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Daily Newscasts

No TV or New TV...Now What?

June 15, 2009

OAKLAND, Calif. - Not everyone made the switch to digital TV...some Californians are in the dark. Tracy Rosenberg, executive director of Media Alliance, says that is the case with some of the state's most vulnerable populations - including the elderly, people with disabilities and those with limited English-speaking skills.

"From our point of view, those are exactly the kinds of people who have been fairly dependent on broadcast television for news, information and emergency services information."

Media Alliance will continue to operate a digital assistance center through the end of the month to help Californians hook up converter boxes and apply for federal coupons. The $40 coupons are available through July 31.

For those who decided to skip the converter box and buy a new television set, the state's message is to make sure the old sets are disposed of properly. Rita Hypnarowski, a scientist with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, says it is important those sets do not end up in landfills, where their cathode ray tube (CRT) can get crushed.

"The CRT contains several pounds of lead - between 5 and 8 pounds on average, depending on the size of the television. Lead is a toxic metal that can cause harm to adults, children and wildlife."

A list of TV recycling locations is available at www.erecycle.com.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA