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Drought, then and now

Indian Valley Reservoir, California USA - Planet Labs satellite image. The effects of California’s drought become quite apparent in this image of a reservoir in Lake County, which supplies water to nearby Yolo County. In a non-drought year the visible water covers roughly twice the area, and contains ten times the volume.

Indian Valley Reservoir, California USA – Planet Labs satellite image. The effects of California’s drought become quite apparent in this image of a reservoir in Lake County, which supplies water to nearby Yolo County. In a non-drought year the visible water covers roughly twice the area, and contains ten times the volume.

I am just back from a week in California, which is experiencing a brutal, historic drought.

As I flew there and back, the lakes, reservoirs and dams all looked like this photo: drained and still-dwindling.

Running out of water is a chilling prospect, as some well-users there are already experiencing.

Really, this is the stuff of nightmares. When you get right down to basics, water probably comes right after air as something we simply cannot live without – no ifs, ands or “should haves”.

And while California is the hapless poster child for water shortages, much of the west is hurting too.

Why is this happening? Experts weighing that question derive some conclusions from the “Dust Bowl” experienced in the 1930s. A new NASA study puts the historical record in perspective:

Using a tree-ring-based drought record from the years 1000 to 2005 and modern records, scientists from NASA and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory found the 1934 drought was 30 percent more severe than the runner-up drought (in 1580) and extended across 71.6 percent of western North America. For comparison, the average extent of the 2012 drought was 59.7 percent.

In the U.S., debate about things like global warming and this recent drought tends to argue about natural or human causes. This NASA study finds both were in play:

Two sets of conditions led to the severity and extent of the 1934 drought. First, a high-pressure system in winter sat over the west coast of the United States and turned away wet weather – a pattern similar to that which occurred in the winter of 2013-14. Second, the spring of 1934 saw dust storms, caused by poor land management practices, suppress rainfall.

“In combination then, these two different phenomena managed to bring almost the entire nation into a drought at that time,” said co-author Richard Seager, professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in New York. “The fact that it was the worst of the millennium was probably in part because of the human role.”

The high-pressure ridge that effectively blocks wet weather may be beyond human control. But there’s hope better land use practices to combat erosion will help this time around.

Dust clouds reflect sunlight and block solar energy from reaching the surface. That prevents evaporation that would otherwise help form rain clouds, meaning that the presence of the dust clouds themselves leads to less rain, Cook said.

“Previous work and this work offers some evidence that you need this dust feedback to explain the real anomalous nature of the Dust Bowl drought in 1934,” Cook said.

Still, it’s best to not rest on those laurels.

…agricultural producers need to pay attention to the changing climate and adapt accordingly, not forgetting the lessons of the past, said Seager. “The risk of severe mid-continental droughts is expected to go up over time, not down,” he said.

If we’re lucky, then, the weather ridge could shift to allow rain and snow pack back to the parched west. And while these explanations are helpful, there may be more to the story as well.

It’s just scary, damned scary, to see what too little water can mean.

Dust storm approaching Stratford, Texas. Dust bowl surveying in Texas, April 1935. Image: NOAA George E. Marsh Album, theb1365, Historic C&GS Collection

Dust storm approaching Stratford, Texas. Dust bowl surveying in Texas, April 1935. Image: NOAA George E. Marsh Album, theb1365, Historic C&GS Collection

Still growing in mid-October


Photographed on October 14 in Rossie, NY by John and Liz Scarlett.

Photographed on October 14 in Rossie, NY by John and Liz Scarlett.

I received a couple of photos from our Rossie friends, John and Liz Scarlett featuring irises and morning glories flourishing against a background of fall foliage. There was a time when we would most likely have seen the first snowfall and certainly several killing frosts by mid-October. It’s a changing climate.

A whole shed wall covered with morning glories. Photo: Liz and John Scarlett, Rossie

A whole shed wall covered with morning glories. Photo: Liz and John Scarlett, Rossie

Irises against fall foliage. Photo: Liz and John Scarlett, Rossie

Irises against fall foliage. Photo: Liz and John Scarlett, Rossie















I also heard from two regular contributors to the All In garden posts–Adirondacker George DeChant whose photos regularly grace this blog as well as our Photo of the Day; and Cassandra Corcoran of Monkton, VT who keeps in touch throughout the growing season with updates from her garden.

Outside the post office Long Lake. Photo: George DeChant

Outside the post office Long Lake. Photo: George DeChant

Over in Monkton, Cassandra planted some cannellini beans with 7.5 ounces of seed and harvested over a gallon of shelled dried beans from that investment.

The cannellini bean patch, from 7.5 ounces of seed. Photo: Cassandra Corcoran, Monkton VT

The cannellini bean patch, from 7.5 ounces of seed. Photo: Cassandra Corcoran, Monkton VT


The harvested vines. Photo: Cassandra Corcoran.

The harvested vines. Photo: Cassandra Corcoran.








Bucket of beans, prior to shelling. Photo: Cassandra Corcoran

Bucket of beans, prior to shelling. Photo: Cassandra Corcoran

Beans for the winter. Photo; Cassandra Corcoran

Beans for the winter. Photo; Cassandra Corcoran











After several years of sharing garden photos with us, I thought you’d enjoy seeing a picture of Cassandra herself. I think of this photo as The Dancing Gardener.

Gardener Cassandra Corcoran, Monkton, VT

Gardener Cassandra Corcoran, Monkton, VT

Still happy to see your late harvest and garden-clearing photos. Send to and remember: we’ll be getting those seed catalogues in the mail before you know it!

NCPR Grand Prize is airfare anywhere on planet Earth, drawing open until noon

Waikiki from the air. Photo: Christopher Rose, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Waikiki from the air. Photo: Christopher Rose, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Breaking News Update Monday 9 am:

We are done! Three hours into our on-air fundraiser, we have passed our goal. Thank you everyone who made this historic achievement possible.

This drawing will remain open until noon, so we can include people who have gotten in touch via mail since Friday. I gotta say it. Wow.

Dale Hobson, NCPR

* * *

Across the country, public radio stations are watching NCPR–and you.  Because we’re trying to reach our fall fundraiser goal of $325,000 without interrupting programs.

This would be an historic change, and your response has been heroic so far, taking us almost all the way to that goal.

Heroic work deserves a heroic reward, so it time to unveil the big kahuna, the Grand Prize that will go to one of you. On Monday, whether we have met our goal or not by that time, the grand prize will go to one of those that did not hesitate when the call went out.

And the prize is:

Airfare Anywhere, $2500 worth. Use it for as many trips as you want, as many seats as you want. Go anywhere, on us.

If you already donated, Thank You! If you haven’t—please don’t wait:

Make your gift to NCPR now!

And don’t miss your chance to win our grand prize drawing for $2500 of airfare anywhere. It happens Monday, and anyone who gets in touch with NCPR is entered to win.


Give a little, make a little history, maybe win an iPad at 7 pm

Together we’re making history

Drawing tonight at 7 pm for the winner of an iPad AIr 2. Get your name in the hat.

Drawing tonight at 7 pm for the winner of an iPad AIr 2. Get your name in the hat.

Across the country, public radio stations are watching NCPR–and you. Why? We’re making history together! We’re trying to reach our fall fundraiser goal of $325,000 without interrupting programs.

It’s kind of a crazy story. We started this experiment wondering if we might be able to trim a day or so from the traditional six-day drive. Your response has been incredible and the momentum keeps building. We’re actually thinking we can reach our goal this week if everyone chips in. That would be extraordinary–a total game changer. It would mean that, for the first time, we wouldn’t have a traditional fundraiser that interrupts programs.

If you already donated, Thank You! If you haven’t—please don’t wait. If NCPR is important to you it’s time to give:

Make your gift to NCPR now!

And don’t miss your chance to win our next big prize drawing for an iPad Air 2. It happens today at 7 pm.


PS: If we don’t make it over the goal line by next Monday, no shame. But we will have to release the flying mon… I mean… start interrupting programs to ask for your support.

Sporting proposition: pro coaches are totally overrated

Mid October is great for pro sports, the NBA season tips off this year on the 28th, the NFL season is more than a quarter into the season, the MLB playoffs are moving fast towards the World Series and the NHL has started skating. If you are a professional sports fan in America (Canada, too!) then you like October.

This post however, is not to celebrate the leagues or teams, but to make a point that I have been making for quite some time with friends and family: pro coaches are totally and utterly overrated.

For the purpose of discussion, I will limit myself to what I know – NBA, NFL, MLB – I am not a very knowledgeable hockey guy. The parameters also defined are full seasons including post-season, etc.–exhibitions don’t count.

Head coach Eric Spoelstra, meh?. Photo: Lpdrew, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Head coach Eric Spoelstra, meh?. Photo: Lpdrew, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

The easiest place I can make my case is when it comes to the NBA, and I’ve got plenty to work with – starting with Eric Spoelstra of the Miami Heat. Spoelstra had two seasons under his belt with perennial All-Star Dwayne Wade and had a respectable .548 winning percentage although with two first round playoff losses.

Enter LeBron James (and All-Star forward, Chris Bosh). In LeBron’s four years in Miami the Heat–“led” by Spoelstra–made four straight NBA finals, winning two. I wouldn’t call this a coincidence, and I’m excited to see what happens this season since LeBron skipped town and now that Wade is 33 (on the downward slope for NBA players) and has been battling serious knee issues now for several years.

The Heat still do have Bosh and have acquired some talent in the off-season, and they do play in a terrible Eastern conference, but I would be surprised if they did much better than Spoelstra’s previous .548 winning percentage. Certainly they won’t come close to the .717 win percentage that they had with LeBron.

Keeping with LeBron, what about his longest tenured coach with his first go around in Cleveland Cavaliers, Mike Brown? Brown had a .663 winning percentage in five years with LeBron and made it to one NBA final.

Unfortunately for the Cavaliers and Brown, the general manager and owner didn’t surround LeBron with much talent to speak of, which led him to bolt to the Heat. LeBron left for Miami and Brown got canned in Cleveland and took a job with the L.A. Lakers. Moving from Cleveland to L.A. sounds great! In Brown’s first year in L.A., all-time NBA legend Kobe Bryant and a loaded roster led the Lakers to win their division, but couldn’t advance past the 2nd round of the playoffs. In Brown’s second year there, he was fired after 5 games.

Brown got another shot back in Cleveland. Things are always better the second time around, right? Nope, Brown and lightly talented (but young and promising!) went 33-49, in a bad conference–and that ain’t good!

Another great example of contemporary NBA coaches is Mike D’Antoni, and this one especially hurts because he got my hopes up as a Knicks fan! In five years with the Phoenix Suns, D’Antoni had a winning percentage of .650 and even won NBA Coach of the Year once. Oh, FANCY! Come on over to New York we said, with open arms! Then, the Knicks went on to lose 167 out of their 288 games (fired mid-year in his fourth season) with D’Antoni for a winning percentage of .420. Gross.

But don’t worry, Mike got another shot too, he went to L.A. also, because one man’s trash is another–oh wait, he had a winning percentage of .435 there–I guess it wasn’t Brown’s fault after all!

So what made Mike so good in Phoenix? Well that would be a healthy Amar’e Stoudemire – a power house of a player and All-Star and multiple winning league MVP, Steve Nash. True, Stoudemire went with D’Antoni to New York, but by that point he was (and still is) pretty washed up.

Ok, let us move on from the NBA, even though it’s the game where one player can really dominate and make all the difference.

How about football? My favorite example to point to is Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots, “The Hoodie,” the “Mastermind,” the blah, blah, blah – really the luckiest man in football. Belichick has led to the Patriots to three Super Bowls and appeared in two others.

To show why Belichick isn’t good, let’s take it back a few years. Before a stint as an assistant coach with the Jets, before becoming the head coach in New England, Belichick was the head coach with the Cleveland Browns (man, I am all over Cleveland, sorry, I actually liked the city the one time I was there when I was young). While with the Browns, Belichick had one really great year in five years there with a record of 11-5, but in the other four years, he was a combined 25-39, not exactly a “Mastermind.” One year of success in a span of five is not an indicator of talent or success, but rather an aberration.

So back to current times, in New England and why I say Billy boy is lucky – in his second year with the Patriots, Bill started the season 0-2 (after going 5-11 his first year there) and then they proceed to win 11 of the next 14, And what was the difference? Tom freakin’ Brady. (Disclaimer: I am a very, very bitter lifelong New York Jets fan).

Belichick only put his backup, Brady, in due to a late hit (a penalty) by the New York Jets linebacker, when Mo Lewis knocked out starting Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe. The Patriots drafted Brady in the sixth round–sixth! How could every team miss that talent five times over. Even the Patriots passed on him for five rounds, which indicates that they themselves had no idea how good he was, or else they wouldn’t have waited so long to draft him!

LUCK, I say, luck. Belichick’s time in Cleveland, followed by his acquisition and forced play of arguably the greatest quarterback ever has secured his spot as luckiest man in football.

Ok, how about baseball? As a (nearly) lifelong Yankees fan, this one kind of pains me, but let’s bring up Joe Torre. Torre took the Yankees to six World Series appearances and won four, but let’s examine the rest of his career.

Besides managing the Yankees, Torre spent time managing the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals and L.A. Dodgers and at all those places had a combined winning percentage of .491, winning 1,153 games and losing 1,230–not very good.

Now, all of this being said, some coaches I think can really make a difference when it comes to certain things. For example, some coaches actually change the way the game is played. Bill Walsh of the San Francisco 49ers in the 198’s introduced the West Coast offense – short, quick passes–although he did have Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, possibly the two best ever at their positions.

How about Phil Jackson who put together the Triangle Offense, oh wait, he has this guy named Michael Jordan and another of the NBA’s 50 greatest of all-time players, Scottie Pippen. Well after Jordan and Pippen, Phil used the triangle in L.A. where all he had was Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neil who both are also possibly the best ever at their positions.

Hmmm. Maybe even the revolutionary coaches don’t mean much. Your thoughts?


Statistics from, and

I get it. You don’t have to beat me over the head

Let’s see. I’ve gotten the letter in the post. And I get a message every couple of days in my email. And I can’t listen to the radio for more than half an hour without hearing about it. And if I go to the website a big orange bar slides out to tell me about. And there are messages in my Facebook feed, and even tweets, for God’s sake. #whatsahashtag? Everybody knows it’s time to do the thing.

And people are doing the thing–giving to NCPR’s Fall Fundraiser–because you do get it.  You give, public radio lives on. You don’t give, maybe somebody else takes over the frequency and plays classic psychedelic rock 24/7. That’s right–15-minute drum solos with your morning coffee. Nobody wants that. Well–my friend Frodo Half Moon might–but then he doesn’t get out much anymore.


Or we could try negative reinforcement….

Say you’re not an it-getter, or maybe you’re a lollygagger, what’s in it for you? How about half a grand? We’re drawing at noon today for a $500 Visa Gift Card. If you’re not in, you can’t win. That would buy a lot of brown rice and day-glo paint Frodo my friend.

We are now way past halfway to our goal of $325,000, thanks to all of you who respond to gentler forms of incentive. And we still have nine days left to reach our goal before we have to release the flying mon… I mean start interrupting programs to ask for your support. We can do this. Wouldn’t it be great to put the full-bore, in-your-face, long-form, beat you over the head with the toll-free number kind of fundraiser into the history books, along with mood rings, pet rocks, eight-track tapes and streaking? Ah, the crazy stuff we used to do.

Now we just do the thing.

Reasons to give: because monkeys are expensive

18monkeysPublic radio runs on a pretty lean budget. We try not to ask for more than we need. Sometimes there are creative things we can do to replace the need for additional funding. And sometimes, as Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me! host Peter Sagal explains below, those shortcuts just don’t pan out. In the end there is no substitute for a little bit of money. So we’re asking you to donate a little bit now. And once we get what we need to carry on, we will stop asking. Pretty simple.

Make a gift to NCPR now!

Who knew? Japanese influence in Inuit print art

Owl, Fox and Hare Legend, 1959 Osuitok Ipeelee Printed by the artist, with James Houston Stencil Photo: Marie-Louise Deruaz

“Owl, Fox and Hare Legend,” 1959. Artist:Osuitok Ipeelee
Printed by the artist, with James Houston, Stencil. Photo: Marie-Louise Deruaz (Image courtesy of Carleton University Art Gallery)

Peter Simpson’s Big Beat arts blog in the Ottawa Citizen often brings things to my attention worth sharing with NCPR’s audience. One of his recent finds is a specific exhibition happening at the Carleton University Art Gallery: Inuit Prints: Japanese Inspiration 29 September – 14 Dec.

From the event’s website:

Kinngait Studios, in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, is the oldest and most successful printmaking enterprise in Canadian history. In the late 1950s, James Houston studied in Japan with the master woodcut printmaker Un’ichi Hiratsuka, bringing his newfound knowledge of Japanese techniques and materials back to Cape Dorset. Inuit Prints: Japanese Inspiration tells the story of that momentous cross-cultural encounter and explores its extraordinary results. It features rare, early prints by such artists as Lukta Qiatsuq, Tudlik Akesuk, and Osuitok Ipeelee, juxtaposed with the prints by Japanese artists that Houston brought to the Arctic in 1959. The exhibition reveals the many ways in which the now-famous artists of Cape Dorset creatively “localized” Japanese influences.

You can see more about Kinngait Studios at their social media page.

Simpson reminds the reader that the 2012 exhibition of Vincent Van Gogh at the National Gallery in Ottawa included Japanese prints and that Van Gogh was deeply influenced by that style of art. Indeed, according to this excerpt from a letter Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo, Japanese prints imbued his artist’s eye with a whole philosophy of life:

“When we study Japanese art, we see a man who is no doubt wise, philosophical and intelligent. And how does he spends his time? Studying the distance between the earth and the moon? No. Studying the political theories of Bismarck? No. He studies a single blade of grass. But this blade of grass leads him the draw plants of all kinds, then the seasons, the overall aspects of the landscape, then animals, and finally, the human figure. This is how he spends his life, and life is too short to do the whole. Come now, isn’t it almost a true religion which these simple Japanese teach us, who live in nature as though they themselves were flowers? And it seems to me that we cannot study Japanese art without becoming much gayer and happier, and we must return to nature despite our education and our work in a world of conventions.”

Put that way, man-as-a-small-part-of-the-natural-whole also sounds very applicable to Inuit culture.

Simpson’s review adds this:

Exhibitions of Inuit art are now common down here in the southern parts of Canada, and justifiably so. Yet this challenges curators to find unfamiliar but meaningful ways to present the art. To see the work of Japanese and Inuit artists side by side is to see the art of Cape Dorset in a way that, for most non-experts, is fresh, and most welcome.

Really, it can sometimes be a surprisingly small and interconnected world.

Stone Image of Buddha at Usuki, ca. 1940 Un’ichi Hiratsuka Printed by the artist Woodcut Gift of Alice W. Houston Photo: Marie-Louise Deruaz

“Stone Image of Buddha at Usuki,” ca. 1940 Artist: Un’ichi Hiratsuka
Printed by the artist, woodcut. Gift of Alice W. Houston
Photo: Marie-Louise Deruaz (Image courtesy of CUAG)

Postcard from Raleigh: Bluegrass Awards!


Greetings one last time from Raleigh, North Carolina!  The IBMA World of Bluegrass week is wrapping up , and  tomorrow I’ll be driving home.

The pinnacle of the week is the annual IBMA Music Awards show, held this year at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts.    Just 24 hours after bluegrass fans vacated the premises, the Raleigh Symphony performed on the same stage.

I was lucky to get a sneak preview of the stage design and dress rehearsal.  In this photo, the all-star band is running through their performance for exact timing of the show, and awards presenters are practicing using the (very cool clear, almost-invisible) teleprompter.  Microphone heights are measured, so they’ll be reset perfectly for tonight’s show.


Lisa Husted -who also works for the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival – helps to coordinate the lights and cameras with the music.  She charts every solo and every song, so the performers get a close-up on camera at the right time.  The details of a show this size are endless!

Lisa Husted

Here’s the stage design for tonight.  The Event Company designed it, and the moon even moved across the sky of twinkling stars.


At 7:30, all the glittered, high-heeled, suited,  tuxedoed, and potentially-award-winning  attendees were in their seats.  The booming voice of Syriux XM’s Ned Luberecki came through the speakers, and we were off!

5 IBMA awards program

Our hosts for the awards show, Lee Ann Womack and Jerry Douglas:

5 Jerry and LeeAnn


Meet the 2014 IBMA Guitarist of the Year, Bryan Sutton:

5 Bryan Sutton


… Frank Solivan, Mandolin Player of the Year.  He’s also a great cook, and his band is called Dirty Kitchen.  Don’t be misled  by the name- they’re all GREAT musicians.

5 Frank Solivan


Your 2014 Female Vocalist of the Year, Amanda Smith.  Her husband, Kenny Smith, is a might fine guitarist, and was also performing in the awards show.

5 Amanda Smith


Dobro Player of the Year, Phil Leadbetter!  I’ve always liked his playing, and his new album is spectacular – and he’s one of the nicest musicians you’ll ever meet.

5 Phil Leadbetter


Earlier in the week, banjoist Bill Keith was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame.  Keith has influenced bluegrass music for decades with his writing, composing, transcribing, and teaching.  Here he is in his natural habitat – surrounded by banjo pickers.  That’s Tony Trischka on the left.

Banjo trio

Tune in to String Fever this Thursday for more award winners.

The convention ends with a 2-day music festival and street fest, with hundreds of vendors and 9 music stages set around the city center.  North Carolinians really put their best foot forward, showcasing the best of what the state has to offer: meats, wines, honey, barbecue (of course!), and even sweet potatoes:

5 street fair sweet potatoes


… and pigs.

5 street fair pigs


The free festival brought thousands of people in to the center of Raleigh. Here, folks enjoy listening to fiddler Michael Cleveland and his band, Flamekeeper.  Their new album is spectacular – and you’ll hear more of it on String Fever.

5 Michael Cleveland


A couple blocks away, at the Red Hat Outdoor Amphitheater, Chatham County Line is drawing a big crowd.  Hearing them a couple of times this week has really drawn my attention to their songwriting talents.  That’s what events like this are for, I guess.

5 Chatham County Line


Of course, we all know Ellenburg Depot’s favorite sons, The Gibson Brothers.  They are well-loved wherever they travel, and Raleigh loved them to pieces.  It was heartwarming to see what great ambassadors they have become.  They talk – and sing –  a lot about growing up in Northern NY; about dairy farming, and their parents and relatives.  They tell some wonderful stories through the songs they’ve written about their home.

5 Gibson Brothers


… and you’ll be hearing from Leigh Gibson this week on String Fever. Leigh is Eric Gibson’s younger brother, and he claims he’s got a bald spot because Mom liked Leigh better, and always brushed his hair at night.  Yup, it’s corny, but – like Carolina sweet potatoes – we’re all so proud of those boys from northern NY.  They are two-time IBMA Entertainers of the Year.

4 Leigh Gibson


Well, so long for now.  I’ve got to pack and get home.  I’ll see you soon on the radio — and please remember to give to this week!  YOU are the one who keeps the  music playing – and any amount makes a difference.  Measure by measure, note by note, and a dollar at a time is how we all get there, whether you’re picking a banjo, playing the mandolin, or running a radio station.  We want to keep making beautiful music with you.

Thank you so much – from all of us!

Honey, I shrunk the fundraiser

honeyishrunkFor the last few decades, public radio people have needed two completely separate skill sets. For most of the year the skills relate to making quality public media programming and everything that goes along with that. But then for a couple weeks a year a whole different set of skills is required for raising a huge amount of money in a short period of time through a marathon effort behind the microphone. The changeover is abrupt enough to give one whiplash. And while we try to make the on-air fundraiser as quirky and entertaining as possible, we know that it is truly enjoyed by only a few in the audience; it is tolerated as a necessity by most, and it is a misery for some. While we feel that it is important for public media to remain firmly within the gift economy, not the pay-for-play economy, we have often wished that there could be a better way to raise the funds we need from willing donors without consuming so much of the public airtime, and so much of the energy that could go toward making great public media.

So we’re giving it a shot. This fall we have started early with short messages that do not interrupt parts of the programs you are donating to support. This is what is known as a “quiet drive.” And it is quiet, in comparison to the full-tilt yabba-yabba of the traditional six-day on-air drive. We are reaching out more in other ways, by mail and email and social media, by being more assertive on our website. Our initial hope was to be able to maybe cut one day off the on-air fundraiser, at best two. We felt that the people who give to us each year would be amenable to responding early, and that we could focus the on-air drive toward newer audience members who may not have given before.

Somewhat to our surprise, the response from you all has been very strong and fast, so much so that we have now passed one-third of our goal more than two weeks before the on air drive is scheduled to begin. It leads us to think that it may be possible to reach that goal before we ever have to interrupt programming. That would be an amazing transformation in the way we do business, and I think, a welcome transformation for most listeners. We’ll see whether it is possible over the next few days and weeks. We have set a realistic goal–$325,000–that will keep us sustainable into  the coming year, and when we get there the drive is done. If that gets done before 6 am Monday, October 20, that would be–I can only quote Steve Jobs here–”Insanely great.”

So here’s another “quiet” invitation for you to be the insanely great listener you are:

Help “shrink the fundraiser” with your gift to NCPR now.