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Studio 619 for March 22, 2009

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Kentucky Senate Race

After Bruce Lunsford's unsuccessful attempt to unseat Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell last November, Kentucky Democrats began focusing on how they could win the commonwealth's other Senate seat, held by the GOP’s Jim Bunning.  Bunning narrowly defeated Dan Mongiardo in 2004, and he’s up for re-election next year. As Gabe Bullard reports, this time around, questions about Bunning’s political future are being raised within his own party. 

American Heart Association

March is National Nutrition Month, and health officials say one of the many benefits of a smart diet is prevention of heart disease.  Dr. Joseph Keenan is Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Minnesota and a nationally recognized expert on cardiovascular disease and nutritional research.  Rick Howlett spoke to him about nutrition and heart health, the effect of stress on the heart and some new developments in the food industry aimed at reducing the risk of heart disease.

Dido and Aeneas

Dido and Aeneas is considered by many to be the first and oldest English opera.  Composed by Henry Purcell around 1689, the story itself is even older, having been adapted from the Aeneid by Virgil.  The University of Louisville Opera Theatre is presenting this opera with the Early Music Ensemble for the first time, diverting from a typical production usually set in Comstock Hall.  

The Henry Clay Building will house the opera in a Baroque Ballroom style with the audience a few feet away from the singers.  Michael Ramach is a professor at the university and the stage director for Dido and Aeneas, and he spoke with Daniel Gilliam about the challenges of period productions and teaching opera.

Triangle Fire of 1911

Leaders of a local theater company talk about a new play about one of the country’s largest industrial disasters — the Triangle Fire of 1911.

Fair Trade Rugs

“It takes a village” is a well-worn phrase, but in the world of oriental rug-making, it is the literal truth. From growing the sheep to harvesting the plants for the dyes to the final cleaning, almost everyone in many small villages in Pakistan are involved in making rugs. But often the villagers are under paid and overworked. 

Yousaf Chaman, a Pakistani rug importer in the US, saw villages struggling to secure a living wage making and selling rugs and he decided to step in and help.  Chaman is now the director of the Oriental Rug Program for the fair trade organization Ten Thousand Villages and travels the country educating people about Pakistani rugs and fair trade.  Join WFPL’s Robin Fisher as she talks with him about his work.  

Chaman and his rugs will be in Louisville March 25th through 28th for lectures and showings at Just Creations, 2722 Frankfort Avenue.