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Free Radio Santa Cruz 96.3 FM Visited by FCC; Stays On Air in Defiance

January 16, 2000

Free Radio Santa Cruz 96.3 FM Visited by FCC; Stays On Air in Defiance

At approximately 4:00 pm January 14, 2000, the studio of FRSC 96.3 fm was visited by William R. Zears from the FCC's San Francisco field office. FRSC programmer V-Man spotted Zears in the driveway of the house where the 40 watt station broadcasts from. He appeared to be alone and was writing down license plate numbers of cars in the vicinity. V-Man stepped out of the house and approached the agent, asking what he was doing. "Is this where the radio station is located?" asked Zears. V-Man was heard saying "Do you have a warrant?" as he turned back towards the door. The agent saw V-man's FREE RADIO SANTA CRUZ 96.3 FM silkscreened sweatshirt and responded, "This must be where it is." Zears, who followed V-Man to the porch, was then informed that he was trespassing and told to leave the property. The pesky, yet persistent, agent Zears then muttered something about accepting some paperwork as the front door came to a thud. V-Man reemerged from the house with a tape recorder, after informing the deejays as to what was taking place and advising them to stay inside and stay on the air, only to find him still at the license numbers game. At this point the agent uttered no words as he went about his task, and V-Man followed him down the street berating him as cordially as he could. This is when the digital camera came out of Zears' pocket and started snapping photos of the antenna and the porch of the house. As V-Man headed inside for reinforcements, the sly Zears made his way to a nearby parking lot and snapped a few more photos of the rear portion of the house, just for good measure. V-Man came out from the house with a resident(unaffiliated with Free Radio Santa Cruz) of the house who had a camera, as well. She was able to get a few shots of the agent and his car, a newer model white Ford FCC direction finding vehicle, license number, 4R05506.

The paperwork left on the mailbox was a notice of unlicensed radio operation, your standard variety. It's letterhead is the old compliance and information bureau's with the words "compliance and information" crossed out in blue ink and the word "enforcement" written in its place. It also contains a blatant inaccuracy with the violations cited. The first check mark states in part "... refused to allow an inspection of your radio equipment..." then, in the second violation checked, it states in part "A valid FCC radio license for your radio transmissions on 96.3 mhz was not in evidence at the time of inspection." These two statements are in glaring contradiction to each other. It goes on to violate the station for not complying with Part 15 rules. The interesting thing about the notice, is that it gives the unlicensed outfit a clean bill of health by leaving unchecked the two violations concerning safety hazards with air/ground communications interference and spurious emissions on other frequencies. The station itself is committed to staying on the air as an act of civil disobedience with an illegitimate bureaucracy. Station founder Skidmark Bob probably summed up the mood best when he was heard on the air later that night saying "Just another day here at Free Radio Santa Cruz."


This story was OBVIOUSLY written by V-Man and of course is copyright free. In fact, the author strongly encourages you to please, please, please distribute as widely as possible, especially over the air of an unlicensed microradio/free radio station.

(831) 427- 4523 VOICEMAIL
(831) 427- FRSC IN STUDIO
P0 BOX 7507 SANTA CRUZ CA 95061

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