Entry for August 14, 2007

I’m on my way up north to visit Bread and Puppet Theater with novelist Marc Estrin and his wife Donna. I’ll stop tonight near Gettsburg at the hostel pictured above. And then the car broke down at Harrisonburg and had to be towed.

*

The Ashville Citizen’s account of the SE Climate Convergence relying heavily on comments by police and nuclear astroturfer Norris McDonald, the president of the African American Environmentalists Association shows the need for alternative media. while the New River Press is no more, at least for now, there is a prospect of an independent FM station.

For the first time in almost a generation, the FCC is opening a window of a few days in October of 2007 for community groups to apply to create a radio station.

Brent Riley (brentriley2005@msn.com , phone: 540-989-2195), a Plowshare supporter (http://www.plowshareva.org/), is interested in exploring the possibility of a progressive radio station for Roanoke, Blacksburg and Lynchburg. He has a set of attachments from
Christopher Maxwell (804-920-2470), the founder of WRIR in Richmond, which I have requested. Pacifica has hired Maxwell to help groups that want to create community radio through the appplication process. He says if we decide to get together for serious discussion, he will answer our questions by conference call. Time is short but the bulk of work follows getting the permit and would come later.
Here is part of the letter Maxwell sent to Riley.
We can expect that this filing window to create Full Power FM radio stations may functionally be THE LAST CHANCE FOR NEW FREE SPEECH ON THE FM DIAL.

PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS CHANCE GO TO WASTE.

If you know you cannot carve out the resources from other projects to take this historic opportunity to tell your stories in your voice in a framing and philosophy of your choosing, make sure you let me know of any other community and civic reform minded organizations in your area who can! We at Pacifica look forward to creating as many community radio stations as possible!

Having completed WRIR (http://www.WRIR.org), I am now working to create UP TO 88 stations like WRIR across The Deep South.

By the way, we have data that could be used to build a station in Martinsville to serve Floyd as well as Wythville, Va. ! Do you know anyone you could refer me to for those areas?

The window of opportunity to apply is October, so time is short!
But its perfect timing!

You should let the folks you are meeting with know that one of the KEY reasons I built WRIR (as just an example of a community radio station) was that an environmental show ( Living On Earth) was canceled on a public radio station!

Now “Living On Earth” has a home on WRIR on Monday mornings at 11am….

We built what you hear on 97.3FM for just $15,000 and no debt!

A full power radio station of several hundred watts will be at least twice as much, but they will only need about $4000 between now and October to create a successful application to the FCC in October. The rest of the money is only needed AFTER and you just get people to sign pledges, no money, just pledges to donate if you get the permit to construct an FM radio station from the Federal
Communication Commission.

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