The Washington Post: Weather Service warns of ‘dangerous’ and ‘historic’ heat wave in Pacific Northwest
Newsweek: Excessive Heat Warnings Issued in Northwest, 13 Million Face 'Dangerous' Temperatures
And the graphics were impressive too!
The text writers were searching for seldom
used terms to describe our weather like –
Likely the folks who live in the desert
southwest, in places like Phoenix, Las Vegas and Tucson were laughing at us as
they watched TV sitting in their air-conditioned houses.
All of this was caused by several factors –
northward bulge in the Jet-Stream
blowing typically hot east of the Cascades Air to the West
heating as the winds blew down the west slopes of the mountains
The I-5 Corridor was all getting baked with
this one with temps, everywhere you looked, over 100. I remember, from when I was a kid, if it
got hot, head to the coast. In this
case this did not work. Example: On
Sunday, the 27th, it was over 100 all along the coast. It was even in Forks! Perhaps hot enough to chase away the
Looking ahead, summer will continue with above
is, indeed, a broadcast side to all of this.
Many transmitter sites are not designed for this much heat as they rely on
outside air for cooling. When those
temps are 30-40 degrees above normal, equipment can get ‘grumpy’ and failures
I know of several facilities that have reduced transmitter power in anticipation.
The other big, longer term and wider spread
issue is drought. You have likely been
seeing pictures of the lakes behind major dams in California that have little
water behind them. The day has come
that residents and leaders in the Southwest U.S. have hoped would never
happen. Dealing with the issue is going
to be extremely painful and expensive.
98% of land across 11 western states is abnormally dry, and more than 90% is
covered by some category of drought.
a look at Washington State. Tri-Cities to Spokane are in for the worst
of it, with 2/3 of the state in some category of drought.
Canada, Canada’s governmental source for weather information, issued heat warnings for most of British Columbia and Alberta that extend
all the way to the Arctic Circle. Vancouver is
forecast to 106. Meanwhile Victoria, with proximity to the water was projected
to hit a nice and comparatively cool 93 deg. F.
Looking at B.C., who would have ever guessed that Vancouver
Island would be in this category?
High temperatures and no precipitation bring with it the threat
of wildfires. As we well know, the last
couple of summers have been filled with choking, eye burning, smoke from
fire, some of which have been very
close to home. Remember the Sumner
I can’t help but think of all of the people I know that have
retired and moved to the desert and wonder, in light of what’s happening, how
many will be thinking about moving back. Or how many that have lived there for a long time will be looking north. Sure, we are having our hot-spell,
but…! We do have Water and
Hydro-Power. Western BC, Washington and
Oregon are not re-claimed deserts.
Oh yes, we still have the ‘Big-One’ (Earthquake) supposed to happen. Meanwhile, the big-one is climate change and heat.
Companies are using ‘Smart Meters’ in Texas to remotely raise
temperatures during periods of high-power demand via a program called
‘Smart Savers Texas”. It should be noted that customers ‘opt-in’
to the program. In some cases, power companies are offering a discount
in exchange for the flexibility. One must wonder when, or if, this
technology will become wide-spread?
Shifting gears to broadcast news…
Perhaps like the forecasted earthquake, Sinclair announced that
they were selling their Seattle Market Radio Stations. Yes, we should have seen this coming, as this
was the only place where Sinclair was doing Radio.
The new owner, Lotus, will be the new owners
of “News Radio” KOMO - AM & FM (1000, 97.7), hot AC “Star 101.5”
KPLZ and “Talk Radio 570” KVI.
is a new market for Lotus, which focuses on the western U.S with stations in California, Nevada, Arizona
and Idaho. Seattle becomes its second largest market, trailing only Los Angeles
where it is based, and owns three AM stations.
Lotus Communications says it is one of the nation’s largest
privately-owned broadcasting companies. Founded in 1962 with the acquisition of
Spanish station KWKW by current Chairman Howard Kalmenson, Lotus owns 44 radio
stations as well as a digital marketing entity and e-commerce sites. They were founded in 1962 by Howard A. Kalmenson,
with the purchase of KWKW, one of Los Angeles' original Spanish language radio
stations. Unlike many radio station
groups these days, Lotus is privately owned by the family that started it.
Here are some of the interesting stories that are flying about. The
percentage of them that are actually true will be determined.
> They will not get to use the call letters KOMO for either 1000
AM or 97.7 FM.
> Whereas Lotus is known for operating Spanish language stations,
one of their stations here will flip to a Latino format.
> KOMO-AM may (or may not) continue as a news operation.
> They may, or may have not, purchased the KOMO-AM property on
> KPLZ will be adding HD (They were one of a few in this market to
not do it).
> They will be leaving Fisher Plaza and are looking at a new
location near the Stadiums in Sodo.
> Lotus paid $18 Million for the stations plus ‘other
considerations’ (perhaps we will learn what that means).
> 97.7 is a bit of a wild card in that it’s transmitter is on
South Mountain, west of Shelton on the Olympics, 50 miles from Seattle, with a directional antenna protecting a
co-channel station in B.C.
> To be determined if they will get the translators in Redmond,
Tukwila, Chehalis and Auburn.
We can all certainly remember when –
KVI – Was owned by Gene Autry and was home of Bob Hardwick, Ray
KOMO – Was playing music
and identified as a Fisher station.
KPLZ – Was owned by Bill Boeing as KETO
What we do know is that this is a big change for some historic
stations. What Lotus does will have an
impact on other stations in the market for a long time to come.
The agenda and logistics for the first Radio
Show to be co-located with the NAB Show are taking shape. The compact
two day Radio Show conference will take place October 13-14 at the
Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, which is a short walk to the
adjacent Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) where the NAB Show will
convene from Oct. 9-13.
Among the recurring themes of the first
Radio Show in two years are how the pandemic has changed the way
programming originates and business is conducted, diversity and
inclusion, and infusing spots and promotions with creativity.
While the Radio Show sessions are taking place at the Westgate, the
official hotel is the Sahara Las Vegas. The NAB Show radio exhibits are
located in the North Hall of the convention center, which is open
Sunday, Oct. 10 through Wednesday, Oct 13. Radio Show exhibitors will
also have tabletop exhibits in the Westgate. The conference agenda has
built in blocks of time to visit Radio Show exhibitors on both days.
More changes coming to EAS –
As you have heard me say for years, EAS is a continuously evolving
system. This, on-going, process recently took some additional steps
related to their FNPRM ‘FCC 21-77’. I’m not going to deal with the
details as most of the changes involved the relationship between the FCC
and the SECC’s.
On the local scene –
The next SECC Meeting will be on July 13th at 930 AM. Like all of
these meetings since COVID changed the world, it will be held via Zoom.
Sign-in/participation details will be on the EAS-WA Remailer. You are
certainly welcome to attend and participate.
The process of upgrading our ‘Plan’ continues with frequent meetings
taking place, typically two weeks apart, on Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m.
These all take place via Google Groups. Like all of our EAS Meetings,
these too are open to all. The goal of this group is launch our WA-PAWS
(Washington Public Alert and Warning Systems) plan on September 1 of
this year. This new plan will – replace – the existing Washington State
EAS Plan completely. It will be available on a Web Site (URL, TBA)
hosted by WEMD.
As you know, I have been chairing the SECC since the start of EAS back
in 1996. I will have an announcement regarding my future involvement in
this activity at the July 13th SECC Meeting.
Back in the days, if you wanted to hear Mexican Music on the radio, you
had to wait until after dark in hopes of receiving one of those
high-powered stations just south of the Border. Since then, a lot has
changed. Today you can hear Latino programming in just about every
market in the country, in the larger ones (like the Puget Sound area)
you have multiple choices. The reason for this is obvious. We have been
joined by an ever increasing number of Latinos living with us.
thought it would be interesting to look at the percentage of listeners
Hispanics represent these days. This
data comes from Nielsen. The format is: Market – Percentage of
Latinos in that market.
New York - 25.47%
Los Angeles - 43.56%
Chicago - 21.48%
San Francisco - 22.27%
Dallas-Ft. Worth - 27.70%
Houston-Galveston - 36.16%
Atlanta - 10.40%
Philadelphia - 9.53%
Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) - 18.61%
Riverside-San Bernardino - 55.42%
San Jose - 23.71%
Middlesex-Somerset-Union - 24.18%
Washington, DC - 16.54%
Boston - 11.95%
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood - 55.72%
Detroit - 4.27
Phoenix - 29.41%
Minneapolis-St. Paul - 5.52%
San Diego - 32.66%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater - 20.16%
Denver-Boulder - 21.00%
Baltimore - 6.09%
Portland - 12.99%
Seattle-Tacoma - 9.29%
Obviously, a high percentage of Latinos represents a broadcaster with a business opportunity.
recently installed a new Gates Air FAX-30 transmitter for their
107.7-KNDD at West Tiger Mountain. The project was supervised by their
Chief, Phil Van Liew. Their trusty old Continental is being moved back
to Cougar where it will replace a ‘historic’ Collins unit as an
Auxiliary for KSWD. Allow me to clarify as why I said it would be moving
back. About 20 years ago, when the West Tiger facility was enlarged,
KNDD moved their Continental transmitter from Cougar to West Tiger. Now,
that same rig is moving back to Cougar, albeit in a different building.
The Seattle-Tacoma numbers are out. Here are my observations –
> KIRO-FM is back in the #1 slot.
> #2 is Audacy’s KISW.
> #3 is KUOW who continues to prove that a Non-Comm can be successful.
> #4 is KEXP who continues to prove the success of the little station is not a fluke.
> #8 Is KOMO-AM proving that AM is not dead and how an all-news format can succeed.
> #10 is another Non-Comm, KNKX with Jazz, News and NPR.
> #12 is KCMS with Contemporary Christian.
> The #2 AM Station is KIRO/710 with Sports which is re-starting in a big way.
> Audacy’s ‘The Wolf’ is ahead of ‘The Bull’ in the Country Race.
> IHM’s two AM’s (850 and 1090) continue to languish near the bottom.
Perhaps the most interesting is this time we have THREE stations with
HD-2’s showing. KNKX, KING and KSWD. This is the first time I recall
have 3 HD channels making a showing. It should be noted that these HD
signals are being listened to with HD Radios. They are not, as is the
case in many markets, being used to feed FM translators which end up
being the signals that listeners are tuned to.
Back to KEXP - Based on conventional metrics, this station should not be rated #4.
For openers, let’s compare their transmitting facility –
KEXP is located on Capital Hill in Seattle. They operate with 4.7 kW at
an elevation of 211 Meters above average terrain using a directional
antenna. They don’t cover Tacoma and barely get into Everett.
Compare this to – KPLZ – Cougar Mt. 100 kW at 372 Meters and KING-FM
West Tiger, 68 kW at 707 Meters, Both of which cover the entire
Puget Sound Basin.
KEXP does not have a powerful corporate ownership with upper layers of programming consultants, etc.
KEXP operates what’s termed a AAA format. Not known for huge ratings numbers, anywhere.
Another area where KEXP is in contrast to stations operated by major
owners. They are not operated with announcers that are located elsewhere
using music selected by computers, etc. They are doing radio the way
radio used to be done. Here is how they put it:
KEXP's commitment to, and interaction with, its
audience has been key to its success since the pandemic. “People need
music, connection and community more than ever right now,” “One of
the things that differentiates us from others is that KEXP DJs have the
freedom and responsibility to curate their own shows, [which]
strengthens our emotional connection to listeners and has been key
during the pandemic. DJs being able to connect with listeners through
all this turmoil and uncertainty, in a very real and authentic way, has
helped listeners feel less isolated, less alone, knowing we’re all
experiencing this strange time together.”
I say Kudo’s to KEXP...A
great story about how a little station did not forget what made Radio great and
is winning because of it.
If you maintained the
legacy PR&E mixing consoles at a radio station, you perhaps know the name
Bob Moore. He was well known for
refurbishing these workhorses for many years.
Just learned that Bob passed recently following a long term illness after a motorcycle accident back in 2017.
time is rapidly approaching for LPTV Stations to switch from Analog to
Digital. July 13th is the hard deadline set by the FCC.
you happen to see this picture recently? Happened during a
press briefing in Iran. You know, they build devices for this kind
of an event that would cut down this forest of mics to –
one! As Lowell Kiesow mentioned, some of them may have
an example of one from Whirlwind – Plug a microphone into one of the
jacks at the top, with everyone at the conference plugs into one at the
The first time I encountered one of these was back in the 60’s when President Kennedy spoke at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma.
Nothing like a wood fire on a cold night. However, in this case, the
wood is the transmitter building for IHM’s WOOD-FM in central western
Michigan. The ‘flash-point’ for this disaster was indeed a flash.
Lightning reportedly got the whole thing going.
my work for WSU’s NWPB takes me to the other side of the Cascades. In
this case, a bit of Tail-Gate repair in Cle Elum. I’m the really old guy
on the right. On the left is John McDaniel who is retiring September
first. If you are interested in joining this team, time is short,
contact Jeff Snell at NWPB’s facility at WSU in Pullman.
Earlier I wrote about my concern that the drought in the Southwest could
drive people to move to this area. Not saying that this is what’s
taking place, however, it was recently announced that Washington is
experiencing the 6th highest population growth in the U.S. The report
found that between 2015 and 2020, Washington’s population grew by 7.3% —
an increase of an estimated 526,325 people for a total population of
Oregon reported a healthy 10.6% increase, while Idaho, considered one of
the fastest growing states in the nation, reported a 17.3% increase.
Between 2010 and 2020, California posted a 6.1% increase. However, for
the first time in more than a century, the state reported a population
drop of 0.46% — an estimated 182,083 people — during 2020.
There was a time that
just about everyone owned a typewriter. Nowadays just about everyone has a computer, or, at least, a smart phone
with a keyboard. They all have something
in common, the layout of the keys. Did
you know that it was 1868 the Sholes and Glidden typewriter was patented using
the QWERTY keyboard? Have to believe
they would be shocked to find the typewriter is gone but their configuration of
keys remains the world standard.
Radio Broadcasters have
come to appreciate the revenue potential of Podcasting. Now there is a new kid on the
block….Legalized Sports Gambling whose revenue is projected to grow to 10 to 30
$Billion this decade. Broadcasters are
eager to tap-in to this new source of cash. The race is on! I’ve not heard who will be involved in this
area. Sports Radio is likely.
past month it was announced that NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ would be
inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame. ATC made its debut 50
years ago on May 3, 1971.
you are a broadcaster, and have a tower that’s required to be marked,
you know how important it is to keep it painted. FCC inspectors used to
carry paint samples used to check to see if your tower was too faded
etc. Now with that being said, next time you are in
the area of Auburn, head east on Auburn Way, toward Enumclaw. As you
pass the big Muckleshoot complex on your left, look to the right at the
FAA’s regional Flight Control Center. Take a close look at that big
self-supporting tower and note the condition of the paint. Just
in 2018, Sale Media did a swap with a group (Intelli) involving Salem’s
KKOL and their KPAM in Portland. Not sure what happened, but
Salem announced they are paying 500 Grand to get it back. KKOL has had
an interesting history. For years, it was KOL and was operating from
Seattle’s Harbor Island with 5,000 watts on 1300. Then it moved to the
Port of Tacoma and increased power until it ran into safety concerns.
Then it was off to Bainbridge Island where it’s tri-plexed. There too,
there have been technical and/or political issues.
Another deal has recently been announced,
Busto’s Media has closed on their purchase deal for KZGI in Sedro Woolley.
Every once in a while, you read something and do a ‘double-take’. Here’s an example -
Appears their editor, or proof-reader, is not a technical person. 😊
It seems that we are
receiving a constant stream of stories about how one company or another has
been the victim of a Malware Attack.
The Colonial Pipeline incident was certainly major news. The perps that do this are targeting
government and industry systems all the time.
certainly been hit. Not long ago,
Entercom (now Audacy) and Salem Media Group were hit. More recently Cox Media was hit with a
ransomware attack. Cox operates KIRO-TV
June 2, the White House published an open letter to U.S. corporate
executives and business leaders, urging them to take steps to protect
their systems against ransomware attacks. The memo from Anne Neuberger,
Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor
for Cyber and Emerging Technology, contained five best practices to
minimize the effect of such attacks.
1. Backup your data, system images, and configurations, regularly test them, and keep the backups offline.
2. Update and patch systems promptly.
3. Test your incident response plan.
4. Check Your Security Team’s Work.
Certainly a sign of the times – Convenience store chain 7-Eleven has
announced they will be dramatically increasing the number of EV
The question is, what will it cost you to ‘top-off’ your electric tank? Certainly 7-Eleven sees a profit in this expansion.
Ever note how we hang on to terms from the
past, despite them being out-dated?
Here are some examples –
> Film at 11 (Film has been
gone a long time)
> We have it ‘On-Tape’ (So have
> Roll-up the windows (Do you really have window ‘cranks’ in your
> Typing (Even using a touch-screen on your phone?)
New to this category – I found writers
referring to an Electric Vehicle having a 'Gas Pedal'
While I’m in the looking-back mode…
many of you remember when radios were marked AC/DC? How about the ‘All
American 5’ referring to the fact that these old radios often had 5
vacuum tubes. At the outset they used ‘Octal base tubes’. Later on, when
so-called ‘miniature’ tubes came along, they used them. These old sets
were dangerous by today’s standards, as the chassis could be connected
to 120 volts if the plug happened to be inserted the wrong way. This was
easy as it was before polarized power plugs. Yes, we have come a long
If you ever
wondered just how much tower space is occupied by Cellular these days, take a look at the following picture.
This is just T-Mobiles equipment on the KVTI Tower in Lakewood. In the ‘Good old days’ the electronic
equipment (Transmitters and Receivers) were in a shelter (small building) at the
base of the tower with a coaxial cable connected to the antennas. Now all that equipment is located behind the
antenna. In other words – fewer/smaller
cables going up the tower and a lot more equipment – on the tower.
One of my favorite pictures. This of the West Tiger #1 Tower at Sunset. If I recall, taken by Alex Brewster using his drone.
Unless you drive a vehicle with a Manual Transmission, you won’t understand this.
those of you that do not, this is a visual that some put on their back
window to remind those following that the vehicle ahead has a Manual
Transmission. Commonly called a ‘3-Pedal Vehicle’. I should put one of
those on the back of my pickup. I have to admit, I enjoy a manual,
frankly, giving little thought to the process of changing gears all
My first car was a ’49 Ford, from there a number of VW’s etc. Only a
couple of years ago did we purchase our first Automatic (a 2018
According to a recent report, today only about 1% of vehicles sold are
Manuals. This has had the impact of turning these vehicles into
collectors items which has, in effect, increased their demand and
There is another aspect that is occasionally mentioned. The fact that
only about 18% of drivers know how to drive one! To me, this equates to a
form of ‘Theft Protection Device’. With that percentage going down all
the time, holding on to my manual only seems to make sense. Now if I
could talk my insurance company into giving me a deduction for my ‘Theft
reason I love this part of the country and my job with WSU’s NWPB is
that I get to travel to work locations…and bring my camera. Attached
pictures were taken on the job.
The following looking at Tongue Point, located on the south shore of the
Strait of Juan de Fuca. It was taken from the window of my truck as I
was coming down from Striped Peak, location of NWPB’s KNWP (as well as
Here are some links for more info –
As part of an impending transmitter
change, I went over to the other side of
the mountains. My first stop was
Wenatchee where I had a nice dinner with Jerry Olson and Charlie Osgood. I asked the girl at the front-desk of the
hotel for something facing east as I like morning sun. To my delight she put me on the 4th
floor where this was the view out the window of my room. In the event you don’t recognize these
towers, this is the array for legendary KPQ.
Salt Creek Recreation Area - Wikipedia
Salt Creek Recreation Area (clallam.net)
The next morning, Brady Aldrich and I were
headed to Aeneas Mountain, site of WSU’S KQWS.
In addition to the radio transmitter, there is a lot of 2-way radio
communications equipment, as well as a lookout that was manned until fairly
recently when they installed a camera to replace the person that lived on the
mountain during the summer months. The
cool thing about this site is that you can look around from your computer by
going to - www.alertwildfire.org/oregon/?camera=Axis-Aeneas. As the camera stops, in various directions,
you will be able to see the tower with the KQWS antenna (three back gizmo’s) as
well as the roof of the transmitter building.
Note in one of the shots of the roof the hatch for winter access (there
is a ladder on the inside).
For some history,
and more pictures – go here –
Lookout on Aeneas Mountain (willhiteweb.com)
One of the pictures at this site shows the top of the mountain pretty much the way I found it.
In this picture, you can see the tower with the KQWS 3-bay
antenna. In the foreground is the relatively small transmitter
building that is crammed with electronic communications equipment.
Here we are looking generally South, down the Okanogan River Valley.
The views from here are
extensive. Looking East, and down, you can see the little town of
Tonasket on US-97 with SR-21 winding its way eastward toward Republic.
Here you can see
the formerly manned lookout tower. To the left is the solar powered weather
The elevation of
Aeneas is 5167 feet. (That’s 2219 feet
higher than West Tiger). There is a lot of history here. For a deeper-dive go here:
Lemanasky Lookout on Aeneas Mountain (willhiteweb.com)
To get there you head west from US97
between Omak and Tonasket. As you drive
along, there are some charming homes along with stands of various varieties of
evergreens and Aspens. Past a locked
gate, the road becomes increasingly
primitive and a couple of switchbacks that required Brady to back up and try
it again in his big F-250.
I took a lot of pictures of things that you
can’t see at the websites for these locations. Here are a couple –
Looking at the bottom of the Weather
Station. No poured concrete in this
foundation. Just some wire fencing and a
lot of rocks gathered from the summit. These anchors are called Gabion cages or
baskets. Not only are these used for
anchors like this but for retaining walls.
You can find our more by going here -
Gabion - Wikipedia
You can purchase the cages from a number of
sources, including Amazon.
Amazon.com : gabion
You need to supply your own rocks.
In the case of this mountain – The entire
top is covered with pieces of broken rock.
A closer view of the gabion foundation construction. Not sure what was in this little fenced
area. To the right was likely a
foundation (this time using concrete) for a site used to spot fires.
This is looking pretty much south from the
Summit. Here I have zoomed in on Lemansky Lake. This was man-made many years
ago with a small earthen dam. You can
look up Lemansky Dam for more information.
There are a couple of houses on this charming body of water.
Here we see the KQWS tower with it’s transmitting Antenna. The
Satellite Antenna is used to receive programming from Pullman. The dish
has a large heating system to keep it operating during winters that are
known to be fierce at this location.
Perhaps one of the most unique features are
these two structures. On the left is the ‘Shower’.
water was pumped up into the barrel on the stand (using the red colored
hose). Inside is a valve and shower head complete with a rack for your
soap and shampoo. I submit that this was only used during warmer months.
On the right is a functioning outhouse. Interestingly both have ‘WOMEN’
over their doors.
Here we are looking, generally North. The Canadian Border is not far north. The station has a number of listeners up that way.
Here is another view of the Satellite Antenna, Transmitter Building and
the other tower used for communications antennas. Note the roof hatch on
the left side of the roof. There is a ladder inside. During the winter,
access is via snow-cat as the snow can get very deep.
The Satellite Antenna is used to deliver programming from Pullman. The
‘Black-Hoses’ below the dish are used to pump heat into the antenna to
melt the snow and ice during the winter.
And finally, a picture showing the outhouse with the shower water tank
on the right. To the left is the lookout tower. Here we are looking West
toward the North Cascades.
I plan on being back up here in a couple of weeks to work on the
transmitter change. This time I will be busy inside that little building
along with others on our team. Hopefully it will not be overcast and
warmer. Of course, this will mean more bugs.
No, I did not take this one! However, it is a classic shot of a broadcast tower (with 3 FM Antennas) and a full moon.
Any of my readers old enough to remember
when Dumont was a big name in television?
Knife-Set for a Mechanic
No…..Not NEC Approved!!!
about it for this month, my friends. Lord willing, I will be back next month at
most of the usual locations.
Until then, get your shots and stay safe.
and be nice to those that refused to get vaccinated.