UMass Amherst radio station WMUA’s draconian reduction of community programming warrants focusing the spotlight of public scrutiny on this newly minted, institutionalized contempt for the community. In one instance, the student leadership of WMUA, acting with impunity, eviscerated the weekend broadcasts of polka music. Empowered by well-paid university bureaucrats, those students unilaterally slashed the number of hours featuring polka programming, from 12 hours over Saturday and Sunday, to just four hours on Sunday. Their destructiveness reflects a mean-spirited effort to marginalize a significant form of cultural expression deeply rooted in the Connecticut Valley region.
Additionally, in order to silence those community members who are greatly served by WMUA’s 450 watt broadcast signal, the university imperiously enacted a policy designed to exclude them from having a voice in determining the radio station’s future. That same community, as defined by its loyal listenership, volunteerism, and financial support, has contributed, in large measure, to the decades long viability of WMUA.
Records full of women
Editor’s Note: The Advocate recently ran a timeline of women rockstars to go along with the cover story, Women Rock: Sexism and music go together like rock ’n’ roll. Readers wrote in to add some amazing women to this list:
Etta James, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Joan Jett, Ann and Nancy Wilson, Tina Turner, The Supremes, Sylvia Robinson, Betty Davis, Salt ’n’ Pepa, Lil’ Kim, Eve, Tammi Terrell, Me’Shell Ndegeocello, Missy Elliot, Santigold, and Foxy Brown.
Time for Democrats to unite
Bernie Sanders narrow margin of loss in Iowa was a huge boost to the grassroots idealistic Democrat, but could be a threat in dividing Democrats who have done a fine job so far steering clear from the division that is easily seen more and more in the Republican caucuses. Sanders, who I personally deeply believe in politically, is hurting the party by branding Clinton a “Washington insider” and using other tactics to smear Clinton which the Republicans will use during the general election. As Democrats, lets try to stay together and fight what we believe is the greater evil, as none of us want to see the Monopoly man representing this country.
Pit bulls, yea or nay?
Editor’s Note: The following comments are readers who responded on Facebook and in the Advcoate’s website to “Who kicked the dogs out? New legislation could mean more homes for pit bulls, other commonly ‘blacklisted’ breeds.”
Kathi St. Germain: Thanks for the article. It’s an ongoing struggle for those of us that love and own these dogs. The first line of this article, though — “Rupert the pit bull stands at the feet of his 2-year-old owner, calmly snorting up popcorn while the toddler yanks forcefully at the dog’s collar. Tai Wickline is pulling hard enough to elicit bulldog-like breathing from his 3-year-old canine.” — makes me cringe. The writer of this article, nor, most troubling, the dog’s owner recognize that they are allowing this child to basically abuse this dog. Then when one day, the dog finally gets tired of being choked by the toddler, and retaliates everyone will claim, “It came out of nowhere.” Therein is the biggest problem of all.
Kristie Lecaros: Pit bull bans should remain in place. The shelters in areas with longstanding bans are not contributing to the mass euthanasia of the breed. There are fewer breeders due to those banned areas. A dog so overbred should not be promoted but instead ownership should be deterred. The rules of supply and demand apply here.
Lisa Mumpower: [My pit bull] is almost 10 and she loves everone! So, people, give them a chance. It’s like this for every dog: love them trust them and they’ll be the best dogs in the world. If we would love them as we love each other, the world would be amazing.