We are in the third week of the year and already much has happened. As you may already be aware, the State finalized Oceanic Time Warner’s franchise agreement on Thursday last week. I want to thank you for your continued support of community access during this long franchise process.

We are still reviewing the details of the agreement but the DCCA has kept the funding CAP in place, withholding over $5 million in franchise fees that are desperately needed to keep Community Media Centers open. It is disappointing and will require that we further review our operations and services to insure ‘Olelo continues to place resources where they have the most community impact. We will keep you informed as we address this issue and gain greater insight into the franchise agreement as it now stands.

On a different but equally important subject, the State Procurement Policy Board (PPB) has announced that they will meet this Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 1:00 pm to consider ‘Olelo’s Petition for Declaratory Ruling with regard to the State’s Request For Proposals (RFP) process. Many of you may recall that this too is a long standing issue that we hope to resolve soon. This matter pertains to the State putting ‘Olelo and other PEG Access Organizations’ contracts out to bid.

The PPB meeting will be held at Aloha Stadium in the Hospitality Room. ‘Olelo has two petitions in front of the PPB requesting that the State’s PEG Access contracts be exempted from the State’s procurement code. The meeting is open to the public and testimony can be submitted. However, it looks like much of the discussion will likely be around the legal issues regarding the merits of ‘Olelo’s petitions.

Since the decision-making by the PPB will be primarily based on legal arguments, there may be future opportunities where a show of your support will have more impact. The full agenda and ‘Olelo’s petition can be viewed here: http://hawaii.gov/spo/procurement-policy-board-minutes-of-meeting/Agenda_and_Agenda_Items_1-21-10.pdf/

2010 is certainly going to be a challenging year; we look forward to working with and serving the community as we move forward.

‘Keali’i S. Lopez is the President & CEO of ‘Olelo Community Media’

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