Those unable to attend Board of Education meetings can once again watch them on Comcast Cablevision's Educational Access Channel 26.In little Bethel, they have their meetings braodcasted but in Danbury, we get the runaround.
The announcement was made at Thursday night's Board of Education meeting.
The meetings and other board programs have not been aired since May, when some residents raised questions about using the channel to air programs on potentially controversial topics, such as the Bethel High School renovation.
The residents took their complaint to the Danbury Bethel Ridgefield Cable Advisory Council, which oversees Channel 26, and the show was dropped.
Dianne Eppinger, advisory council chairman, in an Oct. 31 letter to board chairman Stuart Carlsen, said after consulting with Comcast, the Bethel Board of Education meetings may be aired on Channel 26.
The item was not discussed at the school board's Nov. 2 meeting. Members tabled the issue until the December meeting.
At Thursday's meeting, parent Jan Neuner said she was thrilled to hear Channel 26 will again allow the Board of Education to show gavel-to-gavel recordings of its meetings.
Neuner is the president of the Bethel Central Parent Teacher Organization.
"Some parents are not even home from work at 7:30 p.m., especially dads," said Neuner of people who can't attend the meetings but want to stay informed about education topics in the district.
"I didn't understand it at all," she said of people who thought it was controversial to have the meetings aired.
In the past the school board televised many hours of programming on Channel 26, with shows ranging from school sports and "Meet the New Teachers" to Harry Potter book discussions.
During the controversy, none of this programming was shown.
Bethel School Superintendent Gary Chesley was pleased with the outcome.
"I know we have got a lot of positive feedback over the years," said Chesley about having the board of education meetings on Channel 26.
"The feedback from people is they like to see information," said board member Matthew Knickerbocker.
Bethel loves their local government on public access
Time: 8:04 PM
Danbury Live versus Hat City Blog
Time: 7:19 PM
For those who don't know, Danbury Live is a show in which volunteers go down to City Hall, record various local government meetings, and broadcast them on Comcast. In other words, they're doing what many in Danbury wants the city to do.
Now one of the laughable excuses we hear from the Republicans who are against broadcasting public meetings is that the quality is poor. Now I'm not going to even get into how politically dishonest that excuse is but this is what I'm going to do for you. I was at this particular meeting and I happened to videotape it with my digital camcorder while the volunteers used a older video camera (probably a VHS) which is of less quality. Now, later when I'm done recording the show, I'm going to post a copy of their show and a copy of my video footage. Trust me, after you watch the two videoclips, you'll clearly see that broadcasting these meetings would be easy and cost next to nothing.
Again, for the record, here's a breakdown of my setup:
Canon ZR550 digital camera (250.00)
Tripod which extends to 8 feet (80.00)
Digital videotape (3 for 15.00)
2002 Macintosh PowerBook G4 with iMovie (valued now at 1,200)
The cost for all my stuff is under 5,000 and I'll put up my video against anything broadcasted on television right now.
Now, unlike my other videoclips which I post on Tivo, I'm going to offer a link where you can download the videoclips as I'm going to allow people to download a high quality file which you can watch on TV (I'll give you directions on burning the video to DVD later).
Now, take into consideration the following.
1. The Common Council chambers audio comes from the speakers in the room. The place is wired up for audio and you can hook up to the system quite easily.
2. The lighting in the room isn't the greatest but with a better videocamera would have no problem under those conditions (a 400 dollar camera would do).
About that elimination of the car tax
Time: 4:17 PM
The state could have a budget deficit of at least $500 million in the 2007-08 fiscal year, which Gov. M. Jodi Rell said today could require some cuts in state services.What battle? This isn't new news...Gov. Rell knew very well that there was no way the elimination of the car tax would see the light of day. Too many cities rely on property taxes and what she was offering was nothing more than a campaign gimmick.
If spending continues at its current rate, state budget director Robert Genuario projects a deficit of $500 million to $700 million for the next fiscal year to provide the current level of services.
"We're going to have to talk about what we want as priorities, and what we will be able to afford, and it won't be all at one time," Rell told reporters Friday after a meeting of the state Bond Commission. "It may mean the possibility of some cuts in current services."
Next year's projected shortfall could also make it more difficult for Rell to push her favored proposal to eliminate local car taxes. The tax cut would be partly funded by eliminating a property tax credit currently offered against the income tax.
Legislators did not enact it during their session earlier this year, but Rell promised during this year's gubernatorial campaign that she would revive the idea.
"I will pick my battles, but right now, if we have the money, I would still like to do that," Rell said Friday
Don't look at me, I voted for DeStefano.
Sex offender media coverage
Time: 1:07 PM
The passing of the sex offender ordinance gained a bit of coverage from the media this week. Channel 30 was first on the scene as they came down to Danbury on Common Council night and videotaped portions of the meeting. The left the meeting pretty late so I'm sure they were only able to do a really small piece on the passing of the ordinance that night.
Channel 8's coverage was horrible and is not even worth bringing up. Ditto for Channel 3...unless half the city is on fire, those guys never cover anything in Danbury as they cater to everything east of Waterbury. Channel 61 did a follow-up on the story and did a pretty good job showing all the sides of the issue. Although it would have been better if the media would cover the entire process (from ad-hoc committee to the final vote and while carefully outlining the pros and cons of the proposed law), at least Channel 61 did something.
So, in looking at all the coverage, since I feel Channel 61 is the only guys who stepped up and actually did a half-way decent job in reporting the story, here's the video for your viewing pleasure.
Hopefully, I'll have the video from the meeting posting soon.
December 7 1941
Time: 10:57 AM
Another reason to skip eating at Taco Bell
Time: 3:25 PM
Taco Bell ordered the removal of green onions from its 5,800 restaurants nationwide Wednesday after tests suggested they might be responsible for the E. coli outbreak that sickened at least three dozen people in three states.CNN talk the E. coli outbreak at Taco Bell before this recall was announced (click here if the video doesn't appear below).
The fast-food chain said preliminary testing by an independent lab found three samples of green onions appeared to have a harsh strain of the bacteria.
Taco Bell said that the tests are not conclusive, but that it immediately notified health authorities and its restaurants while it awaits a final analysis.
"In an abundance of caution, we've decided to pull all green onions from our restaurants until we know conclusively whether they are the cause of the E.coli outbreak," said Greg Creed, president of Irvine, Calif.-based Taco Bell.
A message left with the company on where the green onions came from was not immediately returned Wednesday.
I don't know about you but you won't catch me eating at Taco Bell regardless of their health inspection score.
Time: 3:12 PM
Let me explain...
I was working on the video I shot from last night's Common Council meeting earlier today. If you don't know, producing this footage take a bit of time because of the editing, processing, and compressing you have to do before you can upload the file to the internet (it would be SO much easier if I just did a public access show). Well, to make a long story short, in going through my hundreds of hours of public access shows I've tivo'd, I noticed that I haven't done an update on the latest round of excuses surrounding the refusal to broadcast meetings. Next thing I know, I stopped working on last night's video and started putting together an update on what's happening with the broadcasting silliness (trust me, this will knock you off your seat folks).
Since I have two events I'm covering in the area tonight, It looks like I'm not going to be able to get the Common Council video posted from last night. I'm really sorry but I promise to get it posted as soon as possible.
Where do I begin
Time: 8:14 AM
Now that I'm free of that research paper I've been working on, thankfully I can get back to reporting on stuff happening around town. Lots of interesting topics were brought up at last night's Common Council meeting. Unfortunately, since I've been off the radar, I have hours of video to process and that takes quite of bit of time to accomplish.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can post something later.
Head xenophobe and Minuteman founder scheduled to speak in Danbury
Time: 8:49 PM
On December 13th, for 10 bucks a head, you can come down and see Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist spew his hate-speech in Danbury. The man who has close ties to the Neo-Nazi group The National Alliance will come to our area and tell us all the bad things about
Here's a little history into the background of this moron and his ties to Neo-Nazi organizations.
For months, Jim Gilchrist promised that his Minuteman Project would peacefully observe the Arizona border as a protest against illegal immigration. Volunteers - he said there would be 1,300 of them - would be carefully screened, with FBI help, to keep out white supremacists and racists. No one would be allowed to bear guns except those who had permits to carry concealed weapons.Gilchrist makes a link between white Neo-Nazi racists who attended his event and Martin Luther King...
Gilchrist said that critics who called his group "vigilantes" - naysayers who included President Bush - were absolutely wrong about his volunteers.
Indeed, Gilchrist told USA Today, these men and women sought only to bring attention to a major social problem. Most were "white Martin Luther Kings."
Ahem, lets continue.
Maybe so. But Gilchrist's accuracy has been less than sterling.Okay, Neo-Nazis are free to walk the streets with gun, no one check their permits, and Gilchrist wants you to assume that what they're doing is "peaceful."
As the month-long April project started, some 300 volunteers showed up - a thousand fewer than predicted. An FBI official denied that the agency was screening Gilchrist's or any other private group's members. At least four-fifths of volunteers did carry weapons, and almost none were checked for permits. Racist talk abounded. And at least some neo-Nazis and other racists did join in Gilchrist's project.
Ahem, lets continue.
On April 2, as the month-long effort got under way, the Minuteman Project held a protest across the street from the U.S. Border Patrol headquarters in Naco, Ariz. Prominent among the demonstrators were two men who confided that they were members of the Phoenix chapter of the National Alliance - the largest neo-Nazi group in America. One of the two, who sat in lawn chairs throughout, held a sign with arrows depicting invading armies of people from Mexico - a sign identical to National Alliance billboards and pamphlets, except without the Alliance logo.You get the picture folks? The Minutemen and the National Alliance are buddies in their War against immigrants, period. The unfortunate thing here is that Gilchrist and his defenders claim that they're victims of propaganda and reverse racism and their claims are disgusting to say the least.
For you video pleasure, you can view Gilchrist defending the National Alliance on FOX News via Media Matters.
Due to my limited time right now, I don't have the time to go into great detail exposing this hate-monger, you can find plenty of information on him by checking out the Southern Law Poverty Center (a watchdog group that monitors hate-groups).
For your viewing pleasure, I grabbed a couple of video clips of Gilchrist in action (or should I say placing his foot in his mouth).
The first clip is from a appearance Gilchrist did on Fox News Hannity and Colmes where he defended white supremacists groups. (via Media Matters)
Here's a partial transcript:
COLMES: Recently, the white supremacy group Aryan Nation has recruited for the Minuteman Project, promoting the protest as a white pride event. This is who you're participating with here.Amazing.
GILCHRIST: I have -- Alan, I have no control over someone posting an e-mail. I know what you're talking about. I've been to that Stormfront website. I have put a warning on our website -- you are not welcome here if you're a member of any supremacist group, whether it be of any color, race or creed.
Alan, there are supremacist groups out there of all races, colors and creeds. It's not just white supremacists. Why are you picking on them? There are brown. There are purple. There are red.
Now, I'll offer this video for the cherry on top. Not long ago, Gilchrist made an appearance at Columbia University which caused a huge counter protest by students who stormed the stage and held banners against the Minutemen.
Now, here's where Gilchrist and his defenders tried to lie to the public.
Gilchrist tired to make it seem like HE was being attacked by the students when in fact it was his Minutemen goons who attacked the students with one person being caught on video kicking a student in the head.
Well, Gilchrist came on Democracy NOW and tried to debate the head organizer of the counter student protest at Columbia and he suddenly cut the interview short when challenged about the incident and his ties to the National Alliance.
Watch the video and see the coward in action.
Gilchrist is a hate-monger who works on people's fear for his financial gain. He's a joke who shouldn't be taken seriously and has no business in Connecticut let along in Danbury trying to tell us about the problem with illegal immigration. He's like a Klansman who decided to take off the sheet and try his luck by wearing a tie (David Duke would be proud).
Again, this guy is nothing more than a bigot and a racist and is only looking to make a buck by drafting more members to his cause (I bet he comes with a suitcase of garbage to sell to the audience).
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