Wednesday, June 03, 2009

End May Be Near For Westside Public Access TV

RochesterTurning reports Gates, Chili Town Board agendas reveal move to switch to Time-Warner


brian said...

Your headline is a bit misleading scats:

Reports of our demise are greatly exaggerated:

Whatever happens in greece educable communications (please get the current name of our corporation that runs public acess correct) is nor going any where.

I will repaeat my post to rt here:

There are many controversial issues in Westside towns. Gates has financial mismanagement and it’s leaders are embroiled in the ROBUTRAD scandal. Greece has ongoing investigations and questions regarding the integrity of its police force not to mention serious questions about open government. Chili faces difficult and contentious development issues, In Parma Rick Lemcke has been tossed out. These are just a few issues. Because of changes in enrollment upcoming elections will be highly contested. What is the response of local government officials. They want to pull the plug on locally originating and independent public access. They want to eliminate your ability to use the public forum provided by cable systems and silence the voices of dissent and free expression.

I have a copy of the letter form Time Warner but it is in a PDF format so I can't post it here. Needless to say it offers to provide only the most minimal service posible by law. I will enumerate what you are losing shortly.

SCATS said...

To Brian ~~ I used the word "May" to show there is still uncertainty. How is that misleading?

If the T-W letter isn't too long, you can email it to us at: and I'll post it here in the comment area, if you like.

Anonymous said...

To Brian
How can you get your programs to those of us with satellite? We get local stations but not yours.

brian said...

Hi Scats:

I didn't have a problem with "may."

Just the part that said educable specifically. The end may be near for public access or for independent public access. Even f this mean spirited proposal gets through the end is not near for our non-profit corporation or for our community programming aims. The rt headline for example says Time up for westside public access. That was my only objection.

If you have a dish, satelite servces are not required to run local public acesss.

It is posible though not certain that we may be able to do something with over the air tv. I suspect however that town officals will do everything possible (i.e zoning) to keep us from doing that. We have already had conversation that indicate they would try to block us.

PS SCATS keep up the good work. WE ned all sources of local disucsion and information in these times.

Anonymous said...

We have Greece Educable Communications only because it (the service that it provides, not the organization itself) is mandated by law to exist as a method of providing public access to a closed cable broadcast system. Unless a traditional TV station decides to pick up their programming (no chance of that, btw) you will need to subscribe to Time Warner in order to see it.

There is nothing to legislate that it is Brian's organization that must provide the service, only that the service be offered by someone.

SCATS said...

To Brian ~~ OK, I understand your point. I hadn't thought of it that way. Mea culpa! I'll change the headline :)

Anonymous said...

I believe I can speak for many people in Greece at least when I say I can't wait for this saga to end. Over the past year, Brian has used the same "public" channels to spew out messages agaist the towns etc. Oddly enough, he has always put these programs on during semi-prime times of the week. I often wonder what programs were pushed aside - programs that were submitted by residents - for Brian to air his "programs." 6:57am is correct. Brian has no right to be the sole providor, nor do the various towns have a requirement to use him. Like any service, "bids" are taken, RFP's are issued, and Brian has won that bid for the past many years. Even if Brian changed his attitude overnight (that's as likely to happen as the Greece school board acting like adults), the towns would not take him back if he were the last guy with a camcorder left in town. Talk about burning bridges. I can tell you that Brian WILL NOT be the vendor. This saga is not yet over, but the decision to change has been made.

SCATS said...

Brian Caterino provided us with the following letter from Time-Warner to Supervisor Esposito:

Dear Supervisor Esposito:

In response to your suggestion that, consistent with Section 895.4(c) of the regulations of the New York Public Service Commission ("NYPSC"), Time Warner Cable administer and provide playback services for access channels 12 and 15 on its cable system serving the following communities: Greece, Gates, Chili, Ogden, Parma, Hamlin, Clarkson, Brockport, Sweden, Hilton, Spencerport, Murray, Churchville, Holley, Riga, Byron and Clarendon. We have prepared the following outline of our plans in this regard. We would, of course, be pleased to discuss this issue with you.

Channel 15 — Public Access

We would operate channel 15 primarily as a public access channel. It will be available for the exhibition of non-commercial programming produced by residents of the communities served by the system. Consistent with Section 895.4(c)(4) of the regulations of the (NYPSC), channel time will be scheduled on a first- come, first -served non-discriminatory basis.

Each resident will be able to reserve one time block of no less than 1/2 hour and no more than one hour per week. Given current levels of usage, we do not anticipate problems accommodating the expected demand. However, we recognize that certain time periods are generally regarded as more desirable than others, so if necessary in the future we would be prepared to introduce some rotation of time periods among producers.

Channel 12 — Government Access

We would operate Channel 12 primarily as a government access channel. It will be available to the 17 local governments for non-commercial programs concerning local government matters.

Again, based on current usage, we do not expect any problem accommodating local government programming. As with public access, we understand that there is often a particular demand for prime time hours. Should problems accommodating all the local governments develop in the future, we propose that each local government have available a minimum of two hours of prime time (6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.) reserved for its programming each week.

Editorial Control

Time Warner Cable shall not exercise editorial control over the public of governmental .access programming, consistent with Section 895.4( c) (8) of the NYPSC regulations.


Playback facilities for both channels will be available at Time Warner Cable's offices at 71 Mt. Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY. Tapes may be hand-delivered to that location at any time between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. (Monday- Friday or 7 days?) or mailed to that location, Attention: Master Control. After airing, tapes will have to be picked up at that location or a self-addressed stamped envelope provided to Time Warner Cable so that the tape may be returned by mail.

We will require that public access tapes be delivered a minimum of 72 hours in advance of airing and government access tapes at least 24 hours before.

Tape Format

We will accept for airing only tapes in the following formats: DV CAM (recorded in SP speed)

Mini DV (recorded in SP speed)

DVC pro 25


No Charge

Use of channel time on these channels shall be without charge to the user as provided in Section 895.4(c)(6) of the NYPSC regulation.


Time Warner Cable will maintain records of channel use as required by Section 895.4.(c)(10) of the NYPSC regulations.


Terence Rafferty

Regional Vice President of Operations

Anonymous said...

It looks like there is no service whatsoever. No local studio or anything. Why are we paying a franchise fee. So I am him can have a swimming pool or send her kids to a good college?

Anonymous said...


You must really be afraid of Brian.
He is a smart guy and a threat folks like you.

Esposito is out Auberger will be gone Don't be surprised if Dunning is out too.

I suppose anyone who criticizes the towns is a hostile invader

Catterino for Congress said...

Afraid of Brian? No. That lazy eye scares me tho. To be honest, I kind of hope he learns a lesson of how to properly treat people.

brian said...

It seems to me that if your “argument” is that people in power hate you and will use their power to get rid of you that you are’t making an argument at all. It is an authoritarian and arrogant postion. It’s the kind of thinking that makes our area look like clown town

The question is not what some people fantasize about me, but what our leaders have done to public access. They seem bent on making it compliant to their wishes so that will be neither public nor provide access.

1) Two other problems. Is educable currently the provider. The towns claim not yet they claim the right to evaluate and criticize my performance? You can’t have it both ways

2) re bids: WE won!! Our bid was the lowest and provides the best service. The documents are public, Grecce has tried to keep them private but other towns will disclose them. Check it out yourself

Anonymous said...

Lets not forget the 'studio' built at Olympia that no one knew about was all about taking over (controlling) cable and all the supervisors knew about it - everyone knew ecept those who paid for it.

Anonymous said...


You only end up proving you are afraid when you respond like that.

Anonymous said...

Brian - will due respect, if you want to run Educable, you should use spell check, and read your postings before putting them up. Watta you...from Greece?

Anonymous said...

I'll begin by pointing out I've been conversant with Cable 12 West since the station was granted a low power UHF license for a transmitter that was never built.
I'll also say that I may well not be Brian's biggest fan or supporter. There are in my opinion a lot of things Brian could be doing better.

I also recognize Brian is operating on a shoestring thanks to politicians trying to squeeze him out of the picture so they can tightly control what the public sees and hears. The commercial broadcasters are all kept in check very effectively by the politicians, and Cable 12 cannot be controled.

Cable 12 has in the past been solely responsible for County employees and their families keeping health coverage when the employee was serving with a guard unit in Hati. Bob King got himself caught with his foot in his mouth on that on Cable 12's camera when no other broadcaster would come near the issue.

Roger Dodger was scared to do the call in show on Cable 12 because there was no filter and nothing for him to hide behind.

Jonnie Hairburger is scared of Cable 12 too, probably for the same reasons.

Cable 12 is the ideal location for the Democrat candidates to tell the voters what the hell their position is, and take QUESTIONS from the public. If someone is running for office they should be accountable to the voters and answer questions.

Cable 12's website leaves a lot to be desired, perhaps that would change if a couple Towns paid their bills.

One question Brian can certainly answer is who controls the program to cable time. The number of times a program has been cut off early and followed by some other program makes me think TW is running things and not Educable.

Are there more things Brian could broadcast, ABSOLUTELY, but he probably can't because two Towns have not paid what they owe Educable by contract.

The appearance is certainly that the Towns who aren't paying their legitimate debts are trying to put Cable 12 out of business. I can see no other reason. Are these towns trying to draw Brain into an extended litigation so they can then take over total control of the cable chanel? It sure looks that way.

Frankly, I don't trust any political entity to run an open and honest access point to the cable system! Greece Central already proved how honest they are by building a secret TV Studio duplicating what already existed at BOCES 2. That smells real bad!

Now politicians in Greece and Gates want Cable 12 West out of the way so someone they can pressure will run the access point and studio. I think NOT! Brian is in the position of filling in an Oreo. He has to pay taxes from his left pocket to fight the lawyer he pays for out of his right pocket. The politicians have pulled this crap before to screw taxpaying businesses, and it just isn't right.

Brian's company bid the contract legally and honestly, and he is entitled to compete on a level playing field. He is also entitled to the compensation the contract calls for.

Anonymous said...

If Caterino's Cable 12/15 shuts down, where will we go for our radical/liberal programming. They carried a speech recently by Hugo Chavez promoting Socialism that might not make it on if this turns over. And where will the Democrats go for free political advertising if this moves to a more fair and equal format?

Anonymous said...

1:45 you said it all. If you don't like the message, shoot the messenger. That's exactly why they want to get rid of Cable 12. They don't want the taxpayers to hear the truth or any message thet don't approve. They want to control everything. Did you ever watch a town board meeting. It lasts about 15 minutes. Everything on their agenda is pre-programed, rubber stamped by the good ole boys who have been told before hand how to vote, and adjourned. Ridiculous! I don't recall ever hearing any discussion or a "no" vote. I think they don't want the taxpayers to see this via Cable 12 because I think the taxpayers are beginning to catch on to their shenanigans.

It's just this mentality (arrogance) that is going to lose them the election this year. The people are sick and tired of being lied to by town government and when they try to get answers, the so-called powers that be go into hiding. It will all be over in November. I think this Cable 12 thing is going to be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Anonymous said...

Whatever they think about Brian Caterino personally has nothing to do with it. He put in the lowest bid and has provided an excellent service to the west side of Monroe County for many years.

I can't understand why they would change things other than their personal animosity toward Mr. Caterino. There's no place for this kind of unprofessional behavior in government. The taxpayers and residents of Greece are happy with the way things are. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Anonymous said...

2:03, I'm curious to see your data that proves residents are happy with the way things are.

Anonymous said...

I agree. I think that Brian's operations are horrible, and I welcome the change. Don't fall for his crying poor attitude...he should be, and will be shut down.

Anonymous said...

It's also important to note that Brian has been breaking rules and regs of Time Warner by playing the "canned" programs. Those channels are meant for community programming only, not NASA, Free Speech etc. So, don't say what a wonderful service he is doing, when in fact he is taking away from your broadcast time with this programming.

Anonymous said...

10:06- IF he has time slots no one else has filled (and I am pretty sure he does), then I think filling them up is better than watching a test pattern!

Anonymous said...

If he has so many empty time slots and can't get local programming to fill them in, then why do we even have this in the first place? I don't want to see taxdollars going to this station. Brian claims to be the sole provider of the kind of public tv that the people want, yet he gives us little in the form of actual local shows. The hardcore leftist shows and the ones for the right are NOT my idea of "public" programs. It's all political propoganda crap that I can get from liberal TV and conservative talk radio. The station has really gone downhill since his father passed. Sal was a great man. I'm sorry, but Brian is not cut out for this line of work and his volital public tempertantrums prove this to be true. Watch him come here and write another 2-page post on some weird gibberish that is supposed to convince us "the man" is out to get him.

Anonymous said...


The google account button on my browser isn't working but I think its me.

The tone of this debate by some contributors over the years has often shown a mean and narrow minded spirit. That's why Greece is often seen as a laughing stock. The majority of us in Greece however, don't want Greece to be seen as a community straight out of a 1920's Sinclair Lewis novel.

When you attack me for my (or our?) alleged political views, you simply show that the issue is political.
You might try to get the facts straight.

My dad who did not agree very much with the town leaders or the dominant mentality here, depite what Al Meleutis (who has childishly said this silly stuff to about me and my dad to my face and might well be the poster here --shame on you Al)or similar folks might think, had put in the operating contracts with town quite limited hours of operation. I didn't originate that. He did so because the towns offered him a bare minimum of financial support, no money for equipment, which he had to scrounge up himself, or for other necessary expenses. When we asked for money to do more we were told to go away. I directly asked for money for equipment in 2003-- 4. We could then expand programming. But Espostio and Firkins said NEVER. When I asked for a salary they wouldn't give money for that too.

NOTE: all the operating proposal submitted by bidders in 2008 contained generous budget outlays for such equipment You can't have your argument both ways.

My dad ran satellite programming much of the day. Such programming is run by most other access channels, and even WXXI. Make no mistake about it the objection here is specifically to Free Speech TV. Throughout the country conservative groups are trying to find a rationale for banning programs like Democracy Now from public access channels. The satellite programming objection is 100% political objection directed at content censorship nothing more.

Kathy Firkins knows that the discussion we had many years ago about "canned" programs had to do with programming during contract hours and does not refer to satellite programming during non mandated hours. (Currently there are no mandated hours for Greece if we are not the provider or are there?) Again this a policy my dad formulated though I think it is a correct one. I don't say we can't debate or discuss the merits or rethink it.

The basic principle my dad followed was that if we were to accept every program from say California or Colorado then the local programming mandate would be lost. There are issues around this, but that's for another time. It is not however, some arbitrary decision I made or violation of guidelines to flood you tv with mind altering images (hulu already provides that)

When there are political objections to operators, excuses are genarally dragged out of this sort which are only used when a change is desired.
According to the reasons some of you folks give my dad should have been booted out long ago. Since I'm not considered one of you buddies I must go.

Anonymous said...

What Brian fails to address is that Time Warner forbids the airing of "canned" programming and satellite programming. Brian seems to be dodging the bullet. Bottom line is that he is breaking those rules, and I bet also guidelines of NASA etc. who require licensing to re-broadcast that feed. I never knew Sal, but I guess that if Sal could see how Brian is handling all of this (call me Dr. Catterino! etc.) he would be rolling in his grave.

Anonymous said...

Now THAT last comment without a doubt is Firky Firkens. The pot calling the kettle black.

Let's look at contracts Firky. Perhaps you can explain how your husband gets all of the tiling contracts for all of the town buildings (and there is ALOT of tiling done, specialty tiling at that) with NO bidding?

You've gotten rich off the taxpayers illegally and you have the nerve to point a finger at public access television? Shame on you. No one could ever understand your freakish defense of Auberger and company. Look no further than the tiling contracts in this town and others, as well as your hefty overtime payments, even though you are salaried.


Anonymous said...

I can assure you I am not "Firky"...I dislike her as much as you all me.

Anonymous said...

7:33 - C'mon, tone it down a bit there. You can hate whomever you want for whatever reason but your little "Freak" comment at the end is overly aggressive. Is it because she's a woman in a high position that offends you?

Remember, name calling here might, and I stress might, get your comment deleted by the admin. I haven't exactly figured out how or when name-calling gets your comment deleted, but it appears if you call GSD board members or Greece town officials nasty names, you're in the clear.

But that might change some day to reflect a more fair format here. So enjoy your personal attack freedoms while they last I guess.

Brian - You demanded a salary? Are you serious? So Greece taxpayers are supposed to pay you to air left/right political programs and campaign spots for the democrats? How much did you want the people to pay you for this? Just curious.

SCATS said...

To 2:33PM ~~ The one word paragraph you referenced isn't clearly a case of "name-calling." "Freak" can be used as a noun or in a slang sense as a verb. I'm not sure who or what is the "freak" or doing the "freak" based on the fact the word is by itself. But thanks for bringing it to our attention ;)