As reported earlier, Premier MacLauchlan generously offered me a ride to Summerside last night for the Learning Partners Advisory Council meeting.

While I don’t believe there are any formal rules governing the reporting of such adventures, common sense would dictate that the discussions that took place during the ride are covered under a cone of silence.

And so if, say, the Premier accidentally revealed his plans to take PEI out of Confederation1, discretion would suggest I not mention it here. 

So I will limit my colour commentary to this: the Premier drives a late model SUV that, as is custom these days, has a mid-console display screen. For most of our trip the radio was turned to CBC Prince Edward Island, 96.1 on the FM dial. And yet the station identifier appearing on the display was “Kicks96.”

I found this quite bothersome and wondered how such a thing might happen.

The most prominent radio station I could find using the “Kicks96” nom de plume is WQLK-FM which broadcasts from a transmitter in Richmond, Indiana, like CBC PEI, on FM 96.1.

I imagine there could be several ways that the Premier’s car stereo could come to think of FM 96.1 as Kicks96. Perhaps the vehicle was assembled in range of Richmond, and the radio station presets setup there? Perhaps the radio itself was manufactured in the area? Perhaps the stereo grabs its presets from some sort of web service that got confused during the update? Perhaps the Premier is also secretly the Governor of Indiana?

I called Kicks96 in Richmond, IN and spoke to a helpful receptionist who transferred me to an equally helpful production manager for the station. He confirmed there were no automobile assembly plants in the area, no formal arrangements with the Premier’s automobile manufacturer to pre-install Kicks96 on the stereo (although he wished there were). He mentioned that there were several other radio stations in the US that used the “Kicks96” tag, and the clues might be found there instead of in Richmond. His best guess, and it was a long shot he said, is that when the radio station presets were installed it may have been at night when, due to “skipping”, the Indiana signal reached all the way to PEI.

I tried to call CBC Prince Edward Island, but all branches on their telephone tree lead to voicemail, and there’s no “Press 7 to ask Kenny Adams questions about FM propagation” option.

At this hour, thus, the Kicks96 mystery remains a mystery.

Otherwise, the ride was pleasant; we were joined by the Learning Partners Advisory Council co-chair Bill Whelan, and had a good chat, there and back.

You will be happy to learn that we did have a chance to speak briefly about Gross Fixed Capital Formation and related issues, and my newfound ability to speak somewhat intelligently about the GDP stood me in good stead.

The Island will be well-positioned when we join our Icelandic cousins in a new Confederation. Oops, I wasn’t supposed to talk about that. was I.

I owe the Premier a solid for the ride; maybe next time I’ll drive.

1. No such plans exist, and this was not actually something we talked about. Although wouldn’t it be cool if plans did exist, and by mentioning them here I have started a constitutional crisis!

2. I am hoping that the CSIS blog-scanner doesn’t flag this post for containing “shotgun” and “premier.” I use it in this sense, of course.


Kerry's picture
Kerry on April 21, 2016 - 23:04

Search for Kix 96. I think there was one in Brandon MB, but it seems there may have been others.

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