Regular Meeting of the KPFA Local Station Board
July 24, 2004
Fellowship Hall, Berkeley
Minutes were recorded by Maya Maya X. Orozco.
Members present constituting a quorum: Mary Berg, Max Blanchet, Steve Conley, Riva Enteen (Chair), Ted Friedman, Ann Hallatt, Mark Hernandez, Jane Jackson, Sepideh Khosrowjah, Michael Lubin, Max Pringle, Sarv Randhawa, Willie Ratcliff, Lisa Rothman, Gerald Sanders, Bonnie Simmons, Debbie Speer, Carol Spooner, Marnie Tattersall, Willie Thompson, William Walker, LaVarn Williams
Absent: Howard Beeman, Fadi Saba and Miguel Molina.
Motion passed to excuse their absence.
Meeting called to order at 11:20 am. Board members introduce themselves.
I. Agenda Approval
Spooner moves to approve Agenda
Motion by Thompson: to change time for Agenda Item #7 (Report from interim Station Manager) to 10 minutes and to move Item # 14 (Executive Session) to follow # 11 (Report from Standing Committees) and precede # 12 (Unfinished Business) and to make Item # 14 time sensitive
Question is called:
18 in favor
Vote on Thompson’s motion:
11 in favor
Chair then votes against motion, resulting in tie.
Hernandez moves to remove item #14 B (Conduct of interim General Manager) due to absence of interim GM
Ratcliff moves to eliminate #14 B
Question is called.
20 in favor
Item # 14 B is eliminated
Move to call Executive session at 3pm as special order of the day
11 in favor
Vote to approve agenda as amended
19 in favor
Agenda is approved at 11:55 am.
II. Minutes Approval
Berg moves to approve the minutes of May 8, 2004
20 in favor
Minutes of May 8, 2004 approved
Move to table approval of minutes of May 22, 2004
Vote to table minutes
14 in favor
Minutes of May 22 tabled
Move to approve minutes of June 13, 2004
Lisa Rothman presents several amendments.
Move to approve minutes with Lisa’s amendments
18 in favor
12:05 pm: Announcements period begins.
IV. Public Comment
12:15 pm: Public comment begins.
Motion to include statement from unpaid staff council in minutes.
Approved without objection.
Motion to include letter from staff in minutes.
Approved without objection.
Motion to include statement from Sally Phillips in minutes.
Approved without objection.
Break 1:40 to 1:55
V. Financial Report
Financial Report by LaVarn Williams
Next Meeting for Finance committee will be August 5 at 5 pm
W Ratcliff moves to accept Financial Report
Financial Report is approved and accepted unanimously
VI. GM Report
2:20 pm: Interim GM report is read by Bonnie Simmons and is included in the Appendix.
Motion made to accept interim GM report.
VII. Committee Reports and Resolutions
2:30 Program Committee: Steve Conley, Committee Chair, presents Program Committee report
Motion to read nominations for LSB Representatives to the Program Council (PC).
Chair rules that LSB staff representatives cannot serve as LSB representatives on the PC.
Move to challenge the chair’s ruling.
19 in favor to call question.
Question is called.
Motion: LSB representatives to the PC must be LSB listener representatives.
11 in favor 9 opposed.
Note: this resolution prevents the nomination of William Walker as LSB representatives to the PC.
Nominations open for LSB representatives to the PC.
Motion to close nominations
Vote for PC representatives using STV made by paper ballot.
Tom Blanks and Robin Candace selected to count ballots.
Agenda Motion # 8 B: The LSB Programming Committee recommends continuation of Attila Nagy and Stan Woods as interim/acting community representatives to Program Council until the selection of permanent representatives is made by LSB.
Motion: That agenda item #8 B be divided to consider nominations of Attila Nagy and Stan Woods separately.
Question is called.
19 in favor to call the question.
Vote on motion
11 in favor to divide question.
Chair votes against, creating tie.
Motion to divide fails.
Call for role call vote
15 in favor
Call for roll call vote passes.
Role call vote:
Howard Beeman – absent
Mary Berg – abstains
Max Blanchet – Yes
Steve Conley – Yes
Riva Enteen – abstains
Ted Friedman – Yes
Ann Hallatt – No
Mark Hernandez – Yes
Jane Jackson – Yes
Sepideh Khosrowjah – Yes
Michael Lubin – Yes
Miguel Molina – absent
Max Pringle – No
Sarv Randhawa – Yes
Willie Ratcliff – Yes
Lisa Rothman – Yes
Fadi Saba – absent
Gerald Sanders – Yes
Bonnie Simmons – Yes
Debbie Speer – Yes
Carol Spooner – Yes
Marnie Tattersall – No
Willie Thompson – No
William Walker – No
LaVarn Williams – Yes
Agenda Motion # 8 B passes.
Motion to change Executive Session, which is a Special Order of the Day, from 3 pm to 3:15 pm.
2/3 vote needed to pass.
Modification of Special Order of the Day passes.
Agenda item #8C is amended to read as follows:
The process of forwarding applications for the community Program Council positions to the LSB for the final vote shall be as follows:
All applications for the community Program Council positions will be forwarded to the LSB for the final vote except for those applications that are unanimously considered by the LSBPC not to meet minimum requirements. If any two (2) member of the LSBPC thinks an application should be sent to the full LSB, then it will be sent. The application of anyone who does not have the support of at least two members of the LSBPC will not be forwarded to the full LSB.
Vote on the amended motion
18 in favor
Amended resolution passes.
Results of election of LSB representatives to the Program Council are presented:
Elected: Steve Conley, Ann Hallatt, Sepideh Khosrowjah
Motion to table Agenda Item #9: Outreach Committee Resolution
Before that motion can be considered, the Special Order of the Day takes precedence 3:15 pm.
Motion: to delay Special Order of the Day for 15 minutes more and to continue regular agenda items.
9 in favor
Executive Session begins at 3:40 pm.
Audience is cleared.
No substantial motions were passed during the Executive Session.
Meeting adjourned at 4:48 pm.
Report To The Listener
From Jim Bennett
KPFA Interim General Manager
Each month, I am asked to give a report to the KPFA local station board. Since those meetings are rather limited in participation and representation, I thought I would take a step to ensure a wider dissemination of information to you the listeners.
Although I do believe many of you do not care to immerse yourselves into the body politic of KPFA, you care deeply about KPFA and want it to continue to grow and prosper. I urge you to take a more active role in the upcoming Local Station Board election. Those who currently serve and are up for re-election should be held accountable to all the listeners they should represent, not just those who vote for them. They need to find better ways to communicate to you and receive input from you. Those who are not up for re-election need to be held up to the same yardstick.
I would also like to appeal to the current board members to be more proactive in increasing community participation. Seek out other community organizations. Get their advice on how to grow into viable community service oriented entity. To be sure, no part of KPFA is above criticism. I remind the board of something that John Trudell said at the Grassroots Radio Conference. Democracy can be a drug for those who think it is working. It can be a way of justifying what you do in the name of others. If it works for you, it must be that way for those who don’t have the responsibility you do. If people disagreed with you, you might think that you would know it. The humbling part of it should be related to how many people voted for you and how many more did not. There is a great experiment in media democracy at KPFA and Pacifica. It is not clicking on enough cylinders right now. It is true that the ends don’t justify all of the means. Part of the democracy includes trying to work together to improve the station. One part is no more important or representative than another. I won’t belabor the point, but it is a critical one in a critical year for KPFA. Everyone who is currently involved on all kinds of levels fought really hard for what we have. It would be an absolute shame to make the same mistakes over and over again. If the rhetoric towards KPFA and its staff is the same in some respects as it was 5 years ago, with the only difference being that a certain percentage of our subscriber base voted people into office, we have learned nothing. If programming and personnel issues are used as a political football, the best decisions will not be made. In fact, it has been disruptive for some of our listeners and many of the workers at KPFA. I cannot even do simple and appropriate things like reports to the listeners as often as I should for some very volatile and incomprehensible reasons. The progressive politics that are sometimes put forward on the air will not flourish in a repressive mode of trying to get certain agendas rammed through. I do not think anyone got elected on a platform of minimizing KPFA, in order to make it more effective in one’s own image. Those involved in the internal politics of KPFA should right things, not in spite of the listeners, but because they should and do demand no less. Honor the opinions of all of our listeners who care to share them with us and find better ways of trying to be more inclusive of those who don’t. That is something for us all to do and to do constantly. Again, to all, please vote in the upcoming election.
Many listeners have called me about the announcements on KPFA that have been heard the last few months, requesting people to apply for the General Manager position. That is an ongoing, and, I hope fair process, that I am not involved in. Many of you want to know if I am leaving KPFA, since I have been doing the job for about 4 ½ years. Just as before, there is a strong desire to have an open process to hire a permanent manager. I will not use my current position to campaign for the permanent job, so I can’t comment on my own status. I will say this. I have been at KPFA a long time and I believe I made a difference in that time, including my stint as manager. I do believe if there are women or people of color out there who can do the job, they should be given every consideration. On a personal level I can also tell you that KPFA has taken a large toll on my personal life and my health. I have approximately five jobs at KPFA and Pacifica. I just can’t keep that up much longer.
To that end, while I am still Interim GM, KPFA will soon post a job announcement for a Chief Engineer(one of my current positions really). KPFA is also in process to hire a new business manager. Kudos to the excellent and courageous Eileen Hazel for keeping KPFA alive in that capacity for the past several years. Also, thanks to Phil Osegueda who did the same as Assistant Manager and Development Director at KPFA. He is now working at Pacifica on special projects. I am very happy about KPFA’s new Development Director, Lemlem Rijio. Congratulations to William Walker, who was recently hired as Traffic coordinator/Admin assistant. William is a graduate of the KPFA Apprenticeship program and is also on the LSB and Pacifica National Board. We soon will sadly be saying goodbye to Mary Bishop who has served KPFA well in Subscriptions, Flashpoints and most recently as an Admin Assistant. Another irreplaceable KPFA worker, Susan Stone will be leaving as well. Susan has contributed greatly to the legacy of KPFA as our Drama and Literature Director. It is a time of transition at KPFA, and the wonderful support that allows us to endure must continue in order to create an environment that will bring more great people to the station and to keep as many of the great contributors that are currently part of KPFA as possible. Part of that strength and resolve is directly related to the continued improvement and support of KPFA’s training and diversity program. It is as much about what is possible at KPFA as well as the future of a meaningful and viable form of radio and communication.
Our growth and commitment is directly related to your relationship to what you like about KPFA’s programming. In the next few weeks, you will receive as subscribers to KPFA a comprehensive survey, the first of its kind in many a year, that will also be available online to the supporters of the station. If you subscribe right away in the upcoming summer fund drive that starts August 2nd, you will also be eligible to fill out the survey. We hope this will become a regular highly participatory tool, that will help us to be more inclusive and respectful of our listeners in our decision making, which so affects our ability to sustain the support we so need in such a critical time.
It will also be very beneficial to whatever new leadership might come to KPFA from the General Manager hire. Please fill the survey out as soon as you can!!!
The summer drive, which is now a regular part of the budget, lasts for one week. It is designed to help us have the money on hand to deal with unexpected expenses that may arise in the next year and to have the actual means to impact the station’s resources in areas where it is needed. We had some flooding this year and need to have some flow to deal with this expeditiously. We are also in the process of putting the finishing work into our transmitter replacement project. We will hope to put a dent in the costs of the upcoming coverage of the conventions that Flashpoints and Pacifica will provide, as well as the incredible work that you have been hearing from Hard Knock Radio from the recent Hip Hop conference in New Jersey. KPFA also absorbed most of the costs related to the FCC hearings on localism, just concluded in Monterey. This was a real collaboration between KPOO, KAZU, KUSP and especially Media Alliance!!! Hope you caught some of this… We also hope to provide in the upcoming year more exclusive internet programming on our website done by more programmers and producers than is possible in the traditional radio schedule. August 2nd through the 8th are the dates we will be raising money. We could also use your help in our phone room to make the drive successful. Our goal is $285,000.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and let me know if you have found this helpful as a way of keeping you better informed about KPFA.
Open Letter to LSB from Concerned KPFA Paid and Unpaid Staff
July 22, 2004
KPFA is first and foremost a radio station whose listeners count on the Pacifica Radio airwaves to provide an invaluable, independent source of multicultural news, information, music, and arts programming. There has been unparalleled community and national support in keeping this radio station alive and functioning by delivering KPFA back to the people from the devastating forces of the previous Pacifica National management and board. But once again, as in those terrible years surrounding the KPFA lockout and shutdown of 1999, KPFA is in a perilous place. Once again, it is a Pacifica governing body which has the power to break this place apart, and threaten its function at such a critical time.
Our newly elected KPFA Local Station Board is deeply divided, and has devolved into factions where extreme and constant mistrust, maligning, and infighting have spilled over into attacking KPFA staff to such a degree that the workplace is rife with fear, anger, compromised productivity, and the lowest morale since 1999.
Many staff members are aware of the following:
- In the past few months, a number of Station Board members have targeted KPFA staff and management with demeaning and potentially libelous accusations about staff performance. They have fueled Internet “hit pieces” which have gone after several employees at KPFA. Some LSB members and their close allies have suggested that staff members are plants of former Pacifica Chair Mary Frances Berry. A board member has insinuated that our interim General Manager is a COINTELPRO agent. One LSB member attacked KPFA’s youngest and newest staff members for their alleged ignorance and immaturity in understanding station affairs and supposed “slave mentality.” Particularly disturbing are the anti-worker attacks by a group of LSB members, some of whom are union members, characterizing the station’s staff as being only interested in keeping their jobs and expressing hostility to the integrity of the paid staff’s union. In addition, the work of unpaid staff members has been devalued.
- Staff representatives on the LSB are routinely insulted in the course of LSB meetings by fellow board members. Some members of the LSB have even called for “crushing the will of the staff.” A letter protesting such behavior by certain LSB members towards KPFA union and non-union staff, written by the Secretary Treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 9415 to the LSB, has yet to be addressed.
- The LSB Chair asked that a now-resolved internal staff issue be broadcast far and wide to the public via email, even though it was a personnel and union matter beyond the purview of the LSB. In doing so, she has rendered the station vulnerable to potential litigation by the maligned staff member. Additionally, an internet editorial was written about the incident by someone close to the LSB Chair, which misrepresented facts.
- Our morning newscaster was named in a public meeting, and scorned by an LSB member, for a newscast she wrote which the LSB member cited out of context and without checking his facts; indeed she was attacked for saying something that she did not say.
- Our interim General Manager has been subjected to repeated ridicule, harassment, and insult by the Local Station Board Chair about his alleged ineptness at fundraising. The LSB Chair went so far to refer to him as “the kiss of death”. In fact, this is just one in a series of attacks on the interim GM.
- Some staff on the payroll prior to 1999 have been accused of being saboteurs from former Pacifica Executive Director Pat Scott’s regime who continue to block progress and continue in taking down the station, even though these same people risked arrest and were arrested, risked job loss with no other means of financial support while protesting, broadcasting, and while testifying before California state legislators in defiance of orders from Pacifica’s Executive Director and the Chair of Pacifica’s national board.
- The affirmative action-based Apprenticeship Program has been demeaned in public, and dismissed as not serving the community’s training needs in radio production, even though graduates of this unique program are teaching, producing, operating broadcasts, and coordinating the radio-related needs of collectives coming into KPFA from many different communities of all ages and abilities.
- It is our understanding that there are some members of the LSB who would seek to cut music programming, when in fact music and arts programming are integral to Pacifica’s mission. Since the LSB does not have a mandate to make programming decisions, we are disturbed by LSB members’ comments (including those of the Chair) that they believe they were given a mandate by the listeners to cut music in favor of public affairs.
- The KPFA Program Council cannot operate without a quorum, yet both the Program Council and KPFA’s Interim Program Coordinator are challenged and harassed by LSB members for not convening meetings to conduct business, when, in fact, the LSB has failed to meet its responsibility to appoint members to the Program Council so a quorum can be achieved.
It is not, however, all of the LSB which is taking KPFA down. Some LSB members are fighting to curb these staff assaults and egregious charges; they are in turn being attacked for doing so. But the LSB’s Chair, in particular, along with a number of other Board members, has created a fractious climate which risks lawsuits, and is prompting a steady departure of employees due to low morale. There is an unprecedented environment of threats, slurs and character assassinations taking place on her watch.
We do not wish to be condemned to repeat our tortured and embattled history. We wish to partake in constructive dialogue and work towards resolution to disagreements that may arise between staff and the LSB. It is incumbent upon the LSB to work with staff and management in a respectful, principled, and professional manner.
We hope that the LSB can at last do what they pledged to do during their recent campaigns: to have “no micro-management,” “to have respect for all who work at KPFA,” “to support the station,” “to bring joy to our work,” “to solidify our victory over reactionary forces that try to take over Pacifica,” and “to foster a spirit of collaboration, collegiality, and humanity among the board, staff and management.”
We ask the listeners to call to account those who were elected to represent KPFA’s listening community. We know that the listeners did not elect representatives with the intention of putting the station in political and legal jeopardy. This December, seats on the LSB will be contested and those who value this station should scrutinize all candidates, incumbents and others, to find out where they stand, who they represent, and what vision they have for the station.
Aileen Alfandary, News Co-Director
Amelia Gonzalez-Garcia, Director, First Voice Apprenticeship Program
Amelia Prather-Nahman, Current Apprentice, Group 25 Raido
Andrea DuFlon, Board Op/Producer, Former LAB member, UPSO Council
Andrea Lewis, Co-Host/Producer, Morning Show
Betty Beasley/ Allison Rolls, Music Programmer, Subscriptions
Belinda Ricklefs, Assistant Bookkeeper
Ben Adler, Reporter, News Department
Bob Baldock, Events Producer
Brian Edwards Tiekert, Reporter, Environmental Justice Beat, News Department
Brian Garcia, Reporter, News Department
C.S. Soong, Host/Producer, Against the Grain
Chris Stehlik, Database Manager
Christopher Martinez, Graduate Apprentice, Sacramento Reporter, News Department
Chuy Varela, La Raza Chronicles
David Gans, Music Programmer, Dead to the World
Eric Klein, Technical Producer, Free Speech Radio News
Eric Park, Interim Assistant Producer, Morning Show
Gary Niederhoff, Subscriptions Director
George Curtis, Johnny Otis Show, Your Own Health and Fitness
Glenn Reeder, Weekend Anchor, News Department
Greg Bridges, Host/Producer, Transitions On Traditions
Gregg McVicar, Host/Producer, Earthsongs, Bay Native Circle
Joy Maulitz, Assistant Producer, Morning Show
Kellye Denson, Morning Anchor, News Department
Kirsten Thomas, Board Op, Morning Show
Kris Welch, Host/Producer, Living Room
Kristen Zimmerman, Chief Producer, Full Circle
Kutay Derin Kugay, Host, Monday Music of the World, UPSO Council
Larry Bensky, Host, Sunday Salon
Larry Kelp, Music Programmer, UPSO Council
Laura Prives, Reporter, News Department
Layna Berman, Host/Producer, Your Own Health and Fitness
Lewis O. Sawyer, Receptionist
Lisa Ballard, Website Director
Luis Medina, Music Director
Mark Mericle, News Co-Director
Maria Fortez, Subscriptions Assistant
Mary Bishop, Administrative Assistant to the General Manager
Maya Orozco, Graduate Apprentice, Producer, Board Op
Mic Mylin, Technical Producer, Free Speech Radio News
Paul Robins, Volunteer, Former KPFA Database Manager
Pema Chogkhan, Unpaid Staff
Philip Maldari, Co-Host/Producer, Morning Show
Phil Osegueda, Substitute Host, Dead to the World
Rainjita Geesler, Segment Editor/ Producer, Hard Knock Radio
Richard Lupoff, Producer/Host, Cover to Cover
Richard Wolinsky, Producer/Host, Thursday Cover to Cover
Sally Phillips, Host, Girl Friday, Board Op, UPSO Council
Sasha Lilley, Producer, Against the Grain
Susan Stone, Director, Arts and Humanities Department
Vanessa Tait, News Reporter/Producer
Victoria Z, Host, Tuesday Music of the World
Statement read by Sally Phillips during Public Comment Session
Save and Expand Music Programming at KPFA
KPFA’s music programs serve as essential links to our listeners. For many decades, because of the wealth and breadth of our music programs, they have been recognized as some of the best in this country. Our music programmers have been pioneers in all genres and have provided great depth of insight. They are consistently lauded on a national level for their creative efforts, and our listeners have been the beneficiaries of their tireless research.
More specifically, world music has held a special corner among the music programs. We have been broadcasting master level musicians from the far and near corners of the world since the early 60s, and this tradition continues today. World music, more than any other, holds the key to the human psyche by opening our hearts to remote cultures as well as communities within our reach. Essentially, world music is political. Broadcasting the world¹s many voices to our avid KPFA listeners serves a crucial role in bringing these diverse cultures a little nearer. It teaches us, in its humble way, to open our minds and welcome them. Music counters bigotry, racism and violence, and suffering through wars and strife by its enduring influence of humanism and its messages of peace.
The present programming does justice to the cause of the Pacifica Mission. Instead of thinking to reduce or change music programs, we need to listen to the numerous requests from listeners to expand and add more hours of this great wealth of culture being brought by our dedicated programmers.
Kutay Derin Kugay
KPFA LSB Finance Committee Report for July 24th, 2004:
m Surplus must carry KPFA over the two months of June and July until the next mini fund drive scheduled for early August
m KPFA must maintain one month of operating reserves approximately $300K
I. o KPFA Preliminary FY 2005 Budget Opportunities Addressed
II. o KPFA Preliminary FY 2005 Budget Opportunities