In this issue: Dear Friend of KNOM, 

Thank you so much for your prayers and your financial support.  This has been an extremely active winter for your radio mission, and we are grateful for your continuing to make our work possible. 

It's almost embarrassing to  admit that the winter has been unusually easy. 

The total snowfall to January 15th of five feet is almost double what we normally receive by now, and it's more than the average for an entire winter.  However, it fell easily, in only a few big storms, and only one of them a genuine blizzard. 

And, while the temperature's spent a fair amount of time around -30°, and we've seen several days with wind chills down to around -70°, that's pretty much normal for this time of year ¾ it could be much, much colder and much, much snowier! 

Meanwhile, our final license application for 25,000 Watts was submitted to the FCC on Christmas Eve.  The Commission may have already approved it, but their public posting is a week or more behind, and, believe it or not, we are still waiting! 

Thank you again for your wonderful support.  May God bless you! 

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Welcome to KNOM'S new news director PAUL KORCHIN (left).  Raised in Chicago and Washington, DC, Paul was a KNOM volunteer from 1987-1989.  He arrived December 29th. 

A graduate of Georgetown with a Masters degree from Yale, Paul is writing his disser-tation for a PhD from Harvard, studying ancient Near Eastern languages 
"I've been a student for so long," Paul says, "I view KNOM as an excellent, efficient platform for educating people.  As news director, the ability to inform people really appeals to me.  I think it's the best classroom in the world." 

Welcome, Paul, who intends to apply great energy to his new over-the-air classroom for many years to come. 

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  When someone does you wrong, don't do what comes naturally. Do what comes supernaturally.

top Have you seen KNOM's page on the World Wide Web?  If you don't have personal access to the Internet, perhaps a friend or relative does.  Many public libraries also offer not only free access, but also help using their computer. 

We know you'd enjoy KNOM's web site,  You'll find pictures and biographies of the KNOM staff, the "Nome Static" with photos in color, plus more information and about a hundred photographs from the past. 

A special thanks to one of our benefactors who helped us set up our web presence, which costs us $20 a month for world-wide exposure.  Thanks, also, to former KNOM'er Tom Bunger who continues to maintain the page and keep it updated. 

TO ANONYMOUS:  Speaking of thanks, we offer you our gratitude for your gift last month. 

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  Lord, give bread to the hungry, and hunger for You to those who have bread.

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RECEIPT:  We routinely provide a separate receipt for every contribution of $250 or more, and in the third week of January, we mail receipts to everyone who has given a total of $250 or more the previous year. 

Regardless of amount, if you'd like a receipt for a donation, please let us know.  And please call it to our attention if a receipt is incorrect.  Our accuracy rate is pretty good so far. 

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY  January 9th, to KNOM, marking two full years of 24-hour-a-day operation, thanks to automation software provided us by the Keller Foundation. 

MASS QUANTITIES:  There are some weeks that a priest is not available in Nome to offer 10:30 AM Sunday Mass at St. Joseph's Church, which we broadcast live, and so December 14th, we also began weekly airing of the Mass provided by the Passionist Fathers of New York City at 8:00 AM.  And so, most Sundays, we are now airing two Masses.  A heartfelt thank you to the Passionists for making an audio version of their television Mass available to us at no cost. 

In addition to processing all of KNOM's donations, business manager Florence Busch (left) announces two hours a day from Studio A. 

Looking over her shoulder, you can see our view to the outside, this photo taken in December, when the snow pack was still about half its January level.

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Here's a nice view of Studio A, KNOM's main air studio with volunteer Connie Fessel at the controls. 

The computer screen not only includes the schedule of music and spots, it also actually plays them over the air at Connie's command. 

Except for live announcing and deejaying, news broadcasts, and so forth, most of the sounds you'll hear over KNOM are actually computer files.  They're stored on computer hard drives, and converted to audio when it's time for them to be played.  When we purchased this system four years ago, it was less expensive than outfitting all of the studios with new tape recorders.

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  My life will always have dirty dishes.  If this sink can become a place of contemplation, let me learn constancy here.
I gaze through the window above the sink.  There, I see the constancy of dawn, the constancy of dusk, the constancy of the seasons, of the sun and moon, and the rotation of the planets.
Lord, Your Love is discerned by repetition.  Turn and return me to Your Love.  Let my fitful human constancy be strengthened in the willing, wheeling wonder of Your stars.

  • In some villages, the average home is worth $15,000.  (1990 US Census) 
  • In the most remote areas, approximately 75% of high school graduates have reading or math skills that are below the 8th grade level.  (Alaska Department of Community and Regional Affairs) 
You can see that in addition to the need for the inspiration and companionship and positive support which KNOM provides, there is also a crying need for our educational programming, too. 

RESCUE ON THE ICE:  A  worker in Nome's state office building happened to look out the window toward the frozen Bering Sea.  With horror, she noticed a snowmobile crashing through the ocean ice, and after it did, the driver reaching into the water to pick up a bundle.  It was a baby! 

The assistant district attorney ran downstairs and waded through waist-deep sub-freezing sea water to the drenched man and baby, and carried the child near shore, so cold that he wasn't certain he could hang onto the infant, and so he tossed the baby about three feet to another rescuer on shore. 

Everyone was extremely cold, but thankfully, okay. 

Please consider adding missions like KNOM to your will.  This final gift can help prosper mission work many years into the future.  May God bless you! 


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: We have some space this month to answer questions which our benefactors ask most frequently. 
  • Can I pick up KNOM?   Yes, but only if you live in Western Alaska.  KNOM broadcasts at 780 on the AM band.  Even at 25,000 Watts, we will probably never be heard in the Lower 48.  We do, however, receive about a dozen reports a year from radio hobbyists in Scandinavia, Japan and New Zealand. 
  • Why don't you put your signal on the Internet?  While it would be of curious interest to our donors, our award-winning programming is tailored specifically to western Alaska villages, and we think that the huge expense of placing it on the Internet can't be justified.  We may add a few short "real audio" spots to our web page, and we're looking toward creating another sample cassette. 
  • How much of my gift goes to the actual work of KNOM?   85.8% of KNOM's income goes directly to the KNOM radio program.  Most of our fundraising expenses involve attracting new contributors, to replace the approximate 15% of our benefactors who leave us each year.   (This attrition rate is about average for Catholic charities.)  This coming year, we expect to spend a larger amount, about 20% on fundraising, in an effort to build a slightly larger base of support. Incidentally, KNOM does not have a single fulltime fundraiser on staff.  We're all devoted to extensive radio work, and none of us has a secretary.  We also all share janitorial duties! 
  • How much does it cost to send me the Nome Static?   $3.73 a year.  We are happy to send it to anyone who is interested, regardless of the ability to give.  We do, however, request prayers for our work. 
  • Why do you keep sending me envelopes?  We've found that overall, they more than pay for themselves.  Since we're so small, it's impossible to send envelopes to some folks and not to others. 
  • Wouldn't smaller envelopes be cheaper?  Yes, but only slightly.  We purchase standard size envelopes and utilize inexpensive rubber-plate printing. You'll notice that except for our stationery, almost everything we do is on recycled paper. 
  • Does my stamp really help?  You bet.  We are happy to provide free postage for benefactors, but if you do happen to add a stamp to the envelope, the Post Office reimburses us for the postage. 
  • Can I visit your mission?  We would be delighted.  In 1997, ten of our benefactors visited.  As you know, the air fare is extremely expensive, as is the cost of living in Nome, which is about 60% greater than Seattle or Anchorage.  If we have enough notice and there's room in the volunteer dorm, we'd be happy to provide housing for a few days.  If we don't have room, we can help you make accommodations elsewhere.  Many of our visitors wind up as voices on our inspirational spots! 

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT Sometimes it seems like You are so far away, Lord.  Is it I who has created this distance between us?  Help me to love You back into my daily schedule and once again open my heart to Your Presence.

top  KNOM is the product of many dedicated hands and many dedicated hearts, and is funded day-to-day entirely by individual contributions by good people like you. 

As 1998 begins, we repeat our heartfelt thanks .  Our mission would not exist without you. 
Along with our thanks, we offer our prayers, and we repeat our request for yours, for safety, and for guidance in programming, that we may most lovingly and effectively serve Eskimo and Indian villagers throughout 100,000 square miles of bush Alaska, and into Russia, too. 

May God be with each one of you this coming year!


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