Monthly Archives: February 2014

FRIDAY 2-28-14


This month certainly has passed quickly. It is a day or two short, but so many things took place that the time did seem to speed up. I personally had two major events in my life. I had major surgery on my left shoulder and bought a new home, and moved. One of these events would have been enough….but the two within days was exhausting. The good news is that both events have been right, and are both settling in. Doctors say I should have full movement of the left arm and no pain. Has been the most painful thing I have ever had….but healing well. God bless our Auburn Sutter Faith Doctors and support teams. They are the best.

A major announcement was made this morning that the Historical Landmark Marshall Hotel on 7th street downtown Sacramento will be rebuilt into a high rise boutique hotel to satisfy the expected high paying customers visiting due to the new downtown arena, which now appears to be on a fast track. Recent years, this old hotel has become the home for poor residents, many that have been homeless, and have very limited income. This segment of the community is now faced, again, with being homeless if they do not find adequate housing, somewhere else. This announcement is the first of many moves as major money and investment moves into the downtown Arena area.

On the National Scene, the Russian and Ukraine situation appears to be getting worse. Russia has made military moves by moving troops and equipment to the Western Border and now there are reports of military action at Airports and other military installations. Russia has also moved a warship with missiles to Cuba, Has a lot of similarity of the Cold War which we experienced in 1947 through 1991. It was called the “Cold War” because there was no heavy fighting on the ground according to historians, but I remember Korea and Vietnam which were pretty hot to me. I didn’t serve due to age, but did observe, report on and followed closely. This was also the time, right after WWII where the USA and RUSSIA established themselves as “Super Powers”.

With the healing on my left arm, and getting out of the sling next week, I hope to return to Blogging more often. Thanks for all your comments. Have a great weekend, be kind to yourself, and be happy!

BARRY’S BLOG-Friday 21, 2014

I observed a very interesting event this week. The Federal Government, through the Federal Communications Commission issued a memorandum that they were hiring contractors to enter America’s Radio and TV NEWS-rooms to monitor how subjects are selected for reporting on the air. It appeared the FCC wanted this to be quietly issued, but it was soon picked up and went viral in one day. Why this event was so interesting to me is I have been in the business so many years as a broadcaster and observer I see this as a return to the Governments attempt to control the airwaves which started in 1920 when KDKA was put on the air by Westinghouse Electric Company in Pittsburgh PA. Newspapers had been around for decades and were not controlled under the constitution’s guarantee of Freedom of the Press. Newspapers were very bias and were even called “Republican” and “Democrat” as they named themselves. They opined on Editorial pages but publishers in the early years kept NEWS rooms completely separate and often did great investigative reporting on political crime and dishonesty. Politicians both sought coverage from Newspapers as well as feared them. One astute politician was quoted as saying: “Never make the man that buys ink by the barrel angry”!

So when broadcasting was born in 1920, politicians were really concerned at this new medium, and started immediately to place many rules and regulations in place. First they created the Federal Communications Commission as an engineering based agency to assign frequency to new stations to protect from signals interfering with each other. Broadcasting also was mostly an entertainment medium for its first 20 years. It was World War II and broadcasters like Edward R. Murrow reporting from Europe that shifted Broadcasting into the NEWS business. By then, the Feds had placed many restrictions in place to keep broadcasters from becoming too powerful and having power over people by persuading them to oppose Government actions and policies.

As time went buy, in 1949, the Government imposed what was called the “FAIRNESS DOCTRINE “. In simple terms, the act said broadcasters had to present all sides of any broadcast feature including news, and it was their responsibility to do so. No such requirement was placed on print media so there was always some resentment they do so with the electronic media. This act was repealed in 1987 and left broadcasters to opine on matters of local and national importance. The political community has always tried to get ink and broadcast time but still over all fear opposition, and continue to find way’s to control it. This became apparent again this week when the FCC announced their monitor program. Broadcasters have reacted as expected with outrage.

In the meantime, major shifts have taken place in media. The obvious was the advent of Cable Television News Channels which were started by Ted Turner in 1980 which started an entire new path of news coverage and opinion without government control. the FCC has license control over broadcasters at the transmitter level but nothing over networks, none of which require license from the Government. These cable networks have evolved overtime and gained viewers that in some cases surpass the over air networks like NBC, CBS and ABC. In other words, left to its own devises and no Government control the audience chooses what they want to watch and listen to. Any doubt? How many of us know the names of icon’s like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly. Name the Network anchors if you can.

The other massive shift that has taken place is the arrival of the Internet. The Government started development of this concept in the late 60′s but the system as we know it today was developed in the 80′s. It’s original intent was to stabilize engineering standards for the inter-connection of computers and provide a highway that would have adequate protections and allow all big and small computers to talk with each other and swap information. So in 30 years we have computers, telephones, IPads and televisions all merged together. This massive system also does not have any Government control over its content, and its size and systems may deny Government controls if attempted.

The constitutional freedom of speech does always seem to find a channel to communicate that is out of reach those in power eventually try to muzzle. God bless American genius!

Have a great day, be kind to your self and be happy!


It has been a few days since I have written you all. The operation on my arm on the 21st of January was a whopper, and has been quite painful. That’s the bad NEWS. Good NEWS is I am in physical theropy as of today, and everything seems to be doing fine. Learning to live with one hand has been quite interesting. I was feeling a little depressed last weekend when going out to dinner and dancing with a friend saw a lovely lady with her left arm missing completely, and there she was dancing and enjoying the evening. Felt a little foolish and decided I had noting to complain about. It now will be a rebuilding the mussels and strength which I am told will be about three to four months. Met a man today who is now one year and three months, and still not fully functional. We are all different. There is little pain for me today, and good movement, so guess I am on the mend.

The surprise I have had is how many people have had this operation! Seems that as we age, the shoulders can give out from over use and stress. I miss Golf and so many other things I normally do with two hands…but looking forward to being back full strength.

This time off from Radio has been good, but I miss talking each day on the air. This week, I would have been on each day, but the weekend storm dropped a few inches of water into the radio station studios wetting the flooring and walls, and we have had to automate all week. SERVE PRO is attacking the problem, but for a few days, I get to sleep in.

The daily NEWS continues of course. The saving of “Ruth” from jumping off the Forest Hill bridge was incredible. The men and women that work in our police and public safety departments in this county are outstanding. They talked this lady back to reality and saved her life.

The several inches of rain we received over the weekend brought spirits up. Officials are fast to say however this was only a “drop in the bucket” compared to what we should have. I along with several others are watching the management of this new 6+ feet of water in the Folsom Dam, hoping we don’t give it away too. Congress and others are holding hearing with the Bureau of Reclamation hoping to get better understanding on the release of water this past summer. The Bureau is saying they are just following the rules and regulations set in place over many years driven by environmental and Fish and Game pressures. One of the statements from members of congress is they knew this was happening last summer when the Sacramento River was cresting higher than normal for several months as these releases were taking place. A good question is why weren’t the hearings staged then, and maybe we could have adverted this mess we appear to be in. What I am afraid of is a few doses of Pineapple Express storms, and everyone will get amnesia, and nothing will change to prevent this from happening again. This is the history of this situation. Maybe Mother Nature will bail us out one more time, so to speak. The numbers released by the BOR show 18.5 thousand Acre Feet in and 294 out of Folsom Dam which appears to be the right thing.

The Weather back East is roaring again. Atlanta is in serious trouble with massive ice and wind. They predict over 200 thousand people losing power over the next few hours and no power for several days or weeks. Panic at grocery stores is becoming a problem. Snow, Ice and Winds will dominate the entire East Coast from Florida to NY as they get pounded hard again. These coastal cities have no equipment or enough people with experience to get them back to normal for what could be weeks. I have many friends back there and we are talking daily. Some are “Old Hands” at this and others are asking me if I have a spare room?

The Olympics in Russia appear to be almost “Ho Hum”! Political overtones are playing a part, and the TV coverage is not getting the viewers. I remember when the Olympics at anytime of year got major ratings. I guess we are losing interest! Nice though to see some local “Sierra” names in the Gold columns.

Losing our Auburn new financial person was a disappointment. This is one of the most important jobs in City Government because it monitors the money. Our past auditors, like Andy, did a great job steering the city through tough times and we stayed fiscally sound. Hope we can find a good replacement. Looks like Mayor Bridget has hit the ground with some major challenges with the loss of Bob Richardson as City Manager and now the Auditor. She is a tough lady and I believe she will weather the storm, so to speak.

I hope the SERVE PRO people give me back “Studio One” soon and feels good back in the “Blog Chair” tonight. Have a great day, be kind to yourself, and “Be Happy”!