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KOOP 91.7 FM
Simply click on the date of the show you'd like to hear

December 2008
December 3
Brian Brushwood
Brian performs what he calls Bizarre Magic. His act includes fire eating, sticking his eye with a pin, and breaking blocks over his head. He is dynamic and entertaining and his show, despite what you may think, is family friendly. You can learn more about the show here, and see his web TV show, Scam School, which shows tricks you can play on your friends.
December 10
Mark Altman  
Mark and his wife and 4 children cycled 5,000 miles across America, from Oregon to Maine, on recumbent tricycles! We discuss getting kids ready for such a venture, the day to day of the trip itself, and how the family grew closer from it. In his professional life,
Mark offers seminars on leadership, the lessons of which were very much at play during this trip. He's also written a book on the subject, Leadership For All the Mountains You Climb.
December 17
Scott Powell
Scott drives a taxi known as the Land Yacht. When you step in his van, you enter another world altogether, with its booming sound system, giant music collection and numerous music videos, all activated from a computer touch screen. Scott loves providing a musical experience tailor-made to each customer, and tells us his favorite stories about his passengers.
December 24 999 Eyes Freak Show
This is a genuine freak show, apparently the only one of its kind in the world today. They travel around the country providing a truly one-of-a-kind experience, where they play music and perform acts, all showcasing their physical uniqueness. I talked with members of the troupe, including Jackie the Human Tripod, T-Rex (who has flippers for arms/hands), and Lowrent the Clown.
December 31 Diane Fanning
At age 9, Diane was almost kidnapped by a man who was ultimately sent to prison for killing other little girls. This experience led to her fascination with true crime and she ultimately came to write true crime novels. She has published 9 true crime books to date, which can be seen here

November 2008
November 12
Sherif Ghaly
Sherif is a Muslim by choice. He was born in Egypt and grew up Christian Copse. He converted to Islam as a teenager and, when he met his wife-to-be, she converted as well. With their 6 children, they lead a very traditional Muslim lifestyle here in Austin. We talk about what it's like to be Muslim in America today. (Incidentally, Sherif is a mixed marital arts fighter. As a Muslim, he's not allowed to hit someone in the face.)
November 19
Joe Diffie  
Joe is a dumpster diver, which means he literally goes into dumpsters looking for wasted food and other items that are in perfectly good condition. The things that people throw away are quite remarkable! Joe does this to help the environment (reduced waste in landfills), to help other people (he gives things away), and to keep his budget low (free stuff!).

October 2008
October 1
Trevor Romain
Trevor is a prolific children's book writer and illustrator. He also travels around the world visiting and speaking to children, with a focus on helping them to reach their potential. His books and presentations are humorous, and his energy and enthusiasm are downright contagious. To see his books, DVDs, CDs, videos, posters and more, click here.
October 8
Farrah Rochon  
Farrah is a romance novelist. While some may think anyone can write a romance novel, the field is actually extremely competitive. Farrah discusses the process of getting recognized and published, and why romance of all things is her chosen genre. You can check out her books here. Due to a technical glitch, the first few minutes of the interview are missing, but you'll be able to jump right in.
October 15
Raul Ramirez
Raul is a homeless artist and also a salsa dance teacher. Although he did not initially want to be homeless, he now chooses to live that way so that he can pursue his art full time. While you may question his choice (since it requires him to accept government assistance and charity), you'll agree that he maintains a positive attitude and is optimistic about the future. Click here to see his art, and here to learn more about his salsa teaching.
October 22 David Kobierowski
David is the host of 2 shows on KOOP: A Neighborly Conversation and Texas Politics Today. Both of these shows reflect his passion for grassroots activism. Right out of school David cared so much about being a grassroots activist that he went to work in corporate America for 15 years with the sole purpose of earning enough money to quit and be an activist full time. David succeeded and is now living his dream—on Inner Views he discusses how he made it happen.
October 29 Trisha Yeager Menke
Trisha is a cat trainer. Yes, you read that right! Trisha's cat, Kit Casanova, can jump through hoops, is potty trained to use the toilet, and loves to dress up in costumes. Trisha believes all cats are trainable and shares some of her techniques with us. She has also written a book on cat training called Potty Talk by Toast

September 2008
September 3
Jennifer Barnett
Jennifer is a psychic who sees, hears and talks to dead people. She is quick to point out that she is a "regular chick" with a husband and kids, and that she herself didn't believe in psychics until she could no longer deny the experiences she was having. She is aware of beings from the other side around her almost all the time, and offers readings to people who want to connect with their departed loved ones.
September 10
Gerry King
For his 70th birthday, Gerry climbed Grand Teton in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. He summited this 13,760 foot mountain in 5 days with a friend and the help of a guide. Gerry is truly young at heart—not only does he rock climb, but he is an avid cyclist, having won 25 state championship gold medals in his age class.
September 24
Judith Gray
Judith was very much in love with Mark and they were engaged after dating for a few years. He was working in Saudi Arabia when Judith got the call that he had suddenly—and literally—dropped dead from an unknown cause. To make matters much, much worse, Mark's family completely shut Judith out, which was both emotionally and financially devastating for her.

August 2008
August 6
Lashonda Lester
For a 32-year-old, Lashonda has been through the wringer: a heart attack, a stroke, and a premature baby. It turns out that high blood pressure is at the root of it all, a trait she found out runs in her family. Despite it all, Lashonda is upbeat and is even performing stand-up comedy around Austin.
August 13
Karen Gonzalez
Karen has spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease causing the muscles to deteriorate. At age, 37, she has already beat the life-expectancy odds, and is accomplished in her studies and volunteer activities. The one thing that hasn't gone her way, however, is getting a full-time job, which she believes is due to discrimination.
August 27
Stephanie Gatica
Stephanie has vitiligo, a chronic skin condition resulting in the loss of pigment. As a Mexican woman, Stephanie was born with dark skin, so the white-colored patches all over her body create quite a contrast and draw attention wherever she goes—an attention that she doesn't always appreciate.

July 2008
July 2
Stephanie Klein
The author of the newly released book Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp, Stephanie talks about growing up fat and being shunned at school. Her parents, who had their own issues surrounding her weight, sent her to fat camp, where she spent several summers. The good news is, she actually successfully lost weight.
July 9
Debbie Richardson & Ginsie Stauss
The Texas Water Safari is billed as the world's toughest canoe race. Debbie and Ginsie decided to take it on in a 2-person canoe, completing the grueling race in 3 days. A month later, they are still recovering from the physical challenge, but have incredible, funny and crazy stories to tell. Dangers abound, things go wrong, and people hallucinate.
July 16
Julie has Crohn's Disease, an auto-immune illness that is an inflammation of the intestine. Crohn's is incredibly debilitating as it ends up affecting many other parts of her body, to the point where Julie has been hospitalized many times. Julie believes Crohn's is incurable, but she has not had a flare-up in quite some time and is doing much better now. In fact, she is now a belly-dancing teacher, of all things!
July 23
Jacquelyn Ann Covington
The author of Who? An Addict Like Me, Jackie was a drug and alcohol addict for 30 years. She describes her years of substance abuse and ultimately how she recovered by attending the Magdalene Program in Nashville, TN.

June 2008
June 4
Michelle & Katy Austen
Michelle & Katy are a lesbian couple with twin daughters, created through artificial insemination. They talk about how they decided who would be the biological mother (Michelle), picking a donor, the artificial insemination process, and issues surrounding being gay parents.
June 11
Adrienne Roy
Adrienne spent 19 years as the the color artist for the Batman comic books. She absolutely loved her job, which she performed in the pre-computer era when pencilling, inking and coloring were done by hand.
June 18
Mindy Freeman, Part 1
At age 13, a close friend of Mindy's committed suicide. Devastated by the event, Mindy began to cut herself as a way to cope, which she cotinues to do to this day (though much less often). This is a fascinating look inside the mind of someone with an extreme coping mechanism, but be warned: Mindy describes the cutting in detail and without any apologies.
June 25
Mindy Freeman, Part 2
I brought Mindy back in to talk about another aspect her life. She says she is bisexual but clearly prefers women. That said, at age 20 she will not pursue a lesbian relationship because she lives with her parents and they strongly disapprove. (When you listen to the interview, you may decide Mindy is really just a lesbian.)

May 2008
May 7
Amanda & Marcus Wiggins
Marcus used to be in the Air Force—until they kicked him out. He loved being a part of the Air Force, but everything changed when he had a routine examination where it was discovered he had a rare eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. Since it's considered to be genetic, the Air Force decided he had a pre-existing condition—not only did they no longer want him in the Air Force, but he was essentially dishonorably discharged. This has led to severe financial hardship for him and his family.
May 14
Richard Garriott
Richard, who makes his home in Austin, is one of the most successful video game creators ever. Since he was a kid, though, watching his astronaut father go into space with NASA, Richard has wanted to go into space himself. This October, he will get the chance as a space tourist, a $30 million venture on a Russian rocket. Richard tells of the extensive preparation involved and shares some great stories from his training.

April 2008
April 2
Gina Zayes
At 86 pounds, Gina started seeing a therapist for anorexia. She was exercising several hours per day as an escape from her daily life, and skipping meals. With the help of therapy, she has gained 10 pounds and is learning to approach her problems instead of avoiding them.
April 9
Deborah Keahl
From 7 to 10 years old, Deborah was raped repeatedly by her uncle. In her teen years, she turned to drugs, eventually selling coke in her twenties. A check-writing spree (to pay for her coke habit) led to her to prison. A few years later, she ended up in prison again, this time for selling meth-amphetamines. Deborah served her time and completed a program for women in prison called Truth Be Told, which helped her turn her life around.
April 16
Seven is the inventor of an instrument called the Planck. It looks similar to the neck of a guitar without the body, and is played by tapping ones fingers on the instrument's 7 strings. You can see what it looks like here.
April 23
Helen Buchanan
Helen says her mother never treated her well growing up but says she did nothing wrong and can't explain her mother's behavior. After Helen had a son, her mother came by under the guise of a visit. In fact, she took Helen's son and immediately filed for permanent custody. Many years and court battles later, Helen's mother succeeded in getting custody of Helen's son. That was over 20 years ago and Helen still has no idea why this happened and does not believe there was any justification for it.
April 30
Richard Villanueva
Richard holds the patent to a disposable baby bottle; his goal is to provide safe, healthy formula to babies in third-world countries where there's no access to clean drinking water. And, yet, despite his good intentions, every step of the way towards getting those bottles there has been thwarted by greedy people, says Richard. He has bizarre stories to tell about partnerships gone sour, thieving attorneys, and more.

March 2008
March 5
James Clayton, Part 2
James was on the show two weeks ago (see February 20 above) talking about a heart attack he had at age 35. He came back on the show to discuss two aspects in greater detail: his near-death experience (where his grandfather foretold things that would happen in James' life) and the series of hallucinations he had while in a coma for a month. See also Part 1 of the interview on February 20, below.

UPDATE: On February 3, 2009, almost a year later, James Clayton was arrested for allegedly breaking into friends' homes and stealing $60,000 worth of bicycles. Apparently there are several warrants out for his arrest in Arizona for similar reason. Who knew that I was interviewing a bicycle thief?! (Alleged bicycle thief, I guess I should say.)

March 12
Jarrett Crippen a.k.a. The Defuser
Jarrett is Austin's very own superhero! He went on the Sci Fi Channel TV show "Who Wants to Be a Superhero?" as The Defuser, and beat out 9 other contestants to win the title. The Defuser is a supercop who catches criminals without using deadly force, and successfully defuses explosive situations with his clever gadgetry.

February 2008
February 6
Diane Benjamin
On June 29, 2007, Diane's son Lance committed suicide. Diane shares the details of how he died, why he did it, and what she's doing about it. Diane created the Lance Benjamin Memorial Scholarship Fund, which will provide scholarships to gay youth. You can check it out here.
February 13
Jared Dunten
In 2000, Jared took a dive into the Rio Grande. The next thing he knew, he was in a hospital, paralyzed from the neck down. Jared now paints, which he accomplishes by holding a brush in his mouth. To see his work, click here. Jared talks about his painting, along with how he handles the tasks of daily living.
February 20
James Clayton, Part 1
At the age of 35, professional mountain bike racer James Clayton had a heart attack. After being resuscitated, he was medically induced into a coma to prevent shock. One month later, he awoke and basically had to start learning how to move all over again. Now 41, James is a very active cyclist and the owner of a cycling coaching business. See also Part 2 of the interview on March 5, above.

UPDATE: On February 3, 2009, a year later, James Clayton was arrested for allegedly breaking into friends' homes and stealing
$60,000 worth of bicycles. Apparently there are several warrants out for his arrest in Arizona for similar reasons. Who knew that I was interviewing a bicycle thief?! (Alleged bicycle thief, I guess I should say.)

January 2008
January 2
Adam Pitluk
Author of Damned to Eternity, a book about James Scott, the only person to be convicted for intentionally causing a catastrophe. Scott is spending life in prison for causing a levee to break in Missouri during the Great Midwestern Floods of 1993. Adam portrays an unsavory portrait of Scott, yet effectively sheds doubt that Scott is actually guilty of the crime.

KOOP is off the air for 3 weeks due to a fire (intentionally set) to our studios. See January 30 below for an interview about it.

January 30
KOOP Fire—Austin Fire Dept. Chief Greg Nye, Andrew Dickens, Leah Manners
On the night of Saturday, January 5th, a fire was intentionally set to KOOP Radio's studios. On Monday, January 28th, Paul Feinstein was arrested for the crime, which he confessed to. Paul Feinstein was a former DJ at KOOP and a well-liked volunteer. In this show, we talk about what happened, possible motives, and how the investigation led to Paul.

Copyright © 2009 Abigail Mahnke