September 18, 2013
Who is this terrorist, this big bad JR Valrey who poses some sort of threat to the whole Pacifica network of five major radio stations around the country? First, he’s my friend and comrade at the Bay View, where we’ve worked together for over a dozen years, all his adult life. JR is our associate editor. During the same period, he’s also volunteered at KPFA radio, where his hard and highly acclaimed work finally won him a prime time show – Wednesdays at 8-9 a.m. – starting in May 2011. Immediately, listeners flocked to KPFA to hear this exciting new show.
May 2, 2013
On April 11, a large number of people affiliated with KPFA radio station convened at Laney College in Oakland to discuss a number of issues that have been plaguing the station for decades and are threatening to rip it apart with a race and class civil war. Unaddressed racial and class disparities at KPFA have caused a number of Black broadcasters to abandon ship.
March 22, 2013
Pacifica invented public radio; since the beginning, Pacifica stations have been sponsored by listeners, with no corporate sponsorship or underwriting and thus no censorship. But the network faces many dire issues that its listeners need to know and that WBAI programmer Don Debar can knowledgeably talk about. Check out what Pacifica has not been telling its listener supporters …
March 21, 2013
Rumors are flying around that plans are under way to sell WPFW to corporate media giant Clear Channel. Before we let Pacifica ruin the tiny bit of a voice that Black people have in D.C., we have to ring the alarm so all the lovers of public radio in the nation can rally up and hopefully save the day. This is a revealing Q&A interview that I did with WPFW broadcaster Luke Stewart …
July 20, 2012
The fierce debate about competing visions for KPFA and Pacifica Radio continues, with the focus now on the attempt to recall Tracy Rosenberg from the KPFA Local Station Board and the Pacifica National Board and the competing campaigns to keep Tracy on the board. Mail your ballot in time for it to arrive at KPFA by Aug. 3.
April 24, 2012
On April 18, a picket was called by the KPFA members of CWA Local 9415 to demand the firing of the anti-labor law firm Jackson Lewis. The firm has been retained to provide legal services to Pacifica, which owns the five stations on its network, including KPFA. Over 80 percent of the workers at KPFA are unpaid volunteers who are not represented by the union.
March 3, 2011
I am writing to give clarity and to correct the misinformation that you have been hearing for the past three months from some of KPFA’s paid staff. John Hamilton has not been “laid off.” Brian Edwards Tiekert bumped John to take back his job.
December 11, 2010
I’m sure you share my fervent hope that the only radio network in the country, since Air America went bankrupt, bringing progressive programming not only to our five sister stations in New York, Washington, D.C., Houston, Los Angeles and the Bay Area, but also to more than 140 community and college radio stations across the country can be brought back to financial health again. KPFA and the Pacifica network are sorely needed in these times.
November 10, 2010
Rally to build KPFA’s audience in communities of color and diverse communities Thursday, Nov. 11, 4:30 p.m., KPFA, 1929 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley. The potential elimination of Hard Knock Radio is a political insult to our communities and the mission of the Pacifica radio network. The programmers of color who work at KPFA have long standing contacts in the broader community. Our communities have fought, sacrificed and worked hard for KPFA, and the station’s budget must not be balanced on our backs. Hands off Hard Knock Radio!
June 17, 2010
The job of the media is to hold the powerful accountable. To avoid hypocrisy, the media itself must be held accountable as well. In the past few days, KPFA has broadcast at least twice a brief announcement recorded by the interim general manager scolding Bay View associate editor JR Valrey for a passing mention in one of his Block Reports of KPFA’s former interim program manager, Sasha Lilley. The Bay View respectfully questions its timing and refutes its contentions.
November 2, 2008
We’re leading off the relaunch of SFBayView.com with an array of news and views about the foment at KPFA since police brutalized Nadra Foster, a 12-year unpaid programmer and Black single mom, inside the station after they were called by management and about KPFA’s retaliation against Minister of Information and Bay View Associate Editor JR Valrey for covering it.
October 31, 2008
This video was taken by KPFA programmer Weyland Southon of Hard Knock Radio on Aug. 20, 2008, as Nadra Foster was being brutalized by Berkeley police who had been called by station and network management. Staff, listeners struggle for justice… Read the rest »
October 5, 2008
We, the undersigned paid and unpaid KPFA staff, do not have confidence in the management of KPFA’s Interim General Manager Lemlem Rijio. Rijio’s actions during the past two years have caused the alienation of a large number of staff members, have created turmoil within the station and have resulted in her losing credibility with many staff members. Her shift of KPFA’s culture away from one of collaboration and mutual support helped create the climate leading to the tragic and unnecessary police arrest of unpaid staff member Nadra Foster.
October 1, 2008
At 4 p.m. on her very last day of employment as the executive director of the Pacifica Foundation, Nicole Sawaya permanently appointed Lemlem Rijio as the general manager at KPFA-FM, a position Rijio has been occupying on an interim basis for two years. Rijio has been under fire as of late, with Berkeley police violently arresting a station programmer who had allegedly been banned in a dispute over copier usage. Seventy-four of 215 station staffers have signed a statement of no-confidence in her leadership.
September 26, 2008
A new KPFA policy essentially bans all listeners from the station except those that management deems “authorized” and it permits police to remove anyone not authorized. KPFA recently called the police on an unpaid staff person, Nadra Foster. The calling of police by any progressive organization or institution is a racist act by definition. If anyone should be banned from the station, it should be the present management, which needs to be replaced immediately.
September 21, 2008
It is a sad commentary when the management of KPFA Radio, a nonprofit dedicated to social justice in my hometown of Berkeley, Calif., calls the police on a staff member who volunteers her time, donating talent and skill to bring the mission of that organization to bear.
August 29, 2008
As I read the post about what happened to Nadra Foster, I broke out in a cold sweat and my heart started to beat faster and faster. I experienced painful flashbacks and felt that burn of tears welling up in my eyes. I knew this would happen again.
August 27, 2008
I was outraged to hear that my “daughter,” Nadra Foster, was attacked, brutalized, hogtied, arrested and charged with trespassing, resisting arrest, assaults on police, and other charges, with bail set at $81,500!
August 27, 2008
One of the officers has his knee on her groin. Another one is pressing her arms against her chest and his full body weight is top of her. Nadra and the officers are rolling and struggling on the ground. Nadra is still screaming for help.
August 25, 2008
On Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008, between 1 and 2 p.m., Nadra Foster, a young Black woman programmer and single mother, was beaten to the ground by the Berkeley police, arrested, hog-tied and taken to jail, after the management of KPFA radio and the Pacifica Foundation had called the police on her, falsely accusing her of being “banned” from the station.