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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

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: “Architect Eugene Tssui Might Be the Most Interesting Man in the East Bay

While I am impressed by Tssui's aesthetic vision, these all encompassing massive projects like the Ultima Tower are more suited to our current unsustainable political and economic system or Utopian fantasies like Star Trek rather than to any real future in which we should all have a stake.

The Ultima Tower suggests top down and centralized control, showing great disregard for the lives and needs of the people living in place now. Such projects would displace and disrupt and destroy the lives of huge numbers of people UNLESS an additional massive project simultaneously accommodated them during construction was also funded, and yet this would also disrupt other people and so on.

Far more interesting is architecture which is designed to be built, financed, maintained and operated from the bottom up rather than the top down.

Take a project like the Ultima Tower but consider it only public infrastructure, and design it to allow smaller scale building and development enterprises which constantly remake the city within it. Consider the current model of a highrise and subvert it to the form of a public street arranged vertically, each unit within it analogous to a separate parcel on a city street capable of being developed independently, the building providing all the infrastructure (like cranes, public utilities etc...) which are needed for a small enterprise to develop the parcel.

Then take the next step and consider the construction process and how you organize that to happen over a time frame which does not require an entire city to be wiped out and rebuilt in 25 years but instead can grow and evolve into such a tower over perhaps one or more centuries. Bringing the city into an arcology which resembles an ever evolving community structure more like a coral reef of many species living side by side rather than that of a community insect like ants or termites who all serve one individual.

You'd need public banking and worker owned and operated enterprises following charters written to keep us all on task for such a long term project while allowing the people doing the work to continuously adapt to the problems of their present. Our current model of development - private finance and crony capitalism for an election cycle or two - can not sustain this because it serves short term private interest rather than long term public interest.

And these huge projects as envisioned here would be controlled by the immensely wealthy/powerful. In addition their implementation does not consider the people of the present, nor of the future, but only that of the people who would be living within it upon the building's completion. I could be wrong but the Ultima Tower as presented in this article does not appear to be designed to evolve with its population or to adapt itself to accommodate the existing population during its construction. It is rather a fixed and lifeless thing like a work of art rather than like a city or living system which is in the constant flux of life. Again for a biological model, a coral reef is a better one than a termite mound because you have to consider the human systems within the structure rather than simply the physical qualities of the finished product.

In otherwords, while Tssui's work is indeed visually beautiful I don't see anything visionary about them. These are works of art in need of a patron which is more or less the model of market rate housing development except for projects like this the architect necessarily has more project control than the developer. I don't see that as particularly visionary, but rather as a doubling down on old ideas which are proven failures. His work is beautiful, but this is the work of a virtuouso rather than a visionary.

If I have mischaracterized his purpose I appologize. BUT the writer of the article has presented Tssui's work in this light, and that is what I am reacting to.

Posted by Aaron Parr on 12/30/2017 at 7:22 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: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

I dated Steve for 11 months and was never a part of Interchange. I stopped seeing him a few months before the lawsuit was filed. With me, Steve wasn't the narcissistic sociopath this article and lawsuit make him out to be. On the contrary, he was a wonderful lover, had a solid grasp of appropriate boundaries, was upfront about his new age lifestyle and found healthy ways to explore sex on psychedelics.

-- When I was exploring the idea of joining in Interchange, Steve told me explicitly that we could date or I could enroll. Not both.

--Steve was very upfront about his nontraditional views about relationships and sexual health practices (ie. he didn't believe in relationships or condoms). It came up on our first date, we didn't decide to sleep together until almost a full month later.

--The sex parties mentioned in the article were very specifically for exploring psychedelic sex. The dosages were flexible and it wasn't a problem for me to ask for substantially less than the 'mild' amounts.

--Steve and I did a small handful of psychedelic experiments on our own and if I wasn't there mentally, he backed off sexually. Unlike 100% of my other boyfriends, he took care to respect my boundaries when I couldn't speak up for myself. It made him a really safe person for me to explore with.

Of course, I have no idea what went on between Steve and the Jane Zoes that have come forward. My experience is just one of many and I hope that sharing it helps round out this ongoing conversation.

Posted by girlfriend#3641 on 12/29/2017 at 9:40 PM

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: “Tia Katrina Taruc Canlas Holds Domestic Abusers Accountable

She is now defending an admitted abuser, Yousef Wally, in exactly this sort of tort action seeking to hold Mr. Wally accountable for his domestic violence.

Posted by Jason Cabot on 12/29/2017 at 4:53 PM

Re: “Bedtime for the Night Light Means a New Day for the Elbo Room

"They installed custom brass-tacked leather chairs, lit the place with bare-filament bulbs, and stuffed the cocktail menu with whiskey."

Whiskey stingily poured from a jigger and sold at $15/drink in a plastic cup. No doubt to pay for the fancy chairs.

Pro tip- if you are going to charge a fortune for the drinks, at least give a good pour into a decent glass. Bars make their money on liquor sales, no?

Well, charging too much for a crappy pour is a good way to not make money. Because while you'll make $13 profit on the first drink, you won't be making any more, because I won't feel compelled to buy a second, or return at any point in the future to buy more.

Hell, for the price of two drinks, I'd rather just buy the bottle and have friends come over.

Posted by Rude Trevor Vargas on 12/29/2017 at 4:29 PM

Re: “Wholesale Pot Prices Plummet

I'm a fan of nationally legalizing recreational cannabis. I'm also a fan of the black market, mainly due to the onerous taxation schemes. Voters must continue to refine existing laws, demanding a less burdensome tax structure and exempting craft growers from some of the licensing requirements. But when recreational cannabis is legal nationally, the market will look vastly different than it does today.

Daniel Williams
Bonita Springs, FL

Posted by Daniel Williams on 12/29/2017 at 3:16 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: “Far Right's Rise Brings Racist Vandalism to the East Bay

"You must be reading fake news, lady. Let's see some proof."

I know. I too have been kinda shocked. But I know of three cases around Berkeley where the culprit was actually identified by authorities. One incident involved hanging black bodies in effigy from Sather Gate, one involved a kid vandalizing several store windows on Solano Ave. and writing "KKK" and other vulgarities, and a notice in the Berkeley High library announcing a planned lynching on the BHS campus. And it appears to be a national phenomenon.

Posted by ann poster on 12/28/2017 at 5:41 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

Re: “Wholesale Pot Prices Plummet

"huh... $10 to $19.... per gram"

$80 a ounce... $2.85 per gram... just over the border in Medford Oregon.…

Wait until full production farms get going... The stuff will be as cheap as kale.
The party is over... Look for state taxes to keep the retail price up, while the wholesale market crashes.

Posted by Dan de'Data on 12/28/2017 at 12:37 PM

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