Executive Director's Report
March 9, 1998

  1. As was announced, a hacker was able to use control messages to install and run several programs which resulted in a breach of security. The Newsgroups were changed from the La Plaza server to Southwest Cyberport Newsgroups, at a monthly cost of $50.00. This upgrade not only solved the La Plaza newsgroup security problems, it also increased the number of supported groups for La Plaza users.

  2. Questa Connectivity Issues:
    I discussed with Ben Gallegos, Purchaser with Molycorp, the service needs for both La Plaza and the Questa community. Molycorp has a 56Kbps line for in-house email with Unical and is not able to make any adjustments to their system. They would be interested in service if La Plaza were able to upgrade to a T-1 line.

    I am meeting with Questa Asst. Superintendent, Nelson Lopez, on Thursday, March 12 to discuss connectivity issues and a service contract for the School District in the new school year. Daniel Pruitt and I have discussed recommending the School District have their own 56 Kbps line installed, which will reduce the number of computers on the current 56 Kbps line during the day, and will increase the efficiency of our service to the Questa community.

    I will amend the budget in May for the monthly expenses of the Questa and Penasco service to be allocated to the General fund. The Personnel dollars which had been allocated for the receptionist will be amended to the Connectivity line item. The 1998 contracts with the Questa and Penasco Schools will begin in June or July of 1998 and a portion of the contract money will be allocated to the Connectivity line item. I will not amend the budget until the contracts are written and approved.

    I have talked with Gene Goetz, many times during the past month regarding public access at both the Questa Youth Center and Questa Health Clinic. Mr. Goetz stated an offer has been made to a Questa community member for employment as the Director of the Youth Center. Once that position is filled, then the Community Outreach Trainer will be hired. Hopefully, this will be completed by mid-March.

  3. Penasco Connectivity Issues:
    Daniel Pruitt and I met with Mike Garcia, Superintendent, and Arnold Lopez, Director of Technology regarding Penasco School District and community Internet services. The Technology Plan has been approved for Penasco Schools and recommendations are being made for service providers. La Plaza hopefully will receive the contract for Internet connection with Penasco.

    We also discussed Penasco School District continuing to provide free public access to the community after May, 1998. The schools are willing to continue the service if money could be found to pay the Community Outreach Worker.

  4. Taos Municipal Schools Connectivity Issues:
    Ed Ramsey, Coordinator of Technology, requested a waiver of payment for the past quarter of Internet connectivity. As the Taos Schools are not connected through the wireless, I approved the waiver. Ed Ramsey assures me the schools are being networked and service will begin very soon.

  5. I have requested from USWest install information about T-1 lines into Questa and Penasco School Districts. The Customer Service Rep is researching the available service and how long it will take for T-1 lines to be installed.

  6. Annual Audit and Nonprofit status
    The audit is completed and will be distributed to the Board members at the meeting. La Plaza is in compliance to the auditing standards. Pamela Alfred, CPA, also conducted an in-depth research regarding La Plazas tax-exempt qualifications under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Ms. Alfred prepared the support information for a final determination letter from IRS to establish La Plaza as a publicly supported organization as described in the IRS section 509(a)(2).

    La Plaza is conducting only related activities, as approved by the IRS in the original application for the 501(c)(3) tax status. There is no concern of unrelated activities and Ms. Alfred does not recommend requesting a private letter of determination from the IRS.

  7. Monthly Data:
    • La Plaza Web Site had 28,000 hits in February, compared with 15,000 in January. The ten most popular places, other than the homepage are:
      1. Search Page
      2. Services and Support
      3. Homepage (text version)
      4. Business and Employment
      5. Crimestoppers
      6. Arts and Leisures
      7. About La Plaza
      8. Visitors Section
      9. Media Section
      10. Government

    • La Plaza Dial-in User Stats:
      The data is still difficult to interpret due to the transition from analog to digital lines. The data will be consistent and an accurate report for March will be given in April.

      Total # of Users:1335
      Penasco # Users:44
      Penasco # Sessions:1918
      Penasco Total Time:596.02 hours
      Questa # Users:70
      Questa # Sessions:3382
      Questa Total Time:1273.83 hours

    • Public Access Sites:
      La Plaza1023 users1088 hours
      San Cristobal41 users49 hours
      Penascono data submitted
      Questano data submitted

    • Classes:
      9 classes were offered with a total of 78 attendants. The classes were Easy Web Page Design, Public Orientation, Introduction to Email, and Intro to WWW.

    • New Registrations: 111

    • Membership:
      New Members:6

    • Telephone Calls:
      Tech Support Calls405
      New Accounts35
      Web Site12

  8. A Marketing Plan has been developed and is available for Board review. The plan will not be published as it could be helpful to our competitors.

  9. La Plaza has been licensed as a Public Broadcasting System live satellite site. Nancy Montano has been appointed to handle all broadcasts which are relevant to Northern New Mexico. A broadcast has been scheduled on March 26, 1998 regarding the Universal Service Rate (E-Rate) for schools and libraries. The satellite broadcast will be provided at the Forest Service Office from 11:00 Am to 12:30 PM. Schools and public library personnel are invited to attend from Northern New Mexico.

  10. The Corporation Commission returned the Amended and Ratified Bylaws for minor corrections. The Commission also required a Nonprofit Corporate Report for 1995 and 1997, both reports were completed and sent for documentation. The Bylaws will be reviewed and then, if approved, will stand as ratified by the members.

  11. I am completing a letter of donation for submission to Corporate Sponsors. The letter outlines the nonprofit status and services provided to Taos County with a request for the corporations sponsorship in unrestricted dollars. I am specifically asking for assistance with the public access costs during the transition from grant income to generated income from La Plaza services. There are 2 local corporations I am working with and will make those public if they are approved.

  12. Dr. Forouz Joucar has been engaged to complete the third year evaluation for the W.K.Kellogg grant. She will have the evaluation completed for submission by May 31.

Submitted by: Judith Pepper, Executive Director