Scene Report: California

106.9FM, the on-air relay for RadioActive San Diego, is back on the air. The station went dark last year citing financial and FCC troubles (the host of its transmitter was hit with a $10,000 Notice of Apparent Liability). When it signed off it pledged to come back five times stronger. That pledge has been fulfilled: the old 30-watt transmitter’s been replaced with one that does 150.

Earlier this month, Free Radio San Diego went back up to full power, after hobbling along in a weaker configuration since being raided last summer. Station founder Bob Ugly reports the coverage area is “as good if not the best it’s ever been.”

Federal Judge Disses Radio Free Brattleboro

A short story reports that J. Garvan Murtha, the federal judge overseeing the FCC’s original case against the station, ruled in the FCC’s favor on March 31. The ruling contains a “John and Mary Doe” clause, which basically calls for a blanket ban on any unlicensed broadcasting within the community of Brattleboro.

Unfortunately, the story says nothing about the judge’s rationale. It does, however, quote station lawyer James Maxwell as saying that the station’s tactic of mustering community support for an alternate “authority to broadcast” is still valid: “The basic argument that a town gave an entity permission to broadcast still exists. That argument is still useable by other stations.” Read More

FCC Watch: Enforcement Tempo Quickens

The New York office has been spending a lot of time in New Jersey, perhaps in response to the state’s attempt to assert enforcement jurisdiction over the airwaves. (Meanwhile, in Florida, the FCC’s busy busting construction crane operators cursing on two-way radio frequencies licensed to a hospital.)

Out west, Berkeley Liberation Radio got another visit and the Portland Radio Authority is off the air after same. Free Radio Santa Cruz‘s Skidmark Bob did a long interview with BLR volunteer Gerald Smith, where the connection between the current station its evolution from roots in Free Radio Berkeley is vividly described. Field agents have also paid respects to stations in Nevada and New Mexico. Read More

DIYmedia in NYC

I’ve been invited to the NYC Grassroots Media Conference, going down February 11 at New School University. This is the third NYC GMC, which is a project of the Paper Tiger-sponsored NYC Grassroots Media Coalition.

I believe I’ll be giving a workshop on microradio operations, similar to the one that went down at the Allied Media Conference last year. Lots of show-and-tell with emphasis on practical, tactical applications, tailored to this particular conference’s goals. Hundreds of others will be similarly sharing knowledge, which should make for much fun. I haven’t been to New York in more than a decade.