Matthew Alvarez

Talk Show Producer
Matt Alvarez / NPR

George Bernard Shaw said, "make it a rule to never give a child a book you would not read yourself."

With that in mind, we asked some knowledgeable bookworms to create a recommendations list for the best new books for this winter. 

Susan Walsh / AP Photo

During this segment of River to River, host Ben Kieffer and political analyst Jim McCormick discuss last week’s impeachment hearings and the rherotic coming from both Republicans and Democrats about the Ukraine affair. 

They take also take a look at where the 2020 presidential candidates stand weeks before the Iowa Caucuses and Hong Kong unrest and the implications it may have on trade between the U.S. and China.

Domiriel / Flickr

Iowa State University Astrophysicist Steve Kawaler says his team listens to the notes sung by stars, since the pitch from a star vibrating can indicate its size and mass. 

Ben Kieffer / IPR

Dear Experienced Iowans,

What in the hell is going on here?

The high temp today is 50 degrees warmer than it was a week ago – this is the type of behavior I’d expect from the Lone Star state, not here. 

From ice skating to ultimate frisbee, the new children's book "Amazing Iowa Athletes" highlights both prominent and little-known Iowa athletes who have accomplished extraordinary feats. 

IPR File

In 1949 when Evelyn Birkby began writing a weekly column for the Shenandoah Evening Sentinel, her publisher told her to include a recipe every week. She did, even though she couldn’t cook. 

The newspaper column “Up a Country Lane” has had a 70-year run. Birkby, now 100, has decided it is time for her to say goodbye to her readers. 

Justin Brice Guariglia gave up photojournalism to pursue environmental activism a few years ago. Today, he is most well known for his large scale photographic, sculptural and installation-based works inspired by the relationship between the earth and humans. He uses art to try and get his point across that humans are having a negative impact on the planet. 

Matthew Alvarez / IPR

In a new collection of essays, “Some Of Us Are Very Hungry Now,” Andre Perry writes about his journey from Washington D.C. to Iowa City to Hong Kong exploring questions about race, racism, homophobia, self-discovery and identity. 

Ben Kieffer / Iowa Pubic Radio

Dear Experienced Iowans,

My name is Matt Alvarez. I’m the new talk show producer for Iowa Public Radio. I’m also new to Iowa, if you haven’t heard by now. As a Texas native I’ve dealt with my share of extreme weather situations – countless droughts, flash foods, tornadoes, heatwaves, and, yes, a few days of winter. But Texans have a very different definition of "cold." 

Darren Tromblay

The only grocery store in Ogden burned down Saturday night, and now Ogden residents will have to travel 10 miles to the nearest store. 

ISU associate scientist Dave Swenson, Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe, and Miranda Parker of the Ogden Reporter weigh in what the loss of the grocery store means for the Ogden community. 

Timothy D. Easley / AP Photo

President Trump faces a low national approval rating and the impeachment inquiry is still in the air. Despite all this, a new set of surveys shows President Trump remains highly competitive in key battleground states – the likeliest to decide his re-election.

Associated Press

Impeachment processes spanning U.S. history can help add perspective to the current ongoing inquiry against President Donald Trump. 

Preparing Plants For Winter

Nov 1, 2019
Stanley Zimney / Flickr

In order to thrive in spring, plants have to successfully transition through the long winter months, so prepping many types of plants and gardens ahead of time is a key step. 

On this edition of 'Horticulture Day,' Assistant Director of Reiman Gardens Aaron Steil and ISU Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron join Charity Nebbe to lay out the do's and don'ts of getting ready for winter. 

Kon Karampelas / Unsplash

Our growing reliance on social media over the past decade has raised a lot of questions about privacy, civility, safety and addiction. In the past few years we’ve added the questions about the integrity of our democracy to this list.   

In this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe explores the ethical questions surrounding social media and how those questions are, or are not, influencing our behavior. 

James St. John / Flickr

A new podcast, "Mid-Americana: Stories from a Changing Midwest" is harnessing the power of oral storytelling to explore the history and identity of the Midwest. 

Tiffany Adrain / University of Iowa Paleontology Repository

Robert Wolf, a self-taught geologist, has devoted the last 55 years to scouring for fossils across the Midwest. He accumulated 18,000 specimens, which he recently donated to the University of Iowa after years of collecting and cataloging them in a garage. 

Tim Rawle / Flickr

The Marine Corps confirmed after 74 years this month that one of the men featured in Joe Rosenthal's flag-raising photo at the battle of Iwo Jima was misidentified. A private Military historian from Johnston, Brent Westemeyer, helped reveal the true identity of one of these Marines as Harold 'Pie' Keller from Brooklyn, Iowa. 

David Everett Strickler / Unsplash

On this politics day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by Donna Hoffman, political science professor at the University of Northern Iowa, and Karen Kedrowski, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center at Iowa State University. Together, they discuss the latest developments in the impeachment inquiry and the five women in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Jennifer Drinkwater

 

It’s easy to focus on all the things that are wrong in the world today, but Jennifer Drinkwater has a way to recognize the good that is hiding in plain sight. The What’s Good Project is a collaborative archive of the good in communities which feature paintings inspired by interviews, stories, photos, and drawings. 

In this segment of Talk of Iowa, Jennifer Drinkwater joins host Charity Nebbe to discuss how art has a positive impact and how this project can help shape a community. 

 

“Focusing on strengthening those assets helps create a 'spiraling up effect' in communities," Drinkwater says. "It can help strengthen the challenging areas, and I thought why not use this as a way to start an art project."

Drinkwater's work has focused on her native state of Mississippi, and her adopted state of Iowa, but she hopes to connect with people around the world. She says The What's Good Project is, as of now, a continuation of her life's work. 

 

Martin Voelker

Climate Change is one of the most pressing issues facing humanity today. Understanding and responding to climate change has also become one of the most divisive issues in our culture.

It has become a political lightning rod and the schism between the scientific community and those who believe in the work of scientists and those who do not is deep. But one climate scientist, and devout Christian, says it doesn’t have to be this way.

Lech Naumovich / Unsplash

On Tuesday, four officials of the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa – that’s the entire RAGBRAI staff - announced their resignations from RAGBRAI, and announced they’re starting a new ride called Iowa’s Ride. This bike tour will take place the same week RAGBRAI is scheduled in the summer of 2020.

John Minchillo / AP Photo

In this politics day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer breaks down Tuesday's fourth presidential  debate with Jim McCormick, professor of political science at Iowa State University. The long debate consisted of Sen. Elizabeth Warren being the target of attacks from her opponents on issues like paying for healthcare, as well as standout moments from Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Julian Castro.

Elias Castillo / Unsplash

In this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer examines the historical roots of Latinos living in the heart of the country. Kieffer is joined by Rene Rocha, professor of political science at the University of Iowa,  to discuss migration and the Abolish ICE movement. 

John Pemble / IPR

 

Bonded by their love for literature, both Wini and Sharelle Byars Moranville are related by marriage and they have two separate books being released during the month of October. 

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Wini Moranville and Sharelle Byars Moranville about their book and the stories of how these books came to be.

Jason DeCrow / AP Photos

With each passing day, it feels like we are learning more about the effects of climate change. Extreme weather events are increasingly common. These catastrophic events are also having a dramatic impact on our ecosystem and wildlife. 

Matt Alvarez

The Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA) has now been documenting and preserving artifacts significant to Iowa's history for 60 years.

The OSA, which is based at the University of Iowa, employs 23 full-time archaeologists and historic preservation specialists in addition to many students and volunteers.

During an open house  in celebration of their 60th anniversay last Friday, IPR Producer Matt Alvarez stopped in for a tour from State Archaeologist John Doershuk. 

he honor was to mark King’s plans to donate more than $1 million to charity after his decision to display a hand-written sign before the Sept. 14 Iowa State-Iowa football game seeking money for beer prompted an overwhelming number of donations.
David Pitt / AP

 

Carson King, 24, has raised over $1 million for charity and a wave of controversy after going viral with a sign requesting beer money at the Cyclone-Hawkeye game on Sept. 14. Media Ethicist and Iowa State University Professor Michael Bugega joins this 'News Buzz' edition of River to River to give his perspective on the investigation of Carson's past tweets by The Des Moines Register and the following backlash. 

Photo Courtesy of Gail Brasher-Krug

Sometimes it feels like Iowa is the country’s best kept secret. Iowans tend to be pretty happy with the quality of life, and yet there are still only 3.1 million of us.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe explores the economic and social reasons that people decide on to move to Iowa. Liesl Eathington, an assistant scientist and Iowa Community Indicators Program Coordinator at Iowa State University, joins Charity for part four of our “Iowa Week: Is This Home?” series.

Claire Anderson / Unsplash

In this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with Anthony Gaughan, professor of Law at Drake University and Paul Gowder, professor of Law at the University of Iowa, about the most significant civil and criminal cases before our nation’s highest court.

The major themes in cases to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court for the fall term are sex discrimination, 2nd amendment gun rights, the separation of church and state and much more.

The new term begins October 7, 2019.

GUESTS:

Patterns of Migration In Iowa

Sep 23, 2019
Matthew Alvarez

 

Iowa is home to over 180 languages, and residents from across the world as a result of a range of migration waves. On this edition of Talk of Iowa, we explore the factors that draw people to Iowa as well as the challenges they may face here as part one of our "Iowa Week: Is This Home?" series.

Visit a naturalization ceremony for new U.S. citizens with IPR Producer Matthew Alvarez, and hear the thoughts of new citizens about their ties to Iowa and thoughts about the state. Then, learn more about why we have the population in the state that we do. 

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