Archive of syndicated local features

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Concentrated Media Sausage: Making Sense Out Of The FCC's Changes To Media Ownership Rules, The Congressional Attempts To Reverse Them, And What This Means In Our Local Media Environment

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Just a little more than two weeks after June 2, whenthe Federal Communications Commission passed a set of rulings that loosened key media ownership regulations, the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees the FCC, approved a bill that would rescind many of these rulings. In this article I try to make sense of the FCC's decision and the bill that came out of the Senate Commerce Committee on June 19. But to really put things in perspective I think you have to look at how these rules and bills affect our local media. Unfortunately, almost nothing is ever written about our local media market, except here on the U-C IMC website and in the public i. So I also take a stab at figuring out what effect the FCC's new rules could have on our local media environment, and how the bill now entering Congress might change that situation. I covered part of the local media analysis on the June 6 edition of the mediageek radio show, heard 5:30 PM Fridays on WEFT ( http://www.mediageek.org/radioshow.html ) and during an interview on the June 9 edition of IMC Radio News ( http://www.ucimc.org/newswire/display/12368/index.php ), heard 5:30 PM Mondays on WEFT.



Provena Behavioral Health Plans Destruction Of Garden With Rare Native Wildflowers

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Earlier this month, Sheila Ferguson, the manager of residential programs for Provena Behavioral Health, sent a letter to me stating that my wildflower garden would be destroyed later this summer. This small wildflower garden is located at my apartment complex on Carroll Ave. in Urbana. It contains over 50 species of prairie wildflowers, including local ecotypes of 4 species that are state-listed as endangered in Illinois: Salvia azurea (Wild Blue Sage), Penstemon grandiflorus (Large-Flowered Penstemon), Camassia angustifolia (Prairie Hyacinth), and Silene regia (Royal Catchfly). I received permission to create this wildflower garden several years ago.



Photographs Of AWARE Float In CU July 4th Parade, 2003

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Photographs of the AWARE Float and Sign Marchers.



Building A National U.S. Indymedia Website.

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Over the last month, media activists from throughout the United States have been organizing a National Indymedia syndication website. Input has been coming in from across the nation, and an affinity group has begun the process of discussing, organizing, and creating the infrastructure that will sustain this endeavor. This article contains a brief update on this process as well as a copy of the orgininal proposal to create the U.S. Indymedia website.



Just Across The Stateline: Where The WMDs Are

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Looking for WMDs? You don't have to travel far from Central Illinois. Aerial photos of one location where U.S. WMDs are stored illustrate the the continuing hypocrisy of pre-emptive wars on those who seek to possess the same.



AFSCME Council 31 Files Unfair Labor Practice Charges Against Judge J.G. Townsend.

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Judge Makes Mistake, Publicly Blames Employee for His Own Error, Acts Against Union Steward Operating within the Bounds of Her Rights in Attempting to Represent Worker Jerry L. Wright, Staff Representative with AFSCME Council 31 said in a press release today that AFSCME Council 31 has filed two Unfair Labor Practice charges against Judge J.G. Townsend over the May 27 incident. Mr. Wright said, "Judge Townsend has committed what we believe to be two unfair labor acts."



Trial Of C-U Anti-war Protestor Charged With Resisting Arrest Begins

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Arguments were heard today at the Champaign County Courthouse in the trial an anti-war demonstrator, Lori Serb, charged with resisting arrest during a confrontation at a demonstration last May. Ms. Serb claims she was tackled and pinned to the ground without warning by an unidentified police officer and has chosen to fight the charge.



Negotiations On Contract For County Nursing Home Workers Stall

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Ongoing negotiations between AFSCME and the Champaign County Board on a new contract for workers at the county nursing home have reached an impasse, according to Jerry Wright, Council 31 Staff Representative. According to Wright, "I suggested we contact the federal mediator, that maybe he could bring a new approach to the table that we hadn't thought of. We were informed that the County Board had already voted not to go to mediation. So it looks like we are headed for a classic labor management conflict, and that process begins today." The nursing home workers, all of whom won at least a Living Wage in a historic vote by the Democrat-controlled County Board in 2002, have made up the majority of lowest paid staff on the county payroll. The biggest issue seems to be the cost and benefits of health care coverage. Other county employees under union contract already have greater coverage at less cost than what the county is offering the nursing home workers. Another issue is the county's controversial vacation buy-back program, which has seen the bulk of its benefits paid to highly compensated management employees. Wages are still an issue, but the union and the county appear to be closest to an agreement on this point, with the county being legally obligated to provide at least a Living Wage to every employee.



Doria Roberts And Staceyann ChinThis Weekend!

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Slam Poet Staceyann Chin and Singer Songwriter Doria Roberts will be performing at the UC-IMC at 218 W. Main, Urbana. Saturday August 9th at 8pm.



AWARE News Notes 030810

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Notes from the week's "war on terrorism" -- from the AWARE meeting, Sunday, August 10, 2003. AWARE -- Anti-War Anti-Racism Effort -- is a group of people from C-U and environs who are opposed to the policies of the US government -- neo-imperialism and favoritism of the rich. We hold open meetings every Sunday 5-7pm at the IMC (218 W. Main, U.) to discuss the situation and plan a variety of responses.]



Pentagon Acquits Itself In Killing Of Journalists

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

The New York Times is reporting that the Pentagon, after conducting an internal investigation, has acquited itself of any fault in the death of two journalists by Abrams tank fire on the Palestine Hotel, well-known location of most of the foreign press, during the U.S. attack on Baghdad.



Indianapolis: Solidarity Books Raided Last Night, August 14

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Solidarity Books in Indianapolis was raided by the police Aug. 14th as the National Governor's Associaiton (NGA) protest nears.



Channel X: Those Blackout Blues

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

You get to see this before it hits "The Paper"!



IMCfest Is Coming!!! More Info Available <a href="http://shows.ucimc.org/imcfest2003.html">here</a>.

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

August 30th from 1:00pm until 1:00am
@ the Canopy Club -- 708 South Goodwin, Urbana
18+, $3-$50 sliding scale

The IMC, in conjunction with The Canopy Club and The Paper, is celebrating three years of Indymedia in the twin cities. This festival will be a fundraiser for the IMC Capital Campaign. 100% of the money collected at the door will go directly to the IMC. IMCfest will be a multimedia event featuring 16 bands on two stages, two feature length independent films, and a 'zine reading. Music groups at the fest will range in styles from folk to rock to punk.



Prospect For Peace: Back By Popular Demand!

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

(Champaign) This Saturday, Sept. 6th, from 2-4 pm, will mark the return to North Prospect of local protests against the US war and occupation of Iraq, announced Urbana-Champaign's own Anti-War Anti-Racism Effort (AWARE). Protesters plan to occupy the same prime piece of sidewalk where they became a virtual fixture for thousands of weekend shoppers over the last two years.



Greetings From WTO Protests And Alternative Economic Forums In Cancun!

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

I just arrived in Cancun last night and the contrasts between the rich and poor here were immediate and stark. This morning, while WTO officials met in barricaded plush hotels campesinos and indigenous rights groups met in an open gym and under outdoor tents...with over six hours of singing, chanting, flag waving and powerful speeches small farmers from around the world demanded an end to the WTO, World Bank, and neo- liberal economics. In contrasts they shouted, "Globalize the Struggle, Globalize the Hope", "The Country Side Cannot Take Anymore!"



September 10th, Cancun

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

September 10th, Cancun This morning we got up early, ate as much of a nutritious breakfast as we could (knowing it would be a long time until we had time to eat again) and left our hotel for the center of Cancun. I am in Cancun with the Mexico Solidarity Network and am participating in tons of alternative economic forums and direct action marches against the WTO. While the rich meet behind closed doors the poor suffering from their oppressive decisions clamor for justice in the streets...



Activist Barbeque This Sunday

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Attend an ACTIVIST BARBEQUE this weekend to get to know other local activists and social justice organizations. Everyone is welcome.



Update: Garden With Rare Wildflowers Has Been Saved

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Earlier this summer, the residential division staff of Provena Behavioral Health announced their intention to rototill a garden containing rare wildflowers. However, the CEO of this organization, Sandy Lewis, has recently overturned the decision of her subordinates during an appeal process.



University Academic Workers Decry &quot;Pay-Cut Day&quot;

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Over 50 University of Illinois Academic Professionals and their supporters rallied in front of the Swanlund Administration Building over their lunch hour today to protest the University's new payday for them that is one week's short of pay.



Strike Yields Travel Advisories At Downtown Chicago Hotel

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

A strike by hotel workers at the Congress Plaza Hotel has led to travel advisories posted by the major Internet booking sites. The hotel had refused to grant wage increases along with other downtown hotels and instead cut wages by sixty cents an hour.



Labor Events In CU &amp; Around IL

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

4 events you should know about Steelworker Summer Institute Video - various times, UPTV, Channel 6 Mother Jones Dinner - Saturday, October 4, Springfield Labor Media Conference - Friday, October 17, Chicago Illinois Labor History Society Dinner - Sunday, October 19, Countryside, IL (Near intersection of I-55 and I-290/294)



Daily Illini Demonstrates Ignorance And Lazy Reporting On The Effects Of FCC Rules On Local Media

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Today our local daily student newspaper, the Daily Illini, ran an utterly bland, shallow and barely informed article attempting to assess what affect the FCC's new ownership rules might have on our local media scene.

But aside from interviewing two local media managers and a local media scholar, the author apparently did no research into what the FCC's new rules are, nor what the companies that own our local media asked the FCC to do. Thus, the article's conclusion and title, "Media ownership in C-U not likely to chance with FCC rules," is based entirely on the vague opinions of two local media managers, who cite absolutely no concrete facts about the FCC rules nor what their corporate bosses intend to do if the rules go into effect.



Local Organizing Begins For Miami Actions Against FTAA

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Fed up with "Free Trade"? P/O-ed because soon there won't be anymore American-made Levis? Hate politicians giving "Free Trade" handouts to big corps as they lay off U.S.-workers, sending jobs overseas? Then go to Miami November 19-21 and tell the creeps to shove "Free Trade" in favor of Fair Trade. To join in the organizing for this outing, join the meetings taking place in the front room of the IMC, 218 West Main Suite 110, on SUNDAYS at 2PM.



Immigrant Worker Freedom Rides Rally -- Monday At 7p.m.

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

******************************************** RALLY for IMMIGRANT RIGHTS! Immigrant Worker Freedom Rides Rally Monday, September 29th 7:00p.m. Champaign County Courthouse 101 E. Main Street, Urbana, IL 61801 ********************************************



Everyone Is Invited: IMC Membership Meeting, Oct. 2 @ 6:30 PM

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

The Urbana-Champaign IMC will be holding its semi-annual General Membership Meeting at 6:30 PM on Thursday, Oct. 2. The meeting is held at the IMC, 218 W. Main St. Downtown Urbana.



WCIA-TV Channel 3 Owner Nexstar Kills News Operation In Billings, MT

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

The majority of our local commercial media owners are not based locally, and own other stations around the country. Yet, we never hear about what these companies do in other cities and towns, even though these actions tend to represent corporate policy.

In short, that means, if they do it there, they'll probably do it here.

In this case, we have to turn to the Billings, MT daily newspaper to find out what WCIA channel 3's owner, Nexstar, is up to in that city.

Portions of this article aired during the media news segment of the mediageek radio show, on Friday, Oct. 3. The mediageek radio show airs every Friday at 5:30 PM on WEFT 90.1 FM.



Anti-&quot;Chief&quot; Rally Featuring Charlene Teters

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Attend an anti-"Chief Illiniwek" rally this Friday featuring Charlene Teters, founder of the anti-"Chief" movement. Speak out for an end to the racism of "Chief Illiniwek" and racism of celebrating Columbus Day.



New Police Chief In Champaign -- What's His Record?

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Last night the City of Champaign announced its decision for the City's new police chief. Their choice is R.T. Finney, previously chief of the Carbondale, IL police department. According to an article in today's News-Gazette, Finney sounds like a golden-boy, without a spot on him. Is that true?



'Affixed' -- Art Show Opens Friday

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Sixteen local artists are displaying their work in 'Affixed', a juried art show that opens Friday, October 17th. The show will consist of two and three-dimensional pieces that incorporate collage elements in some way, and will be held at the High Cross Studio in Urbana.



Occupation Is Not Liberation!

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Over 50 people gathered in the misty rain on Prospect Avenue in Champaign today to call attention to the October 25 National Day of Protest againt the US occupation of Iraq and the lies of the Bush Administration. Anti-War Protesters will be out on Prospect again next Saturday November 1 from 2-4. Join us!



Sing-In At Senator Winkel's Office In Support Of Queer Rights Bill Draws 20

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Twenty local queer activists from the direct action group, the 85% Coalition, and their heterosexual allies held a sing-in at Senator Rick Winkel's Urbana Office Monday to protest his refusal to vote for Senate Bill 101 which would end legal discrimination against homosexuals and transgendered individuals in Illinois. (see full story after the photos)



ISP Rejects Diebold Copyright Claims Against News Website

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

EFF Defends Right to Publish Links to Electronic Voting Memos [Updated with Tom Tomorrow cartoon.] San Francisco - Defending the right to link to controversial information about flaws in electronic voting systems, EFF announced today it will defend an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and a news website publisher against claims of indirect copyright infringement from the electronic voting machines' manufacturer. On October 10, 2003, electronic voting company Diebold, Inc., sent a cease-and-desist letter to the nonprofit Online Policy Group (OPG) ISP demanding that OPG remove a page of links published on an Independent Media Center (IndyMedia) website located on a computer server hosted by OPG.



Champaign County Health Care Practices Make Front Page Of Wall Street Journal: News-Gazette Ignores Story

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

The News-Gazette has a hefty income from local health care providers, who often take out full page ads touting their services in the newspaper. Yet, there was no news in today's New-Gazette about a major local story, the publication of a front page article in today's (30 October 2003) Wall Street Journal detailing the aggressive collection practices utilized by local health care providers against those in poverty who cannot make payments on their bills.



P4P

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

November 1st Protest was held in the rain. P4P was especially pleased with a good attendance and the added appearance of a group of talented young girls who assisted with a large banner and led cheers to end the war and vote out Bush in 2004.



Army Pushes Back Startup Of Newport Nerve Gas Destruction; Looks Likely To Miss CWC Treaty Deadline

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Citing a lack of "sustained leadership" and "obscured accountability," a new GAO report details delays in the Chemical-Demilitarization Program that is to destroy 1,700 tons of deadly VX nerve gas at the Newport Army Ammunition Depot and thousands of tons of similarly lethal chemical munitions at eight other sites.



You Want Some Of Me?!? Electronic Frontier Foundation &amp; Stanford Law School Sue Diebold To Stop Abusive Copyright Claims.

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

As posted previously on Indymedia Websites, Diebold Systems Inc., has threatened Internet Service Providers and the Indymedia Network who publish information documenting that Diebold knew about flaws in their electronic voting system. Turning the tables on Diebold, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Standford Law Clinic are now suing Diebold to stop their abusive copyright claims.



Organizing Indy/Alternative Media At The Local Level

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

10 UC-IMC organizers travelled to Wisconsin this weekend, joining 1600 others in Madison to discuss the future of Media Reform. Workshops on the theory and practice of Indymedia abound alongside calls to roll back FCC legislation, and press our public stations to stay tied to local concerns. What follows is a transcript of a talk offering advice for how to foster local, independent media.



Media Reform- White Men In Suits? The Case For Building Our Own Media

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Corporate media is a tiny handful feeding information to the passive masses. Unfortunately, much of the Media Reform Conference was just the same. In spite of its flaws however, the National Conference on Media Reform, along with the independently organized BE THE MEDIA Conference running at the same time, did highlight the very real infowars now underway. Moreover, the two conferences, taken together, did offer a dazzling glimpse of the potential for building our own media.



UIUC Board Of Trustees Chief Resolution Withdrawn -- No Vote Today.

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

The first order of business of the University of Illinois Trustees was to withdraw the resolution calling for the retirement of the racial mascott -- Chief Illiniwek. It is expected that the resolution will be brought up in July -- after students are on summer vacation. Please let your opinions on this be known by commenting below. The UCIMC is collecting opinions on this -- please let yours be known by commenting below.



Sixty Rally On Behalf Of Fired Lesbian Nurse

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

(Urbana, IL) Sixty rallied today on behalf of a fired lesbian nurse who refused $35K discrimination settlement offer by Carle Foundation Hospital. The settlement would have prevented Ms. Sprout from talking publicly about her claims of discrimination. Ms. Sprout is seeking her job back and hospital-wide policy changes that would guarantee family and medical leave to all hospital employees, not just married heterosexual employees.



U-C IMC Reporters: Miami Is A Police State In Anticipation Of Protests Against FTAA Summit

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

Seven reporters from the Urbana-Champaign IMC have joined thousands of citizens, independent reporters and protestors from around the world in Miami, FL this week to observe, report on, protest and shut down the summit for the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

U-C IMC reporters say that Miami has already become a police state in anticipation of the summit and protests. Police cruisers are stationed at nearly every intersection in Downtown Miami, while helicopters circle overhead, spotlights illuminating the night sky.

Police harassment, intimidation and targeting of protestors already has been high. But despite the intimidation campaign by the police and media in Miami, Globay Indymedia reports that support for the protest has been growing, and activists have created a non-hierarchical organizational and logistical structure that emulates the society they say they would like to create.



FTAA Protest Update- 11/20/03 - 7:35am EST

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

11.20.03 7:35am EST Urbana-Champaign IMC members report as many as 1,000 FTAA protesters have already gathered at Miami's Federal Courthouse by 7:30am. The Federal Courthouse is one of many locations in Miami designated this morning as a gathering place by direct action protesters from around the world. Currently, radical cheerleaders from the crowd face 200-300 policemen who are lined up in front of the courthouse and around its perimeter. There are rumors of action taking place in other places in the city, although the crowd is only beginning to gather at the federal courthouse. More information to be posted, as the situation develops.



Police Split The Crowd - 9:30amEST

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

UCIMC members in Miami report the crowd growing into a few thousand gathered for the FTAA protest. UCIMC members within the crowd report that the police are now attempting to split the crowd into smaller groups and are forcing the groups against the fence. There have also been reports that there may have been arrests at this time and use of pepper spray against the protesters.



Update On Members Of UCIMC At FTAA Protests In Miami -- 12:30 EST (11:30 AM CST)

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

As of 11:30 AM CST the members of the U-C IMC in Miami were forced to separate as a result of increasing police violence and brutality against protesters. Out of concern for the safety of a minor within the group, a part of the group relocated to a safe place....



Anti-FTAA Protest Updates: Www.ftaaimc.org

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

If you're looking for up-to-the minute information on the protests in Miami. Point your web browser to www.ftaaimc.org for the latest news.

LIVE RADIO is being streamed from: http://69.9.129.59:8030/listen.pls (you will need WinAmp to play) if that doesn't work than just: http://69.9.129.59:8030 and click LISTEN.

The radio links are filling up, here's another mirror: http://24.103.149.86:8000



Streets Of Miami - 4:00 PM EST: Police Make Violent Advance Against Protestors

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

U-C IMC Reporters just called in from the streets of Miami, reporting that a line of police in riot gear made a sudden charge against protestors. Our reporters are not sure if there was any provocation from protestors to cause the police to advance. Police were using concussion grenades and some sort of unidentified gas. Our reporters are retreating away from police, along with most of the other protestors.



Live Audio Report From Miami - Protestor Shot In Head By Police Projectile

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

U-C IMC reporter Zach M. called in this report just after seeing a protestor get shot in the head with a Police projectile.



Miami Audio Report: First Hand Account Of Police Push Against Protestors

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

U-C IMC reporter Paul K. was on the street downtown when police made an unprovoked advance against peaceful protestors with unidentified gasses, concussion grenades and various projectiles. He made it into his hotel just a block away, just as police blocked off the entrance, not letting any more people in or out. He then watched the police push from inside the hotel and filed this report with us back in the IMC.



Miami Anti-FTAA Audio Report: Summary Of Thursday's Events And Plans For Friday

Urbana-Champaign, 04.05.2005 23:01

This morning at 10:43 AM EST, U-C IMC reporter Zach M. called for an interview with Colleen Cook, from IMC home support. Zach gives a detailed summary of yesterday's events, observations about mainstream media reporters on the ground, and reported news and details learned at last night's direct action spokescouncil meeting. He also discussed plans for jail support for the approximately 150 activists arrested yesterday.




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