Deproduction has a plan to save public-access TV in Denver. Good luck.

Shawcross shouldn't start counting the moolah yet. Comcast's Aragon says no figures have been mentioned to date during conversations with the city. Moreover, DPS would still like either a new digital or analog channel, and according to spokesman Mark Stevens, negotiations are in too premature a stage to predict what will eventually happen. Deproduction offered to share a channel with DPS, but that suggestion appears to be a non-starter.

In the meantime, various members of Congress are floating ideas about revamping the way cable franchises are awarded. Typical is the Broadband Investment and Consumer Choice Act, introduced by Nevada senator John Ensign, which would federalize the process instead of forcing companies to negotiate with one city at a time. Ensign's legislation would limit, not eliminate, PEG channels, but some observers fear that fees to cities could be eradicated as a sop to telecom companies looking to expand into the cable business. Councilwoman MacKenzie calls the federalization concept "terrible," and Zuehlke confirms that the City of Denver is closely monitoring what could prove to be "a drastic rollback in local authority and local control."

Because Comcast's contract with the city expires in 2009, the passage of legislation like Ensign's would add long-term uncertainty to the short-term confusion with which Deproduction is already contending. Even so, the outfit is forging ahead with fundraising anyhow, beginning at 6 p.m. on December 10 with an event at P.S. 1, 1062 Delaware Street, that will feature a silent auction, a film showcase and entertainment from master of ceremonies Sid Pink and the Flobots. "We've had a lot of success stories already," Shawcross says, "and we want to build on them."

Tony Shawcross is getting access to community-
access channels.
Jim J. Narcy
Tony Shawcross is getting access to community- access channels.

His wishes have come true thus far. Hope he doesn't live to regret them.

Welcome home: The late Dalton Trumbo, an acclaimed novelist who won an Academy Award under an assumed name while blacklisted as a member of the so-called Hollywood Ten, grew up in Grand Junction, on Colorado's Western Slope. But rather than trumpet this fact, the town scorned any association with the scribe for more than half a century because of anger over his first book, Eclipse, a thinly veiled satire of GJ society. Trumbo called the community Shale City, a location that pops up again in his most famous work, 1939's Johnny Got His Gun.

Grudges don't get much bigger or sillier -- so it's a relief that a new generation of Grand Junctionites is finally putting it in the past. A local group has published two new editions of the long-out-of-print Eclipse, which will be celebrated on what would have been Trumbo's 100th birthday, December 9, at Grand Junction's Avalon Theater. Attendees are slated to include Christopher Trumbo, Dalton's son. Those unable to attend can get a copy of the $14.95 paperback -- or a $49.95 deluxe model that sports a map of sites mentioned in the book and other cool extras -- by dialing 1-970-683-2434.

It's about time.

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