Conversation

No longer on air.

The Conversation covers current events in politics, public affairs, culture and science. Host Ross Reynolds opens the phone for listeners to participate in spirited discussions on the issues of the day. 

Twitter: KUOWRoss | Facebook: KUOWRoss

To find stories by The Conversation older than October 15, 2012, go to www2.kuow.org and select "The Conversation" from the show dropdown menu in the search function.

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Education Funding
12:00 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Battle Over K-12 Education In Washington State

Washington state capitol in Olympia.
Flickr Photo/Alan Cordova

Yesterday Ross talked to the Republican Senate chair of the Early Learning and K-12 Education committee. Today he follows up with Democratic State Senator Rosemary McAuliffe. How do Republicans and Democrats differ in their goals and strategies for improving state education? 

Short Stories
12:40 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

George Saunders On "Tenth Of December"

Author George Saunders
Jeremy Sternberg Flickr

It took author George Saunders seven years to write his collection of stories, “Tenth of December.” But for many fans, (including the New York Times Magazine which called his new story collection “the best book you’ll read this year”), the wait was been worth it.

Saunders visited the KUOW studios and gave us five amazing books that he thinks everybody should read.

This segment originally aired February 4, 2013

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Immigration
12:32 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

E-Verify: A Verifiably Good Or Bad Idea?

E-Verify protesters march in front of Congressman Peter King’s office, Massapequa Park, New York, Sept. 2011.
longislandwins Flickr

President Obama thinks E-Verify should be mandatory as part of his plan for immigration reform. Is this a good idea? How accurate is E-Verify? What happens if someone comes up negative? Is immigration contacted immediately? Ross Reynolds talks with CEO Roy Beck of Numbers USA, and Policy Analyst David Bier.

Immigration
12:20 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Does Microsoft Need More Temporary Worker Visas?

Big changes to US immigration policy could mean more temporary work visas for people with skills like computer programming. Employers in the Northwest including Microsoft say there aren’t enough US workers to meet demand. Now, a bipartisan group of Senators wants to expand the number of temporary worker visas from 65,000 to 115,000. But critics say those jobs can and should be filled by qualified US workers. Ross Reynolds talks with public policy advocate and political strategist Maria Cardona and president of the Programmers Guild, Kim Berry about the ongoing issue of temporary worker visas.

Education Funding
12:04 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Will Olympia Figure Out How To Fund K-12 Education?

Washington state capitol in Olympia.
Flickr Photo/Alan Cordova

Washington state is under a state Supreme Court mandate to adequately fund K-12 education. But Democrats and Republican disagree over increasing funding versus guaranteeing the money is used well. Ross Reynolds talks with Republican State Senator Steve Litzow who chairs the Early Learning and K-12 Education committee about what is being done to fund K-12 education.

Listener Call-In
11:24 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Do You Volunteer?

Haitian Red Cross volunteer Jean Zacharie delivers first aid to 1-month-old Deborah Fatima, January 2010.
American Red Cross Flickr

According to the Federal Agency for Service and Volunteering, 34 percent of Washington residents volunteer. Are you one of those people? Today, Ross Reynolds hears stories about the ups and downs of volunteering.

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Seattle Police Reform
11:18 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Policing The Seattle Police: What Will The New Community Commission Do?

Seattle Police Officers salute during a memorial service, 2006.
Kevin P. Casey AP Photo

As part of the agreement with the Department of Justice to implement reforms in the Seattle Police Department, Mayor Mike McGinn proposed the creation of a Community Police Commission. The 13-member commission, selected by the mayor and City Council,  is supposed to ensure that the police are acting lawfully and safely.

The commission still has to be confirmed by the City Council, but Ross Reynolds sits down with commission co-chair and deputy director of the Defender Association, Lisa Daugaard, to discuss what the commission can and hopes to accomplish.

Transportation
12:40 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Sound Transit’s Trials And Tribulations

Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl at the Sea-Tac Link light rail opening ceremony in 2009.
Atomic Taco Flickr

Sound Transit has been under fire lately for poor budgeting, rider shortages and even for train interruptions due to mud slides. The regional transit provider is the force behind Link light rail in Seattle and Tacoma and the Sounder train, which stretches from Lakewood through Seattle and up to Everett. Their express-bus system serves passengers in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties. Today Ross talks to Sound Transit Executive Director Joni Earl to find out what the future holds for our regional trains and buses.

Election Funding
12:20 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Should Seattle City Elections Be Publicly Funded?

What are your thoughts on publicly-funded election campaigns?
marsmet531 Flickr

The Seattle City Council is thinking about developing a publicly-funded approach to campaign finance. The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission would develop a detailed plan and voters would decide whether to approve it later this year. The idea to use public money to fund city campaigns is meant to open up the political arena to candidates who might not otherwise run for office. On Thursday, city councilmembers will meet with representatives from Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles to see how publicly funded campaigns have played out in their cities.

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International Adoption
12:40 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Exploring Cross-Cultural Adoption

Police in Moscow detain a demonstrator who protests Russia's new ban on American adoptions.
Associated Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently signed a law prohibiting US citizens from adopting Russian children. The US adopted 748 children from Russia in 2012, with roughly 8,600 adoptions from foreign countries in total. Every year, hundreds of families adopt children from places that are drastically different — socially, politically, and economically — from the United States. So our question is: How important is it to preserve the cultural identity of adopted children? Ross Reynolds takes your questions and discusses international adoption with Spring Hecht from the World Association for Children and Parents.

Pets
12:32 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Dog-Sharing Co-Op Offers Free Dog Sitting

Tallulah Bell is a 10-month old terrier/basset hound mix available for adoption at PAWS.
PAWS

People in the Northwest are among the most likely in the nation to have pets. That's according to a new survey by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. Washington, Oregon and Idaho rank in the top 10 for pet-owning households — with Oregon at No. 4, Washington at No. 6 and Idaho at No. 9. Maybe you’re one of the Northwest’s many pet people. If you are, you know that owning a dog can be e lot of work. But what if you had help? Free help. Sound too good to be true? According to Eric Husk it isn’t. He is the founder of City Dog Share, which he describes as a dog-sitting co-op. Ross Reynolds gets the details.

Business
12:20 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Ross Nerds Out With Slate Magazine’s Matthew Yglesias

Matthew Yglesias
Matthew Yglesias Flickr

Matthew Yglesias is a business and economics correspondent for Slate Magazine. In March he published his latest book titled "The Rent is Too Damn High." Today Ross talks to him about everything from Patty Murray to Spotify to policies on immigration.

Education
12:00 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

A New Bill Would Require Kids To Start School At Age Six

At what age do you think kids should start school?
jeweledlion Flickr

By law, children in Washington state don’t have to attend school until they’re 8 years old. In every other state, besides Pennsylvania, children have to attend school when they’re younger — usually 6 or 7, sometimes even 5. Now a group of lawmakers wants to lower Washington’s compulsory age of education from 8 years old to 6 years old. The bill’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for tomorrow morning and today Ross talks to the main sponsor of the bill, Renton Democrat and state Representative Marcie Maxwell.

Personal Records
12:40 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Preserving Personal Information

Wire recording, Gould Family, approximately late 1950s, from the collection of Seattle architect Carl Gould (who designed Suzzallo Library and many of the buildings on campus). From the Special Collections Archive, Allen Library, UW.
KUOW Photo/Amber Cortes

What kind of record are we leaving behind for the next generation? Physical objects get damaged in floods and fires, or simply get moldy in the basement. Think you're better off going digital? Think again. Hard drives crash. Compact discs deteriorate. And cloud-based computing companies get shuttered or go out of business.

Our personal records seem so vulnerable. It leaves one wondering: Are we leaving any kind of a lasting record? Ross talks with archivist John Bolcer and a digital media expert Cathy Marshall. Do you want to protect something of yours for the future? Today's guests will tell you how.

Listener Call-In
12:20 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Boy Scouts May End Ban On Gay Scouts And Leaders

David Blumenkrantz Flickr

The Boy Scouts of America are thinking about ending their ban on gay scouts or scout leaders.  How are scouts responding in the Northwest?  Were you ever involved with the Boy Scouts?  How would this change affect you? Ross Reynolds takes your phone calls.

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