Saturday, September 29, 2012

The KSER 3-Minute Egg Timer

Here's a quick technical explanation of how a modern-day radio station moves ahead in this ever evolving high-tech world.  Below you see two of the most important tools we utilize in the studio during our KSER Fall Pledge Drive.

Yeah, sure, there's the microphones and headphones and control board....but there are two more important things in that picture.

The first is our volunteers.  That's Steve Ward of KSER Big Bandstand fame. The volunteer DJ's, hosts and personalities are what make the station sound so good and they're the ones who do such a great job on the air explaining why we need your contribution.  If you don't believe me turn on 90.7 right now or listen online at

Off the air there are the volunteers, some of them brand new, who are spending hours upon hours at the station helping to answer phones and write down your pledge information and help the whole operation run smoothly. We really can't thank all of the KSER volunteers enough. They do an incredible job.

But the other very important tool in that picture, believe it or not, is that yellow 3-minute hour-glass egg timer.  It may not be high-tech, but it gets the attention of every person who is on the air doing what we call a 'pitch' or what some people might just call 'asking for money.'

Because, believe it or not, we are bending over backwards to make sure we only talk for a maximum of 3 minutes during every 'pledge break.' 

A few times a year we do week-long pledge drives. And when we do them we want each one of our
pledge breaks to be no longer than 3 minutes.  When you listen to commercial radio, they make all of their money by running commercials.  Sometimes 5 or 6 breaks every hour and some of those breaks can be longer than 5 minutes. 

In the grand scheme of things, a few pledge breaks of less than three minutes, a few times a year is really not such an interruption.  But it is how we make most of our money and it's how we are able to keep KSER on the air.

So here's hoping you've decided to help.  And if you haven't, you still have plenty of time to ensure we meet our goal for this pledge break. Just call our helpful volunteers at 425-303-9070. Or make a donation online. 

You can also buy some very nice gifts in the KSER store. Heck, you could even donate your old car! 

And if you've already donated, thanks. And please bear with us while we work for the next week to try to reach our goal in this pledge drive. Thanks to our high-tech egg-timer, we promise to keep the interruptions to less than three minutes. 

Two more quick reminders:

You can also support KSER, meet some wonderful neighbors and have a great evening at the annual KSER Voice of the Community Award ceremony. It's Saturday evening, November 10. You can get tickets here. 

There are still tickets left to see Amy Goodman when she comes to Everett October 27. But the tickets may not last long.  Don't miss this rare chance to see her in person at Everett Community College.  Ticket info here.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

True Stuff....or Stuff I Made Up?

Sometimes, it can be challenging to separate fact from fiction; truth from lies; reality from fantasy; chicken salad from....well....other chicken stuff.

So here's the first ever KSER Manager's Corner quiz: True? Or Stuff I Made Up?

Two popular KSER DJ's have been working since the start of the exhibition season as replacement refs in the National Football League. In fact, one of them was involved in the controversial interception-into-touchdown call in the Monday Night Football game at Century Link this week.   True? Or I made that up?

Two popular KSER DJ's are actually big award-winners. The two have won Best Blues DJ awards from the Washington Blues Society's Best of the Blues Awards.  True? Or Made Up?

The Romney/Ryan Campaign, in an effort to sway undecideds at the event, has purchased a huge block of tickets to the upcoming Amy Goodman visit to Everett. It means your opportunity to purchase tickets may expire soon. True? Or Made Up?

A government agency can name someone a hero.  Not only can they, but the Snohomish Health District gave KSER's Sondra Santos paperwork naming her a hero. True? Or Made that one up?

The KSER studio building on Wetmore Avenue in Everett has been named by Architectural Digest as one of America's Top 10 aesthetically pleasing buildings.  True? Or Dude, have you been in that building?

One of the replacement refs in the NFL pre-season was actually fired by the Lingerie Football League a year ago for incompetence. That can't be true? Can it? Or Made up?

Not only can you help contribute to KSER by purchasing shirts, jackets, dog sweaters, aprons, water bottles and teddy bears at the KSER store, you can also get 10% off orders over $40 until October 5th. True?  Or That ain't true, I'm not gonna click on this link.

KSER will provide live coverage of the 3 Presidential debates, and the Vice-Presidential debate. The first one is next Wednesday, October 3rd at 6 p.m.  True? Or Made Up? 

Jim Hightower, who does regular commentaries afternoons on KSER may be a hard-hitting progressive, but he was once an elected Texas!!  True? Or No Freakin' Way?

The one Vice-Presidential debate will be moderated by Howard Stern. True? Or Made Up?

The new and improved KSER Facebook page utilizes cutting-edge fiber-optic technology which allows us to turn your computer monitor into a high-def camera. We can see you when you're on our Facebook page. So, please, get decent before clicking KSER's Facebook page. The naked truth. Or Horsehockey.

Not only is Amy Goodman coming to Everett Community College on October 27th (and you can get tickets here), but they're going to have her speak in, of all places, the Henry M. Jackson Conference Center. That's True Or No way. Polar Opposites!?

Mark Hale, who does a hard-hitting progressive commentary, "Sand in the Gears" on KSER, was Johnny Carson's first sidekick on the Tonight Show.  True? Or Made Up?

Not only are all the DJ's on KSER hard-working volunteers, but the station's Board of Director's are also all volunteers.  And more than 50% of the operating costs of KSER comes from listener contributions.  True? Or That's can't be True, Can it?

The whole Gangnam Style rage was actually started by KSER's Ed Bremer during a slow news-week. True, I think? Or Totally Bogus?

Contrary to conventional wisdom, listening levels actually increase....we're talkin' through the roof...during KSER Pledge Drives. (It can be a little difficult at first to understand why, but if you want to try to figure it out, make sure you listen frequently during the 10-day KSER pledge drive that starts this Friday.)  Really, really true. Or C'mon, Man.

It is considerably easier to write a blog post when about half of it is stuff I made up. True? Or One More Thing I Made Up?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Some KSER Odds and Ends

  • Reminder, this is the week that KSER's Ed Bremer wants to make sure you're registered to vote.  If you're not registered and you're going to be near downtown Everett during the day Tuesday, we'll make it easy.  Ed and some representatives of the League of Women Voters will be at Firewheel Books and Beans from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Firewheel is located at 2820 Oakes Avenue. 

  • There's still time to make sure you have tickets to see Amy Goodman when she comes to Everett next month.  All the information is here.  The popular host of Democracy Now will be at Everett Community College Saturday afternoon, October 27th. If you know someone who is an Amy Goodman fan...or should be...make sure you let them know.

  • We know many people don't really like pledge drives on the radio...or TV.  But think about it, aren't 3 or 4 pledge drives a year a lot better than listening to commercials every day of the year? The KSER Fall pledge drive starts this Friday.  If you're already a contributor to KSER, thank you very much. If you're a listener who doesn't contribute, you can certainly keep listening without contributing. But remember, it's primarily our listeners who do contribute who keep KSER available for all of us.

  • The annual KSER Voice of the Community Award ceremony has been scheduled for Saturday evening, November 10th.  Mark your calenders if you want to have a fun evening and salute some great community leaders and individuals.  Details, including ticket information, will be released within the next two weeks.
  • There are plenty of ways to help support the programming you like on KSER other than waiting for the pledge drives we do a few weeks out of the year.  You can buy KSER merchandise from our website; you can donate your old car...working or receive a tax deduction and the proceeds benefit KSER; or you can just make a donation anytime you like here. It's easy, takes about 5 minutes...and you can set up a simple recurring donation so that once a month any amount that's comfortable for you will be automatically donated to KSER.
  • If you still haven't had enough of the political season, remember the presidential and vice-presidential debates are coming up in October. And if you can't be near a TV you will be able to hear all four of the debates on or 90.7 FM.  

  • If you have had your fill of the political season, when the debates begin you can always log onto and use our Radio Replayer to listen to something more soothing!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Weekend Manager's Mailbox

Holy In-Box, Batman. This week we received a huge batch of emails to KSER. Some of them were even printable. Here are the ones I was able to answer....

Dear  I know you have a lot of volunteers at KSER. I really don't want to be on the air, but I'd like to volunteer to help behind the scenes. How can I apply?  Darryl, Lake Stevens

Darryl:  It's easy. You can apply on our website here. Thanks.

Dear Will tickets for Amy Goodman's Everett appearance be cheaper at the door the day of the event?  Frank, La Conner

Frank:  Actually, they'll be a little more expensive: $20 at the door.  But, there's a good chance NO seats will be available by October 27th. So, if you want to save a little money and guarantee a seat, place your order now. 

Dear I contribute to KSER and I'm just wondering how much money you guys are having to spend to get Amy Goodman to come to Everett?  Michelle, Mountlake Terrace

Michelle: Nothing. Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan are visiting Everett, and a lot of other cities, to help raise money for community radio stations like KSER. She is charging us absolutely nothing for the appearance October 27th at Everett Community College.

Dear I like how the dee-jays on KSER have local bands on the air, talk to them and let them play some of their songs.  You should do more of that! Perry, Lynnwood

Perry:  We're always happy to showcase local bands.

Dear I heard you guys talk about your news guy, Ed Bremer, signing up people to register to vote somewhere in downtown Everett. Where & When? And Is Bremer really going to be there or is that just a gimmick to get us to come in?  DeeDee, Lake Stevens

DeeDee:  Ed Bremer will be there! 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. this Tuesday September 25 at Firewheel Books and Beans 2820 Oakes Avenue. You'll be able to register to vote, on the spot and Ed will let you buy him a cup of coffee.

Dear  Am I the only one who finds it a little ironic that Amy Goodman, of all people, is going to be speaking at the Henry M. Jackson Center?  What would Scoop think?   Ernesto, Langley

Ernesto:  Not only is Amy speaking October 27th at the Henry M. Jackson Center, but the event is being held in the Wilderness Room.  Should be pretty wild.

Dear Do you guys have to do this pledge drive starting next Friday?  Jack, Lynnwood.

Jack:  Yes.

Dear I love that show you do during the week called Caribbean Sounds. I'm not sure which night it is. Who's the host?  He plays some great music.  Gail, Everett

Gail: Noel Williams is the host of Caribbean Sounds, every Monday evening at 7 p.m.

Dear  What's up with your crazy typewriter? I watched that youtube video you had of the band Sightseer at your station. And if you stop the video when it's showing your building, you can see the cartoony typewriter in the background. Do the keys have any meaning?  Cody, Mukilteo

Cody:  You are either very observant or you have too much free time. We put the Youtube video in this post after Sightseer visited KSER. The keys do convey a deep, special message about KSER. See if you can figure it out. The first 25 readers to put the correct answer in the comment box below will have their name featured prominently in the comment box below!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

KSER In-Studio Performance - Sightseer

If you don't regularly listen to KSER you're missing out on hearing some great, live, in-studio performances by local bands. Two members of  the Seattle band, Sightseer, were in the studio with Ron Taffi on the Sunlit room Thursday afternoon.

P A Mathison; Jason Lightfoot perform at KSER
P.A. Mathison and Jason Lightfoot stopped by and talked with Ron and performed a few of their songs. They're appearing at the Hard Rock in Seattle Saturday night in a benefit for the Women's Funding Alliance.

P A Mathison; Jason Lightfoot

PA; Ron Taffi; Jason at KSER by George Bentley

Sightseer's Women's Funding Alliance performance Saturday in Seattle is part of Sirens - Sing Out for Women & Girls.

If you want to listen to their KSER performance and the interview with Ron, you can hear it for the next two weeks on the KSER Radio Replayer. Just click on the 1 p.m. hour, Thursday, January 20. And you can find out more about Sightseer here.

by George Bentley

George Bentley of GeorgieCat Productions took some of the Sightseer pictures at KSER. You can see his collection on Flickr here.

KSER's Sondra Santos - Officially a Hero!

Who says we don't have heroes at KSER?

First of all, anyone who is willing to get up at 3 a.m. every morning, while it's still dark, drive thru rain or snow, just to be on the radio by 5 a.m. is already a hero. But now, the Snohomish Health District has made it official.

Suzanne Pate; Sondra Santos; Dr. Gary Goldbaum

The agency presented its Public Health Hero Award to Sondra Santos, morning host on KSER. The award honors individuals who have demonstrated unparalleled support of local public health activities or policies in Snohomish County.

Not only is Sondra on-the-air for all of the morning shows on KSER, doing news, traffic and weather updates during Democracy Now and the Takeaway but she also hosts a wide range of public affairs programs throughout the week. Every Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. she interviews various Health District staff experts.

Sondra Santos; Dr. Gary Goldbaum by Christophoto

Since the Health District’s debut on KSER in September 2011, Sondra has hosted 47 different segments devoted to educating listeners about public health programs and services to the community. She interviewed Health District staff experts on topics that touched most aspects of community health, communicable disease, environmental health, and public health emergency preparedness.

The Snohomish Health District's Public Information Officer, Suzanne Pate, does a great job every week arranging to have one of their staff experts available to talk with Sondra on KSER about timely health issues. 

“Sondra Santos has significantly developed the community’s understanding of local public health through her radio program,” said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, Director and Health Officer of the Snohomish Health District. “We commend Ms. Santos for her sustained effort, and greatly appreciate our partnership with KSER for their collaborative spirit.”

So now, technically, not only is Sondra an award-winning reporter...but she's also a hero. And she's got the paperwork to prove it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Easy Voter Registration - KSER Style

Here's an election season pop quiz!

With the November election coming up soon, which of the following items would be the most important thing for you to do:

                              A.  Have a cup of Coffee at Firewheel in Everett

                              B.  Register to Vote

                              C.  Meet KSER's Ed Bremer

                              D.  All of the Above

If you answered 'D' "All of the Above" it's your lucky day!  Next Tuesday, September 25th KSER's Ed Bremer will be helping register voters most of the day at Firewheel Books & Beans at 2820 Oakes Avenue in downtown Everett.

Firewheel Books & Beans

Ed will be joined by representatives of the League of Women Voters of Snohomish County and you'll be able to register right on the spot.  We'll be giving out a free music CD to every person who registers and, as icing on the cake, you'll get a chance to meet and talk with KSER's news & public affairs director, Ed Bremer.

KSER's Ed Bremer

In November, you'll be able to vote for President, Governor, Congress, Washington Attorney General and other offices. You also get to vote on a number of ballot initiatives for marijuana legalization, same-sex marriage and charter schools.

KSER Voter Registration
Firewheel Books & Beans
2820 Oakes Ave. - Everett
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

So don't miss out. Make sure you're registered. If you're not, stop by the Firewheel next Ed Bremer and vote.  Even if you're already registered, stop by and say hi to Ed and KSER.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Flashback - KSER's 2004 Everett Move

This past weekend's Manager's Mailbox included a question about where we used to be:

Dear When did you guys move into your fancy Everett digs?  I seem to recall you used to be in a little shopping center here in Lynnwood. Moving an entire radio station must have been a lot of work.  John, Lynnwood.

John: You're right. KSER was launched in 1991 and, during those early days, we broadcast from one of the two world-class shopping centers in Lynnwood.  One, of course, is Alderwood Mall. The second one is High Point Plaza. That's where KSER was located.

KSER Sign at High Point Plaza
As you can see in the picture, the old KSER sign still adorns the huge sign-board outside High Point Plaza on Highway 99 just south of Everett. We're right up there with Waldos and some other fine establishments.  We're not sure why our sign is still up there, but it represents a significant chunk of our multi-platform marketing campaign.

In February of 2004, KSER left the hustle and bustle of High Point Plaza and moved to our new serene, yet urbane, location on Wetmore Avenue in downtown Everett.

2623 Wetmore - October 2003 by Christophoto

The interior of our new location had to be retrofitted to be a radio station and all of the equipment, files, CD's, etc. had to be moved from Lynnwood to Everett.

Soon-to-be Studios; December 2003 by Christophoto

KSER's Ed Bremer to volunteers: "Stop taking pictures, get to work."

"That John Prine CD's in here somewhere." by Christophoto
Volunteers hung drywall, put up walls, built CD shelves, cleaned and painted. With the help of engineers they also wired the studios and installed the equipment. All in cramped quarters for days and weeks on end. Not once did the police have to be called.  And the finished product is the KSER you listen to today.

August, 2012 - Mayor Ray Stephanson - KSER Wall of CD's

KSER's Ron Taffi with Singer-Songwriter Austin Jenckes, 2012

KSER World HQ - 2012

Isn't it great what dedicated volunteers can do? Not only do they provide a large chunk of the content every day on KSER, but in many ways they actually built the radio station! Of course, keeping it going requires a lot of work and money.  That's where you can help. Our fall pledge drive begins in less than two weeks. But you don't have to wait. You can make a tax-deductible contribution at anytime online.

So, yes, moving an entire station was a lot of work. Fortunately, that was before my time. And if we ever move again, I plan to be on vacation.

p.s. Here's a reminder; Amy Goodman tickets are available now. The popular host of Democracy Now! (5 a.m.; 7 a.m.; 5 p.m. on 90.7 KSER-FM) is coming to Everett October 27th.  You can get all the information here. And you can order tickets here.  Pre-ordered tickets are $17 ($18.59 w. service fee); tickets at the door (if any are left) will be $20.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Amy Goodman - Coming to Everett

If you're looking for something more substantive than network news anchors talking about Michelle Obama's dress, or Clint Eastwood talking to a chair...mark your calendars and get ready for some hard-hitting info.  Amy Goodman is coming to Everett just before the election. And you can be there.

Is anyone in the media doing a better job of covering the important issues in the upcoming election than Amy Goodman?  Amy is the host of Democracy Now! which you can hear every morning at 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. on KSER (if you're not up early, there's an afternoon repeat daily at 5 p.m.).

She was one of the few reporters who ignored the beauty contest and horse race during the political conventions and asked the really tough questions...of both sides. And just before the upcoming presidential election, Amy will be in Everett, and you can attend the event.

Along with co-author Denis Moynihan, Amy has written a new book, The Silenced Majority.

Amy and Denis are taking part in a national tour designed to help raise critical funds for the public broadcasters, like KSER, that carry Democracy Now!. The tour route covers many of the electoral swing states, going beyond the mainstream media's obsessive focus on the latest poll numbers and candidate gaffes, to see, on the ground, how people are organizing, the impacts of restrictive voter ID laws that are making it harder to vote, and how the massive influx of campaign cash following the Citizens United decision is changing how our democracy works.

Amy will be in Everett Saturday afternoon, October 27, a little over a week before the election.  She'll be appearing, along with Denis Moynihan, to support KSER at the newly refurbished Henry M. Jackson Conference Center on the campus of Everett Community College.

Jackson Center - Everett Community College

The Amy Goodman appearance in Everett, Saturday, October 27 starts at 1:30 p.m. and tickets are just $17 ($18.59 w./service fee) and you can buy them here.  But hurry. Democracy Now is one of the most popular shows on KSER and listeners are always asking us, "When is Amy going to come to Everet?"

Well, now you know. Saturday, October 27th. 

And remember, your ticket price supports KSER, Independent Public Radio! Hope to see you there.


Monday, September 10, 2012

One of the Amazing KSER DJ's - Steve Ward

Steve Ward's dad started his radio career with a job that paid $1...a year.

Saturdays on KSER are appointment listening for many people. And for some, there's nothing better than the Big Bandstand, every Saturday at 9 a.m.  Sure, Steve plays the great hits from the big band he always says, "Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, the Dorseys and all the rest!" But he also sounds like a great 'big-band' DJ from New York or LA.

Glenn Miller & Autograph - Steve Ward, insert

Steve's voice and style match the great music he plays. He came by it naturally. Steve's father was a major star in radio and TV, both on the air and behind the scenes. He was a star in LA, San Francisco, and...if you've been around a may remember him on radio in Everett.

Bill Ward grew up in Seattle's Leschi neighborhood where, with a buddy, he built his own little neighborhood mini-radio station. KOL gave him his first real job, writing copy, for that annual sum of one-dollar. But he quickly moved on to bigger things, including being a morning personality in the 1940's on KJR and KOMO.

When WWII started, Bill Ward enlisted in the Alaska Communications Service and helped crack enemy codes. When the war ended he moved to San Francisco and took a radio job with KFRC and ended up working with a young, up and coming singer named Merv Griffin. After his stint with Merv, Bill Ward moved to another legendary station, KCBS.

Bill Ward

For eight years, Bill Ward hosted "Party at the Palace" from San Francisco's Palace Hotel, complete with a live audience, a studio orchestra and big-name guests. In 1958 he moved the show to Los Angeles radio station KNX. It was another big production with guests like Sammy Davis, Jr., Julie London and Lionel Hampton.

In 1962 Bill took his talents back to San Francisco to be a writer on a 1960's TV blockbuster, the Tennessee Ernie Ford Show. He also built a radio station (this time a real one) in the Sacramento Valley and opened a popular record store.

Then, in the early 70's, he moved the family back to the Northwest and became half of the popular Walters & Ward show on Everett's old KWYZ-AM.

After retiring from the daily grind of radio, Bill produced more than 100 hours of Swing Era music programming.  Bill passed away in 1996 but his art lives on. In two ways.

First, Steve digitized his fathers programming and it's still being used by the low-power FM of the Spark Museum of Electrical Invention (formerly the Museum of Radio & Electricity) in Bellingham.

And every Saturday morning, you can hear the same passion and star-power on KSER when Steve Ward cracks the mic at 9 a.m. and launches the Big Bandstand.

While his father's passion led him to take a radio gig for $1 a year, Steve's passion has him doing the Big Bandstand for $0.  Like all the great KSER DJ's, Steve is a of many on the air and behind the scenes that keep the station running and provide a valuable community service to the Northwest. But even with volunteers, there are considerable costs involved in operating KSER. That's where we thank listeners like you for your financial help.  If you'd like to support great shows like the Big Bandstand; Frettin' Fingers; Passport; Da Coconut Wireless; Sound Living and Amy Goodman, you can contribute here.

And check out the Big Bandstand with Steve Ward, Saturday morning on KSER 90.7 FM next time you're in the mood to hear how it used to be...when guys like Bill Ward ruled the airwaves!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

KSER Manager's Mailbox

If you have questions about KSER or comments, compliments, complaints...whatever. Send us an email or post a comment here. We'll reply. We might even actually answer your question!  It was a short week, the weather has been remarkable, the kids are back in this week there were fewer emails in the KSER Manager's Mailbox.

Dear My favorite show on KSER is the Sunlit Room. I listen most days. What's that name mean?  Do you actually have a sunlit room where you do the show?  Tricia, Shoreline

Tricia: I think one of the early KSER DJ's suffered from NRB (Northwest Rainy Blues) and came up with that name to make her feel better. The only KSER room that's actually sunlit is our parking lot.

Dear I heard something last year on KSER about how you can donate old cars to benefit the station. I didn't need to know about it then, but now I have old Chevette that isn't going to be worth much at trade-in and I'd like to donate it. Can you tell me what to do?  Bill, Mt. Vernon

Bill:  Chevette, Corvette. Car, truck. Doesn't matter. We'll take the vehicle. Handle the paperwork. You may even get a tax-deduction. And it helps fund KSER. Here's the info.

Dear Ed Bremer does some great interviews and has a lot of interesting people on his show on KSER in the afternoon. I know a few people who would make great guests on his show. Does he have producers that I could send the info to or can you handle that?  Brian, Everett

Brian:  Ed's producer is Ed. He does it all. Researches topics, books guests, sets up the equipment and ask the questions. You can submit your suggestions to Ed here. And thanks.

Dear  My favorite show on KSER is Aloha Friday and the Hawaiian music. Is the deejay from Hawaii? Giselle, Woodinville

Giselle: The host, and creator, of KSER's Aloha Friday is Donn Erisman. You can read more about his pretty remarkable story here. 

Dear Regarding your picture of a KSER Teddy Bear last week. You said it was cute. I thought it was creepy looking. A teddy bear should not be shiny white. Is that the best you people can do?  Darryl, Arlington

Daryl: KSER Teddy Bears come in many colors. It's never too early to do your Christmas shopping.

Dear I listen to KSER a lot, but I also punch around to a lot of other music stations sometimes. What's interesting is on some of the other stations the DJs sound very phony and robotic. Almost like they're not very real. The KSER DJs sound like normal people and have a lot of character.  Dianna, Everett

Dianna: They are characters.

Dear  Have you guys ever thought about doing a bluegrass show? Phil, Everett

Phil: We already do. Bluegrass Express.. Every Sunday morning at 11 on KSER.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

More Things I Think I Think

  • I think Rush Limbaugh doesn't get enough credit for the good he does! Especially the good he does promoting women's issues. For example, Sandra Fluke was an obscure Georgetown grad student that none of us knew anything about.  But Rush was kind enough to put her on the map and now she's a featured convention speaker promoting women's issues. You can't buy that kind of pub.

  • I think Amy Goodman's convention coverage on KSER has been far more insightful and thorough than anything on the big TV or Cable networks.  She does far more with far fewer resources. But that's just me.

  • I think presidential campaigns frequently fail because of the little things: Michael Dukakis in the tank with that ill-fitting helmet; Bob Dole talking about Bob Dole; George H.W. Bush fascinated with a grocery scanner. Is Paul Ryan's foggy memory about a 2:55 marathon time this year's flub?

  • I think most people would be bummed if a show like Amy Goodman moved to Satellite Radio.  But I bet many listeners would be willing to pony up $16.99 a month for Sirius/XM to hear her show. She's not moving and you can get her for free every day. Of course, you're welcome to contribute to KSER to ensure that she never moves.

  • I think sometimes in sports (and life) a great player doesn't always make for a better team. Since the Mariners traded Ichiro they've had two big win streaks and have gone 24-15. The Yankees, meanwhile, had a 10-game division lead, but now, with Ichriro in pinstripes, the Yankee are down to a 1-game lead.

  • I think most frustrated jocks are obsessive about their sports matter how minor. So how does someone not precisely remember his/her best marathon time?  

  • I think the ESPN football analysts are missing the mark in their Super Bowl predictions. Not one of them has the Seahawks making the big game. This could be the year...I think.

  • I think some people spend too much time thinking about sports.

  • I think it's always impressive the type of people who want to be involved or volunteer at KSER. One of the students in our current KSER Basic Broadcasting Class is a new History Specialist at the Everett Public Library.  Lisa Labovitch was just the subject of a great story in the Herald.

  • I think north-end commuters should all be given medals. When you hear KSER's Sondra Santos or Ed Bremer talk about 55, 65 or 75 minute Everett-to-Seattle/Seattle-to-Everett commute times it's headache inducing.  Now, why didn't we build light-rail 30 years ago?

  • I think it will be a while before you see another attempt at prop-comedy at a political convention. 

  • I think it would be funny if it wasn't so sad to hear politicians on the government payroll (with full health benefits and pensions) give props to private enterprise while attacking government agencies and government workers.

  • I think it would be even funnier if it wasn't so much sadder that so many people fall for government-paid politicians knocking the government.
  • I think some people should spend more time thinking about sports.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Support KSER; Protect the Cute Bear!

Please Help Protect the Bear

Alright, we really wouldn't hurt the bear. It's just a cheap, warm and fuzzy gimmick to get your attention. Speaking of warm and fuzzy, have you been watching the well-coiffed, finely-clothed, made-up cable TV news stars 'reporting' from the political conventions?

And do you know who is hardly ever described as warm and fuzzy?  Amy Goodman.

We've heard an awful lot of feedback the last two weeks about Amy Goodman. It's not that she's not special the other 50 weeks of the year, but last week and this week, Democracy Now is an hour longer and even more special than usual as Amy covers the political conventions.  Last week she was in Tampa for the Republican convention; this week Charlotte and the Democrats.

Sure, the big cable TV networks have been covering the conventions...their way. And they've got their major anchors strategically positioned at professionally designed and magnificently lit sets 'analyzing' the speeches.  But, if you've been listening to Amy in Tampa and Charlotte, you know she is asking tough questions of all sides and offering insight you don't get too many other places.

Last week when the TV cameras conveniently missed Mitt Romney's handshake with one of the Koch brothers on the convention floor, Amy talked about it.  She did an extensive interview on the Romney campaign war-chest and where the money came from. She had extensive coverage of the convention floor chaos between the RNC and Ron Paul delegates. This week she's spent considerable time covering protestors at the DNC in Tampa who have basically been penned up away from the convention center.

But if you've been listening to her two-hour special every morning at 7 a.m. on KSER or the one-hour replay at 5 p.m. there's one thing you haven't heard: commercials. That's because like most of the radio stations around the country that carry Democracy Now, KSER is an independent public radio station. We're a non-profit, community resource that is able to operate and provide independent programming thanks to your support.

And it's not just Amy Goodman and Democracy Now. It's the TakeAway every morning at 6 a.m. and the Story with Dick Gordon every afternoon at 3 p.m.  It's the morning information from Sondra Santos and Sound Living with Ed Bremer every afternoon at 4 p.m.  And that's just the news and public affairs shows! If you're a regular listener to KSER you know we have a broad range of great music every evening and weekend featuring many up and coming local artists.

So how are we able to fund a full-time radio station with no commercials?  Well, actually we don't. You do it.  So we just wanted to say thanks if you've supported us in the past or if you continue to support KSER with recurring donations.

If you haven't contributed yet, but you'd like to make sure that at least some of the airwaves include voices like Ed Bremer's and Amy Goodman''s how you can help.  KSER begins it's 10-day-long Fall Pledge Drive on September 28th. If you listen then, you'll hear a number of easy ways to contribute. Or, you can beat the rush! Take 4 or 5 minutes now to make an easy tax-deductible online donation here.

Of course if you're one of those people who wants to contribute and brag about it, you can buy shirts, hats, tote-bags, mouse pads, aprons, dog-sweaters, iphone cases and just about anything else...yes, even that cuddly the KSER store.