Friday Conversation | KERA News

Friday Conversation

The Friday Conversation is a weekly in-depth discussion between KERA's Vice President of News Rick Holter with people making news in North Texas. Subjects have ranged from former President Jimmy Carter to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price to sportscaster Dale Hansen to a historian exploring a notorious lynching a century ago in downtown Dallas.

Explore the latest interviews below:

Ways to Connect

Adelina Sun / KERA News

The private space business is booming, and Texas is a primary launch pad. For this week’s Friday Conversation, KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, sits down with Ed Lu – a longtime astronaut who now has his own space company.

National Geographic Society

Gary Knell’s career as a CEO started on Sesame Street, wound through NPR, and now has landed at the National Geographic Society. He’s in town today to speak at a North Texas Commission luncheon in Irving.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

The Department of Veterans Affairs reports that a million veterans and their dependents have enrolled in college in the last four years. That means a very different college experience for students, professors and administrators.

Rob Rennaker has seen all of those perspectives – he’s a Marine who went back to school after serving in Kuwait, Yugoslavia and Liberia, and he now heads the bioengineering department at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Adelina Sun / KERA News

D Magazine is marking its 40th anniversary with a diverse list of personalities that suggest a new currency of power in the city. A special issue and exhibit at Klyde Warren Park feature portraits of these individuals -- GLBT activists, immigrants, and, yes, moguls among them -- by photographer Elizabeth Lavin. For this week's Friday Conversation, D editor Tim Rogers met KERA's Rick Holter at the park. 

Dallas Police Department

It’s been almost two weeks since a police officer shot an unarmed man in Ferguson, Mo., and only in the last few days has the suburban St. Louis town started to calm down. In today's Friday Conversation, Dallas Police Chief David Brown talks about how he's managed to avoid that kind of unrest and whether law enforcement has become too militarized.

Tanya Habjouqa

Tanya Habjouqa sees things differently than the rest of us. She’s a photographer who was born in Jordan, raised in North Texas and now lives in the Middle East. Her images have appeared everywhere from the New York Times to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and she won a World Press photo award this year.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

It’s a rough time to be a commuter in North Texas. The massive Horseshoe project is rerouting downtown Dallas highways, 635’s a mess, 820 and other freeways under construction in the midcities are swamped. So what’s the answer? Urban planner Patrick Kennedy argues we should be tearing down highways – or at least one stretch of I-345 in downtown Dallas.

Texas Monthly

Two decades ago, a North Texas kid named Brian Sweany walked into the offices of Texas Monthly magazine as an intern. In the August issue that’s just hit newsstands, that kid is listed for the first time as editor-in-chief. Sweany chats with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, for this week’s Friday Conversation.

Portland State University

No doubt about it: North Texas is car country. The League of American Bicyclists ranked the 70 biggest U.S. cities in share of bike commuters, and four of the bottom 12 were in North Texas. Dallas came in at No. 65, and the city's new bike czar, Ashley Haire, is determined to change that. She sits down with KERA's vice president of news, Rick Holter, in this week's Friday Conversation.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

There’s a new face leading the top law school in North Texas for the first time in nearly two decades. Jennifer Collins becomes the first female dean of SMU’s Dedman School of Law at a challenging time. Fewer students are applying to law schools nationwide, competition is rising, and her predecessor, John Attanasio was ousted last year.

Fresh off a decade in North Carolina at Wake Forest, Collins sits down with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, for this week’s Friday Conversation.

KERA Files

Bob Ray Sanders is a longtime columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, but his roots go even farther back at KERA. Forty years ago, he was a reporter for “Newsroom” on KERA-TV – the show where he and  Jim Lehrer got their starts. Sanders and Lee Cullum actually helped pull the switch on July 11, 1974, that launched KERA radio. To mark the radio station’s 40th anniversary, he shares these memories.

Justin Martin / KERA News

With a single statement last weekend, County Judge Clay Jenkins put Dallas in the center of the national debate over the 52,000 immigrant children who’ve crossed the U.S.-Mexico border since last fall.

Jenkins offered to take roughly 2,000 of the kids into new temporary North Texas centers by the end of the month. In this week’s Friday Conversation, the county’s top official sits down with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Incubators and accelerators are popping up across the country to help startups bloom. And in the year since the Dallas Entrepreneur Center put down roots, the nonprofit has moved into new downtown space and teamed up on an incubator in Addison.

Trey Bowles is CEO of the operation known as The DEC, and he joins KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, for this week’s Friday Conversation.

Randy Miramontez / Shutterstock.com

The U.S. Conference of Mayors holds its annual meeting in Dallas beginning Friday. More than 200 mayors are expected to attend. The event will be presided over by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, the former NBA point guard who is now in his second term as mayor of his hometown.

Christina Ulsh / KERA News

The last few weeks have rocked the North Texas dance community. Choreographer Bruce Wood died suddenly. Ann Williams retired from that Dallas Black Dance Theatre that she founded. And the woman who trained many of North Texas’ top dancers, Lily Cabatu Weiss, is stepping away from the barre at Booker T. Washington high school. She stopped by for this week's this week’s Friday Conversation.

Caydee Daniel / KERA News

As the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have wound down, there’s been a sharp jump in the number of women returning from front-line duty. Kim Olson, a veteran herself, runs a North Texas nonprofit that focuses on these women – it’s called Grace After Fire. She sits down with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, for today’s Friday Conversation.

Caydee Daniel / KERA News

As president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Richard Fisher oversees a huge region from Tallulah, Louisiana to Silver City, New Mexico. He’s also one of the central figures guiding the Fed’s national monetary policy – which plays a key role in everything from international finance to the cost of the house down the street. KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, sits down with Fisher for this week’s Friday Conversation.

KC Ivey / Flickr Creative Commons

We’re two and a half weeks away from the May 27 statewide runoff, but there’s also an election Saturday. Dozens of local municipalities will be voting on mayors and city councils, taxes, school boards and bonds. In this week’s Friday Conversation, KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter talks with our political reporter, Shelley Kofler, about Saturday’s top races.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

The George W. Bush Presidential Center celebrated its first birthday on Thursday. The center – whose library hosted a bigger-than-expected 450,000 visitors in the first year – also includes an institute that focuses on six key policy areas. Margaret Spellings, the Bush Center’s president and a former U.S. Education Secretary, sits down with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, for this week’s Friday Conversation.

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It’s been a huge week for West Dallas. Springtime crowds are flocking to the Trinity Groves collection of restaurants. And the neighborhood’s first grocery store, Cox Farms Market, opened Thursday. It’s the first opening at the Sylvan Thirty complex, which also plans to include apartments and retail space. For this week’s Friday Conversation, Sylvan Thirty owner/developer Brent Jackson sat down with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter.

The Perot Museum

Colleen Walker’s path to becoming the next CEO of Dallas’s Perot Museum of Science and Nature is a little unusual. She’s a former Miss Colorado, and she studied architectural engineering in college before getting her MBA from Harvard. Fresh off seven years of running the Girl Scouts of North Texas, she talks with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, about the Perot challenge, which she’ll take up in June.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Olympia Snowe is the only woman to have served in both houses of the Maine legislature and both houses of Congress. Two years ago, the moderate Republican retired from the U.S. Senate, citing the surge in hyper-partisanship and extremism. This week, she was in Dallas to speak at a Planned Parenthood awards luncheon -- and she talked with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, in this week’s Friday Conversation.

The Carter Center

Jimmy Carter is on a mission. The 89-year-old former president has issued a blunt manifesto in book form titled A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power. In today’s Friday Conversation, President Carter talks with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, about what he calls “the human and civil rights struggle of our time” – how religions have systematically denigrated women, leading to prejudice, infanticide and horrific violence.

Kainaz Amaria / NPR

Talk about a road trip! NPR’s Steve Inskeep and a team of producers just finished a 2,400-mile journey along the U.S.-Mexico border — from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean – to explore how the two countries are linked and how they’re separated. The NPR series, Borderland, paints a picture of a region separated in places by a river, walls, and barbed wire, but united in many unexpected ways. In this week’s Friday Conversation, Inskeep speaks with KERA’s vice president of news Rick Holter.

Audra Methvin

Last weekend, Audra Methvin won the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition. This weekend, she'll sing the same program of four arias at the McCammon Voice Competition in Fort Worth. The 27-year-old is continuing her studies at SMU.

In the Friday Conversation, she talks to KERA's Anne Bothwell about the path that led her from her family's prize pig farm in Levelland to the brink of a career as a soprano.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Update, Monday, 6:05 p.m.: SMU did not make it into the NCAA tournament despite a top 25 ranking. The Mustangs host an NIT game against California-Irvine Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Moody Coliseum.

Our original post: Larry Brown has had a singular career in the basketball world. He’s coached 10 NBA teams and three college squads, and he’s the only coach ever to win both the NCAA and pro titles. And just weeks before the Final Four comes to North Texas, he took his latest reclamation project, SMU, into the top 25 for the first time in nearly three decades.

Brown sat down with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, for a Friday Conversation.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

For three decades, Gloria Campos has been like a member of the family to thousands of North Texans. In today’s Friday Conversation, the 59-year-old WFAA-Channel 8 anchor talks about her career as the first Latino anchor on local TV news and about how she’ll say goodbye tonight.

Caydee Daniel / KERA News

For the last several weeks, reverberations from the upheaval in Ukraine have been felt here in North Texas, where several thousand Ukrainians have settled. 

At Plano's River of Life church, the congregation includes people from 15 Russian-speaking countries. Balancing those divergent views is a challenge for pastor Leonid Regheta. In this week's Friday Conversation, he sat down with Rick Holter, KERA's vice president of news, to talk about handling the conflict from the pulpit.

Wayne Stadler / Flickr

The numbers are staggering: One of every six Texans lives below the poverty line. One in three has no savings account. Two of every three have a sub-prime credit rating. Those numbers, and the real-life people they represent, are what propels Woody Widrow.

Widrow is executive director of Raise Texas, a nonprofit network of organizations focused on helping people build financial stability. As part of the KERA series One Crisis Away, he sat down for a Friday Conversation.

Rick Holter / KERA News

Pitchers and catchers for the Texas Rangers start spring training tomorrow in Surprise, Ariz. The man who's been their radio voice for 35 years, Eric Nadel, will join them soon.

But before he goes, Nadel stopped by KERA to talk about about how he got into the game, his favorite Rangers moment and the Ford Frick Award he'll collect in July for being baseball's best announcer. (And don't miss his dream musical date in this extended version of the radio interview.)

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