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About Seaside signal. (Seaside, Or.) 1905-current | View This Issue
4A • April 13, 2018 • Seaside Signal • seasidesignal.com
For radio listeners, his is the voice that counts
Since broadcaster John Chapman’s arrival
in Seaside in 1989, he has established himself
as the voice of the community.
Raised in Great Britain, he came to the U.S.
to be near his mother’s family in Sacramento,
California, where he met his wife-to-be, Karen.
Chapman arrived in Seaside in 1989 as the
Shilo Inn’s entertainment director and entered
local broadcasting soon after. After years as
an employee and co-owner of KSWB with Cal
Brady (“We were peas and carrots,” Chapman
said in a 2013 interview), he purchased the sta-
tion in 2011.
Chapman now operates from offices on the
corner of Broadway and Columbia.
♦ ♦ ♦
Q: You’re the voice of Seaside. At what
point did you get accepted as a true Seasider?
Chapman: I hope by now, after broadcast-
ing Seaside sports for 24 years! I wouldn’t
say I was “the voice,” I would like to say a
“good continuity of voice.” I think I’ve been
stable for quite a while now. I haven’t come
Q: That’s important.
Chapman: It actually surprised me when
I sat back a couple of years ago and thought,
“I’ve been doing this 20 years.” (Former
Seaside basketball star) Byron Thompson
graduated the year before I started broadcast-
ing Seaside sports. Last year, his son Hunter
was on my soccer team. So now I am starting
to see the second generation of some of those
Q: KSWB is celebrating its 50th anniversa-
ry. Tell me about the station.
Chapman: When KSWB started it was 980
on the AM frequency. It was only a daytime
station then. On its 13th birthday, they moved
it to 840-AM and that became a 24-hour sta-
tion. It was 1,000 watts during the day,
500 watts at night. KSWB has primarily
been a pop-classic-hits station. FM came two
years ago. Jerry Dennon, who was a record
SEEN FROM SEASIDE
producer, was the original co-owner of the
station with the Brothers Four, from Seaside.
Q: The Brothers Four?
Chapman: Listen back to the ’50s. They
had one big hit, “Greenfields.”
Q: How did you get involved?
Chapman: I had been working in radio
and wanted to stay working in radio. There
were only five stations at the time: KVAS,
KKEE, KAST-AM and FM, and KSWB. I
popped into KSWB one day and said, “I’ve
been working in radio, I’m interested in doing
that.” I met Ken Karge, who was the main
part of KSWB at the time. His programming
director Nancy Black was the one who pulled
Q: How did you get involved in sports
Chapman: Because I had been in sports as
a referee and player. It just seemed liked fun,
though with an English accent, people asked,
“What do you know about covering football?”
It was that fall we started covering Seaside
sports again. Which happened to be the year
that Seaside football went to the state champi-
onship and won.
Q: Any secrets to share?
Chapman: One of the things I learned
going through broadcasting school is that peo-
ple want theater of mind. Most people don’t
understand a game in its complexity. But they
understand enough, especially when you’re
talking about their kids. They want to hear
their name. They want to hear what’s going
on. Even today, that’s still my way. Simple,
very clear. It’s about the kids, about recogniz-
ing what they’re doing. Win or lose, you have
to try and keep that as positive as possible.
Q: We’ve had some great years with the
Chapman: Yes, but we’ve had some bad
moments, too. We had a spell of about five
years when we only won three football games.
That was hard broadcasting. Winning broad-
casting is easy. It’s not always good for
the blood pressure, but yes, we’ve had
some great success. We’ve gone to the state
tournament with either the boys’ or the girls’
basketball team every year for the last six
Q: Do you stream KSWB programming on
Chapman: We got streaming going this
year. This year was the first season we had
basketball online. We finally got into the 21st
century, I guess, 18 years later.
Q: How do you see the future of small
From the Boardwalk to the Prom
Chapman: I’m not ever going to get rich.
When there is an emergency, if the tsunami
warning comes, the newspaper can’t tell you
that. But a radio station can. As long as you
can stay on the air, people will
look for you for continuity.
Q: Have you thought about your role in
Chapman: Last time we had a warning,
I called my wife and said, “I’ve got to stay
right here.” That’s my job. As long as I am
on the air I am going to stay right here so
people know what’s going on. In a radio
situation it’s not just about the entertainment
side. You are there for a community benefit.
You’ve got to be one of those last people on
the line that says, “Before we go off the air,
this is what is happening.” And I believe that.
That’s what you take home when you have a
station, just like you would as an editor when
you have a story.
Q: How has Seaside impacted you over
Chapman: When I got the opportunity
to buy into the ownership of the license in
2005, I knew I had bought something valu-
able within the community. No longer was
I just a broadcaster. I was committing to the
community for what goes across the air-
waves. And hopefully it’s true, it’s real and
people believe in that. I’d like to think that’s
why I’m still around doing what I’m doing.
In 2011, when I made the move and pur-
chased KSWB outright, it became, “We’re
here to stay.”
In 2009 when I got sick with the swine flu,
this community gathered around me. I’m not
going to leave this community. They were
there for me when I was nearly dead. I’ve got
to be there for them when they need me.
Hopefully we don’t have to go to that
extreme, but when they need something, I’m
hoping they can go, “What does Chappy got
to say?” “Where is he at?” People think it’s a
lucrative business, but it is a labor of love.
I support Orr
I am voting for John Orr for State Rep. I’ve known John
for decades in many capacities and think he has the intelli-
gence and integrity to do the job.
His main opponent Tim Josi, is a gang leader in the
timber industry-funded lawsuit that some counties are
bringing against the Oregon Department of Forestry in an
attempt to increase the amount of timber that can be taken
from the state forests. Besides being an environmental rip
off, it is costing the Oregon Department of Justice millions
of dollars in taxpayer funds to defend the state. This after
the state and the counties agreed, less than a decade ago, to
a forest management plan that balanced timber harvest and
John has an excellent environmental record, having
served as the president of the North Coast Land Conservan-
cy. I urge everyone concerned about protecting our forests
for future generations to vote for John Orr.
Former mayor of Cannon Beach
Candidate advocates for kids
LEFT The writer, left, on the Boardwalk in the
1960s Atlantic City, New Jersey.
RIGHT The writer’s mother, Geraldine, and stepfa-
ther, Charlie, enjoy fun days in 1960s Atlantic City,
hen I was a kid growing up in
Atlantic City, history I spent
more than half my adult life
erasing, shortly after my father died, my
mother acquired a boyfriend. His name
was Charlie and he was quite a bit older
than my mom, like 20 years older. He
was in his early 60s when he came into
my life. Despite their age difference,
Charlie had twice, if not three times, her
stamina. Although he was still practicing
law (he’d been a judge in Nuremberg),
he said he was semi-retired. Weather
permitting, he spent as much time as he
could fishing, boating, painting still life,
going to the race track (he adored thor-
oughbred racing). He was a great fan of
farmer markets where he bought bushels
of peaches and corn. My mother, who
didn’t own a pair of shoes that didn’t
have high heels, was challenged keeping
up with him, especially on balmy sum-
mer nights when he wanted to cruise the
famous Atlantic City boardwalk.
I often remark to my husband how
much Charlie would have enjoyed
Seaside. He would definitely have had
a boat. He would have surf cast on the
beach, and since he loved fine dining, he
would have been a regular at Maggie’s
On the Prom. Speaking of The Prom, he
would have really loved it, although he
would have liked shops and amusements
right on it like the Atlantic City board-
deered a chair for himself, however,
whenever we went up on the boardwalk.
He’d sit in the wheel chair and my
mother would push. One night he joked
she should wear a nurse’s uniform. That
pissed her off.
Remember how I said my mother
walk. Besides proximity to the ocean,
only wore heels? Well, she wore them to
Charlie loved Steel Pier and poking into push Charlie around in that wheelchair.
shops. He loved soft serve ice cream and One evening she was cranky and tired.
fudge and he especially loved a nut store We’d probably been out too long. “OK,
called Mr. Peanut. But all that activity
let’s switch,” he said. “You sit in the
required walking. The Atlantic City
chair and I’ll push.”
boardwalk is 4 miles long; the wood
I will never forget the expression
is laid in a herringbone pattern, which
on peoples’ faces when they executed
makes it ideal for bike riding.
the switch. Summer nights in Atlantic
Charlie rode a bike; on his own, he
City, the boardwalk was always crowd-
had a little German folding bike he used ed. People who had been looking on in
to get around. As a result of an accident sympathy for the older guy in a wheel-
he’d sustained as a child, he had one leg chair being pushed by the much younger
pretty blond screwed their faces up with
that was significantly shorter than the
incredulity when they swapped posi-
other, resulting in a pronounced limp.
tions. Charlie didn’t mind pushing and
His work and dress shoes were custom
made for him in Philadelphia where they she was glad to get her feet up. The chair
functioned for him like a walker; it was
were fitted with a lift. But he said they
something to balance him and lean on.
were uncomfortable for walking any
“What are you looking at?” I re-
distance. Which is why one day he came
member smirking to an on-looker who
home with a wheelchair.
looked like she’d been sucker punched.
The wheelchair quickly became a
It was a lesson I’ve never forgotten what
toy for us kids to play with. There were
happens when you tamper with people’s
two of them (they were a score from
a medical supply store in AC that was
Meanwhile, remember no wheelchair
going out of business) and we used them
racing is allowed on the Prom!
to stage wheelchair races. He comman-
John D. Bruijn
I am writing to recognize the efforts of our communi-
ty on behalf of children in foster care in Clatsop County.
I recently attended the annual CASA fund raiser at the
Bridgewater Bistro. I am familiar with the indispensable
roll played by the CASA Volunteers, due to my 24 years
representing both parents and children in the juvenile de-
pendency system. CASA volunteers advocate with dedica-
tion and love for these children who must endure separation
from parents siblings for long periods of time. Judges and
attorneys alike are grateful for the help provided by CASA.
That said, I would be remiss if I did not raise up the social
workers and support staff at the Oregon Department of Hu-
man Services, Astoria Branch for their efforts as well. We
appreciate the selfless and compassionate efforts of these
state workers. That said, an audit by the Oregon Secretary
Of State’s office flagged significant problems with the Fos-
ter Care program. There 11,000 children in foster care in
2017. This report pointed out three area of primary concern:
1. “Chronic management shortcomings.”
2. Chronic understaffing, burnout and high turnover.
3. . Too few foster placements, and struggles to retain
existing foster home and foster parents. If we are to invest
in our children’s future and avoid more costly solutions to
children who are abused and neglected, changes need to be
made. Legislative oversight is critical, and increased fund-
ing ought be considered. If elected as your State Represen-
tative, I will dedicate myself to making changes to address
this unfortunate foster care problem.
John F. Orr
TUESDAY, April 17
THURSDAY, April 19
Seaside School District
Board of Directors, 5 p.m.,
1801 S. Franklin, Seaside.
Seaside Transportation Ad-
visory Commission, 6 p.m.,
City Hall, 989 Broadway.
Seaside Planning Commis-
sion, 7 p.m., City Hall, 989
MONDAY, April 23
WEDNESDAY, April 18
TUESDAY, May 1
Seaside Tourism Advisory
Committee, 3 p.m., 989
Community Center Com-
mission, 10:30 a.m., 1225
Avenue A., Seaside.
Seaside City Council, 7 p.m.,
City Hall, 989 Broadway.
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