People can listen to it live each Friday, but it is archived so that they can listen to it afterwards (we recently topped 2,000 weekly listens in the archives). Interviews of special note are exported to YouTube, giving them greater visibility.
It has provided an additional outlet for our elected officials to engage the residents of Woodhaven. For example, Councilman Eric Ulrich recently called in and detailed his proposals to improve traffic on Woodhaven Boulevard.
State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley have also been regular callers, and Assemblyman Mike Miller touches base with us every week. (Not only does Mike call in regularly, he is also one of the sponsors that helps keeps us on the air.)
It also allows us to get in-depth information about major projects of interest. We recently spoke to Jen Manley, director of Community Affairs for the Queens Public Library, and she gave us the rundown on what changes and renovations are on tap for our library.
We’ve also spoken to many other interesting guests, such as Nick Hirshon, author of Images of America: Forest Hills, Carl Ballenas, president of The Friends of Maple Grove Cemetery, and Ami Abramson of the Forest Park Carousel.
It has also provided the occasional moment of drama, such as the call we received during a blizzard from a resident who was stuck on her block. It hadn’t been plowed in days, and she needed to get out the next morning to take her young daughter for desperately needed medical treatment.
Assemblyman Miller was listening at the time and was able to make the call that made sure she was able to get out and get her daughter the treatment she needed.
We also talk about current events and history. We talk about the issues that impact us now and we often read newspaper articles from Woodhaven’s past and reminisce about the old days If you would like to give the show a try, visit projectwoodhaven.com and look for the link to Radio Free Woodhaven.
We also encourage residents to call in and speak about whatever is on their mind. While the show is live, dial 646-378-1612. (One caveat: if your number is blocked we are unable to take your call, you must dial *82 before dialing.)
Currently, we are in the midst of a string of episodes interviewing candidates for Queens borough president. Last week, we were joined by State Senator Tony Avella, who spoke to us about issues impacting the city in general and Woodhaven in particular.
We spoke about the QueensWay vs. Railway debate (he says the community should get to decide), and we spoke about the recent corruption scandals.
We have the rest of the candidates scheduled over the next few weeks: Councilman Peter Vallone will be calling in this Friday, April 12; State Senator Jose Peralta will be on the line with us on April 19; Councilman Leroy Comrie is scheduled for April 26; Barry Grodenchik is slated for May 3; and Melinda Katz will join us on May 10.
We are doing our best to ensure that Woodhaven is part of the process. Soon, we will begin reaching out to the mayoral candidates to see if we can get them to call in to speak directly to the residents of Woodhaven.
Again, we’re live every Friday night at 10 p.m. Hope you’ll tune in and maybe give us a call.