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

Tactical Microradio Blogging; Radio Free Cascadia Makes Jump from FM to Shortwave

Monk, the prime founder of Boulder microradio outlet KBFR, is now blogging about the trials and tribulations of advanced microradio station operation. KBFR has been somewhat of a laboratory for tactical broadcasting shortly after its first visit from the FCC more than two years ago. It’s experimented with (and implemented) some clever ways of separating the transmitter from the studio, including the use of webcasting as STL and mobile operation. These tactics have kept the FCC chasing down blind alleys in its quest to bust the operation.

In somewhat older news, a group of microbroadcasters in the northwest are now focusing their efforts on the shortwave band. Radio Free Cascadia (a former Eugene, OR microradio project, also responsible for station Y2WTKO during the Seattle WTO protests of ’99) recently conducted regular broadcasts as Radio Free Cascadia International in support of the WTO protests in Cancun, Mexico earlier this month. It received reception reports from all over North and South America and Asia.

RFB Returns; FRSD Gets Grant; RFPI Gets Reprieve

When the FCC came and intimidated Radio Free Brattleboro off the air in June, the Vermont community responded with zeal. A parade float, petition drive, and countless benefits and station meetings later, the station returned to the airwaves today on 107.9 FM. That frequency is currently vacant, but there is a pending LPFM application for it. RFB has promised to vacate the frequency if and when the license is awarded and the station is ready to broadcast.

A local petition drive has drawn “way more than 2,000 signatures” in support of the station, reports RFB’s Steven Twiss: “The petition’s signatories include several area heavy-hitters including politicians, business owners and artists. One, a wonderful older woman, is on the town council. She bought a ‘Free rfb’ T-shirt and wore it to a few council meetings, which are broadcast on the local cable access channel.” There is also an online petition drive for anyone else interested in symbolically standing with them. Read More

RFPI Lockout Surprise

On Monday officials with the University for Peace attempted to make good on their threat to evict Radio for Peace International from its studios on the University campus (even though RFPI owns the building). This comes after a previous agreement worked out following the eviction notice sent last month in which both sides were supposed to sit down and discuss their problems on August 11.

RFPI staff had been operating on the timetable of the agreement, so when they showed up for work Monday and the initial attempt to enter the building was rebuffed there was plenty of shock to go around. The station’s web site has been modified accordingly, and a Save RFPI site is now operational as well.

Democracy Now! is on the story and the short interview sheds some interesting light on the roots of the conflict. Even the U.N.’s University for Peace is being forced to follow the flag of corporate globalization, and RFPI may be a casualty in the struggle against that.

RFPI Being Evicted; How Many Ears Can Hear LPFM?

Staff at Radio for Peace International are now speaking out about the lockdown and presence of armed guards at the shortwave station. A news release from a group of station manager/directors says RFPI is being evicted from its building on the campus of the University for Peace, a United Nations-chartered institution.

The station has two weeks to vacate the premises; some staff have remained at the station since the initial confrontation on Monday, but it sounds like that might not be by choice.

Quoting from the release: Read More