Our Story So Far
KBCZ Time Line (2012-2020)
- In 2012, an FCC license became available for an NCE (Non-commercial educational) FM license for 90.1 FM covering all of Boulder Creek and surrounding areas. A group of San Lorenzo Valley community members began to discuss plans to support the BCRPD in purchasing the license. The community members had several meetings and were excited to begin broadcasting.
On June 6, 2013 the BCRPD Board of Directors voted to move forward with plans to obtain the station. The public voiced strong support for the project, and the radio station, KBCZ Boulder Creek Community Radio at 90.1 FM was born. Local residents began to arrive on KBCZ’s virtual doorstep wanting to get involved. Tim Welch was named Interim Director, Tina Davey and Sam Peacock were named Interim Associate Directors.
After a year of steadily building infrastructure and pre-programming some original shows in a small room above Jenna Sue’s coffee shop, KBCZ then moved to a small room (the closet!) at the Boulder Creek Recreation Center in May of 2015
In 2015 we were very happy to have our own dedicated space, even if it was initially a closet, it became our working studio. In May of 2015, Tina Davey was hired by The Boulder Creek Recreation District as Station Manager for KBCZ and Paul Nanna was named Technical Director. July of 2015 under the technical direction of Paul Nanna, KBCZ began to stream limited content on-line at kbcz.org. These early pre-recorded shows were produced by Mike D, Jeff Smith(Uncle Jeffro), Bruce Bellochio(Brookdale Bluegrass Bruce)and Sean Greedy(The Ozzy Freak of Boulder Creek).
On July 15 of 2016, under the technical direction of Paul Nanna and JV Rudnick, KBCZ broadcast it’s on-line programming successfully on 90.1FM.
In September of 2016, KBCZ conducted their first live Monday through Friday morning show remotely from local music studio, the Boulder Creek Music Works. With the help of Music Works owner, Barry Tanner, the show continued until early February of 2017.
In December of 2016, the BCRPD gave KBCZ permission to officially share space at it’s Visitor Center in downtown Boulder Creek at 13200 Hwy 9, suite A.
- The BCRPD in June of 2017, seeing KBCZ’s continued growth and the teams’ unwavering enthusiasm, relinquished the space and gave it’s full use to KBCZ, officially opening its doors to the public in February of 2017. The team was ecstatic to have a storefront in town.After all, that had been the original idea for KBCZ way back in 2012, a small-town radio station in a storefront downtown, a’la “Northern Exposure”, the popular 90’s TV show(minus the moose). It felt prophetic to be occupying a space that many of us had dreamed about being in.
KBCZ is non-political and non-religious and is managed by one part-time staffer that oversees this fantastic group of dedicated DJ’s and volunteers and is under the management of the District Manager of the BCRPD. The radio station currently has over 30 local DJ’s producing 100% original shows, currently about 90% of the programs are conducted live in the downtown studio. Programming currently is focused on music shows, talk and interview shows with a live PM Drive-Time show that is on Monday through Friday 4:00pm to 6:00pm and a News Roundup Monday through Thursday at 12:30pm hosted by Julie O and Tina Davey. The station is looking to work with local residents to create talk shows that discuss all range of subjects like cooking, good health practices, cars, hobbies and other topics of interest to the community. Programs for children and teens are being sought as well. Once the COVID crisis is over we will once again be training new DJ’s.
KBCZ DJ's Masked Up During COVID-19
On March 19, 2020, KBCZ closed the downtown live studio in compliance with California state shelter in place orders to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus. For approximately 64 days, a handful of KBCZ DJ’s were allowed to broadcast remotely from their homes until it was deemed safe to return to the live studio. The studio reopened on May 11, 2020. Some DJ’s have continued to broadcast from home, though many are back in the downtown live studio.
The CZU August Lightning Complex Fire
On August 16, 2020, a freak lightning storm in Northern California caused several explosive wildfires to erupt. In the Santa Cruz mountains, gusty winds ignited the flames further and caused three large fires to combine into the CZU August Lightning Complex Fire.
On August 18th, 2020, KBCZ DJ’s cut into regular programming and began reporting on the unfolding situation of the CZU August Lightning Fire. The first evacuations began during the Tuesday Drive-Time Show with Taylor Wolfsen around 5:00pm, the first evacuation was Watermans Gap. Later, DJ John Lehr in the middle of his show Telemetric Transmissions began getting word of more evacuations. Residents of Little Basin and The Boulder Creek Golf Course neighborhoods were being evacuated. Following John Lehr on mic was Greg Rose, who began reporting on the many evacuations that continued. Julie O ran down for an on-air shift from her near-by house, when it came time for her to evacuate.
Station Manager Tina Davey closed down the live studio in downtown Boulder Creek at 11:30pm and began broadcasting from her home in Felton using the KBCZ remote broadcast equipment. Hundreds of local listeners logged onto KBCZ.org and tuned into 90.1FM for info on how to evacuate town. When Calfire sent the message, “ BOULDER CREEK AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES INCLUDING BROOKDALE SHOULD EVACUATE NOW”, it seemed unbelievable, but Tina began reporting on it and continued as indeed downtown Boulder Creek was suddenly in danger of being destroyed by the encroaching fire. All through the night, residents were leaving Boulder Creek north via Hwy 9 to Saratoga or south via Hwy 9 to Santa Cruz. KBCZ stayed on the air with them, reassuring all evacuees that traffic was slow but steady and to not panic and exit the San Lorenzo Valley safely as neighbors and friends.
The next day, DJ’s Samthram and Stirfry along with Station Manager Tina Davey set up the remote broadcasting equipment at the Steel Bonnet Brewery in Scotts Valley and began broadcasting the many live updates, press releases and additional evacuation notices that were still pouring in. At the end of day 2 at the Steel Bonnet Brewery, the city of Scotts Valley was then evacuated.
When all of the San Lorenzo Valley, Scotts Valley and parts of Santa Cruz had been evacuated, KBCZ DJ’s, Samthram, StirFry, Big Bri and Tina Davey began an emergency regular broadcast schedule from their evacuated locations. Samtheram and StirFry from Watsonville, Big Bri from Santa Cruz and Tina Davey from Seaside, CA.
Stirfry pictured with temporary co-host, “Emma the Pooch” ready to give updates from her evacuated location. All KBCZ DJ’s and their families, pets, record collections and musical instruments were evacuated to all areas of California, from Pacifica to Los Angeles and all points in between.
The Randyman attended the daily press conferences at 6:00am and 6:00pm and streamed the live events to the KBCZ Facebook page.
The evacuations lasted for 2 weeks. All told, the CZU fire burned 86,509 acres, 925 single family homes were tragically lost including some homes of KBCZ DJ’s and staff. The community of San Lorenzo Valley came together like never before, supporting each other in the aftermath, holding each other up as friends and neighbors. KBCZ was proud of it’s part in the emergency.