Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Kojo Comes to Laurel

WAMU's king of community talk radio, Kojo Nnamdi came to Oseh Shalom Synagogue last evening as part of his Kojo in your Community series. Kojo taped two one hour shows about living in Laurel and Prince Georges County.

About 100 people attended the event. Current and former politicians were well represented in the audience. The first hour was a wide ranging conversation about growth, development and preservation. The second hour, well actually 49 minutes in radio time, was about our schools and education.

I was called about a week ago by Tara Boyle, one of the producers of the show. She asked me if I would be a facilitator for the first hour. Not quite sure what a facilitator would do, but having a face for radio, I readily accepted.

It turns out that facilitators sit at the front table with a huge, Edward R. Murrow style microphone in front of their faces and wait for Kojo to ask them a question to help push the conversation forward. Or in my case , to kill the conversation when Kojo asks a question out of left field while I was not paying close attention.

During the first show we talked about historic preservation versus development, community identity, shopping on Main Street, the ICC and politics in the county. Sounds almost like this blog.

The second hour was about education policy, school boards vs. superintendents. That show was facilitated by Dr. Alvin Thornton and West Laurel's own Mary Lehman. About half of the 49 minute hour was Kojo and Thornton sparing about the future of our schools and how the funding, school board and community needed to come together.

You can hear the first hour today, Wednesday, March 29th at noon and 8:00 pm on 88.5 FM. The second hour will be broadcast next Wednesday, April 5th at the same times.

N.B. Wednesday Night. In case you missed the broadcast. A kind reader passed along the following in the comments section:

"The first hour will be archived online here, and the second hour, to be broadcast next week, here (this link won't work until next week)."


Larry Eldridge said...

Thanks for this posting. Sounds like it was a great event and was well attended. Sorry I missed it.

Were the shows taped or is a tape or CD available?


Mike McLaughlin said...

"a face for radio" - Good one, Rick. But if Kornheiser's mug can get its own TV show ...

I can see it now: "The Wilson Show" where you are the voice of a talking volleyball in a sandbox delivering political commentary; or like the old "Tim Allen Show", it could be just your eyes above a fence taking call-ins about city issues. Waddaya think?

I'm an NPR fan so I'll be listening today. Thanks for the heads-up


John Robison said...

I thought the education hour was a bit of a wash.

And you should do a show. A Local Cable talk show. The Linda Richman of the Mid Atlantic ... what do you think?

Anonymous said...

The first hour will be archived online here, and the second hour, to be broadcast next week, here (this link won't work until next week).

Mike Sarich said...

Rick did a great job last night! Thanks for representing all of us who live in Laurel so well!

Mike McLaughlin said...

I sure couldn't tell when Kojo caught you "not paying close attention", Rick. You did a good job. And I was only half joking about a TV show. Like John said, you should do a show. Of course, then I'd have to get cable - we're still pulling in the Networks and PBS with a 20th Century antenna.


Rick Wilson said...

Thanks to everyone for the kind comments. It was a lot of fun to do. Glad to see so many Laurelites turn out.

I learned today that Bob DiPietro suggested my name as a facilitator to Tara Boyle from WAMU. I want to thank Bob. I also want him to remember that he launched a career when I take over for Larry King on CNN. (Just kidding, I may have the suspenders but they won't cover my face for radio.

Kojo made the whole evening look so easy. A big lanky man, he glided around the room with ease. He knew all the celebrities. He recalled all the facts. It's always intriguing to watch a true master practice his craft.

The Laurel audience was positive and upbeat. We may disagree at the margins, but the core of our Laurel community is strong.

Thanks to Tara, Kojo, Rabbi Fink, Oseh Shalom, WAMU and their underwriters.

Dan said...

Just wanted to say you have a new reader thanks to Kojo mentioning your blog on-air! My fiance and I are a young couple who live in and are currently building a home in Russett, and we're proud to call Laurel home. Keep up the good work with your blog!

Rick Wilson said...

Dan: Thanks for reading.