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Jason Velazquez

Jason Velazquez has 32 articles published.

Jason Velázquez has worked in journalism and publishing for the better part of 20 years now. In addition to writing shows and articles, he edits articles and audio, handles website maintenance and administration, runs marketing and sales, and is the ambassador for Greylock Nation. The desire to bring some buccaneers on board to help man the sails should be pretty obvious… E-mail editor@greylockglass.com Phone: (413) 776-5125

Happy New Year, Greylock Nation!

I took last week off from putting out our newsletter to give us all a break. No last-minute appeals to the spirit of holiday generosity. No sentimental journeys. Not even my esoteric stream-of-consciousness prose that seems to be pretty popular with y’all. Keep Reading

Hitting the Slopes — preventing youth skiing injuries

Helmets are now required during high-speed winter sports for anyone under the age of 18 in many states; photo courtesy maxpixel.net.
Helmets are now required during high-speed winter sports for anyone under the age of 18 in many states; photo courtesy maxpixel.net.

by Jason Velázquez

A few years ago, when I told my buddy Mike that my eight-year-old daughter and six-year-old son would be taking skiing lessons through their school next week, he reminded me that his own daughter had been skiing since she was three.

Helmets are now required during high-speed winter sports for anyone under the age of 18 in many states; photo courtesy maxpixel.net.

When Mike and I were talking about skiing —before my kids had shown any real interest in the sport — he had encouraged me to take them to the slopes, assuring me that the younger kids learn, the safer they are, and the more naturally they adapt to the sport. Due to shortages of money, time, and trust that my babies would survive the bunny slope, however, somehow the winter slipped by with no skiing for my darling little daredevils.

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Team ClearHeels 413 says goodbye to director, Continues support for exotic dance community

You may have missed the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW) this year. It passed by without much fanfare in the U.S. If you happen to be a subscriber to the Trinidad Express or the Bendigo Advertiser (serving the towns of Bendigo, Jackass Flat, and others in Victoria, Australia) you’d have known that this day, designated by the United Nations in 1999 to encourage action defending women’s human right to be free from violence and abuse, was observed on November 25.

MEMBERS ONLY CONTENT AVAILABLE

NOTE: Greylock Nation Members at the “Zinger” level and up can enjoy the full-length audio and transcript of our interview with Bella Vendetta HERE. A VERY enjoyable 30 mins. Be sure to log in for access!

Not simply a solitary date shoehorned in at the bottom of the calendar, IDEVAW kicks off “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.” Human Rights Day, December 10, caps off the run. As with IDEVAW, however, the two weeks–plus of activism has gone largely unremarked on in the Western press.

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Cole Harrison on Senate vote on Saudi-led war in Yemen

Villagers scour rubble after the bombing of Hajar Aukaish, Yemen, April 2015; photo by Almigdad Mojalli.
Villagers scour rubble after the bombing of Hajar Aukaish, Yemen, April 2015; photo by Almigdad Mojalli.

In this episode of Growl, we speak with Cole Harrison, Executive Director of Massachusetts Peace Action, based in Cambridge, Mass. At issue is last week’s Senate vote in favor of allowing floor debate on Senate Joint Resolution 54 to proceed, which would pave the way for ending U.S. support for the Saudi-led campaign against Yemen.

Villagers scour rubble after the bombing of Hajar Aukaish, Yemen, April 2015; photo by Almigdad Mojalli.

Harrison says that Mass Peace Action is encouraged by this legislation, introduced by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) but notes that this is just a first step towards shutting down a conflict that has ballooned into the planet’s worst humanitarian crisis in the last four years.

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Advertiser Types

The survey is closed, but if you’re here and simply must check off boxes and fill out forms, be our guest—the survey is below. Otherwise, enjoy checking out the results.

THE RESULTS

Before we get to the specific advertiser types, I thought it was important to point out two points of data that shocked me. What were almost afterthoughts were two questions that I hoped would help describe people’s attitudes about their own responsibility for supporting their local news sources. The answers were deeply, deeply troubling.

Are you concerned about the decrease in local news reporting locally and nationally?

Yes: 85%,     No: 3%,     Didn’t know a there was a decline: 11%

Are you currently paying for a subscription or membership with a local news source?

No: 85%,     Yes: 14%

These figures show that  a tremendous number of people want more local news coverage, but almost nobody wants to pay for it. And while 75% of respondents said that they thought that people should pay for a Greylock Glass membership (see below), not one person has coughed up a dime since the survey was launched. And since I know exactly how many paying members the Greylock Glass has, that’s a lot of folks who don’t put their money where their mouths are.

My guess is that people assume that somebody else is paying for it. That they’ll get around to pitching in one day, just not right now. It’s funny—no one thinks you can just pour yourself a mug of beer at the pub and pay for it when you feel like it, or maybe never. As delightful as beer is, it doesn’t do for the individual and society what a free and independent press does. It depresses me that when publishers put content behind  paywalls, all of a sudden people whip out their wallets and come up with the paltry sums required to access the articles or podcasts or videos or whatnot. But maybe that’s where the Greylock Glass is headed. Shame, too, since just a fraction of the audience who can afford $5 a month, or even $1 a month could have kept it free for those who legitimately can afford it.

The ADVERTISERS

What kind of a reaction would respondents have if their news source displayed ads from:

Gun Shops

Negative: 44%,     No Reaction: 52%,     Positve: .04%

Tobacco/Vape

Negative: 33%,     No Reaction: 59%,     Positve .07%

Cannabis

Negative: .04%,     No Reaction: 74%,     Positve: 22%

Liquor

Negative: .04%,     No Reaction: 93%     Positve: .04%

Adult Entertainment (Strip) Clubs

Negative: 55%,      No Reaction: 44%,     Positve: 0%

Adult Gift Shops

Negative: 33%       No Reaction: 67%

Political Candidates/Parties

Negative: 52%,      No Reaction: 48%

FAIR PRICE FOR THE GREYLOCK GLASS

Asked what people thought a fair monthly membership price would be for full access to the Greylock Glass, 40% didn’t respond (they probably thought I could track them down—I can’t). But of the people who DID respond:

13%   —   $10
44%   —   $5
18%   —   $1
25%   —   $0.00 (And yet, you keep consuming our content…🤔)

I think it’s so frigging awesome that a full 75% of you think that we deserve to get paid for our efforts! What sucks? Almost none of you are. The coin I earn, I earn as a freelance editor/project manager in other sectors of publishing. Don’t get me wrong, I am so incredibly grateful that I have clients who value my time and skills—I’m spending this weekend working on a project for my favorite one, in fact. But I’d rather be working for you. These numbers explain the situation pretty well, though, don’t they? You have the power to change that.
Become a supporting member right now.

TAKE THE SURVEY!

The Greylock Glass is poised for amazing growth, and needs to determine where the money is going to come from to make that happen. This survey is designed to gather community opinion about supporting news coverage with advertising from certain business types. Thanks for your honest answers!

NOTE: All questions are optional, and you do not have to provide your name or e-mail.

[wpforms id=”9793″ title=”false” description=”false”]

Siege Mentality

“The Siege of Magdeburg,” by Eduard Steinbrüc; 1866

“…we’re in a historic transitional moment and the very foundations of society are now open to question.

― David Brooks
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TLC #68: 2020 Regional Transportation Plan

Hey, Greylock Nation, today is Sunday, October 28, 2018 and you’re listening to TLC episode #68. I’m your host, Jason Velázquez, and, as always, thanks so much for tuning in.

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is soliciting public comment on the 2020 Regional Transportation Plan until November 1; photo courtesy BRPC.
The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is soliciting public comment on the 2020 Regional Transportation Plan until November 1; photo courtesy BRPC.
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Plenty #14: Farming While Black

Good day to you, dear sustainable food enthusiasts! I am your host, Jason Velázquez, and I thank you for tuning in to Episode #14 of Plenty. On this week’s show, we hear from Leah Penniman, author of Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land.

Every year, Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, New York trains over 100 predominantly Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people to take leadership as farmers and food justice organizers in their communities.
Every year, Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, New York trains over 100 predominantly Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people to take leadership as farmers and food justice organizers in their communities.
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TLC #67: A hot property, office of the Northern Berkshire Register of Deeds surveyed by two candidates

Hey, Greylock Nation, today is Tuesday, October 23, and you’re listening to TLC episode #67. I’m your host, Jason Velázquez, and, as always, thanks so much for tuning in. On this week’s show, we explore the topic of the Registry of Deeds.

Deborah Moran, right, and Maria Ziemba, both staff members at the Northern Berkshire Registry of Deeds, vie for the top spot of Register Nov. 6; photos courtesy the candidates.

Unless you’re a real estate agent or a tax assessor, this government office is often overlooked until two neighbors have a property line dispute. And, although much of the focus on the elections next month centers around more high profile local or Congressional seats, the top position of Register of the Deeds is up for grabs every six years. Here in Greylock Nation, Berkshire County is divided up into North, Middle, and South Registries, each with their own staffs and head Registers.

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White House response to murder of Khashoggi threatens First Amendment

Editorial, by Jason Velázquez

Our nation’s president has put the First Amendment on the block. And, at a mere $110 billion worth of arms deals, we’re talking fire-sale pricing.

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi in March, 2018; photo courtesy Project on Middle East Democracy; [CC BY 2.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Journalist Jamal Khashoggi in March, 2018; photo courtesy the Project on Middle East Democracy; [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

You have already heard, in gruesome detail, how a permanent American resident and journalist for the Washington Post, Jamal Khashoggi, was allegedly lured to the Saudi consulate in Turkey, abducted, interrogated, and likely tortured, murdered, and hacked into pieces small enough to be smuggled out of the embassy in satchels by 15 assassins. The whereabouts of his remains are still unknown.

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After the Asters

“Coyotes Running,” photo by ForestWander; [CC BY-SA 3.0 us], via Wikimedia Commons

The last aster had bloomed. Light came slanting in, low and uncertain and at angles that illuminated patches that had lain in shadow since the vernal equinox. Other spaces would be sun-starved until Gaia herself, impatient with astronomy, cast her radiant heat from within, disrobing of her maiden’s gowns, disavowing a cycle of chastity.

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Growl #4 Movement for a People’s Party

On today’s show, we hear from Nick Brana, Founder and National Director of The Movement for a People’s Party. You’ve likely heard him on Democracy Now! and the Jimmy Dore Show. I spoke with him this summer, before all hell broke loose around here, and I’m glad, finally, to be able to share our wide-ranging conversation. Brana will explain what’s at the heart of this movement that continues to gain momentum as the gap between voters’ concerns and elected representatives’ willingness to act continues to widen.

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