The Rapidian

Catalyst Radio: Grand Rapids Housing Commission whittles down Section 8 waiting list from 8,000 to a few hundred

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Holly Sturges of the Grand Rapids Housing Commission joins us on air to share details about Section 8 housing. Section 8 housing is a federal subsidy program to low-income individuals and families.
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About Catalyst Radio

Catalyst Radio is a weekly radio show with hosts Linda Gellasch and Denise Cheng that looks at the behind-the-scenes of Rapidian reporting as well as grassroots and nonprofit efforts around the community. The show comprises a media analysis and developments portion, interview segment and calendar of events. You can catch it on air at noon every Friday on WYCE 88.1 FM or streaming on the Grand Rapids Community Media Center Website.

Holly Sturges of the Grand Rapids Housing Commission joins us on air to share details about Section 8 housing. Section 8 housing is a federal subsidy program to low-income individuals and families to place them in houses. Next week, the Housing Commission will open up the sign-up list for the first time in six years.

Music this week comes from Odetta's 2001 disc, Looking for a Home. The song is "In the Pines."



Public access orgs lose funding
All over the country, public access television channels like Community Media Center's GRTV are shutting down due to cuts in operational cuts. Since 2005, there has been a steady decrease in support from local governments and communities for public access, which channels are produced and programmed by the public.
[More: USA Today]

British Broadcasting Corporation staff strike for 48 hours and threaten more action
At the end of last week, over 4,000 BBC staffers striked to protest cuts to their pension. The proposed cuts would keep the BBC, a publicy funded news entity, from having to charge its audience more. Although staff has returned to work, they are instituting a work-to-rule approach in which protesting staffers will take all permitted breaks and refuse to work overtime. There is talk of more disruptive action leading up to the holiday season.
[More: The New York Times, The Daily Mail]

Consultant finds Internet users do not respond to stock photos
Through an eye tracking study that examines where Internet users look on screen, Internet consultant Jakob Nielsen has discovered that Internet users are not attracted to stock photos or generic photos of people. His majority has implications for retailers and information orgs alike as Internet users skipped over images that didn't offer any real information or nuances.
[More: NYT Bits blog]

New search engine Blekko offers users colored results
Blekko, a new search engine that launched late last week, offers users the ability to search for a topic with a slanted view. Called "slashtags," users enter search terms for the topic they want to research and add a slash-view (i.e.: Honey /baking to get a baker's view of honey rather than a beekeeper's) to add a specific spin to the returned results.
[More: Search Engine Land, The Daily Beast, eWeek]

US midterm election spending surpasses expenditures for last election's campaigns
Although sources for funding are no longer traceable due to a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year, $4 billion have been spent in this year's midterm election, more than any one election campaign in American history. Prior to this year's election, the most money ever spent leading up to an election was in 2008.
[More: The Telegraph, Michigan Campaign Finance Network, Christian Science Monitor]



[FILM] Michigan Film Festival Premier of "Bilal's Last Stand"
Friday, Nov. 12 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the UICA, 41 Sheldon SE
As part of the Michigan Film Festival weekend, a three-day free film festival held November 12-14 at the GRAM, UICA, GVSU (downtown) and ACTIVESITE, this film will be shown for free. Based on a true story, the film is about a Muslim high school senior in Detroit who applies for a college scholarship without his family's knowledge. Visit for more information.
[More info]

[FUNDRAISER] CF Climb for Life
Saturday, November 13 from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at JW Marriott, 235 Louis Campau
The CF Climb for Life is a stair-climbing and fundraising event that raises money and awareness for cystic fibrosis and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Participants are urged to gather their family, friends and co-workers to join in climbing 1,320 steps and 44 floors at the JW Marriott. For more information, visit
[More info]

[EDUCATION] Zine making workshop
Saturday, Nov. 13 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Bloom Collective, 617 Davis Ave.
Zines have been around since the 1970s and used as a way to protest the idea that information can be “owned” or copyrighted. This event at the Bloom Collective aims to teach participants how to make and assemble their own zine. Attendees are encouraged to bring materials such as images and text to cut and past together a zine on any topic. Visit the Bloom's Facebook page for more information.
[More info]

[FILM] The Queeries: Howl
Friday, Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. at the Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St. SE
The GVSU LGBT Resource Center presents "THE QUEERIES!" each month at Wealthy Theatre. "Howl" shows San Francisco in 1957 and the uproar around Allen Ginsberg's famous and controversial poem by the same name. Visit the GRCMC calendar for more information.
[More info]

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