OC Supervisors Set To Spend $150,000 on PBS

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Orange County's all-Republican board of supervisors is scheduled to vote today without a word of discussion about spending $150,000 to sponsor a PBS environmental show about pollution prevention.

If approved, Curiosity Quest will get the public funds to produce a kid's show during the next year, according to county records.

County staff justified it's recommendation of the spending by saying that it is government's obligation to educate residents about ecology.

The proposed spending includes: $43,000 for public service announcements to air during the program, $26,000 for an episode that teaches people how "to use water wisely" and $81,000 for "other production costs."

In exchange for all the money, Curiosity Quest, which hails itself as an "upbeat, family, educational" production company, will list Orange County's government as a sponsor of its shows.

The programs are expected to air on PBS SoCal (KOCE), KVCR and KLCS, according to county records.

Carlos Bustamante, a county Public Works department employee who also is a Republican member of the Santa Ana City Council, helped write the staff report recommending the spending.

More than 1,000 county employees have lost their jobs in recent years because of the county's budget woes.

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly


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