Applause for FCAT’s many contributions |

Applause for FCAT’s many contributions

While heralding a new era for community access television with the soon-to-be launched Nevada County Television (NCTV on Channel 11), we also recognize the efforts and dedication of those many volunteers and underpaid staffers who held Foothills Community Access Television together on a shoestring budget these past many years.

Under the auspices of the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools and the nonprofit Partners in Education board of directors, NCTV will launch in mid-April from spacious studios inside a refurbished Imaginarium building on Nevada City Highway, across the street from Superintendent Terry McAteer’s office. FCAT, meanwhile, will be off the air at the end of this month.

On Thursday, McAteer introduced NCTV’s new executive director, Lew Sitzer, a long-time high school educator. Sitzer’s extensive teaching background – he’s been with the district since 1971 – will be an asset as NCTV will be used primarily as a learning tool for students. “He (Sitzer) is a great facilitator and leader this community can rally around,” McAteer said. Those skills will come in handy as he juggles a variety of special interest community programming.

The new station has already received a significant boost from the donation of thousands of dollars in equipment from Thomson (owner of the former Grass Valley Group), and it’s possible that a new community agreement with the Comcast cable company will lead to even greater support.

None of that would have been possible without the foundation that was FCAT. Eric Tomb, FCAT’s board chair, said Thursday he and others will remain vigilant so that our community will continue to enjoy public access and free speech afforded through its community television opportunities. We hope so.

We also thank Miles Everett, FCAT’s executive director, for his tireless efforts on behalf of local public access television.

At the same time, we are excited about the future of NCTV and believe it will be a win-win for the community and the students who will have an opportunity to become a part of something special.

As they say in television, “Stay tuned for more.”

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