Web links related to the Back of the Book program of October 18, 2010

It's Sunday afternoon, October 31, 2010, 16:18, and this Web page is done. I've updated this Web page with more about some of the topics we talked about on this program. I've previously added the election results and information about how we did in this 'thon. More updates later today. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ We're pitching tonight! Yes, again. We plan to get to the below topics and probably more tonight. We probably won't get through much of the mail through. We'll be having to update this page so be sure to check back in for those updates. We hope everyone who listens can and will pledge to this program.

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, November 10, 2010, at 7:00 PM in the gallery at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, 310 W. 43rd St. (between 8th & 9th Aves.), in Manhattan. “The meeting will largely focus on the budget submitted by the Finance Committee.” .

There was a regular LSB meeting on Wednesday, October 13, 2010, at 7:00 PM at 388 Atlantic Avenue, between Bond and Hoyt Streets in Brooklyn. This meeting started in executive session (to review Management Search Committee recommendations), and at around 9:00 PM it was followed by a public meeting ostensibly to review and send recommendations on the budget to the PNB. At the public session it was announced that the WBAI LSB had indeed agreed to send the Management Search Committee's recommended short list of candidates for General Manager of WBAI to the Executive Director of Pacifica.

Well, the faction screwed around, ate up time and then moved to postpone the item on the budget! And this proposal passed. Some of the non-faction members of the LSB also voted for this and so the consideration of the WBAI FY11 budget was postponed. The FY11 budget was the only real agenda item for that public session! Dealing with the station's FY11 budget is one of the fiduciary duties of the LSB that's explicitly spelled out in the Pacifica Foundation's bylaws. Oh well, someone will pass a budget for WBAI, it may just not be the WBAI LSB that does so.

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. And you can see the status of the streams at any time by clicking here. The stream was working at 10:08 PM last night. The station has a Flash stream here, make sure you enable Javascript so it can work for you.

WBAI is archiving the programs! Just go here and you'll be able to listen to this program any time for the next couple of months. You may need to scroll up one line to see the audio archive. Let me know if you find this feature useful.

If you want to listen to any part of the WBAI archive click here to go right to the archives. 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. Or to see only the two shows in this time slot click here.

For legal reasons, WBAI stopped making podcasts available as of June 28, 2010.

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

In the table on the archive 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!

Last year there was a Pacifica National Board meeting held in New York. Here's the Web page I did about this PNB meeting and the amazing things that went on at it.

And the PNB has also met in Houston from Friday October 9th, through Sunday October 11th, 2009. The official audio archive of that meeting is here. It was not disrupted as the New York meeting was, although some of the same miscreants got out there to say stupid things.

The Pacifica National Board (PNB) met in Manhattan the weekend of October 1-3, 2010. I guess those of us who didn't attend will hear about what happened at it some day.

The Executive Director of Pacifica, Arlene Engleheart, appointed another new interim General Manager of WBAI on June 24. So far there's been a Staff meeting to introduce Berthold Reimers as the new iGM, but Pacifica Management has not issued anything in writing yet. When they do I'll post a link to it.

The 2010 Local Station Board Elections Are Over!

And the results are in!

Here is the list of those elected in order of their finish:



Here's the full list of who finished in what place in the listener election.

Here's the full list of who finished in what place in the Staff election.

Thanks to all who voted for independent candidates. The Sixth WBAI LSB is almost evenly split the independents and the former Program Director's faction operatives.

UPDATE: Voting in the WBAI listener election is officially over. The WBAI Staff election failed to meet quorum. It turns out that this was not true. The WBAI Staff election met quorum on September 30th. Why, then did the Election Supervisors extend the WBAI Staff election by two weeks? This is an unanswered question. Also, the National Election Supervisor, Renee Asteria,, wrote to me that “Approximately 200 staff ballots have been cast.” by September 30th. But the voting tally shows a total of only 89 ballots counted. We still don't know if the screwup of sending many of the ballots to the wrong ZIP code has resulted in a lot of those ballots not getting to the proper P.O. Box.

The official Web site of this election was here.

There are a lot of questions about this election. Some of those questions are: who didn't bother to proof read the ZIP codes on the return envelopes? What was the real reason why the Staff election was extended? Why were the so-called Justice and Unity Campaign listener candidates given such preferential treatment, especially when it came to on-air campaign time? There also may have been people who weren't eligible to vote as Staff who were allowed to vote in this election.

Here is a reproduction of the official E-mail from the Election Supervisors as issued on October 4, 2010.

Here is a reproduction of the official E-mail from the Election Supervisors as issued on October 13, 2010.

The 2010, election campaign has officially ended. I got my ballot already! Pickles has only gotten hers as of the middle of September. The ballot arrived with no booklet about the elections. And the return envelope has no stamp on it. The lack of a stamp on the envelope will affect both the Staff and listener elections, but it will potentially really affect the listener election. This, I think, favors a certain faction on the listener side a lot.

The listeners may not even realize that they've gotten a ballot! And then they will not know who the candidates are at all, but there will be at least two names that they'd have heard on the air. And those are faction candidates.

The lack of a stamp on the envelope will get a lot of people to NOT bother voting at all.

Okay, this election is now thoroughly screwed up like the others were.

We are pitching on this radio program! If you can please call 1-212-209-2950 during the radio program and pledge some amount of money to help keep Back of the Book on WBAI and help keep WBAI on the air.

If you want to pledge to the program via the Web you need to do so while we're on the air, and you also need to go here and be sure to pick Back of the Book as the favorite show. Otherwise your pledge won't be counted towards the program.

UPDATE: We made $830 on this pitching shift. I suppose that the stream going down during the program didn't help us. Thanks to everyone who pledged.

I should also point out that WBAI always needs help answering the phones. In order to answer the phones you'll have to get into the building. The building Management 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.

in the midst of our pitching we talked about some rampant homophobia we've all seen over this past fortnight, from a small gang in the Bronx that brutalized four people because they believes that some of them were gay to this idiot Carl P. Paladino, who's running for Governor of New York State. Paladino attacked gay people in a speech to a right wing rabbi's tiny congregation, and then he made a half-assed apology for what he'd said. Jeez, this guy is liable to make even me vote for Cuomo!

Fowl at Poly Prep
All Sorts of Fowl at Poly Prep

So Pickles of the North and I not infrequently find ourselves dragging me off to the V.A. Hospital in Brooklyn. And after we leave there we usually take a little walk. We pass by the Poly Prep Middle/Upper School on these walks.

The first time we walked by there we were surprised to see that Poly Prep, which occupies a lot of acreage in Bay Ridge, had all sorts of animals on its relatively undeveloped frontage along 92nd St. Since Poly Prep calls itself a “Country Day School” and was founded in 1854, we wondered if all of the animals were a part of the curriculum or something. We've taken lots of photographs of the wildlife there, some of which occasionally wanders out onto the sidewalk.

Here we see mostly various kinds of chickens, roosters and domestic geese. There are also a couple of species of wild ducks and Canada Geese which find the grounds a convenient stop over on their migratory flights, although some of the Canada Geese seem to have taken up what looks like year round residence there.

wabbit eating a cawwot at Powy Pwep
A Wascally Wabbit at Tea Time

Not all of the animals to be seen on and around the Poly Prep grounds are fowl. There are any number of rabbits meekly hopping about the grounds eating the grass or whatever they can find. To the right we have a photograph of a rabbit chowing down on a carrot that someone has tossed to it through the fence.

Anyone who's ever been on a real farm can tell immediately that many of the chickens and roosters are pretty exotic breeds. And most of the rabbits are boutique animals that look cute when they're given as presents on Easter Sunday. After a while we figured out that people must be setting free on the Poly Prep grounds their household pets that have grown too large or demanding for a house or apartment. And while it is legal to keep chickens within the confines of Greater New York City it is not legal to keep roosters here. Roosters don't just crow at dawn, they crow all day long, and in the middle of the night.

Along with the abandoned former pets and the migratory water fowl you get the usual urban pigeons, sparrows and rats showing up for the free food that people shower on the animals, mostly through the fence.

From what Pickles of the North and I have seen over the past few years a lot of the local children are brought to the 92nd St. & 7th Ave. corner of Poly Prep to see and feed the animals that they aren't going to see elsewhere in their daily lives. So we frequently see little kids throwing broken up pieces of bread in through the fence while their parents take photographs of them and the animals, and we see various grains, mostly oatmeal I think, scattered haphazardly on both sides of the fence.

Lately we are seeing more things like lettuce and carrots thrown in for the animals.

Poly Prep sign says don't feed da boids
Poly Prep's Please Don't Feed Da Boids Sign

One of the things we've noticed over the years is that the rabbits are digging, what else, rabbit holes. They're burrowing animals and they must be pretty disturbed with all of the truck, bus and car traffic that whips around that corner in order to get around the golf course across 7th Ave. from the school. So of course they're going to start burrowing.

But rats are also burrowing animals, and in an environment where there's a lot of soil and food the rats are going to dig in. We've noticed that Poly Prep has been putting out rat traps around their fences for the past couple of years.

And then about a month ago we saw a couple of big signs attached to the fence right where most of the animals can be seen. The meaning of the one we're showing here is pretty obvious even if you don't speak English. Right next to it is a long explanation about the new policies.

Poly Prep is announcing that they have three new rules:

  1. Please do not feed the birds
  2. Please do not abandon pets on our property
  3. Please ask anyone you see to observe these two rules

Part of their wordier sign says that, “Poly Prep is not an animal shelter, zoo, pet sanctuary or animal care facility.” Yeah, and I bet that the upscale parents who send their kids to that school are also not pleased to see the rat traps much less the occasional rat grabbing some bread and darting down a hole in the ground with it.

Part of the sign notes that the abandoned pets on the Poly Prep campus are just not able to survive without a lot of human help, so they're predated by hawks, rats and snapping turtles. Wow, having the baby chick you just had your kid shove through the fence because you can't deal with it at home get torn apart by rats would certainly be educational for the kiddies. now that would be a worthy YouTube moment.

It turns out that the large population of birds has eaten all of the plant life around the Poly Prep ponds. And the water is getting polluted from erosion and bird poop and that's killing off the fish and aquatic plants in the pond. If there were an avian Thomas Malthus he'd surely get some ideas from all this.

We've noticed pretty large numbers of Canada Geese on the campus in the past. These are the large, migratory birds that you can see flying in “V” formations over the city sometimes. A flock of Canada Geese are what brought down US Airways Flight 1549 in January 2009, as it climbed out of LaGuardia Airport. Apparently people in and around the Poly Prep campus have been attacked by these aggressive, wild geese. Not surprising.

After the Flight 1549 non-fatal disaster various city and federal agencies set about capturing and gassing 1,235 Canada Geese in June and July 2009, as well as destroying all of their eggs that could be found. On a recent trip past the Poly Prep campus we noticed a lot fewer animals, and no Canada Geese. One wonders if there's an extermination plan ongoing or if they just flew away.

So the Poly Prep Country School menagerie is already getting thinned out. Over the years it provided some pretty amusing walks after visits to the V.A. Hospital down the block. They've put up a new, fancy brick and wood sign announcing the school's name right where the birds liked to squat, so I guess another quirky situation in Brooklyn is yielding to the normal. I bet the rats will survive.

a squirrel on a rooftop
Pickles' Nemesis

Ahhh, isn't it a cute little squirrel? Not for Pickles of the North it's not! She'd had run-ins with this creature, or its siblings, and the local squirrels are invading people's apartments, including ours! We'll talk about this tonight.

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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