West Texas Talk

West Texas Talk is your nightly interview program that broadcasts Tuesday through Friday at 6:30 PM.

The program features interviews with community members discussing issues that affect our region, along with upcoming local programs and events. You’ll also hear from local and visiting, artists, musicians, authors, scientists, and other interesting personalities.

Before March 2015, the program was known as Talk At Ten and was broadcast live at 10 AM.

The program made its debut when the station launched, and as a result, it’s become a repository of hundreds of local profiles. The program is hosted by a revolving list of community members. The theme music for West Texas Talk was composed by Andy Stack.

Do you have an idea for a West Texas Talk topic or guest suggestion? Email diana (at) marfapublicradio (dot) org. Below is a list of current interviews. See previous interviews here.

NEW: Listeners can now sign up for our podcast feed on iTunes. Subscribe today.

Recently on West Texas Talk:

Friday, Sep 22, 2017:
Ramona Rose

On this edition of West Texas Talk, a conversation and in-studio performance from musician, artist, and poet Ramona Rose.

Originally from upstate New York, Ramona came Texas via Joshua Tree, California, with intent to help with Hurricane Harvey relief – she ended up in Marfa after meeting some people in El Paso who told her it was a good place to start.

She stopped by Marfa Public Radio’s Studio A to perform a few songs and talk about life experiences.

Thursday, Sep 21, 2017:
Johnny Stallings on Walt Whitman as “the poet of American democracy”

On this episode of West Texas Talk, writer, actor and director Johnny Stallings talks about Walt Whitman’s enduring legacy in American society. Stallings will be performing one of Whitman’s most renowned works, “Song of Myself,” on Friday, September 22 at the Presidio County Courthouse at 7pm.

Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017:
Harley Tallchief Continues Native American Traditions of Beaded Sculpture and Dance

Harley Tallchief splits his time between running an oil rig in Odessa, creating ornate beaded sculptures, and practicing traditional Native American dance. Originally from the Cattaraugus Reservation in New York, Tallchief found himself in Odessa after running out of money on his way to California for a job opportunity. Since then, he’s continued to work in the oil industry while continuing his native traditions. He says that beadwork is a reprieve from the demanding job of running an oil rig, “It calms me down… It’s like a therapy for me — peace and quiet…”

Tallchief’s first exhibit, “Beaded Sculptures,” will be on view through September 28th at the Nancy Fyfe Cardozier Gallery at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017:
Gabriel Diaz Montemayor

On this episode of West Texas Talk, we hear from Gabriel Diaz Montemayor. He’s an assistant professor of landscape architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. Recently, Montemayor wrote an editorial calling for a revitalization of the border’s landscape. He argues this could lead to increased security and would provide benefits to both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.


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Friday, Sep 15, 2017:
Andrea Aranow

On this edition of West Texas Talk, Guest host Tim Johnson sits down with legendary clothier, textile designer, and collector, Andrea Aranow.

Aranow has created fashion and studied textiles since the late 1960’s creating pieces of clothing for a long list of well-known clients, including Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis – She has traveled and lived all around the world in such places as London, Peru, outlying districts of China, and Japan.

In this,  the full, uncut interview – Andrea speaks about how she got into textiles, travelling the world, and Textile Documents, a business which sells pieces from her international collection to fashion companies as inspiration fro new designs.

Wednesday, Sep 13, 2017:
Superintendent Orlando Riddick on Improving Education in Midland

On this episode of West Texas Talk, we sit down with Orlando Riddick, the new superintendent of the Midland Independent School District. Orlando shared his thoughts on managing the district’s relationship with the business community, improving education outcomes and how to mitigate the effects of Texas’ so-called Robin Hood plan.

Wednesday, Sep 13, 2017:
Dr. Robert Brescia, Executive Director of the JBS Public Leadership Institute at UTPB

On this episode of West Texas Talk, Dr. Robert Brescia discusses how UTPB’s John Ben Shepperd Leadership Institute is training the next generation of leaders. The institute recently launched the Crisis Leadership & Learning Center, which allows students to participate in computer simulations of real-life crises, such as 9/11, Benghazi and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Prior to working in education, Brescia was in the military and worked under President’s Reagan and Clinton.

Tuesday, Sep 12, 2017:
Longtime Big Bend Resident Betty Alex

Betty Alex first came to the Big Bend on a road trip in 1969. She says on that drive, “I got out of the car and looked south from Persimmon Gap at the Chisos Mountains in the distance… I said, ‘That’s it. That’s where I want to be.’ And it took me eleven years to get back. But I did.” She ended up working at Big Bend National Park for over three decades and has lived in Terlingua for several years. In this episode, Alex talks about her life and experiences in the Big Bend.

Friday, Sep 8, 2017:
Dr Todd Davidson & Dr Joshua Rhodes Of UT Austin’s Energy Institute

On this segment of West Texas Talk, Lorne Matalon speaks with two leading energy scientists, Dr Todd Davidson and Dr Joshua Rhodes, both based at the University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Institute. The interdisciplinary institute is comprised of scholars and researchers who focus on the economics and technology of energy.

Rhodes was a lead investigator on a seminal report, The Full Cost of Electricity (FCe–), an initiative that as the the report’s summary states, “to quantify the full-system cost of electric power generation and delivery from the power plant to the wall socket,” and in so doing, impart substantive data that industry decision-makers, urban planners and politicians can deploy. The project includes expert analysis and perspectives of UT faculty from engineering, economics, law and policy.

Rhodes and Dr Davidson both research energy’s trajectory as electric power and the infrastructure that delivers it is undergoing change. In addition, on this segment of West Texas Talk, both weigh in on the future of renewable energy and electric cars. From the The Full Cost of Electricity (FCe–) report;

“Declining renewable energy costs, stringent emissions standards, low-price natural gas, competitive electricity markets, and a host of technological innovations are changing the landscape of an industry that has remained static for decades.

Research behind The Full Cost of Electricity (FCe–),includes the creation of an interactive map illustrating the least expensive energy technology by county for different cost scenarios. The findings were unveiled in Washington DC to an audience that included officials from several regulatory agencies, including the Department of Energy, (DOE) the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (FERC) Presenters included Energy Institute Director Dr. Tom Edgar, Deputy Director Dr. Michael Webber, Assistant Director Dr. Carey King and Assistant Director for for Energy & Technology Policy at the Energy Institute, Dr. Fred Beach. They were joined for the report’s unveiling by UT Austin McCombs School of Business’ Dr. Jim Dyer.

Researchers analyzed data for the most competitive sources of new electricity generation. Wind proved to be the lowest-cost option for a broad swath of the country, from the High Plains and Midwest and into Texas. Natural gas prevailed for much of the remainder of the U.S.; nuclear was found to be the lowest-cost option in 400 out of 3,110 counties nationwide. Here is additional analysis by Energy Institute Research Fellow David Tuttle.

Thursday, Sep 7, 2017:
Rainer Judd and Dr. Louis Harveson on Land Stewardship and “Ranch Day”

Dr. Louis Harveson and Rainer Judd

Judd Foundation’s Co-president, Rainer Judd, and director of the Borderlands Research Institute, Dr. Louis Harveson, discuss land stewardship in West Texas. Dr. Harveson will speak at the foundation’s upcoming “Ranch Day” on Sunday, September 10 at Casa Perez. Casa Perez is one of three Judd Ranch homes – located south of Marfa off of Ranch Road 2810.

Rainer Judd talks about the importance of Big Bend landscape to her late father. The Foundation’s mission “maintains and preserves Donald Judd’s permanently installed living and working spaces, libraries, and archives in New York and Marfa, Texas,” which also extends to the artist’s former ranch land. The foundation sold the sprawling acreage after Judd’s passing, but retains influence over the property because of a conservation easement, which “spells out the uses that are consistent and inconsistent with the conservation values desired by the landowner.”