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Editor:

Katie Whiteside, KHSU's program manager, was fired six weeks ago (Mailbox, July 5). The firing was not justified and reflects the hostile work environment created by General Manager Peter Fretwell.

I wrote in protest to both HSU President Lisa Rossbacher and to Vice President Craig Wruck and received no acknowledgement. Since I have hosted a radio show on KHSU for 25 years and taught at the Humboldt Music Academy for 20, this snub goes beyond being impolite.

Katie Whiteside trained me when I came to KHSU and I have seen her in many all-staff meetings and worked with her on various committees, as well. I know her best, however, because her radio show airs right after mine, so every week for almost 15 years I have had conversations with Katie, asked her help on technical matters and generally just enjoyed being around her. She is kind, gracious and caring, as well as intensely loyal to KHSU. She has a personal connection with everyone she works with, both volunteers and professional staff. She is highly competent but unassuming. She is devoted to an inclusive process so that everyone connected feels they are valued and respected. I have never seen her angry or disruptive of the workplace in any way. In many respects, she is the main person who keeps staff and volunteers working well together.

The general manager has scapegoated, abused and fired one of the most valuable people at the station. Despite much outcry, this has not been reversed and no investigation by an independent party has been initiated by President Rossbacher. That would be a minimal step. In my opinion, though, enough is already known to support reinstating Katie and firing the general manager.

Dan Chandler, Trinidad

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