Tuesday, July 31, 2007

TBCN To Take Over All PEG Channels?

Posted by on Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 4:08 PM

Facing cutbacks that could reduce her budget by a third and shut down Hillsborough County’s 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.

“Bringing the PEG [Public, Educational, Government] channels under one roof will save the county more money than it does under the administrator’s 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 administrator’s proposed budget,” she wrote in an e-mail. “This could be a win-win solution for everyone.”

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 government’s 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.

It’s an interesting proposal that could save public access in Hillsborough County. But for public access supporters in Pinellas, the situation looks ever more dire.

For more background on TBCN and the budget cuts, read Wayne Garcia’s latest blog post here. For more on TBCN’s ongoing fight with the BOCC over the years, read past CL articles here and here.

(Disclaimer: Creative Loafing Media’s President Ben Eason is a longtime board member of TBCN/Speak Up Tampa Bay)

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The Short List — Tues., July 31

Posted by on Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 4:06 PM

An now today's forecast from the Creative Loafing weather center: Hot.


St. Pete Film Hits International

Posted by on Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 4:01 PM

Loren Cass

Chris Fuller, the dynamic young director behind Loren Cass — a St. Petersburg based film about teenage life after the 1996 riots in Midtown — 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 film’s 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.

Exciting stuff for Fuller and his cast and crew. Maybe in a few years, Tampa Bay will be known for something other than The Punisher or Pirates.

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I'm just a girl

Posted by on Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 3:36 PM

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 today’s New York Times, loyal Clinton supporter John Catsimatidis calls the 27-year old former first daughter a “very talented girl.”

This caused me to put the paper down, look over to several co-workers, three males and one female in their 20’s and early 30’s, and ask if they think referring to a female adult as a ‘girl’ is as inappropriate as I do.

The other woman in the conversation said it didn’t bother her. The three men in the conversation didn’t get my side at all.

“You mean, if I went up to you at a party and said, ‘Hey girl!’ you’d be offended?” one male coworker asked.

Would you if I called you a boy? What about our 21-year old male intern?

“No way! That’s an insult.”

Why the difference? The men offered it’s because there’s no female equivalent to the term ‘guy.’ 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 it’s about society being so unaware of this inequality that ‘girl’ 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. I’ve always used the term ‘boy’ when referring to any man I’m romantically involved with who pisses me off, as in “Boys are dumb.”

Conversely, I also use ‘boy’ as a term of endearment for guys I like, as in, “Wow, that George Clooney. He’s the cutest boy ever.” That no doubt stems from growing up on Sassy’s Cute Boy Alert.

The deal is, I’ll grow out of my immature teenage ways of referring to men as boys when society grows out of calling women girls.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Poynting out how we lost the war

Posted by on Mon, Jul 30, 2007 at 8:42 PM

ABC News' Senior White House Correspondent Martha Raddatz and Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Rajiv Chandrasekaran — veteran Iraq War correspondents with recently published books about their experiences — joined about 200 people who braved an afternoon downpour at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg Saturday.

Poynter President and Managing Director Karen Brown Dunlap, Chandrasekaran, Raddatz, Poynter High School Program Director Wendy Wallace
The crowd paid $25 apiece to attend the lecture series, which was held theater-in-the-round style.

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 Sadr’s 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.

Continue reading »

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Friday, July 27, 2007

The Really Short List

Posted by on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 8:55 PM

Many terrific benefits and shows are going on this weekend, among them Lorna Bracewell's On This Earth, a concert series she started a while back to raise money for various local causes.

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.)

Speaking of PoHo, he'll be on Rob Lorei's Florida This Week on WEDU tonight at 8:30 along with Patrick Manteiga, Mary Anne Stiles and Andrew Skerritt.

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.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pizza On the Times' Face?

Posted by on Thu, Jul 26, 2007 at 7:38 PM


Yesterday’s St. Petersburg Times story on Papa John’s 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 John’s to stop delivery past Sixth Avenue South. But not mentioned, at least not clearly, is that the closest Papa John's — at Fourth Street N and 22nd Avenue — never delivered to the area in the first place.

“There’s this [misconception] that [Papa John's] stopped deliveries,” neighborhood vice president Scott Swift told me today. “But they’ve never delivered here … [Bartlett Park is] way out of their normal area.”

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

United We Suck

Posted by on Wed, Jul 25, 2007 at 6:32 PM

Considering Max Linsky’s love/hate baseball cover story today, I just wanted to let the newest members of the Loaf family – the Chicago Reader and Washington City Paper – know that they have more in common with us CL Tampa folks than just media consolidation. Here’s the stat sheet:

Chicago White Sox: 45-55

DC Nationals: 42-57

Tampa Bay Devil Rays: 38-61

Too bad the Braves (54-47) and Cubs (52-46) have to throw off the curve.


The Short List

Posted by on Wed, Jul 25, 2007 at 3:48 PM

Ah, I love how big business takes care of the little guys.

Who cares if it’s safe? “It still sells,” said an employee of the biggest child-care car seat manufacturer in the U.S.

According to Oprah, “doctors found that men who stopped smoking experienced a rise in sperm count of up to 800%!” 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 ones’ spouse on bended knee scrubbing the toilet.

This underdog is barely back from a brief retirement - and is not only already in trouble — but ready to upset the champ.

That’s so gay! Almost. Well, depending how you look at it. OK, uh, maybe not.

Maybe the aliens are the answer to our energy crisis.
Steven Spielberg wrote a letter to Chinese president Hu Jintao to put the smack down in Darfur, reasoning that the Sudanese oil that fuels China’s economy is like “pocket change compared to what you’ve made off of pirated DVD copies of E.T and Indiana Jones.” (I paraphrased there just a bit.)

The headline: Republicans Like Giuliani's Electability. The story: They hate him for everything else.

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All Over the Map

Posted by on Wed, Jul 25, 2007 at 3:28 PM

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.


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