News

Front Street Blues host Lan Nichols explores the newest release from one of North Carolina's most prolific blues artists of the new century, Randy McQuay. A three-time finalist of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN, Randy brought the IBC solo championship trophy back to Wilmington in 2015, leaving no question about his hard work and love of the  blues.

Nick Szuberla, Executive Director of Working Narratives, and the Lead Artist, Rend Smith, joined us to talk about a project they are doing in Wilmington: Free Movement. The key part of this project is the part public art event/part sustainable community building group called Black Man Running 5K. The group meets (and runs/walks) weekly, but on Saturday, March 11, 9:00am-4:00pm, they are throwing a big event at Hugh MacRae Park

On Friday, March 3rd the Wilmington StarNews published an editorial honoring Station Manager Cleve Callison on his decision to retire from WHQR. We here at WHQR appreciate the tribute. To read the editorial click HERE.

Alliance for Cape Fear Trees

          

How important are trees to a city’s landscape?  When you see the glorious oak trees in Carolina Heights in Wilmington, do you wonder how long it took them to grow?  Do you worry about the safety of those old trees and heavy limbs falling on roadways?  Do you think tree preservation gets in the way of development and economic growth in what is an urban area? 

As Wilmington enjoys a development boom – with hundreds of new apartment units, single-family homes, and commercial properties going up – what’s happening to the area’s trees? 

Some local activists in Wilmington and Southport are working to help municipalities do more to protect trees by advocating for rules that are clearer, more consistent, and more enforceable. 

City officials admit that Wilmington’s current development ordinance is a bit long in the tooth -- last updated in the 1980s.   And there is work underway to bring it up-to-date. 

On this edition of CoastLine, we learn about the particular challenges builders and developers face when building within city limits.  We also hear from advocates who are focused on the urgency of protecting trees in Wilmington and Southport. 

Guests: 

Bill Jayne served on the Wilmington Tree Commission, a twelve-member body, nine of them appointed by members of City Council, for six years.  He chaired the commission for two.  He is now a member of a relatively new local nonprofit Alliance for Cape Fear Trees.

Scott Len chairs the Southport Forestry Committee and is a member of the North Carolina Urban Forest Council.

Brian Chambers, Associate Planner, City of Wilmington

Cameron Moore, Executive Officer, Wilmington Cape Fear Home Builders Association

Resources: 

Wilmington Tree Commission:

It’s been an interesting week. One person wrote to accuse me of being a ‘minion of Satan’. A more polite listener, Jeff, wrote: “After a long history of listening to WHQR at work, unfortunately today I changed the radio station. I did this because your programming has been way to anti-trump and liberal recently. It appears that WHQR is trying to make some point about how terrible conservatives are. I have a feeling I'm not the only one switching the dial, however I realize that you will continue to have a strong liberal listener following as long as you continue to program to their agendas. I just thought you might want to know. I sure am going to miss Smooth Landings!”

New Hanover County

The five New Hanover County commissioners unveiled this year’s state of the county via a 12-minute video late yesterday afternoon, detailing their individual visions for the area.

It's the 2017 State of the County.

The overall message was one of enthusiasm and optimism.  The entire video featured a music soundtrack, as well.

“I’m so excited about the things that we’re doing from a quality of life perspective."

That's Commissioner Jonathan Barfield.

Bestselling author Taylor Brown has received a lot of attention for his work over the last few years. In 2016, he published a collection of short stories called In the Season of Blood and Gold, which received high praise and was a finalist for an International Book Award short story prize. His first novel, Fallen Land, received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and the Library Journal. I spoke with Taylor about his 2nd and latest unreleased novel The River of Kings. This book has already  received glowing praise from established authors.

Our spring pledge drive starts March 16th. We want to Take a Day Off and make it in only 6 days. Give an early gift and with your help we’ll get right back to the programming you love faster. Help us Take a Day Off now at WHQR-dot-org. During our upcoming On-Air Pledge Drive, WHQR will celebrate our values of Quality, Community, and Service. Our goal is to raise $140,000 to provide the programming you count on – Morning Edition, All Things Considered, CoastLine, Classical Music, Communique and so much more.

Taos County, New Mexico. Foreman of Talpa Ditch Commission.

Each spring, WHQR asks our listeners to participate in our annual Listener Survey. This is a valuable tool to help us determine program preferences, and to gather information about who our listeners are and how they listen to us. And the more listeners who participate, the more useful the results are.

As a way to involve local residents and help support other community organizations, WDI partners with area nonprofits to split the proceeds from wristbands sold each week during the Wilmington Downtown Sundown Concert Series. Cast your vote for WHQR and help support your local public radio station. 

Opera House Theatre Company

Get your umbrella-it's going to be Raining Men at Thalian Hall this weekend (and through March 12) with the premiere of the disco-drenched spectacle, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. You may have seen or heard of this 1994 film, but this is the musical, which premiered on Broadway in 2011. When the rights were opened up to community theaters, Opera House Theatre Company jumped on it. One cast member told me that the show is "thought-provoking and fabulously entertaining." Director/Choreographer Ray Kennedy agrees; listen above to Ray and actress/singer Michelle Braxton talk about the show and see photos below.

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Kelly Rae Williams is an advocate for racial and gender equality and a poet. Her recent manuscript, Outside the Cannon: Poetry as Protest will be published soon; meanwhile, Kelly Rae is giving a sneak peek of some of her new work tonight (2/28) at Pomegranate Books at 7:00. I spoke with Kelly Rae for nearly an hour, but her work can speak for itself better than an interview...Listen above to Kelly Rae share one of her poems about actress Raven-Symoné. The poem was inspired by Raven's assertion that she isn't African-American on Oprah Winfrey

Commentator Gwenyfar Rohler loves the classics, reading, and managing an independent bookstore in Downtown Wilmington. 

You can hear more from Gwenyfar 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.

walkerworldnc.com

Superstar Academy provides theatrical education for students and adults through outreach in schools, afterschool classes, and through the special program Theatre for All!, Wilmington's only theatre program for people of all ages with developmental disabilities. These classes are given at no- or low-cost to participants...but the work does cost money. That's why Superstar Academy is having a fundraiser. Zach Hanner, the Artistic Director, is throwing a Luau at Walker World this Saturday, March 4th for just this purpose. 

Front Street Blues host & producer Lan Nichols will serve up some fine blues this Saturday night at 11:00 pm. Expect tasty cuts from Earl Hooker and Francine Reed. Plus, Phil Berkowitz & The Lucky Losers, Si Cranstoun, Elliott & The Untouchables, Jimmy Reed, Devon Allman, Jody Williams, Too Slim & The Taildraggers, Buddy Black, and others. Always the finest in classic, contemporary, and traditional blues - never a dull moment. Tune in via your browser at http://whqr.org.

Billy Hathorn

The decline of North Carolina’s film industry has affected the local theater community in more ways than one. Two artistic directors—Justin Smith of Cape Fear Theatre Arts and Steve Vernon of Big Dawg Productions—and John Staton, Arts & Entertainment editor for Star News, sat down with CoastLine host Rachel Lewis Hilburn. 

Rachel Lewis Hilburn: Besides the talent pool, is there any other way that the loss of the lion’s share of the film industry here has contributed to this? Steve Vernon.

Harry Taylor Photography / N.C. Arts Council

The Red Barn Theater on Third Street in downtown Wilmington, launched by Linda Lavin and Steve Bakunas, is now on the market.  It’s widely expected to cease operation as a theater.  Thalian Association, the theater company that has rented the space for the last several years, is moving out in a matter of months.

Another small Wilmington venue, the Brown Coat Theater and Pub, closed its doors in October. 

And City Stage, an iconic venue in the Masonic building on Front Street in downtown Wilmington, also recently shuttered.

Carole Osman

Amy Grant, the owner and manager of Art in Bloom Gallery, paired two artists for her latest exhibit: Catching the Spirit: Images by Mark Gansor and Carole Osman. Gansor's paintings include realistic acrylic buildings, gardens, and fields, while Osman presents pastel, monoprint, collage, oil, and acrylic work.  The opening reception for this exhibit is Friday, 2/24, part of 4th Friday Gallery Walk, 6:00pm-9:00pm. 

By Taken byfir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.auCanon 20D + Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 - Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=282390

I’m going to start with a matter of personal privilege. You may have read in the papers or seen on our website or Facebook page that last week I notified the Board of Directors of Friends of Public Radio of my intention to retire later this summer. Since the word got out, I have been overwhelmed with comments from well-wishers, both from friends and listeners. (And I hope there’s overlap between these two groups).

Have you seen headlines in your Facebook feed or at the bottom of an article that reads, “Hillary Clinton meets Osama Bin Laden” – with a picture of the two shaking hands?  Or “President Obama’s daughter, Malia, is pregnant”?  Or “The process to impeach Donald Trump has begun”?  Just to be clear, all of those stories are false.  Hillary Clinton’s picture was photoshopped; Malia’s teen pregnancy and Donald Trump’s impeachment are both patently false.  It’s fake news. 

 

Commentator Shane Fernando is Director of the Humanities and Fine Arts Center art CFCC. He lives with his husband in Downtown Wilmington.

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

Join other Public Radio lovers, WHQR staff, board and friends at a great downtown brewery. Celebrate your community focused non-profit radio station all while drinking local beer, enjoying a new food truck and listening to live music! From 6-9p on March 2, Flytrap will donate $1 of each beer sold to WHQR. Plus, musical duo, 2 Docs and A Box, will donate their tips to the cause and you can check out the great food from Groovy Fish Gill & Grill, serving burgers and fish tacos.

Thursday, March 2, 2017 6 - 9 pm

Flytrap Brewing

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The dress may smell like roasting marshmallows...I spoke with 2 teenagers and a man named Scooter for 30 minutes, and I'm still not sure if there are marshmallows in this dress--this dress made of books, and some other stuff, for a very special design contest. It's the 3rd Annual Fashion Design Contest for teens called Fiction to Fashion. Scooter Hayes, the Youth Services Librarian in New Hanover County, is the leader of this interesting project. He joined us along with 2 contestants: teenagers Ashley Bennette and Theo Townend. Listen above. 

wikipedia/Maxwell Smart

Tell Your WHQR Story!

We need your help! It goes without saying that we believe in public radio. But we want to hear (and share) YOU and YOUR TESTIMONY. We are asking our listeners, supporters, underwriters and community members to call in and tell people why you support WHQR and why it's important to make a pledge in our Spring Pledge drive. 

We want to know:

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Photographer Arrow Ross recently returned from India with photos of the work being done by Homes of Hope India, an organization helping "the poorest of the poor," founded by Wilmington Philanthropist Paul Wilkes. This is the second time Arrow has photographed Homes of Hope projects in the works. One-hundred twenty photos documenting his recent trip are on display at CFCC's Wilma Daniels Gallery, with an artist opening reception on Friday, 2/24, 6:00pm-9:00pm. The photographs will hang through March 24th, with a closing reception then. Arrow Ross and Paul Wilkes will be at the receptions. 

WHQR Announces Station Manager Cleve Callison Retirement

The Friends of Public Radio, Inc. Board of Directors has accepted Station Manager Cleve Callison’s resignation, effective August 15, 2017.

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The Coastal Carolina Cabaret has a Mardi Gras theme this year. Pianist/accordionist Al DiMarco is introducing his new band at the party: Al DiMarco's Big Fat Accordion Band, with Al on accordion, Benny Hill on saxophone, Paul Lewis on baritone sax, and David Toma playing drums.

Physicist Brian Cox/BBC Human Universe

UNCW Chemistry Professor Jimmy Reeves has been teaching for 40 years. He says science is neither as well-understood nor as respected as it ought to be in modern-day America. Dr. Reeves wants to promote a deeper understanding of the scientific method and the current state of scientific research that even lay people will appreciate. That's why Dr.

Horszowski Trio
Lisa-Marie Mazzucco/BesenArts

This Sunday is the 3rd concert in Chamber Music Wilmington's (CMW) Simply Classical series. Pat Marriott is a longtime supporter of CMW (and a voice you'll hear on Classical HQR). Listen above to hear Pat talk about the Horszowski Trio and the music the group brings to Wilmington. Particularly interesting is Pat's insight into composer Rebecca Clarke and why he can't wait to hear her trio performed. 

Wikimedia Commons

New Jersey recently passed one of the nation’s most comprehensive laws to combat the growing opioid and heroin crisis.  Tennessee is battling its own opioid epidemic as is Nebraska, Virginia, Connecticut, Washington State, New York, Wisconsin, Montana – the list goes on.  And as we’ve reported on this program before – Wilmington, North Carolina and the larger Cape Fear region is near the top of a national list for its abuse of opioids and heroin. 

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