Media Centers Suffer $$ Cuts

Jessica Goolsby
Wednesday - February 03, 2010
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
E-mail this story | Print this page | Comments (0) | Archive | RSS | Share

A recent decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to withhold funds meant for public, educational and governmental (PEG) access services will impact access on Oahu, too, causing cutbacks in ‘Olelo Community Media channels and services, the closure of some media centers and staff layoffs, said Keali’i Lopez, head of ‘Olelo Community Media.

“Having these funds withheld will require us to reduce or eliminate the number of media centers we have. They are available to the public as well as many elementary, middle and high schools, and we help people learn how to use media technology.” Around $1.7 million was withheld this year, Lopez said, and the 2010 amount is unknown.

(The DCCA was to announce its decision on Oceanic’s franchise renewal application on or before Dec. 31, 2009, and the new Oahu franchise went go into effect Jan. 1.)

Although the DCCA has already collected the PEG access funds from Oceanic Time Warner Cable in the form of franchise fees, it has decided not to lift a cap on the amount distributed to ‘Olelo Community Media. Since 2000,‘Olelo has had to make deep cuts in its reserves to support its services.

In fact, Lopez said, there’s a chance that Oahu could be left with only three public access channels.

“If these funds weren’t available we wouldn’t have such an issue here, but they are,” she added. The alternative for ‘Olelo is to find new ways to generate revenues and find alternate sources of funding.”

Known for partnering with schools, ‘Olelo trains tomorrow’s leaders through programs such as its statewide Youth Xchange video competition for both public and private schools, youth dialogue on community issues and its after-school and summer media programs.

Starting in a small Kakaako facility in 1989, ‘Olelo Community Media has expanded to seven centers - Palolo/Kaimuki (at Jarrett Intermediate), Windward (at King Intermediate), Kahuku/North Shore (at Kahuku High and Intermediate), Wahiawa (at Leilehua High), Waipahu (at Waipahu Intermediate), Mapunapuna and Waianae (at Waianae High). Thousands of fledgling film-makers, nonprofits and government agencies have mastered video production this way, creating more than 50,000 hours of original local programming, which strains the capacity of ‘Olelo’s six cable channels.

“The community media centers are critical in that they provide added resources for schools,” Lopez said. “It’s really been a very productive partnership with the Department of Education, and we just want to make sure it continues to grow and serve the people of Oahu.”

For more information, visit or call 834-0007.

E-mail this story | Print this page | Comments (0) | Archive | RSS

Most Recent Comment(s):

Posting a comment on requires a free registration.



Auto Login

Forgot Password

Sign Up for MidWeek newsletter Times Supermarket



Hawaii Luxury

Tiare Asia and Alex Bing
were spotted at the Sugar Ray's Bar Lounge