Rank #1: 025: Provo mayoral candidate series: John Fenley on plans to disincorporate Provo City
Every political candidate says they’re not the average candidate. With John Fenley, that’s actually pretty true. The Provo resident is running for mayor on an unusual platform: run the city government to end the city government. Fenley wants to officially disincorporate Provo City — meaning the city would sell its assets, pay its debts and remove the mayoral position that Fenley is seeking. Disincorporation is usually reserved for towns with dwindling populations and economies. Like we said, not the average candidate. In the ongoing “What Say Ye?” series on Provo's mayoral candidates, we interview John Fenley about how he plans to make this happen. How exactly would Provo function under such circumstances?
Rank #2: 024: Provo mayoral candidate series: Eric Speckhard on homelessness and bridging political lines
In Part 4 of our ongoing series, we sat down with another of Provo’s mayoral candidates, Eric Speckhard. Speckhard has lived in Provo’s Franklin neighborhood for more than 20 years, and founded the popular Provo Temple to Temple 5k Run. During that time he has run a small business and served in multiple Latter-day Saint bishoprics. On our new episode, Speckhard speaks about his experience in both, and what he’s learned about helping Provo’s homeless population. He also discusses working across political lines, and the importance of civic involvement.
Rank #3: 023: Provo mayoral candidate series: Sherrie Hall Everett on BRT, changes to downtown & UTA tussles
Our series on Provo’s mayoral candidates continues this week with Sherrie Hall Everett. Hall Everett has been involved in local politics for years in a variety of roles. Among other positions, she served on Provo’s Municipal Council from 2008-2012, and is currently Co-Vice Chair on the Utah Transit Authority’s board of trustees. Bus Rapid Transit, also known as BRT, has been a hotly debated topic in Utah County for quite some time. In our new episode, Hall Everett discusses how BRT will impact downtown Provo’s landscape. She also spoke on plans for Provo Towne Centre and handling UTA’s controversial past.
Rank #4: 022: Provo mayoral candidate series: Michelle Kaufusi on city budgets, new businesses, public safety
In Part 2 of our ongoing series with Provo's mayoral candidates, the "What Say Ye?" podcast sits down with Michelle Kaufusi. A longtime Provo resident — she was born and raised here — Kaufusi was the first of Provo's mayoral candidates to announce their candidacy. She has served on the Provo School Board for the past six years, and is also a member of Provo City’s Citizens Advisory Board and the Utah High School Athletic Association. “I feel like running for mayor, and the mayor’s seat, it’s not my seat. It’s the community’s seat,” Kaufusi said during our interview. “Just know, I’ve run campaigns and been in it a long time. I will never forget that.”
Rank #5: 021: Provo mayoral candidate series: Stephen Cope on camping ban, housing issues and minority voices
Since Provo Mayor John Curtis announced he will not seek reelection this fall, four new candidates have thrown their names in the ring. As much as we like covering entertainment and the arts on the "What Say Ye?" podcast — indeed, that's usually our focus — we also want to report on what's happening in the community generally. (Exhibit A: our interview with Mayor Curtis last June.) In that spirit, we're starting a new series this week. The series focuses on Provo's new mayoral candidates. We'll be hosting a different candidate each week, having them explain their candidacy and their vision for Provo's future. In Part 1, we spoke with candidate Stephen Cope. Cope has gained prominence locally as a musician and music producer, and has become an outspoken advocate for minority rights.
Rank #6: 020: @ByCommonConsent on new non-profit press and ‘Science the Key to Theology’
By Common Consent, the popular online forum for Mormon cultural and theological discussion, has grown a lot in its 13 years. But surprise! Mormons still don't always get along with each other. “Things aren’t necessarily getting better online," By Common Consent co-founder and contributor Steve Evans told the "What Say Ye?" podcast last week. "I think if anything, we’re adapting to these forms of media that place an emphasis on immediate emotional reaction. The cumulative effect of that, I think, is that we’re not able to really talk about things in a long, substantive way. We don’t have patience. If you’re trying to get your point across, you just state your point. There’s no such thing as building an argument, considering the other side." That's where BCC Press, By Common Consent's new non-profit publishing company, comes in. BCC Press launched last week, with Brigham Young University professor Steven L. Peck authoring its first book, "Science the Key to Theology." On the newest episode of the "What Say Ye?" podcast, Evans and Peck discuss the aims of the new Mormon-focused press, and what science and religion can learn from one another.
Rank #7: 019: Ira Glass discusses visiting Payson High School for newest ‘This American Life’
Ira Glass, of "This American Life" fame, has visited Utah a bunch of times. His visit to Payson High School on Jan. 27, however, was a first. Payson High is spotlighted on the next episode of "This American Life," which premieres this weekend on public radio. The episode focuses on the topic of grand gestures — a subject that’s been familiar to Payson High’s students for decades now. As part of a larger tradition within the Utah and Idaho region, Payson High students ask each other to school dances in elaborate (and sometimes shocking) ways. Going big has become the standard, and that phenomenon is gradually spreading to high schools in other states. In the newest episode of the “What Say Ye?” podcast, we spoke with Payson High students, as well as Mr. Glass himself, about his recent visit, and what listeners can expect on the next “This American Life.”
Rank #8: Bonus Episode: Discussing 'Silence' with Dr. Van Gessel
A renowned scholar of Japanese literature, Van Gessel is the primary English translator for the work of Japanese author Shusaku Endo, having translated seven Endo novels so far, with his eighth on the way. Gessel served as a literary consultant on Martin Scorsese’s recent adaptation of “Silence.” Gessel’s interest in Endo’s work goes back to his own first encounter with “Silence” in the early 1970s. “From 1970 to 1972, I was a Mormon missionary in Japan,” Gessel said. “And when I came back, I thought, ‘You know, I should really take a look at some Japanese literature,’ and one of the first things I picked up was the English translation of ‘Silence,’ which had been published just before I went on my mission. ... Picked it up, and found in those pages a Western Christian missionary who’s going to Japan and struggling to convey his message, and I thought, ‘Whoa, this is me.’ And so I felt this great affinity.” “Silence” tells a story of 17th-century Catholic missionaries in Japan, and dramatizes their choice to agree or not to step on images of Christ — a choice between physical torture or apostasy. Endo’s perspective as a Japanese Christian is evident throughout his literary work, which often touches on the complex relationship between Christianity and Japanese culture. “Here I find a writer who is Christian, who is writing about these same kind of themes that I had struggled with, with very limited understanding, during my two years there,” Gessel said. “And so that’s when I first became interested in his writing, and wanted to actually continue to study the language and begin reading the literature in the original Japanese, so I could understand what he was saying.” The full conversation is presented below as a bonus episode of the "What Say Ye?" podcast.
Rank #9: 018: Cannibalism, lonely nuns and Jon Hamm holograms at Sundance 2017
We jam-packed our brains with all things Sundance this past week, and now it must spew forth in podcast form. These are the rules. On the newest episode of “What Say Ye?” we recap our experiences at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, still in full swing in Park City. This episode includes, but is not limited to: audio of Jordan Peele questioning Derrick’s legitimacy and Jon Hamm uttering the words “bleep blorp.” From arthouse cannibal flicks to heartwarming kidnap comedies, our days at Sundance proved to be full of surprises, both cinematic and otherwise. Oh, yeah, and the weather was insane. Easily the snowiest Sundance in years, crowds were met with all the peril that a Utah winter has to offer. This was a true Sundance initiation if ever there was one.
Rank #10: 017: Mindy Gledhill discusses career changes
Mindy Gledhill is a master of dabbling. (No, not dabbing — that we know of.) The Provo musician's recording career has taken a number of turns since the early 2000s, when she started as a faith-based singer-songwriter. Transitioning from Christian to contemporary music, and pursuing collaborations with musicians from all types of genres, has served her well. On the newest "What Say Ye?" episode we sat down with Gledhill in her Provo studio to discuss her myriad artistic and professional forays. How does Gledhill stay productive with all the ideas she wants to pursue? "I always think my failed ideas ... the money and time that goes into them are tuition for an education," she said. "They never really go to waste, because you learn a lot."