Washington DC – Butterfield Wants DTV Antenna Assistance

U.S. House of Representative SealU.S. Representative G. K. Butterfield

1st District of North Carolina

For Release:  Immediate

Date:  June 11, 2009

Contact:  Ken Willis
Phone:  (202) 225-3101

Butterfield Wants DTV Antenna Assistance

Washington, D.C. – With an estimated 2.8 million people still completely unprepared for the digital television conversion and many more not fully prepared, Congressman G. K. Butterfield wants unused converter box coupon funds to be made available for antennas.

“Many people still don’t realize that the converter box alone may not be sufficient to receive the new signal, especially in rural areas,” Butterfield said. “Digital transmissions are different than analog signals, so viewers who were able to tune in a weak analog signal may get nothing but a blank screen with the new digital ones. In order to receive the signal, many people will need a stronger antenna.”

Unlike analog signals, which when weak or obstructed may be received with fuzzy yet watchable reception, digital signals are received either perfectly or not at all. Viewers experiencing the "digital cliff effect" will likely require an antenna modification. The FCC has estimated that about 5% of over-the-air viewers may need a new antenna due to the "digital cliff effect," equivalent to about 1% of all households with televisions.

With this in mind, Butterfield has sponsored a bill that would create a coupon program similar to the digital-to-analog television converter box coupon program. Under the legislation, consumers could receive a $40 coupon that could be used toward the purchase of a new antenna until September 30, 2009.

The program would be funded with unused or expired converter box coupons, which are offered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Under that program, consumers can receive up to two $40 coupons between January 1, 2008, and July 31, 2009, and must be used within 90 days after issuance towards the purchase of a stand-alone device used solely for digital-to-analog conversion.

The $1.5 billion converter box coupon program is funded largely through receipts from the auction of the analog television spectrum.

On June 3, 2009, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) held its final Open Commission Meeting before the June 12 DTV transition. Witnesses indicated that consumer DTV education and outreach efforts are accelerating, that digital signal reception and antenna issues could still be a problem for some viewers, and that the supply of converter box coupons and converter boxes should be sufficient.

Since February, when the federal government postponed the transition for three months, the number of households that are completely unready has been cut in half – from 5.8 million to 2.8 million homes, according to estimates by the Nielsen Company.

“Given the role television plays in most people’s day-to-day lives, it is important to help make sure people are ready for the enormous change,” Butterfield said.

After June 12, 2009, households with over-the-air analog-only televisions will no longer be able to receive full-power television service unless they either buy a digital-to-analog converter box to hook up to their analog television set; acquire a digital television or an analog television equipped with a digital tuner; or subscribe to cable, satellite, or telephone company television services, which are expected to provide for the conversion of digital signals to their analog customers.

Analog broadcast television signals, which have been broadcast for over 60 years, will cease, and full-power television stations will broadcast exclusively digital signals over channels 2 through 51.

All analog signals go dark today

Any major TV stations still broadcasting in analog will turn off those signals at some point today, switching to federally mandated all-digital broadcasts. And it’s for real this time.

The original Feb. 17 deadline for the transition was delayed by Congress after funding ran out for a coupon program designed to help people buy converter boxes for older TVs. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

Rocky Mount NC – System cuts staff, closes school

Braswell Elementary School teacher Heather O’Neal returned from a four-week maternity leave this week to wish her students well and to empty her classroom of its first-grade materials.

She was packing to change schools — not by choice — but because Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools is closing the school to renovate and reopen it potentially as an alternative learning facility. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

Pinetops, NC – Quenesha McNair: Use vacation to learn about jobs

For those of you who do not know, I am the founder of beGlobal (the greatest not-for-profit organization in all the land), and our objective is to motivate rural American teens to think without walls.

I love the idea of young leaders of the future actualizing their dreams to be doctors, lawyers, professional athletes, musicians, artists, etc. because I believe they can be whoever they choose to be. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

Rev. Wright: Doesn’t regret severed relationship with president, “Jews aren’t going to let me talk to him”

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright says he does not feel any regrets over his severed relationship with President Barack Obama, a former member of the Chicago church in which Wright was the longtime pastor.

Wright also said that he had not spoken to his former church member since Obama became president, implying that the White House won’t allow Obama to talk to him. He did not indicate whether he had tried to reach Obama. (Blackpoliticsontheweb.com)

Speaking Truth to Power – Remarks were meant to help educate kids

I feel better now after reading this response. When I got a call today saying my D.A. had written a letter of apology I thought he had punked out. However after reading the article I can live with his comments. He was saying what I said, that he covered all areas, parents, school system, court system and etc.

The comments in the following response from my D.A. is still coming in from racist folks who no matter what my D.A. says they will continue to be upset because he was appointed and not the white man. Oh well. My D.A. was the most qualified and damn that still was not good enough. Get the hell over it.

Guess what? I don’t even know the man personally however I know some folks who do. I am still in support of him 100% and when I am not, I will challenge him just like I have other folks black, brown, white and other because I have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies only permanent interest. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

The response to my Juneteenth remarks while understandable, conveyed an impression to some not representative of my beliefs or intent.

First, there was little mention in the article of the fact that I spoke sternly of the need for quality parenting at home in order to foster academic achievement and good behavior.

Second, my comments were not intended to demean or criticize the many dedicated individuals who work in our local schools and courts. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

See related:

Rocky Mount NC – District Attorney delivers strong message to Juneteenth audience


Tarboro NC – THE STRUGGLE FOR EDUCATION In Edgecombe County Schools by Richard H. Parker Jr. Columnist

I wish to thank the Editor of the Daily Southerner for publishing Oliver Curtis Powell’s Letter to the Editor on June 8th 2009. It exposes Powell-ism for what it really is. Unfortunately or fortunately the citizens of Tarboro and Edgecombe County already know it exists, both inside and outside our School System. I have formally given a copy of Mr. Powell’s Letter to the Editor to the Edgecombe County Board of Education Counsel, just in case they missed it.

Mr. Powell’s drivel is perhaps being used, from the outside of the school system to influence or coerce decision-making inside our school system, by those willing to listen to it and those who live by it. Mr. Powell is a prime example of what we are up against, from persons already inside the school system. It is the thinking, of the worst kind, that permeates all corners of school faculty and administration. We must root out the Powells in the system so our children can begin to break out of the cycle of injustice and ignorance inside ECPS. Embedded in our governing bodies are too many Powell-like individuals. November is not far off. The Oliver Curtis Powell types are exactly the types we are going to root out of our school system. Black as well as White. Thank you Oliver, for coming forward with a real-life example of what is really wrong with our school system. It is perfect advertising.

I have written letters to the Editor that were far less inflammatory than Mr. Powell’s letter and had them turned down time and again. Perhaps if they had been published Mr. Powell might have been far less inclined to write such drivel. Perhaps it is time for some good, old fashioned “Selective Patronage”. Our Editor has been enjoying that privilege with impunity. It may just be our time now.

Oh yes. Mr. Powell, I am not a student or presently a parent of a student. I am a part of the “village”.

Richard H Parker Jr.

Tarboro NC


See related:

Tarboro NC – School administration must stop allowing students to run the system by Oliver Curtis Powell

Tarboro NC – Lack of communication upsets parents, schools

Raleigh NC – Where will Easley saga end?

Funny how the racist are not commenting on this story but look at the post about black folks and especially the newly appointed black D.A. Robert A. Evans. They have called us the N-word however the Telegram has removed those comments. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

As a former district attorney who made it his mission to weed out corruption at the highest levels of government in Brunswick County, you’d think former Gov. Mike Easley would have known better.

It has yet to be determined by the courts whether Easley broke any laws in having his staff solicit N.C. State University officials to hire his wife in 2005, or if he had any direct influence in her 2007 promotion and the $170,000 annual salary that came with it. But . . . (Rocky Mount Telegram)

Tarboro NC – School board names three new principals

Video coming soon on The DCN TV. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher.

Edgecombe County Public Schools will have new leadership at at several schools next year with a new principal at SouthWest Edgecombe High, multiple administrators transferring within the district and two assistant principals advancing to principals.

Superintendent Craig Witherspoon announced the administrative changes at the Board of Education meeting Monday night. (Daily Southerner)

Tarboro NC – Board hears about three new programs

I was at the meeting and the information was quite interesting. Video coming soon on The DCN TV. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

Educators within and outside of the district informed the Edgecombe County Board of Education of new programs that will assist students in having resources needed for academic success and college preparation.

The first pitch made to the board was by Jennifer Cox Bell, program coordinator for Carolina College Advising Corps. (Daily Southerner)