The Top Left Corner, Episode 7 — Letters from Ferguson

April 23, 2015

PLUS: Audio iBeat from, Music from The Sun Parade and Winterpills, Letters from Ferguson, and a Painful Centennial Observed

Armenian woman kneeling beside dead child in field, approx. 1917; photo Public Domain, Library of Congress
Armenian woman kneeling beside dead child in field, approx. 1917; photo Public Domain, Library of Congress

This show gets bigger and bigger, despite my best efforts to reign it in. Tammy Daniels, managing editor of iBerkshires suggests “iBeat” as the title to our discussion of the latest headlines I add “audio” to the front of the name and we’re in business. Kelly Bevan McIlquham of Berkshire Family Focus, is still on vacation somewhere warm. She’ll be back next week unless she finds out that it’s been snowing today… A new feature, the “Berkshire Business Outlook” debuts this week, and we speak with a business owner in a unique position to gauge the economic health of the region. We end up in some heavy places this week, too. Not sure how that happened, but we delve into issues definitely worth turning over and taking long hard looks at. And of course, there is music…

The Greylock Glass Gets Some Perspective on the News with iBerkshires

Firstly, Tammy Daniels, managing editor of joins us to provide another glimpse at some of the popular stories that are making headines this week. Be sure to follow their reporting daily to keep up with the goings-on in the Greylock zone.

Catch up on all the latest headlines at
Catch up on all the latest headlines at


Looking forward to the Sun Parade

The Sun Parade, one of the newer Pioneer Valley groups to garner critical praise as well as widespread listener appreciation.

"Yossis," by The Sun Parade; art courtesy Signature Sounds
“Yossis,” by The Sun Parade; art courtesy Signature Sounds



Here on the “Top Left Corner,” we spin “Need You By My Side” off their 2012 debut release, Yossis. Check out the title track to their 2014 release, “Heart’s Out,” on the Greylock Glass’s arts & culture podcast, “Will Call.” Then, once you’ve gotten completely hooked on the sound, head on over to their The Sun Parade’s Website music page to buy a copy of the album for your very own!



MCLA to Sponsor Dialogue on How Communities Can Respond to Racial Tensions

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will sponsor a dialogue on how communities, especially educational institutions, can respond to racial tensions. Veronica Benavides and Tracey Benson from the Harvard Graduate School of Education facilitate a conversation about their case study, “Letters from Ferguson: A Community’s Response to Race and Racism.” This discussion will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, April 27, in the Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation, room 121.

The event is free and open to the public.

According to Dana Rapp, chair of MCLA’s education department, this event will explore the circumstances that informed the organizational response of three school districts in St. Louis County to the civil unrest that followed the shooting of Michael Brown by a local police officer.

“How should organizations, particularly education organizations, respond to incidents involving racial tensions? This case brings to the forefront the racialized context in which educators operate, but often do not acknowledge,” Rapp said.

Benson is a second year doctoral student in Harvard’s Educational Leadership Program. Prior to entering the Harvard Graduate School of Education, he served as a high school principal in Pittsfield.

During his career, Benson has served as a vice-principal, district trainer and classroom teacher. His primary area of focus is working with historically marginalized communities in pursuit of access to high quality educational opportunities, as well as enhanced lifetime outcomes.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his master’s degree in school administration from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Benavides is a second year doctoral student in the EdLD program. Prior to entering the Harvard Graduate School of Education, she taught middle and high school students in New York City and Mexico City.

She is the co-founder of Movement Makers, an organization that looks to increase the agency and academic performance of high school students through culturally relevant curriculum. Her research interests include student motivation, family engagement, community organizing, adult development and organizational change.

Benavides earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in government and philosophy from the University of Texas-Austin, and her Master of Science degree in teaching from Fordham University in New York, N.Y.


Winterpills Shows Us an Amazing Sky

Winterpill's 2012 Release, All My Lovely Goners; photo courtest Winterpills.
Winterpill’s 2012 Release, All My Lovely Goners; photo courtest Winterpills.


Northampton veterans of the indie scene, Winterpills defies easy categorization. The best musical ingredients from the 60s right up through to yesterday make their way into the secret sauce, and yet all these tropes merely provide a backdrop to the groups very indiviual sound.Call.”






Then slide yourself on over to their website to pick up a CD or an actual vinyl record; or to Bandcamp where you can pick up a digital download.

Then be sure to take a look at their upcoming shows:

WInterpills (duo) open for Great Lake Swimmers
Great Lake Swim


Signs of the Times

Lindsay Neathawk, of Neathawk Designs is in a great position to get a sense of the health of the economy locally—As a signmaker, the company deals primarily with other business. The good news is that Lindsay and her husband Ryan have been taking sign orders from a number of new businesses. Visit their website or Facebook page to find out more about them.


Remembering a 100 Year Old Tragedy That’s Still Fresh in the Mind of Armenia


"They Shall Not Perish" : American Committee for Relief in the Near East, poster by Douglas Volk, 1918.
“They Shall Not Perish” : American Committee for Relief in the Near East, poster by Douglas Volk, 1918.

When Christopher Jansen e-mailed me to suggest that I could examine the centennial of one of the most forgotten and whitewashed atrocities, I flinched, I was supposed to. And you should, too. Chris walks us through some of the unimaginable loss and horror, and then explains the importance to the future in finding a way through the protracted grief.

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Wenzl McGowen, James Muschler and Mike Wilbur of Moon Hooch; photo by Shervin Laine
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