Book bans, challenges, and book burnings have made the news all throughout the world and in American history. In 2021, the American Library Association (ALA) received 729 reports of book challenges – a rate which the ALA called unprecedented. In this issue of Let's Talk Portsmouth, we spoke with three professional librarians about the recent uptick in book bans and challenges. Lisa Varga, executive director for the Virginia Library Association; Alexander Grosby, programming and outreach librarian with the Portsmouth Public Library system and Easter DiGangi, manager of library systems and support services also with the Portsmouth Public Library formed our panel for this discussion. This lengthy conversation is filled with wisdom from the ages. If you believe in and value your First Amendment Rights, you're going to find this discussion quite interesting.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, maternal mortality has become a disturbing public health problem. Pregnancy and childbirth are killing Black women at an alarming rate, and these women are 243 percent more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes. In this episode of Let's Talk Portsmouth, we talk about this public health problem with Ms. Amy Paulson from the Eastern Virginia Medical School's Consortium for Infant and Child Health. Paulson serves as the director of this program that is raising awareness and solving issues and problems associated with women, pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. Listen and find out how you can advocate for pregnant women and raise awareness about this 21st-century public health concern.
In this episode, we conducted a series of quick interviews with city staffers and community connections that provide exciting highlights of summer fun in the historic port city. It's all about music, fun, festivals, concerts, and an update on the Rivers Casino project in Portsmouth. National Night Out, hosted by the Portsmouth Police Department, is also featured. Besides a whirlwind of fun activities, we also provide a reminder about the 2022 Hurricane Season and where listeners can find resources.
The Portsmouth Health Department recently conducted a community health survey and held a town hall meeting to talk about the results. A community health survey is a tool used to gather information on the behaviors of specific groups of people in a determined area. This kind of data allows health care experts to understand how a community acts toward health. In this episode of Let's Talk Portsmouth, healthcare officials discuss the results of the survey and strategize on how we as a community can move forward to make Portsmouth one of the healthiest cities in the country.
Hurricane season begins June 1, for folks living along the eastern Atlantic Coast region of the country. In this issue of Let's Talk Portsmouth, we engage in a great conversation about hurricane preparedness with Shawn Talmadge and Katie Carter from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. This duo of emergency management planners and communication officials talk plainly about the nature of these storms. We learned the difference between a hurricane watch or warning, what the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale means, the expected number of storms, and the hurricane impacts that cause the most devastating damage. Find more information about hurricane preparedness at your local emergency management office, or visit the Virginia Department of Emergency Management at https://www.vaemergency.gov/. Also, if you live in Portsmouth, you can NOW sign up for alerts and notifications from city officials! Sign up today at https://public.alertsense.com/SignUp/?regionid=1635
On this episode of Let's Talk Portsmouth, we speak with Dr. Michelle Pyka, vice president for medical affairs at Bon Secours Mercy Health System. In observance of National Women's Health Month, Dr. Pyka talks about the month-long observance, women's unique health issues, and offers tips for women to obtain optimum health and vitality. Dr. Pyka also stressed the importance of having a good relationship with your healthcare team. Find more information about National Women's Health Month from your healthcare provider or visit https://nationaltoday.com/national-womens-health-week/.
Let's Talk Portsmouth interviews Renee Spratley manager of events for the city of Portsmouth Parks and Recreation Department. After a two-year hiatus, many events are returning to the historic port city including live concerts at the Atlantic Union Bank Pavilion, the 30th Annual Umoja Festival, the Memorial Day Parade, and Sunset Thursdays. We get the low-down on upcoming events and take a quick peek into the summer happenings. If you're looking for fun, family-oriented events and activities, check out Portsmouth. For more information on special events in Portsmouth, visit portsVAevents.com.
Conservation and climate change are hot topics in the news and on social. In this issue of Let's Talk Portsmouth, we interview Marjorie Jackson, executive director of the Elizabeth River Project, and Larry LaPell, Paradise Creek Nature Park park operations manager. The Elizabeth River Project originated with four volunteers in 1991, and now boasts a staff of 30 -- all working with businesses, government, and individuals to restore the river to its original glory. Learn the importance of wetlands and how you can help keep pollution from entering our waterways. Our guests also talked about programs, services, and special events held at Paradise Creek Nature Park. If you have students or other young people interested in conservation, share this episode of Let's Talk Portsmouth.
Portsmouth Community Concerts brings the Sons of Serendip to Churchland High School Friday, April 22, 2022. In this issue of Let's Talk Portsmouth, we sat down with lead vocalist Micah Christian, and members of the Portsmouth Community Concerts board Ken Woolard and Susan Kalan, for a discussion on the Sons of Serendip's music, upcoming concerts, and more. Sons of Serendip appeared on America's Got Talent and were season 9 finalists. Howie Mandel of America's Got Talent, said of the vocal/instrumental quartet, ". . . most musically talented contestants on the show." Just for our listeners, we've snagged a snippet of the Sons of Serendip's Fields of Gold. Single adult tickets for the concert are $25 each and free for students. Order tickets at www.portsmouthcommunityconcerts.com or call 757-686-5447.
The Portsmouth Reentry Council, a non-profit organization based in the city's Department of Social Services, works with people who have been released from prison and are trying to reintegrate into society. Its members work with dozens of agencies across the Commonwealth to help returning citizens rejoin the community. In this episode of Let's Talk Portsmouth, we talk with two of those agencies that work with the reentry council to help men and women overcome the challenges of reintegration. Joining us on the podcast are Dr. Tyrone Davis (Fatherhood Mentoring Program), Ms. Liz Odhwani, (Social Security Administration), and Janice Douglass-Ellis (Portsmouth Department of Social Services). Get a pen and paper. You're going to want to jot down notes for this issue of Let's Talk Portsmouth.