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Help Keep KEET



Compliments to J. Daniel Fernandez for his informative article ("KEET at the Crossroads," June 20), and to the NCJ for giving former volunteer/employee Matt Knight the opportunity to air his opinions ("Inside KEET," June 27).

I think KEET-TV is a North Coast treasure that warrants our best efforts to preserve it. How? I would suggest two actions:

First, become a member of KEET, or — at least — make a contribution to the station. It is estimated that only one out of eight people who tune in to watch KEET programs are members. And, yes, I know we're bombarded for requests for donations by many, many worthwhile organizations. But KEET-TV is truly unique, and deserves our continued support. No other broadcast source brings us news and public-affairs programming of the quality of "PBS NewsHour" or "Frontline," or children's programming of the quality of "Sesame Street" or "Curious George."

Second, write a letter or send an email to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (401 Ninth Street NW, Washington, DC 20004-2129). Insist that the CPB approve the federal grant of $540,000 for KEET that Mr. Fernandez referenced in his article. Mr. Fernandez did an excellent job of reporting the CPB's view as expressed by Senior Vice president Mark Erstling. The fact is that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting can grant a waiver of the $800,000 Non-federal Financial Support requirement. Such a waiver would enable KEET to receive this vital funding. One wonders if Mr. Erstling's "our-interest-is-not-exactly-in-preserving-the-current-station" stance is based less on reaching the widest possible audience (including such rural areas as ours) and more on appeasing right-wing Congressional funders who loath the independence and candor of PBS (and National Public Radio).

Duncan B. MacLaren, Fieldbrook

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