Local Access Saga Continues

By Sondra Murphy

sidelined further progress.
“I received a request from the School District to sit back down at the table with them,” said city Public Works director Mike Culver. “It kind of got put on hold with the new superintendent coming in, but now they’re ready to talk about it.” Culver expected he and city manager Jere Kersnar would meet with OUSD this month.
“Mike and Jere and I and a couple of leaders from the district, particularly Dan Musick and Greg Bayless from the high school, are going to be getting together in the next week or two to talk about some options for moving the issue forward,” said Bangser. “I have a few ideas and thoughts from people in the district and I want to see if they mesh with what the people over in the city want to help us accomplish.”
Bangser cited the Skate Park negotiations, infant center closure and educational issues for part of the break in talks, as well as time needed for him to learn the history of local public access efforts. “We haven’t dropped it. We’re getting up to it now in early 2010.”
Assembly Bill 2987, the 2006 Digital Infrastructure and Competition Act, proposed to equalize competition among cable providers by allowing them all to franchise with the state. Intending to open up access to various media providers by altering franchise regulations, cable providers such as Time Warner, which provides cable to Ojai, were able to reduce the number of local cable stations they facilitated.
AB 2987 also opened up the prospect for the city to assume management of Channel 10 and receive additional funds for the effort.
The City Council voted in 2008 to take on manage

Last season’s mystery of Channel 10 ended with a cliffhanger and local cable television subscribers have yet to learn the outcome. Time Warner Cable customers are still waiting for the public access station to air more comprehensive content about the Ojai Valley. Despite station management and funding logistics being a topic of much debate and effort last year by the Ojai City Council and staff, sparse offerings continue to be aired, consisting primarily of City Council and Planning Commission meetings with occasional calendar items.

Register to read more ...