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Someone posted the following questions in a thread below.  I inquired and obtained some of the answers. And just so we’re clear, a nonprofit like ours is required to release its 990’s as public record. Our 990’s are on our website and also in the Park book at the library. I’ll track them down and link to them later.

How much is owed on the note still, to McKee?

Zero. McKee is paid off, as are two other note holders.  We have one remaining note and the holder preferred payments to a lump sum payoff.  The balance is approximately $150,000.00.  (Plus we have some assorted debts approximated below)

How much interest is paid on the note each month?

We need the bookkeeper to answer that question.  The payments which include principal and interest are $1,500 per  month.  I will try to get the information and get back to you.

Are there still interest only notes being paid, if so, how much and what is the principle still left?

According to my info we never had an interest-only note, but I don’t know how technical we have to get.  We are paying principle out of the remaining note.

Who are all the people being paid.

As in note holders or anybody holding our debt?  We have the one remaining note holder who may prefer to remain anonymous.  We also owe about 60 to 65 thousand in legal fees, surveyor fees, and consulting services, mostly pertaining to the completed lot line adjustment I believe.

How much is Kathryn Lobato paid a year, and how is she paid?

We can’t disclose financial information of our personnel.

By money donated to the park, or by the corporation?

I don’t know the answer as to the origin of the money, but I’d assume it all goes into one bank account unless there’s a specific grant of designated money (I don’t know if there are any special grants at this point).  The corporation IS the park.  I’ll inquire.

Where did the funds come from to start the corporation?

I assume it was mostly donations.  But I don’t know.  I’ll inquire.

How many employees are there, and what are they paid?

Again, personnel information is confidential.

How much is the yearly insurance?

One of the insurance policies is paid every second year, so it’s different year to year.  I have an estimate of about 5 grand a year, but I have to confirm it.

What is co-mingling of funds, and is that what is happening here?

No money is co-mingled.  The Park has its own account.  Nobody else’s money is in it.

Who are the owners of the corporation, the President, V.P., CEO, etc. etc.,

Nobody “owns” the corporation.  It’s a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  It is run by a board, but the corporation owns itself, and the land.  Tim chairs the Board.  Kathryn would be the closest thing to a “CEO” I guess.  She’s also the Board secretary.  Peter is the Treasurer.  I don’t think we have a VP, but if we do I don’t know who it is.

A complete accounting of money that has been taken in, where and how it was spent, for the last 9 years.

We’re putting that together, but our time and resources are limited.  We will finish it and release it as soon as possible.

A lot of “punking” going on across the ideological divide these days.  It’s not just for Michael Moore and Sascha Cohen anymore.  You’ve got the Yes Men punking the media and the National Chamber of Commerce.  You’ve got young conservatives punking ACORN.  It’s easier to punk when your audience isn’t really listening to what you’re saying, and some of them cheer when you chant “European immigrants out.”

Dissent’s Evgeny Morozov expounds on the pros and cons of the new technologies on the efforts of democracy movements and authoritarian interests to control the information superhighway (remember that phrase?).  Among the discussions are the decentralizing and the resource handicapping potential vs. the technological capabilities for censorship and the spreading of disinformation, as well as the benefits of “crowdsourcing” against the pitfalls of data verification.

Consumer advocacy is a case in point.

Much has been made of bloggers’ ability to take on corporations and hold them accountable., a popular consumer-oriented blog has emerged as, perhaps, the most notable of such sites, attracting complaints from dissatisfied customers all over the world and advising them on how to fight back. A typical blog post from The Consumerist–entitled “How to Launch an Executive Email Carpet Bomb”—offers tips for “rattling the corporate monkey tree to make sure your complaint gets shoved under the nose of someone with decision-making powers.” However, corporations themselves have not been slow to exploit cyberspace for their own purposes, with many of them relying on “search engine optimization” (SEO)—a set of online techniques to boost their Google ranking–to make themselves easier to find. Now, they have stepped up their efforts, hiring the services of dedicated SEO firms that can ensure that any online complaints about corporate misbehavior posted by the likes of The Consumerist will be almost impossible to find on Google., the most visible of such companies, advertises “Do you need negative information removed? We are masters at knocking bad links off the front pages of search engines!” boasts its front page. In some sense, cyberspace has made life relatively easy for companies: they don’t need to beat up journalists anymore; they just need to beat up Google. The latter can be done quietly, privately, and at little expense–to their finances or their reputations.

And as to democratic movements vs. authoritarian governments:

Western governments are also quite eager to beat Google’s search algorithms: Britain’s Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism is planning to coach moderate Islamic groups in SEO, so that they can “flood the Internet” with positive interpretations of Islam. There are many other reasons why the Internet has failed to amplify the voices of civil society. The most obvious one is that governments have mastered the tricks of Internet censorship; this has been the most accessible and often the most reliable way to neutralize the dissemination of critical information on the Internet. To the great disappointment of free-speech advocates, global backlash against Internet censorship has been extremely limited, with several American companies (including Google, let’s see them bury this post – EVK) feeling bold enough to supply governments such as China’s with technology that is being actively used for censorship. It’s too early to tell whether nascent international efforts to draw more attention to this issue–such as the Global Network Initiative, a consortium of, corporations, human rights groups, and individual activists aiming to thwart the censorship attempts of governments–will be successful, but the early signs are not encouraging.

The article also delves into the censorship of authoritarian governments under the guise of fighting vulgarity – anti-porn measures being used to bury political opposition.

Some governments are combining aggressive Internet laws with truly innovative measures aimed at identifying and barring undesired content early on in the publishing cycle. The Thai government, for example, uses the country’s severe lèse majesté laws, prohibiting any offensive material aimed at the reigning sovereign, to go after administrators of critical Web sites. The most recent case is that of Cheeranuch Premchaiphorn, the Web administrator of Prachatai, the most influential Thai political Web site, who was recently detained because a comment critical of the king was discovered on the site. The Thai authorities also “crowdsource” the process of gathering URLs of sites to be blocked by encouraging their loyalists to submit such sites for review (a site named is a primary collection point of the offensive URLs). Predictably, it’s a one-way street: there is no similar invitation to submit sites to unblock.

And just as a throw-in, the article touches on a topic of an ongoing debate on this blog.  But whether this development is pro-democratic or anti I guess is in the eye of the beholder.

Similarly, pseudoscience has found a second home on the Internet. Banned from the classroom, it’s making a comeback on Facebook and YouTube. For example, aggressive anti-vaccination communities have eagerly embraced the Web to spread their antiscientific statements on a scale that was probably never available to them in the pre-Internet age. A 2007 study by a group of academics from Canada analyzed all unique English-language YouTube videos (at that time, all 153 of them) that contained any messages about human immunization; the researchers found that a third of them were outright negative about its value and another fifth were ambiguous, with negative videos usually receiving much higher ratings by YouTube users. Of the negative videos, almost half contradicted existing reference standards on immunization (the anti-vaccination movement is also extremely active in the developing world; UNICEF reports that its recent awareness-raising campaign ran into powerful online opposition from vaccination-denialists). In addition to illustrating the appeal of cyberspace to advocates of pseudoscience, this case raises an interesting question about whether a technology company such as YouTube (and ultimately its parent company, Google) should verify scientific claims made in the videos uploaded to the site; if yes, how should they go about it? (Google faced a similar set of problems when it erroneously classified a video documenting prison abuse in Egypt as too violent, overlooking its social role.) The editorial and fact-checking layers of traditional media organizations would make it unlikely that such videos would ever be aired, for there is usually someone on staff to distinguish facts from opinions; how user-generated sites will cope with this challenge is not yet clear.

Moroznov has more about technology and society on his blog.


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