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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!