Category Archives: Cleveland Dietz

Hot Air

Tomorrow, The World

Writing for this worldwide communications colossus really fetches me scads of ego strokes. I get messages from around the globe telling me things like this:

Hello, its fastidious piece of writing on the topic of media print, we all be familiar
with media is a impressive source of facts.

This accolade — all sic, natch — was posted to my comment queue at 6:50 EST this morning. So this Pencil fan is either pathologically hard-working or she lives on the other side of the planet. I have no idea where she comes from — Moldova, perhaps, or The Gambia — so I can’t really describe her as a Pencillista (we are awfully exclusive, darling). I know she’s a she because her email address indicates her name is Jewel. Maybe she’s the Jewel, you know, the briefly torrid singer-songwriter from the ’90s? Then again, I’d guess the Jewel would have a better command of the English language considering she comes from Alaska. (Then again, again, there is the matter of Sarah Palin, but anyway.)


A Fan?

Well, welcome — sorta — to the club, Jewel. And I promise to continue to put out fastidious pieces of writing.

Dig Deep

Cleveland Dietz II, WFHB CinC, has announced the hiring of a development director for the community radio operation.

Dorothy Granger will now be tasked with digging up enough dough to pay the multi-million-dollar salaries of luminaries such as Music Director Jim Manion and News Director Alycin Bektesh. WFHB’s revenues have been flat the last couple of years. Volunteers and staffers have stood on their heads to keep the take from the last few annual fundraisers at a steady level.


Dorothy Granger

Granger, meanwhile has been raising cash for a variety of orgs. and assns. She also serves on the City Council, representing Bloomington’s District II. Here’s her official city bio:

Dorothy Granger has worn many hats over the years — researcher, educator, higher education administrator, director of non-profit agencies, fundraiser, quilter. She is the mother of a teenager and active in her attempts to encourage and support citizen participation. She was most recently the Director of Development for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and previous to that, the Executive Director of Girls Incorporated of Monroe County. While “new” to the Bloomington political scene, she was actively engaged in her younger days, rallying and fighting for the ERA.

Now, all she has to do is get some of our town’s big wheels to fork over some real green for community radio.

That Tears It

So, a former Muncie woman yesterday was convicted, essentially, of trying to tear her on-again, off-again boyfriend’s balls off.

Christina Reber was found guilty of battery resulting in serious bodily injury. She faces four years in the Indiana state joint now.

Reber has never denied trying to rip her 59-y-o consort’s jewels from their pouch. Acc’d’g to this morning’s Indy Star, Reber grabbed the man’s wrinkle purse and proceeded to pull hard enough to rip the skin and flesh so badly the man had to undergo reconstructive plastic surgery. The Star quoted the man — who was unnamed in the story — as saying, “It was excruciating. I was close to blacking out. I felt tearing.”

[At this point, all males reading this are gasping for breath and trying to get their body hair to lay flat again.]


Don’t Mess With Chris

This is all well and good but Reber has maintained all along she tried to give the love of her life a shorthair cut because he’d become violent himself during an argument. Apparently, he’d recently broken off with her and she marched over to his house to tell him precisely what she thought about his decision.

Not much, I guess.

[Take a good look at her mugshot, above. Tell me she doesn’t look like someone who’d say, “You keep that up and I’ll tear your balls right off. I mean it.”]

Some kind of struggle ensued. He says Reber grabbed his trouser boys for no good reason at all. Reber says he was bullying her so she resorted to the attempted involuntary neutering.

Natch, he sez-she sez is a risky game to play. Most sane souls choose to keep clear of such contretemps. Judge Marianne Vorhees, OTOH, is required by law to pick sides and she went with the party with the ripped scrotum. He’s the one with the surgical scar, after all, while Reber sports no mementos of their tiff.

I suppose I can’t blame the judge but four years seems awfully harsh. I just wonder if, say, the man had busted Reber’s jaw he would get four years room and board. For that matter would any man who busts the jaw of his ever-loving’ best gal in the Hoosier state earn himself a four-spot?

I certainly hope so.

Hot Air


So, winter’s going to kick the crap out of us this weekend. Dang, mang, if only there were some way we could fight back.

Old Man Winter

I See….

Here’s your word of the day:



Human beings have a hard wired need to envision faces, animals, or anything, really, in otherwise shapeless forms. Anthropologists have speculated that this might have to do with the need to keep the early, proto-human kiddies near the cave or the tree limb at night when hungry carnivores were on the roam.

See, those brats who were more prone to see faces, even imagined ones, in the shadows of night would tend to stay closer to home and, subsequently grow up to reproduce. The kids whose imaginations were less than lively might tend to traipse around while everyone else was asleep and thus become a tasty snack for a hungry cat.

Sabre-toothed Cat

So, when you see bunny rabbits or the face of your Uncle Phil in the clouds on a breezy summer afternoon, know that you’re prob. not going to get swallowed whole any time soon.

¡Viva La Revolución!

The parking meters that our noble city leaders had installed downtown in July are not at all controversial.

Parking Meters

Photo: Chris Howell/Herald Times

That is, they are universally despised, save for the mayor and the six city council members who voted for them. Flyers have been circulated calling for, if not their heads, the seats of the elected officials responsible for their installation. Some say Mayor Mark Kruzan may not even run for reelection in 2015 because of the hue and cry he’s been hearing outside his City Hall windows since the summer.

Some are being driven to open rebellion or, more accurately, stupid acts of vandalism. To wit: Many of the meters have been sprayed painted, thus obscuring their readouts and making them effectively unusable. Not only that, a few hot-blooded insurrectionists are jamming materials like tape and wood into the meters’ coin slots.

I’m certain once NSA spies and Wall Street banksters get wind of this popular uprising, they will promptly fold their tents and declare that The People have won.

Off With Their Heads!

Speaking of The People winning, it was whispered into my ear recently that the WFHB Board of Directors actually voted on naming Cleveland Dietz as the station’s new general manager in open session last month.

Yup. After several Board members shrieked in November that they’d never, ever, ever disclose whom they voted for when the august body tabbed Kevin Culbertson as GM earlier in the fall (and, to refresh your memory, Culbertson’s appointment was shouted down by the Vox Populi), the BoD did a dramatic turnaround for the Dietz vote.

The Board noodled in closed session during its December meeting, wondering what to do next to find a captain for the drifting ship. Much of the talk centered on starting the excruciating, six-month national search process all over again. That is, until interim general manager Dietz, who had run the station since July and wasn’t even one of the three finalists presented to the Board by the GM search committee, piped up and said Hey, what about me?

According to knowledgeable sources, Board members looked at each other, shrugged, and said, Why not?

So, it was off to open session, sometime near midnight, to tab Dietz. And the mice in the City Hall walls cheered lustily.

Dancing Mice

Hot-cha-cha Air

Ten Hut!

Ready for a chain reaction of idiocy?

Morton Grove is a comfortable suburb just northwest of Chicago, populated by devout Christians and Jews. And, I might add, pious followers of the American religion.

Morton Grove Sign

As in many such modest burghs, the municipal officials, members of boards, and heads of civic organizations in Morton Grove see themselves as something a bit more than the paper shufflers and ten cent soapbox orators the less enlightened of us might view them as.

When they look at themselves in the mirror each morning, they see proud, courageous, righteous bulwarks whose sacred duty is to protect America from ruination.

Where would we be without them?

To wit: a couple of months ago, renegade Morton Grove Park District official Dan Ashta decided to spit in the face of all that is right and good by opting to sit during the Pledge of Allegiance, the reciting of which kicks off that august body’s monthly meetings. Which only makes sense: after all, how can one plan for next spring’s Little League schedule without expressing solemn and sincere obeisance to this holy land?

Ashta is a constitutional lawyer and says his refusal to stand during the Pledge is an exercise of his free rights as delineated in that document. Whoa now, says the commander of the local American Legion post. Joseph Lambert immediately announced his group was withdrawing some $2600 of annual support it gives to the District to fund things like fireworks displays and holiday celebrations.

In other words, nobody’s going to have any fun in Morton Grove until that commie rat Ashta gets up off his duff.

Photo/Baltimore Sun

No Fun For You!

Makes sense, no? Why else would able-bodied young men march themselves into the meat grinder of war unless it was for the higher cause of ensuring that people hold their hands over their hearts while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance?

It seems another bad man read of this teapot tempest and decided to throw his own anarchist’s bomb into the crowd. Hemant Mehta (clearly a foreign mole, right?), a teacher, blogger, and — gasp! — atheist from suburban Naperville, figured he’d subvert the will of America’s fightin’ men by raising the $2600 himself and donating it to the Morton Grove Park District.


Hemant Mehta

So, we’re back to square one, eh? Nay.

Mehta presented his check to the District at which point its executive director Tracey Anderson sent the dough back and said, essentially, keep yer filthy coin. Anderson emailed Mehta and at first told him the District was in no mood to get itself involved in any kind of First Amendment debate. Strange, isn’t it? Mehta’s cash doesn’t strike me as being particularly argumentative. Later in the email, Anderson seemed to reveal the real reason the District can do without the $2600.

As reporter Jonathan Bullington wrote in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune: “The email also says Park District officials do not want to appear ‘sympathetic to,’ or show a perceived position for or against, ‘any particular political or religious cause.'”

I have no way of knowing at this moment how much money the Park District accepts regularly from various churches, congregations, and synagogues. If Anderson’s rationale is to be believed, the figure would be precisely zero.

So, Morton Grovers are back to having no fun.

All because some troublemaker read the United States Constitution. The dirty commie.


The WFHB Board of Directors’ botched search for a general manager has cost the station at least one invaluable resource for the time being.

The Pencil won’t reveal this person’s name, but one long-time active volunteer says s/he will take a break from station activities for an indefinite period of time.

This person confided s/he doesn’t trust the board’s vision after the six-month fiasco that finally ended last week with the hiring of Cleveland Dietz.

The Pencil has spoken with this person and another key member of the WFHB community in the last couple of days. Both said they have nothing negative to say about Dietz and his performance as acting GM since the departure of Chad Carrothers in June, but the Board’s tabbing of him seemed “a copout” and “panicky.”

In fact, the latter of those sources told the Pencil s/he is thinking of asking for the entire board to resign.

Hot Air-waves V

Cleveland Rocks

Here’s how the news reached my ears…, er, eyes.

Monday, the night of the mildly tumultuous WFHB Board of Directors meeting in City Council chambers, I was expecting that august body to do a quick, pro-forma vote to extend Cleveland Dietz as acting general manager through December 31st. After all, that’s what Cleveland himself had told me would happen.

But the Board had been spanked verbally by many in the volunteer membership for much of the evening and, toward the end of the night, announced it would gather in closed session to talk about Cleveland’s future.


Cleveland Dietz

A future, by the way, I figured at that moment would last until the spring, at least with regard to our town’s community radio station. Cleveland himself had told me the Board expected to conduct another seemingly endless (my adjectives, not his) search for a permanent czar and the whole shebang could take until April. He caught himself when he said that and asked me not to mention the April thing in this communication colossus. I agreed to zip it.

It puzzled me that the Board should have to shut the public out of so minor a move — minor, that is, in light of the whole botched GM search that has been going on since…, hmm, let’s see now, oh, since Bill Clinton was president.

I pressed Board prez Joe Estivill for any information at all on Cleveland’s status. Joe shook his head. He wouldn’t commit to anything. I could only get him to commit to calling me when the Board finished up with its closed session.

Joe did call as Monday turned into Tuesday. The news he had for me was no news at all. The Board hadn’t voted on extending Cleveland as official seat-warmer and, in fact, had been discussing “some other issues” and would have something to say within 24 hours. I’d already started falling asleep when Joe’s call came in so, through the haze, I grunted humph. I like scoops and this, quite frankly, wasn’t much of one.

It seemed to me at the time that the Board had decided its best form of action in light of the Kevin Culbertson fiasco was to dither. Officially.

Joe asked me to sit on the “some other issues” news, to which a readily agreed. Surely there’d be no Pulitzer prize awaiting me for breaking the news that the Board was, y’know, thinking about something or another.

Flash forward to last night at precisely 11:40. Again, I was wrapped in the arms of Morpheus when the phone rang. By the time I picked it up, the caller’d hung up. It had been Joe. So eager was I to slip back into the dreamless that I decided, hell, I can call him back tomorrow morning. Surely whatever he had to reveal to me could wait.

I tossed and turned for an hour and a half until I sprang up from the pillow. Of course! I’ve got it! The Board decided Monday night to go back and offer the job to good old Chad Carrothers!

I jumped up and debated whether I should call Joe back immediately. Then I figured the poor old soul was probably drifting off into Z-ville himself. On a hunch, I cranked up this internet machine, just on the odd chance Joe’d sent me an email or Facebook message that Chad was back in the fold and all would be right with the world.

Once the Indian head test pattern had dissolved and Facebook flashed on my screen, I saw the real news.

Cleveland, that lucky dog, is in. For the long haul. Congratulations to the new permament general manager of radio station WFHB.

After six months of hand-wringing, waiting by the phone, and consulting oracles and tea leaves to find a new holder of the station’s riding crop, the Board has done something right. And the rest of us ought to pat the seven of them collectively on the back.

Tabbing Cleveland to steer the ship for the next few years is the safest and most healing move the Board could make.

Who has any problems with Cleveland Dietz? He’s as mild-mannered and uncontroversial a figure as can be found in the state of Indiana. Plus, he’s been trained in his job by none other than Chad Carrothers himself, whose coat he’d held in his role as assistant GM prior to CC’s unexpected move to the west last summer.

He’s proven himself capable and keeping him on permanently ensures that the station won’t go through any wrenching transition under a stranger. And even if the Board had elected to ask  Chad to sit in his old chair, there’d be grumblings from those who found the old boss a little too rough around the edges.

The first person who complains about the Cleveland hire is nothing more than a person who complains obsessively, and maybe professionally.

Maryll Jones broke the news about Cleveland to the public and that’s as it should be. She spent a lot of time and energy — both physical and emotional — wrangling the roomful of cats that comprise the Friends of WFHB. I, for one, would like to see her sit on the Board of Directors just as soon as the rest of us can vote her in.

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