Transmission 472     February 2005

In this issue:





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Dear Friend of KNOM,

What is noticeable this time of year is the increase in light. 

You can imagine how delighted we are to see the sun peek above the ocean ice a few hours before noon and to enjoy its light into the late afternoon. 

We thank you for the light which you help us beam 24 hours a day, every day of the year. 

Your support provides inspiration, education, companionship and encouragement into thousands of Eskimo and Indian homes in far-flung villages throughout western Alaska. 

Thank you for your financial help, and especially for your prayers. 


NEW AND IMPROVED (left):  Volunteer news reporter Katie Ringenbach manufactures a chore chart.

KNOM doesn’t have a custodian, and the staff share cleaning duties, everything from vacuuming floors to swabbing the bathrooms.

Over the years, the station has used printed lists, and Katie’s idea, from her mom, is to create a rotating one.


TRAVELS:  As usual, KNOM’ers have been on the go.  In January, public affairs director Amy Flaherty flew 164 miles southwest to Savoonga for a quickly-organized conference addressing a large number of suicide attempts by village children.  (See Amy’s report on page three.)

Meanwhile, volunteer Anna Dummer headed 525 miles north to cover a happier “local” story, a regional youth basketball tournament, while volunteer Liz Recchia stayed relatively close to home, flying 61 miles northeast to White Mountain for the opening of a new learning center.  

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  Hallowed be Thy Name, not mine.  Thy kingdom come, not mine.  Thy Will be done, not mine.


INSPIRATIONAL SPOT Can you feel God’s encouragement?  Can you sense in creation or in the presence of loved ones, or just in your heart, that your Creator knows you and approves of you?



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“WIRE” WE DOING THIS?  (left)  KNOM volunteer Anna Dummer connects a punch block inside the cabinetry beneath the Studio C mixing console.

Tom Busch was rewiring the studio, and Anna offered to help out in spots like this one that are the most difficult to get to.


THIRTY YEARS AGO:  Nearly bare of snow for the first four months of winter, February 1975 brought Nome plenty of the white stuff, with drifts entirely covering smaller homes.


KEEPING THE FAITH ALIVE:  Nome’s St. Joseph parish has seven lay presiders who conduct Eucharistic services when a priest is not available. 

Four of those seven serve on the KNOM staff:  Lynette Schmidt, Paul Korchin, and Tom and Florence Busch.


TO THE GOOD PERSON who left a “Nome Static” at St. Matthias Catholic Church in Magnolia, Texas, thank you!  You have brought KNOM a new contributor!


WILLFULLY:  For many of us, our final gifts will be the largest we are able to make throughout our lifetimes. 

At KNOM, we prayerfully place all gifts from wills into accounts that are used for major improvements and for meeting future emergencies. 

Please consider adding KNOM to your will.  Many of the KNOM staff have done so. 



The amount of light we receive doesn’t depend on the voltage in the lines.  Usually, it’s the size of the bulb we use that makes the difference. 

God has given us unlimited power through His Son.  But we cannot give His Light to the world through small bulbs. 

Without charity, without adequate time for worship, without a dedication to service, we have no right to expect great results. 

We are the light of the world!  Do we expect God to give us the light to illuminate the earth, but we’ve only plugged a 15-watt bulb into His power line?


INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  Because God loves you, you never stand alone.  You can go beyond yourself.  You can ask forgiveness of those you’ve hurt.  You can care for the weak.  You have the power to touch hearts with compassion.  The power of God’s Love lies within you.


INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  A voyage of discovery involves not seeking new landscapes, but seeing with new eyes.




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HEALING:  A rash of suicide attempts by children in the St. Lawrence island village of Savoonga drove home to many of its seven hundred residents that crippling problems pervade their community, problems which left unaddressed, could prove fatal. 

In January, KNOM’s Amy Flaherty (left) flew to the isolated village to spread word about a three day wellness conference organized by Colleen “Yaari” Kingeekuk.  Colleen is a social worker and mother of six who was born in Savoonga and now lives in Anchorage.  When she heard about these sobering calls for attention, she flew home.  Having an excellent rapport with junior and high school students, she put together an agenda designed to bring their concerns to light. 

Amy talks about this remarkable event:

 “I was shocked to hear what the young people had to say.  Where do you begin when you feel that all hope is gone, that dejection and boredom are crushing your youthful ambitions, that your parents would rather go to Bingo or go off by themselves and drink illegally rather than spend time with you?  That your will to live is being eaten away by waves of depression? 

“What most impressed me was the break-through in communication, the beginning of dialog to address problems that before this, no one talked about.  Or perhaps, nobody had a handle on.  Or were unwilling to admit that they existed.  Simply opening to these community wide concerns and trying to come up with answers demonstrated to me, an outsider, how much strength and courage it takes to face a wide range of problems and make the act of will to effect positive change. 

“The gathering addressed alcoholism, statutory rape, suicide prevention, child abuse and neglect, and drug use.  (Every child could name someone they knew who had overdosed.)  It also featured positive elements, interactive sessions with speakers who are role models of wellness.  Village elders pleaded in St. Lawrence Island Yupik for the kids to remember spirituality and love during difficult times.   

“Listening to young people talk about things so heart wrenching and crucial and heavy for three days, I was amazed at the outpouring of hospitality and smiles for KNOM’s presence. 

“Knowing KNOM’s purpose was to spread the word of a village actively trying to heal, I was told that my attendance lent additional emphasis and importance to the voices of Savoonga’s youth.  One young man told me he wished the conference could start over so he could relive it again, and then he smiled, shook my hand, and ran off.”

Thank you for helping our mission magnify efforts to improve the lives of people of our region.


TRIAL:  It is possibly western Alaska’s most controversial trial in a half-century.  In August 2003, a 19-year-old Eskimo woman was cold-bloodedly murdered.  Accused in the death is a Caucasian man who was a Nome police officer at the time, and the case has polarized western Alaska in several directions.

KNOM’s news department has produced over one hundred news stories concerning the case, and Superior Court Judge Ben Esch has granted news director Paul Korchin a front-row seat in the courtroom, so that he can provide detailed and accurate daily reports over the air.  The trial, which is expected to last two months, began January 18th.  With Paul occupied by the trial every day, the rest of the staff are each pulling a little extra weight.


KILO-WHAT?  For years, we’ve quietly planned to increase the power of KNOM-FM, which provides our signal in high fidelity stereo to Nome, from 90 watts to 1,000 Watts.  In January, electrician Roger Augdahl beefed up the wiring to the engineering room to allow for the increase.

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  Love sees through a telescope, not a microscope.

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FIFTY YEARS:  At a small celebration after the KNOM radio Mass January 9th, Sister Odette Beurrier cuts the cake, marking fifty years as a Little Sister of Jesus.

She was born in eastern France, joined the order and professed her vows in 1954.  In 1956, Little Sister Odette was stationed in Nome.  Except for serving two stints on Little Diomede Island,  she devoted the next forty-eight years to quiet, prayerful ministry, living among the poor of Nome.   She has been a helpful, spiritual influence on KNOM’ers for thirty-eight of those years.

While the Little Sisters are not affiliated with KNOM, they are a strong, positive Catholic presence here.  They are good friends of KNOM.  We know that many former volunteers remember her fondly, and we could not let this occasion go by without note.


IN PROFILE:  In January, KNOM’s daily “Profile” interview program addressed the Savoonga wellness conference, mercury in native foods, village economics, Nome’s museum, the arts, tourism and wise parenting, plus many other topics.  Thank you for making these important discussions possible.


We close, as always, with prayers of thanks for your goodness to our radio mission.  You are our greatest strength, for without you, our work would end swiftly.

Please stay with us in the months ahead.  May Our Heavenly Father reward you greatly!


INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  There is nothing as strong as gentleness, or as gentle as true strength.

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