Tuesday, February 06, 2007


The battle to save public access TV in Hawaii moves to the legislature

... and it could use your help

Not only can you help, but your help is needed to save Hawaii's public access television channels.

As you know, there's a move afoot to replace the current public access television providers. The administration plans to do this by opening the contracts to competitive bidding, while disadvantaging the current providers from ever winning a contract.

Mainstream media doesn't cover other media, so this story may never see print until the contracts go to some Mainland organization or special interest. Then you'll read the headline, "State public access contract won by Fox News subsidiary" or the like. It will be too late.

Two bills have been introduced in the legislature that would exempt the public access providers from the disruption of having to respond to the state's bidding process. In other words, they would be exempt from the procurement code. The existing contracts are still controlled by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, as they always have been.

If these bills are passed into law, then there will be no risk that public access television could be taken over by special interest or moneyed interests, or even by a Mainland corporation. They would remain locally-operated.

These two bills need to be heard by the committees they have been assigned to.

So your assignment, if you choose to accept it, is simple but important: Please call the chairs of these committees and ask that the bills be heard.

Four phone calls would be ideal. Don't worry, you don't get to speak to the committee chairs themselves, you just get to leave a message with their staff, who tally up the phone calls.

Ok, here goes. Please mark these down, and call right away.

Senate bill SB1847 has been referred to these two committees:

 Tourism and Government Operations Committee Senator Clarence K. Nishihara, Chair 808-586-6970

 Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Affordable Housing Committee Senator Brian Taniguchi, Chair


House bill HB1098 has been referred to these two committees:

 Economic Development & Business Concerns Committee

 Representative Kyle T. Yamashita, Chair

 Consumer Protection & Commerce Committee

 Representative Robert N. Herkes, Chair 808-586-8400

With your help we can save our public access TV channels. Please make the calls, and thanks!


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