David, Linda Breninger

Populist' Hightower Joins KVMR Morning Show

The word "populist" is never too far from  Jim Hightower's name, and he's made a career out of championing the little guy while giving a hard time to those at the very top.

You see, Hightower believes the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom.  And the tall Texan does his radio political commentaries with a sharp wit that leaves the listener with a smile and a hope, no matter how depressing the news might be.

Hightower's commentaries are now part of KVMR radio's weekday morning show at 7:30 a.m. (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming) and can also be heard occasionally at 6:25 p.m. on the KVMR Evening News. They're also broadcast on some 150 other stations nationwide.

A New York Times best-selling author who has written seven books, including the recent "Swim Against The Current:  Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow," Hightower has spent four decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be, as he likes to say.

A typical week can take Hightower's essays all over the map, from railing about wealthiest 1% not paying their fair share of taxes to exposing how some fast food franchises actually cheat their low wage workers out of legitimate pay.

"Instead of leaving us stewing in anger and despair, Hightower rallies us with stories of our own history and of our own neighbors, inspiring us to take charge of our own democratic destiny," said the late author and social critic Studs Terkel, adding  "And he leaves us laughing and thinking at the same time."

Hightower takes over the radio slot held for a dozen years by the late self-proclaimed curmudgeon Travus T. Hipp ("All The News You Never Knew You Needed To Know Until Now").

Which Way, Nevada County?

KVMR's coverage of the League of Women Voters' election forums continues tonight (Thursday) with most of the 6 p.m. news hour dedicated to last week's Superintendent of Schools match-up.  Next Monday will feature congressional candidates in the same time slot (6 p.m., 89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming).

In addition to the over-the-air coverage, KVMR is also archiving  previous forums in their entirety from this election cycle including races for Nevada County supervisor, Superior Court Judge and District Attorney at the station's news website, kvmr.org/news

Building, Benefit in the Air

Work continues at a fevered pitch on the new $4 million KVMR home and Nevada Theatre expansion project at Spring and Bridge streets, downtown Nevada City.  Cement floors for the new theater backstage area and the upper KVMR floor have been finished, and the roof structure will begin to go up soon, according to owner's representative Diane McIntire.

The progress is such that interior walls of the actual ground floor studios are expected to go up soon, giving KVMR's technical crew a chance to look at what will be the actual layout of the new broadcasting facilities.

Meanwhile, the business of paying for the new building enters another new phase with a benefit concert by the Bay Area-based band and Celtic Festival favorites  Wake The Dead. on Friday, May 9 at the neighboring Miners Foundry, with proceeds going to the Bridge Street Project, the official name for the new building.

Wake The Dead brings a Celtic style Summer of Love back to Nevada City through its seamless rock grooves and Irish reels, with haunting airs and achingly beautiful melodies familiar to Grateful Deadheads. 

Advance tickets are now available online  at minersfoundry.org, by phone at 530/265-5040 and in person at the Miner's Foundry and Briar Patch Co-Op.

Information about the Bridge Street Project's Capital Campaign is available at bridgestreetproject.org and from campaign director Michael Young at 530/265-9073, extension 218 or myoung@kvmr.org

(A weekly wrap-up of news and oddities about community radio station KVMR (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming), a noncommercial station offering diverse musical programming, independent news and provocative public affairs from about 150 volunteer "citizen-broadcasters."  A video about the station's new building is at vimeo.com/63303996  Complete program listings are available at kvmr.org )