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

Meredith Rizzo / NPR

The topic for this week’s Friday Conversation is the militarization of language. KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, goes into the trenches with Mark Memmott, standards and practices editor for NPR.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

If anyone still thinks the sports world is just about the scoreboard, they haven't been watching too closely.

Correspondent Tom Goldman chronicles the sports world for NPR.

TWU Housing / Twitter

Texas Woman’s University just inaugurated its first new chancellor and president in 14 years -- Carine Feyten. For this week’s Friday Conversation, she talks with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, about her career journey and her plans at TWU.

Fort Worth Library / Flickr

The 2014 elections are over. But in an interview with KERA, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price dropped a little news of her own about next year's election: She plans on running for another term.

Shutterstock

Today’s the last day for early voting in Texas. To celebrate the big day – and preview the even bigger day next Tuesday, KERA's vice president of news Rick Holter sat down with the man known as "The Political Junkie." Ken Rudin is a former NPR political editor who now runs the Political Junkie podcast and website.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

Cole Edmonson has spent the last month facing the biggest challenge of his career. He’s chief nursing officer at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, which means he oversees 1,300 nurses. One of them, Nina Pham, was declared Ebola-free and released today from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. The other, Amber Vinson, has tested negative for the virus but is still being treated in Atlanta.

Edmonson sat down with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, for this week’s Friday Conversation.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

Bullet trains fire up regularly between cities in Europe. In Japan, the state-of-the-art Shinkansen trains can reach 200 miles per hour. Robert Eckels, president of Texas Central Railway, is determined to bring that same bullet train to Texas. His goal: a 90-minute commute from Dallas to Houston. 

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

Nestled in the shiny heart of the Dallas Arts District is a throwback: St. Paul United Methodist Church. This icon of the African American community was born a century and a half ago and has just embraced a new leader – who doesn’t have the standard pastoral resume.

Richie Butler is a developer who’s closed more than a billion dollars’ worth of real estate deals. He founded a congregation called Union Cathedral, which just merged with St. Paul. And, he’s not even a Methodist. Butler sat down with KERA’s vice president of news, for this week’s Friday Conversation.

The Nobelity Project / KUT

Two public radio journalists have spent more than a week picking their way from the Rio Grande to the Red River by bicycle. KUT’s Hawk Mendenhall and NPR’s John Burnett are riding through rural Texas in the name of charity: specifically a project that equips high-school students in Kenya with books… and bikes.

John took a break from the road for this week's Friday Conversation with KERA’s Rick Holter.

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.

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