BITV may shut down

BITV may have to shut down unless the city restores its funding.

The $296,000 BITV had expected from the city makes up more than 80 percent of the public access station’s 2011 budget.

Read my latest story HERE.

BITV is planning a protest next week and devoted its entire B News show to the cuts. You can see the show HERE or view a portion below.

And here’s BITV’s most recent announcement:

35 thoughts on “BITV may shut down

  1. BITV Schmidt has run over so many volunteers and former employees the story is pathetic. It appears Schmidt’s chickens have come home to roost. I ran into Selina and she told of a virtual mutiny breaking out with the staff that remains. Apparently, according to Selina (the pre-Poland front lady) that the employees went to the sham BTIV Board for redress and had no action taken on their behalf. The fact is the BITV “Board” is a fig leaf for Schmidt to collect his $65K per year for running this once-noble organization into the ground.

    Turn the PEG taxes back to the Comcast subscribers. Give the channel feed to BKAT and hope that a new station will emerge sans Schmidt.

    Hey, Scott, poetic justice say I

  2. Jim, You do realize that Selina is the one who searched for, found and posted to Youtube ‘James Olsen 2’ don’t you? She was quite proud of that and we shared a good laugh over it at the time. You remember ‘James Olsen 2’ on Youtube don’t you? That’s the video of you singing the praises of BITV–“BITV is an honest, honest broker of the PEG fees and Franchise Fees…and I hope they get the full pass through…BITV is ALL about Bainbridge Island…”

  3. “Smiling” John — who cares about what the functionaries do at BITV. I dealt with that. My point raised is about the Director. The staff lives in fear of DA Man. The fiasco is caused by the $70K director and a fictitious “BITV Board of Directors.” What a joke that is.

  4. Somehow in the shuffle of Sun censors reviewing content, my earlier post about Schmidt was not posted. I have spoken to Tristan about this.

    This is my YouTube statement about the fraud that BITV is and in particular Director Schmidt. I humbly ask for the forgiveness of Kim Jong Il for the comparison between him and Mr. Schmidt.

    Uncenorsed Rebuttal to BITV (see all the works at ShoutwhatYourHear YouTube)

  5. City Hall cannot continue to pay for non-city businesses such as BITV. Two channels for one small community is over the top. BITV should find it’s own funding. Try fund-raising like other public channels.

  6. I found it interesting to see Barry Peters hide his face from the camera while he was moving to terminate the contract. The furitive looks from Bob Scales were noteworthy too, as was the stonily cold look of the manager. As Jim Olsen says, “You can see the body language of the councilors and of the Mayor because of the fine work of the BITV camera people.”

  7. Mr. Haydon, if BITV loses this contract, you may wish to consider yourself a major factor in the loss. And Mr. Olsen, if they don’t, you may be largely responsible for that.

    I have tried to read responses of the public on this matter, and you two hijack every conversation in every medium (except BITV, which notably presents only one viewpoint).

    While the basic premise of public access television is to give those who otherwise (perhaps understandably) would not have access to the media a chance to make their viewpoints known, my concern about this organization is the clear tendency (thank you, John) to seek out and attempt to discredit anyone who disagrees with their stance.

    A “black list” is circulating of people who are purportedly not to be allowed access to the facebook page, the studio, or the staff — and of great concern is the fact that anyone who commented OTHER THAN completely negatively about the council’s move to terminate the budget is on that list — including, as of several days after the vote, “Stone,” “Clearcut,” “Jim Olsen,” RDG Images,” “IslandWatcher2010” — this is getting creepy and flies directly in the face of transparency, public access and journalistic integrity.

    Constant repetition of misinformation does not constitute truth. The city CAN use the franchise fees to fill potholes; they CAN use the PEG fees for anything that expands the public’s access to governmental, educational or public media.

    Go read some other websites (look at the FCC filing by the pro-PEG group American Community Television, Inc, which states that 1/3 of PEG channels in the country operate with budgets of under $100,000) if you truly want information — because you won’t get it on BITV or on any of these websites, if the dialogue continues to be personal and antagonistic.

  8. Haydon — we can’t afford the drama-queen special anymore. We can catch a bus and watch it in person or watch it on the web. The People of BI can’t afford luxury-class TV.

  9. b246jk — BI has a real problem with accepting any diversity of opinion other than the group think. The fact a (De)Facebook page opens to slander and take out of context, is only one very recent example of the thugs who roam Our Island. It reminds me of the Stazi or secret police who are busy monitoring every word for total orthodoxy. The site is creepy and that said with all due respect to creepy things.

  10. b246jk- I heard about this “blacklist” and I personally know many people on this list. They are good people, active members of the community. First, A black list? Is this third grade? Secondly, a handful of the people on the list are former staff members, board members and council people who voiced their concern after management issues arose at the station last spring.

    The station has a bloated staff, a bloated budget. I’m not against community access TV, as long as it operates as a community access station…for the community, by the community.

    Mr.Olsen, I rarely agree with you, and have been on the receiving end of your attacks, but I do agree with you in regards to this subject matter.

  11. Right James,
    Because everyone on that facebook page is from BI. What’s so creepy anyway? Seeing all your disparaging comments posted in one place?

  12. Mr. Olsen,
    I beg to differ and so do you! On a previous rant er post you yourself stated that our founding fathers even resorted to using nom de plum’s in the face of tyranny or our of concern for their personal safety as you so skillfully explained your use of Bainbridge Clearcut at your alter ego. As you have a tendency to attack your friends and neighbors here on Bainbridge Island and call them names (BI Louse, BI Elitest, BI Intelligentsia, Mochi Boy, Mochi Girl, etc ad nauseum), it is amazing to me that you would even open yourself to such discussion. You do know that what you post publicly as a matter of your political efforts and what you post online on various public forums, including local papers and blogs does not constitute slander. The Character Counts – Defeat James Olsen FB community page takes your words and posts EXACT screenshots of your exchanges with others in the 23 District and posts them for all to see. Slander is oral. Character Counts is written…and truthful. Or as truthful as what comes out of your computer and made available to the world at large.
    Check it out:

  13. I think you are all proving my earlier comments; i.e., every conversation gets hijacked into the Olsen/Haydon feud.

    There is no question that access channels have value nor that the city has $$ challenges. Cutting the budget or cancelling the current contract does not mean the channels go away, but may open the door for some fresh breezes to blow thru in the form of a restructured contract, entity, or focus.

    One premise of access channels is that the managing entity does NOT excercise editorial control (this is usually in the actual contract). Is this happening? In Mr. Haydon’s words, you be the judge. He clearly cannot be.

  14. James: You need to get a serious grip on reality. “BI has a real problem with accepting any diversity of opinion” What? anything other than your opinion??
    The ‘Character Counts’ Facebook page is your words, played back. You would be better served by just not responding – but you can’t help yourself. Ego getting in your way ??
    “Thugs who roam Our Island. ..reminds me of the Stazi or secret police …creepy” THANKS…for once again proving without a shadow of a doubt why the other 23,000+ people of this island need to reject you at the ballot.

  15. This has little to do with my distrust of Jim Olsen, but plenty to do with Jim Olsen’s feud with this community, it’s citizens and it’s community organizations. He has chosen to ask us to trust him with our votes, and I am duty bound to speak up. That I have a up close and personal relationship with the man,stems from his repeated claims that I have committed crimes against him. Since these claims are patently false, I must speak up and will continue to do so whether you like it or not. If you dislike that I am willing to stand up tall and call BS on Jim Olsen whenever I read more BS from Jim Olsen, well, so be it. You give me far more credit than I deserve. Mine is not the only voice speaking out against this troubled man.
    The only people that have been ‘blacklisted’ (your word b246whatever) from BITV, are Jim Olsen and his wife. It was done by a vote of the entire Board of Directors, and was for cause. The reasons are well documented and his vindictive behavior since deserves sunlight.

  16. You have to be slandered in order to claim slander!
    If someone just posts copies of your vile posts and your fraudulent claims, that is just exposing the vermin to the light! There is no slander! You just resemble the remarks that YOU YOURSELF posted!
    How can you not face the truth? You claim YOUR OWN WORDS are slander?
    Just how does that work? Id love for you to file suit! I want to be there to hear the judge laugh you out of the courtroom!

  17. Hey, Shannon, aren’t you the person at the BI Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum that postulated a silly question about my handle on the Kitsap Sun Blog and a supposed biology major. How silly and what a waste of everyone’s time at the Forum. Read what your dictionary what clear cut means and stop with the silly, silly questions.

    As to the (De)Facebook page that lists my opinions — and I an entitled to my opinions — are grossly out of context. Silly, silly ankle biters and you can quote me on that.

    Hey, Haydon, how goes bItV and all their meltdowns?

  18. Mr. Olsen,
    Slander cannot by definition be the use of one’s own words. Slander is oral. Libel is the written form. Character Counts Defeat James Olsen is your own words from your web posts on forums, Twitter, and FB. They are not making stuff up…it is your rants and raves that you have posted for posterity that demonstrate your despicable homophobic and racist name calling history. As to the question at the forum, you never bothered to answer the question asked. I carefully wrote down my question before the event so I could ask you:
    What would you do to protect the ecology of the District as there is so much shoreline that is fragile and important to preserve for our children’s children and how did you align that with your Bainbridge Clear Cut nom de plume.

    You pattered on and on about how you loved our parks and lived at Fort Ward but never did bother to answer the question asked. If you find your constituent’s questions silly, perhaps you should pursue a different line of work. I still pose this question and two more…

    1. So, then Mr Olsen, with your history degree and your support of parks, where do you stand on the Pritchard Park funding issue?
    2. Recently on the Bainbridge Islander FB page you posted:
    Bankruptcy tends to limit our scope of behavior. Make the cuts and stop the hand wringing. Carruthers is not on a welfare program. If we can’t afford — or don’t need — full time court judge, so be it. She can board the ferry like all the others and get a second job “off island.”

    I asked you there and I ask again here, Mr. Olsen, do you propose that we no longer require representation on the island in the court system? What other services would you propose to cut in your district? Keep in mind that the people of BI are your constituents just like the people in Poulsbo. We would love to hear what other services you feel are too expensive. Why would a Kitsap County Judge need to go to King County to meet the needs of the community she is sworn to serve? Don’t you have your geography skewed or are you proposing Carruthers, an esteemed member of the community should move on and leave us? Why? What is your purpose? Would you also cut funding to Access? What about our police department? Do you want them to leave and put us completely under the jurisdiction of an already over burdened Kitsap County Sheriff’s Dept? What else do you want cut? Do tell! Bainbridge Islander constituents want to know!

    Instead of name calling and taking on your mantle of victimhood, take this opportunity to speak to us, the voters about why we should employ you as our state representative. You are asking for the job, so think of the above as interview questions for the position.

    I sincerely want to know. I bet others do too.

    PS: My family has no history of lumberjacks, Mr. Olsen. They were good salt of the earth farmers and governors and newspaper reporters and editors and career military service members. My grandfathers flew Jenny’s in WWI and B17’s in WWII. My son is a naval aviator on the the Harry S. Truman currently flying combat missions and his father flew B-52’s and served in combat in several theaters of war and flew the same tail numbers my father flew over Vietnam a generation before and my nephew is a Coast Guard Chopper Pilot who flew the most rescue missions after Katrina. Nope…no lumberjacks in the line…Just a good Cat’lic family raised to serve and protect others…so excuse my limited understanding of your ‘blogger’ name. Now can you answer those pesky lil’ ole questions or do you no longer want the job?

  19. Yeah Olsen, cut the Police dept. first, so they wont be able to respond to your false reports, lol!

    But leave the Police be until they enforce the removal of your precious campaign sign trash thats littering Kitsap County!

    Maybe Christine Rolfes can use them for her big victory party BBQ and Bonfire…

    And answer Shannons questions…informed voters want to know your answers!

  20. Jim, I was the silly one who posted the question: why do you want to represent Bainbridge Island when you so CLEARLY hold islanders in such low regard…. Thank you for re-assuring me that I personally am a louse. Whew. I felt immense relief. You have no idea. However, you NEVER ANSWERED MY QUESTION. You have repeatedly generalized that Bainbridge Islanders are bottom feeding louses – and the new one – ankle biters. If you hate Bainbridge Island and its residents so much, it is totally beyond my grasp of reality why you would want to represent us, and equally troubling, why anyone would give you a vote when you clearly don’t want it (thanks for telling me to vote for my dog).

    Ali Perry

  21. Ali — do you have a “louse” complex? You made a big deal about my free speech as if my disdain for overspending and thuggish behavior on Our Island was directed at you. As I told you at the Chamber of Commerce forum, I never heard of you and opined that you in all probability wasn’t a louse. That appears all you can think about. Vote for your dog or cat as you told me you were going to do. That is an insult but that is your choice.

    I hold 99% of the islanders in very high regard. There is a certain thuggish minority worthy of disdain.

  22. Shannon Evans — don’t believe all you think. Be wary of what you read on (De)Facebook sites. I’ll bet you a sizable sum of money that I have planted more trees than you ever have.

    Clear cut has many meanings not just your fantasy about cutting down BI forests.

    And prove to me you didn’t have some clear-cutting lumberjacks in your family tree. You see to be very preoccupied by that fact as my non-existent biology major.

    Glad you added some comic relief to the questions at the Chamber of Commerce forum. My question remains: where was the notorious Maryjane Milton of the discredited NKH hit piece? No doubt she was involved in a standing Ovation of some sort.

    Hey, and a shout out to the ever grinning John Haydon — aka Coylee, Blotter, John . . . of the Crime-guy spot at the soon to be defunct bItV.

  23. I’ll bet they were all nut trees. Here is an idea for a series of signs you can build in your soon to be overwhelming spare time (less of course all the time you will need to pick up all of your roadside litter): (Burma Shave style) NUTS FOR SALE – FROM SEEDS I’VE SOWN –
    PS, I’m not surprised that you are gleeful about the further destruction of this community.

  24. John Haydon — you are paid Zero for your services to BiTv — arguably you are overpaid for services performed. But a shout-out to you for effort.

    Schmidt rakes in $65K per year at a minimum. Who is scamming whom at BiTv? Who is the chump, John (aka CoyLee, Blotter, John . . . )?

  25. Jim, you have yet to answer my question… but good job circumventing it, as usual. You have repeatedly shown your true colors with your mud slinging and supercilious diatribes. I will not vote for you. Your response has done nothing to allay my fears that you will not know how to play with others in the big sandbox of Olympia.

    Ali Perry

  26. Olsen, it is really difficult to take you seriously when you can not come up with a serious thoughtful reply to the really pertinent questions asked. You only marginalize yourself as a candidate for office with the ugly name calling of Ms. Perry and the ridiculous insinuation that I wish for the clear cutting of Bainbridge. It is unclear to me why I would need to prove anything to the candidate. In case you are not aware of the American election process, it is customary for the candidate to enter into productive dialogue and interaction with constituents and answer specific questions regarding how they would implement specific changes or improvements for the community they represent. You have been extremely vocal in the past supporting BITV and now you produce extensive manifestos filled with hate and loathing for the group. You have rather publicly condemned the local court and Judge Carruthers for closure as you purport it is too expensive to maintain. Ok…what else whould you cut? What will you do to create jobs in our community in the public sector? How will you as a member of the House specifically address our economic shortfalls? You have a long and storied history of antagonistic behaviors for the people on our island. What are you doing to mend those fences? How do I know you will make no more metaphorical threats of violence on our community? How do I know you have not falsified your military record or misrepresented your personal records you have filed with the state for your application for candidacy? Your record with the Will Peddy fiasco does not exactly instill voter trust especially when coupled with your endorsements by misogynistic racist and often homophobic rants in pubic news forums. I personally find your behavior unbecoming of an officer or a gentleman. The Legislature requires men and women of sound character and who understand the practice of civility and respect for others. You sir, have not made a good case for yourself as a viable option on the ballot.

  27. Here are Jim Olsen’s own words concerning BITV, recorded shortly before his membership was terminated for a variety of reasons:

    “Free-speech on this island is fairly hard to come by. Bainbridge Island Television is an honest, honest broker. The fact that people can sit at home and watch this…on channel 22, thanks to the fine camera work of the BITV camera people, the volunteers and their technical directors, we can see the body language…we can see the public comment by the citizens who come forward…I wish BITV the best of luck in getting their full PEG funds and a full pass-through on the Franchise Fees.
    I turn my television on, and even with Comcast, there is not a lot that speaks to me about what is going on on what we call so affectionatly, ‘Our Island’. BITV is all about Our Island.”

  28. Two points I think merit comment: yes, it’s great to watch the council meetings — and they will remain, regardless of whether BITV broadcasts them or someone else, even the city, does.

    However, as re an honest honest broker — then why so many misrepresentations (unsupported AND unopposed) in all the “BITV may close” news stories — including taking stuff out of context from city meetings and “creating” a seeming news story out of it. (Some of the things stated are that if BITV closes, the island will lose both channels. Not so. Also that it’s rare for Access channels to get more than 1 or 2% of their funding from other than the city — check out Bremerton’s 2010 budget to see that BKAT gets a hefty 25% of their income from other sources).

    BITV gets a hundred thou or more in donations and grants annually in addition to the money the city provides — and while I love the news, I question whether the city should be paying for it. If it’s designed to “market” the island, as Mr. Fredrich’s (sp?) comments suggest, maybe it should be paid for from a marketing or advertising budget — but having the gatekeeper for the cable access channel be totally in control of what is presented as news seems to me to compromise the content.

  29. First, you need to get over the misconception that the City pays for BITV. PEG fees and Franchise fees are being paid by Comcast customers who pay these fees to Comcast who then passes these to the City.
    Also, BKAT, while a fine organization, costs considerably more to operate than BITV does.
    Furthermore, any member in good standing can produce, film and show just about anything they want on BITV.
    The City has tried in the past to control the content of what BITV actually films at City Hall. So much for ‘open government’ ‘transparency’ and free-speech. Please keep government out of the news business, but let’s all do our best to keep them in the news.

  30. Franchise fees are paid to the city for use of their rights-of-way —Comcast (a for profit enterprise) pays to use the city’s assets to make money. Go to Allliance for Community Media to read how many cities keep some or all of the franchise fees. It might be awful but it’s permissable and legal.

    And if you google BKAT’s budget and compare it to BITV’s last year, it’s almost identical. And they do it all with two people.

  31. BITV also produces a weekly community news show, BNEWS, which BKAT does not. BITV also has four dedicated professional staff members and if costs are any where near being the same, it seems like BITV is a bargin.

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