Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cecil Bothwell's statement from MountainX blog

(Reprinted here with Cecil's permission. Opens with
reference to anonymous pro-Wally Bowen posters.)

First, as usual, I think we can safely ignore the comments of those who hide behind aliases. Honest discussion requires that we identify ourselves.

Second, I think it is extremely telling that Bowen has forced out most of the people who built the radio station, starting with Gillian Coats last summer and moving forward. I worked for the station for more than five years and was in on the early planning for local news programming before it went on the air. I donated a lot of money in every fund drive (until the most recent one) and did a weekly, three hour show for nearly five years and was named MAIN’s Volunteer of the Year a couple of years back. I believed in the station and MAIN’s mission. All of this DESPITE Bowen’s extremely shabby, behind-the-scenes behavior toward me in regard to the Rolling Thunder event I funded and organized in May 2003. (Many of you who were involved in that effort know what I’m talking about.) I swallowed my anger and my pride and moved forward because of my belief in democratic media.

I say none of this to self aggrandize, but simply to point out that those of us who have been pushed aside in recent months are extremely dedicated to volunteer community service and poured thousands of hours and thousands of dollars into this project.

As for MAIN 2.0, I sincerely hope it succeeds, but Bowen has always been a great salesman. Sometimes he delivers. As for me, I am preparing to dump MAIN’s hosting of my business and non-profit Web sites. There are other local ISPs I can support without helping to fund the autocracy and high-handedness I have witnessed in recent months. I encourage others who are using MAIN’s services and who share my disillusion to do the same.


  1. In My Own Words

    I killed the story. I called off the strike. For those who are bitter and can't understand, I will explain in simple terms.

    The feedback I was getting was (for the most part) filled with rage and hatred. That wasn't quite enough for me to do the "180". It was when I realized that so far the tactics used internally were behavior I outgrew 30+ years ago.

    Trying to shut Wally out and intentionally making his job so miserable that he would leave ... I am no more willing to support that type of behavior than I am to changing your diapers for you.

    It's amazing that I understand the reason for Wally's last minute cancellation of the last scheduled "mediation", and so many of you don't. Obviously there are many of you who are not willing to communicate. I can neither help you there, nor support those who haven't honestly tried.

    What I started to see was clearly an internal conflict which is apparently being aired out publicly. In the long run that may prove detrimental to some of you, and that's sad. The true professionals are those that don't make internal conflicts public. I don't know Wally, but from where I stand, he is professional. He does not air his "dirty laundry" for all the world to see.

    I hope your meeting went well tonight - although I'm not sure how it went (having been called a fool and schmuck shortly after the meeting).

    If you truly have great conflict, have tried to resolve it, and then can't find a reasonable solution; then maybe you can use those testicle (or breasticles, as the case may be) that God gave you and form your own strike.

    As for now, I will stay away from what is clearly an internal, and self sacrificing struggle which does not yet deserve outside help.


    David L. Rickman

    P.S. I would LOVE to hear some early Gary Numan and the Tubeway Army! Anything from his "Replicas" would be great! He played most all the instruments himself on that one, and threw it together in like two weeks.

  2. Sadly David you have not been here to witness most of the strife and struggle.
    As one of the 9 I can tell you that what is open recent to the public, has been an issue within this organization for 10 years, 5 and a 1/2 I have witnessed first hand.
    Not once in my tenure has Mr. Bowen capitulated to the tiniest argument of reason with the sole exception of moving Democracy Now from 8pm to 6pm.
    I was termed for reading a PSA informing the public as to what was going on, what they could do about it, pro vols, or pro Board. I have it in writing from the ED and went public with it tonight.
    I too have never been one to air my dirty laundry or anyone elses.
    It's too bad that you don't have all the facts, I don't either.
    I remain on the side of a logical respectful process that treats volunteers like the wonders they are, not cattle coming through the gate to have their brains plunged and their necks severed.
    I for one will carry on in my personal struggle to have a station the community can rely on to play the Tubeway Army and air PSAs even if they don't bode well with all members of our community. I have been silenced w/out recourse. I am one of the nine. I am proud of that actually, without people like me the station may become very bland indeed. My hope is that people like you will step up and pressure the powers that be in your day to day struggles so that voices of your friends, neighbors and families won't be did that long saying go about...I said nothing, then they came for me and no-one was left.
    If you like the Tubeway Army you may enjoy the last stream of Mental Notes. There you can hear what I did so wrong that got me fired...a 20 hour per week volunteer, 1st music director, host, fundraiser, program committee member (5 times), tech staff, trainer, sales rep, donor, steering committee...I'm sure I have left something out.
    Whatever you do, support democracy.
    We are not pirates. We have taken the high road repeatedly. HE has never given 1 ", and HE doesn't have to, because there is no process save for HIM. HE IS The MAN.
    I fully respect what he has accomplished, yet as a manager of others, he has accomplished very little, except frustration for many, not all, just many....himself included.

    Steven, host of Mental Notes

  3. Thanks Steve,

    Perhaps this blog is in itself, more effective than any community strike. Perhaps this new Interim Manager will fill what appears from this end to be a gap between the Top and the Volunteers.

    What continues to concern me is the perception of the listener, at least recently, seems to be very Volunteer-sided. I certainly don't know if this has any validity, but it is a perception.

    I would try to remain open-minded, (as difficult as that may be given the aired grievances) for at least the first few weeks of the Interim Managers tenure. New managers historically tend to think big as far as ironing out wrinkles as well as repairing gaps. This could work in a positive manner, IF the new manager is not thrust up against a wall of uncooperativeness.

    Now might be the best time for volunteers to at least temporarily let go of the baggage. See if you can work with Kim and don't shut her out. The baggage will still be there if this doesn't work. But holding it right now might be more than she can handle. Take it in small steps, and check its progress. I'm REALLY not trying to sound like Obama, but "It may get worse before it gets better". But it MAY get better. As long as the new Interim Manager didn't introduce herself with a club in hand, she may be a catalyst for change.

    At least, this is my hope as a loyal listener, who really appreciates the on air personalities.

    I also publicly apologize for the "Jolly Roger" reference. That was a bad choice of words. I realize that now, and I am sorry.


    David L. Rickman

  4. I am one of the ones that early on said we should give anyone hired by Bowen the benefit of the doubt, and when some criticized the choice of Kim Clark, I spoke up to not hammer the woman, because she stepped into a horrible situation, and we should not fall into Us vs Them all the time; that is a WB game. That being said, I was very disappointed last night, when someone asked her point blank, did you know that Bowen was planning to fire almost the entire volunteer leadership when you took the job? Her answer was diplomatic, cheerful, polite, but a careful non-answer. I took that to mean she did know what she was walking into, and still chose to work with someone who was working against his volunteers. Harsh sounding, I know, and I'm prepared to re-evaluate my opinion, but not what I was hoping to hear on her first day on the job.

  5. It was her first day though, and she probably needs to get to know the situation a little better.

    It would appear that the "Apology to the Listeners" has been pulled from This may be a good sign as well as a step in the right direction.

    As a loyal listener, I am open to any suggestions as to how I can help smooth things out. Post suggestions here or contact me privately if you desire:

    I want the security of knowing that WPVN will continue to broadcast uninterrupted, and with the dynamic personalities I hear every day.

    I'm not saying, "Let's all be friends!" I just want to help in any way I can without being a threat to the stability of the station.