Back of the Book — March 2, 2013,

We plan to get to the below topics and more on this program. We'll be doing what's being called a “soft pitch” where we ask people to go to the WBAI Web site and pledge there. We will also discuss the current crisis at WBAI where we're threatened with eviction from the Empire State Building, and we'll tell you what you can do about it. And I really will try to update this page over this next fortnight.

The 2012 Local Station Board Elections Are Over!
And the results are in!

Here is the list of those elected in order of their finish:


RUNNERS UP in order

Staff *

* Staff aren't allowed anymore to run as a part of the same slate as listeners, but the designations above show the affinities of the elected Staff.

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.

The next regular WBAI LSB meeting is scheduled to happen on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at 7:00 PM at Alwan-for-the-arts, 16 Beaver Street, 4th floor, in downtown Manhattan.

The WBAI LSB met on this past Thursday, February 28, 2013, at “Brooklyn Commons,” 388 Atlantic Ave., (between Hoyt & Bond Streets) in downtown Brooklyn. WBAI is in a bit of trouble just now, and that formed the main topic of this meeting.

WBAI's transmitter is up on the Empire State Building, and we share the antenna up there.

Well, we've fallen behind on our rent a little bit. That is if you count a quarter of a million dollars as a little bit.

Empire State Building
Here's Where Our Transmitter is

Yeah, we owed the Empire State Building $250,000 in back rent. So the Empire State Building went to court to get us evicted from the room where our transmitter is.

Luckily, it is possible to fight this sort of thing, and WBAI has been through similar court cases before. This time, things are a little bit different though.

The problem that's really hitting us now is that in the past when this has happened the Pacifica Foundation, which owns WBAI, has come to the rescue and paid off the back rent and billed us as the money has come in. This time Pacifica is tapped out.

This has caused a bit of consternation in the WBAI community. But Pacifica interim Executive Director Summer Reese has been in New York dealing with this problem and working with the WBAI General Manager and the pro bono lawyer who's representing WBAI in this case.

We paid $50,000 of the back rent, but that left $200,000. the Empire State Building was demanding that all of this money be paid in one lump sum on March 15. That was pretty much not going to be possible, given WBAI's and Pacifica's finances.

But an agreement has been reached with the Empire State Building that WBAI will pay another $50,000 by March 15, which will cover the March rent. And WBAI will pay $150,000 on March 31. After that WBAI will pay off the remaining $50,000 over five months.

It's going to be difficult to get this amount of money by the end of March, and that will be part of the focus of our pitching on this program tonight/this morning.

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

New WBAI stream! WBAI has put up an experimental stream for the Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. This is a brand new, experimental stream. 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!

In the Summer of 2009, there was a Pacifica National Board meeting held in New York. Here's the Web page I did about this PNB meeting and the amazing things that went on at it.

And the PNB has also met in Houston from Friday October 9th, through Sunday October 11th, 2009. The official audio archive of that meeting is here. It was not disrupted as the New York meeting was, although some of the same miscreants got out there to say stupid things.

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.


We are pitching on this radio program, but not for phone calls. We're pitching for Web donations this time.

We are especially in need of raising funds to deal with the current crisis.

If you want to pledge to the program via the Web it's best to do so while we're on the air, you need to go here and pick the amount you want to donate, then click on “Add to cart,” and then be sure to pick Back of the Book as the favorite show from the drop down menu. Otherwise your pledge won't be counted toward the program.


Comet in Manhattan
Hale Bopp Over Manhattan
photo: Rob G from Avenue B

Pickles of the North will be talking about a naked eye comet that you should be able to see in the next few days.

Named PANSTARRS, which is a much catchier name for a comet than the official designation of (C/2011 L4), this will be the first naked eye comet to be seen around here since 1997. People in the southern hemisphere have been watching this comet throughout the month of February. Now, as it start showing up above the Earth's equator, we'll get to see it too.

The PANSTARRS comet will be pretty close to the horizon, and it will be visible only for a while after sunset, so in order to see it you'll need to be someplace where there isn't too much clutter along the horizon, like buildings. Of course you'll need clear skies.

The PANSTARRS comet will make its closest approach to the Earth at 5:00 (ET) AM on this coming Tuesday, March 5. Unfortunately, it will not be visible from New York at that time. The comet will continue to be visible for the rest of March, although the Moon will start to be too bright and close to the comet for a while to allow you to see it well. Binoculars will really make the comet visible.

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.

My voice mail number at WBAI is 212-209-2996. Leave a message.

You can also send me E-mail.

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 © 2013, R. Paul Martin.