I listen to ESPN on KIUP (AM 930). Why does my car’s AM radio always lose reception just south of 17th Street and Main Avenue? A few seconds later, it’s back on again. I was thinking something at the fish hatchery caused this or perhaps it’s the ghosts of the old Mercy hospital. Also, does the same thing happen if you’re listening to Rush Limbaugh on KDGO (AM 1240)? I would check myself, but I’m a flaming liberal. – Erin Tuning
Oh, the sacrifices we all have make these days to keep a job: furloughs, longer hours, pay cuts, being asked to listen to Rush Limbaugh …
But, being the dutiful scribe of the people, Action Line hopped in the Action SUV (can you say “cash for clunkers?”) and drove around town, wasting precious fossil fuels while listening to the radio.
It’s kind of like those dumb kids cruising Main in ridiculously jacked-up trucks, except Action Line really doesn’t rev his engine in a pathetic attempt to impress girls or intimidate tourists.
Anyway, there’s good news and bad news.
First, the good news: Rush Limbaugh wasn’t on the air during the fact-finding mission.
The bad news: Glenn Beck had possession of the microphone. Glenn Beck makes Rush Limbaugh seem like a nice guy with reasonable viewpoints.
Be that as it may, the AM radio interference at 17th and Main, near the Exxon station, doesn’t discriminate based on programming – both sports radio KIUP and talk radio KDGO were silenced by a loud hum.
Could signal interruption be caused by athlete-hating Obama supporters nuking a beef burrito in the mini-merc? It’s almost true.
AM radio signals are susceptible to electronic interference, particularly aging overhead power lines, according to Ward Holmes, general manager of Four Corners Broadcasting, which operates sports radio KIUP and sister stations KIQX-FM and KIUP-FM.
In addition to radio’s black hole at 17th and Main, Holmes pointed to several other intersections and county locations where power lines zap AM broadcasts.
“It’s just the nature of the spectrum,” he said.
It’s time again for the Mea Culpa Mailbag.
Last week’s column answering “Dan’s” question about conspiracy theories and abandoned bicycles downtown brought a belated official response from NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
“Thanks for contacting NORML with your interesting inquiry,” wrote Allen St. Pierre, executive director of NORML, via e-mail.
He made an astonishing admission: “Yep. An observant citizen known as ‘Dan’ and the Durango Herald have finally caught on to NORML’s super secret and sinister multidecade project to abduct bike riders in Durango and transport them Star Trek-style to NORML’s K Street offices in Washington, D.C., where they’re enslaved and committed to a life of telemarketing to former pot-smoking Yuppies on the need to donate to NORML.”
Then, St. Pierre added with a winking emoticon: “Yep ... someone should give Dan a key to the city and The Durango Herald a Pulitzer Prize for its good, community-oriented work! Kind regards, thanks again for your interest and support.”
Remember “Dan’s” question last week also asking why they call it a dog park if there is no place to park?
A frequent Action Line correspondent has the answer: “You might inform your readers that there is parking for the dog park on the same side of U.S. Highway 160, about 200 yards west of the entrance to the dog park.
“There is a parking lot directly to the east of the trailer that is 100 percent city-owned. Since there are no signs saying ‘No Parking,’ one can assume we are free to park on that lot,” the reader said via e-mail.
But there are consequences to parking.
“Some nasty person may come out of the trailer and yell at you. But they have no right to complain. City property is city property,” he wrote.
“Why the city would keep this extremely convenient parking a secret is yet another of the many mysteries of Durango government.
“P.S. the person who yelled at me was way over the line.
“They called me ‘Old Man.’
“Some people know no bounds.”
Our correspondent signed his e-mail: Not A Parking Scofflaw and Not That Old (Am I?)
E-mail questions to actionline@
durangoherald.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you remember when AM radio was the only option for a car radio.