Interim Pacifica National Board meeting
June 21-23, 2002
The Interim Pacifica National board (iPNB) held it's third meeting over the weekend of June 21-23, 2002, at the Wheeler Auditorium, Berkeley, CA.
Among the things that came out at this meeting were the following:
• There is now a 20% levy on all Pacifica stations! The “levy” is the amount of every fund raising dollar that Pacifica gets off the top. So when you contribute $1.00 to WBAI, for example, 20¢ immediately goes to Pacifica. Under the previous Pacifica National Board the levy had been gradually ratcheted up to 17¼%. It is not at all clear when or how this 20% levy was voted on.
• KPFK is back up to full power after having been at a fraction of full power for quite some time. Pacifica station KPFK in Los Angeles, CA had done special fund raising to get a transmitter upgrade and a new antenna. They needed this because of the mountains hindering their signal.
While the transmitter was being upgraded they used an auxiliary antenna and stored the big one.
However when it came time to install the antenna that would make full use of their upgraded transmitter it turned out that the $800,000 KPFK had raised for this purpose was not available!
The old PNB had squandered this money along with just about all of the rest of the Pacifica Foundation's funds. KPFK couldn't get its new antenna set up because they couldn't pay the storage costs and the company that had stored it wouldn't let KPFK engineers remove the antenna from the storage facility until they were paid.
This problem has now been resolved and KPFK is back to broadcasting at full power after years of being overwhelmed by a station broadcasting from Mexico at such a high power that KPFK's signal couldn't even reach all of Los Angeles.
• The serious and contentious issue of the Pacifica bylaws has not been resolved yet. At this meeting 2 hours/week was mandated on air for bylaws stuff. WBAI has begun to implement this, although it's pretty much controlled by the ValPal faction which wants to implement a voting procedure which would substitute hand picked organizations for the votes of listener sponsors.
• Interim Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation Dan Coughlin was appointed to that position permanently at this meeting.
• The WBAI Committee was dissolved at this meeting.
• It was also announced at this meeting by iPNB Chair Leslie Cagan that a contract had been signed making the radio program Democracy Now! an independent production company. The details of this have become controversial.
I was not able to attend this iPNB meeting, however the listener group Coalition for a democratic Pacifica/New York (CdP/NY) was able to send Mr. Roger Manning to this meeting. Mr. Manning has compiled his notes and collected documents and placed them on the Web.
Additionally, audio of the entire weekend's sessions is now available on line. Pam Somers has posted the audio for:
Friday June 21, 2002
Saturday June 22, 2002
Sunday June 23, 2002
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