Let's Bring Middletown into the Electronic Age

Letter to the Editor, Times-Star, Middletown, CA, October, 1995


This week's paper had some thought-provoking information in it. I read the article about the need for a dam to hold our share of the Putah Creek watershed and what struck me, in the remarks from Helen Whitney, was that not only has the County no money to pursue even the feasibility study (which we already know) but that there is no staff to handle Grants or even to research them!

Now I can not claim to be a Grant's writer or researcher but I can see a few ways this could be accomplished. Since Helen has an "Information Office" in Middletown staffed with volunteers how about devoting part of their time to researching these Grant opportunities? Maybe the Middletown Area Council could also get involved.

Before I became unemployed I was involved heavily in computers and the Internet, that much ballyhooed "Information Superhighway". I remember in "surfing" the Net that both the State of California and the Federal Government have all the information about available grants, and the way to apply for them, on the Net. So do many private corporations, like PacBell, etc.. There is also much other information on the Net that would help with this process and many other problems that we have as a Community.

I would be willing to help with the expertise needed to integrate a computer into the Internet and to help train volunteers to use the Net to find the information needed. If a computer is not available then how about the Middletown Merchants Association passing the hat among it's members to come up with a suitable sum, say $2500, to get them started.

Did any of you see the special this week about Blacksburg, Virginia becoming an "Electronic Village" on, was it PBS or Discovery on cable? Why don't we try and interest PacBell (and maybe Jones Intercable) on wiring some of the town up to the Net? We could involve the Seniors by putting a computer in the Community/Senior Center, involve the rest by putting one in the local Library, and with one in the Information Office we'd have a start.

If the Information Office, or the Times Star, were willing to put up a Computer Bulletin Board we could exchange information and let the Community know what was happening, what events were planned and what happened at the meetings. An electronic Town Hall so to speak. The High School could get involved as part of the Students Community Service, those kids really know how to use a computer. How about getting Jones Intercable to put a channel on the cable for Middletown like they did for Hidden Valley? We could tape all the meetings and Helen could put some of the County stuff on the air too.

I am not a "people" person, not an organizer so we need someone to champion this and organize in addition to people who want to volunteer time to making this happen. I'm just a "TechnoJock", out of work and out of money but I'd be willing to lend my technical skills and computer and video knowledge to this project. Now if any of this sounds interesting to anybody, or any group or organization please give me a call at 987-9484. Lets bring Middletown into the Electronic Age and watch her grow.

Peter Conrad Cumminsky, P.O. Box 1415, Middletown, CA 95461, (707) 987-9484

(C) Copyright 1995, peterconrad@hotmail.com