Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

 

Three long-time personalities ride in on proverbial white horses with attempt to save KX FM

For those in the know, local Laguna Beach radio station KX FM has been in somewhat turmoil in recent times. One reason was certainly because Tyler Russell McCusker, the station’s founder, moved to be with family in Tucson, Ariz.

Recently, a plea from McCusker was delivered to community members seeking financial support to continue operations.

Well, good news, on Wednesday (April 10) several well-known Laguna residents and long-time program hosts of the station emerged to join and take control of the station’s board of directors, replacing McCusker.

Billy Fried, Cindy Obrand and Jonathan Tufano have been appointed to the not-for-profit radio station board, which will now be chaired by Fried.

KX FM was founded back in 2012 by McCusker and a business partner when they assumed control of a dormant radio signal in Laguna Niguel, then moved it to Laguna Beach.

The station in recent times has been staffed by more than 60 volunteers representing all styles of music and talk, with “a charter to serve the city of Laguna Beach with local news, sports, weather, culture, entertainment, public affairs, and an array of unique personalities, programming and music.”

Fried is a well-known local entrepreneur who has hosted his own talk show, Laguna Talks, for 10 years, pens a column for a local newspaper and is founder of the local outdoor adventure company La Vida Laguna, which he continues to operate with his partner Doug Oyen.

“I am thrilled and honored to help this little gem and its incredible roster of talented hosts as it enters its next chapter as a vital hub for the community,” Fried stated. “Radio is a magical medium when done right, and I believe Laguna enjoys a unique and special privilege to have its own station.

Obrand has hosted Radio Neighboring as her alter ego “Ida Mae” on Saturday mornings since the station began.

And Tufano will come aboard to help the station with operations.

The trio will take over the operations effective May 1.

• • •

The Peter Blake Gallery will host an opening reception for their latest exhibit, James Hayward’s Monochromes, on Saturday, April 20 from 3-5 p.m. The gallery is located at 435 Ocean Ave.

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Courtesy of Peter Blake Gallery

Part of the James Hayward exhibit “Monochromes” at the Peter Blake Gallery

Also Saturday evening is the exhibition reception and celebration of Tony DeLap’s A Survey of Works: 1960s-2000s from 6-8 p.m. at The Honarkar Foundation. An RSVP is requested.

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Courtesy of The Honarkar Foundation

A piece on display from Tony DeLap’s exhibit at The Honarkar Foundation Gallery

• • •

Our own photographer Mary Hurlbut was hanging around City Hall on Tuesday with the job of eventually photographing new City Manager Dave Kiff. Heck, somebody has got to take that official photo. Anyway, another little interesting news tidbit sort of fell into Mary’s lap.

While there, she ran into local architect Gregg Abel. He told Mary that he and his team had just built a children’s bench outside City Hall. Here’s the catch – there used to be another bench there, but Abel and his group were charged with enlarging the planting bed around the pepper tree and had to move said bench. While digging, they came across stones in the underground. So, what did they do? Maybe you can tell what they decided…

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

New bench next to the pepper tree outside of City Hall

Nice job Gregg!

• • •

The Greater Laguna Beach GOP’s members’ meeting will take place Wednesday, April 24 at Mozambique. The guest speaker will be Laguna Beach Police Chief Jeff Calvert.

The Chief, a 25-year veteran of the department, will talk about his vision for the police force and what’s behind the efforts of their members to protect and defend the city.

The event, starting with a 5 p.m. social hour and the meeting beginning at 6 p.m., will take place in the newly remodeled Parrot’s Room.

Seating is limited and RSVPs are required.

• • •

This week on our podcast, Mayor Sue Kempf and I discuss the hiring of new City Manager Dave Kiff and what it means for Laguna Beach, the city’s investment portfolio and more.

Give us a listen.


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