Congress Members, FCC Commissioners Tackle Rural Broadband Access At Local Events



FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and Rep. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and Rep. ALBANY - For residents of upstate New York, broadband access is not just about watching Netflix. For some, http://rubberwristbandscustom.xyz/ - http://rubberwristbandscustom.xyz/ access to high-speed internet can influence business decisions, how children complete their homework assignments and whether young adults decide to stay in their communities or move elsewhere. And Congress members who represent the Capital Region are taking those stories back to Washington, D.C. U.S. Reps. Antonio Delgado, D-Rhinebeck, and Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, both held local - http://www.recruitingblogs.com/main/search/search?q=held%20local events Friday with members of the Federal Communications Commission to discuss broadband access in upstate New York. Delgado hosted a congressional field hearing in Hudson, logging testimony from a panel of local stakeholders and community members who said a lack of internet access in their hometowns has become an increasing hassle. A lack of internet services can impede local economies and negatively impact health care, they said. David Berman, the co-chair of Connect Columbia, a citizens group. In an interview after the event, Delgado said the hearing was an opportunity to directly hear from constituents whose everyday lives are affected because they can't access reliable internet. It's one thing to "speculate and draw inferences," but it's another when real people can relay the "profound effect broadband has," he said. The government has to do a "far better job of actively accounting for those who do not have access," Delgado said. Two hours earlier and a 45-minute drive away in Albany, Tonko held a similar event on upstate broadband access. Broadband access has been one of the most raised issues of late in upstate New York. Another Capital Region Congress member, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, discussed the issue in August at an economic roundtable event in Corinth. The event took place in a town building that, ironically, did not have service.









Proprietors named their establishments after well-known objects or animals, and the sign they hung outside used a combination of words and images to let passersby, of all literacy levels, know they were in the right place. When electricity began illuminating the U.S., around the turn of the 20th century, signs started lighting up too—first with incandescent bulbs, and later with neon. In the years after World War II, signs were the primary form of advertising for businesses in the United States. By the mid-1960s, California’s highways—and the rest of the nation’s—were fairly screaming with advertisements. But that would soon change. In 1965, Lady Bird Johnson fostered the Highway Beautification Act, which Congress soon passed. The result: Hundreds of roadside signs were torn down, and laws limiting the size and number of signs that could go up were strictly enforced. In the 1970s, environmental concerns led to even more restrictions on where outdoor advertising could and couldn’t go. As prominent signs became more rare, early signhunters like Jim Heimann, an editor at Taschen and the author of California Crazy, set out to document them.









1930s," he says. Signage and billboards often served as the backdrop to their work—an aesthetic choice that informed Heimann’s documentation of the signage he found in Southern California. Later that decade and into the ’80s, as good-old-days nostalgia for the postwar period became fashionable, photographers like John Margolies published coffee-table books and prominent magazine spreads showing America’s wacky, wonderful roadside advertising. Most signhunters today still use photography to document the vanishing treasures they find. But some, like Raley, use other media. San Jose artist Suhita Shirodkar is another one. A native of Bombay, she moved to San Jose in 2005, and immediately found herself captivated by the city’s extant signage. To document it, she began carrying a sketch pad with her everywhere she went. ’t have remained part of the landscape," she says. "Many of them don’t … match what’s around them. In 2017, when Shirodkar began posting the sketches she was making of pre-tech Silicon Valley, including its signage, the signhunter community caught wind of her work. "It’s been immensely popular," she says of her sketches. San Jose is a particular mecca for signhunters.









After World War II, it flourished as an airy alternative to cramped, vertical San Francisco. "I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I think San Jose quintupled," says David. "From ’45 to ’65, we just exploded," and sign-flecked shopping boulevards sprung up to serve the growing population. Ironically, the same rapid development that birthed these signs then is contributing to their demise now. As tech workers flock to the Bay Area today for jobs at Google and Apple, making San Francisco prohibitively expensive, San Jose has scrambled to provide housing for them. That’s meant displacing longtime residents, beloved restaurants, and—yes—vintage signs in the process. As rents rise and businesses change hands, signs advertising places like Mel Cotton’s Sporting Goods, the Bold Knight restaurant, and Cambrian Bowl—quirky billboards that have long served as landmarks and cultural touchstones for locals—have come down. Their removal is a blow to many residents, who are watching their hometowns change quickly and drastically. In 2018, the sign advertising San Jose’s Orchard Supply Hardware—a big arrow that beckoned drivers crossing the San Carlos Street overpass—was taken down after the company folded. Soon thereafter, its historic sign, which dates to the early 1950s, was stolen. "Just think about … how many people have gone to Orchard Supply Hardware," says David. "It’s a company that was founded in San Jose. But it’s not just them. Fresno, too, is plagued by housing woes, as a construction boom there is imperiling the city’s vintage signs. Much of the rest of California—including Los Angeles and the suburbs that surround it—is in the same boat. Can work like Raley’s and Shirodkar’s act as a visual bulwark against unchecked corporate expansion? Can it help keep alive the memory of midcentury mom-and-pop individuality? Raley sure hopes so.

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