Transmission 438:   July 2002

In this issue:

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Dear Friend of KNOM,

By the time you read this, we’ll be in the “dog days” of summer.  While Nome can see temperatures in the 80’s this month, we can also experience frost.  More often than not, the July thermometer remains between about +45° and +55°.

Whatever our brief summer has to offer, we sincerely thank you once again for your faithful prayers and support for our work.  You are the backbone of our mission.  Thank you!

THAT'S A SWITCH!  Welcome to new KNOM volunteer Amy Flaherty (left), at work at the Studio A console.

Amy’s  from Cottage Grove, MN, and is a 2002 graduate of the College of St. Benedict.

After seven days of training, Amy did a great job announcing the KNOM morning show on June 13th, her 22nd birthday.

NEW BISHOP:  It was the biggest news in many months.

On June 7th, the Vatican announced the appointment of our new bishop!  He is Msgr. Donald Kettler (left), of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  In addition to offering the diocese’s weekly television Mass, Father Kettler serves on numerous committees and boards.

Following a press conference in Fairbanks, he spoke with KNOM listeners via long-distance telephone. 

57 years old, Bishop-elect Kettler has been a longtime resident of Sioux Falls, SD.  When his appointment was announced, he was pastor of the city’s Christ the King parish.

He is a member of the Sioux Falls Diocesan Finance Council, Stewardship Committee, Catholic Family Services Board of Directors, and is a board member of the Sioux Falls Catholic School System.

While South Dakota is far from Alaska, he noted to KNOM listeners that the Sioux Falls diocese is rural, and 300 miles wide

As you know, our diocese has been without a bishop, and our radio mission without an owner, since the death of Bishop Mike Kaniecki, SJ in August 2000.  The June 7th announcement was sudden, and greeted with great joy.

Bishop-elect Kettler plans to return to the Fairbanks diocese in July, and while not scheduled, his ordination is expected to take place in August. 

KNOM is owned by the Diocese of Fairbanks.  Following his ordination, Bishop Kettler will be KNOM general manager Tom Busch’s direct superior, as were Bishop Robert Whelan, SJ and Bishop Michael Kaniecki, SJ before him.

We warmly welcome him.  Please join us in prayer for his success as our new bishop.

The oldest Catholic radio station in the United States -- thanks to you.

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  If something is important to us, we should feel free to pray about it.  God does not keep a list of acceptable topics.




THE “ROE-D” TO ROMANCE:  Arctic Grayling are cousins of trout.  Once plentiful in parts of the Lower 48, they were over-fished, and today, are primarily found in the clear streams of northern Canada, Russia and Alaska.  Typically, they grow to about three pounds.

In mid-June, the grayling spawn in major streams near Nome, and the males vigorously compete with each other for the attentions of a female.  For a few days, you can watch dorsal fins bob above the surface as the males circle in the water and then dart downward to attack rivals.  It’s an amazing arctic sight, like watching miniature sharks.

FUTURE VOLUNTEER:  In June, KNOM’er Connie Albers delivered a beautiful and healthy baby girl named Josephine.  Connie, who has worked in our upstairs office for the past three years, is considering taking a few years off to raise Josephine, and 2-year-old son William.  Connie and husband John met in Nome;  both came here as KNOM volunteers.

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  There are times when God sends thunder to stir us.  Sometimes, God sends blessings to lure us.  At other times, God sends nothing but silence, and honors us with the freedom to choose.
     There are many things in our lives over which we have no choice:  our looks, our intelligence, our family.
    God’s gift of free will allows us to choose where we will spend eternity.


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JUST PASSING THROUGH:  (left)  In June, we were delighted to meet KNOM supporter Jeanne Heber, who hails from Little Valley, New York, near Buffalo.

Jeanne holds the distinction of being one of the first Jesuit volunteers in Nome, back in 1961, when she lived at St. Joseph Parish and worked as a kindergarten teacher.

At the time, she worked for a court, and was looking for a change of scenery.  She got it!

Following her year in Nome, she taught at one of the Jesuits’ boarding schools for village students, Copper Valley School, before returning to the Lower 48.

(Long closed, Copper Valley was located near Glennallen, about 600 miles southeast of Nome.)

While Nome has changed almost completely in forty years, Jeanne noted a few familiar buildings, a few familiar people, and she shared many memories with KNOM-ers who remembered many of the people she had known.

Among them was the late Bishop Michael Kaniecki, SJ, whom both she and Florence Busch had known when he was studying for the priesthood.

BARGE IN:  June brought Nome the largest supply barge from Seattle in years, carrying over 400 container vans of freight, building material, groceries and other supplies.  A few items fell overboard in rough weather out in the Bering Sea, but almost everything made it safe and sound. 

FOR THE BIRDS:  June brings hundreds of birdwatchers to Nome.  Among our “stars” is the bristle-thighed curlew, which is found only in the central Seward Peninsula, along Alaska’s Andreafsky River 175 miles south of here, and during our winters, on a couple of South Pacific atolls. 

Some particularly dedicated (and wealthy) birders have been known to arrive on the morning jet, drive the 80-mile dirt road into the interior, walk a mile or two of tundra to spot the curlew, and return to Anchorage on the evening plane.

          Please remember missions like KNOM in your will.  All bequests are deposited in accounts that will be used only for future major improvements and for future unforeseen emergencies. 

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  Don’t look for miracles.  You are a miracle.

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  Being at peace with yourself is the direct result of being at peace with God.



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THIRTY YEARS AGO:  July 14, 1972, KNOM celebrated its first birthday quietly.  The month brought two weeks of unusual +70° warmth, and several volunteers cooled off by swimming in the Bering Sea.

MAKING WAVES: (left)  KNOM volunteer news reporter John Hall demonstrates the station’s new computer system in Studio C.

At left is the “on the air” screen which controls our signal 24 hours a day.

On the right is a digital editor.  The waveform in the middle of the screen is audio of the first inspirational spot in this newsletter.

(Left)  The two-screen system in each studio allows an operator to call up a list of songs, or, here, a list of spots, on one screen while working on the other

SERIOUS BUSINESS:  Like you, we are shocked by the continuing news of child sexual abuse linked to the Catholic Church.

We want you to know that at KNOM, we strictly follow a 28-page sexual misconduct policy established by the Diocese of Fairbanks in September 1993.  According to this policy, all staff are instructed how to maintain proper relationships and avoid situations that can lead to sexual misconduct.  Everyone is taught to report misconduct should it occur, to both church and civilian authorities.  Everyone is given the phone numbers by which to do so.

Permanent staff receive two intensive days of training; volunteers are given a one-hour seminar together with written information.

“I’ve had full responsibility for KNOM for fourteen years, almost half of the mission’s history,” general manager Tom Busch says,  “and throughout that time, we have been careful and diligent to protect against misconduct of this type.  I’m not aware of a single incident.”

"DOING A ONE-EIGHTY:" (left)  One evening last month, general manager Tom Busch, himself a broadcast engineer, helped KNOM engineer Les Brown install some equipment at the station's remote transmitter building.

Just for fun, Tom stood against the south wall of the building and photographed a 180-degree panorama of the inside of the building.  At left, you see Les' work bench, with the transmitter at left center.  To the right of the window (it was still daylight at 10:30 PM), is a National Weather Service transmitter (we rent them space), and two KNOM equipment racks.  At right are the building's cooling fans and storage.

Once more, we thank you for your kindness to our work.  As you know, our only income is from individual gifts from good people like you.  You make our mission’s signal possible, 24 hours each day, filled with inspiration, education, news, positive entertainment and companionship.

We have received more major awards than any individual radio station in the United States, but our best awards are the loyalty of our vast audience, and your friendship and support.  We continue to pray for you.  May God bless you specially. 

 INSPIRATIONAL SPOT: Even when I have a right to be angry, I don’t have the right to be cruel.

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