The story of Ray Russell of Ray’s Weather, via Capital at Play

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Capital at Play takes a look at the man behind WNC’s very own weather service, Ray’s Weather:

When Ray Russell was a little baby
Settin’ on his mama’s knee,
He pointed his finger at an isobar,
Said “A weatherman is what I want to be, Lord, Lord,
“A weatherman is what I want to be.”

Well, not exactly, but almost. The weather has fascinated Ray Russell since his childhood, to the extent that plumbing its mysteries has been a lifetime quest that has led him right through a stint as a preacher and a career in computer science to founding and maintaining what’s considered by many to be the go-to source for accurate meteorological information: Ray’s Weather Center.

Read the article here.

Xpress coverage of Ray’s Weather in 2008 is here.

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About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism. Follow me @fobes

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