observe_field value in controller

how do I access the value of the field referenced in observe_field
from within my controller for the action specified?

I have a select with id "channelnotes" on it, to which I have an
observe_field that correctly works in calling channels.notesboxchange.
In my controller, I am trying to pick up the value of the select from
puts params['channelnotes'] and puts params[:channelnotes] and getting
nil, even when the select has text selected in it.

I must be doing something stoopid. Below is my .html.erb, as well as
the html/js produced by it. Thanks, Janna B.

<% form_for :associates, :html => {:name => 'upsform',:id =>
'upsform'},:url=>{ :action =>"uplog_update_form", :controller
=>"channels"} do |f| %>
<div id="notesdiv" style="float: right;">
Notes: <SELECT name="channelnotes" id="channelnotes" style="width:
350px; onKeyDown="fnKeyDownHandler(this, event);"
onKeyUp="fnKeyUpHandler_A(this, event); return false;" onKeyPress =
"return fnKeyPressHandler_A(this, event);" onChange="fnChangeHandler_A
(this, event);">
  <OPTION value="" style="COLOR:#ff0000;BACKGROUND-COLOR:#ffff00;"></

  <option>Subrata</option>
  <option>Chakrabarty</option>
  <option>Tiger</option>
  <option>Software</option>
  <option>India</option>
</SELECT>
</div>
<%= observe_field "channelnotes", :url => {:controller
=> :channels, :action => 'notesboxchange'} %>

<form action="/channels/uplog_update_form" id="upsform" method="post"
name="upsform"><div style="margin:0;padding:0"><input
name="authenticity_token" type="hidden" value="S7PkvbfwdF+Da2/
PbRUKW0YThoCF+qMynOAJyQoOi3c=" /></div>
<div id="notesdiv" style="float: right;">
Notes: <SELECT name="channelnotes" id="channelnotes" style="width:
350px; onKeyDown="fnKeyDownHandler(this, event);"
onKeyUp="fnKeyUpHandler_A(this, event); return false;" onKeyPress =
"return fnKeyPressHandler_A(this, event);" onChange="fnChangeHandler_A
(this, event);">
  <OPTION value="" style="COLOR:#ff0000;BACKGROUND-COLOR:#ffff00;"></

  <option>Subrata</option>
  <option>Chakrabarty</option>
  <option>Tiger</option>
  <option>Software</option>

  <option>India</option>
</SELECT>
</div>
<script type="text/javascript">
//<![CDATA[
new Form.Element.EventObserver('channelnotes', function(element,
value) {new Ajax.Request('/channels/notesboxchange',
{asynchronous:true, evalScripts:true, parameters:value +
'&authenticity_token=' + encodeURIComponent('S7PkvbfwdF+Da2/
PbRUKW0YThoCF+qMynOAJyQoOi3c=')})})
//]]>
</script>

how do I access the value of the field referenced in observe_field
from within my controller for the action specified?

<%= observe_field "channelnotes",
:url => {:controller=> :channels, :action => 'notesboxchange'}

:with => whatever_you_want_the_parameter_key_to_be_named

%>

HTH,
Bill

THanks Bill, yes it works now as:

<%= observe_field "channelnotes",