Archive for the ‘WAMU-FM’ Category

Wheelchairs in the Snow

February 3, 2016

Wheelchairs in the Snow

“Wheelchair users say that in the aftermath of the Jan. 23 blizzard, they were an afterthought in snow cleanup efforts, as curb cuts remains buried in snow, bus stops blocked, and alleys impassable while road crews prioritized clearing the roads.

The responsibility under D.C. law to shovel curb cuts lies with the adjacent property owner, whether a homeowner, business, or public building. With large snow banks everywhere, an open curb usually is the only way a wheelchair user can get on or off the sidewalk. But even when curbs are shoveled after the initial snows, passing plows just cover them up again with mounds of snow.

‘The curb cut issues don’t get addressed in the strategic cleanup that the city does,’ said Ian Watlington, a disability rights worker and motorized wheelchair user. ‘All I am asking, and I think most people with disabilities are asking, is to be part of the strategic…conversation of, what are we going to do once that plow passes?’”

— “Wheelchair Users Say They Are Forgotten In Blizzard Cleanup Efforts,”  Martin Di Caro, WAMU News


Short link:

Photo by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Start Celebrating Early in DC!

July 3, 2009

Start Celebrating Early in DC!

Washingtonians: Want to really declare your independence? Start celebrating Independence Day tonight, July 3rd at 9 PM.  Tune your radio toWAMU-FM 88.5 and listen to a special Independence Day edition of American Routes with Ponderosa Stomp, the Del McCoury Band, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. It’s not the same old Sousa.

The program features portions of live concerts from New Orleans’ French Quarter. The Ponderosa Stomp is dedicated to the “unsung heroes of rock ‘n’ roll” and their rockabilly, soul, country and R&B classics. Then the Del McCoury Band cooks up hot Bluegrass in Preservation Hall, mother church of hot jazz, along with the resident masters, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.  Program details here.

Declare your independence from HD radio, too. Tonight’s broadcast is on “real radio,” WAMU-FM’s main frequency, 88.5, not WAMU’s HD2 channel, where show is usually heard in Washington (Saturdays 8 PM-10 PM).  If you  are among the millions in the Washington area without an HD radio, this is a rare chance to hear American Routes on something that sounds better than your laptop.


Live DC Bluegrass Broadcast Tonight 6-8PM

April 3, 2009

Live DC Bluegrass Broadcast Tonight 6-8PM One of the best Bluegrass bands in the Washington DC area is Rockledge (Darrell Slone-Banjo; Mark Clifton-Dobro; Lynn Healey-Guitar; Bradley Sams/Bill Taylor-Bass). The band will sing and play live in the WAMU-FM studios in the Nation’s Capital on Katy Daley’s Open Mic program this evening (Friday April 3rd, 6PM to 8PM EDT), but you can hear them from anywhere on the planet through

There’s more. Thanks to to a cutting-edge breakthrough in wireless radio-telephony,  people in Northern Virginia and parts of  Maryland can hear this exciting live concert free on those ordinary FM radio receivers found in many homes and motor vehicles! Astounding. Simply set the indicator on the device to 105.5 megahertz.

Both of the Bluegrass fans who actually own HD(tm) radios can hear the digitally-modified broadcast at HD 88.5-2 if they live near the transmitter.

This is a seriously awesome band. Hear Rockledge on the radio tonight and in the flesh each Wednesday at FireFlies in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood.


Image by Mike Licht, who is proud to have played bass for amazing singer and guitarist Lynn Healey.

4th of July in Washington — It’s in the Air

July 3, 2008

4th of July in Washington -- It's in the Air

Washingtonians: Celebrate, rebel, protest, declare independence — listen to Red, White and Blues: The Sounds of Patriotic Pluralism on WAMU-FM 88.5 from 2 to 4 PM 6 PM today, Friday, July, 4 2008.

A special edition of American Routes, it’s not the same old Sousa. Hear guests from Merle Haggard to Joan Baez talk about patriotism and protest with host Nick Spitzer as well as blues and New Orleans jazz versions of classic freedom songs, plus American anthems from James Brown, the Staple Singers, the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Martin, and more.


Washington, DC — May the Fourth Be With You!

July 1, 2008

Washington DC --May the Fourth Be With You!

Washingtonians: Hear the American Routes 4th of July Special on the WAMU-FM 88.5 main broadcast frequency from 2 to 4 PM 6 PM this Friday, July, 4 2008.

The show, Red, White and Blues: The Sounds of Patriotic Pluralism, is not the same old Sousa. Hear guests from Merle Haggard to Joan Baez talk about patriotism and protest with host Nick Spitzer as well as blues and New Orleans jazz versions of classic freedom songs, American anthems from James Brown, the Staple Singers, the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Martin, and more.

Cool off with a summer road trip to Ted Drewes’ Frozen Custard stand on Route 66 in St. Louis, and play “Drown the Clown” at a Massachusetts county fair. May the Fourth be with you!


Bo Diddley Radio Special Sunday 6PM on WAMU-FM

June 6, 2008

Bo Diddley Radio Special Sunday 6PM on WAMU-FM

Hear Nick Spitzer’s 2002 interview with Bo Diddley on WAMU-FM 88.5 this Sunday, June 8, 2008.  Rock n’ Roll icon Bo Diddley (Ellas Bates McDaniel) passed away on June 2nd. Bo Diddley lived here in Washington, DC in the early 1960s, worked with local musicians, and recorded the classic Bo Diddley is a Gunslinger in his basement at 2614 Rhode Island Avenue, NE.


Radio Road Trip

May 23, 2008

Radio Road Trip

Washington, DC-area radio listeners can take a classic American “road trip” this holiday weekend, even if they stay home. WAMU-FM will air a special broadcast of the American Routes “Kings of the Road” program from 2PM to 4PM on Monday, May 26th (Memorial Day) on the main frequency, 88.5 FM.

That means if you are on the road or vacationing within a 40 mile radius of the Nation’s Capital, you can hear this program of classic roots music and discussions of road chroniclers Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and Jack Kerouac.


The Missing Variable – Part 2

November 27, 2007

The Missing Variable - Part 2

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, appeared on today’s Diane Rehm Show.  You can hear it online.

 I sent him the following email:


HD Radio™, Ford Tough — to Receive

October 5, 2007

HD Radio™ — If sidebands fit. you must transmit . . . a litle bit. 

HD Radio™ will be available in 2008 Fords – a dealer-installed accessory, not a factory-installed option. Translation: expensive.  You can also get an HD Radio™ in your very own 2007, 2006 or 2005 Ford if you drive or tow it to the Ford dealership. 

Here in the Nation’s Capital, public station WAMU is riding on top of the Hybrid-Digital (HD is not “high-definition”) wave with three programming streams. Regular FM transmitter: 50,000 watts. Two HD transmitters: 500 watts each. HD Radio™ is perfect if you drive your Ford on a neighborhood paper route. In the right couple of neighborhoods.

The station says your old TV roof antenna makes a dandy accessory for your new HD Radio™. I guess you could put one on top of your Ford.

 Image by Mike Licht and a famous low-speed racer.

Hardly-Discernable Radio: Broadcasts to Nobody

September 21, 2007

If a station broadcasts and no one hears it, does it make a sound? 

Public radio in Washington, DC continues to shill for the Hybrid Digital/Analog (not “High Definition”) HD Radio™ system. The public radio audience is as skeptical of this as other segments of the consumer audience — maybe more so. This is a version 1.0 transitional technology – good only until all radio is digital — and public radio listeners are more highly-educated than other radio market segments.

It doesn’t help that station management insists HD Radio™ is a “robust, sustainable service”  while displaying a transmitter map showing you can’t get their 500 watt HD Radio™ broadcasts most places the station’s 50,000 watt analog signal is heard, and suggests that an old-style TV roof antenna makes a dandy accessory for your brand-new HD Radio™.

To “jumpstart the migration of the existing audience to the new radio dial position, to propagate the new technology” the station is giving away HD Radio™ units, and the nonprofit public radio station is flogging the things with website links to retailers. It’s very sad, and coming to public stations across the nation, because the money has already been spent.

It reminds me of an old 1960s LP for kids, “You be a DJ.” Kids would play it, introduce songs, and talk – and no one else was listening.