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September 02, 2008

Rick Steves' mission to Iran

We receive a lot of great mail here at KCTS 9--some of it by snail mail, and some by e-mail. This letter arrived in the post over the summer from Anita Bundy in Victoria, and I wanted to share a little bit of it with you. She starts:

My husband and I first pledged while watching Upstairs, Downstairs in Toronto. Suddenly, he left the room, took the phone, and said "Watching your face enjoying the program, I had to phone and pledge." ... I am now nearly 90. ... As long as I can see, I'll be watching.

Okay, I must admit that I remember watching Upstairs, Downstairs as a little kid and not understanding it one bit. (I'm pretty sure we had a kids' book with a similar title and it threw me way off.) But Anita also included a note about Rick Steves, and I can certainly identify with it--and the overall thought behind her letter. Here's part that note:

I wondered how long you'd be satisfied to gallop around Europe. I tune in every night. I cannot go to any of those countries and so enjoy your quick wit & marvelous photography vicariously--over and over and over. I never tire of it.

But--I cannot tell you how happy I was that you went to Iran. That took real courage, wisdom and understanding that somehow, somebody needs to realize that if we don't find a way to love our enemies (well, that might be a bit extreme) but to at least understand them. Wars will go on and we'll all be dead. Gandhi said "An eye for an eye and the whole world will be blind."

I write this with hope, and to thank you for attempting it alone, to show the way. Dare to be a Daniel, we learned in Sunday school.

Rick is producing a one-hour special on his trip that will air in January, but you can hear more about the journey--and how he came to be making this pilgrimage, what else he's got on his plate, and more--this Friday night at 7:30 on Conversations at KCTS 9. We'll see you then.


I have been able to get a perfect picture of your channel, KCTS9, through my analog antenna and now after setting up the dtv box am not able to get your channel at all, no matter how I put my antenna with the box and scan for channels. Is your transmitter at full power or will it increase when Feb 17 comes?

I have sad news for all of those folks out there living in rural areas more than 20 miles from the KCTS broadcast tower that believe they will get digital tv by either installing a converter box for those with analog tvs or those that have bought new digital TV's. If they happen to be in a good spot
like up on a ridge, they might receive a good signal. We live 7 miles NE of Snohomish up on the ridge with an unobstructed view towards Seattle. We have a new digital TV and a state of the art UHF (digital) antennae. kCTS9 is crystal clear for us as an analog broadcast. The KCTS 9 digital signal is too weak to receive in our area. We currently get many other digital channels primarily in the higher frequencies of the UHF band.

I have spoken to many experts on how to resolve this matter and they tell me that millions of folks are going back to the 1950's and will not receive a digital TV signal like us. Even people living right in cities may find that they will not receive a signal
if their line of sight to the broadcast tower is blocked by a building or other obstruction.

Digital TV was never intended to be broadcast from line of sight towers as was the analog TV of the past. The digital signal is very narrow beamed and does not reflect and echo like analog signals. The signal also is not as strong as an analog signal. Weather dramatically affects reception. Picture clarity will vary from day to day depending on weather or other atmospheric disturbances. Digital TV works great if it comes from Satellites in orbit overhead like the system Japan has in place. There was supposed to be a satellite system in place by the time the switch over was made, but the ball was dropped by those promising to put them in orbit. The expense was more than anticipated.

I think it important people know the truth about the digital switch over. Trial runs in several metropolitan areas went very poorly. The vast majority of people found they no longer had TV.
The government went back to the drawing board and tried to fix the problems. Then they retested the digital system. Flopped once again. So good luck on the upcoming digital switch. I hope everyone eventually is able to get TV once again.

Best regards,
Digitally PO'hd in Snohomish

I have tried and tried to get coupons for DTV for our Belfair home.
It is impossible to talk to the feds. On the third application, they said it was mailed Nov. 14th. No coupons showed up in our mail. We checked daily as soon as mail delivered. Their emails say they only respond once, and never again. Very frustrating! And with out KCTS9 after mid feb.

Dear King Community Television Service,

I'm a big fan with PBS Kids. I hope that the children in your area like what you show. I like your web site. Hope you're doing well.

I think it is inappropriate for PBS's Gwen Ifil to moderate the Palin-Biden debate. She has a pro-Obama book coming out after the election and as such, she has a financial interest in seeing him elected. But, then again, all of PBS is in the tank for Obama.

I recorded the last two episodes of Closer to Truth (Wed. 24, 4 am) only to see a blank screen and some kind of test broadcast.(??) How disappointing! I hope this will not happen again.

Dear King Community Television Service,

I'm a big fan with PBS Kids. I hope that the children in your area like what you show. I like your web site. Hope you're doing well.

When is your station going to show
the "Vision" series of documentaries? ie: Israel & Italy?

Watching John Denver show. No one commeted on John setting chockers in Lester in the 60's. I think some of his songs started when He was in Lester,Wa. Iseen him playing his guiter on the big bridge on the Green river and the Scott Paper "white house".
Thanks Myles

when will the fabulous series "kcts cooks" be shown in high definition as well?

ps. thank you so much for rick bayless' "mexico one plate at time" in high def...it's awesome!

Dear KCTS 9,

I'm a big fan with PBS Kids. I hope that the children in your area like what you show. I like your web site. Hope you're doing well.

Ok!just finished watching Tommy Tang cooking in Thailand. He's inspired me to be on some sort of show. Well, I just started my Thai cooking blog a few wks ago. Take a look everyone!!

We watched last Friday's show with Rick Steves and appreciated so very much his slant on how things should be. Yes, the people of our country need to know people of other countries so that we will appreciate them and understand them. Better to understand them than fear them.

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