WYPR Features | WYPR

WYPR Features

Cameron Kennedy/flickr

Hugh and Al share their picks for some great wines to quench your thirst this winter.

The New York Times

With the increasing political polarization of Congress these days, it is sometimes hard to imagine anything positive coming out of Washington – especially with regard to environmental programs.

But there is at least one area where not only many Republicans and Democrats agree, but also – surprisingly -- environmentalists and oil industry lobbyists. And that is the need reform or repeal the Energy Policy Act signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2005. The act and a follow-up law mandate that about 10 percent of vehicle fuel in the U.S. be composed of corn-based ethanol.  As a result, 40 percent of the corn grown in America today is used for fuel instead of food, up from just 9 percent in 2001.

According to a new report by the National Wildlife Federation, higher corn prices created by the mandate inspired farmers to plant more than 7 million acres of crops from 2008 to 2012 alone – an area larger than the state of Massachusetts. That meant the plowing under of many natural grasslands and wooded areas, causing the destruction of wildlife habitat. More acres of corn also led to more water pollution from increased spraying of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.


Welcome to the inaugural episode of The Weekly Reader. Book information here

Vehicle Deaths

Jan 31, 2017
Michael Gil/flickr

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic deaths surged about 8 percent during the first nine months of last year. As reported by the New York Times, that represents a continuation of an upward spiral that may be partially explained by the presence of more Americans on the roads due to the ongoing economic recovery. Low gas prices are also inducing more driving.

The First 100 Days

Jan 31, 2017
Dafne Cholet/flickr

Dr. Karsonya "Dr. Kaye" Wise Whitehead on the importance of the first 100 days of a presidency and the public's response. 

George Grall, National Aquarium

Each fall, the National Aquarium’s Animal Rescue team takes in cold stunned turtles from the northeast region. Learn more about what this condition means in these endangered animals.

Groundhogs

Jan 31, 2017
SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK/FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

The groundhog is often caught between being a celebrity and a villain. We rely on legendary weather-creature Punxsutawney Phil’s shadow to forecast the seasons; but we’ll grumble as his relatives make meals of our carefully planted spring vegetables.

rayb777/flickr

During these cold winter months there are any number of clever, forward thinking people who are enjoying homemade sauces using the tomatoes they canned last summer. And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School preaches, if these folks have any sense, they'll be looking up some of the classic sauces of Italy.

We're casting a wide net and bringing in a few other sauces that are not necessarily tomato based, just to be a little more comprehensive.

James Lee III January 2017

Jan 31, 2017
Morgan State University

On the January edition of Choral Arts Classics, Tom talks to James Lee III, one of the most acclaimed African American composers in the United States.

Flickr Creative Commons

Catherine shares how older adults can create a backup plan in case retirement comes sooner than expected.

Pages