Needs Versus Wants
KOWS has presented a proposal for an antenna tower at 1281 Pleasant Hill Road as something that:
- MUST be a metal 70 foot tower
- MUST be located in the rural hills of Sebastopol
- MUST continue to operate on a radio frequency “or else”
- MUST leave its current location at OAEC
- MUST have a certain level of power and range
- MUST happen in order to survive
- MUST happen to provide Emergency Alert Service (EAS) to Sebastopol
None of which are true.
- A site requiring less power would still reach all of the city of Sebastopol.
- The OAEC is perfectly willing to allow the KOWS antenna to remain where it is.
- The station is currently “on the air”, both terrestrially and streaming online.
- There are other strong alternative sites for relocation.
- EAS is already covered in Sebastopol and the entire county.
KOWS presents their arguments as “MUST HAVES”, declares them to be “community NEEDS”, and refuses to acknowledge the obvious, that what they have presented as “needs” are merely the personal “wants” of what is essentially an amateur broadcasting club. All are optional and negotiable, none are truly necessary.
SHARP has been looking for the real story.
KOWS claims that they “had to move from OAEC”.
This is an untruth. KOWS was not asked to leave OAEC at all.
The KOWS staff decided, on their own, to abandon their OAEC antenna in hopes of gaining a larger listenership, though the reality of actually obtaining a larger listenership is presently without proof or plan. And, critically, KOWS has not succeeded, after nearly 10 years, in becoming an integral, vital part of the Occidental community. Otherwise they would not be so willing to abandon Occidental, which would not get coverage from a directional signal focused east at the reservoir site.
KOWS MUST have a new antenna tower – or they can’t continue
Terrestrial, AM/FM radio is a dying medium. A quick Google search of “listening to the radio” reveals not a single terrestrial radio entry. Every “radio station” today (including KOWS) streams over the internet and benefits by gaining not just a larger local audience, but a global audience as well. The most successful shows on KOWS have reached that status because of the internet.
The antenna MUST be a 70’ metal tower, or not at all
There is an excellent option for relocation at Respini Ranch, using the existing antenna and moving it to a tree on that site would have significantly broadened the station’s range. This option was easily expedited and far less expensive.
KOWS MUST be Sebastopol’s Emergency Alert System provider, or there will be no EAS for Sebastopol
Many other radio stations provide emergency alerts, including KZST-FM (the primary designated Emergency Alert System radio station for Sonoma County), KSRO-AM, KCBS-AM, and KBBF-FM.
The City of Sebastopol is not obliged in any way to destroy the beauty that is Sebastopol and the surrounding area with a 70 foot infrastructure when KOWS can reach a global audience via the internet, has other site options, and is under no threat of eviction.