Televised town hall returns
July 26, 2010
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - An expanded, televised town hall, here, will feature live telephone questions from viewers as commanders and subject matter experts respond to queries on installation channel TV2, July 28, at 7 p.m.
The 90-minute program will be co-hosted by Maj. Gen. Michael J. Terry, commander, U.S. Army-Hawaii, and Col. Douglas Mulbury, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, from the Visual Information studio, here.
The telecast is designed to build on the successes of the Garrison's first-ever live town hall broadcast in December 2009. Terry encouraged development of the broadcast format based on the successful televised town hall model from Fort Hood, Texas.
"With this format, we are actively engaging our Soldiers and family members, and we're also offering them important and timely information about current programs and initiatives," Terry said.
The evening broadcast, designed to reach the largest number of installation viewers possible while still at their homes, will feature briefs on the installation housing metering program; new Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation deployment and redeployment programs; construction and road initiatives; and an update on the Interstate Education Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children by retired Brig. Gen. Kathleen Berg, a University of Hawaii professor.
Berg will detail cooperative initiatives between participating states that are being designed and implemented to resolve public school transition issues for military children, as they move to and from new installations.
The new Department of Defense initiative has received support from the Army, locally, and Linda Lingle, Hawaii governor.
The question-and-answer portion of the program will begin after the briefs conclude. However, telephones will be manned starting an hour prior to the broadcast and through broadcast completion to take questions. Two dedicated phone line numbers will be available and displayed continually on installation TV2 across the bottom of the screen, before and during the telecast.
"The goal is to engage our community in a forum where we can not only reach the largest potential audience, but also address their questions and concerns immediately and at the command level," Mulbury said.
All questions will be logged, reviewed and prioritized for broadcast. Mulbury stressed that all questions and issues submitted will be addressed, in some format, in the near future.
"Every question, every issue will receive a response," Mulbury said, "if not during the broadcast, then in the coming days following the broadcast through publication in the Hawaii Army Weekly newspaper or with direct contact by the appropriate agency."
Social media will be another avenue for participation, and members of the USAG-HI community are encouraged to post questions in advance in the Ask the Commander mailbox at <a href="http://www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil">www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil</a> or e-mail <a href="mailto:AskTheCommander.firstname.lastname@example.org">AskTheCommander.email@example.com</a>. Community members may also send "tweets" to <a href="http://www.twitter.com/usaghi">www.twitter.com/usaghi</a>.
The previous televised town hall generated positive responses and resulted in expansion of the format from one hour to 90 minutes. This second town hall was originally scheduled for May, but an electrical power surge in the days before the May broadcast date, followed by a power outage near the VI studio, damaged key audio components that were necessary to broadcast live.
"The delay was certainly not for a lack of support for the project," said Larry Thomas, VI studio manager. "Just the contrary, the command has been encouraging and unwavering about the development of the televised town hall concept."
The live broadcast on garrison Hawaii's cable channel 2 will be rebroadcast throughout August and September. The telecast will also be rebroadcast on cable television on Olelo, channel 49, allowing community members outside the gates to view the town hall.