City and county elected officials, school district administrators, business leaders, radio enthusiasts and community residents turned out Saturday, March 11th, to support the Valley 103.1 community radio station launch. The station, licensed by the FCC in January, has already been broadcasting a variety of Adult Album Alternative music around the clock, with specialty music shows interspersed throughout the week.
The station is something “I think we can build into a very unique tool to help this valley,” Becky Nixon, City of Duvall councilmember, told the crowd.
Stuart Lisk, chair of the Valley 103.1 Board told Nixon and other attendees that the station will be set up to be part of the emergency broadcast system for the Duvall, Carnation and Redmond Ridge areas. That emergency link will be invaluable to citizens during floods, weather emergencies and other catastrophes, according to King County Council member Kathy Lambert, who talked about how there has not been a vehicle for getting information out to local folks during those crises. She foresees that changing with the new broadcast capabilities of Valley 103.1.
Amy Ockerlander, mayor pro-tem of Duvall and Jim Berger, mayor of Carnation, both spoke about the way the station will be able to enhance the sense of community in the region, while Bill Falcon, representing the Duvall Chamber of Commerce, spoke about the potential for businesses to support and benefit from the low power FM operation. He cited statistics showing that people are more likely to support businesses who in turn support public radio stations.
The potential for the Riverview School District includes not only the obvious benefit of covering live sporting events, but also the ability of students to learn about radio, broadcasting, and technology because of the presence of the station.
Dr. Anthony Smith, Riverview superintendent and also a member of the Duvall Rotary, summed up by saying, “This is another area where kids can learn to be out in the community and get some skills in working with people.”
The March 11 launch, held at the Riverview School District offices, is the official start of the community station that has been in the works for several years, and that is entirely run and staffed by volunteers within a nonprofit organization structure.
Plans for the station include development of local newscasts, specialty music programs, farm and garden reports, real estate programs, and even history features that focus on local businesses and the local way of life.
Coverage for Valley 103.1 includes Carnation, Duvall and Redmond Ridge.