News and History of SKA TV
(Sherburne Killington Access Television)

"The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesistate for a moment to prefer the latter... "   from the letters of Thomas Jefferson 1787


In March the PSB issued a Proposal for Decision in favor of Adelphia and RRCTV which SKATV opposed. An Oral Argument was held in August. Afer the argument the PSB ordered Adelphia to reconsider its decision. Without evidence of any  reconsideration Adelphia sent local subscribers bills designating RRCTV and increasing the PEG fee from 2 1/2% to 5%. SKATV applied for a Temporary Injunction and an August Evidentiary Hearing was scheduled. The Hearing was postponed and Adelphia's eventually published its Reconsideration. SKATV responded in a September letter stating the reasoning was circular, otherwise flawed and unsupported. In October the Board issued an Order Closing Docket. SKATV requested a Reconsideration in November which was denied. In December SKATV met and decided to appeal the Order to the Vermont Supreme Court.


"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to fulfil it."  G. Santayana 1863-1952

Digital Democracy for Sherburne/ Killington

During the eighties cable companies installed cables connecting the town of Sherburne and central Vermont with the world of CNN, ESPN, MTV and PEG (Public Education and Government) access. Since then dozens of PEG stations in Vermont and hundreds across the country have fulfilled the promise of digital democracy. Much changed in Sherburne (renamed Killington) as the cable company and ski area were bought and sold three times. Some things never changed  - the town continues to be governed under its original 1761 Charter and managed by the same individual since 1976. The promise of public, educational and governmental access remains unfulfilled in Killington. 

The Eighties

'Stipulation Re: Public Access' between Young's Cable TV Corp. and Town of Sherburne by Manager David Lewis includes agreement to provide access for live local origination from municipal locations such as town hall, library, school, fire department and grange. Young's is eventually bought by First Carolina Corporation.

5/22/89 *
$30,000 paid by First Carolina for the Sherburne public access channel.  Lewis solicits quotes for equipment which Selectman authorize for up to $ 10,000.  Adelphia eventually buys First Carolina.

The Nineties

Town Manager negotiates with Steve Egelston of Killington TV to tape town meeting for $500 for 2 hour program Selectman authorize taping to be paid out of the cable TV money the town received.

Problems w/ Channel 41 not being available on basic plan (only on extended plan). Citizen / subscribers complaints and concerns lead Selectman to suggest town split the cost of a filter with the cable company to extend signal.

Judy Hansen, Gary Netsch (Principal, Sherburne Elementary School) and Jeanne Karlhuber discuss sharing the cable facility. Lewis requests a letter "asking Board for their support for a study to be done for a potential shared use facility which would then be warned for Town Meeting."

KTV proposes to tape Town Meeting for $1,775 discounted to $1,200.  Selectman request Town Manager renegotiate price.

Letter from Gary Netsch that the SMAC (Sherburne Media Access Committee) has formed to increase student access to media technology.  Members included Barry, & Jeanne Leete, Karen Dalury, Jackie Vaughn, Paris Watts, Trish Jarecki, Scott Hausler.

Selectman negotiate radio background music for Public Access Channel with Dick Vaughn of Z97 and agree to alternate between 97.1, 98.1 and a station in Woodstock.

Barry Leete presents Public Access Program “request” proposal based on meeting between SMAC and School board members.  Town manager requests an "outline of the program which would show the use and demand for such a request".  Request tabled by Selectmen for review.

After attending a SMAC meeting Town Manager presented their request for Public Cable TV funding for equipment for educational programming. ... "what is missing is a plan for usage and how it will be managed which would then justify the purchase." Board not interested in "allocating this money, based on the information received because it was inadequate." SMAC later disbands after being frustrated in their efforts.

Mid nineties
Adelphia buys First Carolina continues collecting public access fees from local subscribers.

3/3/97 *
Kip Dalury begins campaign for independent administrative entity for public access station by raising the issue during discussion of Article 8 at Town Meeting.

During Adelphia's CPG renewal a group of Sherburne citizens forms an administrative entity which begins discussion and correspondence with Pat Keim, Town Treasurer and Channel 13 station manager, about assuming responsibility.

SPA TV (Sherburne Public Access Television). a start-up public access television group, motions to intervene in Adelphia's Certificate of Public Good renewal.

SPA TV notifies town management that an independent nonprofit administrative entity has formed to manage PEG funding. The subject is discussed at next selectman's meeting.

SPA TV attends 2010 Committee meetings via Vermont Interactive Television in Rutland and joins VAN, the Vermont Access Network, of PEG stations from around the state.

Town of Sherburne votes to rename itself  Town of Killington. The chartered name change takes place in July and the town run  Channel 13 becomes Killington Public Access Television.

While exploring community needs, SPA TV contacts Adelphia's Terri Gould about a subscriber survey included w/ cable bill.

Meeting with Adelphia's Terry Gould and Nicholas Bolintam; Town Treasurer Pat Keim, Manager Dave Lewis and Selectman Butch Findeisen and SPA TV's Kip Dalury. Gould suggests a notice on the station soliciting interest in local programming before undertaking survey.

Keim programs character generated notice on Ch 13:



3/7/00 *
SPA TV presents Article 9 near the end of town meeting.  Discussion of estimated $100,000.00 balance in fund, oversight and control, composition of board. etc.  leads to considerable confusion. Various motions made but no action taken. Perhaps due to conflicting schedules, few of the 50 signers of the petition were present and voice vote not considered a referendum.

Representatives from Rutland Regional Community TV invited to Killington Selectman meeting. SPA TV inquires whether to invite Vermont Dept. of Public Service representative to witness presentation of competing bid for PEG funding. Town decides premature to have state present. SPA TV attends and responds. Rutland Herald reports 'Groups compete for cable funding'  in its May 15, 2000 edition of the regional section.

The search for a home:
Selectman suggest possible use of old (vacant) library as possible office space meanwhile the party interested in buying the vacant Sherburne Grange Hall withdrew and this space became another possibility.

Adelphia renews its Certificate of Public Good accompanied by extensive Order. SPA TV representatives attend annual VAN meeting in Hanover, NH and meet with Janet Franz, Adelphia's newly hired Community Affairs Manager.

Adelphia continued upgrading its investment in cable system by replacing the Springfield ‘headend’, a microwave signal from the south, with a fiber optic connection from Rutland. Reflecting its western source, the channel broadcast, as originally proposed, created some controversy because it did not include enough Boston news and sports coverage but this was eventually resolved.

The new channel broadcast mix became available. KPAT moved from 13 to 15 and another PEG station,  Rutland’s educational station became available on Channel 20. SPA TV continues to cooperate with town administration by delivering tapes sent from other stations for play - part of a growing library. Some tapes are played some are not. Station continues to be underutilized.


A season of buy outs and mergers. Killington Television/ KTV, the local commercial television station, joins most of the other ASC resorts as a Resorts Sports Network affiliate. The independent local radio station WEBK sold to the group owning WJJR in Rutland. An American Ski Company merger with Meristar is announced but later cancelled. Green Mountain College announces a satellite campus at the Killington Arts Center.

Shortly before town meeting, in an effort to maintain some local control, a group of citizens forms SHARP (Sherburne Seniors, Sherburne Historians, Killington ARts Guild, and PEG) at their organizational meeting Feb. 23, 2001. SHARP continues to meet monthly including representatives from the various groups as well as the town of Killington and the State of Vermont. Main focus is the Sherburne Grange. Various towns have renovated Granges into community centers for the benefit of the public. Community Block Grants are available for these projects and such purposes. The town of Killington would not be involved financially but would be the lead applicant for a community block grant.

The present building would have to be renovated extensively. The old Grange burned and was moved to its present site in the 50's so it may not yet be eligible for historic preservation funding. Killington Mountain School added an addition in the late 80s and leased the building from the local Grange Society until it became inactive in the late 90's. The real estate has now reverted to the State Grange, which has continued negotiations with a series of potential buyers for about $100,000. The site is centrally located in the historic hamlet district.

The consensus is that the renovated Grange would be a suitable community center. The Cherubs Historians are seeking more space to preserve and protect local history; they currently have a small display in "The Vermont Room" of the new library - which seems at times to be already operating at capacity. The Killington Arts Guild seeks studio space. Sherburne's Active Seniors seek activity space. SPA TV is an independent start up PEG station seeks office space. A portion of the PEG funding  could provide the 20% matching funds required for the block grant and ongoing funding to help support operations, making it the 'anchor tenant' in the community center.

Town meeting blizzard. Many citizens unable to attend meeting. Little or no discussion of PEG.

a local citizen raises the issue of  the 2 groups competing for the escrowed PEG funds - locally organized SPA TV and Rutland’s Regional Community Television RRCTV.

The local catholic church, which had been interested in the Grange, decides not to continue and the state Grange offers the building to SHARP for $100,000. SHARP files with the State of Vermont and incorporates as a non profit organization at the end of April. A representative from a local architectural firm visits the site and is given all known materials on the building for review and preliminary feasibility study. SPA TV changes its name to SKA TV (Sherburne Killington Access Television) and incorporates as a non profit organization with the State of Vermont. Shortly after

Dalury attends Select meeting and responds to citizens concerns, provides update on SHARP and asks: '...whether the town will create its own identity (via PEG programming) or allow Rutland County do it.

RRCTV addresses a formal proposal to take over the PEG funding and operations to Town Manager who presents it at the 6/4/01 meeting noting that '...a copy will be given to the local group requesting a response by a given date'.

July 2001*
Dalury attends 7/2 Selectman meeting to update town officials about the proposed SHARP community center at the Grange, SKA TV, and the search for office space. Suggests it's time to recognize SKA TV and allow them to proceed directly to negotiations with Adelphia. SKA TV is given the copy of RRCT 5/15/01 letter. SKA TV responds to Rutland Regional Community Television proposal to provide community access televison to Killington resident subscribers via email to Town of Killington Selectman: 'Thanks but no thanks, we'd rather do it ourselves'; attends another meeting to clarify position and request cooperation in establishing SKA TV as the adminsitrative entity for local PEG funding.

August 2001

Town manger meets with Adelphia. Selectmen give him permission to contact RRCTV (Rutland Regional Community Televison) and notify both RRCTVand SKA TV that they intend to make a decision on PEG administration October 1, 2001. In a 7/30/01 memo the town manger, who lives in Rutland, recommends sending the escrowed PEG funds to Rutland Regional Community Television. The boards of SKA TV and SHARP join in opposition to sending town PEG fees to Rutland.

September 2001

The boards of SKA TV and SHARP (the community center) join together expanding the board  from 7 to 10 members - all seats filled except for the Selectman and School board representative. The group meets weekly in preparation for the October 1 meeting,  and members attend selectmans meetings to protest the town manager's memo and his recomendation that the selectman give the PEG funding escrowed for local subscribers to RRCTV.

October 2001

SKATV and RRCTV present proposals at an October 1 Selectmans meeting held at the Sherburne Library to accomodate the crowd of 3 dozen. At the following meeting the Selectman decide to act on Mr Lewis' recomendation in choosing RRCTV over SKATV. SKATV board meets mid month and votes to petition both Vermont Public Service Board and the voters of the town of Killington if necessary to preserve PEG funding locally.

November 2001

SKA TV continues in start up mode and submits a Proposal to Adelphia to administer PEG funds meanwhile continuing to search for office space. Board members begin gathering signatures on a local petition to bring the matter before the town of Killington voters if necessary (whether to send PEG fees generated in the town of Killignton to Rutland Regional Community Television) And a Petiton to Vermont's Public Service Board to mediate a dispute between SKAT V and RRCTV, should it arise, is prepared. SKATV visits Woodstock's new PEG station WCTV.


As the year, decade, century and millenium ends both SKATV and RRCTV proposals sit on a desk at Adelphia.

January 2002

SKATV collects 5% of the voters signature in support of a local entity and for a Special Meeting if necessary to resolve
any  dispute between it and the RRCTV. The signatures are sent to Adelphia. SKATV requests to be invited to upcoming Woodstock Community Televison meeting. Town of Killington Selectman publish an 'informational bulletin' in a local publication attempting to explain their rationale for sending PEG fees collected in the town of Killington out of town.

Feb 2002

SKATV sends a letter to the editor 'PEG -the rest of the story' in respose to the Selectmans 'Information Bulletin' published in the local newspaper which goes unpublished. Warning for Town Meeting appears with Article 11 which proposes to send the restricted balance of PEG funds (see 5/22/89) to unrestricted general fund. Waiting to be invited to Woodstock Community Televison Meeting to discuss fee sharing as Killlington children attend Woodstock middle and high schools. Adelphia closes comment period and states it will choose an entity during month of March.

March 2002

Town meeting includes Article 11 'reallocating restricted PEG fund balance to unrestricted general fund.' SKATV attempts to speak against the article during discussion but question is moved prematurely. Question is brought up again at end of meeting but moderator ignores the speaker. The article passes. Adelphia designates RRCTV as PEG entity for town of Killington. As promised SKATV prepares it appeal to Vermont's Public Serivce Board.

April 2002

In response to Adelphia's 2/29/02 letter designating Rutland Regional Community TV as the PEG entity for Killington, SKATV files its PETITION for Public Hearing with Vermont's Public Service Board.

May 2002

Tfhe Vermont Public Service Board set a Pre Hearing Conference for June 11, 2002 to resolve the dispute between public access entities SKATV, RRCTV and WCTV. 

June 2002

On June 11th the Public Service Board held a Pre Hearing conference at the Sherburne Library. SKATV offered to 'be creative', split the PEG fees and perhaps cost share closing the 5 mile 'fiber gap' between Killington and Woodstock with part of the escrow. The offer was refused. The PSB issued an accelerated procedural order including a second public hearing on July 10th. Later in the month Adelphia filed a Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York.

July 2002

The Vermont Public Service Board held a public hearing at the Sherburne Library on July 10th. Supporters of both SKATV and RRCTV were present. The parties continue to provide written testimony to the Board regarding the dispute. Before the 'technical hearing' SKATV submitted a 7/15/02 Statment to which the Town of Killington responded 7/30/02.

Summer/ Fall 2002

The hearing was held in early August in Montpelier. Kip Dalury and Ed Fowler represented SKATV. Janet Franz and atty represented Adelphia, the town was represented by its atty. After the hearing the Town requested Findings and Conclusions 8/23/02, Adelphia submitted a Memorandum 8/26/02, the Dept of Public Service submitted its Brief 8/26/02 and SKATV its Brief on the same date.

The Dept recommended preserving the status quo for a year and revisiting the 'flawed process' in selecting RRCTV as the PEG provider for Killington. Both Adelphia and RRCTV responded in protest to the year long 'limbo'. SKATV continues seeking office space and awaits a decision by the Public Service Board.

Winter 2002-03

Pending the Public Service Board descision RRCTV is 'allowing us to use their station in the interim' (Killington Selectboard minutes 11/18/02).  SKATV corresponds with parties end of year and continues grassroots efforts. In January Governor James Douglas appoints Rutland Economic Development Corp Executive Director David O'Brien to head the Public Service Board.

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