Archive for the ‘Project Lightspeed’ category

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/02/08

February 3, 2008

AT & T employees urged to back Nuñez measure
The bid to change term limits is backed by Nuñez, whose law let the company into the cable TV market.
by Nancy Vogel
Los Angeles Times (CA)
02/02/08

The president of AT&T California is urging employees to support Proposition 93, the term limits measure on Tuesday’s ballot championed by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, whose 2006 law allowing the telecommunications company into the lucrative cable TV market could be worth billions of dollars.

In a letter e-mailed to 40,000 employees this week, President Ken McNeely wrote: “I believe that Prop. 93, which AT&T has supported, strikes a good balance between term limits and enabling legislators to develop more expertise for California.”

Proposition 93, with a campaign financed heavily by public employee unions, legislators and corporations including AT&T, would allow Nuñez and many other lawmakers to run for office again this year rather than be forced out.  Nuñez, a Los Angeles Democrat, wrote the law that permits AT&T and other phone companies to compete against cable operators for pay television customers.   —>
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-nunez2feb02,1,1729196.story?ctrack=1&cset=true
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Comcast tries to do right by EWTN viewers
Complaints about channel prompt cable executives to act (4 comments)
The Times Herald (MI)
02/02/08

With the nation’s TV signals required to change from analog to digital next year, you would think one of its leading cable providers would be able to adequately prepare for the transition. Comcast has proven otherwise.  The cable company’s decision to move its PEG – public, educational, government – access channels to the 900-level digital range last month sparked protests here and in other Michigan communities. Lawsuits have put the channel migration on hold.

This week, Comcast had to put out another fire. After it moved the Eternal Word Television Network from Channel 21 to digital Channel 291 on Jan. 15, residents of The Village of Mercy Health Center in Fort Gratiot complained they didn’t have the equipment to receive the Catholic programming.

Despite Mercy Village administrator Christine Jones’ repeated calls to Comcast for the necessary upgrade, the company didn’t seem to be listening. Jones was told there was nothing that could be done.   —>
http://www.thetimesherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080202/OPINION01/802020316/1014/OPINION
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Manhattan Network Building Harlem Media Center
Public Access Service Transforming Firehouse Into Community Youth Facility
by Mike Reynolds
Multichannel News
02/02/08

Public access service Manhattan Neighborhood Network has initiated renovations on an East Harlem firehouse that will transform the historic edifice into a state-of-the-art community media center.  The 124-year-old, four-story, red brick firehouse at 104th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues will be rebuilt to feature live broadcast and production studios, editing facilities, meeting spaces and a training center for the community’s youth. The 10,000-square-foot building will also offer broadband access and serve as the new headquarters for MNN’s youth channel and programs, currently residing on 59th Street.   —>
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6528343.html
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“The Collective Experience in the Moment of YouTube”
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition (MA)
02/02/08

Berkeley Community Media is hosting an event later this month, titled “The Collective Experience in the Moment of YouTube.” Here are the details from their website.

“Join members of various media collectives (including Paper Tiger TV & Video Machete) as they reflect on the history, present and future of their practice. Bring your questions, your concern and desires for the future of the media. The first hour of the forum will be taped for cablecast on B-TV.   —>
http://cmediachange.net/blog/2008/02/02/the-collective-experience-in-the-moment-of-youtube/
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Celtics Stuff Live On TV
by Justin Poulin (1 comment)
CelticsBlog (MA)
02/02/08

Jim “JB” Metz and Justin Poulin had the opportunity to bring their “faces for radio” to television before the game against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night.  Kurt, Adam, and Dave from Gang Green (a public access show dedicated to the Celtics and based in Winthrop, MA) invited us as guests of their fledgling show to talk about Celtics Stuff Live and our experiences.  They uploaded the 30 minute show to youtube and it is available in four parts.  Click here to see the rest.
http://www.celticsblog.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2314&Itemid=265
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

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Community Media: Selected Clippings – 11/21/07

November 21, 2007

Teen’s Tragic Death Recounted on Los Gatos TV
Eye Q, The Eric Quesada Story on KCAT TV-15
by Alastair Dallas
Los Gatos Observer (CA)
11/20/07

KCAT TV-15 will broadcast Eye Q, The Story of Eric Quesada on Wed., Nov. 21 at 8:00 p.m.  Los Gatos High School student Eric Quesada was killed in an alcohol-related accident Thanksgiving weekend in 2002. This powerful film was created by Eric’s close friend Andrew Quillin and other Los Gatos High students, in conjunction with EMQ Children and Family Services. Eye Q delivers an emotional message to teens about the potential consequences of unwise decisions…

At 8:30, following Eye Q, KCAT will air “Alcohol and Drugs: Effect on the Adolescent Brain,” a fascinating and lively talk by Ralph Cantor, the Tobacco, Alcohol, Drug and Violence Prevention Coordinator for the Alameda County Office of Education. KCAT produced this program in conjunction with the Teen And Family Counseling Center. Mr. Cantor is an inspiring and entertaining speaker who provides important information for teens and parents.

KCAT TV-15 is the community access television station serving Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and the Lexington Hills communities including Redwood Estates, Chemeketa Park and Aldercroft Heights. KCAT is seen on Comcast cable channel 15.
http://losgatosobserver.com/los-gatos/Article.php?id=613
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WYOU Youth TV
WYOU (WI)
11/21/07

Supporting youth programing is a very important aspect of our mission. Over the last several years, the station has seen a growth in the number of students that are taking advantage of the television opportunities offered here at WYOU. From grade schoolers to college grads, from short films to live shows, the sheer numbers of students and programming that have come through our studios is a testament to the service that cable access offers the community.  See a sampling of this Youth TV every Wednesday at 3:30 pm right here on cable channel 4.
http://wyou4.blogspot.com/2007/11/wyou-youth-tv.html
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Towns Take Different Approaches To Government TV
by Tim Wood
Cape Cod Chronicle (MA)
11/22/07

Seated in front of a bank of television monitors in a basement room at the Chatham Town Offices, Danni Krash manipulates a joystick that controls a ceiling-mounted camera in the adjacent meeting room.  He jabs a button that switches the master shot to a different camera, all the while calling out instructions to his assistant, Bill Darmon.

“OK, lose the date,” Krash says as Darmon, sitting at a nearby computer, hits a few keystrokes that fades out the date displayed beneath the picture.  “Let’s get ready with Riley.”  He hits the console button again and the shot switches to another camera showing a local attorney beginning a presentation to the zoning board of appeals.

Cut to a similar scene, several miles away, as Harwich High School students crowd around a similar console in a room at the community center preparing for their weekly newscast.  Channel 18 Station Manager Jill Mason oversees several students seated in front of the monitors, VCRs and audio and video mixers, dispensing tips and asking questions to see how prepared they are for the show.  Kids come and go, working participation in the school’s TV club with other activities.  “Sometimes we’re stretched thin,” said senior Patrick Blute, who also does a cooking show on Channel 18.  “It gets kind of hectic around here when that happens.”

Two towns, two different approaches to government cable access television.  Under each town’s contract with ComCast, the cable company is required to provide a government access channel which only subscribers in that town can receive.  Money that covers the cost of government access operations in both communities also comes from ComCast, funded through a small fee levied on each subscriber’s monthly bill.

How the channels operate is left up to each town, which must decide the extent to which the service will be utilized and what sort of programming will be shown.  Some towns simply run a bulletin board of events; others provide hours of original programs.  Chatham and Harwich both fully utilize government access resources, but in very different ways.  While Chatham is strictly a government channel, Harwich works more like a community access outlet.  Both approaches have their strengths and drawbacks and both serve the community in different ways.   —>
http://www.capecodchronicle.com/chatnews/chat112207_2.htm
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LUS Cable Franchise Set
Lafayette Pro Fiber (LA)
11/21/07

The LUS franchise agreement was approved yesterday evening in a quick, low-key Lafayette Public Utility Authority session before the main event.  …Huval gave a brief powerpoint presentation which focused on one main point: the franchise agreement is as near a copy as is possible of Cox’s 2000 agreement. A chart of the ways in which the two contracts were the same was the central feature of the presentation. This parallelism was repeatedly presented as a direct consequence of Lousiana’s “Fair Competition Act,” a point we have made in these pages as well.   —>
http://lafayetteprofiber.com/Blog/2007/11/lus-cable-franchise-set.html
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BOMA says no to AT&T bill
by Jeff Farrell
The Mountain Press (TN)
11/21/07

SEVIERVILLE – An AT&T representative’s attempt to get city support for a statewide cable franchise bill backfired.  City Administrator Doug Bishop told aldermen during a workshop that AT&T had asked them to sign a resolution supporting a bill in the Legislature that would remove the power of local municipalities to establish and enforce regulations for their cable systems, and put it in the hands of the state.

That prompted the board to approve a resolution reiterating its opposition to the bill and sending copies to the county’s legislative delegation, along with letters explaining their position.  “This legislation will necessitate a state franchising process and diminish local authority to negotiate much needed (public education channels) and cable television service to schools and libraries,” the letter states, adding, “Statewide franchise agreements will complicate the market and inhibit local monitoring of franchise fee payments and audits.”
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19045927&BRD=1211&PAG=461&dept_id=169689&rfi=6
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Comcast Closes Public Access TV Studios Across Northern Indiana
by Andrea Price
Our Channels Indiana
11/18/07

A year and a half after the enactment of the Indiana Telecommunications Reform Act of 2006, Comcast notified producers in South Bend, Hammond, Merrillville, Mishawaka, Plymouth, Goshen, and Portage — and Edwardsburg, Michigan – that it would be closing production studios and playback facilities for public access TV.

According the language in the Indiana video franchising law, a video services provider with existing requirements for public, education, and government (PEG) “channel capacity, facilities, or financial support under a local franchise issued before July 1, 2006,” shall provide at least the number of PEG channels “under the terms of the local franchise.”  The law goes on to explain how the financial support should be paid, and that it is not part of the franchise fee. If facilities were required in the local franchise agreement, wouldn’t that mean they should continue to be provided?  Comcast thinks not.

“While the state statute ensures that channel capacity will be provided for access channels in existence on July 1, 2006; there is no requirement to continue to provide personnel, studios or equipment,” wrote Amy Hansen of Comcast in a letter dated August 28, 2007. “Comcast will begin working with local municipalities and non-profit groups to transition the studios and equipment to new locations.”  Studios in Hammond, Portage, and Mishawaka closed on September 28; producers can drop off tapes at Comcast until December 15 or “until the transition has been completed.”

According to Jerry Puckett, a public access TV producer in Hammond, the public access channel is already no longer airing programs.  Like most of the public access channels in northern Indiana, Hammond’s channel was a shared PEG channel and included coverage of council meetings and weekly programs with the mayor.

The City of South Bend is attempting to find a solution.  “Our city had not taken advantage of this access channel,” said Council member Dr. David Varner who has started to investigate what other cities are doing and sees the closing as an opportunity: The taped Common Council meetings were the only local government meetings aired on the city’s lone public access television channel. “Our first responsibility is … to bring government to the people,” said Dr. Varner, also a proponent of giving community voices access to the television.  According to Tom Brown, a long-time public access television producer, Comcast will terminate the channel if a community has not worked out a plan for their own studio by December 15.    —>
http://www.ourchannelsindiana.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=68&Itemid=1
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County prepares for boxes
by Paul Dailing
Kane County Chronicle (IL)
11/21/07

A new state law allows AT&T to create a statewide cable service network, but residents and governments will be the ones dealing with the large utility boxes that the system requires.  Throughout the county, there are plans for the new boxes, which are more than 6 feet tall and will be placed either in public rights of way or on the properties of people who have made easement agreements with AT&T.  For a home to be able to get AT&T’s Lightspeed fiber-optic service, it must be within about 3,000 feet of a box, said Kurt Nika, Kane County division of transportation permitting chief.   —>
http://www.kcchronicle.com/articles/2007/11/21/news/local/doc47440d6caa8ea331160560.txt
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Letter: Volunteers needed for Salisbury cable committee
Daily News of Newburyport (MA)
11/21/07

To the editor:

Community access cable television is about to get a lot better in Salisbury. If you live or work in Salisbury and are passionate about good communication, then we are looking for you with that process.

Thanks to a recent new contract with Comcast, the town’s cable provider, Comcast is required to make financial resources and channels available for use by the community, as rent for the cable system’s use of public property, those wires down streets, which deliver its services to subscribers.

As a result, a new not-for-profit organization is being established to oversee the Salisbury Community Television and Media Center, which will be used to create, produce and broadcast public and community programming over Salisbury’s two local cable stations. This Media Center will be housed in the small schoolhouse located behind the former Salisbury Memorial School and operated with funds provided by Comcast as part of this new contract.

Why is this so important to Salisbury? First, because it will enable residents, civic and community groups to use these new cable airwaves to provide local programming knowing as PEG (Public, Education and Government) access. The opportunities to provide information and public discourse on a wide range of topics concerning education, youth activities, cultural and human service initiatives, government and more are endless.

Also important, however, is the fact that Dec. 31 is the last day that Comcast will provide technicians who broadcast the town’s meetings over the local cable channels. Beginning in 2008, we, the Town of Salisbury, assumes all responsibility for local programming. It is therefore critical that we get this new community-based organization up and running at the earliest opportunity.

This local organization will manage the center as a not for profit with 501(c)(3) IRS status and be led by a board of directors made up entirely of community stakeholders: residents, elected officials, business owners, educators, seniors and more. This board will hire and oversee an executive director with proven experience in community media start-up skills.

We are looking for people to serve on the initial board of directors. Applicants should first and foremost be passionate about Salisbury and interested in seeing public airwaves used to foster communication in our community. Other tasks that the board will tackle include establishing and reviewing the goals and objectives of the organization; managing the budget; developing policies; and hiring, supervising, evaluating and working closely with the executive director to run the organization.   —>
http://www.newburyportnews.com/puopinion/local_story_325094003?keyword=secondarystory+page=0
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Unboxing “Unboxing TV”
by Derek Kompare
Derek Kompare’s Media Musings
11/21/07

Just back from Cambridge, where I attended Unboxing TV, one of the most satisfying “conference experiences” I’ve ever had. So, right off the top, yay Jonathan Gray and Joshua Green for putting this together. Let’s do it again.

In the wake of MIT5, Jon and Josh cooked up the idea for a small, one-stream conference of TV Studies scholars where the focus would not be on the conference paper as the kind of finished idea polished for presentation, but on the much more engaging process of interactive thought and discussion. They were also inspired by the design of last year’s Flow conference in Austin, which similarly put the “discussions in the corridor” front-and-center. The difference was in scale. Flow was not large, but certainly not small. There were 30 invited participants to Unboxing TV, present at every panel, in the same space, for a day and a half. This produced the effect of an undistracted collective experience, an ongoing evolution of discussion throughout the weekend.

The larger conferences in our field (e.g., SCMS, at around 800 participants) can be exciting but exhausting in all their numerous, too-brief meet-ups and scurrying between panels. By contrast, as one person put it, Unboxing TV felt like the best grad seminar ever, where everyone has done the reading, and everyone has something interesting to say.

You can do the reading as well here, where you’ll find PDFs of the “provocations” – the short thought pieces that each participant contributed. Collectively, they indicate how we’re working to understand and contextualize both the rapid changes happening in and around television (and media and culture more broadly) and the continuities of so much unfinished lines of inquiry. Rather than break down each panel, as I did for MIT5, and will ideally do for similar conferences, I thought I’d do a synthesis here instead, giving a general sense of what our collective intelligence generated.   —>
http://dkompare.wordpress.com/2007/11/21/unboxing-unboxing-tv/
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 11/20/07

November 21, 2007

Countrywide protests against media curbs (Pakistan)
Dawn – The Internet Edition
11/20/07

KARACHI –  Police on Tuesday baton-charged journalists protesting against media curbs and arrested over 100 demonstrators when they tried to march towards the Governor’s House from the Karachi Press Club.  Hundreds of policemen deployed outside the press club sealed all link roads and used batons to stop journalists from taking out a procession. About six media personnel were injured.   —>
http://www.dawn.com/2007/11/21/top5.htm
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Media can transform a country (Rwanda)
by Joseph Quesnel
Winnipeg Sun
11/20/07

KIGALI, Rwanda — News media has the potential to transform this country and the evidence is on the ground.  Recently, I attended an organizational meeting for a newspaper called Ibanga. In the local Kinyarwanda language, the name means “secret.”  The choice of title was not intended to convey some sort of subversive meaning. The idea is to publish the “secrets of success” for grassroots initiatives. Usually, the paper profiles some successful business idea or highlights a promising local project.

The newspaper is quite well-publicized and typifies the growth of community journalism in Rwanda as a way to promote peaceful relations within the community. The project calls itself “news for peace” and many of the reporters involved with it are local students affiliated with the National University of Rwanda in Butare.

The project has received guidance from journalism students affiliated with the School of Journalism at Carleton University. What is encouraging about the project is the grassroots publication is subject to what appears to be professional standards of accuracy, objectivity and balance.  This is very interesting as the media in Rwanda has been justifiably criticized for inciting hatred among the Hutu militias during the genocide. Carleton University professor Allan Thompson compiled an entire book documenting the prominent role of the media in encouraging genocide among the masses.

Instead, these reporters intend to use the media to promote peace.  While this project is cause for celebration, it should not always be considered the norm. Journalists in Rwanda still face challenges in practising their craft, although this should be considered in perspective.   —>
http://winnipegsun.com/News/Columnists/Quesnel_Joseph/2007/11/20/4671337.html
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As consumer anger heats up, legislators consider steps to increase competition
by Heather Stanek
Fon Du Lac Reporter (WI)
11/20/07

These days, cable TV not only airs drama, it creates it.  Television has become a hot topic in recent months, especially among consumers who’ve had it with their bills.  It has drawn so much attention that Wisconsin legislators are considering a bill aimed at creating more competition. If approved, providers of programming would need franchise agreements with the state, rather than individual communities. Under current law, providers must adopt an agreement and pay fees to local governments.

Fond du Lac City Attorney Jim Flader said the bill has bounced around Madison several times. It passed the Assembly, but the Senate tweaked it so companies would pay $2,000 per year instead of a one-time fee of $2,000.  He said the Assembly may consider it again in mid-December. Gov. Jim Doyle probably won’t consider it until late December or early January.

But will the bill really reduce prices or improve the industry? Those questions have programming providers and public officials speculating.  To uncover the facts, myths and as yet unknowns about cable TV prices and practices, The Reporter spoke to representatives of Charter Communications, market newcomer AT&T and Flader.   —>
http://www.fdlreporter.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071120/FON0101/711200362/1289/FONnews
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Highland Park homeowners bristle at bulky AT&T utility boxes
Residents bristle at AT&T utility boxes
by Susan Kuczka
Chicago Tribune (IL)
11/20/07

In a North Shore town known for promoting a “green” approach to city services, the recent appearance of bulky AT&T utility boxes near the manicured lawns of pricey homes has some Highland Park residents seeing red.  Homeowners recently complained to city officials that the 5-foot-tall metal cabinets, which contain the fiber optics necessary for AT&T to enter the television market, are eyesores that have not only ruined the view from their living room windows but also could hurt their property values.  “We’ve received several complaints from residents who don’t like the size or the look of the boxes,” said Patrick Brennan, Highland Park’s assistant city manager.

Although Highland Park is one of the first communities in the area to receive the new equipment, an AT&T spokesman said the utility has plans to install them throughout the area in the wake of a new Illinois law that gives AT&T statewide franchising rights. The new rules allow the company to install the “Project Lightspeed” utility containers without seeking permission from individual municipalities.   —>
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-lightspeed_20nov20,1,655556.story?ctrack=1&cset=true
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LUS Franchise Goes to Council Vote
by John St. Julien
Lafayette Pro Fiber (LA)
11/20/07

LUS’ cable franchise agreement is on the agenda to be approved this evening during the 4:30 LPUA meeting before the regular council meeting.  Now this little story doesn’t rate so much as a mention in local media since various tempest in a teapot issues are distracting us from this more fundamentally important issue…  If you poke around a bit and use Google you can actually find the text of the agreement on the council website. (The links in the agenda document do not work…a common problem, I have found. Someone needs to show the folks uploading them how to redirect the links.)

It makes for interesting reading. Well, ok, maybe not really interesting reading. But it makes interesting points. For instance here’s my top ten (in no particular order):

1) No Censorship. LCG denies itself the right to censor any content that flows over the LUS system   —>
2) Yearly Surveys. Consolidated government reserves the right to do yearly surveys of LUS’ telecommunications.   —>
3) In the Public Interest   —>
4) Updating the Agreement   —>
5) Privacy   —>
6) Universal Service   —>
7) Public Service   —>
8) PEG Channels (aka AOC)   —>
9) AOC support   —>
10) 21st Century Public Access   —>

All in all not a bad document. Not the document of my dreams however. That one would have had glorious clauses pushing a real digital divide program, extended public obligations, funding for a commons portal and a 21st century version of AOC. Sigh. Still, I have to say not a bad document. Just not worthy of the full vision I think most of Lafayette shares.
http://lafayetteprofiber.com/Blog/2007/11/lus-franchise-goes-to-council-vote.html
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Indian Shores urges cable company to hold off on conversion
by Bob MacPherson
Beach Beacon (FL)
11/20/07

The Town of Indian Shores is among other barrier island cities concerned that citizens will lose access to TV programs dealing with local issues.  The Town Council on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution Nov. 13 supporting fellow Pinellas County municipalities opposed to Bright House Networks’ proposed relocation of government access channels to the lowest digital tier of service.

Town officials said that change, which will move local Channel 15 up into the digital tier, will negatively impact residents’ access to important information on local channels particularly during an emergency – information not readily available on commercial channels.   —>
http://www.tbnweekly.com/pubs/beach_beacon/content_articles/112007_bhb-03.txt
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Cable channel switch coming
by Michael D. Bates
Hernando Today (FL)
11/19/07

BROOKSVILLE – In three weeks, Bright House Network customers will have to be more creative with their remote control to find their government access channels.  On Dec. 11, the company is relocating channels 14, 19 and 20 from the easily-found lower basic tier to the upper digital channel tier, where some people may have trouble finding them.  Also, customers whose television isn’t digital-ready will have to pay $1-a-month for a converter box to receive the channels.

County commissioners have joined their counterparts in the Tampa Bay area to protest the move, which they believe will restrict residents’ access to government meetings and create a budgetary hardship.  They directed their legal staff to fire off a letter to Bright House expressing that concern and asking the company to do its civic duty in leaving the channels where they are.  So far, Bright House has not changed its mind.  But that hasn’t stopped the county from trying.   —>
http://www.hernandotoday.com/MGBSB7PW79F.html
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Elmwood to pay TCTV2 bill after all
by Alan Campbell
Leelanau Enterprise (MI)
11/20/07

With the future of a public access television channel serving northwest Michigan in the balance, the Elmwood Board Tuesday voted to pay a $7,600 bill representing a six-month commitment by the township to help pay for operations.  The board voted 4-3 at its October meeting to withhold payment of the bill to help run TCTV2, on which township meetings are broadcast. Questions have been raised about the future viability of the public access channel, and the content of programs submitted by Traverse City area residents for broadcast on Channel 2.

But the board voted 7-0 Tuesday to pay the bill amid reports from members who had voted the opposite way a month earlier that they support the channel.  “I’ve decided I like it,” said treasurer Debbie Street. “But I do have some questions…”   —>
http://www.leelanaunews.com/blog/2007/11/20/elmwood-to-pay-tctv2-bill-after-all/
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Lobbying costs hit $11M in AT&T, cable TV industry battle
by Tom Humphrey
KnoxNews.com (TN)
11/20/07

NASHVILLE – Lobbying expenses in Tennessee’s legislative war between AT&T and the cable television industry reached the $11 million plateau this year, according to reports filed with the Tennessee Ethics Commission by major participants.  The reports, required under an ethics law passed by the Legislature last year, mark the first time that lobbyist employers have had to publicly disclose their expenditures for a full year. Two reports were required for 2007, the last due on Nov. 15.

AT&T, which pushed legislation that would have allowed the company to obtain a statewide franchise to operate cable television, reported spending between $3.45 million and $3.55 million in its effort during the two reporting periods combined.  Between $600,000 and $700,000 of that total came in direct payments to the 26 lobbyists registered for AT&T. The rest went for advertising and mailings that urged Tennesseans to contact their legislators and urge them to vote for the bill.

TV4US, which bills itself as a consumer advocacy group seeking more competition in the cable television industry and a supporter of the AT&T bill, reported spending between $1.6 million and $1.7 million – almost all for advertising. AT&T is listed among several organizations sponsoring TV4US on the group’s Web site, http://www.wewanttvchoicetn.com/tn.  Thus, total spending by the major supporters of the bill in the 2007 legislative session was between $5.05 million and $5.25 million. The measure failed, but AT&T Tennessee President Gregg Morton says the telecommunications giant will renew its push in the 2008 session.

Spending on the opposing side was somewhat higher.  The Tennessee Cable Telecommunications Association reported spending between $5.5 million and $5.6 million in the two reports combined. That included $400,000-$500,000 in compensation to lobbyists, with most of the rest going to cable television advertising.  The association also operates a Web site devoted to the issue at http://www.keepitlocaltennessee.com.  Comcast Cable Inc. filed separate reports showing between $175,000 and $350,000 in expenditures – most in direct payments to lobbyists.   —>
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2007/nov/20/lobbying-costs-hit-11m-in-att-cable-tv-industry/
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KOCT wins award
North County Times (CA)
11/20/07

OCEANSIDE — KOCT-TV producer Russell Ferguson recently attended a conference in Ventura to accept an award for KOCT programming. The 2007 Western Access Video Excellence Award was presented at the Alliance for Community Media Western States Region Conference.  The award was presented to KCOT for “Climate TV #2,” a program for young teens that shows their peers enjoying fun and positive after-school activities. “Climate TV #2” won first place in the category of Programs for Youth/Pro.

Another KOCT program, “Living Legacies featuring Paul Tanner,” produced jointly by Ted Smit and Tom Morrow and hosted by Tom Morrow, was named as a finalist in the Programs by or for Seniors/Pro category.  WAVE Awards recognize the work of community access volunteers and professionals in the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico.
http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/11/20/news/community/16_49_0611_19_07.txt
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Winooski documentary is first place winner
Burlington Free Press (VT)
11/20/07

The locally-produced video, “Winooski: City of Reinvention” is the first place winner in the Documentary Profile category at the 10th annual Alliance for Community Media-Northeast Region Video Fest.  Jess Wilson, director of CCTV Productions at the Center for Media & Democracy, wrote, edited and photographed the project.  “I grew up in Vermont, lived in Winooski for several years, and have always felt a connection to that community,” Wilson said.

The video was funded through the city of Winooski and tells the story of downtown Winooski from the days of the Abenaki Indians and Ira Allen through Vermont Vermont’s largest downtown revitalization.  An awards ceremony took place in White Plains, N.Y. last weekend.  To watch the video online, go to http://blip.tv/file/399247.
http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071120/NEWS/71120012
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org