Monday, April 18, 2016

LSB LOCAL STATION BOARD MEETING. "An experience.”

This is an alienating experience, having attended the latest version of newly elected LSB monthly meeting, April 17, 2016. Attended for full 4 hours and all I got was being ignored, never smiled at,  barely any eye contact and as if I did not even exist or noticeably sit in the back “public seating” – in back of horseshoe circle around which Members sit.

Any new "public" member attending has no one to guide, welcome, or inform them on process, behaviors expected, when they can speak or what is going on in the LSB ongoing thereafter discussions. Confusing and distancing results. Not even an agenda is shared, nor when or if a "public comment" time is allowed or when it may be given. 




Glad to report: a new Chairwoman was poised, effective, tried diligently to control and have meeting process in some order. Actually better than previous visits to LSB over the many years.

And new larger and clearer printed name placards in front of LSB members, to know who was there and their names, since none ever bother to mention who they are or which committee they chair or represent.

As I arrived early and on time, to the KPFK webpage announced starting time of 10:30 am, there were 3 males setting up chairs and mics, 1 prior LSB member reading newspaper and 1 public man also reading newspaper, but no greeting nor welcome to any PUBLIC person attending. 


Slowly and gradually other LSB members arrived, sat at table, talked to few allies and did not smile at each other nor act in any friendly collegiate manner either. Strange atmosphere, as if prepared for conflicts that soon arose. 

Meeting was not called to order until 10:46 am, as if time was flexible and notices for meeting beginning were irrelevant. =only 16 minutes of extra time [wasted] to join this meeting.  At least a full quorum had finally arrived by then while other people drifted in whenever.

Wondering why those many on LSB board whom I have had conversations, acknowledgements for many long ago years now saw only their selected others, I then assumed I was less than a ‘visitor’ and irrelevant to even being recognized now apparently, which is not a common experience elsewhere.

Many new LSB elected members were unknown to me and me to them, of course.  


Gradually only 2 people, with whom I have had  long and many conversations as volunteers at KPFK, did briefly make eye contact and even said a quick “hello”,  while most others =with whom  I had also been in speaking relationships with before -  continued to act as if they existed in ‘special’ but invisible cubicles, = being totally separated and alienated.  


Even the 2 ‘staff representatives’ from KPFK there were exclusive or just silent, unfriendly, & guarded.

I wondered: if this is how the LSB act in unison and in meeting together, if it might be a similar atmosphere also inside Our Radio Station too maybe ? With people being angry or not-speaking or resentful or suspicious or just feeling bad enough to stay away from anyone who was not already “on their side” for sure?

Members arrived in their own schedule and convenience. I noticed how few “public” members were there now, [ 6 ], while there had been 12-20 at other LSB meetings I had attended before. One 'public' man arrived on time 10:30am of announced starting time and he left within 30 minutes, without a word to or from anyone. 


2 Others arrived later to give-away their rebel-agitator type newspapers with an intimidating air if one was not taken. And counting, 2 prior LSB members no longer elected came late, but did attend. Plus the GM came to speak to LSB and answer questions in her time slot.

Announcement of 2 recent deaths of KPFK dedicated long-termers was made: Israel Feuer  at age 86   – one of the most dedicated volunteers who attended every single LSB and many committee meetings and answered phones during fund drives. And Bob Congers who was the on-staff transmitter engineer man for many years, until very recently.

An cautionary announcement is made by LSB woman who claims all videos, photos et al CAN be made without regard to privacy or personal choice because “this is a public meeting”, even if tho it takes a pre-pushed button security box to enter into building and not all of these KPFK type people consider privacy a give-away anywhere. 


Another LSB woman uses phones to video and record during the entire meeting pointing wherever she wants, regardless of non-LSB agreed members, us only as "public", allowing this set-up.

It will be necessary to actually review LA City rules: about what is “public” for any recordings/ fotos,  when inside a private building and when a non-profit Board meeting is held - and where personal privacy suddenly evaporates.


And why those allied with LSB are acting invasively, without describing how these recordings are used, where secured and saved, and for how long, or who has access to display, distribute them, i.e. to U-tube and other media. 


Being in control of this exposure is a power-position taken by those who hold their camera/phones notably or subtly and TAKE what they want, to use as they chose, without accountability to those displayed in their screens.

More than 2 hrs into meeting, another young man enters with a professional large camera w/sound to “public” area, sets up, rolls and takes video, un-introduced nor announced to those present. Before he leaves in ½ hr, I ask what use he has for this and he smirks and says “I am doing a documentary…with all the fighting in it too” and  he exits without a nod to anyone on Board. Perhaps he had permission, perhaps not. Such are the doings that are unaccounted or unregulated at LSB meetings, apparently.

A 2+ page of rules of “demeanor” for LSB and ‘public” members is read for all LSB to vote agreement with, and install, starting now.  It had been elsewhere written about some insulting obscenities shouted by a KPFK staff to the LSB at their prior meeting, thus provoking this serious etiquette set of new rules. Voted on. Agreed. Now.


It is a good idea to have to make into Strict Rules [ but with no one assigned to enforce them or be entitled to call the rules - on whom they chose- so this can be used for personal choice or for individual controlling maneuvers too ] for such a conflict-filled and contentious process –  and as exhibited repeatedly at all LSB and other such KPFK meetings.

No agenda for the day nor these new rules for all present must-follow-demeanor-rules is given to any “public” member, that I can see. No one handed them out and I watched carefully, waiting. No agenda and no eye contact with us 'outsiders' not elected LSB either. As if we were at a zoo or aquarium and anyone not LSB is thus 'not seen, not here'...until 3-1/2 hrs later when finally "Public Comments" time is announced.


The public is basically excluded fully until the proper time for “public comments” arrives, when each person must line up to a mic - with a max of 90 seconds each = 1+1/2 minutes to speak. No discussion, no acknowledgement, no nutin comes forth to indicate anything is heard, much less wanted or valued.  


It is like speaking to a wall of faces, non- acknowledging the quick speaker. Next person takes mike. Done. But to what effect or result ? Never to be known or admitted.

The 5 -6 “public” members take a turn, one in conflict because of his previous insulting behaviors to LSB last meeting, but he too is allowed his 90 seconds. As a special  allowance [gift], this time, so he is told.  What was said and done previously is not reviewed for those not there then, so we watch and wonder and cannot ask.

There is No LSB member or affiliate or volunteer to welcome, to inform new  “public members” of the procedures or what is expected of them or the meeting either. If there were no ‘public’ people there would be no difference, from what can be observed in 4 hours sitting in the same room there.

Microphones are available for every 3-4 LSB seated close to each other and yet, after years of experience at these meetings, repeated calls for “mic !” is needed as people ‘forget’ and speak as if in their kitchen to friends. Two LSB men mumble and speak rapidly so only ½ of whatever they are saying can be understood, especially by “public” relegated away from lip-reading circle where LSB are more visible to each other. 


Whether there will be an audio-recording of the entire meeting available for later or not was not mentioned. Previously a loyal technician, volunteer and loyal member arranged with his own equipment for such recordings to have verifications, vs. the secretary correctly keeping notes – with all the voice-overs and interruptions included. Probably no one has bothered nor wants these recordings kept.

What is interesting is how there is always at least 1 LSB person who must resist, rebel or question loudly any motion, announcement or suggestion made. It comes with KPFK and LSB territory.   It also reflects the KPFK prevailing programming and station’s stance against ‘the world’ that is not theirs.  Technicalities vs. actualities are disputed.

The General Manager, is called to give her report to LSB and is asked questions about financial statuses and premiums.   GM had the courtesy to pass out her 4pp report to us, ‘public” sitting in same section in back as she was before her presentation to LSB.   


Some obvious hostility is felt throughout that presentation and confrontation. The Chair announces she and GM will meet 1x/every week to review things together. A good move for LSB to better coordinate work for KPFK.  

The GM says that she has been “paraphrased” in LSB notes in a way that “is not accurate” and requests this not continue. She sounded offended and displeased about some rewording not specifically stated now.

Discussion between GM & LSB about whether a full-time or part-time business manager is being sought and/or hired. Also about the plan to have 70 out of 150 days planned for fund raising. And about hiring non-union board operators to save expenses.  GM said premiums were no longer stored at station and only a few were available for their recent on-site sale to listeners.


GM also said the Pacifica board must approve before an $80,000 loan could be solicited [without saying from where or interest rates, etc] that was money needed for KPFK expenses.

Two lawsuits were mentioned by LSB members, involving the NY station, one with a restraining order and regarding expired PNB terms that were ‘extended’ or ‘termed out’.  Those in-the-know may have understood the suits, those in 'public' irrelevant realms could only wonder and guess.


Then a vote was taken by LSB with 4 nay sayers and 13 affirmative, about something undecipherable by those not in circle of the discussion [public members in back of room have no questions allowed] ... something is said about violating ‘bylaws’….and it was notable that those 4 "no"-saying men sat closely together at end of horseshoe table.  

These 4 men also notably gave various dubious excuses and explanations for what was of concern to the LSB majority in their vote, and they also attempted to blame others not present in room. Apparently a separate 'clique' ?

An LSB woman claimed that there were delayed / no-audits made because there was insufficient financial information provided. This was not questioned nor corroborated. Amy Goodman’s being owed a large sum was questioned but no resolution nor confirmation made about the long-held debt to her.  


Someone complained that Pacifica had no HR = Human Resources/Personnel director nor resources either.  Another complained that the Program Director is “interim” and has been in place for “8 yrs”, asking why a search or selection for a permanent one has not been made.

Then the “programming oversight” committee chair read the purposes of that group - and was given orders to include more topics that should be the focus, defining more diverse groups to be included specific by name. Generalities are not to be trusted was the emphasis.

Notable that only 2 [of the now-'pubic' group of 6] were prior LSB members - but not the chair nor the 15  previous LSB  were there as visitors or acting now as still interested parties. 


The meeting continued on longer, after 4 long hours, but this reporter could not continue to sit on 1 chair in the back of the large room and attend to more of what was repeated attitudes  and distrustful encounters there. 

Each LSB person must be dedicated in time and experience and with a desire to affect some benefit to KPFK, or keep it from toppling into bankruptcy and dis-functionality


Each must be commended for their ongoing interest and desire to improve a radio station that is admitted ‘losing listeners’ by numbers and thus also having less money to operate.  

The monthly meeting is long and arduous, and if the LSB person assumes some ‘importance’ or sense of being powerful from being in those factitious meetings, that may be their reward, imagined or actual. 

Some come in and  are re-elected again and again over a long period of years, and some seem ‘new’ to those of us who have attended these LSB meetings regularly, if not consistently.

© 2016  mj

to send an email to the entire Local Station Board use this address -      LSBoard@kpfk.org


or to LSB Chair Contact:     lsbchair@kpfk.org 

[info is also on KPFK.org]

Anyone wishing to contact the Pacifica [umbrella] Nat’l Board can write to :      pnb@pacifica.org.



                              3916 Sepulveda Blvd.  , 90230 Culver City, CA - Map view




The next local station board LSB meeting is on May 15,2016, Sunday, at 10:30 a.m., at the Peace Center,  located at   3916 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230-4640. 


Parking is in the rear of building. Dial 22 for access.

This is a private building on Sepulveda, one block south of Venice Blvd. 


                   
   
This was the regular 1x/mo. meeting of the KPFK Local Station Board, -


note:  The info can be found on KPFK website - Events page, as are the committee meetings are there also.







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