Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A bit of Audit nitty gritty


Cerene couldn't get in to disrupt (she. again, begged twice), but—as Indigopirate so observantly demonstrates—you didn't have to do a two-way to get the drift. 
_________________________

In the course of the 17 April 2017 PNB Audit Committee meeting, following lengthy discussion as to how to construct an RFP for potential auditors, as well as how to identify, invite, and/or approach potential auditors, the chair presented the following information provided by Sam Agarwal, Pacifica’s Chief Financial Officer.

All stations are behind schedule submitting the financial information necessary for the 2015 audit. They are being reminded and encouraged to provide the necessary information. The national office cannot proceed without this information. There will then necessarily be adjustments and corrections before information can be provided to the auditors. The national office is severely short-staffed and is encountering real difficulty recruiting qualified people. 

The National Office will likely need at least three to four weeks to bring the books to an audit stage suitable to present to the auditors.

The CFO says he will provide further details the next day, 18 April.

The CFO points out that an audit generally takes approximately three months, at the least.

The completion of the 2015 FY audit then would fall, according to this timeline, approximately four months away, that is, mid-August.

The stated deadline of the CA AG’s office of charitable trusts is 27 August.

In the then-following further lengthy discussion as to how to frame and construct the RFP for potential auditors, the committee concludes that the RFP will/must state a deadline for the auditors’ completion of the FY15 audit of mid-July, so as to provide them a ‘cushion’ of at least six weeks to review the auditors’ work.

One committee member points out that this isn’t enough time, since it allows the auditors only two months, not the three months CFO Agarwal said would be necessary at customary minimum.


The response to this was that the committee couldn’t be expected to expedite their review, and the issue of two-months vs three-months as to what would be necessary for the audit, appears to have been effectively unaddressed and unresolved.
Indigopirate


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Is there a shrink in the house?


Going bonkers (yes, even more so) over her recent relocation to the very fringe of Pacifica matters, the Disruptor-in-Chief spends much of her time these days pouring out her meaningless pixels at every opportunity and hoping that someone pores over them with undue attention.

Unwanted and uninvited, she makes increasingly desperate attempts to participate in streamed meetings that now are less chaotic than they used to be with her points of disorder.

Her begging for access to the Pacifica Audit Committee's recent fruitless clashes was ignored, but nothing seems to impede her constant need for attention.

Now a frequent e-mailer, here's what she came up with today as word of a flimsy super tent of iniquity made the rounds and another plot seemed destined for collapse. 

What Cerene wants you to read.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Coup conspiracy


April 14, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Bill Crosier, Interim Executive Director, Pacifica Foundation E-mail: ed@pacifica.org Tel: 510-316-9783

“Big Tent Radio Network”
Pacifica Foundation Director Comments on Berkeley Secession Effort

Houston - Pacifica Foundation Interim Executive Director Bill Crosier addressed members of the 5-station radio network after it became known that at least one of the KPFA Local Station Board members, with others, has secretly contacted celebrities and prominent supporters of progressive causes, falsely claiming that Pacifica is “collapsing”, and asking them to be on the board of a new nonprofit organization which would seek to acquire Pacifica's assets, or at least those of station KPFA.

The attachment to the email forwarded to Crosier follows his statement below.

Pacifica Foundation Interim Executive Director Bill Crosier's Statement

As commercial media interests dominate our society and non-corporate journalism and culture struggle for survival, Pacifica, like most independent media networks, is facing financial, organizational, and technological challenges. But Pacifica's financial situation is beginning to turn around, with four of the stations doing very well in fund drives this year, and the fifth (KPFT) stepping up other fundraising. We had the most successful one-day fund drive ever, on March 2. In that drive, we got so many pledges for the new collection of historic audio recordings from Pacifica Radio Archives, that we had to order a second large batch of USB drives and just finished duplicating them and sending them out. We are working to improve Pacifica's finances, and we are making progress. Major donors are approaching us, asking how they can help. Pacifica also submitted a plan for financial stabilization and recovery to the Attorney General of California before the end of March, and this plan has received very positive reviews. Further, the majority of the Pacifica National Board (PNB) has a renewed commitment to financial stability so that the Pacifica mission can be preserved and so Pacifica can grow.
  
It is certainly not correct to say that Pacifica is “collapsing”. In fact, that is very misleading. We are actually improving our financial stability.

While I have had concerns about Pacifica's well-being in recent years, and feel very strongly about the importance of independent media, I am bothered that any local board member would falsely spread negative rumors about Pacifica. There is an ethical issue with passing along misleading information about Pacifica in order to line up oppositional support for another organization.

Is it not a conflict of interest, and a violation of fiduciary duty, for any board member to be secretly trying to line up well-known people to be on the board of a new organization, especially if that would discourage people from donating to Pacifica? It also seems strange that the recruitment involves telling prospective board members that no time or financial commitment is required, which makes us wonder what those board members are expected to do. What would help much more would be to ask those same people to help Pacifica directly - by recording announcements for our stations to encourage donations, for example, or helping to tell more people about the valuable and unique programming that we have. While I have nothing against contingency plans, it's wrong to falsely (and secretly) spread false rumors about Pacifica, in order to get support for this new clandestine organization.

Many of us on our national and local boards want to work together on a major Bylaws re-write this year, to improve our governance and support stronger fiscal stewardship. But we do not need a completely different organization in order to change our Bylaws or governance structure. We have reached a point where many people in Pacifica recognize that it is time for major changes to improve the way we function, and we expect to be able to do this in the coming months.

There is still much other work to do, including paying off debt that Pacifica has accumulated, getting caught up on audits, and dealing with a lawsuit by Empire State Building over unpaid antenna tower rent and related expenses for WBAI. We have a renewed commitment from the majority (but not all) of the Pacifica National Board to stop ignoring our financial problems and to get all of this under control. That's the main reason the PNB appointed me as interim Executive Director and re-hired Sam Agarwal as Chief Financial Officer. I've been one of the most vocal advocates for the PNB to develop a plan and to take immediate and responsible action to address our financial situation and insure recovery. Mr. Agarwal is also dedicated to repairing our finances. Although things were looking quite uncertain for the last few years, now we are working on it, and making good progress. Of course, it will take some time.

Many listeners and staff from the five main Pacifica stations and 220 affiliates within the Pacifica community are communicating and working together to build a network capable of addressing the political, environmental, social justice, economic and cultural needs of our time. Setting up a secret organization behind the backs of colleagues and fellow board members. and lobbying against those trying to save the network breeds confusion, distrust, and disunity when we most need to be supporting each other and this wonderful network of independent media.

I ask those promoting this division to come and talk with us about your concerns, and work with us to meet our challenges together. I also encourage anyone approached by those promoting this new “Big Tent Radio Network” to instead join with us to protect and support Pacifica. We have been supporting free speech, uncensored news, independent music and public affairs, and peace for almost 70 years. We are not going away, we are improving, growing and adapting to change. Please help us to meet the amazing and daunting task before us. Pacifica is needed now, more than ever.


—Bill Crosier, Interim Executive Director, Pacifica Foundation

“Board Invitation Information Sheet” for the new secret organization “Big Tent Radio Network”

Attention: This is a confidential communication.

Work to establish our non-profit 501(c)3 is underway and being conducted under the radar.  When we are a fait accompli, we will announce with a splash.

An Invitation to Save a Corporate Free National Radio Network with as much or as little time as YOU wish and NO MONEY from you.

We invite and request you to join the Board of Big Tent Radio Network. We intend to make an offer to the collapsing Pacifica Foundation to receive its assets and liabilities. Our aim is to save/ grow listener sponsored radio to deliver news, information, ideas and music that contribute to a more just, peaceful, healthy, sustainable, culturally rich, beautiful world...while there is still time. We need you.

Pacifica is collapsing. With a diverse strong capable board, this project can move forward. At some point, the network will be rescued and revitalized…or…GONE.

What is The Pacifica Foundation?
A non-profit FM radio network established 1947, the only totally listener sponsored radio network in the United States, has no corporate sponsors or links.

Powerful signals blanket 5 of our largest metropolitan areas:
  • New York, our finance capital
  • Los Angeles, our entertainment capital
  • Washington, DC, our political capital
  • San Francisco, our tech capital
  • Houston, our oil capital
  • + 220 independent affiliates across the nation and rapidly growing
Does Radio Matter? 
Terrestrial radio is the single most-used medium in the United States – in any given week, 91% of adults listen to it. It is one of the best mediums for reaching people outside the ideological bubbles created by social media—listeners discover new stations by spinning their dials, not clicking on links recommended by those who share their beliefs. Pacifica is a unique progressive media asset.

What We Are Doing?
  • Establishing Big Tent Radio Network as a California non-profit and IRS 501(c)3
  • Board recruiting: 13 dynamite progressive representative leaders, activists, specialists

What Can a Board Member Expect?
  • Two teleconference Board meetings a year (active workgroups, for those interested in hands on)
  • Powers to hire and fire the Executive Director and CFO (to assure adherence to mission)
  • No time demands, but major involvement invited, no money demands

Why We Don’t Need Your Money!
  • Pacifica has a strong donor base. The SF Bay Area Fall Fund Drive alone raised $780,000.
  • Pacifica’s biggest donors have said that they will give money when the network has an effective governance structure and professional management; we meet those conditions.
  • Pacifica owns property in Berkeley that can be used to collateralize debt when the banks are assured of the new network’s stability and professional management.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sugar?


In Denmark, where half of me comes from, we had a tactful way in which to break up a social gathering that adopted an extended life.  Lingering guests can test one's patience and kindle a desire to end even the most enjoyable evening, but rather than yawning or bringing out coats, a simple tradition made it into Danish social life: "Skrup af te,".

In plain language, that translates into "get lost tea" and was universally understood as a pleasant, subtle cue to drink up and call it a night.

I don't know if they still practice that little ritual back home, but something equivalent might be needed for Pacifica board meetings, such as last night's melé, called to discuss the serious audit problem, but ending up as another study in deliberate disruption.

I mercifully eliminated about an hour of squibble-squabble, but I left intact the longest, most ignored call for adjournment in recent Pacifica mistory. 
Breaking up is hard to do...

Fudged finances--April 2017


Blurred by dishonesty, here is another picture of corruption and ineptitude.

The April 2017 WBAI LSB Treasurer's Report