• 50°

television woes aired at council

Something is missing in Larry Wilson's household, and no one there is happy about it.

Wilson of South Ninth Street told Ironton City Council Thursday night that he is unhappy that Adelphia cable Television has opted to replace Ohio Public Television with a public station in Kentucky.

This change means that Wilson and others like him can no longer watch public television programs that are produced for and about Ohio.

Wilson wants his Ohio Public Television back.

"To me this is really important," Wilson said. "My understanding is that the television companies don't charge for this. I don't understand why it would be a problem. We should have Ohio PBS."

Wilson said even his 3- year-old son can no longer watch his favorite morning cartoons as he used to: they simply aren't there anymore.

Councilman Richard

Price asked Mayor Bob Cleary to arrange for Adelphia executives to come to a council meeting and explain why the change made.

Price wants not only Adelphia Regional Manager Steve Trippe to come and speak, but Trippe's supervisor as well.

He said he did not understand why Ironton is treated differently than Portsmouth, which is less than 30 miles away, but has better access to Ohio television stations.

"Give us the same channels Portsmouth has," Price said.

Council Chairman Jesse Roberts agreed that this is one more example of how Adelphia ignores Ironton's cable preferences.

"I think they keep saying they're in tune with what we want but they're not," Roberts said. "In less than three years, they will have to negotiate a contract, so surely they want to work with us in some way."

Economic Development Director Matt Ward said he had been in contact with Armstrong Cable Co. executives and would check back with them again about whether they would be interested in providing cable service to Ironton.

The irritation over the discontinuance of Ohio Public TV is the latest in a series of complaints about cable television service within the city.

In June, Adelphia executives announced the company would raise its subscription rates again - for the second time in a year.

In May, Adelphia began substituting WBNS, channel 10, out of Columbus with C-Span, to avoid duplicating programming with WOWK Channel 13 out of Huntington, W.Va. In February, residents reacted angrily when Adelphia made plans to add adult channels to the city's cable lineup.

Also Thursday evening, council voted down an ordinance that would have given certain water customers, such as those who own a swimming pool, a one-time only per year waiver of their water payment. The measure failed 4-2. Councilman Brent Pyles was one of the four who voted against the ordinance.

"I didn't think it was fair to other customers," Pyles said. "This (paying for water usage) is part of the maintenance of a pool."

Roberts and council member Bob Isaac voted in favor of it.