LA GRANDE — The Blue Mountain Translator District is broadcasting a new channel on local airwaves and in Portland.
Executive Director Alex McHaddad said the project to get a channel on the air began in March. The channel broadcasts local government meetings, educational shows and entertainment and is open for local residents and businesses to put their own shows on the air.
The district has been broadcasting meetings of the Elgin and La Grande city councils, Union County commissioners and La Grande School District online since April, and those now are available www.bmtd.org. McHaddad said the project to broadcast these public meetings was due in part to the pandemic, which prevents gatherings in person.
"The spirit behind local government is the public has access to everything that is going on," McHaddad said. "A lot of people here do have internet access and can stream it on Facebook, but not everyone does."
Many of the district's users are in rural areas or can't afford internet service. When McHaddad found the Sinclair Broadcast Group had an open subchannel, he said the district partnered with the company to broadcast their new station across the Willamette Valley and in Portland.
Viewers can access the channel online at the district's website or via a TV antenna. While other translator district channels have a service charge, the new channel is free. If you already have an antenna, you will need to rescan to access channel 16.4.