Press Release: “Valley Free Radio and The 2009 Northampton Mayoral Debate”

Valley Free Radio and NCTV issued this press release on 10/2/09:

Valley Free Radio and The 2009 Northampton Mayoral Debate

Northampton, MA — Valley Free Radio, WXOJ-LP 103.3 FM, in conjunction with Northampton Community Television will host the 2009 Northampton Mayoral Debate, sponsored by Herrell’s Ice Cream and the League of Women’s Voters of the Northampton Area. Northampton Mayor Clare Higgins and City Councilor Michael Bardsley will debate, questioned by a three-member panel which will be moderated by the national talk radio host of Midweek Politics, David Pakman. The debate will be held at the Northampton High School Auditorium on Tuesday, October 13, 2009, beginning at 7 pm, doors opening at 6:30pm. This will be an all-issues debate, and is likely to be the largest in recent Northampton history. The event is free and open to the public.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive early as significant interest in this year’s mayoral race will likely bring large crowds. Audience members will have the opportunity to pose questions to the candidates. Audience questions can also be submitted in advance via email (see below).

The October 13th debate, in addition to being sponsored by Herrell’s Ice Cream and the League of Women’s Voters Northampton Area, is supported by community groups including Commonwealth Center for Change (C3), Pioneer Valley Young Democrats, and many others. The event will be taped live for later broadcast on Northampton Community Television and Valley Free Radio. Live Twitter updates of the event will be provided by Jason Turcotte of Turcotte Data and Design at:

This event, held in the Northampton High School auditorium, has the potential to be the largest mayoral debate in recent western Massachusetts history, riding not only on the support of numerous local organizations, but on the increased profile of the candidates and the potential for a close election in November. The winner of the November 3, 2009 election will sit at the helm of a city with an $87 million budget and a population of approximately 29,000.

To inquire about sponsorship or getting involved, please contact or visit

To submit questions in advance:

About Valley Free Radio:

Valley Free Radio is a non-profit, community based and volunteer run radio station for the Greater Northampton area. We seek to educate, inspire, and entertain through programming that reflects the diversity of the local community. We seek to provide a space for media access and education, placing equipment, skills, and critical tools in the hands of the community. We aim to serve with particular regard for those overlooked or under-represented by other media and to provide for the exchange of cultural and intellectual ideas and music.

David Pakman, moderator of the debate, has hosted Midweek Politics for the last 4 years, which is currently in syndication on 50+ community and non-profit radio stations across the country. He has been featured in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, on PBS’ Watercooler, and on numerous other media outlets, and is the Managing Director of Northampton-based video production company Vivid Edge Media Group.

About NCTV:

The mission of Northampton Community Television is to serve as a model community access organization providing programming and educational opportunities to the community through all means technologically available. NCTV is an independent, non-profit organization governed by a board of directors from the Northampton community. The purposes and powers of NCTV are set forth in the Articles of Organization for Northampton Community Television, filed with the Office of the Secretary of State of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

[Moderator and panelist information added on 10/6/09]

About the Moderator:

David Pakman is the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio and television program Midweek Politics. He is also Managing Director of Vivid Edge Media Group, a marketing and video production company based in Northampton, Massachusetts.

About the Panelists:

Bill Scher is the host of The LiberalOasis Radio Show on WHMP, the Online Campaign Manager at Campaign for America’s Future, the author of “Wait! Don’t Move To Canada!”, and a regular contributor to and The Huffington Post.

Natalia Muñoz is founder and editor of La Prensa of Western Massachusetts, She is also a co-founder and senior partner of Dewberry Muñoz Communications, a multi-cultural communications and marketing company.

Neal McKenna-Donnelly is a senior at Northampton High School. Outside of school, he runs for the varsity cross country team and works at a local web design company.

Contact Information:

Andy Sewell, Valley Free Radio

David Pakman, Valley Free Radio

Al Williams, Northamton Community Television