Story last updated at 3:29 p.m. Thursday, November 21, 2002

Board change endorsed
Elections for KBBI's Board Of Directors is Dec. 2, and it will be the only time its members will have any real say in the station's future direction. I was program director at KRBD in Ketchikan from 1994 to 1996, and prior to that I was the station's operations director. I would like to share a few thoughts on the above subject from my perspective.

Over the course of the last year, there have been some big changes at KBBI, and they have resulted in the loss of listeners, volunteer staff, members, underwriters, paid staff and board members. KBBI's reputation as a creative force in Alaska Public Radio has been severely tarnished. According to listener surveys, KBBI started last year as the number one favorite among listeners in our area, and this year, in its two combined local fund-raisers, it raised $25,000 less than in 2001. Why does this continue?

Present KBBI Board of Directors has allowed these changes even after 800 community members registered their dissatisfaction with the announced programming and philosophical changes to KBBI's direction last spring. KBBI's mission statement directs it to "serve the community." I believe that the current board of directors has not acted on the behalf of our community at large, and has allowed unnecessary morale fragmentation to grow within this community over this issue. When many of us had hoped that the people we elected would fairly represent us, we were told that the board was responding to the wishes of the "silent majority."

Come on, this is Homer. There isn't a silent majority on anything. I think it's time we considered just how far we're willing to let KBBI wobble out of control serving fewer and fewer interests. If you're a KBBI member, I ask that you would please consider voting for these three dedicated, responsible and community-minded people who are running for board seats in a block, so as not to split the vote: Cris Somers, Anne Wieland and Don Pitcher. All three have community and KBBI involvement, and all three are committed to see that KBBI continues serving this community as a whole. By voting for these three individuals, you can help ensure the positive direction that our community radio station takes in the days and years to come.

Should you desire some interesting reading along these lines, go to: www.well.com/user/rachel/ for a 1992 article entitled "Why Public Radio Isn't," by Rachel Goodman, who is now an editor for NPR's "DNA Files." Please vote for our radio station on Dec. 2.

Thank you.

Robert Walsh

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