Either tune in or miss out, because Sequim's own radio station has started transmitting on its FCC-approved FM spot.
For now the transmissions are only music and station identification spots as KSQM engineers and organizers fine-tune their transmitters. Once things are completed on the ground, the content being transmitted through the air will have a much greater variety.
"We can see an end point. But in our case that means we have one last mountain to climb before we will be a fully functional community radio station," said Sequim Community Broadcasting board member Keith Burfitt, standing near what will be the broadcast booth in the station's new studio on the 500 block of West Washington Street.
The transmitter site, about four miles west of Sequim, is complete but the studio still is under construction. Walls are framed but require insulation and drywall. Some furniture is in place, but more is needed.
"As we get closer to completion and as the economic situation sours nationally, we are realizing we need some help," said board member Rick Perry. "We have everything paid for that we need to run the station but not quite enough to pay for some of the studio's remodel construction."
Perry, Burfitt and third board member Lynda Perry, who is not related to Rick, are seeking cash, computer and office equipment donations in the final weeks before KSQM begins to deliver locally driven programming.
The start date for broadcasts has not been identified as it's contingent on the studio's completion.
Rick Perry has put in more than $100,000 to get the station up and running.
"We will be looking into ways to make that up, as we cannot run commercials per se," he said, indicating the station can use a "brought to you by" advertisement. "But really, the payoff will be seeing a Sequim community station that can stand on its own."
The board will continue to seek funding sources including grants and tax deductible donations and hopes some annual fundraising efforts will help make the station financially sound year after year.
"Really, the big expenses were to get things started," Rick Perry said. "I have no doubt this station will stand on its own and will have the support of this entire community once it is running. It's the people here that will form this station and its content and keep it alive for years to come."
The station is forming a citizens advisory committee to review content suggestions, organize volunteers and make recommendations to the board for improvements or changes in direction.
"These are the things that make a station like this a community station instead of a commercial one," Perry said. "We've already had a tremendous response from people in the area and we are not even
fully operational yet."
Initial plans have KSQM content consisting of 1940s, '50s and '60s genre music, local news and updates, radio drama, emergency situation notifications and other community programming such as area gardening or history programs. The station would broadcast in stereo sound 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The station will be operated and maintained by volunteers, many of whom already are signed up and waiting for the project's completion.
"We can always use more volunteers," Burfitt said, indicating there is plenty to do to for the station's success, including organizing a fundraiser to get over the last hump before KSQM hits full broadcast.
"We really want everything up and running before the winter really hits, that way we can give updated advisories for people in the community and be prepared to give updates on the pending Hood Canal bridge closure."
Burfitt, Rick Perry and Johan Van Nimwegen explored the idea of forming a Sequim station years ago, guided by their perception that safety and emergency response information needed to be readily available for Sequim. They found the FCC was beginning to take applications for new frequency allocations, a rare event.
The three jumped at the opportunity and formed what is now Sequim Community Broadcasting. Lynda Perry succeeded Van Nimwegen because he had to step down to concentrate on other activities.
KSQM, Sequim's new community radio station, is testing its frequencies throughout the area on its FCC-approved 91.5 FM station. To let organizers know how reception is in your neighborhood, send a note to SCBRadio@olypen.com or P.O. Box 723, Sequim, WA 98382.
Sequim Community Broadcasting needs support. Volunteers and donors can contact organizers at SCBRadio@olypen.com or P.O. Box 723, Sequim, WA 98382.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phone 360-683-3311, or toll free at 800-829-5810. FAX 360-683-6670.
For a complete company directory with contact information please click HERE.