Opening Reception

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May 14
Roving Reporters Interview Participants at the Opening Reception
By Ellen and Jessica Coleman

At the Community Networking Conference in Taos, New Mexico, we spoke with David van Broekhuizen of Honolulu, Hawaii. David traveled with ten associates of the Kokua Kalihi Valley Regional Technological Consortium to glean ideas for their housing project Community Center. David is the representative for the Pacific region of the ARC Association which serves a seven state region

The Community Center's "technology demonstration site" will connect intermediate through high school kids to the Internet giving them "the opportunity to expand their world view." Five computers will be available to connect them to much needed information about jobs and career placement

David says his group includes community member Antoinette Salavea who is being trained to be the local Internet expert.

Bill Coker, Superintendent of Animas School District in southern New Mexico, has come to the conference to share amazing tales of a small community that has outfitted their schools, from kindergarden through high school, with a technological infrastructure to take them far into the future.

The Animas community, located 150 miles from Tuscon, is smaller than 3,000 in population but has been very supportive of the Animas School Board's plan to link all classroom and offices to the Internet. A $750,000 bond issue passed to fund $400,000 in remodeling and $350,000 in technology. The new system now includes a fully decked out lab for the high school, computers in all classrooms and offices, additional phone lines and extra underground conduit to allow for future expansion. In addition, every classroom and every office is cabeled for audio/video and voice.

Animas School District uses their own nine channel network for school programs and administrative links. The network includes two VCR channels, one live channel (with remote camera to broadcast), and Project EDEN, a channel dedicated for Electronic Distance Education Newtowk. Project EDEN will access high school students to college courses in four New Mexico universities. Courses in Marine Biology or College Level French are just a link away.

Conference participants are eager to hear how Bill educated his school board and community as to the possibilities of community networking. He cites the major local employer, Phelps Dodge Company, for their support of the school's technology development plans.

Michael Marcus, Office of Engineering and Technology/F.C.C., is "here to help you". Michael says the Web has democratized the FCC's public hearing process (VOX POPULI,VOX DEI!). See their Web site: to read proposals for public comment. He will talk Thursday afternoon on proposals affecting radio based community networks.

Dewayne Hendricks (Bay Area, California) will share more on wireless community networks from his unique point of view. Dewayne, a Disney-inspired entrepreneur, built his own Warp Speed Imagineering company in order to help people execute the "plausible impossible."

Using the Internet Dewayne uses a "virtual company" format to collaborate with whatever labor resources he needs. On one project he depends on associates in the Netherlands to provide lower wages than their American counterparts. "We are competing on a global scale now with access to the world labor market," Dewayne says.

Martha Turney of Braswell Memorial Library in Rocky Mountain, North Carolina, is involved planning a community network. It will involve the entire two county community; town and county government, schools, universities, and the libraries. She is especially interested in "how libraries can serve as the hub of the community network andprovide access to computers and the internet".