Scene Reports: California, Montana, Michigan

California: Free Radio Santa Cruz issued a news release about the recent visit by FCC field agents David Doon and David Hartshorn, accompanied by a couple of bad photos of the duo in action. This supplements the audio clip captured by Skidmark Bob. Freak Radio is now operating at 101.1 FM and according to the Davids only merited a visit for their long-running unlicensed status, not because of any complaints of interference or spurious emissions.

Montana: The same morning as Freak Radio’s visit, FCC agents with armed backup executed a raid against Burton James’ mobile home microstation in Butte. His operation had been on the air for three years there and James claims to have been an active microbroadcaster for more than a decade in multiple states. He shrugged off the raid, according to the Montana Standard: “‘It really doesn’t matter,’ he said. ‘The transmitter was eight years old. It’s on its way out. I was intending to get another one.'” Read More

Scene Report: California

Multiple tidbits of interest…

Santa Cruz: Freak Radio successfully moved to its new location recently, completing the entire transition in about five hours. It sounds like it was well-rehearsed, although Skidmark Bob reports their online stream needs “a little work.”

Victorville: On March 31 the FCC issued a $20,000 Notice of Apparent Liability to Stanley Mayo for operating unlicensed transmitters on both the AM and FM bands. Mayo’s “KSRX” first began broadcasting in the summer of 2002 on 660 KHz but was also later heard on 91.3 MHz. Mayo received at least four visits from field agents out of Los Angeles, as well as two warning notices, over an 18-month span before the FCC moved for the dough. Read More

Scene Reports: California, Colorado, Oregon

California: Freak Radio Santa Cruz will lose its current station location at the end of April. The hunt is on for new space. The landlord is apparently clearing out the entire building for some sort of redevelopment project, which is a shame because he’s otherwise been cool about the station (to the point of facing down the FCC twice). Freak Radio’s no stranger to moving – at one stage the station was “homeless” and operated out of a bicycle cart – but it is never a fun experience and this space had been the station’s single longest home.

Berkeley Liberation Radio continues to hum along and recently overhauled its schedule. The station’s adopted a dues format for fundraising and made out okay at their benefit show last month. BLR’s Cap’n Fred lays down the bassline on one of our recent additions to the pirate music MP3 collection (Countdown and the Blastoffs’ “We Want the Airwaves“). Read More

Free Radio Brattleboro Threatened by U.S. Attorney; KBFR Back on Air After FCC Visit

rfb got a letter and phone call from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Burlington, Vermont January 8 threatening “action if the station does not stop broadcasting,” according to rfb’s local attorney. This likely a precursor to (at least) a raid, or (at most) the filing of an injunction against the station and its volunteers. rfb continues to collect signatures for its referendum drive – which would put the issue of official community support for the station to a vote of the people or Brattleboro – and its attorney has written a letter to the FCC and U.S. Attorney informing them of the station’s intentions in detail.

In Boulder, Colorado, KBFR rebounded from its FCC visit Tuesday with the quickness, returning to the air from a virgin location less than 48 hours after contact. Read More

Liberation Radio Raid Update

A statement released by the station coupled with an excellent phone interview of Liberation Radio volunteer Karoline Hatch by Skidmark Bob clarifies things quite a bit.

Factual corrections: While the swarm of law enforcement involved in the raid numbered more than two dozen, only ~15 were federal officers. They were assisted by 10 San Francisco police officers (in contravention of the wishes of the city’s Board of Supervisors), although an IMC report cites Supervisor (and mayoral candidate) Tom Ammiano and SFPD chief Alex Fagan denying any city involvement. Read More