Wildfires, earthquakes, floods, shootings — all happen here. When a crisis hits, we need community radio to be able to protect ourselves, our neighbors, our children.
The community donated funds for KHSU and within a week the university threw volunteers out, keeping the money. Our community raised funds to hire a nationally respected lawyer to negotiate so we could buy the license and create community radio ourselves; the University would not even engage in discussions. Last week, the university signed a management agreement with Capital Public Radio in Sacramento ("HSU Enters Interim Agreement to Farm Out KHSU Management," posted Aug. 9). The university is crippling our ability to support each other and communicate in a crisis.
It appears this decision is not being made at the university level. Everything new Humboldt State University President Tom Jackson stands for is community building and transparency, and yet there is no transparency. There is no communication with the community. The signs point to this being directed by the chancellor of the CSU system, Timothy White.
We need state government to pay attention to what is happening in Humboldt County. We have the highest rate of addiction, the highest rate of death by firearm, the highest suicide rate in California, and we will deal with the greatest sea level rise along the entire California coast, eventually losing the U.S. Highway 101 from Eureka to Arcata. It is time to take our case to our state government and impress the urgency of our crisis. The ownership of the radio license must transfer to the community. We have huge challenges ahead. We need community radio to survive and thrive.
Perhaps we can still turn this around. Overwhelming calls and letters to CSU Chancellor Timothy White, State Assemblymember Jim Wood and State Sen. Mike McGuire will raise awareness of this crisis at the level needed to force change. We can create our own positive future.
Claire Robbins, Eureka