Rich Howells

NEPA SCENE PODCAST: Episode 9 – Law enforcement, racial controversies, and policing in the 21st century

NEPA SCENE PODCAST: Episode 9 – Law enforcement, racial controversies, and policing in the 21st century
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Professionally recorded every Monday at The Stude in TwentyFiveEight Studios in Scranton and released exclusively on every Tuesday, the NEPA Scene Podcast is a free supplement to the website, expanding on the arts and entertainment stories covered on the site and going beyond them to discuss other news and entertainment topics.

Each week, the unedited and uncensored podcast features Rich Howells, NEPA Scene founder and editor; Mark Dennebaum, president and owner of TwentyFiveEight Studios; Lauren Quirolgico, commercial and content strategist at Lavelle Strategy Group and editor at TwentyFiveEight; and in the control room, Jimmy Reynolds, a musician, teacher, and lead audio engineer at TwentyFiveEight. Every episode streams on SoundCloud, Stitcher, and

In Episode 9, Dr. Michael Jenkins, a professor at the University of Scranton, discusses his new book, “Police Leaders in the New Community Problem-Solving Era,” and recent national controversies and hot-button issues regarding law enforcement, including race relations, crime prevention, and the role the media plays in the public conversation.

This video, for example, is brought up during the podcast, among other recent news clips:

We examine both sides of some of the tragic situations covered in the news, police procedures, use of force, and what needs to be done moving forward.

Listen on SoundCloud:

Watch on YouTube:

Listen on Stitcher:

Photo by Tom Bonomo/Eyedesignstudios

  • Bill “Danger” Robinson

    What’s happening in Ferguson is well covered by other media. Maybe “Nepa Scene” could focus on something relevant and local?

    • Obviously the effects of Ferguson have been felt nationwide, so it does have an impact on NEPA, whether we like it or not, and it’s hard to deny that there are racial issues in our area. Also, the local tie-in here specifically is that our guest is a University of Scranton professor who wrote a book that touches on many of these topics, so why not hear what he has to say about these important topics rather than just dryly discussing the book? His thoughts are very insightful, and we all learned quite a bit by talking to him. Just because we are based in Scranton doesn’t mean we should shut ourselves off from the world around us (some would argue that that is one of the area’s problems), and as we noted during the show, much of what our guest talked about was not covered in the mainstream media, instead filling the airwaves with pundits stirring up controversy rather than exchanging meaningful dialogue. NEPA Scene covers local artists and events daily, and our podcast guests have always been area natives, so I’m not exactly sure how much “relevant and local” you’d like us to be. Then again, after being “Lost in Space” for so long, Mr. Robinson, I could understand why you’re so out of touch.

      • Bill “Danger” Robinson

        No one is suggesting Scranton should be “shut off…from the rest of the world.” Quite the opposite. You originate in a market (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre) with a degree of racism that makes Ferguson look like paradise. You already had a local expert in place. You missed a great opportunity.

        • I really don’t see what opportunity we missed here – we found a culturally relevant topic, discussed it in-depth with a local expert, and delivered an honest and informative show, which I can assume by your comments that you didn’t even listen to. We talked about his work, his book, and NEPA quite a bit, not just Ferguson. Judging by your extensive Disqus comment history on various local media websites, it seems you’d rather tell everyone else what they should be doing rather than simply doing it yourself. Feel free to link us to your perfect website/podcast/etc. and show us how it’s done. Did your crew ever make it back to Earth, by the way? I never caught those last few episodes.

          • Bill “Danger” Robinson

            The “website Northeastern Pennsylvania has been waiting for” is not another dreary Weekender/Electric City wanna-be.

          • Trolls are so predictable:

            Step 1: Post some nasty, uninformed remark on an article
            that adds nothing to the conversation and only serves to hurt or anger someone.

            Step 2: Wait for a response. When there is one, ignore any
            salient points that note how nasty or uninformed the original comment was and simply make an even more outrageous remark.

            Step 3: If there is another response, continue to ignore
            anything relevant to the original topic and immediately resort to insults and name-calling that further expose obvious insecurities and completely derail any meaningful dialogue.

            So anyway, back to the topic at hand: Why didn’t you guys
            ever name the Robot? It seems like you two were pretty close, yet you never gave him a proper name, even though he was always warning you of danger. I think his name should have been Bob. Bob is a nice name.

          • Bill “Danger” Robinson

            You got nothing eh? Tell me how what you’re doing is different from the Weekender/Electric City?

            Protip: you can’t. Because you’re trying to be the “Weekender”…but BETTER!

            Do you even realize that “NEPA” doesn’t even show up until like the third page in a Google search? No one cares about “NEPA” or (shudder) the “scene.”

          • Step 4: Never admit you’re wrong about anything or address
            any previous points made. Start using exclamations with all caps while continuing to make the same “point” over and over with increased futility.

            To answer your question, even though you have yet to tell me
            of any of your space adventures, the No. 1 compliment we have received from people since we started this site is, “What you’re doing is necessary and sorely needed in our area.” If those other publications you mentioned were doing such a fine job of covering local arts and entertainment, why would people tell us that? Because what we’re doing is different in many ways. Our
            site is a hybrid of the content one would find in both a magazine and a blog, so here are a few highlights of what we do off the top of my head:

            1. Updated daily, not once a week.

            2. Uncensored work from an independent perspective that
            is not beholden to the same two media companies, created by artists for artists
            and their fans.

            3. A responsive design that adjusts to all browsers
            and includes an easy-to-use mobile version.

            4. In-depth interviews that go beyond the typical
            edited print interview and include more magazine-style layouts online as opposed to the same layout on every page, which are right next to short and quick blog posts, catering to different types of readers. Embedded media like streaming music and videos are included, and some of those videos are exclusive
            to the site.

            5. Dynamic photos galleries that pop out and are
            easy to navigate.

            6. Album, concert, and theater reviews (neither
            publication has published a concert review in quite some time, and no one else does local theater reviews).

            7. Weekly podcasts on various topics.

            8. Diverse columnists who write about topics not
            found in any local publication or simply present information in a brand new way.

            9. Song, album, and video premieres that expose local artists to new audiences.

            10. Weekly events outside the site like an open mic night to showcase local talent, which include photos and video from every show.

            11. Social media that is updated regularly and used in an engaging way.

            We’ve only been running full-time since September and we’ve already won an NEPA Blog of the Year award from NEPA BlogCon and gained a steady audience that has only increased every month, reaching traffic numbers that it often takes years to build in just a matter of months. We’ve been featured on local
            radio stations and TV shows (all by invitation), and we just surpassed Electric City’s followers on Facebook recently, so we must be doing something right.

            A “protip,” by the way, is supposed to be sarcastic advice,
            not a statement that answers your own question. I do have an actual tip for you, though: Stop wasting your time writing nasty comments on message boards all day and start making the changes you’d like to see in the area. You’ve gone out of your way to rag on NEPA several times, yet you’ve offered no viable
            solutions to improve the area, only insults. In the time it takes you to leave comment after comment, you could have started your own free website with a basic layout and wrote your own original content that shows us how it’s done. But you can’t, and you won’t, and that’s really a shame, because I believe the more we have promoting the area, the merrier. Maybe I don’t think those other guys are doing all they can to create exciting new content, especially considering the resources they have that we don’t, but that just pushes us to be better.

            The area has its share of problems, of course, but one of its biggest is people like you, whining and complaining rather than just doing. That attitude of “everything sucks and nothing will change” is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and while this site may not seem like much to you, it brightens the days of many people. Even if our website was downright awful and the work we did was subpar at best, wouldn’t making an effort to improve NEPA be better than no effort at all?

            Deny it all you like, but there is a scene of amazingly talented
            artists of all types right here, yet that makes you “shudder” rather than smile. Why? Is it jealousy? Is it fear that your limited worldview is contradicted by others living well and with a positive attitude? Or is it that awful movie adaptation of your show they put out in 1998 with that guy from “Friends?” Man, that would make anyone bitter, wouldn’t it?

            They say don’t feed the trolls, but I must admit that I’ve
            enjoyed this exchange because, while we try to remain positive on this site, the consistently nasty attitude problem we’re up against around here is worth noting. Nothing you have said discourages me or anyone else here in any way, and we had a great time poking fun at you on our latest episode of the podcast.

            I don’t expect you to listen to it, though – nor do I expect
            you to see things from anyone else’s perspective. Predictably, you’ll respond to this yet again with another insult and I’ll just have to ignore it so I can get some work done, which is way more important than trying to change your mind. You just want to have the last word, to feel like you “won” an argument on
            the Internet. Well, congratulations – you may wallow in your empty victory while the rest of us work hard to promote an area you want to see improved yet do nothing but hinder. If it brings you joy to make others feel bad, then I’m sorry I couldn’t help you with that because I feel great about what we’re doing every day.

            Man, even Gary Oldman couldn’t save that flick. What a forgettable mistake that was.

          • Bill “Danger” Robinson

            #”NEPA” #Heyna!