June 6th, 2013
At the start of last year I was happy to announce that KUSP had gained the local broadcast rights to EarthSky’s daily radio science feature.
Now I am sorry to report that EarthSky has shut down their radio operations and discontinued the program, effective June 1. They will continue producing video and content for their web site, but the radio feature is no more.
EarthSky was the latest in a long run of daily science features on KUSP, some produced locally, others distributed to public radio stations nationally. So far we haven’t found a new feature that fits the bill for us in terms of both quality and affordability — especially given that it’s a challenge to get donations or sponsorships for something as short as these features tend to be.
For now we’ll concentrate on our local science reporting as part of our regular news coverage and our KUSP Reports: Environment beat (supported by grant funding from the Michael Lee Environmental Foundation). And we will continue to keep our eyes open for additional science coverage that will meet or surpass your expectations!
May 14th, 2013
KUSP’s engineers will be back in Palo Colorado Canyon on Wednesday, May 15 to finish up the installation of the replacement equipment for our 91.3 FM translator, which returned to the air a few weeks ago.
The work is relatively straightforward, in contrast with some of what we’ve encountered there recently, but it will take the KUSP signal off the air for a period of time.
Work is scheduled to start around mid-morning and should be wrapped up by late in the day.
We apologize for this inconvenience… but we are all supremely relieved that this ought to finish the task and keep things running reliably long-term.
May 2nd, 2013
Today the KUSP community mourns the loss of Dale Owen, who passed away yesterday at his Santa Cruz home.
Dale has been part of our station since 1982, when he first hosted a classical music program for us. “A Classic Example” and its forerunners entertained and inspired our listeners for the next thirty-one years.
From 1985 until 2009 Dale was also part of our professional staff, soliciting program sponsorship and other support from Monterey Bay area businesses. He was recognized as among the most effective fundraisers in public radio.
In 2009 KUSP’s Board of Directors elevated Dale to Lifetime Membership, the highest honor the station can confer on staff members and volunteers.
At this time we have no information about plans for memorials or other ways to honor and celebrate Dale’s life. We will share any public information when it becomes available.
May 1st, 2013
On May 2 and May 7 KUSP will present screenings of the Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me! cinema event at the Regal Santa Cruz 9, on Pacific Ave. in downtown Santa Cruz.
The show starts at 8:00 PM on Thursday, May 2. The encore screening starts at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, May 7.
The May 2 show has been sold out for days, but tickets are still available for May 7.
Here’s the extra-added-fun-part:
We have a special little thank you for everyone who shows up, but we have a bigger thank you if you get there early! If you’re in the theater at least fifteen minutes before the show starts (in other words, 7:45 on Thursday 5/2, 7:15 on Tuesday 5/7), you can be part of a free drawing for some special prizes from KUSP. But you have to be there early — they won’t let us interrupt the ten minute pre-show leading up to the official starting time.
So, come early and get your chance to take home some fun stuff, courtesy KUSP!
April 21st, 2013
Today marked the return to the airwaves of KUSP’s 91.3 FM translator serving Palo Colorado Canyon on the Monterey County coast, north of Big Sur.
The restoration of proper operation has been a very long time coming, and I am grateful to our engineering staff and all the canyon residents who contributed to the Palo Colorado Canyon Recovery Fund for their efforts.
There is still work to be done to complete the installation, which will mean some short interruptions in service in the next couple of weeks. These should only affect reception for a few hours at a time.
Canyon residents who experience problems from here on out should let us know — the toll free number is 800-655-5877.
Again, thanks to everyone who has helped us get this system back into proper operation.
April 10th, 2013
Two or three weeks ago I was hopeful that we were well on our way to completing the reconstruction of our Palo Colorado Canyon translator at 91.3 FM. Regrettably, we aren’t.
When we started installing our new equipment, we discovered that the electrical service coming out to the equipment location was not functioning the way we expected. Our engineering staff received a lot of advice, much of it contradictory, about how to solve the problem we encountered in the most reliable and least expensive manner. Sifting through these proposals to come to a solution has been time-consuming and a little frustrating for all of us involved.
The good news is that our engineers have settled on a course of action and the additional parts will be ordered shortly. Thankfully, our Palo Colorado Canyon Recovery Fund surpassed its fund-raising goal, and that gives us the cushion we need to make this additional investment. As we get the installation back on track, we will keep you posted here.
March 15th, 2013
I’m happy to report that the KUSP Spring Membership Drive reached its goal of $115,000 at 6:00 PM on Friday, March 15. The drive total, which is now in the neighborhood of $116,000, is the largest for any KUSP pledge drive in the past eight and a half years.
The public radio community is a very different place today than it was in 2004, as is the economy in our area, so we’re especially grateful for this generous support of our station.
We’re still happy to receive your gift, if you didn’t have the opportunity to make one during the drive… just go to donate.kusp.org!
Our Palo Colorado Canyon Recovery Fund (about which I wrote here) is still a little bit short of its fundraising goal, so if you’d like to support that, go to donate.kusp.org and put a note about the Palo Colorado Canyon project in the comments box.
March 8th, 2013
As blog subscribers know, KUSP has been working since the start of December to restore our service to Palo Colorado Canyon on the Monterey County coast, north of Big Sur. Our 91.3 FM translator was heavily damaged in a winter storm and almost all of our equipment there was destroyed.
We recently received our insurance settlement and started buying replacement equipment, most of which has arrived. Reconstruction will proceed forthwith.
However, insurance being what it is, we have a $2,000 gap between the amount of the insurance settlement and the expected cost of getting back on the air. To fill this gap, we’re turning to our community of supporters in Palo Colorado Canyon and nearby communities.
The Palo Colorado Canyon Recovery Fund will take in any designated gifts for this project and use them to fill the gap between the insurance settlement and the cost of reconstruction. If our donations to the fund exceed the final costs, the remaining balance will be used for the upkeep of the translator (normally, the major expense for the translator is the cost of the electricity to run it — we occupy the plot of land it’s on rent-free).
We’ve e-mailed this news to many Palo Colorado residents, and KUSP donors in the region will be receiving invitations to contribute in the mail soon. If you’d like to help too, go to KUSP’s secure pledge page and, in the box on the online pledge form labeled “ordering instructions,” indicate you’d like your gift to support the Palo Colorado Canyon Recovery Fund.
Meantime, the KUSP Spring Membership Drive continues, in support of everything you hear on KUSP, no matter where you live — and your gift to that campaign will be appreciated just as much!
February 6th, 2013
KUSP has reached a settlement with our insurance carrier on the claim we filed for the damage our Palo Colorado Canyon translator sustained in the storms that began on November 30. Our insurance will cover about $7,500 of the cost to replace the equipment that was damaged or destroyed. The remaining cost, about $2,000, will need to be paid by us.
We’ve got orders in for the replacement equipment, and we are hoping to get back in operation in a few weeks. Much of the replacement equipment is “off-the-shelf” but some pieces have to be manufactured or tuned to KUSP’s specific operating requirements.
If you’d like to make a special gift to KUSP to help restore public radio service to Palo Colorado Canyon, just click on this link.
January 9th, 2013
The good news is that one of the three major pieces of equipment that make up the 91.3 translator that serves Palo Colorado Canyon and nearby parts of the Big Sur coast survived the late November/early December storm series without serious damage.
The bad news is that the other two pieces of equipment are really hurting. Steve Laufer provides us with this picture of the insides of the final RF power amplifier:
When the shed that houses the equipment lost its door in high winds, rain was driven into the equipment rack, picked up by the amplifier’s cooling fans, and sprayed directly onto the guts of the amplifier. Havoc ensued.
There’s some chance we can still replace the damaged components and clean up the rest of this unit, but that is looking less and less likely. If it has to be replaced, there will be some additional delay (and additional cost) while we arrange for that.
The third piece of equipment in the shelter was also severely damaged. Fortunately, we had a spare assembly for that unit, which has been tuned up and is being tested now.
Again, more updates will be forthcoming as we learn more about the situation.