For posteriety: Today's Feagler & Friends agenda

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Emmy award winning feagler & friends is a lively, weekly half-hour discussion program of local and national issues impacting lives in Northeast Ohio. Hosted by award-winning journalist and Plain Dealer columnist, Dick Feagler, feagler & friends explores the various issues behind today’s news. With a changing ensemble of “friends” ranging from journalists to community and political leaders, feagler & friends takes on issues from many different perspectives. Always entertaining and never boring, feagler & friends is the program for people “in the know” in Northeast Ohio.

Friday, March 30, 2007 at 8:30 PM
Sunday, April 1, 2007 at 12:00 PM

Newsmaker: Donna Lopiano, president and CEO, Women’s Sports Foundation. Starting this weekend, a glittering national spotlight falls on Cleveland as the NCAA Women’s Final Four comes to the Q. The sold-out, nationally-televised event illustrates how far women’s sports have come. Lopiano will talk with Mr. Feagler about how far they have to go to achieve parity with men’s sports. The Women’s Sports Foundation was founded by tennis great Billie Jean King.

Roundtable: Jill Miller Zimon, freelance journalist; Elizabeth Sullivan, foreign affairs writer, The Plain Dealer; Deborah Burstion-Donbraye, political consultant.

Iraq Funding: The U.S. Senate joined the House in approving a bill paying for the war in Iraq, but setting a timetable for beginning U.S. troop withdrawals. President Bush called Republican leaders to the White House to solicit their support for a fight to uphold his expected veto.

Elizabeth Edwards: The wife of democratic presidential candidate John Edwards came to Cleveland for her first public appearance since announcing that her breast cancer is incurable and spreading, and that her husband was staying in the race. Edwards told a City Club audience, “You can’t stop when people are cheering for you all along the way, it makes the private journey we are going through now easier.”

Day-care Dichotomy: A study by the National Institutes of Health says children who spend time in day care are slightly more likely to have behavior problems in school. But the study delivered a mixed message. Day care children, it said, are also likely to have better vocabularies as elementary school students.

Ohio Abstains from Abstinence Ed Money: Governor Strickland says Ohio will join a growing number of states that are rejecting federal money meant to pay for school sex education programs that advocate abstaining from sex until marriage.

The new Governor agrees with critics who say abstinence programs are not effective in reducing teen pregnancy. Operators of abstinence programs say they’ll continue with or without state support.


To people who’ve never met me or don’t feel they know me, I can’t predict how the following will read to you. But for me, it’s like pinching myself, to repeat what’s happened in my writing career over the last six years – before which there was no writing career. There was lawyer, social worker, mother, wife – not necessarily in that order.

But before there was lawyer, social worker, mother or wife, there was teenager who wanted to be a philanthropist, then there was college student who wanted to be in the Peace Corps, then there was post-college woman facing a stack of graduate school bulletins taller than her, then there was the decision to get a joint degree in law and social work.

And that’s when I set the goal that, more or less, is actually being fulfilled – amazingly to me, maybe not so amazingly to others:

I had a rough time settling in Cleveland when I moved here in 1988. Long story for another post but I arrived, I destroyed part of the Marriott Hotel (literally) that’s no longer here, my house near Coventry wasn’t there – literally, and my roommates were 22 year olds whose goals were the same: be millionaires by the age of 25.

I just rolled my eyes at that – I had no understanding of what that meant or why someone would want that. But it was 1988 – that had a lot to do with it.

And so it was one night, after my roomies and I had thrown a party, that I was standing in the hallway of the apartment, it was probably 3am and I was talking with one roomie about what we wanted – the “I’ll know I’ve made it when” game.

And I said, I’ll know I’ve made it when I’m on the Diane Rehm show. I want to be the person people turn to for insight, for perspective, for looking at things in ways others have never thought of before. I was pursuing this specific joint degree because I felt that it would give me exposure, experience and education that could problem-solve anything. And I wanted to help people and myself problem-solve.

I did that for eight years at Bellefaire JCB. And I had kids for eight years (three). But a year after my third was born, Margaret Bernstein met me. And we became friends, and she reached out to me, for no good reason that I know of other than to be generous, and the rest is this history:

Almost exactly six years ago to the this day, Margaret had coffee with me and initiated me into the world of freelance writing – well, thinking about being a freelance writer.

Just under five years ago, I had my first piece of submitted work published and paid for in the Plain Dealer’s Forum section.

Just under four years ago, Frances Richards accepted a pitch I’d made for eight articles (accepting four for publication over six months) in Cleveland Family magazine.

Just under three years ago, Frances published my first Mommy Matters column (about my mother and grandmother’s breast cancer) and it went on to win the 2004 top parenting publication prize for personal essays from the PPA.

In that same year, I was selected to be a storyteller for the KnowledgeWorks Foundation and covered the Euclid high school’s small schools reform effort for two years.

Less than two years ago, I started this blog.

Late last winter I got a call from
WCPN about maybe doing a new political roundtable they were thinking of putting together.

And this week:
-ONN asked me about doing Capitol Square
-CPN asked me to do SOI
-Feagler & Friends invited me to be on its broadcast
-Henry Gomez of the PD asked me to do a presentation with others at YSU.

I was crying in the car thinking about all this yesterday, as I shlepped and shuttled. My life is MAYHEM right now – and I could not be more thankful and grateful.

I’ve written about knowing what it’s like to feel hopeless. And I have known what that’s like. That’s why I celebrated my 40th birthday (a few years ago), I didn’t shun it. And I say that every time a friend laments his or her 40th – I say, man, I am just so glad I made it.

I am just so glad. And I want to remember that, I ought to remember that, every, single, day.

Now go watch Feagler & Friends!!

10 thoughts on “For posteriety: Today's Feagler & Friends agenda

  1. Thank you, Jill. I miss you, too. But I also see what great value there is in the work you’re doing when I read here, so I applaud it and understand that there are only so many hours in a day.Yeah, I’ve been lax in posting lately – it’s been one of those times when the inspiration to blog has been completely missing. I hope to make amends in April. 🙂 Huge hugs back atcha!

  2. Aw Dawno – big time hugs. AND AND AND!!! I was so happy to see a new entry on your blog in my feed reader today, even if it was about the very unfortunate case with Kathy Sierra. Wow. I need to check in on that btw.YOU BE WELL!! I miss you and others. 😦

  3. Just watched your soon to be Emmy winning performance. Thanks for representing the blogosphere so well! Is it just me or does it seem like Feagler disdains anyone who doesn’t use an IBM Selectric to record their thoughts?

  4. I’m proud of you, Jill. I’m honored to call you my friend.Got links? To feagler & friends so I can watch, too? :)P.S. Did you get to speak with Elizabeth?

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