Friday, March 28, 2008

Deerkill_ I can not let Fear Stop Me

My mouth is dry and eyes bouncy. Breathing is often interrupted these last few days by a ragged cough. My week of work and community service both have felt like rolling a boulder up a mountain but there is a sense of irony that maybe this boulder is deflecting and protecting me from debris. Sustainability is the word of the week, ‘reasonable need’ the concept and ‘Why?’ the eternal question. Joni Mitchell singing Big Yellow Taxi [@1970] ‘paved paradise and put up a parking lot’ the instant replay of my fatigued mind.

Words of the past somehow get through the mire: I read a poem written about my 1970 world-view and I post it as if new – out in the world. I realize I am pushing this symbolic boulder in anticipation that others may find fulfillment if I can help keep the door to free speech and art is kept ajar open in my home town.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

How Can Right - Be So Wrong?

This question How Can Right - Be So Wrong? was raised into consciousness a few times this week. Once in good storytelling: The movie ‘Gone Baby Gone’, A few times, during recent citizen advocacy challenges, And daily in the balance of ‘work’ and ‘life’. When faced with the consequences of action taken 'on principle' can we find our core values in conflict? Is it merely a question of their priority?

Core values are to govern how we make decisions, clarify who we are and guide our behavior in the world. When compromised ‘who we are’, changes.

Frustration with processes that sometimes take years to complete or maybe even re-cycle often seem better served with short-term solutions. Short-term goals are needed for process owner sanity, life-cycle and knowledge management. However, short-term should still be compatible with the long view.

If the foundation is broken it is better to clear and rebuild than selectively modify. Determining how broke is broke needs consensus. And in the politics of change, power brokers will identify small fixes that cater to the short-term needs of a few making consensus even more challenging.

Political Power is best served by an 'informed' electorate and a demonstration of the will of that electorate for a common good. Education on this process is challenging as well and I was please to find this site that is trying to meet those challenges.

The informing quote of the week: learn that you can disagree with people without being disagreeable. Source: Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

standing ... i should be standing

In the news today...i hope someone notices the cause...

Dad agreed to be the hump loan if needed..
We have a committee...
a challenge looms large....
Pulled off a TV show that I hope to see,,,someday....

garbled words...revise, revisit....breathe...

i am the rat in the race ,,,,being tested...

passion is still the primary ingredient...

So. Africa looms large in my future...what does this portend...

a moment ...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Blogging interrupted by citizenship

Members of the Energy & Technology Committee:

I, ..., current Chairman of the Cable Advisory Council Comcast Branford and Statewide Video Council designee; DO NOT SUPPORT HB5814, An Act Concerning Community Access Television. [I do however support Community Access TV in to the wee hours of the morning.]

As an advocate of Community Access Television for 30 years, I wish I had the opportunity to either support the repeal Public Act. 07-253 or support a bill that better defines funds and enables Community Access. Neither option is available in this short session. The outgrowth of inquiries on how to fix, what PA 07-253 broke, seems to have become an opportunity to further codify the limitations of ‘video’ services as acceptable and to dismiss some significant regulatory outcome of DPUC proceedings of the past few years.

I have submitted a list of concerns with this Bill and Pubic Act 07-253 and share this adaptation of FCC Commissioner Copps’ remarks on ‘Localism in Broadcasting’ as it could pertain to Community Access.
We are making George Orwell proud. We claim to be giving Community Access a shot in the arm — but the real effect is to reduce access to a deep link in a world wide web of glib marketing campaigns, high priced attorneys and competition for ‘the tired, poor, and huddled masses yearning to see the TV of their choice for a price they can afford.

We do this upon concluding many things: 1) localism is the cornerstone of our regulation 2) communities need access to valuable, locally responsive programming, 3) there is a presumptive need for communities to have community channels, 4) the flexibility of digital technology can ‘better serve’ the needs of the underserved 5) Community Advisory Boards are not conclusively a means of addressing local needs, unless they are representatives of all segments of the community, 6) periodic consultation is appropriate, and finally, 7) modification of certain rules, policies and practices may be necessary.
Reform is needed. But to paraphrase Rep. Fontana’s recent remarks about SB492: Do we need a chain-saw to cut through the complexity of this bill? Does it establish a level playing field, provide transparency and is it responsiveness to the public? I believe not.

More than a decade has passed since PA 95-150 ensured that all communities in CT would have Community Access otherwise known as P.E.G., Public Education and Government Access. This Access legislation was unprecedented in its provision to serve all residents of our State. Communities and providers had choices to make based on each community’s definition of reasonable need. A variety of community access operations across the state were transformed. Some are thriving, most are surviving, and all are at a digital crossroads. Many are trying to balance the day-to-day demands of keeping speech free and accessible to all on shoe-string budgets while keeping one eye on the preservation of the rights of those they are trying to serve.
PA 07-253 Concerns:
  • Complexity of language in new law
  • Too many terms for carrier/distributors of TV
  • Opportunity to update and simplify language not taken
  • Complexity of multiple mandatory advisory councils and lack of clarity of roles
  • Lack of community representation in community advisory selection
  • Video provider is not required to provide a basic service
  • Video provider exempt from interconnection/start-up costs
  • Video provider exempt from provision of senior discounts,
  • Video provider technology limitations may not enable retransmission from all PEG locations
  • Cable opt out does not grandfather provisions of most recent franchise agreement
  • All language appears to lead back to FCC minimum channel capacity and funding
  • Cable Council funding remains same rate after a decade
  • Lessons Learned from mandated consumer studies and surveys not leveraged
  • Funds create competition between communities for funds, grant requests require greater overhead than disbursement systems
  • General feel that it was written from the video provider’s point of view
  • Lack of fair competition
  • Lack of understanding of basic concepts of Community Access

HB5814 Concerns

  • The bill is not what it was expected to be
  • Overturns regulatory outcomes of months of state employee and citizen work
  • Changes allow for persons with conflicts of interest to influence management of Community Access
  • General feel that the bill was raised to pay off certain groups to get endorsement of U-verse limited PEG functionality
  • All the issues 07-253 are not resolved and may be further aggravated.