Back of the Book — July 5, 2014

It's Saturday morning, July 12, 2014, 07:25, and I've updated this Web page with a couple of things, including a bit about the snail mail situation at WBAI, which we'd talked about on the air, previously I'd added a little more about our Great Northern Trip. More updates to come. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ We are going to be wending our way through the throngs of drunks celebrating the Fourth of July weekend in order to get to this program. We hope that the fireworks don't get too intense. We plan to get through a bunch of stuff on this program, check back for updates.

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

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 will be held on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, at 7:00 PM at The Theater for the New City, in the “Comunity Space room,” at 155 1st Ave. between East 9th and East 10th Sts.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, at 7:00 PM at The Theater for the New City, at 155 1st Ave. between East 9th and East 10th Sts. on the lower east side of Manhattan. Yes, we met in “the CINO room.”

More arguing over the hardly readable 46 page “melding” of every one of the “sustainability plans,” and their “notated,” bloviations.

As is unfortunately so often the case 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.

The deadline for this “sustainability plan” was 60 days after the February PNB meeting. In my opinion, his call for the LSB to issue a “sustainability plan” was a cynical mandate from the current PNB majority designed to waste people's time and divert attention from what that PNB is doing. Well, it certainly has proven to be a waste of time, all right.

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! 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. There is also another version of the archive here.

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 a number of workers have quit their jobs in disgust. The people who want to sell off WBAI started on their destructive path with the firing of the Executive Director at a critical time. The Executive Director, Summer Reese, said she had 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 barricaded herself and the National Office workers in the National Office along with some supporters. Yeah, Pacifica got some great publicity from all of this.

The disputed Executive Director 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 been ineligible for CPB funds, which have been a significant part of every station's budget.

UPDATE: There have been lawsuits filed, and judgments rendered in the cases brought by the minority PNB members against the actions of the majority PNB Directors. I'll keep this running battle updated on the appropriate Web page.

New York Area Bisexual Network banner
Where we were for the 2014 March

The 2014, Christopher St. Liberation Day March was held this past fortnight. Of course Pickles of the North and I were there. We plan to talk about it on this program.

The Canadian Border Crossing at Rouses Point, NY
The Border Crossing at Rouses Point, New York

We talked about our great northern trip, which kept us out of the city for the last program. Oh, I wish I had decent photographs of all that, but my crummy camera and I just didn't get many photographs that were viewable. Above is one of the better photographs I got on this trip. It's of the border crossing, where they sometimes remove people from the train, and where they have in the past harassed Pickles of the North. We both just sailed right through it with no problems this time.

One of these days I may write up a Web page about this entire trip.

Pickles of the North looking through the mail
Pickles of the North Looking For Our Mail

We didn't get around to reading any mail on this program, but mail was something of a subject.

In the photograph you can see Pickles of the North looking through the boxes of mail that Management had dropped into Master Control a day or so before we went on the air.

I think that I was the one who provided the impetus for Management to suddenly deal with Staff mail.

The Development Director had mentioned in an E-mail that Staff should pick up our mail at the 388 Atlantic Ave. office, aka the Management bunker.

So I called her and asked if I could come in and pick up my mail on June 25, when I'd be able to come by late in the afternoon for it. She said all right, she'd gather up my mail and leave it for the General Manager to give to me.

When I got to 388 Atlantic Ave. that afternoon the General Manager gave me three pieces of mail.

I told him that this was odd, having gotten only three pieces of mail over the course of a year. We used to get at least two pieces of snail mail a week. He said he'd look around for more, but that I should write t the Development Director about it.

So I did. I sent an E-mail and asked the Development Director if maybe there was mail for “Back of the Book” or “Pickles of the North” around.

Well, coincident with my brining up the mail issue WBAI Management sent out an announcement that, “Mail is now located in boxes in the studio at CUNY. They are alphabetized by last name but check the boxes for the name of your show and any other producers on your show as well.
Mail will now be brought there weekly.”

So you can see Pickles of the North searching the mail in Master Control, what a place to put it. She found a couple of more pieces, addressed to me, and found a lot of mail that was not arranged by any alphabet we know. She also found a bill addressed to WBAI and Pacifica with a postmark from October of last year.

So now we have to wonder what the story is. Has some mail not been delivered to 388 Atlantic Ave? Did something happen to some of the mail? I was informed by someone that they'd sent me a snail mail in June. So now I'm wondering if that got to 388 at all, or if it's since been dropped into Master Control. We may need to reconsider giving out that 388 Atlantic Ave. address if Management can't handle the Staff mail.

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.