While in New Mexico, I visited the public access center in Albuquerque. Housed in a condemned courthouse (asbestos?, roof leaks? or the desire of the "public servants" to build a newer one and rake in the graft?) The new courthouse is the center of recent news. This is from the local paper: Former Bernalillo County Metro Court administrator Toby Martinez used part of his take of the money allegedly skimmed from the construction of Albuquerque's Metro courthouse to invest in a proposed Mississippi casino and buy a 2005 Lexus, according to documents filed in federal court. The building is pretty empty now, except for the lively work of Quote Unquote..Around behind the marble entrance of the condemned court house is the access center. This is the transmission room.Steve Ranieri is the Director of the center and Coleen Gorman is Systems Coordinator. They are working on a new initiative to do media training in New Mexican schools.Zack Freeman is a graphic artist who is Programming and Outreach Coordinator. I asked him what his shirt was about. He said that a group of Tex/Mex musicians do a show at the Center and he learned to love the music, expecially the accordian. When they printed up t-shirts he asked bought one. He wants his friends to learn about this type of music! Zack paints many of the bold graphic designs that make Quote Unquote a lively place. Where else in our society can so many people from so many different walks of life come together to work and exchange their creative projects? Access rules! The center has some great new equipment from a grant from Apple.The screens are alot bigger than the one I am posting this blog on!Unfortunately there are great pressures on PEG (public, educational and government) cable facilities and channels. Verizon, ATT and other telcos are trying to eliminate public interest requirements, saying that it would be unfair of them to have to negotiate for the right to dig up city streets, place switching boxes in yards and town squares and other uses of the "rights of way".
Whose streets? OUR STREETS !!! Go to www.saveaccess.org for the real deal.