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Friday Feedback for June 21, 2013


To the listener who last week said she didn’t like to hear criticisms on Feedback – quick, tune out while you still can!

By now many listeners will have heard that NPR has decided to cease production of Talk of the Nation, with the last show being next Thursday the 27th. Many of us will miss that show. Science Friday will continue, however. Beginning Monday July 1, we will air another program produced by NPR and WBUR in Boston called Here and Now. After publicizing this change, we got this message from listener Denise:

NO! I am not a fan of Here and Now. Please find a better show to air after NPR makes the mistake of canceling Talk of the Nation.

Ajr1021, on the other hand, wrote on our website:

On Point with Tom Ashbrook originates from WBUR and is available mornings in some markets. It is an excellent program, and I've heard good things about Here and Now. WBUR does good work.


I was just listening to some kind of science talk show and they were talking about cicadas and they were saying that cicadas appear every 17 years. I think that's incorrect information. They appear every 7 years not every 17 years. We just had an outbreak of cicadas the Northern Virginia in the Spring 2006 and that was exactly 7 years ago. So you're giving out false information. Look into that and see if you can correct it. Thank you.

In response, I called this listener and pointed out that there are different "broods" of cicadas. Some have a 13 year cycle, some 17. The one he referred to must have been a different one from the brood we're hearing about now on the news.

[Note: the audio version of this comment was edited for length. Fuller text below:]

Jessica Montagna wrote on Wednesday:

I almost drove off of the road listening to Rachel Louis Hillburn's terrible solar piece this afternoon. It is infuriating when a story is not properly researched before being broadcast to listeners. [Photo-Voltaic Solar] is an exciting industry... I know because for 4 years I worked for a design build firm in [Southern California] called Sullivan Solar Power. I believe your "expert" from UNCW incorrectly labeled the wide spectrum of professionals I worked with as "construction" personnel. [First of all, our staff consisted of salesmen, HR, IT, accounting, engineering, marketing and administrative staff, not to mention highly qualified electricians and roofers. These professionals included tradesmen, MBAs, … and dozens of other post-graduate designations. Our contracts were written by a legal team, trucks and electric vehicles purchased from a local dealership, heavy equipment rented from Sun State, forklift training taken at local community colleges...all industries that call Wilmington home, correct?] Secondly, the solar PV panels we used were made in the United States. In fact, several of the most respected PV companies in the world have manufacturing facilities in this country... To say that the solar industry would not be beneficial to this region is completely absurd. And when you take a moment to consider the array of professionals who would be able to find a fulfilling career path in the industry, it makes your "expert" sound foolish. Please contact the Solar Energy Industry Association for more information from real experts on this subject. This poorly researched story on a topic that is near to my heart makes me seriously regret my day sponsorship of this station.

And that’s from listener Jessica Montagna. I had similar opinion from a local contractor who purchases solar panels and who also commented that the cost of shipping means that American-made panels will always be cheaper than Chinese ones.

We’ll point out that in the interview UNCW Professor and Economist Craig Galbraith didn’t suggest that the solar industry wasn't good for North Carolina. He said that if the General Assembly decides to continue incentives for solar, they should require out-of-state companies to manufacture components within the state.

We’d love to hear from you on Friday Feedback. You can always leave a message via email to feedback@WHQR.org. Our Feedback Phone is 910-292-WHQR. That’s 292-9477. And thanks for your feedback.