Award winning producer, Dmae Roberts, is launching her next big bold experiment. “Mei Mei” was perhaps the first biracial Asian American documentary heard on NPR. Now she’s turning into a 30-min film in the hope of bringing it to new audiences and to preserve it and all the audio I collected in Taiwan. Check out the trailer! The last half has a clip from the film! A beautiful story of Taiwan, war, the Lady Buddha, Kwan yin and more.
As a second year broadcasting student at Mount Hood community college I get credits for doing an internship. Originally I pictured myself in the cozy environment of public radio, surrounded by on-air voices that sound the same. After a chain of events still mysterious to me, I ended up at the Lars Larson show. I was nervous to meet Lars, not because he wears a gun on his hip everyday, but because I grew up watching him on the local news and know how hard he’s worked to get where he is today. To be honest, I was nervous because you could say I’m a leftie, environmentalist at heart, with anarchist tendencies. Uh-huh.
Executive producer Tony King immediately threw me into the deep end and put me to work doing everything it takes to pull a show like this off. The work required of me has pushed me to the edge of my learning curve and often feels quite uncomfortable. What I spend most of my time doing as an intern: trolling the web for topics that are compelling enough for the local and national shows. This is harder than it sounds and sometimes keeps me up at night. One of my biggest anxieties is not being able to come up with anything. There are many things to keep in mind when looking for interesting content. First of all can the topic be easily understood by most? Can it be reasonably answered at least two ways? More people will care if it will impact their wallet, kids, family, education, or health, these are the call drivers. Topics need to be relevant and common speak is best when framing questions, keep it simple.
One day Tony took off my training wheels and asked me to provide two topics that Lars would use on the national show, complete with guests. Gulp. The deadline was 5 days, which in this business is a lengthy luxury, you’re usually booking day of. I was glued to twitter and news feeds for days. I really wanted to impress Lars professionally! The two topics I chose were: the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law and a case involving eminent domain in Colorado. After Tony approved them, I got busy finding and securing the best guests possible. The pressure was on and I loved every exciting minute of making cold calls to civilians, lawyers, and state representatives in hopes of getting them on the air. Hard work and luck resulted successful booking. I was able to get Andy Barrie, owner of a home and land in rural Colorado and Florida Representative Dennis Baxley, author of the Stand Your Ground Law. Phew! Lars called me himself the next day to say how much he enjoyed what I had produced and that he was glad to have me on the team. Listen to these segments here: Colorado, and Stand Your Ground
It’s impressive to watch Lars do his thing. His voice is on the air for 6 hours a day. In terms of the airwaves, and the media, that’s a lot of power. He does not abuse that power. From what I’ve seen, Lars has a wealth of integrity and believes what he says. He is a serious journalist and demands accountability, responsibility and ethics from those working with him.
Working at Alpha Broadcasting has expanded my view of where I see myself working when I graduate in June. My time here has opened my eyes to the world of syndicated commercial radio programming, and has shown me that as a producer it doesn’t matter if you lean a different direction politically than the host. Lars, Tony and the KXL news staff have been encouraging mentors and a wealth of support. With gratitude, I move forward from this internship well trained and eager to find my place as a multimedia producer in the broadcasting world.
Produced by Kaylene Beaujolais
Corn is the real traditional food of the Americas. Humans have had a relationship planting and processing it for thousands of years. Many American ancestors relied on corn, or maize (MAZE), for much of their nourishment. In today’s marketplace corn has journeyed far from it’s roots and is more of a commodity, than sustaining food. A small business in Portland, Oregon is bringing back ancient ways of preparing corn, from seed to table. Producer Kaylene Beaujolais (BO-JO-LAY), with Elemental Radio, has this story.
KAYLENE: Pedro Azcarate-Ferbel and Adriana Ferbel-Azcarate are making masa and tortillas the traditional way, allowing consumers, in the Pacific Northwest, to taste corn’s true flavor.
We get the opportunity not only to provide a fresh tortilla at the market that’s never been refrigerated, these were made this morning. I can also sell the masa and give people the tools to make their own tortillas in their own kitchen.
ADRIANA: My name is Adriana Ferbel Azcarate, I’m from Mexico and I’m a naturopathic doctor and I’m dedicating right now to make organic corn tortillas that are made in the traditional way. My aunt, she was my mother’s, brother’s wife and she cooked really really good. She had all these secret recipes. Everyone wanted her recipes but she didn’t want to share them all. (inherit :26) When she died, my uncle asked me, “Would you like your aunt’s tortilla machine?” I pretty much inherit that. He asked, “Would you take that to United States?” And I said yeah, why not? I felt really excited, like oh, ok, I’m being shown this is something I have to continue.
KAYLENE: The name, Three Sisters, originates form the symbiotic growing of maize, beans and squash. Practiced by the indigenous people throughout the Americas. The corn becomes the stalk for the beans to climb. The beans fix the nitrogen on the earth and the squash then covers the ground, keeping moisture in and bugs out.
PEDRO: This is our blue corn, and you can see it’s different varieties. Each kernel has a different story to tell. I’m always inspired by the corn itself, knowing it came from this wild plant: teocintle, (TAY-OH-CINT-LAY). I’m honored to be working with that corn spirit.
ADRIANA: The products we make and sell are the corn itself, already cooked, as nixtamal, we sell it as posole or hominy so you can cook it a little longer and you can make posole soup or we grind it and we make the blue masa and yellow masa. So we have yellow corn tortillas, blue corn tortillas, spinach, cilantro, jalepeno tortillas, guajillo pepper tortillas and enchiladas potosinas of course….
KAYLENE: Pedro and Adriana’s eight year old son, Santiago Olin (OH-LEEN), loves to be involved.
SANTIAGO: I usually help out at the farmers markets and I do a lot of stuff. Usually I walk around and eat stuff. I help pressing the masa and making it in a tortilla and then making it round and then put it on the griddle and doing it.
KAYLENE: Three Sisters prep kitchen is just down the street from Pedro, Adriana, and Santiago’s home. Full of stainless steel vats, palettes of corn and other processing equipment.
PEDRO: I’m stirring the corn in this big tank, so I’m trying to get it to cook evenly. This is sort of the processing that was discovered thousands of years ago that allows the corn to become usable for making masa and tortillas, but this whole process, the steeping in lime, which is ground up limestone, it’s a food grade lime that we use, calcium hydroxide is it’s name and it’s pretty amazing cause calcium hydroxide, limestone beds around the world come from millions of year old sea beds.
KAYLENE: Cooking the corn in lime is what makes it nixtamalized corn. When maize is prepared that way, it has benefits over unprocessed corn. It is more easily ground and it’s nutritional value increases. It tastes and smells better. Most store bought tortillas contain little nutritional value.
ADRIANA: We do it 100% organic, 100% nixtamal corn, we don’t mix any other flours in it, we don’t put any preservatives in it, that’s the difference.
PEDRO: This is the yellow corn and this is ready. Because it’s a broken corn I’ve got a lot of broken pieces. We prefer not to use broken corn but this is what we got from our supplier and our supplier told us that was the nature of commodity corn. We’re looking for another supplier.
ADRIANA: Farmers don’t have the money to be able to de-grain, take all the seeds from the cob and dry it out. So we end up fighting with bigger companies that do that for them and then they sell it to you. Sometimes the quality for a small business is hard because they will sell the product they have to bigger companies than us so we’re always struggling to find from different sources.
PEDRO: If we’re gonna feed people, in a sustainable way, we’re gonna need some kind of storage crops in order to feed people and we should be thinking about the first foods of the Americas. Corn really offers the opportunity to create nutritious food for large numbers of people in compact urban areas. You know, there’s nothing like a fresh tortilla, so a lot of people will talk about their experiences going to Mexico, or recollections of their grandmother making tortillas in the home. It’s like fresh baked bread, it’s a soul food. It’s a food that really connects people to their families, their communities, their culture.
ADRIANA: Well, people will love to make their own tortillas…..
SANTIAGO: The taste of the tortilla after, it’s really good, I don’t really know how to describe the taste but it’s a good one.
PEDRO: Would you like to try a tortilla? Yes…….
SANTIAGO: Three Sisters, me encanta (EN-CONT-AH)!
DJ F.M. is the DJ for hip-hop group, The Psycho Realm. Kaylene Beaujolais interviewed him at the ‘We The People Festival’ in Los Angeles in 2007. The event was sponsored by Divine Forces Radio. DJFM talks about Psycho Realm’s music, all of their street soldier fans, and the cycles of hip-hop. Visit www.psychorealmonline.com. – Produced by Kaylene Beaujolais
Witches are misunderstood and negatively stereotyped. In this podcast Kaylene Beaujolais interviews 4 witches in Portland, Oregon. Larry Savides, Pomegranate Doyle, Andrea Galluzzo and Thomas. They talk about witchcraft, what it is and isn’t. Some questions answered in this podcast are: What are spells? What is a curse? Witches Heal.
Produced by Kaylene Beaujolais
Rhea Wolf created the brilliant zine ‘Which is Witch’ about witches. It’s an easy to read, illustrated primer and helps dispel ignorance on the subject.
Get your copy here: Which is Witch Zine
A year ago if you asked people who Macklemore was you would have likely been met with a vacant stare, or guesses of Irish foods. Today millions around the world know exactly who Macklemore is thanks to the success of his commercial radio hits, ‘Thrift Shop’ and ‘Can’t Hold Us’. Just this week I heard his song ‘Same Love’ getting play on the radio and I cried. My heart swelled up in my chest and I let out a huge sigh of relief. ‘Same Love’ is a song he wrote about gay marriage that directly challenges homophobia and stereotypes rampant in hip-hop music. I was familiar with this song long before commercial radio dared play it, but there was something so magical about hearing it on my drive home from school this week, something so right. It made me want more. I want to hear more songs about the love between two people of the same sex, I want to see magazine ads featuring same sex couples and not just one man, one woman. If we are to live in an honest and authentic world that accurately reflects the truth of it’s people and values, then we need to make room for gay icons and let it permeate popular culture. It is time for the walls of fear to come crumbling down, and for the thoughtless hateful words of judgement towards those born gay to cease. Whether or not you choose to see the beauty of diversity in your fellow man, it does not make it disappear. Love knows no bounds so why do we try and force it to conform? Our precious energy is needed for better things. Let’s not allow another generation of children to grow up in the shadow of self-hatred, we can take responsibility to end bullying. Like the song ‘Same Love’ says, “love is patient, love is kind”. Peace, Kaylene