Monday, December 5, 2016


Huntley Santa Monica Beach Hotel
When I travel to Los Angeles my favorite place to stay is the Huntley Santa Monica Beach [link].  Not only is it with walking distance of the Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Pier and wonderful beaches, it is a classic echo of Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940. The Huntley is a favorite of international film folks. People watching is terrific.

One thing I’ve noticed when I stay at the Huntley is how hit-and-miss radio reception is in a car or in a guest room.  The reason is terrain shielding from nearby hills. The lack of a line-of-sight prevents weaker FM signals, particularly from Mt, Wilson, from being reliably heard. One of the weaker FM signals is KPCC-FM.

Terrain shielding on Pacific Coast Highway
Back in the 1980s Pasadena City College made the wise decision to move it’s transmission to Mt. Wilson, LA’s major tower site. To do so KPCC had to drop its power to 600 watts, which means KPCC's primary signal has difficultly reaching some areas west of the 405 Freeway, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Sawtelle, and Brentwood. KCRW has the advantage reaching these areas of West LA.

Now KPCC [link] has signed on a booster signal for 89.3 to serve listeners in these areas. Gone are “picket fence” dropouts and interference from other stations. The signal improvement also benefits commuters who cross the Sepulveda Pass and travel along Pacific Coast Highway between Santa Monica and Malibu.

The projected coverage is shown on the left. People in the red and yellow areas are now able to receive KPCC with no problems. Folks is the green areas are getting improved service.

The booster required state-of-the-art engineering preparation between KPCC and National Public Radio Labs [link].


Alain Stephens
Producer/reporter Alain Stephens of KUT in Austin, Texas, has been selected by Reveal as one of the first five recipients of its three-year Reveal Investigative Fellowship for journalists of color. 

Stephens will be working with Reveal to report on police department policies regarding guns and other weapons that have been seized. The key questions are: Why do Texas police departments sell their used guns, and who ends up with that equipment?

Reveal Fellows will receive investigative reporting training and mentorship, coaching, travel reimbursement and a $10,000 stipend to support their projects.

Reveal is produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting and is distributed by PRX. The fellowship is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. You can see more information at [link],

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