Proposed cuts to IPTV rile supporters, founders

Vera White
January 30, 2010
Moscow-Pullman Daily News

The INKster was pleased to receive an e-mail from Pete Haggart last week who with Margaret is spending their annual two months in Southern California.

When the INKster saw whom the e-mail was from, she was sure she knew the contents before she read it.

Pete took off on an article he had read in the Daily News about the possible closure of KUID-TV.

"I was stunned," he wrote. "Since I was present at the beginning of KUID I know the sweat and blood that went into creating it and also know only too well the influence of Boise on the whole system. It is a story too long for this e-mail, but I hope that you will urge your readers to contact members of the Legislature and let them know that this latest budget cut makes little sense. I am assuming that you continue to be a supporter of KUID and public broadcasting in Idaho."

You are correct, Pete. Public television in our fair state still has the INKster's full support and she has verbally expressed her displeasure about possible closures to several area legislators.

In 1963, KUID-FM became the first educational FM radio service in Idaho when it began broadcasting Dec. 13. The University of Idaho Department of Communications operated it. Gordon Law was then station manager.

Pete was later hired to teach and stayed with the department until the late 1990s. He went on to become the UI's faculty secretary and retired in the spring of 2003.

Pete wrote that he had sent a copy of the Daily News article to Law, a man he described as the "father" of public broadcasting in Idaho.

During these tough economic times, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter appears hell-bent on cutting state funding to Idaho Public TV, making many speculate whether it's finances or philosophy that is driving his efforts. Otter has said that "Government TV" has outlived the day when it was needed to connect Idaho's "disparate northern, southern and eastern reaches, divided by geography and culture."

According to aides, Otter would push to wean public TV off Idaho tax dollars even without a $50 million budget hole.

The INKster has known for a long time that the Republicans who dominate this state just don't believe in such "frills" as public broadcasting or for that matter, public education!


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