Lifestyle

Turn up the music: Friday Harbor tinyRadio hits the airwaves

San Juan Island
San Juan Island's Ken Norris recently received a business license and Friday Harbor tinyRadio — 1650 on your AM dial — is already on the air.
— image credit: www.fhtinyradio.com

Friday Harbor has its own radio station.

Seriously.

San Juan Island's Ken Norris recently received a business license and Friday Harbor tinyRadio — 1650 on your AM dial — is already on the air.

So what is Friday Harbor tinyRadio? Techies might recognize it as an FCC Part 15 low-power AM community micro-station and Internet radio. For the rest of us, it's an AM station that despite a limited broadcast range will offer programming that features local musicians, weather, sports, ferry reports, special events and entertainment.

Norris, a taxi driver by day, expects tinyRadio will create a wave. The station's grand opening is Saturday, noon to 4 p.m., at Surina Business Park, 50 Malcom St.

Along with the music of local groups and artists — the backbone of the station's programming — tinyRadio offers NOAA marine weather reports from midnight to 11:30 a.m., gospel on Sundays; Twilight Radio dramas, Sundays at 9 p.m.; classical and eclectic music Monday afternoons, and back-to-back Sherlock Holmes mysteries on Mondays, 9 p.m.

According to Norris, Radio Free Olga, based on Orcas Island, will contribute some amount of programming. And tinyRadio will not shy away from local issues. Friday Harbor Town Administrator King Fitch has agreed to an on-air interview on the topic of the town's unique growth issues.

Visit the station's website to view the entertainment schedule and program updates.

Meanwhile, efforts continue to raise money for KSJU 91.9 FM, a 100-watt non-commercial radio station designed to bring "entertainment, news, knowledge and awareness to the residents of San Juan Island." KSJU — proposed by Michael and Jody Calhoun and a board of directors — has an FCC license and is raising money for equipment.

In a letter posted July 27 on SanJuanJournal.com, KSJU board member Jacki Altier Roth wrote, "Why do we need a radio station in Friday Harbor? Well, we need one for emergency alerts (tsunamis, happen, you know), we need one for our intellect (dynamic and informative programming), we need one for our souls (music of all genres — classical, jazz, western, etc.), we need one for continued pride in our community (interviews with some of our exciting and interesting neighbors who have fabulous stories to share), we need one for our imagination (original plays, poetry readings, create our own soap operas), we need one for current events of interest to everyone.

"Radio becomes a delicious addiction, wouldn't it be wonderful to have our own 'Prairie Home Companion'?"

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