The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, October 30, 1987, Image 3
Friday, October 30, 1987/The Battalion/Page 3
State and Local
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Customers won’t see any changes
in cable services despite new name
By Jill Radenbaugh
I McCaw Cablevision in Bryan-Col-
|ege Station officially changed its
lame to Cooke CableVision earlier
this month, but the name is the only
thange their 28,000 subscribers can
ixpect from the cable company.
Jack Kent Cooke purchased the
table system owned by McCaw Com-
lunications Inc. in January for an
indisclosed price in an all-cash
The cable company is a wholly-
iwned subsidiary of Jack Kent
looke Inc., which claims many in-
|erests, including the Chrysler and
.ent buildings in New York, the Los
[ngeles Daily News and the Wash
ington Redskins professional foot-
Cooke founded the American Ca-
ilevision Co. in 1964, which even-
lually became the largest privately-
owned cable company in America.
I “Nothing has changed except the
fiame,” said John Southard, systems
iger of Cooke CableVision.
I “All of the management will stay
the same, and there won’t be any
lolicy changes,” he said.
But there are many who want to
Jee changes in the local cable situa
tion including some students and a
Jollege Station city official.
Debbie Lemke, a senior account
ing major living off campus, said she
isn’t happy with the cable situation in
“I think Cooke Cable Vision has a
monolopy on the whole cable busi
ness,” Lemke said. “Students have
no other choice but Cooke if they
rant cable. Students are trapped.”
But Southard disagrees.
“We do not consider ourselves a
monopoly in the Bryan-College Sta
tion community,” he said, “because
cable is a luxury, not a necessity.
Therefore, cable is not a city utility,”
Cable in Bryan-College Station is
not a non-exclusive franchise, he
said. Another cable company could
come into town if the city allows
The College Station City Council
currently does not have a specific
committee overseeing the cable com
pany, h owever > U P until August
1987 there was such a committee.
Peggy Calliham, public informa
tion officer for Bryan-College Sta
tion, said it expired because it no
longer had a function.
Steve Parker, a former cable fran
chise committee member said the ca
ble franchise committee was initially
formed to provide some oversight of
the cable company.
“I was surprised to learn that the
committee would eventually expire,”
Parker said. “The committee was
only appointed for a specific length
of time, which expired in August,”
Parker said the committee was
formed in response to a citizen’s rec
“We, as committee members, were
requested to evaluate the merits of
the cable company sale with respect
to the franchise transfer,” he said.
Parker said the cable company in
Bryan-College Station appears to be
a defacto monopoly because there
isn’t another competing system now.
But prior to 1985, there were two
competing cable companies.
Southard said one company can
offer better service.
In 1985, when Community Cable-
vision and Midwest Video were both
operating in the Bryan-College Sta
tion area, they could only offer lim
ited channels because of their com
petition with each other, Southard
Competition caused them to lower
the rates and therefore, they had to
lower the quality of service, he said.
When there were two cable compa
nies operating in Bryan-College Sta
tion, they only offered about half the
“With only one cable company in
the area, Cooke CableVision can of
fer more channels and better quality
service at a higher rate,” Southard
“Cooke CableVision offers 37 dif
ferent channels. The channels range
from religious programs to black en
tertainment programs,” he said.
But Brenda Calvin, a sophomore
general studies major living on cam
pus, said cable is too expensive in the
“I would rather live with only one
channel than pay those prices,” Cal
vin said. “We, my roommate and I,
would probably get cable if they of
fered a better deal to students on
campus. If cable was added to our
fee slip, I’m almost positive we
would get it,” she said.
But Cooke CableVision does offer
a $10 installation discount for stu
dents living on campus.
Southard said, “We can offer stu
dents on campus a discount because
we do several hook-ups on the same
day. But we consider students living
off campus the same as anyone else
in the community,” he said.
Cooke Cable Vision bases its prices
on the cost of doing business, South
ard said. It’s a privately-owned busi
ness and can set its own prices with
There has been discussion of a
bulk rate for all dorms on campus.
“However, to give a bulk rate for
Texas A&M University, every dorm
must have cable. That creates a
problem because not everyone living
in the dorms wants cable,” he said.
There don’t seem to be any easy
answers to the price problem.
Parker said, “A competing system
would return the cable industry to
competitive rates. However, that
would not be feasible for a town our
There are only a few cities in the
country that have two successful
competing cable companies, Parker
“A cable franchise committee isn’t
necessary anymore because it is so
limited in what it can do,” he said.
“The Cable Communications Pol
icy Act of 1984 essentially deregu
lated the cable industry entirely.”
It is going to take federal regula
tion to change this system, he said.
According to CableReports, a
monthly newsletter, the Cable Com
munications Policy Act falls far short
of protecting consumers, program
mers and would-be competitors
from the cable monopoly.
Since the act, time has illustrated
that the cable industry is not respect
ing the fundamental legislative
agreements betweeen franchising
authorities and cable operators,
which the act was intended to em
body, the newsletter said.
Russian ballet dancer becomes honorary citizen of Dallas
DALLAS (AP) — Dancer Andrei
lUstinov, who fled the Moscow Ballet
in Dallas two weeks ago, has been
nade an honorary citizen of the city.
Mayor Annette Strauss officially
Mcomed the dancer Wednesday.
“Your decision to stay in the
[fnited States and this city was a su
preme act of courage,” Strauss said.
Ustinov, who ran away from the
hotel where the troupe was staying
and pleaded in broken English with
a passer-by for help, seemed bewil
dered at the council hearing, but
said he was glad to be in Dallas.
His defection to the United States
was announced last week by federal
Ustinov said, “Today, I speak En
glish very bad. Here (I find) free
dom of artist and of my religion, my
pleasure. Thank you very much.”
Flemming Flindt, artistic director
of the Dallas Ballet, said Ustinov will
make his debut with the company
Flindt said, “It was an enormous
opportunity for the Dallas Ballet
when he chose to begin his ballet ca
reer with us.”
A&M panel discusses
program of assisting
By Drew Leder
Texas A&M faculty members
and administrators familiar with
international aid programs told
students at a Jordan Institute for
International Awareness presen
tation Thursday the United
States can be most effective in
aiding underdeveloped nations
by assisting these nations help
About 45 students attended
the panel discussion in Rudder
Tower that addressed the effec
tiveness of international aid pro
“Self help seems to be one of
the more effective ways of help
ing,” William A. McIntosh, an as
sociate professor of sociology
McIntosh, who spent three
years in Laos as an aid volunteer,
said groups that go into an un
derdeveloped nation attempting
to solve problems, won’t have
much success if they don’t involve
the local people in the process.
James Christianson, a profes
sor of agricultural education
who’s done aid work in several
countries, agreed with McIntosh.
“In the success stories, people
took the time to find out what the
real problems were instead of as
suming they knew,” Christianson
Another problem that can arise
if the local people aren’t involved
in helping themselves is that they
might become overdependent on
those who are helping them, Mc
“Sometimes the effect of tech
nical assistance is to make people
believe the only people who can
solve their problems are outsi
ders,” he said.
Aid volunteers also must try
not to impose their beliefs on
those who they want to help. As
sociate Dean of the College of Ag-
riduture Dwayne Suter said.
Dr. James Goodwin
Suter, who worked with U.S.-
AID in the Phillipines, said that
while it is sometimes difficult for
volunteers to accept the values
and customs of the people they
interact with, they should try to
respect the different culture.
“You work on the assumption
that their values are valid,” he
Although volunteers may try
not to impose their beleifs on the
local people, there is no way to
get around it, said James Good
win, coordinator of A&M’s inter
national agricultural programs.
“You can’t do anything without
changing what’s around you,”
Goodwin said. “We want to mini
mize the way we impose our per
sonal and political beliefs.”
John Norris, director of A&M’s
office of international coordina
tion, said another problem arises
from differing political systems.
“We have the ability to feed the
world,” he said, “but we don’t
have the ability to get (food) to
the people who need it.”
Although problems like gov
ernmental corruption may limit
the aid some people will receive,
Norris said the United States has
an obligation try to help less for
“As long as there is inequality
we have to offer aid,” Norris said.
The Great Rolex Watch
And Jewelry Give Away
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Come in weekly to register for fine quality jewelry to be given away
weekly and a Man's Rolex Watch to be given away Nov. 27. Listen to
KORA-FM for more details. While you're there be sure to look at Texas
Coin Exchange's full stock of loose diamonds and gold jewelry.
404 University Dr. East • College Station • 846-8905
Limited delivery area.
Sales tax not induded.
Sun-Thurs: 1 lam-lam
Fri-Sat: 11 am-2 am
900 Harvey Rd.
Please only one entry blank per person per visit.
404 University E. College Station
Call Battalion Classified 845-2611