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The 495

The 495

By Merrimack Valley Magazine
The 495 is a community and culture podcast centered on the Merrimack Valley. Every week starting in January 2020, The 495 podcast brings you whatever is best about our region. That means leaders, writers, teachers, thinkers, artists and doers.
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Episode 58 - With photographer Karen Jerzyk
This week on The 495! We’re joined by photographer Karen Jerzyk Photo, whose work was profiled in the January issue of MVM. You can find Jerzyk prints at Hive & Forge in Lowell.
50:50
March 3, 2021
Episode 57 - With with food expert and NECC chemistry professor Mike Cross
Chocolate fans unite! This Wed. on The 495 we’re talking with yummy food expert and Northern Essex Community College chemistry professor Mike Cross about theobromines, Mayan history, and the time he went undercover as a student to better understand the challenges they face. 
47:56
February 24, 2021
Episode 56 - With Restaurateur Caroline Jolliffe, Owner of the New The Joy Nest Restaurant in Newburyport
Hungry? Join us this week on The 495 as we sit down with restaurateur Caroline Jolliffe, whose just-opened Newburyport restaurant The Joy Nest promises live jazz, boozy cocktails, and a classic speakeasy environment.
32:18
February 17, 2021
Episode 55 - With Jon Santos and Kate Cutlip of Tiny Arms Coffee Roasters of Lowell
This week on The 495, host Doug Sparks talks (and brews a cup of coffee) with Jon Santos and Kate Cutlip of Tiny Arms Coffee Roasters of Lowell.
39:05
February 10, 2021
Episode 54 - With Richard Ravin “Nothing to Declare.”
Sex. Weed. Revolution. Grilled tuna. Richard Ravin joins us to discuss his wild debut novel, “Nothing to Declare.” Ravin, a Newbury resident, has written for Salon and the San Francisco Examiner, and his work has earned high praise from his fellow writers.
37:47
February 3, 2021
Episode 53 - With U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan (MA-03)
This week on The 495, we’re joined by very special guest U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan. We’ll discuss the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol, as well as forthcoming internet legislation and the recently passed Great American Outdoors Act.
28:54
January 27, 2021
Episode 52 - With Matthew Thorne from the Merrimack River Watershed Council and Dr. Lien-Thu Dao of Haverhill Family Eye Care
Merrimack fans take note! This week on The 495, we discuss the state of our favorite river with Matthew Thorne from the Merrimack River Watershed Council. Then, we’re joined by Dr. Lien-Thu Dao of Haverhill Family Eye Care. Join us live on The 495!
01:01:00
January 20, 2021
Episode 51 - With Alaina and Doug Brackett of the Purple Carrot Bread Company
Local restaurants have taken a huge hit. The host of The 495, Doug Sparks is joined by Purple Carrot Bread Co. owners Alaina and Doug Brackett to find out what their Lowell bakery is doing to survive in the age of COVID.
28:39
January 11, 2021
Episode 50 - With Racheal and the team at Red Antler Apothecary in Lowell
The 495 is back! Host Doug Sparks opens 2021 talking with Rachel and the teams from Red Antler Apothecary in Lowell. See how this Valley business is adapting and aiding in the Covid crisis and hear tales of pine tar soap and beaver skulls.
58:22
January 6, 2021
Episode 49 - With noted Cambodian American poet, painter and humanitarian, Chath Piersath
On this edition of The 495, your host Doug Sparks talks with noted Cambodian American poet, painter and humanitarian, Chath Piersath.
39:53
December 23, 2020
Episode 48 - With Scott Plath of Cobblestones of Lowell and Moonstones of Chelmsford
Host Doug Sparks talks with Scott Plath of Cobblestones of Lowell and Moonstones of Chelmsford about the state of the restaurant industry in Massachusetts as we approach the Covid Holidays
42:17
December 16, 2020
Episode 47 - With Lane Glenn, the President of Northern Essex Community College
Host Doug Sparks catches up with Lane Glenn, who is both the President of Northern Essex Community College and an all-around fascinating guy.
46:25
December 9, 2020
Episode 46 - with HamdAllah Olona from GoodieKrunch
This week, host Doug Sparks talks with HamdAllah Olona from GoodieKrunch, a delicious coconut snack produced in Haverhill, but inspired by a traditional authentic signature recipe of Olana's grandmother from Ọ̀yọ́ Kingdom, Yorùbá Land, in West Africa. Don't miss this fascinating story.
31:50
December 2, 2020
Episode 45 - With Brendan Pelley, the Executive Chef at Gibbet Hill Grill in Groton
On the day before Thanksgiving, host Doug Sparks, talks with one of the Merrimack Valley's most well-known chefs! You've seen Brendan Pelley on Hell’s Kitchen, Beat Bobby Flay, and the WGBH Food Fight, and the Chelmsford native is the Executive Chef at Gibbet Hill Grill in Groton. Join us for a high-profile culinary episode!
33:06
November 26, 2020
Episode 44 - With UMass Lowell Philosophy professor and Women's Movement Author Carol Hay
This week on The 495, we’re joined by UMass Lowell professor Carol Hay, whose latest book, “Think Like a Feminist,” takes a look at the philosophy behind the women’s movement.
51:30
November 18, 2020
Episode 43 - With JP and Lauren of Dancing Ox Coffee Roasters
Coffee fans rejoice! This week on The 495 hoist Doug Sparks will be discussing everyone’s favorite bean with JP and Lauren, the owners of Dancing Ox Coffee Roasters. These two former professional dancers now run a North Carolina roastery with Merrimack Valley roots.
54:46
November 11, 2020
Episode 42 - With Beth Borges and Carl Hirschfield of Home Bear Brewing
On this edition of The 495, host Doug Sparks talks mead with the good folks at House Bear Brewing in Newburyport!
44:04
November 4, 2020
Episode 41 - With Roxie Zwicker, New England's Scary Godmother
Host Doug Sparks gets in the Halloween mood and talks with New England's Scary Godmother, Roxie Zwicker from New England Curiosities about ghost stories from the Valley!
42:05
October 28, 2020
Episode 40 - With State Senator Diana DiZoglio
This week on The 495, host Doug Sparks talks with State Senator Diana DiZoglio as she continues her 159-mile March Across Massachusetts to raise money for The Methuen Youth Center. Then he previews the November/December issue of Merrimack Valley Magazine!
48:08
October 21, 2020
Episode 39 - With Irish Author Aine Greaney
This week host Doug Sparks talks with Irish Author Aine Greaney about her five books, her personal journey of immigration here in the US, and her writing workshops.
52:49
October 14, 2020
E38 - With the style editor at Merrimack Valley Magazine, Lysa Pelletier
Lysa Pelletier has worked as a fashion, lifestyle, and product stylist for more than 25 years. She’s also the style editor at Merrimack Valley Magazine. This week on The 495, she’ll sit down with publisher Glenn Prezzano to talk about things you can do to spice up your fall.
55:48
October 7, 2020
E37- With Filmmaker, Photographer and Conservationist Jerry Monkman
This week on The 495 host Doug Sparks is joined by filmmaker, photographer, and conservationist Jerry Monkman. Monkman recently directed “The Merrimack: River at Risk,” a documentary about this critical waterway’s past, present and possible future.
47:06
September 30, 2020
E36 - With John Broderick, former Chief Justice of New Hampshire
John Broderick has been a chief justice with the N.H. state court, law school dean, and senior director at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health. In 2002, he was the victim of an assault that nearly took his life. The experience changed the way he thought about mental illness forever. You won’t want to miss this episode of The 495.
47:35
September 23, 2020
Episode 35 - With “The Kitchen Witch”, Dawn Aurora Hunt
Dawn Aurora Hunt is known as “The Kitchen Witch.” Find out why on The 495 as we talk about her recent cookbook, how to bring a little magic into your kitchen, and the company she founded, Cucina Aurora Kitchen Witchery.
46:50
September 16, 2020
Episode 34 - With Amy Lindholm and John Judge
This week on The 495, we chat about the recently passed Great American Outdoors Act and how it affects our region with Amy Lindholm, of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and John Judge, CEO of the Appalachian Mountain Club.
45:52
September 9, 2020
Episode 33 - With mural artist Sophy Tuttle.
This week on The 495, host Doug Sparks talks with mural artist Sophy Tuttle.
41:22
September 2, 2020
Episode 32 - With Renay Wolterding, Owner of Mill City BBQ and Brew in Lowell
This week on The 495, host Doug Sparks talks with Renay Wolterding, owner at Mill City BBQ and Brew!
41:38
August 26, 2020
Episode 31 - With Dr. James Mabry, President of Middlesex Community College
Join us on The 495 this week, as host Doug Sparks talks with Dr. James Mabry, President of Middlesex Community College.
43:58
August 19, 2020
Episode 30 - With the Founder of Craft Hot Sauce, Brian Ruhlmann
It is hot out, there's no doubt. But it is never too hot for hot sauce! This week, host Doug Sparks talks with the Founder of Craft Hot Sauce, Brian Ruhlmann!
55:17
August 12, 2020
Episode 29 - With Ryan Turner, the New Music Director of the Newburyport Choral Society
This week on The 495, we are joined by Ryan Turner. He’s the new music director of the Newburyport Choral Society, one of the oldest choral groups in the nation. Music fans won’t want to miss this one!
43:34
August 5, 2020
Episode 28 - With Phil Mastroianni, the co-owner of Fabrizia Spirits
On this week's The 495, host Doug Sparks talks with Phil Mastroianni, the co-owner of Fabrizia Spirits – they make traditional limoncello (and, in the age of the pandemic, sanitizer).
39:41
July 29, 2020
Episode 27 - With Susan Sirois, executive director of Bread and Roses
This week on The 495, host Doug Sparks talks with Susan Sirois, executive director of Bread and Roses about the effects of the pandemic on her organization and its mission to feed those in need.
44:04
July 22, 2020
Episode 26 - With UMass Lowell Professor and Author of Philosophy John Kaag
Doug Spark's guest on this week's The 495 podcast is UMass Lowell professor John Kaag whose “Sick Souls, Healthy Minds,” combines biography, memoir and self-help guide in one concise, inviting package. In other words, don’t be put off if you struggle to remember anything from your Philosophy 101 class.
52:31
July 15, 2020
Episode 26 - With Courtney Sale, the new Artistic Director for the Merrimack Repertory Theatre
This week on The 495, host Doug Sparks talks with Courtney Sale, the new Artistic Director for the Merrimack Repertory Theatre on what it's like to take over during a pandemic and the future of local theater.
43:22
July 8, 2020
Episode 26 - With the Artistic Director of Mistral Music, Julie Scolnik
On this edition of The 495, host Doug Sparks talks with the Artistic Director of Mistral Music, Julie Scolnik!
44:13
July 1, 2020
Episode 25 - With the President of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, Dougan Sherwood
The 495's 25th episode features host Doug Sparks talking with Dougan Sherwood, President of the Greater Haverhill Chamber, about his aspirations to make Haverhill a world-class city.
01:00:49
June 24, 2020
Episode 24 - With Retiring Lowell Cultural Director Henri Marchand
This week on The 495, host Doug Sparks will talk with Henri Marchand. He’s retiring from his position as cultural director of Lowell after many years of serving the city. He’s also a practicing magician, so expect a wide-ranging discussion. Like Lowell
44:47
June 17, 2020
Episode 23 - With Lowell blogger and historian Richard Howe
Host Doug Sparks talks with Lowell blogger and historian Richard Howe about citizen blogging, social media, and his history walking tours of Lowell.
51:14
June 10, 2020
Episode 22 - With Author T. R. Monaghan
Doug's guest is T. R. Monaghan. Her debut novel is set in the gritty underworld of Lowell in the early ‘70s. We’ll talk crime, writing, and Lowell past and present.
40:20
June 3, 2020
Episode 21 - With the Merrimack Valley Homebrew Club
This week on The 495 podcast, host Doug Sparks talks all things beer with the Merrimack Valley Homebrew Club: The importance of using good water; Where to pick the best Dandelions; And ... do NOT stress out your yeast.
59:47
May 27, 2020
Episode 20 - With musician Melvern Taylor
This week's episode of The 495 has host Doug Sparks talking with Lowell musician Melvern Taylor and his ukulele!
44:56
May 20, 2020
Episode 19 - With the author of "Barker House", David Moloney
Make sure you join us on The 495 podcast this week as host Doug Sparks talks with David Moloney, author of the newly released "Barker House" from Bloomsbury Publishing USA!
45:08
May 13, 2020
Episode 18 - With Science Educator Metric Mark
Host Doug Sparks talks with Science Educator Metric Mark who is approaching COVID-induced homeschooling by showing parents and kids how to do simple hands-on science experiments, with only the materials they have on hand.
34:45
May 6, 2020
Episode 17 - With Ruby and Bill of Ruby and the Groove
The 495 Host Doug Starks speaks with Ruby and Bill of Ruby and the Groove!
40:15
April 29, 2020
Episode 16 - With Amy Tee from Experimental Comedy Therapy
This week on The 495, Doug Sparks chats with Amy Tee from Experimental Comedy Therapy. Like many comedians, Amy has gone through many ups and downs, which reflect in her unique brand of comedy laced with stigma-busting honesty.
44:36
April 22, 2020
Episode 15 - With actress, storyteller, content creator and non-profit leader, Christa Brown
Doug interviews Christa Brown - an actress, storyteller, content creator and non-profit leader based in Lowell. She creates and promotes art that reflects the richness of the local community. The Free Soil Arts Collective Entrepreneurship for All - EforAll
40:36
April 15, 2020
Episode 14 - With Kesiah Bascom of Off Beet Compost
Host Doug Sparks talks red wigglers with Kesiah Bascom, the owner/founder of Off Beet Compost.
36:13
April 8, 2020
Episode 13 - With Scott Plath, founder of Cobblestones of Lowell and Moonstones
Scott Plath, founder of Cobblestones of Lowell and Moonstones discusses, with host Doug Sparks, the current and future impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the restaurant industry / Tips for getting your take-out safely / Plus, his favorite stories from decades in and around the kitchen.
54:54
April 1, 2020
Episode 12 - With Linda Shottes-Bouchard of SHED Children's Campus in Andover
Doug talks with Linda Shottes-Bouchard of SHED Children's Campus this week on The 495. They discuss this new reality of online education, curiosity-driven learning, and helping kids achieve mindfulness.
47:07
March 25, 2020
Episode 11 - With poet and publisher Paul Marion
We hope to give you a brief respite on this week's The 495 podcast. Host Doug Sparks talks with writer and poet Paul Marion from Loom Press on several books that you may enjoy during the upcoming weeks.
46:19
March 18, 2020
Episode 10 - With Professor Brenda Bond-Fortier
Host Doug Sparks talks with professor Brenda Bond-Fortier about how he book detailing how the Lowell Police Department and others adapted to changing communities, policies, and public needs, and what policing is facing in the current political environment.
56:14
March 11, 2020
Episode 9 - With Artist and Author Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord
On this week's episode of The 495 podcast, host Doug Sparks talks calligraphy, spirit books and the space between letters with artist and author Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord
48:19
March 5, 2020
Episode 8 - With Mystery Author Edith Maxwell
Host Doug Sparks talks with Merrimack Valley-based mystery author Edith Maxwell about her unique brand of storytelling that often includes murders with recipes!
45:03
February 26, 2020
Episode 7 - With Ken Taylor of Plum Island Kayak
Doug Sparks talks with Ken Taylor of Plum Island Kayak about kayak adventures on the Merrimack River and beyond. (Of course he asked about sharks!)
55:23
February 19, 2020
Episode 6 - With Rachel Chandler and Rick Stec from Red Antler Apothecary
Doug talks natural remedies, cleaning, CBD, homesteading and more with Rachel Chandler and Rick Stec from Red Antler Apothecary on this week's episode of The 495.
01:01:37
February 12, 2020
Episode 5 - With Jamie Berard from LEGO Masters on Fox
Doug Sparks talks with Jamie Berard, a Central Catholic alum who now works as a LEGO architect. Jamie will be a judge in the new series LEGO Masters on FOX.
52:25
February 5, 2020
Episode 4 - With Dan Graovac of the Merrimack River Watershed Council
Host Doug Sparks talk with Dan Graovac of the Merrimack River Watershed Council about sewage overflows, PFAS pollution, microplastics and climate change and how they affect the Merrimack River and it's communities. More importantly, they discuss what is being done and what needs to be done.
48:16
January 29, 2020
Episode 3 - With Lane Glenn, the President of Northern Essex Community College
Guest host Glenn Prezzano welcomes Lane Glenn, the President of Northern Essex Community College. He’s just returned from a trip hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro!
01:02:51
January 22, 2020
Episode 2 - With Photographer Kevin Harkins
He's photographed almost everyone and everything in the Merrimack Valley, plus a who's who of celebrities. Doug chats with renowned photographer Kevin Harkins - today's guest on the 495 Podcast.
40:49
January 15, 2020
Episode 1 - With Dean Johnson from Merrimack Valley Magazine
Doug Sparks talks with our own Dean Johnson about his illustrious career in New England media. Starting with his days reviewing concerts for The Herald, Dean talks about his time with WBZ and his freelance writing, including reviewing food and restaurants for Merrimack Valley Magazine. Doug tells us Eight Great Things To Do This Weekend and leads us to the best cup of coffee in the Valley.
45:16
January 8, 2020
Episode 0.4 - Ask me Anything - Tea and Coffee
There a lot of trails to explore in Doug's background. In this episode of "Ask Me Any Thing" answers questions about caffeine and coffee and tells you things about tea that you didn't even know you wanted to know! 
31:21
December 17, 2019
Episode 0.3 - Ask Me Anything - Magazine Editing
In this edition of "Ask Me Anything" Dougs answers questions about editing a magazine. Styles and practices may evolve but and editor must decide when to hold the line. 
28:54
December 17, 2019
Episode 0.2 - Ask Me Anything - Host Doug Sparks
We are warming up for our podcast debut. In this episode we debut "Ask Me Anything" and this time the subject is our host Doug Sparks.
15:44
December 17, 2019
Episode 0.1 - Introduction
Have you just found The 495 Pod? Start here and meet your host Doug Sparks and see what's down the road on The 495.
09:10
December 17, 2019