KPFA Crafts Fair returns to the East Bay this weekend

kpfa crafts fairAmazing crafts, artwork and edibles are available at this weekend’s KPFA Crafts Fair, a 44-year-long  tradition, and the station’s largest off-air fundraiser.

This weekend, the KPFA Crafts Fair returns to the East Bay after two decades in San Francisco. It will take place in the stunning Craneway Pavilion on the Richmond waterfront on December 20-21 from 10am to 5pm daily. Tickets are $10 general, $5 senior, and free for disabled and under 17. Directions for public transit or driving (parking is free and plentiful) are here.

The KPFA Crafts Fair is the largest weekend holiday fair of its kind in Northern California, chock full of professional exhibitors who handcraft ceramics, jewelry, textiles, wood, food and all manner of art and craft.  Please come and show you support for KPFA and for the artisans who add beauty to our lives.

Posted in fundraising, KPFA Crafts Fair | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ralph Nader and Amy Goodman urge support for Pacifica network

KPFA graphic

New KPFA web graphics.

Thanks to all who donated so generously to the station’s winter fund drive, which ended today with $335,000 pledged. That’s only $25,000 short of the goal.

Please consider making an end-of-the-year, tax deductible gift to help put KPFA over the top. You can pledge securely online at KPFA.org, and while you are there, have a look at the colorful new graphics that are enlivening the station’s webspace.

Meanwhile, supporters of all five Pacifica stations are receiving this letter from Ralph Nader urging them to help the network “remain a vibrant and sustainable source of information that serves the public interest and our diverse communities.”  Among other things, Nader cites Pacifica’s “eclectic mix of programming that educates and empowers for change.”

Also endorsing the call for support is Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, who is quoted on the letter’s envelope: “The Pacifica Network is a vital cornerstone of our independent media landscape that depends on your financial support. Please donate today to safeguard the future of listener-powered community radio.”

 

Posted in Amy Goodman, fund drives, KPFA, Pacifica, Ralph Nader | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Long-time programmers Denny Smithson and Mary Berg pass

MaryBerg

Mary Berg

Denny Smithson

Denny Smithson

KPFA lost two long-time programmers last month.  Denny Smithson, who worked at the station for 47 years, much of it interviewing authors about their work, died November 1. KPFA’s website has this photo of Denny in the studio and a link to the obituary that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.

On November 29, Mary Berg, long-time host of the crack o’ dawn early music show, A Musical Offering, died. Former KPFA music director Charles Amirkhanian and morning host Bill Sokol write about her here.  Both Mary and Denny will be greatly missed.

Posted in Denny Smithson, KPFA, Mary Berg | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Mark your calendars for talks and films in the new year

Bob Baldock in Cuba, 1958

Bob Baldock (right), Fidel Castro and Bill McIver (left) in Cuba’s Sierra Maestra mountains in 1958.

From economics professor Richard Wolff, to philosopher Cornel West portraying Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, KPFA has begun announcing its 2015 line-up of talks and events. Check ‘em out.

And with Cuba in the news, the fascinating photo at right surfaced of KPFA’s own unsung hero Bob Baldock, who has produced KPFA events for over two decades. Learn more about Bob’s remarkable life in this 2011 interview he did with Sasha Lilley on KPFA’s Against the Grain.

 

Posted in Bob Baldock, KPFA, KPFA benefits | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

KPFA’s new program director: Laura Prives

Laura Prives

Laura Prives

After a year-long search for a program director initiated by KPFA’s elected Local Station Board, KPFA general manager Quincy McCoy has announced he’s promoting long-time KPFA producer Laura Prives to the position

Prives began volunteering in KPFA’s News Department in 2003, on the day the US began bombing Iraq. Later, she moved to the Morning Show, where she worked her way up to executive producer. She helped launch two of KPFA’s most successful new programs: Letters and Politics with Mitch Jeserich, and UpFront with Brian Edwards-Tiekert. Currently, she’s working as a producer on both of those programs and Hard Knock Radio. Previously, she had worked as a DJ at KALX, and a researcher at the Federal Reserve.

“Laura has been one of KPFA’s unsung heroes for years,” said local board treasurer, Barbara Whipperman, a member of SaveKPFA. “Everyone she has worked with knows her incredible work ethic, sharp ear for good radio, and cool head under pressure — which is exactly what KPFA needs right now.”

According to an all-staff memo, Prives will assume her new duties on November 2. KPFA has been without a permanent program director for nearly 15 years.

“When we won elections for KPFA’s Local Station Board, we hoped to help bring competent, stable leadership to the station,” said Whipperman.  KPFA completed the long-delayed hire of a general manager in June, when it hired Quincy McCoy.

Meanwhile, KPFA’s FALL FUND DRIVE is underway, raising desperately needed funds. This drive has an additional goal of “refreshing” KPFA by raising money to overhaul KPFA’s website and make it a better tool for distributing programs and raising money off-air.  Please show your support now by pledging at www.kpfa.org.

Posted in fund drives, KPFA, Laura Prives, Programming | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Mark your calendars: LSB meeting & KPFA Crafts Fair

kpfa crafts fairAll are welcome at the next KPFA Local Station Board meeting, which is scheduled for Saturday, October 18 from 11am to 4 pm at 100 Oak Street in Oakland (that’s the SEIU Local 1021 office). You can find details, including an agenda here.

And don’t miss KPFA’s legendary Crafts Fair scheduled for the weekend of December 20-21. The fair is returning to the East Bay after 20 years in San Francisco, to the stunning Craneway Pavilion on the Richmond waterfront. Be there!

Posted in fund drives, KPFA, KPFA Crafts Fair, KPFA Local Station Board | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Reese and her supporters lose in court, again

On September 17, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Ioana Petrou made two more rulings in favor of the new leadership at Pacifica, the nonprofit that owns KPFA, following a series that began in May.

Petrou granted a demurrer against the lawsuit brought by Pacifica Directors for Good Governance (PDGG), a group of Pacifica National Board members who supported terminated executive Summer Reese‘s attempt to seize Pacifica’s national office by force. The ruling gave PDGG 10 days to fix the legal deficiencies in their lawsuit, or have it thrown out. The 10 days are now up, so their lawsuit is basically dead.

The board members behind the PDGG’s lawsuit were Janet Coleman (WBAI), Carolyn Birden (WBAI), Manijeh Saba (WBAI), Luzette King (WPFW), Richard Uzzell (KPFT), Kim Kaufman (KPFK), Janet Kobren (KPFA), Heather Gray (affiliate station) and Janis Lane-Ewert (affiliate station).

Along the way, court filings regarding a falling out that the PDGG had with their attorney, Amy Sommer-Anderson, indicated that they ran their lawsuit much the way they had run the Pacifica network when they were in charge of it — by running up large bills they had no plans to pay. Sommer-Anderson filed to have herself removed as counsel because PDGG owed her more than $20,000 in overdue costs and attorneys’ fees.

Judge Petrou also rejected a demurrer from Summer Reese in the action that Pacifica brought to get a court order forcing her to abandon the offices inside which she had barricaded herself.  The court also rejected a motion from Reese, representing herself, to disqualify Judge Petrou from hearing the case — on unspecified charges of prejudice.

Posted in Bill Crosier, Carolyn Birden, Heather Grey, Janet Coleman, Janet Kobren, Janis Lane-Ewert, legal, PDGG, Richard Uzzell, Summer Reese, Tracy Rosenberg | Tagged | Comments Off

Devoted local station board member passes

paulaWe have learned that Local Station Board member Paula Erkkila, a member of SaveKPFA, died recently.

Fellow board member Margy Wilkinson, who is also currently serving as Pacifica’s interim executive director, reports: “Paula was present at our September board meeting and so we are all shocked by the news of her death. Paula was a mental health professional in Contra Costa county for many years. She was devoted to her patients and her community. Many saw Paula as a peace maker. She will be missed here and in all of the groups in which she was active.” More details as we get them.

Posted in KPFA | Comments Off

Pacifica: putting the pieces back together

pacifica logoLast month, we reported on the dire state of the books at Pacifica, the nonprofit that owns KPFA. Pacifica’s new CFO Raul Salvador and board chair Margy Wilkinson (a member of SaveKPFA) found an operation in disarray, after being locked out of the network’s National Office next door to KPFA for two months by ousted executive Summer Reese. Bookkeeping entries had not been made for nine months, and there were unpaid bills lying in large, unorganized stacks, some of which were slated to be shredded until Wilkinson intervened.

After weeks spent reconstructing financial data, Pacifica’s new staff have now issued the most complete network financial statements since Pacifica’s 2012 audit.

Stiffing pension to pay consultants

moneyThere was massive overspending at the National Office, which, according to a report from Pacifica National Finance Committee chair Brian Edwards-Tiekert “produced the largest loss the Pacifica National Office has posted since the height of Pacifica’s civil war in 2001.”

Adding injury to injury: while last year’s leadership was running up large bills with temp agencies, consultants, and law firms, they were skipping payments to the pension fund for Pacifica workers, and holding on to payroll taxes that were supposed to go to the IRS.

The good news: the overspending and deficits appear to have leveled out. So far this year, the network is basically breaking even, and there are more savings on the horizon. If Pacifica is able to restore its eligibility for Corporation for Public Broadcasting funding, it should run a healthy surplus. (CPB funding was suspended in 2013 over compliance issues, cutting the network’s revenues by over $1 million per year). | READ financial report, Excel financial spreadsheets (balance sheets, income statements, consolidated monthly sheet)

Crisis management

The biggest challenge facing Pacifica’s new leadership are the angry creditors they have inherited from the Reese era — several of which have initiated lawsuits.

But there is progress on this front as well: new interim executive director Margy Wilkinson negotiated a 21-month interest-free payment plan with an attorney who had been suing Pacifica over unpaid bills. And in early September, the Pacifica National Board voted to approve a 0% interest loan of $156,000 to cover an unpaid tax bill it inherited and head off further penalties. The loan comes from Aris Anagnos, co-founder of the Los Angeles Peace Center and the Humanitarian Law Project, as well as a long-time supporter of Pacifica’s KPFK in Los Angeles. (You can learn more about Anagnos by listening to this interview with him on KPFK). Anagnos had asked that the discussion of the loan and his name both be made public — to inspire other major supporters to join him in helping Pacifica through its current difficulties.

Now that Pacifica’s financial records are getting cleaned up, Wilkinson reports that it’s getting easier to push back on some claims by creditors. Recently, she talked down a vendor threatening to sue over money Pacifica had already paid.

Still unresolved is the money owed to Pacifica’s pension fund, and lawsuits over unpaid bills, including one from a temp agency Pacifica used heavily last year, and another from Free Speech Radio News, which was forced off the air in mid-2013 after Pacifica stopped making payments for its daily newscast.

RELATED STORIES:  Fixing Pacifica (includes financial report) | Lawyer representing board minority jumps ship | Finally, local control at KPFA

Posted in Aris Anagnos, Brian Edwards-Tiekert, budget, CPB, finances, KPFA, KPFK, KPFT, labor, Margy Wilkinson, Pacifica National Board, Raul Salvador, Summer Reese, WBAI, WPFW | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Fund drive success at KPFA: Uprising brings in the bucks

Sonali Kolkathar

Sonali Kolkathar

KPFA’s recent fund drive ended ahead of schedule, and exceeded its goal by more than $20,000.

The station’s biggest fundraising totals came from its newest show:  Uprising with Sonali Kolhatkar, which airs at 8 am.  Following an ambitious off-air fundraising campaign, Kolhatkar is set to follow in the footsteps of Democracy Now! by launching her show as a national television program on Free Speech TV.

KPFA’s new general manager Quincy McCoy has announced to staff an ambitious campaign to shrink the length of KPFA’s next fund drive, scheduled to begin in October — listen for details in the weeks to come.

Meanwhile, check out KPFA’s newest book talks by Diane Ackerman, Naomi Klein, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Reese Erlich, Vandana Shiva, Molly Antopol and others here.

Posted in finances, fund drives, Quincy McCoy, Sonali Kolkathar | Comments Off