Archive for the ‘government access’ category

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government September 17th Hearing on PEG Access TV, in YouTube Clips

September 21, 2008

~~~

We thank the House staff and the staff of DCTV for their work in making this footage available.  Persons interested in cablecasting this hearing on their communities’ PEG access channels may obtain a copy by contacting the Alliance for Community Media at 202-393-2650 x 12.  Also, the whole hearing is available for viewing in one online file at http://blip.tv/file/1278920/ .

~~~

01: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D) Opening Statement (pdf)

In his opening statement Chairman Serrano expressed support for PEG access, explaining the purpose of the 1984 federal law that gave local franchising entities the authority to require PEG access channels.  “By granting this authority,” Serrano said, “Congress recognized that PEG programming is in the public interest and essential to our communties as an outlet for free speech, local information and opinions, and emergency communications.  PEG supports our democratic ideals by helping to develop a well-informed and educated society.  It benefits all of us to support and encourage PEG programming.”

Chairman Serrano also explicitly took AT&T to task for declining to attend the hearing.  “AT&T’s recent action relating to PEG channels goes to the heart of many of the concerns that will be raised today.  Let the record show that I consider their decision not to send a witness to be indicative of the company’s apparent disregard of the importance of PEG to local communities.”
~~~

Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D) & Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R)

02: Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R) Opening Statement

In the absence of the Subcommittee Ranking Member Ralph Regula (OH-R), Rep. Mark Kirk (IL-R) made the opening statement for the minority.  He strongly reinforced the Chairman’s comments on AT&T, and the importance of PEG access.  “If there was any thought by AT&T that the Republican member here at the hearing would help them out, let me disabuse them now,” Kirk said.

Kirk continued, “I think this committee should take some action on this.  It does appear that AT&T is in direct violation of Illinois law, and so, whether it is in Springfield or in Washington, we should fix this to make sure that there is a very convenient place, especially for our seniors, to find what’s happening in their local community… I breeze through local access cable like everyone else does, except when we’re doing a zoning or other issue related to my neighborhood, and then we are locked on this like everyone else.”
~~~

03: Monica Desai, FCC Media Bureau Chief, Testimony (pdf)

~~~

04: Barbara Popovic, Alliance for Community Media, Testimony – (Written-pdf) (Oral-pdf)

~~~

05: Howard Symons, National Cable Television Assoc., Testimony (pdf)

~~~

06: Michael Max Knobbe, BronxNet, Testimony (pdf)

~~~

07: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D); Questions – Territories

~~~

08: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D); Questions

~~~

09: Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R); Questions

Rep. Kirk asked Monica Desai, “What are your plans to implement your testimony from the Commission, to make sure that AT&T is forced to bring PEG back to the basic – so that they have a channel, somewhere between 1 and 100, on the basic service tier, and are not exiled to on-demand?”  Desai replied, “I would be anxious to place this issue in front of the Commissioners for them to decide, with our view that this would be a violation of the statute.  But what we would need is to have a specific and formal complaint filed in front of us.  We would need something to act on.”
~~~

10: Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI-D); Questions

Rep. Kilpatrick made mention of the Michigan law suit enjoining Comcast from channel slamming, then said, “I don’t want to see PEG relegated to some substandard something.  It ought to be right up there with the other major channels.  And whatever we have to do to get it there — it sounds like it’s a regulatory something, as well as a people something — and if we have to mobilize America to educate them to what it is, I think we have to do that.”

~~~

11: Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY-D); Questions

Rep. Hinchey asked about possibly establishing minimum levels of support for PEG access.  “I have a public access station back in my district, in the city of Binghamton,” Hinchey said, “that unfortunately is not provided with the facilities and training by its cable service providers.  So I’m wondering what you think could be done so that the Federal Communications Commission would have the authority to enforce perhaps a federal minimum of financial support that could be provided by cable service providers, so that rural areas generally have the same capability for public access as do larger cities?”

~~~

12: Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN-D); Questions

"Oh, don't say that!"

Rep. Peter Visclosky to NCTA's Howard Symons: "Oh, don't say that!"

Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN-D) asked questions of Howard Symons about the cable industry’s commitment to community service.  In response to a question about Comcast’s closing of studios following passage of Indiana’s statewide video franchising law, Symons said: “You know, Congressman, the cable industry didn’t ask the state legislatures to change the law.”  Visclosky instantly replied, “Oh, don’t say that!  Don’t say that! I would suggest that that is not a correct statement — to be polite.”
~~~

13: Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-D); Questions

Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-D) questioned Ms. Desai’s mention of the FCC’s requiring a formal complaint

“I’m surprised that it really requires that.  I would think if you have an oversight responsibility in this area, and you see major companies who are not complying with the statute, that you have the authority on your own to take action, to communicate with the companies that this does not meet the requirements of the statute.”
~~~

14: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D); Questions, Round 2

~~~

15: Michael Max Knobbe Answers Chairman Serrano

~~~

16: Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R); Questions, Round 2


Rep. Kirk asked Ms. Desai if a joint letter from the Committee would help the FCC expedite an inquiry into these matters.  “I would be willing to sign a letter, with the Chairman, to you, saying, ‘Hey, get on the case here.’  Is that enough for you to get rolling?”

Ms. Desai answered, “I’m sure a letter from you and Chairman Serrano would be taken… act on it post haste.”
~~~

17: Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY-D); Questions, Round 2

~~~

18: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D) Closing Statement

“We stay committed to the commitment I made before to Mr. Kirk and the Committee that the issues that have been discussed here will be placed by this Committee officially in a formal fashion before the FCC, to make sure that we begin to look at the whole issue and how best we can stick to the intent of the law, notwithstanding some changes that have taken along the way.”
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
http://alliancecm.org

Advertisements

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/28/08

April 29, 2008

[ Here’s what you call one of them ‘anecdotal’ reports of the positive effects of PEG access programming.  Just as with our friendly smiles and “good morning” greetings to strangers, sometimes we never know the positive effects our actions have.  Stories like this are among the reasons we’re driven to keep these channels alive and flowing. ~ rm ]

Why Bother?
by Amy Gates
Crunchy Domestic Goddess
04/28/08

[ 25 comments ]

This evening as Jody and Ava were out running an errand for me, I attempted to cook dinner while balancing a miserable Julian (due to his four canine teeth coming in at the same time) on my hip. After much fussing (on Julian’s part, not mine), I took a break from cooking, sat down on the couch, flipped on the TV and, hoping to make the poor boy feel a bit better, nursed him.

In skipping through the channels it became clear to me why I rarely watch TV (with the exception of The Office, LOST and occasionally Oprah). There was nothing on. I stopped on the local public access channel long enough to hear someone talking about global warming. My interest was piqued so I lingered.

It turns out it was a woman reading Michael Pollan’s recent New York Times article “Why Bother?” For those of you unfamiliar with Pollan, he is the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food – neither of which I have read yet, but I’ve heard great things about both.

“Why Bother?” is a question I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I’m nowhere near the point of throwing in the towel with regard to the things I do to help the environment, but after reading an article like ‘Enjoy life while you can’ – Climate science maverick James Lovelock believes catastrophe is inevitable, carbon offsetting is a joke and ethical living a scam and watching a YouTube video (which has since been taken down) about Monsanto, you might start to get a little jaded and wonder if all of your efforts are in vain. At least that’s where I’ve been at.

Pollan’s article “Why Bother?” was exactly what I needed to hear (and then read in full on the web since I missed the first half of it on TV) to help lift me out of my funk and I highly recommend you read the whole thing. Here’s just a bit of it.   —>
http://crunchydomesticgoddess.com/2008/04/28/why-bother/
~

Davis criticizes Senate cable bill
by Matthew Penix
St. Tammany News (LA)
04/28/08

[ comments invited ]

Parish President Kevin Davis has joined Slidell city officials in hurling objections at a Senate bill that would provide a statewide-only franchising agreement for cable operators entering Louisiana, a move critics said would increase local cable fees for consumers.  Senate Bill 422, authored by Sen. Ann Duplessis, D-New Orleans, was modified this week to adhere to requests by the Louisiana Municipal Association to scale back the bill. But critics such as Davis still said the bill amounted to a slap in the face for local municipalities.

The bill, aimed to garner more competition from cable providers entering the state, would nix the roughly 400 so municipalities statewide from entering their own non-exclusive franchise agreements with cable providers. Instead, cable companies would adhere to one set of rules, dictated by the state, concerning how municipalities will earn taxes collected from the companies using their right of ways to set up infrastructure.

For instance, St. Tammany Parish and its municipalities collect franchise fees from cable providers, typically a 5 percent fee on total revenue generated in the area, to use for infrastructure or governmental needs. The fee is paid in exchange for those cable providers to use the publicly owned right of ways to set up cable lines and more.

Under the bill, those local agreements would be nixed. Instead of brokering 400 agreements, the interested companies would now broker only one deal, a move 14 others states have already initiated, and one that would attract more companies who don’t want to deal with the headache of brokering numerous deals, Duplessis said. Already AT&T has pumped $400 million into Louisiana’s communications infrastructure in hopes the bill passes, Duplessis said. That figure could not be confirmed as of deadline.   […]

But Davis, in a recent memo, blasted the bill, saying cable companies will be allowed to “cherry pick” which citizens they will serve according to their business model.  “I fully support more and better choices for cable television,” Davis said. “This bill, however, will not provide the competition that we all want.”

According to the National Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors, consumers in states that have enacted state-level franchising laws have seen their video service bills go up 8 to 50 percent, depending on the level of service, Davis said. In Texas, which enacted its franchise legislation in 2005, nearly every video provider increased its prices, he said.   —>
http://www.thesttammanynews.com/articles/2008/04/28/news/doc4815dad281a76874331234.txt
~

House passes compromise AT&T bill
by John Rodgers
Nashville City Paper (TN)
04/28/08

[ 6 comments ]

The state House overwhelmingly passed a compromise bill this evening that AT&T says it needs to start offering television programming in Tennessee to compete with the cable industry.   —>
http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=59852
~

Cable Bill Passes House
by Cara Kumari
WSMV Reporter Cara Kumari
04/28/08

[ comments invited ]

I’m driving back to the station from doing my live shot about some TennCare changes, but I popped into the House session to listen to the debate on the cable legislation. (I use the term “debate” loosely.)

You’ve probably heard at least something about the cable bill or seen the nonstop commercials on TV.  This basically allows any company (AT&T for now)  who wants to enter the cable game in the state to bypass local franchising and get their permit from the state.  Lawmakers tout the increase in choices this legislation will bring the cable consumer.  Realistically, they say, don’t expect to see a huge drop in cable prices.

Anyway, the “debate” on the House floor today consisted of several of the main sponsors thanking 10 to 12 people each who made this bill happened.  Then it was a quick vote of 92-2 (with 2 not voting) and then a huge round of applause.

To give you an idea of how intense the lobbying has been on this whole issue, here’s a quip from one lawmaker after it passed: “Well, now all of the lobbyists can officially go on vacation.”  No word on whether or not those commercials will ever stop airing, though.
http://carakumari.wordpress.com/2008/04/28/cable-bill-passes-house/

Election round-tables available on-line
by Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Inside Politics (CA)
04/28/08

[ comments invited ]

Televised election round-tables with June 3 primary candidates for Assembly Districts 14 and 15, the two races for the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and a debate on Propositions 98 and 99 are now posted on-line at the Contra Costa Times’ politics page.  I moderated the six, half-hour segments on April 23 and they will air on your local public access television station starting May 5. (I’ve posted the air date schedule below or you can visit http://www.contracostatv.org.)

The sponsors organized and paid for the production of the shows at no cost to the candidates. Sponsors include: Contra Costa Times, League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley, Contra Costa Council, Contra Costa TV, Contra Costa County Election Department, Comcast and the East Bay Community Foundation.  To save you a few clicks, I’ve also embedded the links to the shows here.   —>
http://www.ibabuzz.com/insidepolitics/2008/04/28/election-round-tables-available-on-line/
~

BVBL and 9500Liberty Debate On Television
by Greg L
Black Velvet Bruce Li (VA)
04/28/08

[ 33 comments ]

I was invited last week to join George Burke (who is also the Chairman of the 11th District Democratic Committee) on Fairfax Public Access television for a program on “Inside Scoop Virginia” this Sunday.  To my surprise, “documentarian” Annabel Park of 9500Liberty showed up to argue the other side in what was billed as a program on new media and the immigration debate, but ended up focusing mostly on the Rule of Law Resolution.  I think I held my own fairly well against two others that certainly wanted to argue that the Rule of Law Resolution is a bad idea, and the way it turned out the vast majority of callers to this local Fairfax County program ended up agreeing with me.

The first caller was from “Mona” who called in from California, apparently viewing the program on the internet.   —>
http://www.bvbl.net/index.php/2008/04/28/bvbl-and-9500liberty-debate-on-television/#more-2310
~

Council: ‘We gotta work together,’ keep listening
by Craig Peterson
Lake County News-Sun (IL)
04/28/08

[ comments invited ]

WAUKEGAN — The City Council took no formal action last week on censoring audience time from its meetings, but every alderman addressed the issue during alderman’s time.   —>
http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/newssun/news/918724,5_1_WA28_WAUKCOUNCIL_S1.article
~

Show and tell
If Houston school district officials want to improve community relations, televise board meetings
Editorial: Houston Chronicle (TX)
04/27/08

[ 6 comments ]

During a hard-fought campaign last year to pass a bond issue, Houston Independent School District officials were lambasted by opponents for failing to get community input for the spending plan. The issue of school consolidation and some closings in mostly minority neighborhoods generated a voter backlash that nearly defeated the referendum.  HISD Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra says the district is working on initiatives to improve communications with the public. “Last fall as we did our bond issue,” the superintendent said, “the biggest message to us was ‘you’re not communicating, and when you do, it’s too late. It doesn’t mean anything.’ ”  […]

Although HISD has a fully staffed and equipped audio-visual capability with a public access cable channel at its disposal, the district board remains one of the few elective bodies in Houston that does not televise its meetings. Although the board recently moved its public sessions from 3 p.m. to a more accessible 5 p.m., airing the sessions on cable would allow a much bigger audience to acquaint itself with district policy.   —>
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/5734627.html
~

AT&T still not definite on U-verse here
by Jeff Richgels
The Capital Times (WI)
04/28/08

[ 14 comments ]

AT&T is looking to hire 200 more technicians to install and service its U-verse TV service, which now is available to more than 200,000 homes in the Milwaukee, Racine and Sheboygan areas.  But even though the jobs include positions in south central Wisconsin, indicating that U-verse may be offered here in the near future, the company still isn’t saying when the Madison area might get U-verse.   —>
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/283540
~

Parent Event: Are Your Kids Safe & Smart Online?
by Elliot Margolis
Midpeninsula Community Media Center (CA)
04/28/08

The Media Center is sponsoring a presentation for parents who want to keep up with what kids are doing online and acquire tips to keep them safe and smart internet-users. Patty Page, from the Common Sense Media Volunteer Speaker Bureau will present a media-rich, interactive program in the Media Center’s TV studio on Monday, May 19th beginning at 7:30. Doors open and light refreshments are available at 7 PM at 900 San Antonio Rd. in Palo Alto, near the 101 freeway.  […]  The 90-minute presentation and discussion will be videotaped.   —>
http://midpen-media-center.blogspot.com/2008/04/parent-event-are-your-kids-safe-smart.html
~

Denver 8 TV Announces Updated Online Programming Site
by Jeanne Robb
Congress Park Neighborhood News (CO)
04/28/08 [?]

Denver 8 TV, the city’s Municipal Access Television channel, has launched an improved web site where users can find live programming of the channel and a rich archive of video programs recorded by Denver 8. The programs available include all meeting coverage of Denver City Council, numerous press announcements, community forum coverages and all the weekly and monthly programs produced by the channel.  —>
http://congressparkneighbors.org/WordPress/?p=22
~

Director changes channels: WCAC head hired to lead NewTV
by Jeff Gilbride
Daily News Tribune (MA)
04/28/08

[ 11 comments ]

Robert Kelly, executive director at Waltham Community Access television for the last 18 years, has accepted the same position at NewTV, Newton’s cable access station.  Kelly said Friday he will start his new job on May 12. His last day with WCAC-TV will be May 9.  Kelly said because of his long tenure at the Waltham station he had “mixed emotions” when he applied for the position in Newton. But Kelly said the opportunity of working at a larger organization in a larger community was too good to pass up.   —>
http://www.dailynewstribune.com/news/x2124113393
~

International Summit for Community Wireless Networks: May 28, Washington DC
MuniWireless
04/28/08 [?]

The New America Foundation is holding its International Summit for Community Wireless Networks (IS4CWN) on May 28 – 30, 2008 in Washington, DC. The summit is co-hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) at its downtown headquarters. The event will bring together community wireless networking developers working to build universal, low-cost wireless broadband networks around the world. This year’s Summit will focus on how these networks can better serve their target populations, the policies needed to support broader deployment of community wireless systems, and the latest technological and software innovations.
http://www.muniwireless.com/2008/04/28/international-summit-community-wireless-networks-washingto/
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:   http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/20/08

April 21, 2008

Video franchise bills all take; where’s the give?
by Mike Stagg
Lafayette Pro Fiber (LA)
04/20/08

[ comments invited ]

The statewide video franchise bills up for consideration in the Louisiana Legislature are, in fact, bad news as John and the LMA (pdf) have made clear. But, based on the 2006 experience where only Governor Blanco’s veto prevented a version of this legislation from becoming law, I also believe it is clear that some form of this legislation is going to pass again this year and Governor Jindal will sign it into law.

First, let’s make clear that while AT&T is the prime mover of this legislation, the cable industry is on board. That’s because this legislation or a subsequent package will ultimately give cable companies the same freedom to cherry-pick and red-line neighborhoods that the phone company is seeking with these bills. They’ll demand a level playing field.

It was no accident that Cox Communications announced its latest rate increase just as the Legislature was heading into its Regular Session. That enabled the various astroturf movements to begin flooding newspaper editorial pages with letters to the editor, condemning the cable companies and singing the praises of competition.  Think of this as a choreographed fight for the benefit of the viewing audience, rather than a brawl. The cable companies and AT&T are partners in this dance. Cox stepped on a lot of consumer toes in order to make them receptive to the competition paeans that the phone company allies would produce.

Cherry/Red

That ability to selectively deploy new network technology is the heart of the issue.  How do I know this? Because John and I sat in on the 2006 negotiations on that year’s version of these bills when the phone company (still called BellSouth at the time) flatly refused to deal on offers that did not free them from community-wide build-out obligations.   —>
http://lafayetteprofiber.com/Blog/2008/04/video-franchise-bills-all-take-wheres.html
~

Westborough: Verizon Now Has Access
by John Dyer
Boston Globe (MA)
04/20/08

Cable television customers in Westborough who subscribe to Verizon’s service can now see local-access channels 24, 26, and 28, said Maria Sheehan, Westborough TV’s general manager. Since January, Sheehan said, Verizon had been promising it was going to provide viewers with the local access channels, which cover municipal meetings, school events, and locally produced programming. Late last month, Verizon subscribers still couldn’t see the channels, so Town Counsel Gregory Franks sent Verizon a letter saying its contract to operate in Westborough would be revoked if it didn’t provide the channels, as its contract stipulates, Sheehan said. Verizon had been in negotiations with rival cable provider Charter Communications on the issue. Charter owns the connections between Westborough TV and the wires that deliver the cable signal to homes.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/04/20/marble_scholarships/?page=4
~

Bolton: Candidates Night
by Matt Gunderson
Boston Globe (MA)
04/20/08

Local candidates running for election this spring will square off at a candidates forum tomorrow at 7 p.m. in Davis Hall. The two candidates vying for a seat on the Board of Selectmen, Stan Wysocki and Connie Benjamin, have said they will attend the event, which is sponsored by the Friends of the Bolton Public Library.  Bolton Access Television will televise the candidates night.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/04/20/marble_scholarships/
~

Shrewsbury: Candidates to Debate
by Lisa Kocian
Boston Globe (MA)
04/20/08

Seniors for Responsible Taxation will host a debate for selectmen candidates to be aired live Tuesday at 7 p.m. on Channel 28. —>
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/04/20/marble_scholarships/?page=3
~

Cable show celebrates five years
Eagle Tribune (MA)
04/20/08

METHUEN — “Call To Serve,” a locally run television show on Methuen Community Television, celebrated its fifth anniversary with a special show taped last week.  “Call to Serve” has interviewed 56 veterans as part of its effort to preserve oral history of Methuen veterans. The show is hosted by Kathleen Corey Rahme and co-produced by Albert Grant and Corinne LaCharite. The show won third place in the 2004 Alliance for Community Media annual northeast fall video festival.   —>
http://www.eagletribune.com/punews/local_story_111010647.html
~

More Government on TV: WOOOOOOOO!
by Melissa Griff
Sweet Melissa (CA)
04/20/08

[ 3 comments ]

As you may know, this past Tuesday an ordinance passed on its first reading that will require more San Francisco political commissions, committees and conversations to be filmed and made available for public viewing. Now, there appears to be some fuzzy math surrounding the funding source for one of the part-time positions that this ordinance will create (according to Ron Vincent from DTIS, it will otherwise be paid for by the “cable franchise fund”), but you know I am generally all for more government on TV. And, while I know that watching it is doing nothing for my love life, every so often I get to see something truly great.

Take this video below (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrAe21fi_4c), for example, in which professional rassler Nature Boy Ric Flair was finally given his due on April 15 in the US House of Representatives.  I just love that the phrase “Figure Four Leglock” is now in the Congressional Record.   —>
http://sweetmelissa.typepad.com/sweet_melissa/2008/04/woooooooo.html
~

Our children will never know refreshment
by christa t
Pecanne Log (GA)
04/20/08

[ 2 comments ]

Everyone knows what an unmitigated disaster New Coke was. What most people don’t realize is that it was RuPaul and his Atlanta public access television friends who saved generations of children around the world from perhaps never knowing the taste of a Coca-Cola Classic.  The day New Coke was introduced in 1985, RuPaul and The American Music Show host Potsy Duncan took to the streets of Atlanta, leading other protesters in pouring out bottles of the new concoction and waving signs that said things like, “We want the real thing” and “Our children will never know refreshment.”   —>
http://pecannelog.com/2008/04/20/our-children-will-never-know-refreshment/
~

Students demand greater transparency in the legislature
by Loa Iok-sin
Tapei Times
04/20/08

“No more blindfolds! We want a transparent legislature,” students representing schools and student organizations shouted yesterday as they demonstrated in front of the legislature.  “We are here to demand public access to the video-on-demand [VOD] system, so that everyone can monitor the legislature from home,” Lin Pin-chun, president of Citizen Congress Watch’s (CCW) youth caucus and a sophomore at National Taiwan University (NTU) told a press conference.

Although legislative committee meetings are recorded and broadcast live online through the VOD system, it can only be viewed from within the legislature.  “As a concerned citizen, I only see lawmakers when their physical or verbal clashes are broadcast on TV — I want to know what they’re doing the rest of the time,” another NTU student, Lee Shao-tang said.

However, current restrictions make their wishes impossible.  “The time allowed for sitting on the balcony to hear the general assembly meeting is limited to 30 minutes per person,” said Ho Tsung-hsun, executive director of the CCW. “As for committee meetings, you must have the convener’s permission to be allowed into the meeting room.”   —>
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2008/04/20/2003409773
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/17/08

April 20, 2008

Cable access television debate rages on
by Marilyn Moss
The Orange Bulletin (CT)
04/17/08

[ comments invited ]

The view on Sound View Community Media may not be so sound these days. SV is the third-party nonprofit provider of public access television for local area 2, which includes Woodbridge, Orange, Milford, Stratford, Bridgeport and Fairfield. The Committee on Energy and Technology of the Connecticut General Assembly held a public hearing on March 7 for a proposed bill, An Act Concerning Community Access Television bill No. 5814. During that hearing, details of the troubled interaction between SV and area 2 municipalities were thoroughly examined.

The legislation was proposed, in part, to address concerns by area 2 municipalities about the control of the content on their respective government channels. Several towns in area 2 want to feature their own town-specific programming. These towns have met resistance to that by the community access provider, SV. SV prefers to send system-wide programming so that each town in area 2 can watch government in action in every town in the franchise area. According to Paul Davis, a Orange and West Haven state representative, however, “If a community desires to have town-specific programming, the government should grant that choice.”   —>
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19492921&BRD=1661&PAG=461&dept_id=9538&rfi=6
~

Public must fight to maintain net neutrality
by Lawrence Lessig and Ben Scott
San Francisco Chronicle
04/17/08

[ 2 comments ]

The Internet is an engine of economic growth and innovation because of a simple principle: net neutrality, which assures innovators that their next great idea will be available to consumers, regardless of what the network owners think about it.  No previous mass media technology has been so remarkably open. Traditional media – newspapers, radio, TV – have gatekeepers standing between consumers and producers, with the power to control content. The Internet eliminates the gatekeeper.  Now, however, the Internet’s unprecedented openness is in jeopardy.

Comcast, AT&T and Verizon have been lobbying to kill net neutrality. They say they won’t build an information superhighway if they can’t build it as a closed system. No other industrialized country has made that devil’s bargain, and neither should we. Without net neutrality, online innovation is vulnerable to the whims of cable and phone companies, which control 99 percent of the household market for high-speed Internet access. And Silicon Valley venture capitalists are unlikely to bet the farm on a whim.   —>
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/04/16/EDM11064UL.DTL
~

FCC Should Send Signal And Take Action Against Comcast
by Therese Poletti
CNNMoney.com
04/17/08

On Thursday, all five members of the Federal Communications Commission will make an usual appearance in Silicon Valley, where they will host a public hearing at Stanford University for a debate on managing Internet traffic.  The hearing is the FCC’s second on “Net neutrality,” a longstanding principle which seeks to treat all Internet content and traffic equally. The principle matches the spirit of the early pioneers of the Internet, who designed a distributed network that could not be controlled by any one entity or company.

In February, Comcast (CMCSA), the largest cable company in the U.S., was in the hot seat at Harvard Law School, where the FCC hosted an all-day hearing over complaints that the cable giant deliberately delays Internet traffic for consumers accessing peer-to-peer file sharing Web sites like BitTorrent and newer ones like Vuze.  The hearing did not go well for Comcast. Even though the cable giant partially filled the room with its own paid attendees who applauded company reps, the FCC intimated it was considering action against the Philadelphia-based behemoth. A month later, Comcast and former foe BitTorrent agreed to collaborate on network capacity and management issues. Bit Torrent of San Francisco wants Comcast to use its file sharing technology and expertise to help alleviate network congestion caused by the downloading of large music and video files.  The two also agreed to work with other Internet service providers and others to explore and develop a new architecture for better distribution and delivery of rich media.

Now just two days before the FCC’s Stanford hearing, Comcast issued yet another press release, probably aimed at dissuading the FCC from taking any action against it. Comcast and another peer-to-peer company, Pando Networks, said they created their own “Bill of Rights and Responsibilities” for file sharing, much to the amusement of some legal experts..  After speaking with Comcast, it appears that their “Bill of Rights,” is really about informing the consumer that their Internet traffic could suffer delays.   —>
http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200804170110DOWJONESDJONLINE000013_FORTUNE5.htm
~

Need Help Hosting Citizen Media Outreach Events in Rural Minnesota
Blandin on Broadband (MN)
04/17/08

[ comments invited ]

I’ve heard great things about the training and conferences provided by E-Democracy in the Twin Cities. So I am happy to pass on the following request. It is a great opportunity for the right community!

Wanted: Partners to Help Host Citizen Media Outreach Events in Rural Minnesota (See Examples Below)
Citizen media projects are springing up across the country and the world. Between now and the end of June 2008, E-Democracy.org is hosting Citizen Media Outreach Events across rural Minnesota to showcase some of these exciting projects, and encourage the launch of similar projects in rural Minnesota.  We are looking for organizations or institutions in rural Minnesota interested in co-sponsoring a Citizen Media Outreach Event in their community.   —>
http://blandinonbroadband.wordpress.com/2008/04/17/need-help-host-citizen-media-outreach-events-in-rural-minnesota/
~

Local-access TV programs home in on real estate issues
by Denise Taylor
Boston Globe (MA)
04/17/08

Earlier this month, when a home sale in Uxbridge fell through due to what she called “an increasingly common” mortgage snag in Worcester County, realtor Kelley Byrnes-Benkart was one of the first to hear. One week later, she was explaining the cause – not at a seminar, but on public-access television.  Byrnes-Benkart, owner of Realty Executives Tri-County in Bellingham, is one of a handful of area real estate professionals using public-access cable TV to turn a laser focus on the housing market in their communities.

“We hear a lot of talk in the media about the real estate market, but many times it’s painted with a broad brush. It’s often from a national perspective or a state perspective,” said Milford resident Michael Shain, a mortgage consultant with Medway Co-operative Bank. “But I wanted to do something that focused on specific towns because every market is different. What’s happening in Milford may not be the same as what’s happening in Newton, Brookline, Pittsfield, or LA.”

In September, Shain began taping “Real Estate Roundtable” at Access Bellingham-Mendon. The program, which he cohosts with Byrnes-Benkart and two other realtors and is produced monthly, airs on local-access channels in Bellingham, Milford, Medway, Upton, Grafton, and Mendon, and covers market news in those towns as well as in Franklin and Wrentham.  Guests also appear on each episode to discuss general real estate topics ranging from the short sale process to how to stage your home using feng shui. But the core of the show is the panel discussion of emerging local issues. Recently they focused on the increasing affordability and availability of single-family homes being offered for rent (by homeowners unable to sell). Next month, they’ll delve more deeply into those Worcester County mortgage issues.

“Worcester County has been declared a declining market” by commercial lenders, “which means they are requiring larger down payments,” said Byrnes-Benkart. “In Uxbridge . . . the buyer could not afford to move forward because they would have had to put 15 percent down,” after expecting to pay 10 percent.  “I try to pick topics that are important to homeowners and potential homeowners,” said Shain, whose other cohosts are Joshua Lioce, owner of Realty Executives Lioce Properties in Milford and Whitinsville, and Judy Leonelli, owner of Century 21 Millennium in Mendon.

In Millis, Joe Luker recently taped his first two episodes of “The Home Show” at Millis Community Television. A home appraiser based in Medway for 20 years and a former real estate broker, Luker said he plans to produce two shows per month.  “There’s so much turmoil in the real estate market. That’s why I’m doing this now,” said Luker.  With local lawyers, realtors, and other industry professionals as guests, Luker will cover the Millis housing market and real estate how-tos. Upcoming subjects include the foreclosure process, home inspections, and hidden issues for home buyers (such as easements, deed restrictions, and convicted sex-offenders living in the area).  “I’m not going to be out there entertaining. My goal is to produce something useful,” said Luker. “There are a lot of people in trouble right now because they didn’t know what to watch for. But I’ve seen the things that people need to know.”   —>
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/04/17/local_access_tv_programs_home_in_on_real_estate_issues/
~

Beverly’s history now available free on DVD
by Cate Lecuyer
Salem News (MA)
04/17/08

[ comments invited ]

More than a century worth of local history — chronicled on video by resident Ted Josephs over the last 20 years — is now available to the public on DVD.  BevCam, the city’s local cable access station, has been consistently airing Joseph’s show, “Beverly’s Times Past,” since he started making it back in the 1980s. But for the past 21/2 years, BevCam staff has been converting the footage from the original, now obsolete, video cassettes onto DVDs.

They recently completed the project and yesterday presented copies of all 183 hourlong shows to both the Beverly Public Library and the Beverly Historical Society, where they will be available free to the public.  “If we were to lose this, we would have lost so much,” said BevCam Associate Director Walt Kosmowski.  Beverly Historical Society Interim Director Darren Brown and Beverly Library Director Pat Cirone said having immediate access to the shows, instead of having to wait for them to air on BevCam, will be valuable to the community.

The shows are centered on interviews with local people talking about their past. There’s a series that includes stories told by World War II veterans and shows actual footage of fighting that they took while oversees.  Another series focuses on the freight trains that came in and out of the United Shoe Machinery Corporation, now the Cummings Center.  The stories people tell go back to the late 1800s and are complemented by old photos, newspaper articles and other archives that Joseph found in the historical society.   —>
http://www.salemnews.com/punews/local_story_108003233.html
~

Local students promote reading on TV program
by Scott Stafford
Berkshire Eagle (MA)
04/17/08

[ comments invited ]

NORTH ADAMS — Eight-year-old Noah Boucher of Cheshire likes dinosaurs. He even likes reading about them, and he’s not afraid of saying so — not even on television.  He was one of 17 second-grade students at Cheshire Elementary School who stopped by Northern Berkshire Community Television studios yesterday morning to make their opinions known about their favorite books.  “Do you like books about dinosaurs?” Noah asked the would-be television audience during the taping session. “Then you will love the book ‘How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?’ by Jane Yolan. The dinosaurs hug and kiss their moms.”

After the taping, Noah said he liked being on camera.  “I liked the book very much, and I think it is pretty cool that I get to tell my story to everyone in the world, and to my friends,” he said.  Teacher Eric Brown’s second-grade class has been writing, editing and rehearsing their presentations, inspired by public television show “Reading Rainbow,” for about three weeks.  Brown said the idea occurred to him while the class was watching an episode of that television program. He used his idea to get students excited about reading, and used the technology to enhance that motivation.   —>
http://www.berkshireeagle.com/localnews/ci_8955082
~

Providence City Council meetings to begin airing on TV
WPRI.com (RI)
04/17/08

The Providence City Council will soon be on the tube. The City Council will begin televising its biweekly meetings, starting with Thursday night’s gathering.  The meetings will air nine days later, on Saturday mornings, on public-access TV. Council Majority Leader Terrence Hassett says televising meetings will allow residents who can’t make it there in person to stay informed about what’s happening in the city.  The city has purchased $4,000 of new video equipment, and five students at Mount Hope High School in Providence will be trained to film the meetings and then package them for television.
http://www.wpri.com/Global/story.asp?S=8180702
~

Napa school district to show meetings online
by Tony Burchyns
Times-Herald (CA)
04/17/08

[ comments invited ]

Anyone with Internet access might be able to watch the Napa school board in action this week, district officials said Wednesday.  The Napa Valley Unified School District is testing out new software to provide live streaming video of its meeting at 7 p.m. today.  The goal is to expand public access to school board meetings. Also, the technology will allow people to watch meetings on-demand, which could be the wave of the future for the video platform.  “It’s another avenue to reach people,” said Laurel Krsek, director of technology for the Napa school district. “And it gives the public a chance to go back and watch meetings they missed.”

A consortium including the district, Napa Public Access Cable Television and the cities of American Canyon and Napa allowed for considerable savings on the new technology, officials said.  “We got a group deal that saved us tens of thousands of dollars for the entire group,” said Dan Monez, executive director for Napa public access TV.  Monez started the initiative last year when the cable channel wanted to begin streaming and archiving its programs. He said he mentioned the idea to Napa city employees and learned the city was also interested.   —>
http://www.timesheraldonline.com/todaysnews/ci_8957348
~

Underground Radio: Is Salt Lake City big enough for two KRCLs?
by Ted McDonough
Salt Lake Weekly (UT)
04/17/08

[ 15 comments ]

In a cavernous basement deep beneath the Dakota Lofts on Salt Lake City’s 200 South, a group of radio enthusiasts are sweeping up cobwebs, unpacking audio equipment from boxes and trying to make a comfortable space for Utah’s newest community radio station.  “It’s real underground radio,” jokes Troy Mumm, one of the forces behind Utah Free Media, a planned Internet-only radio station that has gone from concept to flipping the switch in a few months.

Some volunteers manning the brooms come from the ranks of volunteers at KRCL 90.9 who have—or soon will—lose their on-air DJ spots to a format change scheduled to take place May 5 at the community radio station. Others, like Mumm, one-time KRCL music director, staffed KRCL in an earlier era.

Their big idea is a big experiment. Scads of radio stations now stream on the Internet. But instead of music-on-demand streaming, Utah Free Media will attempt a live broadcast hosted by volunteers. That is, freeform radio, like KRCL. Or, as some Utah Free Media volunteers say, like KRCL before the eminent format switch.   —>
http://www.slweekly.com/index.cfm?do=article.details&id=57D41F3C-14D1-13A2-9F188B4D76D07182
~

Support Community Radio
by Roy Kasten
Living in Stereo (MO)
04/17/08

[ comments invited ]

I first moved to Saint Louis, Missouri in August 1987. I was 22, a student of literature and a writer. I spent most of my days and nights in the stacks and study rooms of Olin Library at Washington University.  I moved to the river city from Utah. As a teen I had discovered something called “community radio” in the form of KRCL, a volunteer-based music and talk station that broadcasted (and still broadcasts) along the Wasatch Front from the far left end of the FM dial. I think I first heard Bob Marley, the Grateful Dead, Bill Monroe, Hank Williams and John Coltrane on that station. It was a part of my secret teenage life, something no one else would understand, a place and space of solace and discovery.

In Saint Louis, I turned again to the left end of the dial, and in October of 1987, I found KDHX, which had just begun broadcasting at 88.1 FM. I couldn’t believe my ears. The programming was even more eclectic, even more passionate, smart and free than KRCL. I heard country, jazz, punk, new wave, bluegrass — and especially, soul, deep soul, spun by some guy named Papa Ray, “The Soul Selector.” I’m sure it was on his show that I first heard, or really heard, ZZ Hill, Bobby Blue Bland, Joe Tex, Bettye LaVette, Jr. Parker, Johnny Taylor, Fontella Bass, O.V. Wright and Oliver Sain. In the mostly desolate radio wasteland of Saint Louis, I’m sure I wasn’t alone in that.

I became a programmer for KDHX in 2004. My show is called Feel Like Going Home, it airs Wednesday mornings, from 8:00 – 10:00 am Central Time. I try to mix indie rock, singer-songwriters, country, soul, blues and Americana in some way that makes connections, maybe even makes sense.

There are around 200 volunteers that contribute to KDHX–I’m one of them. We all believe that “community media” (and KDHX includes a local access cable TV station, an expanding web site, educational efforts and work with film and video) is more than a noble concept. It’s a practical, viable, meaningful way of building and transforming our community. Saint Louis wouldn’t be Saint Louis without the station.   —>
http://livinginstereo.com/?p=428
~

Seminar on Peoples Voices, Peoples Participation and Community Radio – 04 May, 2008
Waves of Change
04/17/08

[ comments invited ]

We would like to appreciate that the present non-political Care Taker Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh recently formulated Community Radio Installation, Broadcast and Operation Policy – 2008 and then asked for applications from interested initiators to install Community Radio in the country. In order to facilitate the application and registration process of the organizations for Community Radio, Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) immediately opened a national help desk in its secretariat in Dhaka. As a result, BNNRC is receiving huge response from the interested development organizations for technical support in this regard.

To accelerate the Community Radio Policy 2008, we are going to organize a national seminar on Peoples Voices, Peoples Participation and Community Radio at 09:30 AM -5:00 PM on Sunday, 04 May, 2008 at UNB Auditorium (7th Floor), Cosmos Centre, 69/1, New Circular Road, Malibagh, Dhaka-1212.where resource persons from Singapore, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh will present their respective papers.  The seminar is jointly organized by Asian Media Information Communication Center(AMIC), United News of Bangladesh (UNB) and Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC).   —>
http://deepdishwavesofchange.blogspot.com/2008/04/seminar-on-peoples-voices-peoples.html
~

Cable TV operations will not be blocked
Information minister says no blackout of opposition proceedings in parliament
Daily Times (Pakistan)
04/17/08

ISLAMABAD: Cable operators are the primary source of information for the public and the new democratic government will not allow anyone to block cable TV operations in the country, Information Minister Sherry Rehman said on Wednesday.  “The government believes in freedom of information and public access to information, therefore, no one will be allowed to disrupt the free flow of information,” she told a delegation of the Cable Operators Association of Pakistan, which called on her under the leadership of its chairman, Khalid Sheikh. Sherry said that the government had already tabled a bill to remove the ‘black’ media law and would take further measures for the freedom of the media. “To ensure smooth running of the cable TV network throughout the country, a hotline service would be set up at the Information Ministry, where cable operators would register their complaints of any external pressure for blocking their system or a particular TV channel,” she added.   —>
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008%5C04%5C17%5Cstory_17-4-2008_pg7_18
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/04/08

April 5, 2008

Announcement of cable/AT&T deal set for Monday
by John Rodgers
The City Paper (TN)
04/04/08

[ comments invited ]

Leading lawmakers in the cable/AT&T negotiations over statewide franchising will roll out their compromise legislation Monday in a press conference, the House Democratic Caucus announced today.  The compromise bill marks the culmination of months of negotiations between the involved parties.  The deal is expected to have AT&T agree to “build out” its television service to a certain percentage of a town or city, as well as offer the services to some low-income residents.   —>
http://politics.nashvillecityblogs.com/?p=505
~

Legislators Say Bill Sought By AT&T Finally Ready
The Chattanoogan (TN)
04/04/08

Legislative leaders said they have finally reached agreement on a statewide franchise bill sought by AT&T that is expected to result in a new cable TV option for Chattanooga residents and others throughout Tennessee.  On Monday afternoon, House and Senate members working directly in talks with AT&T and Tennessee’s cable companies are due to hold a press conference to announce the completion of a new telecommunications bill.  Officials said copies of the agreement will be provided after the Nashville press conference.

Set to take part are Speaker of the House Jimmy Naifeh (D-Covington), Rep. Charlie Curtiss (D-Sparta), Rep. Steve McDaniel (R-Parkers Crossroads), Rep. Ulysses Jones, Jr. (D-Memphis), Rep. Randy Rinks (D-Savannah), Sen. Lowe Finney (D-Jackson) and Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro).
The bill was introduced last year, but has gone through a number of revisions before the compromise measure was reached.   —>
http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_125216.asp
~

Comcast, AT&T work together on new bill for franchising rights
Memphis Business Journal (TN)
by Einat Paz-Frankel
04/04/08

After vociferously contending an AT&T, Inc.-backed bill on the state’s Capitol Hill last year, Comcast Corp. is now working with the telecom giant behind closed doors to create a new bill that will assuage both parties while changing the way video franchising rights are granted in Tennessee.  A resolution is expected this month, according to the Tennessee Cable Telecommunications Association and the Tennessee Municipal League, which has also opposed the proposed Competitive Cable and Video Services Act. The bill would allow television service to be provided through a single statewide franchise agreement, instead of negotiating with each municipality separately.   —>
http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/stories/2008/04/07/story8.html
~

SEE ME, HEAR ME, PICK ME: Endorsement video of Dems for House Seat 1
by Ian Gillingham
Willamette Week (OR)
04/04/08

[ comments invited ]

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been inviting candidates to sit down with WW and make their case for your vote—and our friends at Portland Community Media have been there to catch it all on video. Every day for the next month, we’ll post a new video of our endorsement interviews on WWire.  Today and tomorrow, we’ve got the candidates for U.S. House of Representatives, First District .  First up: Democrats (incumbent David Wu, Will Hobbs).

For footage of more WW endorsement interviews, tune your TV to Channel 30, see Portland Community Media’s Blip.tv site, or just check back on WWire tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after….  Tomorrow: House Seat 1—the Republicans.
http://www.wweek.com/wwire/?p=11440
~

Cable Increases, Franchise Renewal Up for Questions
by Bernice Paglia
Plainfield Plaintalker (NJ)
04/04/08

[ comments invited ]

—>  The notice reminded Plaintalker of another issue, the cable franchise renewal process. According to a BPU report, more than 12,000 households had cable in 2005. The three-year process to determine how well Comcast has served Plainfield should have begun in August of 2006, with a report due in August of this year. The franchise expires in August 2009.  The Plainfield Cable Television Board was supposed to hold monthly meetings during the ascertainment period, make annual reports, report regularly to the mayor and council and generally to be involved in any activities having to do with local cable television, including the city’s own Channel 74.

Plaintalker has harped on this subject since December 2005 but there is not much progress to report. Click here for a file of past stories.   —>
http://plaintalker.blogspot.com/2008/04/cable-increases-franchise-renewal-up.html
~

Cable Access TV and the Arts
by Salma
Souldish (NJ)
04/04/08

[ comments invited ]

Monday, April 7 – A repeat of the successful 2 hr. forum will be held at SCAN covering topics on: a) Arts and cable access TV: how to get on TV for free b) The WIN-15 TV show & publicity c) Special TV production training for those in the art.  (7p, Free) SCAN Learning Center, Monmouth Mall, Rt 35 and 36, Eatontown, NJ; 732-938-2481
http://www.souldish.com/2008/04/04/body-of-war-shamans-way-of-healing-moses-code-horned-ball-sub-swara/
~

Great Falls TV station needs home
by Matt Austin
KRTV (MT)
04/04/08

Many Great Falls departments are asking for more money in the next budget, and on Friday city commission members will talk about its budget priorities.  One group which always keeps an eye on commission meetings will also be watching the budget talks as a Great Falls television channel is looking for a home.  The community access channel, Cable 7, has become a nomad in Great Falls, moving four times in just five years.

The group is currently using the waiting area at the Central Avenue office of former  KRTV anchor Cindy Cieluch. Staff members tell us that the area works well for a studio and they use another office for the director and to store equipment. The non-profit films its six studio shows at the office, and also films government meetings.  “Cable 7 provides a public service, local events” explains Executive Producer Kevin Manthey. “This is something I feel is very important to the community of Great Falls and surrounding area.”   —>
http://www.montanasnewsstation.com/Global/story.asp?S=8118751
~

PEG pact is unclear
by Alan Lewis Gerstenecker
Rolla Daily News (MO)
04/03/08

[ 3 comments ]

Steve Leonard, former President of Rolla Video Productions — the company that operated Channel 16 for the best part of seven years — has some concerns about an educational and governmental television channel currently considered by city and school officials and Fidelity Communications.  The PEG (Public Educational and Governmental) channel, which is in discussion stages, would be a partnership between Rolla city government, Rolla Public School District, and Fidelity Communications, Rolla’s cable television franchise holder.

Leonard, 28, expressed some of those concerns during a recent City Council meeting and then again Wednesday.  “In its current state, the contract with the city doesn’t say what they’re going to get for that $50,000,” Leonard said. “As someone who used to do programming, I’d like to think that it would spell out just what the residents of Rolla are going to get.”…

“Don’t get me wrong. I’ve moved on with my life,” Leonard said. “But if they would have offered me $50,000 for programming, I would have told them exactly what I’d have given them. In addition to City Council, I’d have televised the Planning & Zoning meetings, the RMU (Rolla Municipal Utilities) meetings, done more spring (high school) sports. I’d have done it right,” Leonard said.  “If you turn on Channel 6 now, you hear a buzz. You can’t listen long, or at least I can’t without getting a headache. I don’t know if $50,000 is going to fix that or not,” said Leonard, who is now a full-time business student at Missouri University of Science & Technology.

For his part, Leonard said he is supportive of Fidelity.  “Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking Fidelity. They offer some great programming, and I think they offer more basic channels for the best price. I just want to see what they’re going to offer for the $50,000,” Leonard said. “I think anyone who reviews that contract will want to know what they’re going to offer.”

John Paul, Fidelity Communications Director of Sales and top official in Rolla, said Thursday the contract with the city, Rolla Public Schools, and his company, still is a work in progress.  “I can tell you we intend cover all City Council and School Board meetings. I can also tell you we’re not just going to cover those two and then run a community bulletin board the rest of the time,” Paul said.   —>
http://www.therolladailynews.com/articles/2008/04/04/news/news03.txt
~

State PEGs Tune Into “Same Channel” to Support Free Speech
by Cynthia Thomet
Akaku: Maui Community Television (HI)
04/04/08

Hawaii People’s Fund Media Justice review panel granted $7,400 to Akaku in mid-March to launch the Free Speech Hawaii Coalition, a collaborative effort to build community and ensure diverse points of view on issues of free speech across the state. The coalition is made possible by the commitment of all of Hawaii’s public, educational and governmental (PEG) access organizations, including Akaku for Maui County, `Ōlelo Community Television on O`ahu, Na Leo O Hawaii on Big Island and Ho`ike: Kaua`i Community Television.

“We’re very grateful to Hawaii People’s Fund for their commitment to media justice to fund this public awareness coalition,” says Jay April, President/ CEO of Akaku, who invited `Ōlelo, Na Leo and Ho`ike to lead the coalition’s public education messages with their respective island audiences

The grant will cover some of the expenses required for the core coalition members to work together and reach out to their respective islands’ viewers about preserving public, educational and governmental (PEG) access services in Hawaii. Some outreach measures include a vibrant website, advertising to build community awareness and localized public education campaigns to get island residents engaged in protecting their right to public access cable television and other mass media venues.   —>
http://www.akaku.org/?p=74
~

Participatory Media for a Global Community: BAVC’s Producers Institute 2008
by Wendy Levy
Bay Area Video Coalition (CA)
04/04/08

[ comments invited ]

With continued support from the MacArthur Foundation, the Producers Institute for New Media Technologies will happen May 30 – June 8 here at BAVC in San Francisco. The new crop of projects coming into this year’s Institute are part of a documentary-driven conversation focused on finding and engaging diverse audiences, creating social and political networks of participation, the notion of global community, the viability of Web 2.0 social change, emerging mobile media applications, games for change, and interactive strategies for multi-platform storytelling.

Check out full project descriptions from the recent press release.

The first panel of the Producers Institute will be open to the public this year, and it revolves around marketing social justice media. The always dynamic and uber-literate B. Ruby Rich will moderate. I’ll follow up with details of the where and when, but here’s the panel description. We are hoping to see if its possible for change-the-world stories to expand You Tube sensibilities, to rock CreateSpace, to shock iTunes, to blow out XBOX. And, of course, we want to know if you can actually make money while making a difference?   —>
http://bavc.wordpress.com/2008/04/04/participatory-media-for-a-global-community-bavcs-producers-institute-2008/
~

US kept in slow broadband lane
by Ian Hardy
> Click
04/04/08

We all know that America is the technology hub of the universe. It is home to Intel, Microsoft, Apple, Sun, Google, YouTube, Yahoo, MIT – the list is endless. So why, when it comes to the basics, like delivering the internet to its citizens, has it fallen way behind many other nations?

In Manhattan people pay about $30 (£15) a month for a download speed of three megabits per second (Mbps) via a DSL line. Many people are very happy with that, until they realise what is going on elsewhere in the world.  US broadband speeds are much slower than in many countries  “In Japan you can get 100 megabits for $35,” says Selina Lo of Ruckus Wireless.  “I think that has penetrated some 30% of subscribers. The government is targeting for 100 megabit services to penetrate 60% plus of the subscriber base in a few years…

Today most New Yorkers have two choices for home net – via their phone or cable TV company.  But in New York state 52% of residents do not have any internet access, especially rural areas and low income families.  “We haven’t been able to overcome those barriers in terms of increasing the technology adoption rate of those households that are on or below the poverty level,” explains Dr Melodie Mayberry-Stewart, New York State’s chief information officer.  “I think if you look at where the US is compared to other countries, given our speed, we’re not competitive with other countries.”

The lack of competition has had other consequences. Comcast, the nation’s largest residential cable TV and net company was recently accused of interfering with the downloading of video files.  Internet video directly threatens the popularity of traditional TV, so Comcast’s answer is to curtail download speeds for its biggest users.

“As we get more and more things that tie us into the internet – Xbox 360, IPTV services, all sorts of broadband gaming – we’re all getting online more and more,” says Jeremy Kaplan executive editor of PC Magazine.  “And rather than opening up and getting better service, most of these cable and DSL companies are really trying to limit what we do, put caps on what we do. As consumers we’re suffering from that.”

Public wi-fi efforts have also been held back. Several city governments have given up or reduced efforts to provide blanket coverage for their residents.  This is because they have been worn down with lawsuits and lobbyists working for the telephone companies, who want consumers to rely on expensive cell phone plans to access the net on the go.  “Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore – they all have wi-fi in public areas. People can access broadband internet when they’re out in public,” says Ms Lo.  “It is the cheapest way to offer public access. As a quality of life, as a city service, I don’t know why our city government just don’t do that.”   —>
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/click_online/7329992.stm
~

More questions than answers
by Mark Jones
Reuters Editors
04/04/08

[ 1 comment ]

I was invited to a gathering of activists, academics and media practitioners by the Berkman Centre’s Media:Republic program in LA last weekend. Exhilarating to be in such exalted company but depressing to find them so anxious about the future of political engagement and so negative about big Media’s future.

The context of the meeting was to establish what we don’t understand about the emerging media landscape in order to inform the direction of future research programmes.  So, in the spirit of Donald Rumsfeld, what do we know that we don’t know?

How distributed can the production of meaning be?
An academic question from John Zittrain of Berkman but very much with real world concerns in mind. He’s worried about where the atomisation of media consumption and production will take society. In an elitist world, one in which communication channels (including media) are controlled by the few, then it is relatively easy to see how the politics of consensus and compromise can be pursued. But many felt that the new social technologies were creating new silos, reducing the quality of public discourse, accelerating disengagement from politics and, possibly, creatng the conditions for extremist politics.

How can we get the public to eat their broccoli?

Traditionally, nearly all media has followed a public service remit to some degree and mixed content with public policy relevance with the really popular stuff. So you get a smattering of Darfur in a diet of domestic news, celebrity and sports. But that only works when publishers control the medium.

I know I wasn’t the only one to squirm as David Weinberger, co-author of the seminal Cluetrain Manifesto, described how increasingly anachronistic the Big Media model of editors deciding what it was appropriate for readers to read was beginning to seem. What seemed to worry this group more than anything else was that if consumers control their ‘DailyMe’ — a personalised news service — then how will the public service stuff get through?   —>
http://blogs.reuters.com/reuters-editors/2008/04/04/more-questions-than-answers/
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/02/08

April 3, 2008

Future of town government TV heads to Hartford for debate
The Wilton Bulletin (CT)
04/02/08

Thousands of area residents who watch their town government in action on local cable stations may be in for a shock, according to a release from the Area 9 Cable Council.  While Cablevision continues to air such stations on channel 79, new competitors to the TV market may make such valuable programming harder to find, the group said. Area Nine Cable Council members recently submitted testimony at the state Capitol, as the legislature’s technology committee heard comments on the future of community access television-the public, educational, and governmental, or PEG, access stations that Wilton residents view on channels 77, 78, and 79.

Cable TV advisory boards, state officials, and public broadcasters argued that, like cable companies, AT&T should not charge local communities for carrying their local access stations on its new U-Verse video service and that local access channels deserve equivalent status to other channels on U-Verse’s line-up.

Last year the state legislature adopted a new law that allows AT&T and others to offer television services to state residents under a certificate system that contains fewer regulations than the current cable franchise system, the group said. The Area Nine Cable Council supports competition, but supports a regulatory level playing field for consumers to receive the benefits of true competition, according to the release.

Hal Levy of Westport, chairman of the cable council, said as an advocate for community access television, the council opposes not only charging municipalities and customers for interconnection costs, but also the way in which AT&T proposes to carry local community access channels and the Connecticut Network in its newly launched U-Verse system. Unlike cable TV, the U-Verse system employs a separate, drop-down menu, Web-based system in its channel line-up for broadcasting PEG channels, the group said.  “There’s no reason to make public affairs and town government TV a ‘second class citizen’ on the AT&T system,” said Mr. Levy.

Carole Young-Kleinfeld, who testified at the Capitol as one of Wilton’s representatives to the cable council, said that U-Verse demonstrations from other states show that AT&T’s system for viewing community access channels can take almost a minute to load these channels, offers poorer resolution and a smaller screen than regular channels, is not closed-captionable, and is not recordable.   —>
http://www.acorn-online.com/news/publish/wilton/31321.shtml
~

New Hampshire High School Short Film Festival approaching
Film New Hampshire
04/02/08

[ comments invited ]

Submissions for first-ever New Hampshire High School Short Film Festival have been arriving at the New Hampshire Film and Television Office for weeks, reflecting the state’s wide pool of talented young filmmakers—and their interests.  Designed to foster and reward interest in film for future members of the industry, the Festival is open to students currently enrolled in New Hampshire public or private high schools (grades 9-12), although submissions do not have to have been created as part of a school project… The deadline to submit films to the competition is April 4, 2008. They must arrive at the State Library in Concord by 4 p.m. on that date.

A panel of judges made up of New Hampshire film professionals will select films to be shown at the Festival, which takes place at New Hampshire Technical Institute’s Sweeney Hall Auditorium in Concord on May 17, beginning at noon. Five winning films will be packaged onto a DVD, which will also include brief interviews with the films’ respective directors. Copies of the DVD will be distributed to every community access television station in the state for future broadcast.   —>
http://nhfilmoffice.blogspot.com/2008/04/new-hampshire-high-school-short-film.html
~

City’s fifth graders ready for quiz show challenge this spring
by Patrick Blais
Daily Times Chronicle (MA)
04/02/08

WOBURN – Fifth grade students will face-off later this spring in a quiz show that’s being sponsored as part of a collaborative public relations effort between the school district and the city’s public media center.  During the most recent School Committee meeting, former Altavesta Principal Fran Mooney and William Bishop, the Executive Director at the Woburn Public Media Center, unveiled their plans to launch the city-wide competition…  “We came up with [the] idea to get the community aware of the community media center and to also give a boost to the schools,” explained Mooney. “We thought we’d get these kids on TV and give them an idea of what it’s like to be on television.”   —>
http://www.woburnonline.com/frontpage/april08/4108-3.html
~

Niagara County Legislature won’t return Christy to cable
He blames GOP for cancellation
by Thomas J. Prohaska
The Buffalo News (NY)
04/02/08

LOCKPORT — Despite protests from a gathering of supporters, the Niagara County Legislature Tuesday defeated a resolution calling for the return of host Tom Christy to a cable television program.  Christy, who attended the meeting, blamed the county’s Republicans for the cancellation of the weekly phone-in program, “Legislative Journal,” produced at Lockport Community Television and shown throughout Niagara and Erie counties.

As of last Thursday, it has been replaced by a show called “Access to Government,” which premiered with a Republican elected official interviewing another Republican elected official, and it received no telephone callers.  But the new show’s existence was used as a reason for Legislature Chairman William L. Ross, C-Wheatfield, to withdraw a resolution asking LCTV to bring back a phone-in show but making no mention of Christy.  “I watched about five minutes, and I turned it off, it was so boring,” said Legislature Minority Leader Dennis F. Virtuoso, D-Niagara Falls, who was a frequent guest on Christy’s show. “It was nothing like ‘Legislative Journal.’ Tom Christy was the ultimate host.”

The Buffalo News has reported that the Lockport Community Cable Commission, appointed by the Republican-led governments of the City and Town of Lockport, wrote to the state Public Service Commission, asking permission to censor Christy, and received it.  Christy’s criticism of the GOP didn’t sit well with the Republicans who control the Legislature or other top county officials.  The pro-Christy resolution was defeated on a straight caucus- line vote — 14 Republicans and their adherents opposed, five “regular” Democrats in favor.   —>
http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/story/313501.html
~

Stay Up With Penny Dreadful: MetroCast’s late-night horror flicks beckon to night-owls.
by Stephen Chupaska
The Day (CT)
04/02/08

[ comments invited ]

Once thought to be deceased, hosted horror movie shows are still alive, or rather, still undead, on local public access.  This year, MetroCast Cable, which services residences throughout Waterford, East Lyme, New London, and Montville, picked up Penny Dreadful’s Shilling Shockers, a humorous homage to old late-night horror shows, such as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and Commander USA.

Begun in 2006 by a group of horror-loving friends in Worcester, Mass., the show is now seen in all six New England states on more than 50 public access channels.  The show does two, seven-episode seasons per year and sends DVD copies out to public access channels.   —>
http://zip06.theday.com/blogs/waterford_times/archive/2008/04/02/get-your-penny-dreadfuls-here.aspx
~

Hope for Detroit
by Larry Gabriel
Unending Conversations of Hope (MI)
04/02/08

[ comments invited ]

[This article was featured in the MetroTimes, Detroit’s free weekly alternative, on 3/26/08. Grace Lee Boggs and Ron Scott, both members of the Detroit City of Hope campaign, take an alternative position on the resolution of the Detroit’s mayoral scandal.]

—>   We’re wounded. The lost promise of one Kwame Kilpatrick, a young man so many of us had so much hope in just a few years ago, will aggravate our long-standing pains. Picking up the pieces will be that much harder than it was before all the ugly revelations.  We need transformation. We need trust. We need to change our discourse, dynamics and destiny. We need truth and reconciliation.

I must admit that I was in the mob with torches and pitchforks ready to descend on Manoogian Mansion. I’m not recanting my last few columns, but a friend who is active in the Detroit City of Hope campaign changed the course of my thinking. He asked me to think about how the Kilpatrick scandal presented opportunities for reconciliation in Detroit. City of Hope endorsers, community organizations that share the vision of hope, look at the bigger picture of community healing rather than just throwing the rascal out.

“No matter which way the legal process goes, that is a process that has to happen. It’s too bad that couldn’t have happened a lot earlier,” says activist Ron Scott, spokesperson for the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality and producer for the public access television program For My People. “You have to start in on a community level and have the support of a number of disparate factions. People who have worked with the mayor need to go to him and various factions. It has to be a combination of people who come together and have an honest dialogue about what they want their community to be. If it doesn’t transform the community then it misses its mark.”

The concept is rooted in the truth and reconciliation process that Bishop Desmond Tutu led in South Africa after the fall of apartheid. Also used in Rwanda and other countries, it involves bringing together the perpetrator and the perpetrated upon outside of the justice system to speak about the effect wrongdoing had on each of them. It’s about understanding what happened, why it happened and the thoughts of those involved in order to come to terms with past events.   —>
http://conversationsthatyouwillneverfinish.wordpress.com/2008/04/02/hope-for-detroit/
~

Public Interest Mashup* Follows Political Money Trail
by H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik
Iconic Woman
04/02/08

[ comments invited ]

MAPLight.org is developing a mashup* that shows a correlation between political campaign contributions and the way lawmakers vote.  During the Watergate scandal that eventually toppled President Richard Nixon, confidential source “Deep Throat” advised two enterprising Washington Post reporters to “follow the money” to uncover the scandal’s ringleaders.

MAPLight.org, a small, not-for-profit company, is developing a database groundbreaking public database, illuminates the connection between campaign donations and legislative votes in unprecedented ways. Elected officials collect large sums of money to run their campaigns, and they often pay back campaign contributors with special access and favorable laws. This common practice is contrary to the public interest, yet legal. The Maplight database and application mashup* allows the public to follow another money trail—the connection between campaign contributions and the way lawmakers vote, making the money/vote connections transparent, to help citizens hold their legislators accountable…

For example, the H.R. 5252 bill, which was before Congress in 2006, was originally designed to create a national cable franchise and provide the Federal Communications Commission with the authority to ensure net neutrality.  The end result was “a telephone bill that did not ensure net neutrality,” said Dan Newman, co-founder and executive director of MAPLight.org. “The telecommunications companies really favored the bill—they didn’t want net neutrality—while Google and Yahoo opposed it. You can see on our Web site that the telephone utilities gave an average of $15,000 to each legislator voting yes—almost triple the amount for legislators voting no.”

The company currently has a database that tracks every single bill in Congress and it is working, through volunteers and funding donations, to extend the service to 50 states.  But to finish the actual coding on the Mapping Money and Politics mashup*, MAPLight.org is entering the NetSquared’s N2Y3 Mashup* Challenge. The contest, put on by NetSquared—another not-for-profit company whose mission is to “spur responsible adoption of social Web tools by social benefit organizations,” according to its Web site—has a $100,000 prize.   —>
http://iconicwoman.com/follow-the-money/public-interest-mashup-follows-political-money-trail
~

Talk to the Newsroom: David Carr, Culture Reporter and Business Columnist
New York Times
03/31/08

David Carr, culture reporter and business columnist, is answering questions from readers March 31 to April 4…  Mr. Carr writes the Media Equation column for the Monday business section and is a general assignment culture reporter. During the Oscar season, Mr. Carr blogs daily about the Oscars and makes weekly videos as well.

In dividing his duties between culture and business, Mr. Carr is something of a hybrid — high mileage (see photo) with intermittent horsepower. As a reporter for The Times, Mr. Carr has taken a book tour with an author on a raft in the Mississippi, questioned whether news reports during Hurricane Katrina needlessly inflamed public opinion, and hidden in the bushes at the annual mogul conclave in Sun Valley. As a columnist and reporter, Mr. Carr is particularly interested in media in all its forms — Web, film, music, television — and how platform shifts are changing consumer habits. He subscribes to four newspapers and has 3,336 songs on his iPod — The National is currently on heavy rotation…

The Old Minneapolis Days

Q. I used to watch you on the Minneapolis Community Network with Brian Lambert and Erik Eskola. Do you consider that the big break that catapulted you to The Times?

A. Um, that wasn’t me. O.K.. it was, but I’ve grown so much since then. If, as you suggest, “The Facts as We Know Them,” as it was called, was my big break, it should be mentioned that Al Gore had to invent the Internet for me to finally get some more face time in front of the camera. During the awards season, I make weekly videos about the Oscars and movies. My time on the chair lift in Sundance with Tom Arnold is, well, classic, in sort of a Three Stooges minus one guy sort of way. With a face that looks as if were crafted out of mashed potatoes and a voice that sounds like a trash compactor that needs oil, I’m not a natural for television, but Web TV? Hey, real is the new beautiful. I have incredibly fond memories of “The Facts as We Know Them,” if for no other reason that in all of my job travels, I have yet to come across two journalists who are as talented and fun to work with as Erik Eskola and Brian Lambert.    —>
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/31/business/media/28asktheeditors.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin&oref=slogin
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/30/08

March 31, 2008

City to begin programming on cable TV channel
by Andy Powell
Gadsden Times (AL)
03/30/08

[ 15 comments ]

Sometime in May, Gadsden City Council President Ben Reed might sit up straight in his chair in the council chambers, pound his gavel and say, “(Almost) Live from Gadsden, it’s the Gadsden City Council meeting,” to debut the new Public Education and Government Channel on Comcast Cable.  The city is scheduled to begin programming on Channel 99 on Comcast in mid-May, communications manager Craig Clark told the City Council last week in a briefing.  He said the channel currently displays graphics explaining what programming will be offered.

Video equipment is being installed and city personnel are training on the equipment.  Clark said in addition to council meetings, the city will be able to tape programs about other city departments, run programs and information provided by the Gadsden-Etowah Emergency Management Agency and run programs provided by the police and fire departments.

The council meetings will not be carried live but will only be edited for profanity, if that occurs, because of FCC rules concerning content, according to Clark.  He said the council meetings will be broadcast at 1 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 9 p.m. and midnight the days they take place and again early the next morning.  The meetings will be broadcast on other days during the week, too.   —>
http://www.gadsdentimes.com/article/20080330/NEWS/803300319/1017/NEWS
~

Inside Canada’s Telecom Nightmare
by D
Angry Robot (CAN)
03/30/08

[ 6 comments ]

This week there was news that Bell is slowing down P2P traffic, i.e. bitshaping, even for their resellers. And there was information on Rogers’ new fee structure, with the highest plan costing $100 a month and still subject to a bit cap.  Meanwhile, in the US, Comcast is backing down from bitshaping after a public outcry. What the hell is going on?

At issue here is net neutrality, and in the US there is public debate on the issue, whereas here there has been none. In brief, net neutrality is the principle that the network should treat all content and devices equally – that internet access should behave like electricity or your water supply. And generally that’s how it’s gone up until recently, when gradually the internet providers have been introducing bitshaping (slowing down certain types of traffic, most often BitTorrent) and bitcaps (a limit on how much you can download before incurring extra fees).

Don’t be distracted by the current focus on piracy – the idea that ‘a few bad apples’ are slowing down the internet for everyone else. The real issue is internet video in all its forms: bittorrented TV shows, youtube, and pay-per-download services like iTunes and Xbox Live. Video takes a lot of bandwidth and with the explosion in online video, suddenly ISPs are seeing people actually use some of the bandwidth they are paying for. And they’d rather not, you know, make less money. Let’s not forget that both Bell and Rogers sell TV services, and online video threatens their profits in that business as well. The last thing they want is someone canceling their cable to download shows off iTunes – but if that happens, they want to get their cut. Despite the fact that their broadband services are sold on the promise of fast, rich media.   —>
http://angryrobot.ca/2008/03/30/inside-canadas-telecom-nightmare
~

White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood
by Paul Philbin
Ndugu Habari Zenu (Tanzania)
03/30/08

On Thursday, March 27, The White Ribbon Alliance For Safe Motherhood of Tanzania celebrated its annual event in Dar es Salaam. Unfortunately, there was very little press coverage. I was able to locate Jiang Alipo’s report titled “Maternal mortality rates remain high” in the Daily News.

I soldiered on however because I wanted to know more about a family traveling from the UK staying at the same lodging facility, Swiss Garden Hotel. Julia (grand mother), Alison (daughter) and Harriet (grand daughter) were coming back to their roots. Their story can be found in the BBC story, Celebrating 50 by raising awareness of Africa’s highest killer. It turns out that the younger Harriet is “part of a project to teach Tanzanian midwives how to film and edit their own stories in the hope of raising awareness of the biggest killer in Africa” (six million babies a year are stillborn or die in the first week of life).

The project, Birth Aid is supported by Engine Room, a community-based media center in Somerset, England. The outcome is a participatory video titled “Play Your Part”, which earned a Commendation from One World Media Awards 2007 “for an outstanding and unique contribution to the communication of sustainable development and human rights”.
http://marafiki.blogspot.com/2008/03/white-ribbon-alliance.html
~

Public Access TV Discussions
Citizens for Accountability in Jail Expansion (WI)
03/30/08

[ comments invited ]

These were originally broadcast on Eau Claire Community TV.
* Eau Claire Jail Expansion History
* County Board and our ever expanding jail
* Cost of the Jail, Alternatives, and new Data
http://eccaje.blogspot.com/2008/03/public-access-tv-discussions.html
~

Wellesley – Spending Decisions
by Lisa Keen
Boston Globe (MA)
03/30/08

Town Meeting members may not have to face a budget deficit for the next fiscal year, but they have a high stack of financial concerns on the warrant for this spring’s annual session, which opens tomorrow night. Among the issues is whether residents should spend more than $2 million for schematic designs for the new or renovated high school building, and more than $3 million to rebuild one of the town’s most active playing fields, at Sprague Elementary School. Town Meeting convenes at 7:30 p.m. in the Wellesley Middle School auditorium, and will be carried on the local public-access television station, seen on Channel 9 on Comcast and Channel 39 on Verizon, according to the town’s website, wellesleyma.gov.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/03/30/faded_history_on_display/?page=2
~

University of Hawaii, Maui Community College Television, Hawaiian Studies 107, MCCT
Hawaii Community Television Public Access
03/30/08

Watch It!
http://hawaiicommunitytelevision.blogspot.com/2008/03/university-of-hawaii-maui-community.html
~

Into each life some rain must fall…
by Sophia Travis
Pin the Tail (IN)
03/30/08

[ comments invited ]

I mentioned that I would try to blog about the forums that took place last week–  I had two political forums to attend: one at Bell Trace Retirement Home last Wednesday, and one that was sponsored by Democracy for Monroe County last Thursday…  I cited my proven record for having advanced much of the following:

“As a Progressive Democrat my voting record demonstrates that I’ve not only been a part of a sea change through local County Government for Progressives, but that I’ve also often been at the helm of those changes during these past four years. I’ve supported people with disabilities, demanded clarity about our complex local justice systems’ rehabilitative quality level, restored social service funding for the community, augmented funding for outreach to the public for CATS and the Public Library, organized County Government staff and employees by officially bringing them into the process of addressing appalling salary and wage issues, questioned economic development tools efficacy and fairness towards average taxpayers, made environmental issues a visible priority demanding attention, challenged mainstream media—- and I’ve done all this with an unbeatable positivity and receptiveness to my constituents concerns and ideas. When asked to make decisions, speak to issues, and to get things done, I have delivered tangible achievements without making any excuses for anything less to be accomplished. In short I follow-through. I make decisions.”

The forum was formatted to allow a 3 minute opening statement, 2 minute closing statement, and questions from the audience in between…  My answers (not transcribed verbatim here below, and not entirely complete—but you can catch this forum on CATS Television and access it online…) were limited to 2 minute responses and my opponent and I took turns alternating answering the quesitons:   —>
http://www.pin-the-tail.com/?p=847
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org