Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/11/08

Hang-ups remain for Verizon in Northport
by Tim Healy
Newsday (NY)

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Representatives from Verizon visited Northport Thursday night to update the Village Board on the company’s efforts to offer television service to residents.  Verizon has been installing a fiber optic network in the village and currently offers telephone and Internet service but has not reached an agreement with the village to complete the “triple play” with a television franchise.

Franchise talks between the utility and the village have made some progress, according to James Matthews, the village attorney, but sticking points remain. Village officials are concerned about the installation schedule and how long it will take for all residents to be offered the service. To date, the utility has said it would take no longer than five years to get to everyone, although it would try to do so sooner…

“I would not vote for the franchise until I see which properties are not going to receive service,” initially, trustee Henry Tobin to the Verizon representatives.  Also among the issues pending is the size of a grant that Verizon would pay to the village to cover the cost of public access, educational and government programming. Known as a PEG grant, Verizon has offered $5,000, but trustee Thomas Kehoe wants the utility to match an additional $25,000 over three years that Verizon gave to the village of Farmingdale in a franchise agreement there.   —>,0,4709521.story

Where PEG Fits In Squarely
by Kent Gibbons
Multichannel News

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At a public hearing in New York City on Jan. 17, a man stood up and told city officials about a category of local programming that is cable-exclusive.  “You’re not going to find this on satellite,” the man said. “You’re going to find it on cable.”

The unusual thing was, the man doesn’t work for a cable company, or even one of those for-profit programmers that rely on cable distribution to earn their profits.  The man, Michael Knobbe, runs Bronxnet, the nonprofit organization that operates four public-access channels on Cablevision Systems, available to about 300,000 Bronx residents. The hearing was part of Cablevision’s renewal of an expired franchise in the borough…

Knobbe told me Bronxnet gets along well with Cablevision. There doesn’t seem to be any threat to its four channels, although he’d like more funding in order for equipment upgrades, such as getting more digital servers to replace older tape machines. The channel operates from a sub-basement in Lehman College, and a flood several months ago knocked out a studio (since reopened) and an editing suite.

Speakers at the public hearing pleaded for more staff at Bronxnet, whose model is to make professional productions and use them to train school kids and other volunteers in TV production. Some Bronxnet shows, including a documentary about the Hunts Point commercial area of the borough, have won local Emmys. Knobbe also would like money for satellite locations.  “You’d be surprised. People watch this channel,” Bronx attorney David P. Lesch, a frequent guest on Bronxnet talk show Open , told me before one such appearance. “My clients watch it.”   —>

Students conserve to save the Earth
by Myrna Feare
Danvers Herald (MA)

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High school students are becoming conscious of the environment and try to work toward saving the planet. One of the most popular venues for achieving their goal is through an environmental club. Jeff Gallo is the facilitator of the Danvers High School association….

Pamela Irwin, recycling coordinator for the town, said the kids do a great job.  “His students wrote and designed a flyer about storm-water protection, which they distribute to the neighborhood they’re doing the stenciling in,” Irwin said…

“The school is definitely encouraging increased recycling and community involvement,” Gallo said. “I think we’re moving in the right direction in that regard.”

Social studies teacher Jacquelyn White teaches a course in community service. This past semester, students did projects on recycling awareness and on nonprofits, creating videos for both, which will be seen on Danvers Community Access TV…

…For information on recycling in Danvers, watch the new DPW video featuring Pamela Irwin, recycling coordinator, on Danvers Community Access Television: Channel 9 or 22 —>

SpankOut Day Events Planned in Grand Rapids
Media Mouse (MI)

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April 30, 2008, will be Grand Rapids’ first “SpankOut Day”. Parents and caregivers are being asked to use any of the various approaches to effective, positive, and non-violent disciplinary practices during that day. There are many effective, non-hurtful approaches to child discipline and these techniques will be highlighted through several planned community events and on-going resources…. These events, all in Grand Rapids, are free and open to the public:

—>    * April 3, Thursday, 7pm, 1118 Wealthy SE: “IGE Talks” open discussion on spanking, aired on public access TV;

* April 16: SEE-TV show (on public access television): Panel discussion. “Peaceful Parenting, Peaceful World”. Panelists: Richa (moderator), peace activist; Rosalynn Bliss, child welfare worker and City Commissioner; Savator Selden-Johnson, Department of Human Services, and Sarah Scott-Brandt, artist and parent of a young child;   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: broadband policy, cable franchising, cable vs telco, Connect America, Connect Kentucky, municipal broadband, municipal WiMax, municiple wi-fi, PEG access TV, public access television, rural broadband, telecommunications policy, video franchising, youth media

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