Channel 12 is not a feminist issue

At Tuesday night’s budget hearing (which I attended the tail end of), there was a short exchange at the very end that you may have missed.  (You can find it beginning at the 2 hour 31 minute mark.)

Councilor George Russell asked that the administration confirm that Cable Services division is not filming events from other community groups besides city departments.

Mr. Trainor confirmed that the Cable Services division filmed WRRB‘s Thomas Green awards, which included city employees.  City Manager Augustus said the standard is that if the WRRB (or another organization) hosts an event that features a city employee or department head, then Cable Services will film it, at the discretion of the City Manager.

Counclor Lukes reminded us that a (heated) discussion arose a couple of years ago when the Research Bureau had some programs shown on Channel 12.  She said that the WRRB website and reports are likely more informative to candidates and residents than many City Council meetings, and that she doesn’t want Channel 12 programming restricted to members of the City Administration.

Now, perhaps that would be necessary in a city without a People’s Channel.

But in Worcester there is no reason why any community group cannot approach the folks at WCCA to record and disseminate any event of interest to residents.

The reason WRRB insisted on using Channel 12 (the government channel) versus Channel 13 (the people’s channel) is that the organization had been advocating for massive defunding of WCCA for years.

They couldn’t “stoop” to using WCCA without admitting that perhaps they were wrong in their assessment of the channel’s importance to our community.

Councilor Russell had a point two years ago, and the point still stands: WRRB is not a government group, and there should be clarity about what is an official government communication.  That doesn’t mean the WRRB is not valuable, but it’s no different from other community organizations regarding the conditions under which their programming should be shown on the government channel.

I am glad that Councilor Russell pushed for this two years ago, and I’m glad he continues to push for clarification.  Then as now, it was about fairness and not about the gender of the WRRB’s executive director.

I hope that the new executive director of WRRB could work with WCCA to broadcast various events (like June 5’s annual meeting) that don’t meet the guidelines for the government channel.  (Also, you can now follow WRRB on Facebook and on Twitter.)

I also hope that if you’re reading this and care about WCCA that you will consider applying to serve on the Cable Television Advisory Commission, which has four openings.

Recycling of a different sort

Readers of this blog are undoubtedly aware that there are bookcases at Union Station where commuters can find some reading material for their trip to/from Boston.  We call it the “Give and Take“, though more folks take than give.

Usually it’s books that are on the shelves, since that’s most of what is donated to the Friends of Worcester Public Library.  Many places don’t accept donations of magazines or other media, but these are often perfect for the Union Station bookcase, as a magazine is lightweight and one or two would be ideal to kill some time en route to points east.

Rather than put your magazines in a curbside recycling bin each week, why not save them and donate them to the “Give and Take” at Union Station?  That way, others can enjoy them as well before they’re finally ground up for reuse.  You can bring them there yourself, or if you’re in the greater Worcester area, contact this blog to make arrangements to have them picked up.

A big batch of magazines was donated lat week!

A big batch of magazines was donated last week!

And although not terribly useful on the commute, we’ve had donations of audio cassettes, audio books, CDs, DVDs & VHS videos that, when left on the shelves, are quickly scooped up by travelers, presumably for enjoyment at home.  If you’ve got these sorts of things collecting dust in some corner, gather them up and let us find them a new home!

(And many thanks to Cathy Walsh’s husband Paul for the generous donations to these shelves a few weeks ago!)

Worcester Public Library Board Opening

There is an opening on the Worcester Public Library board for Dante Comparetto’s old seat (term expires in December 2015).

If you’d like to serve on the WPL board but do not want to make a commitment for the full six years, this is your chance!

If you’re interested in applying, the city clerk will need to receive your letter of intent and resume to by Friday, June 13 at noon.

For more information about the process, please read this flyer.

If you have any questions about the process, send Jim an email.

(I will not be applying as I would need to step down from my position on the WPL Friends Board, and I would also like to serve out my term on the Hope Cemetery Commission.)