Thursday, July 10, 2014

Austin Radio: Pirates Fined $15K By FCC

The Olenicks
A pair of longtime activists are facing a $15,000 fine for operating a pirate radio station in Austin.

According to The Austin Chronicle, in August 2013, agents from the FCC Enforcement Bureau's Houston office responded to a complaint that an unlicensed station was operating at 90.1 MHz in Austin. Tracing the source of the signal wasn't exactly difficult. The antenna was attached to an almost 50-foot tower anchored to an apartment building owned by Walter Olenick and Rae Nadler-Olenick. Outside, a car registered to Nadler-Olenick was plastered with a bumper sticker reading "Liberty 90.1FM."

After discovering the source, the FCC sent the Olenicks a warning letter in early Septem­ber. The Olenicks replied shortly after, offering no denial that they owned the building or that an unlicensed radio station was operating on the premises. However, the couple shot back that the agents did not have "permission or consent to enter" the apartment building. According to the FCC filing, the Olenicks stated that the agency lacked jurisdiction in Texas. The letter "also implied that they do not consider themselves subject to the laws of the United States, because they stated they expect any future communications to come from the International Bureau only after a 'treaty' to which they are 'signators' is signed."

Such contrarian views are not uncommon for the Olenicks. The pair frequently appear during Citizens Communication at City Council to rail against the dangers of fluoridation in municipal water. But the FCC had less patience than City Hall. In April 2014, the FCC blasted the pair with a $10,000 fine for operating 90.1 without authorization. An additional $5,000 was added because the Olenicks failed to cease operations after the initial warnings.

The 90.1FM frequency has aired New World Order warnings for more than a decade, earning it the nickname "Alex Jones Radio."

The Olenicks were served their own Forfeit­ure Order in early June 2014 and were given a 30-day deadline to pay the fine before possible further Justice Department action.

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