Friday, January 23, 2009

Local Front / KAPA Funding / Letter (Original Copy) Sent Out to Local Papers by KAPA Commissioner Bob Smith

[A little girl that sang (with others) at the last Kingston Area Public Access Telethon; at a recent Pointe of Praise / Kings Kids talent show (a song she had written herself); and at the Kingston Muddy Cup Inauguration Party [a song she had written herself AND a (spoken word) poem...]; Photo (from the Muddy Cup event) by NS]


The following is an original copy [slightly edited for placement here] of a letter (to the Editor) that was sent to the "KIngston Times" (published today), the Kingston "Daily Freeman" and "Ulster County Publishing." Bob Smith (whom I know pretty well (Lol!) gave me permission to publish the letter (Important stuff, folks!) here, as well.


"Letter to the Editor" [This went out to 3 different local papers]...

"Congratulations to Channel 20, the new educational channel on Time Warner. I wish you every success!

Our long suffering Public Access Channel 23 remains a steady snowy screen into the new year, with little hope for change - barring a Federal bailout or a presidential pardon.

Figuratively, my bald head and fat neck swivel on my torso, like a special effect in a horror movie whenever I reflect on the latest state of our Kingston Area Public Access (KAPA) station. Let me state clearly that what is written here is not the opinion of the KAPA Commission, but merely the uncensored reflections of one of the Commissioners.

It is not so much a chicken and egg discussion (give us quality TV, and we'll give you funding). The dilemma appears to me to be more of a case of what I refer to as voodoo vision. It is a theory that the channel is either in a corpse or a zombie state. The Mayor and City Council seem most gleeful with the corpse when it is off the air. The regular rebels and loyal opposition, on the other hand, are elated when the zombie is up and running.

Poetic images aside, KAPA needs a minimum of $40,000 annually to function properly and serve the public interest. Unfortunately, the public interest in our community is not always what interests the public. Rosendale, the Town of Ulster and a few dedicated benefactors have kept KAPA on life support for the last few years. Thank you for that. The Commission needs to be aware of the quote, from Eric Hoffer, "It is not in our best interest to bite the hand that feeds you, nor is it wise to lick the boot that kicks you."

The City will receive, in the ten-year Time Warner contract, over $3.6 million dollars in franchise fees - paid by 7,400 subscribers. However, in that period, certain City Council members bring out their trademark objection that the City had to pay $4, 7, 10, 19,000 (depending on the source, this always seems to vary) for legal fees - and $2,644 in a misunderstood grant. So, at the maximum, for a $21,644 investment, $3.6 million in benefits accrued to the City. Would any investor turn that bonanza down? To put it in layman's terms, if someone offered you $365.00 for a $2.16 investment, would you be complaining? Yet there are about five politicians on the local power grid who are opposed to Public Access funding - denying about 40,000 local residents their Public Access station. This goes beyond being unreal to becoming anti-real.

To those few politicians and their tender egos, let me quote the famous Yogi Berra, who said, "Everybody knows that people who are popular are bound to be disliked." Along with that paradox, most fair-minded fans and reasonable people are able to appreciate the talents and skills of both teams on the field, no matter what the "uniform" - be it Democrat or Republican.

In conclusion, in late November I attended a talent show sponsored by the Pointe of Praise Church and Kings Kids that was a great community event, and would have been a tremendous show to put on Public Access --- "if" I lived in Woodstock, Saugerties, Rhinebeck, New Paltz or any of the other 11,000 communities nationwide that offer support and funding to their local Public Access station. So, to the general public, please remember - when elections take place in November - the words of that old Motown song by the Undisputed Truth called "Smiling Faces." The verse that applies is, "Don't let the handshake and the smile fool ya, take my advice, they are only trying to rule ya."

With Humor and Hope for the Future of Kingston Public Access,

Bob Smith
KAPA Commissioner"


BTW, I "know" (lol) and immensely respect the little girl (and her multifaceted talents) in the photo above - and the rest of her family (lol) too!

I am Proud OF you All!


I Thank You!


Respectfully posted here by NS

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