Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/12/07

Community activist Joy Holland dies
by Kristin Bender
The Oakland Tribune (CA)

BERKELEY — Joy Holland, a community activist who hosted a Berkeley community access television show about African American history, culture and people, died unexpectedly last week. She was 72.

For several years, Ms. Holland was the producer, writer and host of the thrice-weekly show “Joy Time” for Berkeley Community Media, Channel 28.   —>

Boca to state: stop messing around in local business
by John Johnston
Boca Raton News (FL)

It’s not that Boca Raton Deputy City Manager George Brown doesn’t like consumers.  “We just don’t want the state messing around in local business,” he told The Boca Raton News.  Which is why Boca’s city council has approved a resolution opposing HB 529 – called the Consumer Choice Act of 2007, a proposed law dealing with what it calls “video programming” but what amounts to what everyone else calls “cable TV.”  Delray Beach has approved a similar resolution opposing the bill.   —>

Rein in prices by keeping tough local regulation
by Nicholas Johnson
FromDC2Iowa (IA)

Qwest can already offer cable-television service. But it wants more.  It wants to write the rules, and with state, not community, franchises.  So it gave over $79,000 to Iowa legislators during 2005-06. Its industry PAC gave another $86,000. And the Iowa Senate gave the company what it wanted.  We don’t assume anything’s amiss. We trust our legislators. But we also follow President Ronald Reagan’s advice: “Trust, but verify.”  Why tilt the playing field to favor one industry?   —>

Local Voice Ohio

Local Voice Ohio (“LVO”) is a statewide coalition of municipalities, townships, the Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Telecommunications Officer and Advisors (OH-NATOA), the Ohio/Kentucky Chapter of the Alliance for Community Media (OK-Alliance) and other affected parties who are coming together to oppose Ohio Senate Bill 117 (“SB 117”), introduced on March 15, 2007.

Bill would kill city cable channel
by Susan Lampert Smith
Wisconsin State Journal

It’s just a guess, but in this government junkie town, I bet there are lots of people out there with a secret passion.  Admit it, you’ve stayed in to watch the City Council or the Board of Estimates or those rebroadcasts of the Madison Opera on the city cable channel.  Well, come out of the cable closet now, or say goodbye to your late-night local government fix.

The cable bill, which is streaking a greased track through the Legislature, will, in its current form, kill city government and cable access channels across Wisconsin. It’ll also get rid of Brad Clark. He’s the nice Madison official you can call when you’re mad at Charter; he’ll help straighten out your bill. The bill might also increase your property taxes to make up for lost cable “franchise fees.”   —>

Cable bill creates new state jobs
by Jo Anne Killen
Holmen Courier (WI)

While the mantra behind a proposed cable franchise bill is to get government out of the way of the free market in order to increase competition, proposed legislation to take over franchising of cable companies would create eight new government jobs, increase government costs and reduce state and local sales tax revenues.  It would also eliminate a source of revenues received by municipalities, according to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.  Wisconsin municipalities could lose up to $5.4 million per year if proposed legislation to transfer cable franchising authority from local governments to the state is enacted.   —>

Happy belated birthday, FACT
Falls Area Community Television celebrates a decade of service
by Howard Weiss-Tisman
Brattleboro Reformer (VT)

About 10 years ago, Jim Bigelow, a village resident, felt pretty strongly about making sure that the town did not adopt the proposed school budget.  Bigelow wanted to do what he could to prevent the town from passing the budget so he went down to the Falls Area Community Television studio and taped a program that set out all of the reasons why the town should not pass the spending plan.  The show was a hit and the budget was defeated.

Suzanne Groenwald, who was the station manager of the public access channel at the time, got a stream of calls from angry board members and parents who argued that Groenwald should not have allowed Bigelow to broadcast what they said were lies and half-truths.  “I told them that this guy was an independent producer and he had the right to say whatever he wanted,” Groenwold said this week, remembering one of the first in a long and still growing line of issues that are debated on the public airwaves in the Bellows Falls area. “They said it was my fault that I let this guy on, but then I invited them to come down and get trained on the equipment so they could do a show from their point of view.”

And since then, Groenwold said, “Bellows Falls has never been the same.”   —>

Who should control public access TV?
by Meaghan M. McDermott
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (NY)

From a tiny television studio tucked into a converted house on Ridgeway Avenue, Brian Caterino carries on his father’s legacy of defending and promoting free speech.  Caterino, of Greece, is the operations manager for Educable Communications Corp., the small nonprofit company his father, Salvatore Caterino, founded in 1982 to provide local and community access television to western Monroe County. Brian Caterino has run the company since his father’s death in 2003.

But Educable’s future is in jeopardy: The towns of Greece, Gates and Ogden — the heaviest hitters of the 17 towns and villages in Educable’s broadcast area — are considering hiring the Greece Central School District to run public access instead. Negotiations have been ongoing since 2004, and the final decision rests with Greece’s Board of Education. Municipal leaders say they’re ready to make the jump as soon as the school board approves.

Proponents of the plan say having the schools run public access would save money and give Greece students a chance to learn the ins and outs of broadcast in the brand-new television production studio at Greece Olympia High School.  Caterino and others say government should never become a gatekeeper of public access to the airwaves.   —>

TV Hamilton moving to tech park
by Cameron Fullam
Journal News (OH)

HAMILTON — TV Hamilton is ready to move into the 21st century, Station Manager Jack Armstrong said.  Hamilton City Council Wednesday night gave its approval of a lease agreement with Vora Technology Park that would relocate the public access television station from its studio at Hamilton High School.  “A move is necessary,” Armstrong said. “We are out of space, we have no more room, we have new equipment coming in. The last two and a half years have been an extreme challenge for us because of equipment that’s been older than 25 years.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Dir., Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable vs telco, community media, municipal programming, PEG access TV, public access television, redlining, video franchising

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