Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Get Inspired - Local Heroes 2014 - Playing Now on Our Channels and on Youtube

Front Row: Amber Stime, Louise Pencavel; Back Row: Amika Guillaume,
Gregory Novick, April Pekary, Shannon Pekary, Sabrina Watts, Mary Dunn
The Media Center studio was packed for our 8th Annual Local Hero Awards Screening and Reception, Saturday night, May 17.  The event was hosted by producer Louise Pencavel.   Six video profiles were shown to an enthusiastic audience, sharing many meaningful moments including smiles, gratitude, tears, laughter and, perhaps most importantly, a reverence for being in the company of people whose heart for service filled our own.  A Media Center annual highlight, these videos are a must-see for those interested in public service in the Mid-peninsula and beyond; or for those who seek inspiration to change the world and in doing so become a “local hero.”  You will be inspired and encouraged, guaranteed!  Watch this provocative series in its entirety:  http://midpenmedia.org/faces-of-local-heroes .

All of the nominations come from the public, so we encourage you to start thinking about someone YOU might want to nominate for next year’s series.  If you know anyone who lives or works locally and has overcome hardship or contributed over-and-above to the community and has an inspiring story to tell, you’ve got a nomination!

This year’s Local Heroes:

AMBER STIME is a former disabled orphan and the creator of African Cradle, an adoption agency that pairs American parents with Ethiopian orphans.

APRIL AND SHANNON PEKARY gave up lucrative careers in high tech to move to East Palo Alto, where they have created an innovative program that brings together soccer and religion to mentor underserved young people.

MARY DUNN is the creator of a very successful program for troubled high school students in the Sequoia Union High School District.

GREGORY NOVICK emigrated from Russia at the age of 65 and has become an institution among the local Russian Jewish community by helping hundreds of Russian Jews settle in the Bay Area.

AMIKA GUILLAUME is the principal of Caesar Chavez School and Green Oaks Academy in East Palo Alto.

SABRINA WATTS, once a troubled youth in rehab, has become the founder and director of an unusual non-profit organization that brings together troubled teenagers with shelter dogs, providing training, rehab and therapy for both the young people and the pets.

And a warm thank you to Karen Adams, Media Center Production Manager, and her able crew of Lupita Segura, Zbigniew Zee Leo Stanczyk, Steve Hall, Bob Sitzwohl, Eve Sutton, Bill Dimitri, Alma Love, and Cathy Keys for staffing the event.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


The Media Center took the 9th annual Greenlight Film & Fashion Festival LIVE on Channel 28 last Thursday, April 24 from the Cubberley Theater.  The taped awards ceremony and video finalists begin their TV run tonight on Channel 28 - 7 pm.  Use this link to keep on top of all the playbacks of 2014 Greenlight content.  Or watch them streaming from our website.

The event was hosted by the Media Center's Louise Pencavel and former Palo Alto Mayor and environmental activist Peter Drekmeier.   Nine videos, 3 finalists each from the 3 categories, were screened:

Good Brownies Save Water! produced by Jarney Boccio, Gerrie Phillips-Stock and Karen Fitzpatrick
The Slave of SeaWorld, produced by Nithin Kumar & Arjun Loganathan
Barbie Goes Green, produced by Magdalena Neubrand and Emily Jacquemin

The California Drought Then and Now:  Lessons from the 1970s, produced by Sarah Shader and Lindsey Segal
The Flight of the Red Balloon produced by Mateo Kaiser, Adri Penix and Jenna Loh
Back In My Day, produced by Daniel Ciao and Zakriya Bashir-Hill

Composting at Deer Hollow Farm produced by Katie Lan
Lessons from the Green Ninja produced by Moises Flores and Daniela Chavez
Quotes of Nature produced by Rachel Lee

The panel of judges ultimately awarded "Good Brownies Save Water", "The Flight of the Red Balloon" and "Quotes of Nature" top honors in each category.  Magdalena Neubrand & Emily Jacquemin had four projects in the final nine!  A Greenlight first!

The Greenlight Committee, made up of reps from all the sponsoring organizations, bestowed its Committee Award to "Back in the Day."

The set was decorated by Media Center staff, spearheaded by MC Admin Lupita Segura who, along with eco artist Cristina Velazquez, designed the eco-savvy props and furnishings for the evening.   Elegant and resourceful props were an appropriate backdrop to Pencavel's interviews with the finalists as well as for the fashion show.

Debra Katz, Communications Manager, City of Palo Alto Utilities,  hosted two eco-fashion runway shows of couture designs made from reused materials, in between the categories of film screenings. These fashions ranged from the whimsical to the elegant, and showed youth modeling their own designs.

The purpose of the festival (conceived by former Palo Alto Mayor and Media Center advisor the late Jim Burch) is to explore environmental citizenship and show how individual actions can reduce our environmental impact.

This festival is sponsored by the cities of Palo Alto, Mountain View and Sunnyvale, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, Specialty Solid Waste & Recycling and the Midpeninsula Community Media Center.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Access Cable TV Gains Unanimous Support at Sacramento Hearing

Under a ground swell of 54 support letters and more than a dozen speakers,  Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) 39, aimed at helping fiscally struggling public, education and government(PEG) cable television channels, earned unanimous 12-0 approval Monday by the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee at the California State Capitol.
Speakers line up to show support for AJR 39 before a CA Assembly hearing Monday.
Speakers line up to show support for AJR 39 before a CA Assembly hearing Monday.
Assembly member Roger Hernández (D-Dist. 48, West Covina) authored AJR 39 which, if approved by the full CA Assembly and Senate, would call on US Congress to change laws restricting the way PEG community centers can spend money to help residents with training and equipment to tell the stories of their communities.
“It’s like having money for a library building and books, with no money to hire a librarian to order the books and keep the doors open,” said Hernández.  AJR 39 “urges Congress to allow states and their municipalities to determine the best use of public, educational and government funds.”
Representatives from across California attended the hearing, representing cities and counties, and access community centers from as far south as Long Beach to Marin County, Sacramento and Access Humboldt in the north..
PEG channels are known across the US for their commitment to providing outreach that informs viewers of local political news, community events, and culturally diverse programs not seen on regular commercial television.
Letters of support were listed from 54 different cities, counties, community groups and PEG access centers.  A lobbyist from the California Cable & Telecommunications Associationopposed AJR 39 saying if local governments really support PEG broadcasting, they should pay for it themselves from franchise fees the cable company already collects for their use.
Hernández countered with the notion that restricting dollars the way the current law does is like having medical insurance that pays for medical equipment like a wheelchair, but not the doctor.  He said US Congress needs to change the PEG rules, because they simply don’t make sense.
As an expert witness, Sue Buske of The Buske Group in Sacramento, said the restrictions enacted in 2007 have forced 51 PEG centers in California to close for lack of appropriate funding. While federal law requires cable television providers to give channel space to PEG broadcasting and ensured some dollars for equipment, the federal law has not been revisited since 1984, and AJR 39 if approved in the CA Assembly and Senate would ask US Congress to fix the rules and allow cities and counties the right to authorize funding in a more flexible way.
(Posted first on March 25, 2014 in Access SacramentoNeighborhood NewsTop News! by  )

Friday, March 21, 2014

A State Resolution That Would Protect Centers Like Ours

Annie Folger

On Monday, March 24, 2014, our Executive Director, Annie Folger, will travel to Sacramento to support a resolution introduced in the State Assembly that would protect community media centers that operate public access facilities and cable TV channels. Since 2006, at least 51 of those centers have closed in California alone and many more nationwide.

A new law passed in 2006, changed the funding formula for PEG community access centers to a one size fits all formula governed by the state Public Utilities Commission. Besides curbing the funding levels that many community franchises had negotiated with their cable operators, the new law only allowed funding for capital expenditures.

Assembly Joint Resolution 39, introduced by Roger Hernández (D – West Covina) would encourage the US Congress to allow states and their municipalities to determine the best use of public, educational and government (PEG) funds. Specifically, they ask Congress to allow franchise fees to be spent on operations as well as capital.

You can write to Assembly Member Rich Gordon to show your support for this resolution and amplify Annie's voice in Sacramento at this web page. Or call his Los Altos office at: (650) 691-2121.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Creative Awards - 4 Media Center Finalists!

MC Staff Jeff McGinnis and Lupita Segura flank Henrietta
Burroughs at the Creative Awards last Saturday

Media Center producers and staff were proud to be among the finalists in this year's Creative Awards.  Jeff McGinnis and Lupita Segura represented the staff on the Red Carpet on January 18, 2014 at the California Theatre in San Jose.  The Creative Awards are sponsored by CreaTV, the Media Center's sister station in San Jose.  The Creative Awards honor Bay Area Videomakers.

Among our finalists were:

Future Talk, Show #43 - 3D Printing, produced by Martin Wasserman and Greg Weinstein, in the category, "Bay Area Community Access TV Series, Non-Professional".  This episode includes a studio demonstration as well as location footage from the Menlo Park TechShop and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  View this episode on the Future Talk Website.

Talking With Henrietta - Dealing with the Last Taboo, produced by Henrietta Burroughs, in the category of "Bay Area Community Access TV Series, Professional".  This episode explores current thought surrounding dealing with and talking about death in an open and realistic framework.  See a clip from this episode on EPA Today's youtube channel.

Carbon Neutral - PSA for the City of Palo Alto Utilities Department, Debra Katz producer, Category: Non-Profit PSA.  This PSA featured rap performed and orchestrated by YAC alumnus Sean Lee, lyrics by Debra Katz, with production assistance from Jarrod Hodgdon, Doug Kreitz, Scott Van Duyne and Becky Sanders.   View this PSA on the Zoom In youtube page.

Healthy Eating - PSA produced by the Magic Paint Box with Margaret Rex and Karen Adams, in the Producer category.  The PSA series features a huggable puppet critters with positive messages about food, self-images, bullying and the arts.  The series may be watched on the Magic Paint Box's website.

As hard as it is for me to believe, our producers were not tapped for the ultimate award, but then I looked at the competition and believe you me, every one of the finalists could have, should have won a top billing.  So keeping that in mind, it's a huge achievement to be the final five.

Jeff McGinnis, MC staff member, said that everyone "has to up their game" to be in the winner circles there.  The awards ceremony itself was a grand gala on a scale with the city of San Jose so the "quality of the finalists reflected that."  Jeff had the opportunity to rub elbows with Ed Asner, who was there to receive the coveted Lee Weimers' Community Media Champion Award.  Thank you Jeff and Lupita for reporting in!  And congratulations to all our finalists.  You have done us proud!

Hip Hop Entertainment at the Creative Awards

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Oyez Oyez - The Media Center Holiday Party Pictures

For those of you were unable to attend our annual Volunteer Appreciation party held last Wednesday in the Studio, well, I would read no further.   You may find yourself demoralized at having missed out on one of our best parties ever. And whatever you do, do NOT, I repeat do NOT, feast your eyes upon Doug Kreitz' magnificent pictures, memorializing the event for eternity.  Blinding as the light of the "Ghost of Christmas Present!" in their majesty.  I am such a drama queen!  But yes, the party was that fun!  With yummy comfort food catered by Marie Callenders, incredible veggie Chili from Harry's Hofbrau and desserts from reliable Lucky plus festive beverages afizz, we were all about the business of relaxing in the studio for a welcome change from our usual hustle and bustle of two shows a night, almost 52 weeks a year without fail.

Karen and the Winning Snowman (Steve Hall)
First, much appreciation to all our volunteers.  Because of you, this place works!  And many thanks to Karen Adams, our production manager, for spearheading an evening of winter frolicking including a snowball fight, pass the frozen ice balloons and building your own live snowman capped by a snowman fashion show.   And Karen was able to convince Santa Claus to come to the studio and initiate a guessing game of what holiday item am I?  Yours truly walked around, tagged as Myrrh for the evening.  "Myrrh Sanders" - it has a nice ring to it.

I was thrilled that so many of you were able to partake in our winter soiree.  Doug Kreitz captured the highlights (including the snowball fight!!) and posted the pics on the MC SmugMug site.

Here is the link:


The pictures are also on the MC's Facebook page and you don't need a FB account to see them!


Doug is generously donating the MC holiday event album for personal use but requests that if the photographs are used in a public forum (Facebook, Twitter, websites, etc.) that he be credited as the photographer.

Super shout out to the following elves for making the place adrift with holiday cheer:
Alba Misciagna, Steve Hall, Erik Lind, Don Cirlin, Alma Love, Bill Dimitri, Eve Sutton, Jan Foy, Shobana Swamy, Nancy Brown,  Cathy Keys,  Louise Pencavel,  Katherine Saviskas, Chris Pearce, Lupita Segura, Dave Sorokach, Andrew Weiler,  Jarred Hodgdon, Sara Bennett, and a special note of gratitude to our Executive Director, Annie Folger, for her ongoing vision and support.

We hope our holiday party, kicked off a great holiday season for you.  We appreciate you!  Your volunteering your time, talent and treasure over here is the best holiday gift we could ever have.

See you in 2014.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Five Wave Award Winners

WAVE AWARD Winners 2013

From the record number of 16 finalists
We walked away with five winners!

Winner category: Talk Show Issues - Professional
Producer: Karen Adams, Chief Ronald Davis, LaDoris Cordell, Capt. Carl Estelle, Nancy Brown, EPA Police Dept.
Title: Make the Call: No One Should Get Away with Murder #6
Program Video Link: http://youtu.be/uvXRiiri-y8

Winner category: Educational - Community Producer
Producer: Birgit Starmanns, Stan Ng 

Title: Episode 58: Fotoohi and Speaking Tips
Winner category: Special Audience - Professional
Producer: Sheryl Shaffer 

Title: Afghan Scouts and Keith Blackey

Winner category: Instructional Programs - Community Producer
Producer: Denet Lewis 

Title: High Five Fitness Episode 12, How to cook coconut Brownies, with family
Program Video Link: http://youtu.be/uZf5Z9OC4yg

Winner category: Music Programming - Professional
Producer: Karen Adams, Rivka Amado, Eric Baker, Nancy Brown 

Title: Media Center Studio Session: Blue Hills

Program Video Link: http://youtu.be/axGHr1xBia8

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