In response to Mr. Fucci's letter in which he has the temerity to say that all public access television programming is a self-serving ego booster for the producer, is somewhat shortsighted.
Having been involved with public access television over the past six years, I can attest to the fact that much of the programming aired on PATC in Great Neck is not only worthwhile but eagerly anticipated by the viewing community. Mr. Fucci, how can a program such as "Candidate's Night" where the candidates for office are questioned live on air by the viewers, be an ego booster? How can the program entitled "Autistic Children: Behavior Analysis," that takes an indepth look at autism, be an ego booster? Or a program discussing attention deficit disorder? Or a program that deals with the history of a community? I could go on and on listing program after program that are not only interesting to the viewers but informative as well and no ego boosting in the bunch. Mr. Fucci, let's get real!
Public Access has a lot to offer a community, allowing schools to air musical concerts, plays and sporting events; civic organizations to air debates and town meetings; and just plain folks who have a good idea for a program, produce it and have it aired.
Public Access has another benefit, one I think is very important. Kids! Most of the volunteers at PATC in Great Neck are teenagers. Teenagers who would rather be volunteering their time to produce something worthwhile instead of hanging out in town getting into trouble.
I am proud to say that one of those volunteers is my daughter, Courtney, who with her friend, Donavan Sell have to travel to Great Neck to work at PATC because we do not have public access in our town. Courtney has been a volunteer at PATC since she was in the 8th grade and Donavan has been volunteering for the past three years. Both of these fine kids are hard-working, good students, who still find the time to volunteer. What could be more important than that?
Mr. Fucci, I say again, do not put all public access programming in the same light. There are some very bright lights out there, indeed. One percent of the franchise fee is nothing compared to what a community such as Oyster Bay would reap in return. Oyster Bay does not need another pay-per-view or shopping channel. We need something that is much more valuable to our residents - community television - made by our community and for our community.