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Eugene Beer, WGRN 2022 Outstanding Volunteer

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The inspiration for the April 2022 salon was Earth Month and WGRN 94.1 community radio’s Earth Day birthday celebration. Mark Stansbery facilitated the salon, first pointing out how back in 1970, Free Press folks helped start the first Earth Day in Columbus and have continually been at the forefront advocating for environmental issues.

Suzanne Patzer briefly reiterated the history of WGRN, which began in 2016 around Earth Day as an environmentally-focused, women-oriented, all-volunteer community radio station. Most of WGRN’s programming was put together by former Program Director Victoria Parks. Tim Chavez, WGRN programmer and scheduler, spoke about the diversity of WGRN’s current programming as a Pacifica affiliate with Democracy Now, the Thom Hartmann Show; the many national programs, and local producers.

The first local producer to speak was Felice Thomas of the Faith Thomas Foundation, host of “The Cell” radio show. The Cell raises awareness and support for individuals in our community who live with sickle cell, featuring new guests every week discussing a variety of health and wellness topics. Listen live every Wednesday at 7:30PM on 94.1FM. The Faith Thomas Foundation is dedicated to help navigate the change from childhood care to adult care, for both patients and caregivers. Upcoming event:
Hope Springs Eternal Blood Drive for the Faith Thomas Foundation
Wednesday, May 11, 11am-5pm
Eastland Preparatory Academy, in the cafeteria
2741 S. Hamilton Rd., Columbus, 43232
Help keep the blood supply strong – just one hour of your time can help save three lives!
Appointments preferred, walk-ins welcome.
Call 1-866-642-5663.
Donate for a chance to win in 475 e-gift care so you can stream your favorite movie or download the latest game.

The second local producer was Carolyn Harding, host of “GrassRoot Ohio,” featuring conversations with everyday people, working on important issues here in Columbus and all around Ohio. Covering topics of justice: environmental, social, racial, economic, with folks on the frontlines. ALL podcasts are also archived on SoundCloud. Listen every Friday 5:00pm, ET on 94.1FM & streaming worldwide @, Sundays at 2:00pm EST on 92.7/98.3 FM and streams @, and Sundays at 4:00pm EST, at 107.1 FM, Wheeling/Moundsville WV on WEJP-LP FM. Also on YouTube. Carolyn is currently running for the Ohio legislature as a state representative, though with the redistricting scandals going on in the state, she does not know exactly what area the district will cover. Carolyn can use all the help and donations she can get to run her campaign, to help contact her here

The third local producer is long-time Columbus radio and theater personality Julie Whitney-Scott, host of two WGRN programs, “Julie Whitney-Scott Presents,” currently featuring segments with local theater people called “Let’s Talk Theater,” Listen to Julie Whitney Scott Presents Wednesdays at 7pm and “Satin Flow” a music program on Sundays at 11am. Satin Flow brings you music from local and national artists. Each week the theme changes from soft jazz to the blues. Julie’s “Let’s Talk Theater” also appears on the Free Press website.  Julie is also an accomplished Ohio poet, author, playwright, director, producer and founder of Mine 4 God Productions LLC and the Columbus Black Theatre Festival held every 2nd weekend in July in Columbus. Mine 4 God Productions (M4GP) strives to give back to the community by encouraging others to use their God given theatre gifts/talents to help promote positive social change where they live and beyond. In 2022, they are celebrating the 10th year of the Columbus Black Theater Festival, to be held July 7-10. Auditions are May 14-15 at the Shepard Branch Library, 850 N. Nelson Rd. (go to the website to sign up). Tickets for this year’s Columbus Black Theater Festival go on sale May 1. Performances are at the Columbus Performing Arts Center at the Van Fleet Theater, 549 Franklin Ave, and the Abbey Theater of Dublin, 5600 Post Rd., Dublin, Ohio. Julie is directing a play: "The Almost Unbearable Glistening of the Onion Domes in the Afternoon Sun" happening next week, April 14-16 at the Abbey Theater in Dublin. 

The fourth local show featured was “The Pink Pill” and we heard from the hosts Joan Jones and Dr. Marilyn Howard. The Pink Pill is a women's advocacy and news program focusing on all issues that affect women's lives, tackling issues and struggles that women cope with daily, both in their inner and outer lives. In the past four years they’ve been busy discussing racism, misogynistic behavior, and current political events.

Next, WGRN programmer and scheduler Jaime Pardo presented the 2022 WGRN 94.1 Community Radio “Outstanding Volunteer” award to our dedicated and invaluable engineer – Eugene Beer. Eugene is responsible for ensuring both WCRS and WGRN community radio stations stay on the air, both on broadcast and the internet. He is the technical expert, liaison with the FCC, and man who keeps the antennas and transmitters running, even when hit by lightning.

Eugene put in a plug for another Ohio-based local show by Joe DeMare, “For a Green Future” discussing a wide range of topics from the health of Lake Erie to carbon-negative housing to saving the whales. Listen on Saturdays at 5pm.

WGRN is always open for new volunteers to produce programs, record PSAs, help with scheduling and engineering, or promotions. Contact to get involved. And come see WGRN at the local Earth Day celebration at Genoa Park in downtown Columbus on Saturday, April 23 between 12-7pm in a shared booth with their counterpart WCRSFM community radio. Both radio stations will also share a booth at this year’s Comfest—which is back in person – June 24, 25 and 26 at Goodale Park. WGRN and WCRS are both fundraising for new antennas as well. 

Pat Marida then brought us up to speed on Ohio House Bill 434 that just passed the House. It will soon be heard in the Senate. There are huge problems with this bill, which would create a secretive new Ohio Nuclear Development Authority. The Ohio Nuclear Free Network has outlined talking points and problems with the bill at this link. Please contact your Ohio Senator and tell that person that this bill would not benefit the people of Ohio. You can find your senator using your address here

Bill Lyons gave us the picture of what’s happening at Columbus City Hall with the Charter Review Commission. The Commission has been meeting with no public input, not promoting their meetings to the public very well. They are changing the rules about how citizens can get initiatives on the ballot.

Further announcements included:

Micki Pike announced that Comfest street fair applications are open now. .

Tuesday, April 12, 2022, 7:00 - 8:30 PM. Screening: The Wanted 19. Join Jewish Voice for Peace Central Ohio in person or online for a screening of The Wanted 18.  Through a clever mix of animation and interviews, The Wanted 18 recreates an astonishing true story:  the Israeli army’s pursuit of 18 cows, whose independent milk production on a Palestinian collective farm was declared “a threat to the national security of Israel.” Consequently, the dairy is forced to go underground with the Israeli army in relentless pursuit.  This documentary is an enchanting, inspirational tribute to the ingenuity and power of grassroots activism and self-determination. 75 minutes. Location: Northwood High building room 100, 2231 N. High St., Columbus 43201. Free parking in “R” spaces. Link to registration is on JVP Central Ohio Facebook Event.

Travis Irvine announced his new anti-DeWine PAC that we launched this week, Homebound Entrepreneurs Against DeWines! Check out our website and launch video called “Meet Mike DeSwine” and let us know if you can help.

Joe Motil announced a Rent Control meeting next Saturday, April 16 at 2pm at the Main Library.

Bryan Curtiss announced COTA Public Comment Meetings for May/Summer 2022 Service Changes; Thursday (4/14) at 6PM, and Tuesday 4/19 at Noon; Hybrid - on Facebook Live, Webex, and in person (masks required) at COTA HQ Downtown. The big issue is the lack of late night service on their schedule.

Chuck Lynd invited us to join the Simply Living Team's EcoChallenge Team the month of April 1-30. Check out the Simply Living site or contact Chuck Lynd.

Doug and Kathleen are interested in finding anyone in Central Ohio/SW Ohio doing work on reparations to African American or Indigenous communities. We are aware of the reparations program of the Columbus Mennonite church, but we especially are interested in touching base with any African American groups doing this work.

We thank Steve Caruso for being our tech guru for these salons.

The next Free Press Cyber-Salon is May 14.

Hope to see you there!

Pete Johnson
President, Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism
Contact: 614-253-2571