Back of the Book — April 11, 2015

It's Friday night, April 24, 2015, 21:39, and I've updated this Web page with something about the move that didn't happen - yet. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ The below topics and more are on our agenda for tonight's program. We'll also talk about the most recent LSB agenda a little bit. 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.

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, May 13, 2015, at 7:00 PM at a location to be announced.

The WBAI LSB met this past Wednesday, April 8, 2015, at 7:00 PM at the ARC Central Harlem Senior Center, 120 West 140th St., New York, NY 10030, between Malcolm X and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. in Manhattan.

The meeting started very late. The General Manager E-mailed in a small report, which had to be read by an LSB member. After it was read the chair tried to stop LSB members from discussing the report, even though the agenda item was, “GM report and discussion (30min.)” and there was plenty of time left in that item. I called the Chair out of order, the LSB voted, by 7 to 4, that we did get to discuss the General Manager's report. Yeah, the faction operatives try to cheat all the time.

There was no Treasurer's Report at this meeting. As usual I put out a written Treasurer's Report for all to read.

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.

Here is WBAI's current Internet stream. The stream does appear to be working at this time.

WBAI is archiving the programs! WBAI has permanently switched to yet another new archive Web page! This one is more baffling than the previous one. We have to put archive blurb copy in before the program airs. The person in charge of the WBAI Web site says, “If you fail to create a playlist, your show may not show up in the archives at all.” So we made an archive blurb long before the program.

This is a link to the latest version of the official WBAI archive To get to this program you'll have to click on the drop-down menu, which says “Display,” and find Back of the Book on that menu. We're pretty early in the list, so it shouldn't be too difficult. Once you find the program name click “GO” and you'll see a list of programs, most of which are Back of the Book programs. I will see if this can be made easier to get to, but they've just implemented this new page and I haven't had time to see what I can do with it. Good luck.

Since the General Manager has banned Sidney Smith from WBAI there's no telling what's on in the alternate week's time slot anymore.

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.

Bring Back Uncle Sidney!

Our friend, fellow WBAI producer and Saddle Pal Uncle Sidney Smith has been banned from WBAI by General Manager Berthold Reimers. The General Manager will not say why. He won't even tell Sidney why he's banned! This is grossly unfair to Sidney and constitutes abuse of Staff. Why did Berthold ban Sidney?

There's a posting here about it. More to come.

President Obama has signed an executive order barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by any contractors working for the government. The president has also called for an end to what’s known as gay and transgender conversion therapies. We plan to talk about this.

CCNY entrance to the corridors to the studio, Spring 2015.
Yeah, We're Still Here.

We had been told by the WBAI General Manager at the March 11, LSB meting that, “CCNY would strong, strongly like us to be out by March 31.”

In fact, you can listen to me asking the General Manager about the WBAI move and his answer here. DISCLAIMER: the industrial refrigerators kicked in just as I started the question so there's a lot of noise on this 23 second recording, additionally I had to boost the gain so that you can hear the General Manager over the noise.

So we wondered what was going to happen, and then nothing happened. WBAI did not move to the ersatz studios at 388 Atlantic Ave., where WBAI's Management bunker offices have been located for a couple of years.

Essentially, unless Management has made a deal that they're not telling anyone about, WBAI is now squatting at CCNY. Not the best way to do things, in my opinion.

388 Atlantic Ave. Spring 2014
We Didn't Broadcast From Here

So for the duration of this odd situation where WBAI is supposed to have vacated the CCNY studio, but is still broadcasting from there, I suppose things will go along as they have for the past couple of years, since we went to CCNY from 120 Wall St.

We still have that enormous train trip and then that long walk up that steep hill to get to the studios to do a free form live radio program. It would actually be much easier for us, in terms of traveling in the wee hours of a Saturday morning, if the station's studios were located in downtown Brooklyn, but those studios may not be up to the broadcast standards of a station in the middle of the FM band in the #1 market in America.

The state of the building itself, outside of safety considerations, doesn't really matter, but Atlantic Ave. is busy, and that means noisy. The third floor shakes when an 18 wheeler goes by, and I've seen huge vehicles, escorted by the NYPD and safety vehicles, moving pre-fabricated construction materials, enormous steel skeletons upon which buildings will be based, through Atlantic Ave. right outside WBAI's offices at night.

Well, we'll all see what happens with this, I suppose.

Stan Freberg has died. We plan to have a little something to say about him.

Pickles and Unclue sidney
Pickles of the North and Uncle Sidney at Nathan's

Pickles of the North and I met Uncle Sidney down at coney Island this past fortnight. Here's a shot of them at “our” table in back of Nathan's.

This was the official Opening Day for Coney island for 2015, and some of the amusement park people had some sky pilot in there to bless the rides. We didn't bother with any of that, we just ate hot dogs and stuff and Pickles and Uncle Sidney rode around on the second version of the B&B Carousell (Yes, that's how they spell it).

Besides eating fattening stuff that at least two of the three of us probably shouldn't have been eating, we walked along the beach, looked around, hung out and generally just absorbed the Coney Island early spring vibes. As you can see in the photograph, we weren't the only ones.

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 formerly popular list is the “NewPacifica” mailing list. Founded October 31, 2000, this list has been moribund for a couple of years due to de facto censorship by the group owner. As of early 2015, it has 693 subscribers coast to coast, but postings on it are very infrequent now.

Back in the day it sometimes also got a bit nasty. All sorts of things used to happen on this list and official announcements were 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 © 2015, R. Paul Martin.