Monday, February 25, 2008

Poet Kerry O'Keefe, Writer Maureen O'Brien

Three third-generation Irish-American women (two of whom are accomplished writers, and one of whom hosts a weekly talk show) meet to share prose and poetry, to ponder the role of the "scapegoated truthteller" in the Irish Catholic family, to explore subjects of loss, of female sexuality, violence, and alcoholism, and to tip our hats to injured veterans returning from Iraq.

Kerry O'Keefe's chapbook "From a Burning Building," was published by St. Martin's Press in 2006, and is available at the Broadside Bookshop. Maureen O'Brien's novel "b-mother" was published by Harcourt in 2006, and is widely available.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Kerry O'Keefe "Late Mass in August"

Northampton poet Kerry O'Keefe and novelist Maureen O'Brien will be our guests tonight on the Community Radio Hour.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Viva Obama

Friday, February 22, 2008

Northampton Weather, Outside the Cubicle

Steve, AKA Meatball. His wife got the trailer; she dropped Steve for his best friend. Degenerative arthritis stemming from injury while on active duty. Has had no luck with disability applications, his paperwork never seems to emerge from the bureaucracy. Crashing on sofas and floors.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Daniel Ellsberg Speaks

Ed Russell and I ventured to Bentley College in Waltham on January 2008 to record the ACLU of Massachusetts Conference, where Daniel Ellsberg -- the RAND corporation insider and military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times during the Vietnam War -- was the featured speaker. Ed produced an hour of radio from our audio capture. Ed's radio show, "Active Ingredients," can be heard on Monday Evenings from 6-7 on WXOJ-LP, Northampton, Valley Free Radio, 103.3 FM. This and many other fascinating recordings can be downloaded at

Listen by clicking on the link below:
Ellsberg Speaks: A Coup has Occurred

Monday, February 18, 2008

James Lowenthal on Bicycle Transportation For All

James Lowenthal, Astronomy Professor at Smith College, also serves as MassBike chapter president here in the Pioneer Valley. He spoke last year at the Media Education Foundation on the topic of Clean Transportation in the Valley. This inspiring and eye-opening presentation was recorded by Ed Russell of Active Ingredients media. We ran this recording for the February 17 edition of the Radio Hour.

Pair of Cyclists*, originally uploaded by [Zakkaliciousness].

to listen to the mp3, click on the link to launch your media player, or use the embedded flash player below to stay on this page:

James Lowenthal Speaks at the Media Education Foundation

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ed Shanahan is Back!

Retired Gazette editor Ed Shanahan is back from vacation, and his on-line journal is once again teeming with observation and commentary.

Hugo Chavez, The American Red Cross, Declining American Literacy, Pfizer, the Evisceration of the Great American Newspaper, and the Global Scrap Metal Industry....

The honorable Mr. Shanahan is on a roll, and in a contrarian mood. Bookmark; as his old-school web-based journal, created before blogging was all the rage, does not generate an RSS feed.

Hey There Analog Bob-Meet the Press!

This just in from City Councilor Bob Reckman concerning the first meeting of the Best Practices Committee:

"The location of the initial meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on Best Practices has been changed. The committee will meet in the BPW Board Room, which is located in the Department of Public Works at 125 Locust St., Northampton. The building is across Rt. 9 from Smith Vocational. We are trying to arrange for the meeting to be broadcast live or taped for later showing. We do not know yet if we will be successful. The public is cordially invited to attend."

Uhh, Bob, could we have a date and time? As for "taping" the proceedings...we hope you are succesful. But ya never know, one of them new-fangled digital documentarians might just choose to cover the event....

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

exit 19 advisory group

This just in from the Mayor's office:


Residents Proposed By Mayor Higgins to Al Stegemann, MassHighway District 2 & Accepted 2/7/08


Gerald Budgar
127 Bridge Street Northampton MA 01060
gbudgar at

Mara Shulman Ryan
27 Coolidge Avenue Northampton MA 01060
marashulman at

Christine Cahillane
337 Bridge Street Northampton MA 01060
ccahillane at

City Councilor
Robert Reckman City Councillor Ward 3
36 Fruit Street Northampton MA 01060
bobreckman at

City Staffer
Edward (Ned) Huntley, PE Director of DPW
125 Locust Street Northampton MA 01060
587-1570 x. 101
nhuntley at

Representative from MassBike
James Lowenthal 181 Crescent St.
Northampton, MA 01060
james at

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Roessler meets Hornor on Hospital Hill

What was the rationale for tearing down Old Main, the massive 19th-century stone and brick edifice that stood at the center of the former Northampton State Hospital? Jack Hornor, (photo to the left), a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee that recommended the demolition of the historic building, squares off with historic preservation advocate Mark Roessler (photo below), who recently wrote a 2-part story for the Valley Advocate called "How Not to Save Old Main."

Two options for listening: use the direct links, or use the embedded flash player at the bottom to stream without having to leave the page.

The Citizens Advisory Committee: Was Demolition Inevitable?
The Math, The Master Plan
Civic Monuments and Insurance Liability
The NDC and Save Old Main
Jack: Information on the Community Preservation Act

Northampton Weather, Outside the Cubicle

more from the international working group on home-grown media production

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Buildings to be Demolished by MassHighway

Under the current plan promulgated by MassHighway, these buildings would be destroyed to make way for the ramp expansion at exit 19 of I91.

back of aquadro
back yard gothic house
barn and tree
blue house
multi family

Friday, February 8, 2008

Five-Minute Presentations, Best Practices Finalists

Two of the eight finalists for the Ad Hoc Committee on Best Practices withdrew their applications since the last council meeting: Bonnie Rose and Patty Morey-Walker. The remaining six (Lisa DiPiano, Wendy Foxmyn, Alex Ghiselin, Peter Hirschman, Kevin Lake, and Jim Palermo) campaigned one last time at Thursday's regular meeting.
Footage shot by Northampton Community Television; Primitive extract, trim, and upload by CRH blogmeister.

Lisa DiPiano

Wendy Foxmyn

Alex Ghiselin

Peter Hirschman

Kevin Lake

Jim Palermo

Thursday, February 7, 2008

best practices committee

Alex Ghiselin, Lisa DiPiano, Jim Palermo, and Wendy Foxmyn were chosen last night by the City Council to serve on the newly-formed Ad Hoc Committee on Best Practices in municipal decision-making. The mood, as the meeting adjourned, was largely celebratory and hopeful.

See Fred Contrada's story on MassLive:
Ad Hoc Panel members Chosen

Mike Kirby: Back Row, Back Ward

Former City Councilor Mike Kirby is a political activist, a freelance investigative journalist, and author. His most recent book, "Back Row, Back Ward" examines the history of the efforts to redevelop Hospital Hill, former site of the Northampton Lunatic Asylum. He spins an arcane tale, involving public agencies, private developers, a string of mayors, and an Advisory Committee that caught the eye of the State Ethics Commission. It's an alphabet soup: the State Division of Capital Planning and Operations (DCPO), The Community Builders (TCB), The Citizens' Advisory Committee (CAC), Hospital Hill LLC, and the mysterious Northampton Development Corporation (NDC). He paints a picture of wishful thinking, back room dealing, pre-ordained conclusions, and disregard for historical values in the pursuit of profit.

Do you take issue with Kirby's interpretation of events? Well, tune in this Sunday, February 10. CAC member Jack Hornor will tell the story from another perspective. But not alone: he will be sharing the subterranean Valley Free Radio studio with Mark Roessler, who recently wrote a series for the Valley Advocate called "How Not to Save Old Main."

Two options for listening: click on direct links below, to play the file in your computer's designated media player, or use the embedded flash player below to stream audio from your web browser.

Track 1: 19th Century through Mid-Twentieth Century
Track 2: 1993: Formation of Citizens' Advisory Committee
Track 3: Studies; Mayor Ford's Committee
Track 4: Memorandum of Agreement
Track 5: TCB, Mass Development, DCPO, & the NDC
Track 6: Save Old Main

Northampton Weather, Outside the Cubicle

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Editorial: Cheer Up

Greetings from the Bohemian Wing of the Progressive Party of the Paradise City of America, AKA Northampton, Massachusetts. Our historic Kirkbride 19th-century lunatic asylum on the hill got torn down in 2006, an airport hotel was chosen was chosen as the primary monument to anchor our most important public square, a highway expansion is planned that, if implemented, will cut a swath through the Connecticut River Meadows, a neighborhood of good old houses last year met the wrecking ball to enable the expansion of Smith College....The people are outraged, calling for an examination of "best practices" in municipal decision-making, but the process of creating the "best practices" committee itself has been marked by gothic maneuvering....

Oh, Cheer Up. Those in charge have your best interests at heart. Buncha Whiners. Get a coffee to go at the Haymarket and go stand outside of Thornes with your favorite local street musician and watch the world go by. Best Little Arts Town in America? Some things in life can't be bought.

Sunday, February 3, 2008