Category Archives: Television

Members of the press or citizens are not welcome at library board? —George Boston Rhynes

Received today. To quote a VDT editorial of 3 March 2012:

When officials act like they have something to hide, they often do….

Here’s George’s Open Records Request. -jsq

George Boston Rhynes February 7, 2013

George Boston Rhynes (229-251-8645)
5004 Oak Drive
Valdosta, Georgia 31605

TO: Valdosta-Lowndes County; South Georgia Regional Library Director/Chair person along with Board Members Respectively, Georgia News Media Outlets concerned about open government and the sunshine brightness…

SUBJECT: An open records request on behalf of the general public right to know…

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Gretchen LCDP v. Austin Scott GA-08 on WCTV

Gretchen with LAKE video camera Hearing a representative was in town, Gretchen took the LAKE video camera down to the Chamber of Commerce. Greg Gullberg of WCTV invited her to rebut Rep. Austin Scott (R GA-08) in her role as Chair of the Lowndes County Democratic Party (LCDP). After some back and forth, the WCTV story shows transparency winning, and Gretchen with the last word.

Rep. Scott GA-08 Gretchen as LCDP Chair

But their [sic] is one thing they both agree on.

“I quite honestly think both sides ought to put their budgets on C-Span and maybe we ought to have those negotiations on C-Span,” said Scott.

“So I’m all for having everything all out on the table for all citizens to see,” said Quarterman.

Scott speaking Gretchen speaking

Hey, what if the Lowndes County Commission put its board packets and budgets out on the web for all us taxpayers to see?

Here’s the WCTV video. The video Gretchen took will follow.

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Vote No on Amendment 1 —LAKE WALB Ad

John S. Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange The WCTV news report didn’t mention something else LAKE has done about the Tim Golden use of a LAKE video without the required attribution: LAKE paid for a TV ad on the same WALB market as Golden’s ad. That LAKE ad is still playing today: watch the news and football on WALB in Valdosta and Hahira.

Bikram Mohanty is a man of integrity running for Georgia state Senate.

Creative Commons Attribution license The incumbent Tim Golden’s attack ad misuses a video I took of Bikram Mohanty, without the credit its YouTube license requires.

Tim Golden voted to put on the ballot an amendment that could siphon off your local tax dollars for charter schools, even if your school board doesn’t want them.

Vote for integrity; vote for Bikram Mohanty for Georgia state Senate, Vote No on Amendment 1 on Nov. 6th and vote No for Amendment 1.

This WALB ad, like the WCTV news interview, is another rare instance of the LAKE politburo deciding LAKE would go on record as an organization, so I was speaking for LAKE.

TL;DR: If you want to use LAKE materials, cite the source.


Tim Golden campaign admits using LAKE video without attribution —WCTV

Greg Gullberg WCTV WCTV got Tim Golden’s campaign on record admitting it used a LAKE video without attribution. Golden’s spokesperson claimed (erroneously) that they didn’t need to cite the source. As you can see below, that’s not what the license says.

Greg Gullberg wrote for WCTV last night, Valdosta Man Takes Legal Action Against GA Senator Over Use Of Video,

John Quarterman, Lowndes Videographer A videographer in Valdosta is taking legal action against Georgia District 8 State Senator Tim Golden.

John Quarterman says video he shot was used in an “Attack Ad” against Senate candidate Bikram Mohanty without his permission.

“A video posted on Youtube that clearly says that attribution is required. And there’s no attribution, no sources sighted, and he didn’t ask permission. That’s mis-use of our material,” Quarterman said.

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Mayor starts walking back gay pride comments on WALB

Rainbow flagsValdosta Mayor John Gayle starts practicing the non-apology apology by saying he’s sorry people aren’t happy while complimenting the content of the anti-bullying proclamation he wouldn’t sign. He continues to provide earned media for the South Georgia Pride Festival.

Lydia Jennings reported for WALB yesterday, Valdosta Mayor denies Gay Pride event proclamation,

Raynae Williams Asst. Director South Georgia Pride “I’m not asking him to proclaim that he’s for gay marriage, I’m not asking any of that. It’s just simply stating that we’re here and we’re apart of the community,” said Williams.

Valdosta Mayor John Gayle “Too many times we give up our strong beliefs to make people happy, and I’m sorry that my decision didn’t make a lot of people happy,” said Gayle.

The Mayor says he compliments the organization for bringing awareness and education to bullying and hate crimes against the gay community. The event will be September 15 at the John W. Saunders Park in Valdosta.

Well, he looks apologetic, and he said he’s sorry, Valdosta banner but he for sure ain’t signin’ that proclamation, which was against bullying and hate crimes not just for the gay community, but “for all sexual orientations, races and religions.” Is he not against bullying other races and religions?

Those rainbow flags seem quite festive, as do those Valdosta banners.


Valdosta Mayor provides more earned media for group he doesn’t like

Valdosta Mayor Gayle continues to provide earned media to a group he doesn’t agree with, South Georgia Pride. He says people support him ten to 1 in refusing to issue a proclamation against bullying. Yet a local TV online poll is running 2 to 1 against his position. In addition to the obvious cultural issues, there are also economic issues involved.

Dean Poling wrote for the VDT today, Pride denied: Valdosta mayor denies LGBT event proclamation,

Gayle said responses are running 10-1 in agreement with his decision. (ABC 27) asks in a poll attached to a story by Jade Bulecza yesterday, Mayor turns down proclamation request from gay community,

Do you agree with Mayor Gayle’s decision not to sign the P.R.I.D.E. Proclamation?
Yes (32.4%)
No (67.6%)

That looks to me like 2 to 1 against the mayor’s position. Bulecza’s story included:

“Most of them (proclamations) are for the cancer society, the heart fund, you know things like this or either a pastor at a church for so many years and everything and this is the first one I get like this where my beliefs interfere with it,” said Mayor Gayle.

The mayor says he recognizes all the group does for the community. He says he welcomes everyone to Valdosta.

Since Mayor Gayle took office in January this is the only proclamation he turned down. The south Georgia group says they had a proclamation signed last year.

In less than a year in office the mayor has already found difficulty separating his personal beliefs from his office as mayor.

What was he asked to sign, anyway? The VDT story has the details:

The requested proclamation does not include an endorsement of gay marriage nor does it officially endorse the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender lifestyle.

“The proclamation opposes bullying and hate crimes based on sexual orientation,” Williams said. “It says the city recognizes we’re here and we’re part of the community.”

In essence, the submitted proclamation would have noted that the South Georgia Pride Committee:

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Valdosta Mayor Refuses to Endorse LGBT Pride Festival

Proclaim your festival? Not if the mayor disagrees with it. Apparently he will inadvertently give you free TV coverage, though.

Greg Gullberg reported for WCTV yesterday, Valdosta Mayor Refuses to Endorse LGBT Pride Festival,

Raynae Williams, Assistant Executive Director of South Georgia Pride One of the top members of “South Georgia Pride” called Eyewitness News reporter Greg Gullberg shortly after leaving the mayor’s office Wednesday morning. She had requested a proclamation for their upcoming festival. But as she says in this Exclusive Interview, the mayor denied their request.

“It made me feel like I did not matter to the City of Valdosta. That I was not a part of anything,” said Raynae Williams, Assistant Executive Director of South Georgia Pride.

They are planning their annual Festival this September. She wanted a mayoral proclamation to recognize the event.

“Our organization is working to educate people on tolerance and against bullying and hate crimes,” Williams said.

John Gayle, Mayor of ValdostaBut Valdosta Mayor John Gayle stands against homosexuality.

“I just don’t approve of that life style. It goes against what I believe in and if I sign that proclamation then I’m endorsing that. And I can’t do that,” said Mayor Gayle.

There’s more in the report, including this:

“I was kind of shocked when I asked how many proclamations have been denied. We are the only one,” said Williams.

And this:

Below is the link to a petition. Their goal is to reach 100 signatures.

Maybe we should ask him to proclaim a No T-SPLOST day….


4 of 5 incumbent GA PSC Commissioners accept massive utility campaign contributions

Could contributions produce influence? Neither of the incumbent Public Service Commissioners showed up for last night’s GPB debate, just as they didn’t show up for the previous weekend’s GIPL debate. Saturday the AJC examined the incumbents’ campaign finance and regulatory records, and let’s look a bit into how they’ve acted as regulators towards their biggest indirect contributors: Georgia Power.

Kristi E. Swartz wrote for the Augusta Chronicle or AP 21 July 2012, Donors to Georgia Public Service Commission members vested in decisions,

Four of Georgia’s utility regulators have accepted at least 70 percent of their campaign contributions from companies and people that could profit from the agency’s decisions, a review of five years of campaign finance records by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed.

The fifth member of the state Public Service Commission, Tim Echols, campaigned on the promise that he wouldn’t take money from employees or lobbyists for businesses regulated by the agency.

Even so, nearly one in five dollars in Echols’ contributions came from people or companies whose business is affected by PSC decisions, the review found.

Together, the PSC commissioners took in nearly $750,000 in the last five years, records show. Two of them — Stan Wise and Chuck Eaton — are seeking re-election this year to their $116,452-a-year posts.

Wise and Eaton would be the two incumbents who can’t be bothered to show up for debates. Doesn’t make them look very responsive to the people, does it? Who do they respond to, then?

A review of major decisions that have come before the PSC in the past five years shows utilities have received much — but not all — of what they have asked for.

Georgia Power donors

In the past five years, for example, Georgia Power’s rates have risen 24 percent, although they dipped in June. The PSC must sign off on the company’s rate changes.

Current and former employees of Georgia Power, its parent Southern Co. and its law firm, Troutman Sanders, poured $52,650 into the campaign coffers of four of the sitting PSC members.

A Georgia Power spokeswoman argued that including Troutman Sanders and other company vendors in an analysis of spending “is false.” But critics say including them is critical to capturing the full influence of the utilities on the PSC.

Influence like this? Melissa Stiers wrote for GPB News 19 July 2011, PSC Nixes Vogtle Cost Check,

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Boston catches up with Atlanta: you can video police

Poilce are public employees, and the public has a right to video them doing their duty; so says a federal appeals court.

Pace Lattin wrote for Technorati, Federal Courts Rule it is Not Illegal to Film Police John S. Quarterman

The First Court of Appeals has reached a decision that would allow the general public to video-tape police officers while they are working. This decision comes right after several well-known public cases have come to light involving citizens being arrested for video-taping police.

This specific case in question was Simon Glik vs.The City of Boston (and several police officers), in which a teenage Simon Gilk was arrested after videotaping Boston Police abusing a homeless man. While Mr. Gilk was not interfering with the police, he was arrested on wiretapping charges.

The ACLU had sued on his behalf, even when the charges were dropped, noting that there was a growing epidemic of citizens in the United States being arrested by police for videotaping, even when documenting police brutality and abuse.

The First Court Agreed with the ACLU that this should be legal, and wrote that: “The filming of government officials engaged in their duties in a public place, including police officers performing their responsibilities, fits comfortably within these principles [of protected First Amendment activity].

The Atlanta Police Department already avoided this problem by settling a previous case and making a policy that citizens can video police. This appeals court ruling now says anybody can, nationwide, because of the First Amendment.

Why has this become an issue lately? Continue reading

“I have seen cameras here at this building when it concerns football” — George Boston Rhynes @ VBOE 29 August 2011

If TV cameras show up for football, why don’t they show up “when the people come together on issues such as this, not just black folk, not just white folk, but all Americans are here tonight because of our concern”?

George Boston Rhynes made three points: Continue reading