Friday, December 4, 2009

New Pacifica Fdtn Executive Director

[this is a repost from]

"The Pacifica National Board has selected Arlene Engelhardt to be the new Executive Director of Pacifica. She has been involved with WMNF, a community radio station in Tampa, Florida for almost 20 years – as a programmer, a board member and as President of the Board.

"Arlene has a background in both non-profit and for-profit m"anagement, as Executive Director of United Cerebral Palsy and as Vice President of Product Development at a multimedia publishing company. She has been a lifelong peace activist and believes passionately that Pacifica is one of the most important institutions of our time, a time of exciting challenges.

"She says, “In these turbulent economic times, whether you call it a recession or the beginning of a depression, I am concerned about the effect on people. People will be reaching out for personal connections, for human warmth and compassion, and no other medium can meet these needs like radio. Radio at its best is the most personal of all communicative mediums.”

Arlene will be starting on December 1st. "

Saturday, November 28, 2009

KPFK-LSB disruptions continue on and on ....and on

Audio from the KPFK LSB meeting of November 21, 2009 is available for
download for a limited time from any of the following links. Some may
require entry of a confirmation code which will appear next to the
field into which the code is to be entered. (22 MB)

http://www.sendspac hrrzi1
http://www.easy- 1908529234/ klsb091121. mp3
http://www.megauplo DZN1M2A4


The latest KPFK website election results appear to list an alternate as #16 when other people are stating that he is the next person up to be on the board - once he acknowledges he is present at an LSB meeting roll call . This alternate apparently did not do in the 11/21/09 LSB chaotic event. That meeting occurred with much difficulty because a quorum was delayed for a few hours before sufficient LSB members responded to their name being called out by the Chairman. It was not clear whether some members chose to not attend deliberately to prevent a quorum from being formed so the group could continue working or it was just by chance that not enough LSB members were present at the 1pm beginning time.

The above audio can be listened to to hear the dramatic plays that were in effect to prevent the LSB from 'working' at the agenda many intended to accomplish.

Repeated below is the copy of the LSB recent election results which show #16 as an alternate and yet it has been stated that Reyes is the next person to be admitted to the board upon his attendance as a member.

from KPFK website copied here:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"KPFK LSB Listener Election Results 9 SEATS TO FILL:

1). Bree Walker ELECTED 1ST Round
2). Ken Aaron ELECTED 15TH Round
3). Ian Johnston ELECTED 22ND Round
4). John Wenger ELECTED 24TH Round
5). Dutch Merrick ELECTED 26TH Round
6). Kim Kaufman ELECTED 26TH Round
7). Fred Klunder ELECTED 29TH Round
8). Sequoia Olivia Mercier ELECTED 29TH Round
9). John Parker ELECTED 29TH Round
10). Luis R. Cabrales 1ST Alt.
11). Margie Murray 2nd Alt.
12). Christopher Bayard Condon 3rd Alt.
13). Chuck Anderson 4th Alt.
14). Luis A. Garcia 5th Alt.
15). Dr. Chipasha Luchembe 6th Alt.
16). Lawrence Reyes"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --

To clarify where Reyes is on the elected list, this quote below was provided as information, so that other KPFK stakeholders can also stay updated:

"The KPFK website info is correct - those are the latest election results. The candidates listed as elected have not yet been seated (unless they are incumbents) and the unelected candidates listed only qualify (in sequence) as substitutes for vacancies that occur after the date of the election's certification. The vacancy that Lawrence Reyes qualifies or qualified for occurred prior to this election. "

How confusing for the rest of us ordinary folks who hope for fairness, for having responsible behaviors and for some work actually getting DONE during LSB meetings... instead of the many recent shows of rebelliousness and disruption. Maybe the LSB can have a decent reasonable meeting happen next month ?
Maybe not.

Those who are elected already or who attend as "public" members, and who chose to act-out their demands for more positions and more power and who want to force the political slants only of their own choosing seem to have had an easier way to prevent effective LSB meetings . So the LSB meeting results, instead of adding helpfully to make KPFK stronger, more vital, and improved, or even unified in some ways has be stopped up instead.
Frustrating many members and public attendees to the LSB meetings.

But it is well known that is always easier to prevent and protest and destroy than it is to create, and construct and be positive.

Just a few people can disrupt a large group easily and prevent whatever intentions or agendas were in place by the meeting group. This is not a new tactic, but one that is well known and used for preventing any others from any accomplishments, even if nothing else worthwhile happens then. The disrupters accomplish their aim - to limit anyone else from doing their intended work. Time is wasted. Angers aroused. Havoc and chaos result.

oh, well, what else is new at this station ?

Has it always had plenty of members who acted as factionalized, as power-driven forces who like to fight for a place on-air ?

Has KPFK always been this ineffective and internally divided ?

Can improvements ever occur at such a fragmented and ambitiously populated place?

Listeners on-air also get the clear impression of the internal conflicts and strife too.

Is this helpful for the station and it's sincere missions ?

How can KPFK thrive financially when so much inside conflict leaks out visibly, audibly, and the stakeholders all know that strife and 'protesters' are the ones who can prevent the station's effectiveness even if they can't tear down the whole establishment ?

Is there any way to hope for a better working KPFK world ?

(c) akpfker 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

KPFK to meet to discuss programming and needed are Public Members to attend too

Straight from the KPFK website:

"Listener Forum, Programming Oversight Committee
Sunday, November 22 2009, 5:00pm - 7:00pm by tgoodman Hits : 72

"The Programming Oversight Committee (PrOC) of the KPFK Local Station Board (LSB) will be convening a Listener Forum to discuss the recent programming changes instituted at KPFK. Following a brief presentation by the Interim Program Director, Alan Minsky, the floor will be open for listener questions and comments.

"Sunday, November 22, 2009, 5 - 7:00 pm
Echo Park United Methodist Church
1226 North Alvarado, Los Angeles 90026"


Remember that PUBLIC MEMBERS can attend LSB open meetings and have a brief time space given in which to voice their comments, concerns, suggestions. The time is shared by how many voices there are that want to speak to those officials who PRETEND they represent US sponsors. [ they are called LSB members]

Since it appears that the LSB crowd doesnt do much of any outreach to get actual information from those who pay for the station's survival, and they dont do surveys, nor polls, nor have any group meetings to gather information from KPFK sponsors and listeners....

and since it appears that each LSB person voices mostly [if not only] their personal views and desires / demands at meetings, it is very IMPORTANT for more interested stakeholders, sponsors, and those of us involved in KPFK, attend and say something of value.

The usual way is that a bit of time, like 30 min is alotted and spread amongst those Public Members who want to have their say divided up equally. Sometimes, it may be 2X 30" periods interspersed within the meeting time. Hopefully the comments given are helpful, relevant and clear.

But dont expect action to be taken on your voiced views ! as this may hardly ever happen.

But just "TO BE HEARD" instead of just be 'passively listening" to those more powerful ones who demand to be heard [on air] is a feat in itself.

I encourage anyone who can refrain from angry outbursts, irrelevant topics and scapegoating acts to attend and see what happens at LSB meetings and to say what is necessary and useful.

Try it, you may not like it ....but you may feel better for having tried to improve OUR STATION as a community coming together anyway.

(c) akpfker 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

change means: ......

see or elsewhere

"(countable) the process of becoming different.
The product is undergoing a change in order to improve it.


Synonyms the process of becoming different


See also modification

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Ok. so change and all that displeases those who want to keep everything where it WAS BEFORE and how it WAS BEFORE and every decision must be the same old repetitious one or else many will object....

change requires realignments

change may require new learning

change may include mistakes and errors

change may lose some and gain some

change requires thought and attention

change requires courage and trust

and more change and more ...

but at KPFK ? well, who knows what can happen ?

if your favorite program has changed time or been eliminated, does that mean the whole station has failed you ????
you just dont get 'what you want when you want it ??? or
you were used to getting what you got and then you habituated to it and refuse to have anything else ???

yes, the old same familiar is so much easier to take than having to risk, to try, to evaluate and even to like some unknown or untried or unconventional different program or programmer at KPFK.

but many of us thought that was exactly what KPFK stood for - the variety, the unheard, the unusual, the innovative, and the dissident....

yet change is refused, resisted and resented.

so much for open-minded KPFKers,
or can they too make a change and not be stuck with it or their old reactions ?

if there are no changes, there may soon also be no KPFK at all left

(C) akpfker 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

KPFK members may think CHANGES are not needed so changes should not occur...???

This also appeared in Indymedia in Los Angeles on Nov. 15, 2009, hoping to provoke more responses to the questions therein. Otherwise, this writer is merely writing to themself in isolation and futile attempts at communications. Oh well....whatever.....

So...Why are so many objecting to any changes attempted at Our Radio Station funded by listeners at KPFK ?

NOTE this:

"The Programming Oversight Committee (PrOC) of the KPFK Local Station Board (LSB) will be convening a Listener Forum to discuss the recent programming changes instituted at KPFK. Following a brief presentation by the Interim Program Director, Alan Minsky. the floor will be open for listener questions and comments.

Sunday, November 22, 2009, 5 - 7:00 pm
Echo Park United Methodist Church
1226 North Alvarado, Los Angeles 90026


some of us thought that KPFK was "OPEN" MINDED and wanted ' CHANGES' and improvements too ....but did that mean only Other Groups' and People's changes and not any within the station's own staff or programmers [as is now or before] own defined territory?

Is it possible that hypocrisy inadvertently continues at KPFK and with it's involved members... where they demand and angrily shout they want things to be "different" [hoping for better but there are also many 'inadvertent unintended consequences' as well] but NIOBY ? [not in our back yard, or not our own programs, however our own space is defined]

Is it possible that those who love KPFK want it to stay as it has been for years, the same programmers at exactly the same old times, comfortably repeating their lines, safely ensconced in their programs with their limited listeners, and refusing to budge to give any new voices or views an opportunity to prove themselves to KPFK listeners ?

or even to get some other-than-usual-old audiences ?

WHY is it not possible make changes and shifts ?

to do trial and error ?

to learn from the past ?

to not be stuck in the same-old same-old program slots for umpteen years ?

WHY is it not possible to renew and transform KPFK instead of letting the 'establishment' there claim 'their' on-air time slots as if any time or program or opinion /slant / view is actually OWNED by any one person or any group ? or programmer ?

WHY is change or anything but the prior stand-by version NOT ALLOWED to happen ?

WHO can claim possession of any holy or political or social cultural, [et al] "TRUTH" ? ..or is Truth only as They happen to know it ? and then those authorities do insist on their own slot on KPFK to disseminate Their limited version of their world[s] ?

Is that the best KPFK et al can do ? Repeat itself in perpetuity ?

WHO gives any one permission to determine how to run the station that is a non-profit corporation with paid staff that are duty bound to IMPROVE and make beneficial changes in their attempts to manage and keep financially responsible this radio station ?

HOW can the KPFK "membership" or stakeholders come together to VOTE or ever agree on [anything? ] like which programs should be played on air and when and how often ...and how varied ...and also : who gets the POWER POSITIONS there or who doesn't ????

Sure many of us would like to know how the set-up as it is at KPFK - by it's structure, by laws, traditions, prior and current mistakes and failures, and KPFK being part of more stations also in can KPFK can ever UPDATE itself

To be more current, more relevant to these times, and to also reflect more than the same-old voices that always do the complaining and exhorting from the past ?

Can that past be built upon to make something better happen at KPFK ?

Is it ever allowed or helpful to trust that the paid staff are honestly doing their best in behalf of the radio station and not just being self-serving and "bad" because they are not asking everyone to "vote" on every move or change or intention even ?

What are some specific suggestions and where are they voiced, written or offered ?
(c) akpfker 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

LSB election results...some are....oh well, you decide AFTER watching their actual work results

this is is copied from the web page, with a too long expanded list of alternates listed there:

"KPFK LSB Listener Election Results

1). Bree Walker ELECTED
2). Ken Aaron ELECTED
3). Ian Johnston ELECTED
4). John Wenger ELECTED
5). Dutch Merrick ELECTED
6). Kim Kaufman ELECTED
7). Fred Klunder ELECTED
8). Sequoia Olivia Mercier ELECTED
9). John Parker ELECTED
10). Luis R. Cabrales 1ST Alt.
11). Margie Murray 2nd Alt.
12). Christopher Bayard Condon 3rd Alt.

and [3 Staff seats filled:]

.6). DAN FRITZ 3rd Alt."

please ask each member who they represent besides themselves, which group that is essential and related to KPFK or it's programs from which they do polls, survey, inquiries, and gather feedback from ...and from which to learn ... and then to report back to the LSB meetings.

please ask the staff members if they are part of a faction or alliance or do they really represent the entire staff that exists, paid and unpaid ones.

please go to various LSB committee meetings to insure you see what they say, they do, or see how they behave with each other as a group. Note if they are being cooperative, coordinating and teamworking ...or if they are pushing their own particular agendas or other outside interests ...for their own business- gaining ones or politically beneficial ones to that member only. Notice if they are disruptive and preventing "work" and "business" from being accomplished or they are effective and helpful instead.

please correspond with any and all of these members, including those who have already been elected and were not just now added-on, and ask what their point of views are and how they are being fair and honest in sharing "other" views within the meetings ... besides limiting themselves to their own versions of their own world.

please ask your other KPFK listener/ stakeholder friends to go with you to meetings to keep up the PUBLIC portion, and add to be visible to all views that need to be revealed, exposed, confronted at times, and then also be addressed to the KPFK membership. There are a few other blogs, websites or groups who continue to show an interest in what happens [w/o transparency] at KPFK governance. Keep it OPEN, show it all, let everyone know what you learn, and do not be shut out by anyone who claims to have a "superior" position to you.

please try to keep KPFK as free as it claims it wants to be, but is not, yet. Do not just listen and pay but do anything, something MORE to include yourself so that the station doesnt revert into the tribal wars that are similar to those occurring in other lands, or corporations, or governments. Help unify and make this station what you also want : Free and Open Speech and Opportunities to BE, here.

please involve yourself with whatever brief time & effort you can afford to be -more than just a passive recipient listener, payee or taking it listening only in for no-cost. Whether it is 1X/ yr., 1X/ mo, 3X week, or just 1 time, do something to insure that those who have been "elected" are doing what you want and we want and they need to do to make KPFK fulfill more than it's limitedly stated mission.

please dont let KPFK die or convert into another ignorable shouting spouting venomous extreme small group of narrow thinkers.

stay alive and listen but also voice your own version of truth, now !

(c) akpfker 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

Clarification of Rules by Parlimentarian

This is a copy for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY revealed here for anyone to read, learn or dispute to the KPFK Local Station Board members, if so needed. It is not always known and not spoken often or easily. Here goes:

"Directors are not elected by the Local Station Boards. They are instead elected by the local Delegates, who constitute a distinct deliberative body with slightly different membership and hugely different powers and authorities. When the Delegates meet they are a committee of the local membership rather than a committee of the Pacifica National Board and they have only the authorities assigned to Delegates in the organization bylaws. Although under Article 4, Section 4, "Any and all actions, resolutions and policies taken or adopted by an LSB may be overridden by a majority vote of the Directors," the Pacifica Bylaws include no authority for the Pacifica National Board to override or rescind a decision of the Delegates in an area of their assigned authority.

Although Article Five, Section 1(D) states that "all corporate powers shall be exercised by or under the direction of the Board," that authority is unambiguously made subject to "any limitations in the Articles of Incorporation and these Bylaws relating to action required or permitted to be taken or approved by the Members or Delegates of the Foundation," so the authorties assigned to the Delegates in the bylaws are by means of this very section specifically exempted from PNB direction and control. This is why recent PNB resolutions attempting to discipline the WPFW Delegates in connection with not following Board direction regarding that station area's Director elections risk bylaws violation.

The elected Delegates of the membership serve on their Local Station Board as one of the duties or privileges of their delegate office (Art. Seven, Sec. 2), which is why an LSB Member cannot legally be removed except through the delegate removal procedures specified in Article 4, Sec. 9, which require a greater approval than for Director recall. Coduct that is "adverse to the best interests of the station," while grounds for Delegate removal, is no grounds for Director recall. A Director's fiduciary duty to the Foundation may occasionally require voting or other conduct adverse to the interests of the specific station from which area they were elected. Conduct that is "adverse to the best interests of the Foundation" is grounds for removal from office in either case.


Directors are not elected by their LSBs. The proposed recall of a Director would require a special meeting of the Delegates called with at least 30 days notice, as specified with other details in Article Five, Section 7 of the Pacifica Byaws.

A successful Director recall by the Delegates under this section would require "the 2/3 vote of the Delegates present and voting (but not less than a majority of all the Delegates) of the radio station that elected said Director (excluding the vote of the Director in question) that said Director has exhibited conduct that is adverse to the best interests of the Foundation."

The challenged Director "shall be afforded reasonable and appropriate due process according to the circumstances, including notice and an opportunity to be heard."

The Pacifica Bylaws do not specify what authority is required to call a special meeting of the Delegates. A reasonable interpretation is that Article Six, Sec. 2 regarding special meetings of the PNB would apply as adapted to the situation, which would mean that a special meeting of the Delegates may be called by the Chair, by any two local Officers, or by any three Delegates.

It is reasonable to assume that the "at least 7 days" public notice requirement for Local Station Board meetings specified in Article 7, Sec. 6(D) is generally adequate for Delegate meetings on matters for which greater notice is not specifically required, but the cases of a proposed Director recall, a proposed Delegate removal, or approval of a proposed bylaws amendment all have greater notice requirements."

written by Terry Goodman on Oct 5, 2009.

KPFK Interim Director's Side of her story, to be fair and equal here at least

this is a repost from an Indymedia comment, as a response to all the infighting of fractionalized Pacifica and it's directorship[s] for further elucidation and education and to show more than one side of every accusation and published article.

'the other side to be read also, no ?
by a repeater of what I read Monday, Nov. 09, 2009 at 2:30 PM

There has been a letter written by the just-prior iED Grace Aaron to this author of the primary article above disclaiming some of the statements he made so grandiosely. Since it is always easy to accuse and make any claims, would it not be just as interesting to also read what 'the other side' has to say too ?

Can there be more than one version of whatever Truth one CHOOSES to utilize for whatever reasons of one's own? Let's try to be fair and equal opportunized here.

To be OPEN minded instead of taking extremist factionary positions of hate and vengeance and in competition trying to "kill off" those who someone doesn't like or want in any position of relevance ?

Here is what can be found via Google and Yahoo , no less.

[another version, another voice, another side of this heated political playing world of Pacifica ]

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

"Reply to Mr. Iain Boal Regarding His October 6th Article in CounterPunch Entitled
"From Farce to Tragedy, The New Crisis at Pacifica"

October 12, 2009

Dear Mr. Boal,

I would like to request a formal retraction of your article in CounterPunch entitled "From Farce to Tragedy, The New Crisis at Pacifica"

as it contains libelous statements about me, personally, and distortions, half-truths and false information about Pacifica.

In paragraph 1 of your article you reference a motion that was made by Chris Condon, a KPFK Local Station Board member, in a Pacifica National Governance Committee meeting, of which he is also a member. It passed that committee by a 5-4 vote. It has not yet been considered by the Pacifica National Board. I have copied that motion below my signature in this email and hope that you will include it in a retraction so that CounterPunch readers can make their own judgement about its merits.

In paragraph 2 of your article you state that: "Condon’s campaign for reelection to the KPFK Local Station Board in Los Angeles is endorsed by the current interim Executive Director of Pacifica and chair of the Pacifica National Board, Grace Aaron." This is false. I have not endorsed any candidate at any station in this election.

In paragraph 2 you also say: "Despite being thrown out of the Church of Scientology, Aaron still publicly identifies herself as “a follower of the teachings of L Ron Hubbard”." To set the record straight, I don't consider myself a follower of anyone or any one religion, ideology, group or subject. I consider myself an independent thinker. I pick and choose what I find valuable from a wide variety of sources.

Are you aware that CounterPunch Editor, Alexander Cockburn, defended Scientology on a number of issues in articles in the Nation magazine as well as other publications?

Later on in your article you state: "the last election cost upward of $700,000, including the inevitable attendant lawsuits." This is a gross exaggeration. The election cost less than half that amount, including lawsuits.

You further state: "Since Aaron’s cabal has come to power, the financial situation has markedly deteriorated. Spending on salaries and consultants at the Pacifica National Office has jumped by 40 per cent," This statement is also partly incorrect and partly misleading. The absence of a paid Executive Director for about 6 months from October 2008 to February 2009 did, indeed, mean less was spent on salaries at the National Office level, but this lack of senior management exacerbated an already dire financial situation. Fund drives were failing, membership and listenership declining and virtually nothing was being done to resolve a host of legal suits mainly related to human resources.

Should current management be faulted for hiring a very qualified interim HR Director to investigate and handle complaints? Knowing that hundreds of thousands have been paid out by Pacifica to settle such cases? Should we continue to allow stations to operate in the red without senior management in order to save money at the National Office? Don't forget, when I assumed the role of interim ED on Feb. 2, 2009, and Ms. LaVarn Williams became the interim CFO, our NY station WBAI was $1.2 million in debt to the National Office, was spending over $30,000 per month more than it was bringing in in income and was 4 months in arrears on its office rent and 2 months in arrears on its rent to the Tower that houses its transmitter. In fact, that rent owed came to almost $300,000.

WBAI has since seen a tremendous resurgence in fund drive performance, is now able to pay its bills, is current on its rent and will be able to pay its Central Services fees to the National Office after its Fall fund drive for the first time in over a year. KPFK (Los Angeles) and KPFT (Houston) are holding their own in a very tough economic climate and are paying their Central Services. KPFA (Berkeley) failed to make budgeted cuts that had been scheduled for fall 2008, months before my and Ms. William's tenures, and they are consequently faced with a 2009 budget shortfall. WPFW (Washington, D.C.) is recovering from senior management neglect which allowed that station to decline over a 2 year period.

WPFW now is in the hands of very competent, new management and should also perform much better in its fall fund drive.

Fall fund drives at KPFK and KPFA have not only met their budgeted goals, but KPFK's drive came in $62,728 over its goal and, in fact, raised $1,212,728, which is the highest amount ever raised in a KPFK fund drive.

I will not comment at this time on how we raise money in our fund drives except to say that it is easy to take pot shots without deep analysis. I have not pushed certain types of premiums on any station nor suggested any. We have, however, utilized the successful, tried and true fund drive techniques at one station, including sharing staff support between stations, to improve fund drive performance.

Criticism of any one premium in a drive should be specifically made so that the exact premium can be investigated.

The statement that "she is reported to fulminate against “pro-Palestinian, pro-immigrant” public affairs programming on the network" is untrue. I have a long track record as a peace activist on those issues and I consider this an unfounded smear on my reputation.

I have been a board member of the Los Angeles Branch of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, agree with that organization's strong and wise stand about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I have helped put on symposia highly critical of the treatment of Palestinians for WILPF,,, I have also produced cable TV programs on the subject that can be viewed at See especially the video Israel & Palestine: An Insider's Perspective that can be viewed there or at

I have also worked on this subject as the Board Chair of Peace Action of Southern California in the mid-80s and early '90s and agree with Peace Action's public statements about that conflict. I also participated in efforts to bring peace to that region with such groups as the American Friends Service Committee, Pax Christi, New Jewish Agenda, the Muslim Public Affairs Center, Women in Black,

and other activist groups. To repeat, this is an unfair slur on my past activities and character. A couple of years ago as a member of a local Amnesty International Group I strongly supported the publication of Israeli human rights abuses by Amnesty.

I do agree with you, Mr. Boals, when you say "Pacifica is worth fighting for." There is little else I agree with in your article. Your efforts to identify me with past personalities and events in Pacifica that are not similar to the present situation as a way to denigrate me by guilt through association is unfair.

I have a deep and abiding love for Pacifica that grew out of my young adult years listening to WBAI as a Vietnam War protester. And yet you try to portray me as ignorant of Pacifica's past by identifying me with someone else.

Your journalism regarding Pacifica is very flawed. You have only to peruse our website at to see clear evidence that our listenership and finances had been declining for at least 4-5 years, well before I was even on the Pacifica National Board, let alone in my present position. Our current National Board, senior management team and radio station staffs should be highly commended for having the courage and tenacity to turn this network around. I request that you examine the facts more closely and write a retraction of your article.

In Peace,

Grace Aaron
Chair of the Pacifica National Board
Interim Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation"

- - - - - -

Plus a bit of New News included....

Arlene Engelhardt is the new PNB Director now

Will this person be as maligned, attacked, hated and competed with to bring that Director Down Down Down too or is this a preferred person now ? What does it to take to be accepted just long enough to accomplish some necessary work, make some practical decisions, and take much time from one's good life to dedicate to this forever tottering Pacifica empire ?

dont tell me. I know. Anyone who has power is first smiled at and quickly thrown back to the mad dogs to be eaten up alive for being imperfect, the wrong color or gender or having a different point of view and a more convenient ally pushed into the position instead. Is this what Pacifica does repeatedly and most often [hopefully not all ways] ????

May Pacifica and KPFK survive the hate filled world that currently cant tolerate anyone for longer than a quick moment. Scary world created by fear and greed. And this is not even the USA govt, but a non-profit corporation here !

[and obviously this writer too is actually afraid of revealing their birth name for fear of retaliation, exclusion, exile, hate mail and harrassment from those who disagree with whatever they write, reveal, think, or want. How bad has it become when most posters on Indymedia are usinig such strange made-up names in order to protect themselves from others who will act-out maybe if the writer is actually known ? another scary world here too] '

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

KPFK's elections for LSB have few voters, so who represents us ?

this is a quote from the KPFK home page, and it sounds like people maybe DONT CARE... or just dont vote... or are jaded and alienated from their radio station. Why is this happening this way? How can the station sustain itself financially if there is such a lack of involvement or interest in the way the station is run and managed ? [ There was no date to that posting, as most items on the website are not easily identified. ] as accessed on October 19, 2009.

"Over 17, 000 ballots were mailed out to our eligible KPFK Listener-Membership. LESS THAN 1,200 BALLOTS HAVE BEEN RETURNED! All ballots are due back to KPFK by Thursday, October 15th. [snip] Your vote is your voice... Even if you do not agree with our democratic election process... YOUR VOTE STILL COUNTS! Speak out by simply returning a blank ballot... It's THAT IMPORTANT."

from the main Pacifica site, here is what LSB duties are required as listed=

[All those who are finally elected should be held to account for how each and every one of them adheres and accomplishes those duties and responsibilities listed below, or else they must be reprimanded, put on temporary probation or then removed if failing in their responsibilities. It is not just an ego-trip of title but actual work accomplishment that MUST BE DONE WELL to remain 'representing' the rest of those who cannot be on the LSB themselves.

Also, members must inquire, go out to become informed about many many various communities, elicit information of relevant groups, and then attempt to fairly and honestly REPRESENT those views and needs to the rest of the LSB membership. Discussion and agreements come out of INFORMED members, not those who like to vent their own personal political slants and ambitions.

Any member who does not actually extend their base and input beyond themselves should be admonished and left without a vote since it may be only a '1 person vote' that is negligible and uncountable. Do not allow the LSB become a private club of people who voice only their own desires, while merely pretending to represent any other large group[s]...hopefully more than merely one group at that. ]

"Local Station Boards have the following duties and responsibilities:

• Actively reaching out to under-represented communities to help the station serve a diversity of all races, creeds, colors and nations, classes, genders and sexual orientations and ages. The Local Station Board is also directed to help build collaborative relations with organizations working for similar purposes.

• Assisting the station in fundraising activities.

• Conducting at least 2 Town Hall style meetings each year. These are devoted to hearing listeners' views, needs, and concerns. Performing community needs assessments, or seeing to it that separate "Community Advisory Committees" are formed to do so.

• Working with station management to ensure that station programming fulfills the purposes of the Foundation and is responsive to the diverse needs of the listeners (demographic) and communities (geographic) served by the station, and that station policies and procedures for making programming decisions and for program evaluation are working in a fair, collaborative and respectful manner to provide quality programming.

• Reviewing and approving the radio station's budget.

• Screening and selecting a pool of candidates for the position of Program Director at each radio station. The General Manager must make a hire from this pool of candidates.

• Writing annual evaluations on the job performances of the radio station's General Manager and Program Director.

• Screening and selecting a pool of candidates for the position of General Manager from which the Pacifica Foundation Executive Director (ED) must hire.

• Ensuring that the station works diligently towards the goal of diversity in staffing at all levels and maintenance of a discrimination-free atmosphere in the workplace.

These Local Station Boards also have the following national responsibilities:

• Electing 4 members to serve as directors of the Pacifica Foundation which manages the radio stations in New York, Washington, D.C., Houston, Los Angeles and Berkeley. The Local Station Board can recall these Foundation directors by a 2/3 vote.

• The Local Station Board also appoints from its own membership representatives to serve on the committees of the National Foundation which review finances, programming, governance and other matters essential to the operation of the network.

Each individual member of a Local Station Board should expect to attend monthly board meetings and actively serve on Local Station Board committees."

(C) 2009

Ambitous-wanna-be-repeaters' try to get back in - to be KPFK'S LSB membership some more

this is a reposting with a bit of editing to remove personal names in it from

The winners of the recent elections for some new Local Station Board members have not yet been posted on the KPFK website, so suspense is still tantalizing most stakeholder's concerns about the future of "Our Station". The station does not belong to it's management, not to it's staff, not to the non-representative-of-the-whole-membership LSB members, nor the PNB nor Pacifica, the corporation, nor the unpaid programmers who gain other benefits from their work accessed on OUR air time. We all who sustain this radio ship are the actual upholders, owners, maintainers, and shareholders [without any certificates to prove this tho].

There would be no organization to manage, run, change, or accuse or desire, without those who pay up, pay often, pay regularly, pay with our generosity.

The station actually is owned by those who have for long or short time paid up their hard-earned savings and cash to sustain the whole entity - that is to speak up not just 'to us' but ' for us' all - without bias or prejudices. It belongs to the members and is shared with all the others who listen for free or work for paying our station or who occasionally go to meetings.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

[The PNB-LSB member who wrote an article strongly promoting her allies as candidates for the recent LSB 2009 election ] sounds like she is giving you her-story with selected comparisons to make HER point...everyone but her special group is in cahoots to ruin and sell out the KPFK station, of which she is only a small part.

She is ambitious too, tho not so stated. So her choice of preferred LSB mates is for her to get to be the ED or anything higher than she has so far been able to climb, while she is deliberately pretending to only question others, and while disrupting the work PNB attempts to accomplish. Go to a PNB meeting yourself and find out what is actual vs. what is carefully presented. A very dissentful and confusing process, helped by [this woman] herself.

[She] gives her version to sell a slate of people SHE wants in - to support her in her own chosen role. A smart woman and with the hope that Indy readers do not care or know the insides much, except to be anti-anything and oppositional to all establishments.To prevent the real current hard-workers that accomplish a subsistence level of living for Pacifica from continuing to do so.

How much easier it is to gain notorious power by positioning oneself as the rebel, the one opposed to those who do diligent work and obtain a position in management.

How much easier it is to disrupt, oppose, question, and accuse, to blame and create unrest, rather than to make positive changes and follow thru on diligent make the Pacifica stations live up to their financial as well as ideal goals.

To say it is only the minority groups that need to be represented at any Pacifica table and exclude everyone else w ho is not angrily decrying what they don't yet have, is a very slanted and easy place from which to COMPLAIN. And complainers feel powerful.. Tho they seldom contribute much at all. They do complain loudly anyway any where.

And Leslie is complaining, in her article above. Because she wants what she and her group want. Not because anyone deserves or has worked more effectively to obtain the privileges of on-air or management positions.

The slate has been advertising in what the members hope are sufficiently only LEFT sided local sites , carefully avoiding any "other" alliances, for fear they will be contaminated with what the LA or USA populations as a whole represent and contain. Anyone not angry enough and vindictive enough need not apply to work with these heavy-duty game players.

For in actual real-live LSB meetings, these are the same people who disrupt, continually dissent and question any and every motion proposed and generally keep all effective work from getting done. Deliberately. They see their role as being rebels and righteously claim that assumed HIGHER STATUS that they have not earned by other work of merit nor for the gain of KPFK or it's sibling stations either.

If the whole P system is cracking and falling down down down, unable to maintain it's buildings, equipment, staff [half are gone already ? ] and work for equality for ALL the peoples...not just those who select themselves as righteous or victims or accusers....then there will be some other kind of 'take over' or 'merger' and a big loss to all will occur.

This is not a prediction, but one scenario that occurs at other non-profit corporations, and Pacifica is one too. This is a concern that is never mentioned. Those who demand to be leaders are not necessarily experienced or equipped to be managers that effect positive results on such a grand scale as this one is.

Better to limp towards the next fully developed plan of action that will save these unusual radio stations than to be crumbling because the angry ambitious accusers of any current & past managements are not able to take on the heavy real-work roles that is needed.

Easy to win a measly little election where none of the LSB are representing anyone but their tiny group cohorts.

Easy to accuse others and malign those who have worked to assist improving the condition of KPFK and Pacifica, and other stations.

Easy to write words, as this is done here too, but how much more strenuous and difficult to do the daily practical actions to prevent failures from continually occurring.

And they have. And they may still, If this mean spirited group of candidates has won many seats.

We fear for our station and it's demise. But we will all be there silently standing to help bury it then.

R I P KPFK. maybe....."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other comments were listed on same Indymedia site as well, but seemed to say less than this one. To see the slants, biases, and promotions of the original article, please see that main article.

(c) 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

KPFK former member makes some points here:

Below is a comment by an anonymous KPFK former member that bears re-reading here:
[see whole article with various comments besides this one at this site ]

reposted here from

"I agree - the pseudoscience is making me tune out"
by former kpfk member Thursday, Oct. 08, 2009 at 9:21 PM

Whenever I hear one of the new age health shows, like today's about homeopathy, I tune out. It's nonsense.

There are things that make sense, like some aspects of what Gary Null says, but then he goes on and on about some snake oil he's invented. I'm sure it's healthy, but the prices are like highway robbery. And he seems to be on a lot.

Instead of having shows where they say eat this and this and that, because a study said this chemical is awesome, and these ingredients contain the chemical, how about discussing the study?

Get specific about dosages, how it was administered, and the effects. Omit all that, and it's just a covered wagon medicine show.

Also, a while back, there was a lot of hype about The Secret. I saw the video. It was junk. It was hollow and selfish. After that, I tuned into KPFK a lot less.

Before The Secret, there was a lot of hype about Zeitgeist (and now the followup).

We're in a huge economic crisis. Where's the "Economic Crisis Show"? Where's the "Social Worker's Show" where social workers could tell people about social services.

There's a fight for healthcare. Where's the "Healthcare Show"? Where they deal with policy issues and political struggle for social medicine.

There's a bunch of ICE raids going on. Where's the "Immigration Issues Show"?

We are desperate for information and analysis. In this internet age, we need some simple titles that will come up in web searches, and lead us to shows we can download (and donate for).

[author to the above comment is not known]

Another unsubstantiated article of accusations against Pacifica staff...why now ?

"Wow, some [ article of which this is a comment to ] tinged with angry words [t]here ...but where are the substantiating sources for that info ?"

[= no references, no apparent fact checking noted in article, so is th is just another smear campaign? And why is this written anyhow ? & why now ? ]

Thursday, Oct. 08, 2009 reposted here from

these are some quotes of much written above to address here : [snipped from much more malignments and claims that remain unsubstantiated in that article ]

"Under the revised governance structure and bye law changes, a small number of listener-subscribers and staff elect biannually a 25 member Local Station Board. The logic of such “democracy” entails a tiny fraction of listeners electing a board with a great deal of power."

"...led by an unwilling reject of the Church of Scientology,"

"Since Aaron’s cabal has come to power, the financial situation has markedly deteriorated."
"...these positions have mostly gone to board cronies without even a pro forma gesture towards open hiring"

"Notwithstanding elements of farce and a descent into snake oil peddling, there is an enormous amount at stake in the struggle for the soul of Pacifica."

So here are our Questions and concerns from that article [too long to be reproduced here, but can seen on link above - that also contains others' comments as well ] :

" electing a board with a great deal of power."

There has been a big to-do about the LSB, getting voted on, or who gets to represent [no one anyone can name as] a legitimate KPFK group, and hoping to affect the programming or get a program of one's very own...

but it has also been questioned just how much "power" is given or available to the whole LSB, and how ineffective that group is, maybe mostly because of the intense factionalization, continual distractions, the rebellious outbursts that often interrupt any work presented. And all theo bstructions that keep it's own members from provoking dramas for their own image making rather than dedicating their energies to producing benefits for the station and it's management.

So the question of how "powerful" other than in name is to be explored, investigated and surely questioned seriously.

Then repeated references to the iED Aaron attempting to malign her by some extraneous label and describe her work as "led by an unwilling reject of the Church of Scientology". Does this mean she is not even qualified for that unpopular organization and it's believers ? Or that if she is a Scientologist, she certainly cannot belong or be rational and effective working for the stations ?

Or what does that reference intend anyhow ? And who is going to verify that this is current, or what the prior circumstances of her life was that now makes her unqualified or inept ?

Another great declaration: " Since Aaron’s cabal has come to power, the financial situation has markedly deteriorated."

Who has determined that she is in any way a cause or contributor to Pacifica's continual money troubles and not a solver or working to improve that forever-impoverished condition ? And is the word "cabal" a negative implication or a description of whom and what ?

It appears to be another attempt to demean, discredit and allude to Ms. Aaron's person and colleagues also.

Is that statement verified somewhere that was not included in the historical article above ? Does the public information of the financial condition mean it is to be kept secret from it's stakeholders and those concerned about the stations' stability ?

Or does this big implication only mean that the iED has so much power now, more than any ED just prior to her becoming a temporary one, that she alone can make and break Pacifica's banks? Huh ? Explain please, with actual direct causal facts, not just hearsay and rumor or deliberate malignments.

Let's get real here. Indymedia is hopefully not just a place to vent and rant and rage and hope someone else might agree and then act in your behalf.

Another statement : "these positions have mostly gone to board cronies without even a pro forma gesture towards open hiring"

Can this be shown, proved, verified ?
What are the rules for open-hiring at Pacifica ?
What does a manager do when there is no one yet visible who is qualified or hire-able permantly and the work needs to be done ?
Use a temp agency maybe ?
Or put up an ad on Monster Board ?
Or find someone to fill in until all can be done properly, knowing everyone who is not "in" will accuse and complain for sure, and loudly so.

The competition for any of these stressful positions is strong, and the in-fighting with accompanying stress must surely deter many qualified individuals from joining such wildly buffeted organizations.

And while there is much more to question and answer for above, this quote :

"notwithstanding elements of farce and a descent into snake oil peddling, there is an enormous amount at stake in the struggle for the soul of Pacifica."

So where can one find the "soul" of a non-profit NGO like Pacifica ?
How did a soul [however defined even in Wiki if need be] ever get into such a changing of leadership corporation ?
And how did it then evaporate or escape from it's cubby hole?
And the farce that is an eternal Pacifica drama - yes, that many enjoy without even paying their pledges to support this theater of the absurd- continues.

Here some of us agree that "farce.... struggle... " are more useful descriptions, meaning there is more drama and theatrics than actual working towards a goal in LSB and maybe other board or committee meetings. Many love and make provocations and shout-matches to produce these intense and involving theatrical experience.

Just like the old Greek dramas but in an odder modern version with ' any minority defined as victim to get an immediate defense' and so the next power-struggle for poorest victim to be saved' forms the basis for the next diversion from managing business that must get done.
To be sure, the battle for Pacifica is being fought on a ground not of our own choosing. The entire landscape of internal communications , in Pacifica and it's station, and from the author above, needs to be clarified, and made more factual. Or else everything said and written must be contested and questioned.

Some phrases above are well said and there is some agreement about the concerns of how and by whom all is handled.

Oh, yes, and thanks to author for not being hidden behind a pseudo-name, tho some of us who live locally and try to help affect and improve our local Pacifica station do NOT TRUST the individuals who fractionalize and vent and act-out in some angry ways those who do not just 'agree' and defer to their righteous views. [self-righteous to enhance some demanding very smart people who dedicate enormous amounts of time and energy to doing something for or against their preferred station

(c) 2009 akpfker

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pacifica's interim Exe Director is blamed some more...

this is a reposting from a comment on

[the full article to which this comment is addressed is " How Grace Aaron Came to Run Pacifica by Wachale Sunday, Oct. 04, 2009
An untold chapter on the tactics used by Aaron and her CTSK to win the 2007 election at KPFK that propelled her climb to controlling Pacifica Radio"]

comment title = "this IS 2009, but some enjoying rehashing past history for ....their own benefits & glory ? "

When KFPK elections come around, accusations and past grudges explode into any available space, include or especially this one.

It seems that the hope here in this article is to malign, execute and remove those of a different political alignment and to then be able to coalesce and get-in their allies to win the elections - a way to get the friends of those of the writer to be elected, and give back favors to those who loves to malign others. What a stupid but very very common political ploy.

Maybe someone will hint that Grace Aaron, or Ken Aaron, or whomever is unwanted is having a sexual affair or a monetary problem too ? = that would be ideal to make a ruckus on extraneous innuendos to then be able to squeeze in the other "preferred" and selected people to the LSB, or PNB or staff position.

It is all about bad mouthing and accusing and finding fault and blasting it everywhere possible for the effect.

Make the black hole big so someone the malicious writer then can fill with their own [equally tainted but not yet revealed ] choice.

Why are there continuous accusations and hate articles on a person who was democratically elected by those who were her peers on the PNB to be a temporary positioned iEd ?

Why are there no articles providing any information about her qualifications, past relevant experiences, actual work performance currently at PNB or Pacifica, that could then provide actual info about her capacities... and surely there must be some positive comments to say of her. Does everyone else at PNB or KPFK agree that she is the main powerful destroyer and usurper of all the problems in these stations ?

Or is there a taint found in her gender, her racial coloring, her calm and mostly unprovokable demeanor that causes more meanness and bad words to be blown around about her ?

Surely, she is not perfect, nor even close to it. The question may be who else is actually of equal or similar qualifications available for that low price and that also has had the loyalty and willingness to work hard and responsibly with all the turmoils of Pacifica ....and stay stable in all it's multi-conflictual competitor-runnings for that temporary position.. and also what qualifies the detractors and personal attackers to judge her or anyone else they happen to chose ?

There is no sense of any justice, fairness, or equality ever present in most articles on this website - as extreme views and malicious accusations and threatening implications predominant. And when an article refers to a particular person, not a whole organization or movement, it seems to be to intentionally intend to destroy that person. For another purpose of course. Maybe even a competitive reason.

No, the iED does not need anyone in particular to defend her honor, as if anyone who has actually seen her ability to decipher what is going on in meetings that are or not according to Pacifica's bylaws or Roberts' Rules... or her abilities and behavior to note and comment on what is occurring in the argumentative board processes. So one may even be glad to have someone with her clarity and presence there to help move the process along and get some work done, aside from all the objections, divergings, and self-glorifiying gestures that prevail in those meetings.

The people who have currently produced chaos and left the LSB meetings in utter decimation and disruption are again running... to be able to do more ....of their outrage, their self-righteous provocations, and their disturbing the work that needs to be accomplished.

And no one outside these meetings who has NOT seen these actions would know what happens 'inside' they then might even vote for those that make the meetings highly dramatic but unproductive events.. Everyone wanting to be re-elected tries to sound so sweet and politically correct on the radio air blurbs. But they are not all helpful to Pacifica, to KPFK, or to the LSB. Not to improving what has turned into a negative falling-apart structure that may crumble our favorite station .For sure.

And no one running is stating WHO THEY ACTUALLY REPRESENT on the LSB besides themselves, personally, or not w/o big generalizations t of groups that cannot be verified. Why is this so prevalent ?
Why are Board members just speaking for themselves and an amorphous group that is not localized or meeting to form informed opinions and agreements ?

So with the freedom of anonymity, the ariters here, those who want to bring up 2007, 2003, 2000 or 1960 history and find only the bad & bad & bad things that maybe happened as They describe....and reades believe that the same surely MUST happen again, then all those connections made are of questionable validity. It is not his-story that must tell us all we need to know. It is our learning from current real life and participation and observation that would help us see and understand what is wrong, right, and where changes should be going to help the station.

Where is the proof of truth to the blaming of all the others who also were actually involved and actively participated in making whatever has been described that was not successful in the past ?

Why is only one main person blamed for it all, as if she or he were so over-all powerful, all by themselves.
This is unlikely and and an easy cheap shot.

Who do we believe and why bother voting at all if this is what happens at KFPK and Pacifica ? If it is all rigged up to the few "elites" of either 'side', and no one else has a chance, why is there so much conflict, turmoil, disturbances, changes in staff and positions, and so poor funding?

Is this a solicitatiion for a "coup"?
Or just a bad mouthing of whoever is the current person in authority, whomever gets there for another minute, then shift and it becomes someone else. Of course.

can it be that the fuller story that is hidden or not being told, here or elsewhere ?

why did Sean Heitkemper leave KPFK as GM after only 1 year ? What are the facts ?

Who was the GM when all the bad thing happened at KPFK in 2007 ? Who was the ED at Pacifica ? Who ELSE is responsible besides the one being accused above ?

narrow mindedness is also called......stu.......y.
How can anyone believe a one-sided limited blame-game story ?

(c) 2009 akpfker

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pacifica is accused and maligned by an anonymous 'person ?' and info in response to those words are here:

This is a reposting from an article in that was in response to allegations and accusations made by another author who chose to remain anonymous - while freely making declarations against both the PNB, specific staff and board members, and named individuals who may need to realize their names are thus used.

Title of that article is :
"Pacifica’s Current Board Structure is Destroying the Network"
written by Concerned Pacifican [ but who is this ????]
Monday, Sep. 28, 2009 at 5:19 PM {URL is below}

The freedom to make statements and not be called on them, or to accuse specific people and not be known for making those statements, and to repeatedly claim racial discrimination factors without factual confirmation in that article gives rise to the ways many prefer to operate [ in the dark, hiding behind a cute name, with the freedom but NO RESPONSIBILITY for their words or the effects ].

the article can be found at :

the response copied from that same site is provided below to expose and inform the 'rest of us'. It was written by a long-time volunteer and contributor to the KPFK radio station and it's associates. In addition, another comment on the same URL above discusses the easy abuse of race as a way to accuse, defend, pretend and get gains, and how the census does not bear out the proportionality of USA populations to give fair and equal representation. That is not copied here due to lack of space.

This is the informative and hopefully helpful explanatory response:

Title: "Network"
by Terry Goodman written on Wednesday,Sep. 30, 2009 at 4:05 PM

As is typical of anonymous Indymedia acticles about Pacifica, the piece "Pacifica’s Current Board Structure is Destroying the Network" is biased, presenting misinformation as fact to manipulate opinion. Such articles reflecting a narrow ideological interpretation of historical events commonly appear in the middle of each Pacifica delegate election period. This refutation attempts to balance those distortions with accuracy.

There is certainly little doubt that Pacifica’s current board structure has problems or that the network is in distress, but the true causes of the network's disfunction actually predate its democratization. The original article is also generally correct in its central claim that a long-sought purge is underway. But what those primarily responsible for the network's problems now call an assault on everything good and decent is viewed by others as the long-delayed remedy to persistent mismanagement and the long-needed implementation of needed reform -- i.e, the success of the democratic governance model.

>"Carol Spooner's finger-wagging review of the current state of Planet Pacifica ignores the crushing impact of the new 122-member National Board structure."

The Pacifica National Board has only 21 or 22 Members who serve as a Board of Directors. The others in the "122-member" figure are locally-elected delegates who choose the Directors and have very little power beyond that. Spooner criticizes the democratized PNB for its years of inaction in delaying assumption of its management oversight role.

>"Top-heavy, hugely expensive, conflict-ridden and racially polarized, this five-year old Board system was instituted to assure greater democracy and prevent the corporatization of Pacifica. "

The Foundation itself is run by an Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer chosen by the Pacifica National Board. These officers have some staff (fewer now, after layoffs, than in prior years), so it is not really "top-heavy." The Board, which has been afflicted by the "racial polarization" of a particular faction in the years since democratization, provides nominal oversight over the activities of the Executive Director (CEO) and the CFO.

The Board is "conflict-ridden" by design, since Pacifica's democratization uses methods of proportional representation in voting that assure voice to several minority factions among stakeholders, and this has allowed for roadblacks to progress and substantial governance disfunction.

The "hugely expensive" portion of the structure is the local delegate elections which occur in two out of every three years at a cost of about $200,000 each. The cost of elections could be substantially reduced through a transition to internet voting.

The remaining costs of governance could be substantially reduced by boards focusing their attention on the policy revision and management oversight roles rather than wasting meeting time on contentious matters beyond the boards' scope of authority. The current PNB has significantly cuts meeting costs as compared to the arrangements previous left to the now exiled prior management.

>"this five-year old Board system was instituted to assure greater democracy and prevent the corporatization of Pacifica. "

The system was instituted to assure greater democracy in governance, and that has occurred. "Preventing corporatization" is problematical as an identified objective, because Pacifica is unambiguosly a California nonprofit corporation. In the minds of many who fought to achieve governance democratization, the purpose of this step was to protect the Foundation's Mission, since the general membership from whom Pacifica's financing is primarily obtained was perceived to be more generally dedicated to that Mission than the "old boy's network" that had produced a Board of Directors by means other than election by the project membership now identified as listeners and staff.

>"But instead of protecting Pacifica, the new governance structure is destroying Pacifica. "

Actually, the new governance structure is only just beginning to accomplish long-needed reforms and repair the damage caused by previous management. To make Pacifica's democratization evolutionary rather than revolutionary, stakeholders such as staff were guaranteed one-fouth of the seats in governance, and the power of managers was protected by prohibiting their dismissal without joint agreement between the Executive Director and the Local Station Board. Where management and staff found common interest, such as in maintaining the status quo, reform by governance was roadblocked or delayed.

>"It's bred factionalism, dysfunction, self-dealing, a plethora of litigation and staff purges network-wide. "

Factionalism actually existed prior to democratization, but it has been given a more formal shape through Pacifica's electoral politics. Pro-management and anti-management factions have appeared, as have pro-straff and anti-staff factions. There have also been factions for and against various sorts of programming, though many in governance still recognize that station programming needs protection from meddling by Pacifica's internal politicians.

Governance dysfunction has been encouraged by management and staff, as this protects the power of the status quo. Actual "self-dealing" is prohibited by law and has only been a problem when management has impeded financial inspections by Directors. Pacifica's current management leadership was at the forefront of prior governance efforts for fiscal accountability.

When LaVarn Williams was appointed as interim Pacifca CFO to replace Lonnie Hicks, it was not "self-dealing" because Williams was no longer a Foundation Director. Holding an MBA and having years of experience in corporate finance, she was well qualified for the position, not to mention her years of distinguished volunteer service as Foundation Treasurer and Chair of the PNB's Finance Committee. As an example of her ability, dedication, and integrity, she now additionally serves as interim General Manager of station WBAI, probably without receiving any salary for that work.

As the elected Chair of the Pacifica National Board, Grace Aaron became interim Executive Director of Pacifica by California statute when the position became vacant upon the resignation of Nicole Sawaya, so there was no "self-dealing" there. She initially served in this capacity with no salary, but could not afford to continue on that basis.

The PNB has likely voted to award her a salary in order to keep her during its permanent Executive Director search, but this was a disclosed conflict of interest permitted under law because a more qualified individual was not easily available for a lesser rate -- a situation not dissimilar from the volunteer service of Dan Siegel as iED while being paid as the Foundation's Counsel. Board Chair/CEO combinations are fairly common in the corporate world, which helps explain why the California statute on CEO vacancies works like it does.

There was one case of Board Member Rob Robinson receiving the award of a fixed-fee contract for services related to preparation of a digital distribution strategy for the network. In this case the conflict of interest was fully disclosed and the statutory requirements to avoid prohibited self-dealing were fully met.

The only other situations reported in recent memory where a credible allegation of "self-dealing" might be made were in connection with Don Rojas who is no longer employed as WBAI's General Manager and in connection with Bernard White who has been dismissed as WBAI's Program Director.

Pacifica's problems with litigation, other than the early lawsuits that prompted democratization, have been primarily management-related employee lawsuits and not at all governance-related. Previous purges have typically been station management initiated so as to forestall needed reform, while the current purge is more Executive Director initiated in an attempt to institute needed reform. The need for reform is generally recognized now because financial reports are not being mischaracterized, but the nature and direction of the reforms needed is of course a matter of partisan interpretation.

>"The sad fact is that under this Board system Pacifica has become a pariah organization and the miserable object of universal pity and contempt. "

There's some truth here, but the assumption that the current Board system is the cause is not well-founded. If governance members were trained in the principles of policy governance and stuck to their assigned role, the system could work. It is not a substantially different system than the structure that works well in other nonprofit organizations. In actual fact, Pacifica has difficulting attracting good managers because those managers can expect constant abuse from the various factions opposing change, which are the same factions that have always sought to marginalize governance and keep it ineffective.

The author of the original Indymedia article identifying the Pacifica democratic structure as the cause of long-standing problems rather than source of their eventual remedy clearly intends readers to abandon organizational democracy now that it is beginning to show fruit.

>"Until the governance structure is thrown out, Pacifica Radio will never be able to stabilize and focus on its historic mission. "

The management of the Pacifica Foundation and its radio stations is largely exempt from meddling by the largely paralyzed Pacifica National Board. Financial stabilization and Mission focus is fully within the authority of management when good executive leadership is in place.

>"But for Spooner and her faction, entrenched staff and false cries of racism are the problem. "

Entrenched staff and false cries of racism can be problems when they impede needed reform, but Pacifica's biggest problem is its weak programming.

>"Spooner says that the termination or removal earlier this year of seven males of color, including CFO Lonnie Hicks and WPFW GM Ron Pinchback, was necessary to restore financial stability. "

Pacifica's largely black male leadership was largely responsible for its declining revenues and runaway expenses.

>"But the reality is that since 2003, Spooner has demanded the summary dismissal of many of those same individuals on purely factional grounds. "

The reality is that since 2003, Spooner has demanded the dismissal of many of those individuals for cause. The issue became factionalized because some considered the targeted individuals to be protectors of others similarly incompetent.

>"In early 2004, then Board member Spooner made illegal and strident demands for the immediate termination of the entire network management, including CFO Lonnie Hicks and WPFW GM Ron Pinchback. Those demands earned a formal censure by then Board chair Leslie Cagan."

As a member of Pacifica's interim Pacifica National Board, Spooner's calls for management dismissals were not illegal, they were instead an attempted exercise of governance oversight. Spooner served as Foundation Secretary and chaired the Board's Governance and Finance Committees. iPNB Chair Leslie Cagan had no personal power to censure Spooner. Censure requires a Board vote.

>"Later that year, Spooner physically assaulted a female staff member in a pique of anger after failing to get the Board to summarily fire the then Executive Director. The staff member, a single mother, demanded that Spooner resign.

Considering the distortions through this article, I give no credit to this allegation in the absence of specific reference to evidence of claims.

>"Spooner's statement that simply because you replaced fired people of color with people of color means you can't be, or be called, racist is shocking. "

Calling dismissals racist just because the persons dismissed are of color is shocking.

>"The fact is it does not matter what the color of the person is you replace a fired person of color with."

That's a reassuring observation.

>"The firing itself for racially motivated reasons is illegal irrespective of any subsequent actions. "

A firing is illegal if it is for racially motivated reasons. Incompetent employees are not protected from dismissal by their race.

>"Spooner ignores the fact that Pacifica's attorney at the time of the firings warned the Pacifica Board against those summary firings precisely on the basis that it exposed the network to possible charges of racial discrimination. "

Okay, maybe incompetent employees are protected from dismissal by their race.

>"As a result of recommending against the terminations, the network attorney was then forced out. "

The facts here seem mixed up. Pacifica's attorney for most of the time when Spooner served on the iPNB was Kevin Finck. A subsequent Foundation Counsel, Dan Siegel recently resigned after CFO Lonnie Hicks was dismissed. Siegel and Hicks were both part of the Pacifica financial problem requiring remedy. Both had illegally blocked Director inspections investigating credible allegations of financial mismanagement.

>"The fact is that Spooner and the faction she represents have been openly seeking the summary dismissal of many paid staff around the network for years. "

A Pacifica faction has been demanding that bad Pacifica managers be dismissed for years. That faction recently became a majority on the Pacifica National Board through the influence of the democratic election of local delegates by the Pacifica membership.

Opening seeking change is part of the democratic governance process, and management blocking needed change is subject to dismissal under the concept of accountability.

>"Financial mismanagement is a convenient excuse. "

Lack of operating funds is an inescapable handicap.

"And once removed, the very Board members who had openly demanded their removal end up replacing those paid staff members. "

A Foundation Director and former Director with demonstrated histories of fiscal responsibility have recently been appointed as interim Executive Director and interim Chief Financial Officer of the Foundation while permanent managers are sought.

<"In fact, naked self-dealing by current and past Board members is common in the new Pacifica. "

As explained in answer to the previous allegation of self-dealing above, this charge is simply not true.

"In her latest email, for instance, Spooner does not reveal that for the last several years she has been working for Free Speech Radio News (FSRN), an independent entity funded almost entirely by Pacifica. "

The fact merits disclosure, but does not disqualify Spooner's opinions. FSRN depends upon Pacifica's survival for its continued funding, so there is a concordance of interest. Alternative media is a small world and those who leave one such organizaton often find employment in another similar organization.

>FSRN has received some two million dollars from the network without any strings

Those who negotiated the contract with Pacifica on behalf of FSRN probably don't consider it a "no-strings" agreement.

>Unlike Pacifica staff members, or Democracy Now!, FSRN is not required to fundraise
>and, in fact, raises functionally nothing for the network.

Pacifica benefits from the fundraising that FSRN does on its own behalf, because the quality of the program is improved by application of these additional resources. The requirement that Pacifica staff members fundraise is occasionally a liability to fundraising efforts.

>But while Pacifica staff members are laid off due to "economic reasons," or fired
>supposedly because of financial mismanagement, Spooner's FSRN outfit still receives
>hundreds of thousands of dollars every year from the network.

The only really valid question with respect to the Pacifica-FSRN or Pacifica-Democracy Now! agreements is whether or not Pacifica is getting its money's worth. This is the same question that has been applied in some employee dismissals, retentions, and layoffs.

>"This fact should be a wake-up call to the entire Pacifica community and media reform
movement. "

That Pacifica pays FSRN for news is a wake-up call?

>"Pacifica is threatened not by entrenched staff or false claims of racism. "

Pacifica is well-served by some entrenched staff but not by others. False claims of racism don't help the situation any.

<"But like in the late 1990s, the National Board itself is the problem --"

The National Board is always part of the problem and part of the solution.

>"unjust firings, gagging dissident producers, self-dealing, running up legal bills, deepening racial divisions and putting at risk the entire organization for narrow personal or factional gain. "

Unjust firings are not good, but most recent firings have been fully justified. Gagging dissident producers is not good, but what is currently being characterized as "gagging" was mostly just a warning that existing policies against character defamation would be enforced. Illegal self-dealing has largely been stopped in part through the current reform effort. Managers under whose tenure expensive lawsuits arose have been eased out or dismissed.

"Racial divisions" have been an excuse for poor job performance and a roadblock to improving standards and implementing appropriate accountability. Pacifica's interim leadership is not in the struggle for personal gain, as demonstrated by their long histories of volunteer service to the organization, but it is a sad commentary on the state of Pacifica's electoral politics when the financial sustainability of a station is recognized as an essential issue by one faction and dismissed as a distraction by another.

>"the solution is clear -- the current Board structure must go, the sooner the better. "

The current Board structure cannot be changed unless the membership votes to change it or a court appoints a receiver that removes the few powers that the Pacifica Board of Directors retain. The only sooner solution potentially available to Pacifica is bringing in good management. If the Board can improve management through executive selection, policy review, and general oversight, it can help solve problems. Otherwise, it can only create problems.

Good management can typically work around a disfunctional Board. Better management can improve a Board by providing training, guidance, and leadership.

[end of comment]

Sunday, September 27, 2009

KPFK and Pacifica has rules for recalls of Delegates to LSB ...let's use this info well !

this is a resposting from KPFK's Local Station Board and provided here to expand information, make more transparent what occurs at OUR STATIONs, and to keep communications Open and inter-participative, not left to those who make the "rules" alone...we hope.

Procedures for Delegate Recall: By Class from which the Delegate came

Section 1. The recall petition is to be sent to the secretary of the LSB, c/o the radio station. The petition may be delivered in person, or via US mail or commercial delivery service. Notice of the delivery of the petition shall be sent to the secretary via e-mail. The secretary will forward it within 2 days to legal counsel, previously designated by the PNB, for a determination of whether or not the petition is alleging behavior that is adverse to the best interest of the Foundation or the local radio station. The Secretary will notify the Chair of the PNB and the Pacifica Executive Director of the arrival of the petition at the same time. Counsel is to return it to the Chair of the PNB within 5 working days. The PNB at a special meeting if necessary, will decide, upon the advice of counsel, whether the charges in the petition meets the standard in the bylaws for actions “detrimental to the best interests of the foundation”. If the decision is affirmative, the Chair of the PNB will notify the GM of the station within 2 days of the need to certify the petition. If it is negative, the PNB chair will notify the petitioners that their charges have not met the legal standard necessary, and the recall will not occur.

Section 2. The General Manager will have 10 working days from receipt of the petition to certify that the names on the petition are authentic and of sufficient number to satisfy the bylaw requirement of 2% of the membership of the class of the delegate. The GM will notify the secretary of the LSB immediately when that determination is made. The number of required signatures shall be clearly stated in this letter of determination.

Section 3. The record date for the recall election will be the date that the GM certifies the petition, and only members in good standing at that time are entitled to vote. The secretary, upon receipt of the certification will immediately notify the Chair of the PNB that a recall election must be held, with the record date of the petition. The Chair will immediately notify the delegates subject to recall of the record date. To be a valid signature on an LSB Recall Petition, the person signing must be a member on the date of signing the petition.

Section 4. The PNB or their appointed representative shall appoint an agent to supervise the conducting of the election or otherwise see that the election is conducted fairly. The ballots are to be distributed between 45 and 60 days from the record date. They are to be returned within 35 days of their mailing date. Ballots are to be counted and a result declared by the election supervisor within 15 days of the return date of the ballots.

Section 5. The ballot will consist of the text of the recall petition of 1000 words or less, exactly as submitted, a statement from the delegate subject to recall of no more than 1000 words, and the ballot question which will be comprised of only yes or no as a response to whether the delegate shall be recalled The delegate’s statement is required to be filed 21 days before the mailing date determined by the election supervisor.

Section 6. Delegates subject to recall and petitioners shall have equal access to the mailing list for the eligible members. Any challenges to the names on the lists will be resolved by the appointed supervisor in consultation with the General Manager.

Section 7. All recall elections must be completed prior to 90 days before the date for sending out of ballots for a general election, if any delegate subject to recall is eligible for election in that general election.

Section 8. The election shall be subject to the quorum rules for the class, and the recall will be deemed to have failed if a quorum is not reached.

[snipped] .....[there was].an extended discussion about requiring all delegates and new non-union paid staff to agree to arbitration rather than taking legal action against the Foundation. It became evident[at a meeting] that such a requirement for delegates would most likely require a Bylaws amendment. Foundation counsel indicated that current non-union staff (primarily the 10 management-level employees) might sign on in exchange for changing their "termination at will" status to "termination for cause." The discussion will continue....[snipped]