CivicMedia/Minnesota Archive

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Monday, May 12, 2014

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

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Local Somali and East African communities are fighting poverty, educating kids and promoting peace and development in the Horn of Africa as well as in their “new” US communities.

Ask your neighbor about the Somali Diaspora in Minnesota, and she is likely to tell you about the pirates in the academy awarded nominated film, Captain Phillips, young El Shabab recruits, and growing Somali power in local politics. Less understood is the major contribution Somalis and other East Africans make to their countries of origin. From the individual financial contributions that serve as a life line for relatives back home, to disaster relief and hunger alleviation, to an increasingly sophisticated range of education and development efforts, Minnesota’s East African community is making a difference.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and Guest Host, TOM O’CONNELL will be joined by three guests who are deeply familiar with these efforts.

GUESTS:

ABDURASHID ALI – Director of Somali Family Services, a Twin Cities based nonprofit with extensive programs in Puntland, Somalia. Beginning with the construction of Puntland’s first library and resource center, SFS has organized a series of impressive initiatives aimed at building a peaceful, democratic, and just Somalia.

 

JAYLANI HUSSEIN – Board Secretary, American Relief Agency For the Horn of Africa (ARAHA); Lead Consultant, Zeila Consultants; Planner, MN Department of Agriculture. Mr. Hussein has traveled the Horn of Africa on number of times on behalf of ARAHA – to open a regional field office as well as to oversee large‐scale humanitarian projects in the Somali Famine of 2011. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Community Development/City Planning and is currently pursuing a law degree.

AWO AHMED – Literacy Program Coordinator, Metropolitan State University. Awo plans to do graduate work in global health and use her knowledge to work with her father, who directs a health clinic in Lasbas, Somalia.

Monday, May 5, 2014

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

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And all this time, most of us believed Cinco de Mayo is an annual celebration of…what?

This year’s parade, etc., took place Saturday, the 3rd, but Saturday is always parade day.

Parades, colorful Mexican costumes, great food, a daylong gathering of the Mexican and Anglo communities, but just how much have we really known about Cinco de Mayo – the 5th of May?

Some of us know that Cinco celebrates a victory for Mexicans, but of what?

Turns out in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is less important than Mexican Independence Day (September 16), but the Cinco celebrations themselves are even more rooted in the American culture. We’ll find out why.

We thought we’d talk about the history of Mexican batallas -  battles - of which Cinco de Mayo – known in Mexico as El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (The Day of the Battle of Puebla) ­- is considered in Mexico is somewhat less than the most important victories for Mexico. Still, they defeated the French occupiers in 1862. Mexico has always been in battles for their independence against the Spanish, the Americans, the French.

We talk about that history and of how Cinco de Mayo annually grow for Mexican-Americans and the rest of us look forward to the hoopla.

TTT ANDY DRISCOLL and SIOBHAN KIERANS sit down with the Minnesota Mexican consul titular and others tied into St. Paul’s and Minnesota Cinco celebrations.

GUESTS:

Alberto Fierro Garza - Head (Titular) Mexican Consul for Minnesota

 

Rosanne Bump - Producer of Cinco de Mayo Saint Paul’s West Side Celebration (Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation)

 

 


Jose Ruiz, Jr. – Co-Founder / Vice President, Manhattan Film Festival

 

Alicia Lucio – Volunteer Coordinator, Cinco de Mayo

Monday, April 28, 2014

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

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This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party’s Cooperative Commonwealth Platform—the boldest vision for a new society every adopted by a successful American political party. What made the platform more than a utopian fantasy was the daily experience of thousands of Minnesotans who were busy building cooperatives across the length and breadth of our state. 

By 1935, Minnesota could boast 2,886 consumer coops with a combined membership of 531,180, the most in the nation. Notable is the Rural Electrical Coop system to deliver electricity to otherwise energy-deprived farm operations.

Today, the cooperative movement remains strong in Minnesota, even if the vision of social transformation isn’t as wide-spread as it was in the 30’s.The most obvious example is the remarkable growth of food coops. Of special note is the expansion of Seward Coop and Mississippi Market to serve lower income and more ethnically diverse neighborhoods in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

But there is more to the cooperative movement than food coops – and not all entirely benign. Massive energy distributor and producer cooperatives have often stepped into the corporate model of governance and less transparent, not to mention questionable huge coop owners.

Land-O-Lakes, CENEX, Twin Cities Milk Producers, whose products may be quality competitive, but not always the most affordable and often have been allowed by state agencies to run roughshod over farmlands with dairy, corn and livestock “cooperative” producers not always operating the public interest environmentally and open governance.

And yet! Credit unions, senior housing, health care, and the hardware purchasing coops that make the small-town independent hardware store possible, are all part of a larger and not always well understood story.

TTT’s TOM O’CONNELL and SIOBHAN KIERANS explore the dynamic growth of coops in Minnesota and do some forward thinking about the potential - and challenges – the state and the movement itself faces the future.

Our guests:

LADONNA REDMOND, Co-Director, Agriculture and Justice (HECUA), Education and Outreach Coordinator, Seward Coop; Student of the African-American cooperative tradition and veteran of the food justice movement.

JILL LIVINGSTON, Capitalization Specialist with Seward Coop, Friendship Store Project organizer.

 


DAVE GUTKNECHT, Editor, Cooperative Grocer; and pioneer in the Twin Cities food cooperative movement. www.cooperativegrocer.coop

JOAN STOCKINGER, development specialist with Cooperative Development Services, and co-author with Dave Gutknecht of a recently released case study of the cooperative local food system. www.cdsus.coop

AND YOU! Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

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Celebrate Earth Day with TruthToTell this Monday morning.

Hosts Siobhan Kierans and Tom O’Connell with their guests are Ken Pentel and Kel Heyl. Ken will be talking about the Genuine Progress Indicator and Kel will be talking about a price tag for the 21st century. A price tag that includes Initial Price + Life Cycle Cost + Carbon Footprint.

GUESTS:

KEN PENTEL – Founder of the Ecology Democracy Network; former candidate for governor on the Green Party ticket (1994).

 


KEL HEYL –  Principal, Studio Rebus Incorporated (a design/build contractor).

 

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page

Monday, April 14, 2014

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

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The so-called cutthroat “Cable Wars” of the early 1980s throughout the Metro Twin Cities as core cities – Minneapolis and St. Paul – along with clusters of groups of suburban cities banded forming joint powers –issued requests from proposals for the essential exclusive franchise to supply municipal huge new systems offering upwards of 60 channels of television programming.

The several cable company competitors for each of these franchise awards begged, hired local power figures and promised the moon to the cities or joint cable commissions – PEGs (public, education and government) channels anywhere from three to seven channels of community and public access programming. Even after all the cable company investment, they actually received a license to print money and to string their cables alongside telephone and power lines throughout the service areas under the jurisdiction.

This came with huge annual funding and capital equipment supplied by the winning cable company – and with at least a guarantee of 15 years of a franchise. With time, channels added to the tiers of cable television and more money came in – and still they want to take back those channels they “gifted” to the cities and communities – except that these cable outfits pass through their costs assessing per-subscriber fee. That tells you how profitable each of those public access channels could be if they brought back into the commercial corral – while the cities and nonprofits and just plain folk would lose their ability to program to supply the meager information and services over the channels. Why must they re-capture those channels?

Now, most cable commissions and cities are in the throes of second and third rounds of re-franchise negotiations – and again they want to reduce the number of channels, stop funding these channels altogether and/or stop supplying the production and transmission equipment to sustain these important community links to the cities throughout the Metro and well beyond.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and SIOBHAN KIERANS talk with some of the Metro cable access organizations ad advocates to highlight the importance and future of community programming channels and nonprofits serving our local cities.

GUESTS:

CORALIE (COR) WILSON, Executive Director, CTV North Suburbs Community Cable Programming, Roseville (based)

CHAD JOHNSTON – Executive Director, St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN)

 


MARK HUGHES – CTV Staff & “Disability Viewpoints” – Roseville Channel 15


AND YOU! Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

Monday, March 24, 2014

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

NSA Parody Logo by Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) designer Hugh D'Andrade

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With that week’s program, we said goodbye to our Associate Producer and Co-host, Michelle Alimoradi as she prepared to challenge the Big Apple for life’s next stage. Any attempt to calculate the worth of Michelle’s 5-year tenure with TruthToTell would fail in understatement. I feel a bit amputated at the right shoulder, while confident new growth will come with the addition of KFAI and broadcast veteran, Siobhan Kierans, whose Irish positivity is bound to infuse itself into our programs and operation. – Andy Driscoll.

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With the uprisings in the Middle East, Egypt and the Balkans, to name but a few, one is left wondering what revolution in the USA would look like if similar conditions prevailed – that of top-down militarism and anti-constitutional pursuits in the name of national security here.

Wait. Isn’t that what drone strikes, military interventions and a national domestic spying network the envy of a Robert Ludlum novel (including the use of local police as paramilitary troops keeping constitutional dissent suppressed) are all about?

So, where’s the real revolution?

A divided nation, fed by its leaders, moneyed corporations and commercial media, continues to be split – and not by partisan agendas so much as strange bedfellows and both the majority and minority parties at odds with themselves over what constitutes liberty: ceaseless intrusions into the privacy and peace of mind of citizens residing in a true democracy? Or the belief that half or more of the world – including domestic dissenters – are out to dismantle this democracy, thus requiring constant vigilance and unreasonable searches and seizures that defy the 4th Amendment, not to mention longstanding assumptions that we are a free and transparent body politic.

Say what you will about Edward Snowden’s breach of that security and whistleblowing about the intricate apparatus – the National Security Agency (NSA) and its friends in law enforcement – at work to track the lives of every man-jack of us in all our movements and conversations; Mr. Snowden has opened wide the heretofore secret operations that tap phones and track people, labeling their targets with unproven assumptions about what constitutes loyalty to one’s country and one’s governments.

This has all led to a flurry of defenses and lawsuits and proposed legislation to rein in all of it as well as bills to actually expand such “authority” beyond the unfettered use of FISA courts and warrantless wiretaps. And the bills are not coming by partisan divides in the Congress. The two primary bills challenging senators and representatives to stand up and be counted on one side or the other of this notion that we’re either in a perpetual war – even among ourselves – or with unseen enemies abroad or a Constitutional democracy that screams out for compliance with those fundamental tenets as embraced in the Bill of Rights.

The two warring measures now in the Congress are: the USA Freedom Act what supporters are calling a bicameral and bi-partisan effort to curb the excesses of our spy agencies, and sponsored by no less that Wisconsin Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner and Vermont Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy; and the FISA Improvements Act, being pushed by California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, which, although labeled as a reform measure, expanding the NSA’s secret operation and the FISA courts, allowing undefined "law enforcement agencies" to query its foreign intelligence databases, even for U.S. persons, without a warrant.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query just three of the many local and national advocates and organizations in the thick of this legislation and of lawsuits challenging the NSA’s authority as well as the role of corporate media consolidation in buttressing its work.

GUESTS:

JOSH LEVY – Internet Campaign Director, Free Press

CHUCK SAMUELSON - Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)-Minnesota

CHRISTOPHER MITCHELL - Director, Telecommunications-as-Commons Initiative, Institute for Local Self-Reliance;  Author, Broadband at the Speed of Light

 

Get the KFAI Community Radio App and listen to TTT ANYWHERE!!!  Hear TruthToTell – live – on your mobile - currently available for AndroidiPhone , and iPad devices.

Monday, March 17, 2014

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

Second Chance Day on the Hill

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Advocates for easing the re-entry of felons who have served their prison time brought some of us up short with this little tidbit earlier in March:

Brandishing signs and buttonholing lawmakers, they reminded legislators and civilians alike with their exhibit that “We Are All Criminals.” Their flyer reads:

“We Are All Criminals looks at those of us with criminal histories but no record; in other words –those of us who have had the luxury to forget our misdeeds.

Doctors and lawyers, social workers and students, retailers and retirees tell stories of crimes they got away with, and consider how different their lives would have been had they been caught. The stories are of youth, boredom, intoxication, and porta potties.

They are about luck, class, and privilege. They are humorous, humiliating, and humbling in turn.

They are privately held memories without public stigma; they are criminal histories without criminal records.”

At least 25% of Minnesotans have a criminal record.

This was the first salvo in this year’s battle with ignorance and preconceptions the ubiquitous Second Chance Coalition has launched for the umpteenth session to reverse the economic disaster and counterproductive haunting of their past former inmates experience after leaving incarceration:

  • The loss of – or delay in – restoring their voting rights.
  • The dragging albatross of a criminal record often preventing adequate housing and job opportunities.

Sealing criminal records by petition and expunging juvenile records altogether is another goal. (Last year, an act to “ban the box” on employment applications was passed to prevent employers from prejudging an applicant’s qualifications based solely on his or her criminal record.)

There are other issues such as taxpayer-funded drug testing of general assistance recipients and other poverty-stricken populations; the elimination of mandatory sentencing; and the unbalanced use of school suspensions and their disparate impact on communities of color.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL returns to one the topics are started covering many years ago, including a Community Connections special we aired last year at this time – second chances for former felons. Returning to our studio are the durable co-chairs of the Second Chance Coalition:

SARAH CATHERINE WALKER – Lobbyist at Hill Capitol Strategies, Co-Chair, Second Chance Coalition; President, Coalition for Impartial Justice

MARK HAASE – Vice President, Projects and Operations, Council on Crime & Justice; Co-Chair, Second Chance Coalition

Monday, March 10, 2014

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

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Local Somali and East African communities are fighting poverty, educating kids and promoting peace and development in the Horn of Africa as well as in their “new” US communities.

Ask your neighbor about the Somali Diaspora in Minnesota, and she is likely to tell you about the pirates in the academy awarded nominated film, Captain Phillips, young El Shabab recruits, and growing Somali power in local politics. Less understood is the major contribution Somalis and other East Africans make to their countries of origin. From the individual financial contributions that serve as a life line for relatives back home, to disaster relief and hunger alleviation, to an increasingly sophisticated range of education and development efforts, Minnesota’s East African community is making a difference.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and Guest Host, TOM O’CONNELL will be joined by three guests who are deeply familiar with these efforts.

GUESTS:

ABDURASHID ALI – Director of Somali Family Services, a Twin Cities based nonprofit with extensive programs in Puntland, Somalia. Beginning with the construction of Puntland’s first library and resource center, SFS has organized a series of impressive initiatives aimed at building a peaceful, democratic, and just Somalia.

 

JAYLANI HUSSEIN – Board Secretary, American Relief Agency For the Horn of Africa (ARAHA); Lead Consultant, Zeila Consultants; Planner, MN Department of Agriculture. Mr. Hussein has traveled the Horn of Africa on number of times on behalf of ARAHA – to open a regional field office as well as to oversee large‐scale humanitarian projects in the Somali Famine of 2011. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Community Development/City Planning and is currently pursuing a law degree.

AWO AHMED – Literacy Program Coordinator, Metropolitan State University. Awo plans to do graduate work in global health and use her knowledge to work with her father, who directs a health clinic in Lasbas, Somalia.

Monday, March 3, 2014

AUDIO PODCAST IS UP HERE

This week we welcome to TTT a new cohost and associate producer: Siobhan Kierans, a solid broadcast producer and co-host of her own show, Malarkey, on KFAI. We're proud and happy to have such a fine talent join the crew.

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Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

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How long have many advocates in this nation, and, indeed, Minnesota to a large extent, touted the absolute necessity for switching from fossil fuels-powered energy to renewables – a broad term that may be too broadly defined for some, especially if means burning anything (as in garbage and other so-called “biofuels”)?

Not so much in dispute are two renewable resources: the sun and the wind. The only notions in dispute may well be the size of the generating arrays. That debate continues around such items as wind farms and large solar arrays as proposed by such powerhouse suppliers as Xcel Energy.

It’s become clear to many advocates that smaller, community-based arrays – what are being called community solar gardens – that end users may well find that energy can be both less expensive and an investment. Oh, yes, Xcel’s large solar arrays are also considered gardens, but they look like small farms rather than the neighborhood-sized rooftop panels owned by those who subscribe to them – the investment part – then collect reimbursements for the electricity generated at a per-watt rate.

The current conflicts center around the number of solar arrays that Xcel should be allowed to construct and the rates they pay to the smaller, independent community solar garden operations. The state’s regulator, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), has so far signaled a desire to limit Xcel’s ability to build huge solar arrays while also suggesting that the rate Xcel has offered to pay back to solar garden subscribers (what that means we’ll talk about Monday morning) for the power they add to the larger grid is simply too low

This area’s first community solar garden has just announced a sold-out subscription base and the array will operate in South Minneapolis.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and SIOBHAN KIERANS talk with the entrepreneur developer of this garden along with a resource and ethical watchdog for the solar industry to enlighten us all about the meaning of these developments and what it means for energy policy and futures in Minnesota.

GUESTS:

KEN BRADLEY – President/CEO, Minnesota Community Solar

LYNN HINKLE - Director of Policy Development, Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association


AND YOU!! Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

Hear TruthToTell – live – on your mobile - currently available for AndroidiPhone , and iPad devices. Get The KFAI Radio App TODAY!! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

NSA Parody Logo by Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) designer Hugh D'Andrade

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With this week’s program, we say goodbye to our Associate Producer and Co-host, Michelle Alimoradi as she prepares to challenge the Big Apple for life’s next stage. Any attempt to calculate the worth of Michelle’s 5-year tenure with TruthToTell would fail in understatement. Both an invaluable associate and an interviewer curious beyond her years, Michelle has been this producer/host’s right arm – and my full-body substitute during crucial periods, especially over the last year. We wish her well in her new adventure– in the hope that adventure best describes her departure for New York City. Everyone around TruthToTell and KFAI, let alone the other media groups she’s been connected with here in the Cities, already miss her. I feel a bit amputated at the right shoulder, while confident new growth will come with the addition of KFAI and broadcast veteran, Siobhan Kierans, whose Irish positivity is bound to infuse itself into our programs and operation. And, so we welcome her as well. Bon Voyage, Michelle.

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With the uprisings in the Middle East, Egypt and the Balkans, to name but a few, one is left wondering what revolution in the USA would look like if similar conditions prevailed – that of top-down militarism and anti-constitutional pursuits in the name of national security here.

Wait. Isn’t that what drone strikes, military interventions and a national domestic spying network the envy of a Robert Ludlum novel (including the use of local police as paramilitary troops keeping constitutional dissent suppressed) are all about?

So, where’s the real revolution?

A divided nation, fed by its leaders, moneyed corporations and commercial media, continues to be split – and not by partisan agendas so much as strange bedfellows and both the majority and minority parties at odds with themselves over what constitutes liberty: ceaseless intrusions into the privacy and peace of mind of citizens residing in a true democracy? Or the belief that half or more of the world – including domestic dissenters – are out to dismantle this democracy, thus requiring constant vigilance and unreasonable searches and seizures that defy the 4th Amendment, not to mention longstanding assumptions that we are a free and transparent body politic.

Say what you will about Edward Snowden’s breach of that security and whistleblowing about the intricate apparatus – the National Security Agency (NSA) and its friends in law enforcement – at work to track the lives of every man-jack of us in all our movements and conversations; Mr. Snowden has opened wide the heretofore secret operations that tap phones and track people, labeling their targets with unproven assumptions about what constitutes loyalty to one’s country and one’s governments.

This has all led to a flurry of defenses and lawsuits and proposed legislation to rein in all of it as well as bills to actually expand such “authority” beyond the unfettered use of FISA courts and warrantless wiretaps. And the bills are not coming by partisan divides in the Congress. The two primary bills challenging senators and representatives to stand up and be counted on one side or the other of this notion that we’re either in a perpetual war – even among ourselves – or with unseen enemies abroad or a Constitutional democracy that screams out for compliance with those fundamental tenets as embraced in the Bill of Rights.

The two warring measures now in the Congress are: the USA Freedom Act what supporters are calling a bicameral and bi-partisan effort to curb the excesses of our spy agencies, and sponsored by no less that Wisconsin Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner and Vermont Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy; and the FISA Improvements Act, being pushed by California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, which, although labeled as a reform measure, expanding the NSA’s secret operation and the FISA courts, allowing undefined "law enforcement agencies" to query its foreign intelligence databases, even for U.S. persons, without a warrant.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query just three of the many local and national advocates and organizations in the thick of this legislation and of lawsuits challenging the NSA’s authority as well as the role of corporate media consolidation in buttressing its work.

GUESTS:

JOSH LEVY – Internet Campaign Director, Free Press

CHUCK SAMUELSON - Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)-Minnesota

CHRISTOPHER MITCHELL - Director, Telecommunications-as-Commons Initiative, Institute for Local Self-Reliance;  Author, Broadband at the Speed of Light

 

AND YOU!! Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

Remember: The KFAI Community Radio App is up and running!!
That means you can now hear TruthToTell – live – on your mobile - currently available for AndroidiPhone , and iPad devices.