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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Patrick H. Sickafus ) File No.: EB-10-PA-0135
Licensee of AM Station WWSM ) NAL/Acct. No.: 201132400007
Annville-Cleona, Pennsylvania ) FRN: 0003779840
Facility ID No. 54343 )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: May 16, 2011 Released: May 17, 2011
By the District Director, Philadelphia, Northeast Region, Enforcement
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find
that Patrick H. Sickafus ("Sickafus"), licensee of AM Station WWSM in
Annville-Cleona, Pennsylvania, apparently willfully and repeatedly
violated section 73.49 of the Commission's rules ("Rules") by failing
to enclose two of Station WWSM's antenna towers within effective
locked fences or other enclosures. We conclude that Sickafus is
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of seven thousand
2. On May 26, 2010, an agent of the Enforcement Bureau's Philadelphia
Office ("Philadelphia Office") inspected the series-fed, three-tower
array used in the operation of Station WWSM in Annville-Cleona,
Pennsylvania. The agent found that the wooden gate to the center
antenna structure was off its hinges and open. The agent also observed
that the door to the center tower's tuning hut was unlocked and open,
which allowed unhindered access to the live tuning coils feeding the
center tower. Similarly, the agent found that the enclosure for the
antenna structure located at the northern part of the site was missing
the entire southside wall and the door to the tuning hut was unlocked.
The agent concluded that the enclosures around the center tower and
the northern tower were in such a state of disrepair that it could not
have happened overnight.
3. Immediately after the inspection, the agent attempted to contact the
station's general manager, but was not able to reach him until June 1,
2010, at which time the agent advised the general manager about the
problems at the antenna site. The general manager told the agent that
he had visited the antenna site on May 24, 2010, and had observed the
same problems as the agent. In an e-mail later that day, the general
manager reported that the fence enclosures would be fixed that week
and he admitted that he had not been maintaining the antenna site
properly. On June 2, 2010, the general manager sent another e-mail to
the agent advising him that the fence enclosures had been repaired.
The agent confirmed that the enclosures were fixed during an on-scene
inspection on June 7, 2010.
4. Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"),
provides that any person who willfully or repeatedly fails to comply
substantially with the terms and conditions of any license, or
willfully or repeatedly fails to comply with any of the provisions of
the Act or of any rule, regulation or order issued by the Commission
thereunder, shall be liable for a forfeiture penalty. The term
"willful" as used in section 503(b) has been interpreted to mean
simply that the acts or omissions are committed knowingly. The term
"repeated" means the commission or omission of such act more than once
or for more than one day.
5. Section 73.49 of the Rules states that antenna towers having radio
frequency potential at the base (series fed, folded unipole, and
insulated base antennas) must be enclosed within effective locked
fences or other enclosures. The agent's inspection of Station WWSM's
series-fed three-tower array on May 26, 2010, revealed that two of the
three towers were not enclosed within an effectively locked fence or
other enclosure. Although the station's general manager acknowledged
that he had been at the site two days prior to the inspection and
observed the same problems observed by the agent, the enclosures were
not repaired until the day after the agent notified the general
manager about the problem. The general manager also admitted that he
had not been properly maintaining the antenna site. Based on the
evidence before us, we find that Sickafus apparently willfully and
repeatedly violated section 73.49 of the Rules by failing to maintain
two of Station WWSM's antenna towers within effective locked fences or
6. Pursuant to the Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and section
1.80 of the Rules, the base amount for failure to maintain an
effective AM tower fence is $7,000. In assessing the monetary
forfeiture amount, we must also take into account the statutory
factors set forth in section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act, which include
the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violations, and
with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, and history
of prior offenses, ability to pay, and other such matters as justice
may require. Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement, section 1.80,
and the statutory factors to the instant case, we conclude Sickafus is
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of $7,000.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80 of the Commission's Rules, Patrick H. Sickafus is hereby NOTIFIED
of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of seven
thousand dollars ($7,000) for violation of section 73.49 of the Rules.
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to section 1.80 of the Rules,
within thirty days of the release date of this Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture, Patrick H. Sickafus SHALL PAY the full
amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement
seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
9. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by credit card, check or
similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal Communications
Commission. The payment must include the Account Number and FRN
referenced above. Payment by check or money order may be mailed to
Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO
63197-9000. Payment by overnight mail may be sent to U.S. Bank -
Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St.
Louis, MO 63101. Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA Number
021030004, receiving bank TREAS/NYC, and account number 27000001. For
payment by credit card, an FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be
submitted. When completing the FCC Form 159, enter the NAL/Account
number in block number 23A (call sign/other ID), and enter the letters
"FORF" in block number 24A (payment type code). Requests for full
payment under an installment plan should be sent to: Chief Financial
Officer -- Financial Operations, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A625,
Washington, D.C. 20554.8 If you have questions, please contact the
Financial Operations Group Help Desk at 1-877-480-3201 or Email:
ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov. If payment is made, Patrick H. Sickafus shall
send electronic notification on the date said payment is made to
10. The written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the
proposed forfeiture, if any, must include a detailed factual statement
supported by appropriate documentation and affidavits pursuant to
sections 1.80(f)(3) and 1.16 of the Rules. The written statement, if
any, must be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement
Bureau, Northeast Region, Philadelphia District Office, One Oxford
Valley Building, Suite 404, 2300 East Lincoln Highway Langhorne,
Pennsylvania 19047 and must include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in
the caption. The statement should also be emailed to
11. 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 submitted.
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability
for Forfeiture shall be sent by Certified Mail, Return Receipt
Requested, and regular mail, to Patrick H. Sickafus at Post Office Box
84, Strasstown, Pennsylvania 19559.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Gene J. Stanbro
47 C.F.R. S: 73.49.
The third antenna structure at the southern end of the site was properly
On May 26, 2010, the agent called Station WWSM's main studio; no one
answered the phone and there was no voice mail. The next day, the agent
tried to call the station's main studio and sent messages to two e-mail
addresses the agent had obtained for Station WWSM; again, no answer at the
station's main studio and no response to the e-mails. The general manager
finally answered the phone at the main studio on June 1, 2010.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 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 or any rule or regulation of the Commission
authorized by this Act...." See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6
FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(2), which also applies
to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under section 503(b) of
the Act, provides that "[t]he 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 C.F.R. S: 73.49.
The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80
of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, Report and Order,
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997) ("Forfeiture Policy Statement"), recon. denied, 15
FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b), 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 1.80, 73.49.
8 See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.1914.
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Federal Communications Commission DA 11-876
Federal Communications Commission DA 11-876