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Tom Ashbrook Makes Spokane Part of "Listening to America" Tour

Credit Janean Jorgensen / SPR
Tom Ashbrook introduces panelists during the taped broadcast.

Tom Ashbrook, host of NPR's On Point, came to Spokane on September 22 to talk about wildfires, our changing climate, and how the Trump presidency is dealing with these challenges. This stop on his "Listening To America" Tour began at 7:30 p.m. at the Bing Crosby Theater.

Tom led a talk with local panelists then opened the discussion up to the audience after the recorded session ended.

The evening event was part fundraiser, part Thank-You Event to Underwriters and Volunteers for SPR.

On Point’s host, Tom Ashbrook, comes to Spokane on September 22 on his Listening to America tour. His visit is a fundraiser for Spokane Public Radio.

KSFC airs On Point airs weekdays on KSFC 91.9 FM at 8 a.m. (repeats at 10 p.m.) and 9 a.m. (repeats at 4 p.m.). KPBX 91.1 FM broadcasts the "Week In The News" wrap-up at 11 a.m. Saturdays.

Thanks to SPR's Event Donors: MTR Communications, Northern Quest Resort & Casino, Vino! A Wine Shop, and Sam Rodell, Architects.

On Point producers chose the following people to sit in on the panel discussion:

Cody Desautel serves as Natural Resource Director for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation. He’s worked in forestry, range, and fire management. From 2010 to 2014 he worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs as an Inventory Forester and Natural Resource Officer. From 2002 to 2010 Cody worked for the Tribe as a Forest Engineer, Forester, and Fuels Planner.

Peter J. Goldmark has had a lifelong involvement with agriculture, conservation, science, education, and public service. In January 2017 he completed his second term as Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands, where he led the Department of Natural Resources which manages 3 million acres of forests, grazing, and agricultural lands. The department also oversees state-owned aquatic lands and provides fire protection on 9 million acres of forested lands. He currently teaches in the Masters of Environmental Studies program at Evergreen State College.

Sue Lani W. Madsen is a Saturday columnist for The Spokesman Review. The retired architect and past chair of the Board of the Empire Health Foundation has served as an EMT/firefighter with Lincoln County Fire District 4. She hosts a podcast talk show on local and rural issues.

Ashbrook’s career in journalism spans over 20 years as a foreign correspondent, newspaper editor, author and radio host/interviewer. 


Tom came to public radio in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. NPR and WBUR-Boston asked the distinguished newspaper reporter to help provide special coverage. He began his reporting career covering the refugee exodus from Vietnam and the post-Mao opening of China, and has covered turmoil and shifting cultural and economic trends in the U.S. and around the world, from Somalia and Rwanda to Russia and the Balkans. At the Globe, where he served as deputy managing editor until 1996, he directed coverage of the first Gulf War and the end of the Cold War.

“Our country is divided and, post-election, we’ve simply got to talk things out,” Tom said when announcing his 2017 Listening tour. “Every day on the show, we draw passionate listeners and live callers from across all ages and political categories. This first-ever national tour is a major initiative to do one thing: listen. To probe. To navigate the ground between left and right and look for what unites us all.”