Monday, November 9, 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 ]

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"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"

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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] '

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