24 November, 2008

Mon-November 24 1pm PST - KPFA LSB
Report to Listeners (with live call-in)

On Monday November 24th at 1 pm PST, the KPFA Local Station Board will broadcast of its' monthly Report to the Listeners, moderated by LSB members Noelle Hanrahan and Henry Norr, and will include as guests, among others, Mitchel Cohen of the WBAI LSB, and Joe Wanzala, also of the KPFA LSB.

The broadcast will include time for live call-ins from KPFA listeners and supporters. The studio number is (510) 848-4425.

The Audio webstream/podcast archive of the program will be available for listening immediately after the broadcast:

November 2008 LSB Report to the Listeners
(note: description mislabeled for "Women's Magazine" timeslot)

Podcast/Mp3 (for iTunes, WinAmp, Windows Media Player)

Listeners should feel free to ask questions regarding any aspect or concerns about the station, management, governance, Pacifica's reliance on the new CPB-required Arbitron Portable People Meter being challenged in a suit by the State Attorneys General in New York and New Jersey; as well as arbitrary banning policies, financial situation, its bureaucratic and violent treatment of workers and community programmers, hiring practices, and where and how your contributions are being spent.

Live on the web: www.KPFA.org

This article is open for comments

19 November, 2008

Nadra Foster case in court: Nov 20th


If you would like to support Nadra Foster in her legal battles as well as with her medical tribulations, considering she will not be able to use one of her arms for at least the rest of the year, you could give money directly to the Nadra Foster Defense Fund at Wells Fargo, or email her at nadrafosterdefensefund@gmail.com, as well as support her in court on Thursday, November 20th, at 9am, at 661 Washington St., in downtown Oakland, in courtroom 104.

14 November, 2008

KPFA Business Manager to Resign;
PNB considers $1M Loan, KPFK as collateral

(note: correction made to reference of draft letter from KPFK. - Ed. )

It is six weeks since Nicole Sawaya resigned as Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation. In her wake is a deeply divided organization, a national office and five stations in deficit, a slew of unresolved lawsuits from coast to coast, a CFO returned from virtual AWOL following their power struggle, her own image captured on video fending back observers and interveners during the beating and arrest of Nadra Foster, followed by the resignation of the HR Director, a written seance to lecture Lew Hill as an 'explanation', and topped with the controversial 11th Hour appointment of Lemlem Rijio as General Manager for KPFA.

What a legacy to add to the annals of Pacifica, perhaps for Matthew Lasar's revisionist counterparts to document...

* * * * *

Back in September, former Pacifica Executive Director Greg Guma, Sawaya's immediate predecessor, included in his incisive retrospective series on the state of Pacifica, an entry foreshadowing the Foundation's impending economic crisis:

This week, the growing desperation appears to be coming closer to a head:
As approved during a special meeting, the Pacifica National Board has given the green light to 'seek' an application for a $1 million dollar loan, in an arrangement which would ostensibly use KPFK as collateral.
As can be expected, this has caused great uproar, especially from the KPFK Local Station Board. * On Wednesday, a KPFK LSB member floated a draft letter to CFO Lonnie Hicks and the PNB, calling for greater transparency and consultation in such decision making, and asking other stations to stand with them against the action. The draft concludes: "This appropriation of station assets without notice and consultation sets a precedent that endangers every station in Pacifica."
(* note of correction: the memo distributed to various Pacifica member/listener lists did not distinguish as a working draft; thread continues at this link. )

As of this writing, the latest word is the KPFK LSB approved this week "...a motion calling for the PNB to require a repair and repayment plan as a condition for its approval of any collateralized loan agreement."

* * * * *

Meanwhile, as previously announced at last weekend's KPFA LSB meeting in Fresno by Treasurer Brian Edwards Tiekert, Lemlem Rijio on Monday announced the resignation of Lois Withers. While Ms. Withers is known by many as capable and responsible in her position as Business Manager, the more recent memory of her tenure is marred by her role in escalating a simple volunteer matter into a disproportionate action of calling the Berkeley Police into the KPFA building and exacting violence on volunteer programmer, Nadra Foster. The original charges? Using the phones, and printing paper.

While there are other details, participants and circumstances contributing to the incident, the KPFA LSB has yet to proceed with an investigation of the matter. Between the LSB holding its monthly meeting outside of the KPFA signal area in November followed by a majority vote to postpone the next scheduled meeting until January 2009, has effectively demonstrated a certain apathy by the LSB majority of so-called 'Concerned Listeners' to insulate itself with distance and time from giving any seriousness and priority to the August 20th incident, while dishonoring the Mission established by Mr. Lew Hill and his team in building a station and a community based on peaceful resolution and understanding. Such contempt...

Meanwhile, as Ms. Foster's case is still being dealt with in the courts. Plans are in the works for fundraising events to cover legal costs. Please stay tuned to this site per developments.

- Ed.

Fwd: Nadra Foster and the Resignation
of Lois Withers, KPFA Business Manager


Written by The POCC Minister of Information JR
Friday, 14 November 2008

On November 10th, Lem-Lem Rijio, KPFA's General Manager, announced through email that Lois Withers, KPFA's Business Manager was resigning. For those that keep up with KPFA business, Lois is the white woman who called the police on Black programmer Nadra Foster falsely accusing her of being banned, on August 20th. Consequently Nadra was beaten up, thrown to the ground, kicked in the head, strait-jacketed, and forcibly removed out of the station, resulting in her facing 5 charges: including 2 counts of resisting arrest, 2 counts of assualting a police officer, and one count of trespassing.

This incident was reported in the SF Bay View Newspaper, the SF Chronicle, the Berkeley Daily Planet, the Oakland Post, on Indy Bay Media, and to this day the initial incident still has never been talked about on the KPFA News, by the main anchors on the Morning Show, or by Democracy Now.

Lem-Lem Rijio said, "KPFA's business manager for the past four years, Lois Withers has been offered a great position with a great environmental organization and will be leaving her position at KPFA in the coming couple of weeks.

Lois has done outstanding work, expanding KPFA's capacity in administration and financial management and we thank her for her great contributions to KPFA/Pacifica. Lois has exemplified excellent work ethic while KPFA's business manager and has developed systems and structures that help KPFA achieve financial accountability and sustainability."

Does Rijio consider Withers initiating under false pretenses, the Nadra Foster beating by Berkeley police to be "outstanding work" and "great contributions to KPFA and Pacifica"? She must, because in her statement she never mentions the incident, and furthermore no one has been disciplined to date for what happened to Nadra Foster, inside of the KPFA radio station, in Berkeley. Just to mention, Lem-Lem Rijio and Nadra Foster are both single mothers with two children, who used to be friends and hang out.

On the positive side of things, 3 out of the 5 culprits from KPFA and Pacifica management that were responsible for what happened to Nadra Foster and the aftermath, have resigned; that being Nicole Sawaya, the former Executive Director of Pacifica, Dominga Estrada, the Human Resource officer at Pacifica, and now, Lois Withers the KPFA Business Manager. The remaining two responsible are Sasha Lilley, the Program Director for KPFA, and Lem-Lem Rijio, the General Manager of KPFA. Sasha was directly on the scene when Nadra was beaten and refused to help her, according to Hard Knock Radio producer Anita Johnson, who was an eye-witness to the Berkeley police beating of Foster, and Lem-Lem Rijio, the General Manager of KPFA, refused to discipline anybody, as well as led the attempted coverup, with the help of the KPFA News, the main anchors of the Morning Show, and Democracy Now, who, to this day, have refused to mention the issue on air.

Although with Lois Withers resigning we won a battle, we still have a war to fight in getting justice for Nadra Foster, getting a daily/weekly Black public affairs show on KPFA, and removing pro-police administrators like Lem-Lem Rijio and Sasha Lilley from the KPFA and Pacifica staff.

If you would like to support Nadra Foster in her legal battles as well as with her medical tribulations, considering she will not be able to use one of her arms for at least the rest of the year, you could give money directly to the Nadra Foster Defense Fund at Wells Fargo, or email her at nadrafosterdefensefund@gmail.com, as well as support her in court on Thursday, November 20th, at 9am, at 661 Washington St., in downtown Oakland, in courtroom 104.

Look for further updates on www.blockreportradio.com

08 November, 2008

Followup RE: KPFA, KFCF and the LSB Meeting

Saturday, November 8, 2008: Earlier today, the KPFA Local Station Board held a meeting in Fresno. During the time period allocated for the obligatory Public Comment period, one speaker, specifically naming the "Media Justice" blog, expressed concern over a recent posting examining the merits of whether any LSB meeting could be legally held outside of its signal area.

The case in point: if station KFCF in Fresno, not owned by the Pacifica Foundation but rather by the Fresno Free College Foundation, and which happens to retransmit most of KPFA's programming into the Fresno area, somehow actually constitutes, by extension, KPFA's "...local station area" as per Pacifica's bylaws.

During the comments, the speaker failed to point out that the question of legality was originally raised by another Pacificaner to the National Board, as referred to here:

This reminder should assure all concerned: this author did not make the original claim of legality, but in merely considering the question, sought additional information provided examining the possible merits.

Pending a more comprehensive determination by the legal eagles, policy wonks, the FCC and the California Secretary of State on the question of whether an NCE license held by separate entity Y, but which happens to decide to carry a Station's X programming, does actually meet the definition of "Local Station Area" within which an LSB could meet, there still remains the question whether retransmission of KPFA's signal over KFCF for 90% of the broadcast day/week satisfies the requirements of 47 CFR 73.1125 and yet still qualifies to hold a local NCE license without a "Main Studio" Waiver from the FCC.

If this arcane language is confusing, then perhaps to simplify:

How does this hold up to the 'Reasonable Person' test in an age when the general public and policymakers all across the country are actively concerned about the FCC, broadcasters accountability and Broadcast Localism?

Also, should not the question of "signal area" as defined by the FCC be an aside from the 'Membership' and 'Affilate/Delegate' qualifications as far as the nonprofit/bylaws are concerned? When listeners in Miami, Utah and China donate, they can certainly become members; and, with the magic of moving a few commas on the Bylaws, they can certainly serve on the Boards. But, does that then qualify those areas to be an extension of the 'signal area'? Could LSB meetings be legally held in those areas?

Comments are welcome, as is any enlightenment.

06 November, 2008

Nov LSB Meeting in Fresno:
Violation of Bylaws?

On the eve of the monthly KPFA Local Station Board meeting, scheduled for Saturday November 8th in Fresno, some late-breaking communications have been sent to the Pacifica National Board pointing out the illegality of the LSB meeting outside of the station's service area.

Per an excerpt from the Pacifica Foundation's own Bylaws:


Article Seven, Section 6 (B) - TIME AND PLACE:

"The LSB shall establish, by majority vote, the time and place of each meeting...MEETINGS SHALL BE HELD WITHIN THE LOCAL RADIO STATION AREA in facilities of sufficient size to accommodate Members affiliated with that radio station and the public, preferably in the station."

Writes one listener to the PNB:
"Your committee noticed an illegal meeting. While fresno is within the service area of associate station KFCF, it is not within the KPFA service area."

Good point. Shouldn't this have been considered before scheduling?

Additional Supporting Info

- From KPFA's 'Public File' directory on its own website,
is the engineering contour map defining KPFA's primary signal area: [link]

- Compare the signal area's reach in relation to Fresno using the 'zoom out' feature on this map: [link]

...and also compare with KPFA's extended reach via its Translator locations: [link]

- Here is an estimated engineering contour for KFCF's signal area [link]

While KFCF does carry some Pacifica and KPFA programming, neither the station's original FCC license nor its last approved applications on file with the FCC, include any waiver authorizations granting KFCF permission to operate it's primary studio outside of the community of license:

Per KFCF's 1981 application: [link]

KFCF's license renewal in 2005 (Granted) [link 2]

Given the available information, holding the LSB meetings outside of the signal area of licensed Pacifica stations is appearing not to be a good idea. Hopefully the Directors of the Pacifica Foundation and its FCC consultants will quickly consider the potential violation, and instruct the LSB accordingly to operate in compliance of its Bylaws, as well as within all State and Federal laws.

Pending a determination, it is yet hoped that the raising of such issues are understood as no intended slight to listeners and colleagues in the KFCF Fresno listening area...

On the contrary: since many KFCF listeners are also KPFA members and supporters, the Fresno community deserves to be appropriately served and represented, and be allowed its due input in the station's program offerings, governance, and setting standards of performance and accountability for station management.

Worth considering, for example, could be a re-constitution of both the Program Council as well as the Community Advisory Board, so as to help assure community representation and participation towards the decision making process for Programming.

Alternately, perhaps there ought to be community forum meetings, such as having folks from the SF Bay Area convene with counterparts in the Central Valley for a Summit to explore and formulate recommendations for a more healthier, relevant and community-friendly operation and program offerings. And actually, given the manner in which the LSB currently operates, such fori or summits could be more conducive and productive towards such efforts, and certainly more welcoming to community input.

For those with outstanding concerns about these and other related issues,
the PNB can be reached via email: pnb@pacifica.org

* * * * *

Reach Media Justice: KPFA at: MediaJusticeKPFA @ gmail.com

05 November, 2008

Editorial Recap of 10/27
LSB Monthly Report Broadcast

On Monday October 27th, KPFA broadcast the Local Station Board's monthly "Report to the Listeners", hosted by Sasha Futran and Henry Norr. Also joining the broadcast was past LSB member Max Blanchet; and Brian Edwards-Tiekert, treasurer and paid staff representative from the News Department.

A lively and incisive discussion ensued, covering a range of topics that have been troubling the station: the state of finances for KPFA and the Pacifica Foundation, questionable appointments to the Community Advisory Board against established CPB guidelines, reduction of listenership, concerns of competition with internet-based media and the fetishised use of Roberts Rules to delay productive discussions...

Particularly touchy issues included: managers' arbitrary approach to human resources and security procedures, the state of the Program Council, management's blatant disregard of resolutions by the Pacifica National Board and the Local Station Board to recognize the Unpaid Staff Organization, the continued failure to produce personnel policies; and the lack of published criteria for violations and remedies, such as applied to long-time KPFA producer and volunteer Nadra Foster. Mr. Norr also provided a report on the status of Ms. Foster's case. Several members of the community called in, also touching on some critical issues.

The archived program can be heard from the KPFA archive website,
as broadcast on October 27th (during the timeslot for Women's Magazine)"


The editorial team for the Media Justice: KPFA blog will publish a series of articles examining in more depth and detail several of the issues covered during the Oct.27 LSB Report broadcast. These articles will offer information and perspectives from the point-of-view of Community Producers, Media Workers, and supporters from inside KPFA. We wish to provide all KPFA listeners and supporters with a greater degree of due transparency of these otherwise obscure issues confronting the community's beloved radio station through this critical time, and towards a brighter future.