Town Forum on Municipal Networking

On Thursday May 18 the Chapel Hill Town Council will host a public forum on Municipal Wireless Networking. The event will be from 7 to 9PM and be held at Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. All citizens are invited to attend.

The event will be moderated by Shannon Schelin, Ph.D. of the Institute of Government at UNC. She will also make a presentation. Other speakers include Casey Lide of Baller Herbst in Washington, DC, Lynda Goff, Executive Director of WinstonNet in Winston-Salem, NC, Ray Reitz, Chief Technology Officer of Chapel Hill Carrboro School System, and Chad Johnston, Executive Director of The People’s Channel. For more information about the speakers please see the Town event webpage. There will be time at the end of the event for questions and answers. If you can’t make it in person you can watch the event on Public Access channel 18.

My Council Members Approve Resolution to Impeach Bush

The Chapel Hill Town Council passed a resolution calling for the Impeachment of the decider in chief George W. Bush! Thank you Council members!

I believe this resolution reflects the opinion of the majority of citizens who vote in local elections. An overwhelming majority of them are liberal democrats. They’re tolerant and loving people. This atmosphere allows for very liberal people to have a friendly home. Especially in conservative North Carolina. We really are lucky here.

Lest you think the only people who vote here are liberal college students, the petition that brought about this resolution was submitted by local citizens group Elders for Peace. I signed that petition as soon as I was asked!

PDF : Petition to Impeach Bush from Elders for Peace

Drinking Liberaly Chapel Hill Style!

The Chapel Hill chapter of Drinking Liberally will be meeting this Thursday, April 6, at Tyler’s (back in the Speakeasy) from 7pm until 10pm. To keep up with goings-on, you can sign up for the chapter mailing list here. A word or two about DL:

An informal, inclusive progressive drinking club. Raise your spirits while you raise your glass, and share ideas while you share a pitcher. Drinking Liberally gives like-minded, left-leaning individuals a place to talk politics. You don’t need to be a policy expert and this isn’t a book club – just come and learn from peers, trade jokes, vent frustration and hang out in an environment where it’s not taboo to talk politics.

Bars are democratic spaces – you talk to strangers, you share booths, you feel the bond of common ground. Bring democratic discourse to your local democratic space – build democracy one drink at a time.

Via: OrangePolitics, BlueNC

Save Jerry Conner

This podcast is an interview with Mark Kleinschmidt a lawyer at The Center for Death Penalty Litigation. It’s about the death penalty case of Jerry Conner. He was convicted of rape and murder in 1991 and has been in prison since then. He is scheduled to be executed on May 12 by the state of North Carolina. It will be the fourth execution in North Carolina this year. Jerry Conner maintains his innocence.

The state of North Carolina is refusing to conduct a new DNA test for Jerry. The accuracy of DNA test since 1991 have improved dramatically. On top of that a NC State Bureau of Investigations agent was fired recently for mishandling lots of DNA test evidence. A new test could demonstrate Jerry’s innocence and save his life. We need to work to prevent the state sponsored killing of an innocent man!

You can find action items, such as calling the governor of North Carolina, in my blog post North Carolina Obstructs DNA Testing for Condemned Man. You can also goto jerryconner.blogspot.com for more information. Please link to this site in your blog posts about this.

MP3 5m 05s 2.4MB 44.1kHz 64kbps

North Carolina Obstructs DNA Testing for Condemned Man

The State of North Carolina is refusing to perform a DNA test in the case of Jerry Conner. He maintains his innocence of the murder of Minh Rogers and the rape and murder of Linda Rogers. A DNA test could show he did not commit these crimes. The State of North Carolina and Governor Easley must act fast because Mr. Conner is scheduled to be executed on May 12.

It appears that earlier DNA tests taken by the FBI in 1991 are not as reliable as test done today. Not only that but, “The SBI (State Bureau of Investigation) agent in charge of handling, preparing and transmitting the 1991 DNA to the FBI was Brenda Bissette, an agent who was forced to resign from the SBI lab for mishandling DNA evidence in up to 50 cases.” [1] Instead of preventing new DNA tests the State of North Carolina should fix the mistakes of one of their former employees. ESPECIALLY if it could mean the death of an innocent man.

The information in this post was obtained from the blog called jerryconner.blogspot.com. You can find many more facts there. (I also know one of the Attorneys working on Mr. Conner’s case. I have great trust in the attorney so I trust this information.)

If you want to help stop Mr. Conner’s death you can do several things. All the links bellow will take you to the info you need to act.
1) Contact Governor Easley
2) Contact Attorney General Roy Cooper
3) Contact Your Legislators
4) Write a Letter to the Editor
5) Write a blog post
6) Record a podcast

Mastering podcasts with Audacity

Johnathon Williams has written a good article called Mastering podcasts with Audacity over at Newsforge. He describes in an understandable way some important and complex concepts for voice audio post production. (Great for podcasters.) The article introduces topics like the compressor, waveform, frequency spectrum, decibels (db), the envelope tool, envelope tool, etc. These are all things you need to know to make your podcast sound professional.

All of this can be done with the great software Audacity but the concepts are the same no matter what software or hardware you use. Very valuable information that is quite accessible. I found it an excellent review of concepts that I knew but didn’t entirely understand. Most important to me was his excellent writing style and the step by step explanations. Thanks Johnathon!

PhillyIMC video of Norg UnConference

Albert aka DragonBall Yee hipped me to a neat unconference in Philly that just happened. (Ed Cone is blogging about it too) From what I’ve learned in the past thirty minutes it’s called NORGS. This is the wikipedia definition. (Subject to rapid change):

Norgs are news organizations that may produce a printed newspaper, a website, podcasts, blogs or any combination of these and other news products. Norgs have certain qualities, including wide distribution of news, ethical standards, resiliency, interactivity, giving voice to the audience, aiding media literacy, and a positive cash flow. Will Bunch, a writer and blogger with the Philadelphia Daily News, coined the word in October 2005 [1]. A discussion group met in an unconference on March 25, 2006, at the University of Pennsylvania to outline guidelines for an initial Norg architecture. Usage is common on websites discussing the future of news, particularly local news. See phillyfuture [2], buzzmachine [3], and blinq [4] .

Check out Albert’s photos and watch the PhillyIMC video. I’m podcasting – vlogging – that video, btw. My favorite part of the video is Amy Webb‘s comments. Go 3min 46sec into the video to view. Basically she expresses concern about the “great digital divide” between newspaper editors and their young readers. Hearing the words blog and podcast from editors makes her cringe. It’s evidence that they still don’t get it. Because people, who editors are trying to reach, knew those words (blog and podcast) years ago.

She is also concerned about people claiming we need paper news because everybody can’t afford computers. Ten years, or less from now, she says everyone will. Paper based news is a romantic ideal that will be gone. If it isn’t completely gone in 10-20 years it will be supplanted by other deliver methods. These words are prophetic!

To make it super clear the video linked to bellow and encluded in my podcast was created by the PhillyIMC. Thank you PhillyIMC for making it and allowing the public to “rebroadcast” it. I podcast it from my server space to save them the bandwidth costs. 🙂

MOV 7m 41s 11.46MB 44.1kHz 320×240

Mayberry Machiavellians, a mashup by ANON

Artist: ANON
Album: The Reign of the Mayberry Machiavellians
Song Title: Mayberry Machiavellians
Genre: Mashup/Electronic
Track #: 5 of 8
Description: Al Gore grows a spine and points out publicly the crimes of George W. Bush. Trying to become emperor of the United States is treason against the people of the world! But then again Mr. Gore was just quoting the obvious… “It is the Reign of the Mayberry Machiavellians”.

MP3 4m 33s 5.3MB 44.1kHz 160kbps

Obama’s Podcast Aint Bad

US Senator from Illinois Barack Obama has a podcast. It sounds really good. He’s mostly speaking as if he’s having a conversation with you. Fortunately it doesn’t come off like a pre-packaged speech. I really felt like I got to know him better. There is something about the human voice that can touch you this way. But it’s obvious he knows what he wants to say and has said it before. This podcast is an excellent way to learn about his politics and issues in general.

Now that US national politicians are adopting podcasting – are they working for bottom up control of government or just using the latest hyped communication medium?

Senators, let me hip you to something. Podcasting didn’t come about to reinvent radio and PR. Podcasting was nurtured on the energy of individuals with their own messages. This is the very core of a grassroots democracy. Share more of your process of governing with all the people who live in America. (Citizens and non-citizens) Let them have a hand in your government. Let them be creative! For tips on how to do this look at how local politics are conducted. I’m talking about a town or county level. Reproduce that nationally!