Dear Editor:

I know that times are tough for everyone. I get it. Government is taking a long hard look at expenditures and priorities, and that is forcing everyone to do the same. However, budget cuts in one area are something we really can’t do without here, and those are to Public Broadcasting. Here we have no local TV stations. For up-to-the-minute news, weather, school closings, road blockages, power outages, even funeral notices, we have one source and that is Allegheny Mountain Radio.

Our radio station is, in the truest sense, a community radio station. It is staffed by many citizen volunteers and it depends on citizens to provide much of its programming. The majority of emergency information comes from you directly. What a fantastic thing to have happen.  You can become as hands-on with your radio station as you’d like, and it’s encouraged by the good folks there. I have had the good fortune to volunteer some time there and it is always fun and personally satisfying. You can do the same.  Right now, however, funding is the issue. Last year it cost $484,104 to operate Allegheny Mountain Radio and $248,768 of that came from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. As with any service organization the bulk of AMR’s expenditures are for staff. Without funding most of this staff will be gone and we will be left with “canned” programming. This won’t be produced locally, it won’t be specific to us, for us or about us, and it certainly won’t be “live” and up-to-the-minute.

Please take a few minutes to help our elected officials in the House of Representatives and U. S. Senate understand the consequences to our community if this funding is eliminated. Alleghenymountainradio.org can give you all the information you need. After you do that, call your local station, or better yet stop in and visit, and donate a few bucks. I can’t imagine what we’d do without them and the service they provide.

Thank you.
Michael J. Holstine
Frost