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Letters (July 9, 2014)

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That was a fine piece of writing by Crawdad Nelson in the June 25 AVA. Ditto for Dick Meister's reminiscence of Boonville Baseball in 1950.

It's always refreshing to read something other than druggie diaries.


Don Morris


PS. Rumor has it that you're going to take a sabbatical to the Left Bank to write your great novel.

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Dear Sir:

I think it is outrageous that the AV Health Care Center has suspended the dispensary of medications. This is a serious deterioration of its services. What is this useless Board of Directors thinking?

I attended the last meeting of the Board where [Dr.] Mark [Apfel] apologized to the Board for the suspension of the dispensary. I find it appalling that Mark apologized to Board for the absence of the dispensary; he initiated the service and it has proved to be highly successful. He deserves high praise for his efforts. That Mark is working the bureaucratic issues associated with the dispensary is gross mismanagement of the HC's resources. Mark is the medical director and should be concentrating on the practice of medicine; that is after all his expertise.

I submit that one of the louts on the Board should be working the issues of the dispensary that is their purpose. The Board should be apologizing to the community for mismanagement of the HC.

Fred Martin


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Dear Editor,

RE: Water diversion permits in the Russian River Watershed

The State Water Resources Control Board from all accounts is beginning to move against diverters who have ignored curtailment notices. More importantly, if the drought continues beyond this year, say two or three more years, there will be no need for curtailment notices. There just will not be any water to divert and the vineyards that are dependent upon this water will die. Over the coming years climate change in California will have a profound affect upon agriculture.

In peace,

James G. Updegraff


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The FCC didn't believe K. Massey and neither do I. Bruce, you sold your dentures to restore two pages of the AVA for such as this? Could you at least train the KZYX dissidators to write up to the AVA's usual engaging level? Certainly we agree that these extended impositions are not only (1) lengthy, but also (2) witless.

Gordon Black


ED REPLY: Only you, Gordy, can achieve those Wildean levels of wit that seem to wow the wowsers at KZYX, but I think both of us, deep down, know that the Mendo wit bar stays right at ground level. PS. Is a dissidator kinda like a voluptuator, as in your timeless line, “I left her voluptuating in the doorway”? (Who was that woman anyway?) PPS. Now that you're making up words, will your letters also soon include glossaries so we can puzzle out your meaning?

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Dear Mr. Anderson:

I'm a recent, new AVA subscriber. In bit of a serendipity I got turned onto the AVA via articles posted in The Connection by Abigail Bosworth who, I believe, writes from New York herself, so it's unclear as to the California connection. Whatever.

Great bit of history in the June 25 Off the Record regarding Nathan Bedford Forrest, renouncing racism before dying. After decades of vilifying (rightly) I'm trying to do further research and reading on this troubled historical icon. At least I can perhaps temper my hate for his life's actions and lasting harm he caused to our society.

In solidarity from America's Gulag,

Garry Erwin

Auburn, New York

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Mr Blankfort:

Here are two interesting links you will want to read:

They contain your letter and your live comments to the Corporation for Public Broadcast when you were Unpaid Staff-Take Back KPFA, as you called yourself. You were a volunteer at KPFA and writing about some of the very issues that five concerned KZYX programmers and volunteers raised to the FCC/CPB this past spring. You've been critical of me and others because we expressed legitimate concerns to the FCC/CPB based on what we believed to be fact.

And yet. You appeared in person, before the CPB members in Washington DC to complain about KPFA board and staff; and, sent a letter demanding transparency, accountability, professionalism and openness.

Mr. Blankfort, you were thrown off the air at KPFA. I doubt you were vetted by Mary Aigner before you were permitted to host a show on KZYX.

Unlike you, I was a full-time, salaried staff person (at WPLN) for several years. In addition to my shifts as an engineer, I hosted a weekly program high-lighting the services of non-profit agencies in the community. After I left the station, I remained an active on-air host for the station's fund drive for five years.

On the matter that you “can understand” why Rich Culbertson spat at me as I greeted him hello:

Legitimate “journalists” (as you name yourself) and good persons don't condone these and other kinds of filthy behaviors towards another. That you “understand” reveals a disturbing side of your character. Any woman who listens to your show following this comment should reconsider. And, no woman should appear on your show if you still have one to host.

I expect the KZYX Board to address the issue concerning Mr. Culbertson swiftly; and, to carry out due process. Also, I imagine that you will be vetted promptly by the station.

Your parting comments to me about “going back go Nashville” in one letter, and “going back to the drawing board” in your recent letter are dismissive, petty, and condescending — they were said to make you feel important at my expense — the sign of an impotent, little man.

I am here to stay.

M.K. Massey


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First, I wish to express my appreciation to Mary Massey for calling my attention to the fact that both my presentation to the CPB and my letter to the then inspector general of the CPB, Lester Latney, expressing my complaints and those of Take Back KPFA over Pacifica's blatant violation of CPB's "open meeting" rules are available on line. What is puzzling to me, having done that research, if, in fact, she was the one who did it, why she apparently didn't take the trouble to actually read either one.

Had she done so, she would never have made such glaring mistakes as (1) writing that I described myself as a member of KPFA's "unpaid staff" which I never did since I was neither a programmer nor a volunteer at KPFA. I was, however, a frequent guest on its public affairs programs but over more than a decade, I produced only one program. (2) She claims that I was "writing about some of the very issues" that "five concerned KZYX programmers raised to the FCC/CBB." Nothing could be further from the truth. What we were complaining about was that Pacifica was holding its national meetings in undisclosed locations without notifying its listeners that they were taking place, that it would hold most of its meetings in executive session when people did manage to find the location and attend, and, finally, refusing to make the minutes of its meetings public. None of these obviously gross violations of the CPB regulations can be attributed to KZYX nor were they raised by her "concerned KZYX programmers." (3) She writes that I "appeared in person before the CPB to complain about KPFA board and staff" when I did nothing of the sort. While I did have well-founded criticisms of some board and staff members, our complaint was purely directed at Pacifica, not KPFA. (4) She writes that I "was thrown off the air at KPFA." Not so, because I wasn't on the air, at least, as a programmer. I had been, however, one of a number of individuals, the rest of whom were volunteer programmers at KPFA and KPFK, Pacifica's Los Angeles station, who were banned from speaking at Pacifica board meetings. I am not aware that anyone has been banned from speaking at KZYX board meetings.

As for being vetted by Mary, as she puts it, I was, but not in a formal way. I was acquainted with her for some time before she suggested that, beginning in January, 2001, I do an international affairs program for the station. She was aware that I was, at the time, doing a twice monthly program on Thursdays for KPOO in San Francisco which I continued to do for a number of years after moving to Ukiah and only left it when the burdens of time and travel costs became excessive.

Regarding her work at WPLN, as I mentioned in my letter, a visit to its website indicates that it has no locally produced and hosted public affairs program and that, except for some news briefs, with the exception of one Saturday night bluegrass show, everything that comes across its airwaves is canned, produced somewhere else for national distribution. Professionally done, often quite interesting and entertaining but, in the end, it is radio designed to comfort, not upset the listener. What this says about Nashville apparently doesn't concern her.

As for my "condoning," as she says, of Rich Culbertson's alleged spitting at her--if, indeed, that happened and, given her score in the accuracy department, it can be reasonably doubted--I am not sure what kind of reception she expected after writing the crap she wrote about him in her first letter to the AVA. My attitude has nothing to do with misogyny as, I would her assure my many women friends will attest. Her claim that she was coming to say "hello" should be considered in the same light as her other claims whose lack of basis in fact I have already exposed.

That she demands that the board act "swiftly" in punishing Rich Culbertson and that I be "vetted promptly" by the station (for what?) must be attributed to that exaggerated sense of entitlement that Massey, as an accomplished artist, believes she is entitled. She might need to return to Nashville for that. As an artist, I thought my suggestion that she get "back to the drawing board" was not only appropriate under the circumstances but guaranteed to produce a chuckle or two. No doubt saying "back to her paints and canvas" would have been more accurate and given the indicated inaccuracies in her letter, it is something she should seriously consider.

Finally, I suggest she stop relying on John Sakowicz for her information. It tends not to be reliable and can make her look like a fool.

Jeff Blankfort



  1. mark July 9, 2014

    Massey on Bankfort

    Bankfort’s cavalier dismissal of Massey’s account of events that he did not witness points out that, when it comes to entitlement, no one in the liberal zionist team takes second position.

    Massy has to realize that Bankfort feels entitled to approve any sort of contemptuous treatment of anyone who dares to criticize him–who isn’t Jewish.

  2. M Kathryn Massey July 10, 2014

    Hi, Mark,

    Your note is insightful. We live in a culture of feeling entitled and bullying a consensus through a herd mentality. This is more easily achieved through groups on the internet, but who take no responsibility for outcomes or consequences. It’s easy to take stabs at people when you are anonymous and purporting comments as facts and truth. But, many people hide behind these sites.

    I stood alone in both my experience of staff behaving badly toward me and my personal experiences I wrote about to the FCC. I fail to see how my writing is loathe-some, which erupted into a character assassination by Mr Blankfort’s, and his own appearance in Washington. Both the FCC and CPB have the opportunity for public comments. Were we both not within our rights?

    Mr. Blankfort has called me a liar in public for reporting what happened. (No one from the board or management asked me what happened.) He has publicly tried to discredit my past work experience and dismissed me as someone who knows nothing about public radio. He can understand how an irate employee would spit at a woman who greeted him “hello.” Why would he “understand” this kind of behavior?

    Mark, I take nothing personally. There will always be those among us who have to ‘be right” at the expense of others. There will be those who are so threatened and insecure that they feel the need to embarrass, dismiss, discredit and tear down people to make themselves appear as having the Truth.

    I know who I am and what happened. I have now moved on.


    MK Massey
    Mendocino, CA

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