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June 08, 2009

Stimulus and Recovery on Community Access TV

Telling you about stimulus opportunities is a big part of our job at the Office of Economic Stimulus and Recovery. Community Access TV provides in depth coverage which lets us get into the details of the very complex American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA better known as the stimulus bill) and the three hundred or so separate programs it funds.

There are 25 community access centers which operate 43 local cable channels and serve 100,000 cable households in Vermont according to the about page of CCTV in Burlington. These channels are funded by a percentage of the gross revenue of cable companies and sometimes contributions as well. Each access center produces and hosts shows and broadcasts them on local cable channels. You can't get them over the air or on satellite or out of the region in which they're produced except when the access centers share shows with each other, which they sometimes do. And, very importantly, the access centers make some of their shows available on the Internet so you can get them anytime and anywhere you have a good enough broadband connection.

Making coverage of events like select board meetings, local interviews, speeches at local events accessible to everyone is just one of the reasons all Vermonters need to have broadband access. But I digress.

Last month Congressman Peter Welch (D – VT) and I were luncheon speakers at a daylong conference in Burlington called Stimulating Green. The topic of both of our talks was the stimulus bill and what it means to Vermont. You won't get lunch but can hear what we both had to say at http://www.cctv.org/watch-tv/programs/stimulating-green-conference-keynote-addresses-rep-peter-welch-vermont-recovery-of. The conference and the talks were targeted to businesses looking for stimulus so the webcast is most interesting to small business people although it also has some general information on how your stimulus dollars are being spent.

A few weeks ago I was interviewed on another community access station, PEGTV in Rutland on their Insight show hosted by Laura Vien. Laura and fellow panelists Randal Smathers, editor of the Rutland Herald, and Royal Barnard, owner and publisher of the Mountain Times, asked me some good questions about the stimulus act and what it's likely to mean for Vermont. You can find that interview by going to http://www.pegtv.com/ipegvideo.php and typing "recovery" in the search box.

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