URTV: Channel vision

Depending on who you talk to, URTV is either facing imminent shutdown or adequately funded through next June. In the space of a few weeks, representatives of the public-access channel have given widely conflicting accounts of its financial status.

“We’ll be out of money as of August,” Executive Director Pat Garlinghouse stated early last month (see “Broke,” June 9 Xpress).

Yet mere weeks later, Bob Horn, vice president of the nonprofit’s board, told the Asheville City Council: “We weren’t having funding issues ourselves; we just needed the money owed to us. … We calculate we can continue on until this time next year.” (See “Asheville City Council,” June 30 Xpress.)

How to account for that discrepancy remains unclear. In early June, Buncombe County rejected a request from the channel for an additional $200,000. And on June 15, independent URTV producers showed up at a Board of Commissioners meeting to ask for more support from the county. But the commissioners pointedly refused to pony up, beyond delivering the PEG funds the station was already entitled to. (Generated by a charge on cable subscribers’ bills, those funds are earmarked for public, educational and government channels.)

And in late June, County Manager Wanda Greene reports, the county did transfer about $48,000 in PEG moneys to URTV (now an arm of the WNC Community Media Center). That, however, was only a fraction of the amount the nonprofit said it needed to survive.

Except for an interview shortly after the news broke concerning the channel's dire financial straits, Media Center management and board members have repeatedly declined to comment on the financial woes.

But Greene, who was willing to talk, says county staff has sat down with the channel's management and board members several times and that “They really took a hard look at what they have and how to run the channel on that. That's what a lot of nonprofits and organizations are having to do these days.”

Garlinghouse, however, had previously told Xpress, “From day one we’ve done a bare-bones budget,” and Operations Manager Jonathon Czarny reports that for now, URTV is not planning to cut back on the scope of its programming.

A “financial crisis”

The county also conducted an audit of the station’s operataions. Released July 12, it found “no indication funds have been spent inappropriately,” but went on to say that the station is facing a “financial crisis.”

“At the current spending levels and anticipated declines in major revenue streams,” the audit concluded, “the organization is likely to exhaust its financial resources midway into fiscal year 2011.” (URTV is on a July-to-June fiscal year, meaning the money would run out in January — roughly six months sooner than what Horn reported.)

Tim Flora, the county’s internal auditor, reviewed the channel’s financial statements for the last five years, analyzing its revenue and spending trends as well as its bylaws and operating agreements with the county and the city of Asheville. He also met with URTV management and board members.

Financial issues aside, however, the audit also found that the nonprofit had fallen short of satisfying the state’s open-meetings law (see sidebar, “Mistrust and discontent”).

According to the audit, the Media Center needs to develop an action plan to address the financial situation, “with details addressing how revenues can be increased and/or expenses reduced.”

Included in the audit is a response from URTV board President Jerry Young, who asserts that “Monies allocated for operating URTV originally were not sufficient for traffic, demand, community participation and contract compliance. … It is only through stability and product development that a public access operation can begin to pursue outside funding.”

However, Young goes on to say that “The Media Center … pursues outside grants, program service fees, commodity sales and donations to supplement funding. Such monies have increased each year and will sustain operations through FY 2011.”

And Garlinghouse, asked by Xpress last month if her organization was seeking private funds to ease the money crunch, replied: "Where would you suggest? There aren't any. … We need $20,000 a month. Do you even imagine that's possible? I don't think so."

Grass roots to the rescue?

Amid the budget controversy, URTV has seen an outpouring of support from its producers and fans, who've shown up in force at recent meetings of the Buncombe County commissioners and Asheville City Council.

Those efforts appear to be helping. Although the commissioners declined to provide additional funding for the station, the county did pay Waynesville-based telecommunications consultant John Howell to meet with URTV board members on July 13, Greene reports.

"His goal was just to help them do some brainstorming about what kind of funding options there might be out there, or if there's anything they can do on their budget," she explains. And last week, the county also took a step toward renewing the station's contract, which expired in January, by recertifying the operation as a qualifying PEG channel.

Supporters have also mounted an online fundraising campaign (http://ashevillemagazine.com/saveurtv/speak-up.htm). The site includes testimonials by several producers, including Virato, who started the campaign and hosts VIRATO LIVE!

"URTV is one of the richest assists of this area, with a balance of political, religious, and artistic programming, showcasing the authenticity of our talent rich community," he writes. "Surely this asset is as worthy as being the Beer Capital of America!"

Interestingly, the site also includes less positive comments by former URTV board members Richard Bernier (who was dismissed by the board after a messy dispute over the station’s management and transparency issues) and Nelda Holder (whose critical commentary on the station appeared in a recent issue of Xpress).

Full stream ahead

Meanwhile, at least for the time being, the Media Center is continuing its efforts to expand the scope and quality of its services, says Czarny, the operations manager.

As an example of the center's growing niche in the community, he points to this year’s Youth Video Camp (July 19-22), where young people can learn media skills and produce broadcast-quality videos.

"There's a lot of places where kids can go canoeing or hiking or do Outward Bound kind of stuff, but there's not really anywhere else they can be exposed to production techniques and have access to our type of facilities," notes Czarny. "It's part of our design to reach all sorts of populations in our community, whether it's underprivileged or underserved children or seniors."

Czarny also maintains that services such as advanced production workshops, webcasting and the new urRadio station are well worth continuing.

"We've had to look at meeting the community needs — assess what they are and then meet them," he reports. "Those are the kind of things the community wants."

And countering critics who say the station should downscale its operations, Czarny argues that offering a wide range of services helps bring in money to augment the PEG funds.

"The classes and getting more people using the facility and giving more people avenues of expression and forums to do that, that's how we subsidize that gap," he explains. "These services aren't taking money away from us — they're providing income. … If we cut the things that are making us money, what are we going to have left? We can't just throw away what we've built for 14 years."

David Forbes can be reached at 251-1333, ext. 137, or at dforbes@mountainx.com. Jake Frankel can be reached at 251-1333, ext. 115, or at jfrankel@mountainx.com.

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53 thoughts on “URTV: Channel vision

  1. Where is the crackerjack journalism that bothers to quote what was said at the recent county commissioners meeting when the commission announced that they had suddenly “found” URTV’s allocated money for the fiscal year – $100,000 of it!

    Apparently, the money “fell into a black hole.” That is actually what was said by the commission’s representative and should be reflected in the public record. Was Forbes not covering this particular meeting? Did he just not hear the statement? Did not find the admission of any journalistic value? If it can be entered in the commission minutes, why can’t the Express print it?)

    So where is the scoop on this aspect of the story? Why is Forbes still playing dumb above? How does 100k fall into “a black hole” at the county commission office, and why does such a stupendous statement not get reported by the Express? Even with the assistance of Disclaimer veteran journalist Jake Frankel, this odd statement from the county commission remains unreported. (???) Two journalists on the whacky URTV money case and yet neither of them even look into – much less even report – this bizarre “black hole” statement by the county. Why is that? Is it simply incompetence, or is it something else? (Did it need to be twittered to be a valid scoop?)

    I would very much appreciate it if the Express would look deeper into this bizarre admission at the county level, if not to discover whether someone there has it in for URTV, then to at least see what other county money might be lurking in the darkness of one of these “black holes.” (I mean, how many “black holes” exist at the county level?)

    Now a while back David Forbes wrote an article supposedly about local government transparency. Ever the opportunist, Forbes used the piece to continue to discredit URTV in the public eye by leading with a very dead-horse story about an ex-board member Davynne Dial’s alleged attempts to get some light shone on the city and URTV’s financial dealings. (Forbes did not bother to report, much less inquire about, what public records Ms. Dial had supposedly formally pursued.) Forbes seemed content to let her negative screed lead the piece. (Good to see here above that the county audit of URTV found absolutely nothing wrong with URTV’s financials AND good to that this finding actually got reported by the Express.)

    If Forbes & the Express really want to do something for government transparency, they might look into the existence of these “black holes” over at the county commissioner’s office. Let me guess, the response will be something like this:

    “Everyone knows you can’t shine light into black hole … that’s what makes it a black hole, silly! (Even light can’t escape it!)”

    Well then, how did 100k escape from this black hole and get back into the lap of URTV? (If the county can patent that technology of extraction, we could fund all the projects that are falling by the wayside in this forlorn economy.)

    I think local citizens might be very curious about what the County commission means by the term “black-Hole” … and how does 100k hop in and out of one … especially in this economy.

    DCJ

  2. I must also say it has been pretty disappointing watching the Express let David Forbes either make a mess of URTV with his incompetent journalism, or salt URTV’s wounds with his yellow journalism for the past 2 years.

    So let’s talk some about yellow journalism. Maybe we can best look at the continuum of yellow journalism by providing you with some examples.

    First I will provide with some examples of what I find yellow about the Forbes articles about URTV.

    Then i will reference another famous NC yellow journalist and cite some of his best work in the service of his political career.

    I will conclude with some tongue-in-cheek yellow journalism smearing Forbes to show you how easy it is to do.

    Of course the most effective yellow journalism is journalism that appears legit on the surface but intentionally skews public opinion with what ios known as hidden bias. (I think Forbes is pretty good at this).

    Giiven what I see as his negative bias in framing the URTV story for the past year or so, I gotta at least admire the consistency of his double entendre question marked by-lines:

    “URTV: Changing Channel?”

    This was the cover article that made a mountain out of a mole hill, blown up by two disgruntled ex-board URTV members. The cover ran with a big frowning version of Kurt Man’s old smiley face URTV logo. The entendre here is: the public access channel is changing and many people (2 ex board members who started there own separate channel) are unhappy about it, and/or read as URTV sucks, you should just change the channel.

    “URTV Broke?”

    Meaning: URTV is out of funds, and/or URTV is broken, it can’t be fixed, let’s scrap it. Of course neither is an accurate description. But the Express doesn’t seem to care about accuracy as evidenced by the fact that it keeps giving Forbes the story.)

    “Whither URTV?”

    … as in, where does URTV stand these days, is it going to wither on th vine or bear more fruit? I suspect, based on his diction and the way he ALWAYS frames his URTV coverage – given the hearsay he amps and the facts he ignores – Forbes would like to see the entity wither and die. But that ain’t happening this year. (Maybe next June, David.)

    It all reminds of the rhetorical tactics of former NC journalist Jesse Helms. Like the time when he beat African-American Harvey Gantt in a race for the Senate back in the day. When Uncle Jesse stepped up to the plate to deliver his victory speech he declared with a wiley smile: “There is no joy in Muddville tonight, for the might Harvey has struck out!”

    Now was Jesse merely referencing The Mighty Casey’s fall from grace in that grade-school poem of yore? Or did he know he was kicking sand in the faces of the vanquished NC African American community, a racial slur referencing them as the people of Muddville? No one can rightly say. That is how good a veteran journalist/public opinion maker/tweaker Jesse Helms was. And yet “Mud People” is a known racial slur among the old school southern cracker contingent that helped keep Jesse in power for so long. In the bottom of the ninth inning with Jesse trailing Harvey, the TV ad that many pundits say won the game for Jesse contained the image of a pair of white hands crumpling a rejection notice from a factory, citing affirmative action hiring quotas as the reason for the white man’s lay off. Now that’s grandslam yellow journalism! Down goes the mighty Harvey, and uncle Jesse gets to gloat and declare on TV that there will be “no joy in muddville tonight!”

    Jesse Helms and David Forbes have a lot in common. Both are conservative North Carolinians who got their start marring progressive causes via their editorial positions in local NC media.

    Now if I were writing a byline for this comment in the style of David Forbes it would go something like this:

    Xpress Journalist David Forbes: simply incompetent, or just plain yellow?

  3. I’d be very interested in hearing where Mr. Jones got his information regarding the County finding an additional $100,000 in a black hole..

    Here is an excerpt regarding funding from Commissioner Gantt in a letter dated June 17th.
    _________________________________________________________________
    from David Gantt
    to: Davyne Dial
    date Thu, Jun 17, 2010 at 8:16 AM
    subject RE: Regarding future funding of Public Access in Buncombe County- GANTT reply

    Thanks for the note. I appreciate your comments on Tuesday. You certainly have a front row seat in the current crisis. You tried to warn of this and didn’t get appropriate response. We have audited URTV. I don’t think any improprieties were found, but the poor business practices you described were revealed.

    Commissioner Gantt goes on to say;

    I have asked our County Manager, County Attorney, and Mr. Howell to review the complicated distribution formula for URTV and see if we can find any more funds for them. After a careful audit, a determination that $48,000 was still owed to URTV. This $48,000 will be paid to URTV promptly.

    According to URTV staff, the anticipated budget needs will not be met without a massive infusion of cash. I do not believe the Commission will or should spend tax payer dollars for URTV. In fact, I doubt that URTV staff would want to accept government $ even if it was offered, since they wisely understand that government $ would compromise the freedom of speech and control boundaries that currently exist. I have personally reviewed the NC law and contracts and do not find that any further $ is due or could be reasonably expected to be payable to URTV.

    Are you saying Commissioner Gantt , the County Attorney and the County Manager are prevaricating?

  4. All I am saying here is that it is my understanding that some representative for the county commission stated during the public comment session of a recent meeting – in front of about 60 URTV producers, and perhaps a dozing David Forbes – that the newly “found” URTV money had been presumed “missing” because it had “fallen into a black hole.” Those were apparently the commission representative’s exact words issued during public comment that evening. I don’t really know who said those words, because I was not at the meeting and Forbes did not see the need to report the statement. I heard about the statement from several producers who were in attendance & dumfounded by the county’s explanation. I am sure the statement is on video somewhere … or it can at least be corroborated in the minutes of that meeting.

    That is all I am saying … that, and apparently URTV is now solvent through June/July of next year… oh and also that I think David Forbes is consistently getting this story wrong, either because he is incompetent or nefarious. I think the Express should take him off the story.

    So those are the basic things I am saying.

  5. If anyone reading this blogs know of a way to ascertain here online whether those words, “fell into a black hole,” were in fact uttered by a county representative in regards to money due URTV through the county, it would sure be swell to corroborate it here and now.

    Then we could ask why David Forbes with even greater confidence why he omitted the county’s explanation and why he is still confused about whether URTV is broke or not.

    It would also be interesting to hear from Nelda Holder about what role she played in setting up URTV to fail finincially. If Nelda knew a PATV station could be run on a dime, why didn’t she voice these concerns long ago when she was actually on the board, before Pat arrived to bat cleanup for the mess they made? Why did this former PATV veteran who had once been so frugal sit idle on the very board that secured URTV’s initial lease and let Kurt blow all that money tricking out a studio in such an excessive manner?

    My understanding is that Pat Garlinghouse arrived long after the damage was done by the initial board/management, and she has in fact done a good job making do with a very poor inherited situation. She is being unfairly bullied for the previous board’s terrible mistakes.

    (Nelda’s comparison to her previos PATV experience was intellectually dishonest. WNCMC/URTV serves Buncombe County which contains 250.000 citizens. (What was the population of her town where she ran it out of somebody’s attic?)

    The truth I believe is that if the city and the county would not pretend that allotted PEG money had fallen into “black holes” this thing would work just fine. The real question is does the county commission and city council want to see public access work? If so, simply give them their allotted money on time each quarter and be done with it. When it comes time to re-negotiate the contract, fight for a fair share from Charter. They make an ass-ton of money off of our citizenry and Barry Goldwater had the wisdom to set up the PEG channels so that average citizens could have at least one channel out of now 999 to express their views and creativity through the network.

  6. But David you started this off with; “Where is the crackerjack journalism that bothers to quote what was said at the recent county commissioners meeting when the commission announced that they had suddenly “found” URTV’s allocated money for the fiscal year – $100,000 of it!

    Apparently, the money “fell into a black hole.” That is actually what was said by the commission’s representative and should be reflected in the public record. ‘

    But now you’re asking;

    “If anyone reading this blogs know of a way to ascertain here online whether those words, “fell into a black hole,” were in fact uttered by a county representative in regards to money due URTV through the county, it would sure be swell to corroborate it here and now.”

    Your premise is based wrong information, according to what Commissioner Gantt said to me in his letter of June 17th. That was two days after the Commissioners meeting you reference…as the Commissioners haven’t had another meeting since that meeting. He says nothing about finding an additional $100,000 in a “black hole.” Maybe someone informing you of this mythical “black hole” is mis-informed.

  7. some times we hear what we want to hear..
    can someone get a DVD of the meeting,and see what was said ??
    maybe they said that urtv fell into a black hole,or maybe they said that mr.jones fell into a black hole..
    was mr.jones at that meeting ??
    maybe mr.jones should find out just what was said instead of believing everything the staff at urtv are telling him…
    i was at that meeting,and it seams that the black hole thing has developed a new spin on it..
    that would be something like yellow journalism by word of mouth..
    get a DVD ,and see,and then some people may see,or hear ,or believe just what they want to see ,hear,or believe..
    oh well…
    i know that the executive director of that corporation is keeping me from my first amendment right to speak my mind on urtv,
    and more is the pity..

    just think about that..
    Atv…j.b… … .. . . . …. .

  8. No, Davynne, my premise is not yet proven to be based on “wrong information.” I was told by several people in attendance that at a recent meeting it was stated by a representative for the county during public comment, or just after public comment, that the remaining money due to URTV – which may only have been the difference still owed – perhaps the 48k that Gantt references to you in your letter – had fallen “into a black hole.” Of course, David Gantt is not going to repeat such a statement in writing. You are referencing a letter. I am referencing witnesses that attended a meeting that you and I did not attend. It is true my information could turn out to be false and I will be proven guilty of repeating “hearsay” … but that verdict is not yet in.

  9. The weird demand for an additional $200,000 to $300,000 made in late May, has backfired. Given the current conditions of the economy…who in their right mind would make such an outrageous demand? This move has cast even more doubt onto the management and Board.

    None of your longwinded attacks to smokescreen what has transpired will ever change that fact.

    Also, I was at the June 15th. Meeting. As was suggested the meeting is on the Counties website…available on DVD.

  10. i think i remember someone saying that giving momey to pat garlinghouse is like sending money into a black hole,or something like that..
    maybe it was something about sucking the life out of pubilc access tv..
    i know that the executive director of that corporation is keeping me from my first amendment right to speak my mind on urtv.
    what is up with that ??
    i want freedom from the corporation..

  11. Looks like the “Black Hole” reference is not hearsay … it can be heard here:

    http://webmedia.buncombecounty.org/content/Commissioners/20100615/20100615.wmv

    …about 35 minutes in, John Howell begins his presentation.

    …about 45 minutes in, is the first blackhole comment. Keep listening for more references.

    Please take note that he said URTV received about $750,000 from the county and about $250,000 from the city since its inception. There was about 250,000 left when Pat Garlinghouse arrived to clean up the financial mess made by Kurt Mann and the initial board … maybe less!

    What this means is that the former Board/Staff including Maryanna Bailey, Mark Wilson, Sandra Bradbury, NELDA HOLDER, & Kurt Mann, spent nearly 3/4 of the money BEFORE Pat ever came on. None of those people are involved anymore. Which means the people left cleaning up the mess are being blamed for those people who came before and are no longer involved.

    But you don’t get any of this reading the some 35 odd negative hit pieces run against Pat Garlinghouse and URTV by david Forbes and sanctioned by the diplomat’s boy, publisher Jeff Fobes.

    The Mountain Express has not been fair and balanced in the least when it comes to getting the story straight about URTV and believe that is by design. (We did get one fair shake story written by Rebecca Sulock, for which everyone was grateful.) But other than that it has all been very negatively biased coverage from John North’s protege, David Forbes. Recently we also got some crocodile tears from Nelda about how, alas, the money budgeted was excessive to begin with and subsequently squandered, and she goes on to tell us all that, alas, nobody really cares about URTV anyway but a few loser producers (and David Forbes, but for a very different reason) Nelda artfully neglects to tell you what she did to ameliorate this dire situation when she was on the initial squandering board. All you get is her phony woe several years later.

    Take the rag away from your face Nelda … now ain’t the time for your tears.

    Now why can’t the Express get this story right? Is it because Pat won’t return their calls? Gee, I wonder why she won’t return David Forbes calls. He quotes her out of context in the article above in the hard in their handly little “Talking Heads” side bar. He takes contrary quotes out of context and show what appears to be contradictions in different statements by different URTV staff. (More Yellow journalism in action.)

    Now maybe they brought new-kid-on-the-block Jake Frankel in pn the beat to help with the Forbes image/credibility problem. Do you think anybody is gonna take him seriously after he attched his name to this loaf of crap? Doubtful. Jake Frankel’s Could it be that she correctly intuits that the Express has it in for Public Access? I mean what does this mean:

    “X Public Access”

    That is the header you see at the top of the page in your handy hard copy of the Bele Chere edition of the Milquetoast Xpress. It sure is confusing. It could be taken a lot of ways, sort of like “Wither URTV” or “URTV Broke.” Does X mean black list URTV? Does it mean X it out?

    “X Public Access”

    I would like to hear from the co-author of this piece Jake Frankel (or managing editor Rebecca Sulock) what that peculiar header means. I certainly know what it connotes, but what does it denote? Is this part of the new Xpress style? Is it the debasing influence of Twitter/Text abbreviated speech? What does the X stand for? Should I read it as a verb? (I know Forbes would like me to read it as a verb.)

    Whose idea was this header, Jake’s or David’s?

    Is that that the kind of thing they teach you in Warren Wilson’s journalism 101 class, Jake, how to create smearing by-lines and how to concoct goofy interviews with inanimate monuments around town?

    Now, about those “black holes” the county was referring to …

  12. Illuminatti

    Woo-hoo!

    DCJ ‘s built up a big head of steam while on hiatus. Those are quite the diatribes, Mr. Jones. Frankly you appear to be bouncing off the walls, the ceiling and down the hall-way….kinda like a balloon does, when somebody lets the air out. A big burst of hot air….signifying nothing. lol

  13. Now, let’s talk about time and relativity, not as these factors regard black holes and the theories of Stephen J Hawking, but just the regular old passing of time here on planet earth in Buncombe County and how the passing of time often changes the relevance of statements made …

    David Forbes writes:

    Depending on who you talk to, URTV is either facing imminent shutdown or adequately funded through next June. In the space of a few weeks, representatives of the public-access channel have given widely conflicting accounts of its financial status.

    “We’ll be out of money as of August,” Executive Director Pat Garlinghouse stated early last month (see “Broke,” June 9 Xpress).

    Now, at one time, that was a true statement issued by Garlinghouse … it was true 10 days BEFORE some significant money came out of one of these “black holes” at the county level.

    But the way Forbes and Frankel kick this story off, they continue to paint a very negative picture of URTV and its board, suggesting that different URTV representatives are giving these terribly conflicting reports about their financial situation. This is a yellow tactic. It is called maligning your subject. It is character assassination. Make them look bad, even if you have to be dishonest about it. Make it look like they said one thing and then changed their tune for no real reason. How do you do that? Simple leave out the reason for the change in position! Then they look like flip-floppers.

    There is a very simple explanation for Pat saying one thing before June 17th and then another URTV representative saying something different after the June 17th. Before June 17th things looked bad for URTV financially. The county was with holding 48k. Why? (Don’t expect the express to find out.) Then by June 17th the county suddenly finds this money, stating that it had fallen “into a black hole.” So the county flip-flops and change decides to pony up and we now think we can make it next June.

    Why did this happen? Was there some accounting mistake made on the part of the county? (Don’t expect the Xpress to explain it for you. Instead expect them to continue blaiming the victim and painting URTV as the ones at fault. Money falls into a black hole at the county level … whose fault is that ? Express doesn’t know anything about it. All they can tell you is that URTV is sending mixed messages. Is the county sending mixed messages? “We have no more money for URTV.” THen they turn around and say: “Turns out some of your money was in one of our black holes and now we got it for you. Where lies the story here? Well, according to journalists David Forbes and Jake Frankel there isn’t anything odd about this.

    Forbes and Frankel could have lead the story with something like this:

    “Depending on who you talk to over at the county commissioners office, they either do, or do not have anymore money for URTV. It is hard to tell because they say one thing at one meeting and then they say another thing at another meeting.”

    I think the real story, or at least a big part of the story is the County withholding the money and then fetching it from a “black hole.”

    Why does this odd reversal by the county not get any scrutiny by the Xpress? Because the county is not in the crosshairs, URTV is.

  14. While Forbes & Frankel are very careful to exclude any mention of these black holes where the county stashes money every now and again, they are very careful to include an allusion to very old piece of news, one that Forbes has reported on, or at least parrotted disgruntled Davyne Dial’s talking points about for over a year and half now:

    Forbes writes:

    Financial issues aside, however, the audit also found that the nonprofit had fallen short of satisfying the state’s open-meetings law (see sidebar, “Mistrust and discontent”).

    In continuing with our theme of timeliness, we can ask why Forbes continues to retread the board flap from two years ago, which as been reported on ad infinitum here. How does this piece of old news effect the story about he county withholding money?

    Well, for one thing it reminds slower readers that URTV is a bad organization, still not to be trusted – probably most Xpress readers fall into this slower category, because the intelligent readers have long given up on the rag for anything but a reference for what band is playing where (see the AMAZING story about Asheville’s talking monuments that ran this week – might as well be Barney reporting) Forbes’ sidebar points out for us once again that URTV is dishonest and not really interested in being open when it comes to its board meetings. (Unlike the above board county commision, which keeps everything out in the open, at least the money that has not fallen into a black hole!)

    So what is this negative bit that the managing editors keep letting Forbes rehash with sidebars that read “Mistrust and Discontent.” ???

    It might refer to one of two items. John Blackwell wanted to video tape a meeting and asked not to. But that motion was struck down and he has been free to tape every board meeting. Or it might refer to a confidentiality clause that the board tried to instate two years ago to keep board members with conflicts of interest like Davynne Dial and Richard Bernier from coming to the Mountain Xpress and talking negtively about the entity they supposedly served on a board for while they set up a separate makeshift competing station. We all know that clause was struck down as a violation of NC open meeting laws, and those two have been allowed to say anything and everything negative about URTV while they were on the board and after they were removed.

    But Forbes like to keep this long resolved aspect of the saga alive for us. So now we can add “Mistrust and Discontent” to “X Public Access” and “Wither URTV” and “URTV Broke” … more ammo for the Forbes battery of negative URTV bias.

    For all you readers clicking off yellow journalism points on your Milquetoast Express score cards, take note: First law of Yellow Journalsim: If you are going to go negative, go negative in headlines, by-lines and sidebars … make sure all points in bold print are negative, because that is what most people read these days when they bother flip through a paper.

    I guess if we want to continue talking about time and we might talk about how once upon a time NELDA HOLDER was on the URTV board working with Kurt Man to set URTV up for financial failure. We could talk about how they blew 750k in about 15 minutes on furniture and remodeling and the wrong cameras and computers and an exorbitant lease … before they all jumped the sinking ship like so many rats.

    Then we could talk about how Pat came to take the helm and save the ship with only 250k left of the money that was supposed to last URTV 10 years.

    Then we could talk about the timeliness of Nelda’s recent editorial about how URTV is “done for,” sadly, according to her, because of poor financial planning, a plan of which she was but one executor.

    Would love to hear more from Nelda about what it was like setting URTV up initially, and how she brought her previous PATV experience to bear in that process.

  15. Just Me

    http://webmedia.buncombecounty.org/content/Commissioners/20100615

    The ‘black hole’ comment the County Manager makes is referring to the process by which NC Counties applied for PEG fees from the NC Department of Revenue. Buncombe County was not withholding funds nor loosing them. The process by which they communicated with the State, until recently, was not making it clear there was another $48,000 available to pay to URTV.

    Although I am sure affected non-profits and counties would have liked to have had the cash flow sooner rather than later, at least a reveiw and revision of the process was completed and more funds identified. Most NC non-profits are familair with the ‘hold-up’ of funding that often occurs at the state level.

    Another qoute from the County Manager is that “it is pretty cut and dried” now that the communication process has been updated with the Dept. of Revenue.

    Also interesting to not from the vidoe is that apparently URTV could’ve received more funding from Charter if they had increased their local content. I guess they don’t have that offer on the table by Charter, anymore.

  16. Just Me

    I apologize, the person making the presentation and comments is John Howell, a consultant hired by the county. The video labeled it “County Manager’s Report- Report on the status of URTV”. I guess he is speaking on behalf of the County Manager. I thought it was supposed to be a woman!

  17. Just me, Howell was the consultant giving the report. Members knew from the opening that more content would give URTV more funds and many of us early on tried to increase the programming. I worked with a long time public access producer (since mid 70′s) to get five hours weekly of live programming. We did almost 18 months of live programming…and got others involved in live production too. We spent our own money to set up Studio B, that was a much easier studio to produce live shows that Studio A. That producer taught lots of classes and worked with anyone who came on his show to get their own show to make this quota. Even if the producer didn’t agree with the politics or content of others (in true 1st amendment fashion) he did everything he could do to help folks get their show on to meet this higher quota. Unfortunately personality conflicts became impossible to deal with and many of our early producers ,who did very good shows, were run off.

  18. Yes, John Howell was indeed employed by the county commission to give the presentation in which he speaks of the “black holes” that others on this list have no recollection of, even though it was referenced in the very links that some of these doubting Tom’s provided us.

    I assume the well meaning producer that Ms. Dial’s references above regarding studio B, the one studio that was NOT tricked out by the initial board big spenders Kurt Mann and Nelda Holder, is either John Blackwell, or Randy (?), the man with the spare T1 line that helped John Blackwell siphon the feed to their own website for what would become Davynne and Alaqn Rosenthal’s upstart station, a project which John advertized on air, a move for which John was rightly suspended for 30 days.

    I told Davynne Dial at a private meeting at Greenlife, almost a year aqo, that if Blackwell wanted to get back on the air that could be probably be worked out, if he would simply sit down with us and agree to abide by the rules. Either he did not does not want to work it out, or Davynne did not give John the message, because I never heard from him.

    No producers were “run off.” Randy left because the staff refused to allow him and John Blackwell to personally manage a donated T1 feed. John was suspended for subsequently breaking rules that put the station in legal jeopardy. Pretty simple.

    Most producers seem pretty content at URTV. Except, of course, Davynne Dial, and her belligerent partner, Alan Rosenthal, who together set up a competing interest back when she was on the URTV board. Of course, Forbes has never reported about Davynne’s business partnership with Alan Rosenthal and what they intended when they set up their very own Western North Carolina Media Center. Davynne can be seen on several videos of city council meetings yielding her public comment time to PR assassin Alan Rosenthal, who once leafleted the county commission and the city council with accusations that URTV was “harbor for pedophiles.” Alan Rosenthal was subsequently shut down by County Commissioner David Gant during a public comment session, when tried to run his harrangue there on Davynne and Dr. Johnson’s time.

    But apparently Davynne’s collaboration with Mr. Rosenthal and their competition with URTV is not newsworthy as a blatant conflict of interest.

    (yawn)

  19. Just Me: So basically what you are sayaing is that the “Black Hole” in which URTV’s remaining 48k was sitting idle was at the state level and not the county level? THat is good to know. Make me fell better about the County Commission.

    Now what I want know is Forbes and Frankel did not clearly report this?

    URTV needs its allotted money. County sez it has no more. URTV sez that must be a mistake. Then the county learns that actually it has 48k more earmarked for URTV in Raleigh. Well how did this happen? Who put the pressure on Raleigh to “find” it? Pat? David Gant? Funny money sleuth, “Ms. Gov’ment Daylighter” Davynne Dial?

    (Don’t expect to learn about from Forbes, all he is going to do is figure out a way to fiddle with certain facts until he comes up with yet another way denigrate URTV.)

  20. Dr Herbert Johnson

    There is a term that could well describe my friend DCJ. “grandiosity” Grandiosity is when an individual tells himself,I think something, therefore that makes it true!I believe that to make statements without documentation ,without without atleast qualifying them as your personal point of view,
    does this board a disservice. At the least, you can ask a question instead going in to some ranting fantasy.
    David, you appear to know more about the financal workings of URTV than anyone else. Has Pat shown you the books? Or is this just something you “thought”?

  21. You know,Dude,that is the biggest bunch of bs i have ever heard..
    what a spin you people put on everything..
    and i know that you know better,Dude..

  22. Who let the dog out?

    @ Dude where’s my journalism; Your casting a lot of aspersions and not backing anything up. Be very careful here….some folks are being unduly maligned, based on hearsay.

    An overview of money spent to build out URTV / who spent what/ who did a lot of deficit spending, who actually did some fundraising, etc., is available via 990′s. . Since Mr Dude where’s my journalism is obviously a wanna be reporter, I’d think his first step would be to track down this readily available information.

    Instead he’s blasting away at everyone who he has been told to as a smokescreen and diversion tactic, instead of delving into real facts.

  23. John Blackwell: What part is the “biggest bunch of BS” you ever heard? The fact that you were suspended from URTV for breaking the rulkes, or the fact that I had a sit down with Davynne Dial and she said she wnated to see you back on air at URTV and I said I think I can get that worked out? That is not BS, ask Davynne about it. She si lurking here and even though I disagree with her on most things URTV, I at least think she is an honets person and will not deny that it was part of our discussion.

    What Up Dog (Davynne Dial): If you and your husband want to finance my paper, I will get one, otherwise I will continue to support the Mt Express by criticizing it when foists bad journalism on our community. Which phrase above did I cast that you deem an aspersion? Who is being unfairly maligned here besides URTV? Please elucidate. (Everyone knows you hooked up with Rosenthal to blast URTV and promote your own station. That ain’t no aspersion.)

    I also still want to know why Forbes and Frankel chose not to report on the “Black Hole” at the state level? I want to know who finally got URTV its rightful money from the state. How did this reversal of fortune come about?

  24. Just Me

    Since the NC Dept. of Rev has now cleaned up it’s application & communication process and there are now no lagging payments, I don’t see where the story is.

    I do think most other people following the recent buzz via URTV itself would be confused, i.e. its management declaring that it was about to fold. And then a complete reversal on their PR message in such a short amount of time is very puzzling. I would think trying to get a clear and accurate view of the finances would be pretty darn important to URTV stakeholders, especially when it is as drastic as we’re folding vs. we’re fine.
    The Mtn X didn’t invent that drama, that is what factually happened.

    If I had been a member told that the organization I rely on was about fold unless I helped pressure the county pull another $250,000 plus (the $300,000 demanded-$48,000 actually owed) away from other services & agencies… and then a week later I was told it was just a ruse to get $48,000 due, I would feel used.

    I work at a non-profit that receives county funds. We just talk to the fiscal agents in charge of releasing our funds if we feel there is an error or missing funds. No politics or demonstrations needed, no jerking around our stakeholders neccessary, and certainly not neccessary to make a public fuss.

  25. Liberty_Bell

    “If I had been a member told that the organization I rely on was about fold unless I helped pressure the county pull another $250,000 plus (the $300,000 demanded-$48,000 actually owed) away from other services & agencies… and then a week later I was told it was just a ruse to get $48,000 due, I would feel used.”

    You got to wonder why “Dude writes a book on why the reporters are in question instead of the organization,” don’t see that????

  26. RBernier

    David,
    Since you like to run off at the mouth then you should have no problems to sit down with myself
    & share our thoughts (on video) & ask each other questions.

    DCJ – enough is enough – ask me hard questions & I will have some for you as well.

    A clear answer would be nice.
    RB

  27. Now Richard, that I’d love to see. Wonder if DCJ is man enough to take you up on the challenge, or just a little wienie behind a big computer screen? I think this would be great TV. Be sure to film it, so’s we can all relish the event.

  28. Just Me: I could not agree more. There is no real story here, if it was only some clerical error at the state level in getting us the rest of our money for the fiscal year. Unfortunately the authors did not really do their legwork, which is not surprising to see, when you consider how downhill the Xpress ahs been going for the past several years. (It is a far cry from the Green Line.)

    Richard: I’d be happy to talk to you – & Davynne & John Blackwell & even David Forbes – on camera in a “live” format at URTV Studios. It would be great for me to better understand what you all perceive to be the problem with URTV. Forbes has made such a poor job of reporting the story I still can’t tell what the problems have been. All I get reading him is confusion and negative bias … not the usual hallmarks of good journalism. The county and city audits report no financial problem. The two so-called transparency problems have been cleared up a long time ago. The one problem regarding taping, which was only a problem because one of the initial board members from the city planning committee – which just sort of transmuted into the board (how square was that process) – did not want to be filmmed because she was self-conscious about being on camera. She is long gone and anyone that wants to film is allowed to. The confidentiality clause that RB & DD bitched so about was struck down in the spring of 2009 – over a year and a half ago.

    So what is the issue? Why do Richard Bernier and Davynne Dial and John Blackwell & Herb Johnson all still want to see URTV completely dismantled? I am all ears. Why doesn’t John Blackwell want his show back? I want to hear all about Davynne and Alan Rosenthall and she explain my screen shots of the Avill city of commerce website listing her home address under Alan Rosenthal’s name. We could show the footage of her and Herb yielding their time to him at City Council Public comment too, then she could explain that on camera. Then we could talk about our private meeting in which I explained John could come back to URTV any time he wanted to sit down with us in good faith and agree to abide by the rules.

    It would be great if Forbes came too and I could ask him why always seems to cherry pick and twist facts around to put the station in the most negative light in the press?

    Everybody else that uses the resource plays by the rules and does not harass staff and is perfectly happy with it all. (We just a had summer camp for kids to learn to shoot and edit video and they made a 17 minute movie.)

  29. RBernier

    David,
    I am glad that you agreed upon doing a live show on our public access venue. As past board members I am sure we both have insight that would shed light into the darkness.

    My offer was for you Mr.Jones with myself, no one else – you now have agreed. (60mins)

    Lets do this Mr.Jones, just you & me.
    RB

  30. Illuminatti_01

    Wally Bowen is right. The powers that be do not and did not want public access. They set it up to fail. The well documented mis-management of the past two years, benefits the officials that want public access to fail. That’s why they’ve ignored all the investigative reporting, the suggestions at the city and county meetings, and why Jerry Young is kept on, to oversee a totally inept board.

    http://www.mountainx.com/opinion/2010/072810feed_tv

    Let’s bring Wally in to run URTV….or as he suggests combine it with other channels, like is done elsewhere.

  31. Nelda Holder

    Just for the record, I was not a member of the original URTV board, as has been misrepresented in some of these comments. I was board-appointed in the summer of 2006, and if you care to check the actual board minutes, you will see that I began questioning the spending practices and records immediately — including requesting a line item budget on capital expenditures.

  32. “Please elucidate. (Everyone knows you hooked up with Rosenthal to blast URTV and promote your own station. That ain’t no aspersion.)”

    For the final time, it is impossible to create a “station” without a contract from the County and City. How can anyone believe this B.S.???? It’s been an ongoing ploy to avoid doing the right thing as per compliance.

    As for the “internet tv channel,” who is doing this? In order to have a internet TV channel, one has to pay a lot of money to for bandwidth to stream. To get the amount of viewers needed to attract advertisers to view streaming video is simply out of the question for anyone other than the portals like Vimeo, Youtube and Google. If this was possible, s a lot of eople would be doing it. You’re blatantly ignorant about the reality of this so called “internet station.”

    As for Mr. Rosenthal, he came and went…though while he was around, he did look into the background of various folks associated with the current management….and found some interesting things.

    The name WNCMC Inc. was being used continuously for a long time, yet the mangment nor BOD had registered it. We registered it just show how little attention to detail was going on.

    I’ve had it with you saying this about me, and I’m demanding an open retraction or I’ll see you in court.

  33. Dr Herbert Johnson

    David, please stop the fantasy rants.This request
    is being done with your future in mind.Youre humiliating yourself and risking a legal action
    Your(and Pats) BS is getting downright dull.
    Get a life! Read agood book. Stop embarrassing yourself!

  34. The dude is out of town, but I have hacked into his account – again – in order to respond to each of you, because you are both such well meaning people and deserve not to be left hanging here.

    Davynne: let me know which comment specifically would you like the person who was using the Dude’s account at that time to retract, and I will pass him (or her) the information when I see them.

    Herb: I will pass your recommendation to read a good book to the person you refer to as “David”, who may or may not be the same person your wife wants a retraction from in her comment above.

    yours truly,
    one of the dude’s many trusted friends,
    Larry

  35. “The dude is out of town, but I have hacked into his account – again – in order to respond to each of you, because you are both such well meaning people and deserve not to be left hanging here.

    Davynne: let me know which comment specifically would you like the person who was using the Dude’s account at that time to retract, and I will pass him (or her) the information when I see them.”

    Dude, trying to weasel out of responsibility???????

  36. Nelda: I can’t really speak to your points about feeling misrepresented by someone using the dude’s account, but I feel sure this is a common problem on internet blogs, regardless of all the hacking that goes on. People often misrepresent other people with flip comments in cyberspace. When the dude returns, I am sure he will share his thoughts on the matter regarding what I thought was a well meaning editorial penned by you, but coming pretty late in the game, and perhaps a little unfair in its comparison of URTV to your home station in some sleepy town up in vermont way back when.

    But if you will permit me to take over his line of questioning for a sec, I will try to intuit where I think he might go with it. You say you came on the URTV board in the summer of 2006, do you know what day URTV opened its doors to the public and who comprised the board before you arrived? What kind of answers did you get from your questions about line items and how long did you stay on this board? Who, if anyone, currently serves on the board that was also on back when you were there? Are the any of the people you were questioning about financial irresponsibility still involved in URTV? Can you give us some names?

    Also, do you happen to know much your former DIY cable access channel receives today in 2010 dollars in negotiated cable franchise funding up front each year – not even including the yearly PEG fees? Do you really think it is still only 30k per year that they run it on today? Can you hunt that info down for us? I want to compare it what URTV has requested this year.

    Lastly, RB, I don’t want to leave you hanging either. I can’t speak for Mr. Jones, but given how long winded I know he is, I am not sure he will agree to your time limit of 60 minutes. :-)

    Yall’s Truly, until the dude returns from his hiking trip down the AT with his buddy Mark Sanford,
    Larry

  37. Dr Herbert Johnson

    I’m not fooled by this BS. DCJ has a special style of craziness that can’t be imitated. DCJ are you that scared to go mano-a-mano with RB?

  38. Davynne: my experience is that the dude doesn’t weasel out of accountability … though he has been known to employ humor to make a point.

    Unless you intend to sue the Mountain Xpress for the names and personal information of all of its users, you cannot actually prove in a court of law who’s account this is. Anyone could claim to be someone named “DCJ” here and the only person who knows for sure whether someone with those initials opened this account is the Mountain Express. Like URTV before them, I doubt the Xpress is going to expose the names of their trusted readership/bloggers/producers to the likes of you. We are good business for the Xpress, the more controversy and humor we stir up on these here comment blogs, the more hits/eyeballs they can ascertain to their advertisers. That is good business.

    Even if you were able to successfully sue the Express for the account info, a super long shot, and set a terrible precedent that would cause all the internet to shudder, you would still have the impossible task of sorting out who all has access to the Dude’s account and who wrote what when. (Good luck on that one.)

    There are a growing number of Asheville citizens who think the Express is getting it all wrong these days, but they are afraid of saying so publicly, for fear of being blacklisted artistically by the Express, or being sued by some nut bar on their blogs, and so the dude has thrown his account access info to the wind and said:

    “Go for it, my good friends. I am a blatant Express critic and I think that it is healthy and good for the Express to have them, and so did my friend and former Xpress editor Jon Elliston. You should have no fear of repercussion in an open and free society regarding the press, therefore use my account to raise your concerns as you will.”

    In fact, the dude has made such a name for himself critiquing the Express that Ashevillians of all stripes now voice their concerns to him in passing about the bad journalism that is spreading like a cancer over our beloved paper. They don’t care that he occasionally uses hyperbole to make his points, like comparing some Express Journalism to cancer. They know that deep down the dude loves the express, or he wouldn’t waste his time here on their comment blogs on prolonged occasions.

    So let me for one say, I think the dude is honorable.

    Your new found friend here on the internets,
    Larry

    P.S. The reason I don’t use my real name, or set up my own account, is because I have a DUI on my record and I don’t want Davynne to use that against me in a cheap shot effort to libel me here like she did to DCJ last year.

  39. R.Bernier

    Hey David -
    We are still on for a sit down on live tv, right?

  40. Karma is Hell!

    @ Dude /David Jones / Larry or who ever you’re saying you are today.

    It ain’t libel if it’s true.

    P.S. The reason I don’t use my real name, or set up my own account, is because I have a DUI on my record and I don’t want Davynne to use that against me in a cheap shot effort to libel me here like she did to DCJ last year.”

  41. Hi everybody.

    I will choose the name “Sarah.” (I am an ex-girlfriend of DCJ’s and am in law school right now at UNC Chapel Hill. He gave me the keys to his Express account to make a few points for you to consider.)

    @Karma: Actually, you are incorrect in your assessment. it certainly can be deemed libel if it is true. If you reach into someone’s personal life and disclose personal information that is generally not known to the public in order to damage their reputation and it in turn gets them fired, or destroys a personal relationship, then you indeed have libeled them and can be sued for damages. Just because someone has a criminal record doesn’t mean you have the right expose it in order to damage them in the public eye. The woman claiming to be Ms. Dial has in fact libeled DCJ here on the Mt Express website. If he was as petty and mean-spirited as the person using the moniker “Ms. Dial” seems to be, and if he could actually prove that the real Ms. Dial indeed wrote those things – which he can’t – then he could sue her for damages and likely win.

    I am still curious as to which statement Ms. Dial believes someone using the Dude’s account has made that would hold up in any NC Court as libelous. I have scoured the site and found nothing so far that puts him – or whoever – in any legal wrong.

    Incidently, DCJ also fwded me a copy of Ms. Dial’s letter to the Asheville City Manager last year in which she and Mr. Bernier have in fact engaged in several counts of libel against the woman who serves as the ED to your Public Access cable channel, Pat Garlinghouse. Based on my read of that letter, Ms. Dial could in fact be sued for trying to wreck this woman’s career. Unlike potentially anonymous blog comments on a privately owned for profit website, a letter to the city manager is in fact a matter of public record and is therefore admissible in court.

    Now, a few more points about libelous speech vs. free speech:

    Anyone, anonymous, or claiming to be a real person, on the internet can say, “I think Ms. Dial (or the person claiming to be Ms. Dial) is as nutty as a fruit cake.” They could also say, “I think she has been unfair and less than honest in her constant attacks against URTV, its staff and its board,” and it would be next to impossible to prove those are libelous remarks in court. Those are someone’s anonymous opinions about the rants that someone using her account has published on the privately owned Mt Express website. First of all, even if they could be proven libelous, it is the Express that would probably get sued, not the po-dunk hired writer/anonymous blog commenter. The writer did not publish the libelous remarks, the Xpress did. However, the employee might get fired, or the commenter banned. But citizens stating opinions or interpreting well known facts – even facts that are a matter of public record at the Chamber of Commerce and with the city, facts that the Express simply overlooks, or intentionally ignores – can’t be sued in any court that I know about, not in this state.

    Have fun you guys, and don’t worry about the law here, technically you are not in public space, you are in private space. Ultimately the Mt. Express will be liable for anything it sees fit to publish here. But they don’t really have to worry either. No one has yet successfully sued a paper over a blog comment that was deemed libelous. It is simply doesn’t happen on this wild new frontier. Certain accounts that are deemed offensive simply get banned and that is that.

    Former Ashe-Vegas resident, and lover of DCJ,
    Sarah “Legalese” Winetrollop

    (I must say it does seem pretty in character that Ms. Dial would want to silence free speech on the Xpress website, after all, she wants to destroy the one real free speech medium we have out of all the ludicrous channels on the digital idiot box.)

    (DCJ: if you still have those T-Rex albums of mine, I want them back!)

  42. Illuminatti_01

    [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzlG28B-R8Y] You have entered the twilight zone. [/url]

  43. F@NC: Love the old skool twilight zones. You are incorrect about any mismanagement for the past two years. URTV has been managed quite well for the past two years by ED Pat G. and the board that materialized after “coo coo for coco puffs” Davynne Dial was removed by a vote of no confidence by the producers. It was the initial management and initial board that was financially irresponsible. But we as a community are going to get it all worked out this year. I can feel it.

    yours truly,
    Larry

    (DCJ gets back to town tomorrow. I hope he is cool with all that I have written here while I have been house sitting for him.)

  44. “she explain my screen shots of the Avill city of commerce website listing her home address”….David Connor Jones

    The City and County’s main purpose for agreeing to set up and fund public access was for locals to get trained in media production. So DCJ is suggesting that this training is only to benefit URTV? That is entirely the opposite of the official intent. Don’t believe me????,…ask Wanda Green or Gary Jackson.

    My tentative idea for WNCMC.org was to set up a portal site for former members/producers of URTV (ones that had been run off for whatever reason) to connect, collaborate and produce local media. It would have been a networking site. But after viewing the traffic of similar sites, I decided that the public interest was not there. So the portal idea fell by the wayside. That said, it is too bad that the ability for URTV members/producers to easily communicate amongst themselves was removed in early 2007. Instead they were given the option of Ralph Robert’s forum which he heavily censored. It turned into an “all ralph, all the time” forum.
    http://urtvforums.org/
    This site is pitifully low in traffic ranking from Alexa:
    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/urtvforums.org#

    BTW, if anyone cares to check the traffic at URTV.org or WNCCMC.org is downright dreary also, under 150 unique visits a day. So what’s the big brouhaha over their internet tv channel. More b.s. smoke and mirrors???

    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/wnccmc.org#
    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/urtv.org#

  45. @ Barrypaysmybills.
    You certainly appear well educated as to fiduciary responsibilities….wish you had been on the Board I was on and got run off immediately upon asking for more clarification on the financial dealings. The present BOD seem oblivious as to their responsibilities or possible repercussions, should problems be found.

    “There are also serious state and federal laws regarding the fiduciary responsibility of the Board of Directors when it comes to a 501 c 3 organization’s finances. Many people feel honored to serve on the boards of not for profits without realizing that they have legal obligation and liability. This is also an important part of the whole tax exempt deal. Real people need to be accountable that the work of an organization and its business dealings are in the best interest of the community they are serving in exchange for this great financial status. The IRS makes this happen by holding the directors responsible, personally. This fiduciary responsibility is very well understood and respected in many non profits and not understood at all in others. I hope the organization has had enough money to purchase liability insurance for officers and directors. I would hate it if good folks got caught up in a situation where they have legal and financial liability that they did not realize they had when they felt “honored” to be invited to serve on the board. With a IRS tax exempt 501 c3 not for profit, a seat on the board is not just a voice in the organization, but it is a serious obligation to the IRS, not to mention the state laws that govern not for profits. Credible not for profits tell their directors that they have coverage for officers and directors, and informed people, the kind that the IRS would like to have overseeing organizations that do not have to pay taxes, know to ask about this.”

  46. No, Davynne. That is not what public access is all about. It is not simply about training people to use cameras and editing software. It is primarily about providing people with a public channel on the cable spectrum so that they may to express themselves digitally under the protection of the first amendment.

    You got run off by a vote of producers almost two years ago because they collectively determined that you are a nut job, not because you asked any intelligent questions. Too bad Forbes could not figure that out early on, but I suppose one is bound to make such mistakes when one learns his trade at the John North School of Journalism. (John North is the publisher of the Asheville Daily Planet.)

    Why are you in the process of suing URTV, Davynne? Why don’t you explain your destructive lawsuit to the few readers that still bother to check in here.

    Are you suing URTV because you care about it? Or are you suing URTV because you want to drain some of its scant funding in a frivolous lawsuit as part of some freaky psychodrama?

    For those that don’t know, Davynne is in the process of suing URTV in hopes of getting access to all the producer information so that she can gum up their lives with garbage emails about her nutty crusade. (Apparently the Express Blog readership is not enough for her.) Oh, and she doesn’t trust the reports of the city and county auditors who found no malfeasance in their respective URTV audits. She wants to see all the check stubs herself to determine whether or not any financial wrong doing has occurred.

  47. Oh my lookie! Someone has hacked into DCJ’s account again. Maybe another “lover”, real or imagined? You do have the worst luck DCj…you and Jeff Turner both get hacked into when your comments get shot full of holes. Tsk, tsk.

  48. R.Bernier

    The last few board meeting were Ms.Dial sat in, I attend the meetings & they were filmed (Director & Board didnt want it filmed though).

    I have went back & I found no questions out of line, Ms.Dial’s questions were based on her duties as a board member which she took very serious.

    Board member duties are oversight, no one has question Garlinghouse & maybe that’s the real reason for most of the problems though I think the founder board members did a poor job as well.

    When you have a board member (Matt Howard) show up at the County Commissior meeting & not have the knowledge of why URTV would be closing then Mr.DCJ there is the real problem, Mr.Howard simply has not done his job as a board member but then again, is that the type of questions one should not ask Mr.DCJ?

    As a board member you should know all about the funding, its your duty as a board member which Howard & most of the board didnt know.

    Howard & others has stated in public, it was hard working with “Pat”. Public access should remain though the current vendor has failed & violated OBM Laws of NC which you even have stated has happen Mr.Jones.

    RB
    DCJ –
    When is our 90min live show?

  49. kurtmann

    Wow, this is a remarkable series of exchanges. Just to clarify David, the budget I managed was a budget I was given by the board. Due to the restrictions on how the money could be allocated we were REQUIRED to spend a certain amount on different categories – like equipment, office furniture, sub contractors etc. I just did my best to spend the money in a way that would support a facility that was functional and inspiring as well as gear that would last over time. URTV could have easily been much less expensive to build. And ultimately after looking at the budgets it doesn’t seem to me that there have been huge issues with what has been spent – (maybe money that is “lost!”) as much as how LITTLE effort by the Board (that I’m aware of) to raise money, develop partnerships and really engage with the community.

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