A new Cambridge radio station has produced a 2015 wall calendar that features the work of award-winning local photographers, as well as a listing of local events. The nonprofit radio station, run by volunteers, is scheduled to go on the air in spring 2015.
The calendar includes photos by professional photographers Dave Harp, Graham Slaughter, Mary Konchar, and other local photographers. The calendar will be available for purchase in local shops, with all proceeds going to the radio station. The calendar will also be given to those who become financial supporters of the radio station.
“We want the Cambridge Community Radio calendar to combine a stunning visual appeal with consolidated information on local events ranging from Dorchester school closings, to Cambridge special events, to local hunting season openings. We think we’ve hit the mark,” said Mike Starling, General Manager for the new WHCP-LP, 101.5 FM. “’Cambridge – A Great Place to Be!’ is the on-air slogan, and this calendar vividly illustrates why Cambridge has become such an attractive destination for tourists, athletes, visitors, and retirees.”
Starling, a Baltimore native, moved to Cambridge with his wife Linda in 2007. He continued the long commute each week working as the vice president for NPR labs, the broadcast technology research arm at National Public Radio in Washington, D.C., until retiring earlier this year. “Exactly one month after my retirement, the FCC issued the construction permit for WHCP Radio,” Starling said. “The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for me to put 40 years of radio experience into local practice, volunteering to help launch noncommercial WHCP-LP.”
“We’ve been testing the transmitter periodically, but the real launch is planned for spring of 2015,” Starling said. “It’s been gratifying that public radio stations around the country have learned of our program plans and donated thousands of dollars of gently used equipment and computers. We would not be able to build such a model facility without the enthusiasm and practical help of so many believers in the community radio movement. We are right on track for spring with good tower space now identified. We are actively searching for at least 500 square feet of affordable studio space, hopefully in the heart of downtown for easy access to our microphones by the local community.”
The FCC has issued over 1,500 low power community radio construction permits subsequent to Congress’ passage of the Local Community Radio Act of 2010. “It was landmark bipartisan legislation that recognized there is more room on the dial for local voices than was permitted by regulations drafted when tube radios were the only ones available,” Starling explained.
WHCP volunteers are busy with fundraising, engineering construction, and program planning. Additional volunteers are being actively sought. “We hope that students will become eligible for academic credit by interning at the station, and we are working with Chesapeake College among others to create such a program,” added Starling.
Starling emphasized that the station, operating at just 100 watts, will be tightly focused on the Cambridge community. “The program service is being designed exclusively for Cambridge, but thanks to Internet streaming, will be available world wide.”
A reading service for the blind on a special sub-channel is being planned to provide readings of books, newspapers, and magazines for those unable to use printed materials. This will be the first such service on Delmarva. WHCP also plans to air important governmental meetings, an ongoing oral history program called “Shore Stories,” and local news and sports. Starling promises “programming you won’t hear anywhere else.” Anyone interested in volunteering or learning more should contact the station at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cambridge Community Calendar will be available this weekend at the following initial locations: Sunnyside Shop, Slick’s Barber Shop, Dorchester Visitor Center, the Shops at Magnolia Grove, ES Hubbert & Son, Katie Mae’s Country Shoppe, A Few of My Favorite Things, and Main Street Gallery.
WHCP Board Members gather to review the Cambridge Community Calendar printer proofs.
From left, Steve Rideout, Chuck McFadden, Mike Starling, Paul Clipper, Nancy Barger, Karen Fishell (on the phone: Paul Littleton)