Wednesday, November 07, 2007

This is community radio?

Just for the record (for those concerned about the performance of WBCR-LP's new board of directors):
1. John Breasted has yet to receive answers to his valid and reasonable questions (see below).
2. Minutes of the Directors Meetings of September and October have yet to be updated on the WBCR Web site's Directors' page. The last update shows minutes from the August 15th meeting.

Why this failure to communicate with the membership?

John Breasted wrote:
Dear BCRA members and board:
It would still be useful to me and other members to see the answers to these questions, either on this e-mail list or on the BCRA web-site. The only one that is moot is the question about the dates of the fund drive. I was disappointed that there was no answer from anyone even to that very specific and --I hope -- non controversial question.
--John Breasted
-----Forwarded Message-----
From: John Breasted
Sent: Oct 15, 2007 2:40 PM
To: BCRA members on e-mail list , BCRA board
Subject: Fw: [bcra] Follow-up to responses to my Oct. 9 questions
Dear members BCRA and of the BCRA board:
Thanks to Jenna Foley, Tom Sirois, and Christy Collins for suggesting that the focus of responses to my October 9 questions be on the questions, not on peripheral annoyances.
Perhaps in the glut of e-mail messages that so many of you probably receive, my follow-up questions to board membrer Don McGrory's response to my Oct. 9 questions escaped the attention of those who could answer them, because the questions did not appear high enough in the message. So here they are, re-packaged to be more prominent.
Again I want to thank Don McGrory for his initial response. For those members (including one of the two new board members) who do not know me, I am someone who has done a lot of work for WBCR, including as a member of the fundraising committee (until early this year) who helped design the fund-drives that have been our major source of income, and have put in a lot of time both in and out of committee and board meetings. I am not an e-mail "flamer" who has never actually attended a meeting or done work for the station.
As I wrote two days ago, I think it is reasonable to ask for more detail, on behalf of members like me who could not attend the Sept. 16 annual meeting, and who can no longer regularly attend board meetings.
Here are the kind of details I mean, in relation to the quoted excerpts from Don's response:
"Chris Meyer as his final duty gave a detailed financial report." What are the details of that report, or at least the most important details? What is meant by Chris's "final duty"? Has he resigned as chairman of the finance committee, or as a member of the board? If the former, who is now chairing the finance committee?
"Nick Ring gave a detailed report on the Board's efforts to bring the station to full power status." What are some of those details, in at least a summary of the most important points? For example, at the June board meeting, it sounded as though it would not be legally possible for WBCR to go to full-power status under the terms of our FCC license, and I understood that a full-power frequency for our area could only be obtained by a completely separate group, legally and practically. So it would be very helpful to be able to read here some of the details in answer to this question.
"Ananda laid down the law to programmers as the voice of WBCR and volunteers." What does this mean, i.e. what does "laid down the law" mean, and does "the voice of WBCR and volunteers" refer to Ananda or the programmers?
"Ben gave a detailed presentation on the new studio renovations, which by the way are in full swing." Again, what is at least a summary of the details, e.g., what are the current cost estimates, timetables, needs for volunteers, for the renovation project? Are we now paying two rents, for the current studio space and for the new location, and if so, how long can we afford to do that?
"Andy Potter had to resign as head of fundraising and publicity for personal family reasons and had not been replaced as of the meeting." Has a chairman for the fundraising committee been appointed since the annual meeting? When is the fundraising committee next scheduled to meet? Does the fact that there have been no minutes posted since the June 5 meeting mean that the committee has not met since then?
Where are the minutes for the June 20 board meeting? (Which I hope will include the text of a written inquiry and statement by a member/ programmer, read aloud by chairman Jan Seward to the board that evening, about questions related to remediation of chemical fumes from flooring in the new studio space at the Granary building.)
Is the next fund-drive still scheduled for October 22-28?
I'd be grateful to read answers to any or all of these questions from any one (or ones) who can answer them.
Here are my October 9 questions followed by Don McGrory's response, both in full:
Can someone on the BCRA board (or not on it) answer these questions:
1) What's happening with the fundraising committee? Who is chairing it now? No next meeting date is listed on the website, which states "The Fundraising Committee meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at Zenn New Media at 7:00." I drove by Zenn New Media this evening but saw no cars there and no lights on -- no evidence to suggest a meeting.
2) Can someone post a summary of actions, discussion, and announcements from the annual meeting on September 16, for members who could not attend it?
3) What is the status of plans to renovate the basement of the Granary building for the new studio's relocation?
4) Why is there apparently no communication on the general discussion list for BCRA? Did Glenn Heller's postings to the list succeed in scaring us off from communicating with each other and sharing news with members thru the list?
5) Is the next fund drive still scheduled for October 22 -28, as noted in the April 17 minutes of the fundraising committee?
Best wishes,
John Breasted
Copy of Don McGrory's Oct. 11 message:
Well now, it seems like a few are paying attention out there.
First of all, we had a fine and orderly annual meeting. Presentations were given by all committee chairs. Chris Meyer as his final duty gave a detailed financial report. Todd Lewis was inspirational in his pitch for volunteerism among programmers. Nick Ring gave a detailed report on the Board's efforts to bring the station to full power status. Ananda laid down the law to programmers as the voice of WBCR and volunteers. I gave a brief presentation on membership. What else could it be? Ben gave a detailed presentation on the new studio renovations, which by the way are in full swing. Any volunteers? Didn't think so. Andy Potter had to resign as head of fundraising and publicity for personal family reasons and had not been replaced as of the meeting. Jan Seward moderated the meeting in an upbeat and positive manner. Frank and Judy were elected to serve on the Board replacing Asa and Chris P, and Paul was re-elected to his seat. Since they ran un opposed the vote count is irrelevant. A delicious PotLuck supper followed, Good food, good conversation all around. We cleaned up and went home. You pay your petty $20 a year to be a member of this station. What do you get? You get inspirational, spirited, unique, and I might add controversial programming. You don't get the the right to bitch and moan and be a destructionist pain in the ass. If you are a member of this station for your own interests, and want to use these lists or airwaves for your own agendas, I might suggest you take your $20 or $10,000 for that matter elsewhere. Support WBCR for what it is and what it will be. If you want to be part of that process, get involved. I personally thank all of you who are and who make this thing go. Otherwise, enjoy the radio shows. I know I sure do. Thank you for your time.
Donald McGrory
Board member, non programmer