Transmission 476    June 2005

In this issue:






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Dear Friend of KNOM,

Thank you very, very much for your help and for your prayers this past month.  We cannot fully express how deeply grateful we are for your helping to keep our radio mission alive.

By the time you receive this, we will be seeing our first green leaves of the season, which typically come to life in the second and third week of June.  Those plants ¾ as do the remote people of our region ¾ need to work fast, as the first winter frost is almost certain to come in mid-August.

As you’ll see, there is much news, and a lot of work and positive improvements ahead for this outpost radio station upon which so many rely. 

May God greatly bless you for your kindness to the far-flung villagers whom we serve!


CRYSTAL CLEAR: (left)  In the center, general manager Ric Schmidt holds KNOM’s Crystal Award for Excellence in Local Achievement from the National Association of Broadcasters.  At left, NAB president/CEO Eddie Fritts and right, NAB radio board chair Bruce Reese look on.

Before an audience of a thousand, Ric accepted KNOM’s honor in Las Vegas.  He noted KNOM’s many contributors.  “We stand on many shoulders,” he said.

This is the fourth time that KNOM has received this high accolade.  And we are in heady company.  Among the other nine stations receiving Crystals this year were KOIT-FM San Francisco, KBBX-FM Omaha, WTMX-FM Chicago, KLOS-FM Los Angeles and WTOP-AM Washington, DC.

The greatest honor, of course, is the appreciation of our western Alaska audience, and the loyalty and kindness of good people like you.  Thank you!


Please consider adding missions like KNOM to your will.  We prayerfully place all bequests into funds that will be used only for major improvements or for emergencies.  Thank you!

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:  Hope is putting Faith to work when doubting would be easier.



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BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO: (left)  On a May afternoon, KNOM volunteer Liz Recchia checks out the Bering Sea, frozen now for six months.

From Chesterton, Indiana, Liz has signed up for a second volunteer year, as music director.  Thanks, Liz!

At Nome, the ice often breaks up by late May, although it has been known to stick around until the end of June.

This year, the shore ice broke off to sea relatively early on May 18th.


GAS PAINS:  No one is saying for sure, but word has it that gasoline on the June spring barge might retail for $4.06 a gallon, and fuel oil won’t be much less.


CRASH:  We doubt that our listeners could tell, but we suffered a debilitating failure of our studio computers recently.  Behind the scenes, Ric Schmidt worked two days and nights without sleep to keep things going.

     It was a tough month.  At the age of eight, our newsroom Associated Press computer gave up the ghost.  And the volunteer house refrigerator quit working.

     Repairs and replacements cost around $5,000.  Ouch!


A FRIEND WITH AN EMMY:  Alaska broadcast pioneer Augie Hiebert will receive a lifetime achievement Emmy Award in Seattle on June 25th.  Among Augie’s achievements was the ground work for KNOM’s first application to the FCC in 1968.  Congratulations, cherished friend!


“GLOP”:  That’s the sound every footstep makes in Nome when the snow melts and the dirt streets turn to mud.  At night it freezes, but during the day, our deep, deep potholes are filled with goop the consistency of pudding.  “Enjoy it while you can,” the old timers say, as next month, the air will be filled with gritty, silty dust.


KNOM is the oldest Catholic station in the Unites States, continuing to work hard ¾ thanks to you.



INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:   Does someone in your life aggravate you?  Does one of their habits frequently irritate you?  Has a friend recently put you down?  Does someone you know wish you harm?

Jesus said an amazing thing:  Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Great and wonderful things happen when you do.

It’s impossible to feel anger toward someone you’re praying for.  God will improve your attitude and intensify your forgiveness.


INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:   God, when I am willing to follow You, I discover a whole new world of wonder to explore.

With faith, new life opens.  Assurance replaces regret.  Joy overcomes sorrow.

With loving power, You create life.  My heart soars with appreciation when I consider that I am needed in Your creation.

When I follow You, I know that I will discover even more of the glory and wonder You create.



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MEASURING UP:  (left)  Financial officer and maintenance engineer Tom Busch checks the AM transmitter building, to see how it can be rearranged to fit a 50,000 Watt transmitter. 

Tom was in Nome on his first trip from Anchorage after stepping down as KNOM’s general manager.

KNOM is applying for 50,000 Watts, to double the station’s daytime power. 

Consulting engineer Jack Mullaney expects that the FCC will grant a construction permit in August.  We expect delivery of the new transmitter in October.    

While a new transmitter is a large capital expense, it will lower future operating costs. 

That’s because a stronger signal should allow us to feed several of our village translators with AM receivers, rather than with satellite circuits, which are expensive.

The equipment rack next to Tom will be moved about four inches to the right, and the center ones moved elsewhere in the building to accommodate the new transmitter.

This project is made possible by major gifts given by wills to the mission over the past ten years.  We keep in mind the great trust which these wonderful benefactors bestowed on us.

May 17th, Tom also installed a 1,000-Watt transmitter for KNOM’s FM station, increasing power from the tiny 88 Watts it had been since 1993.  We’ll have a photo next month.


TRAGEDY:  Public affairs director Amy Flaherty was preparing a call-in program on the subject of search and rescue.  Listeners had requested we discuss the topic, due to a large number of search missions this year.

A day before the show, tragedy struck the village of Gambell.  (197 miles from Nome, and only 35 from the Russian mainland, Gambell is in the heart of KNOM listening country.) 

Early that morning, a boat was swamped by 8-foot seas during a whale hunt.  A 20-year-old man died, and three villagers were lost at sea, the village’s mayor and two 11-year-old children.

“Villagers encouraged us to run the program as scheduled,” Amy says, “and people exchanged a lot of useful information.  Everyone offered sympathy and prayers for the village of Gambell.”


Did you know there's a photo index for every Nome Static picture since May 1997?  You'll find it here, and we hope you enjoy browsing through our archive of hundreds of images.

INSPIRATIONAL SPOT:   We go through life collecting bricks and steel bars of sin, hurt and doubt.  This world tells us that we’re free to collect these things, so long as we’re not hurting anyone.

But the reality is that these bricks and bars add up.  They build a prison cell around our soul, keeping us from others, keeping us from God. 

We can see great beauty beyond those walls with a surrender to the Peace of Christ.



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ON THE SPOT: (left)  Using a computer in Studio B, KNOM program director Kelly Brabec reviews an upcoming KNOM inspirational spot.  Its audio is represented by the squiggly line on the left-hand monitor.

Voiced by Bishop Donald Kettler, the spot reads:  “In our journey to heaven, going out of our way to help someone else is not considered a detour.  It may be the main road.”


THIRTY YEARS AGO:  In June 1975, KNOM volunteer nurses Colleen Marilley, Romey De Furia and Pat Wygant won first place in Nome’s Midnight Sun parade for “most original” float.  (Four nurses in operating gowns carried a “patient,” Pat, down the street on a stretcher, with overhead I.V. bottle and all.)

At that time, about 80% of KNOM’s operating expenses were met by the donated salaries of nurses who lived as volunteers and donated their entire salaries to the mission. 

Today, nearly 100% of our needs are met by the individual gifts of people like you.


ANSWERING A PAGE:  May and June have been considerably busier than we expected, and the new KNOM book, just about finished, is remaining on the shelf, unpublished, for a bit longer than we thought.  We hope to have news next month.  Please stay tuned!


IT’S FIXED!  May 10th and 11th, a crew finally made it to Nome and repaired the cable that had snapped high on our AM tower in March.  What a relief!  Thank you to everyone who sent an extra gift to help with the expense.  We have not received the bill yet, but expect that it will be approximately $10,000.


We cannot thank you enough for your prayers and your financial support for our work, as we provide quality, entertaining, inspirational and educational programming to serve families for hundreds and hundreds of miles throughout remote western Alaska. 

For some, we are the only link to the outside world. 

May God bless you abundantly!

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