In this issue:  Dear Friend of KNOM, 

 Itís been an eventful month.  As youíll read on page four, we came within a hairís breadth of a tower collapse!  Thank you to everyone who has been remembering us in prayer -- we fully expected to lose our tower that day. 
 So far this winter, weíve been bombarded by sheets of ice pellets, and the snowline has crept down the hills to sea level.  A few miles north, snow has drifted several feet deep, but on the coast, itís simply windy and cold, with wind chills many days dropping below zero. 
 As we brace for winter, we thank you once again for your continuing prayers and financial support.  We know that Our Lord will greatly reward you for your generosity.  Thank you!

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In October, we enjoyed a visit by KNOM spiritual director Fr. Mark Hoelsken, SJ (left). 

Father Mark is traveling pastor for the remote coastal villages of Nightmute, Newtok and Chefornak, about three hundred miles south of Nome. 

While in Nome, he visited with old friends (prior to entering the seminary, he was a KNOM volunteer for four years), and he conducted a spiritual retreat for the current crew of volunteers. 

We thank God for his work, his wonderful friendly nature, and his hearty laugh!



INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  Thank you, Lord, for my sink of dirty dishes.  They have a story to tell.  While others go hungry, weíre eating well.  This sink shows that God has been very good to us.




SUPER NEWS:  A very, very special thank-you to the Frost and Margaret Snyder Foundation, who have given our mission a grant of $20,000 to upgrade the computer system we use to control all of our audio.  What an incredible gift!  Stay tuned for photographs next month! 

KNOM beams Godís Love throughout western Alaska 24 hours a day, with inspirational and educational spots, daily Rosary, the Mass, information, news, entertainment and companionship. 

Our mission is to serve the vast regionís far-flung and isolated villages, to bring our listeners closer to God while helping to eliminate the many horrible problems endemic to the region:  alcoholism, home violence, poverty, suicide, and diseases like tuberculosis and hepatitis. 

Except for very occasional grants, our only source of income is individual contributions from good people like you.  Thank you for making our work possible!

Have you ever tried to hold the hand of an independent two-year-old and cross the street?  She fights, squirms and tries desperately to wiggle the hand free. 

Why is it that when times are toughest, we try to wiggle free of Godís hand and go on our own?  Thatís when God reaches out and holds our hand even tighter.

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Meet KNOM volunteer news reporter Jodi Engle (left).  From Long Prairie, MN, Jodi graduated this year from the College of St. Benedict. 

Jodi learned about the KNOM mission during her sophomore year, when she saw a letter posted at the schoolís career resource center.  Two years later, Jodi says, "Iíd been accepted by another volunteer program.  I know I would have been happy there, but it just didnít feel right.  I dug through all of my files" to find KNOMís address, and weíre glad she did! 

When sheís not working in the newsroom, Jodi enjoys baking "and sitting by the ocean," but her passion is for reading.  She leans toward serious literature, but enjoys "everything from childrenís books to Shakespeare." 

Jodi was a "quick study" in the newsroom, and we know you will join us in thanking God for bringing her to the mission this year.  Welcome, Jodi! 

BEARABLE NEWS:  In October, a grizzly bear and two of her youngsters were sighted behind Nomeís elementary school playground.  Thatís the first time anyone can remember a grizzly in town.  Fortunately, the bears wandered off, according to a KNOM cub reporter.

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  When you have finished your daily tasks, go to sleep in peace.  God is awake.


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25 YEARS AGO:  In November 1973, KNOMís staff of 17 full time volunteers included four registered nurses, who worked at Nomeís Maynard McDougal Memorial Hospital and donated their entire salaries, which accounted for 72% of the missionís income.  Former volunteers Pia Thompson, Scott Diseth and Tom Busch had planned to celebrate Thanksgiving in Nome, but a blizzard forced their jet to return to Anchorage.  Back in his then home town of Fairbanks, Tom found himself stuck with 20 gallons of fresh milk heíd been carrying for the volunteers as luggage. 

WILLFULLY:  Please consider adding missions like KNOM to your will.  God bless you! 

BIG SAVINGS:  In 1989, when we began raising funds for new buildings, we promised our benefactors that not only would they be much safer for our staff, they would also save money. 

The old studio was a frame house, the volunteer dormitories were deteriorating World War II "KD" (knockdown) structures, intended for temporary use almost fifty years earlier.  Many years, the costs of holding these buildings together exceeded $100,000! 

By 1991, your gifts had made a new dormitory possible, and in 1993, we moved into a new studio.  Unlike the old structures, both new super-insulated buildings were constructed by licensed contractors, and were designed to be as inexpensive to operate and as maintenance-free as possible. 

Recently, KNOM general manager Tom Busch dug into the records and examined our maintenance and utility expenses for 1993-1998 (our first full 5 years in the new buildings), and compared them with expenses for 1983-1988. 

To allow for inflation, he normalized all dollar amounts to 1997 dollars. 

The figures include all maintenance, fuel and utility expenses.  Here are the astonishing results: 

1983-1988 costs 
(old buildings)
1993-1998 costs
(new buildings) 
5-year total $533,297 $106,916
Avg. Year $106,659 $21,383
----------------------- ------------------ ---------------------
Total savings $426,381 ---------------------
Average savings $85,276/year ---------------------
The new buildings cost a total of $806,546 (normalized to 1997 dollars).  At this rate, their construction will pay for itself in a total of only 9-1/2 years!!! 

If youíd like a copy of Tomís spreadsheet, just drop him a line and heíll be happy to send it to you. 

LAST LEGS (left):  In this photo taken in 1989, you can see the old volunteer "Community House," a 1940 army "knockdown" building.  In the far background with a dish antenna on the roof, stood the old KNOM studio.  An old house, the studio had ceilings lower than seven feet, holes rotting in the floor, and was so poorly insulated that, while burning 4,500 gallons of fuel oil a year, many days, announcers wore insulated boots and parkas in the studios. 

The Community House was given to a local man for his effort in hauling it away, while the studio building was sold for what a realtor considered was fair market value:  $2,500.

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  We are not human beings having a spiritual experience...we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
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WHAT A GUY! (left):  It sure wasnít funny the day that something unknown caused our 230-foot antenna to detune, forcing the transmitter down to 6,000 Watts. 

It was even less funny the next morning, when Les Brown discovered with horror that one of our towerís guy wires had dropped! 

What happened?  An insulator that held the guy wire to the tower had burned through, allowing the guy to pull free.  It was the insulatorís smoldering that had changed the antenna the day before. 

As you know, the loss of a guy wire is very, very serious.   We must have had a few angels working for us that day.  Despite the weather forecast, which predicted what would have been a disasterous shift to the north, the wind continued to blow from the south - the exact direction that would keep the tower upright. 

Tower expert Rod Ewing arrived on the evening jet, bravely climbed to the 220-foot level and attached a temporary guy. 

It was not ten minutes later that the wind shifted north and intensified!  Whew! 

The insulator, which Les holds in the photo, was one of twelve that was scheduled for replacement next year.   (And have now all been replaced a year early!)

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  For mothers, feeding our children is automatic.  Even when our children are grown and living on their own, we still find great pleasure in feeding them when they visit.  Thereís always something to eat at Momís house. 

Godís the same.  He showered the Israelites with manna from heaven.  He turned a few loaves and a couple of fish into a feast for five thousand. 
Every time we celebrate the Eucharist, God invites us to eat, because thereís plenty for everyone.

top SAINTS FEATURED ON KNOM THIS MONTH include:  Josephat, Margaret and Nicholas, among the approximately 2,800 inspirational spots scheduled for broadcast during November. 

Recently, our village listeners heard a variety of interesting programs produced by volunteer Michael Warren on dozens of topics, including inhalant abuse, domestic violence, research into the 1918 influenza pandemic that wiped out entire native communities, village education, fish stocks, the Alaska treeline, remote communications and organ donation.  In Anchorage for the Alaska Federation of Natives convention, news director Paul Korchin kept listeners informed, and also produced fourteen interviews with Eskimo, Aleut and Athapaskan leaders from around the state. 

Itís you who keeps KNOMís award-winning signal on the air.  Thank you!


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