Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Open Letter to KPFK LSB chairperson here:


on January 20, 2014 emailed to only address  that is available on KPFK website for any LSB person: to  and with  CC: General Manager &  Program Director            

re:  LSB sharing written GM report [ which GM said he delivers to LSB meetings, but which have not been distributed/ revealed to the public-members present until Jan 2014 LSB meeting...where 1 LSB member shared it with this writer ....] plus more.

Dear Chairwoman :

Please feel free to share this email with all LSB members as well as noting my points and responding as best you can  and soon. Note that my prior to last email I mentioned to you that was not answered was never answered after all.... and the next one about GM reports sent to both you and GM was briefly responded by him but not by you . We can now let the old  one go, but do  not continuously miss or not reply to my concerns,  please. 


As often I have concerns about how the LSB meetings act and what is not done well. My recent email to you and the GM stated 2 points:

1. the lack of other LSB members being accessible to stakeholders

2. the surprise written Report from the GM to the LSB members that was handed out Jan 11 meeting.

I still await your response.

The GM did reply that he has been continually made this written reports every month.

Yet even when I had openly public-commented before that I could not always understand his verbal oral report at the LSB meeting, not one person at LSB ever stated that a written report was available or that they had one to refer to…that the public, as in KPFK payers are public members, did NOT have or know the existence of either.

Does this mean that only the LSB members are allowed to have revealed the GM’s report and information therein ?       Does this mean that it is not printed with enough copies to share with the dedicated public payers who attend LSB  meetings regularly and are vitally interested and involved but then excluded from this information?   

The Public Members who come to LSB members meetings  - and who have no Power or say -  nor access to secreted information -  and  who have nothing they can contribute [besides work/money and attend LSB meetings  with their own personal time and effort …have then the  90-sec timed public comments =  that are then ignored as no LSB member speaks to what was publicly asked or stated ] …. 

and all because they ‘outsiders’  were not selected or elected ….and thus are Not Represented by any designated individual on the LSB – don’t have an LSB person that communicates with them. 

So  how can the public  then trust anyone there ?    Note that most organizational  bodies have elections with known &  accessible representatives  and  that actually do represent the views, opinions of their constituents and give responses to their constituents [ not just a tiny group that voted for them only ].  KPFK’s  LSB does not.

After having voiced this problem of not having or knowing who if anyone represents me, personally, at more than 1 LSB meetings, a few LSB members have then given me their own email addresses on a slip of torn off paper. However, that was only a few.  

And as some members saw a few others do it,  only then did  they conform too, but most did not.   And I also noticed that the other public members were Not given that same access to those self-selected LSB members.      

How does this work effectively? Are the LSB members not suppose to represent all of us, each and any of us, and how is this suppose to  happen?   Do the bylaws give us information about the duties of LSB members to their public members?   Or is this a neglected, ignored area that is ‘too much trouble’ or have other excuses for why it is and “cannot be done”…the usual refrain.

Please help us all understand what has been happening and how it will be changed & improved from this moment forward, to provide written materials, reports to Everyone Involved & present -  not just the special  ‘elected’ LSB or staff or programmers  - as the Only exclusive Ones  allowed to know what is going on, at least from the monthly GM report. And whatever else we, the public, do not know you have that we don’t and don’t know so can’t ask for it.

I am choosing to repeat here my public comments at the Jan 11,2014 LSB meeting because I am dismayed and disappointed at how there was NO REPLY OR RESPONSE to my repeated questions there and then :

I asked twice,  sincerely, loudly, and with a genuine needing-to-know what was occurring at Our Radio Station - just as many KPFK staff, programmers, and more public members than I recall having seen before attended the meeting . They  spoke to problems that were Never Revealed openly or directly !    Tho I asked for clarification, for information, for openness and transparency, none was given.

I had even asked 2-3 LSB members prior to meeting what they knew about changes, difficulties at the radio station,  and the response was they did not know, whether that was accurate or not. 

NO ONE TOLD THOSE WHO DID NOT ALREADY KNOW what is going on that affects us all - all who contribute, work and help KPFK sustain and maintain itself as an non-profit entity.    [At the very end after most people had gone and left the meeting room,  1 single person did share only with me,  a bit of confusing information  - not with other people there who also did not-know-what-is-going-on. 

And I was surprised and glad to note that at least 1 Person Only had the decency to respond -  and did not continue to ignore my pleas and requests for whatever could-be or dare-be-stated aloud  - about the changes currently or just past was happening at KPFK]. 

I have no idea who knows what or why the secrecy is held or required and if at least the explanation for a reasonable reason was given as to why any information at all was totally “confidential” that would be partially acceptable. That was not done ! Silence, and ignoring my pleas and request was all I had from all the others in that crowded room for 5 hours.

I am still left with confusion and wondering also WHY THE SECRECY AND OPAQUENESS to the statioin’s  operations is required/ necessary/ or if a gag-order has been placed or why KPFK acts like the much criticized US govt ‘s NSA  and  CIA and FBI  and Congress and USA president... et all do.   

The free-speech radio  that continually CLAIMS to be ‘transparent’ and that uses the on-air-brand repeatedly  to make claims it is ‘open’ and part of a ‘community’. It is NOT.  So I don’t think these repeated KPFK PR promos are real and thus it makes the hypocrisy magnified and objectionable even more.

I assume you, as LSB chair, have some control and ability to assist the more reluctant or scared LSB members to do their duty of REPRESENTING the public, and not just holding to their own benefit such information that is relevant and newsworthy. To be secretive – even if  out of shame or fear-of-criticism only makes the reputations of KPFK and LSB  much worse. 

To withhold and deny knowledge, or to lie by avoidance, and act just like the USA governmental actors that are continually maligned on air [criticized and called “they” as “bad” ones ] is to  demean  KPFK - and make a lie of what is on it’s airwaves is more shameful.

I am posting this elsewhere, as well,  as an OPEN LETTER TO LSB CHAIR,  to reveal what I write, tho it may be long and repetitive to your ears and any LSB who do listen to the public comments. As I have said this more than 2x to no avail, I thus will continue to confront and request that there be what is promised. On-air and by all implications made by KPFK in it’s entirety. 

The bylaws are not all that can be used to refer to or by-pass what may be also more transparent operational requirements of this radio station also.

I await your reply, as I presume your position as Chair puts you in charge of taking all requests, complaints and organizing the LSB workings. As only your email is linked/ listed on KPFK website w/o your name on it.   Or is it otherwise ?  Are other LSB members delegated or assigned to also respond to public requests, suggestions, comments and even complaints ?  [not about programs only since programmers do NOT respond to any emails from that site the receptionist forwards emails either.   

I am not spending more hours to research every question myself, and so I assume it is fair and correct to ask you or whomever you delegate this function to do the courteous, considerate act,  to reply to all queries and questions.

* the LSB chairwoman replied and requested that her answer also be posted wherever this OPEN LETTER was being revealed. It is here below: 

Thank you for taking the time to reach out and express your concerns regarding the  LSB at KPFK.  You are free to email the KPFK board directly  ...this time, per your request, I am forwarding it to the LSB.           

You might post my response out of fairness wherever you have posted, emailed or blogged your letter to the Chair as stated.  I would first like to address your accusations that I have not responded to your emails.  Your first email you asked if I was Tej, and I replied yes.  The second email, you copied [another person's name excluded here ] and he replied all, informing you that Mr. Duncan was no longer the GM, so there was no need to send you the same information twice. I am responding to this email.

Please note that there were a few un-quorumed meetings in 2013, so our LSB business agenda became very tight when we did have quorum.  At the meeting at KRYST Unity center where there was no quorum, we spent 3 hours just convening listening to the listeners, but you weren't there.

The PNB 2013 directors have spent an aggressive amount of time in closed session, so I do not even know until I get a report back from a PNB director, which I only heard from 2 out of 4 directors at committee meetings and rarely from a third during PNB director report during LSB agenda item.  I can not answer for the board why they have not answered your question.

You are invited to join committees/task force/advisory boards (Governance, Finance, Outreach, Town Hall Task Force, Community Advisory Board, etc.) where you can get a broader spectrum of understanding.

There is a lot of Closed Sessions that have taken place in 2013 at various levels of governance, and with the change of management, many of us are wondering what is happening as well.  I am sorry you are upset your questions are not answered to your liking, many of us on the board are left in the dark about all of these abrupt changes taking place.

Thank you for all your support, comments, concerns and suggestions.  
[by]  Tej Grewall Chair, KPFK LSB

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- -

** Note that there were LSB meetings when members did not attend so that the quorum was not met... and those who did attend were the responsible ones while the absent-others' had excuses that were then accepted by the whole LSB body. But those refusing to attend those meetings  also were not fulfilling their accepted duties which include meeting 1x/ every month. 

Note that the confusion that this blog/ writer repeatedly attempts to clarify or research about operations/ changes at KPFK seems to be also in those noted by  [this LSB chairwoman too] - so also those who are closer into the hallowed halls of the KPFK radio station. That we all pay for and fund  Our Pacifica Radio Station with our hard-won-earnings, and then we are kept in the dark and NOT INFORMED of important changes occurring - those that affect us and our investments in Our Station. 

The continual demand to be responded to when emailing any KPFK resource has been a hit and miss affair, mostly a wild so few [notably the latest GM Duncan who would briefly reply only to what he chose to answer, but reply he did ...which no other prior GM did before his tenure] do on rare occasion respond. 

While most staff, management, programmers and even LSB members mostly do not. Not answer. And maybe don't care.   This LSB chairwoman did respond [after the 3rd request, requests done orally and in email] and so the explanation given above still does not answer the questions originally asked that were NOT answered by others either. 

One question that remains unspoken or unwritten is that if the GM replied that he gave a written report to LSB members every month, why those reports were not mentioned as available nor made with copies to all/any public members - those who diligently attended the LSB meetings and yet were left ignorant - or only could listen to the [rapid-speech, sometimes mumbled, focused into the 'inner circle' of LSB seated members, and  sometimes not intelligible ] oral reports. 

To then suggest that public members pursue any information further  - with more work/time/efforts to find out what information they 'missed' as they are not being part of the exclusive selected LSB group  - is another demeaning response or a put-off and evasion. Yet such suggestions are easily made. Surprisingly.

It is common custom and so assumed that Each Person asked a question in common courtesy and taking their own responsibility will answer in some form or other, however brief. Even if it is an acknowledgement of having received the request or a reason why they do not know or cannot reveal information. Secrecy continues. Yet when they neglect these duties, some of us refuse to allow this denial and exclusion to just pass as if we were not owed a real accurate response. So, the repeated concern about the silence and evasions of questions asked many times more than 1x above. 

All any of us can do is try and ask and persist  - and then note and share whatever we obtain to all others  - the futility of our many efforts, or rarely the information that may even in ltd ways be shared.   We too need not hoard information to remain in the elite groups of those 'in the know' but act as if we believed and  can activate the stated KPFK claimed purposes  of "free and open speech" and information - available to all, not just 'the few'. 

(c) al 2014 

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