Sustainable Bainbridge hopes to bring a community FM radio station to the island. The nonprofit group plans to submit an application for a low-power broadcasting license in October.
Tonight, Sustainable Bainbridge is gathering ideas on how a radio station could serve the island and what types of programs islanders would like to hear. A meeting is scheduled for 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Waterfront Park Community Center.
You can find more information on the Sustainable Bainbridge website. Written comments and letters of support can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re interested in hearing your ideas as well. Please take our poll and or leave us a comment below.
Here’s an excerpt from our recent story on the group’s quest for a community radio station:
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — A nonprofit is hoping an FM station can become a cultural hub and an emergency information source for Bainbridge.
Sustainable Bainbridge plans to apply for one of about eight low-power FM radio licenses being offered by the Federal Communications Commission to nonprofit groups in the Puget Sound area. Roughly 1,000 new stations will be licensed to nonprofits this fall under the Local Community Radio Act. The two-week application period opens Oct. 15.
It’s a rare chance to grab one of the dwindling number of frequencies on the FM dial, said Barry Peters, a former Bainbridge councilman who is assisting Sustainable Bainbridge with the application process.
“It’s one of those once-in-a-decade or even once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for a community,” he said.
Peters said a radio station could fill two needs on Bainbridge. First, it could be a critical information source during an islandwide emergency. A transmitter powered by a generator would function even when electricity to the island was disrupted. The FM station could be used to broadcast safety advisories.
Low-power FM signals reach between 3 and 10 miles. Bainbridge happens to be about 10 miles long.
“We could cover an area just about exactly the size of the island,” Peters said.
Most of the time the channel would serve as a community radio station for the island. The station could air cultural programs and discussions.
“It’s an information and conversation point that can bring the community together,” he said.