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Mt. Spokane TV Rights Upheld

November 29, 1952

State Lease for Tower Site Approved by Court

The Spokesman-Review

Acting Superior Court Judge Ed B. Powell yesterday upheld the right of station KXLY-TV to build and operate a television transmitting station atop Mount Spokane.

Judge Powell, in a memorandum opinion, ruled the State Parks and Recreation Commission acted within its legal authority in entering into a lease agreement with the station for the TV site.

Judge Powell handed down the ruling in an action brought by Television Spokane, Inc. (KNEW) and Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Streeter against KXLY-TV and the Park Commission. Mr. and Mrs. Streeter own land on Browne’s Mountain which Television Spokane has under option to buy.

Place for Recreation

The plaintiffs asked the court to void the lease agreement.

Judge Powell sustained defendant’s demurrers.

In his opinion, the judge held the Park Commission acted within the “wide discretionary powers” granted by state law.

The public conception of a park has changed greatly in the last 100 years, Judge Powell said.

“The idea that a park is a place for peaceful contemplation has yielded to the conception that a park is the place for recreation and amusement,” he wrote.

“If members of the Park Commission feel that television and radio facilities will appeal to the public generally, then they are within the province of the law.”

Objects of Beauty

The judge found there was nothing in the law which indicated park benefits had to be confined to persons actually in the park. He pointed out the mountain itself could be viewed for 30 miles around the park by “vastly more people than make the trip to the summit.”

Commenting on the TV facilities, the judge said “the towers may appear to be objects of beauty to persons with the mechanical and esthetic qualifications to judge.”

Judge Powell compared the TV towers with the ski lifts and runways which “seem blemishes to the landscape to those who view them with eyes of a different generation,” but are “attractions to the young and vigorous addicts of that sport.”

Commenting on the right of the state to gain a profit from the TV site lease, the judge found that although parks were not intended primarily for producing income the “implication is clear” that the state can get benefits from concessionaires.

Saturday, November 29, 1952

From → KXLY, Pre-TV

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