Sunday, August 12, 2012

Golden Eagle Radio Flies!

Rex LeFevre, back in the saddle again!
 In 2007, Rex LeFevre decided Garden Valley needed a radio station. He says, “It’s been a knock-down, drag-out fight ever since.”

By 2008, LeFevre was making numerous appearances at school board meetings, trying to drum up interest in a station at the school. He has always aspired to getting the students involved. Anyone interested or, in many cases, not interested, in hearing about his plans, dreams, and intentions, were given an ear-load about starting a new radio station.

Potential locations raised their heads (and his hopes): the old school, the new school, the old clinic, private homes, the Senior Center and Calvary Chapel...but meanwhile, no Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license materialized to further pursuance of these possibilities.

Meanwhile, in September, 2009, his quarter-horse named Bullet bucked him. An exam disclosed multiple myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow. Since then, LeFevre has gathered a core of dedicated volunteers to help him fulfill his dream ‘before my time is up”.
“What this radio station means to me, “says LeFevre, “is that the knowledge I’ve accumulated the last seventy-five years can be passon and can be shared with the people of Garden Valley—if they want it.”

Those years included being a police officer, with a Salt Lake Cityradio station and show, Captain Bonneville’s Journal, in 1965. He comments, “It was a format of buyers and sellers I did years later.” After this, he worked for Howard Hughes, in Las Vegas, as a security and intelligence man.While a partial owner of a flying school in Tucson, Arizona, LeFevre did Friday and Saturday evening romantic jazz on radio. When the school went broke, he did underwater repair and salvage and worked as a crop-duster.

A ten-year aquaculture project in Belize had him raising Maine lobsters “and anything that would grow there”. He went broke. 
Back in Salt Lake City, he was at KALL. After this, he wound up at KDFQ, in Modesto, California, flying and reporting a.m. and p.m. traffic.

At this time, LeFevre was informed he had Meniere’s syndrome and this is when he lost much of his hearing. He met and married his lovely second wife and moved to KVML, in the Mother Lode. After sixteen years, his wife passed away; he later moved to be with his friend, Hope Wilson, here in Garden Valley.

Two years ago, LeFevre and his group of local citizens formed GV Communications, Inc., intended to bring FM Community Radio to the valley. Their hopes were raised when, in 2011, President Obama signed the Local Community Radio Act of 2010 into law. Community Radio is a new service (Low Power FM) authorized by the FCC in 2000 to provide local broadcasting in rural areas.

Rich Smith has been the major supporter
and spokesman in Rex's endeavor, from the beginning.
Sometime in 2012, the FCC will open a five-day window for FM licenses; this keeps KXGV Accounting and Radio Engineer, Rich Smith, busy checking every day. Meanwhile, their website, www.gardenvalleyradio
.com, will be providing more information as time goes on. IT and Sound Engineer, Tim Benedict, has been the force behind launching this page and setting up the studio. 

 The 2012 4thof July was to be the big day for supporters, with a micro-power broadcast throughout Crouch and its two-mile radius. On July 3, Crouch City Clerk, Kim Bosse, approached Rex LeFevre with the disturbing news that they could not have an FM station in downtown Crouch. She had previously presented the radio with permit problems on June 23, 2012. Bosse has since stated that she was in the process of learning the zoning ordinance laws and the discovery of the prohibition of FM broadcasting came as a result of the City process when a person needs a building permit.

Le Fevre says, “I think the whole thing started when I put the roof on the porch and closed in the garage to teach gold-panning techniques.” He’s probably right. Several alterations on the building would require permits and inspections. Bosse felt it imperative to also inform him of the ordinance she had discovered, which prohibits FM stations and aerials--this turned out to be, as Rich Smith puts it, "a boiler-plate type thing that no one ever really looked at."                                                                                                                

All is well that end’s well, though, even with a few shocks to the heart. The July 4 show went ahead and gave Independence Day revelers a taste of the beautiful radio techniques of both Terry Loyd and Rex LeFevre. The Council has addressed the issue and will “try to fix it”, according to Bosse. 
"Babe Boomer" says, "I loved Northern Exposure and had
a dream of doinjg a radio station in a place like that."
Program Director, Terry Loyd, worked professionally on KRMR and KSKI, Sun Valley, from 1978 to 1982, with the moniker, “Little Loose”. What happened after that was real life: “I had to get a real job. I worked in hotels in Sun Valley and Elkhorn for ten years then got involved in publishing and after that, launching satellite TV for twenty years.”

After the 4th of July debut, “our big winds generated static electricity and the antenna was not grounded,” admits LeFevre. Hence, KXGV, 97.5 FM on your dial, was off the air for two weeks but is now on. The radio antenna has been upgraded and they are currently using a higher-power back-up transmitter for the Springs Fires updates, thus demonstrating the radio's importance as a community emergency braodcasting source.

 Mascot and Public Relations specialist, Bandit, lives
at the station with Rex.
Rex LeFevre will take the morning shift and Terry Loyd, as ‘Babe Boomer”, will come on in the evening and the radio will offer 24-hour entertainment. Loyd says, “Anything that happens to a baby boomer you can expect to hear on my show. This isn’t just talk radio—I play music.”

LeFevre propounds, “The secret to success is to know your demographics.”

Loyd counters, “The average age in Crouch is forty. No more Mitch Miller!”
The station is in a perfect location, across from the Longhorn
and nest to the Community Hall.
One thing they agree on is, as Loyd puts it, “We don’t want to get political. We have enough issues just living here. We don’t have to get involved in name-calling.”

According to LeFevre, who says he really enjoys talking to people on a variety of subjects, “Nobody gets criticized on the show unless they’re here to defend themselves.”

Rich Smith wants the community to realize this is for them. The radio will have involvement with the school, the churches and Sunday programs, emergency alerts and local safety information.

Loyd with supporter, Jimmy, in the middle of the action
at the Exergy Tour, downtown Crouch.
“We have two challenges,” says LeFevre. “One, to start people listening—at one time, everyone listened to radio; two, to generate revenues through sponsorship, to support the station.”

“And fulfill needs in the community,” adds Loyd, “We have a unique set of challenges.”

Smith says people will be able to record or be on live. Program Director Loyd assures that citizens can sign up to do weekly programs.

Rich Smith will do a “Science Geek” show. LeFevre likes humor: “Lighten up, enjoy and get the info you need. I truly feel that harmony could be created with this, between neighbors. What I’m asking people to do is a new hobby—listen to community radio."

The radio cannot accept ads, but sponsors. They also can use volunteers. Rich Smith says, “The whole objective is nobody is paid, it’s all volunteer. We need financial participation too.”
No Mitch Miller!
Out of Rex LeFevre’s cache of good writing are the following lines: The real challenge of life is to take what we were born with, both good and bad, then stop blaming and making excuses, so we can view with a new focus. To create a pocket of excellence where we are, where we live.

He sits in the radio station that represents his dream for Garden Valley and his legacy, and says, “The commitment I’ve had from people is so special.”

With his own desire and perseverance and the caring generosity of Terry Loyd, Rich Smith, Tim Benedict, Business Planner and Consultant John Jauregui, Grant writer and Networker John Cottingham—and his extended family of supporters--Rex LeFevre is sure to create that pocket of excellence.

Without Bullet throwing me, I'd never have known how ill I was--I'd be dead now.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Angel, Thanks for the great article. I'm doing my shows in the aftn, usually 1-5pm. The signal improved today, now you can get clear reception down Middle Fork road. Would love to have your readers tune in 97.5 and let us know what kind of music they'd like to hear. 462-4350.
    Thanks! Babe Boomer