Hear the MCPB Board Candidates Forum and read their Statements here

Apr 3, 2018

Hear the Candidates Forum by click here.



Candidate applications for the Mendocino County Public Broadcasting board of directors election closed at 5 p.m. on 30 January 2018. The following candidates qualified for the ballot. Their candidate statements are appended below, in alphabetical order:


District 2 Board Member (one open seat; members vote for one candidate)

  • Dina Polkinghorne

District 3 Board Member (one open seat; members vote for one of the two candidates)

  • David Hulse-Stephens
  • Patricia Kovner

District 5 Board Member (one open seat; members vote for one of the two candidates)

  • Tom Dow
  • Len Tischler

At-Large Board Member (two open seats; members vote for two of the four candidates)

  • Bruce Anderson
  • Bob Bushansky
  • Robert Vaughan
  • Renee Vinyard

Programmer-Elected Board Member (one seat open; will not appear on general-member ballots)

  • Jerry Karp

Ballots will be mailed by the end of February to all supporters who were members in good standing as of 31 December 2017, and must be returned in a station-supplied envelope by mail and received by the independent election auditor by 31 March 2018. Please do not deliver ballots to KZYX.

Candidate Statements:

Bruce Anderson (At-large)
[I am running] as the Truth and Reconciliation candidate. Member off and on, more on than off, since the station's dubious origins as a project of a transient grifter called Sean Donovan. I saw Mendo Public Radio immediately become the private audio club it remains today, complete with an ongoing enemies' list and any number of banned or otherwise non-personed Mendo persons, from former 5th District supervisor, Norman de Vall to KC Meadows of the Ukiah Daily Journal, to the marvelously talented Marco McClean. I expect to win the votes of the self-respecting sectors of the membership, that portion of KZYXers who understand that as a tax-subsidzed entity Mendo Public Radio belongs to all the people of Mendocino County, even people outside the lib-pwog echo chamber dominated these many years by the cringing, censorious claque whose descendants rule it today. I also think a certain percentage of KZYX’s present paid membership would appreciate a trustee independent of the self-interested persons who dominate it. [I am running] to agitate for fiscal transparency; term limits for programmers; a daily local news program professionally rendered; to see KZYX/Z at last become a truly public radio station. [I can contribute] an historical understanding of the enterprise and, perhaps, my newspaper as a means of promotion. [My interests are] catholic, [my] experience vast. [Fundraising responsibilities:] A trustee ought to beat the drums for KZYX with the County's numerous service clubs. It's presently invisible (inaudible) to the large majority of Mendocino County residents. My fundraising experience? I've kept my family solvent for many years.

Bob Bushansky (At-large)
I am currently a member of the finance committee of KZYX. Since Stuart Campbell stepped down from the BOD and his position as Treasurer, we have been without the Treasurer/Leader of the finance committee. I believe that I can fill that position. I am the chair of the Mendocino Coast Recreation and Park District BOD as well as chair of the finance committee. I have been a BOD member of the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens for six years, three years as president. I had also been a BOD member of the Redwood Coast Senior Center for five years, one year as president and one year as treasurer. I have helped each BOD that I have been on become better through team work and a focused vision of the future. I believe that every member of an organization needs to be involved in keeping that organization solvent not just today but into the foreseeable future as well. I think that I can put my knowledge and skills to that end. In addition to things mentioned above I also program the show Politics: A Love Story here on KZYX and this year will be my 12th year managing the Audience Choice Award for the Mendocino Film Festival and I was a crisis counselor for 14 years with Project Sanctuary in Fort Bragg.

Thomas M. (Tom) Dow  (5th District)
I am interested in becoming a Board Member because I want to support KZYX.  I appreciate that KZYX is an important source of community affairs information.  I also recognize the contribution it makes to the cultural fabric of Mendocino County.  I want to add my support to the future success of Community Public Broadcasting. I can contribute my experience in business and non-profit organizations. My interests in Mendocino County include growing olive trees for oil and involvement in community organizations. I am semi-retired.  My experience is in business and public affairs in Alaska, the US West Coast, and Washington, DC. Affiliations in Mendocino County are: KZYX Member, active in the Community Foundation of  Mendocino County, Mendocino College Foundation, and Family Medicine Education for Mendocino County- Rural Health Rocks. I serve on the steering committee for Rural Health Rocks.  I have experience in fundraising and understand that a Board Director has a responsibility to encourage financial support as well as volunteer support. I have served as President and Board Member of the Alaska Visitors Association, and on the Boards of the Alaska Native Tourism Association and  the Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation.

David Hulse-Stephens (3rd District)
As a thirty-six-year resident of Willits and Mendocino County, I have enjoyed listening to KZYX since its inception. I value the station’s contribution to the unique and diverse community we have here. The local programming—Humble Pie, Cannabis Hour, Alma Latina, Audible Feast, the Farm and Garden Show, the Events Calendar—and the local news department, bring our far-flung towns and homes into a networked community. The NPR and national programs—news, All Things Considered, Democracy Now!, Fresh Air, The Takeaway, The California Report—bring the world to our rural doorsteps. As is the case with so many of us during the recent fires, I was completely cut off from nearly all media because the transmission lines burned—telephone, cell phone, internet, (I don’t have TV). Radio was my only contact with the world and KZYX was my lifeline! I listened nearly all day long to know whether I would have to evacuate my home. I can’t imagine Mendocino County without KZYX. What they have built over the years is invaluable. I also recognize that the station cannot thrive unless it is constantly adjusting to the shifting demographics in the local culture. We need to keep a constant dialogue with the diverse elements of the community and provide them with a reason to listen and support the station. I worked for 11 years for the non-profit New Dimensions Radio, a national radio program producer, and I served on the board of directors for the Mendocino County Youth Project for 10 years. With this background, I am knowledgeable of the workings of a non-profit organization and the effective interface between the board and the rest of the organization. I have worked with teens for the past 17 years as a high school counselor and teacher of communication skills and conflict mediation at both Willits and Ukiah high schools. I have learned to work effectively and cooperatively with many diverse personalities and to appreciate the differences and learn from them. One specific area I can help the station is in its outreach efforts to county youth and organizations that serve youth. I also feel I bring strong abilities at working cooperatively with others, and I pride myself in my abilities at strong, clear and open communication—which is mostly about listening, listening, listening. I would be honored to represent my friends and neighbors in the 3rd District on the KZYX board.

Jerry Karp (Programmer-Elected seat, running unopposed)
My radio experience dates back to 1975 when I began hosting shows on WTBU, Boston University's student carrier current station. From 1981 through 1986, I worked as a producer/host of blues and jazz programming at WWNO, New Orleans' NPR affiliate. I moved to San Francisco to attend grad school at SF State. After earning a masters degree in creative writing, I taught English comp, creative writing and ESL, served as publications coordinator at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco for five years and ran Rocket Words, my freelance writing practice, for 11 years. My wife, Stephanie, and I moved to Mendocino County full time in 2008, and I began hosting shows on KZYX very soon thereafter. So I have an in-depth experience with public radio issues, a sincere investment in the KZYX mission, and a broad-range of communications experience outside of radio, as well. Fundraising is an important part of any Board of Directors’ function. My client work for Rocket Words included frequent public relations, outreach and messaging designed to bring positive awareness and audience response. That’s a jargon-heavy way of saying that communicating with a wide-range of the varied communities and constituencies within our county and presenting the KZYX story in a way that will make their buy-in to our mission seem attractive is within my skill set. That, as I see it, is one of the most important steps our radio station must take in the near future, and one of the most crucial roles a board-member can fulfill.I am at this time also on the Board of Directors of the Anderson Valley Historical Society. 

Patricia Kovner (3rd District)
I am running for the 3rd district seat as I have been listening and subscribing to kzyx from its very beginning, having owned my land near Laytonville since 1973, and having worked here many years as a Physician Assistant, now retired.  The local programmers have always complemented the local news , which was to me, the crown jewel of the station.  Until, that is, it was totally eliminated for far too long, and then brought back for only 5 minutes, instead of 30, and often not being local news at all. I feel that restoring the 30 minute news, or at least 15 minutes to start, will bring back people lost to this break with tradition and be a source of enhanced funding. Some may forget that we passed groundbreaking legislation in this county, via the initiative process, made possible by our former in-depth news show. Some internal reshuffling may well pay for a vibrant news team that can cover all the Supes meetings as well as happenings here not being reported.  There are  groups working to restore our watersheds, senior center activities, and issues facing our growing aging populace. Not surprisingly, my non-profit affiliations are Willits Senior Center Board of Directors, Friends of the Eel River, and Eel River Restoration Project.   And that's just my limited range of vision.  There are other developments in this county that we need to hear about.  It all starts at the grassroots, and while we can't easily change things at the top, we have a history of making historic change down here at the bottom. But we need to know about what's going on here. That's my main issue but, if elected, I will work to strengthen the station and bring in unheard voices. I would love to hear an irreverent, immature talk show with 2-3 playful hosts a la Thank Jah Its Friday on kmud.  We could use some goofiness.

Dina Polkinghorne (2nd District)
Becoming a board member would provide an opportunity to serve our community in a meaningful way, to be the "eyes and ears" of the community that the organization serves. KZYX is a wonderful, commercial-free public radio station and it would be an honor to be a part of it. My husband and I are recent empty nesters so the time is right to become more involved in my community. I am currently the Executive Director of a local nonprofit agency, Project Sanctuary, and overseeing the fiscal health of the agency is a priority. Our program staff cannot deliver the good work they do on behalf of people in crisis without a strong, financial foundation with which to build on. I've personally provided solutions to get us through the ebb and flow of government funding and public contributions and as such, would be interested in bringing that leadership to KZYX. I also bring quite a bit of grant writing experience to the table and am available as an advisor to staff in that regard. As a past board member/treasurer of the Ukiah Main Street Program (a 501c3), I was part of the leadership team that saw it through the loss of its largest source of funds. I came full circle at UMSP - years ago I was the Associate Director. In that role I worked on many fundraising events, and that role continues now at Project Sanctuary. I work closely with our board of directors in their fundraising efforts, which can be a challenge in a rural area, but also an opportunity to be creative and innovative. Before Project Sanctuary, I worked at a local government agency that had a large interest from the public and as was the case then, I feel strongly that transparency and openness is the best route to gaining and keeping the public trust. I worked for a trio of radio stations in the Chico area. At the time there was a push to move towards 100 percent satellite programming, which one of the stations did, and it was never the same. Local programming, it seems to me, is an essential characteristic of a successful local radio station. I was not born and raised in Mendocino County but in my 22 years here I have come to love this area and in my spare time I enjoy exploring its vast, natural beauty.

Len Tischler, MBA PhD (5th District)
I want to be on the Board of MCPB (KZYX-Z radio) because I believe it is an important community resource that should be supported and I’m willing to put in the time to help keep it going and help make it an even better resource. My background includes that I was a Certified Public Accountant many years ago and over the past 35 years I was a university professor.  I taught business management, including leadership and management skills.  I’m recently retired as an emeritus professor.  When active I was a senior member of the American Society for Quality and a member of the Academy of Management.  I’ve written 25 articles and have given many talks about business management. I also consulted with many small businesses helping them to improve and grow. I’ve only lived in Mendocino County part-time for 2 years and full-time these past 3 years. I already volunteer as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for children in the foster care program. I’d like to offer my skills elsewhere also, and the Board of KZYX-Z would be a good fit for me. I listen to KZYX to hear the news programs and music.  I especially like that KZYX promotes community events and programs, supports local non-profits, and lets people know what’s going on in our county.  I was very impressed how KZYX kept us informed during the October fires.  That was an important service for us all. I believe that I can be a responsible voice for our community and can add my management knowledge to the Board of Directors.

Robert Vaughan (At-large)
I am running for an At-Large seat on the Mendocino Public Broadcasting (MCPB) Board of Directors. I have been a volunteer at KZYX for 21+ years and a programmer for 18+ years. During that time I have freely given of both time and monies to help ensure that KZYX stays on the air. I have seen Boards come and go. Seen managers come and go. In the last six years the Board and staff have acquired a bad case of Enochlophobia (fear of groups and crowds). This station has gotten away from doing activities and having outreach booths at different functions throughout the county. The mantra these past years has been, "seems like a lot of work". No kidding. A place on the Board is more than just cocktail party cache, some feather in one's society hat. Just because someone is popular doesn't make them a good candidate. My main goal, if elected, will be to revitalize our brand and bring relevance to a younger demographic. How? By holding events that might appeal to a wider crowd. Activities build affinity, affection, and familiarity that sitting behind a desk in front of a computer can't. It requires getting out and mixing with the masses. If we can reach out to other 501(c)3 groups and collaborate, that will increase our relevance. It will also expand the pool of people with an interest in seeing KZYX remain successful. Might even bring in more advertisement. I hope to use the organizing and real world skills I have picked up managing restaurants, and working on stage crews to help move KZYX forward. I will be devoting my time to the station and Board. There is enough to do that needs doing. I don't believe in doing things heefus (boontling for half-ass). Thank you for your time and consideration.

Renee Vinyard (At-large)
I am interested in becoming a KZYX at large board member. I have been a KZYX contributor since the station's inception. I appreciate its wide range of programs and information. My interest in running for a board seat is knowing the importance of a healthy and thriving community. I recently lost a home in the October 9th fires. KZYX was a main source of information for many of us affected by these fires and I see this as a critical benefit to listeners of this radio station. Also, we have a diverse population in the immense area that the radio station serves. It is important to give a platform to people and groups without bias of race, politics, age, or sexual orientation. I currently work as a physician's assistant in Ukiah. I have been on a number of boards in the past and have experience with decision making and fundraising challenges. I am also a board member of Liga International which has two clinics in Mexico. I work there as a medical practitioner several times a year and am involved with recruiting members and fundraising for this nonprofit group. I look forward to serving KZYX as an active board member.

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