Category Archives: elections and governance

Pacifica asks judge for TRO to remove Reese from its office

The Pacifica Foundation has asked the Alameda County Superior Court for a Temporary Restraining Order to remove former executive Summer Reese and her supporters from the Pacifica National Office in Berkeley, next door to KPFA. [Update: the court has continued this case to May 6 at 10am] After a new majority took control at the Pacifica National Board this spring and terminated her employment, a disgruntled Reese broke into the office with bolt cutters and began sleeping there with her mother and a handful of supporters, illegally blocking the network’s elected directors from access, making wild accusations, and preventing the … Continue reading

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Judge denies TRO to Pacifica board members backing terminated executive

Today, 9 members of the Pacifica National Board tried to convince an Alameda County Judge to overturn the actions of the democratically-elected majority sitting on that board. They lost. The plaintiffs are Janet Coleman (WBAI), Carolyn Birden (WBAI), Manijeh Saba (WBAI), Luzette King (WPFW), Richard Uzzell (KPFT), Kim Kaufman (KPFK), Janet Kobren (KPFA), Heather Grey (Affiliates) and Janis Lane-Ewert (Affiliates). They were out-voted when the new Pacifica majority began making changes last month, such as renewing its programming and listener base, and terminating interim executive director Summer Reese, who reacted by breaking into Pacifica’s offices with bolt cutters and refusing … Continue reading

Posted in Carolyn Birden, elections and governance, Heather Grey, Janet Coleman, Janet Kobren, Janis Lane-Ewert, Kim Kaufman, Luzette King, Manijeh Saba, Margy Wilkinson, Pacifica National Board, Richard Uzzell, Summer Reese | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Some still clinging to the past

[UPDATE 4/9/14 @10:05 am: The national board minority's attempt to get a Temporary Restraining Order to allow Reese to keep her job has been DENIED by the Alameda County Superior Court. More news as we have it.] Pacifica’s former interim executive director, Summer Reese, remains barricaded in her former office, which she broke into with bolt cutters four days after the elected Pacifica National Board voted 11-7 to end her employment. In violation of California law, she’s still illegally blocking elected members of Pacifica’s Board of Directors from entering the premises to look at financial records. Over the past week, … Continue reading

Posted in elections and governance, KPFA, KPFK, KPFT, Pacifica, Pacifica National Board, Summer Reese, WBAI, WPFW | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Hundreds of listeners demand Reese vacate office, others call her actions “unethical”

“This action reaches new levels of absurdity,” writes KPFA listener Catherine Bell to terminated exec Summer Reese, on a petition that has gathered over 500 signatures — and counting — in less than 72 hours. Listener Sandra Douglas writes to Pacifica’s fired executive: “Please, Please, Please stop your willful intent of the destruction of Pacifica.” And another listener, Sarah Kulberg, says: “Please, for the sake of Free Speech Radio, honor the process, and remove yourself from the office.” | ADD YOUR NAME “What are you accomplishing by locking yourself in the Pacifica office? You need to leave peacefully NOW,” writes listener … Continue reading

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Listeners and staff to terminated executive: just leave!

“The Pacifica Radio network is as fragile as it is important — it cannot afford this protracted disruption,” reads a petition launched by the network’s listeners and staff, addressed to terminated executive Summer Reese, who has barricaded herself in the national office next door to KPFA with her mother and a handful of supporters. “Please respect the decision by the majority of the elected Pacifica National Board, stop blocking elected board members’ access to financial records, leave Pacifica’s offices peacefully, and help make Pacifica’s leadership transition a smooth one,” the petition continues. Early signatories include former Pacifica National Affairs correspondent Larry Bensky, long-time community activist Ying Lee, KPFA’s UpFront co-host Brian Edwards-Tiekert, and former Pacifica board … Continue reading

Posted in elections and governance, KPFA, Margy Wilkinson, Pacifica, Pacifica National Board, Summer Reese, Summer Reese petition | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Long-overdue changes at Pacifica give hope for network’s renewal

Late last week, the Pacifica National Board (PNB), the governing body of the nonprofit that owns KPFA, voted to end the employment of then-interim executive director Summer Reese. Because the board did not immediately appoint a new interim executive director, the person in charge this week has been, per California law, the new PNB board chair, Margy Wilkinson.  Margy served as KPFA’s Local Station Board chair before becoming a Pacifica board member. She has a long history as a labor, civil rights and anti-war activist, serving on the City of Berkeley’s Labor Commission, and as the chief rank-and-file bargainer for a union representing University of … Continue reading

Posted in elections and governance, KPFA, Margy Wilkinson, Pacifica National Board, Summer Reese | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Who is Summer Reese?

Summer Reese came to the Pacifica board via sister station KPFK in Los Angeles. She is a close ally of former Pacifica treasurer Tracy Rosenberg, and was appointed by last year’s board as the network’s interim executive director at a salary of $105,000. (That’s higher that former ED Arlene Engelhardt‘s salary, which was $90,000.) According to a new article in the LA Weekly, Reese’s break-in at the Pacifica office included lawsuit threats. The article charts Reese’s background, which “includes stints working for the lawyer of Sirhan Sirhan, and for a man named Peymon Mottahedeh, a non-lawyer who nevertheless founded the Freedom … Continue reading

Posted in Arlene Engelhardt, elections and governance, KPFK, Pacifica National Board, Summer Reese, Tracy Rosenberg | Tagged , , | Comments Off

It’s all there: KPFA’s financial reports

Reese and her supporters — most notably Rosenberg – have responded to Reese’s termination by fabricating stories of corruption at KPFA, including the bizarre charge that KPFA has kept its finances secret. For the record: KPFA’s most recent FINANCIAL REPORTS are publicly available here, and show the station outperforming its budget for this year. Also, if anything were being concealed, responsibility would lie with the person in charge — which, for the past year and a half, has been Reese. If  wild accusations are landing in your email box, you may want to remember that Rosenberg was formally censured by KPFA’s Local Station Board for misappropriating … Continue reading

Posted in budget, elections and governance, KPFA, KPFA Local Station Board, Summer Reese, Tracy Rosenberg | Tagged , , | Comments Off

SaveKPFA’s Margy Wilkinson elected PNB chair, Tracy Rosenberg finally off the board

The Pacifica National Board (PNB) met February 7-10 in Washington, DC. After a close election, Margy Wilkinson, a member of SaveKPFA and former chair of KPFA‘s local board, became Pacifica’s new chair. Margy is a long-time union activist who is also involved with Grandmothers Against War and is an active volunteer in the Berkeley public schools. Over her two years as chair of KPFA’s local board, she demonstrated a real knack for bringing calm and civility to an often acrimonious setting. Here’s hoping she can keep it up at the PNB! In related news, this year’s PNB no longer includes … Continue reading

Posted in Brian Edwards-Tiekert, elections and governance, KPFA, Margy Wilkinson, Pacifica, Pacifica National Board, Tracy Rosenberg | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Pacifica board takes action on election, WBAI crisis

In its new configuration, the board took several notable actions. It passed a motion that will put long-overdue board elections into motion. Pacifica’s bylaws required it to hold elections in 2013, but Pacifica’s executive director Summer Reese failed to hire anyone to run them, and that year’s board ratified her inaction by voting to postpone elections — effectively extending many of their own terms. National board members also brought more transparency to discussions over what to do about long-suffering Pacifica station WBAI in New York City. After years of running massive deficits, the station was dealt a near-lethal blow when … Continue reading

Posted in budget, elections and governance, Free Speech Radio News, Pacifica, Pacifica National Board, Summer Reese, WBAI | Tagged , , , | Comments Off