A Nevada City water department supervisor who is also a 20-year KVMR (89.5 FM) broadcaster was awarded the radio station’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” at a banquet honoring station volunteers.
Chris Towne was honored for his “successful and meaningful” 15 years hosting the “Thursday Music Magazine,” as well as his contributions to the noncommercial station’s broadcaster training program, dedication to vinyl recordings and work as a producer and host on KVMR’s Nevada County Fair broadcasts.
“He’s someone who brought passion and a real sense of community to our annual live remotes from the fair,” said KVMR Program Director Steve Baker, who adds that Towne’s wit and musical taste will be “sorely missed.” Towne did his last regular Music Magazine on Thanksgiving afternoon, though he will continue to substitute and volunteer at the station.
Towne won the Bill Tuttle Lifetime Achievement Award, which is named after the late longtime broadcaster who was a show host into his early ’90s.
Overall Volunteer Of The Year honors went to John Adams for his work on a variety of station projects, including music digitization and technical issues concerning the station’s proposed new facility plus “gracious help with just about everything KVMR.”
Nearly 300 volunteers, broadcasters and guests attended the station’s annual holiday Volunteer Appreciation Party at the Miner’s Foundry, next to the radio station in downtown Nevada City. Rare for radio outlets, the eclectic music and news station features about 150 volunteer “citizen broadcasters.”
Other KVMR Program Committee awards included:
— Shawn Garvey won the Osborn-Woods Community Service Award for his political analysis (Mondays, 8:10 a.m.) and his production and coordination of the town hall meeting, “Save Our Parks,” which KVMR broadcast and which launched a successful petition drive to keep the South Yuba State Park open.
— The John Nichols Excellence in Music Programming awards went to Jimmi Accardi’s “Rock’n’Roll Party” (Mondays, 2 p.m.), Kim Rogers’ “Good Stuff” (Thursday, 2s p.m.) and Mike Bissell for “The Wednesday Morning Show” ( Wed, 7 a.m.)
— The Jody Fenimore Award for Public Affairs went to Michael Melendez and Kelly Moreno for “Adios Babylon” (Wednesday, noon).
Also, the Earlybird Award went to Lynn Heintz and “Over Easy” (alternate Wednesdays, 4-7 a.m.), the Night Owl Award was awarded to Leia Farrell for “Bohemian Groove” (alternate Fridays, 10 p.m.), Out of The Box honors went to Casey Burke and John Bivens for “American Cosmonauts” (alternate Mondays, 10 p.m.), Substitute Host of Year was Johnie Gallagher and Rookie Of The Year was Tenali.
Special Program Committee awards went to departing broadcasters Barclay Neumann (24 years, much of it Bob Dylan programming), past multiple-award winner Martha Kuhns (for her sultry late night programming and service on the station’s board, program committee and training class faculty), and the late Walt Fraser for “29 of his 89 years at KVMR” and for “his infectious smile, irrepressible spirit and odd segues.”
Volunteer Coordinator Edy Cassell and various KVMR department heads also presented awards to leading volunteers, including:
— News — Max Fenson and Mary Goodman
— Programming — Sandy Smith and Ralph Henson
— Music — Laura Confal, Laura Sklar-Oats, Mark Leviton, Greg Jewett, Lynn Heintz, Kim Rogers and John Stabile.
— Live Remotes — Lee Osborne, Dennis Brunnenmeyer, Lynn Heintz and John Adams.
— Membership — Sean Huntley, Jessica Faulks and Susan McGuire.
— Digital Downloads — Bruce Tepper.
(Chris Towne is) someone who brought passion and a real sense of community to our annual live remotes from the fair.”
— KVMR Program Director Steve Baker