Web links related to the Back of the Book program of July 27, 2009

It's Sunday night, August 23, 2009 20:34, and this Web page is done. I've updated this page with the audio of WBAI iGM Lavarn Williams' report to the PNB and links to a page about that infamous meeting. I've done a separate page about our trip to the mysterious southern island. What follows is the original top of this Web page. ⇒ Due to circumstances beyond their control, we'll be doing a two hour radio program tonight, as usual. We plan to get to the topics below tonight and we also plan to get through a big chunk of the mail backlog. We'll be talking about various things, and this Web page will be updated. There will be an entire page devoted to our visit to that mysterious island we have a photograph of below. So check in for the updates.

Did you know that I've got a brief synopsis of many of the WBAI LSB meetings? Well, I do, and I've recently updated this stuff a tiny bit.

There was a sudden Town Hall meeting held on Monday, April 13, 2009, at 7:00 PM at The Fortune Society, 630 Riverside Drive at 140th St. in Manhattan. Here's a flyer that was passed out at the event.

The next WBAI LSB meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 12, 2009, at 7:00 PM, at a location to be announced.

There was a regular meeting of the WBAI LSB held on Wednesday, July 8, 2009, at 7:00 PM, in the community room of Cathedral Parkway Towers, 125 West 109th Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues in Manhattan.

Once again the faction that's losing its grip on the radio station didn't make the huge, impressive showing they'd been threatening to make at these meetings. In fact there were fewer of them than has been usual of late. Part of the reason for this was that some of the FoBs were at a faction band rally where their faction boss was speaking at a front group of the so-called Worker's World Party.

The issue of waivers finally came up. The Pacifica Foundation bylaws allow for waivers which would allow folks who can't afford to donate $25 or 3 hours of work to WBAI over the course of a year to become members and vote, and even run for the LSB. The faction had been screaming that the bylaws require the LSB to issue waivers. Well, this is not the case. After the faction operatives had made this claim again I read the relevant part of the bylaws which say the LSB, “...may adjust or waive the contribution requirement for Listener-Sponsor Membership....,” at the LSB's discretion. Well, that shut that argument down.

The waivers issue has been on the agenda for months, but the FoBs have been disrupting the meetings and we haven't been getting to that part of the meeting agenda where we could take up the waivers issue.

Well, the deadline for being a member is July 15th. So any waivers would have to be granted by the LSB by that date. By the July 8th, LSB meeting this was not looking so likely to happen.

At this meeting I made a motion to move the creation of a Waivers Committee down in the order of business after the Finance Committee reports. We had a lot of things to get to, we haven't had a financial report since June 10, and I figured we could put a proposition to the faction operatives. With the Waivers Committee agenda item at a place on the agenda after some other business they could either disrupt the meeting as they've been doing and delay things and not get to that agenda item, or they could behave, let the meeting go on and get to that item. Unfortunately, my proposal got voted down with 3 for and 15 against.

So the faction disrupted, we went through business slowly and there were a number of roll call votes.

The Chair screwed up, in my opinion, by instituting a new policy of having people sign up for public comment. We've never had this before, and this sort of thing was a problem back in the days of the old hijacker PNB. I appealed the ruling of the Chair on this and the chair got upheld. Interestingly, this vote had me voting the same as the faction operatives on the LSB did.

Public comment went on, and lasted for the full 30 minutes required. Actually, it lasted longer than that. At the end there was one person left who had signed up but had not gotten to speak. The Chair asked if the LSB would allow an extra two minutes for this person to speak. The faction was eager to have another delay of the meeting, even if only for two additional minutes, and since most of the speakers were people they'd brought to the meeting with their lies they really wanted another speaker. The rest of the LSB didn't object. The final speaker turned out to be Jim Dingeman who has been an opponent of the FoBs for many years and who tore into them with some truthful comments that they did not want to hear.

Eventually we got to the waivers section of the meeting.

So a faction operative read out a motion from two years ago that had established a Waivers Committee then. After reading that out she added some parts to it. Essentially it called for some of the dates related to the current election to be pushed back so that the WBAI waivers could be given out. A substitute motion was proposed that asked the National Elections Supervisor to push back the date for those who wanted to run as candidates in this election but who couldn't afford the $25 donation to join Pacifica or couldn't put in the 3 hours of work, usually answering phones during a 'thon, required to become a member.

Some felt that both of these motions were out of order. I voted against both, the substitute motion passed.

The history of waivers at WBAI is interesting.

YearWaiver Applications

Most of the 2007, applications came from one person who had gotten them from selected attendees at a faction rally in Newark, NJ. It was flagrant cheating, and I suspect that if the faction had gotten their way this year they'd have cheated even more flagrantly and have tried to stuff the ballot box with hundreds if not thousands of votes that they'd basically manufactured.

This meeting ended at 10:15 PM.

The 2009, WBAI LSB elections are under way at Pacifica. So for the next number of months we'll be seeing the FoBs trying to regain a majority on the LSB and the PNB in an effort to reinstall their faction boss and turn back the clock for WBAI and Pacifica, which would of course result in the destruction of both, which may be exactly their goal.

At its January 21, 2009, meeting the LSB voted to hold its meetings on the second Wednesday of every month and/or the last Thursday of that month, subject to change by the LSB, which gives us the following schedule:

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 11:08 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!

The 2009 Local Station Board Elections Have Begun!

The Local Station Board (LSB) is the primary governance body for WBAI. When meeting as delegates the LSB members elect the Directors of the Pacifica National Board, which is the governance body for the entire Pacifica Foundation. The Pacifica Foundation owns WBAI.

Here is the official time table for this crucial election.

This election is crucial for the survival of WBAI and Pacifica. WBAI and Pacifica are in a precarious position right now as current Management attempts to reverse the death spiral that the station and the network have been in for years. If some bunch of chuckleheads gets a majority on the WBAI LSB they'll be able to change the composition of the Pacifica National Board and revert to corrupt, incompetent and malfeasant Management, they might even sell WBAI.

We need decent people on the WBAI LSB who will be interested in preserving the station, not in selling it or running it into the ground. I hope that the listeners will educate themselves about the candidates and vote for good ones.

The official Web page containing the list of candidates and their statements is here. You'll have to scroll down the list to find the WBAI candidates.

The Pacifica National Board (PNB) is meeting in New York City from Friday July 23, to Sunday July 26, 2009.

The meeting will be held at the Beekman Towers Hotel, 3 Mitchell Place, in Manhattan. This is really 49th St. and 1st Ave. The Beekman Towers Hotel is only tall building at that intersection. It's a couple of blocks north of the United Nations.

The PNB hopes to start Friday's public session at 6:30 PM. They'll be setting the start times of the public sessions for Saturday and Sunday when they get their agenda arranged. They may not do that until Friday's public session.

There's a Google Map of the location here.

There's an election going on in Pacifica, so there may well be a few candidates attending and speaking during the public comment sessions. Maybe you can get an idea of what some candidates are like by going to this meeting.

I'm sure that I'll be talking about this meeting, at least a little bit, on the next program.

WBAI currently has interim Management and needs a permanent General Manager and a permanent Program Director. At its June 25, 2009, meeting the WBAI LSB voted to establish a search committee. This committee will produce a list of people whom it will recommend to be hired as General Manager and Program Director.

The committee already has its LSB members on it, but at the August 12, LSB meeting we'll be voting in the 3 listener representatives who are not members of the LSB, and the 3 staff representatives who are not members of the LSB to complete this committee.

If you're not a member of the WBAI LSB and you want to nominate yourself for this committee just go here and fill out this form and then E-mail it to WBAI-LSB-Public-owner@yahoogroups.com or send a paper copy to:

WBAI Local Station Board
att: Chair
120 Wall Street, 10th floor
New York, NY 10005

The vote is going to be held on August 12, so if you want to be on this committee you'd better make sure you get it to the LSB Chair by August 11, at the latest.

Well, the planet Jupiter got hit by something big, but not big enough to really bother Jove, this past week. We'll talk about this. An amateur astronomer discovered the remains of the collision. Professional astronomers are now studying Jupiter with some of the biggest telescopes around.

On our next program, August 9/10, Back of the Book will be participating in the WBAI 2009 Summer 'thon which runs from Monday August 3rd, to Saturday August 15th.

WBAI is in financial trouble and we hope that you'll help out. There is hope for WBAI now that some important changes have been made.

We hope that you'll pledge to WBAI while Back of the Book is on the air in the wee hours of August 10.

If you listen to the radio program on tape or via the archives you probably won't be able to pledge during the program, but you can send us a check ahead of time. A regular one year membership is $25. So, if you can, please send a check made payable to “Pacifica/WBAI” and send it to:

R. Paul Martin
120 Wall St. 10th floor
New York, NY 10005

And we hope that everyone who listens pledges or sends in a check.

I should also point out that we'll need help answering the phones. In order to answer the phones you'll have to get into the building. The building Management now requires that you get your name added to a list so you can enter 120 Wall St. So if you want to volunteer to answer phones for this 'thon you should call the WBAI switchboard at 1-212-209-2800 during business hours and let the folks in charge know you want to volunteer so they can put your name on the list. We always need more folks to answer the phones so if you want to volunteer to answer the phones for another program during this 'thon the above procedure is the way to do it.

A Mysterious Island

After our last radio program Pickles of the North and I journeyed south to this mysterious island. We talked about it on the program. Here's a Web page about our adventure.

This program aired right after the Pacifica National Board (PNB) had ended its meeting in New York. The PNB moves its in-person meetings around to the listening areas of the various stations, and July 2009, was WBAI's turn to host the meeting.

Of course the faction that's rapidly losing its grip on the radio station is all up in arms about their faction boss having been removed from his position as Program Director, at long last. So they got everyone together they could to disrupt this meeting. They hollered, struck cow bells, blew horns and generally tried to shout down the PNB members and General Managers as they gave their reports. They kept this up for all 3 days of the meeting.

On this program we played an edited version of the report from WBAI interim General Manager Lavarn Williams. This audio is a lot better than what people who attended the meeting heard due to the disruptors. Lavarn Williams' report on WBAI, edited 4:55 —  download the mp3 file.

I have a page with the full report, more audio and other links, including links to the video of this meeting, here.

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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Back to my home page.

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