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News :: Alternative Media : Civil & Human Rights : Health & Drugs

Prometheus and Houston's KPFT fight to prove that Low Power FM is just the tool for a community in need

Radio free Astrodome
By Elaine Wolff
09/15/2005

http://images.zwire.com/local/Z/Zwire2318/zwire/images/news-radi0-dome_330.jpg
(photo by Bradley)

A temporary Low Power FM radio station, KAMP 95.3, is broadcasting news and public information to the dwindling number of Katrina evacuees still living in the Houston Astrodome. (Photo by Indymedia.org)

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Prometheus and Houston's KPFT fight to prove that Low Power FM is just the tool for a community in need

Prometheus Radio, the low-power FM advocacy organization named for the Greek Titan who gave fire to man in defiance of Olympian bureaucracy, has found a human face that could broaden support for and understanding of of indy media and micro radio. LPFM service was introduced five years ago, and while the FCC has issued more than 600 licenses to non-governmental and community organizations, it remains largely under the radar and on the fringes.

But the FCC, Zeus' present-day stand-in, understands its potential for humankind. On September 10, the FCC approved a frequency for the Houston Astrodome's media parking lot, where Prometheus and Houston's Pacifica Radio station, KPFT, plan to operate a radio station until all evacuees in the dome are relocated. The 6-watt KAMP 95.3, for Katrina Aftermath Media Project, can broadcast news and public-information programming in a 1-2-mile radius, with an emphasis on helping evacuees find missing family members.

The temporary station is operating out of a rented Airstream trailer using equipment donated by the Houston Indy Media project and KPFT. An all-volunteer staff mans the facility around the clock, and dome residents can pick up the frequency on radios that Prometheus volunteers distributed last week. Community-media activists from around the state have been involved in the project, including Austin KO.OP radio founder Jim Ellinger and former KO.OP engineer Jerry Chamkis. KPFT News Director Renée Feltz said that volunteers in Houston and Dallas are recording public-service announcements with evacuees in their cities that can be broadcast through and exchanged with KAMP.

Feltz says that KAMP can provide crucial information to evacuees, including how to navigate bureaucratic hurdles, rumor control, and a sense of connection with their uprooted former lives. "Almost everyone you ask says they want to hear about what's going on back home," said Feltz in interviews at KPFT's offices September 10 and by phone September 12. KAMP also will offer some musical programming "if people want us to," Feltz added.

Strangely enough, fears about music programming may be one reason that Houston officials blocked Prometheus' first requests to operate inside the dome despite the FCC's quick action and the reported support of Governor Rick Perry's office. Feltz said JIC Public Information Officer Rita Obey told her that the JIC, which turned down Prometheus twice, was concerned about "incendiary gangster rap," but Obey said in a telephone interview that she does not remember that conversation.

JIC Incident Commander R.W. Royal Jr, who authorized the denials, could not be reached for comment. Feltz said neither Royal nor any other JIC staff met with Prometheus to discuss their plans in detail. "I think the communication was so poor that they never understood what programming we sought to provide," said Feltz.

While KAMP's primary goal is to provide public-service information to the evacuees, radio is a powerful venue for survivors to tell their stories. KPFT has aired firsthand accounts since evacuees first began arriving in Texas, some of which starkly contrast with official reports. Feltz recalled an interview she recorded with a group of children who had been without food or clean water for seven days after the hurricane hit. "That was a really different story than what we were hearing from Mayor Nagin, who said, We have all the resources we need, people are getting rescued, it's just a matter of agreeing to leave," said Feltz. She added that KPFT has received significant listener response to their coverage. "I can say that every time I get on the radio to do an update, the survivors call, especially if we're talking about New Orleans."

But even as KPFT's Katrina audience is growing, the population that can participate in and benefit from KAMP is dwindling. The delay caused by the JIC's denial drained some of the enthusiasm of the media volunteers and donors who jumped on board the project as soon as it was announced, and every day there are fewer evacuees left in the dome. On September 7, the day Royal denied Prometheus' request, volunteer Jacob Appelbaum posted his frustration on the Houston Indy Media website. "I told [the evacuees] that I was with a group helping to bring emergency radio information to them. Broadcast from right inside the dome. Those people were overjoyed to hear that they would get a radio station ... It breaks my heart."

"Just like everyone else in the city, people were asking, What can I do" said Feltz. "Here we had an opportunity to reach out with people that wanted to do something with media." Prometheus had a tentative agreement with Sony to distribute 10,000 walkman radios, but when the JIC rejected the original applications, volunteers distributed between 700 and 1,000 inexpensive receivers instead. Some frustrated volunteers wanted to set up a pirate station, but Prometheus has a working relationship with the FCC that has brought significant gains for LPFM. "We felt like we had this relatively positive working relationship with the FCC and we didn't want to step on anyone's toes for the next time around," said Feltz.

By Monday, September 12, when KAMP was setting up in preparation for going live Tuesday morning, the dome's population had shrunk to 1,400 residents from a high of 17,500 on September 4, the day the FCC approved Prometheus' original application. Feltz said that the station will likely operate for about a week because Houston officials plan to relocate all evacuees from the Reliant Park complex, which includes the Astrodome, by September 18. KAMP may go off the air at that point, but Feltz said the activists have discussed transferring the license to one of the area groups that is working closely with the relocated evacuees, such as Shape Community Center or the Shrine of the Black Madonna. Any such transfer would have to be approved by the FCC.

In the meantime, KAMP will be broadcasting at 95.3 to any listeners in the Astrodome area and uploading missing-persons PSAs to the Houston Indy Media website (houston.indymedia.org) or a linked site. "This is an opportunity to see micro radio as a tool relevant to people's lives," said Feltz. "This isn't a radio station that's being set up to prove a point, or for people that already have access to the internet. It's something that could provide an essential service."

By Elaine Wolff
elainewolff@sbcglobal.net
©San Antonio Current 2005

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News :: Peace & War : Police State

NYC Police Harrass Cindy Sheehan -- Speak Out!

Cindy Sheehan got harrassed by the NYPD for supposedly not having a sound permit. Passersby say that the ordinance is rarely enforced. Let the city of New York know that you think this is unacceptable by calling 212-NEW-YORK, the office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

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Cindy Sheehan may be the Rosa Parks of the anti-war movement. But that didn't stop members of the New York Police Department from marching into the crowd of about 150 people gathered in Union Square Monday to hear her speak and yanking away the microphone.

The NYPD pulled the plug just as Sheehan was calling on the audience not to lose heart in the fight to end the war in Iraq.

"We get up every morning, and every morning we see this enormous mountain in front of us," said Sheehan, speaking on behalf of the other parents and family members of fallen soldiers who have taken up the crusade to bring the troops home.

"We can't go through it, we can't go under it, so we have to go over it," she continued, just as the cops rushed the makeshift podium.

Police dragged away Paul Zulkowitz, a.k.a. Zool, an organizer with “Camp Casey NYC,? the small encampment that he and other activists set up a month ago in Union Square in solidarity with Sheehan’s vigil outside President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. The New York branch existed much to the ire of the city’s Parks Department. Today, Zulkowitz was arrested for failing to obtain a sound permit—a charge that normally warrants no more than a summons.

Moments earlier, Zulkowitz had been chastising Parks officials for refusing to grant a permit to the encampment, and accusing the police of trying to harass the antiwar protest away. Contrasting the liberal Big Apple with the hostile environs Sheehan faced in Crawford, Zulkowitz told the crowd: "You would think that here in New York City, at Union Square—our Hyde Park—you would think that we would little difficulty having a 24-hour vigil to oppose the war. In fact, we've had two arrests and eight summonses and endless harassment from the police for doing what we do."

As the activists hustled away Sheehan and the other family members on the Bring Them Home Now tour, an enraged crowd of about 50 people stormed after the police, chanting, "Shame! Shame!" Meanwhile Iraq war veteran and now peace activist Jeff Key played "God Bless America" on his trumpet.

"Since when can't you talk out here in Union Square?" demanded an Upper West Side social worker who identified herself as Quha, who said she'd taken her lunch break to hear Sheehan because she has a 20-year-old son who is considering enlisting. "I've seen everyone and their mother come out and speak nonsense out here in this park, and for them to shut down Cindy Sheehan is just not right."

"They came in like gangbusters. It was really ridiculous," said Margaret Rapp, a retired teacher from Inwood who added that she planned to file a complaint after an officer forcibly shoved her in the chest. A mother of a 19-year-old, she said she'd come to hear Sheehan because she lost her fiancee during the Vietnam War. "This is very close to home. There is a chord that Cindy hits among people that have lost people in this war and other wars, or who have draft age children like me. We're scared to death.?

Inspector Michael McEnroy, commander of the 13th Precinct, insisted the shutdown order had nothing to do with the content of Sheehan’s speech, but was instead about the "provocation" caused by Zulkowitz. “This has been going on for much longer than today,? McEnroy said, adding of Sheehan, “I don’t even know the woman.? That last part prompted one pissed-off onlooker to shoot back: “Haven’t you watched the news or read a paper in the last three months? ?

Sheehan has been touring the country for the last month with members of Gold Star Families for Peace, Military Families Speak out, and Iraq Veterans Against the War. They will be speaking tonight at 6:30 at St. John the Divine (Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street), part of the lead up to Saturday’s big anti-war march in Washington, D.C.

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News :: Media Criticism

Networking: Managing assets -- digitally

Yet, another way to exploit the worker.
The networking of digital asset management (DAM) systems is the latest technology trend for the creative industries -- publishing, advertising and entertainment -- and is improving overall corporate performance there.
Jennifer Neumann, chief executive officer of Germany's Canto Inc. and the keynote speaker at the Seybold Chicago seminar in Chicago last week, said that the databases of photos, images and other digital content are being integrated with other networks, from sales, customer service as well as marketing. By Gene Koprowski

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Commentary :: Government & Elections

The Storm That Ate The GOP

The Storm That Ate The GOP

Who will pity the soulless Republican Party now that Katrina is mauling their regime?

- By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Wednesday, September 14, 2005

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:: Peace & War

New book, 9-11: Tragedy & Treason, Blows the Lid Off the Government Story!

Treis' commentary and evidence serve us all in that we can see the truth about what really happened on 9-11. It is only by such cutting edge journalism we can hope to awaken people of the problems in America and possible solutions.
Review of 9-11: Tragedy & Treason
By Kip Rudhard

New book 9-11: Tragedy & Treason blows the lid off the government story of 9-11. Leaves little doubt of government complicity and participation.

Insider notes from United Press International for June 8
By John Daly
UPI International Correspondent
"A former Bush team member during his first administration is now voicing serious doubts about the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9-11. Former chief economist for the Department of Labor during President George W. Bush's first term Morgan Reynolds comments that the official story about the collapse of the WTC is "bogus" and that it is more likely that a controlled demolition destroyed the Twin Towers and adjacent Building No. 7."

In 9-11:Tragedy and Treason, Michael Treis agrees with Professor Reynolds and blows the doors off the main line theory of what happened on 9-11. In his introduction he shows his background of explosive, explosives manufacturing, pyrotechnics, and some study of controlled demolition give him the knowledge he needs to help you understand the truth about what happened on 9-11. Available at www.birrenbach.com/TREIS/
9-11:Tragedy and Treason, is filled with pictures taken from digital video and photographs of the collapses of the buildings on 9-11 and are used to show where explosives were detonated in the buildings. This along with other pictorial and written evidence prove that all three building that came down on 9-11 were brought down by controlled demolition. There are many other anomalies uncovered in the stories told by the government and controlled national media in 9-11:Tragedy and Treason. It is a must read for those who desire the truth and exposes a revolutionary movement to destroy our country.

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News :: Environment & Food : Health & Drugs : Sister Cities

Cuban doctors say politics block Katrina aid offer

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuban doctors put on stand-by a week ago by President Fidel Castro to fly to the aid of the victims of Hurricane Katrina said on Friday they hoped the United States would put politics aside and accept their help.

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20050909/ts_nm/cuba_dc_1

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News :: Police State : Poverty & Urban Development : Theory and Information

Murder and Rape in New Orleans -- Fact or Fiction?

There were two babies who had their throats slit. The seven-year-old girl who was raped and murdered in the Superdome. And the corpses laid out amid the excrement in the convention centre....

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News :: Media Criticism

The Web: Searching for survivors online

The Internet served as an electronic ally in the wake of Katrina.

CHICAGO, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- The New Orleans Police and the Louisiana National Guard have an electronic ally in their search for survivors of Hurricane Katrina: the Internet, experts tell UPI's The Web.

Individuals are using the Web to search for lost loved ones and view satellite images of damaged property, and content producers and Internet Service Providers have launched a registry for survivors of the catastrophic storm. By Gene Koprowski

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