Tuned In: Saying “So Long” to Scot Oliver and Jack van Valkenburgh

scot-oliver Jack van Valkenburgh

This month, Radio Boise is saying farewell to four of its longest-serving board members: Jeff Abrams, Dave Krick, Scot Oliver, and Jack van Valkenburgh. These guys are among those we can thank for what we hear on 89.9/93.5 FM today – they had the vision and passion to see the Boise Community Radio Project grow from an idea into the Radio Boise that we know and love. While we’re sad to not have these guys at the board table anymore, we know they’ve earned a little free time and we’re so grateful for the years of leadership and volunteerism they’ve given to make this station a reality.

We were able to wrangle two of our outgoing members, Jack and Scot, into talking with us about some of their memories over the last nine years. Take a walk down memory lane with us as Jack and Scot take us back into the Radio Boise vault….

How’d you get roped into serving on the board?

Jack: In 2007, the ACLU of Idaho office (where I served as Executive Director) was in the same building as Radio Boise. Jeff Abrams got to know me and thought I could help Radio Boise as a Board member. I was way too busy, but then Scot Oliver suggested that we “share” the responsibilities of a single Board membership. I agreed, but soon I was serving like a full Board member…and later, Dave Krick pushed me to become Board President. How’d he do that?!!!

Scot: I had been helping Jeff Abrams with fundraising and board-expansion planning and interviewing for nearly a year before Jeff suggested that I really should serve, too.

What are your best memories?

Jack: Listening to Radio Boise [and] feeling blessed and fortunate to have helped it grow!

Scot: Near the top has to be my first kiss with Robin Ingraham in the back of the school bus. Oh, for Radio Boise? It would be filling the new studio space with volunteers and friends, and flipping the switch for the FM signal.

What do you think you’ll take away from your years with Radio Boise?

Jack: The great people, including the volunteers, producers, staff, and Board members.

Scot: “It takes a village.”

What’s the most surprising thing you learned about one of the other outgoing guys (Jack, Scot, Jeff, Dave)?

Jack: Scot is a hoot. Dave constantly amazes. Jeff is much more than Radio Boise.

Scot: Dave Krick is one of the most committed progressives I’ve ever met, yet he is incredibly low-key about it. I don’t even think he has a horn, much less toots it. Knowing Jack first socially, it was a pleasant surprise to see how effective he is as a leader. Likewise, Jeff seemed an unlikely inventor of Radio Boise, but his vision and passion sustained him (and us) and he became a quite well-informed community radio founder/GM.

When did you catch the community radio bug?

Jack: Visiting Radio Boise’s first studio (before it got on the air).

Scot: Community radio (as opposed to the college and public siblings) started for me on November 26, 1985 when I was working at Appalshop [in Whitesburg, KY] and we flipped the switch on WMMT. It was a completely ground-up project, and needed programming, so I started a show that first week called “Extended Play,” roots-like music with featured artists, genres, geographies or other themes and at least one album or CD played from start to finish with no interruption.

What is it that you appreciate about community radio?

Jack: The energy and excitement of a volunteer-based radio station closely tied to the community.

Scot: The voice of the people–it’s soothing, random, haunting, disconcerting, familiar, foreign and fearless. I was amazed the first time to watch a community gather around its station, and gather it in. It’s great to see it again here.

Where do you see Radio Boise in 5 years?

Jack: A 24-hour live broadcast/webcast station with a rich, educational website.  RB will provide locally produced audio and video news programs, features and interviews, while remaining true to its core focus of delivering diverse musical content.

Scot: I’d love to see BCRP develop into a fully fledged independent media empire.

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