Transmission 409:  April 2000

In this issue:


Dear Friend of KNOM,

Happy springtime!  As we write this, the temperature is unusually warm, almost up to the freezing mark, and we are enjoying this rare April warmth.

As you know, western Alaska weather can change in the blink of an eye.  We keep in mind that the thermometer can read -20° in the middle of April, and we can’t be guaranteed a temperature above +20° until early June.

And so, whether we tough out the end of winter, or enjoy it, remains to be seen!

One thing is for sure.  Your prayers and your contributions are what keep our mission healthy and vital and popular among the many Eskimo, Athapascan Indian and Aleut villages we reach.  Thank you for your faithful support.

CAN’T WAIT!  At Anchorage, dogs in Iditarod teams are so eager to hit the trail that they’re leaping and barking with excitement. 

As you may have read, a total of 68 sled dog teams completed the 1,150-mile Iditarod Race this year. 

Lincoln, Montana musher Doug Swingley won his second Iditarod in a row, crossing the finish line with dogs that looked as though they were ready for another thousand miles.

As in the past, KNOM enhanced our air signal with hourly race updates 16 hours a day, with full-length trail interviews every hour of the day for almost two weeks.

After Swingley’s win, it took over seven days for all of the teams to make it to  Nome, and except for two, who mushed into town during the awards ceremony, we broadcast every finisher’s arrival live, around the clock.  Whew!

Why do we cover a dog race?  It attracts even more listeners than the 94% of villagers we normally enjoy, bringing programs we broadcast into even more homes.  As an interesting, positive event, it also helps to divert people briefly from their troubles.

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  Even when he reveals himself, God remains a mystery beyond words:  “If you understood him, it would not be God.”  (St. Augustine)
         - Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994


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WELCOME BACK to program director Ric Schmidt, whom the Alaska Broadcasters Association flew to Washington, DC to confer with the state’s congressional delegation on Alaskan radio and television issues.  Ric returned just as KNOM was “going to the dogs.”

WILL YOU LOOK AT THAT!  (left)  Ric and Lynette Schmidt’s youngest, Rosa, delights to visit with Connie and John Albers’ first born, William John.   KNOM’s office assistant, Connie spends
most of her time at home on maternity break.

Still, a few hours a week, you’ll find Connie in the upstairs office, with little William sound asleep in his carrier.

PLENTY OF HAM:  Congratulations to KNOM inspiration director Lynette Schmidt, who passed the examinations and is now a licensed amateur radio operator, KLØWC. 

Fully one-half of the KNOM staff are licensed hams, and a couple more are studying for the tests!

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:       A  letter would be the next best thing to the sight of your face and the touch of your hand. 
      Please write.


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 top is KNOM’s WEB SITE, where you’ll find this Nome Static, plus past issues, a KNOM bibliography, a list of awards, information for prospective volunteers, and over a hundred photos.  If you’d like to e-mail us:

    General manager Tom Busch:
    Program director Ric Schmidt:
    News director Paul Korchin:

PINNING US DOWN:  There are 119 pins in the KNOM coverage map, marking remote Alaskan villages and fish camps where we are regularly heard.  Although we occasionally reach  farther, our most distant daily listeners (some of whom can hear us only at night) are 280 miles to the north, 600 miles to the south and about 700 miles to the east.  To the west into Russia¾who knows?  Though some years ago we heard from a listener about 1,000 miles inland.

Throughout this vast territory, we beam the Holy Mass, daily Rosary, and hours of inspiration and news and education and companionship, thanks to you. 

Please consider adding Alaska Radio Mission ¾ Station KNOM to your will. 

All bequests are applied to long-range improvements or to emergency savings, to keep our mission strong into the future.

GET TOGETHER:  (left)  Women from the village of Stebbins pose for KNOM’s Victoria Pasquantonio during the “2000 Bering Strait Elders/ Youth Conference.”

Seniors and teens flew to Nome from 20 villages to discuss how to improve their communities, how to battle alcohol and drugs, and how to revive traditional festivals.

For the thousands at home, KNOM broadcast over 17 hours of the gathering.

The Yup’ik village of Stebbins is located on the Yukon River delta about 120 miles southeast of Nome.  The KNOM signal booms in.

Reported in 1898 with the name “Atroik” or “Atowak,” Stebbins was probably named for Stephens Passage, which separates the village from Stuart Island.

The village’s 524 souls live in 86 homes.  They actively work to preserve their native culture, and their lives are still largely based upon hunting and fishing.

On the dinner table, you’re likely to find a variety of foods, such as seal, salmon, walrus, flounder, herring, beluga whale, smelt, wildfowl, ptarmigan (TARR-mih-gun, a small arctic grouse), rabbit, and tundra berries.


INSPIRATIONAL SPOT: Let everything be natural in you and let it come from the Holy Spirit.

Now everything which flows from this Spirit is gentle, mild, modest and humble.

Strength and mildness, that is the divine action:  it is also a summary of all apostolic activity.

                            - Francis Libermann


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OUR PROMISE SINCE 1966:  We continue to promise that out of respect for your privacy, we will never sell, rent, trade or give your name and address to anyone. 

Thank you for your kindness to the people we serve.

ONCE AGAIN, WE’VE BEEN RAAB’ED!  (left)  What would we do without the keen and experienced help of Linda Raab?

From Portland, Linda was a KNOM volunteer in 1985-86.  Every year since then, except once (because of a near-fatal car  crash), Linda has traveled to Nome to help the mission during the Iditarod Race.

Here, Linda draws a “heads-up” display on the Studio A window, to give announcers a quick reference to the 1,150-mile Iditarod trail route.

Linda’s crayon points to an incredibly remote spot which Iditarod pilots nicknamed “Wolf Kill,” due to evidence of many moose killed by wolves, which are abundant in the area.

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  If you say all you know, you usually say more than you know.
If you tell all you hear, you usually say more than you hear.
If you spend all you have, you usually spend more than you can afford.
But if you give to God, give all you can, because God will make what you give bigger.

top THE VOTE IS IN:  Thank you to our many friends who voiced opinions on our mission increasing our night-time power to 25,000 Watts.  Almost everyone agreed that it was a good idea, though some cautioned against the increased expense.  We reported last month that the vote was running 5-to-1 in favor, and that a number of supporters pledged to make it financially possible. 
Next month, we will begin pursuing the possibility, and we’ll report back on our progress in June or July.  Thank you again!
BALMY:  The week of the Iditarod finish, the temperature reached +34° that’s 18° warmer than normal!  Tom Busch remarked that it was the first time in 26 years that he covered the Iditarod finish line for three days without wearing a hat.  Often, it was too warm for gloves.
The sled dogs prefer temperatures closer to zero, but you didn’t hear any complaints from the KNOM crew!

THANK YOU AGAIN for your prayers and for your financial help.   Our mission is strong and active, and that is because of your faithful support.

We continue to keep you in our prayers.  May you enjoy the peace and joy that only comes from the Lord, and may He greatly bless you.

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT: To have what we want is riches, but to be able to do without is power

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