Plus Letters to Good Times…
Walking the FRSC Plank
Change the Focus
As the last week of March rolls in, it won’t hurt to take stock of our own personal progress thus far. How is 2010 treating you? How are you treating it? I am bringing this up because most of our issue this week focuses on the external home and gardens in your life. And, since I am a fan of waxing philosophical and diving into deep emotional waters—I can hear my mother chucking at how “California” I might sound—I think it’s also fitting to ask: Well, what are we doing with our inner sanctuaries? Any screws loose? What’s blooming inside? Are you re-arranging the furniture in the living room of your mind? (Usually a good thing.) Lately, I’ve realized that in order to maintain some delicious balance in my life, I have to be in nature more often. To that end, I’ve been re-discovering the mecca in which we all live—the beaches, the forests and more. And now that the days are longer, I’m also apt to take more walks in the evening. It is Spring, after all, and there’s plenty to see and enjoy. Try it. See what shows up for you.
Elsewhere, it really is “home improvement” season, which brings us to … our annual Home & Garden issue. So take note of our cover feature on a local couple and their unique straw bale house. (Truly inspiring.) Later, ponder our H&G insert, which spotlights other events, and locals appearing at the Cocoanut Grove’s H&G blitz this weekend. See you there.
In the meantime, enjoy tending to your home and garden—inside or out.
More soon …
Greg Archer | Editor
Letters to Good Times Editor
Walking the FRSC Plank
Regarding last week’s cover story on Free Radio Santa Cruz (FRSC), as the person who’s mediated between FRSC and frustrated listeners, donors, and programmers, I’m surprised that writer John Malkin still doesn’t understand our dispute. Dick Vittitow, who he quotes in favor of Spanish-language programming, answered my listener survey with, “My concern is that I like to listen to Democracy Now. For reasons I am unclear about, the program is erratically broadcast … It looks like the programmers at the station are not monitoring its announced offerings.”
Donors to FRSC want reliable independent news. At the meeting John mediated, we gave FRSC three options: 1) let us pay someone to program the news on time, 2) give us our money back, or 3) give us equipment to start our own station. We brought up small claims court, which was met with derision. At John’s suggestion, we took the threat off the table, and that was the end of negotiations. We were told that if we didn’t like it, we should leave. When asked if they really wanted donors to leave, they pointed out that they already had enough in the bank to run for 10 months. I guess that’s the pirate attitude—steal from the poor and give to yourselves.
In Santa Cruz, free speech seems to be only for berating city council. For asking if we should be “political rather than politically correct,” FRSC called my listener survey racist, ignorant, and skin-privileged. My IndyBay post, “Donor Mutiny at Pirate Radio” was buried in a thread entitled, “Spanish Language Under Attack at FRSC …” And now, in John’s list of programmers who left over the controversy, I never existed.
Not a penny donated to FRSC supports independent news, even though donors overwhelmingly list this as their priority. If pirate means radio of, by, and for the programmers, it should support itself with dues, not donations.
Host of Third Paradigm, thirdparadigm.org
Change the Focus
I agree with Michael Simms (letter March 18) that we should be more concerned with the injustice and suffering in Africa. We give $3 billion a year, that’s billion with a B, to tiny Israel, a nation with an advanced high tech industrial economy and a standard of living comparable to Europe. Three billion dollars is more than the U.S. gives to all of Africa. Why not give the $3 billion a year to alleviate the terrible suffering in Darfur?