Summer’s Coming & Petaluma Community Access Will Be Here to Capture It

When the big Butter and Egg Days and Salute to American Graffiti events appear in our rearview mirrors, that means school’s out and summer is coming soon. Spring has not only sprung, it is almost over, and it has been a busy season around the Petaluma Community Access (PCA) studio.

Luke and Ed Anderson in the 2018 Butter & Egg parade

As usual, we covered the Butter & Egg parade. It’s an annual event dedicated to celebrating Petaluma’s long agricultural heritage that PCA has filmed for most of our 21 years. If you’re interested in a DVD of the 2018 parade, give Nellie a holler at nellie@pca.tv or 707-773-3190. Operations Manager Jeff Trier is handling the editing and should be done before too long if we don’t add too much to his to-do list in the meantime.

As southern Sonoma County’s public access multimedia center, PCA is also frequently the place folks in the neighborhood call to help cover newsworthy community events of interest to the public that don’t make the area’s corporate media outlets.

That was the case with Robert Reich and Lynn Woolsey in Conversation on April 8. Sponsored by Literacyworks and Copperfield’s Books, this event featured a fun and very timely conversation between our much-loved former representative from the 6th congressional district and the former Clinton-era Labor Secretary upon the occasion of the publication of his latest book, The Common Good. Reich is currently a professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. View PCA’s video of the event above or on our YouTube channel if you prefer.

Literacyworks and Copperfield’s contacted PCA about another event coming up this weekend that you might not want to miss: Daniel Ellsberg and Peter Coyote in

Daniel Ellsberg and Peter Coyote. Image courtesy of Copperfield’s Books

conversation at the Petaluma Veterans Memorial Auditorium at 1094 Petaluma Blvd South. Ellsberg – among the most famous whistleblowers in U.S. history – recently published Doomsday Machine, a memoir about his work with the Pentagon on the subject of  U.S. nuclear war planning. Peter Coyote has become the unofficial narrator for our time, providing the voice guiding us through most of Ken Burns’s films, among many other works. He’s also a well-known actor, author and now a Buddhist priest as well. Pick up your tickets to this Sunday’s event here. Look for our film of the event later this month.

PCA was also there to film the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Forum at St. Vincent de Paul on May 4, featuring candidates John Mutz, Ernesto Olivares, and Mark Essick, the winner of the June 5 election and our new Sonoma County Sheriff. You can view that PCA video below if you’d like to get to know Mr. Essick a little bet better and hear some of what he had to say on the campaign trail.

Free Range Radio KPCA continues to thrive as well, with more than thirty shows now on the air! You can tune-in to KPCA at 103.3 fm or listen to us online via the live stream player at the KPCA.fm website. We’re not on the air 24/7 yet, so visit the website to find out who’s on the air today. KPCA features some of the best community radio programming to be found anywhere, all produced by volunteer programmers from the Petaluma area. 

Among the newest programs on these airwaves is Talking with Rabbi Ted, featuring Rabbi Ted Feldman of Petaluma’s B’nai Israel Community Center. Rabbi Ted features

Rabbi Ted Feldman (r) with author Kenneth Kann at the KPCA studio

some of the most interesting people in our community, discussing all manner of cultural issues, historical and current events of widespread interest. My favorite show thus far may have been the recent visit to the KPCA studio of Kenneth Kann, the author of Comrades and Chicken Ranchers and Joe Rapoport: Life of a Jewish Radical, two major historical works on Petaluma’s radical Jewish chicken ranching community. 

Coming up later this month is our very first KPCA Presents concert at the Phoenix Theatre, another indispensable local community institution with whom PCA has a long history of collaboration. Starting at 8 pm on Saturday, June 30, four great Bay Area bands will grace the stage at the Phoenix: NRVS LVRS, The Y Axes, New Spell and Flour Flour. We are very excited about this show and look forward to many more events at the Phoenix. Visit the Facebook event page KPCA’s Philip Lehman-Brown set up for more information about these bands. You can pick up your tickets to the show here.

I saved the sad news for last. 

Honey

Last week KPCA Radio Manager Rob Tomaszewski and his family lost their longtime companion and furry four-legged friend, Honey. Honey was a sweet old Beagle mix with a youthful sparkle in her eye and a keen eye for fallen popcorn, thanks to her close proximity to the floor. She seemed to be mostly hair there towards the end, but even as she was about to pass away she put on a happy face. She lived a very long and happy life and we wish her family well. Everyone at Petaluma Community Access will all miss her. 

Success! KPCA Live Streamed Rep. Jared Huffman’s Town Hall on Health Care on March 6, 2017

March 6, 2017 was just another eventful Monday in Petaluma.

At City Hall, Basin Street Properties’ Northbank subdivision – a 19-lot piece of its huge Riverfront development – was on the City Council’s agenda that evening.

Over at Shollenberger Park, a collection of prominent Petalumans were honoring the late Sonoma County environmentalist, Bill Kortum – a widely revered figure in North Bay history – with the dedication of a new community bench, so that we might pause and enjoy the scenery while visiting the park.

Screenshot of Rep. Jared Huffman, March 6, 2017. From the PCA video.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., the GOP introduced its alternative to Obamacare that afternoon – the American Health Care Act – and it so happened that Rep. Jared Huffman, representing the 2nd District of California, was holding a Town Hall meeting on healthcare at the Petaluma Veterans Memorial building just a few hours later.

Upwards of 1,000 people had RSVP’d for the event online, and given the extraordinary level of interest, Alexa Shaffer, Huffman’s Director of Communications had reached out to us at Petaluma Community Access the week before to ask if we would like to live-stream this event.

“There is a huge waitlist so we’re trying to figure out how to accommodate everyone!” she wrote.

“Can we do this?” we all wondered.

Live-streaming video was definitely out of the question for a number of reasons. It was just not within reach.

We had just recently launched the KPCA radio station though, and were live-streaming public access radio programming created by and for the community residing in the Petaluma Valley via the KPCA.fm website.

KPCA Radio Manager Rob Tomaszewski thought we might be able to make it happen.

Just days before, PCA Board member Dennis Murphy had tested our live-streaming capabilities at John Crowley’s Aqus Cafe. There were some kinks to work out, but overall the test had been encouraging.  

Time was short though. Shaffer’s request had arrived on a Wednesday afternoon. Rep. Huffman’s event was the following Monday, and we had no idea about the setup or capabilities at the Veterans building, particularly what their audio/public address system was like.

But we did make it happen.

Four visits to the site, 15 + hours of setup and preparation over the weekend by Tomaszewski and Murphy, and come Monday afternoon at 4:30 pm, KPCA radio did live-stream Representative Jared Huffman’s Town Hall on healthcare. We had quite a few listeners too! We know because we received numerous phone calls asking what happened the couple of times that the signal dropped. Fortunately the dead time was mercifully brief.

It may not have been an event that’ll ever make the history books, but for us at PCA/KPCA it was an extraordinary opportunity to test our capabilities and see what we could do. It was also an opportunity to be of public service. This was an important meeting on an issue of tremendous significance to a great many of our fellow citizens, and the facility was at maximum capacity. Broadcasting it to a larger audience could have been of great value to the public. We are grateful to Rep. Jared Huffman and his staff for providing the opportunity, and the crew at the Petaluma Veteran’s Memorial for their generous assistance making it happen.

Have your own ideas about what constitutes news, and/or what we should be listening to on KPCA? Come join us and let’s get your show on the air. History is made moment by moment, in the here and now, and the airwaves belong to you.

If you missed Rep. Huffman’s gathering and would like to listen to it, you can find the audio of the KPCA broadcast at the Internet Archive, thanks to Dennis Murphy.

We also filmed the event, so now you can watch a video of the town hall at our YouTube channel as well.

Thanks for reading, and long live KPCA – public radio by and for the Petaluma community.