By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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Since its first broadcast on May 15, 2011, KPTZ has become an essential part of the region's communications structure, said News Director Steve Evans.
“The station is playing a vital role in the community,” said Evans, one of more than 50 people who volunteer at the station.
“It's significant that the Department of Emergency Management is including instructions to tune in to KPTZ for information in case of a tsunami or other disaster,” he added.
Evans, who like many KPTZ volunteers is retired, feels his involvement with the station keeps him connected with the community.
“It's a creative outlet for me,” said Evans, who has worked as a journalist and for nonprofits.
“I enjoy going out and finding what people are doing in town, then putting it on the radio to share with everyone else.”
Volunteers hope to raise at least $10,000 toward operating expenses.
“We deliberately started it right after tax day so that people can decide how to spend their money,” said Station Manager Nora Petrich.
The spring effort is more modest than the higher energy fall pledge drive, which last year raised $30,000 for equipment costs.
A previous drive subsidized the installation of air conditioning in the studio, which is housed in what was once a portable classroom adjacent to Mountain View Commons.
Petrich said the station is in good shape, but there are several challenges in the future, including the future location of its broadcast tower on Jacob Miller Road.
Currently, the tower is located on private land with a lease that requires the station to pay one third of the property taxes, an arrangement that Petrich characterizes as “essentially free.”
That agreement expires in five years. The landowner is expected to sell the property then.
“We're not sure what will happen, whether we'll be able to sign a new lease, purchase the property or find a new site,” Petrich said.
“It would be difficult but not impossible to move the tower.
“It was put there, and it can be taken away.”
As in past pledge drives, those who contribute will receive incentives donated by local merchants.
Also, the station will give every caller who pledges money during the drive a new “Community Card” that includes discount offers from more than 30 businesses.
Community Card businesses can advertise on the station's website by listing the business' name, hours, contact information, feature promotions, discounts and map directions.
This will generate continuous revenue for the station.
“The cards offer tangible value and reward doing business in town,” said Colin Foden, KPTZ board president.
“It's a new way to support KPTZ, solidify your business brand and reach out to new and existing customers.”
For more information call 360-379-6886 or visit www.kptz.org.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.