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Letters (Jan 14, 2014)

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Open letter to John Sakowicz:

John: Your misrepresentation of fact and your grandstanding generalizations boggle the mind. You have a politician's knack for obfuscating and trying to divert attention from the truth to everything but the truth. To give but one small example, the "missing" money for the future Ukiah studio still sitting in the station's savings account. I don't know where you get your "facts," but either you just aren't very good at research or you are pulling them out of thin air. Your manufactured disinformation has cost the station thousands of dollars in legal fees and has confused the good readers of this and other papers and our listeners.

The fact that you are an outlier ("out liar") on the KZ board is your own doing. I served two terms on the board as an officer and saw no evidence whatsoever of the lack of transparency. Sure, over time there have been mistakes made and corrected — that is the nature of a democratic structure.

As for the dollar amount paid to staff, the general manager salary is a matter of public record and he has done more to improve the station and managed to endure the difficulties of the job than have any of his predecessors. The amount paid to the rest of the staff is irrelevant: no one at the station is getting rich and they're all working well above and beyond the hours they are paid for.

I have listened to you stand up at a board meeting and ask for a moment of silence to recognize the passing of your "good friend" Michael Ruppert whose name you didn't even know how to properly pronounce. I have heard you invoke the name of your distant Polish relative who was apparently a war hero which you somehow think gives credence to your claim to being the standard bearer of truth and righteousness in your quixotic fight for airwave justice.

I submit, John, that you are out of touch with the truth and with your own motivations and should consider finding a capable therapist to help you find your inner demons instead of projecting them on outside organizations such as KZYX.

David Jackness


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To the Editor:

These are what the financial statements of an efficiently operated, all volunteer radio station, like KMEC, at the Mendocino Environmental Center (MEC), look like. See below.

[Ed note: Financial table not included here due to formatting difficulties.]

Total expenses for 2014? A meager $17,909.

Compare that to the bloated budget of KZYX, which is not really a "public" radio station at all. KZYX is instead a closed clubhouse with regard to programming decisions — programmers are kicked off the air if they question current management — and with regard to finances, KZYX is jobs program for the five people who work there..

Incidentally, these five people will not disclose their salaries, even to the KZYX Board.

So what are the total expenses at KZYX? Well, it's approximately $650,000-$700,000.

Why do I estimate? Because the most recent published financials of $652,570 are for 2013 only. Expenses have risen since then. Salaries have jumped. Everyone at KZYX has gotten a raise since 2013. Also, salaries are hidden — impossible to decipher — because they are allocated to both program services and support services. Very tricky. And not in keeping with a public radio station where one would expect complete disclosure, complete transparency.

Another thing: Money that was suppose to be used for a Ukiah studio has gone missing. That's a total of $19,000. Broken down, that $19,000 comes from $5,000 raised by the community, $5,000 from a family foundation grant, and $9,000 allocated in last year's budget.

This missing money is serious stuff.

KZYX will ultimately fail under the current business model of secrecy in finances and almost dictatorial control by management with regard to programming decisions. And this has not escaped notice at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Both the FCC and CPB are paying attention to the problems at KZYX. The FCC has held up the renewal the station's licenses for over a year. And complaints made by the public to the CPB have found their way to the Inspector's General Office at the CPB.

The bottom line question is: Are KZYX members and underwriters paying attention? If they are paying attention, they should withhold support until current management is replaced. And they should vote for candidates, like attorney and activist Dennis O'Brien, who promise reform in the upcoming Board elections.

Until change comes to KZYX, the public should think about supporting KMEC. It's a much bigger bang for the buck, Super efficient. All-volunteer. Totally transparent about finances. Nice technology platform, i.e., all shows are archived. KMUD in Redway deserves support, too.


John Sakowicz, member of the KZYX Board of Directors (2013-2016), Board Treasurer (2014)


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Open Letter to Mendocino County Board of Supervisors:

Mental Health Privatization has failed us. The for-profit Ortner rakes in millions of State and Federal Mental Health Patient money, and provides very few of the State-Mandated services. Four egregious violations are:

1. The Ortner Mental Health Crisis Line is answered by a message machine sometimes.

2. County Mental Health has just given money for “Patient Medications” to Ortner and County patients can’t get their medications.

3. County Mental Health Patients no longer can reach their Doctor or Nurse by phone, which is dangerous and can be life threatening. Apparently there’s a business hours phone number in Ukiah to call, but it took a Supervisor 20 minutes to find that for a patient in crisis. Regular people don’t have that phone number or access.

4. The Ortner iCMS Access Crisis Center in Fort Bragg has no doctors or nurses, only 1-1/4 MFTs and if they are busy, there is no help. One patient in a crisis found no help for 2 days and on the third day was told, “I can’t help you, you make too much money.” Apparently Ortner is unaware that the State mandates Crisis Care for ALL people regardless of income.

The solution is to get the experienced non-profit Turning Point to come here, hire locals, provide the leadership and training needed to create State-Mandated Mental Health Patient Services. A letter needs to be sent to County Mental Health Patients AND Private Medical Providers with: County Medical Provider: names, phone numbers, addresses, days and hours worked, and Medical Outpatient backup phone numbers. County Mental Health Patient medication money needs to be restored.

Sonya Nesch


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Concerning Kathryne Andarin Arvola of Ft. Bragg:

"Lacks impulse control" sounds like psychobabble, but sometimes it's right on the money. I talked with Andarin Arvola on the phone once (I've never known her to use her first name, Kathryne). At a certain point she raged, using purple language. Purple language is okay by me, but I reminded her that our conversation was an interview. She didn't let that discourage her, just raged on.

Events attributed to her are a matter of a growing public record. Anybody with the patience to pick their way through the not-impossible labyrinth of official county Internet postings can read about them. Arvola's escapades would lend themselves to a few good laughs over a beer, except when you're the butt of them. In my opinion—and not just mine—the woman's dangerous.

She's a horsewoman. There are pictures of her mounted, in parades and such.This is scuttlebutt, hearsay: It is said that her horse died and she left it where it fell, to rot there, saying she couldn't afford to dispose of it. I did not see or smell that horse. I do not know if the story is factual or fanciful, but I'm inclined to believe it. It has the characteristic to-hell-with-it quality that seems to go with Andarin stories.

I once asked the Fort Bragg Advocate / Mendocino Beacon editor Kate Lee this question: "Do you know any of these people personally?" "These people" included a number of people specified in a legal hassle, Arvola prominent among them. Kate said no. It turned out she and Arvola were friends, sometime traveling companions and so on. Kate declined to run stuff on Arvola's shenanigans. I don't know if this happened without exception, but I know it happened more than once.

It wouldn't be the first time an editor spiked a story out of favoritism for somebody, but it denied the public useful information about a—literally—unruly citizen. That puts people at risk. (As far as I know, all the victims of Arvola's outbursts are women.)

Mitch Clogg


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Interest reaction by the Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff’s Association using their free speech rights to complain about the Mendocino High School’s basketball players’ ‘I Can’t Breathe’ t-shirts (concerning Eric Garner dying after a police officer violated NYPD policy against chokeholds).

I wonder what the vote (for or against) count was by each member of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association to take that official stance?

Note: The young Mendocino High students were up front and classy about being ok with “agreeing to disagree” among themselves.

Ray Whittaker


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Thanks to Mark Scaramella for pursuing the Vineyard so called best practice Frost Fan noise issue in court. Here is what is missing. The Ag Commissioner was informed about alternatives months ago but obviously has no plans to pursue it. In particular, the New Zealand fan blade, so named because of the fair Noise ordinance that New Zealand created that required a non-nuisance solution. The fan blade is smaller and has more blades. It allows the blade to move slower, removing the sub sonic low frequency rattle that shakes foundations and beds. The slower movement also reduces general noise. This information was found with a minor internet search. Best practice? This no serious look to solve the frost issue is creating a rift in our community. The lack of attention to the no sleep fans, is unfair, a nuisance and has nothing to do with Right to Farm issues as many of these vineyards came after towns were very established. The Fans are the new detail. When new agriculture impacts 1000’s of Boonville and Philo folks, there is something wrong. Rather than stand behind the inappropriate curtain of Right to Farm, the Ag Commissioner either needs to do the research or direct the Vineyard managers to do it. We want a real Best Practice that considers neighbors who have a right to function with adequate sleep. A return too frost Fan noise will undoubtedly be ugly.

Greg Krouse


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Any KZYX Board candidate suffering the great good fortune of an endorsement from John Sakowicz will have to answer the following. Was it appropriate for Sako to write to the FCC demanding refusal to renew the broadcast license?

Gordon Black


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