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Responses to the Minority Report

Owen O'toole

Owen writes without using any capital letters, being an unconventional nice guy. Used to be the chief engineer of KZYX. I wrote a few lines about him in the Secret Life. This is his most recent letter. I haven't responded, yet. It a lot work to respond to all this stuff. But it's interesting work. King,

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i remain concerned about the swing of politics around KZYX, because i wonder how clearly anyone around there SEES. everyone thinks they (we) are working with the benefit of the station at heart, but we are each enmeshed in our own agenda. and even when you feel compelled to "go public", you may actually be acting out to a great degree. and is it done with others in mind or your own needs?
the Board needs to get its own shit together. that's before any roughshod attempts to reign over the staff or expressions of the like need be blasted forth. you don't understand how trying day-to-day work at KZYX can be, and your criticism is just another pile of complaint that makes burdens greater.
i am annoyed at proclamations that Staff have no right to express opinions on the air, particularly those of you who found time to criticize Loretta Houck for mentioning Board elections and her preferences. In my opinion, she has every right to comment on air, so long as she separates her statement from her activities as a patrol dog on the morning beat. or does so in a way that's human and relevant, which i would assume she did.
attempts to hijack Board elections by small groups of disgruntled persons is bogus. (certainly "unprofessional".)
you live in an amateur county, radio there will always be amateur. i think it's a double standard to expect "professional" behavior from anyone working in and around KZYX while you on the Board, community etc can lambast at every and any opportunity.

Loretta is an awesome asset to the station, and with slam-critics like you we'll lose her in no time, keep it up. make a mess of it as best you can. and then meet up at the brew pub for a few thousand beers and discuss the other ways you're going to save the world.

John Cage: "Do Not Try to Improve the World, You Will Only Make Matters Worse".

> Owen O'Toole

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King to Owen:

March 31, 2005


I found your messages so subjective that I didn't know how to respond.

I have provided extensive evidence for my opinions. What part of that are you actually challenging?

You say:
i wonder how clearly anyone around there SEES. everyone thinks they (we) are working with the benefit of the station at heart, but we are each enmeshed in our own agenda.

What the hell am I supposed to say to that, Owen? If you don't like me, or
don't trust me, at least look at what I am actually saying and find some aspect of it to criticize, in some verifiable way with some objective criteria.

I definitely will publish your remarks, but they are discursive and
confusing to me. I found it easier to respond to WDan's scatology. Did you see that exchange? That is the ONLY other response I got from staff, andthat was not really from staff.

Are you willing to distill your comments into, say, one or two pithy statements and questions?

Is that too much to ask?


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On 3/31/05 12:41 PM, "Owen O'Toole" <> wrote:

of course there remain points to address.
while i respond to you as a person, i find it hard to respond to The Secret Life as a document. my generalizations in response come from finding it a difficult piece of wordage to accept at face value. and i would suspect that is why you get little staff response directly to the document, a response gives credence to the piece which some people don't want to offer (again, i suspect). The question arises over whether the tone of your piece is a good place to begin any larger evaluation of station policies and practices. Many don't think you've earned the role of solution bearer. Perhaps we're all waiting for the right person to come along, who can be trusted by the many individual point of view, who has shown respect and patience. It seems there have been some positive meetings with Conflict Resolution specialists.

a problem with such a wide-ranging "grand" opinion piece like yours is it supposes objectivity, and many people just don't feel that you have had enough of an interior view to grant the attention you're asking. there is a long history of activity at KZYX which your piece in many ways ignores or doesn't show an understanding of; it almost seems like the work of someone new to the community wrote it.

there is a demanding tone to the piece which is a turn-off to anyone who has been working hard and quietly for the betterment of KZYX, which is not a few people. also, is your piece signed by anyone except yourself? a single author is not a minority, but an individual, and should be seen as such.

I believe your hostility towards Diane Hering was one of several factors in her decision to leave her job at the station. People don't seem to understand it is a difficult place to work, a constantly shifting media environment mixing a constant flow of information from the world with local programs hosted by 100 different people.

The project is essentially successful, despite attempts to paint it black.

I don't think you can demand use of the KZYX member mailing list to carpet bomb what is basically an opinion piece. Your best bet is perhaps the AVA, and if they published it you'd be on equal footing with any respondants.

You attended quite a few Board meetings and meetings of the Ukiah working group. the Board meetings (in my opinion, as all this is) entitle you to an understanding of a certain small portion of the functioning, or dysfunction as the case may be, Board meetings being a place where a certain nutty fringe go to try to force changes and wreak havoc. Which is one of the main problems: the insistence of a few to derail the station's forward progress because--for whatever reason--they feel slighted. In my experience there, some of the main claimers of "abuse" turned out to be the most actively abusive. And this is where I think the region can be problematic: a remote, mountainous county where unusual people go to escape the rat race, but find themselves compelled to act out their personal demonologies on local communications channels. Perhaps we are paying an Insanity Tax.

At least Dan Hamburg goes to Ohio to put his body on the line. (I'm suggesting that he correctly perceives the adversary and bravely goes to the source.) I think a number of the local "activists" are misguided in their attacks on KZYX and simply have not learned non-warrior approaches to getting things done, effecting change. Everyone chooses to wear invisible armor! I don't get it.

Must be something in the green beer up there!

War remains the paradigm we are all stuck living under and it sucks. I think it will take a visionary woman to lead us out.
Still waiting.
Owen O'Toole

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Okay, Owen. Thanks for your comments. I'll respond soon. Anybody else out there want to comment?


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I appreciate your comments.

Please e-mail me or call:
King Collins

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