Web links related to the Back of the Book program of February 23, 2009

It's Sunday morning, March 8, 2009, 11:35, and this Web page is finished. I've updated this Web page to reflect what did and didn't happen on the program. Oh, we're pitching again. Oh no we weren't! But we'd thought that we were pitching tonight, and the IRT was being overhauled. So we had to leave a lot earlier than usual in order to get to the radio station on time. As a result of all of this we weren't at all certain what we were going to get to cover on this program. But the below stuff was be gotten to.

Did you know that I've got a brief synopsis of many of the WBAI LSB meetings? Well, I do.

The next regular WBAI LSB meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 26, 2009, at 7:00 PM, location to be determined.

There was a meeting of the WBAI LSB held on Wednesday, February 18, 2009, at the Cathedral Parkway Towers Community Room, 125 W. 109th Street in Manhattan.

A large part of the meeting was taken up with the elections of people to the various committees of the Pacifica National Board (PNB). We also elected four people to the WBAI management Evaluation Committee. If this committee actually functions the WBAI LSB may do its first real evaluation of WBAI in the five years that the LSB has existed. The LSB is supposed to do these evaluations annually. The faction that had been in charge for years faked an evaluation a couple of years ago.

I gave the Treasurer's Report, and things are not looking so good. All around the Pacifica network on-air fund raising goals are being missed by an average of 20%. KPFA reported missing their goal by 15%. WBAI's plan to sub-let half our space and so reduce our rent by half starting in a couple of months looks like it's not going to happen. So we're going to have to raise more money than we'd planned. on behalf of the Finance Committee I brought the following motion to the LSB, “The finance committee recommends that the LSB establish a working group to investigate potential changes to the lease and possible new locations/spaces to move to.” Unfortunately, we ran out of time before we could get to vote on that motion. Next meeting I'm sure we'll pass it though.

The General Manager gave a report and said that the current 'thon was not going so well. Also, WBAI has not paid its January and February rent yet. I asked if this could cause a problem and he said that we're paying soon enough that the landlord isn't going to cause problems over the late rent payments. Well, I guess there are some up sides to a down economy.

Faction operatives fulminated and attacked some of us during the public comment section of the meeting. That faction sycophant whom I've mentioned before was in the midst of another of his vituperative rants against me when the Chair told him that he couldn't be so nasty. This ended up with my defending the faction sycophant's right to say whatever he wanted, within legal limits. in the end I moved to appeal the ruling of the chair and the LSB voted that the Chair couldn't stop this sort of speech. The faction sycophant picked right back up and continued attacking me, of course.

The LSB has voted to hold the rest of its meetings for 2009, on the following dates:

All of these meetings are set to begin at 7:00 PM.

WBAI has a program schedule up on its Web site. The site has gotten many of the individual program pages together to provide links and such, so check it out.

WBAI has an official Web stream of what's on the air at any time! You can go here and pick which type of stream you want! If this stream isn't working let me know. The stream was working at 9:56 PM last night.

WBAI is archiving the programs! Just go here and you'll be able to listen to the program any time for the next couple of months. When you first go to the Web page you'll only see the WBAI programs for the past 7 days. If you want to see older programs you can click on one of the “See ALL Shows” buttons.

Back of the Book is now one of the programs that you can download, as well as listen to on line.

I'm glad to announce that with a new person doing the archives there have been some positive changes. In the table on that Web page Back of the Book and Carrier Wave are both in the Show column. The “Date and Category” column shows the date of the program. After the program I go in and write the details of the program and say which program it is. Of course I'd recommend that you just listen to both programs in this time slot!

Steffie Brooks

Steffie Brooks died on February 9th, at 8:00 PM. Steffie was someone who'd come to be a part of the station after the civil war that raged throughout Pacifica in 2001. She was a member of the Joy of Resistance collective, a WBAI women's collective, and did most of her radio programs through that group.

Steffie was involved in all sorts of political causes and organizations. We didn't always agree on things but she was honest, unlike some others around WBAI. She stood up to the bullies and she truly wanted the radio station to survive. When she saw that certain people were doing things that were harming the station she spoke up, even when those people were station Management.

I especially recall Steffie speaking up against the faction at a Staff meeting in September 2004. The then General Manager had proposed a fantasy budget that made the Program Director and his faction look good but which guaranteed that the station would run out of money in 2005. At this meeting Steffie was reviled by other Staff and at one point a prominent Staff member and on-air voice stood over Steffie screaming at her because she wouldn't support the faction. For a little while it looked like they were going to physically assault Steffie. But she stood her ground and in the end she voted against a motion that falsely claimed that the entire Staff of WBAI was in favor of the fantasy budget. The vote that night was 22 to 2, the other vote against the destruction of the radio station was mine.

Steffie will be missed. She brought another voice to the fight to save WBAI. She spent the last couple of years fighting cancer. She suffered a lot with the cancer spreading and treatments failing. Although I disagreed with Steffie on some things I certainly thought well of her and welcomed her voice at meetings and on mailing lists where so much of the struggle to save WBAI goes on. There will be a memorial for Steffie held by some of her activist friends on March 14. WBAI LSB Chair Mitchel Cohen has written a poem in honor of Steffie.

We'd been informed, in writing, at the end of January that we were pitching on this program. When we got to WBAI we were informed that the overnight radio programs were not pitching anymore this 'thon. Ah well, we adjusted to the change.

If you've already pledged please fulfill your pledge. WBAI will be using the proceeds from this 'thon to pay the station's January and February rent.

We entered late Winter on Wednesday, February 18, at ten minutes to three o'clock in the afternoon. So we've had our late Winter LSB meeting.

The next thing to watch out for is Spring, which will begin with the Vernal Equinox on Friday, March 20th, 2009, at 7:44 AM (EDT). For more on the seasons and sub-seasons look at this. Oh, I so want Winter to end.

There's a comet that some folks will be able to see but others won't. It's Comet Lulin. It will probably peak in brightness tomorrow morning, February 24. It will peak at magnitude 5, which will require dark skies for a naked eye observation. So folks in light polluted large cities will probably not be able to see it. But if the sky is clear enough you might be able to see it with binoculars.

There's also a political aspect to this comet. Its discovery came as the result of cooperation between scientists from the larger, formerly Communist, China and Taiwan. The comet is named after the Taiwanese observatory that provided the first photograph of it.

There's more on Comet Lulin here.

At ten minutes to two o'clock in the morning on February 23, 1969, the Post Tet Offensive began. R. Paul Martin recounted what it was like to be there. Although Viet Nam is 12 hours ahead of New York time the experience began in the wee hours of the morning. So in terms of experience the personal story of that night began to be told exactly 40 years later, at ten minutes to two o'clock in the morning during this program.

There are a lot of issues that are considered hazardous to talk about on the air at WBAI, even now that the gag rule has been lifted. However, there is the Internet! There are mailing lists which you can subscribe to and Web based message boards devoted to WBAI and Pacifica issues. Many controversial WBAI/Pacifica issues are discussed on these lists.

Probably the most popular list that's sprung up is the “NewPacifica” mailing list. This one is very lively and currently includes over 400 subscribers coast to coast.

Being lively, of course, it sometimes also gets a bit nasty. All sorts of things are happening on this list and official announcements are frequently posted there.

You can look at the NewPacifica list here, and you can join the list from that Web page too. If you subscribe to the “NewPacifica” mailing list you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list.

There is the option to receive a “digest” version of the list, which means that a bunch of messages are bundled into one E-mail and sent to you at regular intervals, this cuts down on the number of E-mails you get from the list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.

This list also has a Web based interface where you can read messages and from which you can post your own messages.

There is also the more WBAI specific “Goodlight” Web based message board. It is sometimes referred to on Back of the Book as “the bleepin' blue board,” owing to the blue background used on its Web pages. This one has many people posting anonymously and there's also an ancillary “WBAI people” board that's just totally out of hand. UPDATE: The bleepin' blue board has had to add a step for folks to get onto it because it's under attack by spambots. When you click on the above link you may be asked for a username and password. Type in Username: poster Password: enternow

When the computer in Master Control is working we sometimes have live interaction with people posting on the “Goodlight Board” during the program.

Our very own Uncle Sidney Smith, whose program Carrier Wave alternates with us, has a blog these days. You can reach his blog here.

My voice mail number at WBAI is 212-209-2996. Leave a message.

You can also send me E-mail.

WBAI related links

WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

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The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2009, R. Paul Martin.