November 16, 2010


November 16, 2010


President Vivienne Carey opened the meeting by asking if guests were present today.  Joan Hanson introduced her guest, Allen Davis of Davis Financial Group.



Jean Miller asked for 2 volunteers to solicit stores for donations for the Love Notes Party Comm.

Michael Greenebaum called for more volunteers to take notes at lunch meetings for the next half year, thanking those who already responded affirmatively to his email.

Zina Tillona announced the Living In Retirement preview of Spring courses to be held this Sunday, Nov. 21, from 2-4 pm at Amherst College’s Valentine Hall, Lewis-Sebring Commons.

Ellen Kosmer invited members to attend the Renaissance Center reception on Sunday, Nov. 21, from 2-4 pm honoring Bonnie Isman’s three decades working for and at the helm of the Jones Library. RSVP to 577-3600.

Dee Waterman suggested that those wishing to attend the early show of the 24-hour Theater Project this Saturday, Nov. 20, call to reserve their places early, as that show sells out.  At Northampton’s Center for the Arts, the shows will be at 7 pm and 9 pm. Short plays written the night before are produced and directed all day Saturday in time for the evening’s presentations.

Nancy Brose announced that Christmas gifts and supplies will be plentiful at the Cranberry Fair this Saturday, Nov. 20, from 9 am to 3 pm at First Congregational Church in Amherst.  Also, the Sleighbell Fair will be held the same day from 8 am to 3 pm at the South Congregational Church in Amherst.

Carolyn Holstein spoke of the recent passing of Sally Venman and Eva Schiffer. A memorial service for Sally will be at 10 am, Saturday, Nov. 20, at Wesley Methodist in Hadley.  A memorial service for Eva will be in early February.

Vivienne Carey will shortly be in possession of 3 free chairs and with them hopes to launch Project Chairity, wherein folks gather to paint chairs and then offer them for sale or auction in order to raise money for charity.  She asked interested members to contact her.


Phyllis Lehrer introduced today’s speaker, Marvin Miller, CEO and General Manager of local public radio stations WFCR and WNNZ, noting that he has raised $2.8 million for the stations since coming to his position in 1995.  Mr. Miller described 20th-century electronic transmission of information until 1975 as limited to recordings, movies, television, and audio and video tape.  With the advent of cable TV in 1975 to the present time, electronic media options have proliferated broadly and deeply enough to make a rabbit blush.  Marvin compared the number of blogs in the year 2000 (12,000) to that in 2010 (141 million).  In the same period, compact disk production halved, and publication of newspapers declined dramatically.  He predicted that newspapers would eventually go on-line.           

Mr. Miller’s take on public radio is that it is ideally positioned to provide, not only interesting programming, but news that avoids the increasingly partisan delivery favored by some corporate radio and television stations.  WFCR is currently in Year 2 of a 3-year strategic planning effort, which is currently and will continue changing its direction to respond to the needs of the community.  These changes will deliver cutting-edge programming, such as a youth radio project, community outreach programming, and the addition of several reporters, including coverage from the State House in Springfield.  Of the changes, Miller stated that “some are technology driven, some are market driven, and some are just good business.”  HD radio has been added and is, at present, an on-line service to stream programming.  Whereas radio listening has declined in general, the growth of public radio is, and Miller predicted will be, persistent.

Mr. Miller responded to questions:  of 186,000 weekly listeners (figure supplied by a research organization) approximately 22,000 are members; the stations’ annual budget is 3.5 million; for the basic underwriting package costing $500, WFCR delivers $1000 worth of promotion; the impact of satellite radio on public radio stations is minimal.


Claude won the wine; Ruth Miller won $10

Your scribe, Jacquie Price