CAB remains dedicated to gathering community and moving forward
The KHSU Community Advisory Board continued as planned with their monthly assembly despite Humboldt State University president, Lisa Rossbacher being against them meeting.
The meeting was facilitated by CAB members Jana Kirk Levine and Barbara Boeger. The only other CAB member present was Helene Rouvier. The room was nearly full of community members, ranging from volunteer show hosts to KHSU staff members.
Kirk Levine called the meeting a “non-CAB CAB meeting” due to the general manager, Peter Fretwell, denying the request of the CAB to reserve a room and asking them not to meet.
“They tried to keep us locked out of our room, but we’re clever,” Kirk Levine said.
The reasoning for still meeting despite the lack of HSU support was to figure out what’s going on at the station, how to fix it, and how to start a process moving forward.
“This meeting is toward issues, not people. What’s important is why we are here tonight,” Kirk Levine said.
In President Rossbacher’s Sept. letter addressed to the CAB, she asked for all members to individually respond to her about the clarity of a ‘no confidence’ vote towards general manager Fretwell. Kirk Levine said all but one CAB member responded (because Tom Hintz was on vacation) within less than 24 hours, yet Rossbacher still wants them to halt further meetings.
Boeger said through an email that CAB did not make the decision to terminate Peter Fretwell. The vote was related of the members of the community who have voiced strong calls for his termination.
“I think we clearly stated we were responding to the members of the community who spoke,” Boeger said regarding the request to forward a community vote of no confidence.
The decision of no confidence had the community members confused on why it even mattered to HSU administration and how that could be justified to keep the CAB from meeting.
An earlier email addressed to KHSU staff from their general manager stated KHSU would respect Rossbacher and have nothing to do with any meeting. Fretwell said KHSU would not publicize, form, participate or reserve space for a meeting.
KHSU staff members, Lorna Bryant and Jessica Eden were present at the meeting and Bryant live streamed the event.
The suggestion of forming a board of directors was brought up multiple times and was included in the CAB’s action plan. Kirk Levine said CAB member Geraldine Goldberg has been putting a lot of time and effort in working with this issue.
“If we don’t have a board of directors and leave KHSU to HSU we’ll keep getting nothing,” Kirk Levine said.
A main concern that was raised by multiple members was the loss of late-night programming. Tim Warner, who hosts the Buck Calhoun show, is one of the late-night programmers to be affected by the recent time changing.
Warner said risk management deems them a liability but Katie Whiteside made sure all late-night hosts were well equipped and knowledgeable on safety procedures. For 17 years Warner has hosted the Buck Calhoun show and not once has he had a single issue in safety ending late.
“I’ve seen skunks, and my last show I saw a deer. Nothing scary about that,” Warner said.
The night was emotional for the CAB members and community alike. There is frustration that emails have been left unanswered and communications between all parties involved are strained. Tensions are high at KHSU, and CSU has issued an independent investigation to be done due to the work environment at KHSU.
With all these problems occurring, the CAB and community members are still hopeful for KHSU’s future. They will still meet two times before the new year, on Nov. 14 and Dec. 12.
“I am trying to be positive. What’s important is we’re here tonight. Keep thoughts kind, focused and positive,” Kirk Levine said.