Group opposed to adult channel

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Pornography or freedom of choice? That is the question.

Adelphia Cable's decision to add adult programming will be the focal point Thursday as Regional Manager Steve Trippe attends the Ironton City Council meeting to address concerns by the Ironton Area Ministerial Association, Council and the community.

Wayne Morris, an associate priest at St. Joseph-St. Lawrence churches and vice president of the Ministerial Association, will attend the 6 p.m. meeting Thursday in the Ironton City Center to present a petition of more than 250 signatures from his church expressing their opposition to the channels.

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"The people do not seem to like the idea that they would be putting this channel out there," Morris said. "I will attend to express the opinions of the Catholic community I represent."

The Ministerial Association is a non-denominational

group consisting of 13 paid memberships but also includes other area churches who are on the mailing list. Morris said other churches were also asked to sponsor petitions.

Morris said everyone he has spoken with is against the channels, and if Adelphia has heard comments otherwise, that they may need to " ask a broader spectrum of people."

Several council members received a letter last month from Trippe stating the company would be adding from one to four adult channels for digital subscribers in February or March.

"Adelphia sent a letter saying this is what the market and community asked for," Council Chairman Jesse Roberts said. "Obviously they assessed the wrong community because that is not what we are hearing."

When contacted by phone Tuesday, Trippe said he wished to refrain from commenting until the meeting so he can talk to the community and Adelphia customers in person.

"The purpose of my attending is so I can talk to the people, hear their concerns and respond to them," he said.

In October, Trippe met with council about fee increases that took effect in November.

Adelphia increased their service by an average of $2 per month depending on the package and an additional $1 for the premium movie channels.

At that meeting, several council members said they as well as the residents would like to see the Ohio News Network added to the lineup.

Trippe said he would look into it and get back to council. Tuesday, Trippe said he will also address this issue at the meeting.

Adelphia's contract with the city expires in 2006.

Following the regular meeting, Council will host a budget workshop to discuss the 2003 permanent budget that must be adopted by March 31.

"I think the budget workshop is very important to allow members of council to understand what the mayor has proposed and why decisions have been made," Roberts said.

The workshop will be open to discussion by council as a whole. Although not specifically for this purpose, Roberts said he expects the issue of

hiring an economic development director to be debated again.