iPNB secretary Carol Spooner reports
on the iPNB meeting
From: Carol Spooner, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Interim Board Report
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 01:53:25 -0800
January 15, 2002
The new board passed resolutions to undo the injustices of the past year at WBAI by restoring the fired and banned producers there, and also to restore the community to "community radio" at KPFT in Houston with the inclusion of the Houston activists in the local advisory board for that station. KPFT station manager, Garland Ganter, announced his resignation earlier in the week. Ganter, as acting General Manager at KPFA, was in charge of the KPFA lockout of July 1999.
Dan Coughlin was named interim Executive Director for Pacifica. Coughlin is the former Pacifica Network News Director who was fired by former Executive Director Lynn Chadwick in the fall of 1999 for authorizing a news report on the Pacifica controversies. And Larry Bensky was finally reinstated as a paid Pacifica employee after he was fired 2-1/2 years ago for breaking the Pacifica "gag rule". Bensky had been doing his KPFA Sunday Salon program on an unpaid volunteer basis since the KPFA staff returned to the station in August 1999.
However, there was one stunning defeat that came from within our own ranks. A motion by Pete Bramson for a board committment to return Pacifica's national headquarters office from Washington DC to Berkeley "as soon as feasible" was defeated by a 4 to 6 vote -- Pete Bramson (KPFA), Janice K. Bryant (WBAI), Leslie Cagan (WBAI) & Carol Spooner (KPFA) voted for it; Teresa Allen (KPFT), George Barnstone (KPFT), Dave Fertig (KPFK), Ray Laforest (WBAI), Rob Robinson (WPFW), Jabari Zakiya (WPFW) voted against it. (The vote took place after the board members appointed by the old board majority -- Marion Barry, Bert Lee and James Ferguson -- had left the meeting early on Sunday.) The national office was packed up and stealthily moved from Berkeley in the middle of the night in Jan 2000. The motion was defeated despite a grant from the Friends of Free Speech Radio to pay all costs associated with the move. For those who have understood this fight as a political attack on Pacifica emanating from Washington, the defeat was a grievous blow. We still have a lot of education work to do -- even among our own -- if we are to preserve and protect Pacifica from the political forces seeking to silence it.
Very quickly the new board must get a grip on Pacifica's finances. The board treasurer reported that there are about $2.9 million in outstanding debts at this time. In addition, station managers at KPFA and KPFK reported that their station reserves had been drained by the national office over the past year and that budgeted transmitter repairs could not be made. It was announced that the Foundation had received a grant to bring an accounting firm in immediately -- between now and the end of January -- to figure out where all the money has gone and to make recommendations to the board on how to get financial control over the Foundation.
Many activists from around the country attended the board meeting with great energy and enthusiasm and many proposals to begin the process of democratizing Pacifica. Over the next year Pacifica's bylaws will be re-written to require elected local boards and an elected and accountable national board.
We have much work ahead of us, and we have won an opportunity to do it with your help.
Thanks for all your support,
P.S. We do still have about $50,000 in legal bills to pay for the
listeners' lawsuit attorneys who worked so tirelessly over the past
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This bulletin comes from the Committee to Remove the [former!] Pacifica
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