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February 27, 1996

Congratulations to the city council for taking steps to inaugurate a local cable access TV channel in Perry. Our cable supplier, TCI, has provided equipment for the channel in accordance with the terms of their franchise, and now it is pretty much up to the council to get the system up and running.

When fully operational, it is expected that city council meetings will be televised and delivered to our home screens via cable, and thus the public will get a better idea of how the governing body functions. Although someone once said that you don't want to see how sausages or laws are made, it can only be helpful to all of us in the long run if we witness the process of governing our city.

Mayor Hollingsworth said, jokingly no doubt, that he wants to make a few test video tapes of council meetings before the cable show is distributed, apparently to see how the council members look on the small screen. Does that mean future council members will have to be auditioned in front of a camera before they can be sworn in? Or that makeup artists and hair stylists will touch up individual council members before the opening gavel falls? Probably not.

Meetings of other public bodies, such as the school board, also may be carried on the public access channel. Students may be taught to operate the cameras, microphones, control consoles and other gadgets needed to produce a program. I'm anxious to see this thing in operation.

Perhaps along about the same time, or even sooner, TCI will offer us programming of the American Movie Classics (AMC) channel as part of our local cable service. That's another one I'm eager to see. Telephone surveys are being made in this area right now to determine which additional channels the public wants in Perry -- and how much extra they're willing to pay for them.

Also, thanks to the council for taking a longer look at the need for replacing faulty timers in those traffic lights on the east side of the square, which have been blinking red for months now. Earlier there had been some talk about making the west side lights, which are working just fine, blink like those on the east side. Here's hoping all of our downtown traffic signals can be put in working order again very soon. Pedestrians especially will appreciate restoration of those signals. If you don't think walking can be hazardous to your health, read "Walk at Your Own Risk" in the March Reader's Digest.

The police department is inaugurating foot patrols in the downtown area each morning and afternoon in an effort to discourage U-turns by motorists around the square. Signs have been posted for some time to advise the public that the practice is illegal, but the incidence seems to be increasing, not decreasing. Hopefully, officers on the beat can do something to stop the illegal turns. It would help a lot if all of us see to it that everyone else obeys the law. "All of us" and "everyone else" ought to take care of it, right?