Monday, June 28, 2010

Methyl Iodide in California

Methyl Iodide. California's Department of Pesticide Regulation is just days from a final decision on whether to permit growers to use methyl iodide, a dangerous new pesticide. First, we hear from Anne Katten of the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation. Back in September, as California's EPA was commencing its scientific review process, she discussed her concerns about methyl iodide with Local Dirt listeners. Nine months later, the EPA has approved methyl iodide use but will accept public comments through Tuesday. Paul Towers of Pesticide Watch updates us on the situation and possible state and national ramifications. To learn more about methyl iodide, read here. To tell the Department of Pesticide Regulation what you think about methyl iodide, email (Photo credit:

Endosulfan Ban. Paul Towers said that the U.S. EPA has recently taken some actions to protect Americans. This press release describe one example, this month's endosulfan ban.

Listen. Use the player below to hear the show, or click "divShare" to download the mp3.

Music Playlist.
"American Rivers" Tom Russell (Blood & Candlesmoke on Shout Factory)
"Deeper Well" Wailin' Jennys (Wailin' Jennys EP on Red House)
"Long Hot Summer Day" Sara Watkins (Sara Watkins on Nonesuch)
"Waiting on a Train" Jimmie Rodgers (Early Years 1928-29 on Rounder)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Whose University?

This week, we bring you a special program, one that I've worked on all year. It's a four-act radio documentary investigating the public university -- what it is, who it's for, and how we understand it, especially right now. To try to answer these questions, we look closely at UC Davis. The show's got money that's blood, a school that's a corporation, plus vampires, factories, a double-decker bus, and an elephant (sort of).

Listen. Use the player below to hear the program, or click on "divShare" to download the mp3.

For a full list of notes and citations, download here.

This piece is covered by a Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share-Alike copyright. Feel free to send links or re-post the mp3. If you'd like to rebroadcast it (in whole or in part), please contact me at so that I can ask permission from my interviewees.

Extraordinary thanks to KDVS and UC Davis American Studies for making this project possible.

May the university be yours,

Monday, June 7, 2010

Capay Organic and Appalachian Community Radio

Capay Organic. Tucked away in the Capay Valley is Capay Organic, a medium-sized organic farm that operates a community supported agriculture (CSA), a wholesale operation, sells produce at local Farmers Markets and to local restaurants and institutions. Capay Organics also operates the retail operation, Farm-Fresh-to-You Store, in the San Francisco Ferry Building. Thaddeus Barsotti, one of three brothers who operates Capay Organic, came on to talk about the history of Capay Organic, the business behind organic agriculture, their focus on education and the successes of Capay Organic's business ventures.

Capay Organic will be hosting their annual Capay Tomato Event on Saturday, July 10th 2010 out at the farm. Join in on the community celebration centered around heirloom tomatoes. Live music, including the West Nile Ramblers, tomato tastings, activities for kids and families and farm tours will fill the afternoon. Photo courtesy

Covering Coal on the Radio. WMMT Mountain Community Radio in Whitesburg, KY serves a community whose members are seldom portrayed accurately in the mainstream media, says station manager Cheryl Marshall. On Local Dirt, Cheryl discusses the needs and interests of the station's audience. She explains how the coalfield station covers coal-related issues, acknowledging that coal plays a variety of roles in the lives of WMMT listeners. To hear WMMT, listen to the stream online or find a specific past show of interest to you. (Originally aired June 9, 2009.)

Listen. Listen to the show by using the audio player below. To download the mp3, click on the 'divShare' logo.

A Mud More Complex Than the Garden Variety
by Henry Fountain, New York Times, May 27, 2010.

Music Playlist.
"Hallelujah" by Martha Scanlan
"Big Bird In A Small Cage" by Patrick Watson on Wooden Arms, Peacefrog Holdings Limited
"Double Wide" by the West Nile Ramblers
"Minneapolis" by Lucinda Williams on World Without Tears, UMG Recordings Inc