Virginia Prescott

Host, On Second Thought

Virginia Prescott is the Gracie Award-winning host of On Second Thought for Georgia Public Broadcasting. Before joining GPB, she was host of Word of Mouth, Writers on A New England Stage and the I-Tunes Top Ten Podcasts Civics 101 and The 10-Minute Writers Workshop on New Hampshire Public Radio. Prior to joining NHPR, she was editor, producer, and director on NPR programs On Point and Here & Now, and Director of Interactive media for New York Public Radio.

Throughout her radio career, Virginia has worked to build sustainable independent radio in the developing world and has trained journalists in post-conflict zones from Sierra Leone to the Balkans. She was a member of the Peabody Award-winning production team for Jazz from Lincoln Center with Ed Bradley and the recipient of a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University.

Virginia loves working as a radio and podcast host, but regrets that so many good outfits go unnoticed.

Adult Swim

"Squidbillies" is Atlanta-based Adult Swim’s third longest-running animated series. It’s based on the show creators’ experiences here in Georgia – and features a cast of anthropomorphic redneck squids. The 12th season of "Squidbillies" premieres Sunday on Adult Swim. Hear from the co-creators Dave Willis and Jim Fortier who recently joined us on On Second Thought


Chris Pizzel / Associated Press

It’s where The Walking Dead roam the earth.  It’s Black Panther’s home away from Wakanda, and it’s the only spot where Donald Glover’s Atlanta rightfully could be made.  It’s Y’allywood!

After an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at an Atlanta hotel, health officials have identified 11 confirmed cases and dozens of other people who are potentially affected.  Dr. Allison Chamberlain of Emory University and Amy Wenk of the Atlanta Business Chronicle visit On Second Thought to explore the health and economic ramifications.

GPB’s Kalena Boller returns to On Second Thought to catch us up on current Hollywood productions for when the What’s Filming in Georgia series returns.


PEXELS.COM

On Monday of last week, Andy Miller shared breaking news discovered by Georgia Health News and WebMD. Their investigation revealed that two facilities, one in Smyrna and one in Covington, have been releasing high levels of ethylene oxide, a gas that causes cancer. These facilities have been releasing airborne toxins in Cobb County for decades.


Jeff Hagerman

Jeff Hagerman is into ruins. The Atlanta-based photographer is an urban explorer who squeezes through cracked windows or unhinged doors to access what remains after natural disasters, economic shifts and the churn of urban development.


Gov. Brian Kemp’s administration is investigating after a Georgia Health News and WebMD report alleged airborne toxins are in Cobb County. Local officials and the company are also responding. Get an update from GPB’s Ross Terrell.

An Alabama company wants to mine for heavy minerals in southeast Georgia about four miles from the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. The proposal from Twin Pines Minerals promises 150 to 200 jobs, but it’s also raised serious environmental concerns. On Second Thought hears about the issue.


La'Raven Taylor/GPB

Has America become more racist? Earlier this year, The Pew Research Center attempted to answer that question and found that roughly two thirds of adults do think it is more common for people to express racist views since Donald Trump became president. Other long-term trends, however, suggest an overall decline in both racist views and racist acts.


Virginia Prescott / GPB

On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott has been a judge at three of the semi-annual singer-songwriter shoot-outs at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur.  (Full disclosure: her partner hosts the weekly open mic contests there.)

At the 48th bi-annual shoot-out, then 10-year-old Ansley Oakley stepped up to the mic – all of 4-foot-8 and wearing a vintage maxi dress – and started to sing.  The resulting performance was so jaw-dropping that Virginia invited her to sing at Grocery on Home, an occasional, bring-your-own-everything listening room that she and her partner run out of the old grocery store where they live in Grant Park.   


Julio Cortez / AP

The median home price in Georgia is on track to nearly double from 2012 prices in the coming years, and wages haven’t kept up. Georgia cities can be especially expensive. Atlanta rents have spiked in the past decade at the same time the number of units classified as affordable have been dropping.

GPB’s Ross Terrell recently discussed housing costs with U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson when Carson was in Atlanta for a conference on emerging strategies to address affordable housing.

A stretch of I-85 in southwest Georgia is a proving ground for technologies that could make such roadways ecologically sustainable.  Allie Kelly, executive director of The Ray, visits On Second Thought to talk about the road renovations.

The lack of affordable housing is a hot topic in Georgia cities.  The median home price in Georgia is on track to nearly double from 2012 in the coming years.  GPB’s Ross Terrell asked Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson about gentrification and regulation and how it affects many facets of Georgians including veterans and minorities.


Josh Green/Curbed Atlanta

Sitting just below the interchange between the Downtown Connector and Interstate 20, the neighborhood of Summerhill holds a storied past. Over the decades, the area faced segregation, being gutted by  expressways and housing two major stadiums at once.

Business boomed on Georgia Avenue in the '40s and '50s, but by the 1970s the area saw more concentrated poverty and riots. When the Olympics came to Atlanta in 1996, Summerhill housed the opening ceremonies at Centennial Olympic Stadium, which would eventually become Turner Field and then later the Georgia State Stadium.


Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Lawsuits over election integrity and legislative decisions about voting machines have been ongoing stories since before the presidential elections in 2016. There are surges and retreats of headlines about both, but it can be hard to track.


The state has selected a vendor for its new voting machines while a case involving elections security moves through the courts. Get an update from GPB politics reporter Stephen Fowler.

In Georgia, catcalls are legal.  Learn how that plays out for women in Macon.


COURTESY OF DISCOVERY CHANNEL

For the last 31 years, sharks have been subject to a week of media frenzy, taking place each July. But, throughout the year, they face a number of dangers that put their populations at risk.

Discovery Channel's Shark Week started Sunday and, this year, the focus is on conservation. On Second Thought dives in to explore shark facts, myths and more, from the Georgia coast to the islands of Palau. 


Now we add some more songs to our essential Georgia playlist from Amy Ray. We ask artists to pick two songs written or performed by another Georgian that best represent the state.

Amy Ray is part of the seminal folk group Indigo Girls. The Indigo Girls will return to Atlanta Symphony Hall for a two night performance on Sept. 12 and 13. 


It’s Shark Week on Discovery channel. Mark it with a look at these captivating fish along Georgia’s coast.

On Second Thought is joined by Paulita Bennett-Martin, Campaign Organizer at Oceana; Bryan Fluech, Associate Director of UGA’s Marine Extension and Georgia’s Sea Grant; and James Glancy, Discovery Channel Host.


Jessica Lowell

The 20th Annual Dream Flight is part of the Aviation Career Education Academy is a summer program for 14- to 18-year-olds.

It’s part of the Delta Air Lines initiative to promote diversity across aviation. The summer program is run in partnership with the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals.


Nothingfunnyaboutmoney.org

“Adulting” as a term is used to describe grown-up behaviors, which can be anything from doing laundry to signing a lease. Like many things millennial, the backlash to this made-up word was simultaneous with its swift rise as a hastag on social media.


Grant McGowan

Theatrical productions with more than one act can run anywhere from 90 minutes to about three hours. One famous — some might say infamous — adaptation of The Great Gatsby lasted a whopping eight hours.

That is a commitment from the cast, crew and the audience.

What if you could see a number of plays in less time? The Annual Atlanta One-Minute Play Festival brings brevity to the boards. It showcases full productions, rehearsed and performed by actors. 


Hear how goats yell, frogs screech and humans use screams as nonverbal forms of sometimes critical communication. 

On Second Thought is joined by Harold Gouzoules, an Emory psychologist, who researches animal and human screams.


Edvard Munch [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Research from Emory University’s psychology department reveals the hidden intricacies of screams.

These primal vocalizations are found across various mammal species, not just humans. Rabbits, goats and even some amphibians such as frogs have been known to let out a scream in the name of self-defense.

In the summer of 2017, the wreckage of U.S.S. Indianapolis, a Navy cruiser, was discovered some 18,000 feet under the Philippine Sea.


Photo by Emilia Brock

The newest Ken Burns series premiering in September follows the vast and varied evolution of country music over the 20th century. The eight-part series begins not in Nashville, nor Bristol, but Atlanta.

That's because, in 1923, OKeh Records music pioneer Ralph Peer came from New York to the South and set up a temporary recording studio smack dab in downtown Atlanta at 152 Nassau Street. That's where he recorded early country, blues, jazz and gospel artists, including what is known as country music's first hit, "The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane" by Fiddlin' John Carson. 

Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA

The first launch is scheduled for late 2019 for one of two cube satellites made by the Small Satellite Research Laboratory at the University of Georgia.

Cube satellites, otherwise known as CubeSats, weigh less than three pounds and are approximately the size of a loaf of bread. Catching a ride on a rocket from a “launch provider,” each satellite plans to be in orbit between two and two and a half years.


On Second Thought discusses the history of 152 Nassau Street, the site of some of county and blues music's earliest recordings, and why the building is at risk of demolition. The round table discussion is joined by Kyle Kessler, Atlanta architect and preservationist; Lance Ledbetter, co-director of Dust to Digital; Nedra Deadwyler, founder and CEO of Civil Bikes; and Steve Goodson, professor of history at University of West Georgia.


pexels.com

Georgia residents in Smyrna and Covington are just now learning that their neighborhoods have an elevated cancer risk because of exposure to airborne toxins.

In August 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency published a report showing 109 census tracts with high concentrations of ethylene oxide, a gas used to sterilize medical equipment. Two use before, the agency placed the chemical on a list of those that “definitely cause cancer.”

Georgiapower.com

Georgia’s energy supply is getting greener. Every three years, the Public Service Commission votes on Georgia Power’s overall strategy, detailed in its Integrated Resources Plan.

Sean Powers/GPB

In North Atlanta, where the perimeter meets the Chattahoochee River, there’s a little building just off the highway with a bright red sign that says, “Bar B Que.” That building is Heirloom Market BBQ run by chefs Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee.


Residents in some Georgia neighborhoods are just starting to learn about the high concentrations of airborne toxins they breathe. Delve into an investigative piece from Brenda Goodman of WebMD and Andy Miller of Georgia Health News.  Also, hear about The Georgia Environment Scan Report that sets the baseline for Georgia’s Medicaid waiver proposal. On Second Thought is joined by Ashli Owen-Smith, assistant professor of Health Policy and Behavioral Sciences at Georgia State University.


Ed Andrieski/AP

All week, On Second Thought has shared stories about people whose unsung contributions to the Apollo 11 mission 50 years ago. 

One of those pioneers is 85-year-old Ed Dwight. The Kennedy administration was focused on winning the space race, while integrating the South. Former President John F. Kennedy chose Dwight — handsome, charismatic and skilled Air Force officer to be the first African American astronaut. 


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