Meeting will be held to discuss radio planIt’s ok if you didn’t make it to the first meeting about starting a community radio station for the Two Harbors area—after all, it was held the day after flooding swept across the North Shore, causing widespread road closures and washouts.
By: Sonja Peterson, Lake County News Chronicle
It’s ok if you didn’t make it to the first meeting about starting a community radio station for the Two Harbors area—after all, it was held the day after flooding swept across the North Shore, causing widespread road closures and washouts.
Fran Kaliher, one of the current leaders of the effort to bring a low power radio station to Lake County, said that in the flood aftermath, a community radio station would have been especially useful.
“It is fair to say not one Duluth station could have provided localized information such as how to get into Two Harbors from the airport area the previous evening or where the washout on the Alger Grade was,” Kaliher said in an email.
There’ll be another chance to get involved this Monday, June 30, at 6:30 p.m. at the Two Harbors Public Library. Those that made it to the meeting last month decided the next step should be a survey of Two Harbors and area residents about what they would like to hear on local radio. The final form of this survey will be decided Monday.
The group is still gauging whether there’s enough energy and interest to the support the radio station, but they’re hoping that the community will show support.
“A lot could depend on this meeting,” Kaliher said.
Congress passed the Local Communities Radio Act in 2010, which opened FM airwaves for low-power community radio stations. The FCC is still in the process of implementing the act, and Kaliher said the next opportunity to apply will probably be in early 2013.
Kaliher said that the idea for a community radio station in Two Harbors was originally hatched by North Shore Good Neighbors members.
“It’s inspired by the spirit of participatory democracy on which North Shore Good Neighbors was founded,” Kaliher said. “Ultimately if we pursue this, we would create a nonprofit which will be its own entity.”
Potential programming would be up to the community, but could include music by local artists, story-telling, oral history, natural history, talk shows, and emergency alerts.
The newly available radio licenses are for low-power FM stations which would reach an area with a radius of 3.5 to 10 miles. Kaliher said people interested in starting such a station anywhere in our region are welcome to attend the meeting for information about the process, but they are currently focusing on the potential for a Two Harbors based station.
“This will be a volunteer effort, and everyone’s participation is welcome,” Kaliher said.
Further information is available at 830-0489, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .