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Re: “Breaking: Berkeley's KPFA Radio Facing Ruin as New York Real Estate Corporation Considers Seizing Station's Assets to Settle Lawsuit

The majority of the listeners only find out about this months after the lawsuit was lost -- why? People donated in fund drives and had no idea this was going on. The mentality of ongoing covering up of finances and status of the stations is only harmful, but is not uncommon with KPFA it seems.

Posted by Victoria Ashley on 12/31/2017 at 11:37 AM

Re: “Breaking: Berkeley's KPFA Radio Facing Ruin as New York Real Estate Corporation Considers Seizing Station's Assets to Settle Lawsuit

There are actually several options and alarmist is not always the way to go. There's a loan that looks to be available that would pay off the summary judgment to Empire State right away, prevent any collection threat and be interest only for three years, allowing plenty of time to look at signal swap or sale. Pacifica Foundation is far from actually "bankrupt". It owns $10 million in real estate in three different cities and has interests in broadcasting license worth $80-$100 million dollars. The actual debts are in the $5-$6 million range and only about $3.5 of that is urgent or pressing.

Bankruptcy has problems. The legal fees are estimated at close to a million dollars. That's a lot of listener money down the drain. Yes Pacifica can propose a plan, but so can the creditors committee (led by Empire State) and the judge can choose either and when one delivers payments to creditors a lot faster and is much simpler, it has an advantage.

Pacifica has already received signal swap offers, 5 of them, in the last two months, for all frequencies except the one in Texas, ranging from $5 to $15 million dollars. The smallest and least destructive is actually for KPFA and the biggest and most destructive is for WPFW in Washington DC. Any of them would clear the debts in total, but they need 1-2 years to get through the FCC.

The clearest path through is a loan and then a signal swap. Doesn't require bankruptcy and there's a lot to be said for not getting into court with a capitalist billipnaire with a pricey and vast lawyer's corp and hoping a federal judge will be nice to you.

Independence is pretty precious, besides being part of the term "independent media". Don't give it up easily.

Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on 12/30/2017 at 8:50 PM

Re: “Breaking: Berkeley's KPFA Radio Facing Ruin as New York Real Estate Corporation Considers Seizing Station's Assets to Settle Lawsuit

Tom Steyer just blew $10 million on useless TV ads after doing the same thing before the election. He could have written a check for less than one tenth of this and cleared all this up.

Between Soros, Ford, MacArthur, Rockefeller and several others, there are billions of dollars dispersed to alleged social justice causes every year. The SPLC has $358 million in the bank including the $2 million apiece George Clooney and Tim Cook threw at them this year while straining to get into the act after Charlottesville.

KPFA is immeasurably more effective at promoting left-leaning causes than anything I can think of that these rich liberal fools promote.

Here's an idea--KPFA opens up a stand at the Farmer's Market and sells donated buds. Though darn it, some CSU Professors just decided those are racist too; but who cares they're from San Diego.

Posted by Mark Talmont on 12/30/2017 at 5:52 PM

Re: “Breaking: Berkeley's KPFA Radio Facing Ruin as New York Real Estate Corporation Considers Seizing Station's Assets to Settle Lawsuit

It seems obvious that the value of the 99.5 commercial bandwidth license in NY WBAI, of possibly $10 million, would make Pacifica and all the stations solvent with current and past debts. If what's been disclosed is true. Couldn't WBAI close down until a new non-commercial bandwidth purchased? In the meantime it could broadcast on the internet and drum up support to pay for the new bandwidth? Bankruptcy puts everyone into the hands of lawyers and the banksters, the ones who've created our economic societal crisis. I have a hard time trusting this process. Could WBAI/Pacifica not go back to the court with a plan to sell the bandwith and settle this chump change debt to the appropriately named "Empire" corpse?

After all this is done the entire organization needs to be reorganized into independent self-maintaining entities with local indigenous control so this doesn't happen again. The stations need to be locally functional stations serving and directed by listeners and Pacifica should be the archive and library of resources that it is. Multiple layers of managing legaleze trap doors serves the control mechanisms of authoritarians who currently rule the world. It's time to relocalize to egalitarian self-sustaining systems and jettison the obsolete shell of authoritarianist structures.

Posted by Sandy Sanders on 12/30/2017 at 11:34 AM

Re: “Breaking: Berkeley's KPFA Radio Facing Ruin as New York Real Estate Corporation Considers Seizing Station's Assets to Settle Lawsuit

Please give the following crazy proposal a few minutes to marinate before you reject it!

Why not expand the Pacifica listener/donor base by becoming the true 'Alternative Voice' for both the rational Left and the rational Right?

I believe that there are many people who think of themselves as libertarians, or some sort of conservative, who are not happy with the local radio equivalents of Fox News. Perhaps we all look alike to you, but we're not.

When I heard about Pacifica's problems, I had mixed feelings: one the one hand, from my point of view, you're political opponents. On the other hand, it's good that a democracy has vigorous debate hosted in multiple outlets ... so it wouldn't be good to see Pacifica, or any of its stations go under -- (and what irony that this was precipitated by Islamists).

So go on, Lefties ... think outside of the box! See what the folks at Reason Magazine, at American Conservative, at National Review would think about a joint venture. After all, liberals and conservatives united to defeat the Nazis ... so why not get together where we had a radio network that could broadcast intelligent interesting people who could make you think, regardless of your views?

Posted by Doug Nineteenfortythree on 12/30/2017 at 6:35 AM

Re: “Sideshows Spin Donuts Around Police Over Thanksgiving Weekend in Oakland

This is how drag racing began. If ya wanna get rid of it, give it a safe place to be done.

Posted by David Bell on 12/29/2017 at 9:14 PM

Re: “Breaking: Berkeley's KPFA Radio Facing Ruin as New York Real Estate Corporation Considers Seizing Station's Assets to Settle Lawsuit

Unfortunately, KPFA can't "sell" WBAI. Both are owned by the Pacifica Foundation, the nonprofit registered in California. The dysfunctional bylaws of Pacifica have meant that KPFA is a prisoner of the Pacifica National Board, which includes representatives of the 4 other stations, affiliate station reps, and Pacifica's governance. As 1 of the 5 stations in Pacifica, KPFA itself has less than one fifth of the seats on the Pacifica National Board that governs it. KPFA is very well-managed and solvent. It is literally as though Pacifica is a parasite, and KPFA the host.

The best solution has long been to sell or trade WBAI (for a lower power station) but the Pacifica board has refused to do that for years now. At this point, voluntary bankruptcy is the best option to preserve KPFA and whichever other stations can make it.

Posted by Alison Davis on 12/29/2017 at 8:44 PM

Re: “Thursday’s Briefing: Charlie Hallowell Accused of Sex Harassment by 17 Women; New Laws to Protect Workers go into Effect Jan. 1

As heard from a friend in the biz, yes Charlie did. And this person pointed out that "step away" means little. Is he still receiving a nice salary? Is he vesting interest? Is he making reparations?

In other words, should we be going there ?

Posted by Ernest Montague on 12/29/2017 at 6:46 PM

Re: “Breaking: Berkeley's KPFA Radio Facing Ruin as New York Real Estate Corporation Considers Seizing Station's Assets to Settle Lawsuit

Thanks to Christina DiEdoardo for opening up the discussion.

The success of a bankruptcy depends entirely on the facts of the situation
and the knowledge and skill of the legal team.

Pacifica has long been at financial risk particularly as a result of the burden of maintaining WBAI.

Pacifica's reactionary, knee-jerk anti-bankruptcy folks have long been at the heart of the economic problems. They seem universally to be economic ignoramuses.

All major financial changes entail a certain amount of risk. The problem at Pacifica is that the status quo risks are likely much greater than that of bankruptcy.

A similar argument could be made about the City of Oakland with its ongoing structural economic problems and its economically-ignorant governance. Stockton recently emerged
successfully from bankruptcy.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 12/29/2017 at 12:53 PM

Re: “Breaking: Berkeley's KPFA Radio Facing Ruin as New York Real Estate Corporation Considers Seizing Station's Assets to Settle Lawsuit

I haven't done a Ch. 11 for a client in several years (and usual disclaimers apply, this is not legal advice) but based on the facts which are presented a Chapter 11 filing could offer some advantages. First, KPFA could take advantage of the automatic stay (which would stop collection activities until and unless the creditor successfully moved for relief from stay, which I suspect the court would be hesitant to grant if KPFA could show it was working on a plan to sell WBAI). Second, KPFA would have the exclusive right to propose a reorganization plan for a period of time (which is extendable upon court approval). I suspect there would be Ch. 11 counsel who would be willing to accept the case on a reduced fee basis, especially since there's only one major creditor and if that creditor is paid in full under the plan, they cannot object to it being confirmed (Ch. 11 law is oddly libertarian---the more money you're owed, the more votes you have but only if you're "impaired", i.e. the plan proposes to pay you less than you're owed.).

Posted by Christina Ann Marie DiEdoardo on 12/29/2017 at 12:06 PM

Re: “Small Wonder's Fate Uncertain As Owner Faces Sexual Abuse Charges

I'm very sad; Jason is a shy man who is clearly incredibly creative and talented. I am friends with his wife, who is a wonderful person. While Jason DOES need to own up to his past mistakes, I don't personally sense he is still on that track. People DO grow out of their disfunctions. This is so very sad, but speaks of a widespread cultural violence. Jason is hardly alone. Power trips by males against all those who are weaker and more vulnerable is enshrined in our culture, down to the killing of a living tree for Christmas, killing of animals for meat, human massacres, shooter video games, domestic violence, prostitution, pornography. It goes so deep. It needs to be addressed, but those who can manage to apologise for their mistakes and who are no longer engaging in destructive behavior need to be forgiven. Jason puts a lot of love into what he does; it's a shame to lose his creative contributions. Perhaps the judgement against him should include psychological counseling.

Posted by Segue Fischlin III on 12/28/2017 at 10:24 PM

Re: “Breaking: Berkeley's KPFA Radio Facing Ruin as New York Real Estate Corporation Considers Seizing Station's Assets to Settle Lawsuit

I'm a long time fan of KPFA and consider it an invaluable resource so I hope this is resolved fairly. One proposal is to simply ask the listeners across the world to contribute to an on-line find-raising effort, with levels of contribution at $10, $50, $100, $500 and $1000. I'd make a year-end tax-deductible donation near the upper end of that scale. Wouldn't many people?

Posted by Donald Mcpherson on 12/28/2017 at 8:45 PM

Re: “Breaking: Berkeley's KPFA Radio Facing Ruin as New York Real Estate Corporation Considers Seizing Station's Assets to Settle Lawsuit

Thanks for posting my blog, Paul. Been chronicling this for longer than I can remember. The Empire State lease is more like something that happened to WBAI than something it is culpable for. Signed by national management, not the NY folks, in 2005. National knew that it went up 9% a year for 15 years straight. KPFA could not have afforded to pay $600K a year extra to broadcast either, and would also have defaulted on that lease had they been saddled with it.

The stats on Chapter 11 bankruptcy are not good. 85% of organizations that go in do not get out. They collapse. The administrative and attorney fees will be a million dollars or more. There are lots of bankruptcy attorneys around and they'll be lots of attorneys fees if there's a bankruptcy.

There's a good possibility a bankruptcy filing can be avoided (and if it can be than it should be) with a 2-3 year loan secured by LA real estate that would be interest only to give a few years to reorganize while removing the threat of collections activity by paying off the judgment. That's the better way. Hopefully, it will work out.

Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on 12/28/2017 at 4:41 PM

Re: “Breaking: Berkeley's KPFA Radio Facing Ruin as New York Real Estate Corporation Considers Seizing Station's Assets to Settle Lawsuit

Pacifica needs to contact a very experienced bankruptcy lawyer ASAP to discuss a Chapter 11 reorganization, from which it (and KPFA) could emerge in good shape notwithstanding what is going on in NYC.

Posted by Suzanne L. Weakley on 12/28/2017 at 3:55 PM

Re: “Breaking: Berkeley's KPFA Radio Facing Ruin as New York Real Estate Corporation Considers Seizing Station's Assets to Settle Lawsuit

I believe in miracles but one logical solution is to sell BAIs license since they are the ones most culpable for the debt. Full disclosure I am a fill in jazz music producer and host.

Posted by Gabrielle Wilson on 12/28/2017 at 1:30 PM

Re: “San Leandro's Baked East Bay Launches Mobile Bakery

Keziah's creations are mucho delicious! I travel from the valley to get my fix. Lol. Once you taste it, youll want to have more. I like pairing it with a good hot coffee mmm goood! Keep on rollin the dough Keziah

Posted by Lio Hufana on 12/28/2017 at 1:29 PM
Posted by Paul Burton 1 on 12/28/2017 at 12:34 PM

Re: “Tuesday’s Briefing: Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks’ Violence Costs City $3.75 Million; GOP Tax Plan Strips Affordable Housing Funds

Hopefully the civil penalties bankrupt her. And hopefully the City of Oakland can go after her.

In practice, the City will do nothing, nor will the Alameda County DA.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 12/28/2017 at 9:32 AM

Re: “Legislature OKs Criminal Justice Reform Bills

What good does this do for those who have already been victimized by these sentencing enhancements? This legislation begs for retroactive application. But the courts won't apply it even though it seems implicit within the bill. Law makers did not specifically state that it should apply to anyone who is currently the victim of this failed policy. That means taxpayers are still on the hook for 3 more years of providing the cost of housing for inmates better let out. Why? We have a massive failure of leadership on virtually every level of humane society brought on by the lack of understanding of what it means to be human. The state and its machinery do not serve its people. If it did they would take this good piece of legislation and apply it across the board immediately! We the people need to get together and redefine the role of state and federal government because we are being cheated every single day by this dysfunctional organization of crooks and liars that claim to be leaders with our interests at heart. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Posted by Klaus Pfeiffer on 12/28/2017 at 2:46 AM

Re: “Legislature OKs Criminal Justice Reform Bills

This is a great way to stop filing our prisons with non violent offenders who are in reality merely giving people what they want. Did our nation learn nothing from the era of prohibition? The war on drugs has been a massive failure. The war on drugs has been an exceedingly costly attempt to legislate morality again. We citizens of the United States of America supposedly have the right to pursue happiness. How is this possible when a small faction of narrow minded busy bodies are some how able to circumvent our right through the manipulation of our so called representative government? Now that by some miracle worthless laws have been modified to not be so horrendous It becomes apparent that the state, although admitting fault and applying a fix, fails to make this fix apply to people it has already incarcerated! This is the epitome of stupidity. The state continues to astound me as to the depth of its' inhumanity and cruelty to those who are in most need of compassion and understanding. The very essence of intent of this bill is totally ignored if not implemented retroactively. It is another example of the one way thinking of our so called justice system. I guess if you're invested in prisons for profit you win even if you lose.

Posted by Klaus Pfeiffer on 12/28/2017 at 2:30 AM

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