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From the CEO

For so many years, I thought of June as the end of school for another year. I can still remember getting off the bus on that last day of school, so happy that summer was just starting. We’d play Nerf football in the street and Wiffle ball in the backyard.

I love libraries. I always tell people that the most powerful card in my wallet is my library card. I’ve had the pleasure of serving as board chair of the Onondaga County (Syracuse, NY area) Public Library system and board chair of the Massanutten Regional public library system in the Shenandoah Valley. And currently, I proudly serve on the Norfolk Public Library board. So as you can imagine, reading and books are an important part of my life.

As we approach Earth Day, WHRO will air two documentaries highlighting science-related issues that are important to our region. The first is about Bill Nye, formerly the host of a popular PBS program intended to get kids excited about science. These days, Nye’s focus has shifted to educating more than just his younger fans. He is on a mission to educate those who deny the importance of science, and he has become a champion for climate science. I’m looking forward to watching his story in Bill Nye: Science Guy, which airs on April 18 at 10 p.m.

I’m an obsessive viewer of the PBS NewsHour and have literally seen every episode (sometimes delayed) since I’ve been in Hampton Roads. As such a viewer, I’ve learned so much. Just recently, I’ve better understood the implications of the new tax law, both for me personally as well as for WHRO’s philanthropic efforts. I better understand issues around foreign affairs, the environment, education, finance, and many more issues.

We believe one role of public media is to inform residents through entertaining and educational content. This also involves exploring the insights that emerge from diverse perspectives and experiences. That’s why we offer avenues for discussion, such as our call-in radio programs HearSay with Cathy Lewis and Another View, and our Race: Let’s Talk About It community town halls. When people hear other’s perspectives and become more knowledgeable about issues, it becomes easier to find common ground – even in a fractured nation where politics and issues divide us.