- KZYX Opportunity
- Captain's Notes
- Bypass Ruins
- Bear Carson
- Cannabis Hour
- Water Cuts
- Prom Pop
- Catch of the Day
- Black Pretender
- Dixie Flyer
- Bamboo Art
- Zuccotti Ghost
- Breaking News
THE NEWS that KZYX’s "executive director and general manager" John Coate has, or is about to resign is an opportunity for good things to at last happen at our uniquely secretive and pointlessly paranoid public radio station. If, however, the station's captive board of directors simply inserts another bunker brain in the boss chair KXYX will continue full steam ahead for the fiscal rocks.
THERE'S NO rational reason to pay someone 60 grand a year to do the few tasks Coate allegedly performed. In fact, there's no rational reason for a program director at 40 grand and the other two full-time guys forty grand each to do whatever they do. An outback radio station, especially one a little too heavy on crazy talk, will only generate "community support" from specified listener blocs, a fact of audio life on the Northcoast fully realized by KMUD to the north of us in Southern HumCo. They don't pay management anywhere near what the KZYX apparat pulls down, and KMUD, unlike KZYX, is managerially transparent.
MENDOCINO COUNTY PUBLIC RADIO ought to reorganize with headquarters in Ukiah, our county seat. It's past time to start up all over again without the terrible albatross founding father Donovan foisted off on a credulous community, so credulous that it still doesn't seem to understand that Donovan organized the station in a way that makes it the tool of whomever sits in the Big Chair.
AND IT IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY that a new manager, if the station's cringing board of directors, as is likely, sticks with the authoritarian management style and the low-grade authoritarians to go with it as is now the case, will do any better than Coate. To be plain: A smart, capable, pleasant person will (1) take one look around and run screaming down KZYX's driveway, or (2) will quickly be driven out by the entrenched grinches.
IT'S CLEAN SWEEP TIME. Fire them all, including the present line-up of programmers, most of whom have been in place for years, and start over.
I THINK there's some bad fiscal news coming to Mendo Public Radio, and I think that's why Coate is leaving "to spend more time with his family." His tenure has simply continued a running disaster.
CAPTAIN SIMON SILVERMAN of the SFPD produces a weekly capsule report on some of the crimes occurring in the Richmond District. The Captain writes with a wit not generally characteristic of cop prose, but he invariably passes along useful information:
Theft From A Locked Vehicle
06-06-2015 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Geary & 37th Ave
The suspect broke a window on the victim’s vehicle and stole items from the glove box including the DMV title (AKA pink slip). Captain’s Note: Don’t get caught with your pink slip showing. Never leave the DMV title in the car. A thief could forge your signature and transfer title. The vehicle code only requires you to keep the registration card (or a copy of the card) with you while driving the car.
Robbery With Fear
06-06-2015 5:16 PM, Cherry & California
A 10 year old boy was walking to the store when the suspect (an “adult” in his 30s) came up behind him and said, “Give me your money or I’ll call the police!” Fearing that the suspect would hurt him, the boy handed over his pocket money and the suspect walked away. Suspect: White male 30-35 years old, 175 pounds, black hair, brown eyes wearing a gray hat with a black band, a gray jacket and black pants. The suspect did not appear to be homeless. Captain’s Note: Not much shocks me after 27 years in police work, but this case did.
06-07-2015 12:15 AM, Sacramento & Walnut
Officers stopped a car for driving without headlights on and found that the driver was under the influence. Captain’s Note: According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, there is a 55% probability that a person driving with headlights off after dark is a drunk driver. So… lights on when you drive, but don’t drive if you’re lit up.
BEAR CARSON, THE MOVIE
Not that you fine gents have time to watch movies online or anything but I thought you might be intrigued by a crime documentary related to the northcoast that came out this April. It is called "The San Francisco Witch Killings" and features none other than Michael 'Bear' Carson who is a regular writer of letters to your fine paper and a subscriber. The documentary is on Youtube.
If you would indulge me quickly I would like to bring up a few points about the movie. First off Michael does indeed appear to have been manipulated by Suzan and the whole thing was clearly drug induced madness. I do believe in redemption (even for lifers without parole) and many times those great qualities that could not shine in the free world come to play when someone is confined for life. When I met Mike in 1998 he was a mild mannered bibliophile, enthusiast of earlier presidential Administrations, chess fanatic, zionist, liberal muslim. He openly professed to follow Islam and prayed publicly etc. He was said to be a 'gay man' but that does not make anyone any less of a muslim, except if you are ISIS or Saudi Arabia (same thing?!?). I suppose all the movie could do was tell the story.
I guess what I am trying to say is that yes there is a human being behind this story and no he is not a monster. It is interesting to see all the different groups and qualifications in this society that literally get people "disqualified" from further participation or even a shred of consideration.
We are all walking contradictions. There is redemption in life for the living. There is value in these hundreds of thousands of men. An enlightened society has a clear and well traveled path for penitence of its inhabitants, especially when that society has consciousness of itself and the harm it creates in its midst. Consciousness of ourself, of what we do, is the cornerstone of our humanity. Let us not lose our last shred of humanity.
Nate Collins, Oakland
JANE FUTCHER has resigned from the KZYX board to begin life as a station programmer as host of “The Cannabis Hour” every other Thursday at 9 a.m. As per the station bylaws, a board member elected from a specific district, in Ms. Futcher's case the 3rd District, cannot serve as a programmer, hence her resignation from the station's board of directors.
Martin A. Lee, author of Smoke Signals: A social history of marijuana—medical, recreational and scientific, and director of Project CBD, will appear on that inaugural Cannabis Hour on Thursday, June 18, 9am where he will be interviewed by Ms. Futcher. Call-ins welcome.
CALIFORNIA ORDERS HISTORIC WATER CUTS FOR FARMERS
by Fenit Nirappil & Scott Smith
Drought-stricken California on Friday ordered the largest cuts on record to farmers holding some of the state's strongest water rights.
State water officials told more than a hundred senior rights holders in California's Sacramento, San Joaquin and delta watersheds to stop pumping from those waterways.
The move by the State Water Resources Control Board marked the first time that the state has forced large numbers of holders of senior-water rights to curtail use. Those rights holders include water districts that serve thousands of farmers and others.
The move shows California is sparing fewer and fewer users in the push to cut back on water using during the state's four-year drought.
"We are now at the point where demand in our system is outstripping supply for even the most senior water rights holders," Caren Trgovcich, chief deputy director of the water board.
The order applies to farmers and others whose rights to water were staked more than a century ago. Many farmers holding those senior-water rights contend the state has no authority to order cuts.
The reductions are enforced largely on an honor system because there are few meters and sensors in place to monitor consumption.
California already has ordered cuts in water use by cities and towns and by many other farmers.
The move Friday marked the first significant mandatory cuts because of drought for senior water rights holders since the last major drought in the late 1970s.
One group of farmers with prized claims have made a deal with the state to voluntarily cut water use by 25 percent to be spared deep mandatory cuts in the future.
The San Joaquin River watershed runs from the Sierra Nevada to San Francisco Bay and is a key water source for farms and communities.
Thousands of farmers with more recent, less secure claims to water have already been told to stop all pumping from the San Joaquin and Sacramento watersheds. They are turning to other sources of water, including wells, reservoirs and the expensive open market.
Some farmers have built their businesses around that nearly guaranteed access to water.
Jeanne Zolezzi, an attorney for two small irrigation districts serving farmers in the San Joaquin area, says she plans to go to court next week to stop the board's action. She said her clients include small family farms that grow permanent crops such as apricots and walnuts without backup supplies in underground wells or local reservoirs they can turn to when they can't pump from rivers and streams.
"A lot of trees would die, and a lot of people would go out of business," said Zolezzi. "We are not talking about a 25 percent cut like imposed on urban. This is a 100 percent cut, no water supplies."
California water law is built around preserving the rights of such senior-rights holders. The state last ordered drought-mandated curtailments by senior-water rights holders in 1976-77, but that order affected only a few dozen rights holders.
AP writer Ellen Knickmeyer in San Francisco contributed to this report. (Courtesy, the Associated Press.)
PROM POP & THE RITES OF ADOLESCENCE
Where Sex Lurks Around Every Musical Corner
by David Yearsley
As the older of my two daughters went off to her senior prom last weekend, I couldn’t help but think back to a trip to the local mall to see Disney’s Prom made with her back in 2011 just on the other side of her high school years.
Hollywood’s rating system works in one direction: the older you get, the more “mature” is the content you’re allowed to see without your parents, bearing in mind that maturity and the Hollywood movie generally stand in oxymoronic relation to one another. There is no guide, other than common sense and word of mouth, to inform chronological adults that they might best avoid the most egregiously infantile creations from America’s Dream Machine.
Yet just because a movie is benign and cuddly, doesn’t mean adults won’t enjoy it. The first film I saw in the cinema with my elder daughter, then three-and-a-half, was Disney’s The Tigger Movie back in 2000. I loved every minute of that picture, marveling especially at the enduring musical craftsmanship of the songwriting Sherman brothers, Richard and Robert, then in their seventies.
But men of a certain age can probably only go to such a movie in the company of kids. Imagine the distrusting stares a middle-aged man would get if he tried to go alone to The Tigger Movie. That would appear far more “inappropriate” than an unattended six-year-old buying a ticket for the latest Terminator incarnation.
The above-mentioned daughter was thirteen when I took her and a couple of her friends to go to Disney’s, Prom. I harbored no secret desires to see what by definition must be a pointless movie, but I have always seized every opportunity to go to the cinema with my kids. I’ll also have to admit that, having made it through Disney’s epic High School Musical trilogy in the company of my daughters, I had developed a fascination with the Mouse House’s treatment of the rites of adolescence.
Going to the movies with a group of girls, one sees all the more clearly how divided along gender lines filmmaking and marketing are, especially for the teen-set. A man going to Disney’s Prom feels about as out of place as a woman sitting on the Board of Directors of Icahn Enterprises.
Although I loved going to the movies with my daughters, I did realize that all they really needed was a ride to the mall. Once they had reached double-digit age they were only too happy to let me drift off to another movie so they would see their thing without me nearby. An inveterate screen-surfer when at the mall, I always scan the LED readout, and that time saw that Thor in 3-D was just starting.
Once inside the multiplex I let the girls wander off towards Prom, and then tried surreptitiously to reach into large cardboard recycling container holding the returned 3-D glasses for Thor. In the process of getting the lid off I knocked the whole thing over with an impressive crash. Forty feet away the ticket-taker, a Gothic teen who seemed unconcerned about doing his part to maximize Regal Cinema’s profits, gave me a casual nod. I grabbed a pair of the glasses, hastily reassembled the container, then ducked into Thor.
The vast majority of this film’s audience was pre- and early-teen boys; hardly a female was to be seen in the packed theater. Yet another Disney picture, Thor was directed by the somewhat celebrated Shakespearean actor and director Kenneth Branagh, apparently enticed away from more legitimate projects by the lure of greater fame and bigger money in fantasy action pictures. Whereas Prom is presumably intent on training young girls in the arts of chaste courtship and class spirit, Thor might just as well be a recruiting ad for the U. S. Marines.
I donned my borrowed 3-D glasses as a forlorn-looking Anthony Hopkins, his face wedged comically between the cheek protectors of his Roman helmet, descended from icy clouds on a white horse. The redoubtable Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack strummed its ominous electro-acoustic lyre while superheroes in tight leather and armies of bad guys batted about in three-dimensional cinematic airspace. After three minutes of this tomfoolery, Prom seemed like a beacon of believability and relevance, so I left Thor to the men and boys, and headed over to the girls in Cinema 11, dropping my 3-D glasses in the bin on the way.
The first thing one notices about the audience for Prom, one far smaller than the throngs in Thor, is not only that it is almost exclusively female, but also very young. Aside from the chaperoning mothers, my daughter and her friends were among the oldest kids. A large birthday group of what looked like five or six year-olds was nearby our seats. What they were getting out of this movie, which flopped badly, was hard to fathom. From the earliest age children are fascinated with somewhat older children, and the infantilizing methods of Disney’s Prom perhaps make it possible for a six-year-old to identify with the on-screen figures.
The thrill of admiring the somewhat older kids would also explain why no high-school seniors, or for that matter any high-schoolers whatever, were in the Prom audience. It is not merely the disjunction between the realities of proms and the Disneyified version that keeps the late teenagers away, but the fact that it would be massively uncool to be seen watching this stuff from the vantage point of your senior year in high school.
But identification of the supposed high-schoolers in Prom as larger children defies all credibility. In the movie, class president and prom organizer Nova is played by the twenty-one-year-old Aimee Teegarden, while apparent bad boy, but actually big-hearted Jesse is embodied by Thomas McDonell, who’s at least twenty-five if he’s a day. Even the wizardry of lens gels, expert lighting and makeup, and expensive plastic surgery cannot make these faces appear to be those of teenagers. It is oddly comforting to see how, like weeds busting through asphalt, nature so easily thwarts Hollywood’s highly evolved anti-aging technologies.
Kindred forms of scalpel work are applied to the compilation soundtrack of hit songs. That pop traffics almost exclusively in sex while Prom avoids the topic completely tells us much about the Disney enterprise more generally: avoid the truth wherever possible in order to protect the magic kingdom of good clean family fun. The culminating scene of Prom is set to sexually proactive Katy Perry’s heart-warming mega-hit “Firework,” one of three number-one singles from her 2010 album, Teenage Dream and the over-the-top climax of her 2015 Super Bowl half-time show. The song is all optimism and ebullience, extolling the potential to be found inside every individual: “Baby you’re a firework / Come on let your colors burst.” Never mind that Perry has had transgressive hits like “I Kissed a Girl” and “Ur So Gay.” For Prom her work is on message and seemingly unobjectionable.
Most of the numbers on the Prom soundtrack are anodyne and unthreatening. Where decades ago parents feared the potency of rock ‘n roll to incite youthful rebelliousness, if not outright rebellion, it has long since been co-opted by everyone from corporate advertisers to Christian praisers. Prom bolsters its often flagging story line, and its most ridiculous conceit — that the girls must wait to be asked to the prom by the boys — with jolts of upbeat, whitebread pop.
With Nova longing for goody-two-shoes Brandon, who only thinks about himself and the fact he’s just gotten into Princeton, a blast of smarmy sensuality by the Neon Trees, fronted by the mohawked Mormon Tyler Glenn, tries to make us feel how important prom is for our heroine and all the other good kids. We don’t hear the song’s creepy opening: “I got close to your skin while you were sleeping / I taste the salt on your hands” (though you get that on the movie soundtrack album). This could by sung from the point-of-view of a faithful dog licking the palm of its master or mistress, but I don’t think so. Instead we hear only the adoring lines appearing later in the song “You look like a thousand suns.” But then there are the pathetic pleadings of “Oh, how long till your surrender?” Exactly what is to be surrendered is not hard to guess.
The furtive erotic drive of this song is neatly suppressed in the service of proving that sex does not exist in this movie’s Michigan high school, with its palm trees and Spanish colonial architecture.
In spite of the movie’s apparently straitlaced façade, sex lurks around every corner of the musical hallways of the soundtrack. Travie McCoy’s “We’ll Be Alright” presents a radically different vision of youth culture than the images on screen: ” yeah, yeah, come on let’s / Get drunk, toast it up, we don’t give a fuck.” And yes, there are “pretty girls everywhere” to get drunk with, smoke pot, and do what follows.
But these sentiments are skirted in favor of the lyric reminding listeners that “We are young, we run free.” Yet the promise of unbridled liberty is not indulged in the movie itself, the most dangerous escapade being a low-speed ride on Travis’s motorcycle with Nova holding on tight behind him — a quaint updating of “A Bicycle Built for Two.”
Sex is the white elephant just off-screen. Yet even if the movie bowdlerizes its songs it cannot suppress what the rhythms and textures of pop are all about.
(David Yearsley is a long-time contributor to CounterPunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His recording of J.S. Bach’s organ trio sonatas is available from Musica Omnia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 12, 2015
JOSEPH ALLEN, Under influence of controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia, probation revocation.
CURTIS BETTENCOURT, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear. (Frequent flyer.)
FRANCES DUTRA, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
MADISON HAVENS, Fort Bragg. DUI.
SARAH HEXT, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
KEITH JUILFS, Bakersfield/Ukiah. Grand theft, possession of alcohol or drugs in jail.
NICHOLAS LANZIT, Ukiah. Violation of protective order.
ANTHONY MCCOY, Ukiah. Meth sale.
CHRISTOPHER MILLER, Ukiah. Drunk in public, resisting.
AMBER NELSON, Domestic assault.
TIMOTHY PARKS, Ukiah. DUI.
MICHAEL PERRY, Redwood Valley. Domestic battery, vandalism, DUI.
BYRON PIERSON, Clearlake/Piercy. DUI-Drugs.
PAUL RAHLF, Ukiah. Fugitive from justice.
LINDA REMMEL, Ukiah. Resisting arrest.
DONTE SMITH, Ukiah. Suspended license.
WALTER STOUGH, Albion. Possession of drug paraphernalia, suspended license, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
OSHEA WEBBER, Bakersfield/Ukiah. Burglary, smuggling booze/drugs into jail.
IT COULD HAPPEN HERE
The Bizarre Case Of Rachel Dolezal, white NAACP leader who pretended to be black
by Mark Morford
Here’s 10 things you need to know regarding what is by far the weirdest and most surreal story of the moment, exploding right now all over the Interwebs, to set your weekend off right:
1) Rachel Dolezal is the 37-year-old head of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP – which, depending on your knowledge of Spokane (it’s my hometown; I left in 1985), might very well inspire an immediate snicker of wry amusement, given how Spokane is not exactly known for its diversity and the city’s entire black population could probably fit into a single Starbucks.
I might be exaggerating. But not by much.
2) Rachel Dolezal is also a professor in the Africana Studies Program at Eastern Washington University, where she’s taught a wide range of classes on race, gender and art, one called “The Black Woman’s Struggle.” More recently, Rachel Dolezal was appointed by Spokane’s mayor to serve as a police commissioner for the Office of the Police Ombudsman, “to oversee fairness and equity in law enforcement.” She writes social commentary for The Inlander and recently contributed a chapter to a new textbook, “The War on Poverty: A Retrospective.”
From her EWU bio: “[Dolezal’s] scholarly research focuses on the intersection of race, gender and class in the contemporary Diaspora with a specific emphasis on Black women in visual culture.”
There. Right there. Note that phrase, “the intersection of race and visual culture,” because it’s certainly a major clue, and could go far in explaining at least part of the grand scandal/mystery that’s exploding up in Spokane right now, given how…
3) Rachel Dolezal is white. Her parents, Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal, who live in northwest Montana, are white – as if their names didn’t scream that fact at you already. They claim Rachel Dolezal has been, sadly, pretending to be black for all these years, but that they, like pretty much the entire Internet, have no idea exactly why. So she could get a cool job with the NAACP? To gain empathy? To radically distance herself from her parents and her past? Because she genuinely feels herself to be black? Because she’s suffering from a severe personality disorder? Is it performance art? Just weird? Because Spokane? The mystery deepens.
But wait, it gets stranger.
4) Ruthanne and Larry are not close with their daughter, and have not spoken for years. Rachel Dolezal claims this is due to litigious issues surrounding alleged family abuse. But it was Ruthanne Dolezal, Rachel’s own mother, who finally busted her daughter, after being contacted by the Spokesman-Review. Ruthanne brought out photos, birth certificates. Ruthanne says the Dolezal family is of Czech, Swedish and German decent. Not a drop of African-American anywhere in the lineage. Whoops.
According to the Review, Ruthanne says her daughter “‘began to disguise herself’ back in 2006 or 2007, after the family had adopted four African-American children, and Rachel Dolezal had shown an interest in portrait art’.” (Which explains her MFA degree and interest in identity.) Is she messing with her own portrait? Is this performance art, and a very successful one (until now, anyway) at that? Does Dolezal even know she’s doing it?
5) The Twittersphere has exploded. #RachelDolezal is the top trending term, with well over 250,000 tweets, and rolling fast. The posts run the gamut from outrage, hilarity, to disbelief, compassion, horror, hate speech, you name it. Be forewarned: Racists are out in force. Ditto misogynists, transphobics, sexists of every stripe and stance. Any sense of incredulity, disbelief, humor, sadness you might have will be quickly pounded down by the Internet’s infamous pile-on savagery. It is, as any Twittersphere explosion, something to behold.
(Courtesy, the San Francisco Chronicle)
I was born right here, November '43
My dad was a captain in the army
Fighting the Germans in Sicily
My poor little momma
Didn't know a soul in L.A.
So we went down to the Union Station and made our getaway
Got on the Dixie Flyer bound for New Orleans
Across the state of Texas to the land of dreams
On the Dixie Flyer bound for New Orleans
Back to her friends and her family in the land of dreams
Her own mother came to meet us at the station
Her dress as black as a crow in a coal mine
She cried when her little girl got off the train
Her brothers and her sisters drove down from Jackson, Mississippi
In a great green Hudson driven by a Gentile they knew
Drinkin' rye whiskey from a flask in the back seat
Tryin' to do like the Gentiles do
Christ, they wanted to be Gentiles, too
Who wouldn't down there, wouldn't you?
An American Christian, God damn!
On the Dixie Flyer bound for New Orleans
Back to her friends and her family in the land of dreams
On the Dixie Flyer bound for New Orleans
Across the state of Texas to the land of dreams
— Randy Newman
GUIDED TOUR OF NEW GRACE HUDSON EXHIBIT: JUNE 16
On Tuesday, June 16, from 12 to 1 pm, Grace Hudson Museum curator Karen Holmes and director Sherri Smith-Ferri will lead a guided tour of the new exhibit, "Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art." The show features rare wall-hung installations and pieces never before seen in the United States by 17 professional Japanese bamboo artists from the collection of the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture in Hanford, California. The tour is free with Museum admission. The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm, and Sunday from noon to 4:30 pm. General admission is $4; $10 per family; $3 for students and seniors; free to all on the first Friday of the month; and always free to members. For more information please go to http://www.gracehudsonmuseum.org or call (707) 467-2836.
Writer, Publicist, Editor
Revisiting Zuccotti Park
Walking through now empty Zuccotti Park, The huge presence of Occupy Wall Street Very absent, I pause where we had The People's Library, and then again at the Meditation circle's ghost by the tree Near the now silent drumming circle, where The lady cop gave me 20 minutes to leave, At 1:20 in the morning, or get bulldozed Off and then power sprayed. I'm back in Zuccotti Park. Fuck you, I stayed!
Craig Louis Stehr
Poet's House/New York City
To Stuart Campbell, President, KZYX Board of Directors,
Subject: Re: [KZYX-Board]- Personnel
Your characterization of John Coate in your announcement of his resignation borders on something that may be actionable under the False Claims Act. Be very careful in how you word any press release.
If and when MCPB fails — and it indeed may fail; serious problems with the FCC and the CPB are pending, and a class action lawsuit from membership may be pending — I lay the blame squarely before John Coate.
I cite the following:
Coate has operated MCPB like a closed clubhouse, and not like a true community radio station, as is the case at KMUD or KMEC.
He has thwarted the Community Advisory Board (nonexistent) and Program Advisory Committee (weak, ineffective).
He has frustrated the membership's efforts to communicate with one another, as is their right, by falsely invoking privacy rights.
He has purged his critics — especially programmers — and those who have simply questioned him, even to the extent he has censored them, or silenced them, by removing them from the air and canceling their shows.
He has tampered with board elections.
On his Facebook page, he has characterized reform candidates, and those of us who voted for them — a third of our members — as a "hate group" that should "shut the fuck up."
He has failed to disclose financials, like staff salaries.
He has misappropriated funds, like the set-aside for the Ukiah studio.
He has falsely characterized his financial "rescue" of the station — the station's deficit secretly grew during Coate's first two years, and it was dealt with only when Coate cut the entire news department.
He has failed to support our public affairs shows with permanent archives, or by posting shows to the Public Radio Exchange and Radio4All.
He allowed old broadcast equipment to regularly fail by not replacing it, resulting in frequent dead air, scratchy irritating signals, and fuzzouts.
He has grossly inflated his management authority with executive director powers, which far supersedes the usual general manager's authority, resulting in the board ceding all operational control of the station to Coate, further resulting in the FCC failing to renew our licenses, even after a year of expensive legal defense, and in resulting in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting slashing our funding by $50,000 in 2015 alone. Recent pledge drives have also fallen short of their goals.
He has lead the station into a period of unprecedented controversy, scandal, and member discord — membership has actually fallen during Coate's eight years of "leadership".
He has refused to answer questions about the audit put to him by a board member during a board meeting.
He has violated the spirit of EEO and affirmative action laws by failing to advertise all job openings, including part-time job openings.
He has failed to investigated two alleged incidents on battery on women (Julia Carrera and Mary Massey) by men (Erik Frye and Rich Culbertson) that were reported to have occurred on the station's premises.
For all of the above reasons, Coate should have been fired long ago.
The timing of Coate's resignation intrigues me. As you know, this week, Stuart, you, as president of the MCPB Board, and John Coate, as MCPB's executive director and general manager, were both presented with a demand letter prepared by attorneys and signed by three current or past board directors of MCPB, and one former member of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.The group is concerned about the station's financials — too much secrecy, too many irregularities. The financials may hide a far darker picture suggesting waste, fraud, and corruption.
Is Coate now fleeing so he doesn't have to answer the discoveries?
PS. CHANGE, MEG, CHANGE. COMPRENDE?
* * *
Dear Ms. Meg Courtney,
It's time for change, Meg.
New faces — Mary Aigner has got to go; for 25-years Aigner has been the one constant in a highly dysfunctional organization; Rich Culbertson and David Steffen are each pushing 10 years at the station, and they also need to be replaced because they're too attached to an old business model and poor business practices; MCPB needs new, young, talented people.
New business model — not old guard, top-down, centrist management; not an autocratic management style by station management; and not a submissive board that has relinquished all authority to the executive director and general manager, particularly over hiring and firing decisions, and program decisions.
New community radio — a strong and robust Community Advisory Board and Program Advisory Committee, like KMUD.
New main studio — Ukiah, not Philo.
New equipment and technology — no more dead air, scratch irritating signals, and fuzzouts; no more webstream constantly dropping; no more feeble attempts at archiving public affairs shows on a temporary basis on an inferior "turnstile" platform.
New transparency — compliance with the demand letter for financial disclosed prepared by a legal team and mailed earlier this week by three current or past board directors, including myself, and one former member of the Mendocino Board of Supervisors, to John Coate and Stuart Campbell.
New beginnings with the FCC and CPB — the MCPB remains in serious trouble with the FCC and CPB, and may also soon be in trouble with the California Secretary of State; we need to get back into compliance with the law and regulations..
New beginnings with members — MCPB membership numbers continue to fall, and pledge drives continue to fall short of goals for very real reasons; memberships feel generally disenfranchised, uninvolved with the station, and unconnected to one another.
It's time for change, Meg. Real and lasting change. That's all that's important — not personalities.