River to River

Weekdays at 12 p.m. on IPR News and News/Studio One
 

River to River is Iowa Public Radio's talk program that focuses on the news, issues and events in our state. This national award-winning program goes beyond the headlines, frames community problems, and fosters conversation. Wednesdays, Ben Kieffer is joined by political analysts from around the state to dissect the week in politics. Clay Masters hosts Mondays during the legislative session looking at statehouse issues.

During the show, contact us at 1-866-780-9100, IPRTalk on Twitter, our Facebook page, or via email rivertoriver@iowapublicradio.org. Our theme music is by The River Monks.

Want to share an idea for a future show? Contact one of our producers:
Ben Kieffer: bkieffer@iowapublicradio.org
Charity Nebbe: cnebbe@iowapublicradio.org Twitter: @CharityNebbe
Dennis Reese: dreese@iowapublicradio.org
Emily Woodbury: ewoodbury@iowapublicradio.org Twitter: @EmilyWoodbury
Katherine Perkins: kperkins@iowapublicradio.org
Lindsey Moon: lmoon@iowapublicradio.org Twitter: @lindseysmoon

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Composer ID: 
518277dae1c88c51b3133b4d|518277d6e1c88c51b3133b4c

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River to River
1:33 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Young Voters and 2012

In 2008 more voters UNDER the age of 35 participated in the election than voters OVER the age of 65. And voters under 30 overwhelmingly supported Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama. But, a lot can happen in four years. Host Ben Kieffer talks with young voters about who they’re supporting in 2012 and the issues important to them.  Guests include Scott Keeter, Director of Survey Research for the Pew Research Center, Steffen Schmidt, University Professor of Political Science at Iowa State University, and Heather Smith, President of Rock the Vote.

River to River
1:05 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Governor Branstad & Doctors Without Borders in South Sudan

One of the key issues that have yet to be resolved in the Iowa legislature this session is education reform.  The House and Senate have passed dueling plans and the Governor says the Senate’s version is “watered down.”  Join host Ben Kieffer as he’s joined by Governor Terry Branstad.  We’ll ask him about education reform and about the debate over finely textured lean beef – or what critics are calling “pink slime.”  Later, Ben talks with Elizabeth Wentzel, who after raising five children decided to chase her life-long dream to travel to a far away land to work and support others less fortun

River to River
11:00 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Politics Day

A recall election of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is set for June 5th.  That comes a year after Walker signed a bill removing collective bargaining rights from some public sector unions.  Join host Ben Kieffer as we take a look at our neighbors to the northeast in what some political analysts are calling a microcosm of what might occur on a national level.  Plus former Pennsylvania senator and winner of the Iowa caucuses Rick Santorum has suspended his campaign and U.S.

River to River
11:00 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Political Commentator Mark Shields and First Amendment Center's Ken Paulson

The Wall Street Journal calls him "the wittiest political analyst around." The Washington Post calls him "a walking almanac of American politics." Host Ben Kieffer talks with nationally-known columnist and political commentator Mark Shields. He’s worked in Washington through the administrations of nine U.S. Presidents.

River to River
11:00 pm
Sun April 8, 2012

Legislative Monday: School Start Date / Direct Care Workers

Iowa law prevents school districts from starting classes before September first but the Iowa Department of Education routinely grants waivers. Join host Joyce Russell as we discuss a proposal in the Iowa House that would make it harder for schools to start in mid-August. School superintendents say it should be a local decision while the tourism industry says an early start date hurts business. Later, we’ll have a discussion about professionalizing direct care workers.

River to River
11:00 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Heartland Heroes

The American Red Cross of Central Iowa is honoring citizens from across the state that have performed extraordinary acts of courage. Ben talks with Melisa Wissink of Granger who has established the Iowa Chapter of COPS, which provides support for families of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty; Kathy Tumilson of Rockford, whose son Jon was killed in a U.S.

River to River
11:00 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

2012 Gender Gap

The latest USA Today/Gallup Poll shows President Obama with an 18-point lead among women in 12 possible battleground states. That’s prompted Republican Mitt Romney to start talking more about his wife Anne on the campaign trail. We'll explore the growing gender gap among voters and how it could impact the 2012 election. Ben's guests are Dianne Bystrom of the Carrie Chapman Center for Women and Politics, Chris Larimer of the University of Northern Iowa's Political Science Department, former Iowa Senate Republican Mary Kramer and former Iowa Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge.

River to River
11:00 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Politics Day

Oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court over the Affordable Care Act don’t seem to have done anything to garner support for the law, or the court.  A new survey by the Pew Research Center shows an increasing number of people view the law more negatively, and view the court less favorably.  Host Jonathan Ahl talks with guests Dave Peterson and Steffen Schmidt of Iowa State University about these shifting perceptions.  They also analyze results from the three latest primary contests including Wisconsin.

River to River
11:00 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Ambassador Stephen Rapp and Patrick Clancy

Waterloo native Stephen Rapp has traveled the globe to prosecute those involved in some of the most heinous war crimes atrocities. He was responsible for leading the prosecutions of former Liberian President Charles Taylor for crimes committed during the civil war in Sierra Leone. Ben talks with Ambassador Rapp about his job heading the Office of Global Criminal Justice. Later, a conversation with Patrick Clancy who leads the Iowa School for the Deaf and the Iowa Braille School.

River to River
11:00 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

Legislative Day: Property Tax Reform

One of the top priorities heading into this year's legislative session was property tax reform. With scheduled adjournment only weeks away time is once again running out for lawmakers to act. Host Joyce Russell examines the long history of the property tax debate in Iowa, and the Democratic and Republican plans to fix the system. Among the guests- Democratic Senator Joe Bolkom from Iowa City, Republican Representative Tom Sands from Wapello and Des Moines City Manager Rick Clark.

River to River
1:30 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Being Homeschooled in Iowa

All this week, we’ve been hearing what it’s like “Being Home Schooled in Iowa.”  Our reports from IPR’s Rob Dillard have highlighted the reasons why parents choose to home school their children, assistance programs for home school students, and the transition from home schooling to college.  Join host Ben Kieffer as we discuss what it means to be home schooled in Iowa.

Being in Iowa is funded in part by The Principal Financial Group Foundation and Alliant Energy.

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River to River
11:00 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Legal Implications of Alzheimer's

Alzheimer’s disease can be a devastating diagnosis for a family.  Planning for the challenges that will come as the disease progresses is crucial.  For example, who makes financial and health care decisions when a loved one is no longer able?  I’m Ben Kieffer, next time on River to River, we’ll talk about the legal and public policy challenges presented by an aging population and an increasing incidence of dementia.

River to River
11:00 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Politics Day: Health Care Debate

Not since Bush v Gore in 2000 has the Supreme Court considered such a politically charged issue. Join us as Ben talks about the constitutionality of the health care law with University of Iowa political scientist Tim Hagle and Coe College political scientist Bruce Nesmith.  They'll also look at the return visit to Iowa by Vice-President Joe Biden to talk manufacturing jobs.

River to River
11:00 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Severe Weather: Tornadoes

Severe weather experts from throughout the country will be at an annual Severe Storms and Doppler Radar Conference in Ankeny later this week.  Join host Ben Kieffer as he talks with storm chaser Jeff Piotrowski who will give his firsthand account of last year’s massive tornado in Joplin, Missouri.  Ben also talks with Alabama TV meteorologist James Spann of ABC 33/40 in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa about his experience broadcasting severe weather coverage during a violent outbreak of storms in April of last year.  Finally, Ben talks with National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Smith about

River to River
11:00 pm
Sun March 25, 2012

Mental Health Redesign

Revamping mental health care remains a work in progress at the Iowa Statehouse. Host Joyce Russell talks with advocates, providers, county officials and legislators who are working on a redesign of the mental health system. The hope is that the mentally ill will be able to get the help they need, no matter where they live in the state. One of the issues stalling progress on the legislation, is cost. Join in the conversation to discuss the system as it exists today, and proposed changes.

River to River
11:00 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Vets Visit Iwo Jima and Lee Hamilton

Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley and Waterloo veteran David Greene join Ben to discuss their recent visit to the World War II battlefield at Iwo Jima, Japan.  The Congressman's father Byard Braley was a veteran in the Battle of Iwo Jima and Greene returned to the island for the first time since seeing combat there in 1945. Later, former Indiana Congressman and 9/11 Commission co-chair Lee Hamilton talks about U.S. military operations in Afghanistan.  Hamilton's lecture at Iowa State University on March 27 is titled "American Foreign Policy after Iraq and Afghanistan". 

River to River
11:00 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Politics Day: Illinois Primary

The hunt for the GOP nomination continues with the Illinois primary. We'll analyze the latest election results and focus on the money race in the election, as President Obama's campaign raised 45-million dollars in February. We'll also look at politics closer to home, with the official review of the 2012 Iowa caucuses. Ben's guests are Grinnell College Political Science Professor Wayne Moyer and New Hampshire political analyst Arnie Arnesen.

River to River
11:00 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

New Studies and Research in Sleep

If you’re having trouble getting shuteye, here’s something else to keep you awake at night - a new study that links common sleeping pills to a higher risk of death.  Join host Ben Kieffer as he talks with neurologist and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Iowa, Dr. Eric Dyken.  They’ll also talk about the connections between memory and sleep.

River to River
11:00 pm
Sun March 18, 2012

Legislative Monday: Education Reform

Governor Terry Branstad has proposed sweeping reforms to Iowa’s education system and the debate is likely to intensify now that the Republican-controlled Iowa House has approved its reform package.  The measure now goes to the Democratically-controlled Iowa Senate.  Host Joyce Russell discusses topics ranging from third grade retention and online learning to new teacher probation and end of course exams on our next legislative show from the law library at the state capitol.

River to River
11:00 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Encore Edition: Thinking About Time

Setting our clocks ahead in the spring reminds us that keeping track of time is a human invention. But have we changed the way we think about time over tens of thousands of years? In a program that originally aired last November, Ben's talks with astrophysicist and commentator Adam Frank. Frank's book About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang looks at how the human experience of time is braided together with cosmological theories of time.

River to River
11:00 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Consul of Canada and Senator Tom Harkin

They are known as our friendly neighbors to the north- host Dean Borg examines Iowa's relationship with Canada with Mary Lawyer, the new Honorary Consul of Canada in Iowa. She'll discuss her role advising Canadians on policy and trade issues and helping Iowans make business contacts north of the border. Later, Dean talks with Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. The Senator will discuss prospects for a 2012 Farm Bill and his recent meeting with education officials in Washington.

River to River
11:00 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Politics Day

Earlier this week a U.S. soldier allegedly shot and killed sixteen Afghan civilians. President Barack Obama has called the killings tragic while questions re-emerge about the U.S. strategy. Join guest host Jonathan Ahl as we talk about the way forward in Afghanistan.  Plus we’ll discuss the effect Alabama and Mississippi primaries will have on the race for the GOP Presidential nomination. Our guests are Dennis Goldford of Drake University and Jim McCormick of Iowa State University.

River to River
11:00 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Affirmative Action and Public Schools

Affirmative action and how it relates to college admissions is back on the radar. The U.S. Supreme Court is likely to hear an admissions case involving the University of Texas and the ruling could have ramifications at colleges across the nation. Host Dean Borg talks with University of Iowa Law Professor Angela Onwuachi-Willig and UI Sociology Professor Mary Campbell about how the court is likely to rule. Later, a look at the changing landscape in Iowa's public schools; including school closings in Cedar Rapids, statewide school consolidations and the trend toward home-schooling.

River to River
11:00 pm
Sun March 11, 2012

Legislative Monday: State Support for Local Projects

A flood bill making its way through the legislature would provide a sales tax rebate to communities to prevent future flooding. The bill is still alive despite Cedar Rapids residents, who were expected to benefit most from the legislation, voting down a sales tax extension designated for flood mitigation. Then, new owners of the “Field of Dreams” movie site in Dyersville want to build a softball and baseball complex on the property and are seeking state support.  We’ll discuss the project and why there’s some support and opposition to it.

River to River
11:00 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Encore Edition: Personalized Medicine

It started as blood-typing and has advanced to designing cancer treatments specific to the cellular makeup of a tumor. And in the not-so-distant future, it will mean looking at a patient's DNA to determine the best course of treatment for a variety of diseases. In a program that originally aired last November, Ben talks with guests about the technology that allows doctors to use the right medicines for the right patients at the right time, and the ethical and cost considerations of unlocking the secrets that lie on our DNA.

River to River
11:00 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

New Iowa GOP Party Chair and Ambassador Luis CdeBaca

Join host Ben Kieffer as he talks with A.J.

River to River
11:00 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Politics Day: Super Tuesday Recap

Who won and lost in the GOP race on Super Tuesday? Iowa State University Political Scientist Steffen Schmidt and University of Iowa Professor Emeritus Bruce Gronbeck break down the results of Tuesday's votes. They'll also look at the clash between President Obama and Republicans over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

River to River
11:00 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Deadly Weather and State Economic Update

In the past week, scores of people have been killed and injured by tornadoes in the Midwest and South. Ben Kieffer talks with meteorologist Alan Czarnetzki of the University of Northern Iowa about the series of deadly storms and the weather outlook in Iowa as we approach spring. Ben will also talk with the Director of Iowa's Economic Development Authority Debi Durham about growing Iowa's economy and its population.

River to River
11:00 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Deadly Weather and State Economic Update

In the past week, scores of people have been killed and injured by tornadoes in the Midwest and South. Ben Kieffer talks with meteorologist Alan Czarnetzki of the University of Northern Iowa about the series of deadly storms and the weather outlook in Iowa as we approach spring. Ben will also talk with the Director of Iowa's Economic Development Authority Debi Durham about growing Iowa's economy and its population.

River to River
11:00 pm
Sun March 4, 2012

Politics Day: Special Event

On the eve of Super Tuesday, and eight months away from the general election, Ben hosts a political roundtable forum at the University of Northern Iowa. Taped Friday, March 2, panelists discuss the GOP race and examine candidate strategies leading up to November. Ben's guests are political scientists Donna Hoffman, Chris Larimer and Justin Holmes from the University of Northern Iowa and James Q. Lynch of the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

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