I sit from afar now trying to wrap my mind around the chaos stewing from the restructuring of KOTO and the resignation of Jumpin’. I moved to the valley in the mid 90's to ski and immediately fell in love with Telluride and the sense of community it had to offer.
To me KOTO was the voice of the community. If I wanted to know what was going on in town, be it news, upcoming concerts, fundraisers or just wanted some music, I tuned in. I knew I had to be involved in KOTO because it was the pulse of Telluride. I started volunteering for the different fundraising events Jumpin’ put on and met so many great people.
There were so many walks of life that were a part of KOTO and they embodied what Telluride meant to me. My brother moved to town in 98 and we became DJ's together, hosting "Smothered-N-Cheddar,” and for the next 12 years KOTO became family, literally. I have lifelong friendships because of KOTO and experienced what it meant to be a part of something the community relied on.
I volunteered for pretty much every fundraiser KOTO offered. The show had to go on and fundraising was part of the gig, you dig! Jumpin's enthusiasm was contagious and raising money for the station never seemed like a chore, it was just what we had to do in order to keep the signal running. She had it dialed in and threw some incredible parties, brought outstanding music to the valley, (let me interview Dave Schools in the studio!) poured endless beers, spun great tunes, sold merchandise, and went all out in the name of community radio. The annual fundraisers marked the time of year in Telluride, just like the seasons. I can't imagine a Telluride with no ski swap, or Halloween Party, or duck race. Really? Those were just a part of life in Telluride.
For me, Jumpin' made KOTO and life in the valley more interesting. She deserves better. I understand the difficulties of running a business in Telluride and know how much KOTO depended on the beer booth but there has to be another way. There are a lot of smart people in Telluride so get creative and figure it out. KOTO was always such a positive influence in my life and Jumpin was a big part of that. I hate to see the KOTO family turning on each other and friendships being ruined. That is not the spirit of KOTO, or Telluride. I'm bummed out about how things have been handled. The damage may already be done. I love KOTO but more importantly I love you, the people of Telluride. I wish you luck moving forward but to me it's a step backwards.
– Aaron Tschetter, "Smothered-n-Cheddar" KOTO DJ 1998-2010