Scene Report: California

While I may still be on partial hiatus, as the fall semester ends in its typical whirlwind of student-meetings, evaluations, and grading, life moves on. And I am pleased to report that the microradio movement is alive and well. I will be most interested to see just how the FCC wraps up this year’s “war on pirates” – when I finally find the time to digest the data.

Some heartening news comes from the old guard in California. Berkeley Liberation Radio, after suffering a government raid on its studio premises (not related to the station itself), has safely relocated and is kicking as usual. Across the Bay, San Francisco Liberation Radio has also been revived – the correspondence I received does not explicitly state that this return will include a frequency-modulated signal, but it leaves room for speculation: “Since our court case was resolutely rejected by the Ninth Circuit, SFLR dropped the legal proceedings but continued to stream internet radio. Now [a new crew] will continue in the long and storied tradition of SFLR in the South of Market area.” You can’t keep a good idea down. 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

Berkeley Liberation Radio Back On Air; FRSD Raid Follow-Up

According to the latest AMPB Report, Berkeley Liberation Radio returned to the East Bay airwaves at 6pm Sunday. The station has also vowed to start web streaming as well, but that seems like a stretch since its web site is perpetually under construction.

More press is available about Thursday’s raid on Free Radio San Diego, including another interview with Bob Ugly on Enemy Combatant Radio and some corporate media mentions. While FRSD is not pining for a fight in court (as it does not generally respect the FCC’s quasi-police function), it did send preemptive correspondence to the agency shortly after taking to the air, invoking the “perpetual war loophole” in FCC rules as justification to broadcast. So far the agency’s ignored that.