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

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.

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.

Protesters Rally at DMV in Harrisonburg: “Hey McDonnell Shame on You. Immigrants are People, Too!”

Harrisonburg- On Wednesday, a crowd of forty community members gathered in front of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Harrisonburg to call attention to Governor Bob McDonnell’s anti-immigrant, discriminatory policies including his recent decision to make it difficult for legal immigrants to obtain a driver’s license.

Governor McDonnell has angered Virginia residents with his latest call for the DMV to deny federal Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) as a form of identification in obtaining a driver’s license which protesters say is an act of discrimination against all immigrants. The law causes significant risk for Virginians, especially those who are undocumented, and those on Temporary Protection Status from countries such as Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Somalia and Sudan.

The protesters stood on the sidewalk in front of the DMV chanting Continue reading “Protesters Rally at DMV in Harrisonburg: “Hey McDonnell Shame on You. Immigrants are People, Too!”” »

This post was submitted by Julie Blust . Begins City Council Questionnaire, the longest-running local Harrisonburg news blog, published its first post in a series devoted to sharing Harrisonburg City Council candidate responses to questions submitted by readers.  The first question answered is, “What qualifies you to be on council?”

Six candidates are vying for two spots on the city council on the November 2 election day. Due to my role on city council and close affiliation with the, readers here  are encouraged to look to for community-driven information about this local election.

Beloved Former EMU Campus Pastor Dies

Truman H. Brunk

Truman H. Brunk, 79, a former campus pastor at Eastern Mennonite University died Friday, Oct. 8, at Rockingham Memorial Hospital, Harrisonburg, Va.

Brunk was born May 19, 1931 in Washington, D.C., the son of the late Truman and Ruth Smith Brunk. He grew up in the Denbigh community of Newport News, Va.

Brunk joined the EMU faculty in 1965 following his Continue reading “Beloved Former EMU Campus Pastor Dies” »

This post was submitted by Jim Bishop.

Greenhouse is Built for New Community Project

A greenhouse can be built in an affordable manner, like this one for the New Community Project in Harrisonburg. Photo: Diana Woodall

On a warm Sunday afternoon, October 10, members and friends of New Community Project in Harrisonburg met at 715 N. Main St and contructed an inexpensive greenhouse.

The project was done in conjunction with the call from for communities across the nation and world to take action to address climate change.  (350 stands for the Continue reading “Greenhouse is Built for New Community Project” »

This post was submitted by Diana Woodall.

Immigration Reform Protesters Rally at DMV in Harrisonburg

Harrisonburg residents joined together at the local DMV location to protest Governor McDonnell’s attempts to deny drivers licenses to legal immigrants with work permits.   Isabel Castillo, local organizer, says in a Facebook status update, “We need to send the message that we will not sit idly by as persons who are doing the right thing are punished unjustly.”

The press release is below.  Please share comments about the event below. Continue reading “Immigration Reform Protesters Rally at DMV in Harrisonburg” »

This post was submitted by Julie Blust .

Host Families Needed for Up With People Cast Members

Up With People, a traveling multicultural arts and music performing group, is planning a series of performances in Harrisonburg – and the cast members need local host families willing to provide a place to sleep, limited transportation, and a meal a day. More information is in the following press release: Continue reading “Host Families Needed for Up With People Cast Members” »

Hydrofracking Continues to be Discussed by Citizens

WHSV TV3 is reporting that a citizen meeting today in Broadway focused on the status of hydrofracking in Rockingham County.  While a special use permit to allow hydrofracking remains tabled by the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors and Carrizo, the company proposing the drilling, decided to leave the area, citizens and community organizations met to discuss actions and legislation needed in case hydrofracking is revisisted in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As noted in the story, an aid to Delegate Tony Wilt says his office, “has not yet been contacted by either side about bringing the hydrofracking issue up in the General Assembly’s next session.”

The hydrofracking story is within the first 2:30 of the embedded video.

Bus Chartered for Rally to Restore Sanity

As previously reported, Shenandoah Valley residents are heading to Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity – now by the bus full.   Beginning at noon on October 30, the star of Emmy Award-winning TV program “The Daily Show,” will be hosting the event on the Mall in Washington, DC. A group of area residents, led by Lowell Fulks 7Generations PAC, have contracted for charter buses to bring attendees to the event.

Seats are priced at Continue reading “Bus Chartered for Rally to Restore Sanity” »

Sachedina to Focus on Furthering Relations Between Children of Abraham

Image from

Professor Aziz Sachedina teaches at University of Virginia and will speak at Eastern Mennonite University on October 4th.

From 4-5:30pm on Monday, October 4, Professor Aziz Sachedina from the Religious Studies Department at UVA will be presenting, “Disenchantment” with “interfaith dialogue” for furthering better relations among the Children of Abraham.  The presentation will be at Strite Auditorium and will be followed by discussion.

In recent years Aziz Sachedina has had significant high level teaching roles and encounters in Iran. He is considered one of the foremost scholars on Shi’ite Islam in the world and he is at the progressive front for conflict transformation, medical ethics and human rights within the Islamic tradition. He is very interested in how the peacebuilding and conflict transformation education and training process has developed at EMU.  

The event is co-sponsored by Eastern Mennonite Universty’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding and Abraham’s Tent.

Up With People Coming to Harrisonburg to Benefit the Childrens Museum

Up With People released a press release stating it will bring its cultural show to Harrisonburg for a series of performances scheduled October 25-November 6.  The performances will benefit the Harrisonburg Childrens Museum.

Press Release:  When the multinational cast of Up with People takes the stage at Eastern Mennonite High School in Harrisonburg on Thursday, October 28 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, October 31 at 4 p.m. audience members will find something for virtually every musical taste and interest. [A special show is scheduled at the new Forbes Center – more information soon]

Long before American Idol began discovering and refining new talent or High School Musical tapped into the exuberance of young ensemble casts, Up with People pioneered these attributes while touring the world with their optimistic message of global cooperation and goodwill. Continue reading “Up With People Coming to Harrisonburg to Benefit the Childrens Museum” »

Still ‘Speedy’ After All These Years

Phil Helmuth, executive director of development at EMU, accepts the keys and title to Margaret Martin Gehman's 1967 Volkswagen Beetle. Photo by Jim Bishop

HARRISONBURG – At age 88, Margaret Martin Gehman of Harrisonburg has lost a little of her trademark drive, largely because she has parted company with a faithful friend.

Dr. Gehman and her trusty, albeit a bit rusty, mechanical steed, a blue 1967 Volkswagen Beetle, are almost synonymous to many observers. For years she motored the streets of the greater Harrisonburg area even though she preferred walking to as many destinations as possible. She has been a resident of Continue reading “Still ‘Speedy’ After All These Years” »

This post was submitted by Jim Bishop.

Recent EMU Grad Remembered in Ceremony

EMU junior Julia Johnson reflects on fellow New Zealand seminar participant Jason Marner. The red oak tree planted in Jason's memory is in foreground. Photo by Lindsey Kolb

HARRISONBURG – The 15-foot-tall red oak tree stood erect and vigilant on the hillside, a symbol of the person it would memorialize.

A group of some 100 supporters surrounded the tree Friday, Sept. 17, as tributes and reflections were shared on behalf of Jason Marner, 21, a spring 2010 graduate of Eastern Mennonite University.

Marner, a business administration graduate of EMU, had completed a two-year internship at Dynamic Aviation in neighboring Bridgewater while a student and had begun work there on Monday, June 28. Continue reading “Recent EMU Grad Remembered in Ceremony” »

This post was submitted by Jim Bishop.

Skatan Worshipers #2

Skateboarding on Court Square

Skatan Worshipers is an annual art show that takes place at The Artful Dodger every October right here in Harrisonburg. The main focus of this show is to showcase the aesthetic achievements of skateboard culture. Maybe you caught the exhibit and/or opening last year, maybe you just saw a bunch of people skateboarding downtown on Oct. 2nd and wondered why, well this is why. Continue reading “Skatan Worshipers #2” »

This post was submitted by Paul Somers.

Harrisonburg Town Hall to Spotlight Community Safety

Harrisonburg’s Northeast Neighborhood Association will host a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the recent shootings on and around the Kelley Street area and propose solutions to make this, and all neighborhoods, a safe place to live.

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23 in the Lucy Simms Center, located at 620 Simms Avenue in Harrisonburg. Continue reading “Harrisonburg Town Hall to Spotlight Community Safety” »

This post was submitted by Becky Johnston- Strong Families/Great Youth Coalition.

Super Gr8 Film Festival in Harrisonburg

The Super Gr8 Film Festival is scheduled for November 16th at The Court Square Theater at 7:30 pm, with an awards ceremony and VIP After Party to follow at The Artful Dodger. The screening will feature films made by local filmmakers on the magical old Super 8 format. Each film will be three and a half minutes long and in black and white. The screening will last for approximately two hours. There will be a small suggested donation for entry, but no one will be turned away as we are mostly looking to fill all 260 seats of the theater. You may be wondering why Super 8 right about now so I will try to explain mine and other’s analogic love for the format. Continue reading “Super Gr8 Film Festival in Harrisonburg” »

This post was submitted by Paul Somers.

Redistricting Public Hearings Set

A release from Delegate Mark Cole announced today that public hearings will be held throughout the Commonwealth related to the redistricting process.  Roanoke and Richmond are the closest locations for Harrisonburg residents.

Press Release

Delegate Mark L. Cole of Fredericksburg today announced that the redistricting subcommittee of the House of Delegates Committee on Privileges and Elections has scheduled a series of six public hearings throughout the Commonwealth to encourage broad public input into the redistricting process. The six different public hearings will take place in September, October, and December of this year in preparation for the redistricting process that will occur in 2011.  Continue reading “Redistricting Public Hearings Set” »