Victory.

victory

The voting is over…

Congratulations to the new Board members, Joe Uris, Michael Wells, Jen Davis, and Adin Rogovin ! The members have spoken, and the numbers were decisive. Now the Station can look forward to some progress, and the Staff can look forward to some peace.

There was an 180-vote spread between the first (winning) four candidates, and the rest.  The other Keeper candidate, Robin Ryan, came in fifth, with over 700 votes cast.  Everyone knows there’s a lot of work to be done, and people are already pitching in in a big way, notably Adin with financial work, and the Development Committee, which has already organized the Return of the KBOO Book and Record Sale!

Keeper statement

STATEMENT FROM THE COMMITTEE TO KEEP KBOO AS KBOO
                                 – WHAT WE STAND FOR
                                 —  CANDIDATES WE ENDORSE
We believe in KBOO as a listener-supported non-commercial community radio station, and we reject the contention that the listener supported model, successful for the past 45 years, is “no longer sustainable.”
We do not agree that KBOO will go extinct unless it abandons its basic values and makes fundamental changes in the way it carries out its mission. We believe that KBOO’s programming — telling truth to power, speaking to and for the 99%, presenting grass roots authentic music, avoiding commercialism, covering the multitude of local culture and organizations — can win a large audience, particularly because KBOO is the only mass media in the Portland area that consistently presents that programming.
We do not accept that KBOO has to “corporatize” to survive.
Corporatization involves toning down or eliminating controversial programming. The corporatizers would dismiss most staff, who today and for nearly all for KBOO’s history concentrated on training, supervising, and evaluating volunteers, particularly on air, to insure quality radio production. The fired staff and many locally produced shows would be replaced by nationally syndicated productions as well as a “development” staff seeking corporate, government, foundation, and rich people’s grants and gifts. And the corporatizers would concentrate power in an Executive Director, advised by a policy Board, thus marginalizing membership, staff voice, and its committee structure.
Those who support corporatization think it is realistic. We think it suicidal, alienating our core of devoted volunteers, supporters, and members who appreciate our current mix of national and mostly local programming and our democratic participatory character. These, who make up our base of programming and support, will vote with their feet and checkbook, and abandon KBOO.  This route to utter failure is not uncommon. Basic Business School texts examine the terrible results when once successful and healthy enterprises, having a bad year or two or three, but still with a loyal following, move into panic mode and conclude they have to quickly increase income, then “rebrand” and find a new trendy product line, often in an area in which they are poorly equipped to compete. These enterprises almost always painfully die. As the business school texts emphasize, to maintain and build an enterprise in KBOO’s condition, with traditions and a large loyal customer/membership base, requires building on its strengths, improving its product line, and building its base of support.
 
We believe that the listener-supported model is at the heart and soul of KBOO. 
As for the last 45 years, to this day members continue to provide KBOO’s primary support whenever they are asked.
We believe that together we can get KBOO back on its feet.
For several years, during the long economic downturn, KBOO has run deficits. This year, management at KBOO tried something dramatically different. The 2013 budget was set with an expectation of raising more than 20% of KBOO’s revenue from “major donor support,” “business contributions,” and “fundraising and co-sponsorships.” This strategy has not worked. None of these sources has produced the sums hoped for. KBOO is projected to end this fiscal year with a deficit of $50,000 or more, primarily because the Board and the New Executive Director cancelled the Winter Membership Drive in expectations of grants and major donor gifts that have not materialized.
We do not believe this enlarged deficit signals the demise of KBOO. We do believe that it is time to go back to basics – to our current members and to build membership. KBOO, because it practices what it preaches, that is democracy and confidence in one another, has hundreds of committed volunteers, supporters, and alumni, who will reach out to friends and the organizations the are active in to provide financial support to the radio station that serves them and contributes to Portland’s highly participatory organizational and civic culture. We see this as the way to restore KBOO’s financial health.
 
What needs to be done?
KBOO has financial reserves that will allow it to survive this deficit. KBOO’s loyal listeners and friends continue to support its work. The 2013 Pledge Drives, those that were held, exceeded expectations. Underwriting support from our loyal business supporters is continuing to grow. And KPOJ, with its generally progressive hosts, did cut into our audience, but has been shut down by its corporate owner, and we will reach out to that audience.
We believe that KBOO has to concentrate its attention on increasing membership, which will require:
– Building a more active relationship with current members and reaching out to former members.
– Introducing ourselves to people who do not yet know about KBOO, especially those who listened to KPOJ.
– Reaching out to the organizations that we serve, the whole range of civic and social justice and environmental groups, whose staff and members we often interview and feature on KBOO, seeking their support including promoting KBOO to their membership.
As to grants and gifts, we will operate smart and creative, taking advantage of real opportunities but never relying on what so many dead and forgotten organizations came to learn, that these funders rarely provide long term support, and once dependent on grants and gifts, the organization has to increasingly bend its goals to fit those of its funders, thus undermining its own mission.
We believe that KBOO can restore its member base to 6000 and beyond, and restore a broad base of financial support. This has been the model that KBOO has used for 45 years. We know it has worked, and we believe it must and can work still.
 
What about the coming election?
An important KBOO election is coming up. The ballots have already been mailed to its membership, the votes to be counted late next month, September 15th at KBOO’s annual membership meeting at which ballots can still be cast. This election has candidates from both this Committee to Keep KBOO as KBOO and those who would corporatize KBOO. Election results will thus greatly influence KBOO policy on meeting its current challenges. The Committee to Keep KBOO as KBOO has endorsed five candidates for the four open positions. They are, Jen Davis, Adin Rogovin,  Robin Ryan, Joe Uris, and Michael Wells.
 
There’s  an element of public service in the role of journalists that I don’t see honored at or in other media. The community radio station stands bravely prepared to gather news according to the high standard of actually informing community .
                                                             Robin Ryan, Board Candidate
           
 
My experience in financial management, group facilitation, and social change
are assets I will bring to the KBOO Board and community. My relevant
experience includes 20 years of service on non-profit Boards and Staff including
                                     Seven Generations Land Trust, The Center for Wise Democracy, Climate Neutral
 Network, Alpha Farm Community,  Veterans for Peace, Trillium Hollow
Cohousing, and New Orleans Community Congress II.
 
What you can do.
We urge you to:
·         Go to our Facebook page, that provides more detail and background on our analysis and program.
·         Become a KBOO member and a radioactivist in alternative community people’s radio and join with us in the Committee to Keep KBOO as KBOO.
·         Vote in the coming KBOO election.
For More Information email KeepKBOO9@gmail.com, leave your phone #, and we’ll get right back to you.
                                       Adin Rogovin, Board Candidate
My board goals are to build listenership, build membership, stabilize station 
finances and work with members, volunteers, staff and board to promote
 organizational stability and effectiveness.  KBOO operates in an entirely
different media environment than 10 or 20 years ago. We also need to figure
out KBOO’s role in building and supporting community in a rapidly changing
society – as a resource, an advocate and a model organization. I was Station
Manager from 1978-1981, another time when KBOO was in turmoil. I have an
                                   FCC General license and can talk to engineers. I have taught grant writing at
                                    Portland State and wrote a book on nonprofit finances.
                                    Michael Wells, Board Candidate                                                                  
Like you, I love and revere the free media, uncensored information,
community connections and musical  and cultural diversity which KBOO
brings to our lives. As a young woman in the 1990s I was first involved
with KBOO answering phones, then created a special KBOO program on
homelessness. KBOO folks welcomed me with open  arms to learn
recording and production skills, and I went out and taped many other
 programs .  I have served on two Boards; the Garden Laboratory School
 and Orlo Environmental Arts.  In these and other positions I’ve helped
hire staff, problem solve with diverse groups, do public outreach and
                                                organizational development, write grants, negotiate contracts, and work with budgets.

Jen Davis, Board Candidate

KBOO has a unique blend of news, public affairs programming and
varied music that speak to many diverse and underserved communities.
                                                 This programming must be supported and strengthened. Changing
                                                  listener habits, new technologies and options together with a failure to
adequately maintain the membership base and seek out new listeners
 have put the station in great danger. If elected to the board my first
 priorities would be to increase support through: better region wide
 publicity, stronger efforts to regain and add members, stronger graphic
 presentation of programming, a strong presence on social media, making
KBOO more accessible and financially secure.  These efforts at
                                                transparency and public outreach in addition to adding more listeners
                                                  and members will also make the station a more democratic  organization.                    
                                                 Joe Uris, Board Candidate

KBOO ballots are out! Election hysteria follows…

ballotKBOO BALLOTS ARE OUT–VOTE NOW!

SEE BELOW FOR ELECTION HYSTERIA UPDATE…you’ll love it!

The Keep KBOO as KBOO Committee/Friends of KBOO recommend the following five candidates:

Michael Wells,   Adin Rogovin,   Jennifer Davis,   Robin Ryan and   Joe Uris.

Note that there are four slots available in the Election; I recommend choosing among the five listed above.

This is a crucial election. We need to get our excellent and dedicated people on the Board, to avoid any further dalliance with the corporate capitulationism that has so far cost the KBOO radio community the proceeds of a Winter Membership Drive, and a great deal of stress and division. The slate listed above will promote the visibility of the Station, adding listeners, members, and financial strength.  They are dedicated to a truly accessible and transparent process.  Please choose your candidates and get your ballot in by mail, at the station, or in person at the Annual Meeting:

ANNUAL MEETING SUNDAY SEPT. 15, 2013, 1 TO 4 PM

MATT DISHMAN COMMUNITY CENTER 77 NE KNOTT ST PORTLAND, OR

Ballots taken to the Meeting are due by 2:40 PM deadline!

Ben Hoyne, a KBOO Board candidate that I do NOT recommend, has posted these words on Blue Oregon, the Democratic Party-aligned website:
“My goal is to get 1,000 people to pay $20 to become KBOO members and VOTE in the September board election. The ballot will be mailed to you; all you have to do is mail it back.
“We need to get 1,000 people willing to place a $20 bet on progressive media, on community radio, on KBOO. Ballots will be mailed in late July, so you need to become a member soon.”

http://www.blueoregon.com/2013/06/election-no-one-talking-about/

Ben and his ilk would bring back the corporate Board Policy Manual and the top-down management that the Keepers have worked to abolish at KBOO.  That’s why we need to step up with our ballots and participation, and move towards our goal of a fully Internet-savvy people’s media hub.

http://kboo.fm

https://www.facebook.com/KeepKBOO

ELECTION HYSTERIA UPDATE

The Keep KBOO committee, which is composed largely of KBOO volunteers, has been using the volunteer phone list to contact eligible voters.  Andrew Geller, the last Staff member still aligned with Station Navigator/Ringleader Lynn Fitch, has been on the air with a recorded and repeated commentary framing the election as being about financial losses (without mentioning that Fitch spiked the Winter Membership Drive, thus eliminating $50-$70K in income).  Rabia Yeaman, the last Fitch stalwart on the Board, resigned today.  And Andrew sent out the following email with mass distribution–evidently intending to imply that volunteer-to-volunteer phoning is a breach of security, and pretending that “all your personal contact information” is “compromised.”  Prepare to be frightened–very frightened:

This internal KBOO email is not for wider distribution.
I am very sorry that I must send you this email.

It is likely that all of your personal contact information stored at KBOO was recently compromised and is currently in the possession of one or more individuals not authorized to possess it. The breach appears to have not been achieved electronically, but I am nonetheless very sorry that it has occurred.
This past week, I have received several messages from KBOO volunteers regarding phone calls they recently received from individuals representing a group referring to itself as ‘Keep KBOO KBOO.’ This group is offering voting suggestions regarding the upcoming KBOO board election, having multiple people use the KBOO volunteer list to operate a phone bank.
In the course of my job, I must occasionally print and distribute a KBOO membership list for KBOO members. This is always carried out in strict accordance with both Oregon state law and the KBOO Bylaws. The information I include in those printed reports is limited to full donor name/s and a complete mailing address.  I never include phone numbers or email addresses. At no time do I produce volunteer lists, unless requested by the Volunteer Coordinator.
Much more is known about the details of these calls and callers, as well as others involved in procuring and distributing the volunteer list, than I am at liberty to relay here. But you should know that KBOO staff are pursuing the issue until all details are known and a proper resolution is achieved for those affected and for the operation of KBOO Radio.
If you receive a phone call from anyone regarding the upcoming election, especially if they are not a known person to you, then please note all details you can about the call (date, time, phone # of caller, male/female voice, name of caller, any affiliation offered and what they say) and email it all to me.
I will keep your identity anonymous throughout this process if you request so.
Once again, I am very sorry that this has occurred.
Andrew Geller
Membership Director
KBOO COMMUNITY RADIO

Board election approaches

Here is part of an email from Board member Mark Sherman:

(from Mark Sherman, member of the Committee to Keep KBOO as KBOO & recently appointed KBOO Foundation Board member)
Greeting KBOO friends,

It has been too long since I have sent out an email. Sorry. I would like to review some of the issues raised at Tabor Space and comment on where KBOO is today. Significant progress has been made in the last 3 months. The highlights include:

  1. The board has formed a negotiating team to work collaboratively and in good faith with the staff to address their concerns in the context of union negotiations.
  2. Remember the top down, corporate styled, board policy manual? It is now being modified by a new work group. The board has suspended the board policy manual until the update effort is completed.
  3. KBOO members can now contact the board directly through the board web page. This was one of my biggest concerns. The board should be responsive and accessible to its members.
  4. Members can now join the governance committee. This is not a big gain. However, the development committee, which has been dormant for too long shall begin meeting again beginning Monday, Aug 5 at 6:00 at KBOO. This will prove to be a critically important committee in the near future.  We need your ideas.
  5. I don’t think you have to worry about KBOO making significant changes to programming without input from the membership. Consider joining the programming committee.

Most of our initial concerns have been or are being addressed. You are the reason for this success. Your attendance at board meetings, your participation in committees, your organizing efforts, your lobbying the board, and your continued support of KBOO made these changes possible. 

The next KBOO election is critical. Please ensure your membership is up to date and you are eligible to vote. If your membership has recently lapsed, when you renew, be sure to pick up a ballot at KBOO. Thanks for being KBOO members! KBOO belongs to all of us.

……………………………………………………………………………………end of Mark’s email…………………………………

Keep KBOO will be issuing an endorsement statement soon.  In the meantime, here is a preview list of Keeper-endorsed candidates:  Michael Wells, Adin Rogovin, Jennifer Davis, Robin Ryan and Joe Uris.

–Theresa

 

Half-efforts to justify a manufactured crisis

One-day membership drive? Really?tower

KBOO is suffering a cash crisis, in large part, because the 2012 Winter membership drive was cancelled by the new, brilliant and innovative management.  We lost somewhere between fifty and seventy thousand dollars.  However, the new  management has claimed that thousands of dollars at a time will come in to replace those funds–they were to come from a huge boost in corporate underwriting.  We are still waiting for these funds. Fortunately, from decades of funding community radio in the correct manner–that is, receiving funds directly from the listeners–we still have some reserves left.

We do need a supplementary drive, and a small one, to wedge between the Spring and Fall drives.  It should last three or four days, it should be promoted with a street party with some notable bands, and it should be preceded by substantial promotions on our own air, and on friendly and supportive media.  That is what has worked in the past.  If successful, it will raise twenty thousand or so, but more importantly, it will also promote good will and wide awareness of our mission, so that the succeeding Fall and Winter contributors remember what a good time they had.

Sadly, this is not happening.  The emphasis on South America actually comes as a snarky punishment against those volunteers and Staff who criticized the absence of a Winter Drive–‘it’s winter in South America, get it?   Here’s your chance to raise money now with your old hippie public affairs model.’ And we get only one day to try to make it happen.  Guess what the new management will say, if proceeds are indeed puny.

To counter this state of affairs, I will in fact apply my dead level best, along with other KBOO loyalists, to raise funds in one day on this arbitrarily, angrily selected topic. 

In fact, KBOO listeners, and Cascadians, would benefit from News You’re Not Supposed To Know about things like the TPP ripoff, the Kissinger/Videla/Pinochet connection, and how those anti-civilian terror techniques are now ranged against us in the USA (and for the same reason).  The added ferocity of the circumpolar winds around Antarctica mean fires and drought, in areas that compete with Cascadia for produce exports.  The overfishing of the Southern Seas affects your food prices.  There is much to learn.

Tune in and join KBOO.  Your monthly pledge of $10 will go a long way to keeping real people’s radio on the air.  We need it more than ever, as the ten thousand luring voices of the Web threaten to turn all efforts into blind, passive “consumerism.”  Got any fight left in you?

I do.

Read the posts below for a clearer view of the crisis at KBOO radio.  Good news: we have successfully appointed three Board members who will not go along with the downsizing/corporate agenda!  The General Meeting is coming, and if three hundred of us come, we can reverse the damage to KBOO policy and get the Board we want!

 

Special Programming: Public Affairs on 07/19/13

Air date:

Fri, 07/19/2013 – 8:00am10:00pm

Short Description:

One-day Flash Drive Fundraiser: Focus on the South Hemisphere

Friday July 19th – 8 am to 10 pm – Flash Drive Fundraiser

Join KBOO for an audio tour of the Southern hemisphere – from Antarctica (really) to the Equator, during our one-day (Winter) Flash Drive fundraiser. Winter, as it’s all from the Southern hemisphere.

The Corporate faction shows its hand

UPDATE: Board meeting tonight, Jupiter hotel.  Details below.

I am Theresa Mitchell.  The following is my opinion.

KBOO has been broadcasting since 1968, and has had various Board constituents since that time.  The current Board includes what I  call the pro-corporate faction, consisting of Hadrian Micciche (appointed), Paula Small (elected if I recall correctly), and Rabia Yeaman (appointed).  I call them ‘pro-corporate’ because they supported the Station Manager Lynn Fitch in her nearly-successful attempt last April to fire every one of the Staff, and because they support the replacement of the KBOO Mission Statement and Policies with a corporate boilerplate ‘Board Policy Manual.’  They also get that appellation for their usage of sneering language towards the strong Left faction at KBOO, and for supporting Lynn when she hired a union-buster versus the Staff.  That’s standard fare for corporate America, and of course, it is wrong acting, and it is a big reason why we have KBOO, as an alternative.

Since the firing attempt, I have been convinced that a small faction desired to remake KBOO as a toothless and inoffensive boutique station.  If the Staff had been removed in its entirety, this change would already be well underway.  So, I have fought ruthlessly, because I know that in this Jim Crow secret police state we call America, we cannot afford to lose a strong island of dissent, no matter how small.  I think that despite the occasional comment to the effect that “radio is dead” from the same crowd that would bleach out KBOO, the fact is, really, radio is powerful.  For one thing, KBOO’s broadcasts direct people to books and websites they would not encounter through random browsing or via corporate-owned news.

This morning, for example, I listened to Fred Branfman, author of “Voices From the Plain of Jars,” on Veterans’ Voice, the only radio program in the area generated by antiwar vets.  He spoke of the unspeakable horror of the bombing of Laos, and of the twenty million slain by US imperialism since 1945.  It was powerful and left me shaking.  Nothing like that will ever be heard on a station tied to corporations or major corporate-owned political parties.  So, my assumption is that some of the people offended by such truth would like nothing better than to end principled dissent at KBOO–by silencing the station altogether, if necessary.  Really, once I realized that the Winter Pledge Drive had been cancelled to create a crisis, I knew the fight was on, and that the core of the opposition intended to destroy the station.  Ironically, this fiscally destructive faction is the one that continually asserts that KBOO is failing financially.

Here, then, is a communication from the core of the corporatists:

 I’m a Board member of the KBOO Foundation. I invite you to attend the next KBOO Board meeting, where we will be discussing:

1. A Board member soliciting people to engage in illegal behavior.

2. A Board member who had no authorization to spend Foundations funds, yet did so, and wastefully.

3. A Board member who seeks to toss out all of the work done by consultants to KBOO, paid for by a foundation grant, which, if this is done, will put every granting organization on notice that KBOO will likely make poor use of any additional funding. So much for grants to help pay for items called for in the KBOO Strategic Plan, such as the Media Center. That’s $35,000 wasted on consultants and how much wasted on an unrealizable Strategic Plan?

4. A report from the Finance Committee that the Board is neglecting its fiduciary responsibilities.

5. A report that KBOO is on track to lossing its broadcasting license for failure to have a Community Advisory Board, as the FCC and our By-laws require, and that this failure of KBOO to follow its By-laws has been reported to the state’s Attorney Generals office.

 Plus, you can witness the disruption of the Board’s business by a small number of disaffected members, should that happen again, as it did at our last meeting. In addition, you may see people supposedly seeking to protect KBOO values again engage in name-calling, belittling, as well as a general failure by members to carry out their responsibility to let each other know when some are doing harm to another person or a group of people with such behavior, as well as the failure of the Board to ask such people to stop that behavior or leave, all in violation of the “KBOO philosophy. 

 The meeting is Monday, June 24th at 6pm (arrive early as the meeting may be standing room only). KBOO is located at 20 SE 8th Avenue, Portland, OR 9721

 Please contact me if you would like to see the Board agenda and related supporting documents, as well as background information about current events at KBOO, and the long standing disfunction of the KBOO Board.

Hadrian Micciche
…………………………………………………………………………….

All of Hadrian’s charges are trumped up or exaggerated, as will be seen.

The first accusation refers to an attempt to discover an anonymous blogger.  If that’s illegal activity, then all journalists are criminals.

The second is the latest attempt to get rid of Board President SW Conser.  He got some legal counsel some months ago, not regarding the Union by the way, in his capacity as Board CEO.  The counsel was vital to KBOO, and the accusation is that only the full Board could have authorized it.  However, long-standing nonprofit precedent indicates this is not so.

Third: it isn’t just one Board member that wants to toss out the disgusting corporate Board Policy Manual.  The money was wasted as soon as it was granted, because KBOO is a people’s organization.

Fourth comes a diatribe by the Treasurer that hypocritically ignores the fiscal disaster of the corporate makeover (see above).

Regarding the fifth accusation, it is not true that KBOO does not have community “advisement.”  Hadrian is attempting to entangle the FCC by digging up an irrelevant and obscure provision relating to licensing.  Not only that, he has attempted to bring in State law enforcement, thus guaranteeing the further destruction of the budget, following on the Station Manager’s cancellation of the Drive. If he were sincerely concerned with legal compliance, of course, he could have first put any real problem on the Board agenda, so that enforcement could be avoided.  But he obviously wishes to destroy KBOO.   His diatribe above refers to the May Board meeting, in which he infuriated an already angry crowd of KBOO supporters, by arrogantly stating that they were only there by gracious permission– and then walking out, breaking quorum.  If KBOO won’t go corporate, then it can go away.

I encourage you to call Lynn Fitch, Station Manager for KBOO, at 503-231-8032, and ask her if she supports Hadrian’s multilateral attack on KBOO.

 

UPDATE:  The Board will be meeting tonight at the Jupiter Hotel (adjoining KBOO) ballroom “Dream Box.”

KRAB radio in Seattle was once a flourishing community radio station–one of Lorenzo Milam’s projects, just as KBOO was. In 1984, however, the KRAB Board decided to sell off its transmitter, deciding that it was impossible to raise enough funds for its operation. KRAB became a memory.  Information on the sellout is sketchy and incomplete, but it is clear that Hadrian Micciche was involved at KRAB at the time.  http://www.krab.fm/ProgramGuides/KRAB-Guide-xxx-1978-07.pdf  http://www.krab.fm/ProgramGuides/KRAB-Guide-xxx-1978-05.pdf  Hadrian and Paula have made statements at the Board to the effect that the KBOO Foundation is not obligated to have a transmitter ‘in order to fullfill our obligation as a media resource center.’

“…Tom Robbins’ unforgettable Sat. night show ‘Notes From the Underground’. KRAB’s free-form, ultra-eclectic format was a revelation, an education and an inspiration. Lorenzo deserves recognition as a pioneer of community radio nationwide, and a true hero in the greening of Puget Sound culture in particular…..”

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/reader_feedback/public/display.php?source_id=2018545217&source_name=mbase

Was Hadrian a part of the decision to sell?

Some may be unaware that it is possible for the Board to put the transmitter up for sale, effectively ending local community radio.  This Board, unfortunately, under the influence of Treasurer Paula Small and Hadrian, has given full executive authority to an Executive Director, as if KBOO were some for-profit retailer.  KBOO has even taken on a corporate boilerplate Board Policy Manual http://kboo.fm/sites/default/files/KBOO%20BPM.pdf  that forbids Board members from expressing dissenting views in public. The result has been a crash in Staff morale (after an attempted mass firing), a substantial (yet manageable) financial difficulty following the cancellation of the Winter Membership Drive, and the appearance of bitterly opposed factions.  It is clear, now, with Hadrian’s false charges outlined in the article above, and with his attempt to create fraudulent regulatory attention, that he wishes to destroy the Station.  Is this because he is not getting his way, or was it the plan all along?

KBOO members will indeed be attending tonight.  That’s not a bad thing–it’s the participatory paradigm that created KBOO as it is today.  I predict that Hadrian’s exaggerated and false accusations ( http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2013/06/423799.shtml ) will fall flat, and that KBOO will (of course) endure.  (I must trust to KBOO members for that, as I must be at work this evening.)  If the level of attendance feels rancorous to some, it will feel empowering to anyone who cares about moving forward with people-controlled media.

KBOO Board meeting packed

kpfa

KBOO has officially adopted a corporate Board Policy Manual, hired a corporate-style Executive Director with sweeping powers, and has been forced to accept a Staff Union.  The reasons given center on the ideas that KBOO “needs leadership,” and that there is a financial crisis.  But the financial crisis was brought on by the new Executive, by cancelling the Winter Pledge Drive.  Now these changes are being opposed.

Before the June 4th KBOO Board meeting, it was possible for some to say that ‘a very few friends of staffers have control.’  Now 74 people have appeared, 70 at least in opposition to the changes, and the Executive Power advocates must now become more shrill in their contention that the Left is unwanted at the Station–because that’s what they have left.  That, and the contention that really, there’s a silent majority out there somewhere that wants something at KBOO…that they alone can determine.

The meeting was the equivalent of an antiwar demonstration, in that there are dozens of people represented for each person actually present.  The intimidation factor makes that a certainty–it is psychologically difficult to actually take time to appear in person to make a complaint.  The Fitch faction can’t manage the equivalent, and they know it.  So now they want to pack the election with just-for-that-purpose members, buying in at the minimum level of economic participation.  “Get a membership for your kids….”  See links below.  (By the way, Lynn Fitch is just doing what she was hired to do.  But that’s the problem.)

Please go right now to kboo.fm, and sign up your entire family and friends for $10 and $20 memberships, and MAKE SURE THEY VOTE in the August Board elections!  And don’t be fooled by all the extra requirements for running for the Board.   They aren’t legally required. The official Bylaws, as registered with the State of Oregon, simply require that you be a member, and that you put in your statement/application by June 28th. 
Reminder:  Committee to Keep KBOO as KBOO meeting this Friday, 6 – 7:30pm, at the home of Bill and Johanna, 1615 SE 35th place, s. of Hawthorne

AN ANGRY, CONCERNED CROWD
Over seventy KBOO members and volunteers crowded into the KBOO Station June 3rd, to confront the KBOO Board about its management actions, technique and tone. An attempt to limit member discussion to ten minutes was pressured down. Quorum was repeatedly interrupted, as Board member Hadrian–loudly hooted at for his comment that the Members should be grateful, for being graciously allowed into a Board session–left in a huff (returning after an hour), and Treasurer Paula Small left within an hour. Ms. Small’s companion Kurt Lauer, a vocal pro-corporatization volunteer, also left early, saying he had heard all he needed to. Member Mark Sherman complained that his attempts to introduce agenda items for the evening’s meeting had been repeatedly rebuffed and ignored.

REVERSE COURSE!
Award-winning national poet Barbara LaMorticella, radio personality Joe Uris, and dozens of others, expressed the view that the Station had floated into dangerous waters. The attempt to get rid of Staff en masse by “Station Navigator” Lynn Fitch was often mentioned, and many expressed concern that the Winter Membership drive had been cancelled, with some saying the cancellation had been an attempt to manufacture an economic crisis. KBOO commenter/interviewer Per Fagereng said, regarding the comment against member funding that “we can’t keep milking that cow,” that, as a former dairy farmer, he knew that cows had to be milked twice per day to avoid discomfort and health problems!

FITCH TAKES THE HEAT
Many members lamented the top-down and heedless management style of Fitch, saying she was either unaware of, or more likely, hostile to the culture of the Station, blaming her for encouraging numerous snarky comments against the KBOO left/dissent community (i.e. “fruits, nuts and flakes,” “not just for communists anymore,” “tinfoil hats,” etc.). Lynn Fitch responded that she had not personally made the comments, saying that Staffer Justin had come up with a pejorative-listing comic t-shirt, and that Board Member Rabia had invented “Fruits, Nuts, and Flakes.” This explanation was met with jeers. Many speakers called for Fitch’s removal as Executive Director/Navigator. Ms. Fitch took notes during much of the comment, occasionally leaving the room, and left the meeting early, saying she would not quit.

DETERMINED MEMBERS
KBOO commentator/interviewer Linda Olsen/Osterland complained that the Station Navigator had arrogated the airwaves in violation of the station’s “dirty laundry” rules, taking hours of air time, to this point, with her views. Some commenters mentioned Fitch’s recent 15-minute broadcast, saying it was lacking in substance and embarrassing, and castigated Fitch for claiming she would take comments on her previous broadcasts– while actually only allowing written questions, from a friendly monitor. Olsen/Osterlund called for the board to rein in Fitch, noting that precedent had been set for volunteer programmers to begin taking their own views to the air. Numerous commenters questioned the majority of the Board’s inaction in the face of economic setbacks, particularly the loss of Membership Drive funds. This writer criticized the idea that Drive funds would be replaced by members joining at events, saying that had never happened in previous attempts. Former Treasurer Gene Bradley pointed out that the new Board Policy Manual was legally trumped by the requirements of the KBOO Bylaws as registered with the State of Oregon, and that additional and confusing requirements for persons running for the Board were not required, and should be listed as “optional.” Board member Michael Papadopolous agreed with that assessment, emphasizing that the Bylaws were to be heeded.

DISSENTING VIEWS
Portland internet commenter Ed Kraus, who in past years had been denied a program over his anti-Palestinian rhetoric, complained that the anti-Fitch crowd was hypocritical, and as bad as Rush Limbaugh in rejecting opposing views. He urged that Fitch “be given a chance.” Former Board member Keller Henry, arriving after two hours, pointed out that the crowd was mostly old and White and that, regarding Fitch’s leadership, “any” change would be worth a try. Board Member Hadrian, bizarrely, stood up and walked around the room with a clipboard,  attempting to get signatures to promote a $10 corporate Board training course.  Former Interim News Director Becky castigated current staffer Ani Haines, and volunteer Will Mustoe defended her.

NO ACTION TAKEN
Despite the size and determination of the attending members, the Board took no action to restrict or remove Fitch, to make up lost Drive funds, nor to address complaints about accessibility to the Board agenda, nor to restore the tried-and-true member funding emphasis of the Station. A list was taken to contact Members for a Special Membership Meeting. The meeting spilled onto the sidewalk outside the Station after adjournment.

OPINION
My overall impression of the event was that, first, the era of ignoring the determination of KBOO members, to move forward as a transparent and participatory institution, is beginning to end. There was no confusion among the vast majority of attendees, that the Station’s culture has been upended in order to force an unwanted and disastrous mutation, nor that there is any consideration for the will of the members among the perpetrators (chiefly Board members Paula, Hadrian, and Rabia, with their Navigator Lynn Fitch). Despite the “silent majority” posturing by this group, the will of the Members is clear. Effective action will now be taken to reverse these changes, and to revitalize KBOO in the right way. However, the fight has just begun.

IT GETS WORSE

It gets worse: there’s an effort to pack the Board election.  The idea is to buy $10 memberships for kids, and $20 memberships for Blue Oregon supporters, just to skew the results.  www.campaign4kboo.org/home/
http://www.blueoregon.com/2013/06/election-no-one-talking-about/

We have to counter this with our own campaign.  I’m signing up my sisters.  Lots of work ahead!