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Radio stories to highlight Nevada County women

For the next several weeks, volunteers from all walks of life will research, interview, record and edit short stories for the radio on the lives of women, most of whom have shaped western Nevada County.

Some are long gone, like Gold Rush actress Lola Montez. Others are contemporaries, like Meg Palley, a Quaker peace activist now in her 80s.

The sketches, 20 in all, will be featured in “Her Story 2003,” a KVMR-89.5 FM project. The stories, four minutes long, will air on the Nevada City community radio station throughout the month of March. Other community stations may air the series, as well.



Most of the women slated to be featured in the series live or lived in western Nevada County, said producer Joan Buffington, longtime KVMR volunteer and independent radio producer. Others may be from Marysville, Sacramento and Placerville, said Buffington, who also produced “Her Story 2001” and “Her Story 2002.”

Unlike this year’s series, the series of 2001 and 2002 featured women from the United States and beyond.




Most of the 20 or so volunteers involved in the endeavor belong to the Women’s Collective of KVMR, a group that airs a weekly show about women.

The group wants to honor local women and inspire listeners to demonstrate the many ways in which women can be active in the community, she said.

“I just felt it was important for the Women’s Collective to be a part of, and represent, the community of women in Nevada County,” Buffington said.

The volunteers will spend the next several weeks interviewing, writing and editing the stories, she said.

“It’s a lot of time talking on the phone,” she said. “Producing a professional radio piece takes a lot of time.” The National Federation of Community Broadcasters last year honored “Her Story 2001” with a national award.

But the efforts are worth it, she and others said.

“You get to know a woman from the inside,” she said. “It’s very inspiring.”

Dawn Fischer, an independent radio producer who worked on the project in 2001 and 2002, said she is fascinated to hear about the women and their roles.

Heidi Starr, another volunteer who is researching the lives of Chinese and American Indian women in the county, said she wants to honor the women because their contributions to society are often overlooked.

Ann Guerra, FREED executive director, will interview longtime senior activist Mary Tucker.

“I thought I would learn a little more about her and help round out the picture of the contributions made to our community by women,” said Guerra, who has known Tucker more than 15 years.

The project costs $10,000 to produce, said Buffington, who plans to continue raising money for the project even after it is done. Buffington also hopes to recruit more volunteers.

For more information on the project, call Joan Buffington at 478-1880 or write to her at


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