Play Ball - Abortion Protester - Joyce Carol Oates

Jerry Howarth - Jerry Howarth, the play-by-play man of the Toronto Blue Jays, is now two months into his 30th season describing the life of the baseball team on the radio, where the muted rhythms and bursts of physical action of baseball well and truly belong.

Like many of us, Howarth grew up listening, in bed, on the radio, to his favourite baseball team.

Like many of us, he cherishes the magic moments of the great game.

But unlike the rest of us, he is able to transmit those images in compelling narratives.

Baseball and radio are in his DNA. And despite doping scandals, owner avarice and millionaire player temper tantrums, he delights in the timeless wonder of the game.

In our First Hour a celebration of the Game and the Voice.

Read more about hour one here

Abortion Protester - In our Middle Hour, the tension between free speech and the right to privacy.

Linda Gibbons has spent a total of more than nine years in prison at different times because she refuses to obey a court order to stop illegally picketing abortion clinics.

Judges don't like it when you don't follow their orders.

The injunction was supposed to be temporary. But the temporary has lasted since 1994.

The issue is going to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Is it a case of free speech in jeopardy or is it a matter of harassment of women attending an abortion clinic?

We look at both sides in Hour Two.

Read more about hour two here

Joyce Carol Oates - Joyce Carol Oates is one of the most prolific American novelists in the literary pantheon. Her writing and teaching at Princeton occupied all her time.

But two years ago, her husband died unexpectedly and her life fell apart. She lost control, thought about suicide, became an insomniac. It was a year from hell.

In our Final Hour this morning Joyce Carol Oates on love, death, marriage and sudden widowhood.

Read more about hour three here

Elsewhere in the program: a candid conversation with the finance minister in the Libyan provisional government; that is, he will be finance minister if Gadhafi goes; a look back at the Moose River mine disaster, some thoughts on cars and gas prices and the best music we could find for your morning radio.



Hour 1

Michael's Essay

In this week's essay, Michael's thoughts on cars and gas prices.

Jerry Howarth

Baseball is an unusual sport.

The pace of the game, as exciting as it can be, is slow when compared with hockey, basketball and soccer. A pitcher, for example, spends more time between pitches then he does actually throwing a ball. And even the best hitter in the game gets on base less than half the time.

Perhaps it is these qualities that make baseball the ideal sport for the radio. With the sound of the crowd in the background and the right play-by-play person in the foreground, it's easy to build a picture of the action in one's mind.

Jerry Howarth is one of the right people - one of the very best in the game.

Baseball is also a game of numbers, so here are some of Mr. Howarth's stats. He's called more than 4600 regular season games for the Toronto Blue Jays. That's more than 41,000 innings, about 125,000 outs, and nearly a million pitches.

Before joining the team in the1981 season, Jerry Howarth was in Utah, where he called the games for the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association.

This week, Jerry Howarth was behind the mic in our Toronto studio.

Poem: Baseball

This is Baseball by John Updike.


Hour 2

Abortion Protester

Linda Gibbons does not look like your typical prison inmate.

For one, thing she's a 62-year-old great grandmother ... barely five-feet tall, she wears over-sized glasses and keeps her silver grey hair cut short. She leads prayer sessions and offers counselling to her fellow inmates at the Vanier Centre for Women in Milton, Ontario outside Toronto.

Yet Linda Gibbons has a criminal record that goes on ... and on ... and on. More than 20 arrests since 1994. More than 9 years behind bars.

Her crimes? She refuses to obey to a court order banning protesters and activists from within 60 feet of several Toronto abortion clinics.

Ms. Gibbons calls her work outside the Scott Clinic in downtown Toronto "sidewalk counselling." Abortion providers ... and the law ... consider it harassment.

The situation stems from a lawsuit the Ontario Attorney General launched against Ms. Gibbons and several other protesters in 1994. A judge granted the injunction, but it was supposed to be temporary pending the outcome of the lawsuit. The case, however, has never been settled and that temporary injunction is still in place today ... 17 years later.

Ms. Gibbon's supporters call her a free-speech champion. Her critics just shake their heads, pointing out that she wouldn't have to spend so much time in prison if she would only honour the injunction.

And now the Supreme Court has stepped in, agreeing to hear arguments in her latest case in the fall.

These are the voices of anti-abortion activist Linda Gibbons and Maria Corcillo from the Scott Clinic, an abortion facility in Toronto, followed by Michael's interview with Jamie Cameron, a law professor at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto.

Mail - The Liberal Party

Last week, we conducted our own Sunday Edition post mortem on the election, and we asked whether the Liberal Party of Canada, once the most powerful and successful political organization in the western world, has perhaps outlived its usefulness. It turns out that this is a subject about which our audience also has many thoughts.

Moose River

Moose River is a rural community in Nova Scotia about an hour and a half's drive north east of Halifax. Not many people live there anymore. But 75 years ago, the world tuned in to Moose River.

On April 12, 1936, the town's gold mine collapsed. Three men were trapped underground. Miners from nearby towns rushed to the scene. Seven days later, 28-year old J. Frank Willis began to file reports about the rescue effort over the radio. On his first broadcast, he reported that one of the trapped men had died.

Willis continued to go live -- for two minutes every half hour -- for 56 hours straight. His reports were picked up by more than 650 radio stations throughout North America, by the BBC and by stations in Europe.

The world listened and held its breath, as miners worked frantically around the clock to free the trapped men.

Those rescue workers are old now. And soon the village of Moose River will cease to exist. It is slated to be the site of an open-pit gold mine. So the people of Moose River decided to hold one final event, to commemorate the disaster that vaulted their community into headlines around the globe.

This documentary is from Pauline Dakin of CBC Halifax.


Hour 3

Ali Tarhouni

A short time ago , it seemed that there was a question only of WHEN Libya's Colonel Moammar Gadhafi would be sent packing. That his time was up seemed almost certain.

Now, two months have gone by since that first display of Western airpower rained down on his army. But the man Ronald Reagan called "the mad dog of the Middle East" is still there.

His army continues its assault on the east .The rebels have had some victories this week, notably in the town of Misrata. But they are poorly equipped and running out of money.

This week, officials of what they hope is an emerging Libyan government met with officials at the White House to plead their case. They are urging the Americans to recognize them as the offiical government of Libya. And, of course, they need money if this movement is to survive.

Ali Tarhouni is a member of that delegation. Mr. Tarhouni is finance minister in the Transitional National Council, the rebel opposition group in Libya.

As a university student and pro-democracy activist in Benghazi in the 1970's, he once introduced a visiting Colonel Gadhafi to his classmates as "our dictator."

Shortly after, he sought political asylum in the United States, and shortly after that, he was sentenced to death in absentia.

For more than two decades, he has lectured in economics at the University of Washington in Seattle.

But in February, Mr. Tarhouni announced to his astonished students and colleagues that he was returning to Libya to advise to the fledgling rebel opposition.

This past week, he has been in Washington DC., seeking greater support for the rebels. He was in our studio there.

Joyce Carol Oates

Theirs was a whirlwind romance...they were married three months after they met. She was 22, innocent and inexperienced.

It was a storybook marriage..."as measured and decorous as Laura Ashley wallpaper." They lived a bucolically happy life on Honey Brook Drive in Princeton, New Jersey.

And then it ended. Abruptly. Forty-eight years after it began.

On February 18th, 2008, at 12:38 am, Raymond Smith died suddenly- leaving his wife, Joyce Carol Oates, in shock, unmoored.

She wrote her way through the first six months of widowhood -- trying to make sense of an incomprehensible and completely unexpected loss - and her journey is chronicled in a raw and open and painful new memoir, A Widow's Story.

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She is one of America's most prolific writers and her novels include We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University.

Joyce Carol Oates was in our Vancouver studio.

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