Sunday, July 27, 2008

Making Friends, Influencing People

Posted By on Sun, Jul 27, 2008 at 5:04 PM

Confidential to KHSU's Sista Soul: You know, inviting your Pelican Bay listenership to send "KHSU love letters" to Rob Gunsalus may have sounded like a good idea at the time, but there is just a wee chance that the gesture will be misinterpreted.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rob Gunsalus answers some questions

Posted By on Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 8:24 PM

If you read Kevin Hoover's report in this week's Arcata Eye about on what's going on at KHSU, you came away with some unanswered questions. Hoover raised a slew of concerns and put them to HSU V.P. for Advancement Robert Gunsalus via cell phone (Mr. G is on vacation).

Hoover noted, "During a fragmented conversation marked by static and dropouts, Gunsalus declined useable comment on most questions. Most responses were, at his insistence, off the record and unreportable. On-the-record comments tended to be somewhat bland and inspecific."

Apparently, Gunsalus has taken some time since then to craft some more specific answers to concerns expressed by many listeners. The VP's official followup to the initial announcement of Elizabeth Hans McCrone's departure came out today:

Open Letter to the Redwood Coast Community

Dear Friends,

I’ve been looking carefully at the many questions that have come up since the July 16 announcement of Elizabeth Hans McCrone’s departure as KSHU’s [sic] general manager. It seems to have caused unfounded fear and rumors about the station’s future.

I want to put that fear and those rumors to rest.

As soon as it was possible, I met with the station’s staff and I sent a personal message to the station listserv. A press release was also sent to all local media. However, many questions have been raised since then, and I thought it would be helpful to address what seem to be the main concerns.

First and foremost: Humboldt State University is fully committed to KHSU, and will remain so for many years to come. KHSU’s license is not up for sale and the station has a bright future ahead of it as the most listened-to station on the Redwood Coast. We are proud to provide this public service to our community.

There are also no immediate plans for changes in the programming at KHSU. I cannot stress that enough. At the same time, we are constantly reviewing, revising and questioning our programming, striving to better meet the needs of our listeners. That is a necessary process if we are to remain relevant and fulfill our mission, which begins: "The mission of KHSU-FM is to educate, enrich, enlighten, and entertain people throughout Northwestern California and Southwestern Oregon by providing innovative, high quality public radio programming."

We are exploring options for leadership of the station. Program Director Katie Whiteside and Director of Development Pam Long are assuming joint responsibility for management of the station on an interim basis. I have confidence in their abilities, and both will continue with those additional responsibilities during the transition.

We will seek to build on KHSU’s solid and continuing success. In terms of both listenership and dollars raised, the station remains number one in its market. Our initial reports show membership is up $4,260 over last year, and underwriting from individuals and businesses increased $14,000 over the last year. Listeners, businesses and local organizations provide more than half the station’s annual operating budget. For its part, in addition to space on campus and general oversight, Humboldt State provided the station with $170,500 from the general fund in 2007-08. This provided salary for the station manager and an  engineer, as well as funds for supplies and equipment.

I have heard questions about the handling of KHSU’s reserves and I want to allay those concerns. Humboldt State has always had responsibility for fiscal and operational oversight for KHSU. Funds designated for KHSU have always been directed to KHSU and that will continue.

As part of my oversight of the station, I have been focused on helping it achieve a sound and sustainable financial footing. Radio stations need to maintain a sizable reserve for emergency equipment needs, long-term equipment renewal, and planning. That is why I recently directed the general manager to transfer a portion of the station’s $300,000 in reserves from a non-interest-bearing checking account. Holding the funds in that account had meant an ongoing and considerable loss of income for the station. Now, KHSU is earning a return while still having access to funds it may need in the short term. A significant portion of the reserve is in a money market fund earning about 4 percent interest and a sizable portion is in longer-term investments for stable funding in the more distant future.

On a related note, I know there are also queries about the recent change we’ve made in handling KHSU donations. This is an administrative efficiency that will provide the station with better data support and save it money. It is solely an administrative change that applies the Advancement (external affairs and fundraising) Office’s expertise and equipment in managing donations designated to KHSU, as it does with dozens of other entities associated with the University. This takes a burden off station staff, saves the station money, and provides better data support. Underwriting responsibility remains at the station.
Hundreds of designated funds are handled just the same way at Humboldt State.

I’m always happy to share information with you about KHSU. As always, we welcome the community’s thoughts, suggestions and support as the station proceeds on a successful path forward.

Yours truly,
Robert Gunsalus
Vice President for Advancement
Humboldt State University

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Live Folk! And More!

Posted By on Mon, Jul 21, 2008 at 7:00 PM

It'll be up and running on northcoastjournal.com at 7:30 p.m. -- "Flying Fingers" night at the Humboldt Folklife Festival! This'll be the first of four consecutive nights of live music from the fest, streamed to your home. Then, on Saturday -- all-day folk bonanza!

If you read this before 7:30, go on and over now to check out a promotional video from John Henry of the top-secret Venue Project, of which the NCJ is a proud inaugural member. We've worked out the kinks with a couple of test broadcasts -- Tim Robbins at Dell'Arte, music from Muddy's Hot Cup -- and now we're ready to go full-bore with this thing.

John Henry lets slip the big secret. After Saturday's folk events, we are thrilled and honored to be broadcasting leeeeeeee-iiiiiiii-ve from the Roller Derby bout of the year -- The Bad Axes v. The Tree Sluggers! Live from Redwood Acres, 8 p.m. on a hot Saturday night!

If only their mothers could see them now! Thanks to The Venue Project, and the North Coast Journal, they can! And so can you!

Hosannas!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

From the More-To-The-Story Dept.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 6:05 PM

More turmoil at the ever-tumultuous KHSU ...

Hans McCrone Departs KHSU-FM

Rob Gunsalus, Vice President of Advancement (external affairs and fundraising) at Humboldt State University, announced today that Elizabeth Hans McCrone, General Manager of KHSU-FM, has submitted her resignation to pursue other endeavors.

Dr. Gunsalus thanked Ms. Hans McCrone for her many years of service, not only to KHSU but also to the University. Prior to her appointment as the station’s General Manager, Ms. Hans McCrone was Director of the former Office of Community Relations.

Katie Whiteside, KHSU Program Director, and Pam Long, the station’s Director of Development, will share Ms. Hans McCrone’s responsibilities until a successor is named.

KHSU is the most listened to radio station on the North Coast and I know Elizabeth’s many colleagues and supporters join me in expressing our appreciation for her efforts on behalf of HSU and KHSU," Dr. Gunsalus said.

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Breathe. Two (2) Bigfoot updates

Posted By on Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 5:39 PM

The Cupertino Courier (via the S.J. Mercury News ) has a story about a private investigator named David Paulides, who has a book coming out Aug. 1: "The Hoopa Project: Bigfoot Encounters in California."

Paulides is head of North American Bigfoot Search , an outfit devoted full-time to researching our friend. (Even if you absolutely loathe Bigfoot, or Bigfoot news, or both, check out the website to see the poignant painting of Bigfoot as well as a bitchin' badge.)

Paulides has been full-timin' on the Bigfoot beat for four years, a healthful portion of that time spent in the Hoopa Valley talking to tribal elders and others. He seems to be a real stickler for credibility: He made every purported Bigfoot-sighting witness sign an affidavit before he and his team would bother to research the sighting. He told the CC :

The witnesses appreciated the professionalism.

Meanwhile , in related Bigfoot news ('tis the season, with the anniversary of Bigfoot's christening coming up, and we wonder is the T-S throwing a party?), someone is trying to hawk his/her superior Bigfoot researcher skills on ebay , according to a post yesterday on Boing Boing. And, whereas our fellow above, Paulides, approaches his game with an eye for delicacy and detail, and skillful promotion we might add, our "big game hunting outfitter in Wyoming" bluntly states his qualifications, and you can take 'em or leave 'em dammit but just send the money:
With all the stories and rumors surrounding the legend of Bigfoot,I think it is time to have the right person hunting (searching) for the real answers.Most of the Tv shows,books,and articles covering the search for Bigfoot are a joke.Nothing but pure amatuers.Most searches involve people setting up trail cameras,etc.,in stationary settings,this is totally the wrong approach.My methods would be covering lots and lots of territory in very remote country.I have been a big game hunter nearly all of my life and am an experienced big game hunting guide and am currently employed by a big game hunting outfitter in Wyoming.Contact me if you would be interested in funding an expedition that will get results.

Starting bid: $150,000. Alas, bidding ended today. (No bids. Maybe NABS is hiring?)

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Live on the Web

Posted By on Fri, Jul 11, 2008 at 8:16 PM

Sorry for the short notice, but if you and your demented loved one are kicking around at home tonight and looking for something to do, you might want to check the live webstream of Gabe Lubowe and Fortress of Attitude at Muddy's Hot Cup tonight.

Lubowe's a classical pianist, and he's rocking a lovely version of "Rhapsody in Blue" as I type. Whereas Fortress of Attitude, up later, are comedy rock'n'rollers from L.A. There must be some kind of a connection.

Stream by StreamGuys. Catch it at northcoastjournal.com.

UPDATE: I think the stream's going to be off and on until about 8 p.m., at which point it will be all the way on.

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tawdry sordid quote of the day

Posted By on Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 11:43 AM

from Thadeus Greenson's story in today's Times Standard about Chief Gunderson's lawyer seeking a change of venue:

"The bottom line is that Humboldt County has been saturated with innumerable articles, broadcasts and cyber chat relating to this case," [lawyer Russ] Clanton wrote. "The opportunity for a fair trial has been compromised by the tawdry, sordid themes that commercial journalism promotes in pursuit of profits."

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Grip and Grin

Posted By on Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 11:59 PM


Why are these people smiling?



This week the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors as well as the Eureka and Arcata City Councils adopted proclamations declaring July 1-7, 2008 to be "Independents Week" and calling for residents to support and celebrate the independent, local businesses of Humboldt County.

The proclamations were brought forward by the Humboldt County Independent Business Alliance (HumIBA), a new organization formed to strengthen the local economy of Humboldt County by offering support to local, independent businesses and education to the general public about the vital role that independent businesses play in creating a strong, stable, local economy.

Independents Week is an annual national campaign to highlight locally-owned independent businesses. The event is being celebrated in over 40 communities across the country.

Supervisors Bonnie Neely and John Woolley sponsored the "Independents Week" proclamation that was passed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday. "It is common knowledge that independent, small businesses are the backbone to local economies," said Woolley. "By doing business locally, you not only get great personal service and real value, you also help strengthen our community and local economy," added Supervisor Neely.

"Independents Week is an opportunity to highlight the local businesses that help make Humboldt County the unique, special place we all love," said Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Co-Coordinator of the project. "We’re inviting residents to take our ‘Go Local’ Challenge by shopping exclusively local and independent for the week."

The group is also organizing a Scavenger Hunt that can be played by finding items at independent businesses around the county. Game cards can be downloaded from the group’s website where game rules can also be found.

"We’re a new organization, but we have a lot of great projects planned for the year ahead," said Sopoci-Belknap. "In November we’ll be printing a directory of Humboldt County independent businesses to make it easier for residents and visitors to know where they can go to keep their dollars local." The group is offering free directory listings to qualifying businesses.

"When we support local ‘independent’ businesses our community's economy is made even stronger, for they create a greater circulation of our dollars and are often recognized for their knowledge and support of community activities. Buying from local independent businesses is good business and good for our community," said Supervisor Woolley.

For more information about the Humboldt County Independent Business Alliance, the Local Options Directory, or the activities planned for Independents Week visit their website at www.HumIBA.org or call 476-8475.

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Such As...

Posted By on Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 10:47 PM

When the Arcata City Council met tonight to consider putting a 3/4 cent sales tax on the November ballot, they shifted gears considerably from the tax they'd previously been discussing.

A new plan, put forward by Mayor Mark Wheetley and Vice Mayor Alex Stillman (and news to some on the council) changed what had been a specifically ear-marked sales tax that would have put 1/2 cent towards public works (road repairs and such) and 1/4 cent to help pay for increased police staffing. Instead they proposed a "general" tax, which would put the money collected into the general fund.

The big difference is in the majority required for passage.  While a 2/3 "super" majority is required to pass a special use tax (the one they'd been talking about), a general tax only requires a simple majority: 50 percent plus 1. They did not come right out and say it, but Alex seemed to be hinting that results of a recent survey commissioned by the council show that the special tax may not get the votes to pass.

The trick here, if you want to call it that, is wording in the measure that specifies "such as" this and that. Where the special use tax is specific, the language in the general tax measure will include a number of "such as" items that basically boil down to police and potholes.

Councilmember Harmony Groves took a minority position, pointing out several things: that the original purpose was to cover a $14 million shortfall in public works and that police services were added later, that by its nature, a sales tax in a regressive tax , and that the proposed term of the tax, 20 years, means the money collected will be controlled by a number of different councils down the line, who might have a different idea on how to spend the taxpayers' money.

Councilmember Michael Machi made a good point noting, "Obviously there are people who will be unhappy with any tax." (Fred, would you care to chime in here?)

Harmony was the sole nay vote on the various changes put forward.

The shift in the tax means that language in the motion has to be rewritten. City Attorney Nancy Diamond will be up either late or early to do so, since the council will be meeting to vote on the final motion tomorrow morning (Thursday, July 3) at 9 a.m. They have to have the whole thing done by noon tomorrow to met an elections office deadline, so time is of the essence.

Incidentally, a little later in the meeting Harmony dropped a bombshell by announcing that she will not be running for council again. She encouraged anyone who wants to serve the community to step forward. Any takers?

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Sweep: Land could be seized

Posted By on Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 8:35 AM

Federal agents: They came, they searched, they left -- but not before filing documents at the county courthouse that may allow them to seize about 2,000 acres in Humboldt and Mendocino counties.

Federal and local law enforcement confirmed that the land was the target of the raids conducted last week in a massive show of force -- 450 agents -- primarily in rural southern Humboldt with the exception of a house in Arcata and a property in McKinleyville.

"All of the investigation focused on residences and individuals tied to the 2,000 acres" known as Lost Paradise or "Buddhaville," said Humboldt County Sheriff's Lt. George Cavinta.

The court papers recorded Thursday reveal that the 2,000 acres belong to the Lost Paradise Land Corp. While the stockholders remain unknown, the papers name the corporation's officers and some others related to the busts.

The North Coast Journal hits the streets today with the full version of the story (available on-line Thursday).

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