May 02, 2018

A community radio station on the west side

KRCL Program Director and Afternoon Drive Host Ebay Jamil Hamilton, works his magic in the studio during Spring Radiothon. He started as a volunteer at the age of 14.||Midday Show Host Eugenie Hero Jaffe and Lara Jones, Community Content Manager and RadioActive Host, reach out to listeners alongside volunteers during Spring Radiothon at the KRCL 90.9 FM studios.|Billy Palmer, Glendale resident and Assistant Producer of RadioActive, raises money for the radio station during Spring Radiothon.   Photo by David Ricketts|||| KRCL Program Director and Afternoon Drive Host Ebay Jamil Hamilton, works his magic in the studio during Spring Radiothon. He started as a volunteer at the age of 14.||Midday Show Host Eugenie Hero Jaffe and Lara Jones, Community Content Manager and RadioActive Host, reach out to listeners alongside volunteers during Spring Radiothon at the KRCL 90.9 FM studios.|Billy Palmer, Glendale resident and Assistant Producer of RadioActive, raises money for the radio station during Spring Radiothon. Photo by David Ricketts|||| |||||||

By Amy May
Photos by David Ricketts

KRCL is a nonprofit, community radio station that broadcasts throughout Northern Utah at 90.9 FM on the radio dial, and online at www.krcl.org. With a local heart and a global presence, most people here in Salt Lake City might not realize that KRCL’s studios are on the west side of the city.

What you hear on KRCL is different than other radio stations. It’s non-commercial, totally local, and is not afraid to blend both talk and music programming. The sound of KRCL changes throughout the day, depending on which DJ is in the studio. Most of the time you’ll hear a mix of music, including local musicians and bands that are touring locally. DJs also announce tidbits about the music they play that bring listeners into a closer relationship with the artists they love. DJs on KRCL are like a trusted friend who always makes sure you don’t miss any great new music.

On weeknights from 6 to 7 p.m., RadioActive is on air. Listeners are encouraged to be part of the conversations that are important to the community but may not get discussed in most mainstream media. Led by Lara Jones, RadioActive features a variety of grassroots activists and community builders each night, with a different community co-host helping to expand the conversation.

Here’s what you can expect to hear discussed weekday evenings at 6:00:

  • Mondays: “The radical middle” with Dr. David Derezotes
  • Tuesdays: Conversations with and about marginalized communities like immigrants and refugees with community activist Ma Black
  • Wednesdays: Conversations about health and the environment with Nick Burns
  • Thursdays: Discussions about social justice with community activist Billy Palmer
  • Fridays: Discussions about urban farming, gardening, and local music with Aldine, KRCL's Punk Rock Farmer

If you have an idea – guest, topic, something new – for RadioActive, send an email to . They’re always looking for a good conversation, so please reach out and tell them what's on your mind.

RadioActive also hosts open mics at the City Library many Saturdays throughout the year. You can find the schedule on their website at krcl.org/events. The next ones will be May 5 and June 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

You can also get involved with KRCL in other ways. You can sign up to volunteer at www.krcl.org/about/volunteer and you can submit community events on their event calendar for free at www.krcl.org/events.

Local Talent

RadioActive’s Executive Producer Lara Jones is a Salt Lake native and west side resident. When asked about RadioActive, she says, “We want the show to be a megaphone for people and organizations working to make positive social change in our community. I hope that when people tune in, above all else, they know they're not alone. That there are people out there who give a damn and are working to make things better. That there are people willing to share their stories -- from artists and musicians to people going through rough times – and people willing to listen.”

When asked about living and working on the west side, she says, “I'm just barely a west-sider, having moved to the Marmalade neighborhood more than 20 years ago. Since I'm west of 300 West, Billy tells me I qualify. Given KRCL's location on the west end of North Temple, I spend most of my workdays on the west side. My favorite coffee shop is, of course, Mestizo, and Red Iguana is a regular stop, too.”

In fact, much of the staff at KRCL live on the west side. Billy Palmer, Assistant Producer of RadioActive, says, “I grew up mostly in Glendale, and I came to really love it because it’s accepting, laid back, and people tend to get to know each other really well. I know more than just the people on my little block, and there is a sense of connection and taking care of each other here that makes it feel like home on the west side.” When asked about what got him involved with KRCL, he said, “Community radio is so grassroots. It’s special that it’s not connected to any corporation or special interest. It’s constantly changing the way the world is constantly changing, and it’s like a living organism that is bigger than just the people involved. It’s truly a community.”

Afternoon DJ and Program Director Ebay Jamil Hamilton grew up on the west side in Poplar Grove and Glendale. (He also grew up partially at the KRCL studios, starting to volunteer there when he was just 14 years old.) He bought his first home in Glendale and loves living just minutes away from work in the most diverse area of Salt Lake City. He says, “I enjoy walking my dog on the Jordan River Parkway and through the Peace Gardens, which are both hidden gems here on the west side.” His afternoon program airs weekdays from 2-6 p.m., featuring a mix of music, starting with “New Music Mondays” and closing up the week with a “Friday Soul Party” featuring a music mix of vintage, retro soul.

Even the new General Manager of KRCL, Tristin Tabish, lives on the west side and said, “I bought a home with my partner in the Fairpark neighborhood three years ago. My neighbors are wonderful and we all look out for each other. Kids ride their scooters and bikes on the street, I can walk to the corner taco stand or the recreation center. I don’t have to fight traffic and there’s always a park or restaurant to explore and a lot of different events to attend. I love the feeling of community here. And now that I work on the west side as well, I feel like I can be a better advocate for this area. I have a stronger understanding of the challenges and needs of the west side and how I can help enact positive change for my community through my role at KRCL.”

About her new role, she said, “I’m so proud to be a part of an organization that is inclusive of people who aren’t always represented in mainstream media. KRCL’s staff, volunteers and board are committed to amplifying the voices of grassroots activists, advocates, musicians and everyday folks who seek to make a positive difference in our community.”

KRCL welcomes exploring partnerships with non-profits, schools, organizations and local businesses in the neighborhood. They understand that building relationships is a vital step in creating a strong community. Find more information on air at 90.9 FM and online at www.krcl.org.

Amy May has lived in Glendale for over 15 years and is a former employee of KRCL. She's currently the Executive Director of TreeUtah.