Overlooked in the hurricane fury: this month Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) introduced the “Enhance and Protect Local Community Radio Act of 2005.” It’s a companion bill to Senator McCain and Leahy’s (R-AZ / D-VT) legislation, although it adds a substantial twist on the translator issue.
The situation in the Houston Astrodome sounds more like a detention center than shelter. Perhaps that is why the emergency LPFM station authorized to broadcast from there (actually, there’s three, covering most of the Reliant Park complex of which the Astrodome is a part) has been dismissed by local officials.
Organizers of “KAMP” 95.3 were first told they had to have 10,000 portable radios ready to distribute to the displaced before they could begin broadcasting. Not just any radio would do: they had to be of “walkman type,” listenable with headphones. Within a day that goal had been met. Now, authorization for the station has been denied by an “Incident Commander” on the scene. The reason? Not enough electricity.
Houston Indymedia and the Prometheus Radio Project have secured emergency support from the FCC to set up a 30-watt LPFM station to serve those currently housed in the Houston Astrodome. Now they just need 10,000 portable radios for everyone to hear them.