25 December 2013: KYGT-FM to expand signal, reach

KYGT-FM to expand, signal, reach

What a gift, and just in time for the holidays!  Well, the unwrapping will be delayed, but the FCC’s granting of a stronger signal for KYGT, the Goat, is a something that will greatly increase the service the nearly all-volunteer station provides to the Clear Creek community.

KYGT has quite a history, reminiscent of Guglielmo Marconi’s first-go at sending signals we take for granted today.  I can’t do justice to the telling of it, but if you can tie down founder Greg Markle, he’ll regale you with a tale that’s both true and incredible.

The Goat is the Clear Creek version of Pittsburgh’s KDKA, the first station to begin broadcasting on November 2, 1920.  It would be another 75 years before Clear Creek heard its first local broadcast.

The Goat is a jewel, a Clear Creek treasure the history of which fits very nicely with the mining, venturesome spirit of our ancestors.  Greg, Bob Bacon, our departed friend who, as Programming Director Dave Harvey points out, might’ve had a hand in nudging the FCC forward, and the rest of the Goat’s Founders are modern-day personifications of George Jackson and his 19th-century adventurers who found gold speckled amidst the elk, snow, and mountains.

As the Goat’s Board of Director’s President Phyllis Adams points out, the credit first and foremost for this huge leap forward goes to Greg who, despite the formidable obstacles those who’ve dealt with bureaucracies know, never gave up.  Like the idea of the station itself, the expanded signal, which ought to be operational by March, was a seed that germinated in his creative mind.

Over the years, when most others would’ve thrown in the towel, Greg pressed forward when the odds were long.  As applicant after applicant fell by the wayside, Greg remained steadfast.  He marshaled the troops, calling on for support from the highest levels of our congressional delegation, including a special congressional recognition for the Goat orchestrated by Rep. Jared Polis.  On that: A note of gratitude to Polis, Sen. Udall, and Sen. Bennet for adding the power of their offices to the effort.

Despite the tiny signal, the Goat does much.  With its online streaming capability, it’s as powerful as 100,000-watt KOA in Denver

“Speaking for the KGOAT board of directors and all the volunteer DJs,” said Phyllis, “I can say we’re proud of what the station does and what it stands for.  We are excited to finally be able to share it with the whole community. It’s hard to put a value on community radio but I think it’s priceless.

Priceless, indeed.   As we know, that which we love most—the mountains—provide also a barrier and cause division within the county.  The east end, from Floyd Hill to the near-Evergreen portion has been effectively separated from the rest, from Idaho Springs west.  With the more powerful signal to be sent from Bellevue Mountain above Idaho Springs, our friends, neighbors, and fellow Clear Creekers atop Floyd Hill will be able to able to access the Goat’s broadcasts via their everyday radios.

“Those of us who have been out of range for so long are certainly looking forward to when we can receive Clear Creek’s radio,” noted SOLVE chairman Jim White.

Echoing him, Floyd Hill resident Glenn Wallace stated, “This will be a tremendous help in enabling those in the Floyd Hill area to participate in what is going on in the county.”

That is one of the un-intentional, but critical services our tiny station, the voice of the Clear Creek Valley, provides: community cohesion.  To Board of Commissioners Chair Tim Mauck, that is critical.

“By expanding their broadcasting ability,” he said, “KGOAT continues to bring our county together as a community.  This achievement took time, patience and persistence – and is perhaps the most significant improvement to communication in Clear Creek County since KGOAT began service.

The amazing thing for me is to witness the number of fans beyond Clear Creek.  After one my recent shows, I met a couple out-of-state women who listen to the Goat regularly taking pictures of themselves with the studio and the Goat behind them.  To them, it’s an icon.

The array of programming the volunteer DJ’s offer is phenomenal.  Music from classical and blues to country and rock fills most of the air time, but several talk shows provide valuable community service and information.

You can find the schedule on the station’s website, www.kygt.org.

Great job, Greg and fellow Goatheads!.  You’re awesome!  Thanks for all.

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