- Frontpage Confusion
- Hero Fair
- Parade Notes
- Strike Zone
- Tattoo Decline
- Crawlspace Bennett
- Yesterday's Catch
- Hawthorne Timberland
- Crash, Burn
- Ocean Temps
- Gunshow Victim
- Listening Hour
- Nine Fracks
- KZYX Moneyhole
- Restoring Non-persons
CONFUSING front pager on last week's Willits Weekly. Picture of a buncha kids with Sheriff Allman above a story on the Island Mountain pot raids. For a startled second we thought maybe the Sheriff had arrested a bunch of high school kids up there in the heart of the Emerald Triangle.
THE FIRST ANNUAL Heroes of Health and Safety Fair, Saturday July 18th at the Boonville Fairgrounds, 10am-3pm. There is no cost to this family-friendly event. Many demonstrations and exhbits throughout the day will include jaws-of-life and CPR, health screenings, rescue vehicles, helicopters, search and rescue dogs, a bike rodeo, bounce house for children and free bike raffle for kids. Sponsored by Mendocino County’s Heroes Of Health And Safety Coalition, representing Anderson Valley and Mendocino County agencies. Join us in Boonville on Saturday July 18th from 10am-3pm.
— AV Fire Chief Andres Avila and First 5 Commission representative Menaka Olson.
* * *
“FAMILY FRIENDLY” EVENT? I'm sure the above is an “appropriate” venue for children, but what exactly is a family unfriendly event? Most parents would probably want to keep their under-twelves out of a midnight bar room, but unless you're raising a kid on a remote, unwired mountaintop, and even there your neighbors are likely to be armed ag cadres, modern life, the totality of it, is not family friendly. Looked at from the Martian perspective, the whole show seems organized to make young people stupid and crazy.
A READER WRITES: "So here comes the Mendocino Fourth of July parade. I’m standing across the street from the judge’s flatbed truck. An announcer from KOZT radio in Fort Bragg is on the mike announcing the passing spectacle. Up front: leading the parade are two guys in a convertible who are sharing “grand marshall’s duties” for this year’s festivities. At first, I thought it was some sort of gay marriage tribute, but, as it turns out, they were just two local do gooders parading their goodness. “Buzz Graham and Steve Antler,” the MC announces to curious applause. However, strolling by himself behind the convertible is an odd, almost ghostly lone man with a tiny chihuahua on a leash. The man is dressed in a faded denim outfit — pants and jeans with some kind of macho man meets dope muffin boots. The announcer looks towards the man with curiosity as if some stoner or drunk had wandered into the front of the parade. “Who’s that man?,” he questions gruffly on his speaker. Nobody in the crowd seems to know, until finally a lone female voice calls out weakly: “Dan Hamburg.” The DJ recovers. “Yes folks, that’s Dan Hamburg. Your Fifth District Supervisor. Hey, Dan.” The lone man turns with a modest wave. Nobody responds; nobody claps… nothing. The lone man and the little dog walk on as obscure as they appeared.
On the other hand. Sheriff Allman and district attorney Eyster were also a duo in a jeep. Ever the glad hands playing both sides of any crowd, the jeep stops in front of the judge’s stand and Allman hops out with something in his hand, which he offers to all the judges. Cookies, honorary deputy sheriff badges, get out jail cards, old zipties for dope plants? Who knows? I think it was supposed to be meant as a gag, but the crowd didn’t seem get it.
RE GIANTS MANAGER BRUCE BOCHY and pitcher Ryan Vogelsong getting thrown out of Sunday's game for arguing about the home plate umpire's calls: “As long as the league does not crack down on the Umpires ‘floating strike zones’ nothing will change. However, as long as humans are calling balls and strikes mistakes are going to be made. One thing the league could do is require all umpires to take their positions directly behind the shoulders of the catchers instead of allowing them to stand straight up or stand to one side or the other. Maybe technology will some day allow the Home plate umpire to see a hologram strike zone box through something like google glass, but that day is a long way off. I think the quality of home plate umpiring has declined over the years, I don't recall there being so much disagreement over balls and strikes back in the 50s, 60s and 70s. But then again, my memory of those days is affected by the nostalgia of the great players who graced the fields of the time. Many of the players getting millions of dollars now would never have made most teams rosters back then."
CULTURE NOTE, on-line: Tattoos, as a cultural phenomena, appears to be fading, around these parts anyway. Within the past year two pretty prominent tattoo shops have closed up, and I simply see fewer young people walking around “inked up.” Also, I have heard youngsters who are growing a little older, perhaps in their 30s, express regret about the tattoos they got in their 20s. I think the day is approaching in the US when tattoos once again return to the provenance of sailors and criminals, not college coeds and clerks who work in convenience stores.
ON JUNE 3, 2015 at approximately 9:43 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff Deputies responded to a residence in the 32000 block of Boice Lane, Fort Bragg, to attempt service of a felony arrest warrant on Joshua Wade Bennett, 41, of Fort Bragg. Sheriff’s Deputies conducted a search of the property and Bennett was located hiding in the crawlspace above the garage. Bennett was advised that he was under arrest for the warrant and he was directed to climb out of the crawlspace, numerous times. Bennett refused to comply. Bennett initially stated that he was "armed and dangerous" and challenged deputies to enter the crawlspace to attempt to take him into custody. Additionally, Bennett said he was in possession of a "MK-79" pyrotechnic launcher and made threats to burn down the residence. Due to Bennett’s threats of violence and arson, medical and fire personnel were staged in the area. After speaking with Bennett for approximately 40 minutes, Bennett climbed out of the crawlspace and was taken into custody, without further incident. No weapons or incendiary devices were located. Bennett was arrested for his outstanding felony arrest warrant for violating the terms of his probation and charged with resisting arrest by means of threats or violence. Bennett is being held in the Mendocino County Jail with a no bail status.
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 6, 2015
THOMAS BOETTCHER, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.
MICHELE BRIGANDO, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
VICTORIA BURBIDGE, Little River. Burglary.
MICHELE FABELA, Willits. Domestic assault, negligent discharge of firearm, trespassing.
GABRIELA GALLEGOS, Redwood Valley. DUI.
TYLER NOEL, Willits. Court order violation, resisting, probation revocation.
REBECCA SALAS, Fort Bragg. DUI, child endangerment.
CINDY SCOTT-VOGEL, Danville/Willits. DUI.
AARON STILL, Willits. Possession of drug paraphernalia, probation revocation.
HAWTHORNE TIMBERLAND'S PROPERTY DETAILS ON LANDVEST
ON THE FOURTH OF JULY at about 3:25 PM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies and California Highway Patrol were summoned to the area of mile marker 8 on Highway 253 regarding a report of a suspect who had stolen a motorcycle which had crashed and ignited a fire that resulted in an approximately 24-acre vegetation fire. Upon arrival Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies with the assistance of California Highway Patrol learned a 38 year old male was following a suspect who was riding his unreported stolen motorcycle. The suspect, later identified as 35 year old Marcelino Anguiano, 35, of Ukiah, had crashed the victim’s motorcycle into a hillside along Highway 253 at about mile marker 8.47 Boonville, and ran off into the woods. The collision caused the motorcycle to catch fire igniting the adjacent hillside. The fire consumed approximately 24 acres of privately owned steep wooded property before Anderson Valley Fire and CalFire were able to extinguish the fire by using over 50 personnel along with a helicopter and CalFire tanker airplane. The cost to fight the fire is estimated by CalFire to be in excess of $58,000. Prior to law enforcement officers arriving on scene, Anguiano had abandoned the motorcycle and fled into the wooded terrain. A search of the area was conducted by Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies and California Highway Patrol Officers. Later in the evening at about 8:43 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies received a call of a male subject who had trespassed onto the property of a ranch adjacent to the motorcycle crash site. Deputies responded to the area and contacted suspect Anguiano who had provided Deputies with a false name. Anguiano was determined to be under the influence of a controlled substance and had an outstanding Mendocino County felony warrant for his arrest. Anguiano was arrested for vehicle theft, recklessly causing a fire], false ID to Police Officer Under Influence of a Controlled Substance, and transported and incarcerated at the Mendocino County jail where he is to be held in lieu of $80,000 bail.
MENDO SPORTS PLUS REPORTS:
Ocean water temperatures in the San Francisco Bay Area are above their historical summertime average, a National Weather Service meteorologist said.
But Waters Off Mendo Haven't Broken 60°f - Yet
MSP watches the ocean temp from NOAA Buoy 46014 closely every day and the highest we've seen (so far this summer) was 58.6°F. The last reading from the buoy Monday was 57.9°F.
WILLITS WOMAN INJURED IN GUN SHOW PARADE ACCIDENT BY FLYING PROJECTILE
We were arguing about whether NBC
was better than CBS. I said CBS
because it's smaller and had to work
harder to please viewers. You didn't
like either that much but preferred
smaller independent companies.
Just then an avalanche flew
overhead, light blue against the
sky's determined violet. We
started to grab our stuff but
it was too late. We segued....
— John Ashbery
BROWN ADMINISTRATION APPROVES NINE NEW OFFSHORE FRACKS
by Dan Bacher
The administration of Governor Jerry Brown lived up to its role as one of the most Big Oil-friendly regimes in California history by recently approving 9 new plans for extensive new offshore fracking near the California coast.
The state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources approved the permits for nine new fracking operations in Long Beach Harbor, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. The new offshore fracks, which would begin in August and continue through December, would be the first in state waters since 2013.
“Haven’t we seen enough dead wildlife and polluted beaches?” said Kristen Monsell, a Center attorney. “Every offshore frack increases the risk of chemical pollution or another devastating oil spill. Gov. Brown has to recognize that halting offshore fracking is critical to protecting marine animals and coastal communities from this toxic technique.”
Monsell said offshore fracking blasts vast volumes of water mixed with toxic chemicals beneath the sea floor at pressures high enough to fracture rocks. The technique was last used in state waters in December 2013, when oil companies fracked four offshore wells near Long Beach.
"Before that, oil companies fracked at least 200 wells in waters off Long Beach, Seal Beach and Huntington Beach, as well as in the wildlife-rich Santa Barbara Channel," she noted.
The Center sued the U.S. Interior Department earlier this year for violating three federal laws by rubberstamping offshore fracking in federal waters off California’s coast without analyzing fracking pollution’s threats to ocean ecosystems, coastal communities and marine wildlife, including sea otters, fish, sea turtles and whales.
At least 10 fracking chemicals routinely used in offshore fracking in California could kill or harm a broad variety of marine species, including sea otters and fish, Center scientists have found.
“Approving new offshore fracking just weeks after Santa Barbara’s devastating oil spill is a new low,” Monsell said. “Gov. Brown’s oil regulators just saw how dangerous oil production in coastal areas can be, but they didn’t hesitate to greenlight these fracks. The high pressures and dangerous chemicals used in this toxic technique have no place in our beautiful ocean.”
Meanwhile, crews continue to clean up the Santa Barbara Oil spill that began on May 19 when a pipeline owned by Plains All America Pipeline ruptured off Refugio State Beach. The mainstream and most "alternative" media continue to suppress any discussion of the root cause of the oil spill and the massive fracking that has fouled California coastal waters over the past 20 years - Big Oil's capture of the state officials that oversee the regulatory apparatus.
On September 20, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 4, the "green light for fracking bill, an odious piece of legislation sponsored by Senator Fran Pavley that creates the infrastructure for the expansion of fracking in California. Before Brown signed the bill, he had received millions in donations from Big Oil, according to Robert Gammon's East Bay Express article published on October 2, 2013. (http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/fracking-jerry-brown/Content?oid=3726533)
"Before Jerry Brown signed legislation last month that promises to greatly expand fracking in California, the governor accepted at least $2.49 million in financial donations over the past several years from oil and natural gas interests, according to public records on file with the Secretary of State's Office and the California Fair Political Practices Commission. Of the total, $770,000 went to Brown's two Oakland charter schools — the Oakland School for the Arts and the Oakland Military Institute. The other $1.72 million went to his statewide political campaigns for attorney general and governor, along with his Proposition 30 ballot-measure campaign last year," said Gammon.
On July 1, anti-fracking, environmental and watchdog groups responded to the release of the final fracking regulations developed under Senate Bill 4, pointing out that the rules promote more fracking and pollution of water supplies in the drought-plagued state.
“These regulations will not alter the fundamental way these inherently dangerous oil drilling techniques are conducted and therefore cannot prevent the dangerous and severe consequences that will continue to harm California," said Adam Scow, California Director of Food and Water Watch. "For example, the recent Refugio oil spill in Santa Barbara has been tied to offshore oil rigs that have used acidizing and are seeking permits to frack. Moreover, the industry continues to dispose its toxic wastewater into aquifers that could be used for drinking and irrigation purposes.” (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/07/02/18774351.php)
It gets worse. In one of the most egregious environmental conflicts of interest in California history, Western States Petroleum Association President President Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the head of the same oil industry trade association that lobbies for the Plains All American Pipeline corporation, is the very same person who chaired the panel that created the so-called "marine protected areas" that have been fouled with crude oil! (http://www.calitics.com/diary/15750/lobbyist-for-oil-pipeline-company-oversaw-creation-of-fouled-marine-protected-areas)
While the oil industry was fracking like crazy on the California coast, Reheis-Boyd was chairing the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create questionable "marine protected areas" in Southern California. She also served on the MLPA panels for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast from 2004 to 2012.
The alleged "marine protected areas" created under the leadership of her and other corporate operatives and political hacks fail to protect the ocean from oil spills, fracking, offshore drilling, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering.
One of the least well-known facts of California politics is that the oil industry is the largest and most powerful corporate lobby in California, allowing the oil and gas companies to manipulate, control and effectively control the regulatory apparatus.
Reheis-Boyd's Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) set a new record for lobbying expenses in 2014 when it spent $8.9 million spent on lobbying, nearly double what it spent in the previous year. WSPA spent $4.67 million in 2013. (http://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2015/02/06/big-oil-group-spent-89-million-last-year-lobbing-jerry-brown-and-california-officials)
While the mainstream media and corporate "environmental" groups try to portray California as a "green" state and the Brown administration as a "green" one, California's "green" reputation is largely undeserved. Brown is without a doubt the worst Governor for fish, water and the environment in recent California history, as I have documented in article after article. For more information, read my investigative piece about Brown's war on the environment at: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/04/15/18771135.php
PROPOSED STAFFING MODEL for KZYX with Key Responsibilities, June 21, 2015, M K Massey
Suggested implementation for 2 years followed by a Review. Recommendations to move to the John Sakowicz model, or another model altogether after two years.
A new Board and Staff Model has been proposed by Board Member, John Sakowicz. There has been great resistance in moving to an all volunteer station with one full time paid staff person to serve as Chief Engineer for KZYX/Z. I feel Mr. Sakowicz’s model greatly relieves the community of the current financial burden of supporting the current staff salaries, benefits, and taxes. My model is suggested as a possible step to Mr. Sakowicz’s model and entails expenses his does not.
Let it be stated, this proposal also supports the Sakowicz model to FULLY RESTORE EXECUTIVE OVERSIGHT TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS away from any paid staff person such as is the case now.
Given the financial issues that continue to arise, it could be the Board and community are ready to adopt a volunteer run station with a Chief Engineer as the only paid staff person. My hope is that you will consider this proposal with new eyes for KZYX. MKM
* * *
Management and Staffing have cost the community approximately:
$1,250,000 for the last five years of station operation. (This is a conservative estimate.)
In addition to this cost, the station infrastructure, the broadcast equipment, the lack of studio upgrades and the quality of the programming transmitted to the community have steadily deteriorated. These facts are publicly acknowledged by the current General Manager. (Please see this public forum, the KZYX/Z web site, GM Blog.)
The KZYX Board has stepped back from these truths and has not acted as the best stewards of the county’s money. By now, all parties must recognize that the KZYX cannot continue in this way.
The management model, whereby the Board of Directors turned over Executive Power to a paid staff person, rather than retain control and oversight of the Finances, Staffing Model, i.e., happened early in the station’s history. Further, the current GM, and sadly, the Board of Directors, did not have the non-profit expertise to rightly see this as an inappropriate transfer of power. Therefore, the current General Manager who does not have a strong background in nonprofits, but more importantly, the Board of Directors have not taken steps to return the Executive Power to the Board of Directors.
Many, many issues have followed this model into FY 2016. The most urgent issue:
The Federal Communications Commission has not renewed the KZYX license due to expire, Wednesday, June 30, 2015. Presently, it is not known to the full Board and the community what reasons have lead to the FCC’s decision.
As a member of the community who has worked at an NPR affiliate, and has participated in 20+ years of non-profit management at all levels, I would like to propose a different way for moving forward. This in no way minimizes or refutes the all volunteer model already put forth.
- The Board of Directors is legally, financially, ethically and morally responsible for the Mendocino County Public Broadcast system and the funds contributed by the Community for the purpose of reliable and professional community radio.
Going forward, the KZYX Board must decide that all executive oversight on all station matters be restored. No paid staff person must be in control so as to tell the Board how it will function, i.e. as primarily to raise money for the station. The By-Laws must reflect change for KZYX and a new By-Laws Committee comprised of current, past , and potential volunteers and community leaders must be established. This new committee should not contain any paid staff person(s). This is a Board matter and staff have overstepped their roles in establishing Station Policy.
- Following a review and revision of the By-Laws to reflect this taking back of fiduciary and executive power, the Board of Directors needs to reinvigorate the Committee System, comprised of current board members, volunteers, members of the community, current underwriters and perhaps professional community liaison’s from other like-minded non-profits. This would forge new partnerships and a more inclusive and transparent model provided by the Station to the Community.
- The Executive Committee (EC) should be comprised of the four officers, one other board member; and, the top paid staff person, or consultant should one exist. Only the five board members would have voting privileges. A paid staff person or consultant, would not have voting privileges when sitting on the Executive Committee, or on ANY committee that he/she is a member of. A staff person functions in an advisory capacity only by updating the Board on Station day-to-day business, volunteer programmers, budget expenditures, staffing issues, and other like things. A paid staff person and all staff serve at the pleasure of the Board. The Executive Committee, and ALL committees, should prepare and distribute to the full Board, meeting minutes from all sessions. The minutes should highlight any Board action, especially when a Board vote is required and/or executed.
- The Executive Committee works on the day-to-day operations with the input from a top paid staff person. The Executive Committee should convene at least once per month and prepare its meeting minutes to be distributed to the full Board prior to any full Board meeting. In no way must the EC feel coerced or mandated by a staff person to act on input from any staff persons. The EC and the full Board are solely responsible for oversight and decision-making.
- Suggested Board Committees to offer oversight and function carried out by the Staff:
Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Personnel/Grievance Committee, Station Operations/Capital Needs Committee, Development ( Fund Raising/Special Events Committee), Volunteers Committee (may be separate from Volunteer Programmers Committee, but not need be.) Board Nomination Committee; PAC/CAB Committees; Audit Committee; any Ad Hoc Committee has deemed necessary and appropriate by the Executive Committee with the vote of the Full Board.
All committees might include a staff person, but would not be mandated. The staff person serves as a contributor without voting privileges. All Committees should prepare meeting minutes and distribute those minutes to the EC, or if preferable, to the Full Board Membership in a timely manner.
- With $ 1,250,000, or 54-55% of the total operations budget spent on salaries, benefits and other staff related expenses in the last five years, a new staffing model needs to be designed to both cut costs, and to meet the demands of providing good broadcast programming without exception.
This is especially warranted given the reduction of:
the number of paying members, cash funds, failure to reach on-air goals and special events’ goals that show a lack of growth, or, are not repeated annually; underwriters, regular equipment failures; ostracizing of key volunteers and sitting Board Members; and, a clear vote of “No Confidence” shown by 1/3 of the voting membership and the community as a whole in the most recent Board Members Election. (March 2015.)
The current staffing model and the lack of Board oversight of the staff has directly lead the station to current crossroads. This fact must be accepted and quickly addressed by the current sitting Board. To blame 5 or 6 people from a community of approximately 80,000 living in the county, who are concerned and vocalize that concern to that greater community of 80,000, is counter-productive, and merely “whistling in the dark.”
- What needs to be done, and how can this be achieved? What is the best staffing model for these purposes?
The current position of Underwriter Manager should be eliminated. The cost to pay this position exceeds the direct cash income for underwriting air time. In the last five years, this category of income has predictably fallen off. And yet. This position has been recommended by the current GM and Budget Committee to be funded in FY 2016.
Rolls and Responsibilities of the Underwriter Manager. This non-profit position traditionally includes:
Seeking out Business Underwriting achieved through face-to-face meetings, phone calls, emails, and identifying opportunities to recognize loyal underwriters in as many ways as possible. This position works closely with current Board Members and current Underwriters in identifying and recruiting new businesses to underwrite.
There have been few, if any Business Underwriters actively pitching during the on-air fund drives in recent history. I personally suggested this idea to the current Underwriter Manager in the February 2012 Programmers’ Meeting held in Philo. To my knowledge, there was no follow up by the Underwriter Manager.
The on-air drives are a prime opportunity for a business underwriter to let the community know why and how they support community radio. If the top business person isn’t available to appear on the fund drive, someone from that business is offered to appear in their place. This is a great way to promote community support. When other potential underwriters hear businesses on KZYX, they will want to appear and talk about why their business is involved.
The current business underwriters should, as a courtesy, refer KZYX to like-minded businesses who would support the station. A real emphasis must be placed on cash underwriting. The duty of this typically falls to the Underwriter Manager. There is not evidence this has been on-going, nor has it been reported by the current GM. If, or when a new General Manager is hired by the Board, he/she will be responsible for day-to-day operations. However, specifically and most importantly, the new staff person should be responsible to facilitate the raising of funds for the station. What better way for businesses to support the station, by meeting with the GM to hear about the station and its needs, and to meet the GM to discuss how each business can help.
This should be a primary focus of any top paid staff person working for KZYX. A current underwriter can and should be invited to join the GM in meeting with any POTENTIAL NEW UNDERWRITER going forward.
One new way would be having an Underwriter Breakfast to meet the GM and Board President. This could be a simple as by your own breakfast at Denny’s with a short program about KZYX offered by the GM and Board President, or a member of the Development Committee. Further, members of the News Department could talk about ideas they are working on in direct news or public affairs.
This means that the next GM or top paid staff person, is charged with promoting the station, developing business underwriting, seeking Individual Unrestricted Cash or deferred gifts, and be visible to the community the station serves. This work cannot be achieved sitting in the office 40 hours per week, or fiddling with the web site. It is a visible position and should be supported by the Board by attending such community meetings. If Board Members can’t or won’t do this for the station, they should rotate off the Board.
Further, current Board Members who sit on the Development Committee, should identify, recruit, and solicit new underwriters in tandem with the GM. All Board Members, along with the GM, will have a goal of meeting the Development Committee’s needs for new business Underwriters.
No increase in salary should be given to the current position of GM. In fact, the position salary with benefits should be reduced by $20,000.
Going forward, only when a full and thorough evaluation by the Personnel Committee, with input from the Development Committee and its met goals, and as to whether or not the GM has fulfilled these duties, should a tiered plan of remuneration be discussed or granted with a recommendation by the Executive Committee and a vote by the Full Board Membership.
Side note: To follow up on the Fund Drive and expenses: All food, coffee, water, etc. offered during the pledge drive, MUST BE DONATED. In exchange, the businesses who donate to underwrite a drive can appear on air and talk about supporting community radio. FY 2016 Budget has set aside $6000 for food, coffee, water for the drive and special events. These expenses should be reduced or eliminated altogether.
Staffing for Local and Regional News
With the elimination of the Business Underwriter position, a reduction of the GM salary, and shifting of duties from this position to the top paid staff person, more financial resources are freed up for a real News Department.
The station needs reporting on: Business, Government, Environmental, and Criminal news, at a minimum. Two full time persons with news background (not appointed by current G M) should be funded with an area of coverage divided between the two. Having a ‘beat” so to speak. If a person is identified with a particular area of coverage, the community can correctly identify that staff person when a newsworthy issue is forthcoming. I would recommend that Lorraine Dechter be retained and that a seasoned newsperson be added to work with Lorraine.
To further assist, volunteer programmers working in the area of Public Affairs can closely associate with the News Department to add coverage or to develop important stories of interest to the community. If this programming is currently absent, then volunteer programmers could be sought to support the News Department and fill in gaps. A Senior News Staff person (Lorraine) should train any volunteers for this support to the News Department. who serve as “stringers.”
Program Director’s Position/Volunteers at KZYX
In all my years with non-profits, I have never encountered such rancor, hostility, horrific accusations, and poor follow-through as I have witnessed and heard regarding the current Program Director. That this person is the source of so much controversy and negative feedback should give the Board of Directors concern.
The current Program Director is the only common denominator since the late 1990’s.
There is no published job description for this staff position. It is difficult to acquire information about what the Program Director’s responsibilities are and how they interface with other staff, and the pool of volunteers. Information is inconsistent, or non-existent on how this position works with the community, and/or if the current person executes this duty, certain as to how this person spends a 40 hour week.
To have a show on KZYX just for subjective interests only, does not meet the mission of the station. The programming should reflect what the community needs and not placing the eclectic interests of any one or two programmers. Resources are limited. A new paradigm warranted.
(Post Board Meeting: Updated Info, June 29, 2015)
Most recently, it was learned by accident in the Board meeting, that the current Program Director changed and installed new station policy re: Safe Harbor.
Firstly, the Program Director is the staff person responsible for what airs on KZYX, not what is intended to air. The Program Director is responsible for all Volunteer Programmers with respect to how well trained they are in the workings of the station equipment. The Program Director should regularly conduct evaluations with each volunteer to assist in further growth and development of a particular show but also in the development and improvement of the volunteer. This is not being done presently nor has it ever been done.
The PD is responsible for volunteer appreciation; assisting the volunteers with prep and follow-up for shows; helping promote all programs to the media; The PD should carefully guard against programming that is commercial in nature, such as Sonic Blender, and other shows that rely on commercially produced content that is being aired elsewhere on commercial stations.
The PD needs to be able to remove poorly produced or engineered programs, especially when friends have become long-standing programmers, or programmers who are retained because no new volunteers have been attracted by the PD. The Program Director needs to monitor obscenity and discriminating content and must remove those volunteers who have no regard for FCC regulations. The Program Director must keep the CAB and PAC committees active, vital, and developed for community involvement as outlined by the Station’s By-Laws and the Secretary of State’s office, which grants non-for-profit status to KZYX/Z.
Secondly, the Program Director must support volunteers who wish to offer open and constructive criticism of the station without threats or fear of losing a show. The PD must support the efforts of volunteers to construct a viable way of communicating with fellow programmers. The community needs to have input as well. It is on the record that the current person serving as PD as actively thwarted any open criticism by station volunteers who serve as programmer. Those who have expressed legitimate criticism, were removed for infractions that were inconsistent with others committing infractions, including the PD herself. Thus, a double standard and selective culling of volunteers is current in place with the Board’s approval.
As volunteers are vital for the station’s current programs, the current PD position needs to change to a workable model that best serves these volunteers. Many feel the current PD can not fulfill this role and would argue, has no desire to comply.
The current Program Director would have performed the above-mentioned duties and responsibilities in the last two decades had they wanted to. It is unknown if the Board had insisted on the Program Director giving direct support to volunteers. It appears that the GM and the Board of Directors have sanctioned a lack of responsibility by the PD for most, if not all of the current Program Director’s tenure.
Therefore, given the long standing history of the current PD with volunteers; the negative and hostile work environment created by the current PD; the inability to evaluate and support programmers; changing station policy regarding Safe Harbor without the Board’s knowledge or VOTE; and, in working against a reasonable vehicle for programmers to communicate with other programmers and the community as a whole, the current Program Director should be asked to resign, effective July 30, 2015.
If no job description currently exists for the PD position, a complete job description needs to be created immediately to reflect the needs and concerns of the volunteers who in turn create programming for KZYX without pay.
Because the PD works so closely with volunteers at KZYX, an expanded version of the duties of the current position is in order. This means that if the Board wishes to pay for a Program Director, going forward the duties and responsibilities of all volunteer activities should fall under the duties and responsibilities of the one staff position. This would include any and all volunteer activities undertaken on behalf of the station. No additional salary would be assigned to this position and it would see a reduction of $5000-8000. The new position would be Director of Volunteers and Programming.
Should the Board wish to pay an outside consultant for Fund Drives in addition to the position just outlined, the consultant should coordinate with the Director of Volunteers and Programming when involving volunteers for fund drives.
Chief Engineer (Director of Operations)
By having three studios separated by long distances and natural typography that create problems with broadcasting, the current engineer will continue to not meet station demands for quality broadcasting throughout the community. It has been suggested the Philo studio, head quarters for KZYX, be relocated to Ukiah. Simple math shows less studios mean less broadcasting issues.
It is unclear if the current Operations Manager’s position warrants full time status w/benefits, etc. This should be looked into immediately. It could be that all engineering occur on a consultant basis thus eliminating the need for benefits, etc. associated with a full time staff position. Also, there is no current job description published to outline the daily responsibilities of the Op Manager. Once this is available, a better understanding of the station’s engineering needs can be assessed, especially if the headquarters are moved to Ukiah. The current GM’s blog outlines the many problems and issues that have occurred in the first three months of 2015.
Note: The current Director of Operations has been on paid leave twice in recent months. It is unclear to the full Board why this is, and if there is cause to remove the Director of Operations effective immediately.
With respect to Bookkeeping and Accounting:
A certified Audit must be conducted each year. It is unclear if the Auditor is one and the same as the Bookkeeper given the line item for Bookkeeping and Auditing which are shown as one line item, in FY 2016 budget. My understanding is that an independent Audit must occur separate from the bookkeeper’s accounting.
I would recommend the Audit be a line item and a part time bookkeeper be retained with a set price for services rendered. (NOT AN HOURLY RATE.) This bookkeeper could be an independent consultant, or if a Board Member can be recruited to serve as bookkeeper pro bono, then this is preferable. One purpose of the Nominating Committee is to attract Board Members who can perform these types of services to the Station at no cost.
These are some ways the Board could save money, set policy, and engage staff to fulfill the workload at KZYX, if viewed with an open mind and fresh perspective. Again, this is proposed as a two-year plan to transition into a new workable model.
Further study must be given to this and any model. It is my hope this be explored in both the Nominating and Finance Committees before hiring a new GM. There is no ill will in preparing this proposal for KZYX. It is a workable possibility for creating new paths to prepare the station for the next 25 years.
Mary Massey, Mendocino
Letter to the Editor,
Appealing a Programmer Termination
One of the biggest complaints I heard during John Coate's tenure as General Manager was the termination of programmers for no good reason. Whether that was done by John or by Mary Aigner, Program Director, there was no way to appeal those decisions. Now there is. The MCPB/KZYX Board of Directors has reactivated its committee system of governance. There are several standing committees with specific responsibilities which will be detailed in a separate post. This post will focus on the Personnel Committee. "This committee is responsible for reviewing and recommending personnel policies for the corporation, as well as establishing evaluation procedures for station staff. This committee will perform an annual evaluation of the General Manager. In addition, this committee will review staff employment contracts and benefit packages. The General Manager Hiring Committee will include at least one Board member from the Personnel Committee. The Personnel Committee will hear and recommend action on personnel grievances that are not resolved at staff level." — Board of Directors Policies and Procedures Manual
At this time any person who believes that they were wrongfully terminated from programming at MCPB/KZYX should write to the Personnel Committee and formally request a hearing. Currently, the only board member named to the committee is Benj Thomas. His email address is email@example.com (full board can be copied at firstname.lastname@example.org). Mr. Thomas was on the Ukiah city council for many years, and I expect he will do his best to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to fully address what happened.
Such a process is not only good for the station, but is of great benefit to the individual and the community. Although not as open as the Truth and Reconciliation commissions that some countries have used to address past wrongs, it will give each person an opportunity to be heard, and to share their story with others if they wish. Issues such as harassment, retaliation, and unsafe working conditions can be addressed, along with the general perception that current Program Director makes decisions that are arbitrary, capricious, and personally vindictive rather than in the best interests of the community. These concerns have been raised by many, but so far there has been no focused action or institutional response. Now that can happen. I encourage anyone who has been wronged, either by losing their program or being denied one, to bring the matter before the Personnel Committee. At the very least, it will require the organization to make a final decision on each case and to address its personnel policies, both of which can then be appealed further if people are still dissatisfied. Conversely, if people choose not to be heard by the Personnel Committee, then the likelihood of essential change, of either policy or the Program Director, is greatly diminished.