Letters to the Editor, July 11, 2018

Preserve KHSU

 I write in regard to your recent article, plus another informative one (acrnewsfeed.blogspot.com/2018/06/khsu-postpones-pledge-drive-because-of.html), and MRU published letters on the firing of KHSU’s beloved Katie Whiteside, by KHSU General Manager Peter Fretwell (PF) who has been at the station just 15 months. PF is a former conservative talk show host and comes from a heavily evangelical background. Far from the best fit for the eclectic media like we are fortunate to have in KHSU. Read about him here: acrnewsfeed.blogspot.com/2018/06/khsu-postpones-pledge-drive-because-of.html. 

It is believed now that the VP at HSU who hired PF, Craig Wruck is the force behind a push for change. And the belief is that they want to change KHSU into a more ‘all NPR/ syndicated radio clone station. That is easier for management (‘no bothersome students and community volunteers!’). But the local programming contributions are, of course the parts that make KHSU such an appreciated and valuable local resource!

The fallout from Katie’s treatment and inexcusable termination was swift. Examples of the opposition were best exemplified at the May 2018 KHSU CAB meeting (archive.org/details/KhsuCabMeeting53018). This includes testimony from the (still) distraught staff. 

Many people have asked, “Why?!!??” 

With Katie widely regarded as “the heart of KHSU” it is hard to understand ‘why’ such an incredibly valuable person would be sacrificed: Hard to understand, that is, until we look at the corporate take-over model.

When a “less-than” or “un-friendly” management take-over occurs, a first step is to pointedly eliminate “the heart,” the most beloved employee(s) of the company. This tactic is aimed at depersonalizing the entity, and to redirect loyalty and authority to management. It is often the opening move in an effort to remake the ‘business’. Long time KHSU personnel and members believe that effort is now underway!

Make no mistake. Katie Whiteside’s firing was deliberate and calculated, as was the recent muzzling of staff and volunteers’ intercommunications. Etc. 

This wrong, and what’s behind it, must be seriously and thoroughly investigated to examine: 

1. The hiring process of PF, and the agenda Mr. Wruck set for him; 

2. PF’s professional history and his political and social alliances; 

3. PF’s behavior on the job at KHSU, where there have been numerous allegations of employee harassment, and other employees who “don’t feel safe” on the job with him; 

4. Mr. Wruck’s perception and subsequent agenda about ‘the KHSU problem’ (speak to the KHSU CAB for info from their meeting(s) with Mr. Wruck); 

5. What HSU President Lisa Rossbacher and Mr. Wruck knew (and when) about the circumstances before and after the firing of Katie; 

6. Why Ms. Rossbacher has been silent on the changes/problems being caused at KHSU by PF, the alleged harassment, and why she did not respond to a request for a meeting with one of the station’s biggest underwriters and a large HSU contributor. (That alone seems odd, if not rather suspicious).

What is Mr. Fretwell (HSU’s) agenda? And WHAT CAN WE DO NOW? ...Not only to see justice for Katie, or Mr. Fretwell fired, but to prevent the further erosion of the station we depend on?

Like the news cycles, community disputes and outrage tend to come and go. We righteously vent, then move on. Those in control count on this, waiting for things to blow over... Then, at some point, the next pillar falls. And the cycle repeats.

Please DO YOUR PART to PRESERVE KHSU! Speak with the loudest voice you have: STOP DONATING NOW! (Short-term pain for long term gain). Show up for opposition and public meetings! Call and write the station ([email protected])and the HSU President (president.humboldt.edu/contactus)! Let the decision-makers know your concerns and how YOU feel! DON’T STOP!!!

Rick Cooper

Stop supporting KHSU

It with sincerely dismay that I must call out to our community to immediately cease all support of KHSU. I have been a contributor to KHSU since 1981 and have stopped all contributions. 

Why? Well, first of all they fired Katie Whiteside without any apparent reason. Since then they have refused to answer questions from community members, staff, the Community Advisory Board, and faculty about the future of the station. 

If you are reading this please ask yourself why you would continue to support an organization that behaves in this. What the heck are they hiding? 

Our community deserves better. Apparently the only way we can get their attention is through denying our financial support. 

The Kenfield/Fuller Family

God and Trump

According to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the U.S. government has a right to separate immigrant children from their parents when they cross the border illegally. 

Sessions says this right was defined by Apostle Paul through “his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes.” 

However, by the U.S. law as defined in Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, the president has been given the right to pardon individuals who have been found guilty of federal crimes. 

In a sense then, the president has been given the power to play God as his pardon power supersedes what otherwise would be dictated by the criminal law of the land. This is nothing new as presidents of both parties have granted numerous pardons over the years. 

But in the case of Trump, I have some problems. Last August he didn’t hesitate to pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio before he served a day of punishment for being found guilty of racial profiling when searching for suspected illegal immigrants. 

He said Arpaio was worthy of a pardon based on his many years of service in law enforcement. 

Now it is told in both the Old and New Testaments that God is a compassionate God. 

So why can’t Trump, who has god-like powers when it comes to Federal law, show the same compassion to the comparatively innocent illegal immigrant families that he showed to the guilty Joe Arpaio? 

Instead of doing nothing besides continuing to falsely blame the Democrats for the law behind this situation, he could instead simply direct Attorney General Sessions to allow these immigrant families to be detained together. 

I think God would smile.

Sherman Schapiro
Blue Lake




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