The fight against Ohio's Senate Bill 5 Continues

Bob Fitrakis interviews Bruce Bostick, labor organizer, on the battle against SB5

“We’ve turned in 1.3 million signatures which was a record number-400,000 more than had ever been turned in before, but right now we got to win this thing…on a ballot,” said Bostick.

Has Ohio or the US seen a labor battle this big in recent history ?
Fight Back

Jukebox Launch & Comfest Booth

Hey everybody,
It's Comfest time again. WCRS encourages you to check out our booth at the street fair. We will have our new schedule printed out as well as bumper stickers & silk screened t-shirts.

Comfest is at Gooddale park June 23-25th. Also remember if you want to help WCRS to volunteer with clean-up and recycling or safety and donate your hours to WCRS. You can sign-up at

Also we are pleased to announce the WCRS Local Music Jukebox appears to be up and ready to run. If you are a local band or musician check out for more information.

Community radio station WCRS transferred to The Neighborhood Network

On December 21st Simply Living officially transferred its license to operate WCRS-LP 102.1 and 98.3 FM to The Neighborhood Network, an assignment approved by the FCC in early November. “The commitment and contributions of our volunteer personnel have been powerful testimony to the importance of community radio. It is a miracle that our station has reached this point, and it is also a testament to the tenacity, hutzpah, and perseverance of everyone involved,” said Marilyn Welker, director of Simply Living.

For community radio to serve its listenership, broad community support is needed. We especially honor and thank the following agencies and people for their outstanding contributions:

City of Columbus and the Community Relations Commission;
Java Kitrick and the Puffin Foundation
Mark Kitrick and the law firm of Kitrick, Lewis & Harris
Comfest and their Grants Committee;
Used Kids Records;
Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism;
Peter Doyle and the Audio Division staff at the FCC for their due diligence in wading through reams of paper related to our timeshare agreement and their unswerving commitment to see low power community radio reach its potential.

Photo by Ness Mayker

FCC approves WCRS-LP license transfer

On November 2nd, Peter Doyle, Chief of the FCC’s Audio Division, Media Bureau, approved Simply Living’s (SL) request to transfer our community radio broadcast license to The Neighborhood Network (TNN). The transfer will become effective when legal and liability arrangements have been finalized by TNN and SL, and we notify the FCC.

Bexley Public Radio Foundation, SL’s timeshare partner on 102.1 FM, will now work with TNN to seek agreement for assigning all hours of the 24/7 broadcast clock. Currently WCRS broadcasts from 3-8 p.m. daily and WCRX, Bexley’s station, broadcasts from 11a.m. – 1 p.m. weekdays.

As a community asset, WCRS, in its short 40 months of broadcasting, has provided unique and valuable programming to Central Ohio, the majority of which is locally produced. Especially noteworthy are the following Central Ohio firsts:
First to air Democracy Now!, the nation’s premier independently produced news program
First to air Somali language programming, serving the 2nd largest Somali population
First to air a locally-produced youth radio program, Youth Beat Radio
First to air Pacifica programming

“The FCC’s decision is a victory for more full-bodied community radio in Central Ohio,” notes Marilyn Welker, Executive Director of Simply Living. “Accessibility to people and viewpoints who are otherwise not represented in today’s radio environment is more critical than ever for informed and engaged citizens. Community radio can provide this unique and valuable medium.” WCRS with its rebroadcast on 98.3 FM, the translator station owned by Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism, enables much wider listenership for the station. Central Ohio, in fact, is the largest metro area in the nation to be served by low power radio, and WCRS is the nation’s only low power station to be rebroadcast on a translator station.

WCRS Receives Comfest's Community Organization of the Year Award

With 38 years of celebrating community values and an annual feat of putting on one of Columbus' best festivals with a passionate all-volunteer crew, the Comfest organizers have our total admiration. So we were totally tickled to receive Comfest's Honored Community Organization Award for our community radio station, WCRS 102.1 and 98.3 FM this past June 26th.

In presenting the award on behalf of the Comfest Committee, Connie Everett spoke of the importance of WCRS in bringing unrepresented and underrepresented voices to Columbus listeners. Jayme Richards and Robb Ebright accepted the award on behalf of our dedicated and talented WCRS volunteers. Having just celebrated our 3rd anniversary of broadcasting, we've learned how challenging--and important--community radio is. Helpers are always welcome and needed--visit to sign up!

Thanks to all of our dedicated helpers for greeting and talking with Festival goers at our Simply Living and WCRS booths, and for assisting the Comfest Committee with security and clean-up: Jayme Richards; Robb Ebright; Eugene Beer; Evan Davis; Pat Leonard; Joey Pigg; Adam Fleischer; Bridgette Kreuz; Cheryle Williams; Pat Roach; Ryan Branch; Kenny Acker; Carlotta Penn; Chuck Robol; Tim Anstaett; Josh Tulecke-Paulson; Kevin Menefield; and Joe Atzberger.

Plans for 2010 from one WCRS reporter--Tom Over

So as to manage my time and energy in 2010, I think I would be wise to focus on three main projects. Please let me know what you think. My guess is that these things will be better if we put our minds together.

(I)   Serial previews for the US Social Forum and in-person reporting on the event, and the people and issues involved;

(II)  Serial previews and reporting on the WCRS community forums, along with some reporting based on following what participants in the forums communicate about what issues matter to them;

and (III) Serial reporting on the problems of Ohio's factory farming and what can be done about it. I intend to frame this reporting within the context of Peak Oil, Climate Change, over-population and other broad issues.

I dislike how a lot of environmental reporting homes in on a specific environmental problem such as mountain top removal mining, without framing the issue within a broader ecological and socio-political context. 

Obviously this also happens with reporting that doesn't present itself as having an environmentalist perspective. For example, WOSU, Columbus Alive, the Other Paper, or 614 Magazine have reported on bicycle commuting and local food.

But, to my knowledge, they have done so without much, if any, mention of Peak Oil, Climate Change, or even concerns about air or water quality for that matter. 

So, I intend to use Peak Oil, Climate Change, and other broad ecological and political issues as a reference point in every peice of reporting I create.

Localism isn't about focusing on,  for example, the buses, bike lanes, farmers' markets, co-ops, and community gardens of Columbus as if no world beyond our city existed. Rather, as far as I am concerned, localism is about finding local ways to actually do something about the various global problems we become aware of.

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