Facing cutbacks that could reduce her budget by a third and shut down Hillsborough Countyâs educational channel, Louise Thompson, executive director of Tampa Bay Community Network, issued a audacious proposal this week: Take over all three cable television access channels.
âBringing the PEG [Public, Educational, Government] channels under one roof will save the county more money than it does under the administratorâs proposed budget, and, most importantly, will assure that cable viewers can continue to enjoy both the Education and Public access channels, which are not funded at all under the administratorâs proposed budget,â she wrote in an e-mail. âThis could be a win-win solution for everyone.â
Thompson estimates she could save the county $1.5 million by consolidating the channels with Speak Up Tampa Bay, the nonprofit that manages TBCN. Hillsborough County spends nearly $3 million to operate all three channels; more than half of that goes to the governmentâs channel.
Thompson says other cities across the country have a similar set-up and TBCN has more than enough room for more editing suites. If Speak Up Tampa Bay board of directors approve of the idea this week, Thompson would immediately approach the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners with the idea.
Itâs an interesting proposal that could save public access in Hillsborough County. But for public access supporters in Pinellas, the situation looks ever more dire.
(Disclaimer: Creative Loafing Mediaâs President Ben Eason is a longtime board member of TBCN/Speak Up Tampa Bay)
An now today's forecast from the Creative Loafing weather center: Hot.
Chris Fuller, the dynamic young director behind Loren Cass â a St. Petersburg based film about teenage life after the 1996 riots in Midtown â has been making the rounds of film festivals this summer.
Fuller, 24, just returned from a screening of his film at the CineVegas Film Festival where the film earned a glowing review from Variety. Now, this week, he flies to Switzerland for the Locarno International Film Festival and the filmâs international premiere. Loren Cass will be one of only two non-studio U.S. films shown and is eligible for the Golden Leopard, the Cine Cinema Special Jury Prize and the Leopard for First Film.
How old must a female be before she is referred to as a woman and not as a girl? In a story on Chelsea Clinton in todayâs New York Times, loyal Clinton supporter John Catsimatidis calls the 27-year old former first daughter a âvery talented girl.â
This caused me to put the paper down, look over to several co-workers, three males and one female in their 20âs and early 30âs, and ask if they think referring to a female adult as a âgirlâ is as inappropriate as I do.
The other woman in the conversation said it didnât bother her. The three men in the conversation didnât get my side at all.
âYou mean, if I went up to you at a party and said, âHey girl!â youâd be offended?â one male coworker asked.
Would you if I called you a boy? What about our 21-year old male intern?
âNo way! Thatâs an insult.â
Why the difference? The men offered itâs because thereâs no female equivalent to the term âguy.â I argued guy could be male or female, but still, what did that have to do with calling a woman a girl?
I also argue that this is not about my being offended or my female coworker being indifferent, rather itâs about society being so unaware of this inequality that âgirlâ is a mainstay in our acceptable language.
Dictionary.com defines girl as: 1. a female child from birth to full growth and 2. a young, immature woman, esp. formerly, an unmarried one.
For years, I have been a one-woman force trying to even things out. Iâve always used the term âboyâ when referring to any man Iâm romantically involved with who pisses me off, as in âBoys are dumb.â
Conversely, I also use âboyâ as a term of endearment for guys I like, as in, âWow, that George Clooney. Heâs the cutest boy ever.â That no doubt stems from growing up on Sassyâs Cute Boy Alert.
The deal is, Iâll grow out of my immature teenage ways of referring to men as boys when society grows out of calling women girls.
ABC News' Senior White House Correspondent Martha Raddatz and Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Rajiv Chandrasekaran â veteran Iraq War correspondents with recently published books about their experiences â joined about 200 people who braved an afternoon downpour at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg Saturday.
Chandrasekaran's book, "Imperial Life in the Emerald City" writes of the heavily protected Green Zone, the place where non-military government administrators stay while in Iraq. He called the Zone a bit of "D.C. on the Tigris" and a "bubble" where civilians make decisions for the U.S. military, often without communicating with them.
In early 2004, for example, American administrators signed a decree against Muqtada Al Sadr, a popular cleric supported by the majority of Iraqis in Sadr City, a Baghdad slum home to 2.5 million people. They shut down Sadrâs newspaper, prompting massive protests. To that point, only one American had died in Sadr City in the previous 12 months. After the decree, guerrilla warfare broke out. One night in March 2004, an American armored vehicle was pinned down in an alley in Sadr City, and the 1st Calvary, in open trucks, was sent in to make the rescue. 8 men died and 70 were wounded in that operation.
On This Earth, tomorrow night at Ruth Eckerd Hall, will feature Bracewell, her cute wife Lexi Pierson, Rebekah Pulley and Geri X.
Pulley was a guest on my early Monday morning radio show on WMNF, which can be streamed until this Monday morning. My guest host for 7/30 is Flashpoint-er Brendan McLaughlin. (Yes, it's already been recorded and no, Wayne Garcia was not allowed in the studio.)
And if that's not enough reporters in one room for you, stop by St. Pete's Poynter Institute Saturday afternoon from 1-3 for a conversation with ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz and Washington Post assistant managing editor Rajiv Chandrasekaran. Both have recently written books on the war in Iraq.
Yesterdayâs St. Petersburg Times story on Papa Johnâs lack of delivery service to the Bartlett Park and Old Southeast neighborhoods in St. Pete has ticked some neighborhood leaders across the city.
In what seemed to be a great scoop, Times intern Joseph Schwartz reported that an e-mail sent to the Bartlett Park Neighborhood Association stated crime statistics forced Papa Johnâs to stop delivery past Sixth Avenue South. But not mentioned, at least not clearly, is that the closest Papa John's â at Fourth Street N and 22nd Avenue â never delivered to the area in the first place.
âThereâs this [misconception] that [Papa John's] stopped deliveries,â neighborhood vice president Scott Swift told me today. âBut theyâve never delivered here â¦ [Bartlett Park is] way out of their normal area.â
Considering Max Linskyâs love/hate baseball cover story today, I just wanted to let the newest members of the Loaf family â the Chicago Reader and Washington City Paper â know that they have more in common with us CL Tampa folks than just media consolidation. Hereâs the stat sheet:
Chicago White Sox: 45-55
DC Nationals: 42-57
Tampa Bay Devil Rays: 38-61
Ah, I love how big business takes care of the little guys.
Who cares if itâs safe? âIt still sells,â said an employee of the biggest child-care car seat manufacturer in the U.S.
According to Oprah, âdoctors found that men who stopped smoking experienced a rise in sperm count of up to 800%!â Conversely, guys who stopped drinking stopped knocking up ugly Betties 2000%.
Also for those trying to get preggie, a study says many home cleansers are linked to fertility problems, especially because the mood kinda gets lost when watching onesâ spouse on bended knee scrubbing the toilet.
This underdog is barely back from a brief retirement - and is not only already in trouble â but ready to upset the champ.
Thatâs so gay! Almost. Well, depending how you look at it. OK, uh, maybe not.
Steven Spielberg wrote a letter to Chinese president Hu Jintao to put the smack down in Darfur, reasoning that the Sudanese oil that fuels Chinaâs economy is like âpocket change compared to what youâve made off of pirated DVD copies of E.T and Indiana Jones.â (I paraphrased there just a bit.)
The headline: Republicans Like Giuliani's Electability. The story: They hate him for everything else.
For a good overview of press and community reaction around the country to CL's purchase of venerable alt-weeklies the Chicago Reader and the Washington City Paper, check out Wayne Garcia's blog, thepoliticalwhore.com, and Max Linsky's roundup for CL Sarasota's blog, The 941.