#157: Robbie Leppzer, filmmaker of Power Struggle

Robbie Leppzer is a local filmaker who has documented grassroots social justice movements for over 40 years. Power Struggle is about the successful 6+ years long citizen campaign to close Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor in Vernon, VT. The film is being screened this week, June 6th and 7th, at the Northampton Center for the Arts on Hawley St.        https://www.powerstrugglemovie.com

#156: JFK students 4 teacher rights; music

1m:  Koffee sings “Toast”

3m:  This morning while emptying the downtown trash barrels, I came across Roan Dunkerly, Noah Daube-Valois, and Jamie Payne, sitting on the steps of Northampton City Hall holding signs like “We love our teachers” and “We demand fair pay for teachers”. The three are 7th graders at JFK Middle School in Florence, and had walked out of school this morning and continued walking 4 miles to City Hall to deliver their message to the mayor and the public.
Community meeting coming up:

#FundOurFuture #TheSchoolsOurChildrenDeserve
Tuesday June 4th, Florence Civic Center, 5:30-7:30pm. Free pizza and childcare.

the rest of the show is… music, updates about my visit to Bikes Not Bombs and the Trinidad bike project, WMSURJ meeting and the reparations campaign, Florence night out coming up Saturday, “Race: The Power of an Illusion” Saturday in Greenfield, sponsored by Racial Justice Rising.

songs:  Ray Charles: Georgia on my Mind; JFK Middle School Jazz Band; Diana Ross – Reach Out and Touch Someone;  Gil Scott-Heron – Who’ll Pay Reparations on my Soul; Andy Grammer – Give Love

#154: Aiko, Anouck, hitchiking across the Atlantic; Merikens

This is the 2nd episode about  my recent trip to Trinidad.

1m Arriving in Trinidad and getting through immigration

10m Aiko explains how she caught a ride on a boat from Europe to the Caribbean

29m Chronixx sings “There Ain’t No Givin In”

33m   Joseph B talks of his Meriken heritage.  The Merikens were enslaved in the southern US, and fought with the British in the War of 1812, with the promise of freedom, and eventually resettled in the southern part of Trinidad.

36m Ariel and Kamaya, two of the little girls of St Mary’s, cooking at Noriga’s

39m Bob Marley “Coming in from the Cold”

44m Anouck, another person who came as part of the One Family Farm work exchange, talks about her trip across the Atlantic.  findacrew.com is a boat hitchiking website that Aiko and Anouck both used.

55m Billy Joel “Downeaster Alexa”

#153: Trinidad! Letters, Kevn, Noriga, Ras

I unexpectedly spent 6 weeks of the winter in Trinidad, warmly welcomed to One Family Farm in Moruga. I had meant to join my friend Mika on another Caribbean Island, on his homemade bamboo boat, but when he got blown away at sea, I went on workaway.info and found the farm and went there instead. Wow. Can’t wait to go back.  I had wanted to interview Giselle, the most hospitable farmer ever, but didn’t manage to.
2m: Kevin’s heart
11m Skinny Fabulous, Machel Montano & Bunji Garlin sing Familaylaylay
23m Chronixx sings “Who Knows”
29m Noriga (and Mikayla) on natural fresh food, i.e. baji stalk drink
41m Ras on healthy local food
47m Buju Banton sings Hills and Valleys

Ep152 – Lois Ahrens – Real Cost of Prisons

Lois Ahrens (and another friend/neighbor), joins me in the studio to talk about how she got started with the Real Cost of Prisons project, prison friendships, the comix she printed and mailed out for 10 years…
…How 50% of people in county jails are there because they can’t afford bail… and more.

Ep151 – Hafiz,Fergsn,DRovcs,KvlIntegratn


Land-O-Lakes butter box imagery  – what does a young woman with a headband and feathers have to do with the butter industry?  And did you know, if you buy Land-O-Lakes American cheese, the white kind, the receipt says, “White American LOL”

Hafiz’s poem:  “I am so glad”… “I am so glad you have come….”  Eric’s dad’s memorial, love between children and elderly parents ;making calls to ICE to #FreeEduardo; Bike cassette freezes up when it’s very cold after  a rainy day; reaching out to one another

16m: Eddy Grant, Living on the Frontline

Last night I saw “Whose Streets?”, a documentary about the 2014 events in Ferguson, after Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager, was shot by police.  The community rose up to demand justice, in this situation and many other, week after week, month after month, despite being portrayed in mainstream media as being rioters. thanks to all the black freedom fighters.     http://www.coming-together.org/

Buffy Sainte Marie: Starwalker

32m: David Rovics minipodcast on the housing crisis in the US, and his hometown or Portland, OR  https://drovics.podbean.com/e/living-room-elephant/

43m: panel discussion from April 2018 in Knoxville TN at the TN theater, a woman giving her memory of when her white high school was integrated in the 60s; also a college student today talks about her perspective.

Jean Ritchie sings “Movin On” and “Jubilee”

Ep144 – Stuff, Frances,BlueAprn

DownTownTrash profile clip: Linda tells about her situation:  “Walk in my shoes, and you’d be the same way!”

My observations/comments about things that are sold for hair removal, as I observe them downtown.  So bizarre.  (if you’re interested in more on this topic, check out Ep 96: Bearded Ladies Three)

Be active; push/find your physical capabilities.

Frances Crowe, as she goes into her 100th winter, she has her first power chair!

-a little about light pollution

-changes in the global recycling market: we (Pedal People/trash haulers) are paying by the pound for recycling cans and bottles.  PP pays the same for cans and bottles as for trash, at Valley Recycling. PLEASE empty water etc out of bottles you put in the recycling or trash.  Water is best transported by gravity/evaporation, not fossil fuels.  and pls don’t entomb water in a landfill.

And, Blue Apron food marketing system entails a lot of waste.

Ep150 – DebinBrucePedCrashSafety

Live guest Debin Bruce, Northampton resident, joins me in the studio.  Debin recently finished a report on pedestrian safety for the National Transportation Safety Board     https://www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety-studies/Documents/SIR1803.pdf

Key points:

Crash vs Accident:  these are crashes, they’re preventable by better behavior and design, they’re not fault-free unavoidable events.

The slower motorists go, the safer everyone is.  Pedestrian survival rates are much much higher when motorists are going under 30mph vs over 40 mph.

Distracted travel is dangerous for everyone; whether it’s driving or walking under the influence.

Be seen – reflective surfaces are great for reducing nighttime crashes.

53m: letter to Eduardo Samaniego, in ICE detention in GA


Ep149 – BikingFamilySpfld

Does Verizon’s light pollution violate City ordinance?  they’ve got an advertising screen just inside their window, broadcasting 24-7, according to the Verizon manager I talked to.   ):

7m:thank you letter to Timi, someone my friend Shira and I met in KY when we were there in Sept.  we traded contact info, and then I received a calendar from Timi on New Year’s Eve.

and for the rest of the show:  Kristen Brennan, Daniel Staub, and their kids Dora, Noah, and Rory talk about why they have chosen to be car-free in their Springfield home/neighborhood for the last 15+ years.

Ep148 – Invisible

Are there ways in which you feel invisible?  I posed this question to some random people, most of whom chose to remain anonymous.  The main interviewee speaks about how her (10-yr-old?) son feels  in school, and trying to instill in him a strong sense of character despite other influences.

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