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At loose ends without my City Council fix

The other night I was stomping around the house in a state somewhere between depression and a snit, without any reason I could put my finger on. I picked up a book, put it down, put on a recorded book, turned it off, turned on the TV and started trolling around for a tolerable movie, turned it off … and then it hit me: It was City Council night.

The council chambers have been undergoing renovations for what seems like months and months and months, and their meetings, which are being held in the former youth center, can’t be broadcast live on GrassRoots TV.

The council meetings are my umbilical cord to local politics, and the deprivation has been severe. Well, you could say, hie your butt over to the youth center and watch it in person, but I have a couple of problems: sitting and hearing.



My back would never be able to make it through five-hour meetings on those hard plastic chairs, though I can watch forever from home, on my bed with a brandy. And though I got a new ear tube and can hear a lot better than I could a couple of months ago, I fare worst in a big room with a lot of people, and the microphones only aid the televising of the meetings.

So it was seethe and wait for the rebroadcast the next afternoon, by which time I had read the papers and the whole sense of immediacy was lost. Watching it live, there is always the possibility of dashing over there in my nightgown if the going gets too rough.



For the last meeting, it was set the alarm so I could tape it at 1 a.m. Well, you could say, learn how to work your VCR or get TiVo, and there you would be correct.

Unfortunately, something is awry with the televising situation at the former youth center, and unless the participants put the microphones directly into their mouths, you can only hear every third or fourth sentence, which is almost as frustrating (but not quite) as not hearing it at all.

The sudden silences always come at the most critical moments, and I scare the puppies with my screams.

There is so much exciting stuff going on right now, and we need to hear it all ” as it happens.

Turning down the boxy Bidwell Building (yea!) was a huge issue, missed by most because of these technical difficulties. Also barely heard was the controversial brewery decision. The debate about the ZG property, if anyone lasted that long into last week’s meeting, was critical, with only Jack Johnson holding out for consideration of uses other than moving the art museum and building county office spaces and a meeting hall.

Coming up is a proposal (approved, of course, by Planning and Zoning) for a monster building on the Clark’s Market parking lot. I hope that by the time that comes around, the new council chambers will be completed and we’ll be back on track with live, audible coverage of the meetings on GrassRoots TV.


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