Local News

KMUN Celebrates Volunteers!

[ASTORIA, OR] –It’s been a year for the record books. We’ve overused words like “unprecedented, pivoting, postponed, canceled, pandemic, restrictions, quarantined, Zoom, masks, wash, your, hands.” Live performances have been on hold since March, video calls and virtual venues have kept us connected to loved ones, lectures, art, music and social groups.

In an industry with built-in physical distancing, KMUN radio has survived through the year of “pivoting” with aplomb.

KMUN Annual Member Meeting went virtual, held on Zoom, November 7, Board, staff, volunteers and members joined the hour-long event.

When the mail-in ballots were counted, the Board welcomed new board members Todd Lippold (Seaside) and Kathleen Sayce (Nahcotta) along with re-elected members Victoria Stoppiello (Manzanita) and Sarah Lu Heath (Astoria).

KMUN Annual awards were given for outstanding volunteers from the station. Volunteer awards are always a big part, and a big secret, at the annual meeting. This year, as often is the case, there were many great candidates. The Director’s Award was awarded to Lisa Smith (Long Beach). Lisa has worn a lot of hats at the station. Starting in 2002 as station manager, Lisa put together a news department through grants and a news model that we still use today. Classical programming was done by Lisa for years, she now brightens our days with a “mostly Folk” show on Tuesday mornings. As a Board Member, Lisa organized the Grant Writing Committee and advocated for applying for ALL the grants. “I am not sure how rounds of applause work on a Zoom meeting, said Board President Jack Harris, but please join me and the Board of Directors of the Tillicum Foundation in showing our appreciation to Lisa Smith for her nearly two decades of trans formative influence on our radio station.”

The LinMarie DiCianni “We Can Do It” Award for Extraordinary Volunteerism is presented to volunteers who achieve grand heights in their service to KMUN. This year there were two recipients: Jim Dott (Astoria) and Merianne Myers (Warrenton). Jim has been working behind the scenes with the covey of bedtime story readers, devoting many hours to scheduling and production of seamless episodes of Bedtime Stories for the 8 – 8:30pm slot, Sundays through Thursdays. Thank you, Jim! Merianne Myers has been the conduit for the whole home grown radio model. She has taken on scheduling, delivering and receiving and disinfecting the mobile recording equipment that programmers are using to record their shows for airing, a fulltime job. Thank you, M2!

Since March, the KMUN studios have been closed for safety precautions. That means that the 100+ programmers are not able to produce their shows live. This created a two-fold problem with dead air, the biggest no-no for a radio station, and 100+ people unable to express themselves through music, information and connection. Remote recording became the “new normal” and now nearly 70 programmers pre-record their shows from home. This group, fondly referred to as Homegrown Programmers were named Programmers of the Year for learning new skills on the fly and keeping the station local, informative and, well, KMUN!

Rookie programmer of the year goes to DJ B (Astoria). B’s Thursday night funk show, B’s House, has received a huge, positive response. We’re so happy to have him on board and can’t wait to keep dancing to his playlists!

Volunteer of the year was awarded to Jacob Lewin (Astoria) for his contribution to the news department during the pandemic and the 2020 election year. Jacob is a seasoned professional radio reporter whose voice is familiar to our listeners. They’ve heard him before on NPR, on Marketplace and on the Northwest News Network. He does wonderful work for us, great stories, about timely, interesting topics. He’s doing high quality professional work for us as a volunteer, and is a joy to work with. “That’s why I thought he should be our volunteer of the year, ” says News Director Joanne Rideout. 

We’ve had a wild year but our incredible volunteers have also made it a wonderful year in some unexpected ways through their exemplary service, and we can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

Coast Community Radio is committed to using radio as an active resource for community development and public access. We seek to involve and establish cooperative efforts among community groups including seniors, women, young people, and ethnic and cultural minorities by providing independent, non-commercial, community radio programs and services for the greater Lower Columbia Pacific Region.