Winter 2005 Home   Newsletters

Spring 2006

June 2006

President's Message
This Year's Education Bills (Mary Anne Raywid)
Affordable Shelter (Jackie Parnell)
New LWV State Website (Andrea Dean)
2006 Freedom of Information Compliance Audit (Jackie Parnell)
League Makes it to the Wheel (Jean Aoki)
Voter Owned Elections (Clean Elections) (Kory Payne)
Education Committee Report (and why political reform...) (Mary Anne Raywid)
Never Say it Makes No Difference (Jean Aoki)
Court Rules Private Serial Communications Violate State's Sunshine Law
Martha Black Dies
Gambling: Hopefully a Non-Issue This Legislative Session (Judy Rantala)
Century of Accountability (Mary Anne Raywid)
Prophecy Gone Wrong (Dwight D. Eisenhower)
Chapter Reports: Kauai (Carol Bain)
Chapter Reports: Honolulu (Jackie Parnell)
Chapter Reports: Hawaii (Marianna Scheffer)
Chapter Reports: Maui (Joshua Cooper)

Never Say it Makes No Difference

I believe it was just a little article in one of the dailies. C-SPAN 2 was going to be dropped from Oceanic Time Warner Cable's programming.

Impossible! They wouldn't! Not C-SPAN 2. How dare they!

For those who may not have watched Channel 49 on cable, it covered the Senate Proceedings during the day and went to paid programming during the evenings. C-SPAN 1, Channel 48, covers House of Representatives proceedings during the day and programs on issues and politics, etc. during the evenings.

I called Oceanic and left a message. I called the Department of Commerce and Consumer Protection (DCCA) and talked to a staff member in the cable division.

Finances rule

He confirmed what I had read. He said that Oceanic had every right to drop whatever program they wished to drop. It was a financial decision. 'Olelo had requested another channel and Oceanic chose to give them Channel 49 because of its proximity to the other 'Olelo channels among other reasons.

Fast forward to the following Tuesday. I had received several calls asking what we were doing about the loss of C-Span 2. AAUW 's windward branch was marshalling its troops. I still wanted to talk to Oceanic to get the facts.

Of course, I'll call the Oceanic administration. Someone answers the phone and asks what my call is about. "I'll connect you with operators who are taking those calls," and I'm dispensed with.

"Due to the huge increase in calls coming in, you will be put on hold for the first available operator. If it seems that the wait will be too long, we may ask you to call another day."

With words to that effect, I'm left hanging on to the phone. I ask Piilani who happened to be in the office to bring me a report I needed to read. So I'm engrossed in the report with regular interruptions thanking me for my patience and repeating the above message. Piilani is going through the same experience on the other phone.

DCCA did it

When I finally get a live voice, it is only to tell me that the decision was approved by DCCA so please call DCCA and I'm given a number to call.

Before I let her go, I make sure that I give her a message that I want her to deliver to the administration. Knowing how valuable CSPAN 2 is to the people of a state separated by thousands of miles of water and land from our nation's capital, unable to attend congressional hearings and proceedings, how could they even consider dropping our one link to live proceedings in the U.S. Senate!!!

I leave a message at DCCA for someone to call me. That afternoon, Mr. Clyde Sonobe the head of the cable division returns my call and tells me that it is not true that Oceanic had DCCA's approval to drop C-SPAN 2. What DCCA approved was 'Olelo's request for another channel . DCCA has no control over Oceanic's programming. The decision to drop CSPAN 2 was Oceanic's decision and theirs alone.

Ready for action

Now that we had what seemed to be the facts, we were ready for action. When Larry Geller of Kokua Council called me, I suggested that we write an open letter to Oceanic decrying their action.

Signed by as many organizations as we could reach in a short time, it would be sent to the papers simultaneously with its delivery to Oceanic headquarters. Larry offered to draft the letter and would e-mail it to me for comments.

The next evening, I read in the paper that C-SPAN 2 would not be dropped but would be moved to channel 78. The article stated that this decision was made the Friday of the week before.

Fishy timing

If this had been decided on Friday of the previous week, why were the operators telling us the following Tuesday that DCCA had approved the action and to call them for answers. Whatever the facts, all's well that ends well. I'm sure that it was people power that did it. They had been besieged by irate callers. Next time we ask you to call your representatives to the legislature or anyone else ….

Jean Aoki

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