, Port Arthur, Texas


June 6, 2013

Editorial: Using EDC funds for radio station bad idea

PORT ARTHUR — Stephen Mosely of The Breeze radio station is asking to blur the lines between government and media.

He led a petition drive and through the citizen initiative process forced a proposition to be placed on the May 11 ballot. Voters approved — by 66 to 34 percent — making up to $1.6 million over four years of Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation money available for entertainment and related infrastructure.

Now he’s made a request for EDC money — not for creating jobs but for building and operating a radio station. We think that request should be denied.

During its life The Breeze, a low-power FM radio station that operates as a not-for-profit entity, has experienced first hand what can happen when radio waves or any other form of mass media is used to criticize government.

The station was once housed in the City Hall complex. After some community affairs programming that involved one political faction in the city criticizing the actions of another in the city — completely legitimate in the world of talk radio — the station suddenly had to move out of city hall. The connection was never officially made, of course, but it never pays to blast the officials that house you.

The problem with The Breeze asking for more government money, aside from other, more pressing uses for the EDC’s funds, is the question of how would the station management be independent to honestly express opinions about the government that funds them. And how would listeners know that the EDC or the City Council wasn’t insisting on how some opinions or issues were handled — or ignored — by the radio station.

We think Mosely has some great ideas for a multi-purpose facility that would house the station, provide some much-needed training for community members and provide other services that would benefit local residents. We think The Breeze provides some much needed services such as the community affairs programming, great music and even airing some Memorial Titans sports events.

Grants, fundraisers, advertising and other methods of raising money should all be used to keep The Breeze operating and growing. But living off government funds is not a good idea for an independent media outlet. We urge the EDC board not to let it happen.

Text Only
  • Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'

    In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.

    April 16, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Obama's equal pay exaggeration leads us all into danger

    The president's claims of national shame over gender-based pay inequity spring from distorted calculations, as well as some convenient political math.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Taking someone out to the ballgame gets expensive

    Families in big-league cities like Boston and New York pay steep prices to catch a baseball game. It's not so expensive everywhere - especially if you're frugal.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don't blame voters for low turnout

    Suppose nobody votes this year. On Nov. 4 the doors to the polling places are thrown open, and there isn't anyone in line. No absentee ballots are filed. No one litigates, charging either fraud or discrimination, because there weren't any voters.
    It won't happen. But if it did, pundits and activists would surely blame public apathy for such a catastrophe. I'd name a different culprit: the major parties, their candidates and their acolytes in the news media.

    April 7, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Voters beware of oligarchs and bogeymen

    Scaring voters to distract them from issues is a tired - and bipartisan - ploy sure to be in heavy rotation this campaign season.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Legal marijuana can be government's new cash crop

    Officials holding out against legalized marijuana may "evolve" their thinking because of one number: Colorado says it gathered $2 million in taxes from pot shops in January, as business was just getting started.

    March 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sherry Sad story shared by too many

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Young athletes face alarming risk of head injuries

    Concussions are a growing injury among young athletes and cause for alarm. Reasons for the trend are varied, but we at least need better data and more study of how to avoid them.

    March 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Banning a 'B-word' teaches girls the wrong lesson

    Striking the word "bossy" from the language doesn't help young girls learn to speak up or become leaders. It teaches them how to be, well, bossy.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wild Hog politics tearing Port Arthur

    February 4, 2014