Archive | December, 2003

City of Brattleboro Votes in Supports Radio Free Brattleboro

I’m still getting through by week-long backlog of e-mail, and here’s a piece of news I want to make sure doesn’t slip by:

The city government of Brattleboro, Vermont has come out in support of the city’s own local unlicensed radio station, Radio Free Brattleboro, known as RFB. In a 4 to 1 vote, on November 18 the Brattleboro Select Board – a body similar to a city council – approved a resolution to “support radio free brattleboro and the concept of community radio and encourage the Federal Communications Commission to work with radio free brattleboro and other applicants to obtain a Low Power FM licence which will enable them to serve the needs of the community and its members.”

The Select Board had previously rejected a similar resolution submitted by RFB members that asked the Board to “support the residents of Brattleboro in granting authority to radio free brattleboro to broadcast to the community.”

In an interview from the Oct. 17 edition of the mediageek radioshow, RFB volunteer Sara Longsmith explained that the station’s strategy for obtaining the local community’s authority to broadcast is to circulate a petition to be signed by the city’s residents. So far the station has more than 3000 signatures, within a town of only about 12,000 people.

The Brattleboro Select Board’s vocal support of the station comes in response to recent visits to the station by the Federal Communications Commission, which has threatened to shut the station down. The FCC last visited on Sept. 4, wherein agents threatened to return ten days later to conduct a raid with federal marshals. Three months later, the FCC has yet to return.

Radio Free Brattleboro has been providing open-access community radio to the community of Brattleboro for the last five years. You can find out more about the station, listen to it on-line, and sign their on-line petition at their website: www.rfb.fm

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Back and Home Sick, Watching TV

First, the obligatory apologies for the protracted Thanksgiving-related absence from the blog. I was back home in Jersey for the holiday, and enjoyed listening to a little bit of freeform favorite WFMU and Pacifica’s WBAI. The latter was a bit surreal as I tuned in to hear what sounded like a DJ’s last show, leaving under apparently unhappy (but vague) circumstances. Part of the honesty of community radio is that it allows the freedom for DJs to melt down on-air. Commercial radio doesn’t tolerate any Johnny Fevers anymore.

As a reward for taking a holiday, I’m now home sick with what feels like the flu. After many hours of sleeping, I’m now conscious and watching TV. Luckily, I have Dish Network and therefore get Free Speech TV. This afternoon they’re running Negativland videos and episodes of a short program called Big Tea Party.

The Big Tea Party is a Philadelphia-based 3-minute radical DIY cooking-crafty-activist program hosted by Elizabeth Fiend. It’s real fun stuff that I wish was longer than 3 minutes, and reminds me how much more vital 3 minutes of inspired independent TV can be than hours of the usual crap.

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