A New Radio Station is on the Air in Auburn.


A new radio station is on the air in Auburn.

True, you have to be parked almost under the transmitter to hear it, although there are reports that it can be heard up to a half- mile away from the station.

But Auburn Community Radio went live on March 3 at 1500 on the AM dial, according to Paul Nelson.

Nelson runs a company that produces public affairs programs for commercial radio, runs the poetry and literary organization Northwest Spokenword Lab, is a host on KPLU-FM and has been a major driver behind the low-power AM station in Auburn. The radio station's transmitter is on top of the former livery stable at 14 S. Division St. that serves as Spokenword Lab's home.

Although the station is now on around the clock, the lineup is limited to "a couple of programs and a couple of songs." The offerings will expand as more volunteers are trained. The station is also Webcasting at www.auburncommunityradio.com.

Auburn Community Radio took advantage of regulations that allow for low-power AM operations. Nelson said the glacial pace of the Federal Communications Commission's issuing of low-power FM licenses "is really what forced us to go to this expensive plan." The Auburn effort is getting technical assistance from the engineer from a Vashon group awaiting a low-power FM license.

Two FCC commissioners are holding a field hearing in Seattle tomorrow over proposals to modify or drop rules on ownership of television and radio stations; critics such as Nelson argue that dropping the rules would further eliminate what little local content there is in radio.

"The very least they could do is give communities low-power FM," Nelson said.

In other radio notes:

Last week's item about the sound artifacts being collected by the Museum of History and Industry should have mentioned they'll be broadcast in the coming weeks on KPLU-FM (88.5).

KGRG-FM (89.9) will provide live play-by-play coverage of the Green River Community College Gators men's basketball team in the community college tournament in the Tri-Cities this weekend. The first scheduled game is 10 a.m. tomorrow.

"The Play's the Thing" at 11 p.m. tomorrow on KUOW-FM (94.9) presents Harold Pinter's "Betrayal."

Club for Growth President Stephen Moore is the guest on "Republican Radio" at 10 a.m. Saturday on KKOL-AM (1300).

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals campaign coordinator Andrew Butler will discuss PETA's Web-site strategies on "WebTalkGuys Radio" at 11 a.m. Saturday on KLAY-AM (1180).

Live performances on KEXP-FM (90.7) on Saturday include Laura Veirs, 3 p.m.; The More, 6 p.m.; and Asahi, 8 p.m.

Jim Wilke's "Jazz Northwest" at 4 p.m. Saturday on KPLU-FM features a recent performance at Tula's by the Don Lanphere Sextet with special guest Ernestine Anderson.

The Consul performs on "Sonarchy" at 11 p.m. Saturday on KEXP- FM.

Kate Daniels interviews Eleanor Cooney, author of "Death in Slow Motion: My Mother's Descent into Alzheimer's," on "Sunday Morning Magazine" at 5:30 a.m. on KRWM-FM (106.9).

Lizz Sommars' guests on "Conversations" at 6 a.m. Sunday on KISW- FM (99.9) and KBSG-FM (97.3) include Dr. Susan Smith Kuczmarski, family therapist and author of "The Sacred Flight of the Teenager."

Paul Nelson interviews John de Graaf about overworking in America on "Northwestern Exposure" at 6 a.m. Sunday on KKNW-AM (1150) and "Focus" at midnight Sunday on KING-FM (98.1).

Don Riggs' guests on "Introspect Northwest" at 7 a.m. Sunday on KMPS-FM (94.1) and KYCW-AM (1090) include Jason Goodwin, author of "Greenback."

"Kids Care" at 7:30 p.m. Sunday on KKDZ-AM (1250) continues its series on asthma with Dr. Larry Larson of Northwest Pediatrics in Tacoma.

The Sunday edition of Jim French's "Imagination Theatre," heard at 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on KIXI-AM (880), includes a new Harry Nile mystery.

Chris Cashman, son of longtime local broadcaster Pat Cashman and himself a local radio host, is joining KSTW/11 as a host of projects as "Mariners Bullpen."

P-I reporter Bill Virgin can be reached at billvirgin@seattlepi.com.

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