A few words about community radio
It's been 118 years since Marconi sent and received the first radio signal, and although technology has changed dramatically since then, radio is still a viable and thriving medium for entertainment and information.
For the most part, however, radio broadcasts in Lake County come from communities many miles away, airing little news of the local area and its people. A small group of people in Two Harbors has decided to add to the available options for radio listeners, giving visitors and residents an earful of North Shore culture, opinion, arts and events through an LPFM, or Low Power FM radio service. The group is in the process of laying the legal groundwork and raising the funds for Two Harbors Community Radio.
"(Communication) is part of the thread that helps knit the community together," said THCR board member, Tom Koehler. "Every enterprise of human society requires communication and the ability to have a radio station is a powerful thing." Koehler sees the advent of a local station as a means to contribute to the growth of the immediate area.
"Two Harbors is evolving socially, culturally and economically. Because we are evolving, we're learning that we must get part of what we need from visitors and new residents. One of the things that can make the town more attractive to visitors is a local voice," he said. "If people learn more about our town , it can be an enriching thing for them and for us. (THCR) is a non-intrusive way to introduce ourselves to others."
But before those first introductions can be made, THCR is applying for 501c3 non-profit status, which will allow it to seek grant funding and donations, and it is also seeking input to shape its future plans.
"We are looking for input from a cross-section of the community about what would be interesting and useful to them on a local radio station," said another THCR board member, Fran Kaliher, adding that local broadcasts would benefit Two Harbors in
"Besides being responsive to local emergencies, road conditions and severe weather incidents, we see a community radio station as bringing a sense of cohesion and identity to the Two Harbors area. It will be a great medium for sharing events, concerns, opinions, opportunities, needs."
"Part of this is getting the community involved. Getting the community involved, strengthens it," he said. "Activities can seem frivolous, but if an activity helps bind community, it helps improve morale and engage people. They become more involved and friendly and pretty soon there's an outbreak of spontaneous acts of kindness!"
In an effort to introduce the community to THCR and gather ideas, the group is hosting an open house at the Two Harbors Public Library, June 20, 5-7 p.m. It will also be asking community members who their vision to pledge financial support.
If you can't make the open house, and even if you can, the THCR encourages everyone to complete its survey, currently available in hard copy and online. Pick up a hard copy at the Two Harbors Public Library or Super One. When completed, they can be deposited in the vintage radio cabinets at these sites, scanned and emailed to THCommRadio@gmail.com , or snail-mailed to P.O. Box 622, Two Harbors, Minn. For those with internet access, check out and complete the survey quickly and easily at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/twoharborsradiosurvey