The Opioid Epidemic: When 28 Days Isn’t Enough

March 27, 2018

The morning of November 11, 2016 began like any other Friday morning for Charla Bocchicchio. She woke up to her alarm going off and was ready to get out of bed for an early morning yoga practice to kick off her weekend. And just like the rest of us, she grabbed her phone to see what she might have missed during the sleeping hours of the night. But unlike the rest of us, she found a throng of missed calls and text messages from her ex-husband, Chris Cochran, including a daunting notification: “Cassidy Aspen Cochran was born June 22, 1994.” Without hesitating Bocchicchio quickly called Cochran to hear the thing every parent dreads to hear; “She’s gone, Cassidy’s gone, she’s dead.”

Cassidy, only 22 years old, had passed away of an opioid overdose. High does of fentanyl had been found in her system by the medicinal examiner. Cassidy and her boyfriend Frank thought they were taking heroin, but it ended up being something more lethal.

Across the nation, fentanyl is now the fifth most common drug involved in overdose deaths. Counterfeit pills are common on the street, but with fentanyl, one person may take a fake pill and use it and the next person make take the pill and die almost instantly. In Cassidy’s case, according to the medical examiner, she unknowingly injected a lethal dose of it.

In 2016, more Americans died of drug overdose than died in the Vietnam War. Two-thirds of those overdose deaths were from opioids. The opioid addiction is on the rise and is being referred to as an epidemic, but yet it has still not been declared a public health crisis by the Utah Legislature.

Joining us today is Cassidy’s mother Charla Bocchicchio to help spread awareness about the opioid epidemic by sharing Cassidy’s story.

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Ghosting the Wasatch

March 14, 2018

You may be familiar with hit TV shows like Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures, but what is the reality of ghost hunting like? And what kind of locations along the Wasatch are prime targets for local ghost hunting teams? Jennifer Jones, founder of The Dead History and author of Ghosts of Ogden, Brigham City, and Logan, sat down with Salt Lake Speaks to talk about her experiences as a real life ghost hunter as well as some of her favorite haunted locales. She’ll also explain the legend behind infamous Ogden Cemetery ghost, Flo, to prime you for our upcoming Utah Weird column in the May/June 2018 issue of Salt Lake Magazine.

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Robyn Cage: From Musical Theatre to Singer-songwriter

March 5, 2018

Robyn Cage, might be a local musician, but Robyn’s experience and music has taken her to Boston, New York City and back to Utah. Described as dark and dreamy alternative/pop, she is often compared to Adele, Lana Del Rey or Florence + The Machine. Robyn is an incredibly prestigious singer-songwriter who's inspiration is drawn from Unity, freedom and owning your true inner self.

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How to Ski all 14 Utah Ski Resorts in 7 Days (Part II)

February 22, 2018

Locals in Salt Lake City are spoiled when it comes to winter sports. We know that. We own that. If you're a skier or snowboarder, you relish the access to miles and miles of snow—be it groomers, trees, parks or open range back country. We most of us have that one mountain or one resort that we have a pass to and play on every time it snows. We have our favorite. But there are 14 Utah Ski Resorts all within driving distance from the Salt Lake International Airport. From 20mins to 3 hours. If you are motivated enough and happen to have a bucket list, like Matthew D. LaPlante, you might find yourself skiing all 14 ski resorts in just seven days. It is possible. Listen to part one to hear about the first 3 days of his incredible journey.

 

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How to Ski all 14 Utah Ski Resorts in 7 Days (Part I)

February 21, 2018

Locals in Salt Lake City are spoiled when it comes to winter sports. We know that. We own that. If you're a skier or snowboarder, you relish the access to miles and miles of snow—be it groomers, trees, parks or open range back country. We most of us have that one mountain or one resort that we have a pass to and play on every time it snows. We have our favorite. But there are 14 Utah Ski Resorts all within driving distance from the Salt Lake International Airport. From 20mins to 3 hours. If you are motivated enough and happen to have a bucket list, like Matthew D. LaPlante, you might find yourself skiing all 14 ski resorts in just seven days. It is possible. Listen to part one to hear about the first 3 days of his incredible journey.

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Exploring the Hidden Gay History of the Wild West (Part 2)

February 8, 2018

This is Part 2 with LGBTQ writer and historian, Gregory Hintons. Hinton's background lies in the study of the hidden gay history of the West Hinton grew up a gay in Boulder, Colorado but after a violently aggressive phone call from a religious neighbor, he “evacuated” as he would say to Southern California. Hinton is back in Cody, Wyoming digging deeper into the history of gay rodeos, Buffalo Bill's friendship with French artist Rosa Bonheur and author Oscar Wilde and continuing through his writings, films and art projects illuminating the contributions of the LGBT community in the history and culture of the America West.

"By bringing up the LGBT community and telling their stories in particularly the story of the American West, it's on us to tell our stories because somebody else will they'll just tell them wrong," - Gregory Hinton

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Exploring the Hidden Gay History of the Wild West (Part I)

February 8, 2018

Writer and historian, Gregory Hinton’s background lies in the study of the hidden gay history of the West Hinton grew up a gay in Boulder, Colorado but after a violently aggressive phone call from a religious neighbor, he “evacuated” as he would say to Southern California. Hinton is back in Cody, Wyoming digging deeper into the history of gay rodeos, Buffalo Bill's friendship with French artist Rosa Bonheur and author Oscar Wilde and continuing through his writings, films and art projects illuminating the contributions of the LGBT community in the history and culture of the America West.

"By bringing up the LGBT community and telling their stories in particularly the story of the American West, it's on us to tell our stories because somebody else will they'll just tell them wrong," - Gregory Hinton

Stay tuned for Part II of the interview to hear about his connection with the bloodied intertwined Brokeback Mountain shirts and experience processing the 20th anniversary of Matthew Sheppard's death.

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Women and Power at the Alta Club

January 11, 2018

Gender inequality is today's hot topic—we hope it's tomorrow's topic too. In this era of #metoo and #timesup, it's interesting to look back on some barrier-bashing in our own Salt Lake City. It wasn't until a century after the Alta Club's founding that women  were allowed to become members.  Salt Lake Speaks features a conversation with the first woman member, Genevieve Atwood,  about the legacy of the Alta Club, how it feels to have been the first woman admitted and whether that mattered.

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UMFA Exhibits a Disturbing View of Western American History.

January 10, 2018

As part of it's exhibit Go West! Art of the American Frontier from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, queer artist and member of the Catawba Tribe DeLesslin George-Warren will lead Indigenous Corps of Discovery tours. The tours will examine more than eighty original artworks by Euro-American and Plains Indian artists as Delessliin strips away the age-old myths and explains that westward expansion was a catastrophe for native Americans and their culture that usually led to genocide. Roo, as DeLesslin is known, joined Managing Editor Glen Warchol on Salt Lake Speaks.

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A Sexual Cultural Upheaval

January 2, 2018

Documentary director Diana Whitten talks to Managing Editor Glen Warchol about sexual abuse in film and society.

Salt Lake Speaks welcomed Diana Whitten, a director, producer, and founder of the Utah Chapter of Film Fatales, to sit down and discuss the rash of sexual abuse incidents coming out of Hollywood and government. Film Fatales is a community of women filmmakers who collaborate and mentor each other in a male-dominated industry.

Whitten says the past year's upheaval—including reported sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein, Dustin Hoffman, Louis C.K., Kevin Spacey and others—is part of a cultural shift that will continue and ultimately benefit women and the film industry.

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