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TMCNet:  Winston-Salem Journal, N.C., Ask SAM column

[January 10, 2013]

Winston-Salem Journal, N.C., Ask SAM column

Jan 10, 2013 (Winston-Salem Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Q. I was under the impression that TV commercials could not be as obnoxiously loud beginning in 2013. Any truth to that (I hope) P.A.

Answer. The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act took effect back on Dec. 13. In it, the Federal Communications Commission passed regulations that require commercials have the same average volume as the programs on which they air. All the local TV stations told us they are now in compliance with the act, and cable channels should be as well.

At this point, if you still think the commercials are too loud, you should file a complaint with the FCC. You can do that by phone at (888) 225-5322; online at www.fcc.gov/complaints under the complaint type button "Broadcast (TV and Radio), Cable and Satellite Issues"; or by mail at FCC Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division, 445 12th St. SW, Washington, DC 20554.

They will need the following information from you: whether you were watching on pay TV or over-the-air; the name of the advertiser or product; the date and time you saw the commercial; the name of the program it aired during; and the call sign or the TV station or channel number of the cable channel.

Q. Can you explain what part of the U.S. makes up the "Bible Belt" Several of us would like to know.

J.H.

Answer. There is no "official" list of states that comprise the Bible Belt, but the South and parts of the Midwest are generally considered to be included.

The phrase has been used since the 1920s, and its origin -- or, at least, popularization -- is often attributed to writer and social commentator H.L. Mencken. Mencken had meant the term to be derogatory, later writing that he was referring to "the rural sections of the Middle West and everywhere in the South save a few walled towns." But, as a 1997 article in the Dallas Morning News put it, "In the tradition of Yankee Doodle, Southerners appropriated the phrase that mocked them." Tax Reappraisals The Forsyth County Tax Department is holding a series of informational sessions about 2013 reappraisals at public libraries around the county. The hour-long sessions are designed to teach how the reappraisals are being conducted and answer general questions.

The schedule is as follows: Central Library, 660 W. 5th St., noon Monday; Malloy/Jordan Library, 1110 E. 7th St., 3 p.m. Tuesday; Clemmons Library, 3554 Clemmons Road in Clemmons, 6 p.m. Wednesday; Kernersville Library, 130 E. Mountain St. in Kernersville, 10 a.m. Jan. 18; Southside Library, 3185 Buchanan St., 5:30 p.m. Jan. 22; Lewisville Library, 6490 Shallowford Road in Lewisville, 2 p.m. Jan. 25; Reynolda Manor Library, 2839 Fairlawn Drive, 2:30 p.m. Jan. 29; Rural Hall Library, 7125 Broad St., 11 a.m. Jan. 30; Walkertown Library, 2969 Main St. in Walkertown, 5:30 p.m. Jan. 30.

A two-hour session will also be held at the Government Center, 201 N. Chestnut St., at 3 p.m. Feb. 5.

___ (c)2013 Winston-Salem Journal (Winston Salem, N.C.) Visit Winston-Salem Journal (Winston Salem, N.C.) at www2.journalnow.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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