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Caring for KUAC: At 50 years, station is a valued part of community

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Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 10:47 pm | Updated: 4:16 pm, Fri Jan 25, 2013.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner editorial

Fifty years is time enough for a child to grow to middle age, even a bit beyond. Many Fairbanks residents have made that journey through time with thousands of hours of background audio provided by a unique source — KUAC FM.

The public radio station celebrates its 50th birthday this month. Fairbanksans should stop and appreciate what they’ve birthed, raised and nurtured to maturity by donating during the station’s annual fall fundraiser, which continues through Sunday.

It’s a momentous year, one that deserves recognition with a bit more than the usual tip of the hat. People can donate online at or call 474-5822. Outside the Interior, that’s 800-474-5822. One can even donate by texting “KUAC” to 85944.

The station made its first radio broadcast from the University of Alaska on Oct. 1, 1962. Television came nine years later. The people who opened the station and kept it running in the past 50 years are too numerous to recognize here. For those who want to relive those times, former long-time employee Jim Schneider has put many photos and other items online at his website,

All those employees and volunteers turned KUAC into a top-quality broadcast station.

Fairbanksans care deeply about that station. The months-long uproar about radio programming changes in 2005 illustrated just how passionate people are about what KUAC broadcasts. No family grows up without a few internal spats. When the family is an entire community, there are a lot of voices to hear.

KUAC, in its fall fundraiser, is highlighting the phrase “begin a thoughtful dialogue,” a few words taken from its mission statement. The station has been sparking such conversations for 50 years. Let’s make sure it continues to do so.

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