Wednesday, August 27th

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Breaking News: Napa Earthquake; Lodge Lightning Complex Fire

Sunday morning earthquake (Updated at 7:20am Tuesday August 26): According to the USGS, an earthquake and several aftershocks were recorded this morning. The original quake at 3:20am Sunday morning was measured at 6.0 and was centered near American Canyon. Three aftershocks were recorded near Napa: at 5:01am (2.5), at 5:47am (3.6), and 7:22am (2.5); two more near American Canyon at 7:54am (2.8), and 10:38am (2.6).

KQED reports the following information:
A 6.0-magnitude earthquake epicentered at the southern edge of Napa struck at Sunday morning at 3:20 a.m.
• The quake is the strongest to strike the Bay Area since the 6.9 Loma Prieta quake of Oct. 17, 1989.
• Napa’s Queen of the Valley Hospital reports treating 208 people between the time the earthquake struck at 3:20 a.m. and 11 p.m. Sunday. The hospital says a total of 17 people were admitted, most in fair to serious condition. One person remains in critical condition. Vallejo is reporting 25 minor injuries.
• The city of Napa has reported 33 buildings have been deemed unsafe. Officials in Vallejo have closed a two-block stretch of one of the city’s principal streets because of concerns that a church bell tower could collapse, and Napa’s school district announced that schools will remain closed Tuesday and possibly beyond. KQED’s Craig Miller reports that Vallejo’s First Baptist Church, at the corner of Carolina Street and Sonoma Boulevard, has been red-tagged. Among the church’s structural concerns: that the bell tower has been weakened to the point where it might collapse. This fear has prompted officials to close Sonoma Boulevard, which is also Highway 29, for two blocks on either side of the church. The closure also affects Lincoln Elementary School, immediately across the street from First Baptist.
• Napa officials updated the number of buildings red-tagged there to 64. Among the buildings shut down is the city’s historic courthouse building, and county officials announced today that the building will be closed indefinitely as it undergoes structural analysis. Several other major public buildings, including the Napa County Administration Building, were closed Monday.
• The Napa Valley Unified School District announced schools across the city will remain closed Tuesday as staff cleans up after the quake. The district will make a decision Tuesday about whether the closure will be extended.
• The Napa Fire Department reported Monday it responded to 50 fires after the quake, including one in a mobile home park that destroyed four units and damaged several others. Fire officials said an initial lack of water due to water-main breaks led to some of the destruction.
• Napa’s water system is undergoing repairs after suffering 60 water-main breaks. Officials say that some residents will lose water service during repairs and are advising affected residents to use boiled or bottled water until further notice.

Additional detailed information can be found at KQED's website: KQED reports.

Lodge Fire: The fire status has not been updated by Cal Fire since Wednesday evening. It appears that there will be no additional updates until/unless there is a significant change in the status. KZYX will monitor Cal Fire and other fire, police, and safety sources and advise if needed. At last report the fire had consumed 12,535 acres and was 96% contained.

Regarding a Ukiah Studio

Posted by John Coate
John Coate
I am the General Manager of KZYX and the Executive Director of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting. You can ...
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on Thursday, 04 July 2013 in Station Business

The recently passed FY2014 budget has about $12K earmarked to create a satellite studio in Ukiah.  That money is necessary for the equipment to create a studio similar to the ones we have in Mendocinio and Willits. 

In my most recent GM Report, I describe two scenarios for a Ukiah studio, one as described above, which is what has been authorized, and one that solves a bigger infrastructure problem that is also far more expensive to undertake.

What follows is from my recent report:

There are two options for a studio in Ukiah.  One, dubbed the Production version, creates a small studio in the class of the ones we have in Mendocino and Willits.  The other is the Signal version.  It is much more ambitious and expensive, but it would solve a serious problem with the way our basic signal path is routed.

The 2014 budget provides for the modest  Production version.  It assumes buying the most cost-effective equipment, minimal or no rent, two phone lines and an internet-based connection to Philo.  Establishing a Ukiah studio – even a small one with limited capabilities - means we have much greater potential to produce better local public affairs programming because we will have more convenient access to more of what I call the “county-wide thinkers.”

With more funding – along the lines of $60K – we could undertake the Signal version.  This version solves a critical long-term infrastructure problem.  The KZYX signal should originate in Ukiah and not Philo because the transmitter site for 91.5 on Laughlin Peak is a superior site for the KZYX/KZYZ signal hub.  Long term this will become increasingly important. 

It requires moving a lot of antennas and equipment and we will need to build moderate-sized towers.  But it will raise the KZYX signal up to a stronger, more stable and more versatile position. 

We are under some time pressure because the trees that stand in between the Philo studio and Cold Springs Mountain continue to grow.  Currently we power through the branches with the help of a booster on the line itself.  Once that becomes ineffective (we aren’t sure when but within 2-3 years is probable), then our entire signal path becomes critically compromised. 

It is mainly a question of having enough money to pull it off.  Because I am unsure of our income in FY2014, I have not budgeted for the larger project.  But if we make enough money, we can do this.  Or we can mount a capital campaign.  To move it along without over-committing funds, we will be testing various locations along the 101 corridor this summer.

At the risk of getting into too much technical detail, I will outline the components of what that will look like:

- The current 91.5 antenna sits on a telephone pole that is not high enough to handle all of the equipment needed for this set of improvements.  So we need to replace that pole with a free-standing antenna tower.  The cost will be about $20K for this portion of the project.

- Reversing the STIL pathway means physically taking down the sets of antennas and moving them to their respective opposite towers.   Mainly this is a skilled labor expense, along with buying new cables.  It is also a perfect time to purchase another set of STL units that will make this transition easier and then become a much-needed backup set.  Cost would be in the $10-15K range.

- Moving the studio equipment is generally easy except for the big NPR satellite dish.  That will have to be dismantled before moving, and then re-assembled.

 - With the signal originating from Ukiah and going across the county to Cold Springs (the 90.7 site), the Philo studio no longer has to remain in its present building.  This Philo studio has many benefits, but for best performance in our increasingly networked world, our Anderson Valley location needs to be much closer to the telephone building in Boonville.   Moving the Philo studio would cost $5-10K.

- Our best growth potential is in Lake County.  We can place a “booster” on Cow Mountain above Ukiah that will considerably strengthen our signal into Lake County.  From a larger Ukiah studio that originates our main signal, we could send the signal first up to Cow Mountain, use that to activate the Lake County booster, and then send it right over to Laughlin Peak.  This requires another new set of STL units, a booster unit, a booster antenna, a small tower and a space to house and power it all.   I am not yet sure of the cost for this.

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I am the General Manager of KZYX and the Executive Director of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting. You can contact me directy at gm@kzyx.org See my website cervisa.com for more about me and where I have been.

KZYX Phone Numbers

Business office 707-895-2324

Philo studio 707-895-2448

Willits studio 707-456-9991

Mendocino studio 707-937-5103

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