Live from New York, it’s local radio

Sacramento-free radio: Bites tuned in to the Tim, Chip and Lisa Show last week, seeking a little locally produced comic relief and instead was greeted by a re-run of the Opie and Anthony Show.

When Infinity Broadcasting declined to renew the Tim, Chip and Lisa Show, formerly heard 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on 93.7 KXOA, it put another nail in the coffin of original, local radio programming, instead now giving up nine straight hours of syndicated New York blab.

The TC&L Show was more than four hours of fart jokes and in-studio gags (though it was definitely that). The show was one of the few in the area that regularly showcased local bands and events.

The TC&L Army’s weekly Thursday night parties consistently filled Crawdad’s River Cantina to capacity, even sinking the stage on one wild June night. Just two weeks before their cancellation, their “Smack in the Old Sac” amateur boxing event drew hundreds of people to the Hogshead Brew Pub on a workday afternoon—this, in a town criticized for a lack of enthusiasm.

So Bites hereby chomps corporate radio, and Infinity Broadcasting in particular, for canceling a show that lightened up the Capital City and brought people together in the name of drinking, dancing and watching people punch each other.

Ridin’ and ropin': Political fallout from last year’s energy crisis continues to rain down in the Capitol, drenching former Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) chief S. David Freeman in allegations of being a price gouger unworthy of running the state’s new power authority.

Nonetheless, despite the sound whipping by Republicans, Freeman this week won Senate confirmation to head the California Public Power Authority, with all Democrats voting for him and all Republicans against.

Freeman’s well-deserved lumps came from his stint running the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power during the energy crisis, when that agency was a willing perpetrator in the economic gang-bang that Californians were subjected to by power generators that abused the deregulated system.

Republicans Ross Johnson and Bill Morrow gleefully grilled Freeman about evidence showing LADWP jacked up prices by moving power around price caps and taking plants off-line at key times, and fired up old mothballed plants to take full advantage of the feeding frenzy.

Freeman, known for wearing cowboy boots and hats, is lauded as an energy expert, but he’s also maybe the sector’s biggest chameleon, donning a variety of caps, from public power advocate and deregulation critic to the defender of deregulation and apologist for the Gray Davis administration’s bungled approach to the problem.

Simon sez debate: Speaking of our ever-so-gray governor, Davis and his supporters have been trying to victory dance all over business-scandal-tarnished opponent Bill Simon. Bites even joined in the jig last week in declaring Simon’s recent Sacramento campaign appearance a surreal exercise in dead man walking.

But there was one thing Simon said that was worthy of praise, and it illustrates a Davis vulnerability that Simon could exploit with a sort of left-right set of jabs that could knock the incumbent off his high horse.

Asked by a reporter whether Green Party gubernatorial candidate Peter Miguel Camejo should be included in any debates, Simon forcefully answered, “I will insist that Peter Camejo be a part of any debates.”

It was a laudable position that would greatly expand the narrow political discourse in this state, even if Simon’s motives for the position were purely political self-interest. You see, in a televised debate, Camejo could hammer away at Davis’ exposed left flank—pointing out his dismal record on environmental, labor and social justice issues—while Simon plays conservative straight man. And they could follow that stand-up routine with a two-part harmonic rendition of “Governor Pay-to-Play.”

In Bites’ fantasy world, such an exercise could even elevate Camejo to a serious contender over Tweedle-dumb and Tweedle-dumber, even though “seeming safe and boring” seems to be the real world political menu’s only offerings these days. Alas.