News

Jim Downey

Glass artist Jim Downey is holding an Open House this Saturday, July 15 at his studio at 2925 Boundary Street in Wilmington, 10:00am-4:00pm. It's summertime, so Jim is creating sea turtles (come fall, he'll be in Christmas mode). A portion of his profits for this month's Open House will benefit Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project, and the turtles he's making reflect an unusual happening on the shores of Pleasure Island: 2 Green Sea Turtle nests. Listen to my conversation above and see an extended transcript and photos below. 

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons, Flickr

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted images of emails regarding his 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer on Tuesday. An intermediary said he could connect Trump Jr. with people who had information "that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton]... and would be very useful to your father." Trump Jr. agreed to the meeting, which former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner also attended in June 2016.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

Four of the top 25 cities in the country for opioid abuse are in North Carolina. Wilmington is number one, according to a report from Castlight Health, a San Francisco-based healthcare information company. 

I mentioned last week that I’ll be retiring soon, and my last Friday Feedback will now be two weeks from today. I’d love to hear from a lot of listeners about your likes and dislikes of the station. Fortunately, a Stealth Drive campaign such as is now going is a great way to hear from listeners in the form of comments on whqr.org. Here are some comments from the very earliest days of the campaign. Peggy wrote: “Best station on the radio. I listen mornings and any time I'm in my car. Saturday and Sunday's are dedicated to WHQR. Thank you for getting the Pharmacy Hour. They have some great information.”

Joyce Fernando

Opera House Theatre Company brings the musical Camelot to the Thalian Hall stage this month. This tale has staying power-who knows how long this legend of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, Merlin, Lancelot and the rest has been told? We know the musical is 67 years old...but don't expect your grandmother's Camelot. Director Shane Fernando talks about crafting this production for 21st century audiences, and why the tale is as relevant as ever. Listen above and see an extended transcript (and photos) below. 

Jason W. Smith via Wikimedia Commons

Short term rentals:  they’re those properties that are rented out by an owner to vacationers or tourists -- often for a week, a few weeks, or a few days.  Vacation Rental By Owner ( VRBO) and Airbnb are two of the most popular websites for these types of rentals. 

Thalian Association

The Thalian Association and Friends of the Battleship have joined forces to present the classic play, Mr. Roberts. The show, which is set almost entirely on a ship in World War II, is staged by director Chandler Davis on the fantail of the Battleship North Carolina. The show runs Thursdays through Sundays through July 23; showtime is 8:00 for all performances. Tickets are available online and at the Battleship. Listen to Chandler Davis and Thalian Association Executive Director Susan Habas talk about the show above and see the transcript below. 

Join us at Noon on Friday, July 7 at WHQR. Our special guests this month are singers/musicians from Opera Wilmington. We're not sure exactly what we'll hear, but we know we'll get a sneak peek from the group's upcoming production of Carmen-and we know it will be the best way to spend your lunch. Speaking of lunch, feel free to bring yours. We'll have some sweets and tea as well. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

Chemours and GenX. A month ago, most people in the region probably had not heard either word. Since June 7, that’s changed. Water is being tested by the state, the EPA and the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, as citizens are buying a lot more bottled water. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

GenX is an emerging contaminant – a chemical compound that is both product and byproduct in this story. 

Citizens from in and around Wilmington packed UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium Wednesday night to get answers from a panel of experts about the GenX water crisis. 

WHQR/gg

UNCW’s Office of the Arts presents a summertime series of performances for all ages again this year: Seahawk FAM. A variety of performers take the stage Thursday mornings through the end of July. Director of UNCW’s Office of the Arts, Kristin Brogdon, developed this program with Operations Manager Jeremy Summers last year; it’s already grown from 5 to 6 performances. When I visited Kenan, Karola Luttringhaus was working on her piece. The stage was covered with over 4000 plastic bottles-and more are on the way. Listen to Karola and Kristin above and see the schedule below.

Tucked into the rolling hills of the upstate South Carolina piedmont, a small country church is the remnant of a settlement of African American slaves in the years after the Civil War. This visit to Soapstone Baptist Church is an audio portrait of a historic community and its ancestors…

Roosevelt Aiken: The church is built on this outcrop of rock, and this gives new emphasis to the Biblical “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.”

Vince Winkel / WHQR

This week the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority began its own round of tests of water in the Cape Fear River. In light of what’s been happening with GenX, the utility authority is also working on improving its communication with the public. 

Commentator Shane Fernando is the Director of the Wilson Center at CFCC. He lives with his husband in downtown Wilmington. 

You can hear more from Shane and our other commentators at our website: WHQR DOT O-R-G. Just click on "Commentary." 

WHQR Commentaries don't necessarily reflect the views of WHQR Radio, its editorial staff, or its members. 

Dreams of Wilmington

Dreams of Wilmington is celebrating a big anniversary this year: 20 years of youth development through art. Executive Director Matt Carvin stopped by to talk about the Festival of Dreams, planned for September, and the 20th Anniversary fundraiser. The fundraiser is called 20/20: supporters of the program are asked to donate 1 dollar for every year Dreams has provided free programming to underserved youth. That $20 (or more) will be doubled by a donor- up to $100,000. Listen to Matt talk about the program above and see the transcript below.

Here at WHQR, our Summer Drive is sounding very different – that’s because it is the Summer Stealth Drive and it’s going on right now!

Vince Winkel / WHQR

On Monday the Chemours Company confirmed in an email to WHQR News that they have begun the capture of the wastewater stream, and GenX, generated from production at their manufacturing facility in Fayetteville. Meanwhile, water testing of the Cape Fear River continues. 

Iran Ramirez/facebook

Hip-hop artist Fuzz Jackson has been making music in Wilmington for 20 years. He just put out an album with Sam Brown called Leg Sweep Specialist. Listen to our short interview above and a longer interview below + links to his music. We talked about what hip-hop means to Fuzz, how hip-hop has changed, why you should give hip-hop a chance, and Gina argues that she is, indeed, hip (and Fuzz is kind enough to let that slide). Also discover the origin of the name, Leg Sweep Specialist.

Shaun Mitchell

Poet Shaun Mitchell joined us in the studio to (generously) share some of his poetry from his Poetry & Pantylines series. Listen above, and see an extended transcript below.   

WHQR/gg

Dick: You know, what what the artist sees in that piece and what the viewer sees in the trees or hardly ever the same thing. 

 Gina: That's artist Dick Roberts making a profound statement that we'll revisit in a couple of minutes. Dick Roberts' exhibit Nevermore... is hanging in WHQR's MC Erny gallery. Tonight (Friday, June 23) is the closing reception. The exhibit will hang through July 14th. Dick Roberts creates bold abstracts with layers of color and figures that emerge unexpectedly.

Martin Benavides

One shark expert recently described these sea creatures as the most poorly-understood mega-fauna, not just because of popular culture with the movie Jaws in its canon (never mind Shark Week), but because the travel patterns of sharks cover great distances.

On this edition of CoastLine, we, yes, de-bunk some of those pop culture myths – but more importantly, we learn about what kind of shark research is taking place in and around the waters of North Carolina. 

OK, this is what my week has been like. I got an email message from someone who had found one of our news stories on the GenX situation in the Cape Fear. Describing himself as an "environmental activist", he had tried to repost it on Facebook but Facebook would not let him do so, and he wondered if we could fix that. I told him that we were all scratching our heads about this, though now I think I have a better idea. Then I started getting more, and lengthier, communications from him. I wrote to him, as I have done with many groups, “I do not participate in decisions about what goes into our news coverage. Please remove me from your mailing list. Thank you.” Well, as the crummy paid ads on the web say, you won’t believe what happened next.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

More than 300 people turned out for a community forum on GenX and drinking water at the Coastline Convention Center on Wednesday. The meeting was organized by Cape Fear River Watch, and featured six panelists on the topic. 

Isabelle Shepherd

On last week’s CoastLine, Cleve Callison interviewed New York Times best-selling author, humorist and columnist Celia Rivenbark. Among the topics they discussed, with help from callers, was Celia’s recent decision to make her columns more political, and the resulting fallout, both personal and professional…

Lower Cape Fear Historical Society

The City of Wilmington saw a rash of urban fires in the 19th century – making the surviving buildings that much more precious.  Urban renewal in the mid-20th century had a similar effect on some of Wilmington’s historic legacy, but heritage tourism is booming.

professorengel.com

 

Cape Fear Literacy Council (CFLC) holds its annual Literary Luncheon on Wednesday, June 28 at Pine Valley United Methodist Church, 11:30am-1:00pm. Listen above to hear from Executive Director Yasmin Tomkinson about why CFLC needs support more than ever this year; you'll also hear from the keynote speaker, Dr. Elliot Engel, about his mini-lecture, Our Slippery Mother Tongue, a Light History of English. See an extended transcript of my conversation with Dr. Engel below. 

Vince Winkel

New Hanover County Commissioners adopted a resolution Monday calling on Chemours to stop production of GenX. Brunswick County Commissioners adopted a resolution the same day -- asking Chemours to stop the discharge of the GenX chemical into the Cape Fear River.  That’s largely because  there is still a lot about GenX that we don’t know. It’s all about chemistry. Which means for many of us, it can be somewhat difficult to grasp.

***SOLD OUT!

The next Soup to Nuts LIVE! Concert on Thursday, June 29th in the MC Erny Gallery at WHQR features The TJW Trio. 

"So how did this most recent custom of bands for bridegrooms come about?" Nan Graham commented. 

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