May 17, 2019 10:00AM
If you live or work in Walnut Creek, it’s likely you know about the city’s abundant high-end retail, easy-access outdoor trails, and strong arts programs. As an engaged citizen, you may have caught a city council meeting, served on one of the highly-respected local school boards, or supported a nonprofit organization.
Even so, you might have missed Creek Currents, a city-produced, in-depth quarterly television show recently honored by the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors for excellence. It’s directed, filmed, and edited by a talented in-house duo—multimedia specialist Liz Payne and video production technician Matt Bolender. Payne’s storytelling expertise includes projects for Discovery Channel, Home and Garden TV, and History Channel. Bolender started his television career working for the San Francisco Giants. “He also keeps the signal on the air,” says Payne. “We run the station right outside of the council chambers in City Hall.”
The show’s two-track design features stories about Walnut
Creek’s lifestyle and newsier behind-the-scenes segments about city government
told by dynamic hosts Ruby Lopez and Brendan Moran. Lopez brings broadcast
experience as emcee for the Warriors’ show Back to Back. She also has a
black belt in Tae Kwon Do, races in autocross car championships, and is recognized
as a Latina voice for young girls.
Moran is best known as a member of the TechTV show The Screen Savers (now a G4 television program Attack of the Show!) and has a following for his work covering the video gaming community. Whether it’s segments that cover restaurant openings and cultural events, or sit-downs with city officials, the chemistry and the banter between Lopez and Moran has become a highlight of the show.
Moran recalls his entry onto the show. “Oddly enough, I was perusing Craigslist. I can’t tell you why, because I don’t ever do that. I didn’t prep. I just went in, read some scripts, and I got the job.” His favorite stories are about locally-owned businesses, “When I can go into their shop and bring more people through their front doors, I feel like I’ve done my job.” In the future, he hopes to address issues like housing and development. “I think there’s an audience for that. How high is too high for construction? Are there too many apartment buildings?” Lopez adds, “We do stories about resources that benefit people’s lives, like seniors who knit items for children in the hospital. They tried to teach me to knit but I can’t knit so instead we danced together.”
Naturally, Lopez has other skills, like “getting down and dirty” on a community service day story, even jumping into dumpsters with garbage. “I get to be myself, interact, and do wild things. Bike tours, dancing, anything that gets me on a trail or active in the community, I love that. As well as stories that feature underserved children, the city’s history or diverse cuisine. Payne says the most popular topics are sports, restaurants, Bedford Gallery shows, and stories about the open space and the police department. “People love stories about dogs, too, the K-9 piece we did was really popular.” For Moran, the primary discovery is a more complete picture of Walnut Creek. “It’s an international growing city, that maintains its small-town vibe.”
DETAILS: Watch on Comcast Channel 28 (Channel 26 in Rossmoor,) Astound Channel 29, and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 or on the City of WC YouTube channel. Creek Currents airs on Walnut Creek TV at these times: Mon. 9am, 8pm and 11pm/Tues. 7:30am, 3:00pm/Wed.6:30pm/Fri.1:30pm/Sat. 11:00pm/Sun 6:00pm.