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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of ) File Number EB-02-TP-331
) NAL/Acct. No. 200332700005
Westshore Broadcasting, Inc. )
Licensee of AM Radio Station WOCA ) FRN 0003758000
in Ocala, Florida, and Owner of )
Antenna Structure #1027385
St. Petersburg, Florida
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: November 1, 2002
By the Enforcement Bureau, Tampa Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
(``NAL''), we find Westshore Broadcasting, Inc. (``Westshore''),
licensee of AM station WOCA, Ocala, Florida, and owner of antenna
structure #1027385 in Ocala, Florida, apparently liable for a
forfeiture in the amount of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) for
willful and repeated violation of Sections 17.51, 17.57, and
73.49 of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'').1 Specifically, we
find Westshore apparently liable for failing to display all red
obstruction lighting from sunset to sunrise, failing to update
tower ownership information on the antenna structure
registration, and failing to provide an effective locked fence
around the base of the antenna.
2. On July 1, 2002, agents of the Commission's Tampa Field
Office (``Tampa Office'') responded to a complaint alleging that
the lights on Westshore's antenna structure #1027385 had been
dark for at least six months. The agents drove to the antenna
structure, which is used as part of AM radio station WOCA, and
noted that the fence around the base of the antenna tower was
unlocked. The agents covered the tower light photocell and noted
that the tower lights did not illuminate.
3. On July 2, 2002, agents of the Tampa Office conducted
an inspection of radio station WOCA AM. The station manager
stated that the antenna structure lights had failed on or about
September 26, 2001, and had not been repaired because service
companies refused to climb the tower due to its poor structural
integrity. The agent contacted the Federal Aviation
Administration (``FAA'') and found no report of light outages for
this structure. The agents found no record in the station's logs
of any tower light outages. The station manager stated that the
station licensee, Westshore, owned the antenna structure. The
FCC's Antenna Structure Registration (``ASR'') database showed
the structure registered to a previous owner.
4. Section 17.51 of the Rules requires antenna structure
owners that have been assigned obstruction marking and lighting
to display all red obstruction lighting from sunset to sunrise.
Westshore's antenna structure lights failed on or about September
26, 2001 and had not been repaired as of July 2, 2002. The FAA
had no record of a report of a light outage for this structure2
and the station's logs showed no record of light outages or FAA
5. Section 17.57 of the Rules requires the owner of an
antenna structure for which an ASR Number has been assigned to
immediately notify the Commission using FCC Form 854 upon any
change in structure height or change in ownership information.
Westshore is the current owner of the antenna structure, however,
as of July 8, 2002, Commission records listed the previous
6. Section 73.49 of the Rules requires antenna towers that
have RF potential at the base to be enclosed within effective
locked fences or other enclosures. The WOCA antenna tower is
series fed and has RF potential at the base. On July 1 and July
2, 2002, the gated fence surrounding the tower was found
7. Based on the evidence before us, we find Westshore
willfully4 and repeatedly5 violated Sections 17.51, 17.57, and
73.49 of the Rules by failing to: display all red obstruction
tower lighting from sunset to sunrise, update tower ownership
information on the antenna structure registration, and provide an
effective locked fence around the base of the antenna.
8. Pursuant to Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Rules,6 the base
forfeiture amounts for the violations cited in this Notice are:
$10,000 for failure to comply with prescribed tower painting and
marking; $3,000 for failure to notify the Commission of a change
in tower ownership (failure to file required forms or
information); and $7,000 for AM tower fencing. In assessing the
monetary forfeiture amount, we must also take into account the
statutory factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (``Act''), which include
the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation,
and with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any
history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and other such matters
as justice may require.7 Thus, considering the entire record and
applying the statutory factors listed above, this case warrants a
forfeiture of $20,000.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
9. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act,8 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Rules,9 Westshore is hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY
FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of twenty thousand dollars for
willful and repeated violation of Sections 17.51, 17.57, and
73.49 of the Rules by failing to display all red obstruction
tower lighting from sunset to sunrise, failing to update tower
ownership information on the antenna structure registration, and
failing to provide an effective locked fence around the base of
10. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Rules, within thirty days of the release date of this NAL,
Westshore SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or
SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation
of the proposed forfeiture.
11. Payment of the forfeiture may be made by mailing a
check or similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission, to the Forfeiture Collection Section,
Finance Branch, Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box
73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482. The payment should note the
NAL/Acct. No. and FRN referenced above. Requests for payment of
the full amount of this NAL under an installment plan should be
sent to: Chief, Revenue and Receivables Operations Group, 445
12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.10
12. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Office of the Secretary, 445 12th
Street SW, Washington DC 20554, Attn: Enforcement Bureau-
Technical & Public Safety Division and MUST INCLUDE THE NAL/Acct.
No. referenced above.
13. The Commission will not consider reducing or canceling
a forfeiture in response to a claim of inability to pay unless
the petitioner submits: (1) federal tax returns for the most
recent three-year period; (2) financial statements prepared
according to generally accepted accounting practices (``GAAP'');
or (3) some other reliable and objective documentation that
accurately reflects the petitioner's current financial status.
Any claim of inability to pay must specifically identify the
basis for the claim by reference to the financial documentation
14. Under the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002,
Pub L. No. 107-198, 116 Stat. 729 (June 28, 2002), the FCC is
engaged in a two-year tracking process regarding the size of
entities involved in forfeitures. If you qualify as a small
entity and if you wish to be treated as a small entity for
tracking purposes, please so certify to us within thirty (30)
days of this NAL, either in your response to the NAL or in a
separate filing to be sent to the Technical & Public Safety
Division. Your certification should indicate whether you,
including your parent entity and its subsidiaries, meet one of
the definitions set forth in the list provided by the FCC's
Office of Communications Business Opportunities (OCBO) set forth
in Attachment A of this Notice of Apparent Liability. This
information will be used for tracking purposes only. Your
response or failure to respond to this question will have no
effect on your rights and responsibilities pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Communications Act. If you have questions
regarding any of the information contained in Attachment A,
please contact OCBO at (202) 418-0990.
15. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NAL shall be
sent by regular mail and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested
to Westshore Broadcasting, Inc., 311 112th Avenue Northeast, St.
Petersburg, FL 33716.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Ralph M. Barlow
Tampa Office, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 C.F.R. §§ 17.51, 17.57, and 73.49.
2 The owner of any registered antenna structure with assigned
lighting must report immediately to the FAA any known improper
functioning of any top light or flashing obstruction light. See
47 C.F.R. § 17.48(a).
3 The owner of any registered antenna structure with assigned
lighting must maintain a record of any known improper functioning
of lights and of any FAA notifications. See 47 C.F.R. § 17.49.
4 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under
Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that ``[t]he term `willful',
when used with reference to the commission or omission of any
act, means the conscious and deliberate commission or omission of
such act, irrespective of any intent to violate any provision of
this Act . . . .'' See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6
FCC Rcd 4387-88 (1991).
5 The term ``repeated,'' when used with reference to the
commission or omission of any act, ``means the commission or
omission of such act more than once or, if such commission or
omission is continuous, for more than one day.'' 47 U.S.C. §
6 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(4).
7 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
8 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
9 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
10 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.