SHEILA DAWN TRACY reports on KZYX for the AVA. KZYX, for those of you who don't know and are probably better off not knowing, is a tax exempt, pseudo-public radio station dominated by two petty, vindictive persons and a ninny-stuffed board of directors who are collectively strangling the station to death as they unwittingly alienate more and more people. So many persons have been non-personed by this “liberal” institution over the years that we probably comprise a majority of the potential public radio audience in these parts. (The AVA was non-personed even before the station went on the air a quarter century ago, a distinction we treasure.) Ms. Dawn-Tracy, however, is a station member; her reporting has been unfailingly accurate and temperate. Her reward? A steady stream of insults from management.
KZYX is presently beating the drums for an annual membership drive. When Sheila called the other day to volunteer to answer the phones, she was told not to bother, a piece of gratuitous nastiness typical of station manager John Coate and his hatchet woman, Mary Aigner.
THE STATION WAS FOUNDED — poisoned in the well — by a hustling Republican called Sean Donovan who lived in Boonville at the time. Donovan subsequently left town (soon getting himself fired at an Alaska public radio station), but not before he billed the station thirty grand for his work getting it going! Donovan structured the non-profit in a way that enhances top-down management, appointing trustees he cannily assessed as pliable in the authoritarian direction, mostly fagged out old hippies who could be depended on to do what he told them to do. Lately, as the hippies have died off and wealthy libs moved in, the station's trustees have been a mix of, ah, the disinterested and the uninformed, with a few pompous lawyers thrown in to whom the anonymous trustees defer because, “Hey! This guy's a lawyer. He knows.”
THE STATION'S STRUCTURE makes it impossible to reform. KMUD, out of Garberville, by way of contrast, was born out of a series of community meetings. Its management is directly accountable to the membership and is genuinely community-supported, unbeholden to NPR programming or much paid programming at all, being entirely oriented to the specific area of Southern Humboldt and Northern Mendocino County.
I'D BUY a KZYX membership if there was anything beyond Jeff Blankfort's show I wanted to hear, and what I want to hear is local news and smart, candid discussions of local issues. I go to print for national and global affairs. I'm pretty sure my assessment of KZYX reflects the majority sentiment in the county.
THE FARM BUREAU has dropped out of the lawsuit arguing against the Willits Bypass. The Environmental Protection Information Center out of Humboldt County remains a party to the action against the Corps of Engineers and Caltrans.
COMMENT OF THE DAY: Casinos do NOT reduce unemployment: Employment figures for four (riverboat casino) communities shows that "…none of the (casinos) for which a full year of post-opening data was available showed a significant effect of reducing unemployment or increasing employment, though one showed a significant negative effect on employment." (Illinois Business Review). Casinos cause net job loss: Casinos promise to create thousands of jobs, but Professor John Kindt, a professor at University of Illinois, said, “The field research indicates that nationwide you stand to lose 1.5 jobs for every job the casinos create.” That's because local businesses suffer when a casino opens. Graton Rancheria's own study predicts that local bars and restaurants will suffer a 9% loss of business when the casino opens. These businesses operate on a very slim profit margin, and a 9% loss will mean businesses closing, which means people out of work. Retail businesses suffer, too, when people spend their discretionary income gambling instead of shopping for goods and services. Think about it, and it makes sense: People have only so much money to spend. Every dollar spent at a casino means a dollar not spent for clothing, electronics, refrigerators, movies, and so forth. That means decline in sales, and decline in sales means lay-offs and business closures. — Stop the Casino 101 Coalition
ART IN THE GARDENS 2013. Apply now.
Artists, culinary arts and food vendors wanted. Application Deadline May 20th, 2013 . 22nd annual Art In The Gardens — art-food-wine-music. Saturday August 3rd. 11am-5pm. This event is one of the gardens major fundraisers and attracts over 1000 visitors. Artist booths are framed by our 47 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens providing a unique and natural setting to display your art and culinary delights. The event highlights northern California’s best wineries, musicians and food. More info: gardenbythesea.org
A READER SENDS ALONG THIS OBSERVATION: “A Hummer limo is a great way to show people you’d be an asshole all the time, if you just had the money.”