MINUTES of CTAC of Hamden, New Haven and West Haven
Meeting Date: October 5, 2016
Call to order: A regular monthly meeting of CTAC was held at CTV Offices at 843 State Street, New Haven, Connecticut, on Wednesday, September 7, 2016. President Tad Weinstein presiding.
Minutes taken by Johnes Ruta (NH) Meeting called to order at 6:10 pm.
Members in attendance:
Tad Weinstein, Chair (WH), George Alexander (H), (NH), Peaches Quinn (NH), Johnes Ruta (NH), Ashley Sklar (NH Library System), new member Laurel Coleman (H).
Joe Schofield, CTV Executive Director (non-voting). Steve Gimmell, Frontier Field manager (non-voting.) Comcast not represented at this meeting.
CTV Report given by Joe Schofield, CTV Executive Director.
CTV is still waiting for Frontier to connect CTV. Frontier has indicated that while external output lines are installed, the final internal connections are not complete
Joe Schofield raised the question regarding written draft decision that from PURA wants CTV to provide more Educational programming, based on a complaint ostensibly received from the NH/WH/H CTAC. Joe asked if anyone from CTAC had filed this complaint to PURA – but
no one on CTAC has filed such a complaint. All 2016 and 2015 CTAC Official Minutes, inspected by Peaches Quinn, show no such motion or suggestion from our CTAC. Joe will request clarification from PURA on this point.
PURA has also directed CTV to produce more educational programming, but Joe Schofield also indicated that the school systems have assigned proprietary privileges to private video companies, which excludes CTV from recording and showing those events. Joe also noted CTV requires written Parental Consent Releases to record minor-aged students and that some schools choose not to be bothered with that process.
Introduction and welcome to new member Laurel Coleman and all current members to her.
Review of September 2016 Minutes. Johnes makes motion to approve Motion seconded by Peaches Quinn. Vote for approval is unanimous.
COMCAST Report – given by George Alexander who received CTAC correspondence by U.S. Mail from Comcast. Sharon Codeanne is presently in Albany and unable to attend. Announcement letter from COIMCAST regarding old HD boxes, offering customers 3 choices for free exchange of their old boxes for new, under plan to cut service to customers old boxes after a certain date:
1. Customers can visit COMCAST Channel 1995 for fill-in form for mail delivery and mail-
return shipment of updated HD Box. Customer would install own HD Box.
2. Customers can call 1-800-XFINITY to schedule COMCAST Tech professional installation
of new HD Box, for a $29.99 service charge. 3. customers can visit COMCAST Store in
North Haven for personal exchange of old HD Box for new HD Box to be self-installed.
There would be no transfer of DVR stored programs to the new HD Box.
Peaches Quinn talked about her personal experience with a Comcast service call for this purpose, stating “I am glad that they did this complicated installation. It did not look easy for a customer to perform.” Peaches describes the language in this letter to customers as “bullying.” Johnes makes a Motion to report this “bullying” language in the letter to PURA if no response from Comcast is forthcoming. Peaches seconded this Motion. Comcast representation is absent from this CTAC meeting, so Tad Weinstein (Chair) indicates to defer vote on this issue until Comacst rep is present. Laurel Coleman asks for clarification on this Comcast policy, and shares a similar experience of her elderly mother and her limited use of technology. Official response from Comcast is desired, not just Comcast Rep response.
Frontier Report given by Steve Gimmell, Frontier Field Manager.
Community Relations: 1. Frontier sponsored JDRF walk at Yale Bowl. 2. Frontier sponsored the Connecticut Family and Music Festival on September 10th at East Shore Park.
Frontier launched “Vantage Sports” on regular channel 60, and HD channel 1600, a channel dedicated to Connecticut sports, predominantly High School, and some College. This channel is run by Noah Finze, formerly of WTNH TV.
Frontier continues build-outs in the New Haven area footprint for Vantage service, including the newly announced “Fiberhouse” service, a direct fiber-to-the-home service with speeds up to
1 Gigabit in the CTV footprint. The first geographic roll-out is in North Haven.
PEG Programming update: The acquisition of FIOS properties has better defined the Frontier process of adding and managing the PEG channel process. Frontier expects movement on adding CTV to their line-up within weeks. Statewide Frontier Channel 99 presently has all Connecticut Access programming. New Haven CTV is not yet activated due to technical issues.
Question from George Alexander: “How can spam calls be blocked?” Steve explains the customer process to block unwanted numbers.
Old Business: CTAC Website status:
1. All content from the previous Joomla website had been successfully migrated by Johnes Ruta to a new WordPress website by the April 6, 2016 CTAC meeting. At that time, George Alexander expressed dissatisfaction that the format and functionality was not identical to the previous Joomla site.
2. Only one Work Proposal has been received for the redesign of the WordPress format and the addition of a Forms entry and Database facility for the CTAC Grant Program and public contest entries. The proposal, from Alexander Design & Photography, is reviewed in detail by the council members. The Proposal Estimate is for $1,000 to $1,200. New member Laurel Coleman asked about the CTAC Budget Allowance for the remaining web design work to be done; Johnes gives a short history of the conversion of the dysfunctional former Joomla website to WordPress (from November through March, for a payment of $225 for 5 months labor.) There is debate over the awarding of a contract to the family member of a CTAC representative. The debate is deadlocked until 7:25, when Tad Weinstein, CTAC Chair, states that a new website is needed quickly in order to accommodate the Grants Forms Entry facility. Johnes makes a Motion to accept the Alexander Design Work Proposal as a contract; Seconded, voted
and carried. Johnes will provide WordPress Admin and GoDaddy login info to George.
(Postscript: this info was conveyed by email to George Alexander at 9:51 pm that evening.)
Meeting adjourned at 7:32 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Johnes Ruta (NH).