2016-04-28 / Letters

Biddeford Public Access deserves more

To the editor:

I would like to talk about our wonderful Biddeford Public Access Television Station. The Biddeford City Council is talking about either closing public access or to cut down even more on staff. The council would pretty much like volunteers and this would be difficult to do. A ship needs rules and a captain.

Biddeford Public Access has always welcomed students and volunteers to learn, but the equipment is expensive and even today that equipment needs a tender touch. We only have three people being paid at Biddeford Public Access and let me tell you, our Channel 3 station takes three people.

Director Steve Pulos has a background and a history as a professional videographer. In the business world this man would make four times what he makes at the studio but he loves the creative side and helping the other show producers make a difference in Biddeford.

Pulos’s complete life he has been behind the camera, producing such shows that include “You have to Love Bears,” “Maine Magnificent Moose,” “Loon of the North Forest,” “Seabirds of Baxter State Park” and “Nature at Peace.” In the past this man worked in production with Dick Van Dyke. Our equipment is not state of the art. Steve knows how to make everything work and produce a good product and he does it every day.

Steve Doplin, his partner, makes all things run like a well-oiled machine. He meets and greets guests, making sure they are comfortable and he programs the shows we see each day.

Do you realize that for the past many years public access tapes city council meetings for the public to understand what is going on in our city? Everyone who does a show at Biddeford Public Access is volunteer. No money is paid out. Why do we do it? Because we make a difference with the help of Steve Pulos and Steve Doplin.

One of the best, positive things that Biddeford offers to its residents is public access. We have well over 25 producers who do shows without money because that is what access is about. They educated the public about community organizations, including Stone Soup Food Pantry.

We all know Ashley Gray of the “Awesome Ashley Show.” Last year the studio had to cut their budget and a few people were let go and Ashley was one of them. Her fans held a benefit in her honor to raise money so she could still come to the studio and do her weekly show.

Come on, councilors, we are a place for people to have a voice. Don’t take or ruin a good thing. Let us keep our voices. The city website reads, “A cable station for the people, by the people. Dedicated to the idea that everyone should have a voice.” The council wants to take our voice away. Our new city manager, Jim Bennett, had the perfect idea to help us and the council was not in favor of it. It was straight forward and included extending our mortgage loan for a few more years.

The city council thinks closing the station will help their tight budget. Come on. Stop drinking the Kool-aid. Biddeford Access is the only thing our residents have. A few councilors are naïve to what a treasure they have for the residents of Biddeford. We have a ton of problems in the city of Biddeford. I do not have to list them, we all know what they are.

Visit the City’s website and view different salaries in the various departments. All this information is there. Projects start and then they sit waiting for more money and that money goes down a dark hole.

Biddeford Public Access offers a variety of shows with topics ranging from politics to education. Biddeford Access teaches all the time. I know the producers of shows will rally and make big noise if needed.

Toni Sipka Biddeford

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