Oahu church briefly starts radio station on Big Isle


POSTED: Tuesday, May 05, 2009

It is not every day an Oahu church fires up a radio station on the Big Island, but Mercy Vineyard Christian Fellowship, which meets at Barbers Point Chapel, did just that March 5.

It then took the station silent within 48 hours but hopes to sign it on for good—in the fall.

KPHL-FM 90.5 in Pahala signed on to comply with Federal Communications Commission technical requirements, but station officials requested permission to take the station dark right away because “;the tower we are currently licensed to, and operating from is considered nonpermitted for co-location of broadcast properties by the County of Hawaii,”; they said in an FCC filing.

Additionally, the original tower site was extremely difficult to get to, said Pastor Fili Tualaulelei.

The new tower site is nearby and “;is right off the road, closer”; and easier to access, he said.

However, because it is technically in a different community, the church had to apply to change KPHL's community of license from Pahala to Hawaiian Ocean View, also known as Ocean View, depending on which government agency is doing the talking. FCC permission was granted last month.

Easier tower access is one thing, but funding facilities and keeping electric bills paid are additional matters. The church will raise funds to enable permanent operation of the station construction permit it purchased in 2007 for $1,500.

The seller was Memphis, Tenn.-based broadcast magnate George S. Flinn, who owned the license under one of his companies, Broadcasting for the Challenged Inc.

KPHL's primary programming will come from California-based Educational Media Foundation Inc., which offers two Christian music formats known as K-Love and Air One. It owns hundreds of stations, and many additional stations carry one format or the other.

KPHL officials are not yet sure which format it will carry, but Mercy Vineyard will eventually approach area residents because “;we want to be part of our local community,”; Tualaulelei said.

That would include providing emergency information when the need arises.

Also, “;our desire is to work with the public school, give them like an hour for the kids to do a program,”; said Tualaulelei, referencing Kau High School.

“;We talked about it ... that that would be a vital thing, to be part of the community ... find ways that we can help out.”;

No worry, beef curry

The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau need not worry about tourism competition from a virtual tour of Hawaii by Earth Television Network.

Its North American launch of was announced yesterday. It allows “;visitors to experience near-to-live camera feeds”; from more than 60 locations on five continents around the world, according to a news release.

There is video shot April 22 showing a bunch of empty chaise lounges on Waikiki Beach, but there are also time-lapse pictures of a gorgeous day when the beach was bustling.

Virtual visitors surfing the ether of the Web instead of actual waves won't need sunblock, but they're also missing out on wiggling their toes in our sand.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Reach her by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).