The Front Porch

Fridays at 4:50 p.m.
  • Hosted by Scott Finn, Laurie Lin
  • Local Host Rick Wilson

Welcome to “The Front Porch,” where we tackle the tough issues facing Appalachia the same way you talk with your friends on the porch. 

Hosts include WVPB Executive Director and recovering reporter Scott Finn; conservative lawyer, columnist and rabid "Sherlock" fan Laurie Lin; and liberal columnist and avid goat herder Rick Wilson, who works for the American Friends Service Committee.

An edited version of “The Front Porch” airs Fridays at 4:50 p.m. on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s radio network, and the full version is available at wvpublic.org and as a podcast as well.

Share your opinions with us about these issues, and let us know what you'd like us to discuss in the future. Send a tweet to @radiofinn or @wvpublicnews, or e-mail Scott at sfinn @ wvpublic.org

The Front Porch is underwritten by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Charleston Gazette-Mail. Find the latest news, traffic and weather on its CGM App. Download it in your app store, and check out its website: http://www.wvgazettemail.com/

NPR

After Charlottesville, we wonder if racism and fascism are on the rise across America and/or West Virginia.

Front Porch host Scott Finn found a survey showing white millennials were just as likely to hold racist beliefs as baby boomers and Gen Xers. Why do more than one third of whites still tell researchers that "blacks are lazier than whites"?

Governor Jim Justice switched parties again today, returning to the Republican roots he left in 2015.

On this special edition of the Front Porch podcast, we debate what this means for Justice, the Democratic and Republican parties and the state as a whole.

In West Virginia, a growing number of working-age adults are qualifying for federal disability benefits. But once they're receiving an SSI or SSDI check, they rarely return to work.

And that's leading to growing resentment across Appalachia of some people with disabilities.

Sam Owens / Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP

Here’s what happens 97 percent of the time in federal court: a plea deal. The defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser offense, and the prosecution gets a guaranteed conviction.

But earlier this month, Judge Joseph Goodwin rejected a plea deal for a drug dealer, saying the defendant should face the “bright light” of a jury trial. He said this is especially important in West Virginia, which has the highest drug overdose rate in the country.

"I did not come to Washington to hurt people."

That is how Sen. Shelley Moore Capito announced, on Twitter, she would not support the GOP effort to repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan that addresses her concerns "and the needs of West Virginians."

Capito was one of a handful of GOP Senators who dealt the Obamacare repeal a serious blow this week.

Is "Trumpcare" dead? And if so, what does that mean for heathcare in West Virginia, and for Capito's political future. Listen to the Front Porch podcast to find out.

WVU Today

The state Legislature just cut $16 million from higher education, starting this month. Meanwhile, WVU announced a 5 percent tuition increase.

What’s that mean for students and the state as a whole? We have WVU Vice President for Legal, Government and Entrepreneurial Engagement Rob Alsop on The Front Porch podcast.

Yoga in Appalachia

Jul 4, 2017

Sara Limb has practiced yoga in places you might not expect- first while serving as a medic in Iraq, and now in West Virginia.

On this week's episode of the Front Porch, Sara shares how yoga helped keep her sane in a war zone, and how it continues to help veterans and others.

Molly Collins

Dozens of women marched topless through the streets of Charleston recently to protest the objectification of women, and norms that discourage breastfeeding in public.

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones called it "a naked spectacle" and asked marchers to stay clear of a street fair going on nearby.

West Virginia state law does not specifically prohibit women going topless. But the uproar around the march shows that it continues to be controversial.

WVPB

After months of a budget standoff, Governor Jim Justice announced he would allow a budget heavy on cuts and with no tax increases to become law without his signature.

That doesn’t mean he was happy with it.

“I can’t possible sign this,” he said. “They voted against the people of this state. They didn’t hurt me. They hurt the people.”

WVSAO

With just days until the end of the fiscal year and no budget agreement, there’s a real possibility of a government shutdown in West Virginia.

We asked the man who pays the bills, state Auditor J.B. McCuskey, 10 questions about what he’s doing to prevent a total disaster if state government shuts down.

Canadian Press

West Virginia is one of 27 states with no firm minimum age for marriage.

Between 2000 and 2010, a total of 2,759 minors got married in West Virginia - one of the highest states per capita, according to the New York Times.

Some states are moving to bar marriage for minors. On this week's Front Porch, we debate whether this is a good idea for West Virginia and the rest of Appalachia.

Huntington Herald-Dispatch

West Virginia tops the list in many chronic diseases…but we CAN turn things around. 

That's the premise behind Try This, West Virginia. If you’re looking for a dose of hope, listen to this week's podcast.

Here's one example: childhood obesity rates in West Virginia have started to drop.

From running clubs to community gardens to bringing recess back, Try This co-director Kate Long gives us example after example of local projects that work.

With the budget fight in West Virginia and larger battles nationally over Trump, it's a good time to talk about talking with one another.

Here are five concepts from social science about how to change someone’s mind. (Hint: It’s not easy.)

1. Reframing – Use the other sides’ values when making a case for your side. For examples, liberals could reframe arguments for Medicaid around maintaining a strong defense (unhealthy Americans make poor soldiers.)

If you have a short attention span, this week's Front Porch podcast is for you!

We tackle racism, Trump, taxes, rumors and Stevie Nicks, in less time than it takes to watch "Big Bang Theory."

HHS Sec. Tom Price speaking at a press conference at the state Capitol.
Ashton Marra / WVPB

All three West Virginia Congressmen voted for the American Health Care Act – the bill to repeal Obamacare.

Critics say it would hurt low-income and older people, both of which are found in abundance in West Virginia. Supporters say Obamacare has failed to offer affordable health care options to many. We debate who’s right.

Also, should pets be allowed in the workplace? And if so, under what conditions?

Governor Jim Justice/Twitter

For the second time in two years, the Legislature and Governor are at loggerheads over the state budget. A government shutdown looms in less than two months.

The Idols of Our Youth

Apr 26, 2017

Who were the idols of your youth?

That’s the subject of this week’s Front Porch podcast. Can you match the correct Front Porch host with his/her idol?

1.    Laurie Lin, lawyer, columnist and rabid "Sherlock" fan

2.    Rick Wilson, columnist, avid goat herder Rick Wilson, American Friends Service Committee worker

3.    Scott Finn, recovering reporter, bad whitewater rafting guide, WVPB CEO

A.   Alice Cooper, rock legend

B.    Jim Lippold, high school speech and drama teacher

C.    Margaret Thatcher, former U.K. Prime Minster

On this week's Front Porch podcast - we discuss the Struggle to Stay in Appalachia. It's a long-time obsession in our region, and also a new project of Inside Appalachia and West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

WVPA

This week, Eric Eyre and the Charleston Gazette-Mail won the Pulitzer Prize for their investigation into drug wholesalers flooding West Virginia with opioid pills.

On this Front Porch podcast, we talk about what drug companies did with Eyre, and to what degree they're responsible for the record number of overdose deaths in West Virginia.

Rusty Marks / The State Journal

Mayonnaise Sandwich. Nothing Burger. Knuckleheads. Poodles and Grizzly Bears.

If you've been following the 2017 Legislature, you know what we're talking about.

WARNING: this week's Front Porch podcast contains contains marijauna, mayo, Medicaid and more.

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