While interesting as far as it went, Pete Huntingtons cover article on alternatives to mainstream commercial radio (Reinventing Radio, May 16, 2002), suffered from a glaring omission.
Radio listeners with eclectic tastes have always known where to look: at the left end of the dial. Traverse City is blessed with a remarkably rich low end: two NPR stations! (Classical music on WIAA 88.7 and all-talk on WIPR 91.5) More to Huntingtons point about sources for alternative forms of music, however, is the jewel in the crown of Traverse City radio, WNMC, 90.7 FM. In the variety and quality of music it provides to the region it exceeds anything I was ever able to find in my years living in Chicago and the Atlanta/Athens, Georgia area. WNMC would be a great radio station anywhere and we are incredibly fortunate to have it here in Traverse City.
Huntington discusses the phenomenon of the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack. Contrary to his observation, this record did get airplay on the radio: WNMC had O Brother in its current rotation from its first release. More importantly, WNMCs regular weekly schedule filled with folk, blues, alternative country and American roots music programs provides a resource for people hungry for more of the kind of music theyve been turned on to by the soundtrack.
WNMCs rich musical diet provides large helpings of independent rock on top of the staples of jazz and blues. These are spiced up with programs featuring Reggae, World, New Age, African, Hip Hop, Funk and even
alternative Classical music. Its really quite incredible how much tasty music can fit on one station in a single week.
I was gratified to learn that some commercial radio stations are experimenting with... playing music created by local musicians. But again, at WNMC this sort of programming is not exceptional it is the norm.
On a weekly basis the Local Motion program announces concerts and airs music from artists who are appearing in the region. Most of WNMCs weekly Top 30 lists feature at least one of the local artists who are are
integrated into the album rotations. WNMC also regularly hosts live interviews and performances with both local and touring musicians.
WNMC is non-commercial radio, run almost completely by amateurs in the truest sense: people who do it for the love of it. You dont need the expensive satellite radio systems Huntington discusses to get it in your car, and you dont even need to go to your computer (but you can, because WNMC is webcast at www. wnmc.org. )
Your cover story on the future of radio was a missed opportunity. If the
future of radio is about innovative programming focussing on local artists
and great but neglected music, then the future of music is right here at 90.7 FM. It was a disservice to your readers who, if they dont know about WNMC should be introduced, and if they do, should be reminded what a unique resource it is.
Avoiding dog bites
As a board-certified plastic surgeon in the Grand Traverse area, I have often been called to repair the devastating injuries of a dog attack. Every 40 seconds, someone in America seeks medical care because of a dog bite. Children make up 60 percent of the 4.7 million Americans bitten by dogs each year. Tragically, some 20 people will die from dog attack injuries this year. Most disconcerting is that the problem is largely preventable with just a little public education.
Dog bites are not caused by bad dogs but by irresponsible dog owners. The Humane Society of the United States reports that dogs that have not been properly socialized to other people, who are not supervised or safely confined, who are not sterilized, or who get little attention and handling are those who often attack. Dogs who have not been spayed or neutered are three times more likely to bite.
As a plastic surgeon who has seen the damage caused by dog bites, I urge dog owners and parents to follow basic steps to avoid dog bites. Dog owners: obedience train your dog and keep it healthy. Parents: advise your child to never approach an unfamiliar dog and never run from or scream at a dog. To learn more about the national Beware the Bite! dog bite prevention campaign, visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons web site at www.plasticsurgery.org.
In the event that you or someone you know is attacked by a dog seek emergency medical attention immediately. Plastic surgeons certified by the ABPS have extensive surgical training in preserving and rearranging skin and tissue on the face and all areas of the body. They offer the victim added assurance that the wound will heal properly, and the resulting scar will be as inconspicuous as possible.
Together, by educating the public on the issue and asking dog owners to train and restrain their dogs, we can prevent future tragedies.
F. Matthew Smith, M.D. member
American Society of Plastic