SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

East Bay | Indymedia

Where are SaveKPFA's grassroots supporters now?
by Daniel Borgström
Sunday Apr 27th, 2014 1:04 PM
SaveKPFA is the faction which is attempting to fire Summer Reese (the Executive Director of the Pacifica Radio Network) and force her and her supporters out of the Pacifica National Office. The occupation, which is organized by United for Community Radio (UCR), began last month, on March 17th. SaveKPFA has made several attempts to physically push and shove their way into the building, but thus far has not been able to mobilize more than a handful of their followers to join them in their efforts. SaveKPFA's rank and file members don't show up at other events either, such as board meetings. This leads to the intriguing question: Where are SaveKPFA's activists? Their grassroots supporters?


WHERE ARE SAVEKPFA'S GRASSROOTS SUPPORTERS?
by Daniel Borgström

This month SaveKPFA sent out a call to their supporters to attend the Local Station Board (LSB) meeting of Saturday, April 12th. And, from an article afterwards appearing on their website, one might get the impression that an impressive number of SaveKPFA supporters attended that day.

The two relevant paragraphs of that SaveKPFA article are below. Note that they are suggesting that people listen to an audio of that LSB, presumably feeling safe in knowing that few would care to endure a 5-hour audio. Anyway, here's from their article:


*** *** *** *** *** ***
KPFA's Local Station Board demands fired executive leave office
A motion demanding that the former interim executive Summer Reese, who is sleeping at Pacifica's National Office, "leave peacefully," passed the KPFA Local Station Board (LSB) overwhelmingly by a vote of 10-5 on April 12.

Board members were responding to the flood of emails and comments about the situation, including an open letter signed by over 700 listeners and staff. | LISTEN to the LSB meeting: part a, part b, part c
http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=fda4845a-885a-420c-87ba-15d8b244a205&c=07772060-5355-11e3-8424-d4ae527b8053&ch=0856f910-5355-11e3-8451-d4ae527b8053
*** *** *** *** *** ***

Well, I attended that LSB on April 12th, arriving at 11:30 a.m., in time for Public Comments. There were 10 speakers:

Max Blanchet, Dennis Bernstein, Daniel Borgström (me), Virginia Browning, Steve Gilmartin, Wanda Warkentin, Geneva Reese, Craig Williams, Aki Tanaka, Brian Geiser.

I don't know Craig Williams or where he stands; he spoke on a non-controversial topic. The other 9 were definitely NOT SaveKPFA people. Most were there to defend Summer Reese, the Executive Director of the Pacifica Radio network. None of the 10 speakers attacked Summer Reese or spoke in defense of SaveKPFA.

There were 16 people in the audience. I thought that 2 or 3 may possibly have been SaveKPFA supporters. However, others who were there said they saw nobody in the audience who looked like a SaveKPFA supporter. Anyway, it wasn't an impressive showing for SaveKPFA, considering that they'd asked their people to be there.

This leaves us to wonder how much active support SaveKPFA really has. My opinion is that if they had much, we'd be seeing it from time to time -- like, for example, on March 17th when we began our occupation of the Pacifica HQ, and Margy Wilkinson showed up with about 5 or 6 of her people and tried to push her way into the building. We were certain that within an hour she'd have 20 people there to back her up. But that didn't happen. Margy never had more than 5 or 6 all day long. But we did very soon have 20 of our people there that morning, putting their bodies on the line. In the course of the day we had had something like 40 people coming and going, not all at the same time. Now, over a month into the occupation, we're still holding the HQ, taking turns having people there 24/7. That's something we couldn't do without active, on-the-ground support.

Back to the LSB of April 12th. Our people on the board, representing United for Community Radio (UCR), raised questions during the treasurer's and the PNB reports. http://unitedforcommunityradio.org
"Why hasn't KPFA closed its books for 14 months?" Andrea Prichett asked. "I'm asking a question. Why is it so difficult?"

Our board members also wanted to hear the as yet unexplained reason for attempting to fire Summer Reese, the Executive Director. The three SaveKPFA PNB members sat in silence. Finally Margy said she couldn't speak because it's a personnel issue and confidential, and because they're being sued and their attorneys had told them not to speak.

The SaveKPFA majority of the LSB then went through the formality of passing a resolution demanding that Summer Reese abandon the Pacifica National Office. Interestingly, the resolution targets only Summer Reese, saying nothing of the several dozen people taking an active part in the occupation and of the hundreds of Pacifica listeners and staff across the network who have expressed shock and dismay at the actions of the rogue PNB majority. Nor does it make any mention of the Pacifica office staff who continue to carry on their duties under the direction of Summer Reese. The SaveKPFA resolution wants to make it all about Summer Reese; it's not.

Despite such a twisting of reality, the resolution was passed by the SaveKPFA majority, voting in lockstep as always. The scene resembled those of so many city councils these days, where a corrupt majority will pass a resolution and proclaim it to be the wishes of the people. SaveKPFA likewise felt a need to present this event in their article as though it were done in front of a cheering audience.

The LSB of Saturday, April 12th was one occasion when SaveKPFA supporters did a no-show. What about other times?

There was the Sunday, April 6th KPFA Town Hall organized by the KPFA CAB. I counted 64 people. I could identify only 4 or 5 from SaveKPFA, including Judith Scherr, Barbara Whipperman, Margy Wilkinson, Sharon Maldonado and a couple whose names I don't know. Actually they maintained a pretty low profile; Margy left early; Barbara Whipperman stayed the whole length, but didn't speak. I got the feeling that Margy & Co just didn't feel very comfortable. The atmosphere at that town hall was critical of SaveKPFA.

In court on April 9th, we had 20 or more supporters in the courtroom. Margy had her husband, her iED-in-waiting Bernard Duncan, and as far as I could tell, that was all.

So back to the intriguing question: Where are SaveKPFA's activists? Their grassroots supporters? SaveKPFA is well funded and well connected to the various bureaucracies of the establishment left. Their rank and file supporters, wherever they may be, are obviously not paying close attention, not looking to see for themselves what's going on at KPFA/Pacifica.


DANIEL BORGSTRÖM
http://danielborgstrom.blogspot.com/

for more articles & updates
UNITED FOR COMMUNITY RADIO, at
http://unitedforcommunityradio.org



by Alberta
Sunday Apr 27th, 2014 9:14 PM
well, you've got that right. I did not, nor do I vote for the Save KPFA slate when it comes around. For people who I have shared political views and political work for decades I am always amazed at their backward positions on many of the volunteer broadcasters and listeners. And this brouhaha, while involving critical questions that go back decades (remember Mary Frances Berry?), is a bit of people-tit-for-tat and not a true organizing campaign that brings kpfa to the broader possible listening audience of the BayArea. When I mention a show on kpfa that I liked and think this activist or that activist might appreciate I have to explain how to even find it on the radio dial. People out there doing good work know nothing about this station. How can that be? I think the Save KPFA folks, who seem to be representing me according to their own words, would do better to do outreach to communities in motion throughout the greater BayArea and spend less of their energy, money and political capital on a direction that only confuses, mystifies and divides us the listeners. Thank you for giving me this space.
by D
Sunday Apr 27th, 2014 11:06 PM
SaveKPFA may be short of rank and file activists, but there are other options -- the POLICE.

Margy Wilkinson of SaveKPFA is asking the police to evict Occupiers from the Pacifica National Office in Berkeley. Below is a paragraph from a declaration by Margy Wilkinson; it's part of a TRO request that will be heard in court 9 a.m. Monday, April 28th, at 1221 Oak Street, Dept. 15.

The TRO request will be presented by Siegel & Yee, the law firm of Dan Siegel, who is running for mayor of Oakland as a progressive candidate.

Here is paragraph 9 of Wilkinson's declaration for the TRO:

**9. The Board has sought the assistance of the Berkeley Police Department, which is charged with protecting the Foundation's property. However, the Berkeley Police Department was unable to persuade Reese to vacate the National Office. The Foundation has previously applied for a citizen's arrest to the Berkeley Police Department which after weeks of considering the matter, requested that Cross-Complaint obtain a Court order to abate the nuisance. The Berkeley Police Department has stated that it would enforce a temporary restraining order if the Court were to issue one.**
by Long time KPFA listener
Tuesday Apr 29th, 2014 7:35 AM
First, the court refused to grant Siegel & Yee's injunction on behalf of the SaveKPFA government operatives to call the police to remove Summer Reese from her job at Pacifica. Dan Siegel argued for SaveKPFA, the same Democrat running for mayor of Oakland and the same long-time Pacifica and LSB Board member who has been destroying KPFA and Pacifica, who will be picketed at Noon on April 29, 2014. See
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/04/28/18754946.php

The April 28, 2014 hearing on this injunction is reported at:
http://2014.supportkpfa.org/?p=880
and
http://www.facebook.com/notes/tracy-rosenberg/tro-not-granted-continued-to-may-6th/10201956312450759

Second, Summer Reese has issued a statement describing the horrifying destruction of Pacifica and KPFA by the SaveKPFA Local Station Board and National Board majority. Knowing who these people are, calling them government operatives may seem strange, but people are known by their actions. Their actions are clearly deliberate. Please do not ever vote for any of the SaveKPFA slate for anything.

The statement entitled Reporter of the Executive Director, April 27, 2014, may be found at:
http://2014.supportkpfa.org/?p=890
and is linked in the text at
http://www.facebook.com/notes/tracy-rosenberg/tro-not-granted-continued-to-may-6th/10201956312450759
and is here:
The following is my report on the status of major issues and concerns currently facing Pacifica Foundation Radio during the crisis that has been created by the actions of the board majority. The reckless and illegal actions of the majority have caused considerable concern to our many creditors, who are now uncertain about the organization’s stability and ability to meet its financial obligations over time. This has resulted in two collections actions being filed against the Foundation this month by creditors that were previously working with staff on payment of these liabilities. The lawsuit with which we have been served is from Robert Half, the temp

firm which has supplied us with some of our accounting staff. The other lawsuit is from FSRN and we have not yet been served in that action. When we are served, I will notify the board.

Additionally, the SAG-AFTRA unit in Washington, D.C. has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). On March 13, 2014, I flew to Washington, D.C., to meet with the Collective Bargaining Unit and the representatives of the union to address grievances and potential grievances generated by the conduct of the interim General Manager at WPFW. All matters were addressed on that day, a schedule of addressing concerns going forward was agreed to, and the union was not planning on filing any further grievances against the organization, much less complaints with the NLRB, which is a drastic escalation. Later, on the night of March 13, 2014, the board majority took its illegal vote to allegedly fire me, and the result has been that we are now facing major labor charges before the NLRB.

The audit work continues, despite the lack of cooperation from KPFA. The Business Manager of that unit has still failed to reconcile her books, but has finally agreed to release the underlying documents, such as bank statements, so that accounting staff in the National Office can reconcile that unit’s books. The request to that office to simply release the underlying documentation, if the BM [Business Manager] was unable to perform her job duties, was made two months ago, and if the records had just been released at that time, we would have been able to avoid the postponement of the audit.

Because of the delay in the audit work, it is unlikely that any CPB funds will be released this fiscal year, as the year will be nearly over before the organization’s audit and tax return are completed. The auditors are beginning field work at the National Office in May.

Last year’s fatally flawed 990 tax return, as prepared by the then CFO, Raul Salvador, has been amended and sent to me this week for final review and approval. I anticipate signing the amended return this week, so that we may file it with the IRS and the various states requiring our financial filings in order to solicit funds from the public in those states.

The rehired CFO, Raul Salvador, is currently on vacation in the Philippines.

WBAI continues to struggle financially and is facing catastrophic consequences if the financial situation at that unit is not rapidly addressed. The transmitter tower rent has not been paid for March or April, and the station is currently a quarter of a million dollars in arrears on operating expenses.

Both WBAI and WPFW were unable to meet their respective payroll obligations this week, as well as their healthcare obligations. KPFA and KPFK have had to supply approximately $85,000.00 to meet the funding shortfalls at the two East Coast stations, as well as the National Office, which continues not to receive Shared Services monies from those stations as budgeted.

Work on the audit, as well as day to day operations at the National Office continues relatively normally, despite the physical violence, interference and attempts to block access to the office by Margy Wilkinson and her supporters. We have been able to protect the employees, stop the attempted illegal lock-out of the staff and withstand assaults upon the operations, such as turning off the water so that staff could not use the legally required facilities of the bathroom, etc.

We have hired two temporary accounting staff to assist with the audit preparation, and despite the above attempted disruptions, all staff have been able to perform their normal duties and have been putting in incredible hours and effort to complete the audit, even with the delays caused by the lack of cooperation by a particular unit.

I was temporarily removed from payroll, but the issue appears to be resolved at this point, and should not necessitate a filing on my part with the Department of Industrial Relations.

Full compliance with the Communications Act by the five stations, as required for CPB funding, is still a struggle. WBAI and WPFW still have lapses in meeting notice postings, which will continue to adversely impact complete organizational compliance until fully resolved.

During this crisis, I continue to work with the legal counsel of The Office of The Inspector General of The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, supplying that department with financial, accounting, personnel, copyright and meeting notice records of the organization to facilitate their investigation of irregularities in those areas of the Foundation’s operations.

According to our FCC counsel, we may still apply for STA low power waivers for station KPFT. However, because we are in license renewal, other individuals or entities may object and contend that we are not using our full power for an extended period of time, and therefore should have our license downgraded to lower power. The FCC may then file an Order to Show Cause (OSC) against us, compelling us to answer as to why our license should not be downgraded. Because of this possible scenario, it is imperative to prioritize replacement of the KPFT transmitter.

Anticipating a return to normal business operations after a ruling of the court, I am promulgating an emergency operations plan to address our immediate cash shortfalls around the network, allowing for continuous operations, while reducing both operating expenses and accumulated debt. Because our business reputation has been significantly compromised by the actions of the board majority, it will be necessary to immediately instill a sense of confidence in our creditors, as well as the public, regarding our ability to continue operations and meet our financial obligations over the long term, as well as immediately. I believe it is possible to restore our public reputation, but only through decisive and bold action, clearly articulated in a business plan that can be supported by factual data and not wishful thinking.

I look forward to working with the board on the development and implementation of this plan, so that Pacifica not only survives the current crisis and the accumulated burden of years of debt and mismanagement of resources, but will thrive by a complete rebirth and return to the Mission of the organization and its service to the public.

by Long time listener
Monday May 5th, 2014 9:39 PM
May 6, 2014 at 9 a.m. is your court date to attend KPFA hearings in Department 15, 1221 Oak St, Oakland, Alameda Superior Court. You do not have to say anything; just be there in support of Summer Reese, the Executive Director, and the lawsuit to stop the destruction of the 5-station Pacifica network as well as in opposition to the ex parte request to allow the police to enter Pacifica headquarters.

May 6, 2014 at 9 a.m. is your court date to attend KPFA hearings in Department 15, 1221 Oak St, Oakland, Alameda Superior Court. You do not have to say anything; just be there in support of Summer Reese, the Executive Director, and the lawsuit to stop the destruction of the 5-station Pacifica network as well as in opposition to the ex parte request to allow the police to enter Pacifica headquarters.

The first hearing will be on the lawsuit; the second following the first is the ex parte motion to evict the occupiers at the Pacifica National headquarters by calling the police! There are no tentative rulings on these hearings so all counsel will be there. The two websites that provide daily updates with lots of must read downloads are:
http://2014.supportkpfa.org/
and
http://www.facebook.com/UnitedForCommunityRadio

To put it simply, if we do not obtain the Preliminary Injunction, the entire 5 station Pacifica network is gone. As to the ex parte, it is beneath contempt that the defendants would even think to call the police on a sit-in at the national headquarters. This is further evidence that the defendants are part of a government operation to destroy the Pacifica radio stations that has been ongoing since KPFA's inception in 1949.

Another piece of evidence may be found in the instructive video of an April 27, 2014 public forum at:
http://2014.supportkpfa.org/?p=897
In that video, we not only see and hear Carole Travis, a retired lawyer, ignore the statutory requirements of notice of termination of employment, but also Frank Sterling, a member of the Local Station Board, describe at 32.47 that he received thousands of non-reply accepting Emails from the defendant's slate, "saveKPFA." This can only be a government operation sending these Emails, not a faction, that is trying to destroy our national network of community radio stations speaking truth to power, at a time when we need these radio stations the most.