RFB Returns; FRSD Gets Grant; RFPI Gets Reprieve

When the FCC came and intimidated Radio Free Brattleboro off the air in June, the Vermont community responded with zeal. A parade float, petition drive, and countless benefits and station meetings later, the station returned to the airwaves today on 107.9 FM. That frequency is currently vacant, but there is a pending LPFM application for it. RFB has promised to vacate the frequency if and when the license is awarded and the station is ready to broadcast.
A local petition drive has drawn “way more than 2,000 signatures” in support of the station, reports RFB’s Steven Twiss: “The petition’s signatories include several area heavy-hitters including politicians, business owners and artists. One, a wonderful older woman, is on the town council. She bought a ‘Free rfb’ T-shirt and wore it to a few council meetings, which are broadcast on the local cable access channel.” There is also an online petition drive for anyone else interested in symbolically standing with them.
As we have seen in the past, getting “official” recognition from the community seems to keep the FCC away, or at least slows them down. Considering that Brattleboro is a community of 12,000, having one out of every five or six citizens onboard already demonstrates a strong sign of community solidarity.
More good news in San Diego: Free Radio San Diego 96.9 FM has received a grant from the San Diego Foundation For Change, which will be used for “youth outreach” programs. The first one, a station-building workshop, will be held next month.
Other LPFM news: Mikey Powell is officially backpedaling from the public backlash against his media consolidation crusade; he’s launching a task force on localism and has promised to expedite LPFM applications in the pipeline – some of which have languished for two years or more. Rumor also has it that the FCC may actually open up a window for 10-watt LPFM station licenses in the near future. And in a blast from the past, Tom Ness is resurrecting the Michigan Music is World Class campaign, in which he collected several dozen resolutions from local governments around the state in support of the LPFM service. He plans to collect a lot more this time, circulating a draft co-authored by the Prometheus Radio Project.
Finally, Radio For Peace International is back to somewhat normal operations after the University for Peace’s siege of the station was called off on August 18. The station and university have agreed to talks which will begin on September 4 and are scheduled to end on October 31, and both sides have agreed to keep their beefs quiet in the interim.