Old Lyme Area Cable Advisory Council
May 12, 2016
Hale-Ray High School, East Haddam
Present: Chair Peter Sielman (Salem), Gary Mezzi (East Haddam BOE ), Brian Bowes(Lyme), Ernie Malavesi (East Haddam), Cathy Frank (Old Lyme), Russ Gomes(State Advisory Council rep); Comcast representative John Bairos, Public Access Coordinator Lynn Perry
Absent, Excused: Pam Munro (Salem BOE), Michael Gilroy (East Haddam, Public Libraries Rep)
Call to Order~
Chairman Peter Sielman called the meeting to order at 7:40pm.
Approval of Minutes
Motion made by Peter Sielman, seconded by Brian Bowes, to approve the minutes of the January meeting. Motion passed.
Cathy Frank reported a balance in both accounts (money market and checking) of $17,336.02. Video equipment for the Lymes’ Senior Center was purchased for $850+.
Statewide Video Council Report
Russ Gomes reported that the Statewide Council will meet next week. He will report on the meeting at the Council’s July meeting.
John Bairos reported that an awards ceremony will take place on May 20 at the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle school. Daisy Colvin, an 8th grade student, has earned honorable mention in the C-Span Student Cam contest for her video on the Gun Control Debate. She will receive $250 award.
He updated the Council on some customer service issues:
Problems reported by Robert Standish of Hadlyme have been addressed.
Comcast was unable to satisfy Mark Johnson of Old Lyme’s complaint with Comcast pricing.
Brian Bowes reported a problem he encountered with Comcast. Service at his home in Lyme was provided by Adelphia Cable. When he spoke with a Comcast customer service rep, he was referred to the internet to fix the problem himself. His other option was to pay $30 for a service call.
John reiterated that Comcast will be hiring 200 new employees statewide over the next year. Most will work in customer service and technical operations.
Public Access Report
Lynn Perry is working with new editing systems (Encore & Premier). Peter said written editing directions would be helpful.
Gary will follow up with the Hale-Ray student who was awarded a scholarship last year.
- Salem Historical Society videos
Tabled to July 2016. Pam Munro is pursuing.
- Proposal for Advisory Council Grant to Senior Centers
Cathy reported that equipment for the Lymes’ Senior Center has been purchased. Center Director Stephanie Gould has identified a volunteer to get their public access program started. They plan to record Center programming for Public Access. Lynn Perry will provide public access training at the Senior Center, and can provide more advanced training at the Studio if anyone is interested.
- Scholarship Recommendation 2016
Gary distributed a scholarship application received and discussed the merits of the applicant.
A motion was made by Cathy, seconded by Russ, to award $2,000 to the sole applicant. Motion passed.
- Scholarship application changes 2017
Members discussed the application and agreed to extend scholarship eligibility to continuing college students. Gary will discuss necessary changes with Pam.
Members discussed a NYT article entitled “Obama Presses for Open market for Cable Set-Top boxes.” The content suggests that cable customers should be able to purchase, not rent, their
Cable boxes. This is in very preliminary stages with the FCC and will likely entail a lengthy administrative and regulatory process if the FCC proceeds.
- Correspondence from Cable Television Advisory Council of Southeastern CT (District 8 – Mystic area)
The Council received an email from Jim Loughlin of the Mystic Council expressing concern about lack of communication among 23 councils. A motion was made by Cathy, seconded by Ernie, to ask Russ Gomes to bring the matter up for discussion at the Statewide meeting next week. Russ said he will ask to have it included on the agenda. Mr. Loughlin also inquired about the Old Lyme Council’s Bylaws, and website. Cathy will respond on behalf of the Council.
Chair: A motion was made by Cathy, seconded by Ernie to nominate Peter Sielman.
Vice-Chair: A motion was made by Cathy, seconded by Russ, to nominate Pam Munro.
Treasurer: A motion was made by Cathy, seconded by Russ, to nominate Brian Bowes.
Secretary: A motion was made by Peter, seconded by Ernie, to nominate Cathy Frank.
Motions were passed unanimously.
Cathy received an email from Tim Devlin indicating he has moved away from Old Lyme. She suggested that Russ Gomes complete an application for appointment to fill the vacancy on the Council. Peter agreed that, as Council Chair, he will email the Old Lyme First Selectwoman to request that Russ be appointed.
There remains one vacancy for a representative from the Town of East Haddam and one vacancy for a representative from the Haddam Neck Board of Education.
Ernie said that East Haddam is interested in recording their Board of Selectmen meetings and has a student volunteer willing to assist.
Cathy will send information on the Council grant program for council towns to Ernie.
Motion by Ernie to adjourn at 8:25pm.
2016 Meeting Schedule
Thursday, July 14 (Public Access Studio, Halls Road) 7:30pm
Thursday, October 13 (Lyme tba) 7:30pm