Front Porch

The Idols of Our Youth

22 hours ago

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.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

People in Appalachia have one of the most unique dialects in America. On this classic Front Porch podcast, native speaker Rick Wilson teaches us eight ways to speak Appalachian.

1. Pronounce “pin” and “pen” the same

“They’re both ‘pins’ -  just deal with it,” Wilson says.

2. Unlike the deep South, pronounce your “r”

Pop Up Market
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

Should able-bodied West Virginia adults receive food stamps? And if so, should they be required to work or volunteer to get them?

Front Porch host Rick Wilson says no. More than 14,000 food stamp recipients participated in a 9-county pilot program, but only 259 gained employment. On the other hand, 5,417 people were cut off.

WVU / WVU

With lawmakers in Charleston facing a $500 million budget hole, they're debating big changes to the tax code, including eliminating the income tax and raising sales taxes. Is that wise? 

West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research Director John Deskins explains the pros and cons on this week's Front Porch Podcast.

The Trump Administration recently rescinded an advisory telling schools to allow transgendered students to use the facilities of their choice.

On this week's Front Porch podcast, we have a lively debate about how to best deal with the emerging transgender rights movement in West Virginia, and balance competing privacy interests.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

GOP leaders proposing a tax overhaul that would eliminate West Virginia income tax, while increasing the sales tax and expanding it to services that are currently exempt.

Is this a good idea? Rick Wilson of the American Friends Service Committee calls it “the second-cousin of all bad ideas, because its regressive, it puts more burdens on the working class than the wealthy.”

Laurie Lin says, “It’s not a great idea for West Virginia,” – even if it works in other states. A state with so many border towns may suffer a loss of business, she said.

Is Justice Tax Plan DOA in the Legislature?

Feb 16, 2017
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

"In a rhetorical flourish almost certainly unlike any in the history of West Virginia gubernatorial oratory, Jim Justice spread his arms wide and moaned in an impression of Frankenstein’s monster."

That's how WV Metronews reporter Brad McElhinny described the end of Gov. Jim Justice's State of the State address. Justice was making a point about the state budget mess, a deficit of almost $500 million.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Change is coming to education in West Virginia, at both the state and federal levels.

At the federal level, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education is Betsy DeVos, a businesswoman and philanthropist who’s led the fight for vouchers and charter schools.

And at the state level, we have two resignations from the state school board, which will give Governor Jim Justice a majority – and the ability to reshape public education in the state.

West Virginia’s economy has a “chicken and egg” problem.

To grow more jobs here, we need better-educated, healthy employees.

But before we can afford to pay for better schools and health, we need more jobs and more businesses.

As you might imagine, liberals and conservatives have different ideas which should come first – lower taxes or higher education and health spending.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  

He bought the ax and the tackle box from a desperate woman by the side of the road.

"She was selling her life away, her memories, just to have enough money to have food," Jim Justice said in his first speech as governor, as he held the ax and the tackle box.

"She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, 'Mister, you don't have any idea how bad I'm hurting,'" Justice said.

Justice is promising big changes, now that he's governor. In his inaugural speech, he said he wanted to:

- Raise the pay of teachers

Woody Thrasher says West Virginians don’t give themselves nearly enough credit.

“West Virginians do have a self-esteem problem,” the incoming W.Va. Secretary of Commerce told “The Front Porch.”

“I oftentimes see where we don’t shoot as high as we should. I think it’s understandable, but regrettable, and it’s very much at the center of what Governor-elect Justice wants to change,” he said.

Six W.Va. Stories to Watch in 2017

Dec 30, 2016
Frances Brundage / Wikimedia Commons

Front Porch hosts Scott Finn, Laurie Lin, and Rick Wilson tell us which stories they'll be following in 2017:

WVPA

Drug wholesalers sent 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills into West Virginia over six years, according to an investigation by the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Meanwhile, 1,728 West Virginians died from overdoses of these two powerful painkillers.

Who let it happen? Investigative reporter Eric Eyre, of the Charleston Gazette-Mail, answered our questions about his series on The Front Porch.

Steve Helber / AP Photo

A higher percentage of voters supported Donald Trump in West Virginia than in any other state, according to the Cook Political Report’s 2016 National Popular Vote Tracker

Two of every three West Virginia voters chose Trump – 68.6 percent. That narrowly beats out the next pro-Trump states: Wyoming (68.2 percent), Oklahoma (65.3 percent), North Dakota (63.0 percent) and Kentucky (62.5 percent).

UC Hastings

How could a billionaire born into wealth become the champion of the white working class?

That question stumped a lot of liberal commentators, but Joan Williams wasn’t surprised.

Williams studies the white working class and is founding director of the Center for WorkLife Law at UC Hastings College of the Law.

Spencer Platt/Scott Halleran / Getty Images

Jim Justice and Donald Trump both won big in West Virginia, and now it's time to get down to the real challenge of governing.

Steve Helber / AP Photo

If the new President Trump repeals the Affordable Care Act, what would happen to West Virginians? If Clinton wins, what does that mean for coal?

Should Union Group Call Itself "Family Values"?

Oct 31, 2016
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

When you think of the term "family values," chances are you think of the Republican Party, circa 1994. But recently, a labor-backed organization called "West Virginia Family Values" is funding attack ads against exclusively Republican targets.

On this week's Front Porch podcast, Laurie Lin suggests this is an attempt to muddy the waters and co-opt conservative messages.

Rick Wilson contests that the Republican Party neither holds a monopoly on family values, nor is it even particularly conservative.

Are Elections in West Virginia Rigged?

Oct 21, 2016
Spencer Platt / Getty Images

On this episode of the Front Porch, we deal with Donald Trump's claim that the race is rigged.

West Virginia had its share of election fraud in the past, but is it really at work today?

Also, what about another type of rigging - media bias?

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