Several times a year we bring together Members, Volunteers and Access Producers to mingle, maybe learn something new, and do a little housekeeping. Our Spring Access Mixer is next Wednesday, May 8, 5:30-7. Our guest will be Carlos Cuéllar, owner, director, and producer at Catama Productions. Carlos has been making video and bringing stories to life in the Portland area for many years. He will probably have some juicy stories to tell. Please Join Us!
Roger Berle has been a major donor to PMC for over ten years. But his passion for supporting his community goes back to his parents. His mother was a quiet conservationist and his father raised money for MIT, where he was a student and professor. Roger went to college with an interest in working in the foreign service. His paternal grandparents came from Norway. Roger’s family had spent their summers on Cliff Island since he was a child and he fell in love with the place, and eventually made it his home.
After graduating college with a major in government, Roger went into sales for three years, then worked as a sales manager in a boat yard. Eventually he went to Boston University for his MBA, but was not interested in a desk job. He was a stern man on a lobster boat and then worked in construction.
In the early 1970’s, he was on the City of Portland Charter Review Commission and became interested in Portland City government, bringing the City Manager out to the island to show him the needs of a small, year-round island community, which also happened to be the most remote neighborhood of the City. Roger joined in an Outward Bound experience where he further developed his community leadership skills. He first got involved with philanthropy when he joined the Board of Waynflete.
Roger started his own construction company called Finestkind Excavators, but when the business grew rapidly, it became Finestkind Builders EPD Inc. He made it a regular practice to provide his employees his own baked goods. His interest in culinary arts continues today as the host of PMC’s Community Kitchens.
He has expanded his community activism and philanthropy in the land conservation universe both locally and in state-wide organizations, as well as community media and free speech in his support of PMC. He also supports PMC by volunteering on productions and providing instruction to Board members on fundraising. He is now working on a book with Lesley MacVane about the year round community on Cliff Island called Off Season, Off Shore.
Roger offered this direct comment: "I enthusiastically love and highly value the many ways the average person can benefit from community television. It truly brings power to the people at street level and offers unlimited opportunity for getting on the air through learning and developing new-found skills and self-confidence. Portland Media Center has dramatically grown its capacity to not only make so much happen right here on Congress Street but to then also connect us directly to the world."
Thank you Roger, for all that you do.
Nora Jean Ferris has just shown us all a powerhouse of artistic expression. There is nothing subtle or coy or ironic in her art. It is just all there for us to see, and enjoy. Big, colorful, thought-provoking, and honest. What a joyous relief!
Becoming All Things Bike
Fred Thomas, the host of Portland Media Center’s All Things Bike, traveled many miles before becoming the host of Portland’s premiere television series on cycling. Most of those miles were not on a bicycle. Fred was born and raised in New York City, but he spent his summers in Maine. Fred majored in English at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and worked in Singapore and Indonesia after graduation. Fred met his wife, Tak, in London and eventually they moved back to the United States; first to Boston then to Maine. Fred started cycling again in 2003, and found that he had not forgotten how to train and race. In 2009, he earned his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at University of Southern Maine (USM) and found himself at a crossroad: return to the cubicles and corporate life or set up his own company doing something that was close to his heart. The idea of starting a bicycle company won the day and Fred set up Rideable, Inc., a company with interests in re-selling services for cyclists (Frame and Wheel), performance carbon fiber and steel bicycles (A-D Bikes) and on-line and broadcast entertainment (All Things Bike). Meanwhile, Tak had set up her own financial planning and investment company (TAK Advisory) and at one point thought she might host a show about financial planning with PMC. She decided that a talk show format was not suitable for financial planning, but she encouraged Fred to do a show about cycling, and four years later All Things Bike is going strong. All Things Bike explores the people, organizations and the gear that makes the cycling community roll and has featured bike shop owners, event organizers, legal professionals, entrepreneurs policy advocates, competitors, youth organizations and athletes as guests. Fred’s hopes for the show includes taping in the field, satellite links to guests in other parts of the country, guest hosts and ultimately national syndication. “We have a long way togo, but so far it has been great fun, excellent networking and great exposure for Frame and Wheel, A-D Bikes and our sponsors,” Fred said. “Only in Portland, Maine will you have the access to such a valuable resource.” Fred added. “In any other city, you wouldn’t be able to do it…The Portland Media Center is centrally located, the facility is well-equipped and Tom Handel and his team are knowledgeable, supportive and friendly. If I can host a television show then anyone can do it!”
If you’d like to produce your own show at PMC, go to http://portlandmedia.org/classes FMI.
Roy Cogswell has been a volunteer at PMC for 12 years. Born and raised in Yarmouth, his interest in public access TV started when cable first came to the area in the 1970’s. Mike Leonard, on staff with the cable provider at the time, gave a class on cameras and an intro to lighting that Roy attended. He then started working as a volunteer at the Yarmouth public access station and subsequently became staff, relied upon to run cameras. The whole studio was automated, and the station mostly covered Yarmouth municipal meetings.
Roy continued working with the Yarmouth station until he moved to Portland in 2005. Soon after, Roy came into our studios and talked to Bill Blood and Arthur Nichols about how he could pitch in on the many activities here at PMC.
He enjoys working with the people here, and he also enjoys learning from the content of the shows he’s worked on.
He’s very psyched about Anne Haskell’s new show, Mainely Veterans, because he’s a veteran himself. He served in the army from 1971-1972, then a year with the National Guard, and after that 3 years in active reserve, a six-year commitment altogether. He specialized in artillery and went on to air defense artillery. He enjoyed the camaraderie of the service. After his military service he became involved as an EMT, first as a volunteer and then “pay per call.” Helping people out was what he enjoyed most about Emergency Medical services, and Roy did that for about 4 years.
His interest in helping people didn’t end there, a fact made obvious by the 12 years of volunteer work he’s accomplished at PMC. He volunteers with studio productions, mostly with graphics but has done audio and camera as well. Roy also volunteered for several terms on our Board of Directors. PMC benefitted greatly from his years of service and we look forward to working with Roy for many years to come.
If you’d like to volunteer at Portland Media Center, go to http://portlandmedia.org/volunteering-1 for more information.
Over the years, Portland Media Center has been fortunate to have Media Studies interns from the University of Southern Maine. They provide much need assistance to our small staff. Our intern this past semester was Paul Brown from Nobleboro, Maine. Paul spent most of his time with us updating PSAs to reflect our new name, PMC! He did a great job, and we were happy to have him along!
He will be graduating this spring and moving home to Nobleboro. We are happy to have another senior from the USM Media Studies program joining us for the summer. Her name is Kate Corwin, and she will be continuing in Paul’s footsteps by helping with PSAs and productions.
Each Month we will profile one of our non-profit Members. This month we talked to TEMPOart. Their website banner reads: TEMPOart brings temporary public art to Portland, Maine.
TempoArt was founded in 2015 and became a nonprofit member of Portland Media Center (at that time, CTN) in 2016. PMC covered their first exhibit, American Dream. TempoArt’s mission is to energize Portland’s public spaces through temporary art installations—engaging residents and visitors, enriching its creative community and enhancing Portland’s reputation as a world-class city. Typically TempoArt puts out a call for a curator who puts out a request for proposals. Between the Board and their Pubic Art Committee (an advisory committee to the Board) they decide on each project. Often they partner with other organizations, such as Portland Trails with their most recent project. TempoArt is funded through grants and private donations.
Their project this summer is “Welcome Feast,” which will comprise of about 5 wooden sculptures by Daniel Minter in Kennedy Park. They address African diaspora through culinary diplomacy. Anna Ackerman of World to Table will match chefs from Portland’s New-Mainer community with chefs from Portland’s restaurants to create menus for three public meals at the project site this summer.
Jenny McGee Dougherty, Administrative Director for TempoArt said, “PMC has been very helpful in covering the American Dream, providing affordable video content and getting the word out.” TempoArt and PMC look forward to working together to get the word out and covering Welcome Feast. We’ll be doing some studio interviews with key players for this summer’s project, as well as covering the meals and events. For more information about TempoArt, visit tempoartmaine.org. If you are involved with a nonprofit that you think might benefit from being a PMC member, go to portlandmedia.org/nonprofit-member-benefits for more information.
On April 10th, several people associated with Portland Media Center attended the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee meeting in support of LD1371 "An Act To Ensure Nondiscriminatory Treatment of Public, Educational and Governmental Access Channels by Cable System Operators" .
Among those speaking in support of the bill were, PMC executive Director Tom Handel, PMC Development Director, Lesley MacVane, Former PMC Board President, Tony Vigue, and PMC Host of Pachios on the News, Harold Pachios. Board member Nir Buras was also in attendance.
In addition to multiple other issues, the bill attempts to address the issue of so-called “slamming”. PMC recently experienced this practice when the cable operator which serves the Portland area changed our channel assignments from channels 2 & 5 to channels 1301 and 1303, without any public notification whatsoever beyond an on-screen notice that the content was no longer available on that channel.
For more information about the bill read more here :