by Ron Staschak
Unfortunately, I think that sometimes people are more programmed to be critical instead of praising. I want to thank Joe Steinberger and Stephen Carroll for creating WRFR. This station represents the best of who we, as a community, are. We respect all points of view and debate them respectfully. WRFR is a wonderful addition to our community. It is my hope that we will be able maintain and improve upon the great foundation that they have provided.
Answering your questions Ron, I got interested in radio in 1969 when I was an anti-war activist and a draft counselor with the American Friends Service Committee in Manhattan. I was interviewed a few times by Bob Fass on WBAI, New York’s then-radical community radio station.
Thirty years later I was on the Rockland City Council and Steve Carroll was helping to broadcast our meetings on the City cable channel. Steve and I had the idea to use the channel to broadcast debates on city issues. Internal politics put the kibosh on that and we were disappointed. Then I read about the FCC oﬀering licenses for a new category of low power FM radio. The rest is history.
WRFR is not so much the product of a plan as of an evolution. There is one fundamental principle: openness to everyone and respect for everyone in our community. I am very proud that we have maintained that over these twenty years. My hope is that WRFR, based on this democratic principle, will survive me.
As for making changes, the model that we have evolved, a kind of open and respectful family anarchy supported by local business sponsors, is working very well. We seem to be surviving the Covid terror, and with any luck the wonderful and diverse bunch of us will soon be able again to gather around the big round table in studio C and conspire in good spirit.
As for growth, I am more into sustainable continuance, and progress in quality rather than in quantity. This great country of our is in a crisis of sectarian distrust and hatred, a crisis of mob-think. WRFR is giving us a chance to be ourselves, to use our brains, and to connect with each other in a constructive and respectful way. I hope we can show a way forward.
This story was first seen in The Buzz newspaper, a media partner with Maine Coast TV. The Buzz printed version is distributed in Rockland Maine each week at these locations:
Good Tern Co-op • Dunkin’ Donuts • Jensen’s Pharmacy
Rock City Cafe • Southend Grocery
The Buzz online version is available each Friday at www.TheBuzz.me.
If you’d like to contribute an article to The Buzz or be an announcer or volunteer at WRFR.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Joe at 596-0731.
If you’d like to be a volunteer or contributor to Maine Coast TV, email MaineCoastTV@gmail.com.
To listen to WRFR, go to www.MaineCoast.tv and click on the blue microphone or go to wrfr.org or in Rockland tune to 93.3 FM