Cable Access TV for Greenfield Massachusetts & Franklin County
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Wednesday, December 31 1969

Blog

Feb 8 2019 - 12:23pm

Producers and DJs didn't let this week's weird and wild weather changes stop them from working on their shows.  Seven of them spent more than twenty-three hours in our offices and studios, recording and editing programs for both GCTV & WMCB.  That's in addition to all of the equipment that our producers checked out to use in the field and the DJs who came in to do their weekly live radio programs.

Each production moved at it's own pace, one just recorded its very first show and will be learning to edit it in the near future.  Other producers were in the middle of editing large projects that will require several more sessions to complete.  On the other end of the spectrum, however, a passionate advocate for helping the homeless came in for a tour of our facilities and ended up making a short Public Service Announcement (PSA) in under two hours.

None of this could have been accomplished without the help of our trained staff and they can assist you as well.  We can't stress this enough, if you have a message that you want the general public to hear, talk to us.  You can stop by our reception desk on the first floor of 393 Main Street or give us a call at (413) 774-4288.  We'll be happy to discuss all that we have to offer.

Jan 25 2019 - 3:10pm

Well, not everywhere but it does seem to like turning up in unexpected places in the building where our offices and studios are located.  You may remember that we've dealt with 2 or 3 water leaks over the past 10 years and, unfortunately, there was another this week.  Fortunately, for us, our units weren't damaged this time.

We found out about what was happening when someone from Community Action came to let us know that a plumber was turning off all of the water in the building, until he could determine where the problem was.  This was around 4:45PM on Wednesday and, in our building, no water means no heat.  Thankfully, it didn't go below freezing on Wednesday night!  In addition, we're grateful to  Garden Cinemas Owner & GCTV Board Member George Gohl, who gave permission for our staff, producers, and DJs to use the movie theater's restrooms while this was going on.

By mid-morning on Thursday, heat and water had been restored to most of the building.  A nice bonus for us is that the repair people discovered 2 of our heaters had been broken in a separate incident but they were able to fix them as well.  We're especially grateful that we aren't the ones dealing with property damage this time and we hope that the organizations who are, are able to recover quickly.  We also really hope that this is the last time it rains on anyone inside our building.

Jan 18 2019 - 2:22pm

What does it take for us to be able to broadcast from a new remote location?  We explored that question over the last few months, as Greenfield officials worked through their process of moving government meetings to the John Zon Community Center.  In the old days (about 5-10 years ago in the life of technology), we required a "live drop" at a location in order to send our signal to Comcast so that they could, in turn, direct it into your home.  A live drop is a cable installed by a television service provider that connects directly into their system.

When GCTV first became operational, Comcast was required to install live drops at various places around town, like Greenfield High School and city hall.  We used these for many years to provide live coverage of events such as government meetings and parades.  Times change, however, and technology changes even faster.  Cable is no longer the only medium with which to send a video signal.

Faster and faster internet speeds have made it practical, and in some cases desirable, to transmit video over both hardline and wifi connections.  Since there is no live drop at the new high school, we've been using this transmission method to broadcast recent town council and school committee meetings.  With the cooperation of the mayor and employees in Greenfield's IT department, we were able to reconfigure our equipment to do the same thing from the new community center.

On Monday, we tested everything so that Wednesday's inaugural broadcast went off without a hitch. We're happy to be able to provide the public with live audio and video of local government meetings, both on Cable Channel 15 and here on our website, and we'll make sure to keep up with technology changes so that we can continue to do so in the future.

Jan 11 2019 - 12:59pm

Instead of talking about New Year's resolutions, we decided to let people fantasize on our Idea Wall this week.  We asked the question, "If you could make any TV/radio show, what would it be about?"  We hoped this would give folks a chance to think outside the box and here are the answers we received:

The entry that sparked the most discussion is the one that now reads "animated workplace comedy about henchpeople".  It went through several iterations on the board, starting out as simply "animated comedies" and at one point becoming "animated comedies about henchmen".  Our communication coordinator especially appreciated the enlightened change to non-gender specific language.  Furthermore, the short dialogue you see there, "(Minions?) NO!!!", is the result of one of our producers/DJs suggesting another non-gendered word which, unfortunately for this project, now has a connotation of cuteness thanks to the Despicable Me movies.  The person whose fantasy show it is, however, was thinking much more along the lines of the bad guy underlings in FXX's Archer or NBC's Powerless.

If you're feeling like you missed out on all the fun, don't worry.  You too can play this game, and even make a real TV show.  If you have an idea that you're looking to bring to life, stop by or give us a call.  We can provide you with training and equipment to help realize your vision.  That's it for this week.  Until next time, dream big!

Jan 4 2019 - 2:34pm

Ah, January! A time for resolutions, restarts, and change.  Speaking of those things, we thought this was a good time to look at our programming lineup and see if anything needed tweaking.  It turns out there were several opportunities to streamline the schedule and provide a better viewing experience for our audience.  Here are some examples:

On Sundays, we've expanded the informative Greenfield Public Library First Wednesday Speaker Series timeslot to a full 2 hours, since most of the events were running between 1 hr and 15 minutes and 1 hr and 45 minutes.  This means that fans of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Music and the Spoken Word, and of local services from Our Lady of Czestochowa and the Zion Korean Church, will now consistently be able to tune in at Noon, 12:30PM, and 1:30PM, respectively, for the start of those shows.

Since both the Greenfield Town Council and the Greenfield School Committee meet on Wednesday nights, and often have more than 1 meeting per month, we've created a regular space for local government programming in prime time, from 6PM to 10PM, that day.  This gives you more chances to stay up to date with what your elected officials are doing because there will always be either a live or recorded meeting in that slot.

Finally, polka afficionados may notice that Wednesday afternoons no longer feature their favorite music.  Unfortunately, over the course of 2018, several shows ceased production, much to the disappointment of a large contingent of Greenfield residents.  In response, we've shifted things around and, on the bright side, we are still airing Polka Joe at 1PM on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, and Polka with Staz at 1PM on Fridays.

We hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season and that you enjoy all of our programming in 2019.

Dec 7 2018 - 12:58pm

Over the past thirty years, GCTV has provided more than 270,000 hours of television access to the area, in addition to a community bulletin board that shares important information from community organizations directly into your home. In 2018, we brought you 62 different local and national shows, including School Committee, Town Council, and other special meetings, as well as other events, such as Winter Carnival, the Franklin County Fair Parade, Rag Shag Parade, the Greenfiled Public Library Speaker Series. We also aired your original content, such as Sky Tries, Pensacola Punks, FlyByNews, and so much more.   

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is accepting comments for Docket 05-311 through December 14, 2018, and we need your voice more than ever. Docket 05-311 would potentially result in a significant reduction of franchise fees and defund community television access, leading to an elimination of many of the shows you, our loyal viewers, continously tell us you enjoy and love. 

Last month, three of our GCTV Board Members (Drew Hutchinson, Chris Collins, and Otis Wheeler) sat down to discuss the positive impact that community television has, and the potential dangers that the FCC's proposed changes would have on your community television. You can watch the full video here.

I encourage you to watch it. I encourage you to go to this FCC Filings Page and support GCTV and community television. 

How to submit a comment: 

  1. Go to the FCC Filings Express Page (will open up in a new window for your convenience)
  2. In the Proceedings Sections type: 05-311
  3. Fill out the rest of the form
  4. In the Comments section, support GCTV and other community television stations by asking the FCC not to adopt the proposed changes; I've taken the liberty of suggesting a comment which you may copy and paste, and edit at your convenience:

Greenfield Community Television (GCTV), our local Public, Educational, and Governmental (PEG) Access channel provides a wide range of local programming about our community, as well as national shows, which is a valuable service to Greenfield MA residents, community organizations, and viewers. Our local PEG TV studio at GCTV, also provides access to a professional studio, editing and field equipment for local residents, schools, and community organizations, who would not otherwise have access to such facilities, as well as much needed training and guidance. The loss of franchise fees would also eliminate the main source of operational funding for GCTV, as well as PEG channels in other communities. I strongly encourage that the FCC support GCTV and other PEG channels across the country by not supporting the proposed changes. 

It's not too late to submit a comment...and please share with your friends and family.

Thank you,

Oscar R. Lanza-Galindo
Executive Director

Nov 23 2018 - 8:59am

We don't have a blog post this week because our staff members were very busy preparing for the Greenfield High School versus Turners Falls High School Thanksgiving Day Football Game and they are now spending some well deserved time off with their families and friends.  We hope that those of you who celebrated the holiday had a wonderful time and that everyone has a great weekend!

Nov 16 2018 - 2:55pm

Ok, we admit it, we're going to complain in this week's blog post.  Between the winter wonderland outside and the fact that half of our staff has been out sick with colds recently, it feels like we blew past fall pretty quickly; and we haven't even filmed the annual Greenfield High School vs. Turners Falls High School Thanksgiving Football Game yet.

Though "Turkey Day" is early this year, and winter doesn't officially begin until December 21st, the forecast for next Thursday is predicting a high temperature of 35 degrees.  Unfortunately, the overnight low on Wednesday is supposed to be 17 and our staff will be arriving at the high school between 8AM and 9AM on the 22nd, well before the temperature has a chance to rise very much.  On the upside, right now it's expected to be mostly sunny.  Also, knowing our executive director, he's probably planning to provide hot chocolate for our staff and volunteers.

Between our staff, crew, and various helpers, we'll probably have about 10 people on and around the field for the big game.  We need to finalize all kinds of details at our staff meeting on Monday but we can reveal that The Dukes of Sports are hopeful that they'll be able to do their traditional pre-game show, even though work commitments have forced the guys' regular program to be on hiatus since the spring.

Make sure to tune in to Cable Channel 15 at 6:30PM on Thursday night to catch all of the action and, for those of you who celebrate it, have a happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 2 2018 - 12:53pm

Okay, we realize that it's now November but we just couldn't finish out the week without sharing about some amazing experiences we had on Wednesday.  First of all, we estimate that more than 200 children stopped by our lobby to get candy from a chemist (Executive Director Oscar Lanza Galindo) and an astronaut (Oscar's daughter, Chel).

Usually, we have lots of candy left over but not this year.  We do have a little, however, so feel free to grab a piece, or two, if you come down to edit, pick up equipment, or say, "Hi!"  Just make sure you come down soon because it won't last!

On the other hand, some things that will be around for a while are our pictures from the festivities.  If you haven't seen them yet, be sure to check out our Rag Shag 2018 Photo Album.  The image below may be our favorite because it was probably the most creative and original group costume we saw:

The participants are dressed as sayings; "Holy Cow!", "Oh Dear!", and "When Pigs Fly!"  Have we mentioned before that our staff really loves puns?

Actually, writing about humor reminds us that we need to tell you about what we thought was the funniest part of the day.  If you've been to our offices recently, you know that we've set up chairs around the outside of the lobby so that they can be quickly and easily arranged for special events and meetings.  Unfortunately, that sometimes gives the impression that it's a waiting room.  Further, the way our space goes back in a rectangle, with doors to offices lining one wall, can make it seem like a medical facility.  Those things, along with the fact that Oscar was wearing a lab coat and Communication Coordinator Alicia Brody was dressed as a nurse, caused a number of parents to comment that they thought we were a dentist's office and many jokes ensued about drumming up business by giving out candy.

Though Oscar and Alicia had not coordinated their costumes, Alicia (center) and our fantastic Rag Shag Parade coverage co-host, Greenfield School Committee Chair Adrienne Nunez (right), had.

Adrienne really wanted to be a surgeon this year and she was so excited about Alicia teaming up with her that she brought along an extra surgical hairnet and booties for Alicia to wear.  All of this inspired us to think about doing a whole staff group costume next year and we were so tickled by the dentist misidentification that it will probably be Little Shop of Horrors.

As you can see, we had a very happy Halloween and we hope that you did too.  Next up, Election 2018!

Oct 26 2018 - 7:59am

We're happy to state that our Belated Birthday Party Open House event on Monday was a smashing success!  Everyone who came had a good time, enjoyed yummy food, and learned something new.  It was a team effort and our staff really appreciated that GCTV Board Secretary Drew Hutchison led a demonstration in our TV studio (pictured below), board member Terry Ruggles acted as a greeter, and Franklin County Varsity Sports Report host Bobby C. held court live on WMCB for the entire evening.

In addition, we'd like to thank board members Melissa Osborne, Chris Collins, and Otis Wheeler for attending and talking about all of the great work that we do; Franklin County Varsity Sports Report Producer John Meisner for being Bobby's partner in crime; and all of the people who made it a point to show up and celebrate with us.

Attendees got to try an amazing cake from 2nd Street Baking Company in Turners Falls.  We loved the way they did our logo in icing and the white cake with chocolate chips and berry frosting tasted fantastic!

Three lucky people also got to go home with Amazon gift cards and a handful of folks enjoyed talking about the Red Sox on local radio.

The majority of people who were there, including former GCTV Producer and current Greenfield Town Councilor Penny Ricketts (pictured below, left), were there to support us and check out our TV studio.  We're especially grateful to Councilor Ricketts as she's been a long-time friend of the station and she really understands what we do and why.

If you missed this opportunity to interact with us, don't worry.  You can always call us at 413-774-4288, to set up a time to tour our facilities or receive training, and we're planning more interesting events.  Make sure to keep checking back to stay up to date with everything we're working on!

Underwriters