Story last updated at 3:40 p.m. Thursday, November 21, 2002

Local voice important
It appears that Homer's community public radio station, KBBI, is back in the news. I'm glad, because things were not resolved to my satisfaction in February, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to get some things off my chest.

First of all, I am no longer a member. I did not like the changes that were made to the programming. More talk and less music. I filled out and sent back a confusing and poorly worded survey (back when I was a member), and said KBBI would decrease in value if the Breakfast Special and Afternoon Freeform were replaced with national programming.

I later received a mailing with the results of that survey. The results? 59 people said losing the Breakfast Special would be bad or very bad. 26 said it would be good. KBBI's response? Remove it from the airwaves! The results were tied on Afternoon Freeform, I think because people were asked to make a choice between that and Fresh Air. Turns out we could have both! I bet that would have changed the results.

I signed a petition, along with about 800 other people, asking the station to keep KBBI local. It appears to me the majority of the community (whose taxes also support the station) loudly said they did not want to lose the local programming. That's one of the things that makes Homer so unique.

I thought that would send a very clear message. The petition was ignored. Evidently the station manager, who is hired by the board, seems to have forgotten that KBBI is supported by membership contributions. I threw up my hands and said "forget it!"

How many other former members are out there who also quit because of the program changes? Maybe the board is the problem, since they've stood by and let so many members quit in protest without doing something. Election for the board of directors is happening; and there are people running for the board who are committed to having KBBI "serve as the mirror and voice" of the people of Homer, like the mission statement says.

I wish these people luck, and if they succeed, I'll become a member again. The new candidates for the board are Don Pitcher, Cris Somers, Anne Wieland and Steve Howell. If you are still a voting member, I urge you to vote for these candidates. Let's give some new blood a chance.

Vicki Rentmeester

Former KBBI supporter