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'An Incalculable Loss'

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Editor:

Many in our North Coast communities are justifiably outraged at the loss to the community caused by Humboldt State University's gutting of local radio station KHSU, not to mention the associated staffing and volunteer purge (NCJ Daily, April 25).

The loss is particularly keenly felt among the nonprofit community, which has long had a mutually beneficial relationship with the radio station. Nonprofit organizations fill in the gaps for human services, the arts and humanities, and protecting the environment in rural communities, and this is especially true behind the Redwood Curtain. KHSU has been a key partner in promoting the events and other activities by regional nonprofits, many of which have reciprocated over the years by pitching during pledge drives. This is what community is all about.

For us at the Arcata Playhouse, the recent sold-out performances of Kannapolis and A Woman's Place is in Her Home owe a huge debt of gratitude to KHSU for the airing, posting and streaming of interviews with Jackie Dandeneau, David Ferney, Jenny Scheinman and other artists. Volunteer show hosts like Russ Cole, Michael Eldredge and Halimah Collingwood have always taken the time to feature the music of artists appearing at local venues, raising interest and increasing audiences for those artists.

More important than ticket sales, however, has been the impact of public affairs programming like Through the Eyes of Women, Artwaves and The KHSU Magazine on community awareness and education. Experienced program hosts conducted in-depth interviews that delivered relevant information to an appreciative audience. The volunteers, staff and producers worked together as a team to create radio about our community for the North Coast and beyond. How ironic it is that April is National Volunteer Month?

The shuttering of live community-oriented programming at KHSU is an incalculable loss to our community and the non-profits that serve Humboldt and Del Norte counties.

Terry Uyeki, Arcata

Editor:

At long last, the pernicious Humboldt State administration is exposed for what it is: authoritarian. The toppling of KHSU has exposed this long hidden fact.

The local press should pursue this disclosure with all of the investigative resources at its disposal. Editors no longer need be deferential to the campus because it's an economic mainstay; it is very much in decline and it has betrayed the trust the community naively placed in it.

Reporters will have to be tenacious. The Humboldt State bureaucracy is opaque, skilled at intrigue and stealth. It has rarely received the press scrutiny that would hold faceless and power-craving administrators accountable.

All future city and community interactions with the campus "leadership" should proceed on the basis that the administration is stealthy, devious and not to be trusted.

The Wruck/Rossbacher wrecking ball of KHSU was a naked power play as old and timeless as the Sibylline books: underhanded, dictatorial, non-negotiable — an authoritarianism typical of the Trump administration.

The University Senate should end the pretense that it is a co-equal branch of campus government. It is long past time for senators to strip the administration of its subterfuge that it willingly and respectfully shares power with students, staff and faculty.

There was nothing collegial about the savaging of KHSU. The administration's claim that it is "student centered" and a community partner is a farce.

Thomas Paine warned, "The secrets of governments, like the secrets of men, are always their defects."

HSU's authoritarianism is no longer a secret. The press and the campus senate should shine an unswerving light on the administration's damnably dark politics.

Paul Mann, McKinleyville

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