Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/06/08

Ron Paul’s Town Hall Forum in New Hampshire

As a sort of protest to being excluded from Sunday’s Fox News Republican Forum, Ron Paul held a live town hall event broadcast on C-SPAN and live on his site.  Here’s a report from

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Shut out of a GOP presidential candidate forum sponsored by Fox News, Ron Paul staged his own televised town hall meeting today in which he fielded questions from undecided voters two days before the key primary election here.  The Lake Jackson Republican congressman faced a range of questions from the audience of about 100 people in the public access television station several miles from where four other presidential contenders were to later participate in the Fox debate.   —>

Fox News excuse to keep out Ron Paul / Duncan Hunter…rubbish
by James Chang

While watching the Fox News Republican forum in New Hampshire which featured candidates Rudolph Giuliani, John McCain, Romney, Huckabee, and Fred Thomson, their excuse in saying that the studio could not fit in Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter is absolutely ridiculous.  I bet you can get a bigger roundtable to fit Paul and Hunter with the other candidates. That studio is quite large enough to accomodate the both of them. Make a better excuse, Faux News.

Fox News’ reasoning in selecting candidates that have double-digit numbers in the opinion polls is flawed when you look at Giuliani and Thompson. It must be selective polling they are taking into account.  Kudos to the New Hampshire GOP for withdrawing their sponsorship of the forum.

But Ron Paul did not go away quietly.  The congressman staged his own televised town hall meeting today in Manchester where he fielded questions from undecided voters two days before the key primary election there. He faced a range of questions from the audience of 100 people in the public access television station several miles from where four other presidential contenders were to later participate in the Fox debate.   —>

Salina, Kan., sets standard for access television
by Emilie Rusch
Columbia Missourian

Community Access Television of Salina, Kan. — 300 miles west of Columbia — isn’t the biggest or the busiest public-access center in the country, but it’s proving public access can be successful and valuable.  Scooter Frakes and Tom Colby, welders from a town about 30 minutes from Salina, came to the access center with big dreams. They wanted to produce a 13-episode season of “Hartland Traditions,” a Kansas-centric look at hunting, and eventually take it to the national level.

Producers of other hunting shows get all excited when they talk about hunting opportunities in Kansas, Frakes said, but none are based there. Plus, he and Colby were looking for a way to raise awareness of youth hunting events.  “When we were trying to figure out where we’d find the space to do this, we stumbled upon (public) access,” Colby said. “Without the knowledge they have here, we’d be so far behind.”

Before they found public access, Frakes and Colby were relying on home video cameras. Now they can borrow professional-grade cameras, and they’ve even taken the mobile production truck out to a few events, including a Big Brothers/Big Sisters trip to a local shooting range.  “To be able to capture it on video and show the organization and who’s there and kids enjoying themselves, that’s pretty powerful,” Colby said.  “And for parents, to show what organizations are doing, instead of them just saying, ‘Oh god, there’s guns. We’re not going.’”

More staff, programming

In the 9½ years that David Hawksworth has manned the helm in Salina, he’s seen full-time staff grow from four employees to seven. That has allowed the station to offer more staff-produced programming for the government and education channels and to better support and develop volunteers’ skills.

Salina’s model is one the folks who run Columbia Access Television, which has struggled with shoestring budgets over its first three years, would like to move toward. They’re hoping the City Council will see the need and vote as early as Jan. 22 to boost and solidify CAT’s funding through a five-year contract.

“In an age where funding is less certain, you have to provide something that’s of service to the community,” Hawksworth said. “If there are important things going on and volunteers aren’t covering it, we as an access center have a responsibility to produce that.”  “We’re here to provide that mechanism for those people that have a voice in the community. The more we can help people to find that voice and develop that voice, the better off everyone is,” Hawksworth said. “We were able because we had enough support from the city.”   —>

A way to record, broadcast events
by Stan Musick
The Reporter (CA)

As the new year begins, many parents will be trying to balance the kids’ schedules and their own to make life go as smoothly as possible.

They will be busy with work and the kids, and may have little time to enjoy their kids’ activities or sports events. The kids grow and progress, and much is missed. Before parents know it, their children are graduating and moving on with their lives. It’s soon a memory, mostly of getting their children to and from activities and volunteering behind the scenes instead of how their kids looked or acted during them.

Vacaville Community Television, which operates Public Access Channel 27, wants to help change that.  We would like to help record and broadcast their moments so you can relive them with your children. Kids like to talk about their activities and wish parents were there to watch them. Recording the events keeps the family in the action while it’s happening, and great memories can be relived when your kids have their kids.

Every team or activity usually has at least one person recording his or her own child at every event. If the shot were widened to include a few more kids, it could become a home movie that highlights the camera operator’s kid and records the action as well. If more cameras are used to record the event, even more kids can be shown.

Once these recordings are made, Vacaville Community Television can show them, or have volunteers at the station download and mix the recordings. The original recordings will be returned, and a broadcast of the event can be shown on cable TV Channel 27 for everyone to watch. Families can record the event for free during broadcast, or make a donation to VCT for a personal DVD dub.

At your child’s next event, ask the parents if anyone has a camcorder. Find a few people who already record their kids, or would if they had the equipment and were shown how. Try to get a couple of people as back up. Then call me at 334-3126 or e-mail me at when you identify those people.

This year, let’s enjoy seeing your kids grow up before your eyes. Ask around and get a parent or two to join the fun. You kids will have surprising results from this, too, try it and you will thank us.

Howell Officials Unhappy With Comcast Local Access Change

At its meeting Monday night, the Howell City Council will discuss a decision by Comcast to remove the city’s community access television channel from its current spot, effective Jan. 15, and move it to a channel in the 900’s. It’s part of the digital TV revolution, and requires those wanting to view the local municipal government channel to have a converter box. —>

AT&T to roll out U-Verse this week in Metro East
by Tim Logan
St. Louis Post Dispatch (MO)

U-Verse is coming to Illinois.  AT&T will turn on its much-ballyhooed video service for the first time in the state on Monday, launching home installation in 17 Metro East communities from Cahokia to Troy and bringing another dose of competition to the region’s television market.  It’s the latest step in AT&T’s gradual rollout of U-Verse, an Internet-based service the company says brings more features and functions than traditional cable. And it comes less than a month after the telecom giant brought video to the St. Louis market on the Missouri side of the river.  Now it’s jumping the Mississippi, entering Illinois through the Metro East.   —>

VIDEO — Meet The Candidates for State Representative
by Ed
Help Bring Public Access TV Back to Swampscott (MA)

Recorded at Temple Emanu-el, Marblehead, MA., January 6, 2008.  The order of speaking is Ehrlich, DeGenova, Blaisdell, Barry, Archilla. Thanks to Temple Emanu-el for holding this event and for their friendliness, generosity and openness in allowing me to record it, even though, as usual, I showed up at the last minute, and they didn’t know who I was.

This is just the candidates closing statements. I will submit the entire event to LynnCAM TV 3, and Marblehead TV 10. (Swampscott’s channels 15 and 16 are off limits to the public, as you know! They’re for government use only, and in the case of Channel 16, government non-use).

Dracut: Local Youth Appears on Program
by Rocco Colella
Boston Globe (MA)

A Dracut freshman was featured on the nationally syndicated news program “Teen Kids News” last week. Tyler Dumont, a 14-year-old student at Lowell Catholic High School, submitted a sample tape featuring pieces he edited about the Boston Duck Tours and an indoor-skydiving facility. In addition to his camera work, Dumont participates on Dracut cable access television, running his own program, “Kids World.” He plans to attend Lyndon State College in 2012. “Teen Kids News” airs Sundays on WMUR-TV (Channel 9) at 10:30 a.m. and WCVB-TV (Channel 5) at 11:30 a.m. For more information on the program and transcript information, visit

Holliston: Verizon Public Access on Tap
by Calvin Hennick
Boston Globe (MA)

Local Verizon FiOS television subscribers should have access to local programming this month, Town Administrator Paul LeBeau said. The company began offering cable TV service in town this fall, but so far it has not broadcast local-access programming, including public meetings. The deadline for the company to carry the local content is Feb. 19, but LeBeau said the company appears to be on track to offer the programming sometime this month.

One radio station, two communities
Cape Verdeans, Haitians broadcast concerns and hot sounds
by Milton J. Valencia
Boston Globe (MA)

BROCKTON – The dance-hall rhythm of steel drums and bass that pounds the radio airwaves these days in Brockton emanates from a dimly-lit office building in the city’s Montello section. The studio’s computers are secondhand, and the only sound proofing is an old door. But the makeshift accommodations don’t matter, because the music is good, and it seems everyone is listening.

Haitians call the sound “compas,” and Cape Verdeans know it as “zouk.” Whatever the label, the small radio station seems to have channeled a sense of camaraderie between two of the largest immigrant groups in the Brockton area.  “This is why, through music, we understand each other,” said Djovany Pierre, the owner of Brockton Heat, on 96.5 FM.

The unlikely collaboration between Haitians and Cape Verdeans has created the hottest radio in the city. Brockton Heat is a low-powered radio station that began broadcasting about a year ago and is still seeking an operating license from the Federal Communications Commission; an application was filed in October. And yet its popularity has already catapulted it from an Internet stream to a recognized voice of authority in this melting pot of a city.   —>

Documentary celebrates musical legacy of folk singer Margaret MacArthur
A ‘Waltz’ for Margaret
by Susan Green
Burlington Free Press (VT)

In an era when Britney Spears can dominate the news, the quiet modesty of a Margaret MacArthur is likely to go largely unnoticed by the popular culture.  The folksinger and folklorist, who died at age 78 in May 2006, spent most of her life tapping into a more enduring culture. While raising five children in an 1802 Marlboro farmhouse, she somehow found time to immerse herself in musical traditions that span centuries and traverse continents.

Apparently no place, though, inspired this ardent “songcatcher” as much as the state where she took up residence exactly six decades ago. That devotion was already evident in her first album, recorded for the Folkways label in 1962: “Ballads of Vermont.”

MacArthur’s significant contribution to the genre is conveyed in “Margaret’s Waltz,” an award-winning new documentary by Rebecca Padula of Hinesburg. The 90-minute film, which chronicles two 2007 tribute concerts, will screen on Jan. 18 in Burlington.  “I never knew Margaret well,” explains Padula, who is a performer in her own right and channel coordinator at Lake Champlain Access Television in Colchester. “I was more of a fan.”

Nonetheless, she didn’t hesitate when asked to tape the two shows produced in Marlboro and Middlebury last March by folk impresario Mark Sustic of Fletcher. “He said it might be a cool, documentary kind of thing,” Padula, 37, recalls.  “I was determined to document it in some way,” says Sustic, who befriended MacArthur in the 1970s. “In my mind, this was a continuation of Margaret’s legacy of documenting folk music, as well as a way for people who couldn’t be there to enjoy the concerts.”

The idea to give the project even more of a flourish, with archival material and interviews, came from Dave Richardson. He’s a veteran of the legendary Boys of the Lough, some of MacArthur’s oldest and dearest pals. The Celtic band played at both performances.  On camera, Richardson remembers how they would stop at MacArthur’s home in between gigs around the country during the early 1970s to share music, “eat great food, drink their homemade beer and everything was wonderful.” She later toured with them in the Scottish Highlands. “Margaret’s Waltz” is a title Padula borrowed from an instrumental number the Boys often perform.

Maine-based Gordon Bok is another folk luminary on stage and in the film. Ditto for Pete and Karen Sutherland of Vergennes. Three of MacArthur’s grown children, who regularly accompanied her, also join in the festivities.  “One of the highlights of this experience for me was to hang out as everyone was jamming,” Padula acknowledges.

Despite much wonderful humor and some breathtaking musicianship, the proceedings harbor a sense of loss. MacArthur’s death came within a week after she was diagnosed with a rare brain affliction called Jacob Kreutzfeld Disease, according to Sustic. The concerts were part of Events for Tom, an ongoing benefit series he has organized since his young son succumbed to leukemia in 2001.

British-born Tony Barrand, a southern Vermonter perhaps best known for his “Nowell Sing We Clear” holiday extravaganzas but now battling multiple sclerosis, sings heartily as ever from a wheelchair. He delivers a melody, written by Malvina Reynolds of “Little Boxes” fame. It describes a neighbor’s baby being born while Barrand and longtime musical cohort John Roberts were driving her to the hospital from MacArthur’s farm.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable vs telco, channel slamming, election programming, interconnection, low power FM, LPFM, PEG access TV, public access television, U-Verse, video franchising, youth media

3 Comments on “Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/06/08”

  1. […] Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/06/08 […]

  2. […] Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/06/08 […]

  3. […] Forum, Ron Paul held a live town hall event broadcast on C-SPAN and live on his site.? Here??s a rep skydiving in Las Vegaswatch a few mins at the start and then skip to the 11:00 minute […]

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