MACRoCk XIV is upon us!

The 14th annual Mid-Atlantic College Radio Conference (MACRoCk) will be occurring in Harrisonburg, VA on April 1 & 2, 2011. This year, MACRoCk will be hosting over 90 bands including Bouncing Souls, Capsule, S. Carey, Screaming Females, Turbo Fruits, Algernon Cadwallader,  Timbre, Super Vacations, Invisible Hand, 1994!, Pulling Teeth, US Christmas, Cannabis Corpse, Inter Arma, Pianos Become the Teeth, The Extraordinaires, Snack Truck, Dangerous Ponies, Snowing, Woe, Withered, Brooke Waggoner, Antlers, Gifts From Enola, Ocoai, Eternal Summers, Gringo Star, Air Waves, Arches, Andrew Cedermark, Sacred Harp, Heavy Cream and Pujol. MACRoCk will also host a variety of panelists speaking on topics such as Local Food, Booking in The Music Industry & Screen Printing.

MACRoCk was first put on by the student volunteers at James Madison University’s student radio station, WXJM, in 1997. Today, MACRoCk is an independently owned and organized organization, and is the largest independent music conference on the East Coast. MACRoCk offers a unique opportunity for bands, industry professionals and fans to interact and connect to support the music they love. With all the shows taking place in independently run and operated downtown music venues, MACRoCk was founded on a belief that corporate sponsorship and big business were not part of what makes music great. Through grassroots organization and an all-volunteer staff, MACRoCk strives to promote independent music, thought, art, business, and culture. This is MACRoCk’s 14th year, and it is going to be better than ever before. For more information about the conference, bands and tickets, please visit the MACRoCk website at

‘A Show Of Instance’ Brings Back The Polaroid

             A simple recipe for coolness: 1) be ubiquitous and fun, 2) become obsolete but remain an object of nostalgia, 3) wait at least a decade, and then, 4) come struttin’ back into town.

            Polaroid photography will celebrate just this sort of return to prominence this week with ‘A Show of Instance’ at The Artful Dodger.

            The exhibit, opening from 6-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 29, will include Polaroid images by 14 local photographers, whose expertise ranges from professional to first-timer.

            Paul Somers, fresh off his project to resurrect the Super 8 film format as co-founder of Harrisonburg’s first annual (and extremely successful) Super Gr8 Film Festival this fall, is one of the Polaroid show’s organizers.

            “I’ve always loved the Polaroid,” said Somers, comparing its instant reward to the digital format that has replaced it. “The difference is that the [Polaroid] format makes you far more conservative and cautious in your picture taking, which translates to better-planned images.”

            The Impossible Project, a company that bought Polaroid’s last remaining production plant in the Netherlands in 2008 and has since begun releasing new instant film for Polaroid cameras, is one of Somers’ inspirations and a sponsor of the show.

            ‘A Show of Instance’ will run for just one week ­– a nod to the format’s quickness – but Somers plans to bring back future editions every three months.

            And so, Viva la Polaroid – familiar, simple, quick, and still somehow magical, an image that appears from a black nothing between your fingers over a few long seconds.

            “This …film that develops right in front of your eyes was created 60 years ago, and is still incredible,” Somers said.

The David Mayfield Parade at Clementine

David Mayfield is the “other” voice and lead guitarist, as well as a contributing songwriter for folk rock favorites Cadillac Sky, whose last album “Letters In The Deep” was produced by Dan Auerbach (Black Keys) but his role as a member of the Texas by way of Nashville quintet is just one of the many musical paths this Grammy-nominated artist has journeyed.

Growing up in Kent, Ohio, David was surrounded by Bluegrass music. At the age of twelve he was playing bass for the family band, traveling from festival to festival, along with his younger sister, noted songstress, Jessica Lea Mayfield, singing and absorbing the stories and lessons taught by road hard veterans, all the while picking up tips on how to play a lick on guitar or mandolin. By the time he was a teenager, Mayfield had won several national awards for his guitar and mandolin playing and his reputation was being forged in the world of Bluegrass as a player to watch out for.

In 2008 when Jessica Lea Mayfield was ready to make her debut record, Blasphemy So Heartfelt, she asked David to play bass on it. He did. And over the next year he would tour as her bassist, and as a newly minted member of Cadillac Sky all while writing and performing his own songs.

On the road with Jessica Lea Mayfield and the Avett Brothers, Scott and Seth took notice of Mayfield’s musicianship and the three quickly developed a friendship, leading them to invite David to sit in with them dozens of times including their 2010 Bonnaroo & Merlefest sets. After urging him more and more to make a record of his own, when he took to the studio the Avett’s were quick to lend their voices.

David Mayfield Parade is the culmination of that encouragement. The album reflects the numerous influences that come from a lifetime of being immersed in American music and channeling its unique forms with sincerity and celebration from the howl of early rock-n-roll, to the low lonesome twang of folk and country with a voice that is all at once heartbreaking and inherently hopeful.

The show at Clementine will start at 9:30PM.
It is $8 in advance and $10 at the door.
Joshua Vana will be opening the show!
This will be an all ages event.

Near Misses, Tight Squeezes And Canned Food Catastrophes: Mom’s Motorized Cart Odyssey

By Andrew Jenner

I can’t have been the only child who dreamed of commandeering one of those motorized shopping carts that sit tantalizingly unattended at grocery stores entrances. And I’m surely not the only adult who still, somewhere in his heart of childish hearts, would kill for the opportunity to go joy-riding down the frozen foods aisle, spinning donuts on the shiny waxed floor, veering madly around corners Mario Kart-style. Wouldn’t it be fun?
By age 28, though, I’d pretty much accepted that this wasn’t going to happen, that firsthand knowledge of self-propelled shopping carts will only come once I’m sufficiently withered and broken down to actually need one, that I will probably never be able to muster the necessary chutzpah and disregard for basic decency required to pull off such a stunt.
And then, a fortunate thing happened: my mother developed severe and terrible plantar fasciitis, and in September, underwent an invasive and painful foot surgery requiring many weeks of recovery – and entitling her to full operational privileges of any and all motorized shopping carts throughout the land. Continue reading “Near Misses, Tight Squeezes And Canned Food Catastrophes: Mom’s Motorized Cart Odyssey” »

The Kopecky Family Band at Clementine!

The Kopecky Family Band will be returning to Clementine for their second performance tomorrow night (12.11.10). This Nashville, TN based group is composed of all classically trained musicians, specializing in an Orchestrated Folk Rock. They have been creating a lot of buzz throughout the nation with each one of their diverse and unpredictable live shows. Recently, they have showcased NYC’s College Music Journal in October as well as playing Nashville’s Next Big Nashville Festival, receiving critical acclaim with each of their performance’s around the nation. This 7-piece band is sure to deliver an amazing high-energy performance that is sure to leave you in awe! David Bayard Richard will be opening the show with his own Orchestrations range from a Southern Garage Pop to a more diverse and intricate Orchestral Folk. This show will start at 9:30PM and there is a $5 ticket price! Hope you will make it out for this special show! More information here!

Zehr Receives Thanks and Gives It, Restoratively

Howard Zehr

HARRISONBURG – Eastern Mennonite University professor Howard Zehr spent his Thanksgiving holiday this year receiving the thanks of German and Swiss groups for his work as a pioneer and propagator of restorative justice around the world. He also did “giving” as a speaker and workshop leader on the same topic.

On the day that the United States celebrated Thanksgiving 2010, Zehr received the Michael Stattler Prize from the German Mennonite Peace Committee in Rottenburg am Neckar, a town in southwestern Germany. Continue reading “Zehr Receives Thanks and Gives It, Restoratively” »

This post was submitted by Jim Bishop.

Blue Streaks Advance to State Title Game

The DNR is reporting that the Harrisonburg High School Blue Streaks football team for has advanced to the Virginia Group AA Division 4 state title game in a double-overtime 28-21 win over Christiansburg.

According to the Virginia High School League‘s posted schedule, the Blue Streaks will play for the  championship on Saturday, December 11, at 4:30pm at Williams Stadium at Liberty University in Lynchburg.

Enough is a Feast – 7 Things To Do Instead of Shop

What a bizarre world we live in that some people got up at 4 am on November 26—not to meditate, not to practice yoga, not to write in their dream journal—but to get in line to shop for “Black Friday.”

I decided nearly 40 years ago to abandon the custom of gift giving at Christmas. I used to make a practice of staying away from stores like Walmart from Thanksgiving to well past Christmas. When I became seriously interested in yoga, about 25 years ago, I learned that part of the practice includes observing ethical precepts, and one of those is aparigraha, or non-grasping, non-hoarding, essentially non-greed.

Of course, other spiritual traditions also emphasize the value of simple living, and value spiritual practices and traditions over possessions. In the Christian faith, Continue reading “Enough is a Feast – 7 Things To Do Instead of Shop” »

This post was submitted by Diana Woodall.

Harrisonburg’s First Non-Morose Anti-Death Penalty Event Is This Friday

Capital punishment is hardly a cheery topic, and so it’s somehow fitting that this Friday’s benefit for Virginians For Alternatives To The Death Penalty offers a lighter alternative to your typical straight-faced anti-death penalty event.

The fundraiser, called “Execute Art (Not People),” will begin at 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3 at Clementine Cafe in downtown Harrisonburg. A fashion show, featuring clothing from nine local designers and two downtown stores, is the evening’s main attraction.

Some comments from VADP President John Sheldon, a belly dancing performance and a closing set by the Harrisonburg band Preacher are also on the program. Throughout the night, a silent auction of donated art and other items will be running, and several artists and a photographer will be making sketches or portraits for the audience.

“It’s a way to be active in this cause without having to sit through a somber movie or something,” said Linell Patterson, a VADP board member from Harrisonburg who organized the event.

VADP is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to educate the public about alternatives to the death penalty. Patterson said more than 50 people have helped to organize the event, which has a fundraising goal of $15,000 for VADP.

Similar groups across the country have hosted like-minded “Execute Art (Not People)” gatherings within the past year.

Tickets for Friday night’s event cost $5 at the door.  For more information, or to become an event sponsor with a larger donation, visit

EMU Students Contend in Business Competition

The EMU team tied for fourth place in the annual Goodman & Company accounting competition (l. to r.): Ron Stoltzfus, Eric Yoder, Heidi Boese, Brittany Snyder and Jason Ropp with Gary Thomson of Goodman & Company. Photo by Kristin R. Kitchens

HARRISONBURG – They came, they collaborated, they crunched the numbers and were rewarded for their efforts in a grueling regional business competition sponsored by Goodman & Company, a major Virginia accounting firm.

A team of Eastern Mennonite University senior accounting majors tied for fourth place in the final round of competition with a team from the University of Virginia in the ninth annual Goodman & Company Accounting Challenge. Continue reading “EMU Students Contend in Business Competition” »

This post was submitted by Jim Bishop.

November 22, 1963

Airman 3rd Class Rood

In the summer of 1963, I was looking forward to beginning college but being one of ten children in a blue-collar family, and being unable to find a job since high school graduation, it seemed unlikely that would happen. My scholarship would cover only tuition, which left books, room and board. I had received no information or advice about student aid and felt hopeless about my future. Home life was becoming increasingly more difficult so when Sgt. George Sterling, US Air Force recruiter, came to the house, I was ripe for the picking. Before I realized what was happening, I was stepping off a plane in San Antonio, headed for basic training at Lackland A.F.B. in Texas. Continue reading “November 22, 1963” »

FOIA Requests Sent to Richmond on Global Warming

On August 26, 2010 at a town hall meeting at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell stated, in response to a question I posed on global warming, that the science of anthropogenic climate change was debatable. When I countered that there was not significant debate on this issue, he replied, “I’m telling you, there is.”

At that same town meeting I also spoke with Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources and Senior Advisor on Energy, Maureen Matsen. She stated that the science is not clear that climate change is man made, going on to say that, in any event, addressing energy issues was synonymous with addressing anthropogenic climate change. The problem with this reply is that it implies that as long as we get the amount of energy we need, it does not matter that the source of energy is climate harming fossil fuels. When I suggested to her that the United States has hundreds of years of coal and natural gas, and, therefore, there would be no reason to develop renewables except for concern with greenhouse gases, she chose not to respond.

I thereupon sent freedom of information requests to both Governor McDonnell and the Secretary of Natural Resources, asking each to produce any documents they had to support their positions that anthropogenic climate change was invalid science or debatable. The response was: Continue reading “FOIA Requests Sent to Richmond on Global Warming” »

This post was submitted by Bishop Dansby.

Eastern Mennonite University Celebrates 104 kW Photovoltaic System

EMU President Loren Swartzendruber and Harrisonburg Mayor Kai Degner 'throw the ceremonial switch' to engage the 104.3 kilowatt solar panel array that will provide enough power to supply the total average annual electricity costs of nine homes in Harrisonburg.

Eastern Mennonite University dedicated and celebrated the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) project built so far in the state of Virginia in a public ceremony held Monday afternoon, Nov. 15, on EMU’s campus.

During the celebration in EMU’s Campus Center, about 150 members of the campus community, public officials and local neighbors saw the university’s president Loren Swartzendruber unveil the website dashboard with the flip of a switch, revealing live graphs showcasing the daily, weekly and monthly output of the solar system.

“Caring for God’s good creation is central to who we are as a Christian university,” Dr. Swartzendruber told the gathering. “Our planet does not have unlimited natural resources, and it is imperative that we utilize clean renewable energy such as solar as part of the university’s long-term commitment to creation care and environmental sustainability,” he added. Continue reading “Eastern Mennonite University Celebrates 104 kW Photovoltaic System” »

This post was submitted by Jim Bishop.

Do the Super Rich Owe America Anything?

The bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform released its report to a cheering crowd of enthusiastic supporters of fiscal responsibility but those cheers were drowned out by the thunderous roar of just about everybody else. Unlike the hoax of global warming, the growing national debt is a real and serious problem that will spell doom if not addressed immediately, so say neo-conservatives. The Commission, in its reserved and even-handed examination of the facts and figures, has decided that the working poor must bear as much of the burden as the super rich to rectify this difficult situation. We are Americans; we can do this!   Continue reading “Do the Super Rich Owe America Anything?” »

Fair Questions for the DNR

With a summit on justice issues just passed, it’s a good time to ask if the local newspaper can be a part of the discussion, or is part of the problem.

Take, for instance, last Tuesday’s front page (November 9, 2010). Four teens were arrested in Georgia for a murder at a party that got out of hand.  The story was sensationalism.  That’s not a dig.  During my tenure as a newspaper editor many, many years ago, a story being sensational was enough reason to run it.  One editor I worked with called them “Hey, Mabel” stories.  Others referred to them as back-fence stories.  You run them because people are talking or because you want them to.

What’s less understandable is the information the newspaper chose to run about those arrested.  Their names, ages, and addresses did not appear in the story.  The only identifying information was their surnames, run underneath photos cropped so tightly they purveyed only one fact about the suspects: They were black. Continue reading “Fair Questions for the DNR” »

This post was submitted by JGFitzgerald.

New Book Revisits ‘Martyr’s Mirror’ Stories

Press Release HARRISONBURG – An Eastern Mennonite University professor has assembled a collection of poems, essays and fiction by noted and new authors responding to a classic book of martyrs who died for their faith over the centuries.

The anthology, “Tongue Screws and Testimonies,” will be released at a reception for the book’s editor, Kirsten E. Beachy, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18 in Martin Chapel of the seminary building at EMU. Continue reading “New Book Revisits ‘Martyr’s Mirror’ Stories” »

This post was submitted by Jim Bishop.

New LEED Office Building In Grottoes

Wellness Concepts Inc., Valley Leader in Green Building

Daniel and Cathie Atwell, owners of Wellness Concepts, since 1990, are building a new home for their business in Grottoes, VA. This is no ordinary building, as the Atwells, along with their contractor, Glen Stoltfus, are intent on making it the first Platinum, LEED certified building in the Central Shenandoah Valley.

LEED ( Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a nationally accepted certification program that is a third-party verified, green building rating system. A building receives points for energy efficiency, using reclaimed materials, water conservation, indoor air quality, and waste mitigation, just to name a few.

This 18,000 square foot building has outside walls made with insulated concrete forms or ICF’s.   Continue reading “New LEED Office Building In Grottoes” »

This post was submitted by Sally Newkirk.

Hburg, Fall ’10, a Pocket of Political Civility

This was submitted prior to the November 2, but unfortunately was left unpublished prior!

If you’ve followed state and national politics this Fall, you’ve observed rage, bizarre accusations and even occasional violence. What a surprising contrast the Harrisonburg City Council campaigns have been! I’ve seen the 6 candidates display pragmatism, civility and willingness to respectfully disagree. This is by no means typical of local politics or of politics in Harrisonburg (where mention of the city’s ten-year-money-losing golf course can still push bitter buttons). Yet the tone this Fall has seemed remarkably sane. The nonpartisan group, Citizens for Equal Rights, deserves special appreciation for organizing Meet and Greet sessions with each of the six contenders in a private home, open to all. Informal discussions there have proved highly informative, as have the public forums. Voters can find clear differences in policy, such as how to balance taxation with needs in this city which continues to have an unusually low tax rate. We can choose our two next council members from among six very diverse sets of strengths, perspectives and leadership styles . . . but I’ve seen no ideological demagogues/immigrant-bashers/gay-bashers/screamers-toting-guns in the lot. So I think we can feel at least moderately ok about whoever wins. Hburgers, please study your choices and vote on Tuesday!

This post was submitted by Chris Edwards.

I Regret To Inform You That I Will Never Be Rallying For Sanity Again


My enthusiasm sputtered and died as I stood in line at the concessions stand, about the time the seventh person in a witch costume walked past carrying a sign making fun of Christine O’Donnell. I tried to look at it on the bright side – she did manage to temporarily block out my view of the guy roaming a small patch of open grass while performing a minstrel version of “The Times Are A-Changin’”, pausing often for iPhone photo ops with strangers.

But then along came the guy with a sign announcing The End Is Far, after the guy demanding a Return To The Metric System, then a couple holding a giant banner warning of the dangers of a four-hour Boehner, the woman with a giant fake penis strapped around her waist, the woman wearing a sandwich-board homage to masturbation (accompanied by another dig at O’Donnell) and a thousand others that I don’t feel like describing. All of them wore semi-sheepish, aren’t-I-funny? grins, while their fellow rallygoers fell over each other in their haste to photograph the hilarity. This was my Saturday? This is supposed to be meaningful and memorable? Continue reading “I Regret To Inform You That I Will Never Be Rallying For Sanity Again” »