Help needed to keep IdahoPTV running

Tara Roberts
March 15, 2010
Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Fans of "Nova," "Sesame Street" and "Outdoor Idaho" rejoice - you'll still be able to watch your favorite Idaho Public Television Programs in the coming years.

The Legislature's Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee voted unanimously last week to go against Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's budget request to hack a huge chunk of Idaho Public Television funding. Instead they approved only a 16-percent cut, leaving the network with $1.4 million dollars to keep stations and translators running across the state.

We applaud JFAC for listening to their constituents and saving an educational, entertaining resource that costs very little in the scope of the state's budget.

But Idaho Public Television isn't out of the woods yet - and that's where the people of Idaho come in.

IdahoPTV manager Peter Morrill said the network will be "vigilant about going out and seeking new statewide funding streams."

A major one of those streams needs to be private donations.

Otter's plan would have left the network in shambles, likely with only enough money to keep stations running in areas like Boise and Idaho Falls, where the bulk of private donations are received.

The people of the Palouse and other areas of north Idaho who enjoy public television need to show they care, too. Next time your child is watching educational programs on a Saturday morning or you settle down in front of "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer," consider sending even a small donation to IdahoPTV.

Think of it as a way of saying thank you to your legislators for keeping a small luxury alive, and think of it as a pledge for the future.

If IdahoPTV ends up on the chopping block again - and it very likely will - state leaders need to see that people all over Idaho believe in public television.

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