Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Are You Hip To SMTV Channel 98 Yet?

Who you be, stranger?
Things sometimes just seem to happen. And when they do you can be a bit confused by what it is you think you might be looking at. Take SMTV 98, our new TV station that I certainly didn't see coming. Did you? Of course, I don't watch a whole lot of TV, so it's not like I'd be running into something like this too easily. And yet, here it is for all the world to see. Let's see if we can tease out the meaning of it all from some of the clues provided to us. I do like a good mystery, especially after I have figured it out. Which, unfortunately, I haven't yet.

First off, it's not like nobody in Sierra Madre hasn't tried this before. This blast from the past is from the Los Angeles Times, February 6, 1991 (link):

Sierra Madre Plugs In to Cable Television Broadcasting: Despite a debut filled with bloopers, the program's sponsors and participants look forward to going on with the show.

Sierra Madre's foray into the world of live cable television seemed to have more to do with Murphy's Law than "Murphy Brown." The focus lens on camera No. 2 got stuck, causing a five-minute delay of the show's 8 p.m. debut Jan. 30.

There were more volunteer crew members--about 12--than there were members of the studio audience. The electronic graphics board, which generates names and titles for the show, wasn't working. And a real wood fire, lit in an on-set fireplace to provide a homey touch, gave off some unexpected sound effects.

"That fire crackling in the background sounds like Ping-Pong," said Booth Hartley, a computer programmer at Caltech who was operating the electronic graphics board. But hey, this is community television, not network news.

And with live TV, "Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong, no matter what you do," noted Arcadia resident Jack Bryce, a retired public relations manager for Pacific Bell who acted as one of the show's three camera operators.

But what it lacked in technical expertise, the volunteer crew more than made up in enthusiasm.

Cords and cables were run from the Senior Citizen Center's Memorial Park House, where the show was being taped, to the mobile "camera control unit," or studio on wheels, which was parked around the side.

The show's producer-host, Charlotte Blackmon, even put makeup on guests, who included Sierra Madre City Councilman Clem Bartolai, former Mayor Lisa Fowler Farrell, resident Elizabeth Toth and volunteers from the city's Skilled Nursing Center Facility Auxiliary.

"Television is the ultimate team sport," said Kristine Komar, executive director of Pasadena Community Television, which provides the training and equipment for the Sierra Madre program. "Everyone depends on everybody else."

That was then, so what about today and our new Sierra Madre cable station? The information provided is not exactly clear, but there is a survey provided by something called Survey Monkey. Not sure if Survey Monkey works for the city or not, but I wouldn't be too shocked if he (or she) might have some kind of a hook up there. Here is how the survey is introduced to you, the potential SMTV Channel 98 viewer:

Sierra Madre TV Survey

Got a minute? The folks who run Sierra Madre's two local TV stations - that's right, Sierra Madre has two local TV stations - need your opinion on what you like to watch and how you watch it so they can make this local resource more fun and relevant to your lifestyle. 

We are doing this survey now because we are excited to launch a new channel, Channel 98. As you might know, Channel 3 on Time Warner Cable has been airing City Council and Planning Commission meetings, and other City government events, live for years and this important service will continue. But we are now adding Channel 98 as a commercial free, educational channel that will feature children's programming, classic movies and TV shows, how-to shows, community special events and other interesting and eclectic programming relevant to our lives in Sierra Madre all presented without commercials and without fundraising. It is our channel, it is starting from scratch, and we need you to tell us what you want to see on it. 

Please take a few minutes to fill out this questionnaire and be part of creating something that will entertain and inform us, be unique to our special town, and make us proud. Thanks for the help.

A couple of things that the Survey Monkey requests you reply to are: "Please check all the commercial free programming you would watch," and "Would you be interested in assisting the SMTV3 Committee in selecting programming on Channel 98?" I personally didn't check either of them because I find that catching up on my sleep is usually preferable to watching TV, and that option wasn't included.

If you wish to take Survey Monkey's survey, you can do so by clicking here. I think he wants to hear from you.

So who exactly is calling the shots at SMTV 98? They do have a website, but no actual names are given there that I was able to see. No Board of Directors, no Dutch Uncle, no Aunt Polly, nothing like that. Needless to say, we here at The Tattler enthusiastically support anonymity as a valid and highly effective communications tool, so we are hardly going to complain here. But this is a mystery, and we would enjoy it more if we could find some of these kinds of answers.

One thing they do claim on the SMTV 98 website (link) is that this new cable television station is not affiliated with the City of Sierra Madre. And while it is apparently somehow connected to the folks that broadcast our City Council meetings on its twin station, SMTV3, there is no direct tie to our city gummint. At least, not officially. Though frankly I do think that the two might be cohabiting.

They do offer this following information, however:

There will be a weekly channel guide with programing dates and times. The programing is from public domain sites, the PEG channel community and purchased videos. Image quality sometimes suffer due to the fact many of the programs are older than most of us that are alive. Most of the videos are in black and white, silent films, with color films sprinkled throughout.

The programing targets children, teens, adults and seniors. Throughout the day the programing may include cartoons, serials, movies, Sierra Madre community events, gardening shows and travel logs. Please note that the programming will be interrupted for emergency information as the need arises.

If you would like to have the Channel Guide email to you (sic) weekly please complete the Channel Guide Subscription in the right hand column. You will be emailed a pdf of the current Channel Guide.

They have a pretty cool Popeye cartoon on their webpage, one that contains an important message about fireworks safety. There is also a page that discusses the always interesting topic of sponsors.

The City of Sierra Madre does not have a system to receive resources for Channel 98. Thus this site will be dedicated to receiving sponsorship funds, download movies, shorts, serials and other public domain programing. All submitted programing must be in the public domain or have rights to show programs without cost to us.

We will use viewer feedback to enhance the programming offering. We are looking for individuals, companies, corporations, clubs and organizations to sponsor, purchase or download videos for the channel. A list will be generated for those interested to download or purchase for a fee public domain programing.

Our next clue is found in the storied pages of the Mountain Views News. Somebody placed an ad there for SMTV 98, done as an attempt to entice people into taking the Survey Monkey's survey. You can view this fusty artifact by clicking here.

Another of the clues that we have been able to uncover is found on the City of Sierra Madre's website. Now we know that there is no affiliation between this new SMTV 98 and the City of Sierra Madre, but they do seem to be at the point where they are buying china and patterned sheets. I mean, The Tattler isn't affiliated with the City of Sierra Madre either, but we don't have a page on the their website. If you want to check it out, click here.

But there is a light at the end of this tunnel. And it comes from The Patch, of all places. Here is how they explain it all (link):

SMTV-3 Committee To Have More Independence in Programming Choices - Working with Time Warner Cable, with final touches still to come, SMTV-3 looks forward to having more control over broadcasts.

SMTV-3 and Channel 98, Sierra Madre's government access and public education television stations, respectively, provides citizens with live coverage of happenings around town including meetings of the City Council and Planning Commission as well as other community events and educational programs.

A subcommittee to the Community Services Commission, the SMTV3 Committee is responsible for independently planning and reviewing SMTV3 and Channel 98 endeavors within the community.

"The Community Services Commission shall approve the list of productions and events to be covered by the Community Media of the Foothills," according to Kristi McClure, Deputy Director of Community and Personnel Services.

Although programs are chosen for broadcast by the committee, much of the public education channel's programming is actually run through Cal State Dominguez Hills' channel, giving the City of Sierra Madre less control than they might otherwise have.

Now, through their partnership with Time Warner Cable, which provides the channel to the city through franchise fees paid by cable subscribers, the SMTV Committee and city staff will soon have complete control of the channel and what programs play on it.

“Our role is basically [to] build the shelf, and you can buy the product that you're going to put on the shelf,” Time Warner Director of Government Relations Stephen Sawyer said.

This is not anything different from what other cities in the area have been doing. In fact, Sierra Madre is probably one of the last cities in the area to work with Time Warner Cable to gain more control over television programming.

With final touches in the process of completion and staff training ahead, more independence is on the horizon.

“The last piece is to put in the switcher to allow us to go ahead and turn off and turn on the education channel and what we’d like to program on it,” said McClure.

Also discussed during the committee meeting were DVD submissions of possible educational programs from various independent parties that the committee could then consider broadcasting. The committee plans to review these DVDs before their next meeting in July.

So there you go. Maybe we could sign up with SMTV 98 for The Tattler Sunday News with Sir Eric Maundry? Live from the shed in the backyard. No chickens.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com -- Special thanks to Neuroblast Films.

49 comments:

  1. Does anyone know if John is still the author of this blog? A while ago he noted that he was going to resign from doing it because of other commitments. Then apparently he was going to hand the reins over to Tony B but then I see stories on Tony B so I don't think he'd write about himself. Just curious on where this blog is going.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear it was sold to the California Association of Realtors. Price was over $150,000.

      Delete
    2. A marketing company bought it. They are using sophisticated subliminal messaging to get people to buy more California dairy products.

      Delete
    3. Oh no! I just ate some eggs!

      Delete
    4. Dear Just Curious,
      Don't know if I believe your interest is motivated by good intentions.
      Just skeptical.

      Delete
    5. Just Curious is afflicted with unintentional hilarity.

      Delete
    6. I heard that the blog is run by Josh Moran. Now that he's not mayor, he has more time on his hands.

      Delete
    7. Josh who? What did he do? Sorry. Can't remember.

      Delete
  2. Yes! I do. I know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, too. He was kidnapped by unicorns.

      Delete
  3. Ah, the trolls and trogladytes are alive and well at this early hour. Is that you Steve? Or mayb Carol? Could it be the Mayor? She's always a bit out of sync.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Maybe the first poster should look for him on channel 98.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I watched the Johnny Electric Edison Hour last night. It was all about green nuclear energy.

      Delete
    2. I liked the dancing from the "No On V" cloggers. It is amazing what some people can do with wooden shoes and a fan.

      Delete
    3. The San Onofre Singers were talented, too.

      Delete
  5. Have they hired Robert Matheson to run the show. it looks like he knows his way around a camera.

    Bob Matheson
    July 18, 2012 at 10:41 pm #
    I doubt I’m the only one who entered a career in broadcasting as a result of growing up with the radio stations in the Bay Area. From being KCSM-TV’s first student cameraman to retiring as the Director of Broadcasting at the American Forces Network IAFN) Broadcast Center) It was the best career I could have ever hoped for. And being asked by Red Blanchard’s daughter to write Red’s Obituary was the greatest honor I’ll ever enjoy.
    I thought of the stations I listened to most as a kid, and decided my first contribution to save the CHRS would be $740 because of the incredible influence Red Blanchard had on my career. But then I thought that’s not enough, so Emperor Gene Nelson got the nod, and I’m proud to have pitched in with $1,260.
    OK, the rest of you…get off your butt and put your money where your heart is, in the memory of those early days of broadcasting in the Bay Area. Russ Hodges, Don Sherwood, Ira Blue and many others are counting on you!!

    http://www.californiahistoricalradio.com/2012/11/chrs-is-in-imminent-danger-of-being-forced-to-leave-kre/

    "What we found was when our single-channel, local AFN radio station switched from music to a sports event, more than half the audience left," said Robert Matheson, the director of AFN broadcasting in Riverside, Calif. "Music is what they're looking to be entertained with. When they can't find music, they'll go to their iPods or CDs or computers."
    http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2006-07-07/sports/0607070158_1_sports-events-sports-radio-broadcasts


    Robert Matheson also operates on Ham radio with 2 call signs.
    Call Sign: KI6KEE, Licensee ID: L01290361
    Grant Date: 06/04/2007, Expiration Date: 06/04/2017, Cancellation Date: 06/26/2007, Certifier: Robert W Matheson
    Registrant: Robert W Matheson, 2030 Liliano Dr, Sierra Madre, CA 91024-1533


    Call Sign: W3GHB, Previous Call Sign: KI6KEE, Licensee ID: L01290361
    Grant Date: 06/26/2007, Expiration Date: 06/26/2017, Certifier: Robert W Matheson
    Registrant: Robert W Matheson, 2030 Liliano Dr, Sierra Madre, CA 91024-1533


    Neuroblast Films

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that information Neuroblast. I had seen that Robert W. Matheson was a cameraman at a public television station (was it in Santa Rosa? Someplace close to that?) on Classmates.com, before he took his profile down. The more information we can get out there about this criminal, the better.

      Delete
  6. Past performance has shown that those that would love to increase the density in our town will stop at nothing or will stoop ever so low to get what they want. The facts they twist to cover up past actions is just unbelievable. So, do I trust that SMTV 98 will be delivering the truth about why Sierra Madre is in such bad shape,

    DON'T THINK SO.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Public Safety Notice: Gang Stalking


    This neighborhood reportedly has an ongoing “gang stalking” operation (also known as “organized stalking”). This type of crime is not related to street gangs; rather it involves illegal surveillance and harassment of targeted individuals by multiple perpetrators (called “perp’s” or “brown-nosers”) working together. The stalking is often done for vengeance or to silence potential whistle-blowers.
    Tactics include making threats and abusive comments, breaking into the victim’s residence, slander (lying about the victim), harassment by noise (often from adjacent apartments), criminal invasion of privacy – for example, by tapping phone lines and hacking computers (the crime of eavesdropping – a violation of California Penal Code sections 630 – 638), and other crimes.
    Beware of persons who might be falsely impersonating law enforcement personnel (in violation of California Penal Code section 538d) to recruit participants for gang-stalking operations (as distinguished from legitimate “neighborhood watch” programs). If you are in doubt about the identity of such persons, contact your local sheriff’s office or police department.
    Stalking (maliciously following, harassing, and threatening another person) is a violation of California Penal Code section 646.9 and may be punishable by up to three years in state prison for a first offense.


    To watch an ABC TV show segment illustrating how gang stalkers and other criminals impersonate law enforcement personnel to recruit unsuspecting citizens to help them:


    Perform a Google search of the following:
    “Gang stalking + ABC + John Quinones + Comply or Question Authority”


    To read the affidavit of a former head of the Los Angeles FBI office about gang stalking:
    www.randomcollection.info/gunderson.pdf


    To see U.S. Department of Justice crime survey statistics about gang stalking:
    http://www.multistalkervictims.org/svuslabell...


    Websites with additional information about gang stalking:


    Nowpublic.com (Search for “gang stalking” articles within the website.)
    Multistalkervictims.org/catchcanada/
    Exposegangstalking.com
    Organizedmobbing.com
    Mobbing-usa.com
    Gangstalkingworld.wordpress.com
    Fightgangstalking.wordpress.com


    To inquire about criminal prosecutions for organized stalking crimes, call the California Attorney General’s office at this toll-free number:(800) 952-5225

    ReplyDelete
  8. Johnny Process has an interesting talk show. His interview with Gil Garcetti's parrot was quite an eye opener. There was a real rapport there.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Rumors are...

    the District Attorneys office is coming to Sierra Madre to discuss issues...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's true. They're big Tattler readers.

      Delete
    2. It's no rumor...

      The District Attorney has the facts and is ready to help our Sierra Madre residents!

      Delete
  10. Will they be showing the Three Stooges?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Josh, Nancy and Harabedian are on every other Tuesday night!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John Harabedian makes a great Shemp.

      Delete
    2. Nancy is Moe!

      Delete
  12. Reading anything by or about Robert Matheson makes me want to run and take a shower after I vomit. Of course that was in 2012, before he was arrested and spent 120 days in a Nova Scotia gaol. Ham radio? Just think of the radio contacts he can make with unsuspecting parents and their children all in the name of communication for safety, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am angered every time the subject comes up, because that thing is walking around here as though he's a normal guy.

      Delete
    2. Stop by tomorrow. We have had a major breakthrough in our investigation..

      Delete
    3. Glad to hear that Mod. Anything you can do to make sure everyone knows who Matheson is and what his extracurricular activities are.

      Delete
  13. Can it be far behind that the city will attach SMTV 98 as an add on fee and our UUT will go up? Maybe it is already.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will need to apply for a watcher license.

      Delete
  14. So, here's a question: if you are hit with a penalty for using more than the alloted 20% less of the average of the target year's 6 water bills, can that be subject to the UUT? It is not a payment for water used but a penalty for using too much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judging by all the lawn watering that is still going on in town, the penalties are about revenue and not water conservation. To me the question is not just the UUT one, but also if these "penalties" are also subject to Prop 218.

      Delete
    2. The third level conservation won't start until everyone is notified in their water bills.

      Delete
    3. The UUT relationship was discussed at the last council meeting - any charge for overage would not be subject to the UUT.
      Maybe because of Prop 218 complications?

      Delete
    4. Must be. It is not like this bunch to leave any money on the table unless the law makes them.

      Delete
    5. I thought the overage is subject to the UUT, unless the Council says it isn't?

      Delete
    6. In Sierra Madre the law is whatever Colantuono and Levin say it is. And they just make it all up as they go.

      Delete
    7. I could be wrong, but my best recollection is that both Schneider and Aguilar specifically said any extra money paid in fines would not be included as taxable, so not in the UUT calculation. There wasn't any more to the talk - like a reason - but the staements were made. Pretty sure.

      Delete
    8. The safe assumption is it is always about the money.

      Delete
  15. THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY IS COMMING TO TOWN.

    ANYONE THAT HAS A CONSCIENCE CAN SURELY GIVE THEM A CALL.

    I LEFT THE NAME AND CONTACT INFORMATION ON MONDAY OR TUESDAY TATTLER POSTINGS!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. THIS SOUNDS LIKE F TROOP...

    The District attorney is coming to town ...

    I heard an audit might be in the works!

    Holly _hit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, if the DA gets the job done he can be the Grand Marshal at next year's 4th of July parade!

      Delete
    2. A "perp walk" is a kind of parade.

      Delete
  17. the District Attorney office will be talking to all

    the Three Stooge(S) ... the city management, city attorney, and the
    the famous people who run the "CASH COW".

    Remember, the people who run the "CASH COW", have a Fiduciary Responsibility
    to the city residents who own the "Famous Sierra Madre Water Enterprise"!

    ReplyDelete