Simple success stories abound about local folks coming together to bring their communities’ talents, news, issues, and concerns to the airwaves via LP-FM.
One such station, KAVZ 102.5, Deming, Wash., was founded several years ago when Low Power FM was but a fledgling idea. A transmission tower was erected, studio created, and plans laid for fundraising, programming, and community participation. Following a fast start, KAVZ began to wither and nearly died on the vine.
Until new blood invigorated this tiny hamlet nestled in the Cascade foothills, and fresh life was breathed into the project. KAVZ survived many twists, turns, and bumps along its country road (power outages, computer glitches, regulatory hoop-jumping, and suchlike), but now serves an impassioned audience—both in its own secluded valley and worldwide—with a wide variety of unique music, and, especially, entertaining and educational local content. Such as:
- “Bucolia.” An offbeat, humorous, and somewhat corny look at country living. “Prairie Home Companion” it ain’t, but “Bucolia” has grown on its audience like moss on a maple.
- “Echoes of the Valley.” A news and events segment that shines the light on topics like shindigs in the Van Zandt Community Hall, classes at the Deming Library, art exhibits, and (yikes!) burning bans from the local fire marshal.
- “Open Mic.” Insightful interviews and impromptu “unplugged” performances by regional musicians. A great way to learn about local performers and what makes them tick.
- “South Fork Law.” Local legal eagles discuss important issues with a regional focus. What to do if you’re faced with foreclosure or bankruptcy; the impact of Washington’s new-fangled pro-pot law; where to site a new Whatcom County jail. The list goes on and on, and the conversations are always interesting and informative.
If national news and talk are more up your auditory alley, here’s some great news: Progressive Radio Seattle, an organization dedicated to restoring progressive talk to King County and beyond, has fired up its new website: www.progressiveradionorthwest.org. Not only that, but there’s talk of partnering with the Northwest Progressive Institute to further the cause of progressive media outreach.
Who knows? Perhaps thoughtful, funny, and inspiring voices like Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller, and Ed Schultz will once again be booming across Puget Sound someday soon.
Or maybe your very own voice? Why not? It might be a long and winding country road, but community radio can be done.
Just ask the folks at KAVZ.