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It’s all about NEUROSCIENCE 

FRIDAY – JANUARY 27th, 2012 – 1pm – PST! 

Mark Brady, Ph.D. is a neuroscience educator.  He co-founded the Children’s Grief Program at Kara, a public service agency in Palo Alto, California where he only stopped volunteering upon moving to Whidbey Island.

In addition to being a long-time member of  the graduate research faculty at the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology, he writes a weekly column on social neuroscience for parents (The Committed Parent).

He is the prize-winning author of a number of books, magazine articles and academic papers. Two recent titles are: Safe and Secure: A Guide to Parenting with the Brain in Mind and A Father’s Book of Listening. These and other titles can be ordered wherever fine books are sold on the Internet or by emailing: He is currently working on a new book on helping children escape childhood unscathed. It will be available in September, 2012.

It’s was a BUSY 2011 – with TOO MANY EGGS in the carton!

Gwen was involved in so many projects from May of 2011 to January 2012 – she was unable to sit in the chair and do her own shows.

So after working with others, training new hosts, some heady business building projects, a couple trips here and there, she’s back in the chair & behind the board at KWPA Whidbey Air.

TUNE or STREAM in for her music show – Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday – from 4 to 7pm Pacific Standard Time

Music will be guided by listener feedback and Gwen’s own strangely assorted genre library.

Gwen’s TALK show Whidbey Chat – will be back on it’s regular time soon!  STAY TUNED.

IT IS HOT on Whidbey!  90’s!  That is HOT for us!

Tomorrow – Monday – August 16th – an archived Whidbey Chat show will air at our usual time of 11 am.  Could be Proposition 1 with Angie Homola or one of Whidbey Chat’s past shows.

Interviewing Shelia Case-Smith, from Case Farm in Oak Harbor, tomorrow at 7pm – due to the day time heat.  Look for that interview to air later in the week.

Thank you for supporting KWPA – your volunteer-based, noncommercial, community public radio station on Whidbey Island.

Recently – during an interview with Wilbur Purdue – we found out it is not a popular idea to paint a John Deere product in any other colors than what are called “John Deere green and yellow”.  Listen to Wilbur and Julianna Purdue’s interview out at Prairie Bottom Farm – and then come back here and hear what a true John Deere man has to say about the fact that Wilbur and Julianna painted one of their wedding gifts, a John Deere trailer, with red and a not so John Deer yellow.

Click here to listen to Dale Sherman’s comments

The John Deere offending trailer

July 19, 2010

Attention KWPA’s Whidbey Chat with Gwen Sam

shopper – listener

Thank you – EVERYONE – for your patience….  The hot weather is causing one of our switches to behave like wild child…  All hands are on deck for a fix – but it’s not like we can go to Ace and buy a switch.   Please – hang in there with us – KWPA – the community public radio station – that could!

Today Gwen will be interviewing Peg Tennant – Market manager for Oak Harbor and Coupeville Farmer’s Markets – we will do that interview out of the studio, to air later this week.

Will let everyone know as soon as the techno switch is behaving properly and Whidbey Chat is back to a live formate.

PRAIRIE BOTTOM FARM’s Wilbur and Julianna Purdue will be airing today – 11am!!!!  today.  Great time with great Whidbey Farmers!   Tune in!

Wilbur and Julianna Purdue of Prairie Bottom Farm on Ebey's Prairie

IN ADDITION – please forgive lack of updates on this site….  It’s been a long week.  We will update the photo gallery and recap, for Prairie Bottom Farm’s interview, in the next couple of days.  Guess “Island Time” is at play this week.

Thanks again!

July 12, 2010

The Little Station That Could – KWPA

Over the next shortest period of days possible KWPA will be only airing recorded shows while the transmitter and studio are maintained.

Please tune in to 96.9fm around Penn Cove or stream over the internet anywhere on the island or world to hear KWPA – Whidbey Island’s Public Community Radio station.

KWPA’s show Whidbey Chat, and Gwen Sam, would like to thank the Whidbey Island communities, all of our listener’s, our board of director’s and volunteers for sticking with KWPA.

Whidbey Chat with Gwen Sam will be coming to the airways of KWPA as a recorded show this coming week.  The show will air on Thursday – July 15 – at 9am and Friday – July 16 – at 4pm.


Gwen’s tour of Prairie Bottom Farm

continuing Whidbey Chat’s Farm Tour for your Ears on KWPA!

Julianna Stewart and Wilbur Purdue of Prairie Bottom Farm on Whidbey Island

Gwen takes a recorded tour on a farm, with a couple of  farmer’s who dig Whidbey.  Get the skinny on the past, present and future that Wilbur Purdue and Julianna Stewart see for their growing concern on Ebey’s Prairie.  A farm they call Prairie Bottom Farm.  Interview will be recorded on July 12, 2010.

Show will air Thursday – July 15 @ 9am & Friday – July 16 @ 4pm


These dates may change due to transmitter maintenance on KWPA’s transmitter and studio.   If dates are changed it will be posted immediately.

July 3, 2010

Photo courtesy of the Muzzall family Ron Muzzall’s father Bob Muzzall makes hay while the sun shines in the 1960s

Headed toward their Quasquicentennial (125yrs) the Muzzall family and their farm are celebrating their Centennial farming Whidbey ~ July 17th ~ at a big farm bash.  KWPA will be live at the bash so mark your calendar.

Update on big event: Today, Gwen will be out at the farm recording pre-bash interviews with the family.  Rain or shine ~ we’re out to get as much history about this touchstone farm, as, public radio, possible.



Ron and Shelly Muzzall are the fourth generation on the family farm on Whidbey Island. In 2010 the farm will become a centennial Washington farm.  They have three daughters. That is where the 3 Sisters Cattle Company name was derived from. The farm consists of 600 acres mostly hay and pasture but they also raise Cabbage for seed and barley for their layer flock and hogs They currently run about 150 mother cows using all the offspring to supply grocery stores, internet and farm stand sales. They belong to Island Grown Farmers Cooperative where they have their grass fed beef and all natural hogs processed under USDA inspection.

Three Sisters Cattle Company is named for Shelly and Ron's 3 daughters ~ Jennifer, Jessica, and Roshel

The Muzzall family has long been recognized for their conservation and sustainable practices. It is really just a way of life from what we eat to how we heat our home. This has really not changed for many generations. The biggest problem on any farm is really just cash, from generating it to keeping it. So conserving is a way of life, from used wire to used equipment. We utilize the manure from our animals for fertilizer in the form of dry manure and liquid manure from our lagoons. Most of our seed down consists of either Alfalfa and grass or Clover and grass. The compliment of legumes and grass provide for each other. With 95 percent of our land in sod or timber you can only imagine the carbon sequestration that exists. We use a integrated pest management system and realistically the 95 percent of our land that is in sod never sees any pesticides. Our biggest weed control challenge is our fencerows and our timber and agricultural land interface. Pesticides and commercial fetilizer cost cash and we use as little as possible in order to remain sustainable. Ron and Shelly have been involved with farmer cooperatives, their church and served on various county committees. Our goal is to continue the family legacy of sustainable farming on Whidbey Island.


Firstly Gwen shares her addiction to the Veterans Protest event Rolling Thunder, that happens every year in Washington DC.   Visit her Rolling Thunder page.  And try to keep a dry eye for this long running and amazing Memorial Day weekend event, in the Capitol of our Nation, to honor those  from military services yesterday, today and tomorrow.  OUR VETERANS!

Today’s show subject does not trump the honoring of those who serve our military from the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, around the country and world, by any means.  It just so happens, Howard Garrett’s regular, last Monday of each month, visit to Whidbey Chat fell on Memorial Day.

Whidbey Chat’s Whale News with Howard Garrett.

It was a pleasure to have Howard Garrett from the Orca Network, come in for his usual visit with Gwen and have him joined by additional guests, Capt. John Stone and Lila Snover to talk about recent whale sightings, and Lolita, the last surviving whale in captivity from the 1970 Orca Whale Captures of Penn Cove. What happened during those captures and where is Lolita today?

To start the show Howard gave us the low down on the latest orca sightings in our area, saying our resident pods L and J have only been spotted in the area for short periods of time so far this year and other local whale news, even a territory switch up.

For the whale capture segment of the show, Howard, Lila and John help Whidbey Chat listeners understand what happened those weeks on Penn Cove when more than 80 Orca whales were herded into Penn Cove with large boats and men who intended to capture them and sell them to theme parks. Who was involved; how did they capture the whales, how many of the 80+ Orcas in the cove were caught, how many transported to new homes, how many died, what did they do with the dead ones, and what is the fate today of the last surviving whale, of the Penn Cove Whale Captures, Lolita?

John and Lila were both living on the cove during the captures.  Both tell chilling stories of what it was like during those loud, shocking, days in our cove and how they felt then and now about the Penn Cove Orca Round-up.

Lila, comes from a long line of historical figures who settled on the island and grew up on the cove in Coupeville.  She was a young wife and mother with teenaged children at the time of the captures and tells listeners she could not look at the captured whales.  “It was too sad” and she “only stopped once” to look at the whales.  Yet she could not avoid hearing them.  Everyone, in and around Penn Cove could hear them.  People came and parked on the roads around the cove to listen to and watch them.  Night and day the free and captured whales communicated, in a chorus of their haunting calls.  Lila recalls little children telling her “they sound like they are crying”, to which Lila could only say “it does.”

John Stone worked on Penn Cove, at his parents historic business, the Captain Whidbey Inn, and was already a budding naturalist and historian, at 19 yrs old.  He felt it was important to record the captures, and played a big part in making that happen. Collaborating with a local newsman, getting the boat necessary, and making sure they were on the water, as close as they could get, recording as much as they could.  Today John recalls a moment in that small boat when  “a dorsal fin of one of the young male’s [ocra]”, that was hanging around but not captured, was “coming straight at” them…  And his ah-ha moment, up close and personal, with a killer whale that week.

Bringing the science of wild and captured whales into the conversation, Howard explained that he, along with many Orca experts, believes Lolita (pictured above with her Orca look alike toy), could be retired from her one whale show at a theme park in Florida and brought back to the Pacific Northwest, to live out her life with members of her own pod.  A pod she responded to when a recording of their calls were played for her at the edge of her Florida pen.  A pod that includes “family” members, maybe even her mother, who survived those captures.  Would, could, Lolita adjust?  Would her pod accept her? How much does it cost? Is bringing Lolita home worth a try?

Ask yourself – Do whales have devotion to family?  Do whales remember their own?  Are whales, who have been performing in theme parks for 40 years, able to go back into the wild?  Would their originating pods remember them?  Should they be returned to the wild?  What do you say?  Listen in and make a comment.

Another interesting show on Whidbey Chat~!

Right to Risk Participants at the End of their Journey

Right to Risk, and the Embracing Difference Initiative comes to the Coupeville Library for a special screening and following discussion – June 2nd at 7pm. This event is a must see and open to the public.  The Coupeville Library is located at 788 NW Alexander in Coupeville, Washington.  360-678-4911

Repeats of Gwen’s interview with Kathleen Jo Ryan can be heard May 20 at 9am and May 21 at 4pm on KWPA radio – 96.9FM on central Whidbey or streamed from  the KWPA website at the same times.

Kathleen Jo Ryan addressing an audience from one of her previous book projects, "Writing Down the River". That project produced the seed Kathleen and her brother, John Ryan, grew into their award winning film Right to Risk. Writers involved in Writing Down the River book included Denise Chavez, Linda Ellerbee, Judith Freeman, Linda Hogan, Teresa Jordan, Ruth Kirk, Page Lambert, Brenda Peterson, Leila Philip, Sharman Apt Russell, Annick Smith, Barbara Earl Thomas, Evelyn C. White, Ann Haymond Zwinger, and Susan Zwinger.

Kathleen Jo Ryan, accomplished documentary film maker, photographer and producer of best selling books and videos, came into Whidbey Chat this week to talk with Gwen about the upcoming Coupeville Library screening of the award winning documentary film she and her brother, John Ryan, filmed and produced, and the national initiative that film, Right to Risk, has grown into.

After years of preparations, five years ago this month, Kathleen and her brother, John Ryan, filmed 8 unlikely people on a wild 15 day ride through the white water rapids of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.  The resulting 60 hours of footage were then edited and became their award winning documentary film Right to Risk.

Now, after having been screened in numerous cities around the country, on over 350 PBS television stations and to seen by literally millions of people, Right to Risk has morphed into a community based program called Embracing Difference Initiative.

Right to Risk’s Embracing Difference Initiative seeks to spur change in the deeply rooted perceptions many people have about those among us; family, friends, neighbors and strangers, who live with disabilities.  Helping to eliminate the social/cultural obstacles and harmful attitudes people with disabilities struggle with every day.  Right to Risk’s Embracing Difference Initiative breaks barriers of perception with thrills, chills, determination, strength, emotion and excitement.  20 years after the enactment of the American’s with Disabilities Act, people living with disabilities are still fighting for equality and inclusion in our communities, country and world.  Kathleen and John believe Right to Risk, all those who participated in the trip, and those who see it, will be bolstered with the staying power needed to win that fight.

Jeff's chair rides in the back of the raft

The 15 day trip, down some of the most dangerous rapid channels of the Colorado River, between towering Grand Canyon walls and awe-inspiring views and vistas is any rafters dream.  And a similar trip could be your dream.

Just one of the fantastic moments you'll see watching Right to Risk

The 8 people who participated in the trip represent a diversity of age, ethnicity and ability.  Working with the City of Phoenix Adaptive Recreation staff and 15 adaptive recreation nominating organizations (list at end of post), Kathleen and John solicited nominations for the trip. Each organization was asked to submit applications of individuals who could both gain and contribute to the experience.  Of the countless nominations submitted 8 lucky people were chosen.

Right to Risk participants and crew navigate the rapids

Right to Risk participants and crew managed hot sun, cold water, windstorms, and whitewater to pull off this trip of a life time.  This film acts as a witness to the power of each person’s ability to participate, engage in, have fun and live a full independent life – no matter their individual abilities.

Susan Yim uses her communication board. "Becoming disabled doesn't have to signal the beginning of a dependent and sedentary existence," biologist Susan Yim wrote, "It does signal having to figure out new, creative and different ways of doing things."

Kathleen and John put together a team of Emmy award-winning cinematographers, sound and production crew to film Right to Risk, and thus began the journey that would become a life affirming experience everyone involved and a national conversation about breaking the barriers of social stigma surrounding disabilities in our country. It is an extraordinary film with long legs and a must see.

Crew Boat filming Right to Risk

Here on Whidbey Island, with many friends and neighbors deployed and/or on active military duty, many of us know, or know of, people who have been physically and/or mentally altered by heroically serving our country in war-time.  If you know of someone, military or civilian, who is struggling with an old or new disability, seeing Right to Risk, on June 2nd at the Coupeville Library at 7pm – will no doubt shine a new light on the powerful abilities within their, so-called, disabilities.  A call to action and proof a person can have a full life while living with a debilitating birth effect, illness or injury.


You can read Kathleen’s recounting of the trip and filming in the Grand Canyon River Runners fall 2007 newsletter.

Susan Yim, one of the participants, also shared her take on the trip in the GCRR newletter

And Judith Birnbaum, another participant, shared her story of the river trip in the Fall 2005 National MS Colorado Chapter newsletter.

Read comments from those who have seen the film and SAVE THE DATE – June 2nd 7pm at the Coupeville Library.

Right to Risk Participants:

Josh Stockwellsmall product photoSusan YimDaniel Deng

Josh Stockwell         Sebastian Ibanez           Susan Yim              Daniel Deng

Kathy StrahanJudirh BirnbaumJeff PagelsTeresa Parker

Kathy Strahan       Judith Birnbaum          Jeff Pagels              Teresa Parker

Right to Risk Producers: John Ryan and Kathleen Jo Ryan

Right to Risk Production Team: Michael Anderson, Ed George, Katrina Rill, Lew Steiger, Dave Wendlinger and Andy Wiskes

Right to Risk Support Staff: Carol Gary, Ann Wheat, Linda Tuck , Stu Alt, Mike Beram, Karen Buettner, Mike Careto, Dolores Gevertz, Lance Polingyouma, Lourdes Rodriguez  and Sandy Munoz-Weingarten

Adaptive Recreation Nominating Organizations who took part in nominating the participants

City of Phoenix Adaptive Recreation, Phoenix, AZ

Ability PLUS (chapter Disabled Sports USA), Waterville Valley, NH

Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, Breckenridge, CO

Disabled Sports USA, Rockville, MD

Environmental Traveling Companions, San Francisco, CA

National Ability Center, Park City, UT

National Council on Independent Living, Washington, DC

National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Denver, CO

Paralyzed Veterans of America, Washington, DC

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

SPLORE, Salt Lake City, UT

Ski for Light, Inc., Minneapolis, MN

Wilderness Inquiry, Minneapolis, MN

World T.E.A.M. Sports, Boston, MA

United States Adaptive Recreation Center, Big Bear Lake, CA

Production and filming of Right to Risk, was supported through generous collaborations with River of Dreams, the National Park ServiceArizona River RunnersCanyon Explorations and ExpeditionsMarble Canyon Outfitters at Lee’s Ferry, and Canyon Plaza Inn and Suites.

Funding for Right to Risk was provided through partnerships with Nordstrom department stores,  the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau, River of Dreams, Kathryn Nell Harrison and Jan S. Alexander, the City of Phoenix Aviation Department, the Grand Canyon Conservation Fund, Greg C. Jones Memorial Fund, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, the City of Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau, Margaret T. Morris Foundation, J.W. Kieckhefer Foundation and the Service Alternatives for Washington, Inc.



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