Huron Valley Community Network
Board of Directors Meeting
Minutes

October 5, 1997

Board Members Present: Arnold Barr (Chair), Ed Hayes (Treasurer), Keith Stanger (Secretary), Steve Weiss Community Member Present: Paul Fortier, Greg Winterhalter

The meeting was held at the Washtenaw County Library and was called to order at 2:06 p.m. by Mr. Barr. The Board waived notice of time, place and subject of the meeting.

The Board corrected and approved the minutes of the meeting of September 7, 1997. The financial report for the period ending September 30, 1997 was posted on the HVCN web site and was approved by the Board.

Mr. Weiss reported that HVCN usage statistics were available on the web site <http://hvcn.org/stats>, but do not have a public pointer to them. Mr. Weiss reported the HVCN site served 7.6 Mb/day in August and 8.9 Mb/day in September. He noted that 28% of the bandwidth was Grex graphics, 13% of the bandwidth was Michigan Democratic Party graphics, and 6% of the bandwidth was HVCN graphics and text. Mr. Weiss reported that HVCN is now hosting the Ann Arbor Public Schools Middle Years Alternative, St. Philips Lutheran Church, and the Dexter Area Historical Museum. Mr. Weiss said that the Majordomo mailing list management software was installed on the server, but he was not pushing its use at this time. There of some discussion of HVCN's interest in developing an employment/jobs center where local employers could post available jobs. Brigitte Vallion, of the Ypsilanti District Library Career Center, was interested in working with HVCN on the project. Mr. Weiss reported that he created conferences for Thurston School, the Middle Years Alternative, and Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility--Michigan Chapter.

Mr. Barr passed around an article from the Ypsilanti Press edition of the Ann Arbor News (September 11, 1997) about the Ypsilanti District Library/Ypsilanti Historical Museum database project. Mr. Barr reported the furniture for the project had been slowly arriving and the part-time employee hired for the project, Maria Schieda, had been working out indexing concepts with the Ypsilanti Historical Museum. Dean Russell, a retired photographer, continued to update his knowledge of PhotoShop, and will work as a volunteer on the Museum project with Ms. Schieda. Dallas Moore, on behalf of Borders Books and Music, donated two books to the Ypsilanti District Library to help the Museum project workers learn the available software--Microsoft Access 97 and PhotoShop 4.

Mr. Barr reported Mary Udoji would be meeting with a representative of Washtenaw County government to discuss the possibility of adding a second HVCN server (probably using Windows NT) to the Washtenaw County LAN. Washtenaw County would need to allocate to HVCN an additional port and IP address. The placement of the second server would be a test; if there were any bandwidth problems for the County, HVCN would make other arrangements for the second server. Mr. Weiss noted his biggest concern was remote administration of the NT server.

Mr. Winterhalter reported he picked up from Francine Hyman a 486/33 computer that could be upgraded to be used as the HVCN Windows NT server. He also had a 486/50 computer he could loan to HVCN for an NT server feasibility test. Mr. Winterhalter suggested Microsoft's personal web server be installed on the computer used for digitizing material in the Ypsilanti Historical Museum. Mr. Winterhalter suggested Microsoft's Visual InterDev be acquired as the tool of choice for facilitating database access development. Mr. Weiss observed that in addition to the Ypsilanti Historical Museum database, there were other database projects that HVCN was potentially interested in developing--a job information database, a Huron Valley Humane Society database of lost animals, and a Washtenaw Council for the Arts database of artists.

Mr. Winterhalter asked a few organizations HVCN had worked with to provide written testimonials that might be used by HVCN when applying for grants. Four organizations had responded so far. Mr. Weiss indicated he would provide other organization names to Mr. Winterhalter.

Mr. Winterhalter said he was interested in developing an NT-based content server, which could generate a web display of information from online forms that users fill out. He reported the Dexter District Library would like to develop a web-based event calendar, generated by direct input from community organizations. Mr. Weiss noted the Dexter Community Schools have a Dexter Community page. Mr. Weiss said he too would like to see an HVCN database of community event information.

Mr. Winterhalter explored with Mr. Barr and Ed Swope, Ypsilanti Police Crime Prevention officier, HVCN's involvement with Ypsilanti's Neighborhood Watch program. Mr. Swope was interested in linking block captains electronically. Mr. Barr said that to apply for grant money for training and equipment, HVCN needed to develop a written service proposal. Mr. Barr said he would meet with Mr. Winterhalter to consolidate ideas.

Mr. Winterhalter emphasized the importance for HVCN of bringing online an NT database server. Mr. Weiss said he supported the utility of a database server for the delivery of HVCN's services and encouraged Mr. Winterhalter to continue his development efforts.

Paul Fortier explained his intergenerational web production project where teens from at-risk programs in Washtenaw County collaborate with senior citizens to produce web pages about lessons learned from life experiences. Mr. Fortier completed a pilot project with support from the University of Michigan's Media Union and the Brighton area schools. Each teen worked with one senior citizen and profiled the lessons the senior learned as they looked back on the choices they made in their lives, particularly during their own teen years. Each teen produced a web page documenting a senior's experience, as well as another web page reflecting what they saw as the life lessons learned by the senior, some life lessons they themselves had learned, as well as their perception of what it meant to live well.

Mr. Fortier said so far he had six agencies willing to contribute to the four-month project involving twenty seniors and twenty teens--Project Education, Ann Arbor Community Television, Ann Arbor Veteran's Hospital, Catholic Social Services Older Adult Program, Ypsilanti High School Special Education Department, and the Washtenaw Intermediate School District. Mr. Fortier applied to the Washtenaw Council for the Arts for a grant to cover the cost of supplies for the project. Mr. Barr said he would try to identify contacts in Washtenaw County government who might be able to provide some project support. Mr. Fortier asked the HVCN Board for a letter indicating the support the community network could provide for his project. Discussion revealed that HVCN could provide a web page server and a web conferencing system. Mr. Weiss introduced a motion authorizing the HVCN secretary to send a letter of HVCN support to Mr. Fortier.

Mr. Fortier identified as a problem for his project that many of the seniors do not have access to a computer to engage in electronic dialog with their teen partners. Mr. Hayes suggested talking with the VA Hospital. Mr. Barr suggested talking to Congresswoman Lynn Rivers. Mr. Stanger offered to talk to Jennie McCafferty, Associate Dean of Learning Technologies at Eastern Michigan University, about the possibility of the project's seniors using one of EMU's computer labs during off-peak hours to gain Internet access. Mr. Hayes noted the same type of arrangement might be made with the University of Michigan. Mr. Stanger also suggested a laptop-on-wheels (web-on-wheels) project, where volunteers would visit each senior project participant once a week with a laptop computer and a modem.

Mr. Weiss suggested the HVCN Board enter into a partnership with Cyberspace Communications, the nonprofit corporation that operates the Grex Internet service, so that HVCN would point to Grex as a source of text-only Internet access and e-mail for the HVCN service community. Mr. Weiss proposed redesigning HVCN pages to define Grex as provider of Internet access and e-mail accounts for HVCN users. The Board approved the changes suggested by Mr. Weiss.

Mr. Hayes drafted a letter to Francine Hyman acknowledging her gift to HVCN of a 486/33 computer. The Board approved sending the acknowledgement letter.

The next meeting was scheduled for Sunday, November 2, 1997 at 2:00 p.m. at the Washtenaw County Library.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Keith Stanger, Secretary