MINUTES of CTAC of Hamden, New Haven, and West Haven – October 6, 2010
Johnes Ruta, NH
Peaches Quinn, NH
George Alexander, H treasurer
Tad Weinstein, WH chair
Jen Sacco, H secretary
Carl Lambert, Sr., H
Sharon Codeanne, Comcast representative
Joe Schofield, CTV representative
Meeting called to order 6:05 p.m. by Tad Weinstein. George moved to amend agenda to include discussion of latest DPUC docket 10-10-08, about the status of CTV as the public access provider.
Minutes from Sept. meeting approved online.
Report from Comcast. New user program guide interface. Comcast is working with new provider on getting program information included for CTV PEG channels. Coming soon is the caller id feature whereby telephone calls will show up on television station. Johnes asked if that feature would be optional, Sharon said it would be. Johnes also asked if there would be an numerical indication of the volume level, as there had been with the old interface. Peaches asked about lack of sync between audio and video; Jen reported this happens at her house regularly as well. Sharon will inquire at Comcast about it, to see if there is a way to re-sync box and remote. Tad asked for update about Comcast buyout of NBC; Sharon says the deal is not final, so there is not more information. Johnes asked again about Classic Arts Showcase; Sharon will check again with marketing department at Comcast. Joe asked if Sharon was aware of any other public access providers who are having titles included under their programs; Sharon says no other providers are doing so. They disappeared when the interface changed, but CTV and Comcast are looking into how to do this again. CTV has been paying for this service, and is willing to continue doing so.
Peaches gave a report of her attendance at the CTV board of directors meeting. She gave a list of the suggested topics that CTAC and CTV could be communicating about. Peaches requested that Joe or a representative of the board of CTV attend our meetings again. Peaches and the CTV board agreed that the CTV program report could be submitted to us via email, as could the budget report and CTV board meeting minutes. Peaches introduced Joe Schofield to the council and reiterated our interest in cooperation, which was echoed by Joe as well.
Joe indicated he would email to us a copy of the CTV rules and procedures for distribution to our group. The CTV board is hoping to revise/update them before December, so we’ll receive the current rules and the proposed revisions before our November meeting, so that we can take action at that meeting, and they can take final action at their December meeting. Joe indicated that he will need to be more cautious about what he discusses with us, so that he can respect the role of the Board of Directors of CTV, as pertains to policy creation for their organization, because ours is a public meeting. So, rather than “announce” considered plans to the “public,” Joe will be more circumspect in some of his conversations with us.
Regarding the move of CTV, they have 3 spaces with public frontage in mind, yet they have a lease on this building, and don’t want to break the lease prematurely and lose the money it would take to cover the current lease. Peaches asked if all three towns have possible spaces; Joe indicated that Hamden and New Haven are possibilities, West Haven does not appear to have a suitable space. New Haven is currently favored to some extent because of the service of the buses available. Joe said the final decision does not rest with him, it rests with the board. Peaches reiterated that that was true. When Joe is looking at spaces, he checks to see if AT&T is available in the new space, and he has not yet seen a space where AT&T is available. Perhaps this is because they are looking at commercial space, and AT&T appears to be only rolling out to residential streets. Joe is concerned that if CTV were to be carried by AT&T, there is no way for CTV to check their own signal if someone is having trouble. Engineering-wise, they won’t be able to know where any problem originates, because there would be no way to check. George and Tad asked if it was possible to ask AT&T would be willing to run a line to CTV. Joe indicated that they would certainly ask as soon as they settle on a new space. George suggested that CTV ask now, if that could be a game changer in terms of where CTV finally decides to relocate. CTV still has other concerns about AT&T, but thus far this is their primary concern.
Regarding CTV video on demand, they have all the recorded town meetings available through Windows media player online. It is not streamed live; it takes a day or so to get the meeting footage up. Joe says he cannot make any promises, but that live streaming may become a possibility in the next six months or so. Johnes asked if there is a way to find a program schedule for CTV online; Joe says it is available online a month in advance.
Peaches asked if the Hill House issue had been resolved, about live feed return lines. CTV is going next week to do a system check; if it works, that would be the end of this issue.
Johnes raised the issue of 21st century conversations and N’Zinga Shani’s complaint. Joe said this the producer admitted to a staff member a major violation of the producer rules. Joe says there was no choice but to confront her or threaten suspension. She never gave an accounting, she was suspended, rather than go through the CTV complaint procedures, she went straight to the DPUC. The board said the DPUC needed to deal with the board, not the executive director (Joe Schofield), the board complained to the DPUC, the DPUC kicked it back to the board of CTV to handle, they indicated immediate reinstatement was possible, provided the producer would write a letter indicating she would comply with the rules. Now, the DPUC has opened a docket to call into question CTV’s right to act as the public access provider. Joe says it is weird that the DPUC is opening a docket in response to an issue of rule breaking that the producer admitted, and has now been resolved.
George gave a personal suggestion to Joe to take to the Board, that it is incredibly hard to find information about who the board is on the website for CTV, and that this could be improved. Peaches said she had a hard time finding the rules and procedures on the CTV site, and that the website could be simplified. Jen suggested there be fewer links possible from the home page. George suggested a site map be included.
Jen asked when the current CTV producer rules were established; Joe says they were last voted on in 2000.
George submitted correspondence to us, including a letter sent to Joe at CTV from the mayor of New Haven, regarding New Haven appointments to our committee. One is for Peaches Quinn, one is for Paul Lukasiewicz, Christopher Korenowsky, NH city librarian, one is for Johnes Ruta, one is for Edward Maher, who used to be a member, but who resigned over two years ago. Mr. Lukasiewicz has been unresponsive to Tad, though he will try again.
We received several communications in support of N’Zinga Shani’s program.
Regarding new business, George tried to find information about the new docket filed by the DPUC about the status of CTV, but was unable to read any information. Sharon believes there is a way to try to sign up for email updates, and so will see if she can forward us this info.
Meeting adjourned 7:10.