Minutes of the HACTAC Meeting of February 19, 2014
Attendance: See Above
Excused Absence: See Above
Absent: See Above
Guest: See Above
The meeting was called to order at 7:08 pm
Note: All attachments referenced in these minutes are available either on mentioned e-mail addresses or at your public library; or questions to the DPUC may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A motion was made by Zena Kovack and second by Dave Raney to accept the November minutes as corrected. Motion passed.
See Attached. A motion was made by Bill Stephenson and second by Penny Leto to accept the Oct. 31, 2013 through January 31, 2014 Treasurer's report subject to audit. Motion passed.
Station Manager Report:
Jen welcomed everyone to West Hartford. Exciting things are going on at the station. They recorded live the regional a cappella festival held at Kingsford Oxford school. It was the first test of streaming it live from the channel. The station tested the Cloud service to see if they could record from one location and pop the signal to another location and then stream it live via the Cloud. It was only a test but it was really successful. Very excited about how it worked. The station and the station Board have been focused on this Cloud project which they have been working on with Windsor and Newington to offer on demand services. August 1 is the target date for the project to be put into full operation.
The station is working with the legislature to try and restore the PEG PETIA fund. There are currently 5 bills at the Capital. Working on trying to get them consolidated and get the funding reinstated. According to PURA, if they can get the second of the 2 sweeps rescinded, which was for 3.4 million, they can begin granting again as early as August 1.
Carol asked if they have a waiting time between when you can apply for a grant. Jen did not know what the exact rules were, but she did know that you cannot have two (2) grants at the same time. It does take about a year to get a request through the process at PURA. Dick advised that he felt that once you get approval, you can start process again because of the timeframe it takes for approval.
Dick asked about West Hartford TV's outreach programs. Jen reviewed the Be the Media program they have, which is a Town wide citizen grass roots journalism project. In 2007 they put cameras in the public schools, in the Library and other areas around town so that people could sign out a camera, record video and send it to the station. The station would edit it and would run it on Friday's at 7:00. There is a team in every school, starting with 4th and 5th graders and the station tries to hold on to them through middle and high school. The station also does a big outreach at Celebrate West Hartford.
Dick asked if the station has a notice on their channel that if someone has a complaint they can contact HACTAC. Jen was not 100% sure, but she would not be opposed to having something like that. She will check into it.
Dick asked Jen about her budget; good, bad or in trouble. Jen advised that they are a station with big ideas and a big vision so there is never enough money but they are lucky to be in a community that supports them. They made their budget for the year.
Dick asked if the station does any volunteer programs. Jen advised that the station has regular production hours Monday through Thursday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm and it is busy.
Dick asked how many members were on the station's Board. Jen advised that there are currently 22 members on the Board. They have 6 meetings a year.
Dick asked if the station/studio was good, bad. Jen advised that they are the best. As a matter of fact they were voted the Best Station in America in 2012.
Alan reported that the station had finished the upgrades to the satellite dish. Their character generator died which resulted in them having to replace a computer. Because the original computer was so old, they then had to purchase new software for the computer. All told, the station has spent approximately $12,000.00 on new equipment and upgrades.
No one able to attend. Nothing new to report.
Penny advised that they are trying to survive the winter and this weather. Nothing really new to report for the station.
Dick reported that Simsbury did receive the PEG PETIA grant money. They will be using it to purchase new equipment. The Town of Simsbury has been talking about where would be the best location for the station. Talks are being held with the Board of Education to see if there might be room in one of the school buildings. The Town is also reviewing space at the Library. Nothing final just yet.
Zena did not have anything to add from Jennifer's report on the station. She felt Jen had covered everything.
Carol reported that since the last meeting, Windsor has held their grand gala and open house. It was very well received by the community. Many people received "Ollies", WinTV's version of an Oscar. People were very pleased.
Bill added that the station and the public were heavily involved and that they got great donations from area restaurants for the food.
Dave Raney advised that there were about 50 statues given to various people. One recipient who received a statue started crying and there was another person sitting next to Dave who stated that he had never won anything his whole life. Each honoree also had their picture taken. In all, about 278 people attended the event.
NOTE:All complete reports appear in the DPUC reports available on-line from the DPUC. See below for e-mail address.
Dick gave John a Comcast customer's payment check received by HACTAC.
John advised of a couple of channel updates. The Military Channel will change to the American Hero Channel as of March 3rd. Some of the channels from Digital Preferred will be added to Digital Starter. John also advised that later in spring, Comcast will be announcing the winners of the leaders and achievers scholarships.
On February 13, 2014, an announcement was made that Time Warner and Comcast were going to merge. It has not been finalized yet until all the reviews and approvals are complete.
Penny asked John what was going on with Netflix? Comcast and Netflix will have an agreement to pay Comcast to expand the bandwith for better viewing.
Bill asked if the agreement with Netflix will have anything to do with the internet. It should not affect the internet.
A T & T
Carol reported that Kinson Perry has retired. The new representative is Harry Carey. Please see copy of her report for complete details.
Statewide Advisory Council:
Carol also reported that the Statewide Advisory Council is not the best at communicating to the public. There has been some talk about what will happen to the Council if Comcast joins the Statewide Advisory Council.
Carol also advised that unlike HACTAC, the Statewide Advisory Council does not say you cannot be employed by a community access TV and sit on the council. Dick asked Carol to please give him a copy of the Advisory Council's By-Laws.
Legislative Committee Report:
Nothing to report.
Public Relations Committee Report:
Nothing to report.
Nothing to report.
Chairman's Report: Most memos concerning the DPUC are available on the web-site for the DPUC (www.state.ct.us/dpuc/database/htm)
Dick reviewed with the Board Article XII, Section 2 and 3 of the By-Laws and their similar sayings. He asked if one of them should be removed.
Alan had a question on what constituted an alternate and can anyone be an alternate? Dick advised that if a member of the Board is unable to make a meeting they may appoint an alternate to attend in their place. An alternate can be any member of the community for which the current Board member represents.
Following some discussion, A motion was made by Bill Stephenson and second by Penny Leto that we delete Article XII, Section 3 from the By-Laws. Motion passed. A second motion was made by Bill Stephenson and second by Zena Kovack to change the wording in Section 2 from may vote to shall direct the Chairperson. Motion passed.
Alan asked if you are absent and your alternate does not show are you considered absent? Dick advised that the Board member would be considered as being absent.
HACTAC e-mail address: HACTAC@yahoo.com
No new complaints to review.
Dick asked the Board if they wanted to go ahead with the scholarship program that was started last year. Several members felt they should but also thought it would be beneficial to talk to Mark H. as he had done a lot of the work last year. It was also felt that it might be late for this year. There is really not enough time to get the word out and for the children to be able to make a video for submission for this year. Dick will contact Mark to see if he can help and he will report back at the next meeting.
Dick asked the Board how they felt about changing the HACTAC meetings to quarterly instead of monthly. After much discussion, it was felt that monthly meetings are more beneficial to the community the Board serves and the current schedule should be maintained.
Dick and Carol welcomed a new member to the Board for Windsor, Len Walker. Len was asked if he would like to make any comments. Len felt that as a new member, he would like to listen and learn before he started making any comments.
As there was no additional information to be brought before the Board, a motion was made by Zena Kovack and second by Penny Leto to adjourn the meeting. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm.
Sept. 18, 2013 Hartford
October 16, 2013 East Hartford
November 20, 2013 Windsor
December No Meeting
January 15, 2014 Simsbury - Holiday Meeting
February 19, 2014 West Hartford
March 19, 2014 Simsbury
April 16, 2014 Hartford
May 21, 2014 Bloomfield
June 18, 2014 Comcast - Berlin
Next Meeting and Location:
The next meeting will be on March 19, 2014 in Simsbury. We will meet at the Maple Tree for dinner. Because the meeting area is small at SCTV, we will hold the meeting at the Maple Tree. Dinner will be at 5:30 and the meeting will start at 7:00 pm. There is parking in the back.