“Making Contact”: 20th Anniversary

Every week since January of 1995, Making Contact has been bringing you voices and perspectives from the grassroots analysis of the larger structures driving our global economies and solutions being created by people all over the world.
On this special 20th anniversary edition of Making Contact, we hear the story of the program s creation by volunteers, and how this little radio show became part of a new generation of media outlets that continues to both counter the mainstream, and transform our conception of who and what is considered newsworthy.

Featured speakers/guests:

Peggy Law & Norman Solomon, Making Contact co-founders; Paul George, Steve Rock, Shelley Kessler, Pam Law, Bill Creighton, early Making Contact volunteers, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, President Emertia of Bennett College for Women; Food Not Bombs volunteers; Laura Livoti, former Making Contact producer; Michael Eisenmenger, Community Media Center of Marin executive Director; David Cole, Georgetown University constitutional law professor; Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report founder.


Host: Andrew Stelzer
Producers: Andrew Stelzer, Laura Flynn, George Lavender, Jasmin Lopez
Contributing Producers: Luna Olivarria Gallegos, Laura Livoti, Aimee Pomerleau
Executive Director: Lisa Rudman
Web Editor: Kwan Booth
Organizational Volunteers: Barbara Barnett


Election Reflection

This week on Sprouts, we take a thoughtful reflection on what is becoming of the American election process: the emerging extremes, limitations, questionable practices, and stresses. Segments look at financial backing across state lines, manipulation in messaging, how voter disenfranchisement works, and how negative campaigning affects our youth. As a special treat, for your entertainment (or horror…): three “Best Of Negative Ads” medleys.

Featured speakers/guests:

Sam Bouman at KBOO in Portland OR; Ryan Katz at KBOO in Portland OR; Ursula Ruedenberg at Pacifica Network and KHOI in Ames, IA with two teenagers.


Produced by
Sam Bouman, KBOO, Portland OR;

Ryan Katz, KBOO, Portland OR;

Ursula Ruedenberg, Pacifica Radio and KHOI, Ames, Iowa;

Edited by Matt Hurley and Ursula Ruedenberg at Pacifica Radio


Director Mike Nichols

In this edition of From the Vault, we celebrate the life of director Mike Nichols, who died on Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 at the age of 83. The Pacifica Radio Archives has a gem of an interview with Nichols, recorded while he was in the middle of making his second film, The Graduate, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards and earned Nichols the Oscar for Best Director. Conducted by KPFA producer Claire Clouzot in 1967 during a break in filming on the Berkeley set of The Graduate, this historic interview comes alive once again after nearly fifty years in storage, delivering an incredible glimpse into the early artistry of one of most iconic directors in the history of motion pictures.

“Day of Action” in Kansas City plus Kathy Kelly!

This week on Tell Somebody, host Tom Klammer will be talking to a fast food worker about the December 4th “Day of Action” for $15 and union representation. Previous strikes in Kansas City have resulted in wage increases, better respect for workers and their off-the-clock time, and no firings despite the five previous strikes. Tune in to hear the latest on what is expected to happen.

In the second half of the show, Tom will speak with Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, based in Chicago, about drone warfare, the many ethical issues surrounding it, and what her organization is doing about it.

“Barriers to Seeking Help as Perceived by Abused Elder Women” with Dr. Frederick Newman

Dr. Frederick Newman is Professor Emeritus of Health Policy and Management. at Robert Stempel College of Public Health at Florida International University.  He will describe his study of 447 abused elder women in south Florida and their perception of barriers to seeking help. He will also discuss the implications for public health policy.

For those interested in reading the more formal – academic version of this presentation, see the attached reprinted from the Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect: 2013_Newman_Seff_Beaularier_Domestic Abuse Against Elder Women


Exploring The Intersection Between Science And Shamanism with Claude Poncelet, Ph.D.

Claude Poncelet is a practitioner of both physics and shamanism. He does not see a divide between these disciplines. It’s his experience that there is a spiritual dimension to reality and it is not inconsistent with the scientific view of reality. He explains that both traditions are looking at the same reality but through different windows. He takes us on a journey from our cosmic ancestors, the big bang, and shamanism to corporate boardrooms, spirit allies, cancer treatments, and the sacredness of all life. He points out that “Cosmology tells us that we all come from the same source, from the same Big Bang and we are all connected.” We’ve known the truth of this on a spiritual level and Poncelet adds, “What’s very exciting is science is saying it’s also true at a physical level. Quantum mechanics has shown us that every particle in the universe is interconnected with the other particle. It’s exciting to see that science and shamanism are coming together and telling us the same thing.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Claude Poncelet, Ph.D. is a physicist specializing in nuclear physics, astrophysics and cosmology who has been a professor at the university level. Dr. Poncelet served as Chief Staff Liaison on President Clinton’s council on sustainable development. For more than 25 years, along with his wife, Noelle, he’s taught shamanism in Europe and North America. He volunteers for the Pachamama Alliance and has led trips to the Ecuadorian Amazon for the alliance. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

He’s the author of:

To learn more about the work of Claude Poncelet go to www.shamanwithin.net.

Topics explored in this dialogue include:

  • How an astrophysicist came in touch with Shamanism
  • What is shamanism
  • How to find the sacredness in all life including our computers, our cars, and other technology
  • What is a basic shamanic journey
  • How we are cooperating and collaborating with our spirit allies
  • How his shamanic practices have helped him with his cancer treatments
  • How he brings his shamanic practices into corporate meetings with “word doctoring”
  • What is the scientific story of the creation of the universe

Host: Justine Willis Toms                     Interview Date: 9/5/2014                  Program Number: 3523

The Windless Calm Of Tea with James Norwood Pratt

Tea is a miracle of vegetation that not only benefits our health but enhances our mood. It is understood to be liquid sunshine, a beverage distilled from the energy of the sun and has been part of human culture for 6000 years. Tea can mellow us out or energize and exhilarate us, and many Americans are abandoning soft drinks and becoming tea drinkers. Pratt educates us, “In all of nature tea is the only plant that combines the chemicals that wake us up, stimulate us, caffeine principally, with chemical constituents that also soothe and calm us. Nothing else in all of nature does both of these things at the same time.”  There are many families of teas including black tea, green tea, white (oolong) tea, Jasmine & Floral tea, and herbals. And, depending on how the tea leaf is processed, you get radically different teas. Let yourself be amazed by the history of tea, how it is harvested, the best way to brew it, and how it lubricates many social activities. (hosted by Phil Cousineau)


For more than thirty years James Norwood Pratt has been a presence on the international tea scene, becoming Honorary Director of America’s first traditional Chinese tea house and International Juror of India’s first-ever tea competition and a force for excellence as educator and authority on tea and tea lore. He has been described by Chinese tea connoisseurs as the apostle of tea to the round eyes and by other commentators as a tea angel or America’s tea sage.

James Norwood Pratt’s books include:

To learn more about James Norwood Pratt go to www.jamesnorwoodpratt.com.

Topics explored in this dialogue include:

  • Why is tea both exhilarating and comforting
  • What is the best way to buy tea being assured it is fair trade and organic
  • What is the history of tea
  • What is the Camellia sinensis plant
  • What is the dark side of tea history
  • What are the social benefits of tea
  • What is the proper way to make tea

Host: Phil Cousineau                    Interview Date: 8/4/2014               Program Number: 3516

The Healing Power Of Writing Your Memoir with Brenda Peterson

Writing a memoir is not just for established writers and celebrities, as we might expect. Memoir writing can be a way of leaving a legacy for generations and imparting wisdom from real life experiences. It can also be a tool for gaining a better understanding of one’s self. Brenda Peterson teaches that writing a memoir can reveal who we are and can answer the question: “What is the story you are telling yourself about yourself to yourself?” A memoir has a narrative arc, a plot which is “the evolution of the soul through any experience or through time.” Peterson believes that a good memoir will incorporate all of the senses. The memoirist should bring to the surface as much depth of experience as possible to create a meaningful and compelling story. And, she adds, a little levity can change everything. A memoir doesn’t necessarily have to be all about the writer, but inevitably, the writer is the narrator and main character. One of the first things Peterson teaches is the chapter on ‘’Showing up, creating a character of the self.” She often uses playful exercises to draw out the inner critic and to encourage epiphany. Writing a memoir requires reflection, emotion and patience. Memoirs take time, she acknowledges, and becoming an apprentice to the craft is important. She uses an exercise to help spark the process that might be referred to as the “one scene” method. Peterson believes that everyone has a story to tell, “So do it now.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Brenda Peterson is a novelist, nature writer, and writing teacher. Her work has appeared in The New York TimesChicago Tribune, and O: The Oprah Magazine.

Brenda Peterson’s books include:

To learn more about the work of Brenda Peterson go to www.brendapetersonbooks.com.

Topics explored in this dialogue include:

  • What is a memoir
  • What are some of the compelling reasons to write a memoir
  • What story are you telling yourself about yourself
  • Is there one scene that sums up your story
  • Why a memoir does not have to be chronological
  • What are some ways to jump in and begin your memoir
  • How to turn your inner critic into your protector

Host: Justine Willis Toms                       Interview Date: 9/11/2014                     Program Number: 3520