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

KBBI criticism unwarranted
I don't often feel compelled to respond to letters to the editor, but last week Ms. Somers' letter inspired me to put my own 2 cents worth in the mix.

I, too, am a volunteer at KBBI and have been since 1998. True, my experience is very limited, but it is my experience nonetheless.

First and foremost, I would like to clarify that I have never felt unappreciated or unwanted by any of the staff at KBBI. On the contrary, I have been supported and encouraged by everyone and have been allowed to spread my creative wings without restraint.

I can't say that about all of my other experiences in life.

I fear that the issues we as volunteers and the community are being dragged into are personal and need to be dealt with on that level.

Ms. Somers is a longtime volunteer, and for all of her dedication and commitment to our public radio station, I am eternally grateful, as we all should be. I am sorry that your experience is different from mine, but I still don't want to be involved with the "staff bashing."

I believe that the members and this community are intelligent enough to sift through the rhetoric and make an informed decision when they receive the ballots, but I do find it in very poor taste to use this year's pledge drive total to curry favor and to garner votes. This year's Fall Membership Drive was happening during one of the worst floods in the history of the southern peninsula. It significantly impacted how much I pledged this year, as I'm sure it did with others.

I have never seen people so dedicated to a cause -- and yes, public radio is a cause. You couldn't pay me enough to put in the kind of hours all of the staff at KBBI put in. I can't begin to thank them enough for all that they contribute both personally and professionally. They are my heroes, and they deserve much better than to have to defend themselves against what I believe to be personal issues in such a public arena.

Cris, I wish you luck, and I do hope that you understand that it is very difficult to "mend fences" by tearing down the house.

Maria Victoria Soto

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