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KOBI-TV News Not Telling the Whole Story?

I got an email, or message from KOBI to please get out a notification to its views Monday morning Aug. 14th. I agreed and published the material on Facebook on the Scott Valley News page as it was about a broadcast tower in Scott Valley.

Daniel Webster

The Smullin family — owners of KOBI-TV NBC5 — is one of the wealthiest in Rogue Valley. They don’t need a grant to upgrade their translator. Someone needs to pull those propane tanks off the mountain. A little solar panel isn’t expensive and the Smullins can afford it, if they actually want to. Shortly, most will be receiving their “local” channels online.

Patsy Smullin

Danielle Lindler wrote this for clarification later that evening of August 14th.

I want to explain what happened- there has been zero maintenance on the facility and it was a fire hazard waiting to happen with bare electrical lines running through brush ( not even in conduit), fallen snags on the line and pine needles on propane tanks and on the 2 propane generator burners (it’s a fire torch inside a metal box that generates electricity) and non secured propane tanks that are in quantities that require Hazmat. These towers sit right above the city of Etna and presented a significant fire hazard to the community and if a fire had started the landowner and myself would have faced felony charges as per cal fire. The contract is NOT revoked- it’s suspended until repairs can be made. The contract requires the entities with the TV stations to meet all county, state and federal laws. They are not meeting any of the requirements currently and the landowner got a notice of violation from cal fire and the county to cease and desist until fixes are made. It is libelous for the TV station to state half truths about the situation and besmirch the reputation of the landowner when in fact they are in default and not meeting county/ state and federal requirements for operating a TV antennae. Cal fire and the county have made recommendations to repair the facility and those will be forwarded to the TV stations. So with that, it is frustrating to say the least that the TV station has taken to social media and then further more did not explain the full circumstances surrounding the facility when the goal has been to just bring the site into compliance and abate the fire risk to the community. The landowner does their best to be a good member to the community by keeping their lands open to the public for non motorized recreation, and only shutting down when we have periods of extreme fire risk and or when our fire resources are pulled out of county. 

Please understand Siskiyou County is my home and that I personally am looking for grants to try and assist the TV station bring the site up to code.

I Spoke with Calfire for more information on violations and a report. Nothing has been filed as of this writing.

Charnna Gilmore wrote on August 15th, 2023

It has been frustrating to read through the comments on this post and here is why:

Danielle Lindler, owner and head forester of Jefferson Resource Company provided a very clear explanation of some of the details (see in the comments) left off of KOBI-TV’s post. EFM owns ~40,000 in Scott Valley. They bought this land from a company called Timbervest. Since EFM bought the property, and with the help of Danielle and her company and others (Siskiyou Land Trust, 5 Counties, Scott River Watershed Council) EFM has been systematically improving road systems, such as the private road up Kidder Creek that accesses swimming holes and Kidder Creek Lake trailhead. They are working hard to reduce fuels, create jobs and trying to get their forest lands into a condition that can withstand fire.

They have brought in significant resources to build a large, shade fuel break that starts south of Kidder Creek and will eventually tie into the Callahan-Cecilville Road. This is a huge investment into the safety of our communities. They have brought in logging and fuel reduction jobs, road work, and more. 

This situation with this TV company was solely the responsible of this private TV company. As Danielle has clearly explained, the condition of the infrastructure was dangerous and was shut down due to the gross negligence of their equipment. Folks, it was a major fire hazard and if (or when) it had started a fire, both EFM and their property managers, Jefferson Resource Company would have been facing huge legal issues especially if a fire burnt down a town like Etna or any other homes in the area. 

KOBI-TV is being completely disingenuous with their media campaign. They should take responsible about their equipment to make sure our communities stay safe.

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