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Wednesday, Dec. 09, 2009 at 3:09 AM
Item 5 of the Committee to Strengthen KPFK's slick slate mailer in 2008 promised, "Skilled, Professional Management." Since their victory, they have repeatedly told us they brought it to us. Now we see the result: KPFK Off the Air.
KPFK went off the air Monday. The official version of the story, as stated on the KPFK web site, www.kpfk.org, states:
"Southern California Edison's electrical power feed to the Mt. Wilson transmitter is currently out due to heavy rain. There is no back up Edison electrical power feed, because it was destroyed by recent wildfires."
Typical of stories coming from the Grace Aaron crowd, it changes in three paragraphs:
"Southern California Edison's electrical power feed to the Mt. Wilson transmitter sites is out. This electrical power feed is Edison's back-up line, which was engaged when the main feed was destroyed by the recent wildfire."
It goes from the main power line being destroyed by the wild fires to the backup line being destroyed by the fires. You would think a news organization could keep its facts straight over only three paragraphs.
Next they say:
KPFK has an emergency generator which has to be started at the site, and currently ALL the roads are closed due to weather.
They do not say when broadcasting will resume.
Such a story does not come from a competently run organization.
First, a professionally run organization would have demanded weeks ago full restoration of service, both the main line and the back up line, by So. Calif. Edison, and have engaged counsel to begin proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission to order restoration. This is the way Edison does business. They respond to who complains the loudest.
Why have an emergency generator that can't be used in the circumstances where it would likely be needed, bad weather, a power outage, and inaccessibility? Having a generator with no plan to start it when needed makes no sense at all.
More importantly, Mount Wilson is full of transmitters, including those of local emergency services, all of which have the same weather and are reached by the same roads. Somehow, all of the other TV and radio stations and other transmitters manage to keep going, rain and shine, while KPFK, regularly it seems, can't.
Grace Aaron and whoever financed her slate mailer campaigns have not brought professional management to KPFK.
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