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December 2010
December 29 Ann Wolfe
Ann "Brown Sugar" Wolfe is an 8-time world champion boxer who now owns her own gym. When Ann was young, her mother died of uterine cancer and then, just 11 months later, her father was killed in a drug deal gone bad. Without parental guidance, Ann went down the path of drugs and ended up in prison herself. Her brother later was killed by a police officer during a burglary. And, for a period, Ann was homeless with her 2 daughters. It was when Ann discovered boxing that she was finally able to turn her life around.
December 22 Jorge Antonio Renaud
Antonio grew up in a poor family of migrant workers who followed the crops all over Texas. As a teenager he got into drugs and then turned to burglaries and robberies. By age 20 he was in prison. Through 3 different sentences, he spent a total of 26 years incarcerated. While inside he discovered poetry as a way to express himself, and also wrote a guide for families with inmates.

December 15 Khotan Shahbazi-Harmon
Khotan is the host of Idea Lounge on KOOP 91.7 FM, an interview show dedicated to exploring "ideas, beliefs, strategies, skills, and resources that help shape a fulfilled life." Khotan was born in Iran but fled at the age of 13. Shortly after she left, her father was executed, her mother was imprisoned and their home was razed to the ground. Khotan is also the winner of the prestigious Gracie Award for her interview with Dr. Ebadi, an Iranian Muslim woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize. 
December 1 Maggie Miller
Maggie is the founder of DiscoverHope Fund, a non-profit organization providing microloans to poor women in Peru, which help these women start and grow businesses. The women have an almost 100% payback rate, and thanks to the loans, the lives of their families and communities are dramatically improved.
 

November 2010
November 24 Carolyn Mosley
In 2003, Carolyn's 15-year-old daughter, Ortralla, was shot and killed by her boyfriend in the hallway of Reagan High School in Austin. Carolyn herself had experienced domestic abuse and had tried to warn her daughter of the signs, to no avail. Carolyn now runs the Ortralla LuWone Mosley Foundation, dedicated to preventing teen violence and helping teens choose healthy relationships.
November 10 Gerald Hurst
A scientist and engineer who worked in the field of high explosives, Hurst is best known for his investigation of the Cameron Todd Willingham death penalty case. He was the first investigator to dispute that Willingham had burned down his home and killed his three daughters, and others have since called it into doubt as well. Willingham was executed but Hurst's testimony has saved a number of other death row inmates.
November 3 Nicole Thibert
When Nicole when 28 weeks pregnant, she discovered she had a cancerous mass in her neck, which was immediately removed. Further testing showed Stage 4 lung cancer, despite not being a smoker, and further spreading to her brain and lymph nodes. Her son Schoen, delivered by C-section at just 32 weeks in July, is healthy. Nicole began chemotherapy immediately after his birth and also had the brain tumor removed. Mama and baby are both doing well.
 

October 2010
October 27 Nerd Nite Austin
Some Inner Views topics are intense and emotional. This is not one of those. If you are extremely passionate on a niche or non-mainstream topic and want to share it with others, then Austin's Nerd Nite is for you. Nerd Nite's Nerd Bosses Dan Rumney, JC Dwyer and Lewis Weil joined me in the studio to talk about 
all things nerd, including a lengthy discussion about exactly what (or who) a nerd is. 
October 20 Tom Mahnke
Tom was my first-ever guest on Inner Views, so, to celebrate Inner Views' 5th anniversary (this month), he came on the show again. Why my husband Tom Mahnke, you ask? Besides being a born storyteller, he has quite an extraordinary story to share: At age 19, Tom was attacked by a serial killer.
October 13 Rachel Moore
Rachel's 2-year-old daughter Malia has a rare brain disorder called lissencephaly that developed in utero and means that her cerebral cortex is unusually thick and lacks folds, leading to multiple neurological impairments. Rachel is putting on a benefit in Austin on Saturday, October 16 to raise funds for treatment and research. Jimmy LaFave, Susanna Choffel and other musicians will be performing. 
October 6 Anna Zovek
European Bistro is an old-world restaurant in Pflugerville, TX serving German, Czech, Russian, Hungarian and French food, lovingly and painstakingly prepared by sisters Anni Zovek and Piroska Althauser. While the restaurant won "Best Schnitzel" in this year's Austin Chronicle Restaurant Poll, Anna's story of how she came to the United States from Hungary is the real "wow." Tune in to Inner Views to hear their stories of the fascist takeover during WWII, forced relocation in the middle of the night, political imprisonment and, ultimately, escape.
 

September 2010
September 29 Anji Fussell
Anji is a private investigator with her own firm, She Spies Private Eye, Inc. She specializes in child custody and infidelity cases. She also handles criminal investigations, missing persons and background investigations. What sets her and her team apart is their creative approach to getting the information they need . . . always within the law, of course. She shared some amazing stories using unconventional
investigative approaches.
September 22 Arthur Mills, Jr.
The Empty Lot Next Door is the true story of a haunting that Art Mills experienced as a child while living in South Austin. There was a vacant lot with a big hole next door to his family's home. When he jumps in one day, nothing happens. But thereafter, a ghost he named Candle Face visits him while he's awake and in his dreams at night. Don't believe in ghosts? You may want to listen before you decide for sure . . . 
September 15 Rob Hodges
In 2005, Rob Hodges and his then-girlfriend (now wife) Kate were in Guatemala, on a chicken bus heading to a lake town for a few days of relaxation. When the bus pulled off the main highway and began navigating winding hairpin-turn roads, they knew something was wrong. It turns out they were in the middle of an insurgency over sacred Mayan land. Rob is a freelance travel writer; more details about this story and other adventures can be found at http://robhodges.com.
September 8 Natala Constantine
32-year-old Natala has struggled with weight most of her life, reaching 420 pounds by age 21. When she was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes as an adult, her blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol were out of control. She was on 13 medications and had tried every diet, but nothing seemed to help. She developed arthritis, nerve damage, and a series of infections. When she developed a calf infection that her doctor said might require amputation, Natala decided to try "food as medicine" on the recommendation of a friend. She began to eat a whole-foods plant-based diet and, within 3 weeks, was no longer needing to take insulin. Six months later she was off all of her medications. Eighteen months later and she has lost over 150 pounds. Her vital signs are all normal and the arthritis, nerve damage and infections have gone away. Her blog is VeganHope.
 

August 2010
August 18 Steve Huskey
The defining moments in Steve's life were two near death experiences that took place 3 months apart. First he was kidnapped in Caracas, Venezuela, held at gunpoint and driven around the country for hours. He finally escaped. The second was when he contracted meningitis, also in Venezuela. After arriving back in the U.S., he was told he had just hours to live. We hear these stories and how they changed him.
August 11 Lizzie Velasquez
Lizzie has a syndrome so rare, it doesn't even have a name, and only 2 others in the world have it. No matter what or how much she eats, Lizzie can not keep weight on. At age 21, she weighs just 60 lbs and has zero body fat. She has written a book that just came out: Lizzie Beautiful.
August 4 LZ Love
LZ Love is a versatile singer songwriter, performing dance, jazz, blues, World, roots rock and more. Born as Arnold Elzy, she performed from a young age but always knew inside that she was different. She made the transition to LZ Love and, while she has nothing to hide, most people don't know she was born a man. Some of the songs on her latest album, Mysterious, are about being transsexual. 


July 2010
July 28 Tish Morgan Mata
Beginning at age 9, Tish used drugs and alcohol and made her first suicide attempt. She continued to use drugs and would descend into suicidal depressions for many years. She was diagnosed as bipolar and spent time in mental hospitals. She ultimately discovered Recovery International
, which has helped her tremendously and she is now off almost all medications and feeling better than ever.
July 21 Pantera Blacksmith
As a pole dancer, Pantera travels all over the world performing and giving workshops. She has won titles (who knew such things were awarded for pole dancing?) and she's got a pole dancing DVD. Oh, and did I mention she is covered neck to calf in tattoos? She talks candidly about starting as a stripper and things like wardrobe malfunctions. You can watch a video of her performing.
July 14 Charles S. Herrman
As a philosopher and behavioral theorist, Charles has written hundreds of essays and contributed to a variety of disciplines, including law, sociology and psychology. All this despite having autism, bipolar disorder, dyslexia and Asperger's Syndrome. He has made learning about his illnesses a major focus, which he says has enabled him to manage them as well as he does.
July 7 The Final Buntier!
It's Veggie Dog Contest time again! Last year we interviewed Mike Litt, the founder of Austin's Veggie Dog Contest and some of the contest winners. Well, another year and veggie dog contest have gone by, so I brought them back on the show. Mike Litt joined me along with co-organizer Chris Ledesma, doubles winners Zach Dilworth & Russ Cullen, and video contest winner, Deneice O'Connor. You can watch the winning video here


June 2010
June 30 Lola Stephens
Lola is the owner of the Cajun restaurant Nubian Queen Lola's in Austin. She feeds the homeless every Sunday, and did so even while she and her 6 children were homeless for 3 years, living in the restaurant during that time. She basically sacrificed everything in order to be able to open the restaurant (including having a home), something she's wanted to own since she was a child. 
June 23 Russell Freeland
In 2008, Russell decided to get rid of all his possessions, fly to Austin where he knew no one and get by trading his artwork for food & lodging for a year. He called it Absolute Zero Project. Additionally, he set 4 specific goals to complete before he could return home to Boston: have a gallery showing, perform live, give a $100 tip and pay for his own flight home. Did he succeed in trading his art for necessities? Did he accomplish all of his goals? Listen in to find out.
June 16 CJ Legare
Growing up, CJ was tormented relentlessly by her father about her weight because she didn't measure up to his particular ideal of beauty. She ran away at age 15 and ultimately became a plus-sized model with a major modeling firm. She now has her own business, Power Pinc, whose goal is to help women love themselves and their bodies as they are and take charge of their own style.
June 9
Saffire T. Stone
Saffire is a popular drag queen who performs all over Austin, including her recent gig after Sandra Bernhard during PRIDE week. She raises money for charity through her performances, and is known for her celebrity impersonations, including Barbra Streisand, Cher, Dolly Parton, Celine Dion and more.
June 2 David Little
On May 12, Lacy Coleman was on Inner Views talking about the stroke she had at age 25 and how Austin Speech Labs helped her get her life back. David Little has also been through Austin Speech Labs' programs after his stroke at age 40. His stroke occurred while he was driving and left him paralyzed on one side of his body and unable to speak much. A lawyer, David is now practicing law again thanks to the therapy he received. 


May 2010
May 26 Austin Chronicle Adult Spelling Bee
On May 20, the Austin Chronicle had its annual Adult Spelling Bee at Threadgill's. Geoff Thevenot, 4-time spelling bee champion (though not this year) and word announcer Erika Allbright (cool job!) were both on. In an odd twist of fate, host Abigail Mahnke attended the spelling bee as "research" for the show and ended up taking 4th place in the bee. By the way: Geoff Thevenot was on Inner Views in 2006 after placing 2nd in the U.S. Scrabble Open.
May 19 Melanie Typaldos, owner of Caplin Rous the Capybara
Never heard of or seen a capybara? It's the world's largest rodent and it comes from parts of South America. Melanie Typaldos is the owner of Caplin Rous the capybara, who lives here in Austin. What possesses someone to own a capybara? What are capybaras like? These questions and many more will be answered.
May 12 Lacy Coleman
At age 25, Lacy had a stroke that left her right side paralyzed and unable to speak. After 3 months of hospital therapy, she was far from recovered, but had to quit because she had no insurance and had run out of money. Enter Austin Speech Labs, a non-profit speech therapy center offering drastically reduced or free services to stroke survivors. Lacy spent 6 months in their programs - she recovered her speech and reading and was able to re-enroll in college. 
May 5 Paul Williams
About the same time that Paul started volunteering for the Red Cross, he was also losing his sight. Now legally blind, he volunteers full time for the Red Cross, using public transportation to get there. Despite being someone in need himself, he spends his days helping others.

April 2010
April 28 Stephen MacMillan Moser
You know him as the Style Avatar of the Austin Chronicle. His bout with cancer is public as was his arrest last year on arson charges for setting his roommate's car on fire (which he did do). But you may not have known about his history of drug use or that his father committed suicide. Stephen holds pretty much nothing back in this honest and compelling interview.
April 21 Bijoy Goswami
Austinites know Bijoy for any number of reasons—he started Bootstrap Austin and he's the author of the amazing book, The Human Fabric. I interviewed Bijoy about his book back in 2005: listen here. He's coming back on Inner Views to talk about something completely different: What happens when you actually grow up with loving parents, lead a charmed life, living in exciting places and attend a top-notch university? Oddly enough, such a life can create its own challenges when you have nothing to bump up against, nothing that forces you to figure out who you are or who you are not. Bijoy is a fantastic and engaging speaker, and a terrific storyteller.
April 14 Veronique Matthews
Veronique is the founder of Hearts & Hooves, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing interactions with animals that lead to healing smiles and joy. When Veronique got breast cancer, she benefited greatly from her interactions with Toby, a miniature horse, which gave her the idea to help others heal from their own challenges through animals.
April 7 Sean Quirk
Sean Quirk is the manager, producer and interpreter for the Tuvan throat singing ensemble, Alash. Raised in Milwaukee, Sean's passion for Tuvan music developed to the point where he got a Fulbright Fellowship to study the music in Tuva, decided to live there permanently, married a Tuvan woman, had some Tuvan babies, and now devotes his life to promoting Tuvan throat singing touring around the world. Listen to a sample of Alash's Tuvan throat singing. Sean can also throat sing—hear a clip of him from our interview.

March 2010
March 31 Debbie Richardson
In 2008, I interviewed Debbie when she participated in the Texas Water Safari, probably the most grueling canoe race in the world. Well, she's back at it again, only this time she paddled 466 miles with a group from San Saba, Texas to the Texas coast over the course of 18 days.
March 24 Saxx Williams
Saxx is one of those people who appears to be cursed. He was arrested at age 17 for illegal posession of a firearm, a crime he did not commit. Then he went to prison again for possession of counterfeit currency. And while he did have counterfeit currency, it had been given to him when he won at craps and he didn't use it. Then he fathered a child after having sex with the mother only once—and he had used protection. Despite all he's been through, Saxx is optimistic, good-natured and enjoying his life.
March 17 Marwencol—wins Best Documentary at SXSW!
After being beaten into a brain-damaging coma by five men outside a bar, Mark Hogancamp built a 1/6th scale World War II-era town in his backyard. Mark populated the town he dubbed Marwencol with dolls representing his friends and family and created life-like photographs detailing the town's many relationships and dramas. Playing in the town and photographing the action helped Mark to recover his hand-eye coordination and deal with the psychic wounds from the attack. Through his homemade therapy, Mark was able to begin the long journey back into the "real world", both physically and emotionally - something he continues to struggle with today.
March 10 SXSW Documentary Film: When I Rise
When I Rise is a feature-length documentary about a gifted black music student at the University of Texas—Barbara Smith Conrad—who is thrust into a civil rights storm that changes her life forever. In 1957 Conrad is cast in an opera to co-star with a white male classmate, fueling a racist backlash from members of the Texas legislature. When Conrad is pulled from the cast, the incident escalates to national news, prompting unexpected support from pop superstar Harry Belafonte. This small-town girl, whose spirit stem from her roots in East Texas, struggles against the odds and ultimately ascends to the heights of international opera. When I Rise is an inspirational journey toward finding forgiveness within oneself.

February 2010
February 24 Austin Facial Hair Club
The members of the Austin Facial Hair Club have some seriously bushy beards and moustaches. They say, "We are here to support the choice of not shaving, and to celebrate the many styles that can come out of selective shaving." They just competed in the 4th annual Misprint Magazine Beard and Moustache Competition on February 19. We'll learn how they did and what all the hair is about.
February 17 Robert Beck
In March 2009, Robert Beck was arrested for possession of 277 marijuana plants in his home in Taylor and was placed in jail for 5 months without bail. It turned out he was innocent and, in the meantime, he lost his home, his pets and his business. Almost a year later, he is still trying to put his life back together.
February 10 M. Brown
Ms. Brown grew up in a dysfunctional family with alcholic parents who divorced when she was 7 years old. At one point, her family was so poor that her stepfather chose to pick food out of grocery store trash bins rather than find a job to feed the family. Her mother has been married 5 times and her real father is currently missing. Marlayna somehow managed to transcend all this - she's the first college graduate in her family, a professional writer and yoga instructor, and she has written 2 books.
February 3 Russell Secker
Russell is an ultrarunner. This past summer he completed the Trans Europe Footrace, a 2,800-mile race over 64 days! (That's an average of 44 miles/day.) And this is just one of several multi-day races that Russell has competed in. Despite swearing he would never do anything this crazy again, he's already signed up for the next Trans Europe Footrace—which takes place in 2012. Russell is the author of Running Across Countries.




January 2010
January 27 Seth Green
Seth was born with severe cleft and lip palate and told he would never speak. Seven surgeries later, not only did he learn to speak, but he became a champion debater in high school. He went on to graduate summa cum laude from Princeton, earned masters degrees from Oxford and the London School of Economics, and got a law degree from Yale.
January 20 Mikaya Heart
Mikaya wrote a memoir, My Sweet Wild Dance, about growing up with parents who seemed to wish she didn't exist, boys and men who constantly used her as a physical object for their own pleasure, the struggle to realize she was a lesbian, and ultimately a journey of self-acceptance and expression.
January 13 Alan
Alan, who wishes to remain anonymous, smoked crystal meth for 5 years and actually kept his life under control during that time. He switched over to injecting meth and then his life went to hell. After getting fired from a couple of jobs, he checked himself into rehab and has been clean since last July. He speaks candidly of what meth is like, how it affected him and what it feels like to be clean. 
January 6
Glenna King
In 1992, at age 34, Glenna had a brain aneurysm. Two surgeries were performed to remove infected parts of her brain. After that, she spent months with therapists relearning some of the basic skills of life, such as reading, cooking, driving and even making the bed.



Copyright © 2009 Abigail Mahnke