#132: Howard Moore – N’ton Walking School Bus; Bill Morrow racial justice talk at Knoxville TN UCC

7m – driverless car rolls away at transfer center
9m – I join Howard Moore, a walking school bus driver, and 75 other people walking to Bridge St School.
16m Diamond Rio sings “Meet in the Middle”
20m – Bill Morrow, a speaker at Church of the Savior (UCC) in Knoxville, TN (a mostly white church), references the parable of the Good Samaritan and asks white people to notice ways we are in the ditch of ignorance and arrogance. Many times when people with more financial resources look at communities with less, and ask “How can I help?”, the “savior” overlooks the assets of the community they’re trying to “help.” “I’m rich; you’re poor. Let’s be friends.”
51m – Appalatin sings “Primavera”

#130: JimW – Blood Donor; MaryDL-old days; RW DC Prayer

My dad Jim Woodring, blood donor since 1977….
Mary Denis Lentch, growing up in the 1940s sharing a home, a bedroom, and a bed, with 3 sisters.
Me, Ruthy Woodring, with a prayer for humanity in front of the Capitol
..more details coming soon -rw

#129: Miguel de EnCargo, cycloenthusiast de Bogota

Miguel just showed up in the valley, bringing with him a great love of cycling, from Bogota, Colombia. He shares about initiatives in Bogota to make it a bike-friendly place: cyclovias every Sunday, where many streets are closed to motorists; monthly bike-to-school days, with the government distributing the bikes; a recent law saying motorists must give cyclists 1.5m clearance when passing; etc.
En la entrevista, Miguel habla en espanol en , y yo traduzco.

#128: Blue Apron, Marty the Pirate, Kali Baba, smokin pole

2m – the mystery of the blue apron – What is this highly-packaged boxed food delivery service?  Erik Lokensgard (former service subscriber), Kristen Wilmer (works with local farmers), Lingeng (trash hauler) and I (trash hauler) share our views.

11m – song:  Plastic State of  Mind

14m – watching a utility pole catch on fire

18m – Kali Baba McConnell playing guitar and spreading the love

22m Marty “the Pirate” Mirabol Jr, on having his campsite/belongings removed by the City earlier in Jan/Feb

30m – Living Colour sings Open Letter to a Landlord

38m – Alex Jarrett shares about going rafting on the CT River Feb 21st, and having lunch on an iceberg

41m – National War Tax Resisters Coordinating Committee.  If you don’t like the military budget, then redirect your taxes.   Easier said than done, but check out http://nwtrcc.org for resources.

43: I found in DTT a sealed plastic cup with pomegranate seeds in it.  Now why would human beings take something in nature’s perfect packaging, well-preserved, and remove the peel and put it in plastic?!

44: song “Barges”, parody of Thrift Store,   Everything comes on Barges, too much shipping and packaging, let’s grow our own.

48: a reading of Jim Woodring’s writing on his favorite season, and the joy of being alive today

53: Fishbone sings “Every Day Sunshine”


#127: Hema Preya (racial justice research), Niall Gengler (bike builder/fitter)

2 min: a turtle from Conway who got washed to Hartford in Hurricane Irene (2011), and the next spring, was found back in the South River in Conway??!

3-32 min: Hema Preya, a UMass docotoral candidate who did a research study last year about the role of white people in the struggle for  racial justice (specifically focusing on black-white categories in the U.S.), talks about the study.  Last week the first 13 minutes aired; this week you can hear the entire 26-min interview.  Hema’s partner at UMass in this study was Dr. Ozden Melis Ulug.

16m: Macy Gray sings “White Man”

32m: Youssou N’Dour and Nineh Cherry sing “7 Seconds”

38m: Black History Month announcements

42m: Niall Gengler, bike builder and bike fitter, of Pioneer Valley Frameworks in Easthampton, talks about the importance of bike fit for your comfort and efficiency.

53m: Lauryn Hill “Everything is Everything”



#126: JimW (domestic violence counseling in KY); Hema Preya (racial justice research)

3-30 min:  When my dad (Jim Woodring) was driving me to the bus station in Knoxville, TN, back in January, he asked me if I had any 5-yr plans. No, nothing major. I asked him about his, and he told me about the process of becoming certified in batterer intervention, and his work with domestic violence counselling.   You can read more in his book, “Always My Fault”, a survivor’s story.   There is one dv shelter, with 30 beds, serving a 9-county region in southeastern KY with a population of around 320,000 people.

20 min- John Prine sings “The Great Compromise.”

26 min:  David and Roosevelt from Shop n Share, an annual drive for supplies for domestic violence programs in KY.  David and Roose were at Kroger in Middlesboro, KY, on Feb 3rd asking for shoppers to take the list of supplies requested by the dv shelters, and add something to their shopping list if possible.      People were generous, donating 25-30 boxes of supplies by the end of the day.  A statistical note – mean household income in Bell Co, KY, is $21,000, compared with $61,000 in Hampshire Co, MA.

People were also very generous with the liquid hand soap bottles.  Liquid hand soap, how did this become normal?   A housemate once said to me that she was concerned about bacteria living on the bar.  No, research says it’s not a risk.  Liquid hand soap, it’s just another niche consumer market.  I read online that people tend to use a lot more, per hand wash, than with bar soap, and it can end up costing 10x as much.  Plus plastic trash.

31m Jim’s writing on Valentine’s Day and true love.

35m Hema Preya, a researcher from UMass, shares about her project, done last year, asking people who identified as black or as white what they thought were the most important things they could do for racial justice.  I only had time to play half of this interview, so check next week for the other half.

Check out coming-together.org, based in Amherst, for their racial justice resources.

53m Bideew Bou Bess sings “My Feeling”




#125: Maida (farmer), Amadou (cab driver), Annie S-C (coop finances), Hitching

I’ve been in KY the past 3-4 weeks, and today’s show features people I met in my travels.

First is Maida Ives, manager at Book and Plow Farm at Amherst College, where she farms with athletic strength and flair. She mentions Farm for Good, an organization that connects aspiring farmers with available land.

at 14 min: When I got off the bus in Knoxville, 5am on a 12-degree night, people without bus tickets were trying to the escape the cold, and Greyhound security was trying to make them leave. A young man recounts his version of witnessing this earlier in the evening/morning. Sadly, this was a common scene in many of the bus stations I passed through on this trip.

15 min: Amadou Camara, a taxi driver in Knoxville, shares his enjoyment of the job, and desires to improve the taxi industry’s efficiency, sustainability, use of technology, and viability, especially given the uneven playing field with Uber and Lyft.

21 min:  Israel Vibration sings “My Master’s Will”

27 min:  Annie Sullivan-Chin, former Pedal Person now living in Brooklyn and part of A Bookkeeping Cooperative, is working on a financial literacy “toolbox” to help other cooperators and justice oriented groups to develop financial skills with anti-oppression and collective ideology.  http://www.toolboxfored.org

45 min:  Thoughts of a hitchhiker standing alone on the side of the road, as I try to get 60-75 miles from Knoxville up to  KY.

54 min: Bideew Bou Bess sings “I Belong”

58 min addendum:  immediately after this show aired, when Democracy Now came on , their headlining piece was about taxi drivers in New York City struggling to make a living in the current livery business environment, with Uber unfairly influencing politicians, driving down wages,  and flooding the market with unregulated vehicles.  https://www.democracynow.org/2018/2/7/nyc_taxi_driver_kills_himself_at

#124: Uli and Pablo, friends from Germany

I’m joined in the studio by special guest, Uli and Pablo Mercker.  Uli is coming to the end of his month stay in Northampton, from Germany.

We talk about Northampton impressions, the state of the world, the possibility and the destruction.  Will technology and electric bikes/mowers save us?

2:45: follow up with Michael Docter (see episode #122) about the new wheels – solid rubber – that he got for his 1000 lb carrot-hauling trailer.

13:30 : Moody Blues sings Nights in White Satin

32: Cat Stevens sings Peace Train

50: Cat Stevens sings Where Do the Children Play

54: the end is a couple filler clips from people I met on my bus travels last year

#123: Winter clips and music

Why hauling trash by bike is difficult in New England in late Dec – let me count the ways:

1. extra holiday trash:  Amazon boxes, Amazon prime boxes, Amazon boxes. glossy gift boxes, toy boxes, tool boxes, wrapping paper, unflattened cardboard, boxes that won’t compact, and pop out of the recycling tubs on your trailer like a spring.  Boxes that are icy and slippery.

2. working in mittens (i.e. paws)

3. wind, wind that blows away your boxes when they pop out of your tub.  trying to pick up little slips of paper off the icy ground with mittens.  Wind that freezes your eyeballs so you can’t see.   of if you wear goggles, goggles that fog up so you can’t see.  but yay for vaseline, shea butter, bees wax, whale blubber, or whatever you can smear your exposed skin with.

4. ice under your wheels, ice under your feet

5. Xmas and New Years are on Mondays, so all of Monday’s pickups are delayed til Tuesday.  backlog of trash and work.

6. Coworkers out of town for the holidays, so the ones at home covering extra shifts.

7. Shortest days of the year, daylight runs out at 4pm.

8.  snow.  snow that falls and is followed by sub-zero temps that turn the treated snow on the roads/bike path to a sandy,frozen-slushy consistency that packs up in your trailer fenders and causes constant drag.  don’t bother knocking it off, it will pack back  up in there within 15 feet.  you’ll just have to stand up to pedal through what you’d be able to coast through in summer.

9. temps from 10 below to 10 above, causing increased rolling resistance.  (is it the energy needed for tire deformation as that part of the tire hits the pavement?  frozen grease in all rolling surfaces?  ice in you cables and chain and brakes?  denser air?  lower air pressure in tires b/c you can’t pump them up b/c all the pumps are frozen?  all the layers of clothing and boots you’re working through?)

10. compost that is frozen in buckets.  pound and whack just the right amount to coax it out without cracking the bucket.

okay, 10 complaints is enough whining.

let’s enjoy the show:

8:40 min: Lunchmoney Lewis with “Bills” (work work work!)

15 min: Poking Pokey, my fears around giving a chicken a shot

19:30 min: Buffy St Marie

23 min:  a special story from my dad Jim Woodring who has taken to answering the 8pm telemarketer calls with “Domestic Violence Hotline, Can I help you?”  Someone  needed help.

28: Kwanzaa song

32: Jasmine, poem about trees, shared at Int’s Women’s Day march 2017

36: Mark Guglielmo (local musician) sings “Algiers Point”

46: Jerry and Sylvia Johnson and Higher Help, will be performing at MLKDay event Jan 15th at Anchor House of Artists on Pleasant St.

52: Cyndi Lauper sings True Colors


Tune in every Wednesday from 4 to 5 pm on Valley Free Radio, 103.3 FM in Northampton, MA USA or streaming online at valleyfreeradio.org