, around the country. Laura joins us, along with a panel of experts, to tell her story.
Laura Mercer – Charlotte woman (former reporter and PR Executive) who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 46.
Teresa Hoover – Senior Director of programs and family services, Alzheimer’s Association of Western Carolinas
Lynn Ivey – Founder of The Ivey adult day care
- Laura Mercer’s Blog
- Event | The Alzheimer’s Association “Rock-a-Thon” at Trade and Tryon Monday Sept. 21st from 7am-2pm in honor of World Alzheimer’s Day
- Event | The Alzheimer’s Memory Walk in Charlotte happens Nov. 14th
The automotive industry is facing a long uphill battle, especially domestic brands, but some companies have fared better than other auto makers. Auto industry executives have said that each company is intertwined with the other through suppliers, dealerships and the parts industry. Ford executive Paul Kosaian is in Charlotte today for an industry event but first he and GM executive Tim Groves join us to talk about the auto industry, the cash for clunkers program and the changing face of Ford, GM and other auto makers.
Paul Kosaian – Director, Ford Stamping Business Unit Operations
Tim Groves – General Motors