Independent Video Producers on San Antonio Public Access TV

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Paul Rusesabagina from Hotel Rwanda

Paul Rusesabagina speaks at the 2009 Martin Luther King Day Celebration in San Antonio Texas January 2009. He was the hotel manager made famous in the movie Hotel Rwanda. He has now moved to San Antonio. This clip was for San Antonio Public Access TV,

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Danza Indigena, Indigenous dance

The Teokalli Azteca Dance group dances at the forum held on the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo in January 2009. This clip was for San Antonio Public Access TV, Indians are not Americans Show and The Mestizo Experience Show. El grupo de baile indigena Teokalli Azteca baila en le foro de el trato de Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Valentine Strawberries

Roland from the Springtime65 Show, Saturdays 10:30pm shows us how to make delicious chocolate covered strawberries. This clip was for San Antonio Public Access TV.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

AT&T's U-verse service gives short shrift to public-access programming

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joins investigation of its practices
David Greising Chicago Tribune
February 3, 2009
AT&T has cutting-edge technology and a beefy balance sheet, but the company's handling of community programming channels in Illinois and other states is putting a big black blot on its sky-blue logo.

At the heart of a growing controversy are questions about whether AT&T's U-verse service, a marvel of modern technology that pipes 320 channels of television programming over phone lines, violates state law and federal rules requiring fair treatment of community programming. The fight over U-verse, still in its early stages, shows what happens when corporate power runs up against entrenched community opposition.

Federal and state laws require AT&T to give community programming similar access to what the other channels on its U-verse service get. AT&T believes it does so, but advocates for public access make a compelling case when they argue that the communications giant falls short.

Anyone who has used U-verse, as I have, knows that public, educational and government programming is consigned to a digital ghetto that makes public programming hard to use. Viewers must go to the dreaded Channel 99, and from there navigate toward the towns they want. While U-verse subscribers can digitally record up to four programs at once, they cannot digitally record from Channel 99. They can't even plan their viewing, because the digital guide available for all the other U-verse channels is not available for public, educational and government programming.
None of this is a big deal for the vast majority who are satisfied with their U-verse service so long as they get "American Idol" or Fox News. Let Man keep fighting Wild, stop Hell's Kitchen from freezing over, and these people are happy.

Then there are the wonkish types whom fair-access laws are designed to serve. They want to see their neighbors argue at school board meetings. They yearn to watch the town council give tax breaks to the local developer. They might need a warning about hazardous weather or helpful information about AIDS prevention.

In the year since it launched U-verse in Illinois, AT&T has scrambled to convince everyone that the service complies with state and federal laws. The company spokesman I talked to kept boasting that U-verse offers "enhancements" to normal cable fare—enabling viewers to see town hall meetings from towns they don't even live in, for example.

Now community groups and pesky reporters aren't the only ones asking questions. Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan has launched an investigation of the complaints. And the Federal Communications Commission is reviewing a petition, issued last week, in which a coalition of thousands of towns, schools and community groups demanded a ruling declaring AT&T in violation of rules about fair treatment of public programming.

Some communities have taken matters into their own hands. Glenview, Mt. Prospect, Geneva, Aurora, Hoffman Estates, Wheaton and a handful more have refused to beam programming to U-verse at all. My town, Evanston, is one holdout.

"For every municipality that says, 'OK, we're going to put up with this,' AT&T can say, 'See, they're satisfied. This service is great,' " said Howard Kleinstein, cable production coordinator for Mt. Prospect. "It allows them to continue their bad behavior."

Public TV may seem a minor concern at a time of a global economic crisis, when Illinois' new governor is sorting out the state's unique troubles, when citizens can barely keep track of which Obama Cabinet members paid all their taxes and which did not.

But public programming is vital. And any company that can deliver 320 commercial channels over a phone line can get community programming to subscribers on equal footing.

That was the commitment AT&T made when it launched U-verse in Illinois and other states. That's the promise AT&T should keep.

Monday, February 2, 2009


WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 30, 2009) - Community media groups joined with a nationwide coalition of municipalities and regional organizations today in filing a Petition for Declaratory Ruling with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) charging that telecom giant AT&T discriminates against local public channels with its U-verse cable TV system.
"Relegating local, non-profit media channels to second-class status is a disservice to the public and violates both the spirit and letter of the law," said Helen Soule, Executive Director of the Alliance for Community Media (ACM), which represents local Public, Educational and Government (PEG) channels nationwide.
"AT&T's treatment of PEG channels is inferior in virtually every way that matters to a viewer, preventing the public's ability to easily access safety alerts, health information, town hall meetings, educational and other local programming," added Soule.
In states from California to Connecticut, wherever AT&T is providing video programming, its U-Verse system removes local PEG channels from the standard lineup, dumping dozens of channels into a generic "Channel 99" - stripping away individual channel identities and depriving those channels of basic functions viewers have come to expect.
AT&T subscribers cannot simply tune in the village board meeting or homework help program. Viewers can't switch between commercial and PEG channels, set a DVR to record a PEG program, or depend on getting timely local emergency alerts or closed captioned programming.
In an independent report released September 2008, the Congressional Research Service agreed that, "AT&T has chosen not to make PEG programming available to subscribers in the same fashion that it makes commercial programming available."
"AT&T, the company that promotes competition and choice, is giving the public no choice when it comes to accessing local information that isn't readily available on other channels," said Rob Brading, President of the Alliance for Communications Democracy, a national group that defends the public's right to speak via cable television.
The filing follows a sternly worded bi-partisan letter from Congress to the FCC in September saying that changes in the cable TV industry should not lead to second-class status for PEG channels.
"PEG television is essential to our communities as an outlet for free speech, local information and opinions, and emergency communications," said the Sept. 30, 2008, letter signed by Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY), the Chair of the House Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, ranking member Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio) and Appropriations Chair David R. Obey (D-WI.)
Today's Petition asks the FCC to rule that AT&T's PEG product unlawfully discriminates against PEG programming in violation of the 1984 Cable Act and Commission rulings and policies.
Groups filing the claim represent community-based PEG centers, local governments and national associations from around the country dedicated to assuring that PEG channels and services are accessible to local residents, neighborhood groups, high schools, colleges, churches, civic groups and nonprofit organizations.
They include the City of Raleigh, North Carolina; the Sacramento, California, Cable Commission; the Illinois Chapter of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) and public access centers such as Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV) and Manhattan Neighborhood Network.
The Petition and background information can be found at:

The Alliance for Community Media is a national membership organization representing more than 3,000 PEG access centers across the nation. Local PEG programmers produce 20,000 hours of new programs per week, and serve more than 250,000 organizations annually through the efforts of an estimated 1.2 million volunteers.