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Donnie Sevilla

"I saw the people change the course of the government," says Donnie Sevilla, who grew up in San Francisco during the 1960s. "I was a child of that generation." After 15 years as a timber faller in the Sana Cruz Mountains, Sevilla moved into construction as Silicon Valley ate the "tomato capital of the world." In 1990, he relocated to 10 acres just outside Cottage Grove, "I moved to Oregon and I'm glad I did," he says. "Eugene is one of the enlightened places on earth." An avid radio fan since age 14, when he built a Scott radio kit, Sevilla enlisted Aprovecho (his local appropriate-tech non-profit) to sponsor a low-power FM station. After a two-year wait for FCC approval and another year to assemble used broadcasting equipment, station KSOW-LP (Real Rural Radio, 106.7 FM, ksow.org) went on air in late 2004 from a studio in Sevilla's home. KSOW has an eight-mile broadcast radius and a 24-hour schedule of public-affairs and music programs. "We have 15 programmers, all volunteers," says Sevilla. "I'm the station manager and chief janitor."

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 5 October 2006

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