Friday, April 18, 2014
Repost: Letter re KPFK LSB meeting April 2014
This is a reposting from another KPFK sponsor member who describes their experiences and difficulties that they encountered at a recent April 2014 KFPK- Local Station Board meeting.
The writer suggested that further exposure of what actually occurs at LSB meetings as well as recording the suggestions and questions that were made there, and that also have emerged from the conflict and turmoil at those sessions.
It was stated that this session was fully attended by many more than the usual number of Public Listener Members - but without any clarification or definition of what the actual KPFK or LSB difficulties were being addressed. No specific neutral statements of what was disturbing so many was stated by any LSB members to all the rest of those present.
Apparently, no LSB person there stated nor described the serious problems or issues about which so many came to speak . And it seemed to this writer that not everyone present knew or were in agreement with what was expressed, because of a lack of any explanations given at this meeting. As there was no open, clear description - or even brief summary provided - of just what was causing the turnout - or the emotional reactions heard - at that meeting by everyone present there, some attendees were unsure of why some spoke as they did, or why there was such a large contingent of Spanish-speaking public members suddenly present at a regular monthly LSB meeting. The agenda provided did not clarify this either.
Responses or comments about what is below can be addressed by writing to www.KPFK.org, to the general manager, or staff, or see under LSB heading for any more addresses. such as the chairperson there = firstname.lastname@example.org. Apparently there are no email or access addresses to each or any LSB or PNB members on the KPFK website. A list of LSB members is visible there, however.
"Open Letter re KPFK LSB proceedings and actions :
To LSB Chair, all LSB members, as these concerns apply to all KPFK people = staff / programmers and the attending Public also :
( note this is long and thorough - to document and question what has been occurring at KFPK LSB meetings. Please read all or only parts that are relevant. Any accurate and reliable information should be shared with all KPFK people = LSB, staff, public members, sponsors and listeners. thank you.)
April 16, 2014 LSB meeting was very conflictual, divisive and so questions arose that need to be known by all concerned - those who attend these meetings too - to insure that fairness, unbiased behaviors and honesty prevails at all times. Civility and courteousness are extras that are not always displayed therein.
Please share this email to all LSB members (only) also so any LSB member can also respond to the concerns and questions here. The questions are surely are not personal or limited to this writer alone.
The environment at Pacifica is in such turmoil that trust and safety is no longer apparent. ... non-safety of attending recent meetings ....outside the bldg of the LSB meeting in March.
1. Are LSB members not timed for their lengthy talking, or are only Public members timed?
i.e. Public is given 50 sec while LSB frequently talks on in self-serving long lectures w/o anyone apparently timing them ?
Is this correct procedure or just not enforced evenly ?
2. Is someone OTHER than LSB Chair or Vice Chair - who have other things to attend to and do so, or also are often involved listening to content and do not enforce the faint phone timer - who else can be assigned to do timekeeping?
Could it be a more neutral LSB person, not the vice-chair or secretary who assists the Chair ? …or even a volunteer from public who is neutral and does not do more than keep time ?
3. And this is a repeat request that a SHOW TIMER LOUD ENOUGH TO BE HEARD BY ALL talkers be used, so everyone can be alerted ? It seems that instead of hand motions and feeble attempts to ask speakers to stop whenever, a clearly visible, audible decent Timer would be much more effective and useful.
It was apparent on 4/16/14 that though the faint phone timer rang, frequently there were many discrepancies of who was allowed to go on longer and others who were not. While personal sympathies are apparent. allowing some more time and others less, does this fluctuation belong in an official LSB meeting ?
Why is there not a $5 item purchased which is loud enough for everyone in room to hear Timer? Why is the continual process used now so unprofessional – leading to the self-chosen allowances of some go longer than other timed comments, so some others are told to stop faster ?
The variation in talk was audible and noticeable in this April LSB meeting all night. The audio recording will easily confirm the variability , the intelligibility and the ways times allowed were not enforced fairly for all in attendance.
Has there ever been an ‘official’ translator ? and who determines that they are being actual and fair in their translations ? Some translators do their best and yet have their own biases or forget part of the message, being untrained but acting as volunteers only.
Is a person speaking other than the usual English used in LSB meetings who does their own translations – are they required to do a full and complete translation ? or does anyone care if they do not translate fully or accurately and leave out parts ? does anyone care ?
5 . Note that [a public member] ... voiced a request - that the long self-serving Spanish talking that [an LSB member]... was engaged in to his particular audience (less than 1/3 of all people in room –excluding those who did not speak or maybe even understand Spanish) . When that person then asked for a translation to be made in-between the lengthy tal-in-Spanish when he was also facing his group, to be made into English.
This was so everyone else could also know what he was saying. He ignored me. So it was repeated as a request 2-3x, attempting to have some translations included in the long on-going talk that was apparently Not Timed nor in any way limited (even if the agenda lists time limits for ea section).
( Most people know well that any translator does not memorize long speeches and is often doing either simultaneous translations when professional… or the translations are done in short segments with pauses - so everyone present can receive full and accurate information that is provided in a language not their primary one.)
6. Then a threat by LSB Chair was made [to writer of letter here] saying
to stop talking “..or I will have to ask you to leave” to (this) one public member .... but that was not equally threatened to the many others - - who were frequently actually loudly shouting about their political positions.
Is that a BIASED and presumed authority threat to just 1 person ? For asking for translation ?
The selective threat was not done fairly -- as that threat was not made to the many others in attendance there, who were much more vociferous and emotional and interrupting - mostly on their own specific issues and those who were concerned that [stated] Pacifica was endangered now.
(does anyone want the names of the various others who engaged in the audible visible wild arguments – often, and way before [the writer's]... request was made - and how these were not sent away from the meeting on the same night ? One chose to leave voluntarily, saying so. <snip> )
To be threatened so publicly and repeatedly ( it was 3x at least repeated) by the LSB Chair for asking openly, as a public member, for the process that the Chair SHOULD HAVE HERSELF ATTENDED TO and limited per rules - in concern for everyone in the room - was offensive and disrespectful.
Then when the Chair was asked to act on her clearly stated threat, she turned her head away, then refused to look directly at ... [public member], and she kept silent – then. No further action to remove [writer] or anyone else was made before [the time]... when this writer left the conflictual scene - feeling socially and publicly rejected and insulted by the Chair – as well as by the whole LSB – who were allowing her to act in this rude and selective manner.
7. No one noticed that this writer also was courteous in not even getting into the 'Public member comment line' because of how many others had come to speak that night. It was a deliberate choice to give time to all the others, instead of giving the LSB ...suggestions – as some had previously been noted to be shared .
Notice that this writer only spoke 1 x -- when ... [ the dominant LSB PNB member ] - for the 3-4-5th time that night - spoke at length in Spanish, and often deliberately turning and speaking in Spanish only to his own selective audience – most of whom have not previously if ever attended the LSB meetings (that have been recognized by many regular attendees at least.)
[the writer] ...tried to ask for translations to be made in between the lengthy Spanish monologue.
Many now appeared [at meeting] to be an alliance to support him specifically and the word “racism” continually was used to accuse the [KPFK] radio station w/o naming who it was that was acting in racist ways - other than an outlier LSB member (.... [another not-then-present LSB member] was mentioned and about a private email he sent - and that all the other Public members had Not seen nor known about. The Spanish programming alliance may have been forwarded this email, but no one said so.) .
when ...[LSB PNB member] did speak briefly in English - after this request - he made 1-2 brief sentences [in English] that did not include all he had spoken to his own audience in Spanish. No one questioned this or him about the self-translation, or it being slanted in length and content towards his own support group, those attending this meeting.
The LSB Chair made no comment or suggestion that translations need to made with full and fair equal content (or length if necessary) so as to include all the English speakers in what was being announced to the Spanish ones present now.
8. These obvious indications of the unstated Biases, Slants, Prejudices and Threats to or against selectively chosen Public members - and not most others - is rude , ... unacceptable, and inappropriate threats -- [not] responding to requests for clarifications- - should be reviewed carefully to see if they are allowed in the Pacifica/ KPFK bylaws and are allowed behaviors.
The siding of ONE side or the other in the current Pacifica ED debate was noticeable in the presence of many of those attending, including all LSB, Public, Staff - in their comments, and in their reactions.
And yet, there was NO SIDE TAKEN nor indicated by this writer at any time and would not be, (as the issue is not apparently resolvable by this KPFK LSB – please correct if this group does have actual power or influence to do any decisive actions on this emergent issue – as only an LSB “an announcement” was made to give notice of another event forthcoming.)
9. If the LSB meeting audio has an audible recording, then all the voices, words, the loud yelling-over-each-other , i.e. of when those KPFK staff/ LSB who were opposed to...[LSB PNB member]’s actions acting in their behalf in PNB [process] - that should be transcribed…if it can be heard well enough.
Then also the Timing lengths of speakers, both LSB and Public members, could also be timed and calculated individually - to note where there was excess allowed, and when/ to whom not. This might be very revealing.
10. If the intent of the threat and collusion of all other LSB members in the room who did not object to this [threat] action was to prevent Public members who are outspoken and loyal to KPFK from attending their secretive meetings, the results have failed.
If the last 2 meetings have twice been direct attacks on this writer public member’s safety and reputation, then some enforcement of safety and courtesy and appropriate behaviors needs to be done. Both the Chair and a[nother] public member have each separately offended and threatened this writer. Who else do they attack ? and why did they choose to do this ?
[end of repost]
The writer of this "open" letter asked if anyone else who was present at LSB meeting in April or any other LSB meeting can clarify what the disputes and conflicts ARE about in simple neutral terms, that would help all others who are becoming concerned about the dysfunctionality and disrespectful behaviors that seem to predominate at what should / could be KPFK's nonprofit board meetings- that are business and official meetings.
Note that there are audio recordings made of each meeting accessible on the internet also for anyone who has the patience and interest in listening to 3-6 hour meetings (with members continually interrupting each other, some mumbling, some not using the provided microphones, and the many and various inaudible aspects noted when one attends meetings in person on any date). Good luck.
(c) Kc 2014