A few days away

August 13, 2010 26 comments

It will be light posting on the blog for a couple days as I head north to Seattle to do the family thing for a couple days.

What a show we had today. I still can’t believe the outrage sweeping through the community over Annie the dog. The phone calls did not stop today and you could feel the anger, hear the frustration. I am hopeful that Sup. Adam Hill will deliver good news by the time I return. It’s a sad story.

And folks were equally vocal when we discussed the impending return of gay marriage in California. Thanks again to Rev. Carolyn Hall for dropping by. I think her analysis is spot-on:The religious right will punt in California rather than lose the whole thing at the Supreme Court on a 5-4.

Have a good weekend. Talk soon.


A man and his dog

August 11, 2010 9 comments

We had a pretty tough, pretty emotional, segment tonight with Chuck Hogue. Originally scheduled for one hour, we ended up going for two due to all the phone calls.

To recap: Chuck’s beloved dog of seven years, Annie, ran away from the family property last June after hearing a gun shot. The dog was spooked. Chuck, a recent widower, spent three weeks trying to find his dog. He works full time. He doesn’t own a computer. But he dutifully checked the Animal Services lost and found line daily.

Three weeks later, he gets a call. Your dog is at Animal Services. Come get her. he rushes out there the next morning — only to find out the dog was adopted out to another family days prior. What????????? No one can figure that out.

Even worse, the second family refuses to give up Annie and Animal Services won’t step in. Chuck keeps trying to contact Dr. Eric Anderson, but Anderson isn’t responding.

At the same time, several callers shared stories of having to deal with dog licensing issues at Animal Services by talking to people in . . . .Texas. So Animal Services is farming out, outsourcing county work to Texas???? Doesn’t that strike you as bizarre.

Not suirprisingly, the vast majority of callers believe Chuck should get Annie back, though our options seem limited.

Katcho is Chucks’s supervisor, so we’re asking folks to drop Katcho a friendly email at kachadjian@co.slo.ca.us and see if he can’t knock some sense into Animal Services.

Chuck was crying at the end of the show. He deserves to have Annie back.

Jeff Hamm, director of the county health agency, doesn’t seem to understand why Annie and Chuck should be reunited. His phone number is 788-2855.

Program Notes:

I will be away friday, Monday, and Tuesday. Suzan Vaughn, Jeff Eckles, Mardi Hall, Steve Weiss, Jack Hardy, and Dr. Scott Robertson run the show in my absence.

Remembering the Motel Inn

August 6, 2010 4 comments

Jeff Bringle sent over this photo of the famous Motel Inn of San Luis Obispo, the very first motel in the U.S.

Check out the sign at the right of the photo. Yep, it says KVEC. Our radio station was located at the Motel Inn during the early ’60s. What a time it must have been.

Of course, there’s not much left now. The Inn closed in the ’80s and most of the original buildings were knocked down in 2006. It’s a blight on our city’s history to see how we’ve failed to preserve the legacy of this building, which served as the cultural/social center of town for decades.

I know. I know. No one has any money. But I’d hate to see that building, those memories, slip away forever.

Marilyn from San Luis Obispo, who first moved to town in 1948, joins me on the radio today at 3:45 to share her memories of the Motel Inn.

Meanwhile, check out this 1993 valentine to the Motel Inn from the Seattle Times.

Muslims, Gays, & Bad Cops

August 5, 2010 57 comments

This is a pretty good to have my job. There is certainly no shortage of topics to cover, whether it’s local, state, or national.

Nationally, conservative talk radio is abuzz with the debate over whether or not a “Muslim mosque” should near the WTC site in New York, obviously sacred ground. Everyone from Newt to Rudy has weighed in, attacking the idea. It is strange to even hear members of the religious trying to deny freedom of religion to Muslims–actually Americans who happen to be Muslims. There’s a big difference.

From what I’ve read, the 15-story building is planned for three blocks away from WTC–and it’s an Interfaith Center. The mayor and the  planning commission all agree that this building should be allowed. Sad to see such religious intolerance.

Meanwhile, much to celebrate in California with Judge Walker’s decision. Our phones were on fire tonight as North County Jim sat in with me for the discussion on Prop 8. One called talked about the judge who was a “pervert.” Several callers said the judge was gay, and therefore biased. Absolutely silly arguments.

I like what the LA Times wrote tonight in its editorial, claiming that the debate has been changed forever by the trial. Yes, the case will be appealed to Bush’s Supreme Court, which means a 5-4 in one direction; it all comes down to Anthony Kennedy. But, for California, today is an historic day. If not by judicial fiat, then by ballot measure in 2012. One day, one way, we will do the right thing and allow gays and lesbians to marry.

Finally, McDowell and Limon were fired by The Powers that Be, after pulling in more than $300,000 between them in wages and compensation since last September. They get caught smuggling prescription drugs, come up with a lame excuse in their defense, get paid fairly pretty for 12 months, and–curiously–they don’t get prosecuted by the local DA, Mr. Shea. Don’t even go to court.

Something tells me that this story is far from over. People in San Luis are very angry.

On Thursday, we’ll return to the issues surrounding Prop 8 and the new York mosque. Turn in. Call in.

Birthright Citizenship

August 3, 2010 42 comments

Good show on Monday to kick off another week of Hometown Radio:

Mary Golden and the Central Coast Natural History Association needs to raise another $2,000 to complete their fundraising for a new mural for the building’s outside wall in Morro Bay State Park. All the information is on their web site.  Good people doing good work. Please support them if you can.

Karen Velie was back from CalCoastNews reporting on the fact that San Luis Obispo police seem to be spending more money on their cars than neighboring police departments. Arroyo Grande police, for example, lease their cars. SLO, meanwhile, has spent nearly $40,000 in 7 months to repair basically new cars. What’s that about?

But the biggest response from the callers came during the last 45 minutes when we talked about birthright citizenship and illegal immigration. As I said on the radio, I “get” the anger in Arizona. I understand their frustration towards the feds. I’m not even bothered by the law they tried to enact, though I’m not surprised the judge blocked most of it. I understand the problem.

When it comes to the Constitution, though, I’m reluctant to tamper just to score political points. Several conservative senators are pushing to repeal the 14th Amendment. Basically, their position is this: if your parents come here illegally, you should not get citizenship automatically.

Why not? Why can’t the child of illegals born in Nevada grow up to be a great American? Why should the baby be punished for the actions of the parents. The U.S. is like at least a dozen other countries, recognizing birth location as being enough for citizenship. I’m an American because I was born in New York City. A baby born in Phoenix is still an American, regardless of the parents.

We should not open that Pandora’s Box. Crack down on illegal immigration, yes. But not by changing the constitution. It’s a knee jerk reaction to something far more complicated.

Other Notes: Singer-songwriter Jim Messina is my special guest Tuesday at 3:05. Let’s hear about his upcoming concert at the Clark Center and give away some free tickets.

Helping Pastor Doug

Regular listeners to Hometown Radio are familiar with the plight of Pastor Doug. He is spending the second half of the summer out in Morro Bay, trying to beat back the progressive MS that continues to ravage his body. Doug is doing OK, but not great. The hope remains that he can come home around Labor Day.

However, Doug needs a new chair–typical cost is around $4,000. He also needs money to help pay down his medical bills.

We will be setting up an account to help raise money for Doug at Rabobank branches throughout the county. The “Pastor Doug” account should be activated by Tuesday, in case you want to make a small, or large, donation. We’ll gladly take either one.

Also, Ian McPhee is donating the back room of his popular Templeton restaurant and is giving us a five-course dinner, with wine, for cost. We will host a KVEC fundraising dinner for Pastor Doug on Sunday, August 22nd, in Templeton. Reception will be from 5 to 6 p.m. and the five-course dinner will be at 6 p.m.

Doug’s wife, Victoria, will be our special guest of honor.

Tickets will be sold for $50 each (a bargain!) and we’ll have some great door prizes to raffle off.

If you want to purchase tickets, or volunteer for the event, please contact me.

And most importantly, keep a good thought for Doug.


UPDATE: We sold all the tickets for the dinner in less than 48 hours. Thank you!

Warren Baker moves on

July 31, 2010 2 comments

The Tribune serves up an exit interview with Warren Baker in the Saturday edition. Friday was Baker’s last official day as president of Cal Poly, stepping down after 31 years on the job. The interim guy, Dr. Robert Glidden, starts Monday.

I’ve been told that Hometown Radio is considered “anti-Cal Poly” by some on campus, especially those in the administration building. In truth, Cal Poly is an excellent university, a fine school for which all of San Luis Obispo County can be proud. And a lion’s share of credit for that deservedly goes to Dr. Baker.

Baker came here from Detroit in 1979 and began a magical transformation of the campus. He did his job in raising both the money and the profile nationally. I don’t envy the person who tries to follow in his footsteps — those shoes are way too big.

But, as someone who worked on five different college campuses as an instructor, I always faulted Baker in two areas: His relationship with the town and his relationship with students. Quite honestly, I don’t think he ever gave a good god damn what the people of San Luis Obispo thought. He made few, if any, overtures, to reach out to the city. He was never a good neighbor, blindly turning an eye as Poly students overran neighborhoods and strained city resources.

And all his travels and fundraising kept Baker from more time with students and it often became a running joke on campus. I’m biased, i guess, because my campus experience was largely with smaller, private schools where the college president was expected to more of an on-campus presence. And off-campus, too, especially when hundreds of students were gathering for large parties. It would have been nice for Baker to spend more time helping to quell the noise.

However, give the man his due. California State Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo became Cal Poly and the school is the envy of the California State University system. That didn’t happen by accident.

So what happens to Cal Poly now? CalCoastNews has an interesting report about how the CSU Chancellor just smacked down Poly’s plan to set up an MBA degree program in Santa Barbara. He wants CSU Channel Islands to run the program instead. I don’t think that would have happened if Baker was still in charge.

My Poly sources tell me that Cal Poly is about to be taken down a few notches by the Chancellor’s office and Charles Reed will have more to say about what happens in San Luis Obispo.