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The Radio Pirate Goes Legit 

Now Pirate Cat Radio is following the rules.

Wednesday, May 26 2010
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Page 5 of 5

The creator of the exhibit, a Neil Young doppelgänger in a shabby baseball hat, sneaks up on a few onlookers. "They could leave anytime," he says. "It's only their minds holding them back." It's a piece of art Roberts would almost certainly applaud.

An ultimate go-getter, Roberts has been running around all day, ensuring things are done right. In fact, many things are going right. Since the bleak day in the station when he was feeling down about finances, he has sold two underwriting packages. Catherine Peery, the chair of PMAC and thus the town's unofficial mayor, purchased the first for her retirement planning group, Peery and Associates. Farmageddon, a company that fixes tractors and sells organic fruits and vegetables, purchased the second.

Finally settling on a log to observe the party and be interviewed, Roberts talks about the interesting transition from pirate radio to a licensed community station. It's forced him grow to up a little, he admits. "I think I finally reached 23 — at 29," he says. "I finally reached the age where I'm doing responsible things."

Since he now has to abide by FCC rules, Roberts has made it a point to thoroughly study them. He's been surprised at times by how much sense they make. He was particularly interested to learn that the FCC gives citizens the right to investigate public radio stations. That's important, because lots of stations put out more power than they should, he says, which interferes with other law-abiding stations.

"How do I say this?" he says, then pauses, weighing the implications of his words. "I guess I've finally started to respect some of the rules the FCC has in place."

About The Author

Ashley Harrell

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