I P M A  News

  Information Processing Management Associates December 1997  

Edited By Mary Ellen Bradley

Upcoming Event: | Forum '97 A Success | Board Elections Update
The InterNet as the Next Mass Medium: What It Means to Democarcy
November Board Meeting

Upcoming Event: A Joint Presentation on DataWarehousing and Internet by Digital Equipment and Oracle

When: January 8, 1998
Where:Aladdin Motor Inn
900 so. Capitol Way
Lakeside 1 Room
Olympia, WA
Time:10:00 - 12:00 AM

Topic: California Department of Corrections LEADS Project

The LEADS project is a highly successful system utilizing a secure public Internet connection to provide local law enforcement agencies with current information about parolees throughout the state. This innovative system stores details about parolees including names, aliases, monikers, physical descriptors, identifying marks, addresses, vehicles, commitment offenses, registration status and more.

Law enforcement agencies can utilize LEADS data in crime analysis activities and to help identify suspects from among 190,000 parolees statewide.

For this project, Digital developed a WEB front end secure interface to an existing ORACLE database. Keeping the system anchored in Internet technologies rather than more conventional automated solutions has simultaneously allowed law enforcement agencies to save millions of tax dollars while improving the quality of service and safety to California residents.

Join us at the Aladdin for this presentation. There is no need to register, but if you need disability accommodations, please contact Joe Coogan at 902-3462 before December 24th.

Forum '97 A Success

Fall Forum '97 was held October 21 and 22 at the Tyee Hotel. Over 900 state and local government employees attended the two keynote speaches, 18 educational sessions and visited the 13 Corporate Sponsors and 32 vendor displays.

The opening keynote, by Raju Rishi of Lucent Technologies, focused on the convergence of voice, video and data over the same infrastructure. He explored the challenges this poses for network managers, planners and commercial service providers.

Wednesday the keynote was by Brian Wood of Dell Computers. He spoke about governments need to change its business model. Because government will not be getting more staff, it will need to use technology in new and innovative ways to deliver needed services to the public.

The Corporate Sponsors and vendors all said they beleived their particpation in Fall Forum was valuable and plan to return next year. The IPMA looks forward to next years Fall Forum, the 19th annual, and you should too.

Board Elections Update

The IPMA will be sending ballets to all members in the next few weeks for our annual election of Board members.

The ballets will be stamped so that they can be easily returned. Please take the time to vote.

We appreciate those who are willing to run for election. They are making a committment to serve for two years if they are elected.

The Internet as the Next Mass Medium: What It Means to Democracy

By Denny Heck, President of TVW

Most people in and around government knowTVW as the statewide television network looselyresembling the national cable channel, C-SPAN. In Thurston County(as well as in more than 100 other communities aroundWashington), they are used to turning on their television set andwatching LIVE legislative committee hearings or floor debates. Ororal arguements before the state Supreme Court. Or even meetingsof the Information Services Board and dozens of other executivebranch boards or commissions.

But increasingly, people are also discovering that TVW maintainsa robust presence on the Internet in the form of both video andaudio programming (www.tvw.org). Utilizing the software ofSeattle-based RealNetworks (formerly Progressive Networks), TVWprovides both a 28.8 and a 56 KBPS video feed of its regularairplay programming. And during legislative sessions —Washington is the only state in the nation to do this — TVWprovides LIVE audio feeds from every legislative meeting, whetheror not that meeting is being televised. All these events are alsoarchived for later access. In other words, every word spokenduring a public meeting of the 1997 session of the legislature isavailable on demand from TVW's web site. As of November, TVWhad more than 3,300 hours of audio and some limited videoavailable.

All citizens need to avail themselves of this resource is acomputer with sound system, access to the Internet and the freesoftware from RealNetworks which can be downloaded off theinternet (www.real.com).

To be sure, TVW is a pioneer and one of the largestproviders in the world of multimedia on the Internet but it is adistinction that is certain to be short-lived. The reason? Use ofthe Internet to transmit multimedia is an increasingly fastgrowing phenomenon. For example, while TVW was the firstto transmit legislative audio LIVE over the Internet last year,there are now no fewer than eight states that do so!

The Internet is the next mass medium of distribution. First,was radio; then came television. Now, we have the Internet. Andthose fuzzy and slow frame-rate pictures we are all straining oureyes to see today will be tomorrow's high quality viewingexperience.

This new medium is vastly different from past ones. Obviously,it will give citizens virtually free access to unlimited amountsof information. Legislative deliberations. Agency hearings.Supreme Court cases. Public policy speeches. You name it. In ademocracy, that kind of access ought to catch our eye. After all,knowledge is power and, as President Madison said: "Knowledgeshall forever govern ignorance."

Then, too, this new medium is different from radio andtelevision in that just about anyone can become a major studioexecutive. There are few of us who could afford the millions ofdollars necessary to launch a new television network or build aradio station —the legal costs associated with getting atower built alone would kill you. But anyone with a computer andaccess to the Internet can now offer content with a relativelylow investment. This is a new economic paradigm with implicationsbeyond civic business. Think about how hard it is to get a movieproduced today. Well, you cannot without a trainload of money.But this month you can find a short film festival being heldexclusively on the Internet. Thousands of budding StephenSpielberg's will enter!

The effects of this Internet phenomenon on our civic healtharen't completely positive. After all, the Internet is a form ofbrute egalitarianism. No one rules and there are no rules. Youcan say virtually anything and get away with it without respectto accuracy or fairness or its effect on others. (That makes itsound kind of like what it is: a form of speech.) But in thefinal analysis, it may very well beapplication of this rapidly expanding new technology that helpssustain and invigorate our democracy. Surely the founders neverimagined it, but neither could they imagine how a democraticnation of 250,000,000 would function. In their day, the continentheld fewer people than live in our state alone! I think theywould agree with the bedrock conviction behind TVW,namely, people have an inherent right to watch their governmentat work — their government.. And I invite you to dojust that, not from the Gallery, but from your perch on theInternet.

November Board Meeting

Members Present: Dennis Laine, Al Bloomberg, Shelagh Taylor,Phil Coates, Phil Grigg, Mary Ellen Bradley, Joe Coogan, DarrellRiffe, Judy Schneider, Jim Albert, Bob Monn.

The Board Chair, Al Bloomberg, opened the meeting at 7:40 a.m.November 13, 1997.

Report from the Chair:

The minutes from the October Board meeting were approved aspublished.

Treasurer's Report:

Phil Coates reviewed the Treasurer’s report which wasapproved.

The following committee reports weremade:

Business and Finance Committee: AlBloomberg reviewed the IPMA by-laws and identified those in needof change to accommodate the change in the IPMA fiscal year tocoincide with the calendar year. Joe Coogan will proceed withmaking the changes. The Board chose the end of February as thedate for completion of the 1998 IPMA budget.

Communications Committee: MaryEllen Bradley reported that the publisher of the IPMA Newsletter,Butch Stussy, will terminate his service effective January 1998.The Board discussed other service options, including the optionof purchasing this service from Phil Coates. Mary Ellen willproceed with acquiring a replacement service. Joe Coogan hasdecided not to run for the IPMA Board, so his membership dutiesand IPMA Home Page responsibilities will need to be reassigned.Shelagh Taylor discussed possible locations and dates for theIPMA Annual Planning meeting. The Board tentatively set February5th and 6th as the meeting dates, and asked for additionalaccommodation information for the top three choices.

Executive Seminar Committee: Noreport.

Forum Committee: DennisLaine reported the corporate sponsors of Forum ’97 thoughtit was a success. Other than one session where the scheduledspeaker was a "no show" everything went very well.There were 705 registrants, and probably another 200 people whodidn’t register, that attended the two day event. Over 90people attended the Executive Breakfast which was very wellreceived. Having served as the Forum planner for the past twoyears, Dennis intends to turn over responsibility for Forum’98 to someone else.

Professional Development Committee:Joe Coogan reported the first quarterly professionaldevelopment event featuring a discussion on NT with Microsoft andIBM was attended by 35 people at the Aladdin Hotel. Joe thought athree hour event was too long, so the next event in January willbe shorter. Joe said a number of people expressed an interest inhaving a speaker from Intel, and suggested this might be a topicfor a March/April event. The January 8th event, which will be ajoint presentation on Data Warehousing and Internet by DigitalEquipment and Oracle, will also be at the Aladdin. However, analternative location will be found for future events due toaccessibility constraints at the Aladdin.

Election Committee: DarrellRiffe reported that it has been difficult to find peopleinterested in running for the IPMA Board, but did find twoexcellent candidates, Thomas Bynum and Todd Sander. Ballots willbe mailed to IPMA members within the week.

—Shelagh Taylor

IPMA, P.O. Box 1943, Olympia, WA 98507-1943