LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT NEWS 3 AND VEGAS STRONG

For 22 years it was my honor to serve as President and CEO of the Nevada Broadcasters Association. I retired in December of 2014. Soon afterwards, I began writing the digital movie reviews here for News3LV.com.

One of my responsibilities during those broadcasting years was to lobby in both Washington, D.C. and up in Carson City. In 2003-2004, I served as National President of the State Broadcasters Associations. It was a year later, in August of 2005, after Hurricane Katrina — that I learned critical fuel bound for television and radio stations (to keep them on the air) — was confiscated. Something was very wrong.

It took a year to shape and formulate legislation that would become NRS 414.310. If Nevada — and especially Las Vegas was to ever face a major emergency, we would have the legislative tools to keep our stations on the air.

News 3 played a significant role in this process. Jim Rogers, then the owner of Channel 3 –together with his general manager, Lisa Howfield — both approached me to seek groundbreaking legislation. No where across America was a broadcaster classified as a “First Responder”. Today, only Nevada classifies its certified and trained broadcasters as First Responders.

In addition to the support of Mr. Rogers and Miss Howfield, with the endorsement of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department , we brought our legislation to Senator Valerie Wiener. Her father — Louis Wiener, in the 70’s, had created the first all-news radio station in Las Vegas — KBMI. In the 80’s, Mr. Wiener had become a partner and vice-president of Sunbelt Broadcasting. Both were NBC affiliates.

The rest is now history. In a very rare show of support, the 2007 Legislature unanimously approved what is now NRS 414.310.

Earlier this week, when returning to the Clark County Commission — Chairman Steve Sisolak thanked the public and our First Responders in what was a very emotional meeting. All of our local television news stations and our local radio stations had stepped up to the plate. There was nothing fake in the news that was presented. Kudos to our Channel 3 news director Mark Neerman, and his amazing news department. Extraordinary coverage here over the past five days.

For the past eleven years, it has been my honor to serve on the permanent broadcaster seat established by statute for the Nevada Homeland Security Commission. This commission grew out of a committee first started by Congressman Jim Gibbons. Next year I will retire from this seat together with Governor Sandoval.

My outstanding NVBA successor, Mary Beth Sewald — President and CEO of the Nevada Broadcasters Association, continues to grow and expand free over the air broadcasting with such strength and grace. Here is the introduction to NRS 414.310:

“The First Response Broadcaster program is authorized under NRS 414.310. The purpose of the program is to provide broadcast station and cable company engineers and technical staff with access to facilities during an emergency or disaster when travel may be limited by law enforcement or public safety concerns. The program provides technical staff the ability to keep the broadcast facilities and cable operations on the air so that emergency officials can present warnings and information to the public while assuring the Incident Commanders and public safety officials that the Broadcaster First Responder has the training and qualifications to safely transit troubled areas to their facilities in a time of need. The legislation also guarantees radio and TV stations access to the fuel and supplies they need to remain on the air and serve their communities in a time of need.”


PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS

This coming Monday, October 9, 2017 at 12 Noon, please read my reviews of BLADE RUNNER 2049 and THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US.

BLADE RUNNER 2049: I have very mixed feeling about this sequel. After waiting 35 years, I would have expected more out of the story. Technology has created a cinematic masterpiece. But the screenplay is lacking. Ryan Gosling is terrific. Harrison Ford unfortunately, was not given much to do. When you consider the technical aspects including special effects, sound and music, BLADE RUNNER 2049 is a solid B.

In many ways, THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US ia a better movie. Certainly a different movie. It is the story of two strangers stranded after a tragic plane crash. These strangers must find a way to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow covered mountain. The film is directed by Academy Award nominee Abu-Assad. It does drags a bit and could have easily cut 20 minutes. But with Oscar winner Kate Winslet and Golden Globe winner Idris Elba — you cannot help but hope that they both will survive. I loved the film. It is a beautiful love story. Again, a solid B.

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