Why is director von Gunten et al. jeopardising any Pacifica application for CPB money? And why is this tolerated? Public comment at the Su19Dec2021 KPFK LSB

Below are the two sets of public comment made at this local station board continuation meeting. The spoken ‘quote/unquote’ have been removed, & occasional emphases & other italicisation added. At the end of each comment are the links evidencing what’s said.

The audio recording was posted within the hour – salutations! – at https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/kpfk/211219/kpfk211219a.mp3 (1:09:53).

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Public comment #1

One point.

PacificaWatch has been contacted by members worried about the PNB Development Task Force not noticing its meetings with either a stream or joining details. This violates the CPB open meetings requirement. Calling a Pacifica deliberative body a taskforce or working group doesn’t evade this rule. That’s why the CPB June 2021 Compliance Booklet passage on meetings of boards, committees, & the CAB’s adds the phrase, “but are not limited to”. This addition corresponds to the Communications Act of 1934 saying, “or any advisory body of any such organization”.

In fact this taskforce had an open meeting, at Zoom, on September 27th. This notice was indeed placed by director Beth von Gunten – but her October, November, & December notices exclude the public. However, one can join the call by dialling (323) 393-4046, access code 504 258 #.

On May 22nd, 2020, CPB told ED Lydia Brazon & PNB Chair Alex Steinberg that to get CPB money Pacifica has to “demonstrate full compliance at the time of application”.

Does choosing to violate this CPB rule, in the face of repeated public warnings, violate two legal duties of a director: (1) acting in the best interests of Pacifica, & (2) acting prudently? (California Corporations Code, paragraph 5231(a).)

Does this chosen behavior disqualify director von Gunten from her office? Does this disqualify her from running as a 2022 director? Isn’t such behavior alien to Pacifica?

Thank you for reading this out.

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References:

•1• The open meeting requirement was fully discussed, & evidenced, in a Jan2021 post, immediately beneath the soothing video at https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/auditor-s-reports/auditors-reports-summary-notes-2/auditors-reports-summary-notes/.

•2• CPB 1June2021 Compliance Booklet (page 3; page 4 of the PDF), https://www.cpb.org/sites/default/files/stations/certification/csg-compliance-booklet-2021.pdf. Communications Act of 1934 (§ 396(k)(4), p. 216), embedded at https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/pacifica-sources/pacifica-documentary-sources/.

•3• Director von Gunten’s noticing of the M27Sep PNB Development Task Force meeting with Zoom details (oddly, this happens to be former PNB Chair Nancy Sorden’s private Zoom room; meeting noticed 20Sep, & updated 27Sep), https://kpftx.org/pacalendar/cal_show1.php?eventdate=20210927; the chosen noticings of the Oct, Nov, & Dec meets, which prevent the public from attending: https://kpftx.org/pacalendar/cal_show1.php?eventdate=20211025, https://kpftx.org/pacalendar/cal_show1.php?eventdate=20211122, & https://kpftx.org/pacalendar/cal_show1.php?eventdate=20211227.

•4• 22May2020 CPB letter from Kathy Merritt (Senior Vice President, Journalism & Radio) & Katherine Arno (Vice President, Community Service Grants & Station Initiatives) to ED Brazon & PNB Chair Steinberg (unpaginated; p. 1), https://mega.nz/file/cY8XCYLb#4IGXyzfasCgfm-GdaYYm6WPn2XaD4UcMJR8ZPTo-Q8c.

•5• California Corporations Code, § 5231(a), https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=CORP&division=2.&title=1.&part=2.&chapter=2.&article=3.

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PUBLIC COMMENT #2

Five points.

#1, it is obvious that Pacifica will explode late January & into February. But, for the record, what was the date of the PNB closed session when the directors agreed to instruct ED Brazon to hire Rogers & Co. as the FY2021 auditor?

#2, the FCC broadcasting license for both KPFA & KPFK expired December 1st. The FCC webpages show that KPFA’s has been extended 8 years, but that for KPFK has no extension. What can KPFK do?

#3, a new Central Services expense policy was adopted by the PNB on February 18th, with immediate effect. I have estimated that this has saved KPFK about $80,000 thru September 30th. But this policy hasn’t been implemented. Why? And why has no director or any other delegate mentioned this publicly?

#4, the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, EIDL, accepted an application for a maximum top-up of $1.5m from September 8th. And the Small Business Administration website says, “the last day that applications may be approved is December 31st, 2021” – that is, if funds haven’t been exhausted. So why is ED Brazon still flapping about, 3½ months later? Simply unbelievable.

#5, Ms von Gunten is sorely mistaken in deeming my public comment “a personal attack”. Please re-read what I said: it’s a statement of facts & a set of questions.

Thank you for reading this out.

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References:

Re #2: the FCC webpages for KPFA & KPFK: https://publicfiles.fcc.gov/fm-profile/kpfa, & https://publicfiles.fcc.gov/fm-profile/kpfk. The KPFA extension: “Renewal of License Authorization[:] This is to notify you that your Application for Renewal of License 0000155175, was granted on 11/22/2021 for a term expiring on 12/01/2029” – https://enterpriseefiling.fcc.gov/dataentry/api/download/lm/authorization/25076f917ada225d017ae8cca96c1071.

Re #3: (a) the 18Feb2021 PNB Central Services expense policy, adopted without objection, as per the minutes (item 4, #7, no pagination, being p. 3 of the PDF), https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb210218/pnb210218_7017_minutes.pdf; & (b) the workings for the estimated ~$80k saving for KPFK are in the ‘•7• Discussion: Expenses’ section at https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2021/11/19/today-kpfk-is-losing-money-at-a-rate-of-3500-dollars-a-day-105k-a-month-1-point-26m-a-year-as-per-the-docs-publicly-why-does-no-one-recognise-the-scale-the-urgency-qm/.

Re #4: details of the COVID-19 EIDL, about the exhaustion of funds & the 31Dec2021 deadline, are in the ‘•7• Discussion: Revenue’ section at https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2021/11/19/today-kpfk-is-losing-money-at-a-rate-of-3500-dollars-a-day-105k-a-month-1-point-26m-a-year-as-per-the-docs-publicly-why-does-no-one-recognise-the-scale-the-urgency-qm/. This also evidences the SBA requirements: collateral; cashflow analysis; etc.. The seriousness of the public remarks warrants the actual quotes from the SBA: “[t]he program ends December 31, 2021 or when funds are exhausted, whichever occurs sooner” (p. 2 (see also p. 1), emphases added), https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2021-09/COVID-EIDL-FAQs-090821-508.pdf; they follow this up by saying, “[t]he last day that applications may be approved is December 31, 2021” (p. 13, all original emphases: an indication of their intended strictness in this matter). This contrasts with the behaviour of ED Brazon at the Tu9Nov PNB Finance Cttee, where she was still flapping about: “we will be submitting on paper 2 million realizing that 350 – well, that 500,000, urgh, is, um – it-it would be reduced by, and, um, and see how much of that is, um, you know, we end up getting. So, we’re in the process of-of doing that […] we will be, argh, subsequently applying for, um, more of the loan […] and we wanna do this before the [calendar] year-end, so we are, argh, anxious to move ahead with that” (36:18, emphases added) – https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/211109/finance211109a.mp3. Just doesn’t cut it, does it?

Re #5, not a reference, but the blinding obvious: this is a matter of accountability – nothing to do with personalities. It’s called being scrutinised – for what one does & doesn’t do. Instead of assuming the role of the victim, the martyr, being precious, the rational response to public comment #1 would have been to reflect, & recognise the reality. It was an everyday exercise in encouraging the making accountable of an officeholder – and a signalling of the serious consequences of what is happening & being tolerated. Those acts of commission & omission objectively do the work of the breakers, even if the intent is otherwise. They cannot be allowed to pass in silence.

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