Community Media: Selected Clippings – 09/03/07

Council to consider raising video franchise fee
by Emilie Rusch
Columbia Missourian

A proposed ordinance to raise the fee Columbia charges cable television providers to use public right-of-way could inject much needed funding into Columbia’s beleaguered public access channel.  Currently, the city charges cable providers 3 percent of their gross revenue earned within Columbia city limits. If passed, the new ordinance would raise that fee to the maximum of 5 percent, effective Dec. 21. The city is required to give providers 90 days notice of any fee increase.

The higher fee was recommended by the city’s Cable Task Force to help better fund Columbia Access Television, City Attorney Fred Boeckmann said. The council, he said, will have two decisions to make — first, whether to raise the fee and second, how to use the additional money.  “(CAT) had, at this point, no other funding,” task force chairman Marty Riback said. “If they don’t get some money from the city, they’ll go out of business, they’ll go dark.”   —>

TPWD TV — September Highlights
Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

Water and wings may be a theme of Texas Parks and Wildlife TV’s September programming. And producer Ron Kabele says a segment called Billion Dollar Bats looks at the value of bats to agriculture.

…Texas Parks & Wildlife can also be seen on a variety of government, educational and access cable channels in the following communities: Abilene, Allen, Atlanta, Boerne, Collin County Community College, Coppell, Del Mar College, Denton, Flower Mound, Frisco, Garland, Irving, McKinney, North Richland Hills, Plano, Rogers State University, Texarkana College, The Colony, Tyler, Waco and Wichita Falls. Check your local listings for days and times.

Planners vote no on rebroadcast of meetings
by Ellie Oleson
Worcester Telegram (MA)

AUBURN— Planning Board members have no problem with the live broadcast of their meetings, but voted not to have their meetings taped and rebroadcast. Local access cable television is rebroadcasting the meetings anyway.  David P. DeLollis, board chairman, yesterday said, “We were one of the few committees that voted to have our meetings shown from the beginning. We just don’t want them taped. We feel that becomes a liability. If something goes to court, it makes us nervous, even though, legally, our minutes are the official record.   —>

Mike Graessle Delivers State of Real Estate in White Plains Report
White Plains Citizenet Reporter (NY)

Michael Graessle of Nelson-Vrooman, the White Plains real estate agency, appears on the city newsroundup show, White Plains Week Monday evening on Channel 76, “The Spirit of 76,” WPPA-TV, White Plains Public Access Television at 7:00 P.M.. He will be interviewed by John Bailey, the CitizeNetReporter and James Benerofe of Graessle will discuss the present trends in real estate sales in the city.  Should you go on the market now? Are Prices Going Down? How Are White Plains homes, condos, coops holding up? Mike Graessle pays his semi-annual visit to White Plains Week Monday night  to discuss the latest trends.   —>

From face painting to phantoms Anne Kerrigan lends her talents to EBTV
by Paula M. Donnelly
South Shore Express (MA)

Anne Kerrigan likes to think outside of the box and she has decided [to] share that with the people of East Bridgewater through her work at the local cable station.  Kerrigan, who began her work at EBCTV a few years ago, produces and stars in two locally run programs that show her creative and mysterious side to the public. It is something she says allows her to give a little piece of herself to the town.   —>

Cutting the ‘Corner’
Popular public television program set to go from weekly to monthly
by Richard Heck
Athens Messenger OH)

An Athens public access TV icon plans to announce today a withdrawal from his popular television program.  “Big Jim” Balcom of Glouster confirmed Thursday that his show, “Community Corner,” will be scaled back from once a week to monthly installments.  “I am cutting back,” said Balcom, who has developed a cult following among some Ohio University students. New episodes of “Community Corner,” which Balcom hosted, will appear every four weeks or so on the last Friday of each month, he said…

The “Season Finale” will include features about the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks in Athens and OJ’s Feed Store in Corning, Balcom said. His television programs, which originally included amusing interviews with Ohio University students, usually feature various small businesses in the region.  “I wanted to help small businesses because they didn’t have the money to advertise,” Balcom said.   —>

Four-letter word for learning: Film
by Kate Tsubata
Washington Times (DC)

This summer, our family and a network of friends made a feature-length movie. One daughter has been working on video, television and film studies in independent study and internships. She has done studio work for public-access programs at Community Television of Prince George’s and numerous videotaping and editing jobs for business and personal projects.

The book “Rebel Without a Crew” by Robert Rodriguez inspired the project. His first feature-length film, “El Mariachi,” had a huge impact. He made it for about $7,000, and it eventually attracted several industry awards and contracts. We also attended a weekend filmmaking course that taught many of the same core lessons: Work with what you have, innovate rather than imitate, and learn by doing.

With the inspiration of Mr. Rodriguez’s book and others, we outlined our project. First, we needed a script. I wrote an action-adventure script, incorporating assets such as the District’s new “open top” tour buses, the local train station, a farm, local landmarks and businesses. The public-access station let my daughter borrow some equipment and use the studio for a few scenes in exchange for permission to broadcast the film when it is finished.   —>

Activism, Not Cynicism
by Ed Fallon
Blog for Iowa

—>   Somehow, we have to get beyond the ridiculous, popular notion that all politicians are crooks.  Heck, even my favorite folk singer, Don McLean, said as much from the stage as he performed the closing act at the Iowa State Fair earlier this month, calling all presidential candidates liars.  Do some tell lies?  Sure.  Big ones.  But if McLean would choose to pay attention, he would hear a lot of truth in what some of the candidates have to say.  In fact, some campaign rhetoric follows the same themes McLean so poetically expresses in his music.

I don’t know how to put this any more emphatically, so imagine that the next sentence is highlighted, bold-faced and underlined (this e-mail programs only allows caps):  WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT.  IF POLITICIANS ARE CORRUPT AND ACT ONLY IN THE INTEREST OF BIG BUSINESS AND THE VERY WEALTHY, IT’S BECAUSE WE LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT!

The solution?  DON’T LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT!!  (See last week’s Update, challenging YOU to run for office. And while I’m at it, mea culpa for failing to remind you to vote in the upcoming school board election on September 11.)

WE need to become the experts on the issues, or at least on one or two issues.  You won’t get it all from the corporate media.  There are great sources of information on-line and in independent newspapers, magazines and journals.  Locally-owned radio stations and community-access television are occasionally helpful. The best source of quality information for me as a state lawmaker proved to be rank-and-file constituents I had come to know and trust over the years.  They had a grasp of information that put any lobbyist to shame.

WE need to donate time, money and ideas to those who run for office; providing they aren’t corporate or partisan lackeys.  How to sort out the good from the bad?  Well, perhaps it’s not unlike reviewing the cast of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  At first blush, it may be hard to tell the real from the fake.  I can even think of candidates who I thought were great; I helped them and later regretted it.  At a minimum, ask these questions:  What have candidates done to show that they care about their community?  Can they think clearly?  Do they have a good heart?  Do they have a stiff spine, a strong stomach?   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Director of Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: municipal programming, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising

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