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An Eighth Wonder of the World?; Free Radio Activist Hits the Valley Running; By the Numbers


Tuesday, September 17, 2013
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An Eighth Wonder of the World?

The Great Pyramid of Giza. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The Lighthouse of Alexandria. MassMoCA?

The main problem with the Seven Wonders of the World is that there has never been an eighth one. Thankfully, that will change with this month’s Eighth Wonder of the World Contest, as dozens of attractions worldwide, including several right here in New England, aim to be crowned the heretofore elusive Eighth Wonder.

The travel website VirtualTourist.com is currently hosting an online contest to name the next Wonder of the World. Voting participants choose from a list of sites located all over the globe, including the Valley’s very own Mass MoCA. Other Bay State entries include the Cape Cod Canal, Plymouth Rock, and Provincetown’s Pilgrim Monument. Up north, New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, the highest peak in all New England, has Eighth Wonder aspirations, as does Maine’s Mount Katahdin, the final hiking stop on the multi-state Appalachian Trail. Other Vacationland offerings include the Rockland Breakwater and Bangor’s statue of Paul Bunyan. Rhode Island is throwing its most famous Newport mansion, The Breakers, into the fray, as well as the entire South County. The Connecticut grocery store chain Stew Leonard’s rounds out the region’s offerings. Vermont appears to be abstaining from the contest.

Participants can vote once per day, every day, through the end of September. Which is wonderful.

 

By the Numbers

$1 of every $9: That’s how much of the money raised by Democrat Ed Markey in his recent Senate campaign came from political action committees, according to an Associated Press report. Telecom PACs were heavily represented on Markey’s list of donors, as well as several organized labor PACs. In total, Markey raised $1.1 million from PACs; his challenger, Republican Gabriel Gomez, raised $220,000.

 

Free Radio Activist Hits the Valley Running

He organized a hula hoop blockade of the National Association of Broadcasters. He instigated a pirate march on the Federal Communications Commission. He was a founder of the Prometheus Radio Project, a media advocacy project aimed at opening the air waves to community and noncommercial radio.

Now Pete Tridish is coming to the Valley for a stint as Social Justice Practitioner-in-Residence under the sponsorship of the Five College Public Policy Initiative. He arrives Sept. 23 and gets right to work.

Tridish, whose name was squeezed out of “petri dish,” is known to some in the Valley for his part in establishing Valley Free Radio, based in Florence. And he’s done more than that to enable the founding of independent radio stations: he’s helped write federal regulations and pass legislation that ensured that airwaves were available for stations not affiliated with the corporate broadcasting behemoths. Here’s a partial list of the public events that will put Tridish front and center:

Tuesday, Sept. 24, 4 p.m., lecture, “A Radio Voice for the Voiceless,” UMass, Campus Center 903

Monday, Sept. 30, 5:30 p.m., keynote speech, Media Justice Network community meeting, Free Press, 40 Main St. #301, Florence

Wednesday, Oct. 2, 5 p.m., lecture, “Law Breakers to Lawmakers: How Pirate Radio Activists Changed the Laws to Open Up the Airwaves,” Media Education Foundation Community Room, 60 Masonic St., Northampton

Thursday, Oct. 3, 3:30 p.m., workshop, Radio Barnraisings: How We Gather a Community to Build a New Radio Station in Three Days, WGBY Partyka Room, 44 Hampden St., Springfield

For a more complete list, including a workshop on Building an Itty-Bitty Transmitter, go to http://masspolicy.org/FCPPI/events_fall2013.html#tridish_events.

 

Worth Quoting:

“The driving force behind the folly of bombing Syria is Secretary of State John Kerry. … It’s possible, of course, that Kerry honestly believes that a punitive military strike against Assad is necessary, and that the benefits of such a strike would outweigh the potential costs. But I suspect something else is going on. Kerry is an intelligent man, but he has a fatal flaw. He craves the limelight. He wants to be in the center of the action and attention. Over the years I heard again and again from his Senate colleagues that Kerry grandstanded and wanted all the credit, said things that would get him on the evening news, pushed too fast and too far in order to make his mark. Recently he seemed to be making progress getting the Israelis and Palestinians back to the table, but perhaps he sensed that the incipient talks would drag on forever, and needed a new cause.”

Former U.S. Labor Secretary and 2002 Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Robert Reich, on Facebook

 

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