Thursday, October 9, 2014


16 Media Center programs were named finalists for the 2014 Western Access Video Excellence (WAVE) Awards sponsored by the Western Region of the Alliance for Community Media.   An awards ceremony will be held on October 24 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ventura, California, as part of the ACM regional conference, taking place October 22-24.  The western region comprises the six states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico and Nevada.

The Media Center congratulates our finalists:

Abilities United Presents Community Connections with Dr. Temple Grandin, produced by Andrea Throndsen (Accessibility-Abled Programming)

Urban Chatter, Urban Scents, produced by Ned Uysal (Animation and Special Effects)

Grief Relief: Golden Gate Bridge, produced by Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley and Alba Misciagna (Community Issues)

Darkness in Silicon Valley, produced by Misha Lavva and Emma Bridgland (Community Issues)

Youth Philanthropy, produced by Lynne Cudden (tapped 3 times - Community Issues, Documentary, Special Audience)

Storytelling to Squirming Buckets of Id, produced by Amanda Kovattana (Documentary)

Toastmasters Bay to Bay: Hsieh & Speakers Tips, produced by Birgit Starmanns and Stan Ng (Educational Access)

Veterans Helping Veterans: What is TBI?  Interview with Dr. Maya V. Yutsis, produced by Sheryl Shaffer (Educational Access)

Toastmaster Time: Youth Leadership Program, produced by George Marshall, Trich Gray and Alan Zoraster (Educational Access)

Heroes of Tango: Homero Manzi, produced by Leah Rogers (Informational Culture)

Heroes of Tango from Alex Roitman on Vimeo.

The Stephanie Herman Show: Conversations with James Redford, produced by Stephanie Herman (Informational Talk Show)

Talk Art: Clay Monoprinting with Martha Casillo, produced by Nance Wheeler & Sally Rayn (Instructional/DIY)

3 Cups of Fun! Episode #3, produced by Nancy Bain & Alba Misciagna (Instructional/DIY)

High Five Fitness: Total Body Bootcamp, produced by Denet Lewis (Instructional/DIY)

Congratulations to our winning producers and to our future and past winners.  We appreciate and celebrate their efforts to transform community one video at a time!


Thursday, October 2, 2014


The city of Palo Alto is buzzing with the frankness and accessibility of the newly named PAUSD Superintendent Max McGee. Here’s your chance to meet and speak with the new Palo Alto Unified School District leader, Dr. Max McGee. The live TV show will feature student hosts interviewing Dr. McGee with questions solicited from students and parents, and also during the show from interested callers.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2014 - 6:30-7:30 pm

 View it on Comcast Channel 28, or ATT Uverse Channel 99 or via our Channel 28 webstream at:

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: .

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

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