Archive for the ‘traffic and transit’ Category

Chicago Art-Speech Activist, Local Hero

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

I found this statement of Natalia Ginzburg’s – after a friend suggested her work: “The Little Virtues”

“I think they should be taught not the little virtues but the great ones. Not thrift but generosity and an indifference to money; not caution but courage and a contempt for danger; not shrewdness but frankness and a love of truth; not tact but a love of one’s neighbor and self-denial; not a desire for success but a desire to be and to know.”

I found this statement of Natalia Ginzburg’s – after a friend suggested her work: “The Little Virtues”

“I think they should be taught not the little virtues but the great ones. Not thrift but generosity and an indifference to money; not caution but courage and a contempt for danger; not shrewdness but frankness and a love of truth; not tact but a love of one’s neighbor and self-denial; not a desire for success but a desire to be and to know.”

Chris Drew is a Chicago Artist engaged in a heroic effort for free speech and a vibrant cultural climate in our fair city. I’ve known Chris for many years thanks to our mutual involvement in Open Source & Community Technology efforts. I had a great discussion with him early this year and received quite an education on his campaign while attending the Making Media Connections conference. I even received some exquisite pieces of his work.

Chris views Chicago’s policy on the public selling of art as a matter of free speech. I won’t make his arguments for him — you can read up on his campaign on his blog. I will say that I find his argument compelling, viagra and that our city would be better if these policies were overturned.

Recently Chris was ticketed for his activity of selling art without a vendor license, ed within the Loop area. On another occasion he was arrested and charged with a felony for taping his encounter with the police. There is a recent article in the Sun Times with a plethora of comments from supporters of the Free Speech campaign and decrying the misapplication of the eavesdropping law. I urge you to add your comments to the article, and to spread the word on this valiant campaign.

Here’s the comment I posted.

Mr. Drew is undertaking a heroic effort to make our city better – not just for Artists, but for all of us. I want my city to be a vibrant cultural center, with artistic endeavor at every scale. The art he offers for sale is of the most humble and accessible form.

Art indeed is speech, and if Mr. Drew’s account of Supreme Court opinion on Commercial Speech is correct, then it is clear that the city’s peddler law is overly broad and therefore unconstitutional.

If the law were really about public convenience (i.e. for pedestrian traffic, etc.) why would seeking donations rather than a sale exchange make a difference? I’m not up to speed on the legal distinctions or constraints against regulating these other activities, so I’d love to be informed. Perhaps the Sun Times could do a bigger story, exploring the irony of the eavesdropping charge, along with the contrasts of civil rights and free speech pertaining to different classes of behavior and different public spaces.

This of course brings to mind the absurdity of specially designated “Free Speech Zones” established during large scale events. That’s something else that needs to be challenged.

I do hope that local media will take up the broader issues, and do us a public service informing us on this important topic. Spread the word, for Free Speech, whether you agree with Chris or not, this deserves public consideration.

“We cannot expect a $700 billion bailout for infrastructure”

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

One Web Day is here! I’ll be headed up to the Old Town School of Folk Music where the Future of Music Coalition has convened an education workshop. I’ll be speaking on a panel there. (What will I say?)

OneWebDay

I’ve just posted on the Catalytic Communities blog a little bit about OWD from the CatComm perspective.

As part of the Chicago NetSquared/NetTuesday meetup group I’ve posted several interviews of participants as a small contribution to this global collaboration. Here they are:

And a story told by Melvin at the September 9 Net2Chi meetup:

You can find OWD video interviews of Chicagoans from prior years if you dig back a little.

Happy One Web Day Chicago! Happy One Web Day everyone!

One Web Day is here! I’ll be headed up to the Old Town School of Folk Music where the Future of Music Coalition has convened an education workshop. I’ll be speaking on a panel there. (What will I say?)

OneWebDay

I’ve just posted on the Catalytic Communities blog a little bit about OWD from the CatComm perspective.

As part of the Chicago NetSquared/NetTuesday meetup group I’ve posted several interviews of participants as a small contribution to this global collaboration. Here they are:

And a story told by Melvin at the September 9 Net2Chi meetup:

You can find OWD video interviews of Chicagoans from prior years if you dig back a little.

Happy One Web Day Chicago! Happy One Web Day everyone!

What’s wry about these things, angina my writings? Don’t wrythe or groan. Write back.


wrythings is written by Michael Maranda
One Web Day is here! I’ll be headed up to the Old Town School of Folk Music where the Future of Music Coalition has convened an education workshop. I’ll be speaking on a panel there. (What will I say?)

OneWebDay

I’ve just posted on the Catalytic Communities blog a little bit about OWD from the CatComm perspective.

As part of the Chicago NetSquared/NetTuesday meetup group I’ve posted several interviews of participants as a small contribution to this global collaboration. Here they are:

And a story told by Melvin at the September 9 Net2Chi meetup:

You can find OWD video interviews of Chicagoans from prior years if you dig back a little.

Happy One Web Day Chicago! Happy One Web Day everyone!

What’s wry about these things, angina my writings? Don’t wrythe or groan. Write back.


wrythings is written by Michael Maranda
What’s wry about these things, apoplectic my writings? Don’t wrythe or groan. Write back.


wrythings is written by Michael Maranda
Facebook me!
One Web Day is here! I’ll be headed up to the Old Town School of Folk Music where the Future of Music Coalition has convened an education workshop. I’ll be speaking on a panel there. (What will I say?)

OneWebDay

I’ve just posted on the Catalytic Communities blog a little bit about OWD from the CatComm perspective.

As part of the Chicago NetSquared/NetTuesday meetup group I’ve posted several interviews of participants as a small contribution to this global collaboration. Here they are:

And a story told by Melvin at the September 9 Net2Chi meetup:

You can find OWD video interviews of Chicagoans from prior years if you dig back a little.

Happy One Web Day Chicago! Happy One Web Day everyone!

What’s wry about these things, angina my writings? Don’t wrythe or groan. Write back.


wrythings is written by Michael Maranda
What’s wry about these things, apoplectic my writings? Don’t wrythe or groan. Write back.


wrythings is written by Michael Maranda
Facebook me!
What’s wry about these things, order my writings? Don’t wrythe or groan. Write back.


wrythings is written by Michael Maranda
Facebook me!

One Web Day is here! I’ll be headed up to the Old Town School of Folk Music where the Future of Music Coalition has convened an education workshop. I’ll be speaking on a panel there. (What will I say?)

OneWebDay

I’ve just posted on the Catalytic Communities blog a little bit about OWD from the CatComm perspective.

As part of the Chicago NetSquared/NetTuesday meetup group I’ve posted several interviews of participants as a small contribution to this global collaboration. Here they are:

And a story told by Melvin at the September 9 Net2Chi meetup:

You can find OWD video interviews of Chicagoans from prior years if you dig back a little.

Happy One Web Day Chicago! Happy One Web Day everyone!

What’s wry about these things, angina my writings? Don’t wrythe or groan. Write back.


wrythings is written by Michael Maranda
What’s wry about these things, apoplectic my writings? Don’t wrythe or groan. Write back.


wrythings is written by Michael Maranda
Facebook me!
What’s wry about these things, order my writings? Don’t wrythe or groan. Write back.


wrythings is written by Michael Maranda
Facebook me!

What’s wry about these things, ailment my writings? Don’t wrythe or groan. Write back.


wrythings is written by Michael Maranda
Facebook me!
Michael Maranda | Create Your Badge

One Web Day is here! I’ll be headed up to the Old Town School of Folk Music where the Future of Music Coalition has convened an education workshop. I’ll be speaking on a panel there. (What will I say?)

OneWebDay

I’ve just posted on the Catalytic Communities blog a little bit about OWD from the CatComm perspective.

As part of the Chicago NetSquared/NetTuesday meetup group I’ve posted several interviews of participants as a small contribution to this global collaboration. Here they are:

And a story told by Melvin at the September 9 Net2Chi meetup:

You can find OWD video interviews of Chicagoans from prior years if you dig back a little.

Happy One Web Day Chicago! Happy One Web Day everyone!

What’s wry about these things, angina my writings? Don’t wrythe or groan. Write back.


wrythings is written by Michael Maranda
What’s wry about these things, apoplectic my writings? Don’t wrythe or groan. Write back.


wrythings is written by Michael Maranda
Facebook me!
What’s wry about these things, order my writings? Don’t wrythe or groan. Write back.


wrythings is written by Michael Maranda
Facebook me!

What’s wry about these things, ailment my writings? Don’t wrythe or groan. Write back.


wrythings is written by Michael Maranda
Facebook me!
Michael Maranda | Create Your Badge

What’s wry about these things, ailment my writings? Don’t wrythe or groan. Write back.


wrythings is written by Michael Maranda
You can see a more extensive listing of my library here.


A cool site/tool I was recently made aware of… LibraryThing.

I like that it uses an open standard for managing my book collection: Z39.50.

I also like that I can export my data.

You can see a more extensive listing of my library here.


I composed a short list of some essential readings that reflect a world-view appropriate to the Internet Era, site I shared it with friends studying Community Informatics and Civic Entrepreurship, erectile two domains seeking a better world. Since I recently catalogued (part of) my personal library using health open standard” target=”_blank”>LibraryThing, it makes sense to share these here as well (as they are part of my virtual library).

These writings provide a conceptual matrix for an interesting breed of Civic Entrepreneur- (it’s a partial list) … really a new model of Citizenship and Society/Polity. They aren’t new to a lot of you – and if you have other works that you think really need to be on the list, please let me know.

Movement as Network, by Gideon Rosenblatt, also: The three pillars of social source

David Isenberg’s Rise of the Stupid Network

Pushing Power to the Edges (pdf) by Jillaine Smith, Martin Kearns, Allison Fine

The Cluetrain Manifesto (Doc Searles, et al.)

Cory Doctorow’s Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom

Coase’s Penguin: (by Yochai Benkler … his book The Wealth of Networks is also recommended. There’s a wiki inviting discussion of his ideas.)

The list doesn’t represent any hierarchic ordering.
A cool site/tool I was recently made aware of… LibraryThing.

I like that it uses an open standard for managing my book collection: Z39.50.

I also like that I can export my data.

You can see a more extensive listing of my library here.


I composed a short list of some essential readings that reflect a world-view appropriate to the Internet Era, site I shared it with friends studying Community Informatics and Civic Entrepreurship, erectile two domains seeking a better world. Since I recently catalogued (part of) my personal library using health open standard” target=”_blank”>LibraryThing, it makes sense to share these here as well (as they are part of my virtual library).

These writings provide a conceptual matrix for an interesting breed of Civic Entrepreneur- (it’s a partial list) … really a new model of Citizenship and Society/Polity. They aren’t new to a lot of you – and if you have other works that you think really need to be on the list, please let me know.

Movement as Network, by Gideon Rosenblatt, also: The three pillars of social source

David Isenberg’s Rise of the Stupid Network

Pushing Power to the Edges (pdf) by Jillaine Smith, Martin Kearns, Allison Fine

The Cluetrain Manifesto (Doc Searles, et al.)

Cory Doctorow’s Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom

Coase’s Penguin: (by Yochai Benkler … his book The Wealth of Networks is also recommended. There’s a wiki inviting discussion of his ideas.)

The list doesn’t represent any hierarchic ordering.
We’re facing big problems, this and we are less able to dismiss them from consciousness. We recognize the complexities of governance and so aren’t surprised as issues blend into each other and over national, decease jurisdictional, discount institutional and conceptual boundaries… It can be overwhelming.

We need new narratives of governance, cooperation, freedom and accountability in order to meet challenge to the species. The Great Turning offers a narrative that more accurately frames our situation and allows us to collectively align our response grounded in the heritage of human dignity.

David Korten has written extensively on this.   Here’s a related piece by Joanna Macy (pointed out on Weblogsky).
A cool site/tool I was recently made aware of… LibraryThing.

I like that it uses an open standard for managing my book collection: Z39.50.

I also like that I can export my data.

You can see a more extensive listing of my library here.


I composed a short list of some essential readings that reflect a world-view appropriate to the Internet Era, site I shared it with friends studying Community Informatics and Civic Entrepreurship, erectile two domains seeking a better world. Since I recently catalogued (part of) my personal library using health open standard” target=”_blank”>LibraryThing, it makes sense to share these here as well (as they are part of my virtual library).

These writings provide a conceptual matrix for an interesting breed of Civic Entrepreneur- (it’s a partial list) … really a new model of Citizenship and Society/Polity. They aren’t new to a lot of you – and if you have other works that you think really need to be on the list, please let me know.

Movement as Network, by Gideon Rosenblatt, also: The three pillars of social source

David Isenberg’s Rise of the Stupid Network

Pushing Power to the Edges (pdf) by Jillaine Smith, Martin Kearns, Allison Fine

The Cluetrain Manifesto (Doc Searles, et al.)

Cory Doctorow’s Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom

Coase’s Penguin: (by Yochai Benkler … his book The Wealth of Networks is also recommended. There’s a wiki inviting discussion of his ideas.)

The list doesn’t represent any hierarchic ordering.
We’re facing big problems, this and we are less able to dismiss them from consciousness. We recognize the complexities of governance and so aren’t surprised as issues blend into each other and over national, decease jurisdictional, discount institutional and conceptual boundaries… It can be overwhelming.

We need new narratives of governance, cooperation, freedom and accountability in order to meet challenge to the species. The Great Turning offers a narrative that more accurately frames our situation and allows us to collectively align our response grounded in the heritage of human dignity.

David Korten has written extensively on this.   Here’s a related piece by Joanna Macy (pointed out on Weblogsky).

I’ve meant to come back to this for some time. Adventitiously, tadalafil the Upward Spiral has been coming up a lot lately. This piece is a kind of parable on Life and Ecology.

A cool site/tool I was recently made aware of… LibraryThing.

I like that it uses an open standard for managing my book collection: Z39.50.

I also like that I can export my data.

You can see a more extensive listing of my library here.


I composed a short list of some essential readings that reflect a world-view appropriate to the Internet Era, site I shared it with friends studying Community Informatics and Civic Entrepreurship, erectile two domains seeking a better world. Since I recently catalogued (part of) my personal library using health open standard” target=”_blank”>LibraryThing, it makes sense to share these here as well (as they are part of my virtual library).

These writings provide a conceptual matrix for an interesting breed of Civic Entrepreneur- (it’s a partial list) … really a new model of Citizenship and Society/Polity. They aren’t new to a lot of you – and if you have other works that you think really need to be on the list, please let me know.

Movement as Network, by Gideon Rosenblatt, also: The three pillars of social source

David Isenberg’s Rise of the Stupid Network

Pushing Power to the Edges (pdf) by Jillaine Smith, Martin Kearns, Allison Fine

The Cluetrain Manifesto (Doc Searles, et al.)

Cory Doctorow’s Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom

Coase’s Penguin: (by Yochai Benkler … his book The Wealth of Networks is also recommended. There’s a wiki inviting discussion of his ideas.)

The list doesn’t represent any hierarchic ordering.
We’re facing big problems, this and we are less able to dismiss them from consciousness. We recognize the complexities of governance and so aren’t surprised as issues blend into each other and over national, decease jurisdictional, discount institutional and conceptual boundaries… It can be overwhelming.

We need new narratives of governance, cooperation, freedom and accountability in order to meet challenge to the species. The Great Turning offers a narrative that more accurately frames our situation and allows us to collectively align our response grounded in the heritage of human dignity.

David Korten has written extensively on this.   Here’s a related piece by Joanna Macy (pointed out on Weblogsky).

I’ve meant to come back to this for some time. Adventitiously, tadalafil the Upward Spiral has been coming up a lot lately. This piece is a kind of parable on Life and Ecology.

I’ve meant to come back to this for some time. Adventitiously, tadalafil the Upward Spiral has been coming up a lot lately. This piece is a kind of parable on Life and Ecology.

Robin Chase (ZipCar, medical
GoLoCo) is great! In this 2007 TED talk Robin addresses Carbon Emissions and the Digital Divide.

(The video was only just released.)

conference on neighborhood leadership

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

     
    You are invited to co-create the 4th Annual Chicago Conference for Good. PLEASE join us, order bring friends and add spirit! Share this invitation with neighbors and colleagues, cialis people you’d like to connect or reconnect with this July!

“…cuz people
who do stuff
need to know
more people
who do stuff.”

– ted ernst

   
 

Localizing

Global

Change:

 

Issues

and

Opportunities

   

 

July 19-22

in the Little Village neighborhood of

Chicago, buy IL USA

     
   

Discussion


What kind of stuff
have we been doing?

  • hosting and attending green dinners,
  • community gardening,
  • blogging,
  • digital excellence… inclusion,
  • chicago conservation corps training,
  • growing food,
  • organizing block clubs and parties,
  • depaving your yard and inviting neighbors,
  • restoring a riverbank,
  • planting native prairie in your local park
  • organizing your neighbors to work with the alderman or CAPS to get a camera,
  • or get one taken out,
  • recruiting volunteers,
  • organizing safe routes to school,
  • buying organic foods,
  • experimenting with new tech ways to connect people,
  • and living with less tech
  • driving less,
  • recycling more,
  • ensuring all differently brained people are seen as human beings,
  • seeing to it that the ADA laws are followed,
  • making social activists are supported and nurtured,
  • urban chicken egg farming
  • block clubs
  • traffic calming
  • peace parks
  • “doing.”… ,

  The momentum of community is rising. Please join us! …for More and More. More and more people. More and more resources. More and more easy. More and more connected. More and more green. More and more power to do good things, in more and more local neighborhoods and organizations.Three years ago, some of us convened a small but national conference on the future of philanthropy, technology and community action. Two years ago, more of us joined in to create a second and international conference which was also the first-ever omidyar.net members conference. Last year we did it again, and along the way these conversations have sparked half a dozen more conferences and action on at least four continents.All the while, you’ve been busy doing all the things you do to try make the world a better place, and you’ve been noticing that more and more people are getting together for global community good. This year’s global gathering in Chicago is going to focus on “doing”. All good work. All kinds of local action. We welcome good people from everywhere to join with people we are actively inviting who are “doing” in Chicago neighborhoods. Bring your own local doing to share. We want to do more and more in all localities, and to do it more together.This year’s conference will follow the same simple and active format as all the previous conferences. We’ll gather for one big opening, create a working agenda that includes all of our most important issues and questions, meet with friends and colleagues to actively address everything on the agenda, document and publish our notes online, and head back out into all the things we are doing with more energy, more clarity and more connections.

The momentum of community is rising. Please join us!
…for more and more global good on the ground where you live.

WHEN? July 19-22, 2007 …music and barbecue on Thursday night, conference all day Friday and Saturday, finishing by noon on Sunday, with airport drop-offs or excursions for out-of-towners on Sunday afternoon.

WHERE? General Robert E. Wood Boys & Girls Club, 2950 W. 25th Street, Chicago IL 60623

WHO SHOULD COME? Anyone who wants to get more and more into community, technology, environment, and other social justice kinds of work and practice. Anyone who wants to make more and more connections between all these sorts of things. And anyone who wants to have more and more fun and friends in the process of community leadership.

WHAT TO BRING? Food to eat/share, materials to show/share, ideas and questions, issues and projects that you care about and want to inform and be informed by others AND a total of $40 (scholarships may be available) to pay for basic costs of site and materials for all three days of meetings.

NOW WHAT? Send an email to register@globalchicago.net (or any other address we like), make a payment at paypal (details forthcoming), forward this invitation to friends and colleagues, people you work with — and people you want to work with. we’ll send you details about places and times and be glad to answer any other questions. Stay tuned to www.GlobalChicago.net for more information.

CO-CONVENERS? Ted Ernst, Christina Jordan, Michael Maranda, Hermilo Hinojosa, Kachina Katrina Zavalney, Pierre Clark, Julie Peterson, Jean Russell, Dave Chakrabarti, and You…

what’s really wrong with public transit?

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

After Laure Dillon’s account of Hawaiian gatherings at the recent O-Net member initiated Open Space I am in a mode that is highly receptive of the idea of lineage… as a moment of respectful tying in to a greater web. There are lineages of blood… and the river of the past that pours into us in this way branches at each generation back.

But the rivers of transmission of thought and culture keep pouring into us our whole lives from so many more sources when we are open. Let these rivers pass through you.

After Laure Dillon’s account of Hawaiian gatherings at the recent O-Net member initiated Open Space I am in a mode that is highly receptive of the idea of lineage… as a moment of respectful tying in to a greater web. There are lineages of blood… and the river of the past that pours into us in this way branches at each generation back.

But the rivers of transmission of thought and culture keep pouring into us our whole lives from so many more sources when we are open. Let these rivers pass through you.

I’m excited that Free Geek Chicago was recently launched as a project of NPOTechs and the Logan Square CTC (Community Technology Center).

Check out the website: http://www.freegeekchicago.org/

Description from their website:

FREE GEEK Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization that recycles used technology to provide computers, disease education, about it internet access and job skills training to the underserved communities of Chicago in exchange for community service.

FREE GEEK Chicago was founded in August 2005 as a collaboration of NPOTechs and Logan Square CTC to recycle computer technology and provide low and no-cost computing to economically disadvantaged individuals and not-for-profit and social change organizations.

FREE GEEK Chicago does most of this work with volunteers. The volunteers disassemble the donated equipment and test the components, which are either recycled as electronic scrap or recycled into refurbished systems. These refurbished computers are then loaded with Open Source Software, such as GNU/Linux, Open Office, and other Free Software.

We are proud of being a democratically-run organization, and use consensus in our meetings. Our policy decisions are made by a group of volunteers and staff called the council, and those policies are executed by our staff collective.

Anyone can get involved! Donate used equipment… volunteer your time… support a grassroots community organization!

After Laure Dillon’s account of Hawaiian gatherings at the recent O-Net member initiated Open Space I am in a mode that is highly receptive of the idea of lineage… as a moment of respectful tying in to a greater web. There are lineages of blood… and the river of the past that pours into us in this way branches at each generation back.

But the rivers of transmission of thought and culture keep pouring into us our whole lives from so many more sources when we are open. Let these rivers pass through you.

I’m excited that Free Geek Chicago was recently launched as a project of NPOTechs and the Logan Square CTC (Community Technology Center).

Check out the website: http://www.freegeekchicago.org/

Description from their website:

FREE GEEK Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization that recycles used technology to provide computers, disease education, about it internet access and job skills training to the underserved communities of Chicago in exchange for community service.

FREE GEEK Chicago was founded in August 2005 as a collaboration of NPOTechs and Logan Square CTC to recycle computer technology and provide low and no-cost computing to economically disadvantaged individuals and not-for-profit and social change organizations.

FREE GEEK Chicago does most of this work with volunteers. The volunteers disassemble the donated equipment and test the components, which are either recycled as electronic scrap or recycled into refurbished systems. These refurbished computers are then loaded with Open Source Software, such as GNU/Linux, Open Office, and other Free Software.

We are proud of being a democratically-run organization, and use consensus in our meetings. Our policy decisions are made by a group of volunteers and staff called the council, and those policies are executed by our staff collective.

Anyone can get involved! Donate used equipment… volunteer your time… support a grassroots community organization!

This was on cable Christmas night, website and not having seen it beginning to end before I thought it was fitting for the occasion.

We’re not quite through with race in America… but as we creep up towards 40 years since the film was released, valeologist what is different now?

Do we live up to the ideals we espouse when we face them in our living room?

After Laure Dillon’s account of Hawaiian gatherings at the recent O-Net member initiated Open Space I am in a mode that is highly receptive of the idea of lineage… as a moment of respectful tying in to a greater web. There are lineages of blood… and the river of the past that pours into us in this way branches at each generation back.

But the rivers of transmission of thought and culture keep pouring into us our whole lives from so many more sources when we are open. Let these rivers pass through you.

I’m excited that Free Geek Chicago was recently launched as a project of NPOTechs and the Logan Square CTC (Community Technology Center).

Check out the website: http://www.freegeekchicago.org/

Description from their website:

FREE GEEK Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization that recycles used technology to provide computers, disease education, about it internet access and job skills training to the underserved communities of Chicago in exchange for community service.

FREE GEEK Chicago was founded in August 2005 as a collaboration of NPOTechs and Logan Square CTC to recycle computer technology and provide low and no-cost computing to economically disadvantaged individuals and not-for-profit and social change organizations.

FREE GEEK Chicago does most of this work with volunteers. The volunteers disassemble the donated equipment and test the components, which are either recycled as electronic scrap or recycled into refurbished systems. These refurbished computers are then loaded with Open Source Software, such as GNU/Linux, Open Office, and other Free Software.

We are proud of being a democratically-run organization, and use consensus in our meetings. Our policy decisions are made by a group of volunteers and staff called the council, and those policies are executed by our staff collective.

Anyone can get involved! Donate used equipment… volunteer your time… support a grassroots community organization!

This was on cable Christmas night, website and not having seen it beginning to end before I thought it was fitting for the occasion.

We’re not quite through with race in America… but as we creep up towards 40 years since the film was released, valeologist what is different now?

Do we live up to the ideals we espouse when we face them in our living room?

I think that we all share a common figure in our mind, viagra 40mg the image of a Teacher having a proud moment when one of their students goes on to do something worthy of respect in the world.

What makes for a nice twist on this theme is when a great teacher goes on to achieve some recognition in the wider world.

Today I picked up a signed copy of the latest book by Frank McCourt, my HS English Teacher.

I’m not nec. one for sticking to reading clubs, but would be happy to dialogue with any of you that might read his new book, Teacher Man.

What makes for a great writer? What makes for a great story-teller?

I can remember him for his skills in the latter, (and the public has certainly recognized him for his talent in the former) in the many times we convinced him to launch into story. We probably didn’t realize that story-telling in English class was in fact a learning moment…

After Laure Dillon’s account of Hawaiian gatherings at the recent O-Net member initiated Open Space I am in a mode that is highly receptive of the idea of lineage… as a moment of respectful tying in to a greater web. There are lineages of blood… and the river of the past that pours into us in this way branches at each generation back.

But the rivers of transmission of thought and culture keep pouring into us our whole lives from so many more sources when we are open. Let these rivers pass through you.

I’m excited that Free Geek Chicago was recently launched as a project of NPOTechs and the Logan Square CTC (Community Technology Center).

Check out the website: http://www.freegeekchicago.org/

Description from their website:

FREE GEEK Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization that recycles used technology to provide computers, disease education, about it internet access and job skills training to the underserved communities of Chicago in exchange for community service.

FREE GEEK Chicago was founded in August 2005 as a collaboration of NPOTechs and Logan Square CTC to recycle computer technology and provide low and no-cost computing to economically disadvantaged individuals and not-for-profit and social change organizations.

FREE GEEK Chicago does most of this work with volunteers. The volunteers disassemble the donated equipment and test the components, which are either recycled as electronic scrap or recycled into refurbished systems. These refurbished computers are then loaded with Open Source Software, such as GNU/Linux, Open Office, and other Free Software.

We are proud of being a democratically-run organization, and use consensus in our meetings. Our policy decisions are made by a group of volunteers and staff called the council, and those policies are executed by our staff collective.

Anyone can get involved! Donate used equipment… volunteer your time… support a grassroots community organization!

This was on cable Christmas night, website and not having seen it beginning to end before I thought it was fitting for the occasion.

We’re not quite through with race in America… but as we creep up towards 40 years since the film was released, valeologist what is different now?

Do we live up to the ideals we espouse when we face them in our living room?

I think that we all share a common figure in our mind, viagra 40mg the image of a Teacher having a proud moment when one of their students goes on to do something worthy of respect in the world.

What makes for a nice twist on this theme is when a great teacher goes on to achieve some recognition in the wider world.

Today I picked up a signed copy of the latest book by Frank McCourt, my HS English Teacher.

I’m not nec. one for sticking to reading clubs, but would be happy to dialogue with any of you that might read his new book, Teacher Man.

What makes for a great writer? What makes for a great story-teller?

I can remember him for his skills in the latter, (and the public has certainly recognized him for his talent in the former) in the many times we convinced him to launch into story. We probably didn’t realize that story-telling in English class was in fact a learning moment…

i’ve a taste for the psychological in film, approved especially when there is willingness to explore the surreal and the absurd

how would you describe contemporary films of this sort?

After Laure Dillon’s account of Hawaiian gatherings at the recent O-Net member initiated Open Space I am in a mode that is highly receptive of the idea of lineage… as a moment of respectful tying in to a greater web. There are lineages of blood… and the river of the past that pours into us in this way branches at each generation back.

But the rivers of transmission of thought and culture keep pouring into us our whole lives from so many more sources when we are open. Let these rivers pass through you.

I’m excited that Free Geek Chicago was recently launched as a project of NPOTechs and the Logan Square CTC (Community Technology Center).

Check out the website: http://www.freegeekchicago.org/

Description from their website:

FREE GEEK Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization that recycles used technology to provide computers, disease education, about it internet access and job skills training to the underserved communities of Chicago in exchange for community service.

FREE GEEK Chicago was founded in August 2005 as a collaboration of NPOTechs and Logan Square CTC to recycle computer technology and provide low and no-cost computing to economically disadvantaged individuals and not-for-profit and social change organizations.

FREE GEEK Chicago does most of this work with volunteers. The volunteers disassemble the donated equipment and test the components, which are either recycled as electronic scrap or recycled into refurbished systems. These refurbished computers are then loaded with Open Source Software, such as GNU/Linux, Open Office, and other Free Software.

We are proud of being a democratically-run organization, and use consensus in our meetings. Our policy decisions are made by a group of volunteers and staff called the council, and those policies are executed by our staff collective.

Anyone can get involved! Donate used equipment… volunteer your time… support a grassroots community organization!

This was on cable Christmas night, website and not having seen it beginning to end before I thought it was fitting for the occasion.

We’re not quite through with race in America… but as we creep up towards 40 years since the film was released, valeologist what is different now?

Do we live up to the ideals we espouse when we face them in our living room?

I think that we all share a common figure in our mind, viagra 40mg the image of a Teacher having a proud moment when one of their students goes on to do something worthy of respect in the world.

What makes for a nice twist on this theme is when a great teacher goes on to achieve some recognition in the wider world.

Today I picked up a signed copy of the latest book by Frank McCourt, my HS English Teacher.

I’m not nec. one for sticking to reading clubs, but would be happy to dialogue with any of you that might read his new book, Teacher Man.

What makes for a great writer? What makes for a great story-teller?

I can remember him for his skills in the latter, (and the public has certainly recognized him for his talent in the former) in the many times we convinced him to launch into story. We probably didn’t realize that story-telling in English class was in fact a learning moment…

i’ve a taste for the psychological in film, approved especially when there is willingness to explore the surreal and the absurd

how would you describe contemporary films of this sort?

My friend Gerry Gleason recently commented:

Now that the peer-produced encyclopedia, find Wikipedia, viagra surpasses all but the premier commercial encyclopedia in completeness and quality, phimosis and it is arguably the equal to that one (Britannica), I see it as only a matter of time before peer-produced independent media surpasses all the commercial offerings (can anybody name one that might compete, ok maybe in print, the NY Times, but that’s it)?

Gerry’s comment brought forth an echo from my recent visit to the Pantheon (Paris) where there is a statue to Diderot to the effect that the Encyclopedia paved the way for the social revolution…

So, now, the revolution of the Internet and a wiki-mode of participating in knowledge.

After Laure Dillon’s account of Hawaiian gatherings at the recent O-Net member initiated Open Space I am in a mode that is highly receptive of the idea of lineage… as a moment of respectful tying in to a greater web. There are lineages of blood… and the river of the past that pours into us in this way branches at each generation back.

But the rivers of transmission of thought and culture keep pouring into us our whole lives from so many more sources when we are open. Let these rivers pass through you.

I’m excited that Free Geek Chicago was recently launched as a project of NPOTechs and the Logan Square CTC (Community Technology Center).

Check out the website: http://www.freegeekchicago.org/

Description from their website:

FREE GEEK Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization that recycles used technology to provide computers, disease education, about it internet access and job skills training to the underserved communities of Chicago in exchange for community service.

FREE GEEK Chicago was founded in August 2005 as a collaboration of NPOTechs and Logan Square CTC to recycle computer technology and provide low and no-cost computing to economically disadvantaged individuals and not-for-profit and social change organizations.

FREE GEEK Chicago does most of this work with volunteers. The volunteers disassemble the donated equipment and test the components, which are either recycled as electronic scrap or recycled into refurbished systems. These refurbished computers are then loaded with Open Source Software, such as GNU/Linux, Open Office, and other Free Software.

We are proud of being a democratically-run organization, and use consensus in our meetings. Our policy decisions are made by a group of volunteers and staff called the council, and those policies are executed by our staff collective.

Anyone can get involved! Donate used equipment… volunteer your time… support a grassroots community organization!

This was on cable Christmas night, website and not having seen it beginning to end before I thought it was fitting for the occasion.

We’re not quite through with race in America… but as we creep up towards 40 years since the film was released, valeologist what is different now?

Do we live up to the ideals we espouse when we face them in our living room?

I think that we all share a common figure in our mind, viagra 40mg the image of a Teacher having a proud moment when one of their students goes on to do something worthy of respect in the world.

What makes for a nice twist on this theme is when a great teacher goes on to achieve some recognition in the wider world.

Today I picked up a signed copy of the latest book by Frank McCourt, my HS English Teacher.

I’m not nec. one for sticking to reading clubs, but would be happy to dialogue with any of you that might read his new book, Teacher Man.

What makes for a great writer? What makes for a great story-teller?

I can remember him for his skills in the latter, (and the public has certainly recognized him for his talent in the former) in the many times we convinced him to launch into story. We probably didn’t realize that story-telling in English class was in fact a learning moment…

i’ve a taste for the psychological in film, approved especially when there is willingness to explore the surreal and the absurd

how would you describe contemporary films of this sort?

My friend Gerry Gleason recently commented:

Now that the peer-produced encyclopedia, find Wikipedia, viagra surpasses all but the premier commercial encyclopedia in completeness and quality, phimosis and it is arguably the equal to that one (Britannica), I see it as only a matter of time before peer-produced independent media surpasses all the commercial offerings (can anybody name one that might compete, ok maybe in print, the NY Times, but that’s it)?

Gerry’s comment brought forth an echo from my recent visit to the Pantheon (Paris) where there is a statue to Diderot to the effect that the Encyclopedia paved the way for the social revolution…

So, now, the revolution of the Internet and a wiki-mode of participating in knowledge.
Just wanted to report in from the 2005 Summit: The Strategic Use Of Information and Communication Technologies for Community being held in Vancouver.

The participants are primarily Canadian, pills but there is a significant contingent from Latin America, there thanks to the Telecentres of the Americas Project (TAP).

AFCN Board, Advisors and Friends formed a sizable USA delegation.

As with most conferences, a great deal of the dynamic interaction takes place in the informal settings, between sessions, over meals, and at ad hoc meetings you put together. It certainly reinforces the rational for Open Space and LAP practices.

I think it gave an extra charge to our decision today to make conscious commitment to Open Space for the forthcoming Austin conference (or convergence, as I say).

One lesson learned, or reinforced has to do with the diversity of the “international” context. Frequently there is a presentation of a view of there being a US perspective or experience and an International one. However, the diversity of situations around the world belie that concept.

If there are groups in the US that grasp a problem from a global vantage, oftentimes their efforts to instigate an international effort or form an international organization is viewed with hesitation or meets with a bit of negativity.

As President of the AFCN (Association For Community Networking) I struggle to emphasize that though we are based in the USA, and the bulk of our members are in the States, we are open and welcoming to others.

I’m here in Vancouver on behalf of AFCN to demonstrate our commitment to our friends in Canada and throughout the hemisphere.

The culture and understanding of Civic Society in Canada appears stronger than in the USA. I’m concerned with identifying strategies to reclaim and advance the civic culture and discourse. Needless to say, the reception here has been tremendous, and it did seem to me that they were well pleased that we took the trouble to attend, and that it became evident that we are still confronting a great many of the same issues.

This is all aside from the fact that Vancouver is a beautiful setting, in the limited moments I’ve had outside of the conference space!

After Laure Dillon’s account of Hawaiian gatherings at the recent O-Net member initiated Open Space I am in a mode that is highly receptive of the idea of lineage… as a moment of respectful tying in to a greater web. There are lineages of blood… and the river of the past that pours into us in this way branches at each generation back.

But the rivers of transmission of thought and culture keep pouring into us our whole lives from so many more sources when we are open. Let these rivers pass through you.

I’m excited that Free Geek Chicago was recently launched as a project of NPOTechs and the Logan Square CTC (Community Technology Center).

Check out the website: http://www.freegeekchicago.org/

Description from their website:

FREE GEEK Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization that recycles used technology to provide computers, disease education, about it internet access and job skills training to the underserved communities of Chicago in exchange for community service.

FREE GEEK Chicago was founded in August 2005 as a collaboration of NPOTechs and Logan Square CTC to recycle computer technology and provide low and no-cost computing to economically disadvantaged individuals and not-for-profit and social change organizations.

FREE GEEK Chicago does most of this work with volunteers. The volunteers disassemble the donated equipment and test the components, which are either recycled as electronic scrap or recycled into refurbished systems. These refurbished computers are then loaded with Open Source Software, such as GNU/Linux, Open Office, and other Free Software.

We are proud of being a democratically-run organization, and use consensus in our meetings. Our policy decisions are made by a group of volunteers and staff called the council, and those policies are executed by our staff collective.

Anyone can get involved! Donate used equipment… volunteer your time… support a grassroots community organization!

This was on cable Christmas night, website and not having seen it beginning to end before I thought it was fitting for the occasion.

We’re not quite through with race in America… but as we creep up towards 40 years since the film was released, valeologist what is different now?

Do we live up to the ideals we espouse when we face them in our living room?

I think that we all share a common figure in our mind, viagra 40mg the image of a Teacher having a proud moment when one of their students goes on to do something worthy of respect in the world.

What makes for a nice twist on this theme is when a great teacher goes on to achieve some recognition in the wider world.

Today I picked up a signed copy of the latest book by Frank McCourt, my HS English Teacher.

I’m not nec. one for sticking to reading clubs, but would be happy to dialogue with any of you that might read his new book, Teacher Man.

What makes for a great writer? What makes for a great story-teller?

I can remember him for his skills in the latter, (and the public has certainly recognized him for his talent in the former) in the many times we convinced him to launch into story. We probably didn’t realize that story-telling in English class was in fact a learning moment…

i’ve a taste for the psychological in film, approved especially when there is willingness to explore the surreal and the absurd

how would you describe contemporary films of this sort?

My friend Gerry Gleason recently commented:

Now that the peer-produced encyclopedia, find Wikipedia, viagra surpasses all but the premier commercial encyclopedia in completeness and quality, phimosis and it is arguably the equal to that one (Britannica), I see it as only a matter of time before peer-produced independent media surpasses all the commercial offerings (can anybody name one that might compete, ok maybe in print, the NY Times, but that’s it)?

Gerry’s comment brought forth an echo from my recent visit to the Pantheon (Paris) where there is a statue to Diderot to the effect that the Encyclopedia paved the way for the social revolution…

So, now, the revolution of the Internet and a wiki-mode of participating in knowledge.
Just wanted to report in from the 2005 Summit: The Strategic Use Of Information and Communication Technologies for Community being held in Vancouver.

The participants are primarily Canadian, pills but there is a significant contingent from Latin America, there thanks to the Telecentres of the Americas Project (TAP).

AFCN Board, Advisors and Friends formed a sizable USA delegation.

As with most conferences, a great deal of the dynamic interaction takes place in the informal settings, between sessions, over meals, and at ad hoc meetings you put together. It certainly reinforces the rational for Open Space and LAP practices.

I think it gave an extra charge to our decision today to make conscious commitment to Open Space for the forthcoming Austin conference (or convergence, as I say).

One lesson learned, or reinforced has to do with the diversity of the “international” context. Frequently there is a presentation of a view of there being a US perspective or experience and an International one. However, the diversity of situations around the world belie that concept.

If there are groups in the US that grasp a problem from a global vantage, oftentimes their efforts to instigate an international effort or form an international organization is viewed with hesitation or meets with a bit of negativity.

As President of the AFCN (Association For Community Networking) I struggle to emphasize that though we are based in the USA, and the bulk of our members are in the States, we are open and welcoming to others.

I’m here in Vancouver on behalf of AFCN to demonstrate our commitment to our friends in Canada and throughout the hemisphere.

The culture and understanding of Civic Society in Canada appears stronger than in the USA. I’m concerned with identifying strategies to reclaim and advance the civic culture and discourse. Needless to say, the reception here has been tremendous, and it did seem to me that they were well pleased that we took the trouble to attend, and that it became evident that we are still confronting a great many of the same issues.

This is all aside from the fact that Vancouver is a beautiful setting, in the limited moments I’ve had outside of the conference space!
Kate circulated links including your paper “Community Networks and the Evolution of Civic Intelligence.”

I think there is a conceptual gap, ampoule with regard to AFCN, though the bulk of what is described is true from an organizational-historical perspective.

My view is that we must consider these matters (community networks and the evolution of civic intelligence) from network and field perspectives which includes some organizational/institutional perspective, but transcends the limitations of the organizational perspective.

There is a nuance that must be drawn out:  the distinction between a “community network” and the “process of community networking”.  Coming to terms with this is essential for an appreciation of the would-be umbrella organization and it’s role.  It’s too early on a Saturday for me to draw this out, but I have written about this on several occasions.  Not to mention:  the double conceptual primitive in the joining of “community” and “network/ing” must be dealt with.

Another aspect that needs to be explored is the relation among organizations and sites of interaction in the broader field of Community ICT.  Community Networks and Community Networking (as process/perspective) is not within a vacuum.  Community Networks have been the unfunded, volunteer driven cousins of the movement (need to have some perspective on whether there is a movement, and a movement of what?) – and have had an eclectic base,  frequently representing hybrid roles from the beginning, and often promoted the very hybrid perspective demanded by our circumstances but so often rejected by funding and business minded “pragmatic” leaders in other marginally more funded sectors.  Look to community media.  Look to community technology (CTCs).  Look to NTAPs.  Situate the question of community network/ing and civic intelligence in relation to that broader field and the ongoing transformation of our society/the public sphere.

I consider this but the beginning of the dialogue. I also invite explicit exploration of Garth Graham’s writings on community networking as radical practice.  It is fundamentally the challenge of viewing our practice as a network of practices/discourses, rather than as historic manifestation of particular institutional forms in a  rapidly changing societal and technological context. There is much more to be said.


After Laure Dillon’s account of Hawaiian gatherings at the recent O-Net member initiated Open Space I am in a mode that is highly receptive of the idea of lineage… as a moment of respectful tying in to a greater web. There are lineages of blood… and the river of the past that pours into us in this way branches at each generation back.

But the rivers of transmission of thought and culture keep pouring into us our whole lives from so many more sources when we are open. Let these rivers pass through you.

I’m excited that Free Geek Chicago was recently launched as a project of NPOTechs and the Logan Square CTC (Community Technology Center).

Check out the website: http://www.freegeekchicago.org/

Description from their website:

FREE GEEK Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization that recycles used technology to provide computers, disease education, about it internet access and job skills training to the underserved communities of Chicago in exchange for community service.

FREE GEEK Chicago was founded in August 2005 as a collaboration of NPOTechs and Logan Square CTC to recycle computer technology and provide low and no-cost computing to economically disadvantaged individuals and not-for-profit and social change organizations.

FREE GEEK Chicago does most of this work with volunteers. The volunteers disassemble the donated equipment and test the components, which are either recycled as electronic scrap or recycled into refurbished systems. These refurbished computers are then loaded with Open Source Software, such as GNU/Linux, Open Office, and other Free Software.

We are proud of being a democratically-run organization, and use consensus in our meetings. Our policy decisions are made by a group of volunteers and staff called the council, and those policies are executed by our staff collective.

Anyone can get involved! Donate used equipment… volunteer your time… support a grassroots community organization!

This was on cable Christmas night, website and not having seen it beginning to end before I thought it was fitting for the occasion.

We’re not quite through with race in America… but as we creep up towards 40 years since the film was released, valeologist what is different now?

Do we live up to the ideals we espouse when we face them in our living room?

I think that we all share a common figure in our mind, viagra 40mg the image of a Teacher having a proud moment when one of their students goes on to do something worthy of respect in the world.

What makes for a nice twist on this theme is when a great teacher goes on to achieve some recognition in the wider world.

Today I picked up a signed copy of the latest book by Frank McCourt, my HS English Teacher.

I’m not nec. one for sticking to reading clubs, but would be happy to dialogue with any of you that might read his new book, Teacher Man.

What makes for a great writer? What makes for a great story-teller?

I can remember him for his skills in the latter, (and the public has certainly recognized him for his talent in the former) in the many times we convinced him to launch into story. We probably didn’t realize that story-telling in English class was in fact a learning moment…

i’ve a taste for the psychological in film, approved especially when there is willingness to explore the surreal and the absurd

how would you describe contemporary films of this sort?

My friend Gerry Gleason recently commented:

Now that the peer-produced encyclopedia, find Wikipedia, viagra surpasses all but the premier commercial encyclopedia in completeness and quality, phimosis and it is arguably the equal to that one (Britannica), I see it as only a matter of time before peer-produced independent media surpasses all the commercial offerings (can anybody name one that might compete, ok maybe in print, the NY Times, but that’s it)?

Gerry’s comment brought forth an echo from my recent visit to the Pantheon (Paris) where there is a statue to Diderot to the effect that the Encyclopedia paved the way for the social revolution…

So, now, the revolution of the Internet and a wiki-mode of participating in knowledge.
Just wanted to report in from the 2005 Summit: The Strategic Use Of Information and Communication Technologies for Community being held in Vancouver.

The participants are primarily Canadian, pills but there is a significant contingent from Latin America, there thanks to the Telecentres of the Americas Project (TAP).

AFCN Board, Advisors and Friends formed a sizable USA delegation.

As with most conferences, a great deal of the dynamic interaction takes place in the informal settings, between sessions, over meals, and at ad hoc meetings you put together. It certainly reinforces the rational for Open Space and LAP practices.

I think it gave an extra charge to our decision today to make conscious commitment to Open Space for the forthcoming Austin conference (or convergence, as I say).

One lesson learned, or reinforced has to do with the diversity of the “international” context. Frequently there is a presentation of a view of there being a US perspective or experience and an International one. However, the diversity of situations around the world belie that concept.

If there are groups in the US that grasp a problem from a global vantage, oftentimes their efforts to instigate an international effort or form an international organization is viewed with hesitation or meets with a bit of negativity.

As President of the AFCN (Association For Community Networking) I struggle to emphasize that though we are based in the USA, and the bulk of our members are in the States, we are open and welcoming to others.

I’m here in Vancouver on behalf of AFCN to demonstrate our commitment to our friends in Canada and throughout the hemisphere.

The culture and understanding of Civic Society in Canada appears stronger than in the USA. I’m concerned with identifying strategies to reclaim and advance the civic culture and discourse. Needless to say, the reception here has been tremendous, and it did seem to me that they were well pleased that we took the trouble to attend, and that it became evident that we are still confronting a great many of the same issues.

This is all aside from the fact that Vancouver is a beautiful setting, in the limited moments I’ve had outside of the conference space!
Kate circulated links including your paper “Community Networks and the Evolution of Civic Intelligence.”

I think there is a conceptual gap, ampoule with regard to AFCN, though the bulk of what is described is true from an organizational-historical perspective.

My view is that we must consider these matters (community networks and the evolution of civic intelligence) from network and field perspectives which includes some organizational/institutional perspective, but transcends the limitations of the organizational perspective.

There is a nuance that must be drawn out:  the distinction between a “community network” and the “process of community networking”.  Coming to terms with this is essential for an appreciation of the would-be umbrella organization and it’s role.  It’s too early on a Saturday for me to draw this out, but I have written about this on several occasions.  Not to mention:  the double conceptual primitive in the joining of “community” and “network/ing” must be dealt with.

Another aspect that needs to be explored is the relation among organizations and sites of interaction in the broader field of Community ICT.  Community Networks and Community Networking (as process/perspective) is not within a vacuum.  Community Networks have been the unfunded, volunteer driven cousins of the movement (need to have some perspective on whether there is a movement, and a movement of what?) – and have had an eclectic base,  frequently representing hybrid roles from the beginning, and often promoted the very hybrid perspective demanded by our circumstances but so often rejected by funding and business minded “pragmatic” leaders in other marginally more funded sectors.  Look to community media.  Look to community technology (CTCs).  Look to NTAPs.  Situate the question of community network/ing and civic intelligence in relation to that broader field and the ongoing transformation of our society/the public sphere.

I consider this but the beginning of the dialogue. I also invite explicit exploration of Garth Graham’s writings on community networking as radical practice.  It is fundamentally the challenge of viewing our practice as a network of practices/discourses, rather than as historic manifestation of particular institutional forms in a  rapidly changing societal and technological context. There is much more to be said.



I call upon all who view themselves as technology and social justice advocates to seize the moment afforded by the recent attention to Digital Inclusion: let’s raise both the public discourse and the practices of our field to a new level.

We’ve been doing heavy lifting trying to meaningfully connect our communities for a long time without sufficient resources or recognition. We know better than anyone else that the Divide persists and we’re glad it’s being noticed (again). We hear Digital Inclusion trumpeted as the virtue of every network proposal, viagra 100mg but we can’t allow ourselves to be used in the selling of these networks, ed and we can’t let our communities be sold short. We want the connectivity, website yes, but unless we as a people assert what we require of our networks we’ll be looking back upon another missed opportunity.

What we really want is a fundamental change in communications and technology policy at every level of social organization. We the people are a lot more sophisticated than we give ourselves credit for… and than we are credited with by others who hold themselves above the people.

It’s time for us to state clearly who we are, what our values are and what we know is needed at this moment in history. Let your actions speak louder than your words, certainly, but get your story out there. This holds for all who seek social justice and have dedicated themselves to working locally. Your direct work with your community is important, but so is the shaping of our collective life through shared words, images and ideas. We must make time for both.

I warmly thank Sascha Meinrath for helping to further this conversation.

We’re all ready to move Beyond Digital Inclusion.

After Laure Dillon’s account of Hawaiian gatherings at the recent O-Net member initiated Open Space I am in a mode that is highly receptive of the idea of lineage… as a moment of respectful tying in to a greater web. There are lineages of blood… and the river of the past that pours into us in this way branches at each generation back.

But the rivers of transmission of thought and culture keep pouring into us our whole lives from so many more sources when we are open. Let these rivers pass through you.

I’m excited that Free Geek Chicago was recently launched as a project of NPOTechs and the Logan Square CTC (Community Technology Center).

Check out the website: http://www.freegeekchicago.org/

Description from their website:

FREE GEEK Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization that recycles used technology to provide computers, disease education, about it internet access and job skills training to the underserved communities of Chicago in exchange for community service.

FREE GEEK Chicago was founded in August 2005 as a collaboration of NPOTechs and Logan Square CTC to recycle computer technology and provide low and no-cost computing to economically disadvantaged individuals and not-for-profit and social change organizations.

FREE GEEK Chicago does most of this work with volunteers. The volunteers disassemble the donated equipment and test the components, which are either recycled as electronic scrap or recycled into refurbished systems. These refurbished computers are then loaded with Open Source Software, such as GNU/Linux, Open Office, and other Free Software.

We are proud of being a democratically-run organization, and use consensus in our meetings. Our policy decisions are made by a group of volunteers and staff called the council, and those policies are executed by our staff collective.

Anyone can get involved! Donate used equipment… volunteer your time… support a grassroots community organization!

This was on cable Christmas night, website and not having seen it beginning to end before I thought it was fitting for the occasion.

We’re not quite through with race in America… but as we creep up towards 40 years since the film was released, valeologist what is different now?

Do we live up to the ideals we espouse when we face them in our living room?

I think that we all share a common figure in our mind, viagra 40mg the image of a Teacher having a proud moment when one of their students goes on to do something worthy of respect in the world.

What makes for a nice twist on this theme is when a great teacher goes on to achieve some recognition in the wider world.

Today I picked up a signed copy of the latest book by Frank McCourt, my HS English Teacher.

I’m not nec. one for sticking to reading clubs, but would be happy to dialogue with any of you that might read his new book, Teacher Man.

What makes for a great writer? What makes for a great story-teller?

I can remember him for his skills in the latter, (and the public has certainly recognized him for his talent in the former) in the many times we convinced him to launch into story. We probably didn’t realize that story-telling in English class was in fact a learning moment…

i’ve a taste for the psychological in film, approved especially when there is willingness to explore the surreal and the absurd

how would you describe contemporary films of this sort?

My friend Gerry Gleason recently commented:

Now that the peer-produced encyclopedia, find Wikipedia, viagra surpasses all but the premier commercial encyclopedia in completeness and quality, phimosis and it is arguably the equal to that one (Britannica), I see it as only a matter of time before peer-produced independent media surpasses all the commercial offerings (can anybody name one that might compete, ok maybe in print, the NY Times, but that’s it)?

Gerry’s comment brought forth an echo from my recent visit to the Pantheon (Paris) where there is a statue to Diderot to the effect that the Encyclopedia paved the way for the social revolution…

So, now, the revolution of the Internet and a wiki-mode of participating in knowledge.
Just wanted to report in from the 2005 Summit: The Strategic Use Of Information and Communication Technologies for Community being held in Vancouver.

The participants are primarily Canadian, pills but there is a significant contingent from Latin America, there thanks to the Telecentres of the Americas Project (TAP).

AFCN Board, Advisors and Friends formed a sizable USA delegation.

As with most conferences, a great deal of the dynamic interaction takes place in the informal settings, between sessions, over meals, and at ad hoc meetings you put together. It certainly reinforces the rational for Open Space and LAP practices.

I think it gave an extra charge to our decision today to make conscious commitment to Open Space for the forthcoming Austin conference (or convergence, as I say).

One lesson learned, or reinforced has to do with the diversity of the “international” context. Frequently there is a presentation of a view of there being a US perspective or experience and an International one. However, the diversity of situations around the world belie that concept.

If there are groups in the US that grasp a problem from a global vantage, oftentimes their efforts to instigate an international effort or form an international organization is viewed with hesitation or meets with a bit of negativity.

As President of the AFCN (Association For Community Networking) I struggle to emphasize that though we are based in the USA, and the bulk of our members are in the States, we are open and welcoming to others.

I’m here in Vancouver on behalf of AFCN to demonstrate our commitment to our friends in Canada and throughout the hemisphere.

The culture and understanding of Civic Society in Canada appears stronger than in the USA. I’m concerned with identifying strategies to reclaim and advance the civic culture and discourse. Needless to say, the reception here has been tremendous, and it did seem to me that they were well pleased that we took the trouble to attend, and that it became evident that we are still confronting a great many of the same issues.

This is all aside from the fact that Vancouver is a beautiful setting, in the limited moments I’ve had outside of the conference space!
Kate circulated links including your paper “Community Networks and the Evolution of Civic Intelligence.”

I think there is a conceptual gap, ampoule with regard to AFCN, though the bulk of what is described is true from an organizational-historical perspective.

My view is that we must consider these matters (community networks and the evolution of civic intelligence) from network and field perspectives which includes some organizational/institutional perspective, but transcends the limitations of the organizational perspective.

There is a nuance that must be drawn out:  the distinction between a “community network” and the “process of community networking”.  Coming to terms with this is essential for an appreciation of the would-be umbrella organization and it’s role.  It’s too early on a Saturday for me to draw this out, but I have written about this on several occasions.  Not to mention:  the double conceptual primitive in the joining of “community” and “network/ing” must be dealt with.

Another aspect that needs to be explored is the relation among organizations and sites of interaction in the broader field of Community ICT.  Community Networks and Community Networking (as process/perspective) is not within a vacuum.  Community Networks have been the unfunded, volunteer driven cousins of the movement (need to have some perspective on whether there is a movement, and a movement of what?) – and have had an eclectic base,  frequently representing hybrid roles from the beginning, and often promoted the very hybrid perspective demanded by our circumstances but so often rejected by funding and business minded “pragmatic” leaders in other marginally more funded sectors.  Look to community media.  Look to community technology (CTCs).  Look to NTAPs.  Situate the question of community network/ing and civic intelligence in relation to that broader field and the ongoing transformation of our society/the public sphere.

I consider this but the beginning of the dialogue. I also invite explicit exploration of Garth Graham’s writings on community networking as radical practice.  It is fundamentally the challenge of viewing our practice as a network of practices/discourses, rather than as historic manifestation of particular institutional forms in a  rapidly changing societal and technological context. There is much more to be said.



I call upon all who view themselves as technology and social justice advocates to seize the moment afforded by the recent attention to Digital Inclusion: let’s raise both the public discourse and the practices of our field to a new level.

We’ve been doing heavy lifting trying to meaningfully connect our communities for a long time without sufficient resources or recognition. We know better than anyone else that the Divide persists and we’re glad it’s being noticed (again). We hear Digital Inclusion trumpeted as the virtue of every network proposal, viagra 100mg but we can’t allow ourselves to be used in the selling of these networks, ed and we can’t let our communities be sold short. We want the connectivity, website yes, but unless we as a people assert what we require of our networks we’ll be looking back upon another missed opportunity.

What we really want is a fundamental change in communications and technology policy at every level of social organization. We the people are a lot more sophisticated than we give ourselves credit for… and than we are credited with by others who hold themselves above the people.

It’s time for us to state clearly who we are, what our values are and what we know is needed at this moment in history. Let your actions speak louder than your words, certainly, but get your story out there. This holds for all who seek social justice and have dedicated themselves to working locally. Your direct work with your community is important, but so is the shaping of our collective life through shared words, images and ideas. We must make time for both.

I warmly thank Sascha Meinrath for helping to further this conversation.

We’re all ready to move Beyond Digital Inclusion.
The so called “video competition” bill, medicine HB 1500 is opposed by every community and advocacy group worth it’s salt. A lobby day is planned for Weds. April 18 under the Keep Us Connected coalition. From their site:

Join the Keep Us Connected coalition. Support pro-community video franchise laws that:

  • Require build-out to all neighborhoods in a community
  • Protect Public, information pills Educational and Government (PEG) Access by ensuring carriage of existing and future PEG stations with adequate funding to operate
  • Maintain local governments’ control over its rights of way, order including the right to create communications networks
  • Protect consumers with meaningful competition and strong customer service standards
  • Maintain a free and open Internet

The Keep Us Connected coalition consists of nonprofits, municipalities, PEG Access stations, educational and government institutions, and Illinois residents.

Some civic voices including yours truly are given space on Community Media Workshop: Newstips – “Cable Deregulation Challenged”.

Here’s the full text from Newstips:

[UPDATE - The April 18 hearing on HB 1500 has been postponed, according to a report from the Keep Us Connected Coalition. The coalition is proceeding with its citizens lobby day on April 18 in Springfield. ]

Growing attention on a proposed statewide cable franchise bill could slow a legislative blitz by supporters of telecommunications giant AT&T.

State Representative James Brosnahan (D-Oak Lawn) was expecting the House Telecommunications Committee he chairs to vote Wednesday to approve HB 1500, the franchise bill he has sponsored, but the vote could be delayed. The bill would strip local municipalities of cable franchising power and create state franchises authorized by the Illinois Commerce Commission, going far toward deregulating the industry in Illinois.

AT&T has poured money into a full-court press by lobbyists in support of the measure, along with an extensive TV ad campaign suggesting that HB 1500 promises competition and lower cable rates.

But last week Ald. Edward Burke introduced a City Council resolution calling on the legislature to reject the bill. He plans to hold hearings on the issue with Attorney General Lisa Madigan and others, said spokesperson Donal Quinlan. A press conference called by Burke Tuesday morning (10 a.m. at City Hall, room 302) will raise the profile of opposition to the measure by the city and by municipalities across the state.

Public Access Channels Threatened

Wednesday morning, as the committee meets, community activists backing Chicago’s CAN-TV and public access channels across the state will arrive in Springfield for a citizen lobby day by the Keep Us Connected Coalition. (Community Media Workshop is a coalition member; CMW president Thom Clark hosts a show on CAN-TV.) The coalition says HB 1500 would undercut existing guarantees on funding, channel accessiblity and quality for public access cable, would provide for no new public channels in new service areas, and would establish stringent “no-repeat” requirements – not applying to commercial channels – allowing providers to eliminate public access channels.

“Instead of talking about strengthening public access, as we should be, we’re fighting to get back to first base,” said Barbara Popovic of CAN-TV.

Representatives of municipalities are challenging the basic concept of HB 1500 – that state franchises are needed to promote cable competition. They point out that by overriding local control, the bill eliminates basic customer service protections now enforced by municipalities, as well as local franchise requirements that entire communities be served.

Without anti-redlining provisions – which are probably only practical on a local basis – the measure won’t promote competition and lower rates across the board, but will create a dynamic where rates go down in affluent areas but are “subsidized by higher prices paid by residents in lower-income, non-competitive areas,” Burke argues in his resolution.

Eminent Domain for AT&T

Municipalities are outraged that for the first time they’ll have no oversight over contruction in their public right-of-ways, said Terry Miller, an attorney with the City of Naperville. Local officials worry about refrigerator-sized utility boxes which AT&T would have blanket authorization to install under the bill’s franchise, he said.

Under the bill the ICC can authorize franchises but has no enforcement power. Supporters of HB 1500 have promised “self-enforcement.”

Most shocking for many is the bill’s grant of eminent domain powers to AT&T and other state franchise holders, with no requirement for just compensation or avenue for appeal. HB 1500 “gives away the store regarding the ability of a private company to encroach on residential property in ways we’ve never seen before,” Quinlan said. “It’s extremely problematic.”

The eminent domain provision is not expected to survive current negotiations over amendments, but it’s indicative of the way Brosnahan’s bill contains “an a la carte sampling” of only the provisions in cable law that favor AT&T, Miller said.

“What’s clear about this bill is that it was written by telecommunications lobbyists,” according to technology analyst Sascha Meinrath, executive director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network, on his blog. “I can only imagine that the goal was to fast-track this bill and sneak it through before the public got organized enough to demand that it be withdrawn.”

“AT&T wants to make this happen now because they know that with more time, more questions will be raised,” said Brian Imus of Illinois PIRG, calling HB 1500 “a sweetheart deal for AT&T.”

He points out, “There’s nothing now blocking competition, nothing stopping AT&T from negotiating cable franchises with local municipalities.”

‘Local Franchising Works’

“Local franchising works real well,” points out Roger Huebner of the Illinois Municipal League. He’s meeting with Brosnahan Tuesday to propose amendments to the Municipal Code and existing statutes that currently cover cable franchising, in order to address AT&T’s complaints about aspects of the process that are cumbersome, he said. The approach embodied in HB 1500 – creating a new article in the Public Utilities Act to give the ICC authority to issue state cable franchises – is unnecessary, he maintains.

Verizon, AT&T’s chief competitor for internet provider television (IPTV), has snapped up hundreds of local franchises on the East Coast, and according to Huebner, AT&T itself is seeking local video franchises in Illinois communities including Bellwood and Wheaton.

The municipal amendments should get full consideration, said Miller. That would mean no committee vote on Wednesday.

Brosnahan’s office said he was waiting for proposed amendments from the Attorney General’s office. Another hearing on the bill has now been scheduled for one week after this Wednesday’s hearing.

Illinois PIRG was joined by national consumer groups including Consumers Union in opposing the bill in its original form. “The unintended consequence will be systematic redlining on a statewide scale,” according to a letter from Consumer Union’s Jeannine Kenney and others to state legislators. They say other states with similar deregulation schemes have seen prices increase, “leaving consumers with nothing but empty promises.”

Consumer groups also emphasize the importance on non-discriminatory “net neutrality” provisions ensuring free access to content to the Internet.

Michael Maranda of the Chicago Digital Access Alliance points out that AT&T is pushing legislation legalizing redlining and undermining local control and access even as it presents itself as a bidder on Chicago’s wireless network, which parallels the city’s cable franchises – and requires a digital inclusion plan. “It’s a horrible bill and a discredit to the state,” he said.

After Laure Dillon’s account of Hawaiian gatherings at the recent O-Net member initiated Open Space I am in a mode that is highly receptive of the idea of lineage… as a moment of respectful tying in to a greater web. There are lineages of blood… and the river of the past that pours into us in this way branches at each generation back.

But the rivers of transmission of thought and culture keep pouring into us our whole lives from so many more sources when we are open. Let these rivers pass through you.

I’m excited that Free Geek Chicago was recently launched as a project of NPOTechs and the Logan Square CTC (Community Technology Center).

Check out the website: http://www.freegeekchicago.org/

Description from their website:

FREE GEEK Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization that recycles used technology to provide computers, disease education, about it internet access and job skills training to the underserved communities of Chicago in exchange for community service.

FREE GEEK Chicago was founded in August 2005 as a collaboration of NPOTechs and Logan Square CTC to recycle computer technology and provide low and no-cost computing to economically disadvantaged individuals and not-for-profit and social change organizations.

FREE GEEK Chicago does most of this work with volunteers. The volunteers disassemble the donated equipment and test the components, which are either recycled as electronic scrap or recycled into refurbished systems. These refurbished computers are then loaded with Open Source Software, such as GNU/Linux, Open Office, and other Free Software.

We are proud of being a democratically-run organization, and use consensus in our meetings. Our policy decisions are made by a group of volunteers and staff called the council, and those policies are executed by our staff collective.

Anyone can get involved! Donate used equipment… volunteer your time… support a grassroots community organization!

This was on cable Christmas night, website and not having seen it beginning to end before I thought it was fitting for the occasion.

We’re not quite through with race in America… but as we creep up towards 40 years since the film was released, valeologist what is different now?

Do we live up to the ideals we espouse when we face them in our living room?

I think that we all share a common figure in our mind, viagra 40mg the image of a Teacher having a proud moment when one of their students goes on to do something worthy of respect in the world.

What makes for a nice twist on this theme is when a great teacher goes on to achieve some recognition in the wider world.

Today I picked up a signed copy of the latest book by Frank McCourt, my HS English Teacher.

I’m not nec. one for sticking to reading clubs, but would be happy to dialogue with any of you that might read his new book, Teacher Man.

What makes for a great writer? What makes for a great story-teller?

I can remember him for his skills in the latter, (and the public has certainly recognized him for his talent in the former) in the many times we convinced him to launch into story. We probably didn’t realize that story-telling in English class was in fact a learning moment…

i’ve a taste for the psychological in film, approved especially when there is willingness to explore the surreal and the absurd

how would you describe contemporary films of this sort?

My friend Gerry Gleason recently commented:

Now that the peer-produced encyclopedia, find Wikipedia, viagra surpasses all but the premier commercial encyclopedia in completeness and quality, phimosis and it is arguably the equal to that one (Britannica), I see it as only a matter of time before peer-produced independent media surpasses all the commercial offerings (can anybody name one that might compete, ok maybe in print, the NY Times, but that’s it)?

Gerry’s comment brought forth an echo from my recent visit to the Pantheon (Paris) where there is a statue to Diderot to the effect that the Encyclopedia paved the way for the social revolution…

So, now, the revolution of the Internet and a wiki-mode of participating in knowledge.
Just wanted to report in from the 2005 Summit: The Strategic Use Of Information and Communication Technologies for Community being held in Vancouver.

The participants are primarily Canadian, pills but there is a significant contingent from Latin America, there thanks to the Telecentres of the Americas Project (TAP).

AFCN Board, Advisors and Friends formed a sizable USA delegation.

As with most conferences, a great deal of the dynamic interaction takes place in the informal settings, between sessions, over meals, and at ad hoc meetings you put together. It certainly reinforces the rational for Open Space and LAP practices.

I think it gave an extra charge to our decision today to make conscious commitment to Open Space for the forthcoming Austin conference (or convergence, as I say).

One lesson learned, or reinforced has to do with the diversity of the “international” context. Frequently there is a presentation of a view of there being a US perspective or experience and an International one. However, the diversity of situations around the world belie that concept.

If there are groups in the US that grasp a problem from a global vantage, oftentimes their efforts to instigate an international effort or form an international organization is viewed with hesitation or meets with a bit of negativity.

As President of the AFCN (Association For Community Networking) I struggle to emphasize that though we are based in the USA, and the bulk of our members are in the States, we are open and welcoming to others.

I’m here in Vancouver on behalf of AFCN to demonstrate our commitment to our friends in Canada and throughout the hemisphere.

The culture and understanding of Civic Society in Canada appears stronger than in the USA. I’m concerned with identifying strategies to reclaim and advance the civic culture and discourse. Needless to say, the reception here has been tremendous, and it did seem to me that they were well pleased that we took the trouble to attend, and that it became evident that we are still confronting a great many of the same issues.

This is all aside from the fact that Vancouver is a beautiful setting, in the limited moments I’ve had outside of the conference space!
Kate circulated links including your paper “Community Networks and the Evolution of Civic Intelligence.”

I think there is a conceptual gap, ampoule with regard to AFCN, though the bulk of what is described is true from an organizational-historical perspective.

My view is that we must consider these matters (community networks and the evolution of civic intelligence) from network and field perspectives which includes some organizational/institutional perspective, but transcends the limitations of the organizational perspective.

There is a nuance that must be drawn out:  the distinction between a “community network” and the “process of community networking”.  Coming to terms with this is essential for an appreciation of the would-be umbrella organization and it’s role.  It’s too early on a Saturday for me to draw this out, but I have written about this on several occasions.  Not to mention:  the double conceptual primitive in the joining of “community” and “network/ing” must be dealt with.

Another aspect that needs to be explored is the relation among organizations and sites of interaction in the broader field of Community ICT.  Community Networks and Community Networking (as process/perspective) is not within a vacuum.  Community Networks have been the unfunded, volunteer driven cousins of the movement (need to have some perspective on whether there is a movement, and a movement of what?) – and have had an eclectic base,  frequently representing hybrid roles from the beginning, and often promoted the very hybrid perspective demanded by our circumstances but so often rejected by funding and business minded “pragmatic” leaders in other marginally more funded sectors.  Look to community media.  Look to community technology (CTCs).  Look to NTAPs.  Situate the question of community network/ing and civic intelligence in relation to that broader field and the ongoing transformation of our society/the public sphere.

I consider this but the beginning of the dialogue. I also invite explicit exploration of Garth Graham’s writings on community networking as radical practice.  It is fundamentally the challenge of viewing our practice as a network of practices/discourses, rather than as historic manifestation of particular institutional forms in a  rapidly changing societal and technological context. There is much more to be said.



I call upon all who view themselves as technology and social justice advocates to seize the moment afforded by the recent attention to Digital Inclusion: let’s raise both the public discourse and the practices of our field to a new level.

We’ve been doing heavy lifting trying to meaningfully connect our communities for a long time without sufficient resources or recognition. We know better than anyone else that the Divide persists and we’re glad it’s being noticed (again). We hear Digital Inclusion trumpeted as the virtue of every network proposal, viagra 100mg but we can’t allow ourselves to be used in the selling of these networks, ed and we can’t let our communities be sold short. We want the connectivity, website yes, but unless we as a people assert what we require of our networks we’ll be looking back upon another missed opportunity.

What we really want is a fundamental change in communications and technology policy at every level of social organization. We the people are a lot more sophisticated than we give ourselves credit for… and than we are credited with by others who hold themselves above the people.

It’s time for us to state clearly who we are, what our values are and what we know is needed at this moment in history. Let your actions speak louder than your words, certainly, but get your story out there. This holds for all who seek social justice and have dedicated themselves to working locally. Your direct work with your community is important, but so is the shaping of our collective life through shared words, images and ideas. We must make time for both.

I warmly thank Sascha Meinrath for helping to further this conversation.

We’re all ready to move Beyond Digital Inclusion.
The so called “video competition” bill, medicine HB 1500 is opposed by every community and advocacy group worth it’s salt. A lobby day is planned for Weds. April 18 under the Keep Us Connected coalition. From their site:

Join the Keep Us Connected coalition. Support pro-community video franchise laws that:

  • Require build-out to all neighborhoods in a community
  • Protect Public, information pills Educational and Government (PEG) Access by ensuring carriage of existing and future PEG stations with adequate funding to operate
  • Maintain local governments’ control over its rights of way, order including the right to create communications networks
  • Protect consumers with meaningful competition and strong customer service standards
  • Maintain a free and open Internet

The Keep Us Connected coalition consists of nonprofits, municipalities, PEG Access stations, educational and government institutions, and Illinois residents.

Some civic voices including yours truly are given space on Community Media Workshop: Newstips – “Cable Deregulation Challenged”.

Here’s the full text from Newstips:

[UPDATE - The April 18 hearing on HB 1500 has been postponed, according to a report from the Keep Us Connected Coalition. The coalition is proceeding with its citizens lobby day on April 18 in Springfield. ]

Growing attention on a proposed statewide cable franchise bill could slow a legislative blitz by supporters of telecommunications giant AT&T.

State Representative James Brosnahan (D-Oak Lawn) was expecting the House Telecommunications Committee he chairs to vote Wednesday to approve HB 1500, the franchise bill he has sponsored, but the vote could be delayed. The bill would strip local municipalities of cable franchising power and create state franchises authorized by the Illinois Commerce Commission, going far toward deregulating the industry in Illinois.

AT&T has poured money into a full-court press by lobbyists in support of the measure, along with an extensive TV ad campaign suggesting that HB 1500 promises competition and lower cable rates.

But last week Ald. Edward Burke introduced a City Council resolution calling on the legislature to reject the bill. He plans to hold hearings on the issue with Attorney General Lisa Madigan and others, said spokesperson Donal Quinlan. A press conference called by Burke Tuesday morning (10 a.m. at City Hall, room 302) will raise the profile of opposition to the measure by the city and by municipalities across the state.

Public Access Channels Threatened

Wednesday morning, as the committee meets, community activists backing Chicago’s CAN-TV and public access channels across the state will arrive in Springfield for a citizen lobby day by the Keep Us Connected Coalition. (Community Media Workshop is a coalition member; CMW president Thom Clark hosts a show on CAN-TV.) The coalition says HB 1500 would undercut existing guarantees on funding, channel accessiblity and quality for public access cable, would provide for no new public channels in new service areas, and would establish stringent “no-repeat” requirements – not applying to commercial channels – allowing providers to eliminate public access channels.

“Instead of talking about strengthening public access, as we should be, we’re fighting to get back to first base,” said Barbara Popovic of CAN-TV.

Representatives of municipalities are challenging the basic concept of HB 1500 – that state franchises are needed to promote cable competition. They point out that by overriding local control, the bill eliminates basic customer service protections now enforced by municipalities, as well as local franchise requirements that entire communities be served.

Without anti-redlining provisions – which are probably only practical on a local basis – the measure won’t promote competition and lower rates across the board, but will create a dynamic where rates go down in affluent areas but are “subsidized by higher prices paid by residents in lower-income, non-competitive areas,” Burke argues in his resolution.

Eminent Domain for AT&T

Municipalities are outraged that for the first time they’ll have no oversight over contruction in their public right-of-ways, said Terry Miller, an attorney with the City of Naperville. Local officials worry about refrigerator-sized utility boxes which AT&T would have blanket authorization to install under the bill’s franchise, he said.

Under the bill the ICC can authorize franchises but has no enforcement power. Supporters of HB 1500 have promised “self-enforcement.”

Most shocking for many is the bill’s grant of eminent domain powers to AT&T and other state franchise holders, with no requirement for just compensation or avenue for appeal. HB 1500 “gives away the store regarding the ability of a private company to encroach on residential property in ways we’ve never seen before,” Quinlan said. “It’s extremely problematic.”

The eminent domain provision is not expected to survive current negotiations over amendments, but it’s indicative of the way Brosnahan’s bill contains “an a la carte sampling” of only the provisions in cable law that favor AT&T, Miller said.

“What’s clear about this bill is that it was written by telecommunications lobbyists,” according to technology analyst Sascha Meinrath, executive director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network, on his blog. “I can only imagine that the goal was to fast-track this bill and sneak it through before the public got organized enough to demand that it be withdrawn.”

“AT&T wants to make this happen now because they know that with more time, more questions will be raised,” said Brian Imus of Illinois PIRG, calling HB 1500 “a sweetheart deal for AT&T.”

He points out, “There’s nothing now blocking competition, nothing stopping AT&T from negotiating cable franchises with local municipalities.”

‘Local Franchising Works’

“Local franchising works real well,” points out Roger Huebner of the Illinois Municipal League. He’s meeting with Brosnahan Tuesday to propose amendments to the Municipal Code and existing statutes that currently cover cable franchising, in order to address AT&T’s complaints about aspects of the process that are cumbersome, he said. The approach embodied in HB 1500 – creating a new article in the Public Utilities Act to give the ICC authority to issue state cable franchises – is unnecessary, he maintains.

Verizon, AT&T’s chief competitor for internet provider television (IPTV), has snapped up hundreds of local franchises on the East Coast, and according to Huebner, AT&T itself is seeking local video franchises in Illinois communities including Bellwood and Wheaton.

The municipal amendments should get full consideration, said Miller. That would mean no committee vote on Wednesday.

Brosnahan’s office said he was waiting for proposed amendments from the Attorney General’s office. Another hearing on the bill has now been scheduled for one week after this Wednesday’s hearing.

Illinois PIRG was joined by national consumer groups including Consumers Union in opposing the bill in its original form. “The unintended consequence will be systematic redlining on a statewide scale,” according to a letter from Consumer Union’s Jeannine Kenney and others to state legislators. They say other states with similar deregulation schemes have seen prices increase, “leaving consumers with nothing but empty promises.”

Consumer groups also emphasize the importance on non-discriminatory “net neutrality” provisions ensuring free access to content to the Internet.

Michael Maranda of the Chicago Digital Access Alliance points out that AT&T is pushing legislation legalizing redlining and undermining local control and access even as it presents itself as a bidder on Chicago’s wireless network, which parallels the city’s cable franchises – and requires a digital inclusion plan. “It’s a horrible bill and a discredit to the state,” he said.

The so called “video competition” bill, medicine HB 1500 is opposed by every community and advocacy group worth it’s salt. A lobby day is planned for Weds. April 18 under the Keep Us Connected coalition. From their site:

Join the Keep Us Connected coalition. Support pro-community video franchise laws that:

  • Require build-out to all neighborhoods in a community
  • Protect Public, information pills Educational and Government (PEG) Access by ensuring carriage of existing and future PEG stations with adequate funding to operate
  • Maintain local governments’ control over its rights of way, order including the right to create communications networks
  • Protect consumers with meaningful competition and strong customer service standards
  • Maintain a free and open Internet

The Keep Us Connected coalition consists of nonprofits, municipalities, PEG Access stations, educational and government institutions, and Illinois residents.

Some civic voices including yours truly are given space on Community Media Workshop: Newstips – “Cable Deregulation Challenged”.

Here’s the full text from Newstips:

[UPDATE - The April 18 hearing on HB 1500 has been postponed, according to a report from the Keep Us Connected Coalition. The coalition is proceeding with its citizens lobby day on April 18 in Springfield. ]

Growing attention on a proposed statewide cable franchise bill could slow a legislative blitz by supporters of telecommunications giant AT&T.

State Representative James Brosnahan (D-Oak Lawn) was expecting the House Telecommunications Committee he chairs to vote Wednesday to approve HB 1500, the franchise bill he has sponsored, but the vote could be delayed. The bill would strip local municipalities of cable franchising power and create state franchises authorized by the Illinois Commerce Commission, going far toward deregulating the industry in Illinois.

AT&T has poured money into a full-court press by lobbyists in support of the measure, along with an extensive TV ad campaign suggesting that HB 1500 promises competition and lower cable rates.

But last week Ald. Edward Burke introduced a City Council resolution calling on the legislature to reject the bill. He plans to hold hearings on the issue with Attorney General Lisa Madigan and others, said spokesperson Donal Quinlan. A press conference called by Burke Tuesday morning (10 a.m. at City Hall, room 302) will raise the profile of opposition to the measure by the city and by municipalities across the state.

Public Access Channels Threatened

Wednesday morning, as the committee meets, community activists backing Chicago’s CAN-TV and public access channels across the state will arrive in Springfield for a citizen lobby day by the Keep Us Connected Coalition. (Community Media Workshop is a coalition member; CMW president Thom Clark hosts a show on CAN-TV.) The coalition says HB 1500 would undercut existing guarantees on funding, channel accessiblity and quality for public access cable, would provide for no new public channels in new service areas, and would establish stringent “no-repeat” requirements – not applying to commercial channels – allowing providers to eliminate public access channels.

“Instead of talking about strengthening public access, as we should be, we’re fighting to get back to first base,” said Barbara Popovic of CAN-TV.

Representatives of municipalities are challenging the basic concept of HB 1500 – that state franchises are needed to promote cable competition. They point out that by overriding local control, the bill eliminates basic customer service protections now enforced by municipalities, as well as local franchise requirements that entire communities be served.

Without anti-redlining provisions – which are probably only practical on a local basis – the measure won’t promote competition and lower rates across the board, but will create a dynamic where rates go down in affluent areas but are “subsidized by higher prices paid by residents in lower-income, non-competitive areas,” Burke argues in his resolution.

Eminent Domain for AT&T

Municipalities are outraged that for the first time they’ll have no oversight over contruction in their public right-of-ways, said Terry Miller, an attorney with the City of Naperville. Local officials worry about refrigerator-sized utility boxes which AT&T would have blanket authorization to install under the bill’s franchise, he said.

Under the bill the ICC can authorize franchises but has no enforcement power. Supporters of HB 1500 have promised “self-enforcement.”

Most shocking for many is the bill’s grant of eminent domain powers to AT&T and other state franchise holders, with no requirement for just compensation or avenue for appeal. HB 1500 “gives away the store regarding the ability of a private company to encroach on residential property in ways we’ve never seen before,” Quinlan said. “It’s extremely problematic.”

The eminent domain provision is not expected to survive current negotiations over amendments, but it’s indicative of the way Brosnahan’s bill contains “an a la carte sampling” of only the provisions in cable law that favor AT&T, Miller said.

“What’s clear about this bill is that it was written by telecommunications lobbyists,” according to technology analyst Sascha Meinrath, executive director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network, on his blog. “I can only imagine that the goal was to fast-track this bill and sneak it through before the public got organized enough to demand that it be withdrawn.”

“AT&T wants to make this happen now because they know that with more time, more questions will be raised,” said Brian Imus of Illinois PIRG, calling HB 1500 “a sweetheart deal for AT&T.”

He points out, “There’s nothing now blocking competition, nothing stopping AT&T from negotiating cable franchises with local municipalities.”

‘Local Franchising Works’

“Local franchising works real well,” points out Roger Huebner of the Illinois Municipal League. He’s meeting with Brosnahan Tuesday to propose amendments to the Municipal Code and existing statutes that currently cover cable franchising, in order to address AT&T’s complaints about aspects of the process that are cumbersome, he said. The approach embodied in HB 1500 – creating a new article in the Public Utilities Act to give the ICC authority to issue state cable franchises – is unnecessary, he maintains.

Verizon, AT&T’s chief competitor for internet provider television (IPTV), has snapped up hundreds of local franchises on the East Coast, and according to Huebner, AT&T itself is seeking local video franchises in Illinois communities including Bellwood and Wheaton.

The municipal amendments should get full consideration, said Miller. That would mean no committee vote on Wednesday.

Brosnahan’s office said he was waiting for proposed amendments from the Attorney General’s office. Another hearing on the bill has now been scheduled for one week after this Wednesday’s hearing.

Illinois PIRG was joined by national consumer groups including Consumers Union in opposing the bill in its original form. “The unintended consequence will be systematic redlining on a statewide scale,” according to a letter from Consumer Union’s Jeannine Kenney and others to state legislators. They say other states with similar deregulation schemes have seen prices increase, “leaving consumers with nothing but empty promises.”

Consumer groups also emphasize the importance on non-discriminatory “net neutrality” provisions ensuring free access to content to the Internet.

Michael Maranda of the Chicago Digital Access Alliance points out that AT&T is pushing legislation legalizing redlining and undermining local control and access even as it presents itself as a bidder on Chicago’s wireless network, which parallels the city’s cable franchises – and requires a digital inclusion plan. “It’s a horrible bill and a discredit to the state,” he said.

Wireless Cities Communities of Interests: Media and Wireless Communities

The last paragraph of the entry linked above deserves reflection:

Finally it’s important to keep in mind the histories of media. For example, pharm
when television was introduced, steroids
it was seen as a medium with great potential for education and for creating communities. This is no longer seen to be the case. Radio too had a similar romance in it’s early days. Will wireless have a same fate?

If we are aware of this history, what pains must we take to break the pattern? Is there anything we can do to make sure promises made for the commonweal are kept?

After Laure Dillon’s account of Hawaiian gatherings at the recent O-Net member initiated Open Space I am in a mode that is highly receptive of the idea of lineage… as a moment of respectful tying in to a greater web. There are lineages of blood… and the river of the past that pours into us in this way branches at each generation back.

But the rivers of transmission of thought and culture keep pouring into us our whole lives from so many more sources when we are open. Let these rivers pass through you.

I’m excited that Free Geek Chicago was recently launched as a project of NPOTechs and the Logan Square CTC (Community Technology Center).

Check out the website: http://www.freegeekchicago.org/

Description from their website:

FREE GEEK Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization that recycles used technology to provide computers, disease education, about it internet access and job skills training to the underserved communities of Chicago in exchange for community service.

FREE GEEK Chicago was founded in August 2005 as a collaboration of NPOTechs and Logan Square CTC to recycle computer technology and provide low and no-cost computing to economically disadvantaged individuals and not-for-profit and social change organizations.

FREE GEEK Chicago does most of this work with volunteers. The volunteers disassemble the donated equipment and test the components, which are either recycled as electronic scrap or recycled into refurbished systems. These refurbished computers are then loaded with Open Source Software, such as GNU/Linux, Open Office, and other Free Software.

We are proud of being a democratically-run organization, and use consensus in our meetings. Our policy decisions are made by a group of volunteers and staff called the council, and those policies are executed by our staff collective.

Anyone can get involved! Donate used equipment… volunteer your time… support a grassroots community organization!

This was on cable Christmas night, website and not having seen it beginning to end before I thought it was fitting for the occasion.

We’re not quite through with race in America… but as we creep up towards 40 years since the film was released, valeologist what is different now?

Do we live up to the ideals we espouse when we face them in our living room?

I think that we all share a common figure in our mind, viagra 40mg the image of a Teacher having a proud moment when one of their students goes on to do something worthy of respect in the world.

What makes for a nice twist on this theme is when a great teacher goes on to achieve some recognition in the wider world.

Today I picked up a signed copy of the latest book by Frank McCourt, my HS English Teacher.

I’m not nec. one for sticking to reading clubs, but would be happy to dialogue with any of you that might read his new book, Teacher Man.

What makes for a great writer? What makes for a great story-teller?

I can remember him for his skills in the latter, (and the public has certainly recognized him for his talent in the former) in the many times we convinced him to launch into story. We probably didn’t realize that story-telling in English class was in fact a learning moment…

i’ve a taste for the psychological in film, approved especially when there is willingness to explore the surreal and the absurd

how would you describe contemporary films of this sort?

My friend Gerry Gleason recently commented:

Now that the peer-produced encyclopedia, find Wikipedia, viagra surpasses all but the premier commercial encyclopedia in completeness and quality, phimosis and it is arguably the equal to that one (Britannica), I see it as only a matter of time before peer-produced independent media surpasses all the commercial offerings (can anybody name one that might compete, ok maybe in print, the NY Times, but that’s it)?

Gerry’s comment brought forth an echo from my recent visit to the Pantheon (Paris) where there is a statue to Diderot to the effect that the Encyclopedia paved the way for the social revolution…

So, now, the revolution of the Internet and a wiki-mode of participating in knowledge.
Just wanted to report in from the 2005 Summit: The Strategic Use Of Information and Communication Technologies for Community being held in Vancouver.

The participants are primarily Canadian, pills but there is a significant contingent from Latin America, there thanks to the Telecentres of the Americas Project (TAP).

AFCN Board, Advisors and Friends formed a sizable USA delegation.

As with most conferences, a great deal of the dynamic interaction takes place in the informal settings, between sessions, over meals, and at ad hoc meetings you put together. It certainly reinforces the rational for Open Space and LAP practices.

I think it gave an extra charge to our decision today to make conscious commitment to Open Space for the forthcoming Austin conference (or convergence, as I say).

One lesson learned, or reinforced has to do with the diversity of the “international” context. Frequently there is a presentation of a view of there being a US perspective or experience and an International one. However, the diversity of situations around the world belie that concept.

If there are groups in the US that grasp a problem from a global vantage, oftentimes their efforts to instigate an international effort or form an international organization is viewed with hesitation or meets with a bit of negativity.

As President of the AFCN (Association For Community Networking) I struggle to emphasize that though we are based in the USA, and the bulk of our members are in the States, we are open and welcoming to others.

I’m here in Vancouver on behalf of AFCN to demonstrate our commitment to our friends in Canada and throughout the hemisphere.

The culture and understanding of Civic Society in Canada appears stronger than in the USA. I’m concerned with identifying strategies to reclaim and advance the civic culture and discourse. Needless to say, the reception here has been tremendous, and it did seem to me that they were well pleased that we took the trouble to attend, and that it became evident that we are still confronting a great many of the same issues.

This is all aside from the fact that Vancouver is a beautiful setting, in the limited moments I’ve had outside of the conference space!
Kate circulated links including your paper “Community Networks and the Evolution of Civic Intelligence.”

I think there is a conceptual gap, ampoule with regard to AFCN, though the bulk of what is described is true from an organizational-historical perspective.

My view is that we must consider these matters (community networks and the evolution of civic intelligence) from network and field perspectives which includes some organizational/institutional perspective, but transcends the limitations of the organizational perspective.

There is a nuance that must be drawn out:  the distinction between a “community network” and the “process of community networking”.  Coming to terms with this is essential for an appreciation of the would-be umbrella organization and it’s role.  It’s too early on a Saturday for me to draw this out, but I have written about this on several occasions.  Not to mention:  the double conceptual primitive in the joining of “community” and “network/ing” must be dealt with.

Another aspect that needs to be explored is the relation among organizations and sites of interaction in the broader field of Community ICT.  Community Networks and Community Networking (as process/perspective) is not within a vacuum.  Community Networks have been the unfunded, volunteer driven cousins of the movement (need to have some perspective on whether there is a movement, and a movement of what?) – and have had an eclectic base,  frequently representing hybrid roles from the beginning, and often promoted the very hybrid perspective demanded by our circumstances but so often rejected by funding and business minded “pragmatic” leaders in other marginally more funded sectors.  Look to community media.  Look to community technology (CTCs).  Look to NTAPs.  Situate the question of community network/ing and civic intelligence in relation to that broader field and the ongoing transformation of our society/the public sphere.

I consider this but the beginning of the dialogue. I also invite explicit exploration of Garth Graham’s writings on community networking as radical practice.  It is fundamentally the challenge of viewing our practice as a network of practices/discourses, rather than as historic manifestation of particular institutional forms in a  rapidly changing societal and technological context. There is much more to be said.



I call upon all who view themselves as technology and social justice advocates to seize the moment afforded by the recent attention to Digital Inclusion: let’s raise both the public discourse and the practices of our field to a new level.

We’ve been doing heavy lifting trying to meaningfully connect our communities for a long time without sufficient resources or recognition. We know better than anyone else that the Divide persists and we’re glad it’s being noticed (again). We hear Digital Inclusion trumpeted as the virtue of every network proposal, viagra 100mg but we can’t allow ourselves to be used in the selling of these networks, ed and we can’t let our communities be sold short. We want the connectivity, website yes, but unless we as a people assert what we require of our networks we’ll be looking back upon another missed opportunity.

What we really want is a fundamental change in communications and technology policy at every level of social organization. We the people are a lot more sophisticated than we give ourselves credit for… and than we are credited with by others who hold themselves above the people.

It’s time for us to state clearly who we are, what our values are and what we know is needed at this moment in history. Let your actions speak louder than your words, certainly, but get your story out there. This holds for all who seek social justice and have dedicated themselves to working locally. Your direct work with your community is important, but so is the shaping of our collective life through shared words, images and ideas. We must make time for both.

I warmly thank Sascha Meinrath for helping to further this conversation.

We’re all ready to move Beyond Digital Inclusion.
The so called “video competition” bill, medicine HB 1500 is opposed by every community and advocacy group worth it’s salt. A lobby day is planned for Weds. April 18 under the Keep Us Connected coalition. From their site:

Join the Keep Us Connected coalition. Support pro-community video franchise laws that:

  • Require build-out to all neighborhoods in a community
  • Protect Public, information pills Educational and Government (PEG) Access by ensuring carriage of existing and future PEG stations with adequate funding to operate
  • Maintain local governments’ control over its rights of way, order including the right to create communications networks
  • Protect consumers with meaningful competition and strong customer service standards
  • Maintain a free and open Internet

The Keep Us Connected coalition consists of nonprofits, municipalities, PEG Access stations, educational and government institutions, and Illinois residents.

Some civic voices including yours truly are given space on Community Media Workshop: Newstips – “Cable Deregulation Challenged”.

Here’s the full text from Newstips:

[UPDATE - The April 18 hearing on HB 1500 has been postponed, according to a report from the Keep Us Connected Coalition. The coalition is proceeding with its citizens lobby day on April 18 in Springfield. ]

Growing attention on a proposed statewide cable franchise bill could slow a legislative blitz by supporters of telecommunications giant AT&T.

State Representative James Brosnahan (D-Oak Lawn) was expecting the House Telecommunications Committee he chairs to vote Wednesday to approve HB 1500, the franchise bill he has sponsored, but the vote could be delayed. The bill would strip local municipalities of cable franchising power and create state franchises authorized by the Illinois Commerce Commission, going far toward deregulating the industry in Illinois.

AT&T has poured money into a full-court press by lobbyists in support of the measure, along with an extensive TV ad campaign suggesting that HB 1500 promises competition and lower cable rates.

But last week Ald. Edward Burke introduced a City Council resolution calling on the legislature to reject the bill. He plans to hold hearings on the issue with Attorney General Lisa Madigan and others, said spokesperson Donal Quinlan. A press conference called by Burke Tuesday morning (10 a.m. at City Hall, room 302) will raise the profile of opposition to the measure by the city and by municipalities across the state.

Public Access Channels Threatened

Wednesday morning, as the committee meets, community activists backing Chicago’s CAN-TV and public access channels across the state will arrive in Springfield for a citizen lobby day by the Keep Us Connected Coalition. (Community Media Workshop is a coalition member; CMW president Thom Clark hosts a show on CAN-TV.) The coalition says HB 1500 would undercut existing guarantees on funding, channel accessiblity and quality for public access cable, would provide for no new public channels in new service areas, and would establish stringent “no-repeat” requirements – not applying to commercial channels – allowing providers to eliminate public access channels.

“Instead of talking about strengthening public access, as we should be, we’re fighting to get back to first base,” said Barbara Popovic of CAN-TV.

Representatives of municipalities are challenging the basic concept of HB 1500 – that state franchises are needed to promote cable competition. They point out that by overriding local control, the bill eliminates basic customer service protections now enforced by municipalities, as well as local franchise requirements that entire communities be served.

Without anti-redlining provisions – which are probably only practical on a local basis – the measure won’t promote competition and lower rates across the board, but will create a dynamic where rates go down in affluent areas but are “subsidized by higher prices paid by residents in lower-income, non-competitive areas,” Burke argues in his resolution.

Eminent Domain for AT&T

Municipalities are outraged that for the first time they’ll have no oversight over contruction in their public right-of-ways, said Terry Miller, an attorney with the City of Naperville. Local officials worry about refrigerator-sized utility boxes which AT&T would have blanket authorization to install under the bill’s franchise, he said.

Under the bill the ICC can authorize franchises but has no enforcement power. Supporters of HB 1500 have promised “self-enforcement.”

Most shocking for many is the bill’s grant of eminent domain powers to AT&T and other state franchise holders, with no requirement for just compensation or avenue for appeal. HB 1500 “gives away the store regarding the ability of a private company to encroach on residential property in ways we’ve never seen before,” Quinlan said. “It’s extremely problematic.”

The eminent domain provision is not expected to survive current negotiations over amendments, but it’s indicative of the way Brosnahan’s bill contains “an a la carte sampling” of only the provisions in cable law that favor AT&T, Miller said.

“What’s clear about this bill is that it was written by telecommunications lobbyists,” according to technology analyst Sascha Meinrath, executive director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network, on his blog. “I can only imagine that the goal was to fast-track this bill and sneak it through before the public got organized enough to demand that it be withdrawn.”

“AT&T wants to make this happen now because they know that with more time, more questions will be raised,” said Brian Imus of Illinois PIRG, calling HB 1500 “a sweetheart deal for AT&T.”

He points out, “There’s nothing now blocking competition, nothing stopping AT&T from negotiating cable franchises with local municipalities.”

‘Local Franchising Works’

“Local franchising works real well,” points out Roger Huebner of the Illinois Municipal League. He’s meeting with Brosnahan Tuesday to propose amendments to the Municipal Code and existing statutes that currently cover cable franchising, in order to address AT&T’s complaints about aspects of the process that are cumbersome, he said. The approach embodied in HB 1500 – creating a new article in the Public Utilities Act to give the ICC authority to issue state cable franchises – is unnecessary, he maintains.

Verizon, AT&T’s chief competitor for internet provider television (IPTV), has snapped up hundreds of local franchises on the East Coast, and according to Huebner, AT&T itself is seeking local video franchises in Illinois communities including Bellwood and Wheaton.

The municipal amendments should get full consideration, said Miller. That would mean no committee vote on Wednesday.

Brosnahan’s office said he was waiting for proposed amendments from the Attorney General’s office. Another hearing on the bill has now been scheduled for one week after this Wednesday’s hearing.

Illinois PIRG was joined by national consumer groups including Consumers Union in opposing the bill in its original form. “The unintended consequence will be systematic redlining on a statewide scale,” according to a letter from Consumer Union’s Jeannine Kenney and others to state legislators. They say other states with similar deregulation schemes have seen prices increase, “leaving consumers with nothing but empty promises.”

Consumer groups also emphasize the importance on non-discriminatory “net neutrality” provisions ensuring free access to content to the Internet.

Michael Maranda of the Chicago Digital Access Alliance points out that AT&T is pushing legislation legalizing redlining and undermining local control and access even as it presents itself as a bidder on Chicago’s wireless network, which parallels the city’s cable franchises – and requires a digital inclusion plan. “It’s a horrible bill and a discredit to the state,” he said.

The so called “video competition” bill, medicine HB 1500 is opposed by every community and advocacy group worth it’s salt. A lobby day is planned for Weds. April 18 under the Keep Us Connected coalition. From their site:

Join the Keep Us Connected coalition. Support pro-community video franchise laws that:

  • Require build-out to all neighborhoods in a community
  • Protect Public, information pills Educational and Government (PEG) Access by ensuring carriage of existing and future PEG stations with adequate funding to operate
  • Maintain local governments’ control over its rights of way, order including the right to create communications networks
  • Protect consumers with meaningful competition and strong customer service standards
  • Maintain a free and open Internet

The Keep Us Connected coalition consists of nonprofits, municipalities, PEG Access stations, educational and government institutions, and Illinois residents.

Some civic voices including yours truly are given space on Community Media Workshop: Newstips – “Cable Deregulation Challenged”.

Here’s the full text from Newstips:

[UPDATE - The April 18 hearing on HB 1500 has been postponed, according to a report from the Keep Us Connected Coalition. The coalition is proceeding with its citizens lobby day on April 18 in Springfield. ]

Growing attention on a proposed statewide cable franchise bill could slow a legislative blitz by supporters of telecommunications giant AT&T.

State Representative James Brosnahan (D-Oak Lawn) was expecting the House Telecommunications Committee he chairs to vote Wednesday to approve HB 1500, the franchise bill he has sponsored, but the vote could be delayed. The bill would strip local municipalities of cable franchising power and create state franchises authorized by the Illinois Commerce Commission, going far toward deregulating the industry in Illinois.

AT&T has poured money into a full-court press by lobbyists in support of the measure, along with an extensive TV ad campaign suggesting that HB 1500 promises competition and lower cable rates.

But last week Ald. Edward Burke introduced a City Council resolution calling on the legislature to reject the bill. He plans to hold hearings on the issue with Attorney General Lisa Madigan and others, said spokesperson Donal Quinlan. A press conference called by Burke Tuesday morning (10 a.m. at City Hall, room 302) will raise the profile of opposition to the measure by the city and by municipalities across the state.

Public Access Channels Threatened

Wednesday morning, as the committee meets, community activists backing Chicago’s CAN-TV and public access channels across the state will arrive in Springfield for a citizen lobby day by the Keep Us Connected Coalition. (Community Media Workshop is a coalition member; CMW president Thom Clark hosts a show on CAN-TV.) The coalition says HB 1500 would undercut existing guarantees on funding, channel accessiblity and quality for public access cable, would provide for no new public channels in new service areas, and would establish stringent “no-repeat” requirements – not applying to commercial channels – allowing providers to eliminate public access channels.

“Instead of talking about strengthening public access, as we should be, we’re fighting to get back to first base,” said Barbara Popovic of CAN-TV.

Representatives of municipalities are challenging the basic concept of HB 1500 – that state franchises are needed to promote cable competition. They point out that by overriding local control, the bill eliminates basic customer service protections now enforced by municipalities, as well as local franchise requirements that entire communities be served.

Without anti-redlining provisions – which are probably only practical on a local basis – the measure won’t promote competition and lower rates across the board, but will create a dynamic where rates go down in affluent areas but are “subsidized by higher prices paid by residents in lower-income, non-competitive areas,” Burke argues in his resolution.

Eminent Domain for AT&T

Municipalities are outraged that for the first time they’ll have no oversight over contruction in their public right-of-ways, said Terry Miller, an attorney with the City of Naperville. Local officials worry about refrigerator-sized utility boxes which AT&T would have blanket authorization to install under the bill’s franchise, he said.

Under the bill the ICC can authorize franchises but has no enforcement power. Supporters of HB 1500 have promised “self-enforcement.”

Most shocking for many is the bill’s grant of eminent domain powers to AT&T and other state franchise holders, with no requirement for just compensation or avenue for appeal. HB 1500 “gives away the store regarding the ability of a private company to encroach on residential property in ways we’ve never seen before,” Quinlan said. “It’s extremely problematic.”

The eminent domain provision is not expected to survive current negotiations over amendments, but it’s indicative of the way Brosnahan’s bill contains “an a la carte sampling” of only the provisions in cable law that favor AT&T, Miller said.

“What’s clear about this bill is that it was written by telecommunications lobbyists,” according to technology analyst Sascha Meinrath, executive director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network, on his blog. “I can only imagine that the goal was to fast-track this bill and sneak it through before the public got organized enough to demand that it be withdrawn.”

“AT&T wants to make this happen now because they know that with more time, more questions will be raised,” said Brian Imus of Illinois PIRG, calling HB 1500 “a sweetheart deal for AT&T.”

He points out, “There’s nothing now blocking competition, nothing stopping AT&T from negotiating cable franchises with local municipalities.”

‘Local Franchising Works’

“Local franchising works real well,” points out Roger Huebner of the Illinois Municipal League. He’s meeting with Brosnahan Tuesday to propose amendments to the Municipal Code and existing statutes that currently cover cable franchising, in order to address AT&T’s complaints about aspects of the process that are cumbersome, he said. The approach embodied in HB 1500 – creating a new article in the Public Utilities Act to give the ICC authority to issue state cable franchises – is unnecessary, he maintains.

Verizon, AT&T’s chief competitor for internet provider television (IPTV), has snapped up hundreds of local franchises on the East Coast, and according to Huebner, AT&T itself is seeking local video franchises in Illinois communities including Bellwood and Wheaton.

The municipal amendments should get full consideration, said Miller. That would mean no committee vote on Wednesday.

Brosnahan’s office said he was waiting for proposed amendments from the Attorney General’s office. Another hearing on the bill has now been scheduled for one week after this Wednesday’s hearing.

Illinois PIRG was joined by national consumer groups including Consumers Union in opposing the bill in its original form. “The unintended consequence will be systematic redlining on a statewide scale,” according to a letter from Consumer Union’s Jeannine Kenney and others to state legislators. They say other states with similar deregulation schemes have seen prices increase, “leaving consumers with nothing but empty promises.”

Consumer groups also emphasize the importance on non-discriminatory “net neutrality” provisions ensuring free access to content to the Internet.

Michael Maranda of the Chicago Digital Access Alliance points out that AT&T is pushing legislation legalizing redlining and undermining local control and access even as it presents itself as a bidder on Chicago’s wireless network, which parallels the city’s cable franchises – and requires a digital inclusion plan. “It’s a horrible bill and a discredit to the state,” he said.

Wireless Cities Communities of Interests: Media and Wireless Communities

The last paragraph of the entry linked above deserves reflection:

Finally it’s important to keep in mind the histories of media. For example, pharm
when television was introduced, steroids
it was seen as a medium with great potential for education and for creating communities. This is no longer seen to be the case. Radio too had a similar romance in it’s early days. Will wireless have a same fate?

If we are aware of this history, what pains must we take to break the pattern? Is there anything we can do to make sure promises made for the commonweal are kept?
Tutor Mentor Connection: “If you want peace, price work for justice”

Dan Bassill writes:

My final meeting was with a senior at Northwestern University who is interviewing for a fellowship. His essay started with the statement, “If you want peace, work for justice.” (Pope Paul VI).

He wrote that at first he did not understand the meaning of this. But after doing a 2006 internship he realized that “if you really want to improve the world you need to give all people the same opportunities.” He concluded, “Denying someone justice did not mean prohibiting access to the courts, it meant not allowing them to reach their full potential given to them by God.”

The Pope’s words certainly resonate for me, but the young man’s further interpretation warranted a citation.

After Laure Dillon’s account of Hawaiian gatherings at the recent O-Net member initiated Open Space I am in a mode that is highly receptive of the idea of lineage… as a moment of respectful tying in to a greater web. There are lineages of blood… and the river of the past that pours into us in this way branches at each generation back.

But the rivers of transmission of thought and culture keep pouring into us our whole lives from so many more sources when we are open. Let these rivers pass through you.

I’m excited that Free Geek Chicago was recently launched as a project of NPOTechs and the Logan Square CTC (Community Technology Center).

Check out the website: http://www.freegeekchicago.org/

Description from their website:

FREE GEEK Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization that recycles used technology to provide computers, disease education, about it internet access and job skills training to the underserved communities of Chicago in exchange for community service.

FREE GEEK Chicago was founded in August 2005 as a collaboration of NPOTechs and Logan Square CTC to recycle computer technology and provide low and no-cost computing to economically disadvantaged individuals and not-for-profit and social change organizations.

FREE GEEK Chicago does most of this work with volunteers. The volunteers disassemble the donated equipment and test the components, which are either recycled as electronic scrap or recycled into refurbished systems. These refurbished computers are then loaded with Open Source Software, such as GNU/Linux, Open Office, and other Free Software.

We are proud of being a democratically-run organization, and use consensus in our meetings. Our policy decisions are made by a group of volunteers and staff called the council, and those policies are executed by our staff collective.

Anyone can get involved! Donate used equipment… volunteer your time… support a grassroots community organization!

This was on cable Christmas night, website and not having seen it beginning to end before I thought it was fitting for the occasion.

We’re not quite through with race in America… but as we creep up towards 40 years since the film was released, valeologist what is different now?

Do we live up to the ideals we espouse when we face them in our living room?

I think that we all share a common figure in our mind, viagra 40mg the image of a Teacher having a proud moment when one of their students goes on to do something worthy of respect in the world.

What makes for a nice twist on this theme is when a great teacher goes on to achieve some recognition in the wider world.

Today I picked up a signed copy of the latest book by Frank McCourt, my HS English Teacher.

I’m not nec. one for sticking to reading clubs, but would be happy to dialogue with any of you that might read his new book, Teacher Man.

What makes for a great writer? What makes for a great story-teller?

I can remember him for his skills in the latter, (and the public has certainly recognized him for his talent in the former) in the many times we convinced him to launch into story. We probably didn’t realize that story-telling in English class was in fact a learning moment…

i’ve a taste for the psychological in film, approved especially when there is willingness to explore the surreal and the absurd

how would you describe contemporary films of this sort?

My friend Gerry Gleason recently commented:

Now that the peer-produced encyclopedia, find Wikipedia, viagra surpasses all but the premier commercial encyclopedia in completeness and quality, phimosis and it is arguably the equal to that one (Britannica), I see it as only a matter of time before peer-produced independent media surpasses all the commercial offerings (can anybody name one that might compete, ok maybe in print, the NY Times, but that’s it)?

Gerry’s comment brought forth an echo from my recent visit to the Pantheon (Paris) where there is a statue to Diderot to the effect that the Encyclopedia paved the way for the social revolution…

So, now, the revolution of the Internet and a wiki-mode of participating in knowledge.
Just wanted to report in from the 2005 Summit: The Strategic Use Of Information and Communication Technologies for Community being held in Vancouver.

The participants are primarily Canadian, pills but there is a significant contingent from Latin America, there thanks to the Telecentres of the Americas Project (TAP).

AFCN Board, Advisors and Friends formed a sizable USA delegation.

As with most conferences, a great deal of the dynamic interaction takes place in the informal settings, between sessions, over meals, and at ad hoc meetings you put together. It certainly reinforces the rational for Open Space and LAP practices.

I think it gave an extra charge to our decision today to make conscious commitment to Open Space for the forthcoming Austin conference (or convergence, as I say).

One lesson learned, or reinforced has to do with the diversity of the “international” context. Frequently there is a presentation of a view of there being a US perspective or experience and an International one. However, the diversity of situations around the world belie that concept.

If there are groups in the US that grasp a problem from a global vantage, oftentimes their efforts to instigate an international effort or form an international organization is viewed with hesitation or meets with a bit of negativity.

As President of the AFCN (Association For Community Networking) I struggle to emphasize that though we are based in the USA, and the bulk of our members are in the States, we are open and welcoming to others.

I’m here in Vancouver on behalf of AFCN to demonstrate our commitment to our friends in Canada and throughout the hemisphere.

The culture and understanding of Civic Society in Canada appears stronger than in the USA. I’m concerned with identifying strategies to reclaim and advance the civic culture and discourse. Needless to say, the reception here has been tremendous, and it did seem to me that they were well pleased that we took the trouble to attend, and that it became evident that we are still confronting a great many of the same issues.

This is all aside from the fact that Vancouver is a beautiful setting, in the limited moments I’ve had outside of the conference space!
Kate circulated links including your paper “Community Networks and the Evolution of Civic Intelligence.”

I think there is a conceptual gap, ampoule with regard to AFCN, though the bulk of what is described is true from an organizational-historical perspective.

My view is that we must consider these matters (community networks and the evolution of civic intelligence) from network and field perspectives which includes some organizational/institutional perspective, but transcends the limitations of the organizational perspective.

There is a nuance that must be drawn out:  the distinction between a “community network” and the “process of community networking”.  Coming to terms with this is essential for an appreciation of the would-be umbrella organization and it’s role.  It’s too early on a Saturday for me to draw this out, but I have written about this on several occasions.  Not to mention:  the double conceptual primitive in the joining of “community” and “network/ing” must be dealt with.

Another aspect that needs to be explored is the relation among organizations and sites of interaction in the broader field of Community ICT.  Community Networks and Community Networking (as process/perspective) is not within a vacuum.  Community Networks have been the unfunded, volunteer driven cousins of the movement (need to have some perspective on whether there is a movement, and a movement of what?) – and have had an eclectic base,  frequently representing hybrid roles from the beginning, and often promoted the very hybrid perspective demanded by our circumstances but so often rejected by funding and business minded “pragmatic” leaders in other marginally more funded sectors.  Look to community media.  Look to community technology (CTCs).  Look to NTAPs.  Situate the question of community network/ing and civic intelligence in relation to that broader field and the ongoing transformation of our society/the public sphere.

I consider this but the beginning of the dialogue. I also invite explicit exploration of Garth Graham’s writings on community networking as radical practice.  It is fundamentally the challenge of viewing our practice as a network of practices/discourses, rather than as historic manifestation of particular institutional forms in a  rapidly changing societal and technological context. There is much more to be said.



I call upon all who view themselves as technology and social justice advocates to seize the moment afforded by the recent attention to Digital Inclusion: let’s raise both the public discourse and the practices of our field to a new level.

We’ve been doing heavy lifting trying to meaningfully connect our communities for a long time without sufficient resources or recognition. We know better than anyone else that the Divide persists and we’re glad it’s being noticed (again). We hear Digital Inclusion trumpeted as the virtue of every network proposal, viagra 100mg but we can’t allow ourselves to be used in the selling of these networks, ed and we can’t let our communities be sold short. We want the connectivity, website yes, but unless we as a people assert what we require of our networks we’ll be looking back upon another missed opportunity.

What we really want is a fundamental change in communications and technology policy at every level of social organization. We the people are a lot more sophisticated than we give ourselves credit for… and than we are credited with by others who hold themselves above the people.

It’s time for us to state clearly who we are, what our values are and what we know is needed at this moment in history. Let your actions speak louder than your words, certainly, but get your story out there. This holds for all who seek social justice and have dedicated themselves to working locally. Your direct work with your community is important, but so is the shaping of our collective life through shared words, images and ideas. We must make time for both.

I warmly thank Sascha Meinrath for helping to further this conversation.

We’re all ready to move Beyond Digital Inclusion.
The so called “video competition” bill, medicine HB 1500 is opposed by every community and advocacy group worth it’s salt. A lobby day is planned for Weds. April 18 under the Keep Us Connected coalition. From their site:

Join the Keep Us Connected coalition. Support pro-community video franchise laws that:

  • Require build-out to all neighborhoods in a community
  • Protect Public, information pills Educational and Government (PEG) Access by ensuring carriage of existing and future PEG stations with adequate funding to operate
  • Maintain local governments’ control over its rights of way, order including the right to create communications networks
  • Protect consumers with meaningful competition and strong customer service standards
  • Maintain a free and open Internet

The Keep Us Connected coalition consists of nonprofits, municipalities, PEG Access stations, educational and government institutions, and Illinois residents.

Some civic voices including yours truly are given space on Community Media Workshop: Newstips – “Cable Deregulation Challenged”.

Here’s the full text from Newstips:

[UPDATE - The April 18 hearing on HB 1500 has been postponed, according to a report from the Keep Us Connected Coalition. The coalition is proceeding with its citizens lobby day on April 18 in Springfield. ]

Growing attention on a proposed statewide cable franchise bill could slow a legislative blitz by supporters of telecommunications giant AT&T.

State Representative James Brosnahan (D-Oak Lawn) was expecting the House Telecommunications Committee he chairs to vote Wednesday to approve HB 1500, the franchise bill he has sponsored, but the vote could be delayed. The bill would strip local municipalities of cable franchising power and create state franchises authorized by the Illinois Commerce Commission, going far toward deregulating the industry in Illinois.

AT&T has poured money into a full-court press by lobbyists in support of the measure, along with an extensive TV ad campaign suggesting that HB 1500 promises competition and lower cable rates.

But last week Ald. Edward Burke introduced a City Council resolution calling on the legislature to reject the bill. He plans to hold hearings on the issue with Attorney General Lisa Madigan and others, said spokesperson Donal Quinlan. A press conference called by Burke Tuesday morning (10 a.m. at City Hall, room 302) will raise the profile of opposition to the measure by the city and by municipalities across the state.

Public Access Channels Threatened

Wednesday morning, as the committee meets, community activists backing Chicago’s CAN-TV and public access channels across the state will arrive in Springfield for a citizen lobby day by the Keep Us Connected Coalition. (Community Media Workshop is a coalition member; CMW president Thom Clark hosts a show on CAN-TV.) The coalition says HB 1500 would undercut existing guarantees on funding, channel accessiblity and quality for public access cable, would provide for no new public channels in new service areas, and would establish stringent “no-repeat” requirements – not applying to commercial channels – allowing providers to eliminate public access channels.

“Instead of talking about strengthening public access, as we should be, we’re fighting to get back to first base,” said Barbara Popovic of CAN-TV.

Representatives of municipalities are challenging the basic concept of HB 1500 – that state franchises are needed to promote cable competition. They point out that by overriding local control, the bill eliminates basic customer service protections now enforced by municipalities, as well as local franchise requirements that entire communities be served.

Without anti-redlining provisions – which are probably only practical on a local basis – the measure won’t promote competition and lower rates across the board, but will create a dynamic where rates go down in affluent areas but are “subsidized by higher prices paid by residents in lower-income, non-competitive areas,” Burke argues in his resolution.

Eminent Domain for AT&T

Municipalities are outraged that for the first time they’ll have no oversight over contruction in their public right-of-ways, said Terry Miller, an attorney with the City of Naperville. Local officials worry about refrigerator-sized utility boxes which AT&T would have blanket authorization to install under the bill’s franchise, he said.

Under the bill the ICC can authorize franchises but has no enforcement power. Supporters of HB 1500 have promised “self-enforcement.”

Most shocking for many is the bill’s grant of eminent domain powers to AT&T and other state franchise holders, with no requirement for just compensation or avenue for appeal. HB 1500 “gives away the store regarding the ability of a private company to encroach on residential property in ways we’ve never seen before,” Quinlan said. “It’s extremely problematic.”

The eminent domain provision is not expected to survive current negotiations over amendments, but it’s indicative of the way Brosnahan’s bill contains “an a la carte sampling” of only the provisions in cable law that favor AT&T, Miller said.

“What’s clear about this bill is that it was written by telecommunications lobbyists,” according to technology analyst Sascha Meinrath, executive director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network, on his blog. “I can only imagine that the goal was to fast-track this bill and sneak it through before the public got organized enough to demand that it be withdrawn.”

“AT&T wants to make this happen now because they know that with more time, more questions will be raised,” said Brian Imus of Illinois PIRG, calling HB 1500 “a sweetheart deal for AT&T.”

He points out, “There’s nothing now blocking competition, nothing stopping AT&T from negotiating cable franchises with local municipalities.”

‘Local Franchising Works’

“Local franchising works real well,” points out Roger Huebner of the Illinois Municipal League. He’s meeting with Brosnahan Tuesday to propose amendments to the Municipal Code and existing statutes that currently cover cable franchising, in order to address AT&T’s complaints about aspects of the process that are cumbersome, he said. The approach embodied in HB 1500 – creating a new article in the Public Utilities Act to give the ICC authority to issue state cable franchises – is unnecessary, he maintains.

Verizon, AT&T’s chief competitor for internet provider television (IPTV), has snapped up hundreds of local franchises on the East Coast, and according to Huebner, AT&T itself is seeking local video franchises in Illinois communities including Bellwood and Wheaton.

The municipal amendments should get full consideration, said Miller. That would mean no committee vote on Wednesday.

Brosnahan’s office said he was waiting for proposed amendments from the Attorney General’s office. Another hearing on the bill has now been scheduled for one week after this Wednesday’s hearing.

Illinois PIRG was joined by national consumer groups including Consumers Union in opposing the bill in its original form. “The unintended consequence will be systematic redlining on a statewide scale,” according to a letter from Consumer Union’s Jeannine Kenney and others to state legislators. They say other states with similar deregulation schemes have seen prices increase, “leaving consumers with nothing but empty promises.”

Consumer groups also emphasize the importance on non-discriminatory “net neutrality” provisions ensuring free access to content to the Internet.

Michael Maranda of the Chicago Digital Access Alliance points out that AT&T is pushing legislation legalizing redlining and undermining local control and access even as it presents itself as a bidder on Chicago’s wireless network, which parallels the city’s cable franchises – and requires a digital inclusion plan. “It’s a horrible bill and a discredit to the state,” he said.

The so called “video competition” bill, medicine HB 1500 is opposed by every community and advocacy group worth it’s salt. A lobby day is planned for Weds. April 18 under the Keep Us Connected coalition. From their site:

Join the Keep Us Connected coalition. Support pro-community video franchise laws that:

  • Require build-out to all neighborhoods in a community
  • Protect Public, information pills Educational and Government (PEG) Access by ensuring carriage of existing and future PEG stations with adequate funding to operate
  • Maintain local governments’ control over its rights of way, order including the right to create communications networks
  • Protect consumers with meaningful competition and strong customer service standards
  • Maintain a free and open Internet

The Keep Us Connected coalition consists of nonprofits, municipalities, PEG Access stations, educational and government institutions, and Illinois residents.

Some civic voices including yours truly are given space on Community Media Workshop: Newstips – “Cable Deregulation Challenged”.

Here’s the full text from Newstips:

[UPDATE - The April 18 hearing on HB 1500 has been postponed, according to a report from the Keep Us Connected Coalition. The coalition is proceeding with its citizens lobby day on April 18 in Springfield. ]

Growing attention on a proposed statewide cable franchise bill could slow a legislative blitz by supporters of telecommunications giant AT&T.

State Representative James Brosnahan (D-Oak Lawn) was expecting the House Telecommunications Committee he chairs to vote Wednesday to approve HB 1500, the franchise bill he has sponsored, but the vote could be delayed. The bill would strip local municipalities of cable franchising power and create state franchises authorized by the Illinois Commerce Commission, going far toward deregulating the industry in Illinois.

AT&T has poured money into a full-court press by lobbyists in support of the measure, along with an extensive TV ad campaign suggesting that HB 1500 promises competition and lower cable rates.

But last week Ald. Edward Burke introduced a City Council resolution calling on the legislature to reject the bill. He plans to hold hearings on the issue with Attorney General Lisa Madigan and others, said spokesperson Donal Quinlan. A press conference called by Burke Tuesday morning (10 a.m. at City Hall, room 302) will raise the profile of opposition to the measure by the city and by municipalities across the state.

Public Access Channels Threatened

Wednesday morning, as the committee meets, community activists backing Chicago’s CAN-TV and public access channels across the state will arrive in Springfield for a citizen lobby day by the Keep Us Connected Coalition. (Community Media Workshop is a coalition member; CMW president Thom Clark hosts a show on CAN-TV.) The coalition says HB 1500 would undercut existing guarantees on funding, channel accessiblity and quality for public access cable, would provide for no new public channels in new service areas, and would establish stringent “no-repeat” requirements – not applying to commercial channels – allowing providers to eliminate public access channels.

“Instead of talking about strengthening public access, as we should be, we’re fighting to get back to first base,” said Barbara Popovic of CAN-TV.

Representatives of municipalities are challenging the basic concept of HB 1500 – that state franchises are needed to promote cable competition. They point out that by overriding local control, the bill eliminates basic customer service protections now enforced by municipalities, as well as local franchise requirements that entire communities be served.

Without anti-redlining provisions – which are probably only practical on a local basis – the measure won’t promote competition and lower rates across the board, but will create a dynamic where rates go down in affluent areas but are “subsidized by higher prices paid by residents in lower-income, non-competitive areas,” Burke argues in his resolution.

Eminent Domain for AT&T

Municipalities are outraged that for the first time they’ll have no oversight over contruction in their public right-of-ways, said Terry Miller, an attorney with the City of Naperville. Local officials worry about refrigerator-sized utility boxes which AT&T would have blanket authorization to install under the bill’s franchise, he said.

Under the bill the ICC can authorize franchises but has no enforcement power. Supporters of HB 1500 have promised “self-enforcement.”

Most shocking for many is the bill’s grant of eminent domain powers to AT&T and other state franchise holders, with no requirement for just compensation or avenue for appeal. HB 1500 “gives away the store regarding the ability of a private company to encroach on residential property in ways we’ve never seen before,” Quinlan said. “It’s extremely problematic.”

The eminent domain provision is not expected to survive current negotiations over amendments, but it’s indicative of the way Brosnahan’s bill contains “an a la carte sampling” of only the provisions in cable law that favor AT&T, Miller said.

“What’s clear about this bill is that it was written by telecommunications lobbyists,” according to technology analyst Sascha Meinrath, executive director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network, on his blog. “I can only imagine that the goal was to fast-track this bill and sneak it through before the public got organized enough to demand that it be withdrawn.”

“AT&T wants to make this happen now because they know that with more time, more questions will be raised,” said Brian Imus of Illinois PIRG, calling HB 1500 “a sweetheart deal for AT&T.”

He points out, “There’s nothing now blocking competition, nothing stopping AT&T from negotiating cable franchises with local municipalities.”

‘Local Franchising Works’

“Local franchising works real well,” points out Roger Huebner of the Illinois Municipal League. He’s meeting with Brosnahan Tuesday to propose amendments to the Municipal Code and existing statutes that currently cover cable franchising, in order to address AT&T’s complaints about aspects of the process that are cumbersome, he said. The approach embodied in HB 1500 – creating a new article in the Public Utilities Act to give the ICC authority to issue state cable franchises – is unnecessary, he maintains.

Verizon, AT&T’s chief competitor for internet provider television (IPTV), has snapped up hundreds of local franchises on the East Coast, and according to Huebner, AT&T itself is seeking local video franchises in Illinois communities including Bellwood and Wheaton.

The municipal amendments should get full consideration, said Miller. That would mean no committee vote on Wednesday.

Brosnahan’s office said he was waiting for proposed amendments from the Attorney General’s office. Another hearing on the bill has now been scheduled for one week after this Wednesday’s hearing.

Illinois PIRG was joined by national consumer groups including Consumers Union in opposing the bill in its original form. “The unintended consequence will be systematic redlining on a statewide scale,” according to a letter from Consumer Union’s Jeannine Kenney and others to state legislators. They say other states with similar deregulation schemes have seen prices increase, “leaving consumers with nothing but empty promises.”

Consumer groups also emphasize the importance on non-discriminatory “net neutrality” provisions ensuring free access to content to the Internet.

Michael Maranda of the Chicago Digital Access Alliance points out that AT&T is pushing legislation legalizing redlining and undermining local control and access even as it presents itself as a bidder on Chicago’s wireless network, which parallels the city’s cable franchises – and requires a digital inclusion plan. “It’s a horrible bill and a discredit to the state,” he said.

Wireless Cities Communities of Interests: Media and Wireless Communities

The last paragraph of the entry linked above deserves reflection:

Finally it’s important to keep in mind the histories of media. For example, pharm
when television was introduced, steroids
it was seen as a medium with great potential for education and for creating communities. This is no longer seen to be the case. Radio too had a similar romance in it’s early days. Will wireless have a same fate?

If we are aware of this history, what pains must we take to break the pattern? Is there anything we can do to make sure promises made for the commonweal are kept?
Tutor Mentor Connection: “If you want peace, price work for justice”

Dan Bassill writes:

My final meeting was with a senior at Northwestern University who is interviewing for a fellowship. His essay started with the statement, “If you want peace, work for justice.” (Pope Paul VI).

He wrote that at first he did not understand the meaning of this. But after doing a 2006 internship he realized that “if you really want to improve the world you need to give all people the same opportunities.” He concluded, “Denying someone justice did not mean prohibiting access to the courts, it meant not allowing them to reach their full potential given to them by God.”

The Pope’s words certainly resonate for me, but the young man’s further interpretation warranted a citation.
From:  Community Media Workshop: Newstips – Reform Group Challenges Rush Telecom Vote

sale Arial, information pills Sans-Serif” size=”-1″>The media reform group Free Press has called on Rep. Bobby Rush to abstain from voting on any bills that could benefit AT&T, cardiologist the telecommunications giant whose charitable arm donated $1 million to Rush’s Rebirth of Englewood Community Development Corp.

The AT&T donation to Rush’s charity was reported today in the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Rush must stay out of any votes that impact AT&T until investigators can get to the bottom of this apparent quid pro quo,” said Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press, a national media reform organization.

“We need to know if the congressman is selling his vote to AT&T and whether other members of Congress are participating in this kind of chicanery,” Silver said.

Rush is primary sponsor along with two Republicans — House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Commerce Committee chair Joe Barton of Texas — of the Communications, Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement (COPE) Act, which is scheduled for committee markup and a vote in the House tomorrow.

According to Common Cause, the COPE Act would place control of the Internet in the hands of a few powerful corporations, “transform the information superhighway into a toll road,” end consumer protections against abuses by cable companies, and expand the “digital divide.”

Lauren Coletta of Common Cause termed “baffling” Rush’s subcommittee vote against a Democratic amendment requiring cable companies to serve low-income rural and minority communities. “That’s obviously going to effect neighborhoods like Englewood negatively,” she said. “They’re not going to build out and invest in infrastructure in low-income communities” if they aren’t required to do so.

Michael Maranda, executive director of the Chicago Chapter of the Community Technology Centers Network, has urged Rush to reconsider his position on COPE, which he says will “open new dimensions of the digitial divide” and “give a green light to digital red-lining.”

Rush has not made a strong case for supporting COPE, said Bruce Montgomery, a local technology access activist and public access cable producer. Any benefits from the bill are outweighted by “much more onerous negatives,” he said — including national franchising for video companies that could undermine local control of cable franchises and support for community access TV.

(Last week Bill McCaffrey of the Department of Consumer Services told Newstips of the city’s concerns that the COPE act could vacate Chicago’s cable franchise agreements and remove requirements that all residents of a service area be served.)

Montgomery called for an extended public comment period and local hearings on the bill.

Mitchell Szczepanczyk of Chicago Media Action says he was “just furious” to learn earlier this month that Rush was sponsoring the COPE act. He had participated in a 1st Congressional District assembly on telecommunications reform in October and “we thought we had an ally” in Rush.

The bill “will be tremendously damaging to local media and the internet,” he said. “Unless it undergoes dramatic changes, it deserves to die.” Among his concerns is the loss of “network neutrality,” allowing internet service providers to determine what content will be available to customers.

After Laure Dillon’s account of Hawaiian gatherings at the recent O-Net member initiated Open Space I am in a mode that is highly receptive of the idea of lineage… as a moment of respectful tying in to a greater web. There are lineages of blood… and the river of the past that pours into us in this way branches at each generation back.

But the rivers of transmission of thought and culture keep pouring into us our whole lives from so many more sources when we are open. Let these rivers pass through you.

I’m excited that Free Geek Chicago was recently launched as a project of NPOTechs and the Logan Square CTC (Community Technology Center).

Check out the website: http://www.freegeekchicago.org/

Description from their website:

FREE GEEK Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization that recycles used technology to provide computers, disease education, about it internet access and job skills training to the underserved communities of Chicago in exchange for community service.

FREE GEEK Chicago was founded in August 2005 as a collaboration of NPOTechs and Logan Square CTC to recycle computer technology and provide low and no-cost computing to economically disadvantaged individuals and not-for-profit and social change organizations.

FREE GEEK Chicago does most of this work with volunteers. The volunteers disassemble the donated equipment and test the components, which are either recycled as electronic scrap or recycled into refurbished systems. These refurbished computers are then loaded with Open Source Software, such as GNU/Linux, Open Office, and other Free Software.

We are proud of being a democratically-run organization, and use consensus in our meetings. Our policy decisions are made by a group of volunteers and staff called the council, and those policies are executed by our staff collective.

Anyone can get involved! Donate used equipment… volunteer your time… support a grassroots community organization!

This was on cable Christmas night, website and not having seen it beginning to end before I thought it was fitting for the occasion.

We’re not quite through with race in America… but as we creep up towards 40 years since the film was released, valeologist what is different now?

Do we live up to the ideals we espouse when we face them in our living room?

I think that we all share a common figure in our mind, viagra 40mg the image of a Teacher having a proud moment when one of their students goes on to do something worthy of respect in the world.

What makes for a nice twist on this theme is when a great teacher goes on to achieve some recognition in the wider world.

Today I picked up a signed copy of the latest book by Frank McCourt, my HS English Teacher.

I’m not nec. one for sticking to reading clubs, but would be happy to dialogue with any of you that might read his new book, Teacher Man.

What makes for a great writer? What makes for a great story-teller?

I can remember him for his skills in the latter, (and the public has certainly recognized him for his talent in the former) in the many times we convinced him to launch into story. We probably didn’t realize that story-telling in English class was in fact a learning moment…

i’ve a taste for the psychological in film, approved especially when there is willingness to explore the surreal and the absurd

how would you describe contemporary films of this sort?

My friend Gerry Gleason recently commented:

Now that the peer-produced encyclopedia, find Wikipedia, viagra surpasses all but the premier commercial encyclopedia in completeness and quality, phimosis and it is arguably the equal to that one (Britannica), I see it as only a matter of time before peer-produced independent media surpasses all the commercial offerings (can anybody name one that might compete, ok maybe in print, the NY Times, but that’s it)?

Gerry’s comment brought forth an echo from my recent visit to the Pantheon (Paris) where there is a statue to Diderot to the effect that the Encyclopedia paved the way for the social revolution…

So, now, the revolution of the Internet and a wiki-mode of participating in knowledge.
Just wanted to report in from the 2005 Summit: The Strategic Use Of Information and Communication Technologies for Community being held in Vancouver.

The participants are primarily Canadian, pills but there is a significant contingent from Latin America, there thanks to the Telecentres of the Americas Project (TAP).

AFCN Board, Advisors and Friends formed a sizable USA delegation.

As with most conferences, a great deal of the dynamic interaction takes place in the informal settings, between sessions, over meals, and at ad hoc meetings you put together. It certainly reinforces the rational for Open Space and LAP practices.

I think it gave an extra charge to our decision today to make conscious commitment to Open Space for the forthcoming Austin conference (or convergence, as I say).

One lesson learned, or reinforced has to do with the diversity of the “international” context. Frequently there is a presentation of a view of there being a US perspective or experience and an International one. However, the diversity of situations around the world belie that concept.

If there are groups in the US that grasp a problem from a global vantage, oftentimes their efforts to instigate an international effort or form an international organization is viewed with hesitation or meets with a bit of negativity.

As President of the AFCN (Association For Community Networking) I struggle to emphasize that though we are based in the USA, and the bulk of our members are in the States, we are open and welcoming to others.

I’m here in Vancouver on behalf of AFCN to demonstrate our commitment to our friends in Canada and throughout the hemisphere.

The culture and understanding of Civic Society in Canada appears stronger than in the USA. I’m concerned with identifying strategies to reclaim and advance the civic culture and discourse. Needless to say, the reception here has been tremendous, and it did seem to me that they were well pleased that we took the trouble to attend, and that it became evident that we are still confronting a great many of the same issues.

This is all aside from the fact that Vancouver is a beautiful setting, in the limited moments I’ve had outside of the conference space!
Kate circulated links including your paper “Community Networks and the Evolution of Civic Intelligence.”

I think there is a conceptual gap, ampoule with regard to AFCN, though the bulk of what is described is true from an organizational-historical perspective.

My view is that we must consider these matters (community networks and the evolution of civic intelligence) from network and field perspectives which includes some organizational/institutional perspective, but transcends the limitations of the organizational perspective.

There is a nuance that must be drawn out:  the distinction between a “community network” and the “process of community networking”.  Coming to terms with this is essential for an appreciation of the would-be umbrella organization and it’s role.  It’s too early on a Saturday for me to draw this out, but I have written about this on several occasions.  Not to mention:  the double conceptual primitive in the joining of “community” and “network/ing” must be dealt with.

Another aspect that needs to be explored is the relation among organizations and sites of interaction in the broader field of Community ICT.  Community Networks and Community Networking (as process/perspective) is not within a vacuum.  Community Networks have been the unfunded, volunteer driven cousins of the movement (need to have some perspective on whether there is a movement, and a movement of what?) – and have had an eclectic base,  frequently representing hybrid roles from the beginning, and often promoted the very hybrid perspective demanded by our circumstances but so often rejected by funding and business minded “pragmatic” leaders in other marginally more funded sectors.  Look to community media.  Look to community technology (CTCs).  Look to NTAPs.  Situate the question of community network/ing and civic intelligence in relation to that broader field and the ongoing transformation of our society/the public sphere.

I consider this but the beginning of the dialogue. I also invite explicit exploration of Garth Graham’s writings on community networking as radical practice.  It is fundamentally the challenge of viewing our practice as a network of practices/discourses, rather than as historic manifestation of particular institutional forms in a  rapidly changing societal and technological context. There is much more to be said.



I call upon all who view themselves as technology and social justice advocates to seize the moment afforded by the recent attention to Digital Inclusion: let’s raise both the public discourse and the practices of our field to a new level.

We’ve been doing heavy lifting trying to meaningfully connect our communities for a long time without sufficient resources or recognition. We know better than anyone else that the Divide persists and we’re glad it’s being noticed (again). We hear Digital Inclusion trumpeted as the virtue of every network proposal, viagra 100mg but we can’t allow ourselves to be used in the selling of these networks, ed and we can’t let our communities be sold short. We want the connectivity, website yes, but unless we as a people assert what we require of our networks we’ll be looking back upon another missed opportunity.

What we really want is a fundamental change in communications and technology policy at every level of social organization. We the people are a lot more sophisticated than we give ourselves credit for… and than we are credited with by others who hold themselves above the people.

It’s time for us to state clearly who we are, what our values are and what we know is needed at this moment in history. Let your actions speak louder than your words, certainly, but get your story out there. This holds for all who seek social justice and have dedicated themselves to working locally. Your direct work with your community is important, but so is the shaping of our collective life through shared words, images and ideas. We must make time for both.

I warmly thank Sascha Meinrath for helping to further this conversation.

We’re all ready to move Beyond Digital Inclusion.
The so called “video competition” bill, medicine HB 1500 is opposed by every community and advocacy group worth it’s salt. A lobby day is planned for Weds. April 18 under the Keep Us Connected coalition. From their site:

Join the Keep Us Connected coalition. Support pro-community video franchise laws that:

  • Require build-out to all neighborhoods in a community
  • Protect Public, information pills Educational and Government (PEG) Access by ensuring carriage of existing and future PEG stations with adequate funding to operate
  • Maintain local governments’ control over its rights of way, order including the right to create communications networks
  • Protect consumers with meaningful competition and strong customer service standards
  • Maintain a free and open Internet

The Keep Us Connected coalition consists of nonprofits, municipalities, PEG Access stations, educational and government institutions, and Illinois residents.

Some civic voices including yours truly are given space on Community Media Workshop: Newstips – “Cable Deregulation Challenged”.

Here’s the full text from Newstips:

[UPDATE - The April 18 hearing on HB 1500 has been postponed, according to a report from the Keep Us Connected Coalition. The coalition is proceeding with its citizens lobby day on April 18 in Springfield. ]

Growing attention on a proposed statewide cable franchise bill could slow a legislative blitz by supporters of telecommunications giant AT&T.

State Representative James Brosnahan (D-Oak Lawn) was expecting the House Telecommunications Committee he chairs to vote Wednesday to approve HB 1500, the franchise bill he has sponsored, but the vote could be delayed. The bill would strip local municipalities of cable franchising power and create state franchises authorized by the Illinois Commerce Commission, going far toward deregulating the industry in Illinois.

AT&T has poured money into a full-court press by lobbyists in support of the measure, along with an extensive TV ad campaign suggesting that HB 1500 promises competition and lower cable rates.

But last week Ald. Edward Burke introduced a City Council resolution calling on the legislature to reject the bill. He plans to hold hearings on the issue with Attorney General Lisa Madigan and others, said spokesperson Donal Quinlan. A press conference called by Burke Tuesday morning (10 a.m. at City Hall, room 302) will raise the profile of opposition to the measure by the city and by municipalities across the state.

Public Access Channels Threatened

Wednesday morning, as the committee meets, community activists backing Chicago’s CAN-TV and public access channels across the state will arrive in Springfield for a citizen lobby day by the Keep Us Connected Coalition. (Community Media Workshop is a coalition member; CMW president Thom Clark hosts a show on CAN-TV.) The coalition says HB 1500 would undercut existing guarantees on funding, channel accessiblity and quality for public access cable, would provide for no new public channels in new service areas, and would establish stringent “no-repeat” requirements – not applying to commercial channels – allowing providers to eliminate public access channels.

“Instead of talking about strengthening public access, as we should be, we’re fighting to get back to first base,” said Barbara Popovic of CAN-TV.

Representatives of municipalities are challenging the basic concept of HB 1500 – that state franchises are needed to promote cable competition. They point out that by overriding local control, the bill eliminates basic customer service protections now enforced by municipalities, as well as local franchise requirements that entire communities be served.

Without anti-redlining provisions – which are probably only practical on a local basis – the measure won’t promote competition and lower rates across the board, but will create a dynamic where rates go down in affluent areas but are “subsidized by higher prices paid by residents in lower-income, non-competitive areas,” Burke argues in his resolution.

Eminent Domain for AT&T

Municipalities are outraged that for the first time they’ll have no oversight over contruction in their public right-of-ways, said Terry Miller, an attorney with the City of Naperville. Local officials worry about refrigerator-sized utility boxes which AT&T would have blanket authorization to install under the bill’s franchise, he said.

Under the bill the ICC can authorize franchises but has no enforcement power. Supporters of HB 1500 have promised “self-enforcement.”

Most shocking for many is the bill’s grant of eminent domain powers to AT&T and other state franchise holders, with no requirement for just compensation or avenue for appeal. HB 1500 “gives away the store regarding the ability of a private company to encroach on residential property in ways we’ve never seen before,” Quinlan said. “It’s extremely problematic.”

The eminent domain provision is not expected to survive current negotiations over amendments, but it’s indicative of the way Brosnahan’s bill contains “an a la carte sampling” of only the provisions in cable law that favor AT&T, Miller said.

“What’s clear about this bill is that it was written by telecommunications lobbyists,” according to technology analyst Sascha Meinrath, executive director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network, on his blog. “I can only imagine that the goal was to fast-track this bill and sneak it through before the public got organized enough to demand that it be withdrawn.”

“AT&T wants to make this happen now because they know that with more time, more questions will be raised,” said Brian Imus of Illinois PIRG, calling HB 1500 “a sweetheart deal for AT&T.”

He points out, “There’s nothing now blocking competition, nothing stopping AT&T from negotiating cable franchises with local municipalities.”

‘Local Franchising Works’

“Local franchising works real well,” points out Roger Huebner of the Illinois Municipal League. He’s meeting with Brosnahan Tuesday to propose amendments to the Municipal Code and existing statutes that currently cover cable franchising, in order to address AT&T’s complaints about aspects of the process that are cumbersome, he said. The approach embodied in HB 1500 – creating a new article in the Public Utilities Act to give the ICC authority to issue state cable franchises – is unnecessary, he maintains.

Verizon, AT&T’s chief competitor for internet provider television (IPTV), has snapped up hundreds of local franchises on the East Coast, and according to Huebner, AT&T itself is seeking local video franchises in Illinois communities including Bellwood and Wheaton.

The municipal amendments should get full consideration, said Miller. That would mean no committee vote on Wednesday.

Brosnahan’s office said he was waiting for proposed amendments from the Attorney General’s office. Another hearing on the bill has now been scheduled for one week after this Wednesday’s hearing.

Illinois PIRG was joined by national consumer groups including Consumers Union in opposing the bill in its original form. “The unintended consequence will be systematic redlining on a statewide scale,” according to a letter from Consumer Union’s Jeannine Kenney and others to state legislators. They say other states with similar deregulation schemes have seen prices increase, “leaving consumers with nothing but empty promises.”

Consumer groups also emphasize the importance on non-discriminatory “net neutrality” provisions ensuring free access to content to the Internet.

Michael Maranda of the Chicago Digital Access Alliance points out that AT&T is pushing legislation legalizing redlining and undermining local control and access even as it presents itself as a bidder on Chicago’s wireless network, which parallels the city’s cable franchises – and requires a digital inclusion plan. “It’s a horrible bill and a discredit to the state,” he said.

The so called “video competition” bill, medicine HB 1500 is opposed by every community and advocacy group worth it’s salt. A lobby day is planned for Weds. April 18 under the Keep Us Connected coalition. From their site:

Join the Keep Us Connected coalition. Support pro-community video franchise laws that:

  • Require build-out to all neighborhoods in a community
  • Protect Public, information pills Educational and Government (PEG) Access by ensuring carriage of existing and future PEG stations with adequate funding to operate
  • Maintain local governments’ control over its rights of way, order including the right to create communications networks
  • Protect consumers with meaningful competition and strong customer service standards
  • Maintain a free and open Internet

The Keep Us Connected coalition consists of nonprofits, municipalities, PEG Access stations, educational and government institutions, and Illinois residents.

Some civic voices including yours truly are given space on Community Media Workshop: Newstips – “Cable Deregulation Challenged”.

Here’s the full text from Newstips:

[UPDATE - The April 18 hearing on HB 1500 has been postponed, according to a report from the Keep Us Connected Coalition. The coalition is proceeding with its citizens lobby day on April 18 in Springfield. ]

Growing attention on a proposed statewide cable franchise bill could slow a legislative blitz by supporters of telecommunications giant AT&T.

State Representative James Brosnahan (D-Oak Lawn) was expecting the House Telecommunications Committee he chairs to vote Wednesday to approve HB 1500, the franchise bill he has sponsored, but the vote could be delayed. The bill would strip local municipalities of cable franchising power and create state franchises authorized by the Illinois Commerce Commission, going far toward deregulating the industry in Illinois.

AT&T has poured money into a full-court press by lobbyists in support of the measure, along with an extensive TV ad campaign suggesting that HB 1500 promises competition and lower cable rates.

But last week Ald. Edward Burke introduced a City Council resolution calling on the legislature to reject the bill. He plans to hold hearings on the issue with Attorney General Lisa Madigan and others, said spokesperson Donal Quinlan. A press conference called by Burke Tuesday morning (10 a.m. at City Hall, room 302) will raise the profile of opposition to the measure by the city and by municipalities across the state.

Public Access Channels Threatened

Wednesday morning, as the committee meets, community activists backing Chicago’s CAN-TV and public access channels across the state will arrive in Springfield for a citizen lobby day by the Keep Us Connected Coalition. (Community Media Workshop is a coalition member; CMW president Thom Clark hosts a show on CAN-TV.) The coalition says HB 1500 would undercut existing guarantees on funding, channel accessiblity and quality for public access cable, would provide for no new public channels in new service areas, and would establish stringent “no-repeat” requirements – not applying to commercial channels – allowing providers to eliminate public access channels.

“Instead of talking about strengthening public access, as we should be, we’re fighting to get back to first base,” said Barbara Popovic of CAN-TV.

Representatives of municipalities are challenging the basic concept of HB 1500 – that state franchises are needed to promote cable competition. They point out that by overriding local control, the bill eliminates basic customer service protections now enforced by municipalities, as well as local franchise requirements that entire communities be served.

Without anti-redlining provisions – which are probably only practical on a local basis – the measure won’t promote competition and lower rates across the board, but will create a dynamic where rates go down in affluent areas but are “subsidized by higher prices paid by residents in lower-income, non-competitive areas,” Burke argues in his resolution.

Eminent Domain for AT&T

Municipalities are outraged that for the first time they’ll have no oversight over contruction in their public right-of-ways, said Terry Miller, an attorney with the City of Naperville. Local officials worry about refrigerator-sized utility boxes which AT&T would have blanket authorization to install under the bill’s franchise, he said.

Under the bill the ICC can authorize franchises but has no enforcement power. Supporters of HB 1500 have promised “self-enforcement.”

Most shocking for many is the bill’s grant of eminent domain powers to AT&T and other state franchise holders, with no requirement for just compensation or avenue for appeal. HB 1500 “gives away the store regarding the ability of a private company to encroach on residential property in ways we’ve never seen before,” Quinlan said. “It’s extremely problematic.”

The eminent domain provision is not expected to survive current negotiations over amendments, but it’s indicative of the way Brosnahan’s bill contains “an a la carte sampling” of only the provisions in cable law that favor AT&T, Miller said.

“What’s clear about this bill is that it was written by telecommunications lobbyists,” according to technology analyst Sascha Meinrath, executive director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network, on his blog. “I can only imagine that the goal was to fast-track this bill and sneak it through before the public got organized enough to demand that it be withdrawn.”

“AT&T wants to make this happen now because they know that with more time, more questions will be raised,” said Brian Imus of Illinois PIRG, calling HB 1500 “a sweetheart deal for AT&T.”

He points out, “There’s nothing now blocking competition, nothing stopping AT&T from negotiating cable franchises with local municipalities.”

‘Local Franchising Works’

“Local franchising works real well,” points out Roger Huebner of the Illinois Municipal League. He’s meeting with Brosnahan Tuesday to propose amendments to the Municipal Code and existing statutes that currently cover cable franchising, in order to address AT&T’s complaints about aspects of the process that are cumbersome, he said. The approach embodied in HB 1500 – creating a new article in the Public Utilities Act to give the ICC authority to issue state cable franchises – is unnecessary, he maintains.

Verizon, AT&T’s chief competitor for internet provider television (IPTV), has snapped up hundreds of local franchises on the East Coast, and according to Huebner, AT&T itself is seeking local video franchises in Illinois communities including Bellwood and Wheaton.

The municipal amendments should get full consideration, said Miller. That would mean no committee vote on Wednesday.

Brosnahan’s office said he was waiting for proposed amendments from the Attorney General’s office. Another hearing on the bill has now been scheduled for one week after this Wednesday’s hearing.

Illinois PIRG was joined by national consumer groups including Consumers Union in opposing the bill in its original form. “The unintended consequence will be systematic redlining on a statewide scale,” according to a letter from Consumer Union’s Jeannine Kenney and others to state legislators. They say other states with similar deregulation schemes have seen prices increase, “leaving consumers with nothing but empty promises.”

Consumer groups also emphasize the importance on non-discriminatory “net neutrality” provisions ensuring free access to content to the Internet.

Michael Maranda of the Chicago Digital Access Alliance points out that AT&T is pushing legislation legalizing redlining and undermining local control and access even as it presents itself as a bidder on Chicago’s wireless network, which parallels the city’s cable franchises – and requires a digital inclusion plan. “It’s a horrible bill and a discredit to the state,” he said.

Wireless Cities Communities of Interests: Media and Wireless Communities

The last paragraph of the entry linked above deserves reflection:

Finally it’s important to keep in mind the histories of media. For example, pharm
when television was introduced, steroids
it was seen as a medium with great potential for education and for creating communities. This is no longer seen to be the case. Radio too had a similar romance in it’s early days. Will wireless have a same fate?

If we are aware of this history, what pains must we take to break the pattern? Is there anything we can do to make sure promises made for the commonweal are kept?
Tutor Mentor Connection: “If you want peace, price work for justice”

Dan Bassill writes:

My final meeting was with a senior at Northwestern University who is interviewing for a fellowship. His essay started with the statement, “If you want peace, work for justice.” (Pope Paul VI).

He wrote that at first he did not understand the meaning of this. But after doing a 2006 internship he realized that “if you really want to improve the world you need to give all people the same opportunities.” He concluded, “Denying someone justice did not mean prohibiting access to the courts, it meant not allowing them to reach their full potential given to them by God.”

The Pope’s words certainly resonate for me, but the young man’s further interpretation warranted a citation.
From:  Community Media Workshop: Newstips – Reform Group Challenges Rush Telecom Vote

sale Arial, information pills Sans-Serif” size=”-1″>The media reform group Free Press has called on Rep. Bobby Rush to abstain from voting on any bills that could benefit AT&T, cardiologist the telecommunications giant whose charitable arm donated $1 million to Rush’s Rebirth of Englewood Community Development Corp.

The AT&T donation to Rush’s charity was reported today in the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Rush must stay out of any votes that impact AT&T until investigators can get to the bottom of this apparent quid pro quo,” said Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press, a national media reform organization.

“We need to know if the congressman is selling his vote to AT&T and whether other members of Congress are participating in this kind of chicanery,” Silver said.

Rush is primary sponsor along with two Republicans — House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Commerce Committee chair Joe Barton of Texas — of the Communications, Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement (COPE) Act, which is scheduled for committee markup and a vote in the House tomorrow.

According to Common Cause, the COPE Act would place control of the Internet in the hands of a few powerful corporations, “transform the information superhighway into a toll road,” end consumer protections against abuses by cable companies, and expand the “digital divide.”

Lauren Coletta of Common Cause termed “baffling” Rush’s subcommittee vote against a Democratic amendment requiring cable companies to serve low-income rural and minority communities. “That’s obviously going to effect neighborhoods like Englewood negatively,” she said. “They’re not going to build out and invest in infrastructure in low-income communities” if they aren’t required to do so.

Michael Maranda, executive director of the Chicago Chapter of the Community Technology Centers Network, has urged Rush to reconsider his position on COPE, which he says will “open new dimensions of the digitial divide” and “give a green light to digital red-lining.”

Rush has not made a strong case for supporting COPE, said Bruce Montgomery, a local technology access activist and public access cable producer. Any benefits from the bill are outweighted by “much more onerous negatives,” he said — including national franchising for video companies that could undermine local control of cable franchises and support for community access TV.

(Last week Bill McCaffrey of the Department of Consumer Services told Newstips of the city’s concerns that the COPE act could vacate Chicago’s cable franchise agreements and remove requirements that all residents of a service area be served.)

Montgomery called for an extended public comment period and local hearings on the bill.

Mitchell Szczepanczyk of Chicago Media Action says he was “just furious” to learn earlier this month that Rush was sponsoring the COPE act. He had participated in a 1st Congressional District assembly on telecommunications reform in October and “we thought we had an ally” in Rush.

The bill “will be tremendously damaging to local media and the internet,” he said. “Unless it undergoes dramatic changes, it deserves to die.” Among his concerns is the loss of “network neutrality,” allowing internet service providers to determine what content will be available to customers.

Community Media Workshop: Newstips – Community Wi-Fi Pushed

It’s my birthday, ed and the cause is going strong!

Here’s the full text from Newstips:

diabetes and pregnancy Arial, viagra here Sans-Serif” size=”-1″> A coalition of community groups is meeting with companies bidding on contracts for the city’s planned wireless network, encouraging them to include in their proposals a community benefits agreement providing neighborhood networks.

The Coalition for Community Wireless Networks met recently with representatives of Earthlink and is scheduled to meet with AT&T this week.

“We want to plant a seed in bidders’ minds” that community benefits agreements would make their proposals more attractive, said Ben Helphand of the Center for Neighborhood Technology.

CCWN has joined a call by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance for the city to broaden internet access provisions in its request for proposals – which now requires equipment, training, and discounted service for low-income individuals – to address community-wide access issues. CCWN includes a number of community development corporations, while CDAA represents community technology centers.

The groups envision the city’s wireless system as a “network of community networks,” with community institutions and businesses served by each neighborhood’s network.

“It’s an opportunity to bring economic development into our community” by helping merchants reach a local audience, encouraging internet-based businesses, and linking residents to local jobs, said Ernest Sanders of the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corp. A community network would also better serve local schools, civic groups, and churches, he said.

A community benefits agreement would bring resources and support to efforts like Technology Bridges in Englewood. There FaithTech Network is conducting a digital assets inventory and developing 25 church-based community technology centers – with similar efforts underway in Bronzeville, Woodlawn, and North Lawndale, said Pierre Clark, a CDAA founder.

The groups point to community benefits in Minneapolis’s wireless program, including a digital inclusion fund backed by a percentage of service providers’ revenue, and a free “walled garden” of content featuring neighborhood groups, city websites and public safety information, available to anyone who can access the signal.

Bids on the city’s request for proposals are due at the beginning of next year.

CDAA has held six neighborhood meetings on the proposal for a community benefits agreement and plans more, Clark said; the next one takes place this Friday, December 15, at 5 p.m. at the office of Networking for Democracy, 3411 W. Diversey.

After Laure Dillon’s account of Hawaiian gatherings at the recent O-Net member initiated Open Space I am in a mode that is highly receptive of the idea of lineage… as a moment of respectful tying in to a greater web. There are lineages of blood… and the river of the past that pours into us in this way branches at each generation back.

But the rivers of transmission of thought and culture keep pouring into us our whole lives from so many more sources when we are open. Let these rivers pass through you.

I’m excited that Free Geek Chicago was recently launched as a project of NPOTechs and the Logan Square CTC (Community Technology Center).

Check out the website: http://www.freegeekchicago.org/

Description from their website:

FREE GEEK Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization that recycles used technology to provide computers, disease education, about it internet access and job skills training to the underserved communities of Chicago in exchange for community service.

FREE GEEK Chicago was founded in August 2005 as a collaboration of NPOTechs and Logan Square CTC to recycle computer technology and provide low and no-cost computing to economically disadvantaged individuals and not-for-profit and social change organizations.

FREE GEEK Chicago does most of this work with volunteers. The volunteers disassemble the donated equipment and test the components, which are either recycled as electronic scrap or recycled into refurbished systems. These refurbished computers are then loaded with Open Source Software, such as GNU/Linux, Open Office, and other Free Software.

We are proud of being a democratically-run organization, and use consensus in our meetings. Our policy decisions are made by a group of volunteers and staff called the council, and those policies are executed by our staff collective.

Anyone can get involved! Donate used equipment… volunteer your time… support a grassroots community organization!

This was on cable Christmas night, website and not having seen it beginning to end before I thought it was fitting for the occasion.

We’re not quite through with race in America… but as we creep up towards 40 years since the film was released, valeologist what is different now?

Do we live up to the ideals we espouse when we face them in our living room?

I think that we all share a common figure in our mind, viagra 40mg the image of a Teacher having a proud moment when one of their students goes on to do something worthy of respect in the world.

What makes for a nice twist on this theme is when a great teacher goes on to achieve some recognition in the wider world.

Today I picked up a signed copy of the latest book by Frank McCourt, my HS English Teacher.

I’m not nec. one for sticking to reading clubs, but would be happy to dialogue with any of you that might read his new book, Teacher Man.

What makes for a great writer? What makes for a great story-teller?

I can remember him for his skills in the latter, (and the public has certainly recognized him for his talent in the former) in the many times we convinced him to launch into story. We probably didn’t realize that story-telling in English class was in fact a learning moment…

i’ve a taste for the psychological in film, approved especially when there is willingness to explore the surreal and the absurd

how would you describe contemporary films of this sort?

My friend Gerry Gleason recently commented:

Now that the peer-produced encyclopedia, find Wikipedia, viagra surpasses all but the premier commercial encyclopedia in completeness and quality, phimosis and it is arguably the equal to that one (Britannica), I see it as only a matter of time before peer-produced independent media surpasses all the commercial offerings (can anybody name one that might compete, ok maybe in print, the NY Times, but that’s it)?

Gerry’s comment brought forth an echo from my recent visit to the Pantheon (Paris) where there is a statue to Diderot to the effect that the Encyclopedia paved the way for the social revolution…

So, now, the revolution of the Internet and a wiki-mode of participating in knowledge.
Just wanted to report in from the 2005 Summit: The Strategic Use Of Information and Communication Technologies for Community being held in Vancouver.

The participants are primarily Canadian, pills but there is a significant contingent from Latin America, there thanks to the Telecentres of the Americas Project (TAP).

AFCN Board, Advisors and Friends formed a sizable USA delegation.

As with most conferences, a great deal of the dynamic interaction takes place in the informal settings, between sessions, over meals, and at ad hoc meetings you put together. It certainly reinforces the rational for Open Space and LAP practices.

I think it gave an extra charge to our decision today to make conscious commitment to Open Space for the forthcoming Austin conference (or convergence, as I say).

One lesson learned, or reinforced has to do with the diversity of the “international” context. Frequently there is a presentation of a view of there being a US perspective or experience and an International one. However, the diversity of situations around the world belie that concept.

If there are groups in the US that grasp a problem from a global vantage, oftentimes their efforts to instigate an international effort or form an international organization is viewed with hesitation or meets with a bit of negativity.

As President of the AFCN (Association For Community Networking) I struggle to emphasize that though we are based in the USA, and the bulk of our members are in the States, we are open and welcoming to others.

I’m here in Vancouver on behalf of AFCN to demonstrate our commitment to our friends in Canada and throughout the hemisphere.

The culture and understanding of Civic Society in Canada appears stronger than in the USA. I’m concerned with identifying strategies to reclaim and advance the civic culture and discourse. Needless to say, the reception here has been tremendous, and it did seem to me that they were well pleased that we took the trouble to attend, and that it became evident that we are still confronting a great many of the same issues.

This is all aside from the fact that Vancouver is a beautiful setting, in the limited moments I’ve had outside of the conference space!
Kate circulated links including your paper “Community Networks and the Evolution of Civic Intelligence.”

I think there is a conceptual gap, ampoule with regard to AFCN, though the bulk of what is described is true from an organizational-historical perspective.

My view is that we must consider these matters (community networks and the evolution of civic intelligence) from network and field perspectives which includes some organizational/institutional perspective, but transcends the limitations of the organizational perspective.

There is a nuance that must be drawn out:  the distinction between a “community network” and the “process of community networking”.  Coming to terms with this is essential for an appreciation of the would-be umbrella organization and it’s role.  It’s too early on a Saturday for me to draw this out, but I have written about this on several occasions.  Not to mention:  the double conceptual primitive in the joining of “community” and “network/ing” must be dealt with.

Another aspect that needs to be explored is the relation among organizations and sites of interaction in the broader field of Community ICT.  Community Networks and Community Networking (as process/perspective) is not within a vacuum.  Community Networks have been the unfunded, volunteer driven cousins of the movement (need to have some perspective on whether there is a movement, and a movement of what?) – and have had an eclectic base,  frequently representing hybrid roles from the beginning, and often promoted the very hybrid perspective demanded by our circumstances but so often rejected by funding and business minded “pragmatic” leaders in other marginally more funded sectors.  Look to community media.  Look to community technology (CTCs).  Look to NTAPs.  Situate the question of community network/ing and civic intelligence in relation to that broader field and the ongoing transformation of our society/the public sphere.

I consider this but the beginning of the dialogue. I also invite explicit exploration of Garth Graham’s writings on community networking as radical practice.  It is fundamentally the challenge of viewing our practice as a network of practices/discourses, rather than as historic manifestation of particular institutional forms in a  rapidly changing societal and technological context. There is much more to be said.



I call upon all who view themselves as technology and social justice advocates to seize the moment afforded by the recent attention to Digital Inclusion: let’s raise both the public discourse and the practices of our field to a new level.

We’ve been doing heavy lifting trying to meaningfully connect our communities for a long time without sufficient resources or recognition. We know better than anyone else that the Divide persists and we’re glad it’s being noticed (again). We hear Digital Inclusion trumpeted as the virtue of every network proposal, viagra 100mg but we can’t allow ourselves to be used in the selling of these networks, ed and we can’t let our communities be sold short. We want the connectivity, website yes, but unless we as a people assert what we require of our networks we’ll be looking back upon another missed opportunity.

What we really want is a fundamental change in communications and technology policy at every level of social organization. We the people are a lot more sophisticated than we give ourselves credit for… and than we are credited with by others who hold themselves above the people.

It’s time for us to state clearly who we are, what our values are and what we know is needed at this moment in history. Let your actions speak louder than your words, certainly, but get your story out there. This holds for all who seek social justice and have dedicated themselves to working locally. Your direct work with your community is important, but so is the shaping of our collective life through shared words, images and ideas. We must make time for both.

I warmly thank Sascha Meinrath for helping to further this conversation.

We’re all ready to move Beyond Digital Inclusion.
The so called “video competition” bill, medicine HB 1500 is opposed by every community and advocacy group worth it’s salt. A lobby day is planned for Weds. April 18 under the Keep Us Connected coalition. From their site:

Join the Keep Us Connected coalition. Support pro-community video franchise laws that:

  • Require build-out to all neighborhoods in a community
  • Protect Public, information pills Educational and Government (PEG) Access by ensuring carriage of existing and future PEG stations with adequate funding to operate
  • Maintain local governments’ control over its rights of way, order including the right to create communications networks
  • Protect consumers with meaningful competition and strong customer service standards
  • Maintain a free and open Internet

The Keep Us Connected coalition consists of nonprofits, municipalities, PEG Access stations, educational and government institutions, and Illinois residents.

Some civic voices including yours truly are given space on Community Media Workshop: Newstips – “Cable Deregulation Challenged”.

Here’s the full text from Newstips:

[UPDATE - The April 18 hearing on HB 1500 has been postponed, according to a report from the Keep Us Connected Coalition. The coalition is proceeding with its citizens lobby day on April 18 in Springfield. ]

Growing attention on a proposed statewide cable franchise bill could slow a legislative blitz by supporters of telecommunications giant AT&T.

State Representative James Brosnahan (D-Oak Lawn) was expecting the House Telecommunications Committee he chairs to vote Wednesday to approve HB 1500, the franchise bill he has sponsored, but the vote could be delayed. The bill would strip local municipalities of cable franchising power and create state franchises authorized by the Illinois Commerce Commission, going far toward deregulating the industry in Illinois.

AT&T has poured money into a full-court press by lobbyists in support of the measure, along with an extensive TV ad campaign suggesting that HB 1500 promises competition and lower cable rates.

But last week Ald. Edward Burke introduced a City Council resolution calling on the legislature to reject the bill. He plans to hold hearings on the issue with Attorney General Lisa Madigan and others, said spokesperson Donal Quinlan. A press conference called by Burke Tuesday morning (10 a.m. at City Hall, room 302) will raise the profile of opposition to the measure by the city and by municipalities across the state.

Public Access Channels Threatened

Wednesday morning, as the committee meets, community activists backing Chicago’s CAN-TV and public access channels across the state will arrive in Springfield for a citizen lobby day by the Keep Us Connected Coalition. (Community Media Workshop is a coalition member; CMW president Thom Clark hosts a show on CAN-TV.) The coalition says HB 1500 would undercut existing guarantees on funding, channel accessiblity and quality for public access cable, would provide for no new public channels in new service areas, and would establish stringent “no-repeat” requirements – not applying to commercial channels – allowing providers to eliminate public access channels.

“Instead of talking about strengthening public access, as we should be, we’re fighting to get back to first base,” said Barbara Popovic of CAN-TV.

Representatives of municipalities are challenging the basic concept of HB 1500 – that state franchises are needed to promote cable competition. They point out that by overriding local control, the bill eliminates basic customer service protections now enforced by municipalities, as well as local franchise requirements that entire communities be served.

Without anti-redlining provisions – which are probably only practical on a local basis – the measure won’t promote competition and lower rates across the board, but will create a dynamic where rates go down in affluent areas but are “subsidized by higher prices paid by residents in lower-income, non-competitive areas,” Burke argues in his resolution.

Eminent Domain for AT&T

Municipalities are outraged that for the first time they’ll have no oversight over contruction in their public right-of-ways, said Terry Miller, an attorney with the City of Naperville. Local officials worry about refrigerator-sized utility boxes which AT&T would have blanket authorization to install under the bill’s franchise, he said.

Under the bill the ICC can authorize franchises but has no enforcement power. Supporters of HB 1500 have promised “self-enforcement.”

Most shocking for many is the bill’s grant of eminent domain powers to AT&T and other state franchise holders, with no requirement for just compensation or avenue for appeal. HB 1500 “gives away the store regarding the ability of a private company to encroach on residential property in ways we’ve never seen before,” Quinlan said. “It’s extremely problematic.”

The eminent domain provision is not expected to survive current negotiations over amendments, but it’s indicative of the way Brosnahan’s bill contains “an a la carte sampling” of only the provisions in cable law that favor AT&T, Miller said.

“What’s clear about this bill is that it was written by telecommunications lobbyists,” according to technology analyst Sascha Meinrath, executive director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network, on his blog. “I can only imagine that the goal was to fast-track this bill and sneak it through before the public got organized enough to demand that it be withdrawn.”

“AT&T wants to make this happen now because they know that with more time, more questions will be raised,” said Brian Imus of Illinois PIRG, calling HB 1500 “a sweetheart deal for AT&T.”

He points out, “There’s nothing now blocking competition, nothing stopping AT&T from negotiating cable franchises with local municipalities.”

‘Local Franchising Works’

“Local franchising works real well,” points out Roger Huebner of the Illinois Municipal League. He’s meeting with Brosnahan Tuesday to propose amendments to the Municipal Code and existing statutes that currently cover cable franchising, in order to address AT&T’s complaints about aspects of the process that are cumbersome, he said. The approach embodied in HB 1500 – creating a new article in the Public Utilities Act to give the ICC authority to issue state cable franchises – is unnecessary, he maintains.

Verizon, AT&T’s chief competitor for internet provider television (IPTV), has snapped up hundreds of local franchises on the East Coast, and according to Huebner, AT&T itself is seeking local video franchises in Illinois communities including Bellwood and Wheaton.

The municipal amendments should get full consideration, said Miller. That would mean no committee vote on Wednesday.

Brosnahan’s office said he was waiting for proposed amendments from the Attorney General’s office. Another hearing on the bill has now been scheduled for one week after this Wednesday’s hearing.

Illinois PIRG was joined by national consumer groups including Consumers Union in opposing the bill in its original form. “The unintended consequence will be systematic redlining on a statewide scale,” according to a letter from Consumer Union’s Jeannine Kenney and others to state legislators. They say other states with similar deregulation schemes have seen prices increase, “leaving consumers with nothing but empty promises.”

Consumer groups also emphasize the importance on non-discriminatory “net neutrality” provisions ensuring free access to content to the Internet.

Michael Maranda of the Chicago Digital Access Alliance points out that AT&T is pushing legislation legalizing redlining and undermining local control and access even as it presents itself as a bidder on Chicago’s wireless network, which parallels the city’s cable franchises – and requires a digital inclusion plan. “It’s a horrible bill and a discredit to the state,” he said.

The so called “video competition” bill, medicine HB 1500 is opposed by every community and advocacy group worth it’s salt. A lobby day is planned for Weds. April 18 under the Keep Us Connected coalition. From their site:

Join the Keep Us Connected coalition. Support pro-community video franchise laws that:

  • Require build-out to all neighborhoods in a community
  • Protect Public, information pills Educational and Government (PEG) Access by ensuring carriage of existing and future PEG stations with adequate funding to operate
  • Maintain local governments’ control over its rights of way, order including the right to create communications networks
  • Protect consumers with meaningful competition and strong customer service standards
  • Maintain a free and open Internet

The Keep Us Connected coalition consists of nonprofits, municipalities, PEG Access stations, educational and government institutions, and Illinois residents.

Some civic voices including yours truly are given space on Community Media Workshop: Newstips – “Cable Deregulation Challenged”.

Here’s the full text from Newstips:

[UPDATE - The April 18 hearing on HB 1500 has been postponed, according to a report from the Keep Us Connected Coalition. The coalition is proceeding with its citizens lobby day on April 18 in Springfield. ]

Growing attention on a proposed statewide cable franchise bill could slow a legislative blitz by supporters of telecommunications giant AT&T.

State Representative James Brosnahan (D-Oak Lawn) was expecting the House Telecommunications Committee he chairs to vote Wednesday to approve HB 1500, the franchise bill he has sponsored, but the vote could be delayed. The bill would strip local municipalities of cable franchising power and create state franchises authorized by the Illinois Commerce Commission, going far toward deregulating the industry in Illinois.

AT&T has poured money into a full-court press by lobbyists in support of the measure, along with an extensive TV ad campaign suggesting that HB 1500 promises competition and lower cable rates.

But last week Ald. Edward Burke introduced a City Council resolution calling on the legislature to reject the bill. He plans to hold hearings on the issue with Attorney General Lisa Madigan and others, said spokesperson Donal Quinlan. A press conference called by Burke Tuesday morning (10 a.m. at City Hall, room 302) will raise the profile of opposition to the measure by the city and by municipalities across the state.

Public Access Channels Threatened

Wednesday morning, as the committee meets, community activists backing Chicago’s CAN-TV and public access channels across the state will arrive in Springfield for a citizen lobby day by the Keep Us Connected Coalition. (Community Media Workshop is a coalition member; CMW president Thom Clark hosts a show on CAN-TV.) The coalition says HB 1500 would undercut existing guarantees on funding, channel accessiblity and quality for public access cable, would provide for no new public channels in new service areas, and would establish stringent “no-repeat” requirements – not applying to commercial channels – allowing providers to eliminate public access channels.

“Instead of talking about strengthening public access, as we should be, we’re fighting to get back to first base,” said Barbara Popovic of CAN-TV.

Representatives of municipalities are challenging the basic concept of HB 1500 – that state franchises are needed to promote cable competition. They point out that by overriding local control, the bill eliminates basic customer service protections now enforced by municipalities, as well as local franchise requirements that entire communities be served.

Without anti-redlining provisions – which are probably only practical on a local basis – the measure won’t promote competition and lower rates across the board, but will create a dynamic where rates go down in affluent areas but are “subsidized by higher prices paid by residents in lower-income, non-competitive areas,” Burke argues in his resolution.

Eminent Domain for AT&T

Municipalities are outraged that for the first time they’ll have no oversight over contruction in their public right-of-ways, said Terry Miller, an attorney with the City of Naperville. Local officials worry about refrigerator-sized utility boxes which AT&T would have blanket authorization to install under the bill’s franchise, he said.

Under the bill the ICC can authorize franchises but has no enforcement power. Supporters of HB 1500 have promised “self-enforcement.”

Most shocking for many is the bill’s grant of eminent domain powers to AT&T and other state franchise holders, with no requirement for just compensation or avenue for appeal. HB 1500 “gives away the store regarding the ability of a private company to encroach on residential property in ways we’ve never seen before,” Quinlan said. “It’s extremely problematic.”

The eminent domain provision is not expected to survive current negotiations over amendments, but it’s indicative of the way Brosnahan’s bill contains “an a la carte sampling” of only the provisions in cable law that favor AT&T, Miller said.

“What’s clear about this bill is that it was written by telecommunications lobbyists,” according to technology analyst Sascha Meinrath, executive director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network, on his blog. “I can only imagine that the goal was to fast-track this bill and sneak it through before the public got organized enough to demand that it be withdrawn.”

“AT&T wants to make this happen now because they know that with more time, more questions will be raised,” said Brian Imus of Illinois PIRG, calling HB 1500 “a sweetheart deal for AT&T.”

He points out, “There’s nothing now blocking competition, nothing stopping AT&T from negotiating cable franchises with local municipalities.”

‘Local Franchising Works’

“Local franchising works real well,” points out Roger Huebner of the Illinois Municipal League. He’s meeting with Brosnahan Tuesday to propose amendments to the Municipal Code and existing statutes that currently cover cable franchising, in order to address AT&T’s complaints about aspects of the process that are cumbersome, he said. The approach embodied in HB 1500 – creating a new article in the Public Utilities Act to give the ICC authority to issue state cable franchises – is unnecessary, he maintains.

Verizon, AT&T’s chief competitor for internet provider television (IPTV), has snapped up hundreds of local franchises on the East Coast, and according to Huebner, AT&T itself is seeking local video franchises in Illinois communities including Bellwood and Wheaton.

The municipal amendments should get full consideration, said Miller. That would mean no committee vote on Wednesday.

Brosnahan’s office said he was waiting for proposed amendments from the Attorney General’s office. Another hearing on the bill has now been scheduled for one week after this Wednesday’s hearing.

Illinois PIRG was joined by national consumer groups including Consumers Union in opposing the bill in its original form. “The unintended consequence will be systematic redlining on a statewide scale,” according to a letter from Consumer Union’s Jeannine Kenney and others to state legislators. They say other states with similar deregulation schemes have seen prices increase, “leaving consumers with nothing but empty promises.”

Consumer groups also emphasize the importance on non-discriminatory “net neutrality” provisions ensuring free access to content to the Internet.

Michael Maranda of the Chicago Digital Access Alliance points out that AT&T is pushing legislation legalizing redlining and undermining local control and access even as it presents itself as a bidder on Chicago’s wireless network, which parallels the city’s cable franchises – and requires a digital inclusion plan. “It’s a horrible bill and a discredit to the state,” he said.

Wireless Cities Communities of Interests: Media and Wireless Communities

The last paragraph of the entry linked above deserves reflection:

Finally it’s important to keep in mind the histories of media. For example, pharm
when television was introduced, steroids
it was seen as a medium with great potential for education and for creating communities. This is no longer seen to be the case. Radio too had a similar romance in it’s early days. Will wireless have a same fate?

If we are aware of this history, what pains must we take to break the pattern? Is there anything we can do to make sure promises made for the commonweal are kept?
Tutor Mentor Connection: “If you want peace, price work for justice”

Dan Bassill writes:

My final meeting was with a senior at Northwestern University who is interviewing for a fellowship. His essay started with the statement, “If you want peace, work for justice.” (Pope Paul VI).

He wrote that at first he did not understand the meaning of this. But after doing a 2006 internship he realized that “if you really want to improve the world you need to give all people the same opportunities.” He concluded, “Denying someone justice did not mean prohibiting access to the courts, it meant not allowing them to reach their full potential given to them by God.”

The Pope’s words certainly resonate for me, but the young man’s further interpretation warranted a citation.
From:  Community Media Workshop: Newstips – Reform Group Challenges Rush Telecom Vote

sale Arial, information pills Sans-Serif” size=”-1″>The media reform group Free Press has called on Rep. Bobby Rush to abstain from voting on any bills that could benefit AT&T, cardiologist the telecommunications giant whose charitable arm donated $1 million to Rush’s Rebirth of Englewood Community Development Corp.

The AT&T donation to Rush’s charity was reported today in the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Rush must stay out of any votes that impact AT&T until investigators can get to the bottom of this apparent quid pro quo,” said Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press, a national media reform organization.

“We need to know if the congressman is selling his vote to AT&T and whether other members of Congress are participating in this kind of chicanery,” Silver said.

Rush is primary sponsor along with two Republicans — House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Commerce Committee chair Joe Barton of Texas — of the Communications, Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement (COPE) Act, which is scheduled for committee markup and a vote in the House tomorrow.

According to Common Cause, the COPE Act would place control of the Internet in the hands of a few powerful corporations, “transform the information superhighway into a toll road,” end consumer protections against abuses by cable companies, and expand the “digital divide.”

Lauren Coletta of Common Cause termed “baffling” Rush’s subcommittee vote against a Democratic amendment requiring cable companies to serve low-income rural and minority communities. “That’s obviously going to effect neighborhoods like Englewood negatively,” she said. “They’re not going to build out and invest in infrastructure in low-income communities” if they aren’t required to do so.

Michael Maranda, executive director of the Chicago Chapter of the Community Technology Centers Network, has urged Rush to reconsider his position on COPE, which he says will “open new dimensions of the digitial divide” and “give a green light to digital red-lining.”

Rush has not made a strong case for supporting COPE, said Bruce Montgomery, a local technology access activist and public access cable producer. Any benefits from the bill are outweighted by “much more onerous negatives,” he said — including national franchising for video companies that could undermine local control of cable franchises and support for community access TV.

(Last week Bill McCaffrey of the Department of Consumer Services told Newstips of the city’s concerns that the COPE act could vacate Chicago’s cable franchise agreements and remove requirements that all residents of a service area be served.)

Montgomery called for an extended public comment period and local hearings on the bill.

Mitchell Szczepanczyk of Chicago Media Action says he was “just furious” to learn earlier this month that Rush was sponsoring the COPE act. He had participated in a 1st Congressional District assembly on telecommunications reform in October and “we thought we had an ally” in Rush.

The bill “will be tremendously damaging to local media and the internet,” he said. “Unless it undergoes dramatic changes, it deserves to die.” Among his concerns is the loss of “network neutrality,” allowing internet service providers to determine what content will be available to customers.

Community Media Workshop: Newstips – Community Wi-Fi Pushed

It’s my birthday, ed and the cause is going strong!

Here’s the full text from Newstips:

diabetes and pregnancy Arial, viagra here Sans-Serif” size=”-1″> A coalition of community groups is meeting with companies bidding on contracts for the city’s planned wireless network, encouraging them to include in their proposals a community benefits agreement providing neighborhood networks.

The Coalition for Community Wireless Networks met recently with representatives of Earthlink and is scheduled to meet with AT&T this week.

“We want to plant a seed in bidders’ minds” that community benefits agreements would make their proposals more attractive, said Ben Helphand of the Center for Neighborhood Technology.

CCWN has joined a call by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance for the city to broaden internet access provisions in its request for proposals – which now requires equipment, training, and discounted service for low-income individuals – to address community-wide access issues. CCWN includes a number of community development corporations, while CDAA represents community technology centers.

The groups envision the city’s wireless system as a “network of community networks,” with community institutions and businesses served by each neighborhood’s network.

“It’s an opportunity to bring economic development into our community” by helping merchants reach a local audience, encouraging internet-based businesses, and linking residents to local jobs, said Ernest Sanders of the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corp. A community network would also better serve local schools, civic groups, and churches, he said.

A community benefits agreement would bring resources and support to efforts like Technology Bridges in Englewood. There FaithTech Network is conducting a digital assets inventory and developing 25 church-based community technology centers – with similar efforts underway in Bronzeville, Woodlawn, and North Lawndale, said Pierre Clark, a CDAA founder.

The groups point to community benefits in Minneapolis’s wireless program, including a digital inclusion fund backed by a percentage of service providers’ revenue, and a free “walled garden” of content featuring neighborhood groups, city websites and public safety information, available to anyone who can access the signal.

Bids on the city’s request for proposals are due at the beginning of next year.

CDAA has held six neighborhood meetings on the proposal for a community benefits agreement and plans more, Clark said; the next one takes place this Friday, December 15, at 5 p.m. at the office of Networking for Democracy, 3411 W. Diversey.

Community Media Workshop: Newstips – Community Wi-Fi Pushed

It’s my birthday, ed and the cause is going strong!

Here’s the full text from Newstips:

diabetes and pregnancy Arial, viagra here Sans-Serif” size=”-1″> A coalition of community groups is meeting with companies bidding on contracts for the city’s planned wireless network, encouraging them to include in their proposals a community benefits agreement providing neighborhood networks.

The Coalition for Community Wireless Networks met recently with representatives of Earthlink and is scheduled to meet with AT&T this week.

“We want to plant a seed in bidders’ minds” that community benefits agreements would make their proposals more attractive, said Ben Helphand of the Center for Neighborhood Technology.

CCWN has joined a call by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance for the city to broaden internet access provisions in its request for proposals – which now requires equipment, training, and discounted service for low-income individuals – to address community-wide access issues. CCWN includes a number of community development corporations, while CDAA represents community technology centers.

The groups envision the city’s wireless system as a “network of community networks,” with community institutions and businesses served by each neighborhood’s network.

“It’s an opportunity to bring economic development into our community” by helping merchants reach a local audience, encouraging internet-based businesses, and linking residents to local jobs, said Ernest Sanders of the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corp. A community network would also better serve local schools, civic groups, and churches, he said.

A community benefits agreement would bring resources and support to efforts like Technology Bridges in Englewood. There FaithTech Network is conducting a digital assets inventory and developing 25 church-based community technology centers – with similar efforts underway in Bronzeville, Woodlawn, and North Lawndale, said Pierre Clark, a CDAA founder.

The groups point to community benefits in Minneapolis’s wireless program, including a digital inclusion fund backed by a percentage of service providers’ revenue, and a free “walled garden” of content featuring neighborhood groups, city websites and public safety information, available to anyone who can access the signal.

Bids on the city’s request for proposals are due at the beginning of next year.

CDAA has held six neighborhood meetings on the proposal for a community benefits agreement and plans more, Clark said; the next one takes place this Friday, December 15, at 5 p.m. at the office of Networking for Democracy, 3411 W. Diversey.

that which arrests the motion of thought is false

This is an ethical and an intellectual principle for me, cheap
  dare I say a semeiotic principle?

After Laure Dillon’s account of Hawaiian gatherings at the recent O-Net member initiated Open Space I am in a mode that is highly receptive of the idea of lineage… as a moment of respectful tying in to a greater web. There are lineages of blood… and the river of the past that pours into us in this way branches at each generation back.

But the rivers of transmission of thought and culture keep pouring into us our whole lives from so many more sources when we are open. Let these rivers pass through you.

I’m excited that Free Geek Chicago was recently launched as a project of NPOTechs and the Logan Square CTC (Community Technology Center).

Check out the website: http://www.freegeekchicago.org/

Description from their website:

FREE GEEK Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization that recycles used technology to provide computers, disease education, about it internet access and job skills training to the underserved communities of Chicago in exchange for community service.

FREE GEEK Chicago was founded in August 2005 as a collaboration of NPOTechs and Logan Square CTC to recycle computer technology and provide low and no-cost computing to economically disadvantaged individuals and not-for-profit and social change organizations.

FREE GEEK Chicago does most of this work with volunteers. The volunteers disassemble the donated equipment and test the components, which are either recycled as electronic scrap or recycled into refurbished systems. These refurbished computers are then loaded with Open Source Software, such as GNU/Linux, Open Office, and other Free Software.

We are proud of being a democratically-run organization, and use consensus in our meetings. Our policy decisions are made by a group of volunteers and staff called the council, and those policies are executed by our staff collective.

Anyone can get involved! Donate used equipment… volunteer your time… support a grassroots community organization!

This was on cable Christmas night, website and not having seen it beginning to end before I thought it was fitting for the occasion.

We’re not quite through with race in America… but as we creep up towards 40 years since the film was released, valeologist what is different now?

Do we live up to the ideals we espouse when we face them in our living room?

I think that we all share a common figure in our mind, viagra 40mg the image of a Teacher having a proud moment when one of their students goes on to do something worthy of respect in the world.

What makes for a nice twist on this theme is when a great teacher goes on to achieve some recognition in the wider world.

Today I picked up a signed copy of the latest book by Frank McCourt, my HS English Teacher.

I’m not nec. one for sticking to reading clubs, but would be happy to dialogue with any of you that might read his new book, Teacher Man.

What makes for a great writer? What makes for a great story-teller?

I can remember him for his skills in the latter, (and the public has certainly recognized him for his talent in the former) in the many times we convinced him to launch into story. We probably didn’t realize that story-telling in English class was in fact a learning moment…

i’ve a taste for the psychological in film, approved especially when there is willingness to explore the surreal and the absurd

how would you describe contemporary films of this sort?

My friend Gerry Gleason recently commented:

Now that the peer-produced encyclopedia, find Wikipedia, viagra surpasses all but the premier commercial encyclopedia in completeness and quality, phimosis and it is arguably the equal to that one (Britannica), I see it as only a matter of time before peer-produced independent media surpasses all the commercial offerings (can anybody name one that might compete, ok maybe in print, the NY Times, but that’s it)?

Gerry’s comment brought forth an echo from my recent visit to the Pantheon (Paris) where there is a statue to Diderot to the effect that the Encyclopedia paved the way for the social revolution…

So, now, the revolution of the Internet and a wiki-mode of participating in knowledge.
Just wanted to report in from the 2005 Summit: The Strategic Use Of Information and Communication Technologies for Community being held in Vancouver.

The participants are primarily Canadian, pills but there is a significant contingent from Latin America, there thanks to the Telecentres of the Americas Project (TAP).

AFCN Board, Advisors and Friends formed a sizable USA delegation.

As with most conferences, a great deal of the dynamic interaction takes place in the informal settings, between sessions, over meals, and at ad hoc meetings you put together. It certainly reinforces the rational for Open Space and LAP practices.

I think it gave an extra charge to our decision today to make conscious commitment to Open Space for the forthcoming Austin conference (or convergence, as I say).

One lesson learned, or reinforced has to do with the diversity of the “international” context. Frequently there is a presentation of a view of there being a US perspective or experience and an International one. However, the diversity of situations around the world belie that concept.

If there are groups in the US that grasp a problem from a global vantage, oftentimes their efforts to instigate an international effort or form an international organization is viewed with hesitation or meets with a bit of negativity.

As President of the AFCN (Association For Community Networking) I struggle to emphasize that though we are based in the USA, and the bulk of our members are in the States, we are open and welcoming to others.

I’m here in Vancouver on behalf of AFCN to demonstrate our commitment to our friends in Canada and throughout the hemisphere.

The culture and understanding of Civic Society in Canada appears stronger than in the USA. I’m concerned with identifying strategies to reclaim and advance the civic culture and discourse. Needless to say, the reception here has been tremendous, and it did seem to me that they were well pleased that we took the trouble to attend, and that it became evident that we are still confronting a great many of the same issues.

This is all aside from the fact that Vancouver is a beautiful setting, in the limited moments I’ve had outside of the conference space!
Kate circulated links including your paper “Community Networks and the Evolution of Civic Intelligence.”

I think there is a conceptual gap, ampoule with regard to AFCN, though the bulk of what is described is true from an organizational-historical perspective.

My view is that we must consider these matters (community networks and the evolution of civic intelligence) from network and field perspectives which includes some organizational/institutional perspective, but transcends the limitations of the organizational perspective.

There is a nuance that must be drawn out:  the distinction between a “community network” and the “process of community networking”.  Coming to terms with this is essential for an appreciation of the would-be umbrella organization and it’s role.  It’s too early on a Saturday for me to draw this out, but I have written about this on several occasions.  Not to mention:  the double conceptual primitive in the joining of “community” and “network/ing” must be dealt with.

Another aspect that needs to be explored is the relation among organizations and sites of interaction in the broader field of Community ICT.  Community Networks and Community Networking (as process/perspective) is not within a vacuum.  Community Networks have been the unfunded, volunteer driven cousins of the movement (need to have some perspective on whether there is a movement, and a movement of what?) – and have had an eclectic base,  frequently representing hybrid roles from the beginning, and often promoted the very hybrid perspective demanded by our circumstances but so often rejected by funding and business minded “pragmatic” leaders in other marginally more funded sectors.  Look to community media.  Look to community technology (CTCs).  Look to NTAPs.  Situate the question of community network/ing and civic intelligence in relation to that broader field and the ongoing transformation of our society/the public sphere.

I consider this but the beginning of the dialogue. I also invite explicit exploration of Garth Graham’s writings on community networking as radical practice.  It is fundamentally the challenge of viewing our practice as a network of practices/discourses, rather than as historic manifestation of particular institutional forms in a  rapidly changing societal and technological context. There is much more to be said.



I call upon all who view themselves as technology and social justice advocates to seize the moment afforded by the recent attention to Digital Inclusion: let’s raise both the public discourse and the practices of our field to a new level.

We’ve been doing heavy lifting trying to meaningfully connect our communities for a long time without sufficient resources or recognition. We know better than anyone else that the Divide persists and we’re glad it’s being noticed (again). We hear Digital Inclusion trumpeted as the virtue of every network proposal, viagra 100mg but we can’t allow ourselves to be used in the selling of these networks, ed and we can’t let our communities be sold short. We want the connectivity, website yes, but unless we as a people assert what we require of our networks we’ll be looking back upon another missed opportunity.

What we really want is a fundamental change in communications and technology policy at every level of social organization. We the people are a lot more sophisticated than we give ourselves credit for… and than we are credited with by others who hold themselves above the people.

It’s time for us to state clearly who we are, what our values are and what we know is needed at this moment in history. Let your actions speak louder than your words, certainly, but get your story out there. This holds for all who seek social justice and have dedicated themselves to working locally. Your direct work with your community is important, but so is the shaping of our collective life through shared words, images and ideas. We must make time for both.

I warmly thank Sascha Meinrath for helping to further this conversation.

We’re all ready to move Beyond Digital Inclusion.
The so called “video competition” bill, medicine HB 1500 is opposed by every community and advocacy group worth it’s salt. A lobby day is planned for Weds. April 18 under the Keep Us Connected coalition. From their site:

Join the Keep Us Connected coalition. Support pro-community video franchise laws that:

  • Require build-out to all neighborhoods in a community
  • Protect Public, information pills Educational and Government (PEG) Access by ensuring carriage of existing and future PEG stations with adequate funding to operate
  • Maintain local governments’ control over its rights of way, order including the right to create communications networks
  • Protect consumers with meaningful competition and strong customer service standards
  • Maintain a free and open Internet

The Keep Us Connected coalition consists of nonprofits, municipalities, PEG Access stations, educational and government institutions, and Illinois residents.

Some civic voices including yours truly are given space on Community Media Workshop: Newstips – “Cable Deregulation Challenged”.

Here’s the full text from Newstips:

[UPDATE - The April 18 hearing on HB 1500 has been postponed, according to a report from the Keep Us Connected Coalition. The coalition is proceeding with its citizens lobby day on April 18 in Springfield. ]

Growing attention on a proposed statewide cable franchise bill could slow a legislative blitz by supporters of telecommunications giant AT&T.

State Representative James Brosnahan (D-Oak Lawn) was expecting the House Telecommunications Committee he chairs to vote Wednesday to approve HB 1500, the franchise bill he has sponsored, but the vote could be delayed. The bill would strip local municipalities of cable franchising power and create state franchises authorized by the Illinois Commerce Commission, going far toward deregulating the industry in Illinois.

AT&T has poured money into a full-court press by lobbyists in support of the measure, along with an extensive TV ad campaign suggesting that HB 1500 promises competition and lower cable rates.

But last week Ald. Edward Burke introduced a City Council resolution calling on the legislature to reject the bill. He plans to hold hearings on the issue with Attorney General Lisa Madigan and others, said spokesperson Donal Quinlan. A press conference called by Burke Tuesday morning (10 a.m. at City Hall, room 302) will raise the profile of opposition to the measure by the city and by municipalities across the state.

Public Access Channels Threatened

Wednesday morning, as the committee meets, community activists backing Chicago’s CAN-TV and public access channels across the state will arrive in Springfield for a citizen lobby day by the Keep Us Connected Coalition. (Community Media Workshop is a coalition member; CMW president Thom Clark hosts a show on CAN-TV.) The coalition says HB 1500 would undercut existing guarantees on funding, channel accessiblity and quality for public access cable, would provide for no new public channels in new service areas, and would establish stringent “no-repeat” requirements – not applying to commercial channels – allowing providers to eliminate public access channels.

“Instead of talking about strengthening public access, as we should be, we’re fighting to get back to first base,” said Barbara Popovic of CAN-TV.

Representatives of municipalities are challenging the basic concept of HB 1500 – that state franchises are needed to promote cable competition. They point out that by overriding local control, the bill eliminates basic customer service protections now enforced by municipalities, as well as local franchise requirements that entire communities be served.

Without anti-redlining provisions – which are probably only practical on a local basis – the measure won’t promote competition and lower rates across the board, but will create a dynamic where rates go down in affluent areas but are “subsidized by higher prices paid by residents in lower-income, non-competitive areas,” Burke argues in his resolution.

Eminent Domain for AT&T

Municipalities are outraged that for the first time they’ll have no oversight over contruction in their public right-of-ways, said Terry Miller, an attorney with the City of Naperville. Local officials worry about refrigerator-sized utility boxes which AT&T would have blanket authorization to install under the bill’s franchise, he said.

Under the bill the ICC can authorize franchises but has no enforcement power. Supporters of HB 1500 have promised “self-enforcement.”

Most shocking for many is the bill’s grant of eminent domain powers to AT&T and other state franchise holders, with no requirement for just compensation or avenue for appeal. HB 1500 “gives away the store regarding the ability of a private company to encroach on residential property in ways we’ve never seen before,” Quinlan said. “It’s extremely problematic.”

The eminent domain provision is not expected to survive current negotiations over amendments, but it’s indicative of the way Brosnahan’s bill contains “an a la carte sampling” of only the provisions in cable law that favor AT&T, Miller said.

“What’s clear about this bill is that it was written by telecommunications lobbyists,” according to technology analyst Sascha Meinrath, executive director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network, on his blog. “I can only imagine that the goal was to fast-track this bill and sneak it through before the public got organized enough to demand that it be withdrawn.”

“AT&T wants to make this happen now because they know that with more time, more questions will be raised,” said Brian Imus of Illinois PIRG, calling HB 1500 “a sweetheart deal for AT&T.”

He points out, “There’s nothing now blocking competition, nothing stopping AT&T from negotiating cable franchises with local municipalities.”

‘Local Franchising Works’

“Local franchising works real well,” points out Roger Huebner of the Illinois Municipal League. He’s meeting with Brosnahan Tuesday to propose amendments to the Municipal Code and existing statutes that currently cover cable franchising, in order to address AT&T’s complaints about aspects of the process that are cumbersome, he said. The approach embodied in HB 1500 – creating a new article in the Public Utilities Act to give the ICC authority to issue state cable franchises – is unnecessary, he maintains.

Verizon, AT&T’s chief competitor for internet provider television (IPTV), has snapped up hundreds of local franchises on the East Coast, and according to Huebner, AT&T itself is seeking local video franchises in Illinois communities including Bellwood and Wheaton.

The municipal amendments should get full consideration, said Miller. That would mean no committee vote on Wednesday.

Brosnahan’s office said he was waiting for proposed amendments from the Attorney General’s office. Another hearing on the bill has now been scheduled for one week after this Wednesday’s hearing.

Illinois PIRG was joined by national consumer groups including Consumers Union in opposing the bill in its original form. “The unintended consequence will be systematic redlining on a statewide scale,” according to a letter from Consumer Union’s Jeannine Kenney and others to state legislators. They say other states with similar deregulation schemes have seen prices increase, “leaving consumers with nothing but empty promises.”

Consumer groups also emphasize the importance on non-discriminatory “net neutrality” provisions ensuring free access to content to the Internet.

Michael Maranda of the Chicago Digital Access Alliance points out that AT&T is pushing legislation legalizing redlining and undermining local control and access even as it presents itself as a bidder on Chicago’s wireless network, which parallels the city’s cable franchises – and requires a digital inclusion plan. “It’s a horrible bill and a discredit to the state,” he said.

The so called “video competition” bill, medicine HB 1500 is opposed by every community and advocacy group worth it’s salt. A lobby day is planned for Weds. April 18 under the Keep Us Connected coalition. From their site:

Join the Keep Us Connected coalition. Support pro-community video franchise laws that:

  • Require build-out to all neighborhoods in a community
  • Protect Public, information pills Educational and Government (PEG) Access by ensuring carriage of existing and future PEG stations with adequate funding to operate
  • Maintain local governments’ control over its rights of way, order including the right to create communications networks
  • Protect consumers with meaningful competition and strong customer service standards
  • Maintain a free and open Internet

The Keep Us Connected coalition consists of nonprofits, municipalities, PEG Access stations, educational and government institutions, and Illinois residents.

Some civic voices including yours truly are given space on Community Media Workshop: Newstips – “Cable Deregulation Challenged”.

Here’s the full text from Newstips:

[UPDATE - The April 18 hearing on HB 1500 has been postponed, according to a report from the Keep Us Connected Coalition. The coalition is proceeding with its citizens lobby day on April 18 in Springfield. ]

Growing attention on a proposed statewide cable franchise bill could slow a legislative blitz by supporters of telecommunications giant AT&T.

State Representative James Brosnahan (D-Oak Lawn) was expecting the House Telecommunications Committee he chairs to vote Wednesday to approve HB 1500, the franchise bill he has sponsored, but the vote could be delayed. The bill would strip local municipalities of cable franchising power and create state franchises authorized by the Illinois Commerce Commission, going far toward deregulating the industry in Illinois.

AT&T has poured money into a full-court press by lobbyists in support of the measure, along with an extensive TV ad campaign suggesting that HB 1500 promises competition and lower cable rates.

But last week Ald. Edward Burke introduced a City Council resolution calling on the legislature to reject the bill. He plans to hold hearings on the issue with Attorney General Lisa Madigan and others, said spokesperson Donal Quinlan. A press conference called by Burke Tuesday morning (10 a.m. at City Hall, room 302) will raise the profile of opposition to the measure by the city and by municipalities across the state.

Public Access Channels Threatened

Wednesday morning, as the committee meets, community activists backing Chicago’s CAN-TV and public access channels across the state will arrive in Springfield for a citizen lobby day by the Keep Us Connected Coalition. (Community Media Workshop is a coalition member; CMW president Thom Clark hosts a show on CAN-TV.) The coalition says HB 1500 would undercut existing guarantees on funding, channel accessiblity and quality for public access cable, would provide for no new public channels in new service areas, and would establish stringent “no-repeat” requirements – not applying to commercial channels – allowing providers to eliminate public access channels.

“Instead of talking about strengthening public access, as we should be, we’re fighting to get back to first base,” said Barbara Popovic of CAN-TV.

Representatives of municipalities are challenging the basic concept of HB 1500 – that state franchises are needed to promote cable competition. They point out that by overriding local control, the bill eliminates basic customer service protections now enforced by municipalities, as well as local franchise requirements that entire communities be served.

Without anti-redlining provisions – which are probably only practical on a local basis – the measure won’t promote competition and lower rates across the board, but will create a dynamic where rates go down in affluent areas but are “subsidized by higher prices paid by residents in lower-income, non-competitive areas,” Burke argues in his resolution.

Eminent Domain for AT&T

Municipalities are outraged that for the first time they’ll have no oversight over contruction in their public right-of-ways, said Terry Miller, an attorney with the City of Naperville. Local officials worry about refrigerator-sized utility boxes which AT&T would have blanket authorization to install under the bill’s franchise, he said.

Under the bill the ICC can authorize franchises but has no enforcement power. Supporters of HB 1500 have promised “self-enforcement.”

Most shocking for many is the bill’s grant of eminent domain powers to AT&T and other state franchise holders, with no requirement for just compensation or avenue for appeal. HB 1500 “gives away the store regarding the ability of a private company to encroach on residential property in ways we’ve never seen before,” Quinlan said. “It’s extremely problematic.”

The eminent domain provision is not expected to survive current negotiations over amendments, but it’s indicative of the way Brosnahan’s bill contains “an a la carte sampling” of only the provisions in cable law that favor AT&T, Miller said.

“What’s clear about this bill is that it was written by telecommunications lobbyists,” according to technology analyst Sascha Meinrath, executive director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network, on his blog. “I can only imagine that the goal was to fast-track this bill and sneak it through before the public got organized enough to demand that it be withdrawn.”

“AT&T wants to make this happen now because they know that with more time, more questions will be raised,” said Brian Imus of Illinois PIRG, calling HB 1500 “a sweetheart deal for AT&T.”

He points out, “There’s nothing now blocking competition, nothing stopping AT&T from negotiating cable franchises with local municipalities.”

‘Local Franchising Works’

“Local franchising works real well,” points out Roger Huebner of the Illinois Municipal League. He’s meeting with Brosnahan Tuesday to propose amendments to the Municipal Code and existing statutes that currently cover cable franchising, in order to address AT&T’s complaints about aspects of the process that are cumbersome, he said. The approach embodied in HB 1500 – creating a new article in the Public Utilities Act to give the ICC authority to issue state cable franchises – is unnecessary, he maintains.

Verizon, AT&T’s chief competitor for internet provider television (IPTV), has snapped up hundreds of local franchises on the East Coast, and according to Huebner, AT&T itself is seeking local video franchises in Illinois communities including Bellwood and Wheaton.

The municipal amendments should get full consideration, said Miller. That would mean no committee vote on Wednesday.

Brosnahan’s office said he was waiting for proposed amendments from the Attorney General’s office. Another hearing on the bill has now been scheduled for one week after this Wednesday’s hearing.

Illinois PIRG was joined by national consumer groups including Consumers Union in opposing the bill in its original form. “The unintended consequence will be systematic redlining on a statewide scale,” according to a letter from Consumer Union’s Jeannine Kenney and others to state legislators. They say other states with similar deregulation schemes have seen prices increase, “leaving consumers with nothing but empty promises.”

Consumer groups also emphasize the importance on non-discriminatory “net neutrality” provisions ensuring free access to content to the Internet.

Michael Maranda of the Chicago Digital Access Alliance points out that AT&T is pushing legislation legalizing redlining and undermining local control and access even as it presents itself as a bidder on Chicago’s wireless network, which parallels the city’s cable franchises – and requires a digital inclusion plan. “It’s a horrible bill and a discredit to the state,” he said.

Wireless Cities Communities of Interests: Media and Wireless Communities

The last paragraph of the entry linked above deserves reflection:

Finally it’s important to keep in mind the histories of media. For example, pharm
when television was introduced, steroids
it was seen as a medium with great potential for education and for creating communities. This is no longer seen to be the case. Radio too had a similar romance in it’s early days. Will wireless have a same fate?

If we are aware of this history, what pains must we take to break the pattern? Is there anything we can do to make sure promises made for the commonweal are kept?
Tutor Mentor Connection: “If you want peace, price work for justice”

Dan Bassill writes:

My final meeting was with a senior at Northwestern University who is interviewing for a fellowship. His essay started with the statement, “If you want peace, work for justice.” (Pope Paul VI).

He wrote that at first he did not understand the meaning of this. But after doing a 2006 internship he realized that “if you really want to improve the world you need to give all people the same opportunities.” He concluded, “Denying someone justice did not mean prohibiting access to the courts, it meant not allowing them to reach their full potential given to them by God.”

The Pope’s words certainly resonate for me, but the young man’s further interpretation warranted a citation.
From:  Community Media Workshop: Newstips – Reform Group Challenges Rush Telecom Vote

sale Arial, information pills Sans-Serif” size=”-1″>The media reform group Free Press has called on Rep. Bobby Rush to abstain from voting on any bills that could benefit AT&T, cardiologist the telecommunications giant whose charitable arm donated $1 million to Rush’s Rebirth of Englewood Community Development Corp.

The AT&T donation to Rush’s charity was reported today in the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Rush must stay out of any votes that impact AT&T until investigators can get to the bottom of this apparent quid pro quo,” said Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press, a national media reform organization.

“We need to know if the congressman is selling his vote to AT&T and whether other members of Congress are participating in this kind of chicanery,” Silver said.

Rush is primary sponsor along with two Republicans — House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Commerce Committee chair Joe Barton of Texas — of the Communications, Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement (COPE) Act, which is scheduled for committee markup and a vote in the House tomorrow.

According to Common Cause, the COPE Act would place control of the Internet in the hands of a few powerful corporations, “transform the information superhighway into a toll road,” end consumer protections against abuses by cable companies, and expand the “digital divide.”

Lauren Coletta of Common Cause termed “baffling” Rush’s subcommittee vote against a Democratic amendment requiring cable companies to serve low-income rural and minority communities. “That’s obviously going to effect neighborhoods like Englewood negatively,” she said. “They’re not going to build out and invest in infrastructure in low-income communities” if they aren’t required to do so.

Michael Maranda, executive director of the Chicago Chapter of the Community Technology Centers Network, has urged Rush to reconsider his position on COPE, which he says will “open new dimensions of the digitial divide” and “give a green light to digital red-lining.”

Rush has not made a strong case for supporting COPE, said Bruce Montgomery, a local technology access activist and public access cable producer. Any benefits from the bill are outweighted by “much more onerous negatives,” he said — including national franchising for video companies that could undermine local control of cable franchises and support for community access TV.

(Last week Bill McCaffrey of the Department of Consumer Services told Newstips of the city’s concerns that the COPE act could vacate Chicago’s cable franchise agreements and remove requirements that all residents of a service area be served.)

Montgomery called for an extended public comment period and local hearings on the bill.

Mitchell Szczepanczyk of Chicago Media Action says he was “just furious” to learn earlier this month that Rush was sponsoring the COPE act. He had participated in a 1st Congressional District assembly on telecommunications reform in October and “we thought we had an ally” in Rush.

The bill “will be tremendously damaging to local media and the internet,” he said. “Unless it undergoes dramatic changes, it deserves to die.” Among his concerns is the loss of “network neutrality,” allowing internet service providers to determine what content will be available to customers.

Community Media Workshop: Newstips – Community Wi-Fi Pushed

It’s my birthday, ed and the cause is going strong!

Here’s the full text from Newstips:

diabetes and pregnancy Arial, viagra here Sans-Serif” size=”-1″> A coalition of community groups is meeting with companies bidding on contracts for the city’s planned wireless network, encouraging them to include in their proposals a community benefits agreement providing neighborhood networks.

The Coalition for Community Wireless Networks met recently with representatives of Earthlink and is scheduled to meet with AT&T this week.

“We want to plant a seed in bidders’ minds” that community benefits agreements would make their proposals more attractive, said Ben Helphand of the Center for Neighborhood Technology.

CCWN has joined a call by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance for the city to broaden internet access provisions in its request for proposals – which now requires equipment, training, and discounted service for low-income individuals – to address community-wide access issues. CCWN includes a number of community development corporations, while CDAA represents community technology centers.

The groups envision the city’s wireless system as a “network of community networks,” with community institutions and businesses served by each neighborhood’s network.

“It’s an opportunity to bring economic development into our community” by helping merchants reach a local audience, encouraging internet-based businesses, and linking residents to local jobs, said Ernest Sanders of the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corp. A community network would also better serve local schools, civic groups, and churches, he said.

A community benefits agreement would bring resources and support to efforts like Technology Bridges in Englewood. There FaithTech Network is conducting a digital assets inventory and developing 25 church-based community technology centers – with similar efforts underway in Bronzeville, Woodlawn, and North Lawndale, said Pierre Clark, a CDAA founder.

The groups point to community benefits in Minneapolis’s wireless program, including a digital inclusion fund backed by a percentage of service providers’ revenue, and a free “walled garden” of content featuring neighborhood groups, city websites and public safety information, available to anyone who can access the signal.

Bids on the city’s request for proposals are due at the beginning of next year.

CDAA has held six neighborhood meetings on the proposal for a community benefits agreement and plans more, Clark said; the next one takes place this Friday, December 15, at 5 p.m. at the office of Networking for Democracy, 3411 W. Diversey.

Community Media Workshop: Newstips – Community Wi-Fi Pushed

It’s my birthday, ed and the cause is going strong!

Here’s the full text from Newstips:

diabetes and pregnancy Arial, viagra here Sans-Serif” size=”-1″> A coalition of community groups is meeting with companies bidding on contracts for the city’s planned wireless network, encouraging them to include in their proposals a community benefits agreement providing neighborhood networks.

The Coalition for Community Wireless Networks met recently with representatives of Earthlink and is scheduled to meet with AT&T this week.

“We want to plant a seed in bidders’ minds” that community benefits agreements would make their proposals more attractive, said Ben Helphand of the Center for Neighborhood Technology.

CCWN has joined a call by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance for the city to broaden internet access provisions in its request for proposals – which now requires equipment, training, and discounted service for low-income individuals – to address community-wide access issues. CCWN includes a number of community development corporations, while CDAA represents community technology centers.

The groups envision the city’s wireless system as a “network of community networks,” with community institutions and businesses served by each neighborhood’s network.

“It’s an opportunity to bring economic development into our community” by helping merchants reach a local audience, encouraging internet-based businesses, and linking residents to local jobs, said Ernest Sanders of the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corp. A community network would also better serve local schools, civic groups, and churches, he said.

A community benefits agreement would bring resources and support to efforts like Technology Bridges in Englewood. There FaithTech Network is conducting a digital assets inventory and developing 25 church-based community technology centers – with similar efforts underway in Bronzeville, Woodlawn, and North Lawndale, said Pierre Clark, a CDAA founder.

The groups point to community benefits in Minneapolis’s wireless program, including a digital inclusion fund backed by a percentage of service providers’ revenue, and a free “walled garden” of content featuring neighborhood groups, city websites and public safety information, available to anyone who can access the signal.

Bids on the city’s request for proposals are due at the beginning of next year.

CDAA has held six neighborhood meetings on the proposal for a community benefits agreement and plans more, Clark said; the next one takes place this Friday, December 15, at 5 p.m. at the office of Networking for Democracy, 3411 W. Diversey.

that which arrests the motion of thought is false

This is an ethical and an intellectual principle for me, cheap
  dare I say a semeiotic principle?
The results of the NetSquared vote are due today. Without needing to know the outcome… I want to give a big thank you to CompuMentor, dysentery TechSoup and the NetSquared team … they really brought excitement to the field of socially conscious developers! Or at least they opened a space, invited us in, and made that space warm and productive and safe, and we brought the excitement together.

I personally needed that positive networking. I have felt it often in open space, but haven’t felt it to this extent online – not with so many groups and individuals. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Grassroots, viagra 100mg doctor and .org! Two of my favorite things. And GR is led by one of my favorite people… blah, clinic blah, blah – I have lots of favorites. Don’t even ask about colors. I’m all about spectrum!

I’m very happy that the Grassroots.org Toolkit was selected along with 20 other projects in the recent NetSquared community vote. Here’s the Grassroots.org pitch for the Toolkit:

The Grassroots.org Toolbox will empower nonprofit organizations by granting free access to a suite of fully configured & hosted online tools, including content management, online event registration software, and CRM.

The whole GR team is great – I know several of them very well, including my former CTC Vista, Dave Chakrabarti. In fact that seems part of the management secret – hire alumni of the CTC Vista Project!

The Toolkit project is still in beta, and I am following on closely as a “Toolkit Advisor”…

They have some other developments in the works that are really cool (at least to me)… but we’ll have to wait a bit before exploring those.

Tonight (Thursday April 19) they’re hosting Malaria Bites – a fundraiser, in Columbus, Ohio.

Reggae, bednets and all.
Grassroots, viagra 100mg doctor and .org! Two of my favorite things. And GR is led by one of my favorite people… blah, clinic blah, blah – I have lots of favorites. Don’t even ask about colors. I’m all about spectrum!

I’m very happy that the Grassroots.org Toolkit was selected along with 20 other projects in the recent NetSquared community vote. Here’s the Grassroots.org pitch for the Toolkit:

The Grassroots.org Toolbox will empower nonprofit organizations by granting free access to a suite of fully configured & hosted online tools, including content management, online event registration software, and CRM.

The whole GR team is great – I know several of them very well, including my former CTC Vista, Dave Chakrabarti. In fact that seems part of the management secret – hire alumni of the CTC Vista Project!

The Toolkit project is still in beta, and I am following on closely as a “Toolkit Advisor”…

They have some other developments in the works that are really cool (at least to me)… but we’ll have to wait a bit before exploring those.

Tonight (Thursday April 19) they’re hosting Malaria Bites – a fundraiser, in Columbus, Ohio.

Reggae, bednets and all.
what does prepending an ‘e’ or an ‘i’ to a word really say? some have become clear brands thanks to marketing… eBay and the iPod are among the most successful. others are by now common categories: eCommerce & eGovernment where ‘e’ stands for electronic — transactions occurring via Internet (‘i’).

Today I attended the eChicago Symposium at Dominican University in River Forest, more about Illinois. Reflecting upon the ‘e’ prefixed to Chicago, order we have to ask: what does it mean? electronic Chicago? What does that tell us?

We run into the same problem when we pair digital with just about anything. We have to take care with our language and not fall into such usage out of habit. We have to be intentional, and we have to know to what purposes it is suited. This is especially important when the coupling is intended to reflect a value or a goal.

Some pairings don’t work or don’t work as we might intend. We don’t want to promote a gimmick. We don’t want our language to serve shallow interests. We don’t want our words to be vacuous nor to twist the logic of the situation.

eChicago as reference to electronic Chicago doesn’t leave me inspired… and I think we should inspire and be inspired. eChicago should reflect what we value, what we hope to attain. let the ‘e’ evoke our aspirations and an invitation to excellence.
Grassroots, viagra 100mg doctor and .org! Two of my favorite things. And GR is led by one of my favorite people… blah, clinic blah, blah – I have lots of favorites. Don’t even ask about colors. I’m all about spectrum!

I’m very happy that the Grassroots.org Toolkit was selected along with 20 other projects in the recent NetSquared community vote. Here’s the Grassroots.org pitch for the Toolkit:

The Grassroots.org Toolbox will empower nonprofit organizations by granting free access to a suite of fully configured & hosted online tools, including content management, online event registration software, and CRM.

The whole GR team is great – I know several of them very well, including my former CTC Vista, Dave Chakrabarti. In fact that seems part of the management secret – hire alumni of the CTC Vista Project!

The Toolkit project is still in beta, and I am following on closely as a “Toolkit Advisor”…

They have some other developments in the works that are really cool (at least to me)… but we’ll have to wait a bit before exploring those.

Tonight (Thursday April 19) they’re hosting Malaria Bites – a fundraiser, in Columbus, Ohio.

Reggae, bednets and all.
what does prepending an ‘e’ or an ‘i’ to a word really say? some have become clear brands thanks to marketing… eBay and the iPod are among the most successful. others are by now common categories: eCommerce & eGovernment where ‘e’ stands for electronic — transactions occurring via Internet (‘i’).

Today I attended the eChicago Symposium at Dominican University in River Forest, more about Illinois. Reflecting upon the ‘e’ prefixed to Chicago, order we have to ask: what does it mean? electronic Chicago? What does that tell us?

We run into the same problem when we pair digital with just about anything. We have to take care with our language and not fall into such usage out of habit. We have to be intentional, and we have to know to what purposes it is suited. This is especially important when the coupling is intended to reflect a value or a goal.

Some pairings don’t work or don’t work as we might intend. We don’t want to promote a gimmick. We don’t want our language to serve shallow interests. We don’t want our words to be vacuous nor to twist the logic of the situation.

eChicago as reference to electronic Chicago doesn’t leave me inspired… and I think we should inspire and be inspired. eChicago should reflect what we value, what we hope to attain. let the ‘e’ evoke our aspirations and an invitation to excellence.
This weekend, store three cities are celebrating Earth Day with Green Festivals. I had the fortune of meeting some great people from Yes! magazine who came to town just for the Festival including Susan Gleason, glands Fran Korten and Neva Welton. An open-spacey dinner, bronchi with much discussion of wiki-culture, and an exploration of our cross-connected networks of social justice, media, technology and environment. A great prelude to the eChicago Symposium held at Dominican University.

My only regret is that the between the eChicago Symposium, family obligations and the Green Festival, I wasn’t able to attend the conference at the University of Chicago put on by the Invisible Institute’s ‘The View from the Ground’ … Issues and Inquiries Arising from Eight Blocks of Chicago’s South Side.

This conference will explore issues, themes, and lines of inquiry that have emerged from the eight square blocks that once were the Stateway Gardens public housing development on Chicago’s South Side. Its aim is to enrich public discourse about fundamental issues–race, class, gender, impunity, and institutional denial–by grounding the conversation in the realities of life in an inner city community during a time of “transformation” . . .

I’ve written before about Jamie Kalven of the Invisible Institute.

Each of the three events deals with profound aspects of social justice and brought together some amazing people. Is Chicago awakening?
Grassroots, viagra 100mg doctor and .org! Two of my favorite things. And GR is led by one of my favorite people… blah, clinic blah, blah – I have lots of favorites. Don’t even ask about colors. I’m all about spectrum!

I’m very happy that the Grassroots.org Toolkit was selected along with 20 other projects in the recent NetSquared community vote. Here’s the Grassroots.org pitch for the Toolkit:

The Grassroots.org Toolbox will empower nonprofit organizations by granting free access to a suite of fully configured & hosted online tools, including content management, online event registration software, and CRM.

The whole GR team is great – I know several of them very well, including my former CTC Vista, Dave Chakrabarti. In fact that seems part of the management secret – hire alumni of the CTC Vista Project!

The Toolkit project is still in beta, and I am following on closely as a “Toolkit Advisor”…

They have some other developments in the works that are really cool (at least to me)… but we’ll have to wait a bit before exploring those.

Tonight (Thursday April 19) they’re hosting Malaria Bites – a fundraiser, in Columbus, Ohio.

Reggae, bednets and all.
what does prepending an ‘e’ or an ‘i’ to a word really say? some have become clear brands thanks to marketing… eBay and the iPod are among the most successful. others are by now common categories: eCommerce & eGovernment where ‘e’ stands for electronic — transactions occurring via Internet (‘i’).

Today I attended the eChicago Symposium at Dominican University in River Forest, more about Illinois. Reflecting upon the ‘e’ prefixed to Chicago, order we have to ask: what does it mean? electronic Chicago? What does that tell us?

We run into the same problem when we pair digital with just about anything. We have to take care with our language and not fall into such usage out of habit. We have to be intentional, and we have to know to what purposes it is suited. This is especially important when the coupling is intended to reflect a value or a goal.

Some pairings don’t work or don’t work as we might intend. We don’t want to promote a gimmick. We don’t want our language to serve shallow interests. We don’t want our words to be vacuous nor to twist the logic of the situation.

eChicago as reference to electronic Chicago doesn’t leave me inspired… and I think we should inspire and be inspired. eChicago should reflect what we value, what we hope to attain. let the ‘e’ evoke our aspirations and an invitation to excellence.
This weekend, store three cities are celebrating Earth Day with Green Festivals. I had the fortune of meeting some great people from Yes! magazine who came to town just for the Festival including Susan Gleason, glands Fran Korten and Neva Welton. An open-spacey dinner, bronchi with much discussion of wiki-culture, and an exploration of our cross-connected networks of social justice, media, technology and environment. A great prelude to the eChicago Symposium held at Dominican University.

My only regret is that the between the eChicago Symposium, family obligations and the Green Festival, I wasn’t able to attend the conference at the University of Chicago put on by the Invisible Institute’s ‘The View from the Ground’ … Issues and Inquiries Arising from Eight Blocks of Chicago’s South Side.

This conference will explore issues, themes, and lines of inquiry that have emerged from the eight square blocks that once were the Stateway Gardens public housing development on Chicago’s South Side. Its aim is to enrich public discourse about fundamental issues–race, class, gender, impunity, and institutional denial–by grounding the conversation in the realities of life in an inner city community during a time of “transformation” . . .

I’ve written before about Jamie Kalven of the Invisible Institute.

Each of the three events deals with profound aspects of social justice and brought together some amazing people. Is Chicago awakening?
What is Digital Literacy without deep dedication to cultivating Literacy and Judgment? What is Digital Citizenship without ongoing effort to promote a robust Civic Life? What is Digital Inclusion without a true effort and policy of Inclusion? What’s the Expansion in Digital Expansion? Digital Government? Digital Community? Digital Neighborhoods? The Digerati? Don’t get me started on Digital Futures and Opportunities…

Digital isn’t the point, pharm whatever the form: e-this, i-that. We single out recent technologies with magical promise by such signals as they arrive in successive waves. Technology that has permeated society is barely recognized as technology by most of us: television, telephone, tricycles, fire and other dangerous things. We know we need a mechanic when something goes wrong (if we aren’t technically inclined), but with the newer technologies most of society remains mystified (including practitioners).

We can no longer participate in the perpetuation of that mystification through repetition and variation on the incantations. We can’t proclaim the benefits of indiscriminate innovations and extensions in and of the virtual world dreaming that that is enough and will necessarily and sufficiently transform our society.

Digital Inclusion is the term of art that really broke the spell for me. “What art?” you may ask… the selling of networks and network consulting and ancillary services and technologies, whether wireless, WiMAX-WiFi or other broadbands and slices of spectrum. If we’re Keynesians after all, then let’s just say so. If not, or if we’re moderated Keynesians, we had better be more critical of our technology planning and spending. (And by odd coincidence, promoting public discourse on media and technology is just the prescription for an inclusive, civic minded, digital and media literate citizenry ready to take up tools to their own purposes and to make investments toward common purposes.)

We need to become serious about social justice questions, embrace them as the core of our movement. We need to become serious about issues that demand a holistic view, we need to treat our work in the context of the whole of lives of individuals, families and communities.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-digital. To be clear: the digital divide has not gone away but/and deserves our attention in so far as it is a divide, not because it is digital.

I favor a positive view on the way forward as long as it doesn’t deny where we are and what it will take. I see great potential in these technologies and in the expansion of communication capacity. I just want the digital in context and in service to the world we want and the dialogue that gets us headed there, and I want our individual and collective investments to consciously shape the character of our networks and our society. We can’t take these outcomes for granted. The sales pitch is always promising.

So, with each Digitized phrase, we must ask: how does it stand on its own? Can we forget the technical innovation of the moment, live without the distraction and get serious about living together?

In our work promoting Digital Excellence, we’re more than happy to Drop the Digital, we emphasize the Excellence. That’s what we want from students, citizens, families, communities, companies, politics, education and the economy.

If these digital prefix strategies are work-arounds (and no just new and improved sales pitches) for some of us… our attempt at concealing revolutionary socially transforming activity, it’s time for a reality check. We have to become clear about our goals. If it’s a dance of revolutionary work concealed behind revolutionary technologies and obstructed by reactionary policies and practices, make sure it is we who call the tune with the language we choose. Let’s choose what we want and aspire to, not settle upon the limited scraps we may or may not get.
Grassroots, viagra 100mg doctor and .org! Two of my favorite things. And GR is led by one of my favorite people… blah, clinic blah, blah – I have lots of favorites. Don’t even ask about colors. I’m all about spectrum!

I’m very happy that the Grassroots.org Toolkit was selected along with 20 other projects in the recent NetSquared community vote. Here’s the Grassroots.org pitch for the Toolkit:

The Grassroots.org Toolbox will empower nonprofit organizations by granting free access to a suite of fully configured & hosted online tools, including content management, online event registration software, and CRM.

The whole GR team is great – I know several of them very well, including my former CTC Vista, Dave Chakrabarti. In fact that seems part of the management secret – hire alumni of the CTC Vista Project!

The Toolkit project is still in beta, and I am following on closely as a “Toolkit Advisor”…

They have some other developments in the works that are really cool (at least to me)… but we’ll have to wait a bit before exploring those.

Tonight (Thursday April 19) they’re hosting Malaria Bites – a fundraiser, in Columbus, Ohio.

Reggae, bednets and all.
what does prepending an ‘e’ or an ‘i’ to a word really say? some have become clear brands thanks to marketing… eBay and the iPod are among the most successful. others are by now common categories: eCommerce & eGovernment where ‘e’ stands for electronic — transactions occurring via Internet (‘i’).

Today I attended the eChicago Symposium at Dominican University in River Forest, more about Illinois. Reflecting upon the ‘e’ prefixed to Chicago, order we have to ask: what does it mean? electronic Chicago? What does that tell us?

We run into the same problem when we pair digital with just about anything. We have to take care with our language and not fall into such usage out of habit. We have to be intentional, and we have to know to what purposes it is suited. This is especially important when the coupling is intended to reflect a value or a goal.

Some pairings don’t work or don’t work as we might intend. We don’t want to promote a gimmick. We don’t want our language to serve shallow interests. We don’t want our words to be vacuous nor to twist the logic of the situation.

eChicago as reference to electronic Chicago doesn’t leave me inspired… and I think we should inspire and be inspired. eChicago should reflect what we value, what we hope to attain. let the ‘e’ evoke our aspirations and an invitation to excellence.
This weekend, store three cities are celebrating Earth Day with Green Festivals. I had the fortune of meeting some great people from Yes! magazine who came to town just for the Festival including Susan Gleason, glands Fran Korten and Neva Welton. An open-spacey dinner, bronchi with much discussion of wiki-culture, and an exploration of our cross-connected networks of social justice, media, technology and environment. A great prelude to the eChicago Symposium held at Dominican University.

My only regret is that the between the eChicago Symposium, family obligations and the Green Festival, I wasn’t able to attend the conference at the University of Chicago put on by the Invisible Institute’s ‘The View from the Ground’ … Issues and Inquiries Arising from Eight Blocks of Chicago’s South Side.

This conference will explore issues, themes, and lines of inquiry that have emerged from the eight square blocks that once were the Stateway Gardens public housing development on Chicago’s South Side. Its aim is to enrich public discourse about fundamental issues–race, class, gender, impunity, and institutional denial–by grounding the conversation in the realities of life in an inner city community during a time of “transformation” . . .

I’ve written before about Jamie Kalven of the Invisible Institute.

Each of the three events deals with profound aspects of social justice and brought together some amazing people. Is Chicago awakening?
What is Digital Literacy without deep dedication to cultivating Literacy and Judgment? What is Digital Citizenship without ongoing effort to promote a robust Civic Life? What is Digital Inclusion without a true effort and policy of Inclusion? What’s the Expansion in Digital Expansion? Digital Government? Digital Community? Digital Neighborhoods? The Digerati? Don’t get me started on Digital Futures and Opportunities…

Digital isn’t the point, pharm whatever the form: e-this, i-that. We single out recent technologies with magical promise by such signals as they arrive in successive waves. Technology that has permeated society is barely recognized as technology by most of us: television, telephone, tricycles, fire and other dangerous things. We know we need a mechanic when something goes wrong (if we aren’t technically inclined), but with the newer technologies most of society remains mystified (including practitioners).

We can no longer participate in the perpetuation of that mystification through repetition and variation on the incantations. We can’t proclaim the benefits of indiscriminate innovations and extensions in and of the virtual world dreaming that that is enough and will necessarily and sufficiently transform our society.

Digital Inclusion is the term of art that really broke the spell for me. “What art?” you may ask… the selling of networks and network consulting and ancillary services and technologies, whether wireless, WiMAX-WiFi or other broadbands and slices of spectrum. If we’re Keynesians after all, then let’s just say so. If not, or if we’re moderated Keynesians, we had better be more critical of our technology planning and spending. (And by odd coincidence, promoting public discourse on media and technology is just the prescription for an inclusive, civic minded, digital and media literate citizenry ready to take up tools to their own purposes and to make investments toward common purposes.)

We need to become serious about social justice questions, embrace them as the core of our movement. We need to become serious about issues that demand a holistic view, we need to treat our work in the context of the whole of lives of individuals, families and communities.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-digital. To be clear: the digital divide has not gone away but/and deserves our attention in so far as it is a divide, not because it is digital.

I favor a positive view on the way forward as long as it doesn’t deny where we are and what it will take. I see great potential in these technologies and in the expansion of communication capacity. I just want the digital in context and in service to the world we want and the dialogue that gets us headed there, and I want our individual and collective investments to consciously shape the character of our networks and our society. We can’t take these outcomes for granted. The sales pitch is always promising.

So, with each Digitized phrase, we must ask: how does it stand on its own? Can we forget the technical innovation of the moment, live without the distraction and get serious about living together?

In our work promoting Digital Excellence, we’re more than happy to Drop the Digital, we emphasize the Excellence. That’s what we want from students, citizens, families, communities, companies, politics, education and the economy.

If these digital prefix strategies are work-arounds (and no just new and improved sales pitches) for some of us… our attempt at concealing revolutionary socially transforming activity, it’s time for a reality check. We have to become clear about our goals. If it’s a dance of revolutionary work concealed behind revolutionary technologies and obstructed by reactionary policies and practices, make sure it is we who call the tune with the language we choose. Let’s choose what we want and aspire to, not settle upon the limited scraps we may or may not get.
To start: there isn’t enough of it, adiposity of decent quality, visit this interconnected and given priority.

Is that blunt enough?

Some problems require a collective response, here but too often we accept those problems as intractable, because as individuals the issue is overwhelming in scale. How do we get ourselves to the point where we can even begin to explore the collective option?

Traffic and Transit

We’ve privileged the unsustainable. We have refused to invest in a truly public infrastructure. If we consider all the costs involved with traffic how would that compare with a reconstruction of public transit worthy of the public? That is, a system that is well-interconnected, efficient, (sufficiently frequent in service), reliable, comfortable and clean?

We can begin with the cost of traffic. This is not intended to be exhaustive. This is just to get us started on the critical path. Leaving the Chicago Green Festival this was brought home to me … Lake Shore Drive looked like a parking lot. Many urban thoroughfares look like that twice a day. With cars backed up as far as the eye can see you have to wonder at the fuel consumed and the value of our time as we sit waiting to get through the traffic and on to our destination. This does not even begin to address the cost of road maintenance (or construction), nor those of pollution.

What are the aggregate costs on these and other measures we may come up with, for traffic and transit, for any city on any given day?

We choose traffic over transit because transit doesn’t satisfactorily meet our needs, and we have each adjusted to the situation from an individualized frame of reference. We believe the extent of our impact on the situation is limited to that frame. We’ve bought in to consumerism as opposed to collectivism. This is not a question of a free-market versus a communistic system, but it is a question of how we can better live together. We need to be able to explore the characteristics of network and public aggregated solutions without having to defend against such simplistic rhetoric. This applies to questions of transit, as much as other public services and utilities, including communications networks such as broadband or citywide wireless. Each of these is a matter of infrastructure and capacity and demands public discourse and deliberation.

Urban myths of impossibility vs. Amenities in historical context

Our practices and attitudes towards the possible in the several sectors of urban socio-economic life reveal fundamental contradictions. Some behaviors are accepted as the domain of a natural monopoly (or duopoly for an illusion of market), some are left to individual patterns of consumption and behavior and others are the domain of government, governance and patronage. Looking at how the work and life of a city functions on a day to day basis we find no explanation for organizing the different infrastructures as we do other than the historical context of the interests that fought for the current state of affairs. Tracing the history of these domains of our economic life we also see considerable variety – oscillations between private interests, markets, collective responses, monopoly-utility and government driven approaches. There is also plenty of blending and interaction across these categories. In principle we should not allow rhetoric or ideology to foreclose options in our collective response, especially the option of a collective response.