Radio in Times of Crises

When flooding rains pounded Texas earlier this summer, many communities found themselves in crisis. With wired network infrastructures flooded and unusable and power a sometimes-thing draining the battery-packs at cell tower-sites, many Texans found themselves reaching for their radio to find out what was going on.

One area that was hit very hard by the rains was Austin and surrounding towns, including Wimberley, Texas: flash-flooding sent a wall of water down the Blanco River in the Wimberley Valley on Memorial Day weekend that swept away entire structures, killing several people and doing millions of dollars in damage. Just a couple of years earlier, folks there had founded a non-profit organization to apply for an LPFM license. Construction permit in hand, when the rains came and wiped out most other community communications they did not stand idly by. Read More

WTUL Returns; Brattleboro Community Radio Plans Launch

Good news in New Orleans: after apparently having to make an emergency move earlier this month, Tulane University’s student radio station went back on the air last weekend from makeshift space. WTUL is live during the day and automated at night.

In Brattleboro, Vermont, the community group holding a construction permit for an LPFM station on 107.7 MHz has announced its intent to begin broadcasting next spring. Vermont Earth Works just kicked off a fundraising drive to raise more than $10,000 for Brattleboro Community Radio (BCR)’s basic station infrastructure needs. Read More

WTUL On the Move?

After an FCC visit to Radio Algiers last month, community radio activists working on the reconstruction of New Orleans brainstormed the notion of utilizing the facilities of WTUL, the student-run station of Tulane University. WTUL had plans to return to the air in January.

This blog says University officials decided to demolish the building housing the station and The Hullabaloo, Tulane’s student weekly, on Tuesday. Station and paper staffers were given a weekend’s notice to move everything. Since then, no word.

As for microbroadcast activity: there have been no reports since mid-November, and the Radio Algiers stream link has gone bad.

Scene Reports: Illinois, Louisiana

Illinois: It seems that a group of folks headed out after the WRFU barnraising to pay a visit to Springfield, the home of Mbanna Kantako‘s Human Rights Radio. They found Kantako and the station in good spirits, albeit at extremely low power, thanks to a blown amplifier, which is now under repair.

Kantako celebrates his 18th nearly-uninterrupted year on the air in five days – a large portion of which has been archived on tape. Read More