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County Leg. candidates face off before election
Back the Blue, BLM groups rally on Commons
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Cinemapolis opens Former Sheriff sounds Jacqueline Jones for private parties off on police reform talks Lucy Parsons PAGE 13
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Newsline Going green
City hires new sustainability director
ince the Green New Deal initiative was unanimously approved by Common Council in June 2019, we have sought the right person to lead the City in achieving our ambitious climate and equity goals.” said Myrick. “We were all disappointed when the pandemic caused a delay in the search process. The silver lining is that we had the opportunity to hire Luis, who brings impressive experience and knowledge to the position.” Torres brings over 15 years of domestic and international experience working with government, non-profit and business sectors in green technology, policy development and implementation, emissions reduction, green entrepreneurship, and related issues. In 2012 he was recognized by President Barack Obama as a “Champion of Change: Connecting the Americas” for his work in promoting the development and adoption of clean technology and sustainable business practices in Latin America. Torres will lead the City’s Green New Deal initiative to address climate change, economic inequality and racial injustice through five main goals: 1. Targeting community-wide carbon-neutrality by 2030 2. Meeting the electricity needs of City government operations with 100% renewable electricity by 2025 3. Reducing emissions from the City vehicle fleet by 50% by 2025 4. Ensuring benefits are shared among all local communities to reduce historical social and economic inequities 5. Facilitating a comprehensive public engagement process -Staff R eport
Schill, Pillar debate affordable housing, economic recovery, police reform ahead of special election
he candidates for the County Legislature’s special election to fill the open seat in district two in Fall Creek faced off in a virtual debate on March 11, hosted by the League of Women Voters. Leslie Schill and Veronica Pillar each got the chance to tell voters a bit more about their platforms, as well as answer questions about affordable housing, tax rates, public transportation and reimagining public safety. The special election is March 23. The candidates spoke a bit on public transportation in the county, and both lauded the work of TCAT while adding suggestions about how it could be improved. Schill said it’s important that housing, work and public transportation all support each other, and that living in a more rural area does make it a bit more difficult to access the bus routes. She suggested that development needs to be planned in areas where there is already infrastructure that can support public transportation. Pillar said that while she thinks TCAT is “fantastic,” especially in serving central Ithaca, it does become a bit of a hassle for those who live and work outside the city. “If you work in Dryden and live in Lansing, you’ll be commuting for hours because you have to go through Ithaca,”
she said. She also noted that this specifically affects lower income people who have been pushed out of Ithaca due to ever-rising housing costs. Pillar suggested supporting the on-demand transportation pilot TConnect, as well as expanding TCAT. There were also many questions about affordable housing, and what the county can do to make it easier for people to be able to rent or own property. Pillar said one of the issues she’s noticed is that even when affordable housing is built, it’s often only affordable for a certain target group of people — usually people who make 80% of the area median income. She proposed shifting the income target to be much lower, so that affordable housing is affordable for all. Schill mentioned that in district two, particularly the Fall Creek neighborhood, the housing is already so dense, the best way to build more to bring housing prices down is to encourage infill development and accessory dwelling units. Both candidates agreed that gentrification in the city of Ithaca was a huge issue, especially as families and Black and brown communities are the ones being pushed out. They also agreed that education was a big part of it, and that
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▶ Deadly dispute - ShaHeem Harris, 21, of Elmira died in Lansing early Saturday morning after a gunfight between two parties in vehicles led to crashes. The Sheriff’s Office received a call at 1:40 a.m. on March 13 complaining of a loud dispute involving gunshots. About 10 minutes later officers responded to a call of two vehicles off the roadway and multiple injuries; it
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Green St Preview ������������������������ 9 The massive Green Street garage/conferenc center/housing project breaks ground soon. Here’s a few tips on what to expect.
Goddess of Anarchy������������������� 13 Author Jacqueline Jones reflects on Lucy Parsons, the subject of her latest book
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was determined it was the same two parties from the first call. The vehicles traveled at high rates of speed toward Auburn Road while the drivers fired shots at one another. Both drivers eventually lost control and crashed. One vehicle collided with a telephone pole, and the other came to a rest in the yard of a residence. Four other people were treated for various levels of injuries, and Garaus Henry, 26, of
F E AT URE S
it was important to create opportunities for people to learn more about the home buying process. They did not agree, however, on rent control measures. Pillar said she supports vigorous rent control because housing is an urgent issue. “Rents have been rising much faster than wages,” she said. “People are working hard, and I support a living wage, but are people being charged a living rent? Housing is a human right, everyone deserves it. This is a human rights and public health issue.” Schill, on the other hand, said that she did not support extensive rent control, as she thinks it wouldn’t have the best results in the long term. “This would best be dealt with more housing,” she said. “We need to create more of a diverse portfolio of housing stock. That will bring rent costs down.” The candidates also got to share their ideas for economic recovery once the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Schill said she’s interested in workforce development and that she sees the higher education and health sectors as big areas for potential growth in the community. However, before focusing on that, she said the number one priority right now has to be supporting the department of health. “We need to make sure the vaccine is distributed as quickly as possible,” she said. “We need to reinvest in our economy, but we have to address COVID first.” Pillar said that she thinks advocacy to Albany for eco-
Lansing was charged with three accounts of attempted murder and one count of aggravated criminal possession of a weapon. Pending results of Harris’ autopsy, he may face additional charges. The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office are interested in obtaining any camera footage from that time frame. Call the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office Tip-Line at 607-266-5420 with information.
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PHOTOGRAPHER By C a se y Mar tin
IF YOU WERE A LEPRECHAUN, AND THE END OF THE RAINBOW WAS ALREADY TAKEN, WHERE WOULD YOU HIDE YOUR POT OF GOLD?
“The Green House at Lowes. It’s still a really magical place!” -Emily S.
“My Beer Fridge.” -Alastair S.
Back the Blue organizers face off with counter protester, burn a Black Lives Matter Flag and came armed with bear spray (Photos: Casey Martin)
PROTESTS “In my sock drawer. It’s the perfect spot!” -Ali L.
“Under my toilet.” - Shane J.
“Behind my toilet! (Photog: wow, someone just said under my toilet!) UNDER! That’s even BETTER!” -Patrick L & Linda C
Ithac a Times
Back the Blue, Black Lives Matter protesters go toeto-toe on the Commons
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ensions were high on March 14 as Back the Blue supporters were met with a large group of counter-protesters at Bernie Milton Pavilion. Back the Blue supporters had announced earlier in the week that they had planned to protest the Reimagining Public Safety proposal that recommends replacing Ithaca Police Department with the Community Solutions and Public Safety Department. However, the Ithaca Police Benevolent Association put out a statement on March 11 thanking people for their support, but urging against the rally. “We also feel like this rally 17–23 ,
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may detract from our message of collaboration with the police reform and the steps we’ve made with Common Council and the Mayor,” the statement said. “We are not trying to suppress your first amendment rights but we ask that you take the time to voice your opinion to Common Council and the County Legislature by email or public meetings.” Regardless, a group of about 20 supporters, led by Rocco Lucente and Zack Winn, showed up anyway. After speeches about how dangerous they think the city of Ithaca has become, the group moved to the center of the
Commons, where they faced off against counter-protesters. For the most part, the groups exchanged chants and all remained peaceful. After being largely drowned out by the counter-protesters, the Back the Blue supporters headed back to the pavilion, where Winn took the stage and gave long-winded and increasingly angry rants aimed at the counter-protesters, including transphobic insults aimed at one counter-protester in particular. He also said that the counter-protesters were fat, smelled bad and accused them of being communists. There were two incidents where things turned physical. The first was when Winn and other Back the Blue organizers grabbed a Black Lives Matter flag, doused it in lighter fluid and set it on fire. Counterprotesters tried to grab the flag away from Winn before it was set on fire, but Winn caught up and a brief physical altercation
ensued. Later on, counter-protester Massia White-Saunders rushed the stage in anger, but Ithaca police officers were able to calm the situation quickly. After that incident, Winn took the microphone again to share that out of respect for the police officers’ wishes, they would be wrapping their event up shortly. However, he continued to rant angrily and attempt to antagonize counter-protesters, who often drowned him out with their chants. Winn also played a recording of IPD Sgt. Loretta Tomberelli’s comments to Common Council from a recent meeting in which she talked about how devalued she felt by the police reform proposal. The Back the Blue supporters’ numbers slowly dwindled throughout the afternoon, before finally vacating the Commons after about three hours. -Ta n n e r H a r d i n g
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POLICE R EFOR M
Council determined to move forward with police reform proposal, has more questions
e cannot do nothing.” Those words said by alderperson Laura Lewis best sum up the conclusions Common Council came to during a 90-minute discussion about the Reimagining Police proposal draft. That’s not to say there weren’t differences of opinion about certain recommendations, but ultimately everyone agreed that changes must be made. One of the top questions from council members was about budget information, which Mayor Svante Myrick assured them he and County Administrator Jason Molino were working on. Rough budget estimates are expected before the council votes on March 31. Alderperson George McGonigal thought that the recommendation that suggests conducting a review of SWAT callouts should also include reviewing Critical Incident Negotiation Team (CINT) callouts. This led to a discussion on the future of the SWAT vehicle. Molino clarified that the vehicle would function as a mobile communication center for a variety of uses, including police emergencies; it would be part of the Tompkins County Department of Emergency Response. McGonigal also asked if that would mean the Ithaca Police would have to remove their gear from the truck. Molino said that the communications equipment would remain (and upgrades to it made), but that yes, the rest would have to be removed. Alderpersons Donna Fleming and Seph Murtagh both expressed concerns about the
recommendation to replace IPD with the Community Solutions and Public Safety Department, with Fleming saying she had “major objections” to it as written. Murtagh said he thinks programs like the community outreach workers and law enforcement assisted diversion (LEAD) should be expanded instead of replacing and renaming the police department. “Why don’t we increase
those efforts?” Murtagh asked. “We could shrink the police department and expand outreach workers and LEAD. Don’t replace officers as they retire and I think it would get at the same thing […] I think there’s a lot of reform that can happen within the police department where we can get to a place where we’re maintaining the spirit of this plan.” However, Myrick clarified that the community solutions workers aren’t intended to do the same type of work as community outreach workers or LEAD. “Community solutions workers would be more akin to taking on calls that don’t require armed officers but aren’t mental health focused,” he said. “For instance, taking a simple report. If there’s a stolen
bike or television, someone has to show up to take that report. Whoever shows up need not be armed, but should have a close working relationship with the investigative department.” He also added that the new department would facilitate more cross-department collaboration because, as it stands, the police department usually stands alone. “It’d be a unity of mission and purpose and create a shared culture,” he said. Alderperson Cynthia Brock said it seems like a lot of the proposed changes are administrative and that she wants to make sure any changes that are implemented are meaningful. Specifically, she suggested that there should be a confidential reporting system for officers to report improper actions among
colleagues. She also questioned the benefit of having a civilian director over a police chief, and if that meant the police chief would be eliminated entirely. Myrick said one of the motivations behind having a civilian director is that he thinks it would bring more longevity to the leadership role than a police chief, as many police chiefs are nearing retirement age by the time they become chief. He also thinks it will increase diversity in the department. McGonigal asked for clarification about the number of armed officers that would be part of the department. “The proposal says ‘to the full extent of armed positions funded in said transitions,’” McGonigal said. “So if we have 60 officers now and decide to
fund 45 positions in transition, does that mean there are 15 officers without a job?” Myrick said he supposed that yes, it is what that would mean, but that he anticipated Common Council would fund as many armed officers as are in the police department now, meaning nobody would lose their job. After some more discussion about the genesis of the first recommendation and the roles of the community solutions workers, Lewis suggested focusing on the things they can move forward on to show the public they’re serious about doing something. “We’ve heard that the community has doubts about whether there will be real change coming from this endeavor,” she said. “I want there to be real change that is concrete, and to move quickly on some of those items we can move forward on.” Alderperson Deb Mohlenhoff echoed that sentiment. “We’ve gotten hung up on number one, but all the other recommendations are quite significant, and we need to put our best effort into listening to the voice of marginalized communities,” she said. “We can’t just hate the status quo, we have to do something. It’s been a long time coming, and we have to do something, we can’t do nothing. […] All that said, I don’t think number one is crazy. All that you’ve been describing this evening is describing number one and doing it.” Alderperson Stephen Smith agreed, and added that there seemed to be agreement amongst council members that the fundamentals of recommendation one need to be recognized. “I think recommendation one has called attention to the 800 pound gorilla in the room,” he said. “And we owe it to folks to have a conversation about what to do about it.” -Ta n n e r H a r d i n g Ma r ch
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Vaccination Nearly 25,000 people in Tompkins County have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s estimated that we’ll need to reach about 75% (or 75,000 people in the county) of people vaccinated for herd immunity. We got this. Fake Spring #1 Admit it, we all fell for it only to be bamboozled by belowfreezing temperatures and intermittent blizzarding on Sunday. Maybe next year we’ll learn.
HEARD&SEEN Cop Convos There’s been a lot of good conversation between the public, the police, the mayor and local representatives surrounding the Reimagining Public Safety draft proposal. With a little more collaboration we may just get there yet. Poppin’ Park Stewart Park was flooded with (mostly masked) people last week soaking up the sunshine, grilling with their friends and getting some exercise with their furry friends. We loved you fake spring #1.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Are you affected by “springing ahead” one hour for daylight savings?
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N ext Week ’s Q uestion :
How many people have you helped sign up for a COVID vaccine? Visit ithaca.com to submit your response.
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SURROUNDED BY REALITY
Keep the SWAT truck
P et e r M e sk i l l , for m e r S h e r i ff of Tom pk i n s C ou n t y (1999 -2 010)
By C h a r l ey G i t h l e r
epurposing the SWAT truck is the and safely enforcing the law and mainwrong idea taining public safety. The City Mayor’s proposal to Instead of trying to create our own eliminate the Ithaca Police Department team, Chief Basile of IPD and I discussed and give away the SWAT Truck is a misthe possibility of adding deputies to the guided idea. As the Sheriff of Tompkins city team to create a joint city/county County (1999-2010) and a public servant tactical team. The outcome after several on the County legislamonths of work and review ture (1994-1998) and as a with both city and county Village of T-burg Trustee staff was a memorandum (1990-1993), I have seen signed and reviewed by city the positive outcomes of and county administration well thought out reform as well as the chief and I. and change. The current That memorandum is still thought process described used to operate the team by the Mayor as “Blue Sky today. Thinking” is more of Pie The success of the team in the Sky Thinking that is is due to the hard work dangerous and not what is and leadership of all the needed or intended by the members, past and present, Governor’s executive order. including former IPD chiefs Peter Meskill During my first few years John Barber and Pete Tyler. as Sheriff, I worked 70 plus I wonder if the pubhours a week to observe and lic understands what the learn all facets of the Sheriff’s office… all “SWAT truck” is? It is an RV, yes, an RV, which also serve the city residents and designed to be a mobile command center taxpayers. that is segmented and used by command In the early 2000s, it became apparstaff and other administrators. Another ent to me the county needed some sort of continued on page 7 highly trained tactical force for properly
Scene: The Inner Sanctum at 108 East Green Street: the office of Mayor SVANTE MYRICK. It’s 9:00 AM, and His Honor is meeting with his Executive Assistant ANNIE SHERMAN to get a handle on the schedule for the coming day… MYRICK: Annie, I need you to clear my morning. I really have to get on top of this ranking thing. Seriously. How is our city the fourth best college town in America? We’re number one in everything! It just feels like Gotcha Journalism. SHERMAN: Why are you letting some website ranking get to you? Who takes those things seriously? Besides, number four isn’t so bad. I mean, top ten! Right? MYRICK: Really? Really, Annie? How does this sound to you: “Svante Myrick, mayor of the fourth-ranked college town in America.” That’s a real attention-grabber. We’re talking about my personal brand here. And explain to me how we come in below Madison, Wisconsin? (opening his laptop) Those cheese-eating…
SHERMAN: (interrupting) You have to relax. We have a Zoom meeting with the Governor in 45 minutes. MYRICK: What’s that about?
SHERMAN: He’s going to ask if he can crash on your couch for a couple weeks.
MYRICK: Reschedule. Let’s tackle this ranking thing. It says here they looked at “livability.” What the hell even is that? Is it a real word? You telling me Ann Arbor is more ‘livable’ (using air quotes) than Ithaca, New York? How many waterfalls do they have? Probably none. Oooh, look at me! I’m Ann Arbor! I’m livable!
SHERMAN: Sir, with all due respect, this is getting us nowhere. (getting up and closing the door to the office) I do have an idea, though, but it’s a little shady… MYRICK: I’m listening.
SHERMAN: We have to approach this strategically. Like a war. Instead of making Ithaca better, what if we make them worse? What if, and this is purely hypothetical, we were quietly able to plant some stories in credible media outlets that put those other college towns in a bad light? You know, ‘TikTok Banned in Madison,’ ‘Cancel Culture Backlash in Ann Arbor,’ stuff like that. MYRICK: I. Love. It. That’s the Sherman genius at work once again! This could work. I feel so alive! How do we do that?
SHERMAN: Your 11:00 is a follow-up interview with GQ. Maybe you work into the conversation that Boulder, Colorado, the number one college town in the country, has become a retirement destination for boomers. Let’s see how that goes over. Their livability rating would drop faster than debris from a Boeing 777’s engine. MYRICK: Yes. Yes! Let’s make this priority one. No calls for an hour. I need to brainstorm a code name. Operation Obloquy. No, too obscure... Project Mud-Sling. Plan Pan Plant. I do like alliteration... SHERMAN gets up to leave, and we
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FADE TO BLACK
GUEST OPINION Contin u ed From Page 6
portion of the mobile command center is used by the highly trained negotiators of the Critical Incident and Negotiation Team, referred to as CINT. The remaining portion, approx. 1/3 of the truck, is used for storage of gear and other items used by the tactical team at the scene of an incident. Just like every fire department that keeps its trucks supplied and ready to roll in a moment’s notice, law enforcement must do the same. Can you imagine where there is no command center and a vehicle ready to roll with the items you need… Chaos, delay and possibly worse will occur! What will replace your command center where the trained people gather to put a plan together to work towards a safe and successful outcome at a high-risk incident? Please reconsider this short-sighted idea! Can you imagine a fire department that first has to load its fire hose and water on a truck before they head off to a fire? It
such an important tool like the “SWAT truck” you already own to another agency. The Governor’s august letter to executive leaders and police commanders regarding his executive order for police reform indicated “collaborative” is the key word to this process. He further indicated, “It would be a mistake to frame these discussions as an adversarial process or an effort to impose top-down solutions. Issues must be aired but solutions must be crafted”. Given that, I urge you to work and listen to all parties… community members and police in a collaborative manner and make positive change. I know it can be done. I have seen it happen before. It will take everyone listening and working for reasonable solutions and reform, not a politically motivated top-down document to destroy the Ithaca City Police Department. You can’t accomplish police reform and solid public safety practices when you hold the employment, career and livelihood of your staff over their head.
LEGISLATURE DEBATE Contin u ed From Page 3
nomic relief is one part of it, but she also thinks continuing the vaccination effort is important, as well bringing wages up to a living wage. “I support requiring that when the county can and advocating when we legally can’t,” she said. “When people have money to spend, they’ll spend it locally. If people don’t have money, it’s not going into the economy.” Pillar and Schill were also asked for their thoughts on the Reimagining Public Safety draft report that was released at the end of February. Because district two represents a portion of the city of Ithaca, they were asked about both the city and county plans. Pillar said she was particularly enthusiastic about the recommendations for more transparency through the collection and publishing of data. She also likes the idea of more mental health services. “Right now we use the police for a catchall, and sending in people with military training to all sorts of crises is not appropriate, and it often escalates,” she said. “I would like to see funding diverted from reactive policing to proactive measures.” Schill called the report a “commendable effort,” and said that she likes the data suggestions too, and also thinks rebuilding trust should be an important part of the plan. “We need more communication,” she said. “I’d like to see a long-term plan of working together, bringing both sides to the table and working on this over another year.” When asked specifically about the recommendation to replace the Ithaca Police Department with the Community Solutions and Public Safety Department, Schill said she thinks that it’s a good option to examine, because changes need to is the equivalent or worse if you give away
be made. “2020 really pulled the bandage off a gaping wound,” she said. “Thinking about policing is visceral, people are really sensitive to this discussion. What do we do with the police department if there are people who feel like they can’t safely call in an emergency? That’s a problem.” Pillar said she doesn’t think that recommendation goes quite far enough. “I commend the broadscale thinking, but that proposal sounds better than it is,” she said. “My concern here is that what I’m hearing much of the community say is that they want more of the response to be diverted away from the police entirely.” She also noted that policing is “fundamentally evolved from slave patrols” and that “white supremacy is baked into the institution,” regardless of how good the officers working inside of it are. They were then asked point blank if they supported raising taxes to fund the reimagining police effort. Pillar said she would be willing to if it was a proposal she fully supported. “I’m prepared to increase taxes to support the goals I’m hearing the grassroots community aiming for,” she said. “I don’t fully support the goals in this draft report, so I would not say I necessarily support raising taxes for this report for the form it’s in at this time.” Schill was a little more reluctant to give a direct answer, but said she does think it’s important enough to focus resources to. “I think it’ll be important to look at the entire budget together,” she said. “What that means as far as financial commitment has to be considered within the broad spectrum of other budgetary requirements.” -Ta n n e r H a r d i n g
THE TALK AT YOUR LETTERS In support of Samantha Lushtak for County Legislature There is something exciting happening in the western half of the Town of Dryden. Samantha Lushtak is planning on representing those of us that live in the West Dryden, Etna, Varna, and Ellis Hollow neighborhoods (District 13), as a member of the Tompkins County Legislature. I’ve met and discussed a wide range of topics with Sam and was very impressed with her, and at my age I’m not easily won over by anyone. Ms. Lushtak is not a typical politician; she listens more than she talks. She will continue to do that for us once she is elected, listening to the concerns we have about what is affecting us as residents of Tompkins County and using her considerable skills in problem solving to make things better for us. Sam is a small business owner and a mom, so she knows how to get things done. She is a homeowner, so understands the need to work to control the overwhelming property tax burden we all face. Her training and experience working as a Certified Safety Professional will make her voice, representing our voices, heard when the County makes decisions regarding COVID, our Sheriff’s Department, and emergency preparedness. I firmly believe that Sam will work hard to identify the root cause of all the problems that face us on a County level and fix them. Sam is very bright, honorable, and best of all, a good person. I am going to support her, campaign for her, and vote for her this November. Please consider joining me in doing so. Sam can be reached by contacting LushtakForTC@ gmail.com Chris O’Connor, Dryden
Temple Committee Supports COVID-19 Vaccinations for all Palestinians in Occupied Territories Mainstream media has been full of praise for Israel’s success in vaccinating most of its population. Yet many of us in the Jewish community join friends and allies in our dismay that there has been no such robust vaccination campaign for Palestinians living under military occu-
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pation in Gaza and the West Bank. Like people of color and people living in poverty in the United States, Palestinians are dying from COVID-19 at a much higher rate than their occupiers. And because oppression of Palestinians is one of the few global tragedies that has failed to bring together a weighty progressive opposition in the U.S., we often feel isolated when we express our horror at what has correctly been labeled “medical apartheid” by those paying attention. Lately we find ourselves somewhat less isolated in our opposition to the indignity of the occupation because the recent deputy director of Israel’s Health Ministry, Itamar Grotto, publicly demanded that his government provide efficient and compassionate delivery of vaccines to all Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. We urge readers to recognize that a pressure campaign directed at the Biden Administration calling for vaccination of Palestinians is likely what propelled Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State, to appeal to the Israeli government asking them to make vaccination of the entire Palestinian population a priority. Because Israel continues to be a beneficiary of large amounts of financial aid from the United States, such pressure from our government matters. So far, however, the Israeli government continues to respond with defensiveness to these requests, despite their recent concession to offer vaccinations for Palestinians who work in Israel or in the illegal settlements. Thus, a weightier sense of outrage from the U.S. must be registered. We urge concerned members of the public to write letters to editors, call your representatives, and contact major Jewish organizations to express your opposition to the medical apartheid practices of the Israeli government. It is not only a moral issue related to a broader political amorality. It is also an issue of protecting the health of all of us and ending this global pandemic. -Justice in Israel-Palestine Committee of Congregation Tikkun V’or, Ithaca, New York
Write to us! Say something or respond to an article by writing email@example.com. Letters must be signed and include an address and phone number. We do not publish unsigned letters. Letters may be edited for length and readability. To the Editor, Ithaca Times, 109 N Cayuga St., Ithaca, NY 14850
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GREEN ST PREVIEW
The massive Green Street garage/conferenc center/housing project breaks ground soon. Here’s a few tips on what to expect.
fter years of negotiation and planning, Green Street Garage construction will soon be underway. As a refresher, the project is split into two parts. The Vecino Group is building the western portion of the garage. Developers will be constructing a 12-story building, called the Asteri, that contains 181 low- and moderate-income apartments on the upper floors, while the first three floors will house a 49,000 sq. ft. conference center, 350 public parking spots and a retail space. The eastern portion of the garage will be built by Ithaca Properties, LLC., headed by developer Jeff Rimland. The building, called the Ithacan, will be a 14-story building that houses a parking garage, market rate apartments and the Ithaca College physician’s assistant school. The center portion of the garage that houses Cinemapolis will remain untouched. The three sections of the garage are independent structures, and when the middle portion was rebuilt about 10 years ago, it was purposefully designed to be selfcontained so that either side could be used for development projects. According to Bruce Adib-Yazdi from the Vecino Group, the public will begin seeing activity around the garage as soon as March 22, “as long as the weather holds out.” One of the first things people can expect is the adjustment of the striping location on Green Street. Adib-Yazdi said both lanes will remain open, but each will be narrowed a little bit. “The northern edge of those two lanes will shift south a little bit,” he said. “That will give the construction process more room.” The sidewalk and parking spaces will also be inaccessible during construction, and it’s possible at times the north lane may need to be temporarily closed as well.
By Ta n n e r H a r di ng However, there are no anticipated changes most people will be happy to have a nicer for the bus lanes. The garage will officially place to park when it’s finished. “It’s old and tired and has some strucclose on March 29. JoAnn Cornish, the city’s director of tural issues,” Cornish said of the garage. planning and development, said that she “Every year we have to block off more and thinks TCAT buses will be fine, but they more spaces. I think everyone who parks may have to look at intercity buses if CO- there regularly looks forward to a newer faVID restrictions are lifted during construc- cility.” The demolition and reconstruction of tion. “For now we’re OK, but if it starts to the garage is the first phase of the two building projects. ramp up we’ll Though operatlook at it and ing separately, make some othCornish said er plans,” she they’re working said. on nearly parCornish also allel schedules. said that conAdib-Yazdi said struction fences he anticipates will also go up the garage porthat week, and tion will be the garage will done by late officially close. November. “We’re go“It’s depening to start seedent on materiing things hapal supply, things pen here pretty quickly,” she H o m e d a i ry a l l e y w i l l b e pa r t i a l ly like that,” he b l o c k e d d u r r i n g c o n s t ru c t i o n said. “But if evsaid. ( P h o t o s C a s e y M a r t i n) erything goes The city right, we should stopped issuing monthly parking passes for the Green be able to be done before the holiday seaStreet garage at the end of December, and son. That’s the goal.” When construction on the garage is finCornish said most passholders have begun parking in the Seneca and Cayuga garag- ished, it will reopen, despite the fact that es. At this point, it’s mostly Marriott em- there will still be years of work left to comployees left at the Green Street Garage, and plete the remaining parts of the projects, with a current end date of mid-to-late 2023. their last day will be March 19. Cornish said the biggest inconvenience “Most people who park there on a regular basis have been notified and are already for pedestrians during construction will be in the other garages,” she said. “Hopefully access to Home Dairy Alley. She said it will most people know it’s coming, so it won’t still be accessible coming from the Commons, but that instead of shooting straight be that big of a deal when it closes.” Cornish also added that there have been through, you’ll have to take a right and go no complaints of the other two garages be- behind the buildings and under scaffoldcoming crowded or inconvenient for Green ing. Street Garage parkers, and said she thinks Ma r ch
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Alternatively, there will be detour signs directing people to walk to the end of the Commons and take Cayuga Street over to Green Street. Adib-Yazdi said the increased signage directing people through different routes and to stores on the Commons will be another noticeable difference to the area. Cornish said it’s possible that the direct route from Home Dairy Alley to Green Street may open before the projects are complete, but it would be quite some time before it was safe. “But once it’s done, it’s going to be a beautiful space,” she said. “There will be benches, lighting, plantings. It’ll be much improved. We’ll open that back up as soon as possible, but it’ll likely be closed most of the length of time of the construction.” While no businesses will be directly affected by construction in the sense that they’ll need to close, Cornish did say that parking to access the back entrances of Trader K’s, Autumn Leaves and Angry Mom Records will be constricted because some of the city hall parking lot will be closed off. “That will still be accessible, but it’s going to be a little bit tricky,” she said. “It’s going to be narrower, but we’re going to maintain short-term parking, so if people want to drop things off at one of the stores they’ll still have rear access. But it will definitely be constricted.” Cornish added that making sure Cinemapolis didn’t have to close involuntarily during construction was an important part of negotiations while working on plans for the project. “Everyone loves [Cinemapolis], and we want to make sure they stay healthy,” she said. Cornish said she knows people are growing tired of the seemingly constant construction downtown, and she said
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GREEN ST Contin u ed From Page 9
there are some plans in place to continue to encourage people to come into the city and visit the businesses near the construction zone, similar to the marketing and advertising the city did during the rebuild of the Commons. “We’ll continue to do everything we can to make sure we’re doing our part to get people to come downtown,” she said. “These businesses have been through a lot. There’s been a lot of construction in the past five or 10 years downtown, so they’re a little weary and a little nervous.” The Vecino Group will also be putting a lot of signs up for local businesses, including higher up on buildings so people can see them around any construction equipment. No construction will be taking place on the Commons side, and all the stores with Commons-facing entrances should see no changes. Noise producing construction is only allowed in the city from 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. on weekdays, and Cornish said in her experience most construction crews usually finish their days around 3-3:30 p.m. “On occasion there could be longer work hours, but they would need prior permission for later nights or weekends,” she said. Residents of residential buildings near the construction site will be notified, and Cornish said usually if there’s an objection for some reason she’ll usually deny the request. Though she did say for those residents, some sound disruption will be unavoidable. “We do now have quite a few residents in that area,” she said. “It’s not going to be the best place to live, but hopefully they’ll be able to tolerate it. Most of the noise is at the start of construction, then once you’re inside the walls it’s not too bad.” Cornish did touch upon one other change that pedestrians will see, and that’s a loss of art. She said there are two murals in the center section of the garage that should be safe, but that other artwork on the eastern and western portions of the garage will be lost. However, Cornish thinks that despite some growing pains, the city will be all the better off once the two projects are complete. “These projects are amazing projects, and most towns in upstate New York would kill to have these developments,” she said. “We’ll have affordable housing in the middle of downtown, and bringing an IC school downtown is amazing.” Adib-Yazdi was in agreement, and advised residents to keep an eye on the future. “It’s a critical part of economic development,” he said. “This short, two-year process will be a little painful for some folks, but keep the long vision in mind. Everyone is tired of construction, I understand everyone is tired. But once this is done this block should be finished. It’s really improving the pedestrian experience.”
inemapolis, Ithaca’s ind e p e n d e nt art-house film center, opened its doors again a few days shy of the anniversary of its closing on March 15, 2020, due to COVID. As Executive Director Brett Bossard remembers, the signs that were made at the time said they would be closed “At least until April 9.” He laughs ruefully. Right now, Cinemapolis is scheduling private viewing parties of up to 15 people. All snacks and concessions are ordered beforehand to minimize contact between customers and staff, and the customer provides their own DVD or Blu-Ray to be watched; they can also select a film from the theater’s library of titles, some of which are provided by Fantastic Fest — “fun, weird genre stuff from all over the world,” according to Bossard. The cost is $250 for the general public, and $200 for Cinemapolis members. As I meet with Bossard while opening day still looms, there’s quite a bit of construction and clutter still taking up most of the lobby, but everything is on target for reopening on March 12; there are already screening reservations pending. “We’re getting there, piece by piece, little by little,” says Bossard, looking around the space. “We’re putting up sneeze shields by the
Cinemapolis opens its doors for private parties
Karen Davis and Family
concession stand. Parties will come in, check in with the host, and then are shown to the theater where they’ll be watching the movie. Technically, we could have had screenings at 25% capacity since early November of last year, but it was a matter of keeping an eye on the [COVID] numbers, and looking at public opinion as far as people’s willingness to come back to the movies,”
says Bossard. “We wanted to play it as cautiously and safely as possible.” Only three of the theater’s five screening rooms — one, three and four — will be open for business; theater five sustained some damage during the winter season and is still being repaired. In addition, $50,000 was spent renovating all three bathrooms to be contact free, including foot door wedges that allow the doors to
be opened without contact. Once the party is in the screening room, they can remove their masks to eat and watch their movie, but must be masked and socially distant in the lobby or bathrooms at all times. “If people have been sharing space, sitting together is allowed.” For those patrons who can’t afford a private party or are leery about going out to the movies, Cinemapolis will continue offering their ongoing slate of virtual cinema, allowing people to pay to watch indie fare online. Bossard says this may be the biggest shift in viewing habits yet, and says he could see keeping the virtual model going for a year and maybe longer. He hopes to be up and running regular public screenings by sometime this summer. When that happens, there will be space seating in accordance with health rules and regulations. When patrons buy a ticket to a film, they will also reserve a specific seat so as to maintain social distancing. - B r y a n Va n C a m p e n
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Sports Cornelia Laemmli Orth, Music Director
Family Concert & Storytime A Tribute to Percy Browning Thursday, March 18th @ 4:00PM
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Unified In Name and In Game Ithaca High Unified Bowling Wins League Title By Ste ve L aw re nc e
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HATFIELD LECTURE 2021
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A conversation with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack Join Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack for a conversation about a future where the boundaries between tech, work, and social issues dissolve. Listen in on Wednesday, March 24 at 12:30 p.m. EDT—this event is free and open to the public. To register, and for more information visit cornel.ly/hatfield21.
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Rylie Fox, Remy Germain, Zola Vesci, Damen Fenton, Skyler Mitchell, Luke VanDeMark, Ryan Griffiths Not pictured: Clara Bennett, Sophia Escalante, Aadi Patel (Photo by Heather Schuss)
t’s a good feeling when we see something come together and we feel compelled to say, Well, that makes a lot of sense… Such was my optimism when I learned that Ithaca High’s Unified Bowling program had brought Helen English on board. Having been friends with Helen for 25 years (give or take), and knowing that she is an avid and skilled bowler and a longtime employee of the Ithaca City School District, it all made a lot of sense. (The ICSD’s website describes Unified Sports as such: “Through Unified Sports, students with and without intellectual disabilities have opportunities to train and compete together on various sports teams in an effort to promote social inclusion and youth leadership and to build a greater sense of community in schools.”) I connected with Helen (who is now the secretary/teachers’ aide with the special education department), and she said “I have been bowling for 51 years and I have been employed by the school district for 25 years, so yes, I’m happy to be a part of it.” She continued, “Bill Asklar, who is a teacher at Enfield, took over the program last year (the program’s first) and when they put out the winter schedule and it included Unified Bowling, I sent an email and offered to help.” English started bowling at the age of 4. She took her game to the collegiate level, and having known many of the students for many years, the collaboration was a very productive convergence of skills and interests. I got a smile out of Helen when
I asked her about the team’s collective skill level. “We had 12 bowlers on the roster — two from the special ed program — and only one of the 12 had ever had any previous coaching. He is the lone senior, his dad owns the Bowl-O-Drome, and the rest of the students have learned from him.” According to Helen, the coaching and mentoring played out in a few different ways. “The kids didn’t know how to keep score, and they have a lot to learn about the game,” Helen offered, “and we only had a 3-week season.” The season was a virtual one, as the Little Red utilized the Bowl-O-Drome as its home venue, and they bowled six meets (two each against Corning, Elmira and Horseheads, the only other schools in Section IV to have Unified Bowling programs). English was very pleased that the team was indeed a “unified” program. “I had so much fun with this group,” she said. “They were the best group a coach could ask for, and no matter the differences — in skill level, bowling experience, ability to learn things quickly — they were so supportive of one another. They were very accepting of their partner assignments, and I’m proud of them.” The co-coach is also very pleased that some seeds have been planted for the program’s future. “Stephanie Valletta (the district’s Coordinator of Student Wellness and Athletics) went to the community-based classroom at DeWitt Middle continued on page 15
Author Jacqueline Jones reflects on Lucy Parsons, the subject of her latest book
y G.M. Burns
Lucy Parsons (c. 18511942) was considered to be a dangerous and extreme anarchist — the kind of orator and writer that could move her audiences — who were the labor force of that era. The folks she spoke to were the working class who had to work long hours and suffer in poor working conditions. While some now believe Parsons to be a feminist and union organizer, it was a fact that she struck fear and dread into the police and the business class of the day. The daring and intense anarchist was widely known during her time, even while she promoted the use of violence, but in the last few decades, Parsons seems to have been largely left behind to history. However, when someone passes, what they stood for does not disappear, nor are they really forgotten. The book by Dr. Jacqueline Jones of the University of Texas at Austin illustrates Parsons’ long life, from being active in the labor movement, being present at the Haymarket Riot, defending the Scottsboro Boys and being an advocate for free speech. In this email interview, Jones writes about Parsons in “The Goddess of Anarchy: The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical.”
Ithaca Times: How did you come to write about Lucy Parsons, and what drew you to her story as feminist and labor organizer in your book “Goddess of Anarchy: The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical?” Jacqueline Jones: I had heard of her, but I also knew the first and only biography of her was written in 1976 (by Carolyn Ashbaugh), and that it was time to revisit Parsons using new online sources now available. Ashbaugh was not able to find out anything about Parsons’ pre-Waco life; in contrast, I located newspaper evidence that
showed she had been born to an enslaved woman in Virginia in 1851, and forcibly removed with her mother and siblings to Texas during the war. Parsons was quite the celebrity (if a notorious one) in her lifetime, and I thought more people should know about her. I would not however call her either a “feminist” or a “labor organizer.” She never used the former term, and of course thought that neither men nor women should vote. In her public pronouncements, at least, she presented herself as a prim Victorian wife and mother, later widow. Also, she didn’t have much interest in working as a labor organizer; she gave rousing speeches to rile up her supporters and cause fear in her enemies; but she didn’t have the patience to go from shop to shop and urge women (or men) to join a union. IT: Lucy Parsons was able to talk and write a great deal, while working for needed changes, such as working for the eighthour work day. But can you talk about what compelled her to struggle and stay true to her principals for needed changes? What
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was it that drove her to work for equality and justice? JJ: I think she cared deeply about injustice toward white working class men and women. But note that she evinced no interest in Blacks in Chicago—or in the rest of the country, for that matter. She was not very practical, as in some cases at least her raw, angry rhetoric caused more harm than good. The famous union organizer Mary “Mother” Jones objected to Parsons and her comrades because they used harsh rhetoric, denigrated American symbols and institutions, and (according to Jones) tainted the whole working class with their radicalism. I think Parsons enjoyed performing, as it were; she was never so happy as when she was making a rousing speech or dodging the police from one street corner to the next. She was primarily a writer and an orator, not an organizer. IT: Can you talk about the time in 1905, when Parsons founded the Industrial Workers of the World, known as the “Wobblies,” and the fact she was the only woman to speak at the international labor union event? JJ: If you will read that section in my book you will see that the organizers of the meeting (Bill Haywood and others) invited her to appear out of respect for her as the widow of a Haymarket martyr. They did not intend to have her speak until she insisted on doing so. Later she toured the Northwest, selling the biography of her husband and other materials; but she never really worked as an organizer for the IWW. IT: Lucy Parsons was known for taking the long view in the struggles she undertook, but what do you feel her legacy is and the message she left behind for the future? JJ: This is hard to say; her claim to fame was her speeches, and of course we cannot hear those now, so her influence has faded. Over the course of her lifetime though she kept alive the flame of the Haymarket martyrs, and the memory of the biased judge and jury that convicted them. A lot of her listeners [were] thrilled [by] her radical rhetoric. However, as I mention above, she was not interested in the plight of Black workers (or Chinese immigrants for that matter). Too, she never admitted in public that she had been born a slave. Rather, at different points in her life she claimed to be the daughter of a Mexican and a Native American. Since she was light-skinned (she was probably the daughter of her owner), she could perpetuate the fiction that she was Indian or Mexican. I think she feared that white workers would not listen to her if they thought she was a former slave. Since she left no private papers, all we know about her comes from what her friends and supporters wrote about her, and what the newspapers said about her; she remains a mystery, even today.
I t h a c a T i m e s 13
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’m not sure what’s in the water right now, but I’ve been processing a lot of content about darker aspects of show business that we’ve evolved beyond: “Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast” has run episodes on the Rat Pack’s racist and chauvinistic schtick and Kliph Nesteroff ’s new book, “We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans and Comedy,” which confronts the deplorable practice of casting white actors as Native Americans. Ryan Murphy’s eight-episode miniseries “Feud: Bette and Joan” (FX, 2017, Amazon Prime) spotlights the toxic relationship between Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) and Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) while filming “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” in 1962, and the fallout and wreckage that trailed after both leading ladies for the rest of their lives. Davis was a workaholic and Crawford was a deeply insecure alcoholic, so as much misery was heaped on them by others, they did plenty of damage to themselves. The result is fascinating, bitchy fun at first, and ultimately one of the most sorrowful Hollywood legends you’re likely to see. I’ve talked to some people who don’t agree with the facts behind the drama, but this is not a documentary, and certainly Murphy and co-creators Jaffe Cohen and Michael Zam have shaped events to suit their thesis that director Robert Aldrich (Alfred Molina), studio head Jack Warner (Stanley Tucci) and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Judy Davis) created the feud and exacerbated it to publicize the movie. Sarandon and Lange set the bar and the tone; they are both powerhouses. I have a real fondness for these kinds of backstage dramas, particularly when they’re produced with such precise and artistic period design and detail. And if you’re still interested after taking in “Feud,” “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” is also available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime. ● ● ●
Only in a movie like “Chick Fight” (Quiver-Redbox-MFC-YP, 2020, 97 min.) could a females-only underground fight club serve as a metaphor for female empowerment. Malin Akerman (“Watchmen”) stars as a struggling café owner who discovers that her late mother owned and ran her own fight club. Turns out all she needs to find her place in the world is to get the tar beaten out of her and beat the tar out of other ladies. You gotta have a
training montage, so Alec Baldwin plays her hard-drinking, karaoke-singing Mr. Miyagi mentor. At least “Chick Fight,” unlike the next movie, has a game cast ready to slum it and have fun. Comedienne Dulcé Sloan is a hoot and a half as Akerman’s gay bestie who introduces her to the club, and Fortune Feimster (“Chelsea”) kills it as the club referee. I don’t buy Kevin Connolly as Akerman’s love interest, the only other major male character, a doctor who moonlights at the club treating fight injuries. Then it occurred to me that “Chick Fight” wasn’t exactly a documentary and I chilled out about it. ● ● ●
One thing we didn’t need is a lame remake of “Valley Girl," but here it is anyway. For my money, Martha Coolidge’s 1983 “Valley Girl” is one of the very best ’80s romantic teen comedies. It’s a New Wave take on “Romeo and Juliet,” with a punk kid named Randy (Nicolas Cage’s debut as a truly eccentric leading man) who falls in love with a sweet valley girl (Deborah Foreman). It has a great soundtrack and is a totally, like, awesome time capsule documenting early ’80s life in and around Los Angeles. One of the lamest examples of the “jukebox musical” genre, the “new” “Valley Girl” (Orion-MGM-Sneak Preview, 2020, 102 min.) lards every scene with ’80s hits the original couldn’t have afforded, and cast all the roles with squeaky clean millennials with zero charisma and lousy singing voices. And it reduces the whole thing to safe, theme-park nostalgia by framing the tale with Julie, now a concerned mother (Alicia Silverstone) telling her daughter what things were like back in her day. Tom Lennon (“Reno 911”) elicits a couple of minor chuckles playing famed KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer, but the rest is just a generic mash-up of tunes like “We Got the Beat,” “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” “Kids in America” and “You Might Think.” There are easily a half-dozen of the lamest ’80s covers you’ll ever hear; even “Bad Reputation” sounds like a Mickey Mouse singalong, and the original’s signature songs, like the Plimsouls’ “Million Miles Away,” get the same meh millennial makeover. Gag me with a spoon, I’m so sure!
Review: Little Venice A Trumansburg favorite offers classic Italian fare By He nr y Stark
f I’m going to commit to driving about 40 miles round-trip for lunch or dinner at a restaurant, the restaurant has to be really good. Little Venice in Trumansburg is good, however the main attraction for me, is gone… at least temporarily. Before the pandemic hit, I used to visit friends in the area. We’d go to Little Venice for lunch, where we’d avail ourselves of the wonderful salad bar, which featured about four dozen items, including a hearty chili, a variety of sliced pizza, pasta, garlic knots, a homemade soup and an assortment of healthy salads, all for less than $9. The food is still good and there’s a fine selection of traditional Italian fare, all well-prepared and attractively presented. However, the buffet is no longer offered and diners must order à la carte from a routinely sanitized plastic menu. At lunchtime, which starts at 11:00 a.m., the typical generic categories served in Italian restaurants are avail-
able. There’s a choice of a half-dozen flatbreads and the same amount of pizzas. I recently ordered the white garlic pizza and, frankly, was a bit disappointed. Although the crust was thin and crunchy, the topping was a disappointment. The lack of zest from the garlic which, instead of being finely diced, was finely minced and barely discernible. You can also choose from among four burgers ($13.50 – $14.50) and four sandwiches ($10.90 – $11.90). The most popular burger is the Brunch Burger, which is topped with a melted slice of American cheese, a sunny-side-up egg, a strip of bacon and a patty of hash brown potato. If you’re not happy with Little Venice’s burgers you can “build your own” starting at $10.50 and add toppings at $1.50 each. And I’m sure you’ll be happy with your personal creation, as there are about 20 toppings including a variety of cheeses. If you’re in the mood for something lighter, you can select
from a half-dozen basic salad offerings ($6). Speaking of basic, at dinner, which starts around 4:00 p.m., you’ll be offered complete entrées that you’d expect to find in a quality Italian restaurant: homemade Lasagna, Chicken Parmesan, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Fettuccini Alfredo, a homemade Rigatoni with Meat Sauce and a popular Fisherman’s Platter with breaded shrimp, scallops and haddock. Little Venice has true items for vegetarians. One popular side dish, which really seems like a small entrée, is called the Chef ’s Garden Sauté ($13.90). It starts with strands of zucchini wound out of a spiralizer that extended my full arm’s length without breaking when I lifted it off the plate, broccoli, artichokes, mushrooms and roasted red peppers in a lemon, garlic and extra virgin olive oil dressing. The veggies were cooked perfectly and the sauce, not too sweet, not too tart, complemented them just right. Other vegetarian entrées include a traditional Italian favorite, Eggplant Parmesan. A word about beverages: This is obviously a management that thinks beer goes better with their cuisine. There are about two dozen beers on offer, six on tap, which are served in a frosted glass. The wine offering is quite limited. By the glass, you’ll have a choice of four whites and four reds. The atmosphere is comfortable with a brick wall, pendant
lighting, revolving overhead fans, and heavy wood tables and booths. A brief note about the history: Little Venice was opened in a small space on Trumansburg’s Main Street in 1992, where Subway is now, only to burn to the ground Memorial Day weekend, 1998. A small restaurant, occupying the space where the bar is now, was reopened, a short time later, on Sept. 12. The adjacent area, which included an archway, was acquired in 2007, and the archway was knocked down and the area that is now the main dining area was exposed. The capacity of the dining areas, including the 14 chairs at tables adjacent to the bar, is about 250, so 50% capacity is about 125. Although Gov. Andrew Cuomo relaxed the rule for dining to 75% of capacity beginning March 19, management is awaiting more guidance before removing the “reserved” signs from every other table.
Tidbit: On the site of Little Venice, in 1964, Robert A. Moog developed the first modular synthesizer changing modern music forever. The citizens of Trumansburg had a sign erected on the street, directly in front of the entrance.
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SPORTS Contin u ed From Page 12
School and brought bowling sets for the classroom.” She added, “That will get the students involved earlier, and hopefully, Special Olympics will let the athletes start bowling earlier. I plan to help with all those efforts.” I reached out to ICSD’s Athletic Department, and A.D. Samantha Little shared these words in an email: “Second year coach Asklar and first year coach English partnered to create opportunities beyond bowling by hosting an event with a pro bowler and collaborating to create a strategic plan for recruiting and growing the program. Students improved their bowling skills, had fun and gelled together as a family despite the condensed season.” As the Unified bowlers look back on their season, they will likely remember the friendships, the teamwork, the coaching and the fun. They will also remember what the 2021 trophies will say when they arrive: “First Place — Ithaca High School.” Congratulations to all. ● ● ●
One of the Ithaca City School District’s most beloved families suffered a loss last week, and I’d like to tell Sarah, Jackie and Frank Fazio how sorry I am to learn of Britt’s passing. Britton Fazio was 44, he was a fine athlete, a really good guy and he loved his family and the people he met through sports throughout his life. When I first started writing this column, Frank was (and still is) a beloved coach, Britt was a gifted athlete, and they sure gave me plenty of material. Much love to the entire Faz Family.
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Ithaca galleries slowly open open up with “lesser known” artists By Ar thur W hit m an
utting on a regular calendar of art exhibitions is hard work: all the more so now amidst lingering health and economic uncertainties that hit small, independent organizations with particular force. Palpably, local galleries seem caught between familiar approaches and new directions. Digital artist and mural painter Yen Ospina may be unfamiliar to followers of Ithaca’s mainstream gallery scene. Boasting a distinctive, forceful palette and stylized, folkloric imagery, her work is welcome and striking. An online exhibition, “Warmth and Hues: Work by Yen Ospina,” will be featured by the Community Arts Partnership for the month of March and can be viewed at their website. (Their physical gallery downtown, the CAP ArtSpace, will be closed until May.) Meanwhile, the ever-busy Corners Gallery is showing “Heather Swenson: selected works,” featuring an eclectic assort-
Ithac a T imes
ment of prints and constructions from a new-to-town Rochester artist. The Cayuga Heights gallery — also a framing business and now design shop — is settling into a routine of casual “pop-up” art displays rather than more formal exhibitions. The selection of artists is eclectic as ever, with Swenson’s hip contemporary art joining traditional oil still-lifes by local writer and painter Rachel Dickinson. Ospina, who identifies as a “Queer Colombian-American self-taught artist,” is a prolific local muralist and has shown her prints previously in informal local venues. I have resisted writing about interactive “virtual exhibitions,” particularly when physical presentations of traditional art have been on (at least sporadic) offer. Ospina created her work here on a tablet; her work is faithfully represented on a screen. Still, it’s hard to say what is being gained by the video game — like presentation being offered to local artists through
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CAP — other than the pretense of business as usual. Ospina’s actual digital drawings are wonderful: in print or on a screen. Featuring goddess figures and strong women as well as mythic nature scenes, her work offers a distinctive take on the familiar traditions of Art Nouveau and poster art. Her use of color is repetitive but effective. Hot orange-yellows, deep red, emerald green and black join variegated flesh tones in vigorous celebrations of cultural, ethnic and sexual identity. Scanned floral and paisley fabrics and textured papers offers a warm, traditionalist touch — offsetting her hard-contoured shapes with areas of fine detail. Pieces such as “El Cielo,” “Cuerda de equilibrista” and “Lily of the Valley” portray elaborately costumed and nude female figures interacting with settings encompassing verdant landscape, fantastic architecture, animate skies and the theater. Other images, like “Alizon” and “Daliah,” recall Ospina’s love of Gustav Klimt — himself influenced by Japanese prints — with their central figures juxtaposed against ornate geometric patterns. In addition to her current exhibition, Ospina will be showing at the State of the Art Gallery as part of their (“live”) April invitational “15 Feet.” It’s hard to know what to make of a multi-faceted artist like Swenson from the small selection of work currently at Corners. The grouping, arrayed around the gallery’s two public rooms, includes her
signature screenprints as well as sculptural maquettes. Both show a kind of twee sensibility with enduring art school appeal. A playful, knowing reflection on the built and manufactured environment is her main theme here. Us traditionalists will be irritated by her proclivity for casual, thrown-off compositions, though this is part of a widespread tendency. Her use of illustration-like linear drawing ties her work to Ospina’s. So too does her occasional use of found (or mimicked) textures: notably in her printed fabric and plastic frame towers and in “Security Tint,” which appropriates the shape and intricate blue patterning of an opened envelope. “Winnebago,” which shows a tarpcovered trailer parked behind a white picket fence, is Swenson’s most traditionally composed, picture-like print here. It works quite nicely and shows off a nuance of color on scant display elsewhere. A small accordion-fold screenprint book, “Plastic,” is her most endearing piece here. The divided, sequential format gives structure and emphasis to the artists vignettes of varied, sometimes unrecognizable plastic detritus. It is welcome to see local galleries opening themselves, however tentatively, to less familiar voices. One hopes that once things have settled, we will get to see more involved presentations of artists both new and established, from Ithaca and from beyond.
Virtual Music Concerts/Recitals Cornell Concert Series: Ladysmith Black Mambazo | 7:00 PM, 3/17 Wednesday | This episode will premiere on CornellConcertSeries.com where it will remain viewable for 14 days. You will not need an account to view the video during this time. Cayuga Chamber Orchestra: Family Concert and Storytime | 4:00 PM, 3/18 Thursday | Odyssey Bookstore, 115 West Green Street, Lower, Ithaca | The event will be livestreamed.† FREE admission is made possible by our sponsors.† To receive the livestream link, advance registration is required at CCOithaca.org. NYS Baroque: Brahms from Oz | 7:30 PM, 3/19 Friday | Daniel Yeadon, cello & Neal Peres da Costa, 19th century piano. Second show on Sunday, 3/21 at 4PM. Presented online, free, with live chat.†https://nysbaroque. com/ Cayuga Chamber Orchestra: Chamber Music Series (A Tribute to Percy) | 7:30 PM, 3/20 Saturday | First Presbyterian Church, Ithaca, 315 N. Cayuga Street, Ithaca | Percy Browning was a long-time CCO patron and former Board President. In-person attendance will be limited so all tickets must be reserved in advance.† Ticket-holders will have the option to attend in-person or watch via livestream. Symphoria Masterworks Livestream: Beethoven & Mozart | 7:30 PM, 3/20 Saturday | Virtual, | Symphoria returns to large orchestra performances, featuring Steven Heyman in Beethovenís Piano Concerto No. 3, and Mozartís well-known Symphony No. 40 in G minor. LIVESTREAM | Family Live Stream $35, Individual Livestream $20
Stage Digital Syracuse Stage - Annapurna | All Day 3/18 Thursday | Annapurna is the name of a massif
in the Himalaya mountain range and the Hindu goddess of nourishment. A carefully balanced blend of sharp comedy and surprisingly tender drama that draws inspiration from both meanings of its title. available as video-on-demand thru 4/4 at www. syracusestage.org. | $30+ Syracuse Stageís Cold Read Festival of New Plays. | 6:00 PM, 3/23 Tuesday | 3/23-3/28. Events will be virtual with a mix of pre-recorded readings and live discussions with Festival artists.†Visit www.syracusestage.org or call Box Office at 315443-3275 for tickets and additional information.
Art SIX VISIONS | 12:00 PM, 3/18 Thursday | State of the Art Gallery, 120 W Martin Luther King, Jr./State Street, Ithaca | Paintings, photographs and digital art by Frances Fawcett, Susan Larkin, Daniel McPheeters, Diana Ozolins, Nancy Ridenour and David Watkins, Jr. thru March 28, 2021. Call 607-277-1626 during business hours or visit our web site at https://www. soagithaca.org Eurythmic Light: American Pastoral Landscapes | 12:00 PM, 3/20 Saturday | North Star Art Gallery, 743 Snyder Hill Road, Ithaca | By Brian Keeler.† It brings together more than 30 landscape works that share Keeler’s theme of the passage of time and the changes in the seasons of life. Guild of Natural Science Illustrators Virtual and Physical Art Show | 12:00 PM, 3/21 Sunday | Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts, Congress at McLallen St, Trumansburg | The show will be available to view online on the TCFA website. In addition, open gallery hours begin March 26 and run every Friday and Sunday from noon to 4pm.
feminism, and on the other, a human being tormented by agony and love. ‘Appointment screenings’ available daily at 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, and 10pm. | ìAppointment screeningsî available for $10 Cornell Virtual Cinema: La Strada | All Day 3/19 Friday | The fairy tale road story of Zampano (Anthony Quinn), a loutish strong man with ultimately only one trick, and Gelsomina (Masina), the dim-witted innocent he buys to play a clown. http://cinema. cornell.edu/ Cornell Virtual Cinema: Happy Together | All Day 3/19 Friday | Two gay lovers from Hong Kong spend the last few months of British rule away from home in Buenos Aires, Argentina. http://cinema.cornell.edu/ Cornell Virtual Cinema: The River and The Wall | All Day 3/19 Friday | This documentary follows five friends on an immersive adventure through the unknown wilds of the Texas borderlands as they travel 1200 miles from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico on horses, mountain bikes, and canoes.†w/panel discussion including Heather Mackey ‘10 on Tuesday, 3/23 at noon.
Virtual Cinemapolis: Wojnarowicz | All Day 3/19 Friday | A documentary portrait of downtown New York City artist, writer, photographer, and activist David Wojnarowicz. As New York City became the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, Wojnarowicz weaponized his work and waged war against the establishmentís indifference to the plague until his death from it in 1992 at the age of 37. | 3 day rental available for $12 Imagine: John Lennon | 7:00 PM, 3/19 Friday | Center For the Arts of Homer, 72 S Main St, Homer | A documentary exploring the life of The Beatlesí John Lennon, utilizing clips of home movies and interviews with family members. Limit 50 People. Advanced reservations must be purchased by calling: 607-749-4900 | $10 Virtual Cinemapolis: Honeydew | All Day 3/20 Saturday | Tells the story of a young couple who are forced to seek shelter in the home of an aging farmer and her peculiar son, when they suddenly begin having strange cravings and hallucinations taking them down a rabbit hole of the bizarre. | 3 day rental for $8 Virtual Cinemapolis: Still Life in Lodz | All Day 3/20 Saturday | The metaphor of the painting is used to tell the story of a woman in Boston who returns to Lodz in search of objects from her memory. In her journey she is accompanied by a New Yorker and an Israeli with shared histories,
which bind them to Lodz and the quest to find traces of family memories. | 3 day rental available for $12 Virtual Cinemapolis: The Inheritance | All Day 3/20 Saturday | A scripted drama of characters attempting to work towards political consensus weaves with a documentary recollection of the Philadelphia liberation group MOVE, the victim of a notorious police bombing in 1985. | 3 day rental available for $12
Back, written by Emily Sanders Hopkins.†https://artspartner.org/ content/view/spring-writes-schedule The Eamon McEneaney Memorial Reading by Charif Shanahan | 7:00 PM, 3/18 Thursday | Register at: english.cornell.edu/zalaznick. Poet Charif Shanahan will read from his work. The reading will be followed by a live Q&A, moderated by associate professor Joanie Mackowski.
Kids Eco-Explorers: Spring is Here! |
Maple Week 2021 | All Day 3/22 Monday | Virtual, | Cayuga Nature Center, along with PRI, is excited to announce that this yearís ‘Maple Week’ will take place virtually! From March 22ñ28, tune in on our various social media platforms as well as our website, for live streams of the maple syrup process, discussions around maple syrup and climate change, and more!
1:00 PM, 3/21 Sunday | Cayuga Nature Center, 1420 Taughannock Blvd, Ithaca | Take a guided hike along the trails at CNC to see what signs of spring you’ll be able to spot. Space is limited to 10 participants and pre-registration is required. | Pay-What-You-Wish Ready for Kindergarten: It’s All About Words | 6:30 PM, 3/22 Monday | Six-week fun and family-oriented virtual series on learning ways to incorporate language and literacy into
Emily Writes Back: Letting Loose Your Inner Advice Columnist/ Essayist | 6:30 PM, 3/18 Thursday | In this fun reading/workshop combo, participants will be introduced to the letter and advice column as art forms through a reading from several of the greats, including Emily Writes
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Film Frida-Viva-la-Vida | 1:00 PM, 3/17 Wednesday | Cinemapolis, 120 E Green St, Ithaca | Highlights the two sides of Frida Kahloís spirit: a revolutionary pioneering artist of contemporary Ma r ch
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820/Computer COMPUTER & IT TRAINING PROGRAM!
Train ONLINE to get the skills to become a Computer & Help Desk Professional now! Now offering grants & scholarships for certain programs for qualified applicants. Call CTI for details! (844) 947-0192 (M-F 8AM-6PM ET) (NYSCAN)
SAVE YOUR HOME!
Are you behind paying your MORTGAGE? Denied a Loan Modification? Is the bank threatening foreclosure? CALL Homeowners Relief Line NOW for Help 1-855-439-5853 Mon-Fri: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm; Sat: 8:00 am to 1:00 pm (all times Pacific) (AAN CAN)
BECOME A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!
We edit, print and distribute your work internationally. We do the work… You reap the Rewards! Call for a FREE Author’s Submission Kit: 844-511-1836. (AAN CAN)
Place Your Ad Go to ithaca.com/classifieds
1010/Commercial OCEAN CITY MARYLAND Best selection of full/partial week rentals. FREE Color Brochure. Holiday Real Estate, Inc. 1-800-638-2102 Online reservations: www.holidayoc.com. $50 discount - new rentals. Code: “ToTheBeach2021”. (Expires: 2021-06-01) NYSCAN
Saving a Life EVERY 11 MINUTES
alone I’m never
Life Alert® is always here for me. One touch of a button sends help fast, 24/7. with
from Physicians Mutual Insurance Company.
Call to get your FREE Information Kit
Includes the Participating (in GA: Designated) Providers and Preventive Benefits Rider. Product not available in all states. Acceptance guaranteed for one insurance policy/certificate of this type. Contact us for complete details about this insurance solicitation. This specific offer is not available in CO; call 1-800-969-4781 or respond for similar offer. Certificate C250A (ID: C250E; PA: C250Q); Insurance Policy P150 (GA: P150GA; NY: P150NY; OK: P150OK; TN: P150TN); Rider kinds B438/B439 (GA: B439B). 6255
Prepare for power outages with a Generac home standby generator
Help at Home Help On-the-Go ®
Batteries Never Need Charging.
I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!
For a FREE brochure call:
1-800-404-9776 Your local hometown SunSetter dealer
REQUEST A FREE QUOTE!
Awnings for Every Budget 877-516-1160
Upstate NY’s Largest SunSetter Awning Dealer Since 1984 SEMCO Construction
In our uncertain world order sooner rather than later for summer shade and safe entertaining
7-Year Extended Warranty* A $695 Value!
Awnings Sold and Installed for Every Budget $250 Off Motorized SunSetter Awning Safe remote pricing and ordering available. Phone, text or email.
Offer valid February 15 - June 6, 2021
Special Financing Available Subject to Credit Approval
*To qualify, consumers must request a quote, purchase, install and activate the generator with a participating dealer. Call for a full list of terms and conditions.
Ma r ch
315-330-0326 | 585-317-4791 email@example.com
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For rates and information contact Toni Crouch at firstname.lastname@example.org
277-7000 p h o n e 277-1012 f a x
A Vibrant, Active Community Center
“The Best Sub You’ve ever had!” $5.00 off any purchase at
For Learning, Activities, Social Groups And More! For Adults 50+
119 West Court St., Ithaca
with Community Cash Coupon 222 Elmira Rd. Ithaca
Engaging, Inclusive Officiating... ... to create a unique, fulfilling and unforgettable ceremony that is both a Farewell Gift to the one who has passed on, and a Forever Gift to loved ones and friends.
AAM ALL ABOUT MACS Macintosh Consulting
REAL LIFE CEREMONIES
http://www.allaboutmacs.com (607) 280-4729
Every life story deserves to be told, and told well. Steve Lawrence, Celebrant 607-564-7149
*Acupuncture Works* Peaceful Spirit Acupuncture Anthony R. Fazio, L.Ac., D.A.O.M.(c) www.peacefulspiritacupuncture.com
FILM PRODUCER SEEKS VOLUNTEERS TO HELP PRODUCE NO-BUDGET FILM(S) Work to be done is way before film shoot(s). Organized, reliable, serious only.
ANIMALS LAND & SEA
FingerLakesAnimalRights.org CLEANING SERVICES RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL
FREE BREAK CHECK Brakes feeling spongy? Stop in for a FREE Brake Check
JANITORIAL* FLOOR * CARPET
334 Elmira Rd 607-882-6816
INDEPENDENCE CLEANERS CORP 607-227-3025 / 607-697-3294
FREE TAX PREP
for Seniors 60+ Individuals with Disabilities Single Incomes below $35,000 Families Incomes below $57,000 IRS trained and certified volunteers Taxes will be prepared virtually at
PIANOS Rebuilt, Reconditioned, Bought, Sold, Moved Tuned, Rented Complete Rebuilding Services No job too big or too small
Ithaca Piano Rebuilders
950 Danby Rd, Suite 26
Delivered to your inbox every day Ithaca Times Daily Text ITHACA to 22828 to Sign up
Looking to Boost your 2021 Business?
South Hill Business Campus, Ithaca
REDUCE YOUR HEATING BILL A FULL LINE OF VINYL REPLACEMENT WINDOWS.
Call Larry at 607-277-7000 ext 214
Call for Free Estimate & Professional Installation
Ithaca.com & Ithaca Times
SOUTH SENECA VINYL
Find out about great advertising ad packages at
Men’s and Women’s Alterations for over 20 years Fur & Leather repair, zipper repair. Same Day Service Available
Custom made & Manufactured by
Romulus, NY 315-585-6050 or 866-585-6050 www.SouthSenecaWindows.com
John’s Tailor Shop John Serferlis - Tailor 102 The Commons 273-3192
No Health Insurance? No Problem!
YOUR CBD STORE The only dedicated retail store for all things CBD 308 E. Seneca Street * Ithaca 845-244-0868
Free Medical and Holistic Care!
Medicaid Enrollment & Medical Debt Advocacy Ithaca Free Clinic (607)330-1254 521 West Seneca Street |www.ithacahealth.org Oil Change $19.99 Includes oil & filter 4 tire rotation & brake check with Community Cash Coupon Ithaca Auto Service 607-220-9183
Your Go-To Oil Change Stop Most Trusted Oil Change in Ithaca Oil & Filter Change Everyday low Price includes up to 5 gls conventional oil
DRIVE WITH US! OPEN INTERVIEWS!! APRIL 6 & 8 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Call for Info: 607-274-2128
334 Elmira Rd. 607-882-6816
150 Bostwick Road
Negotiated Wage and Health Benefits | NYS Retirement Pension Program | CDL/Paid Training | Equal Opportunity Employer ICSD is committed to equity,inclusion, and building a diverse staff. We strongly encourage applications from candidates of color. I C S D Tr a n s p o r t a t i o n S e r v i c e s 20 T
Ithac a T imes
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Diversity Enriches our workplace