Letters for the week of November 29-December 5, 2006 

Readers comment on Craig Bueno, air traffic controllers, and sexual addiction.

Page 2 of 2

To Mr. Charlie Glickman of Oakland, I give my respect to you as a sexuality educator. Maybe with a little help from educators, we can help this country battle this addiction together. However, I feel you missed the impact of the story. Yes, there were a lot of things that could have been discussed in more detail, if Ms. Gard was writing an article in five or six parts. The depths of this addiction are so deep that it should be an ongoing article. Your thoughts on sexual compulsion and a high sex drive are relevant but not here, not with this story. It was about the pain and hurt that is caused by the individuals who have no control of their sexual demons.

"What looks like too much to one person may be just right for someone else" is an absolutely absurd statement to be made regarding this story. It is not just right for someone else when people's lives are being destroyed, when children are being abandoned for a life of prostitution and lies. I mean no disrespect, but being a sexuality educator, maybe you can help make a difference instead of being critical of a well-thought-out and very intense story that Ms. Gard had the guts to write about.

Again, I want to thank you, Lauren, for your kindness and sensitivity while still retaining a very professional demeanor at the same time. I believe your journalism to be highly effective.
"Nicole," Brentwood

"RIP, Berkeley Rap Radio," Close 2 tha Edge, 11/1

Bitter and one-sided
I just read your article via a link on the KALX listserv. I'm an active volunteer and have been there about three years. I can't say I have any more information than you regarding the station's "policies," etc., but I do know The Sunday Morning Show was on "hiatus" for a long time because, as I understood it, no one was volunteering for it (it's an entirely volunteer deal, much like other specialty programs like Info Overload and Shortwave).

I do think there is a heady bias toward rock-based music at KALX, but as a DJ that has been the one major critique of most tapes I have turned in — that I was playing too much rock-based music and not diversifying enough. If my tape had punk, rock, hardcore, metal, and even electronica, I was cited as not meeting the genre requirement; so it goes both ways. Only when I started delving into, appreciating, and incorporating genres like funk and hip-hop was I commended for having any diversity in my playlist.

And if the climate at KALX is so purportedly antiblack (which seems to be the point of the article you wrote), then what about other genres like jazz, blues, funk, soul, etc., that are, like hip-hop, traditionally black musical forms? They do get quite a bit of play on KALX as well. What about 'Round Midnight?

Your article seemed pretty bitter and one-sided, and not very well informed. It read more like a he-said, she-said piece since it was primarily referring to things that happened in the past, and people who volunteered there in the past.

I hear you tried to reach Pone and Sandra for comment and understand they did not reply. I wish you would have talked to perhaps the music directors, or Shawn (acting station manager, along with Sandra, at the time of your article). What about current volunteers of any race? Or current programmers who do play hip-hop (like myself, Disco Shawn, Matthew Africa, Sergio — who won a local award this year)? As a DJ, I play a fair share of hip-hop, and as a music reviewer (interested in running for music director this spring) I am constantly seeking out new hip-hop for review, preferably local underground stuff.

Another issue your article failed to mention was that hip-hop, like punk rock, often has a plethora of profanity in it. As a primarily punk-rock DJ my first year at KALX, I had to totally switch my programming for my daytime slot because punk was too "dangerous" to tamper with as far as on-air obscenity slips were concerned.

I made concessions for hip-hop, though, because I don't think it is appreciated enough, especially the underground stuff that I prefer. When I review decent hip-hop, I note where all the obscenities are and/or e-mail or call the artists for edited versions. The problem, though, is that not all reviewers are as thorough or as good about marking up the copies, and playing hip-hop (especially stuff you aren't familiar with) becomes an on-air liability. I have had issues with unmarked edit CDs/12"s/LPs where I have trusted the artist has produced an actual edit, and trusted the reviewer, only to find out too late that neither has been credible.

Obscenity laws have escalated considerably in the past five years, but I didn't hear any mention of that in your article either. Do you know how dangerous it is for indie radio/media? One reported on-air obscenity could end KALX completely.

Your article read more like an editorial (or a letter, much as this one!) or opinion piece without much actual fact to back it up. I think there is a truth to your point, but your dramatic conspiracy-theory stance made it seem much less credible.

Plus, what about the things that KALX is good for? What about the things you gained as a result from volunteering at KALX? It is a free service, and folks are welcome to volunteer ... so why not ENCOURAGE more people of color, more fans of hip-hop, to participate on a larger scale, or to call in and support those who do play hip-hop and show there is an audience for it out there listening? Sandra is only one person, after all, and I don't think she cares enough to have a personal vendetta against hip-hop. Even if she did, it wouldn't stop anything if there were enough of a fervor or push for that type of programming.

Why bring down one of the few independent voices left in radio rather than slam the corporate BS they call radio (Clear Channel) today? Why not focus on ways to make it better? What happened to you as a volunteer that you aren't still there trying to make a difference rather than slamming everyone else who is there volunteering?
Alyce Kalmar, San Francisco

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