Executive Director's Report

Board Meeting

February 9, 1999

Community Outreach

  1. Rocky Mountain Creative Links Conference: I was invited to present at the Rocky Mountain Creative Links Conference, held by the Colorado Arts Council in Denver, Co.  I was on a panel of 3 presenting the importance of community, collaboration, and cooperation.  As the Arts Council sponsored the conference the focus was art and the Internet.  The information I heard will be very helpful with development and implementation of the Benton Foundation grant La Plaza received to train underserved artists.


  2. The keynote speaker was Larry Irving, deputy director of the Dept. of Commerce and he focused on the growth of the number of users of the Internet.  His statistics are quoted in all the listserves; i.e. increase of number of private users, increase of web sites, etc.

    The most compelling information that was discussed was with the Colorado Advanced Technology Institute, (CATI), Qwest (an ISP provider) and a copyright lawyer from New York City.  Their entire discussion centered on the lack of adequate phone service in the Western States; i.e., inability to fully use the 56Kmodems on new computers, lack of fiber optic infrastructure in the remote areas of Colorado, the lack of interest from the telephone companies to work cooperatively with the local communities and ISPs.

    The poor service we receive from USWest is not isolated to Northern New Mexico.  The western states represented were Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and all had similar horror stories to tell based on USWest not being able to provide the most basic phone services or higher bandwidth.  Many organizations are beginning to develop wireless service, which provides for efficient and more cost effective Internet service.
     

  3. Partnership with AMC Cancer Research Facility and UNM Albuquerque: Barb Hau and I met with Dr. Dave Buller, AMC scientist, regarding the grant being submitted to the National Cancer Institute.  La Plaza will be the implementation agency in Northern New Mexico for the research grant.  The grant will be studying two areas with the multicultural population: How diet can intervene and prevent cancer. How do people become adopters of the Internet service, and the learning curve of these first time users.

  4. The grant will be submitted March 1, 1999, reviews will read the months of April and May, notification will be received in the late Fall, if chosen funding and implementation will begin in approximately January, 2000.  This is a 4 year grant 2000 2004.

    La Plaza will participate with personnel, technology infrastructure, and public access sites.  The funding will be approximately $125,000 per year.  I will keep the Board informed of the status of the grant with NCI.


Fund Raising

  1. Los Alamos National Lab Foundation: The Los Alamos National Lab Foundation will be sending the information for Request for Papers (RFP) on February 12, 1999.  Once we receive the instructions and protocol for the RFP, I will develop the request and submit to LANL Foundation.  We will be requesting hardware and software for compatibility for Y2K; new web and mail servers, redundant servers to ensure constant service, several new PCs for the lab, 1 PC for the bookkeeping department.  The recommendations provided by Integrity Networking will be used for the types of equipment and the rational of use.

  2. Department of Commerce, Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP): Barb Hau, NLM Fellow, Dr. Forouz Joucar, consultant and grant writer, and I attended the TIIAP workshop in Albuquerque on January 26, 1999.  The workshop discussed funding priorities, application requirements, and lessons learned from previous TIIAP grantees.  La Plaza was funded a TIIAP in 1996 & 97 which provided for free public access in 3 health clinics and taught patients and health care providers how to access health information from the Internet.

    The presentations made it very clear that agencies, which had received past funding, would not be considered in this funding cycle.  After visiting with the staff and digesting the grant information, we have decided to wait until year 2000 to request funding.  We want to develop monthly planning discussions with other community based organizations regarding community problems, which could be helped, solved with information technology.  These discussion groups will help form partnerships within the Telecommunity.


Technology Update

Questa server and 5 modems will be moved to the Cisneros Family and Youth Center as soon as a trench can be dug from the phone box to the facility. As I stated in the email post, on Tuesday, January 26, when the move was scheduled nothing happened.  We called USWest several times and learned the move could not happen as there is not conduit and backbone for the 56Kbps and the additional 5 lines.  I received word from USWest Monday, Feb 1, that "the customer" will have to lay the conduit and backbone for the phone lines.

I am waiting for a call from USWest to give me a contractor name that we can have dig the trench and lay the conduit.  Once that is done the lines and server can be moved to the youth center.

I also stated, this move is a basis for a formal complaint against USWest to the Public Utilities Commission.  Once the letter is developed I recommend both Thom Myers, Board President, and I sign and submit to the PUC.  I will also develop a letter to USWest New Mexico Vice President, Edward J. Lopez, apprising him of the situation and the lack of coordination with the move.  Michael Bearden will upgrade the modem software to V.90. V.90 is a modem communication standard developed by and agreed upon by the creators of both Kflex and x2 modem communication standards. It standardizes the communication protocol for 56K Modems. Previously, x2 modems could only communicate with x2 modems and 56K Modems could only communicate with Kflex modems at 56K. With the change to V.90, La Plaza can now communicate with both x2 and 56K modems.


January Monthly Statistics

Public Access Users

Location  # users  # hours  average 
La Plaza (Taos) 1093  1192.95 64.45 
Penasco 235  259.5 1.10 
Questa 286  157.5 0.55 
San Cristobal 37 40  1.08 

Classes

Class # of Classes # of Participants
Public Orientation 2 18
Intro to Email 2 15
Intro to WWW 1 8
Easy Web Page Design 1 5
HTML 1 6
Marketing Your Web Page 1 2
Total 8 54

Registrations

New Primary Accounts 118
New Secondary Accounts 33
Reactivated Accounts 16
Free Accounts 1
Total 168

Closed Accounts

Past due balances of >51 days 37
Per User Request 38
(10 moving)
(6 not using)
(9 unable to access)
(4 no reason given)
(3 secondary:
1 not using,
2 no longer in employ of primary)
Total 75

Net Change In Accounts: 93 gained

Dial-in Statistics

Location #Users #Dial-in Connect Time (hrs)
Taos 1520 102809  45822.41 
Penasco 75 3862  4227.70 
Questa 106 3283  6114.45
Total 1991 1650
(82% of total users)
56164.56 



Respectfully submitted,

Judith Pepper, Executive Director, La Plaza Telecommunity