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KPFA Local Station Board Meeting: Public Comment to Bring Back the Mix, June 14, 2014

by KPFA Listener
On June 14, 2014, the KPFA Local Station Board held its monthly meeting in North Berkeley. One person, former Board member Sasha Futrun, attended to open the public comment period with her criticism of the KPFA Morning Mix and those who had come to speak for it. Everyone else spoke for restoring The Morning Mix to its 8 am Weekday hour. Long pauses and white noise generated as one speaker passed the microphone to another and a cell phone went off have been deleted. All but one of the hosts of KPFA's Morning Mix had many years of broadcasting experience at KPFA before they were given air time in KPFA's 8 am hour. The only exception was Andrés Soto of Communities for a Better Environment, who brought the voices of Contra Costa County communities fighting against Chevron and various oil infrastructure corporations onto KPFA. Andrés had been interviewed on KPFA many times and quickly became one of the station's most popular hosts. The photos below are from rallies to bring back The Morning Mix held outside KPFA at 1929 Martin Luther King Way in Berkeley, California.
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Pierre Labossiere of the Haiti Action Network addressing a rally for KPFA's locally produced, locally relevant Morning Mix.

Hard Knock Radio Host Dave 'Davey D' Cook, Flashpoints Host Dennis Bernstein, and KPFA Evening News Host Anthony Fest rally for the Morning Mix.

"Settin' the Standard" host Pedro Reyes calls for restoration of the 8 am Morning Mix.

To join those calling for the return of the

 Morning Mix to its 8 am hour on KPFA, 

write to the KPFA Local Station Board,

by Morning Mix listener
Please also add your name to the petitions that call for bringing back the Morning Mix:

by Sasha
The Morning Mix is a program that was created with the sole purpose of getting one person off the air because he was also on the local board, quite effective in that role, and did not agree with those then in power and who are supporters of the MM now. They created the program and did not themselves think it was any good when it went on the air and for quite some time after. I was privy to exactly how it was created because I was involved with that faction of the local station board at the time.

Until recently, for over three years, it was on in morning drive time, the most important time of the day for a radio station to have good programming because it is the time when there are the most potential listeners and if people don't start the day with a station they are far less likely to go to that station later in the day.

During all our drive time fundraising the Morning Mix needed to be replaced with other programming because it has few listeners and brings in little money. You could see the actual numbers of online listeners and see the audience in a straight downward decline when the MM went on the air and a slow return to good numbers after that program ended and other programming went on the air.

The hosts of the Morning Mix are all still on the air just in a different time slots. Again, you can see the actual numbers of online listeners and see the audience in a straight downward decline when they go on the air and a slow return to good numbers after they go off the air in their new time slot.

The supporters of the Morning Mix staying on in drive time were also supporters of the interim Executive Director of Pacifica in her breaking and entering of our national office and occupation of that office 24/7 until recently for and eight week period after her employment was terminated. During that time the new iED and national board had no access to the offices, books, records, files. Pacifica could not function.

Some history. The supporters of the Morning Mix held the power on the national and local KPFA boards for the prior eight years, until three month's ago. Pacifica went so far in debt under their management that all five stations, including KPFA, may not survive. Under their control we have not been able to get support from the Corporation of Public Broadcasting for 20 months now, over a million dollars annually. Under their leadership we lost the name Pacifica Foundation for our non-profit that owns the five stations, including KPFA.

During his report to the board on Saturday, the GM of KPFA reported that three of the five Pacifica stations cannot pay their bills, that KPFA and KPFK in Los Angeles are the only two stations that break even. KPFA and KPFK are the only things keeping Pacifica currently alive. Further, since the new majority on the national board has had access to the national office and its files for not quite four weeks now, it has also been learned that Pacifica is millions in debt. Again, until recently, those running things are also the same people busy out in the community trying to raise support for keeping the MM on during drive time. Something that would damage KPFA and Pacifica financial, perhaps to the point of losing all.

The supporters of the Morning Mix have filed three lawsuits against the leadership and Foundation in the last two months. They have lost the first two in no uncertain terms. The judge's ruling was steaming in her criticism of the plaintiffs. The third case comes up in July.

I could go on and on, but is this what you support?

No one of those in power now behaved in this disruptive and life threatening manner to the Foundation when they were not in the majority for many years. There were no break ins, no lawsuits, no daily negative press releases, no asking community groups to support their view and spreading divisive, negative misinformation. All of which are harmful to KPFA and Pacifica.

The situation at KPFA and Pacifica is complex. No doubt hard for those who aren't deeply involved the situation to follow and fully understand. It is a deeply factionalized world. There is much misinformation and many outright lies in circulation. On one of the three lawsuits in question, the judge heard two day's of testimony, got the full picture and ruled. Her rulings included language about who was doing damage to the Foundation and station and who was not.

We are in a world of ever dwindling alternative news and information sources. I would like to think that you believe that KPFA and Pacifica are important media vehicles and should not be lost
by Sasha
Far more important than reading my remarks above, please listen to the GM's report to the KPFA board at their meeting last Saturday. You will learn about radio, programming, and the effect of negative PR:
by 58 Year Listener
The reason that Brian Edwards Tiekert &amp Aimee Allison, were removed from the air in the morning was because of insufficient funds to pay them. They had the least seniority so they were the first to go. The NLRB agreed that there was no violation of the law in removing them from the air. They were replaced by a group of VOLUNTEER hosts, who were much loved by all of us as they revitalized local interest in KPFA. Tiekert only has a program because he exercised his bumping rights per the union contract to work for the news department, then others gave up their paid hours so he could have his $25,000 a year part-time job to promote his viciously reactionary outlook. As to fundraising, please be sure to read DAILY:
They are filled with all kinds of information, especially financial information. Here is the June 14 article:
"For the numbers people":
For the numbers people: Since today's KPFA local station board meeting had been announced at the latest finance committee meeting as the time and location of the unveiling of KPFA's current numbers, I wanted to provide an update as to what was given out.

1) No current financial statement was provided. The spreadsheet given out for the period ending February 28, 2014 had already been released in April. The spreadsheet misstates profit and loss numbers (as was already pointed out in April) and has not been corrected.

To restate:
Line 39(1) - The correct number is $226,521, not $152,329
Line 40(1) - The correct number is $33,311 not $22,401
Line 43(1) - The correct number for net income is $93,812, not $178,913

A mis-statement of earnings of $85,101.

February event income was also not entered, as the number contained in this report in line 14(I) of $21,255 is the same number as the report issued for the period ending January 31, 2014.

KPFA had events in February of 2014 with Rickey Vincent, Isabel Allende, and Michio Kaku. While it isn't clear why event income from these events in February would not have been entered by April of 2014, it is even less clear why the figures from February events would not be entered by June of 2014.

2) Fund Drive Numbers

Excluding the Los Angeles pledges, KPFA's fund drive results were announced as $664K. Since the results were earlier announced as $790K, this means approximately $126,000 in pledges (or close to 1/5 pledge dollars) were collected from KPFK members in Berkeley. LA should correct its fund drive summary numbers accordingly.

The preliminary gross of $664K also includes approximately 6% in pledges from Fresno-area members ($33-$40K) which are directly remitted to KFCF, leaving a fund drive gross prior to fulfillment of approximately $625-$630K at KPFA.

KPFA's budgetary assumptions for 2014 project a fund drive gross of $659,000 prior to fulfillment, which leaves the May fund drive approximately $35,000 short of the budgetary goal.

Please keep in mind when reviewing 2015 F/Y budgetary projections.
For more on cooking the books, see:

Please also read the answers to Frequently Asked Questions at

Last, but not least, for this comment, is the 6/10/14 article "The Tax Man Commeth:"
Berkeley-At Thursday’s Pacifica National Board meeting, the growing extent of the financial disarray at Pacifica was revealed. In a brief question and answer session with auditor Armanino McKenna regarding the network’s last 990 annual tax return, significant problems were uncovered. As mentioned in a previous issue of Pacifica in Exile, the tax return is hundreds of thousands of dollars out of whack with income and expense totals on the audit, released only a few weeks later. Worse, the return contains a certification that missing Schedule B is not required because Pacifica is not a publicly-supported organization. A publicly-supported organization is one that receives at least 33% of its support from gifts, grants or donations from members whose basic purposes are to support the organization. Pacifica has always been one.

In addition, the state return leaves out Form 100, whose omission years earlier resulted in a Franchise Tax Board suspension in 2012-2013 that cost the Pacifica Foundation its name (which resulted in rebranding as “Pacifica Foundation Radio” after the name “Pacifica Foundation” was snatched up by a quickie LLC).

Affiliate director Janis Lane-Ewart, formerly the board treasurer at the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB), stated the tax return appeared to be “distorted” during the board call. The full call can be heard here.

Instead of attending to the immediate submission of an amended return for fiscal year 2012, the rogue majority on the board of directors appears to be digging in their heels with board chair Wilkinson instructing the auditor to speak only to “management” and other board members describing the questions about the return’s inaccuracies as “political attacks”.

Executive Director Summer Reese, who has stated she believes her abrupt firing earlier this year was linked to her attempts to clean up financial reporting, correctly identified most of the problems with the tax return and signed it under protest. See

This summary of 7 Reasons Why Pacifica Needs An Investigation breaks out the reckless and irresponsible actions of the 2014 board. See A complaint filed with the California Attorney General by 8 former board members can be found here. See

The audit of the fiscal year ended 9/30/2013 has still not begun. The dwindling number of employees in the national office (two have already quit and the CFO remains barred from the national office in an accommodation to workplace complaints) are trying to catch up on the year’s worth of undone bank reconciliations from KPFA and track down missing data from other stations. Interim ED Bernard Duncan is reported to plan the rehires of two individuals let go for cause in the previous year to fill the accounting vacancies: one who was let go for moonlighting as a tax preparer for H&R Block on company time, and another, who was let go after the unauthorized release of dozens of employee’s payroll data and social security number information to national board member Lydia Brazon via an unsecured email.

The intimidation of network staffers is continuing. After the month-long suspension of Berkeley news anchor Anthony Fest for this brief announcement, popular late night LA host Roy of Hollywood was hit with a warning letter after interviewing the executive director on his late night program. The warning letter from interim program director Alan Minsky cited “dirty laundry rules”. The letter was ironic as Minsky himself participated in an hour-long program with Background Briefing host Ian Masters in December that discussed Pacifica matters at length and resulted in a 2-day suspension for Masters, which MInsky, among others, protested. The LA program director is not known to have issued a warning letter to himself for violating the dirty laundry rule.

Pacifica listeners swarmed a new petition put out by the “PDGG” group of board directors (Pacifica Directors for Good Governance) with encouraging comments: Here are some samples: (The petition is at

“We need to preserve Pacifica and not allow those with secret motives to push Pacifica into insolvency and force us to sell off Pacifica assets to their friends at bargain basement prices”.

“Please do not permit this unruly faction to destroy Pacifica and most specifically WBAI in NYCity. This is an obvious attempt to silence what precious few “voices” there are in major media which question the “machine”. Don’t let this happen”.

“Pacifica is one of the most important independent media outlets in this country. It is unthinkable to dismantle it and/or weaken it in any way through the selling off of any of its 5 stations. The recent actions of the Dan Siegel faction seem to lead in that direction; these actions have been incompetent (firing an excellent and hardworking ED); short sighted (having no viable replacement)–and worse. I hope the Court will stand up for the survival of Pacifica–a critically necessary independent and non-commercial free institution in a world rapidly succumbing to total corporate control”.


Started in 1946 by conscientious objector Lew Hill, Pacifica’s storied history includes impounded program tapes for a 1954 on-air discussion of marijuana, broadcasting the Seymour Hersh revelations of the My Lai massacre, bombings by the Ku Klux Klan, going to jail rather than turning over the Patty Hearst tapes to the FBI, and Supreme Court cases including the 1984 decision that noncommercial broadcasters have the constitutional right to editorialize, and the Seven Dirty Words ruling following George Carlin’s incendiary performances on WBAI. Pacifica Foundation Radio operates noncommercial radio stations in New York, Washington, Houston, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area, and syndicates content to over 180 affiliates. It invented listener-supported radio.
Dan Siegel and Siegel & Yee are the illegal counsel for this Government Operation to Destroy Pacifica, including KPFA. He has caused much harm to both. See

KPFA and Pacifica have been under attack by the US government since their inception. In today's political world, the strongest opponents are the Democrats, who feel threatened by socialists and Greens. That is why we say this attack on the Morning Mix is the latest Government Operation to destroy Pacifica, that is, all 5 stations. Dan Siegel is a proud Democrat, as are the entire Hate Pacifica Gang commonly known as SaveKPFA. Their leading light is Larry Bensky, a former KPFA programmer, and former editor of the CIA's Paris Review. Here is the record of Larry Bensky:
1. His attacks to callers on air:

2. Supporters of Pat Scott Gang and union busters American Consulting:

3. More horrors of supporting Concerned Listeners gang:

4. His opposition to Peace & Freedom and Green Parties:

5. His use of name lists in violation of Pacifica election rules:

6. His opposition to the 9/11 Truth Movement

7. His anti-labor outlook on labor programming:

8. His contempt for free speech:

9. His attack on William Blum's book exposing the CIA and a reminder that Bensky was editor of the CIA front, the Paris Review, at

10. His ridicule of the fact of history that Nazis influenced the anti-Communist witchhunts of the 1940s-1950s as of course they were first and foremost anti-communist:
by an old resume
After Nicole Sawaya was fired by the “Hijacker Regime” in 1999, Sasha Futran (who'd been a member of the opposition) switched sides and applied for the job.

“I have had a secret desire to be KPFA'a general manager . . .” Sasha wrote in her application. Letter and resume at:

That was in 1999. She did not get the management job. In fact, she did not get any job at the station. She became a vocal critic of “Save KPFA” (then “KPFA Forward”) and ran for the board. Later she switched sides again and suddenly became a loyal supporter of Save KPFA. Her current secret desire has not been made public. Maybe now she'd like to be a show host at KPFA. But would Save KPFA be likely to trust a person with Sasha's history of repeatedly changing sides? That might be a problem, or maybe not. If she did step out of line they could always fire her.

Who did you have in mind when you urged those who want to be hosts "to take the apprenticeship program and learn how to do radio"?" Tuesday Morning Mix host Dave "Davey D" Cook, who has more broadcast experience and more of a national profile than anyone on KPFA airwaves? Anthony Fest, who has been a KPFA Evening News Anchor for 20 years? Sabrina Jacobs, who graduated from San Francisco State's broadcast journalism program and has produced news and public affairs at KPFA now for at least five years? Steve Seltzer, who hosted the Labor Show many years before the Morning Mix, and who maintains his own website and Youtube Channel, Labor Video? Project Censored, which probably has a higher profile and more international recognition than KPFA itself?

Or were you talking about Andrés Soto, who became one of the most popular KPFA hosts on the air almost as soon as Hard Knock Radio's Anita Johnson brought him in and he began to put the voices of Contra Costa County residents struggling with Chevron, and the rest of the fossil fuel industry, on the air?
by KPFA Listener
"Lynn" meaning Lynn Chadwick?
by anon
Who wants to own your radio station, and all others?

Follow the money.

NPR Gets $17 Million in Grants to Expand Coverage and Develop ...
Dec 15, 2013 ... Four foundations are making grants: the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wallace ... develop-digital-platform
by Ann Garrison
What the headline said.
by Won’t say due to vicious retribution
There are reasonable people in charge now who can quite possible save the network. Let them do it. Keep arguing for the programs you want. This is what any dedicated listener should do. But stop undermining the people who have radio experience and financial experience who are trying to keep the network from going under. Stop spreading bad publicity about KPFA. It does not help fund raising.

With this kind of vicious dialog and name calling you are harming KPFA and keeping qualified people from wanting to get involved. There was a time when there was fear of being on the governments list. Now, I’m afraid to give my name because I fear being on your list. In many ways you are as bad as the people you claim to be against.
by Shhhhhhh!
Let's pretend that all is well at KPFA so the station can raise more money from listeners.
by reader
Sure, seems like they can throw a bunch of money at the station from rich supporters who want another National Pentagon Radio -- was that the purpose of KPFA? If the goal is slick programming focused on guests out of DC who describe anyone who questions anything as "conspiracy theorists" . . . okay.
Doesn't seem like Save KPFA's wealthiest donors will be willing to put up enough money to save KPFA as they want it to be without selling or leasing WBAI, WPFW or KPFT. That seems to be the Save KPFA plan, as evidenced by their refusal to allow a resolution against selling any of the broadcast licenses come to a vote on Saturday.

The alternative to selling broadcast licenses would be using almost exclusively unpaid staff on the air, which could be done if more people were invited to share their skills and work collectively or at least collaboratively. KPFA veterans from the 1960s have told me that's how it was done then, that programming produced by unpaid staff won awards, and that KPFA was proud of that.

I said mostly unpaid staff, not all. KPFA obviously needs engineering and accounting staff, a General Manager, Program Director, Music Director, Volunteer Coordinator, and Webmaster, and a Promotions Director to connect with the community.  It probably also needs at least one, perhaps two, paid News Anchors, because producing a newscast is a labor intensive, all day affair, especially if it's done well. Maybe a paid daily investigative reporting hour, or, maybe an investigative reporting hour instead of a newscast, because as it is now, KPFA News headlines don't vary much from those one might hear or read elsewhere.

Other music and public affairs programming could be done by unpaid staff, if KPFA were simply more open to the Bay Area's rich community of engaged political intellectuals, writers, activists, artists, experienced community radio broadcasters, and others willing to undertake training.  

Many of the station's paid staff do more harm than good by interviewing any and every person of status who shoots a book and/or press release through the mail, and then has a publicist follow up with a call. Unless of course there is something more sinister going on, which we have no evidence of. Many on-air guests who thus present themselves to KPFA and other public affairs programmers throughout the network are in fact Pentagon propagandists who should not be on any Pacifica airwaves.
by A San Francisco Green Party member
Sasha-Futrun.jpgFormer KPFA Local Station Board member Sasha Futrun was the sole Save KPFA supporter who attended the Saturday, June 14th Local Station Board meeting to speak at public comment.  She is also the sole Save KPFA supporter signing posts here.

In 2009, Futrun spoke to the San Francisco Green Party during an evening devoted to listening to candidates for the KPFA Local Station Board and voting on endorsements. We endorsed her as an alternate, but not among our top picks. She was given time to speak, though she had not RSVP'ed that she'd like to, in accordance with SF Green Party process, and there were several women present, but she responded furiously that we had made sexist, "incredibly uneducated" choices, and, denounced most of the candidates we did endorse, even though they were presumably her allies because they were at the time all running on the same slate.

We've had a hard time reconciling Futrun's bitter, acrimonious letter and her constant accusations that those who disagree with her are "partisans" or "factional" as she seems to imply she is not. Now we have a hard time reconciling that letter with her claim, in this audio record, that she and her fellow Save KPFA members have always behaved in a dignified and professional manner.  (In 2010, Futrun switched slates a second time to join Save KPFA, where she now seems to be among its most active members, and to spend a great deal of time at the station.)

Here's what she had to say to us, and about her fellow candidates, when the San Francisco Greens endorsed her only as an alternate in 2009:

From: Sasha Futran
Date: Sun, Sep 27, 2009 at 2:15 PM
Subject: Re: [SFGP-A] [SFGP CC] From Sasha Furtran
To: Eric Brooks

I wanted to congratulate you on your excellent choice of candidates to
endorse for the KPFA board. Just one woman, thank you and, fortunately,
you had just one woman there to vote on the selection as well. Good

So let's see:

One of the gentlemen you endorsed was banned from the station for two
years because of scenes he caused at meetings and threatened physical
violence. You see, he gets very testy with anyone who doesn't agree with
his precise view of the world.

Another is on the board and is prone to profanity and yelling while
standing up; he also does that in restaurants and other public places.

Another lied incredible about his work background and KPFA history, and
has been known to accuse people of being a government agent on national
email lists; they aren't.

Hmmm, two are on the board are completely silent, always. Never say a
word or do any work. Three years and I wouldn't recognize the sound of
their voice.

One is not sure he can be on the board for more than 8 months because he
is probably moving

One is so dumb you won't believe it and, although, he has been running
for the board for years now, he still can't get anything about KPFA
straight. He is one of several men you endorsed who weren't there so you
didn't get a chance to hear him in action.

I think I'll stop. Makes we wonder about democracy . . . and the Green
Party . . .

Did I notice "feminism" as one of the things you support on a poster on
your wall? Of course, you didn't indicate that includes women so one
can't fault you on that score. Let's have all male feminism. Never
thought of that, what a creative idea!

For a group that didn't go for any Concerned Listener candidates, you
did about as badly as you possibly could. Three of the people you
selected are ones that the rest of us dread having on the board, even
though they are on "our side"  of the main issues because absolutely
nothing will be able to be accomplished even if we are in the majority.
They will be fighting with everyone including each other, and the rest
of our "faction" because they hate one another  and anyone who doesn't
properly admire every little sound they make.

Just had to share because your endorsements are so incredibly
uneducated, strange. the weirdest combination imaginable;  simply an
unbelievably disparate grouping.

Now, aren't you glad you didn't follow the legal, election supervisor's
format for keeping the KPFA election process fair and consistent and
instead insisted on doing it your own way? Good for you! A strong man!!!
But hey, she's a woman so what could she possibly know? I'm just a
stupid, immaterial woman, too,l so I know you will just flick this
little email off like a piece of lint.  Silly me, that's what your wives
and girlfriends are for  . . .

Let us all hope, for KPFA's sake, that you do not get your wish!  Do
take me off your alternates list, whatever that is, as I don't want any
part of this.


Sasha Futran

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by a listener
A post from Sasha Futran, followed by comments to and from Sasha. Read and decide for yourselves who Sasha is or isn't
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