Before rising up in fury over the decision by the board of our small, low-powered radio station to cancel a popular radio show hosted by two well-known local characters, let's take a deep breath.

WMRW, a grassroots community radio station, began broadcasting in East Warren several years ago. With a goal of bringing locally generated shows to locals, the radio opens its studio to just about anyone who wanted to air a radio show. It has been amazingly successful in that regard.

Now, its board, concerned about whether there is whiff of commercial impropriety coming from a show about wine hosted by two guys in the wine business, has cancelled that show. There is a concern that two guys in the wine business talking about wines may be using the show or appearing to use the show for financial gain.

And that is the really hard part of this story. It is highly unlikely the radio show hosts were reaping any financial gain, either personally or professionally, by hosting a wine show on a low-powered community radio station.

The board has to draw the line regarding impropriety or even the hint or appearance of impropriety wherever it sees fit to draw that line. It's made more difficult by the fact that in small towns and small communities the various roles that people play in their lives often overlap.

So sometimes, there are real estate brokers sitting on planning commissioners. Sometimes there are doctors serving in the fire department. Sometimes the manager of a store with a great wine selection is the most likely candidate to host a show about wine. Sometimes builders and developers serve on development review boards.

The board's desire to keep its station clear of any hint of the public airwaves being used for private financial gain is an understandable and laudable goal.

But it does raise the question of how and where the lines get drawn for others who want to participate, or volunteer, or host a show or lend a hand.

Should no one participate, host a show, volunteer, sit on a board, serve on a committee, or do anything public that might have anything to do with how they earn their personal livelihood? Might that not deprive us of some of our best sources of donated/volunteered expertise?

Roles do overlap in small towns. We need to recognize that and, where appropriate, give people the benefit of the doubt about their intent and back that action up with ironclad bylaws prohibiting inappropriate personal financial gain from anything involving the public trust, airwaves or public funding.