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PROBE: Oct. 15, 2001

October 15, 2001

QUESTION: Why are local baseball fans stuck with local channels for the playoff games? On Thursday we couldn't access channel 9. Today we sat down to watch the game at 1 p.m. and their transmitter went down. We could get the picture but no sound.

Why are we stuck with the local channels? Why can't we get the playoff games on the Los Angeles stations? — Missing-the-playoffs.

High winds knocked out the power on Black Mountain, the location of the station's transmitter. That's why you didn't have sound for the first part of Friday's game, according to Liz Ybarra, KECY-TV Channel 9 El Centro program director.

However, transmission of the sound was restored after 30 minutes, she said.

The power outage also knocked out reception on Yuma channels KSWT and KYMA.

You can't get the games on Los Angeles channels because years ago the Federal Communications Commission ruled that distant channels may not duplicate offerings on local channels.

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The reasoning was that local channels paid to broadcast programs in the local markets and it was unfair for distant stations to duplicate the programs.

You must remember there was a huge outcry when cable subscribers suddenly found their favorite shows blocked on the distant channels.

QUESTION: I have noticed in El Centro it's common for people to pull into a driveway and park across the sidewalk. Why don't these people stop and think they are forcing children and the disabled to walk around the car and into the street? What does the law say about this?

What is the El Centro Police Department policy on this? Why don't the cops issue a few tickets or tow a few vehicles away? What if you park in your own driveway blocking the sidewalk?

Is this a cultural thing? — Blocked, El Centro

No, it's an economic thing. In this country we are so affluent we don't have room in the driveway for all the cars. That's why some have to be parked across the driveway.

It's against the law to block a sidewalk, even if it's your own sidewalk. El Centro Police Chief Ray Loera said that surprises some people who protest, "I live here. I own this driveway."

That's right, and the sidewalk belongs to the property owner who paid to install it. It's still against the law to block the sidewalk, denying access to other people walking on it.

Loera said ECPD issues numerous tickets on a regular basis for the violation. Maybe it's time for the cops to cruise along the 2400 block of Elm Street to see how many folks have cars hanging over the sidewalk.

NO PROBLEM BUT — I agree with everything you said in the item about the sign-language interpreters salary dispute. There is one thing wrong. You talked to me. I am the president of the Classified School Employees Association but you misidentified me. I am Delma Aguayo, not Regina Vaughn. She is an interpreter. — Prez, El Centro

Sorry, we had Vaughn's name on the wrong line.

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