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Bike picnic goes peacefully as planned

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 24th, 2006 at 9:09 am

Bike Jammin picnic

When some cyclists got wind of a Jammin 95.5 picnic event at Grant Park on Saturday many in the community urged them not to attend. There was a concern that if any cyclists showed up it would just incite the radio station's fans and tarnish an already tense situation.

Jasun Wurster disagreed. He thought a public park was the perfect place to peacefully demonstrate the community's concerns about the situation, so he organized a bike picnic. Wurster set up a website with information and notified the Portland Police Bureau to make sure they were well aware of the situation and his intentions (they were).

Bike Jammin picnic

I wasn't sure what to make of it, so I decided not to fully promote the picnic on this site. Instead, I briefly mentioned it and gave people a link for more information.

On the day of the event I rode over with my girls to see how things were going.

Turns out it was a very positive protest. Wurster was there, along with just a few other cyclists, painting signs and writing chalk messages on the paths. He had some music playing, blankets spread out, and frisbees to throw.

Bike Jammin picnic
Bike Jammin picnic

Adjacent to Wurster's picnic was the Jammin 95.5 party. They had several huge bouncy castles and slides for the kids, free food, face-painting, music, the whole nine-yards. My 3 year-old jumped right in and before I knew it she had a Jammin 95.5 temporary tattoo on her arm (kids will be kids I guess.)

I surveyed the scene and noticed station manager Tim McNamara among the crowd so I decided to introduce myself.

Unfortunately, even though we've had several civil phone conversations, it was obvious that McNamara didn't feel like talking. After our initial greeting, he quickly launched into his anger at the chalked messages, accused cyclists of hate speech, then turned his back and walked away.

Meanwhile, Wurster had set up a table with free bubbles, lollipops, I Share the Road stickers and an informational flier. The flier, created by Wurster, explained why he was there on one side, and had an open letter to McNamara on the other.

Bike Jammin picnic

Overall, I had a very positive experience and I admire Wurster's efforts in letting the station and their listeners know how he feels. At one point I even noticed him talking with a 95.5 employee as the guy grabbed an I Share the Road sticker.

For Wurster's account and photos of the picnic, check out his report.

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Comments
  • Lanette July 24, 2006 at 9:51 am

    Great job Jasun. I was out of town or I would have been right next to you.

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  • Scout July 24, 2006 at 9:57 am

    Wow. I thought something about Tim McNamara's comments rang false when you first published them last week, but I didn't say anything for fear of adding to an already tense situation. Now I think it's clear his motivation in this whole fiasco has nothing to do with what's right, or what really happened, but what will (in his own words, just make it all go away.

    On a positive note, kudos to Mr. Wurster for trying to bring about a sensible and peaceful end to things through helpful education. Would that all cyclists had his genuine concern for the sport and the community. Thanks, Jason!

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  • Jasun Wurster July 24, 2006 at 9:58 am

    Thanks Jonathan,

    A lot of cyclists made me feel like an extremist outcast for organizing this event, trying to keep it in the public eye and for having typos / misspellings in my reports. I do admit that more than a few times on the Shift List I have been upset and frustrated to the point of irrationality in my emails and I sincerely apologize for this.

    The reason I am perusing to apply pressure on the station and keeping the message out there, is that I feel people need to know about this. Yea, I am tired of hearing about it and talking about it. Still, I am amazed how many people are unaware of this. More so those that are aware of the situation and have not filed a complaint with the FCC and left a message with the station manager.

    This is not about curtailing Free Speech. The airwaves in the United States are public property and broadcasters must abide by laws that do not apply to everyday citizens 1st Amendment rights. The FCC is the one who needs to decide if the law was violated ... not the station manager.

    All I want is to hear the show and send a copy to the FCC for them to review. Unfortunately, the radio station is not respecting mine and other's request. In no way am I trying to tie the following events, for MLK's battle pales in comparison to what I am doing. There are 2 quotes in a 'Letter from a Birmingham Jail' that I constantly reflect on:

    “... Privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily.”

    “The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.”

    All I want to do is hear the show and let the FCC hear it.

    If you have not please file a complaint with the FCC:

    Here is a cheat sheet and it takes only 2 minuets:

    http://web.pdx.edu/~jasun/haters/cheat_sheat.html

    Thanks again Jonathan, you are doing a wonderful job.

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  • Jasun Wurster July 24, 2006 at 10:03 am

    Thanks again Jonathan, you are doing a wonderful job.

    One day I will learn. I meant to say that.

    my battle pales in comparison to MLK's

    Damn Dyslexia

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  • Dom July 24, 2006 at 10:59 am

    Scout I completely agree with your comments;
    "Wow. I thought something about Tim McNamara’s comments rang false when you first published them last week, but I didn’t say anything for fear of adding to an already tense situation. Now I think it’s clear his motivation in this whole fiasco has nothing to do with what’s right, or what really happened, but what will (in his own words, just make it all go away."

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  • Dr. Mark Ross July 24, 2006 at 11:11 am

    good work Jasun!

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  • Aaron July 24, 2006 at 11:13 am

    I congratulate Jason and the folks who went up there to 'look the devil in the eye.'
    We definately need to keep pressure on Tim and the station. I've encouraged The Red Cross to remove their financial support and I'm looking for Les Schwab's corporate contact to thank them for doing so.
    Let's keep it up!

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  • Jasun Wurster July 24, 2006 at 11:25 am

    Oh Yea,

    I have a sponsor page up and going. It is located at:

    http://web.pdx.edu/~jasun/haters/sponsors.html

    If you find that some of the info is incorrect or get better contact info please email:

    radio_help [at] pnxcorp.com

    Also Organic Brian sent me a list of Sponsors from listening to the show for the past few days. I commend him on being able to do that! If you see any sponsors that I have missed please email them to me as well.

    One last thing, the Indymedia post I placed about the picnic results got me in contact with a member of the a member of the National Lawyers Guild and a board member of the NWCRC (NorthWest Constitutional Rights Center) to try to apply more legal pressure on the station to let us and the FCC hear the show.

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  • organic brian July 24, 2006 at 12:31 pm

    Talking w/ Tim McNamara last week by phone strengthened my resolve to have the station punished. He was a complete jerk, focused on woe-is-me-I'm-being-hassled and not really concerned about the endangerment of cyclists, and he was still carrying on with the "statments out of context" and about them being oriented to scofflaw cyclists. He made excuses about why there is no show archive available that sounded totally implausible to me, and yes I am saying I think he's a liar. Doesn't every radio station keep archives of its shows, as a matter of policy? Somebody who works in radio please respond.

    I had heard that at the park Tim was hollering about the cost to the city of cleaning the sidewalk chalk. As soon as I stopped busting up with laughter, I called and left a message for him that sidewalk chalk cleans up with rain, and it's pretty unlikely the city will be spending one minute dealing with it.

    SPONSORS LIST: here is a list, contact info coming soon.

    FRIDAY 7/21: Subway (sandwiches), Home Depot, Volkswagen, Car Toys, ITT Tech, Bob Lanphere’s Beaverton Honda / Kia / Infinity, PGE, The Shane Company, Chevy trucks, Toyota trucks.

    MONDAY 7/24: Beaverton Nissan (if I heard correctly), newcarloan.com, Hyundai, Summit Research Network, accounttempts.com, uworkudrive.com, joehascredit.com

    Mind you, I didn't listen to the entire 5-hour shows... a couple hours is all I can stomach of that hideously unfunny drivel.

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  • C3PNo July 24, 2006 at 1:27 pm

    Yikes! Y'd think that, with that many car commercials, they might be downright pressured to make other transportation options seem inferior...oh, wait...

    I feel a FCC mandated PSA coming on...

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  • Garrett July 24, 2006 at 2:06 pm

    Ok here is the skinny...I doubt that 95.5 kept the tape...well, chances are they have it. If it was posted on iTunes even for a few minutes I'm sure someone got it. Might try searching the bit torrents out there and seeing if it pops up anywhere. Anyway the FCC says that they aren't really required to keep it unless it is a personal attack or political editorial. They define personal attack with some ambiguity so take it as you will,

    "Personal attacks occur when, during the presentation of views on a controversial issue of public importance, someone attacks the honesty, character, integrity, or like personal qualities of an identified person or group. No more than a week after a personal attack, the station must transmit the following three things to the person or group attacked: (1) notification of the date, time, and identification of the broadcast; (2) a tape, script or accurate summary of the attack; and (3) an offer of a reasonable opportunity to respond on the air."

    The FCC also makes a statement about Free Speach and the "Clear and Present Danger" statute.

    ""Clear and Present Danger." The Constitution protects advocacy of using force or of violating the law. However, the Supreme Court has said that the government may curtail speech if it is both: (1) intended to incite or produce dangerous activity; and (2) likely to succeed in achieving that result. Even where this "clear and present danger" test is met, we believe that any review that might lead to a curtailment of speech should be performed by the appropriate criminal law enforcement authorities, and not by the FCC."

    So in other words for this to go much further a lawyer may be needed.

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  • lianagan July 24, 2006 at 2:57 pm

    Weber Shandwick is the PR firm handling the advertising for Milk, one of 95.5's national advertisers listed on Jasun's site. Here is their contact info:

    http://www.webershandwick.com/contacts/index.cfm

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  • Tree July 24, 2006 at 10:44 pm

    I nominate Jasun for next year's Alice B. Toeclips award. yeah!

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  • pdxcommuter July 24, 2006 at 10:56 pm

    Earlier, in response to Jonathan's "What should we do now?" blog entry, I wrote:

    "Until the Red Cross dis-associates itself from 95.5, I will not be donating blood."

    Since the Red Cross pulled their ad from 95.5's web page, I went over to the Red Cross and donated blood today. I also sent them a follow-up note thanking them for pulling the ad.

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  • laura July 24, 2006 at 11:04 pm

    that's awesome. i need to go donate blood again. thanks for mentioning it!

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