Back of the Book — January 17, 2015

So we are going to head in through quite a cold night/morning today. And we hope to get to the below topics and more. We will of course talk about the assault on free speech by superstitious fanatics. You might want to look at the previous program's Web page, linked to below, for more on that terrible commute we had last time. It got worse. I will do my best to update this Web page over the next few days.

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, February 11, 2014, at 7:00 PM at a location to be announced.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, January 14, 2015, There's a Web page about it here.

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 a new archive Web page. I appear to have succeeded in getting an archive blurb posted to that official archive page.

There are two ways to get to the archive, you can try this page and see if you can find the archive of this radio program. Or, if you don't want to root about through a great many listings on a rather unorganized Web page, try clicking on this link to get to the place in the archives where this program is listed, and which includes a description of this program and the link to the audio archive itself.. 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 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.

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.

Je suis Charlie Hebdo

Of course we plan to talk about the massacre of writers and cartoonists at the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo on this program.

It's official, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported yesterday that 2014, was the hottest year on record since record keeping began in 1880. One atmospheric scientist said that it's likely that the Earth is warmer now than it has been in the past 5,000 years. Oh, this isn't good. We plan to talk about this tonight.

mail! (23K)

We got through a lot of the mail backlog on the last program, and it is our plan to try to get even more caught up on this one. Feel free to send us some E-mail if you'd like. If you say you don't want us to read it on the air, we won't. Otherwise you may hear your E-mail read on the program.

We had quite a time getting to the WBAI studios at CCNY for the last program, and we talked about that, but there was more to come after the program! Here's the full story of our transit adventure from the last program, and someone else's worse experience that puts ours in perspective.

Child's Restaurant Building with scaffolding.
Full Scaffolding for the Old Child's Restaurant Building

This past fortnight Pickles of the North and I went to Coney Island for the first time this year. It was a pretty cold outing that day.

In the photograph you can see what's called the old Child's Restaurant Building. Child's Restaurant hasn't occupied that space for decades, but that's what it's called.

Early in 2014, there was a lot of work being done on the roof of this building; that's when the scaffolding on the second floor as put up. They installed some extensive framing up on the roof then. When we went there this past fortnight they were taking the last of the structures they'd put up on the roof off!

There are plans to make this some sort of a performance space with an “amphitheater” as a part of it. They scraped away the community garden that was on the empty lot on the west side of the building last year. Since then that lot has been full of boulders and 10 foot high piles of dirt. Now they've put up that green painted fencing all around the building. So it looks like they're moving forward on the plans for the building again, but with some changes.

We saw workers removing debris from what had been installed earlier this year from that roof while we were there, and they had broken down part of a retaining wall around the roof in order to make it more convenient to lower loads of debris to the ground below. Sad to see them doing this to the old building.

The W. 22nd St. ramp to the Boardwalk is also fenced off. In fact the fencing goes all the way to W. 23rd St. Are they planning to destroy the little street named Highland View Ave. that's also right there?

We'll keep checking on this every time we go down there.

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 alternated with us for years before WBAI General Manager Berthold Reimers arbitrarily and unfairly banned him, 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.