Historic News Clippings
Page 2
Valley's Fruit Crop Hinges
On A Voice In The Night 

A radio voice, familiar to hundreds of listeners in the San Joaquin Valley, returned to the air Tuesday night at 6:30. Nightly until the middle of May, Walter Hattman goes on the air directly over some radio stations and feeds information to other TV and radio stations and newspapers. But his audience has been paying little attention so far,  the weather has been too warm   But with the first cold snap Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced farmers will listen closely to Hattman's nightly forecasts. 

From Many Sites 

Based upon the information supplied by Hattman, a meteorologist of the U.S. Weather Bureau, farmers in the three counties can then decide whether go to bed for a good night sleep or set the alarm to light up smudge pots in almond and peach orchards in the middle of the night.

At 4 o'clock every afternoon, a teletype machine in his office at the Agricultural Extension Service in County Center No. 3 in Modesto starts clacking away, giving surface and upper air data from U.S. Weather Bureau observation throughout the U.S., and from stations in Canada and weather observation ships far at sea. 
The teletype machine receives information until 6 o'clock.

Meanwhile, Hattman is busy plotting the information on weather map and making his area analysis. At a few minutes past 6 p.m. he is ready to predict the temperatures for the Central Valley broadcasts through Fresno radio and TV stations in the south, Tracy in the west and Stockton in the north. Most stations carry the frost warnings three times nightly. He can tell almond, peach, grape and tomato growers at that hour during the night dangerous temperatures and killing frosts will occur and how long they will last. 

Growers Decide

Growers then decide whether  to fire up the smudge pots to keep the freezing temperatures away from delicate fruit buds.  Grape growers, who rarely use heat in their vineyards, may prepare to irrigate. The water will raise the temperature about four degrees, says Hattman which is often enough to prevent heavy damage. Irrigating is of little value in raising the temperature in tree fruit orchards, however.

Tree fruit, unlike grapes, is too high off the ground to benefit from the warmer water. 

Often Overlook 

Hattman said growers often tend to overlook the use of heaters after three or four years of warm winters. But, after three or four years of cold winters every grower keeps his heaters handy."  Besides preparing and feeding fruit frost information to radio and TV stations, Hattman maintains thermographs at 26 locations throughout his three-county area. The devices keep accurate records of temperatures 24 hours per day and record the temperatures on a roll  of graph paper. "When a grower is having problem and he thinks it is because of cool temperature durations, I can check the nearest thermograph and can tell exactly how many hours the temperature was down to such and such a degree."

Various Locations

Hattman, 50, joined the U.S Weather Bureau 25 years ago after working with weather data aboard Navy ships during World War II.    For 20 years, the bureau sent him from Washington, D.C. to Chicago, Il., and various other locations, including Guam and the Marianas Islands outside the U.S.  Hattman said he had heard about the bureau's Fruit Frost Service and asked to be asked to be assigned to it. He became a Californian five years ago. But still Hattman and his wife live something of a life which is anything but routine.

During the winter months, he is stationed in San Diego, where he gives frost warnings mainly for citrus and avocado crops during the late winter and spring.  About mid-February to mid-May, he comes to Modesto and then he completes the cycle in Sacramento where he makes weather analysis during the forest fire season. 

'No Real Home"

"We have no real home,' Hattman said. "We live in apartments at all three locations. Our friends are strung out all over the state. When Hattman and his wife change locations, it is like returning home, he said. "Our friends never seem to have changed much except that we just haven't seen them in a while." "Moving around like we do makes it very difficult to follow hobbies, so I have very few any more," Hattman said. "But the toughest thing about moving is there's always a number of loose ends to tie up at the old location and any number of preliminary things to take care of before opening up shop at the new one," he said. "That always makes for a rough first two or three weeks." 

Feb. 25, 1968

Trio continues 25-year try
to start Tracy radio station

Twenty-five years of paperwork, planning, correspondence, reversals, dashed hopes, frustrations and red tape is enough to discourage most anyone. But not the likes of George Stevans of Ceres and Maxon B. Sayre of Waterford, a Modesto Junior College radio instructor, who have clung doggedly to hopes of getting a Federal Communications Commission permit to operate an AM radio station in the Tracy area. They were joined last year by third partner, Jack B. Koonce, once of Turlock and Modesto but now the owner of radio station KXEM in McFarland.

The three do not intend to give up in their quest for the Tracy radio station permit. Stevans and Sayre first filed application to the FCC Aug. 21,1950, for a permit to operate a day-time Tracy station only, but that application has been pigeon-holed, restructured, altered, updated and resurrected many times in the 25 years since.

In Stevans' office in his home at 2917 River Road, Ceres, is a four- drawer filing cabinet brimming full of paperwork saved in those years. Now, the three men have formed West Side Radio, Inc., and are heading for what they hope is an eventful year before the FCC in Washington, DC. Stevans said, "It's become a challenge. I figure that we've gone this far. We might as well go on to the end." "We believe we're the oldest FCC hearing case on record for an AM station," said Stevans, who runs a photography-public relations business from his home.

Prospects are brighter than ever for receiving a permit, if something else doesn't produce more frustrations. The FCC in 1974 finally agreed to process their application for permit, and a hearing should be held some time later this year. There are two broadcasting firms competing for the permit to serve the Tracy-Manteca area, West Side Radio and Olympic Broadcasters of Carmichael. Each will have its say at the FCC hearing. West Side's original application is numbered by the FCC as Docket 6741, and it would establish an AM station broadcasting at 710 on the radio dial.

Though the original application was for daytime broadcast only, its amended application is for a broadcast day from 6 a.m. to mid-" night. The station would have 500 watts of power. The FCC in 1951 held a hearing on the permit but pigeon-holed it because the commission was not considering issuing new daytime permits. The application was revived in 1960 with an amendment calling for a full-time station. That, too, was sidetracked.

The FCC told Stevans and Sayre that they would have to develop a directional antenna system which would not infringe on Modesto, Stockton or other clear channels. Stevans and Sayre submitted more plans, but on Nov. 14, 1973, their hopes were dashed again when the FCC advised them they had not demonstrated their plan would not infringe on other stations.

They received their first good news from the FCC the next year. The commission finally agreed to process their application. With this momentum, the three now are going ahead with plans. They have taken a lease-option on land at the northeast corner of Woodward Road and McKinley Avenue outside of Manteca to erect four 350-foot towers and a radio station.

(See final disposition story on this application below)


KMIX New FM Station

New station KMIX, a new FM radio station owned by Central California Broadcasters, Inc., of Turlock, is broadcasting at a frequency of 98.3 megahertz. According to spokesman Milt Hall, the station will be on the air from 5 a.m. to midnight and will feature a contemporary, soft-top 40 music format with local news. The new radio station joins five other FM stations operating in the Stanislaus district.

Planners okay radio station's tower location 

Turlock Radio Station KCEY won permission last night from the Stanislaus County Planning Commission for a 403 foot tall FM radio tower to be erected south of Hughson on Geer Road at Service Road. The tower will enable KCEY to enter the FM broadcasting, field, with the equivalent of 3,000 watts of power, said owner John Hall after the meeting."  He said the station has not decided yet what program format to adopt.

A license application is pending before the Federal Communications Commission. The tower will be erected at the southwest corner of Geer and Service, east of Santa Fe Avenue.    


Planned development

Radio station KCEY has been granted planned development zoning by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors at the southwest corner of Service and Geer Roads near Hughson to construct a broadcasting office and studio. 

College drops radio plan 

Plans for a full power, public service FM radio station to serve the Yosemite Junior College District have been abandoned at least for "the foreseeable future." Edward McClarty, dean of telecommunications at Modesto Junior College, said there are two chief reasons behind the decision: the discovery that the proposed transmitter site is too near another FM station and the emergence of a commercial applicant for the same frequency which the Yosemite district had in mind. "We don't want to be in competition" with commercial stations, McClarty explained.

The district's proposed transmitter site west of Jamestown is 145.7 miles from a Chico FM station, McClarty reported. The Federal Communications Commission requires a distance of at least 150 miles between FM transmitters. The station has been under consideration since the summer of 1973 when the Yosemite board of trustees authorized a feasibility study. As discussed, it was foreseen as an educational channel dominated by public service programming produced both locally and nationally. The estimated cost of development was about $120,000 with most of that amount to come from a federal grant.

Radio station directors' feud  silences
Spanish programs of KITA 

Modesto's first Spanish language stereo radio station, KITA-FM, broadcasting  began broadcasting the, pop-music format programming of KFIV yesterday after being off the air for two days because of a directors dispute.  There is disagreement among the stations  directors over whether the original licensing pact was for the station to continue as a Spanish language station. It has broadcast 16 hours a day for 14 months at 102.3 on the FM dial. 

Station KFIV owner Robert Fenton, who is the principal officer of Kilibro Broadcasting Corp., applied for an FM  license in 1972.   But before the Federal Communication Commission approved that license Lupe Hernandez, a Spanish-programming personality on KLOC radio and television, also sought the FM license with his daughter, Adelita Morales, who is  believed to be the' first woman of Mexican descent to hold a class A broadcasting license, a requirement for the station license.  

Rather than go, through lengthy FCC hearings to determine which applicant would get the license, Fenton agreed to consolidate with Hernandez and his daughter to obtain the license, according to Fenton's attorney Mark Kanai.  Hernandez bowed out of the agreement in favor of his daughter having 20 per cent of the station control as a director. Fenton put up the financing, and the station went on the air in October 1975.

Hernandez and Mrs. Morales say the agreement as they understood it was to continue the station with its Spanish language programming for three years.   But Kanai said Fenton ordered the station off the air on Monday because the Spanish format was unprofitable.  He said a random community, telephone survey will be made to determine the needs and the station will resume broadcasting with a format based on that survey which could be to continue as a Spanish language station.  

But Mrs. Morales and Hernandez claim Fenton used them to obtain the license and the station lost money because he took a personal salary of $36,000 out of the station operation and bought, $11,000 worth of furniture declared as KITA assets, but used in the KFIV offices.   KTTA operated from a mobile home adjacent to the KFIV offices on East Orangeburg Avenue.   Fenton was paid a salary by KITA but not in the amount claimed by Mrs. Morales; according, to Kanai, who said there were no fire irregularities  with the books of the FM station. 

Mrs. Morales,  employed as the manager of KITA, said the station lost $47,000 during the 14 months. She said she has resigned but will retain her 20 per cent ownership. Kanai said the four full time workers at the station were offered an opportunity to remain on the payroll. Mrs.  Morales and her father said they will take their case to the complaint and compliance division of the FCC.


FCC Rules One Market, One Station 

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The Federal Communications Commission today ruled that in the future it will limit broadcast ownership in any single big city to either one AM-FM radio station or one television station. Going even further, it proposed new regulations that would limit an owner to a single AM-FM radio station, a television station or a newspaper but not any combination in any major markets.

If adopted, the proposed rule would force many big city newspapers to sell their broadcasting facilities within five years. The newly adopted rules were designed to prevent undue influence on local opinion by relatively few persons or groups, the commission said. They are effective immediately. The rules, which do not apply to present ownership, provided that persons now holding fulltime AM, FM or television authorizations would not be eligible for further grants of AM FM or television licenses in the same community, except towns of 10,000 or less. 

UHF Not Covered 

Ultra high frequency (UHF) is not covered by the rule and will be handled "on a case-by-case basis," the FCC said. The proposed rule would require present owners — within period of five years — to reduce their holdings to either in AM-FM combination, a television station, or a newspaper in any one market area. If adopted, the proposed rule would have far reaching effect on the broadcast industry.

According to unofficial estimates 127 television stations in the top 50 markets with a value of near $3 billion and 526 radio stations worth $500 million could be affected. Under the ownership rule proposal, the commission suggest that any broadcast licensee buying daily newspaper proper ties in the same market would have to dispose of its broadcast properties within one year or within its normal three-year license renewal period, which ever is longer.

Another proposal would prohibit grant of a broadcast license to a person owning a daily newspaper in the same market. By this means the FCC would in effect, be putting itself indirectly into the business of regulating newspaper ownership, an area over which it has no direct control. 


KCEY-AM Reorganization

Turlock's lone radio station, is undergoing a  $300.000 reorganization, which owner Milt Hall says will guide the community out of its "small radio days." Among other things,  the station is moving its studios from Quincy to Geer Road, and will begin FM broadcasting under a recently granted FCC license.


KCEY facility

Turlock radio station KCEY, which features modern country western music, and its new sister stereo station, KMIX, have moved into a new $400,000 broadcasting facility at 4043 Geer Road, five miles north of Turlock. Owner Milt Hall operates the stations as Central California Broadcasters.

KMIX Tower Climbed

It was only a matter of time before someone scampered up radio station KMIX's new 400-foot transmission tower on Sante Fe Avenue and Geer Road south of Hughson. When station officials arrived for work Monday, they knew immediately the tower had "fallen" — the conquering climber had left Old Glory fluttering at the top of the "summit".


Flip a switch, adjust a dial and eavesdrop on world.... 
(Stanislaus Amateur Radio Association)

Within hours of the Teton Dam collapse June 5. Bill Webb of Salida was using his "sixth sense" to tune in a ham radio operator in Rexburg. Idaho., a nearby city. Webb had friends in Sugar City, and early reports made him fear they might have drowned in the resulting flood. "We tried to telephone, but that was no good." he said. So he turned on his ham radio and began "tuning around." Hams have a "second sense" for finding one another on the airwaves. "How do animals find each other in the dark, it's that kind of thing," Webb explained  And sure enough, within a few minutes Webb discovered a ham operator in Rexburg who had established a message center for the Teton Dam area.

Hours before the newspapers had details, Webb had been reassured that his friends in Sugar City, the Chet Valenti family, were probably fine. The story illustrates the kind of adventures and cooperation members of the new Stanislaus Amateur Radio Association experience.  Ham operators — the name comes from the British word "hamateur." — are licensed to operate on more bands and at much greater distances than citizens band radio owners, says club president Dave Metts.  They can talk longer, and their equipment can legally be more powerful.

But even the beginners license is somewhat challenging. The ham operator must learn Morse code, and pass a test on radio theory. Where there may be 15,000 or more citizens band operators in Stanislaus County, there are just 213 ham operators, many of whom belong to the Turlock Radio Club, the new Stanislaus association which grew out of the Turlock group, or both, Metts said.

The object of both groups, on the whole, is to be helpful, and the Citizens Band clubs have formed The Affiliated League of Emergency Radio Teams for that purpose. And, while CBers often report accidents and emergencies, the two groups can complement each other's capabilities because the ham equipment differs so much from the relatively short-ranged citizen's band gear. 

Tim Bosma of Modesto illustrated the difference. With a small walkie talkie, equipped with buttons like a pocket calculator, he was able to activate a telephone and dial direct, anywhere in the country. That represents something of a gimmick for ham operators. Their chief stock in trade is their ability to mount radio repeaters on nearby mountains, and extend the range of their equipment throughout the nation and the world.

By speaking a few words into his walkie talkie, Bosnia suddenly was in touch with people at Lake Tahoe, downtown Sacramento and the bay area. "I talked to Barry Goldwater once," he said. "And once I got Andy Devine." A goal of the new club is to win acceptance as a standby emergency radio crew for Stanislaus County in a civil disaster. Federal regulations permit such groups to form Radio  Amateur Civil Emergency Service teams, known as RACES. Metts said such a service was formed about 15 years ago in the county. The county still has an emergency van and some other equipment left over, along with some hard feelings which he hopes can be overcome.

Ham radio operators often have been the first to communicate with outside agencies and people in emergencies, Metts said. Often, they are the experimenters who discover what can be done with new radio frequencies or equipment. Webb, for instance, is building a small computer which he hopes to operate by radio. He expects it will maintain a telephone directory for him, dial the numbers and tell him the time of day, among other "crazy things." Metts is the designer and installer of the club's repeater on the KLOC television tower on Mt. Oso. And Bosma tinkers with the telephone "patch" equipment and his walkie talkie touch-tone system, a device he assembled himself. 


Downey HS Students Will 
Push ‘ On The Air’ button tomorrow  (KDHS)

The final tests have been  made, the transmitter is operating  properly and the broadcasters  have their scripts ready.  Radio station KDHS at Downey  High School, will go on the air for  the first time at 9 a.m. to-  morrow.   One of the few high school  radio stations the country,  KDHS, 90.5 on the radio dial,  will feature campus news, Downey  High School sports, features,  more music without  commercials  according to  its promotional brochure.    

Regular broadcasting will, be  2:30 to 7  pm Monday through  Friday, but the first' three days  will be a 12 hour operation,  from 9  a.m. to 9 p.m. to introduce  the station to students.  KDHS is licensed by the Federal  Communications Commission  and will be, governed by  of Education policy and the student  dent council.  It will have a transmission  range of from 3 to 10 miles,  depending on the receiver, covering  a general area bounded  by Riverbank Road to the north  Wellsford Road to the east, Carpenter Road to the west, and Whitmore Avenue on the south.  

Cost of the station is about  $2,500 per year.  The student  council will pay all costs of  equipment purchase, installation  and operation.  Members of the staff are Gary Copeland, station manager; Vicki McGhee, program  director; Jeff Cree, chief engineer.   Joanne Stotts, news director;  Monroe McBride, traffic  manager; Jeff Landon,  sports director;  Forest Carmichael  music director and Jelyn Gaskell, council  representative.  The station, originally was scheduled  to begin operating last spring but was delayed because of technical difficulties.

September 5, 1969

Final Outcome of Tracy Station Application
By George Stevans

After the granting of processing waivers for the Tracy and Carmichael applicants, both applicants were required to update their respective applications for ascertainment of community issues, engineering and financial matters. After these issues were resolved  the FCC the designated the applications for hearing to decide which of the two applicants should be granted.

In the case of the Carmichael applicant, it was the Tracy applicant's contention that community suburban issue should be attached to the Carmichael applicant as  hearing issue and required showing that would it not serve as station for the larger nearby city of Sacramento, instead of Carmichael. At the time, Carmichael was larger than Tracy so it would have prevailed, absent an Appellate reversal on that issue.

Upon an agreement, the Tracy applicant withdrew its application after the Carmichael applicant agreed to reimburse the Tracy applicant for part of its prudent expenses in prosecuting its application that was approved by the Commission and the Carmichael application was granted by decision of an FCC Administrative Law Judge and affirmed by the Commission in 1977.