Free Radio Berkeley’s 75-watt transmitter arrived safe and sound. It’s been re-tuned to 88.7 FM and is presently putting out about 80-90 watts. A shed’s been cleared out to serve as a full-time studio space; a military surplus mast has been procured and assembled; and a new antenna sits on top of it. Soon the station will be webcasting as well. The vibe is increasingly active as more and more people return to the city: there is much to do and many stories to tell.
There are approximately four workable microradio frequencies in the New Orleans metropolitan area, three short-term and one (arguably) longer-term: Continue reading “Algiers Microradio Gets Upgrade”
Overlooked in the hurricane fury: this month Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) introduced the “Enhance and Protect Local Community Radio Act of 2005.” It’s a companion bill to Senator McCain and Leahy’s (R-AZ / D-VT) legislation, although it adds a substantial twist on the translator issue. Continue reading “LPFM Expansion Bill Introduced in House”
Radio Free Waveland is microbroadcasting messages of hope. This clip (2:29, 1.2 MB) from a recent interview with a volunteer who served thousands of meals at the New Waveland Cafe demonstrates the station’s function as a bridge between the patchwork of grassroots groups who showed up to serve the still-reconstituting community – they range from Seventh Day Adventists to organic farmers practicing anarchism.
“There’s so much animosity along class/culture lines in this country, it’s good to show up and be an example of how many untruths are told about people…that are, you know, not Christian, or just different, you know, the xenophobia that gets pushed. It’s been challenged here,” says Dave Sayotovich, “and the station has been a big part in that.”
Mississippi: A crew from the Midwest has arrived in Waveland, Mississippi, where the eyewall of Hurricane Katrina made landfall. 30-foot storm surges left survivors literally naked – yet a tent city of sorts has blossomed among the destruction. “Radio Free Waveland” is now providing a 40-watt morale boost among those trying to make the most of a desperate situation (still no FEMA there).
District of Columbia: WSQT gave a fiery interview to the folks at Free Radio Santa Cruz this week. The station is currently off the air after donating its transmitter to Gulf Coast relief efforts and is also relocating following a visit from the FCC earlier this month. I’m a big fan of WSQT’s intensity: it is a guerrilla war, and time and numbers work in our favor.
California: Stephen Dunifer and volunteers with Free Radio Berkeley are assembling a 75-watt transmitter to send to New Orleans. Also, there have been more reports about Berkeley Liberation Radio returning to the air on a regular basis, although details remain sketchy.
The emergency LPFM station set up in Houston to serve those displaced from New Orleans by Katrina ran for just five days. Due to the consolidation of the remaining evacuees into one of Reliant Park’s smaller arenas, on-site media were asked to move to a different parking lot. Instead of deal with the hassle, KAMP volunteers decided to pack it in after power was cut to the station Saturday morning.
A KAMP spoke has nothing but high praise for the local authorities (a somewhat surprising turn of events), and wants to make sure they suffer no blame for the station’s premature sign-off: Continue reading “KAMP: Over and Out”
Louisiana: The microradio station in Algiers is broadcasting community information, survivor stories, and any Katrina-related content it can find online on 94.5 FM. It’s desperately in need of volunteers to collect and broadcast news, as part of a larger community media center that’s opened up in the neighborhood.
The heart of the station is a 10-watt lunchbox transmitter donated by KRRR, an impromptu outlet that participated in an anti-Clear Channel protest last year in San Antonio, Texas. That is feeding a homemade dipole antenna held up by a mast fashioned with wood scavenged from damaged/destroyed buildings. The signal gets out pretty well, although with just 10 watts its primary coverage is neighborhood-level, not citywide by any stretch. Continue reading “Scene Reports: Louisiana, Texas”
The primary target is the Algiers neighborhood, on 94.5 FM. The transmitter was assembled in the hardcore lunchbox motif. More gear is moving south as we speak. These stations will supplement the autonomous community organizing that has maintained a semblance of order among those who stayed in place through the flood.
KAMP 95.3 began test broadcasts late Monday and will officially go on the air today. It plans to be a place where the displaced can relate their experiences directly, as well as share information with each other. The FCC approved a minor amendment to special 90-day authorization which allows the station to broadcast from a trailer in the Houston Astrodome parking lot. Continue reading “LPFM For Houston Displaced On Air”
The trend in Enforcement Bureau statistics over the last year suggests the agency is doing a better job of following up on pirate radio complaints, but still lacks the ability to actively shut stations down.
This year field agents have become much more consistent about following through with the first few steps of the enforcement protocol. Whereas it used to be months (if not years) between, say, a station visit and a warning letter (or two), field agents are pretty uniformly following up on initial visits with a warning letter within a month or two of first contact. Continue reading “FCC Enforcement: Initial Follow-Through Improves”
Wired News has a story from someone on the ground in Houston who gives the impression that the emergency LPFM stations authorized for the Reliant Park complex have been “officially, finally denied” by local authorities.
Salient quotes: Continue reading “Astrodome Radio DOA?”