Letters to the Editor 7/15/2009

by Letters to the Editor, July 15, 2009

WE KNOW

Dear Mr. Anderson:

I was provided a copy of your response to my letter regarding my client, David Gurney. The information that Mr. McEwen obtained is all contained within a police report prepared by Officer Glen. There has never been any testimony by Officer Glen or any other witness as to what occurred between Officer Glen and David Gurney. There is no basis for Mr. McEwen's reporting regarding threats to the officer's wife and children. If you didn't know it was a “slam dunk fact” and there was no testimony, why did it appear in your paper?

I look forward to you getting back to me.

Sincerely,

Randolph P. Daar

San Francisco


GIVE SMITTY HIS MONEY

Editor,

Mr. Smitty Smith's case is what prompts me to once again to submit another letter concerning the corruption of our district attorney's office. Here you have a 90-year-old man who was obviously falsely accused of pot cultivation. I mean if the charge was true then why drop the case? It couldn't have been due to his age. I myself believe the charges were dropped because the DAs office felt that they got their fair share. The $27,000 the DA’s office's is refusing to return only widens the crack of the corruption I've been pointing out to the readers of this paper. Any other county would have totally agreed that Smitty was more than entitled to his entire savings back. I would think that the readers of this grand paper would want to know why the DA has not returned all the money. What is their reason for withholding half of it? It will cost the taxpayers over $27,000 to go through the jury trial that is set for good old Smitty Smith. Here you have a man who had survived the Great Depression, a man who also survived a world war that was fought to maintain our freedoms, liberties and justice in this country only to have the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office to come along and say: it doesn't matter how far Mr. Smith has come, it doesn't matter how hard Mr. Smith has fought, it doesn't matter that we dropped the charges against you. The only thing that matters is we the district attorney's office of Mendocino County have the right to openly waste taxpayer hard earned money as we see fit. It only matters that we the District Attorney's Office of Mendocino County have the right to openly extort this money from Mr. Smith and it only matters that the district attorney's office of Mendocino County has the right to openly disrespect not only Mr. Smith, a longtime veteran of life's hard struggles, but state, federal and constitutional laws set forth to protect the right of the average Joe such as Mr. Smith.

There is another cultivation case that has made its way to the District Attorney's Office and to the attention of this writer. It involves Mendocino County’s kingpin of cultivation, otherwise known as Loren Franklin. In anticipation of receiving his Prop 215 medical marijuana card Mr. Franklin felt it would be a good idea to prepare for a legal grow. Little did Mr. Franklin know that he would be arrested while digging his hole. This is exactly what occurred and Mr. Franklin is one of our latest victims of the Mendocino County district attorney's office inside corruption.

On the day Mr. Franklin was arrested he was in the process of digging holes. After an extensive search of Mr. Franklin's home no seeds were found, no starters were found, no hoses, drip lines, or any other material for growing pot was found except for the shovel in Mr. Franklin's hand. According to the police report submitted by the arresting officer Deputy Darren Brewster, Mr. Franklin was arrested in a marijuana crop which contained numerous plants. According to Mr. Franklin, the plants that the sheriff found were on property neighboring his. Although a number of witnesses have stepped up and taken responsibility for all the plants that were confiscated, the DA’s office continues to hold Mr. Franklin on cultivation charges.

What is really interesting about this whole ordeal is that our man John Pinches, Third District Supervisor for Mendocino County, is on Mr. Franklin's witness list. I wonder what the district attorney will have to say about that. I wonder what Deputy Brewster will say when it is proven that he filed a false report? Who will Deputy Brewster answer to for that? Or will he even be made to answer? How does that old saying go? “You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.” Is that how the DA’s office and sheriff get down?

I feel it is very important that this kind of information be made public and hopefully sooner or later the right people will read these articles and demand an investigation into this underhanded madness and blatant corruption coming from the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office.

Once again I send my respects to all my native brothers and sisters and wish you only the best in life.

Ernest Elliott Sr,

Member of the Hopland band of Pomo Indians

Ukiah


RAVEN’S ROOST ROUSTED

Editor,

Jeez, the Raven Roost has been decapitated. The Fort Bragg High School has cut down its trees. Farina bangs her black dish and I, Detective Diana Wood Duck of Deadtree, am in mourning.

Save the trees, and plant more, please.

Dressed in black,

DDWD of Deadtree, Mendocino

PS. “Don’t it always seem to go / that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone — the paved paradise, put up a parking lot.” — Joni Mitchell

NO MO' BOEHNER

Editor,

The House Minority Leader, John Boehner, pronounces his hame with a long A in place of the OE.

If Boener is pronounced Bayner a lot of other words would sound differently. We would say, “Oh, way is me, the sturgeon has no ray.”

“Ouch! I just stubbed by tay.”

“Instead of a martini, I think I’ll have a slay gin.”

“The polar bear hunts from an ice flay.”

“In the thrays of patriotism, the army fought the fay.”

We would sing: “Day, a day, a female deer.”

“After lunch I’ll hay the weeds in the garden.”

And history would have to remind us of Jay McCarthy and theHouse Unamarican days — and literature would refer to the works of Edgar Allen Pay.

Instead, we should insist that Mr. Boener pronounce his name as it is spelled.

Just a thought.

Sincerely,

Helen Jones

Prineville, Oregon

LOCAL DOPE

Editor,

Now that DDR's environmental bypass initiative to change the old Masonite parcel zoning from industrial to mixed use is on the November ballot, it's time for Mendopians to fight back.

Unfortunately, a majority Mendopians will vote for the initiative based on unenlightened self-interest. There are virtual convoys of large SUVs and 4x4 jacked up pickup trucks from Mendopia steaming south to Diablo Rosa shopping compounds on weekly resupply missions. These same weekend warriors claim to support the local economy but behave otherwise.

People who spend $50 on gas to travel 180 miles round-trip to save $5 on a crate of double wide toilet paper are gross bottom-feeders in my opinion.

Why not pay a little extra and purchase necessities locally? $50 can buy a lot of toilet paper even at higher prices. Maybe the Diablo Rosa toilet paper is extra strength so local stoners can use it to roll double wide doobies.

If DDR actually prevails and excretes its atrocious Mendocino Crossing (Mendocino Doublecross) development on to the old Masonite site it won't siphon off any local pot money unless it includes a Cadillac Escalade and Hummer dealership and upscale luxury boutique. The pot gentry has high standards.

So far, the anti-DDR movement has been weak, incoherent and ineffective. If the County and city of Ukiah are serious about stopping this strong arm thuggie bypass of development standards and environmental regulations there is a simple solution.

Since DDR thumbed its nose at the County and city of Ukiah, pulling an end run to avoid the normal development process, the County is under no legal obligation to grant building permits and road encroachment permits and the city of Ukiah is under no legal obligation to provide sewer hookups.

If the County and city of Ukiah are too wimpy to deny permits and hookups to DDR, the anti-development development minority will be forced use the nuclear option: call in Shakespearean action hero Jean-Claude Van Damme to neutralize the DDR thugs the same way he dealt with similar developer thugs in the great 1983 movie, “Nowhere To Run.”

We're mad as hell and we aren't going to take it anymore!

Cheers,

Don Morris

Skunktown/Willits

STAND UP, DAMMIT!

Bruce,

That letter headlined “DISCRIMINATION” totally pissed me off. What the hell do these people think they're doing here?

Like the lady who wrote the letter, I'm old. I'd guess I'm maybe a LITTLE older than her.

Back when I was a kid, in the 50s, not standing and doing the pledge of allegiance would likely get you some serious words, and possibly some “fistular” physical therapy compliments of well meaning patriotic veterans (like my dad) of WWII and Korea. IF I'd been in charge at that graduation, I would have STOPPED the event and announced over the PA: “It is customary to stand for the pledge of allegiance” — repeating it over and over until these individuals stood or were caused some serious discomfort as they sat on their asses in disrespect.

Seriously, we have a culture war coming. Between the anti's from the southern countries and the flat out dumbasses, this country is in big trouble. Throw a ton of debt on that fire while you're at it.

Just Another VETERAN,

Tom Reier

Santa Rosa

ROTTEN TO THE CORE

Editor,

In Malcolm X’s autobiography he explains how the con man works. The conner induces the conned to believe they are gaining something at the loss of the conner.

Uncle Bernie convinced investors to invest, who thought they could make huge profits from investing in his operation. They assumed he was party to inside information that others in the stock market didn’t have. The investors were convinced their likely profits of 10 to 30% were based on the ignorance of others. The Bernie investors received higher profits then the usual 6-8% from stock investments.

Now, the ex-millionaires cry foul and scream for 150 years incarceration, yet when they thought they were gaining while others were losing they were gleeful. Uncle Bernie was using their own cheating, lying and greed, to attract them. In the early days big spenders were given profits, who then invited their friends into the cheat. All the investors knew the profits were exorbitant and so did outsiders. Few crooks want to snitch on other crooks unless in jail — in order to get out.

Now, the conned who didn’t earn 10 to 30% want some of their money back, from others who were paid off before the Ponzi collapse. How falsely tragic is the portrayel of the group who lost their entire income. Tearful hustlers want a share of other hustler’s money. Dante’s hell must be like this: “Keep on suing!”

The military budget Nancy Pelosi just engineered along with Obama Democrats through the House of Reps was $106 billion for more war in Afghanistan, Pakistan plus elsewhere. Uncle Bernie’s scam was only $65 billion and is reported as if it was but one man — one bad apple, not the rotten barrel.

R.G.Davis

San Francisco

WHY WE’RE OPPOSED

Editor:

In his diatribe against our Ukiah City Councillors who dared vote 5-0 opposing the Masonite Monster Mall, the letter writer (UDJ, July 6) asks “why there is this vehement opposition” and “how arrogant is it for an elected body to pass a resolution opposing something that was (sic) passed by popular vote?”

Well, sir, it is the arrogance of democracy and the law. Elected officials are voted by the populace to represent and lead their community. And the reason there is vehement opposition is because the initiative process, bought and paid for by a huge outside corporation, bypasses the legal zoning rights and environmental reviews required by local zoning ordinances democratically set up by our community of citizens to protect ourselves.

The writer go on to suggest that they should come up with a “plan to patrol” the project, rather than oppose it. Having just chastized our officials for wanting to enforce local laws, one wonders what silly, powerless patrols you would suggest?

Dave Smith

Ukiah

AB DIVER

Dear Editor,

To correct your latest bout of libelous invective: We did not follow Mr. McEwen from the library to a downtown shop in Fort Bragg. I noticed him staring at me while we were at the library, and we saw him again by chance at the mentioned store while we were running errands.

I did not assault him at the store, but when I read his article there, I went outside to where he was sitting, to ask him if he’d written it. He said he refused to speak to me. When I told him he wasn’t a journalist, but a yellow journalist, he said he was calling the cops. He then went back into the store to use the phone, and when we informed him that, among other things, falsely alleging in print that someone had threatened to kill another’s wife and children might be considered irresponsible, he seemed a bit taken aback. When he hung up the phone and began following me through the store, I called him a “lying piece of shit.” I was going to throw the AVA in his face, but realizing this candy-ass would no doubt call it an assault, I threw the paper on the ground. By this time, one of the store owner’s stepped in. As I left the store, I informed Mr. McEwen that he hadn’t heard the last this, and that in my opinion, he is a “fucking worm.” He misquoted me on the other opinions of himself you chose to print.

I know of no friends who have threatened Mr. McEwen, but judging by his predatory and mercenary reporting at Ten Mile Court, I’m sure he’s made plenty of enemies.

Finally, the heading of his article in the same issue, “Neither Grace Nor Gravy,” might better describe his position working for you as a hack for your stinking little yellow rag, than the actions of the supposed Korean sushi poachers. And for your information, there’s no such thing as an “abalone fillet.” Abs are invertebrates, and as spineless as both of you.

David Gurney

Fort Bragg

Ed reply: Hi, Dave. Nice to see you again even if you remain in a state of what the feebs call “denial.” Let's hit rewind to recall what it was that set you off in the first place:  One fine spring evening you were driving lawfully along 408 listening to KZYX and thinking good, clean NPR-sanctioned thoughts when a park ranger pulled you over on the assumption that you were driving under the influence. You and the park ranger were soon in hand-to-hand combat beside the road. A lady you know happened by, perhaps surprised to see you, a public radio guy and by that very definition a Nice Person, rolling around in the dirt in deep grapple with an officer of the law. This witness was subsequently persuaded not to go on the record as to what she saw and heard, and don't you suspect even for a fast minute, my friend, that I think you capable of bullying her into silence. You're obviously not that kind of guy. Anyway, a Mendocino County cop wrote the episode up and you found yourself charged with resisting an officer; driving under the influence; battery on a police officer; and criminal threat. Filthy lies, every one of them, you say, because the Pier 5 Gang managed to get your 408 freakout reduced to a seatbelt infraction. Our reporter merely wrote that this startling reduction of serious charges looked suspiciously cozy, which it was, but really nothing more than one more lesson for the rest of us that money can beat damn near anything in Mendocino County up to and including murder. Be all this as it so plainly is, you nevertheless got it into your fraught and weepy little head that you'd been further maligned by Mr. McEwen and his host publication, The Anderson Valley Advertiser. According to you, first the park warden lied, then the cop wrote up the lies, then America's last newspaper lied! I agree all this would be enough to make a paranoid out of a guy if it were true. Which it isn't. But I suppose we'll see you back on the couch next week because you, backed up by your Pier 5 mercenaries, have deluded yourself into believing that you're the victim in all this! So, Davey, good luck with your mental health “issues,” as the feebs also say, and my condolences to Mrs. Gurney, bless her undoubtedly suffering soul.

OLDSTERS V. THOMPSON

Editor,

I'm writing to encourage people to join the crowd outside Mike Thompson’s annual Pasta Dinner on July 11th as mentioned in Mike Kalantarian’s letter of last week. However, don't look for the Pentecost Hall (822 Stewart St. across from Rossi's) because it is actually Portuguese Hall! We need to impress the dimwitted Mike (Thompson that is) with numbers of people insisting on Single Payer Universal Health Care. For all, or is that redundent?

Also, when someone wrote dissing Sister Yasmin for being an “ageing DJ” and you heded the letter with “And Gray Pony Tails,” I have to tell you I resemble that remark. C'mon Bruce, we're all getting older but you don't have to BE old.

Peter Sears

Fort Bragg

CLIMAX OIL

Editor,

Last week on an “EarthSky” report (http://www.earthsky.org/radioshows/53301) the guest was Willem Schulte, Shell Oil Company’s Chief Scientist for Reservoir Engineering. With his 28 years experience and a Ph.D in Applied Physics, Schulte is well qualified to tell us how much oil the earth contains. The numbers were surprising. According to Schulte, so far “we have produced one trillion barrels of liquid oil. There are still two trillion barrels, or twice as much, to be gained from those same reservoirs. We probably can add three to four trillion barrels of oil from unconventional, more complicated methodologies to recover oil.” On the basis of these numbers experts predict that “peak oil” will be reached somewhere between 2050 and 2070, assuming that demand has doubled.

From 1935 to 1945 my father worked on a geological survey crew in the Gulf States, the Rocky Mountain region, and even the upper Amazon of Venezuela. He always insisted that most of the oil wells they drilled in the Rocky Mountain region were capped and have never been extracted. A couple of years ago a second cousin of mine informed me that they had finally drilled for oil on family land near Williston, North Dakota. They hit it big, but guess what, they capped it off. A friend who spends his winters in Mexico informed me that a retired oil company geologist told him that one of the biggest oil fields in the world rests under the Dakotas. A cousin in Texas told me recently that they have discovered that many of the exhausted oil wells in the Gulf region are refilling with oil.  During last summer's inflated gas prices I faithfully read the oil company reports and representatives of the oil companies consistently took the position that we were in no danger of running out of oil. It seemed odd to me since they could have exploited the peak oil concept to justify the high prices.

While my personal anecdotes are not science, I don't see any real science on the part of the peak oil people either. Rather, they took the position that the high prices at the pump were proof that we had reached, or were near, peak oil. However, it has been firmly established that the high prices had little to do with supply and demand. Jim HIghtower recently reported that the current jump in prices is happening at a time when supply far exceeds demand, and is a consequence of wall street investors manipulating the market to create another bubble. For the details on how this was done last summer I would recommend reading Matt Taibbi's article “The Great American Bubble Machine” in the July issue of “Rolling Stone” .  He explains how in 1991 Goldman Sachs and 14 other investment banks were given exemptions to a depression era law restricting speculation in commodities. Then Goldman persuaded pension funds and other large institutional organizations to invest in oil futures. The result was they turned a stable oil market ruled by supply and demand into a giant betting parlor. “Between 2003 and 2008, the amount of speculative money in commodities grew from $13 billion to $317 billion, an increase of 2,300 percent. By 2008, a barrel of oil was traded 27 times, on average, before it was actually delivered and consumed.” It was Bush's and Obama's banker friends again.

The peak oil people need to acknowledge their mistakes and recognize that it is the abundance of oil in the near future that poses an even greater threat to the world environment. Those in opposition to drilling off our Northern California coast should welcome this information, and the “Drill, Baby Drill” people owe us all an apology for allowing themselves to be patsies.

Don Cruser

Mendocino

TOP DOWN

The Editor,

Thanks so much for your coverage of the Board of Supervisors and related local issues. This would have made a great Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. I’ve been discussing this with friends and we can’t think of a county government, going back several decades, that wasn’t loony, most often corrupt.

We have several friends living in the vicinity of Laytonville. From the stories they tell, the area resembles the wild west. There are “thousands” of marijuana growers about, they say, likely all heavily armed. To turn one in entails great personal risk; one who did so has had his property burned three times. A friend heard neighbors arguing and firing guns, but decided not to call 911, because sheriff deputies must come from Round Valley. Another was told by a grower, who has only few hundred plants, that a searching helicopter flew over so closely that it bent some of them — but, didn’t stop. As I read the reports, if you don’t have several thousand plants, they aren’t interested. Apparently, the drug task force is only interested in the really big guys.

Given the budget problems, it even seems questionable Round Valley will have regular patrols either. It appears law enforcement doesn’t exist in, what, the entire northern half of the county?

Meanwhile, back in Ukiah, they’re busting medical marijuana growers with only a few plants and confiscating their money and other goods to build up the sheriff’s budget. I guess this is a lot less bother, less driving and less danger from those magnum 12-gauges and machine guns. Oh, yes, blooming plants are stinky and people complain, but not about the much more stinky cars. Did they insist the cops break up Masonite or Georgia Pacific and did the Supervisors at that time agree? The hypocrisy is stunning.

If one buys the new zipties, does the sheriff promise not to break down their door and steal their money? Is the sheriff’s office going to be reduced to something like the Health department, going from house to house of all those who bought tags to see that no one is growing more than allowed? Don’t they have anything else to do?

I had a few tokes over 30 years ago, which never thrilled me. Given this rotten economic system, I can well understand, however, why one might wish to dull his brain. To knock off this hypocrisy, let us just legalize the stuff. It seems a lot less dangerous than many of those legal pharmaceuticals they dump on us. Maybe, then, the sheriff deputies could focus on real public safety work — in the whole county.

It seems sheriff deputies are wasting time in other ways. The idea that Social Services should handle non-violent mentally ill cases is marvelous. Jail only compounds mental problems — duh. I’m also told they spend hours tracking down those who have been called for jury duty. Gee, if we got rid of all the frivolous cases, very few jurors would be needed. I suspect sheriff deputies would be pleased to get rid of such nonsense duties and could concentrate on real crimes. I hear they would really like to get rid of this sheriff.

Elsewhere, we are told the Supervisors have decided to let farmers and ranchers use water how ever they wish, without asking the public for input. They tell us, because apparently of the May rain, there really isn’t a drought. Who needs them? I can’t find one useful intelligent thing the Supervisors have done recently.

Budget problems? My solution: let us recall the supervisors, the sheriff, and the county ceo, the head of the waste collection department who is spending his/our time drug busting (I can’t see they deserve capital letters) and not replace them. Since “development” is not happening here and not likely to for a long time, let us put a lid on all development and lay off the planning commission and staff. If someone really insists on being foolish, let them go the DDR route. Let us argue the merits and vote as a whole on significant plans.

Since the judges and county attorney will be less busy under this new regime, we should be able to save a bundle there as well, maybe cut one or two. Suddenly, the budget would be balanced and some extra might even be available to social services, which it wouldn’t need anyhow if it got rid of all those expensive administrators who increasingly have no one to boss — why is it that workers are always laid off from the bottom? Some say the school system could also benefit from the firing of a bunch of administrators.

Just dreaming. None of this will happen. County, state, and federal governments have always primarily been about feeding at the public trough and there is little prospect this will change until they run out of money — which, we may hope, may be soon for all of them and their corporate buddies.

Don Sanderson

Ukiah

RECONSIDER

To: The KZYX/Z Board of Directors

I wish to address the board with regard to our financial difficulties and the ensuing cuts in programming that have been made. The comments that I am offering are mine personally, but I also wish to communicate some of the feedback that I am getting from listeners, members, and potential members from our community.

Many people have been very surprised by the recent cuts, particularly the removal of Christina Aanestad from our local news department. While Station Manager John Coate has been on the air prior to the cuts explaining some of the financial difficulties that we face, many in our community have been surprised that these cuts have arrived since the station has consistently made its pledge goals in all of our recent drives. Why is it that the station did not set higher pledge drive goals or even conducted an emergency pledge drive prior to Aanestad’s removal? One of the things that management has done very well in recent years has been training programmers in the fine art of pledge drives. The results have been excellent: programmers are now, by and large, very good at presenting a cogent and consistent message during the drives. Member feedback that I get out in the community is excellent, and we raise more money in a shorter amount of time than we ever have. I believe that if we had reached out to our members with a sense of urgency they would have responded. But my real question is, why did we not even try? Why did we cut a programmer like Christina without even making the effort?

I have had some congenial discussions with our station manager John Coate and I appreciate his openness around discussing these issues. One area of criticism that I have is his insistence that we keep National Public Radio. While he cuts a popular local programmer like Aanestad, he tells us that expensive programming is not open for question. Coate tells me that NPR costs the station up to $50,000 per year. During our last pledge drive it raised $8,200. If you look at how much NPR raises on a per-hour basis during pledge drives it is significantly below average when compared to our other shows. (I would be glad to share the numbers with you if you wish to contact me personally.) I realize that a straight comparison is not be completely fair — many people donate to KZYX for a variety of reasons and they may be NPR lovers who happen to donate at other time slots. Its removal would create a large hole that would need to be filled. I am not even saying that in the end we would cut it, but myself and many members question why this is listed as a sacred cow given our current crisis?

In all of my years as part of the KZYX community, I can say that there is no show that causes more of a rift in our community than NPR. I know of many people who do not donate to the station because of it, and I know of many who would donate more if we dropped it. Management informs me that they are basing this decision in part on listener surveys, but anyone in marketing knows that a survey of people who have already at some level bought into your product is only partially useful. Clearly we should be thinking outside of the box that we have already created.

Coate tells me that our membership numbers are down to 2,100 from a peek of 2,400. This crisis gives us an opportunity to have a vigorous discussion about the future of the station. Although we have been able to meet our pledge drive goals, our declining membership should be a cause of concern to the point that ALL of our programming decisions should be on the table. The KZYX Mission Statement tells us that the direction of our station is to be chosen by its members. In this case, our members have not been allowed to weigh in on these decisions while at the same time being told to step up their giving to a product that they are not allowed to help define.

Personally, I feel that this is a violation of the spirit of community-based radio and I know that I speak for many others in this.

Christina Aanestad brought something to this station that we have never before had. Her in-depth reporting was professional and thoughtful. In a time when we need to be reaching outside of the boxes that we have created at our station, her wide-ranging reports were including many people in our county who have never before been brought under the KZYX umbrella. As a young reporter she was reaching out to demographic groups that we have always talked about including but never before had. Management tells us that cutting her was a financial decision, yet she clearly raised more money in her morning time slot than had ever been raised before which leads me and others to question that explanation. If there were other personnel decisions that were involved in this, I feel that it is incumbent upon Coate to work through those issues and establish a working culture at the station that allows ALL employees to thrive.

At this time of financial crisis we will be asking our members, volunteers, and programmers to step up more than ever. I have no doubt that many will be willing to follow the lead established by management, and perhaps that will be enough to steer the station to calm financial waters. But there are many who will be slow to contribute to a station that has handed them an already-defined package when the Mission Statement clearly indicates that they are supposed to be establishing that direction. For these people there is a trust issue involved and management needs to open up the process so that, in spite of whatever decisions are eventually made, that trust can be gained. I believe that this approach, although potentially more difficult in the short term, will lead to a more vibrant and more truly community-based station in the future.

I hope that the Board will more vigorously involve itself at this juncture. In the past the Board has been told that it does not involve itself in the day-to-day operations of the station and the reasons for this are obvious and common sense. But you are also bosses here. Yes, you have hired a manager, as you should, but the direction and philosophy of the station are ultimately your responsibility as the elected representatives of the members. It is not micro-managing for you to establish parameters for a vigorous discussion of these issues while at the same time working to get the money the station needs to keep running.

Every effort should be made to reconsider the recent decisions and allow a process that opens up discussion about the future direction of this station. I believe that we should rehire Christina and conduct a short term emergency fund drive to enable us to carry on while we search our collective soul. I believe that our members would respond in a positive fashion if they sensed there was a dynamic and meaningful process that was carried on in a concurrent fashion. Personally, I think that we must eventually become less dependent on distant and expensive news sources that cost our station a lot of money and compromises our ability to involve the local community. Whether this is an eventual decision that is made, our members must trust that they are part of the process and that when we do get into a financial crisis, every effort will be made to involve them before changes are made.

Thank you for your time. I realize that all board members are volunteers and fully realize it can be difficult to meet the demands in this time of crisis. As a storyteller, an independent musician, and a political activist, I have been keenly aware of the importance of college, low power, and community-based stations in maintaining many aspects of culture, philosophy, and political thought in what is very often a homogeneous corporate media landscape. It is my hope that KZYX does not retreat in fear, but uses this crisis as an opportunity to redefine and expand itself.

Chris Skyhawk
Universal Perspectives
Albion

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