Dec 3, 2008

Kermit Boston, KQED and APTS leader, dies in San Francisco

Kermit H. Boston, a longtime lay leader in public TV, died Nov. 23, the San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday. Boston, 73, suffered a heart attack after returning home from Grace Cathedral, where he chaired the board. The onetime Pennsylvania school teacher and principal had guided many nonprofits as well as individuals in a long life of mentoring, educational publishing and leadership in the African-American communities of several cities. He served on the boards of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Philadelphia and as board chairman of Manhattan’s Riverside Church before moving west. In San Francisco, he served on the KQED Board from 1997 to 2002, and it elected him chair for the last two years. Boston was recently elected to a second three-year term on the APTS Board and served as its vice chair. Professionally, he held executive posts with McGraw-Hill Books in New York and Simon & Schuster Technology Group in Sunnyvale, Calif., before becoming a senior partner at BKB Associates Inc., a trainer of corporate executives in leadership skills, diversity awareness, conflict resolution and employee recruiting. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Ruffin-Boston; his daughter, Kimberly Ketchum; two grandchildren; a sister, Jane Jordan; and many nieces and nephews. Memorial services will be held Dec. 9 at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and Dec. 20 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Philadelphia. The family asked that friends make memorial donations, in lieu of giving flowers, to the Bay Area Community Development Corp. Scholarship Fund or the Boule Foundation in Atlanta.

Funding credits for E-Verify prompt complaints

Underwriting credits for the Department of Homeland Security's E-Verify program, an electronic database that allows companies to verify employment eligibility of new hires, have stirred up objections from listeners and some station managers, reports NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard. The credits, which began running last month, create the perception of a conflict of interest between NPR's news coverage and funding relationships. "It just makes you a little queasy," says Sean Collins, executive producer of Latino USA, a weekly series that is also carrying the spots. "I don't think we do a good enough job of reiterating the concept of a firewall. It really does exist."