March 2011


March 2, 2011 Minutes

MINUTES of CTAC of Hamden, New Haven, and West Haven – March 2, 2011

Tad Weinstein, WH chair

George Alexander, H treasurer

Sharon Codeanne,  Comcast Representative 

Peaches Quinn, NH

Richard Gay, WH

Carl Lambert, Sr., H 

Joyce Listro, NH School System Representative

Johnes Ruta, NH

Joe Schofield,  CTV Representative 

Paul Scanlon, WH

(members listed alphabetically)


Meeting called to order at 6:04 p.m. by Tad Weinstein, Chairman.    

Minutes approve by vote for January meeting. 

February meeting was cancelled due to bad weather condition. 

COMCAST REPORT – Sharon Codeanne 

Sharon gave check received to George. 

Community Relations issues:   

JFK Presidential Library & Museum On-Demand channel now added to Comcast channel line-up. 

Missing-Kids On-Demand channel now added to Comcast channel line-up. 

Comcast launched free Xfinity iPad application enabling video streaming on customers’ iPads. 

The Annual Notice was filed with DPUC and released to customers, via inclusion in Billing Statements.

Comcast Marketing:  

On December 6, the new CPTV channel CPTV4U was added to Basic Tier at Channel 257.

Price changes of 2.6% increment become effective on March 21.

Network electronic upgrades are coming thins summer 2011.

Download speed of programming, and high-speed internet is determined by the number of users accessing a local “node” at any given time. v

Johnes asked again about time frame of possible approval for Comcast to carry Classic Arts Showcase (a free satellite feed to carriers), still under request since October 2009.  Tad also believes that this programming would be of interest especially to the New Haven area community, and  therefore  recommended Comcast attention to this matter. Tad recommended initiation of a local petition to  Comcast for inclusion of this free satellite-feed to cable and  fiber-optic TV programming providers.  

CTV REPORT – Joe Schofield 

Joe indicated that the Rules and Procedures of CTV have been revised as follows, notable changes including:

1. Initial suspensions have been reduced from 90 days to 30 days.
2. Most  suspensions  (all Minor and some Major) may now be stayed pending final appeal decisions locally. 
3. Producers may appeal to ED or to the Board of Directors. 
4. The Major Violation of our current case is now a Minor Violation, subject to two warnings before a suspension is initiated.

Joe indicated that CTV also had carried the Classic Arts Showcase programming, on a  but that the satellite dish for this purpose had been struck and damaged by lightning . Due to CTV seeking another office location, this dish will not be repaired, until replacement in a new office location.  

Joe said that CTV carries a Dish Network subscription in order to distribute “Democracy Now!” 
and other programming.    (Note:  Classic Arts Showcase is available on Dish Network Channel 9406.) 

Regarding issue of Program Titles and program information, Joeexplained that CTV was not able to adapt to the new Information Display system  in place on Comcast, performed by a third-party contractor,  mainly because the contractor’s billing system cannot be setup to bill a third-party, 
i.e. CTV.

Relocation issue:

Planning is underway to find new location for CTV offices and production studios.  Office space of at least 6,000  square feet is needed.  There are two more locations to be looked at:  Westville, and a vacant former car dealership in West Haven.  Proximity to an accessible  bus route is an essential requirement.    The CTV Board will continue to look at possible relocation spaces.   

Paul Scanlon suggested the possible location space in the old Lorenzo’s Restaurant in West Haven.

Government Access:

The cities of Hamden and New Haven both pay for TV coverage services of their Town Council and City Council meetings. Hamden’s is tapes, New Haven’s is live. Expenses paid are for technical services and for personnel services.    

AT&T – CTV responded to Docket 10-10-08 regarding costs. Actors’ Equity gave permission to tape productions only if they are broadcast in the same area.   AT&T subscribers number 65,000 – 70,000 households.   AT&T claims to be paying for community access to CTV but not be getting connectivity from CTV to carry CTV programming on AT&T.   This refers to Dockret 11-01-03.    Joe specified that CTV has all of the monies received from AT&T for connectivity (still not in effect, monies are still held in reserve until resolution of issues.

Paul Scanlon asked Joe to explain why the new CTV Rules and Procedures were needed ?

Joe indicated that out of 40,000 public contacts in 10 years there have been only 8 suspensions from CTV privileges.  

A debate then took place regarding the events at the March 2010 CTAC meeting, Paul Scanlon questioning why the Hamden Police were called to eject a member of the public attending the meeting who had previously been banned from the CTV premises. 

Regina Bond’s letter was discussed.

Paul Scanlon questioned the CTV Executive Director methodology of governance. 

Joe stated that he has repeatedly attempted to accommodate problem situations with producers by practicing some flexibility in the CTV rules, rather than enforcing the rules to the letter. Such was the case with N’Zinga Shani who Joe said had bragged openly to other producers at the CTV studio that she had never paid sales royalties to CTV for CDs & DVDs produced at CTV. 

A discussion took place regarding the threatening behavior exhibited at the January 2010 CTAC meeting by couple of members from ASIM.

Joyce Listro stated that people who entered the January 2010 came as a group and exhibited a high degree of tension, and that the apparent leader of this group made threatening statements to members of the CTAC Board and also to the CTV receptionist. Johnes Ruta (the present writer) concurred with this statement regarding the January and March 2010 CTAC meetings, and also described witnessing the threatening physical presence of Larry Czajowski at the December 2010 meeting at Leon’s Restaurant, which loomed as a physical confrontation when Larry C. closely approached and repeatedly shouted questions at George Alexander, causing Johnes to step forward and ask Larry C. to step back from his immediate  proximity to George.

Carl Lambert stated that we must consider our actions in overview. 

Peaches Quinn said that problems occurred most when we try to mediate discussion, rather than working strictly by the CTAC Rules and Bylaws.

CTAC  OFFICERS REPORT — George Alexander

Postponed to the next CTAC meeting due to the lateness of the time following the CTV Report. 

Meeting adjourned  at 7:40 p.m. by Tad Weinstein, Chairman.  

(Minutes noted and typed by Johnes Ruta, NH)