Prev topicNext topicHelp

Topic 51 of 64: Mangala's Musings

Sun, Apr 14, 2002 (08:54) | Paul Terry Walhus (terry)
Mangala Searles is a transplanted English woman who now lives in a gorgeous home in the Zilker Hills above Barton Springs in Austin. She tunes in to the hot button issue of the day and zaps it to her email compatriots. He's a place to dicuss the issues she raises, some of local interest and some with broader implications.
3 responses total.

 Topic 51 of 64 [austin]: Mangala's Musings
 Response 1 of 3: Paul Terry Walhus  (terry) * Sun, Apr 14, 2002 (09:20) * 37 lines 
From: Tim Jones mailto://
To: Foxfire mailto://
Subject: Interior Secretary Gale Norton's videotape of Alaska's Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge

12 Apr 2002
Environmental news from GRIST MAGAZINE, a project of Earth Day Network

A picture is worth a thousand words: So reasoned Interior Secretary
Gale Norton when she mailed copies of a videotape of Alaska's Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge to major television stations and encouraged
news producers to use the footage in their coverage of the debate
over drilling. (In contrast to videos of the Arctic Refuge produced
by conservation organizations, which generally feature wildlife and
breathtaking views, the video shows a desolate-looking winterscape.)
According to Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Norton committed a major
no-no. The video was developed by Arctic Power, a pro-drilling
lobbying group, and Markey says Norton illegally used her office --
and by extension taxpayer money -- to distribute propaganda from a
special-interest group. An Interior spokesperson denied any
wrongdoing on Norton's part. Meanwhile, Republicans bought extra
time to prepare for the showdown over the Arctic Refuge when the
Senate agreed to postpone introduction of the GOP drilling proposal
until next Tuesday.

straight to the source: Anchorage Daily News, Associated Press, H.
Josef Hebert, 12 Apr 2002

straight to the source: Washington Post, Helen Dewar, 12 Apr 2002

do good: Take action to save the Arctic Refuge

 Topic 51 of 64 [austin]: Mangala's Musings
 Response 2 of 3: Paul Terry Walhus  (terry) * Sun, Apr 14, 2002 (09:53) * 34 lines 
Date: Sat, 06 Apr 2002 10:29:34 -0600
From: Anna Mangala Searles mailto://
To: Amana Shebar mailto://
Subject: Justice

SOCIAL SECURITY: (This is worth the read. It's short and to the point.)
Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years. Our
Senators and Congressmen do not pay into Social Security and, of course,
they do not collect from it. Social Security benefits were not suitable
for persons of their rare elevation in society. They felt they should have a
special plan for themselves. Many years ago they voted in their own
benefit plan. In more recent years, no congressperson has felt the need
to change it. After all, it is a great plan.

For all practical purposes their plan works like this: When they retire,
they continue to draw the same pay until they die, except it may
increase from time to time for cost of living adjustments. For example, former Senator Byrd and Congressman White and their wives may expect to draw
$7,800,000.00 (that's Seven Million, Eight-Hundred Thousand), with their wives drawing $275,000.00 during the last years of their lives. This is calculated on
an average life span for each. Their cost for this excellent plan is
$00.00. Nada. Zilch. This little perk they voted for themselves is free to them.

You and I pick up the tab for this plan. The funds for this fine
retirement plan come directly from the General Funds our tax dollars at work! From our own Social Security Plan, which you and pay (or have paid) into -- every payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our employer) -- we
can expect to get an average $1,000 per month after retirement. Or, in other words, we would have to collect our average of $1,000 monthly benefits for 68 years and one (l) month to equal Bradley's benefits!

Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made.
And that change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from
under the Senators and Representatives. Put them into the Social Security plan
with the rest of us and then watch how fast they would fix it. If enough people
receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe good
changes will evolve.

How many people can YOU send this to?

 Topic 51 of 64 [austin]: Mangala's Musings
 Response 3 of 3: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Wed, Apr 17, 2002 (08:38) * 176 lines 
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 09:27:13 -0500
From: Anna Mangala Searles
To: Kam
Subject: The truth shall set us free.

I support Kam's letter below - Dr. Singha's Natural Therapeutics has
supported KUT in the past but will not be doing so at this time. I
certainly don't want to stop KUT but I don't see any other way of waking
them up to valuable community opinion other than by not supporting them.
I guess phone calls and letters giving our thoughts would also be
helpful. Please forward this to your friends. Kam has certainly not
written this without much consideration.

Thanks Mangala

Dear friends,
I'm sending you a copy of a letter I have written protesting the
programming changes at KUT, and even more than the changes, the way they
were made.

In January, massive programming changes were instituted at KUT, and
there was never, to my knowledge, any survey of the listenership to see
what the people of Austin wanted, and I don't think this is the way to
run a supposedly PUBLIC radio station, especially in Austin, where I
think we still pride ourselves on being a community, not just an
impersonal big city.

I wish I had gotten this letter out sooner because KUT's spring
fund drive starts this Friday, 4/19. (I'm writing this on Tuesday night,
4/16/02.) However, here it is, better late than never.

I urge you NOT to contribute to KUT this spring and to let them
know why you're not, and also to FORWARD THIS AROUND TO AS MANY PEOPLE

I addressed my letter to Ellen Wartell, Ph.D., Dean of the
School of Communication. She's the boss of the KUT bosses, so I thought
it would be more effective to send the message to her, and I also copied
it to J. Stewart Vanderwilt, Director and General Manager; and Hawk
Mendenhall, Program Director; as well as to many of the current and
former on-air staff.

If you have time, it would be great if you could also send a
letter or e-mail. I left the e-dresses in this message so you can use
them, or if you want to do it the quick way, the KUT web site is, and in the upper right corner of the first page is a
"Comment Now" button you can click and then enter a
Feel free to call me if you have any questions--440-1464.

----- Forwarded Message -----
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 22:25:18 -0500
Subject: KUT Programming Changes

DATE: April 16, 2001
FROM: Kathleen Magor
TO: Ellen Wartella, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Communication
RE: KUT Programming Changes

I am a long-time KUT listener and sometime member, and I am
writing to let you know I am not happy with the programming changes at
KUT. I have several complaints, which I will outline, but my main
problem with the changes is the way they were handled. KUT is supposed
to be a PUBLIC radio station, and you ask the public to support KUT, and
in exchange there should be accountability to the public. I don't
actually know who in particular is responsible for
the changes, but I never heard of any listener or member surveys or
polls to find out what the people of Austin want.

I received one letter about the changes, from J. Stewart
Vanderwilt, Director and General Manager, dated January 19, 2002,
informing me of changes that were to take place less than a week after I
received the letter. The letter told me about two new
programs--Marketplace and The World--and mentioned two other changes
that were being made, and then there was a schedule enclosed. The letter
said NOTHING, however, about all the programs and personnel that were
being disappeared.

I feel this way of handling major programming changes is
unconscionable. Getting rid of programs and personnel in this way with
no explanation to the public amounts to a pogrom. These changes actually
unconscionable. Getting rid of programs and personnel in this way with
no explanation to the public amounts to a pogrom. These changes actually
affect the daily lives of people who listen to KUT, and this autocratic,
high-handed, top-down way of dictating a new schedule goes totally
against the community spirit I and many others try to foster in Austin.
I don't know why these changes were made, and there are rumors that you
want to go to an all-news format and get rid of all local programming.
Perhaps that's why you brought in new people from outside Austin in the
last two years to take over the positions of Director/General Manager
and Program Director.

There were hints of this before when the World Music Show
disappeared with no explanation, and when someone asked about it on
Access, Bob Branson quickly evaded the question. Then, again with no
explanation, the show reappeared. And what happened to Ken McKenzie's
overnight program? That just seemed to evaporate some time back, and I
never heard any explanation for that change.

I will now go into the specific problems I have with the
programming changes, but rest assured, even if I LOVED all the
programming changes, I would be writing this letter because I don't feel
a PUBLIC radio station should be an autocracy that maintains no
significant or real communication with its listenership and makes MAJOR
changes with no regard for tradition or for the people of Austin. Also
rest assured, I will be urging everyone I know NOT to contribute to KUT
during the spring fund drive, and I only wish I had had time to organize
a wider protest.

The following people have been disappeared: Tom Pittman, Elaine
Pinckard, Jeff Johnston, Jim Caligiuri, Carter York, Bob Branson, Howie
Richey, and Olive Graham, that I'm aware of. There may be more from the
overnight hours when I generally am sleeping. Jay Trachtenberg's Jazz,
Etc., and Paul Ray's Afternoon Jazz have gone. The Annoying Music Show
is gone. There's still a fair amount of jazz on the air, and Jay
Trachtenberg and Paul Ray are still on in different configurations. But
what about Soundsight, Forum, and Access? Those three long-time
standards of KUT are all just gone. I imagine it's a good idea
especially to get rid of Access so your listeners won't have a chance to
comment on the air. And Texas Music has been moved to the middle of the
night, which is basically tantamount to cutting it. I'm particularly
disturbed about your cutting Soundsight. It was one of my favorites,
even though I'm not visually impaired--and to cut a program like that
that served the blind and visually impaired population of Austin seems

Some very popular shows have been shortened: Phil Music is one
hour shorter, Twine Time is half an hour shorter, Paul Ray's Wednesday
Night Jazz is one hour shorter, and Blue Monday is one hour shorter.
Why? I have no idea.

And the change that I think is the MOST insane is that ALL the
non-news, non-music shows except Car Talk have been moved to Sunday, and
Car Talk has been moved to Saturday morning. It used to be great around
the time that I might be making dinner or doing dishes or going
somewhere in my car on a weekday evening to catch Selected Shorts,
Access, Car Talk or Living on Earth. And on weekends I could catch This
American Life, Prairie Home Companion, and New Dimensions. I can't
imagine how you could think it's a good idea to have This American Life,
Selected Shorts, Prairie Home Companion, Living on Earth, and New
Dimensions ALL on Sunday. Who can spend THAT much time in one day
listening to the radio? Now I basically don't get to hear most of those
shows, and they are all shows I really enjoy.

I hardly ever get to hear Fresh Air now that it's been moved to
3 pm instead of 4 pm, and I don't get to hear as much of All Things
Considered as I used to now that it starts at 4 pm instead of 5 pm. I am
not impressed with Marketplace or The World, nor did I think we needed
more mainstream news shows. And speaking of news shows, how much is KUT
paying for the two BBC news shows that are on at 3am and 4 am? I might
actually be interested in hearing those shows, but that's not a time I'm
usually listening to the radio, and I can't imagine that there's a huge
listenership at that time of the middle of the night.

I am not happy with the changes at KUT, and I am especially not
happy with the basically fascist way the changes have been implemented.
It's not too late to make amends to your listeners, to take a survey to
find out what people really want, and to change things back more to the
way they were.


Kam Magor
3002 Brinwood Ave.
Austin, TX 78704-6315

Prev topicNext topicHelp

austin conference Main Menu