I like people. I like to hear what people think, what they like, what music makes them sing. Or cry. Or sing and cry at the same time.

I don’t like a machine telling me what I should like. I don’t want my behavior predicted based upon past likes. I like to be genuinely surprised, to be given the chance to like or dislike something just because I do, not because I am being sold something. That’s some of the reasons I like WMPG and community radio.

If you turn on WMPG 90.9FM, in your car or on your computer, these are your neighbors — real people sharing their ideas and passions. That’s pretty cool, and unfortunately pretty rare these days. If we don’t step up, it will become even rarer.

Sometimes people have to put their money where their mouth is, or where their ears are. Don’t make me beg. Okay, I’m begging. After all, it’s WMPG’s Begathon, but people can support their local community radio station any time, and I beg them to do so.

Community radio’s important sister, community television, needs people’s support, too. I encourage them to learn more about LD 920, a bill in the Legislature that can help fund community television so that municipalities can record and broadcast things like town meetings — stuff that is essential to good citizenship and democracy, and has been even more important this past year as the pandemic severely limited accessibility to so many important things happening in our hometowns.

Orion Breen, Pownal

Editor’s note: WMPG broadcasts out of Gorham and Portland and offers some statewide-focused programming.

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