Back of the Book — April 12, 2014

It's Friday night, June 6, 2014, 23:11, and this Web page is finished. Well, things went badly sideways for this program, as I've outlined on this page. The truncated contents are below. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ All right, it is really Spring at last. We're hoping, in this cruel month, to get to all of the topics and more, and read some mail, on this program.

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

I have also posted a whole lot of the minutes of the Pacifica National Finance Committee. I'm a member of that committee because I'm the WBAI LSB Treasurer.

The next WBAI LSB meeting should be held on Wednesday, May 14, 2014, at 7:00 PM at a location to be announced.

The WBAI LSB met last on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at 7:00 PM at the offices of the Legal aid Society 111 Livingston St, 7th floor, in downtown Brooklyn.

This LSB meeting was mostly taken upwith discussions about the “sustainability plan” mandated by the current PNB and a discussion of the current crisis with the majority on that PNB claiming to have fired Pacifica's Executive Director Summer Reese and Ms. Reese's insistence that she is not fired, and her occupation of the National Office. We let everyone in the room have a say, even people not on the LSB. Some of those people has interesting ideas, and some were really clueless. One of the crazies who's been around for a couple of years now was attacking me, saying that Robert's Rules of Order says that I'm not allowed to make motions ad amendments at the LSB meeting. Yeah, this is the sort of stuff I have to put up with.

The LSB did not get to a Treasurer's Report at this meeting, but I put out a written Treasurer's Report for all to read.

In the end the LSB, at the urging of the Chair of the WBAI Community Advisory Board moved to urge WBAI Management to get nine more phone lines installed in the station ASAP. One faction operative, Cerene Roberts, tried to amend that down to four lines. I think it was mostly an amendment made out of spite. Her amendment got voted down, although all of her fellow faction operatives voted for it, and the motion urging the installation of nine phone lines got passed.

The phone lines are used to contact listeners who haven't fulfilled their pledges yet or who need to be contacted about problems with premiums and such.

At a previous meeting the WBAI LSB voted to hold its regular 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.

Because WBAI was forced out of its studios by the flood waters' destruction of the building's electrical system we still have this alternate, temporary stream for the radio station! I do not know how long this emergency stream will be up for. If this stream isn't working let me know.

WBAI has put up a stream for the Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. So if you have one of those devices you might try the link out. And let us know how it works for you one way or the other. That way the folks implementing it can iron out any kinks in the system.

WBAI is archiving the programs! At this time the WBAI.ORG Web site is under attack. So I am not recommending that people go there for the archives. I'll update this when they get the problem fixed

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.

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 Saturday Morning With the Radio On 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 Pacifica National Board (PNB) met in Manhattan the weekend of October 1-3, 2010. The audio has been posted for the first day of the meeting, the second day of the meeting and the third day of the meeting.

The Pacifica National Board (PNB) met in Washington, D.C. February 7-10, 2014. The big news is that they have mandated that there be no negotiations with the four candidates for the PSOA for 60 days.

Given that the PNB has had a change in its membership that has affected the balance of power, this postponement of any negotiations may actually be a ploy by the people who want to sell WBAI to make that sale more likely. It is possible that a PSOA would allow WBAI to come back after a few years, but it would also not result in a big cash influx to the rest of Pacifica, and that is what some people at other Pacifica stations want. Well, things are pretty much up in the air with WBAI right now.

You can listen to the public parts of the quarterly PNB meeting by clicking on the below links:

The Friday session
The Saturday session
The Sunday session
The Monday session

Chaos and fighting continues on the PNB and at the Pacifica National Office. The people who want to sell off WBAI have started on their destructive path with the firing of the Executive Director at a critical time. The Executive Director, Summer Reese, says she has a contract with Pacifica and that the PNB can't just violate that and fire her the way that they did. So the Executive Director is barricaded in the National Office along with some supporters and the PNB members who want to, among other things, sell WBAI are exchanging barbs with her. Yeah, Pacifica's getting some great publicity from all of this.

The disputed Executive Director has issued a press release giving her side of this episode. Here is her press release. Luckily for the Pacifica stations Ms. Reese worked to get the CPB filings done by the March 14, deadline despite having been fired the day before. Had she not done this work Pacifica, and all of its radio stations, would have missed out on all of the CPB funds for which they are currently eligible.

UPDATE: A lawsuit was filed by some of the PNB Directors asking a judge to grant a temporary restraining order, among other relief. The judge's decision is here. Everyone has another date in court before the same judge about the rest of the complaint on May 6.

This program definitely set the record for the shortest Back of the Book radio show ever!

We got in late. What happened was that our usual train came by early. We got to see its red tail lights pulling out of the station and that was about it.

We leave for CCNY two hours before air time. This allows us to get to the studio on time, or close to it, even if we miss our usual train.

Well, two hours was not enough this morning.

The train got us to the 96th St. station, and we saw from the count down clock how long we had before the #1 train arrived. We could still make it to the air on time. After a bit we noticed that the count down clock was not counting down. And then it just said “delay” for that #1 train. We watched it stay stuck on “delay” for at least 10 minutes. At that point we figured that we'd be late, but we were hopeful that we'd be only a couple of minutes late.

The 96 St. IRT station
Where We Were Stuck For Nearly An Hour

Eventually the count down clock showed a number again. This number was higher than the one we'd seen when we'd gotten to 96th St. almost half an hour earlier! The count down continued, but it would get stuck on a number for a while. It was stuck on “2 minutes” for at least five minutes. By now it was after five o'clock, we were supposed to be on the air already and we were still stuck at 96th St!

The count down clock eventually hit “0 minutes,” and the voice announcement said that the train was entering the station. It was a couple of minutes before we started to wonder where exactly that train was that was supposed to be entering the station. The count down clock continued to say “0 minutes” for quite a while, which means the train is coming into the station. We noticed there were subway workers in their reflective vests walking back and forth, carrying tools and lanterns, on the platform.

It was quite a while before we saw the train's headlights on the wall of the station. And then it was a while longer till the actual front of the train came into the station, but that's all that came in, the very front of the train. It halted for a while. Then it came in a little more. And as we watched the train get about the first three cars into the station we heard a resounding BOOM! coming from it. Thousands of tons of steel were reverberating from whatever had happened. The train stayed where it was. After a bit there was a general announcement that there were delays owing to a signal problem at 96th St. Yeah, the train's emergency brakes had been thrown, whether by the faulty signal or some other agency we'll never know.

Eventually the brake problem got fixed and the #1 train came fully into the station and opened its doors. We got on and came to CCNY at the usual pace after that. Of course we were very late getting on the air.

We'd like to thank Simon Loekle for filling in while we were not there. We did a very short radio program. We scrapped the larger bits we'd planned. Pickles of the North talked about a lunar eclipse that's covered more fully elsewhere on this page. R. Paul talked about some shorter items, including creationists complaining that they can't get equal time on Cosmos, a guy who's fessed up that he didn't really have the corpse of a Bigfoot he'd shot, and the sad story of a man who allowed a hyena to eat some very sensitive parts of him because a witch doctor told him that would make him rich.

Well, in no time at all the 20+ minutes we had left before 6:00 AM were gone. We'd spent so much more time hanging around on subway platforms that morning than doing radio.

lunar eclipse October 27, 2004
Lunar Eclipse of October 27, 2004
photo credit: U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Scott Taylor

Pickles of the North told all about the four full lunar eclipse that will occur in 2014. One of those will occur on this coming Tuesday morning, April 15. I guess it'll be the Income Tax Deadline Moon. The eclipse will begin at 12:54 AM, but sometimes you can't even tell, visually, that the Moon has entered the penumbra. At 1:58 AM the Moon begins to enter the umbra, the really dark part of the Earth's shadow. The entire Moon will be in total eclipse from 3:07 AM till 4:25 AM. There's more on it all here. And of course it is perfectly safe to look directly at a lunar eclipse.

Unfortunately those within WBAI's signal area will be under some thick cloud cover, and it might even rain at some point in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

For those who can't see anything but the under side of a dark cloud NASA will be streaming a live video of the lunar eclipse. So if you have Web access at that time you should be able to watch it that way. There is also another group doing a video of the lunar eclipse, you can see their presentation here.

crocuses in bloom
Yes! It Is Spring At Last!

Yeah, the crocuses are coming up, or they were earlier in this fortnight. They're shooting up all over after our difficult Winter.

The early spring flowers have mostly survived that harsh Winter and now they're poking their heads up. I'm glad to see this. Now if we could just keep to season temperatures and not have one thousand mile storm after another pounding away at us it might be a nice Spring.

There are a lot of issues that are considered hazardous to talk about on the air at WBAI, even though the gag rule was lifted in 2002. 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.

One popular list the “NewPacifica” mailing list. Founded October 31, 2000, this list is sometimes lively and as of mid-2011, has 687 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 Saturday Morning With the Radio On alternates with us, has a blog these days. You can reach his blog here.

We like to stay interactive with our listeners. Here are the various options for you to get in touch with us.

You can also send me E-mail.

And now you can even reach me on Twitter Twitter logo

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 © 2014, R. Paul Martin.