Archive for the ‘Creative Commons’ category

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/22/08

January 23, 2008

Airwaves, Web Power at Auction
by Stephen Labaton
New York Times

WASHINGTON — The auction for rights to a highly valuable swath of the nation’s airwaves will begin Thursday and is expected to include multibillion-dollar bids from the nation’s two biggest wireless phone companies, Verizon and AT&T, as well as Google.  Although industry executives and analysts agree that Google is unlikely to win any licenses, the company already has an invaluable victory: in setting the auction rules, the Federal Communications Commission has forced the major telephone companies to open their wireless networks to a broader array of telephone equipment and Internet applications.

The radio spectrum licenses, which are to be returned from television broadcasters as they complete their conversion from analog to digital signals in February 2009, are as coveted as oil reserves are to energy companies. They will provide the winners with access to some of the best remaining spectrum — enabling them to send signals farther from a cell tower with far less power, through dense walls in cities, and over wider territories in rural areas that are now underserved.

And the licenses are on the auction block just as it is becoming obvious to industry players and investors that wireless broadband is rapidly becoming the next big thing, the mobile Internet.   —>

New Report Concludes: To Be Competitive, Cities Must Own High Speed Information Networks
by Christopher Mitchell

The United States, creator of the Internet, increasingly lags in access to it. In the absence of a national broadband strategy, many communities have invested in broadband infrastructure, especially wireless broadband, to offer broadband choices to their residents.

Newspaper headlines trumpeting the death of municipal wireless networks ignore the increasing investments by cities in Wi-Fi systems. At the same time, the wireless focus by others diverts resources and action away from building the necessary long term foundation for high speed information: fiber optic networks.

DSL and cable networks cannot offer the speeds required by a city wishing to compete in the digital economy. Business, government, and citizens all need affordable and fast access to information networks.

Today’s decisions will lay the foundation of telecommunications infrastructure for decades. Fortunately, we already know the solution: wireless solves the mobility problem; fiber solves the speed and capacity problems; and public ownership offers a network built to benefit the community.

Download the full report –

HiperBarrio’s Citizen Journalists Bring Their Local Community Together (Columbia, SA)
by David Sasaki
Global Voices

The impetus for Rising Voices, a citizen media outreach project funded by a Knight Foundation News Challenge award, surged from the observation that the great majority of self-published bloggers, podcasters, and photographers featured everyday on Global Voices were highly educated, urban, and upper-middle class. While the growth of citizen media has allowed for an unprecedented level of global connectedness, that network of new voices has yet to expand beyond the wealthy neighborhoods of urban centers across the globe.

Until now. Thanks to the hard work of Rising Voices’ project coordinators, an international readership is discovering the local stories of previously unheard voices including young women in Dhaka, Bangladesh, motivated interns in Sierra Leone, and residents of the largely indigenous city of El Alto, Bolivia.

Rising Voices, however, is much more than an initiative to bring local voices to a global audience. We are also interested in the potential of citizen media to create more unity in already established local communities. With this in mind, the facilitators and participants of HiperBarrio recently organized a town hall meeting which brought together over 100 residents and community leaders from San Javier La Loma, a hillside community which endured the brunt of the violence during Medellín’s Esobar era and the subsequent chaos that followed until as recently as 2002.

The event, which was to take place in La Loma’s cancha acustica (the barrio’s only public space), was moved to an auditorium in the local church when the afternoon’s drizzling rain refused to let up. The Colombian digital magazine, equinoXio, published a four-part series about the unusual citizen media event with contributions from two of HiperBarrio’s talented participants, Catalina and Julio Restrepo, as well as one of the facilitators, Alvaro Ramirez. Their articles, two of which have been translated from Spanish below, reveal how HiperBarrio has brought a sense of unified community to what was once one of Medellín’s most violent and most divided neighborhoods.   —>

Colorado’s Legislative TV Debut Impresses
by Jim Spencer (1 comment)
Colorado Confidential

It is too soon to pronounce Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff a TV star. But it is not too soon to pronounce his leadership in televising his body’s legislative sessions visionary.  Colorado Open House, the state’s legislature’s new television show, debuted Monday with moving speeches about the civil rights movement on Martin Luther King Day. Romanoff later said the timing was coincidental. But it could not have been more compelling.   —>

Pegging the Right Audit
by line of flight
Maui Talk (HI)

Got an e-mail today regarding Senator Ihara’s Senate Bill 2618. Apparently, the distinguished gentleman from Waikiki has decided that there is incestuous back-scratching between all of the public, education, government (PEG) access non-profit organizations, the cable companies and the state.

In paragraph 3 of section 1, the bill reads, ” Allegations of wrongdoing have arisen in regard to the department of commerce and consumers affairs, which regulates the access organizations. These allegations include possible partisan preferential treatment of candidates for recent state and federal elections, allegations of malfeasance by department of commerce and consumer affairs personnel, and forcing the access corporations to change their bylaws to give majority board appointment power to the director of commerce and consumer affairs. There was also an allegation of wrongdoing in the governor’s refusal to appoint members to the cable advisory committee during crucial times.”

Ironically, these allegations all point to wrongdoing on the part of the state’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, not the PEG access organizations.

In paragraph 4 of the same section goes on to state “allegations have also arisen against the access organizations themselves[.] Furthermore, now that there is only one statewide cable monopoly, there is concern that self-dealing can and will arise between the department of commerce and consumer affairs, the access organizations boards, the majority of which are appointed by the department of commerce and consumer affairs and the minority of which are appointed by the cable company, and the cable company.”

Now, I can’t speak for O’ahu and ‘Olelo which has historically had a very cozy relationship with the state, but Maui’s situation cannot be understated. The state hates Akaku. Akaku has sued the state regarding governance issues and state interference in no less than 5 lawsuits some of them active.   —>

Has AT&T Lost Its Mind? A baffling proposal to filter the Internet.
by Tim Wu (24 comments)

Chances are that as you read this article, it is passing over part of AT&T’s network. That matters, because last week AT&T announced that it is seriously considering plans to examine all the traffic it carries for potential violations of U.S. intellectual property laws. The prospect of AT&T, already accused of spying on our telephone calls, now scanning every e-mail and download for outlawed content is way too totalitarian for my tastes. But the bizarre twist is that the proposal is such a bad idea that it would be not just a disservice to the public but probably a disaster for AT&T itself. If I were a shareholder, I’d want to know one thing: Has AT&T, after 122 years in business, simply lost its mind?   —>

SCTE ET: TV expert says AT&T’s video play has 12-18 months left
by Mike Robuck

AT&T will be out of the video business within the course of the next 12 to 18 months, according to president Phillip “Swanni” Swann.  Swann was speaking at the luncheon keynote address during Wednesday’s SCTE Conference on Emerging Technologies (ET) when he made his prediction about AT&T’s future in video. Swan, who claims an 89 percent success rate with his prognostications, made nine other video-related predictions for the year.  In the case of AT&T, Swann said the company has spent too much time and money for its 250,000 video customers while Verizon has racked up one million subs for its service.   —>

The Future of Public TV – PBS & YouTube
by Robert Paterson
Robert Paterson’s Blog

PBS have announced that they will expand their offering on YouTube.

“PBS announced this week that it will add video, including previews from its award-winning series and specials, as well as exclusive online features and program excerpts to its YouTube channel.  The broadcaster currently offers more than 700 videos to its 3,000 YouTube channel subscribers and said that consumer demand led to the decision to add more content.

“PBS said that Bill Moyers Journal featuring interviews with two candidates seeking party nominations for the presidential election (Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich) drew more than 11,000 views since they were posted on the PBS YouTube channel two weeks ago.—>

Public Broadcasters Opt for CC
by Michelle Thorne
Creative Commons

Public broadcasters often ask themselves: how to better enable tax payers to access the works that they have paid for? This was the question that the BBC, the public broadcaster for the United Kingdom, addressed in 2004 during the debate over its charter renewal. The result of their deliberations was a yearlong pilot, the Creative Archive Licensing Group project, launched in September 2005.

The objective of the Creative Archive was to make BBC material available online to UK citizens. The content was released under a Creative Archive Licence, a license similar in some respects to the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commerical ShareAlike License, but more restrictive in that it allowed only non-profit educational & personal use, forbade promotional or campaign use, and limited these rights to within the UK.

During the pilot period, the Creative Archive received much praise. At its conclusion in September 2006, the BBC had released nearly 500 clips, full programs, audio tracks, and images. As the recent director of the Creative Archive Paul Gerhardt noted in an interview, viewers respected the licenses, and during the trial period, only two minor licensing breaches had been reported. However, a hurdle for the initiative was the fact that the Creative Archive could only license simple rights material from the BBC, which meant that no third-party programming could be included in the Archive.

Still, as Herkko Hietanen points out in Community Created Content, “The [Creative Archive] was in line with BBC’s goal ‘ to turn the BBC into an open cultural and creative resource for the nation’.” The Creative Archive was indeed a significant step for public interest and one of the BBC’s most applauded initiatives. And so, although the Creative Archive is not longer in active use, the philosophy of open licensing has continued to grow within the BBC.

Today several departments in the BBC publish content under Creative Commons licenses: album reviews (for example) and a partnership with MusicBrainz, a community music metadatabase that uses CC licenses. Furthermore, under other licensing conditions, the BBC has opened up its website to developers at It also offers television and radio programs to stream or download through its iPlayer, although the player’s format has been the source of some criticism.   —>

February 2nd: Community Media Coming Together
by Gordon Smith (1 comment)
BlogAsheville (NC)

Mountain Area Information Network (including WPVM) and BlogAsheville are coming together on February 2nd at the Rocket Club in west Asheville for the chance to put our heads together and get our community media on. This get together is long overdue.

Wally Bowen is the founder and leader of MAIN. He’s working on a lot of different angles and planes, and when we got together for a cup of coffee last month, the ideas started flying fast. When we were running out of time, having only just scraped the surface of our common interests, I realized that we’ve really got to get all the bloggers’ brains in on the conversation. Then it occurred to me that MAIN and WPVM would be really fun to party with. Let’s get even more motivated, intelligent, witty, media-savvy folks with common interests in the same room together.   —>

Cable TV rates on the rise
by Todd Wallack
Boston Globe (MA)

The price of watching CNN, ESPN and other pay-television networks is going up — again. Comcast, RCN, Verizon and satellite providers are all increasing their rates.  Comcast Corp., the state’s largest cable TV provider with about 1.6 million customers in Massachusetts, plans to raise rates an average of 4 percent next month.   —>

Wasn’t Competition Supposed To Bring Lower TV Prices?
Everybody raising prices in Northeast…
by Karl (158 comments)
Broadband Reports

Remember all of the talk about how when the phone company got into the TV business, you’d see lower prices? Apparently they were just kidding. The Boston Globe notes that RCN, Comcast and Verizon are all raising prices in the region. Comcast will raise rates by an average of four percent next month. RCN is raising their standard TV rates by five percent. Verizon will be raising rates for FiOS TV customers by as much as twelve percent. Comcast explains the rate hikes to the paper:   —>

Broadband – Open up those highways
Rapid internet services are a boon. But not all regulators understand them
The Economist

In eras past, economic success depended on creating networks that could shift people, merchandise and electric power as efficiently and as widely as possible. Today’s equivalent is broadband: the high-speed internet service that has become as vital a tool for producers and distributors of goods as it is for people plugging into all the social and cultural opportunities offered by the web.

Easy access to cheap, fast internet services has become a facilitator of economic growth and a measure of economic performance. No wonder, then, that statistics show a surge in broadband use, especially in places that are already prosperous. The OECD, a rich-country club, says the number of subscribers in its 30 members was 221m last June—a 24% leap over a year earlier. But it is not always the most powerful economies that are most wired. In Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland, over 30% of inhabitants have broadband. In America, by contrast, the proportion is 22%, only slightly above the OECD average of just under 20%.

In terms of speed, Japan leads the world. Its average advertised download speed is 95 megabits per second. France and Korea are ranked second and third, but are less than half as fast, and the median among OECD countries is not much more than a tenth. America’s average speed is supposed to be a bit above the median, but most users find that it isn’t, or that the faster speeds are vastly more expensive. A New Yorker who wants the same quality of broadband as a Parisian has to pay around $150 more per month.

What accounts for the differences among rich countries? Two or three years ago demography was often cited: small, densely populated countries were easier to wire up than big, sparsely inhabited ones. But the leaders in broadband usage include Canada, where a tiny population is spread over a vast area. The best explanation, in fact, is that broadband thrives on a mix of competition and active regulation, to ensure an open contest.   —>

‘Roll Call’s’ roles for real
by Frank Mulligan (1 comment)
Taunton Call (MA)

“Roll Call” fans will never have to worry about a writers’ strike.  That’s because much of the material is culled from police reports by the local cable TV access show’s co-hosts, Community Police Officers Steve Crowninshield and Mike Bonenfant, who logged their 90th episode on Jan. 16.  That 30-minute show featured the veteran officers’ usual banter, community-safety information and police stories right from the source – the cops themselves.   —>

Winter Concert – EHS – Easthampton, and
Demolition Derby – Franklin County Fair – Greenfield
Easthampton Community Access Television (MA)

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media


Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/19/08

January 21, 2008

‘Unfinished business’
Star Tribune (MN)

—>   Charlayne Hunter-Gault will be the keynote speaker at Monday’s 18th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast at the Minneapolis Convention Center, sponsored by the General Mills Foundation and the United Negro College Fund. The event is sold out but will be broadcast live at 8 a.m. on Twin Cities Public Television. For more information, go to  Editorial writer Denise Johnson recently spoke with Hunter-Gault about King’s legacy, race, and civil and human rights. Here are excerpts from the conversation…

Q:  During your career, you have been the first woman, first African-American or both in several positions. Now we have a presidential campaign with the first black and first woman as frontrunners — and one in which race has been raised in interesting ways. What’s your assessment?

A:  Race is featured in a very contentious primary — again that reminds us to be vigilant. But I’m not pessimistic. I’m encouraged even when the discourse is contentious. However uncomfortable that makes us, we talk about it, we debate it and that’s healthy. This is some of the most-energetic debate about race I’ve seen in a long time — especially since 9/11, when people were so traumatized. Americans are coming out of that dismal period to actually engage in what democracy means and take on some of the unfinished business of the civil-rights movement. Race is that unfinished business.

Q:  And how should it be addressed?

A: Debate, discussion, honest conversations. MLK said the movement must include blacks and whites, young and old, north and south. We need organizations that embrace all kinds of Americans who will talk openly, more groups that include people who disagree. No one can do it alone. We need people of all races, classes and backgrounds.

That’s why this campaign is so exciting; it has awakened young people, poor people. Having the discussion involving two people with good [civil-rights] credentials helps. [Obama and Clinton] are not symbolic figures. They are people of substance who have earned their positions.

In America, we’ve had periodic eruptions around race. We talked about two separate societies after riots in 1968, then discussions occurred again after Rodney King. But there isn’t an ongoing, constructive conversation. We need to figure out how to harness this energy into something lasting that benefits we the people. —>

Community TV tackles in-depth news
by Shanna McCord
Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA)

A new local news source is taking on the mainstream media with a show aimed at in-depth story-telling in Santa Cruz County — touted by its producers as substance over sound bites and nightly stories that only skim the surface.  Scoot over KSBW, KION and KCBA, the network affiliates with coverage in the county. Community Television of Santa Cruz County has developed a new current affairs program called “Epicenter,” which airs on channels 25 and 71 at 7:30 p.m. every Monday

The one-hour news show is designed “to fill a void” left by local media outlets, and cover topics its producers believe are ignored or under-reported by the daily press.  “With the nightly news, you only get two-minute run and gun, just the facts ma’am,” producer Emery Hudson said.  Topics covered by “Epicenter,” which first aired earlier this month, so far include immigration, health care reform, biodiesel and issues plaguing Watsonville.  When it comes to local network news, KSBW, headquartered in Salinas, is the only station with a reporter permanently assigned to Santa Cruz.   —>

Muscatine Community College’s new Community Television Theater open house
New TV studio livens up production at MCC
by Cynthia Beaudette
Muscatine Journal (IA)

Area audiences can see locally produced television shows in a whole new light, now that the renovation of the Muscatine Community College Community Television Theater is complete.  Studio director Chad Bishop said the improved, expanded facility makes it possible to create higher quality local programming.

Expenses for approximately half of the updates were funded through a grant Bishop applied for through the Muscatine-based Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust.  The rest of the approximately $36,000 project was funded through the studio’s regular budget, the Eastern Iowa Community College District and Muscatine Power & Water.  The project has doubled the size of the studio to 1,200 square feet, Bishop said…

Texas Community Media Summit
by jon

I’ll be attending the March 1 Texas Community Media Summit – I was at a similar gathering 2-3 years ago, which was useful, but citizen media was new; it’s matured since then, and I suspect we’ll have more to talk about this year. This summit is for “Texas community media makers, stakeholders, activists, and advocates.” If you’re a Texas blogger, you should be there.

Switch To Digital TV Leaves Some Viewers Outside The Box
Tampa Tribune (FL)

If you can’t find your government and education channels on your TV, you’re probably among the Bright House customers left behind in its channel realignment last month.  Unless you have a digital-ready TV or the right brand of converter box, you can no longer watch your local government boards in action.

There is a possibility the change won’t stick. A federal judge in Michigan has temporarily prohibited another cable company, Comcast, from making a similar move. She correctly found it was not in the public interest to deprive some subscribers of easy access to government channels.  Tampa is making a similar legal argument here. The reasonable complaint is that the minimum offer to every cable subscriber should include the ability to watch the government, education and public-access channels.

Instead of joining the lawsuit, Hillsborough County commissioners worked out a deal with Bright House to equip the TVs at County Center with free converter boxes. The deal, approved last week, also gives the county $150,000 in free TV advertising over two years.  The only commissioner voting against the arrangement was Rose Ferlita, who observed, “It’s a matter of people looking at this like we got hush money to do what we want to do, and they have to pay the buck to continue watching us protect their community.”   —>

Greece school district rejects giving towns cable access
by Meaghan M. McDermott (7 comments)
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (NY)

The Greece Central School District has rejected a proposal to allow west-side towns to use a television studio at Olympia High School for cable access services.  Kathryn Firkins, director of constituent services for the town of Greece, said she was notified earlier this week by district officials who said the district decided not to move forward with the proposal.  She called the development “unfortunate” and said local town leaders will meet in coming weeks to discuss their next steps.  “I don’t know what those options might be,” she said.  Board of Education President Roger Boily declined to comment.

Talks about cable access have been ongoing among the district, Greece, Ogden, Gates, Parma and Clarkson since 2004. The towns initially wanted to hire the district to provide cable access television.  In June, the Board of Education voted down that plan. Negotiations have been going on to allow the municipalities to find an independent provider who would contract with the school to broadcast from the Olympia facility.

Gates town Supervisor Ralph Esposito blasted the move.  “I think the school district made a very bad decision,” he said. “I think they neglected their taxpayers and their students. This was a no-brainer.”  Funding for cable access comes from franchise fees that Time Warner Cable pays local municipalities. Towns and villages provide a portion of those fees — about 4 percent — for public cable access.  Esposito noted that municipalities would have paid for using Olympia’s studio, and that Greece students would have been able to learn television production skills at the studio. The district currently offers one television production course using the $660,000 studio.   —>

Time Warner Cable responds to city’s fears
by Ed Gebert
Times Bulletin (OH)

VAN WERT – Is the city of Van Wert losing control over cable television and video service at the end of the year 2011? Pat McCauley, government affairs manager at Time Warner Cable, says that the city will continue to enjoy the same benefits it receives right now, including the franchise fee.  “You know there has been a lot of confusion with the state franchises and how they will affect communities,” McCauley said. “Cable companies do not have the authority to reduce franchise fees. That is done only with the direction of the city. We have to set those at what the city tells us to set them at. We can’t change those.”

City Councilman Gary Corcoran, who represents the city on the Van Wert Public Access Television Board, still isn’t convinced that the city won’t lose out eventually.  “I would agree with that until the franchise agreement expires,” he stated. “Nothing will change until 2011. At that point, something could change.”   —>

The Right Tool for the Right Job
Exploring the possibilities and opportunities of the Open Media Web and developing the methods, formats and protocols to make it possible.
by Tara Hunt

One of the core messages that came out of the Media Web Meetup III: the Producers was this:

“Copyright laws, DMCA, etc. were tools that were instituted to help large organizations protect themselves from large organizations, it did not imagine the negotiations of individual producers in the Open Media Web. Instead of bringing the massive amount of baggage these tools wield into our communities of indie content producers, we should start talking about how – as a community – we need to figure out an ethical set of protocols for how to handle these negotiations…and these protocols needs to be flexible, relationship-based and anchored in social capital.”

Ironically, these protocols appear to exist moreso in the world of text than they do in the world of multi-media. What do I mean by that? Think about what happens in blogging communities. Very early on in the days of blogging, a community protocol was established around attribution, even when attribution desires were not voiced. If you were blogging about an idea that someone else had or using a quote from another blog, it was attributed and there was a link back to the original idea/text. Now, if you didn’t do that, you weren’t served a takedown notice, you may be seen as a jerk (relationship based) and people would lose respect for you (the loss of Social Capital) and they would stop reading your blog (real social consequences). There are grey areas to this (flexible), but in general, successful bloggers err on the side of caution and attribute as much as possible.

And this works great. It not only keeps people honest, but it has benefited the entire community, circulating ideas and helping encourage more people to contribute those ideas (the myth of the ’stolen ideas’ is busted when bloggers get recognition and prestige from publishing theirs openly, which encourages others to do the same). There were no laws separating bloggers from bloggers here. No centralized rulebook. It happened organically through a series of communications and experiences in the early growth of the community.

But when it comes to multi-media, we somehow passed over an early opportunity to establish similar protocols. Images, audio files and videos are constantly passed around online without attribution, used without permission and then big, expensive, heavy legal tools are wielded to stop this behavior. When a photographer’s image is posted on a website that doesn’t attribute or get permission, the same social stigma doesn’t take place. Photographers are told, “That’s what happens when you post your work online”. And, more often, a photographer won’t find out that their work is being lifted anyway, since multi-media isn’t as searchable (a simple filename change throws off the trail).

Even though their heart is in the right place, Creative Commons doesn’t really alleviate this situation, and it may even exacerbate it.   —>

All Things Access 108
by Bonnie Schumacher
Find Your Voice on Community TV (MN)

Click to Play

This is an episdoe of St. Paul Neighborhood Network’s Access Department’s program All Things Access. It contains a technical tip on audio/video gear, a profile of an SPNN member, an interviw with a Non-Profit, and a community interest piece.

What is SPNN?
by Bonnie Schumacher
Find Your Voice on Community TV (MN)

Click to Play

Learn about the community Access television station, St. Paul Neighborhood Network. Find out how you can make your own program and cablecast it to the St. Paul community,

“Refusing to Kill” (video)
by dandelionsalad
Dandelion Salad

Payday sent us a video that we use to start off the show this week.  “Refusing to Kill” features seven Refuseniks from around the world speaking out against murder, rape & other torture. Payday is an international and multiracial network of men which works with the Global Women’s Strike. The range of participants in this project are impressive

“Indymedia Presents” is a 28 minute weekly cable public access program produced on behalf of the Seattle Independent Media Center (IMC) by PepperSpray Productions. In addition to SCAN Channel 77 in Seattle, “Indymedia Presents” also airs on channels in greater King County (Channel 23), Bainbridge Island (Channel 12), Port Townsend, WA (Channel 47 & 48), Olympia, WA (Channel 22), Vancouver, WA (Channel 11), Portland, OR (Channel 22 and a few others), Tucson, AZ (Channel 73), St Paul, MN (Channel 15), Minneapolis, MN (Channel 17), Fort Wayne, IN (Channel 57), and on New York City’s Manhattan Neighborhood Network, (Channel 34).  Indymedia Presents is also available as an RSS feed at: Blip TV–

Central Authors
Central Connecticut State University

Central Authors is an annual series of 12 half-hour programs produced for Connecticut’s cable television stations.  The format allows our faculty and staff the familiar comfort of the classroom lecture . . .but in the Campus Bookstore. It also provides them the luxury to wax over their work for the full 30 minutes without interruption. Essentially the full span of scholarship defines the topical domain with presentors ranging from seasoned veteran authors to ‘first-book’ pens.

Youth to mayor: ‘Facebook us!’
by Carol Martin
SooToday (MI)

Participants in today’s Youth Forum at Sault Ste. Marie City Hall were fully engaged.  And that’s just what everyone wanted.

“How do we get the amenities where the youth actually put their handprint in this community, so they’ve got something started and they want to stay because they want to follow through on that opportunity?” asked Mayor John Rowswell. “We’re bringing their ownership into where we’re going to grow the community in the future.”

Youth Community Forum Co-Chair Alvin Olar says that youth in Sault Ste. Marie are very active, have accomplished much so far and have many good ideas of where to go next.  “We have been effective,” Olar says. “We’ve taken research, we’ve identified the recommendations and we’ve implemented them – we have a Youth Council, we have an alternative youth publication [Fresh Magazine], we have Buskerfest. We’ve done a lot as a volunteer group.”  Olar says it’s now time to move forward and identify partners, such as the City, schools, YMCA and United Way that youth can work with to further identify their needs, act on recommendations and make the Sault more attractive to young people.

The mayor proclaimed 2008 ‘Year of the Youth’ at the beginning of the forum and in his proclamation he encouraged all citizens to join with local young people in showing their appreciation and admiration for our future leaders.  During the forum today, youth in attendance echoed that sentiment, wanting to see:

– A more positive portrayal of youth in the media.
– More recognition of youth achievement.
– More diverse opportunities for fulfilling employment.
– More access to art and entertainment they are interested in.

Several suggested using to organize and promote the things they are interested in.  Some also said they wanted to see less talk and more action when it comes to services for youth, such as a youth centre and an administrator to run it.  They liked the idea of a one-stop-shopping centre with information and resources about things that concern youth.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media