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1,500 call For resignation PAGE 3
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VOL.XLI / NO. 11 / November 4, 2020 Serving 47,125 readers week ly
Building Ithaca����������������������������� 8 IAED has a hand in it all.
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Police arrest suspect in racist graffiti case, find explosive materials
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ART S & E N T E RTAINME N T Film������������������������������������������������������������� 13 Art............................................................... 14 Dining�������������������������������������������������������� 15 TimesTable������������������������������������������������17 Classifieds������������������������������������������18-20
thaca police have arrested an unnamed person on multiple counts of fourthdegree criminal mischief as a hate crime after anti-Semitic graffiti and posters were posted around downtown. They also found explosive materials in the suspect’s residence. On Oct. 20, the police department received a complaint from a local business about anti-Semitic hate speech being written on a sign, and further investigation revealed the business owner was specifically targeted on the basis of religion. In the days following, the department received several other reports of hateful activity, including anti-Semitic posters being put up in public locations, anti-Semitic graffiti/ vandalism, and the vandalization of a second business due to the owner’s religion. On Oct. 27, Ithaca police officers identified a suspect in the above crimes. Subsequent investigations, including the execution of a search warrant at the suspect’s residence, yielded alarming evidence: more hate posters and numerous items consistent with explosives, such as fuse wire, caps, a timer, tubing and an undisclosed amount of a powdered chemical. Additionally, officers found rifle parts at a separate, undisclosed location. IPD was assisted by the New York State Police and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Chief Dennis Nayor stated that his department will not stand for hate in Ithaca. “There is no tolerance for any acts of targeted hatred and
Cover: Photo: Casey Martin, Design: Marshall Hopkins
A screenshot from the video shows Deputy Police Chief Vincent Monticello arresting a protester for obstruction, after the protester blocked a squad car from responding to a "shots fired" call.
Petition circulating calling for resignation of IPD deputy chief
fter the Oct. 22 arrests of protesters in Ithaca and the use of pepper spray on the group, 1,484 people have signed a petition calling for the resignation of Deputy Police Chief Vincent Monticello. "We the people of Ithaca implore each other to protect one another by disempowering this police member who willfully disobeyed his own call of duty and endangered Ithacan citizens that night with his reckless, violent, and discriminatory behavior," the petition states. The petition includes video that shows Monticello defending a man who told a Black protester to "just die, go kill yourself," telling the protester that his group was the one agitating the situation. Mon-
ticello then arrested the Black protester for "obstruction." The person filming the video continually asks why the protester is being arrested, but is told by Monticello to leave or he'll be arrested next. The video then cuts to later in the day outside of the police station, where a small group of protesters is blocking a squad car and demanding the release of the previously arrested protester. That protester blocking the car is then arrested by Monticello as well for obstruction. You can view the full video on the petition's page. That was the impetus for the larger gathering that evening, where protesters descended on the police station and were eventually pepper sprayed. Police put out a press release that night which clarified that
T a k e
▶ COVID exposure - An individual who worked at the Dryden VFW during their infectious period has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Tompkins County Health Department. The individual is a resident of another county, and their county of residence’s Health Department is managing the
they were trying to respond to a shooting when the squad car was blocked earlier that evening. Mayor Svante Myrick said in a statement that he had referred the incident to the independent Community Police Board for investigation to ensure all actions taken were appropriate. Additionally, he has since invited two more groups to review the video footage. "Because there is significant public interest, and because transparency and accountability are the values of our organization, I've also invited the NYS Division of Human Rights and the NYS Attorney General to review the incidents on 10/22/20 from beginning to end. I will let you know if they accept that request," he wrote. -Ta n n e r H a r d i n g
N o t e
contact investigation and will notify all close contacts. Potential public exposures may have occurred at the Dryden VFW, 2272 Dryden Rd., Dryden, NY, on Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., and Oct. 28 from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. The Health Department encourages anyone who was at the VFW during those times to get tested.
▶ Concert series - The final performance on the Cornell Concert Series Fall 2020 Season is on Nov. 11 and features pianist Jeremy Denk. Winner of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. This episode will premiere on CornellConcertSeries.com at 7 p.m., where it will remain viewable for 14 days.
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N e w s l i n e
PHOTOGRAPHER Reed hosts ‘rights and freedom’ rally on Commons amid counter-protest By C a se y Mar tin
IF YOU HAD A CHANCE TO BROADCAST ONE SONG TO ALL THE 7.8 BILLION PEOPLE ON THIS PLANET, WHICH SONG WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
“Imagine. John Lennon” -Deepak S.
“Miles from Nowhere. Cat Stevens” -Kate C.
“One Fine Day. David Byrne”
ongressman Tom Reed met with supporters and protesters on Thursday afternoon on the Commons in a demonstration of unity and courage. However, the rising hostility between left- and right-wing protesters resulted in shoving, blaming and even more division. The rally began at 1:30 p.m. and saw around 20 attendees, including members of the
Tom Reed met with supporters and opposition on the Commons (Photo: Casey Martin)
newly formed Ithaca Pantheras, despite the rainy weather. Counter-protesters held signs behind the congressman and his supporters, one of which most prominently read "LIES," which the congressman attempted to cover to no avail.
After a brief squabble between two pushing-and-shoving veterans, the rally quickly became another one of the many protests Ithaca's been home to over the last several weeks. "The purpose of us coming here is to stand in unity for our rights to express…for those who may disagree with us ...and for those who stand with us …[for] our free speech rights," the congressman said. "As we witnessed here a few weeks ago, we saw on display hatred, acts of intimidation and the attempts to quiet the voices of folks who attended that rally.” Reed went on to mention the attack on his campaign office where a brick was thrown through the office's window during working hours, and a second incident where someone left a dead rat and a brick with his daughter’s name on it at his door, only for it to be discovered by his wife. "We will not be intimidated," shouted Reed, who has attributed the incident to extremism. The congressman took time in his speech to address the pushing and shoving. "This is a marine, who served our country honorably," Reed said of one of his supporters to the struggling counter-protester. "I am too," the protester replied. Reed thanked both for their service and introduced the next speaker, Tricia Turner, Chairwoman of the Ontario County GOP Committee and
Finger Lakes Regional GOP Chair. “This has been a difficult year for all us, Republicans and Democrats," Turner said. "This should be a time of unity for us to come together, but instead we’ve become more divisive, more angry.” She continued "We should be united on bringing our country together, we should be united on defeating a pandemic that has consumed our small businesses and ravaged our country.” Turner blamed bullying, intimidation and “cancel culture” for rising division in the nation, and blamed "one side" in particular for being unable to tolerate individuals’ thoughts and beliefs. "This coming election is not an election of Republicans versus Democrats. It is an election [between] freedom-loving patriots versus people who want to silence our country and extinguish our freedom." Unexpectedly, during the rally, two women asked to read a letter to Reed, who obliged. The women opened the letter by sharing that they were conducting a ceremony of grief and lambasted the congressman for his complicity in the hatred, divisiveness and destruction of life perpetuated by the current presidential administration, they said. The speaker referenced
to the voter,” he said. “It’s more work on our part, but for the turnout, it’s worth it.”
Voters line up ourside Ithaca Town Hall on the first day of early voting, October 24 (Photo: Casey Martin)
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Tompkins County early voting called a massive success “I’d Love to Change The World by Ten Years After. Or, Meat Loaf’s 13 minute live cut of “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)”” -Eli C.
“The Wall pt 2. Pink Floyd” -Sophia L.
Ithac a Times
his year was New York State’s first time offering early voting for a presidential election, and it’s safe to say Tompkins County showed up. According to Board of Elections Co-Commissioner Steve Dewitt, 13,725 people voted early, which exceeded his expectations. “I was thinking about 10,000 people would vote early,” he said. “It was really busy the first four or five days, but then it got a little more manageable.” In addition to early voters, Dewitt said his department had received over 11,000 absentee votes after issuing
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14,919 mail-in ballots. As of Monday, Nov. 2, he said about half of enrolled voters had voted so far. “There are more people voting this year, probably,” he said. While Dewitt can’t quite predict how many voters will show up to the polls on election day, he expects three-quarters of the remaining voters will vote, meaning 21,000 people will vote on Nov. 3. Dewitt said, despite how busy his department had been, it was worth it. “You give people 60 hours over nine days and two locations to vote early, and it’s certainly a great convenience
-Ta n n e r H a r d i n g
N e w s l i n e
Streetery Lives On! The Aurora Streatery (Streetery?) will remain open, with Aurora Street closed to traffic, until Nov. 16. Enjoy the sidewalk dining while you can!
Development not slowing down in Ithaca
West End Mugging The Ithaca Police are investigating another armed robbery after two people were robbed at gunpoint on the 900 block of W. State Street on Nov. 2. Call IPD if you have any information on the crime.
HEARD&SEEN Spring at IC Ithaca College will resume in-person classes on Feb. 8. For more information on the return of students, visit Ithaca.com
he Planning Board had a busy night on Oct. 27, making decisions on a few big projects in Ithaca to keep them headed toward development, including a change to the Vecino Group portion of the Green Street garage project and a new storefront in South Meadow Square.
120 E. Green St. – Asteri Ithaca
The 12-story Green Street garage development received preliminary approval from the board after developers made some adjustments to the plans. One major change is the loss of 36 apartments in the mixed-use building. Vecino Group architect Bruce Adib-Yazdi said, after working with the building’s neighbors at Harolds Square, they had decided to reduce the size of a portion of the building to increase the space between the two buildings. Part of the deal with Harolds Square developers includes plans to develop a third property together on South Hill. There will be no changes to the first three floors of the building, which will house a conference center, 350 public parking spots and a small retail space. Kate Chesebrough of Whitham Planning and Design also outlined some design details, such as constellation-in-
The conference center/residential project at 120 E Green St. removed 36 Apartments from their plans to settle a dispute brought by the neighboring Harolds Square building.
spired lighting, vine-wrapped cables and hot orange planters to contrast with the blue-green gradient on the west face of the garage. “I’m very sorry to lose the units but I think this might be a better building,” board chair Rob Lewis said. “I’m not heartbroken.” Board member Mitch Glass agreed, and applauded the developers for the compromise. “I was worried about that, but good work figuring that out,” he said. The board granted preliminary approval but is waiting for comments from the county before giving final approval, as the 30-day review period is not yet up.
130 Fairgrounds Memorial Parkway - South Meadow Square
James Boglioli from Benderson Development was in front of the board to request approval for a 7,000 square-foot retail/ restaurant building. The building will be freestanding, and will be on the edge of the parking surface, opposite of PetSmart. This building moved swiftly through the review process,
with board members generally happy with the plans, particularly the included patio space. “I really welcome the patio and landscaping on the east elevation,” board member Garrick Blalock said. “It’s better than what we normally see in lots like this. I’ve noticed the patio at the Chipotle is really used well, and gives it more of a Main Street feel, rather than a strip mall feel.” Board members did ask for clarification about crosswalks and bike racks, but were quickly satisfied with Boglioli’s answers. “I totally support this kind of project that uses existing sprawling space to make this part of town more urban,” board member McKenzie Jones said. “You don’t have to add parking, it’s great. We all want this.” The plan received unanimous final approval, contingent on having the lighting plans reviewed and approved before the building permit is issued.
Landscape architect Ed Keppy presented plans for
the Northside Apartments, which will replace the current units. According to Keppy, the group looked at renovating but decided demolishing and rebuilding would make more sense. There will be 82 total units spread between 17 buildings on Hancock St. near the D.M.V. Plaza. Each building will have between two and six units inside, ranging from oneto four-bedroom apartments. There will also be a community building and two playgrounds. Eventually, Keppy said, the project will be seeking rear yard, front yard and parking variances. The units will have patios in the back and porch extensions in the front. Additionally, there will be 82 parking spaces, rather than the technically required 104. The board expressed general support for the plans, but did have a few suggestions. “I’m happy to see this part of the neighborhood be remodeled,” Jones said. “But color variation [of the units’ exteriors] might be nice.” Lewis echoed that wish, but voiced his appreciation for the project. “Anything you can do to break up the design on these units will really make an impact on the quality of this development,” he said. “But it’s
VoteTober! Long lines of voters waited to take advantage of early voting, all appropriately distanced from one another and wearing masks. Good job, Ithaca.
IF YOU CARE TO RESPOND to something in this column, or suggest your own grievances or praise, write email@example.com, with a subject head “U&D.”
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Did you vote early? 77.4% Yes. 3.8% Vote early for what? 18.9% No.
N ext Week ’s Q uestion :
How are you holding up? Visit ithaca.com to submit your response.
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It h ac a T im e s 5
Cuomo ends travel advisory list, switches to new policy
ov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York will discontinue its COVID-19 Travel Advisory list and, instead, require people arriving from other states to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken prior to arriving in New York. With the exception of residents from Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the new quarantine policy mandates anyone entering New York state to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken at least three days prior to arriving in New York. The guidance then requires an additional three-day quarantine post-arrival. Individuals who refuse to or cannot provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test are required to quarantine for 14 days after entering NY. The first test merely allows arrivals the ability to “test out” of the two week quarantine period. The governor also outlined new travel guidelines for New Yorkers returning from travel outside of the state as well. New Yorkers who spend 24 hours or less in another state are encouraged to get a COVID-19 test no more than four days after returning. New Yorkers who’ve spent longer than 24 hours in another non-contiguous state must follow the same rules as non-residents prior to returning back to
Ithac a Times
the state — that includes obtaining a negative COVID-19 test result three days prior to arrival in New York. The announcement came as the state reported around 47,500 new infections in October, nearly double its September total (24,500). Tompkins County Health Department now reports 56 active COVID cases as of Nov. 2, down from 87 cases seen early last week. It is unclear how the measures will be enforced or which department will be in charge of keeping track of the cases. Cuomo said enforcement would be up to New York local health departments and airports. Cars travel freely across the state line daily. Travelers by plane, train and bus are told they have to quarantine based on their point of origin, but it isn’t clear how substantial follow-up is. Cuomo has also urged New Yorkers to avoid non-essential travel—even to the three bordering states. With Thanksgiving approaching, Cuomo stressed the need for the new travel policy. "Just because they're your family, doesn't mean they're safe from COVID," he said.
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Winning Ways “T
By St e ph e n P. Bu r k e ell me something I don’t know” is a reasonable request of a reader to a newspaper writer, but one we can’t fulfill this week with a subject of winners and losers. One of the subjects is an event and an outcome that everyone already knows, if they care, from the world of sports: the World Series. The other is an event that has not yet transpired with the writing of this column, but will by the time it’s published, yet even then the outcome will be unknown: the presidential election. Despite the differing fields of engagement I feel similarities between these two contests, especially as a New Yorker. New York baseball fans, whether of the Mets or Yankees, had a hard time rooting for anyone last month in the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League and the Tampa Bay Rays of the American League. A fan whose team does not reach the World Series should, with good sporting blood, root for its league’s representative. But this was difficult for New York fans with the Dodgers. Only the most veteran fans will personally remember when the Dodgers abandoned Brooklyn for L.A. in 1958. But everyone still minds it. The enmity was freshened in 2015 when, in a championship series between the Dodgers and Mets, a Dodger runner broke the leg of a Met fielder 40 pounds lighter with a dirty slide of a type since specifically banned by the rules. Too late for the fielder, little Ruben Tejada, but the Mets did win the series. (“Cheaters never prosper,” as we used to say in Brooklyn schoolyards.) Yankee fans found it hard to root for the Rays because not only has Tampa Bay replaced the Boston Red Sox as the Yanks’ most hated rivals (they had beanball wars this year), but they are better. (Right: I am a Met fan.) The late, great New York writer A.J. Liebling wrote frequently about boxing in its mid-20th century heyday and said he remembered the first time he heard a heckler yell toward the ring, “I hope yiz bot’ get knocked out.” Liebling said he considered this a cunning phrase, applicable to many situations, but the only trouble is it never happens. The presidential election of 2016 was just this kind of circumstance, when both major party candidates had unfavorable ratings among the majority of voters. The nation subsequently saw what trouble can come from not enough people (at least in key states) deciding upon a lesser of two
evils, or better of two unfavorables, rather than ignoring the contest and declining to vote. The fact remains that, no matter one’s disdain, they can’t both get knocked out, and someone is going to win. Writing now, just before Election Day 2020, it will probably be a while before we know the results, as the vote count will certainly be hampered by logistical issues caused by the pandemic, and then, very likely, legal ones initiated by whomever seems to have lost. Many Ithacans I know were disappointed this year when Joe Biden became the Democratic nominee instead of Bernie Sanders, just as in 2016, when it was Hillary Clinton instead of Sanders. One hopes that neither time did our locals thwart democracy by sitting out the election and rooting for a mutual knockout or some other impossible fantasy. Of course, except for form and conscience, it generally doesn’t matter how many Ithaca or New York individuals vote in a presidential race. The Democrat will win the state and its electoral votes. Where it matters is in swing states like our neighbor, Pennsylvania, which has a lot of electoral votes and is politically very divided. There’s no civil reason to begrudge or deny a Republican voter their choice, although for their part the Republican establishment has taken serious steps to suppress voting, especially in Democratic strongholds. (But as Michelle Obama famously said of the difference between the two parties, “When they go low, we go high.”) Democrats are challenged with combating these steps. The party also needs to address the issue of people who can readily vote, but don’t. In Pennsylvania in 2016, Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by fewer than 50,000 votes. Meanwhile, more than 3.5 million eligible voters in the state did not vote. Ithaca fits the profile of places with high voter turnout, with below-average rates of poverty and unemployment and above-average rates of education. While Ithacans’ individual votes might not matter much (at least not nationally), an increase in our citizen action to promote and protect voting can. This region was historically important in the last century in extending voting rights to women. We have a chance, if not an obligation, to build on that status today. Again, despite journalistic norms, I hope and trust I’m not telling you something you don’t know.
PLANNING PROJECTS Contin u ed From Page 5
a good project.” Jones also asked about the current tenants of the building, and where they’ll go during the phased construction. Keppy clarified that each tenant will receive a tenant protection voucher, as well as get a priority preference for returning to the completed project. He said the current plan is to move out half of the families, renovate those units, and then do the other half.
410 E. State St. apartments
The board declared lead agency on the McKinley Development Company’s State Street apartments proposal. The design would have 240,000 square feet of residential space that included 346 units, and 100,000 square feet of parking space, with over 300 parking spots. “Given its location in proximity to the Commons and its visibility on State Street, it was a prime development opportunity to develop a first class apartment community to serve the Ithaca market,” McKinley president Jeff Githens said.
The project will sit along the Six Mile Creek, and Githens said the plans will give access to and improve the creek walk. Board members had plenty of comments on the project, but they all seemed to agree on one thing: it’s big. “This seems to be the largest scale in the city so far in some ways,” Jones said. “It’s a significant project.” Board member Elisabete Godden agreed. “It’s astounding,” she said. “It’s really big.” However, members were generally supportive of the idea and suggested different design materials to give the industrial-inspired building a lighter feel. And Blalock said this was one of the easiest areas in the city to get away with a building of this size. “It’s a good place to have housing, and the topography makes a large building look smaller,” he said. “It’s great to have density without feeling overwhelmed by mass. There’s lots to like about the project.” The board did express concerns about traffic and design, but took the first cautious steps forward by declaring itself lead agency. -Ta n n e r H a r d i n g
TOM REED Contin u ed From Page 4
an Oct. 17 Facebook post made by Reed. Reed's post called on constituents to work towards unity and evoked the memory of deceased Congressperson and Civil Right activist John Lewis. The speaker called Reed a hypocrite for failing to unite the district and stand up against racism and violence during his term. "Tell us Representative Reed," she said, "how you have stood up against extremism and violence. It is extreme to put children in cages. It is extreme to witness the president engaging in sexual violence against women and do nothing. It is extreme to deprive people of a particular religion of their basic human rights. It is extreme to remove long held environmental protections in favor of corporate profit...It is extreme to be silent when police shoot Black and brown men, women and children with impunity. You clearly support extreme violence, Representative Reed, and it is unacceptable." Reed accepted the letter. "I carry [John Lewis'] legacy in my heart," said Reed. "I stand firm against violence. I stand firm against extremism. You may not think that I do but I'm telling you and looking you in the eye right now, I have shown in my record, day in and day out, that I will stand against racism. I have spoken up against extremism of all sorts on both sides, that's why I'm standing here today with you." Afterwards, the group marched from Aurora Street to City Hall chanting "stand up for free speech," "freedom" and "democracy" to hand deliver an American flag, but were impeded by counter-protesters who took an alternate route to the City
Hall and proceeded to block access into the building. One counter protester burned a miniature flag on the steps of City Hall before Reed, who was holding one of his own. "We are one nation, the United States of America," Reed said. After around 10 minutes waiting outside City Hall, during which Reed twice passed by counter-protesters and approached the locked doors, the rally was over. According to Reed, Mayor Svante Myrick "refused to receive the American flag." Prior to the rally, Myrick released a statement he'd sent to Reed, thanking the congressman for his gift, but refusing the offer citing that "the City has little need of another." "We do though, desperately need help from you and from Congress. The federal response to the pandemic has been wholly inadequate. And the fears I shared with you repeatedly in the spring have all come true," wrote Myrick. The congressman took to Twitter to respond to the lockout. He claimed to have reached out to the mayor multiple times to participate in the event, that the mayor deliberately ignored him and that the mayor sent someone to lock the doors. Myrick said all three claims were false, and that nobody can enter City Hall without an appointment. City Hall has been closed to the public since March. -Glenn Epps
Re: Proud boys come to Ithaca
THE TALK AT
YOUR LETTERS The mayor
nfortunately, our mayor cannot accept a symbol of unity from a political rival. What do we expect from a mayor who has never attended a veterans parade in Ithaca? And he doesn’t even understand the significance of what this flag represents for those who have served valiantly for him and our proud country. -Charles Harrington, Vietnam Veterans Chapter 377, Ithaca, NY
There is no room for hate
ow sad it was to learn that some of our Downtown businesses were targeted by perpetrators of hate crimes in recent days. Hate-laced graffiti and posters might seem petty and small to some, but they convey intimidation, racism, and disrespect for the rights of others. There is no place for such actions here in Downtown or anywhere else in our community. How disappointing it is that a few people can sow the seeds of division and disrespect. Our businesses are community members just like you and me; they merit our respect and do not deserve intimidation and hate. We join with the good people of our community who will not tolerate hate. Here in Ithaca and Tompkins County we celebrate diversity and pursue inclusion. We respect free speech and invite free expression of ideas and petitions, but we do so in ways that honor and respect each other…. regardless of race, regardless of religion, regardless of gender and sexual orientation. Downtown is our community’s living room. It’s where we come to celebrate, to express joy or to petition grievance, where we come to enjoy each other’s company, to shop and dine, and to entertain ourselves. When you come Downtown we ask you to respect each other; to leave hate behind. We want and will strive for a community free of hate, of racism, of disrespect for our neighbor. -Gary Ferguson, Downtown Ithaca Alliance RACIST GRAFFITI Contin u ed From Page 3
bigotry in our community,” he said. “We at the Ithaca Police Department will always put all resources and energies toward addressing such incidents, and as a result, we were able to quickly identify the person involved and prevent any further criminal acts from occurring. No ve m b e r
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find it interesting that the group denouncing violence and hate is also the group that promotes the violence and hate. It is the antifa and blm [sic] that is causing chaos, violence, obstruction and assaults. Proud boys and the kkk [sic] aren’t even demonstrating any violence. In fact, the kkk is nowhere in sight and the proud boys aren’t a hate group. Keep coddling the instigators Ithaca, it will prove to be detrimental to business and innocent residents. -John Butler via Ithaca.com How sad it is that those of us who appreciate what the women and men in blue do to protect our safety and ability to walk the streets free from gunshots and violently inclined people, who rescue people in trouble and risk their lives, are met with signs calling them KKK and fascists. The vast majority of police are decent men and women who do a difficult job and should be applauded, not condemned. We are not fascists or KKK, but those who use words like that to describe those who differ with them are the fascists. Kudos to Rocco Lucente for leading this demonstration of support. Wish I'd had the courage to join with him. Guess in the eyes of Antifa and the like that will label me as deplorable, but all lives do matter: blue lives, Black lives, native American lives, latino lives, and yes, even white lives do matter, and matter equally. -Henry Kramer, via Ithaca.com
Re: The Candidates Are: District 58 Senate Race
ood points by both candidates. I like the graduated scale idea for Medicaid instead of the all-or-none approach we have...I also think provider reimbursement needs to improve; Leslie's suggestion of getting rid of the for-profit middle man for Medicaid makes sense and I can attest to the problems with that system as a provider myself… -Scott Noren, via Ithaca.com
Write to us! Say something or respond to an article by writing firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
The investigation is ongoing, and the above charges will be filed shortly. At this time the suspect is not out in the community; further details will be released in a subsequent media release as soon as possible. Staff R eports
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Building Ithaca Ithaca Area Economic Development has helped shape both the city’s skyline and job market
By Ta n n e r H a r di ng
rom her office on the fourth floor of the Gateway building, Heather McDaniel has a view of much of downtown Ithaca. The ever-changing skyline is bolstered by the near-constant construction of new developments. It’s a view that McDaniel can take a lot of credit for. As the president of Ithaca Area Economic Development (known as Tompkins County Area Development until recently), she’s had a hand in many of the projects and businesses that have grown in Ithaca in the past 13 years, from the Hilton Garden Inn on E. Seneca Street to Emmy’s Organics, a local manufacturer whose goods are found in stores across the U.S. and Canada. Ithaca Area Economic Development (IAED) has been operating since 1964. According to McDaniel, the mission is to “help businesses start here, stay here and grow here.” The non-profit offers a range of services, including administering tax incentives, providing loans to start-ups, and even acting as a type of liaison for local businesses who are looking for resources. “The range is quite broad, because the organization essentially operates the Industrial Development Agency, and the IDA uses various techniques to invest in larger projects,” Larry Baum, chair of the Board of Directors, said. McDaniel said the organization has been working in collaboration with the city for some time in an effort to increase density and promote a more vibrant and active downtown. “That contributes to the quality of life and it’s part of the reason people want to move here and be here,” she said. Because of the range of projects IAED works on, some are easier to spot than others. On a walk through the Commons and the downtown core, you’re almost always 8 T
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looking at something the organization had a hand in. The larger developments in town, like Harolds Square, the Marriott and City Centre, plus projects currently undergoing the review process like the Green Street ga-
rage towers and conference center, have all been made possible by the IDA’s tax abatement program that IAED helps facilitate. Essentially, the program grandfathers developers into their property tax burdens
H e at h e r M c Da n i e l l o o k s o u t o n t o t h e c i t y f r o m I A E D ’s o f f i c e . Th e n e w ly r e - b r a n d e d o r g a n i z at i o n a i m s t o b e t t e r r e f l e c t i t ’s w o r k-a n d av o i d c o n f u s i o n w i t h T C AT. (C a s e y M a r t i n)
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over a seven-to-10-year period. The first year, they pay the same property tax that the property was most recently valued at, and then that amount increases year after year, until finally the developer is paying the full property tax amount for the building. According to McDaniel, the Mariott is a good example of this. Before they built the hotel, the property was a vacant piece of land worth $4,000. The value of that building is now more than $18 million. “When we started abating the new value, they paid $100,000 in property taxes, and that number will go up over 10 years until they’re paying full taxes,” McDaniel said. And that’s not to mention, she added, the 75 full-time jobs created. However, nothing is without controversy, and there are some Ithacans who are against the tax abatement program. But McDaniel argues that IAED helps facilitate inevitable growth in the most responsible way possible. “Change happens whether we plan for it or not,” she said. “The city of Ithaca has done a good job with updating their plan and zoning to see development happen responsibly downtown. IDA has helped implement that mission.” As for Baum, he said without the tax abatement program those projects wouldn’t have happened at all, as the dense downtown core isn’t a cheap place for developers to build. “People view [tax abatements] as a giveaway to people who would be able to afford to do a project anyway,” he said. “But what we learn as we dig in and understand the numbers is those kinds of projects would go elsewhere […] Many times developers wouldn’t come to this community […] These kinds of projects are good for employment, good for the community and
bring in far more property tax than not having them would.” He also pointed out that the abatements run seven to 10 years, but the projects have a 50-to-70-year life span, so it provides a long-term gain. “People look at this in the very short run, but economic development has a long horizon,” he said. “We don’t do this just for us; we do it for our kids and our grandkids.” Mayor Svante Myrick, who sits on the Board of Directors, agrees that the city will see the benefits in the long-term, as more housing in the downtown core will in turn bring rent prices down. “We don’t have enough housing in the city, and what that means is the people with the fewest resources get excluded,” he said. “When demand exceeds supply, that drives rent up. But where there’s an excess of housing, the rents are very cheap […] So the only way to do that, especially for satisfying demand and retaining the character of historic neighborhoods like East Hill, is to build housing in the core of the city.” Myrick recognizes that people don’t like change, but said it beats the alternative. “The downsides that come from economic growth we can manage a lot better than the downsides that come from stagnation and a decaying economy,” he said. He added the working relationship between the city and IAED is a good one, with open lines of communication and shared goals. “There are economic development organizations in every county in the state, and ours is the best,” he said. “The professionalism, the expertise, the sensitivity to local vision…they’re extremely good at their job.” To his point, IAED is one of only 71 organizations in the world, and the first in New York State, to receive Accredited Economic Development Organization status from the International Economic Development Council. The accreditation program is a rigorous and comprehensive peer review process that measures economic development organizations against professional standards. McDaniel said in her first year at IAED, getting that accreditation was one of her goals. “We said we’re going to work toward that, and it was about an 18-month process,” she said. In 2019, IAED reported to have created 54 new jobs, worked on 23 new projects and retained 159 jobs. The interesting thing about IAED’s work, according to both McDaniel and Baum, is that every project, and
the services the organization provides to it, is different. For example, IAED delivered a tax abatement package for the affordable housing units at 327 W. Seneca St., an incentive package for the purchase and renovation of a building in Dryden for Emmy’s organics, and a sales tax incentive for the renovation of a building in the Cornell
Business and Technology Park for start-up companies Conamix and Ecolectro. IAED also has a revolving loan fund program, which was designed to serve the needs of early stage companies. For instance, South Hill Cider received a $75,000 loan for the construction of a production facility and tasting room, while the Rosie
F r o m To p t o B o t t o m : I A E D h a s w o r k e d w i t h It h ac a B e e r f o r s e v e r a l y e a r s . Th e o r g a n i z at i o n h e l p e d Th e r m r e l o c at e t o i m p r ov e e f f i e n c y. I A E D h e l p e d fac i l i tat e a ta x a b at e m n t p r o g r a m f o r It h ac a A r t h au s at 1 3 0 C h e r ry S t. ( P h o t o s : P r ov i d e d) No ve m b e r
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app received $100,000 to work on growing existing wholesale partnerships to accelerate the platform’s rollout. Additionally, IAED facilitates the Tompkins County Tourism Capital Grants program, which is funded by the county’s room occupancy tax, and last year helped distribute $200,000 to local programs, such as Friends of Stewart Park, the Hangar Theatre and Ithaca Farmer’s Market. Of the myriad projects McDaniel has worked on, she points to the Transonic Systems project she was part of shortly after starting at IAED as the project closest to her heart. Transonic was founded in 1983 and manufactures ultrasonic and laser Doppler blood flowmeters for medical research, intraoperative surgical use, and clinical patient monitoring. In order to expand, the company needed a sewer line. McDaniel said she spent the better part of three years working with the town, engineers and abutters to put together a small sewer district to extend the sewer line. “They were founded here, their world headquarters are here,” she said. “We were able to get some state funding to reduce the costs of that construction and they were able to expand.” In March, McDaniel said everything came to a screeching halt with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. IAED had to work with the state to at least allow one site to finish the roof so that it wasn’t damaged by snow and rain after construction was forced to stop for an indefinite amount of time. Luckily, building was able to resume and ramp up over a period of several months and, for the most part, things are back in full swing. Harolds Square recently took down its construction fencing, and, if recent Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals meetings are any indication, development is still thriving in Ithaca. Baum lauded McDaniel and the rest of the IAED team for how it managed to adapt and keep moving forward during unprecedented times. “They have been resilient, creative and forward-looking all during this year,” he said. “It’s been wonderful to watch. They continue to say, ‘OK here’s where we are and here’s where the opportunities are. We can make this community recover better than it was.’” For McDaniel, all the work is worth it to make Ithaca “a place where people can work and play and live.” “My view has certainly changed,” she said. “I love looking out and seeing all my projects. It makes me smile.”
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By Ste ve L aw re nc e
t is not unusual for a story to generate a fair amount of feedback, but I rarely write a column that generates its own string of follow-up stories. Once again, thank you Michaela and Vicki Brew, as the story about your bicycle adventures around all 11 Finger Lakes has spawned yet another column. The first spin-off column featured the “mother/daughter” theme, and highlighted the 200-consecutive-day hiking odyssey undertaken by Amy and Elizabeth Dawson. This week’s column revisits the “all 11 Finger Lakes” theme, and while this particular effort was completed some time ago, it, too, has a lasting influence on a local family (and will likely result in another story at some point). When reading about Michaela and Vicki’s ride around all 11 Finger Lakes, I – like many others – thought about how many of the lakes I have driven around in
Photo caption: A family affair: Carol and Bill Burr, Ryan and Andy Sciarbba
a car or on my motorcycle. I have some vivid memories of some of the spectacular views and long, lonely stretches, but I willingly admit that I am not as intimately familiar with the lakes as Andy Sciarabba is, given he walked around each lake. Go ahead, read that again… Andy told me: “My father-in-law, Bill Burr, got me into hiking, and in 2011 I decided to Rollerblade from Trumansburg to Ithaca. A lot of it was uphill, so I took off the Rollerblades and started walking. It was then that I decided to hike around Cayuga Lake, and that winter I planned to load up my backpack, take my tent and do it. My wife said, ‘Well, you have done crazier things. Go for it.’”
“That effort,” Andy said, “was a complete failure and an eye-opener.” Asked to elaborate, he stated: “I was a novice hiker, I had a 50-pound pack, it was 85 degrees, I did not yet know how to take care of my feet, and a day and a half later and 15 miles north I was in a ditch with bad blisters and on the verge of heat stroke.” Sounds fun… Humbled, Andy said, “I called my wife, I went home, and eventually finished the hike in segments.” Soon thereafter, Sciarabba said, “I set a goal, and it was ‘11 by 50,’ as I would attempt to finish all eleven lakes before I turned 50 years old. In 2017, on my 50th birthday, I took my last step as I finished a 4-day Canandaigua Lake hike.”
I asked if he had gotten smarter after that first debacle, and he said, “Well… somewhat. I did, however, somehow think there were only five Finger Lakes…” I also asked Andy to describe the other end of the pendulum, so to speak, and he said, “Lake # 7 – Seneca Lake – was my redemption hike for Cayuga. I took 8 days to complete it, and I had learned to use lightweight gear and to protect my feet. I learned that there are no continuous trail systems around the lakes – just way too much road walking – and you learn to live with blisters.” He also looked back with fondness at some of the hospitality he was shown during that hike. “I did have my tent,” Andy said, “but I slept on an Amish Farm, in the peach orchard at Fulkerson Winery – so it wasn’t a ‘Man vs. Wild’ thing.” I asked Scirabba (who earns his living as a civil engineer) if he has racked up any big hikes since completing that impressive “11 by 50,” and he said, “No, a torn meniscus in 2018 put any hiking on hold, but I started writing a book about my adventure last year.” He also conveyed his pride that his 20 year-old son, Ryan, is making setting hiking goals a three-generation thing. Ryan, Andy and Bill have done some hikes on the Appalachian Trail and in the Smoky Mountains, and Ryan has also been bitten by the Big Goal bug. “Ryan hiked Canadice Lake with me in 2014,” Andy offered, “and he has been hiking sections of the Finger Lakes Trail. He also has a goal of ‘46 by 30,’ to hike the 46 high peaks of the Adirondacks before he is 30.”
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Laurin Ramsey uses an old-school printing press to create calendars, cards and more.
By Arleigh Rodgers
aurin Ramsey is slowing down. With a daughter on the way and a global pandemic to navigate, Ramsey’s work at Liontail Press has shifted to a less pressing part of her mind. Liontail Press is a design and print shop in Ithaca that Ramsey opened in 2015, when she moved to Ithaca from Brooklyn, New York. Growing weary of the latter city, she packed
her things and started a new life in a place she had only visited a few times with a former partner. Now she lives with her fiance, Justin Roeland, and spends time caring for her friend Jenny Stockdale’s daughter, Gretta, three times a week. She said that the pandemic and her pregnancy have changed her production schedule and decreased her visits as a vendor to the Ithaca Farmers Market. She has found her year, since March, to be a moment to refocus on the important things in her life, like family and friends. When she found out she was pregnant in June, this feeling was only solidified, she said. “There's so many things besides the pandemic that have been happening this year, just regarding relationships with other people,” she
said. “There's so many ways that we need to support each other.” Ramsey’s love for printmaking originated with her maternal grandparents, whom she said acted as a second set of parents to her while she was growing up in Atlanta, Georgia. Her grandparents owned a print shop, and in particular her grandfather, William, guided her through the press and taught her how to operate it. She then studied printmaking and art education while minoring in women’s studies and psychology at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. She recalled the sharp smells of ink and rubber and the metallic clangs of her grandfather’s press.
continued on page 16
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An Old Art Form
I t h a c a T i m e s 11
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ccording to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu vaccination is more important to get now than ever. CDC recommends getting the flu shot for the 2020-2021 year in order to reduce the burden of healthcare systems treating patients with COVID-19. People are encouraged to get their flu vaccination becausereducing your risk of getting the flu keeps your immune system, and particularly respiratory system, strong in case you contract COVID. Samantha Hilson, a spokesperson for the Tompkins County Health Department said the department recommends everyone six months old and over should get vaccinated every year against the flu. “Many signs and symptoms of flu can come on suddenly and closely resemble those of COVID-19,” she said. “They include fever, cough, sore throat and muscle aches. This year we want people to avoid getting the flu so that we are not unnecessarily placing individuals in isolation or quarantine while waiting for COVID-19 test results.” Hilson sad that at this time the Health Department is not scheduling flu shots or other immunizations at their clinic due to the COVID-19 response, but that residents can call their primary care provider, 2-1-1, or their pharmacy for information on getting a shot. Additionally, you can visit VaccineFinder.org to find a location near you. As of Oct. 23, 164.7 million flu vaccinations have been distributed. Many pharmacies are providing flu shots and encouraging people to get vaccinated. To better serve Ithaca residents, pharmacies have been taking several proactive measures to meet the needs of patients. For instance at Walgreens, these measures include increasing flu vaccine supply and meeting or exceeding CDC and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines for safety and precautions with additional measures in place. They are also performing patient screenings and temperature checks, as well as requiring pharmacy team members to wear face masks and face shields while administering an immunization, and
cleaning and disinfecting the immunization area after the patient has left. Alexandra Brown, a media relations spokesperson for Walgreens, added that the stores updated their policy to allow pharmacy team members to administer flu vaccines to children age 3 and up in most states. Depending on the store location, pharmacy team members are distributing flu shot clinics in-store or with a tent outside the store. Cornell University is requiring Ithaca-based students to receive a flu shot as part of its COVID-19 behavior compact, with exceptions only being made for medical, religious or extenuating circumstances. The school partnered with Wegmans to provide oncampus flu vaccine clinics, as the deadline for students to receive a vaccine was Oct. 24, though three more clinics were added for the month of November. Additional clinics are Nov. 4, Nov. 9 and Nov. 18. A Wegmans spokesperson echoed the sentiment that this year was more important than ever for flu shots. “The safety of our customers and employees remain our top priority,” Marcie Rivera said. “We've enhanced sanitation of high-contact touch points throughout the stores and between each immunization, our pharmacists are wearing additional protective gear when administering flu shots, and we have streamlined the process to reduce the number of touchpoints when customers come in to receive their vaccine.” And it appears the emphasis on the flu shot has been working, as CVS Senior Director and Corporate Communications spokesperson Mike DeAngelis said they’ve administered double the flu shots so far that they normally do. “Due to high demand, this season to date we’ve administered about 10 million flu shots in our pharmacies and retail clinics,” he said. “We expect to administer 18 million flu shots for the entire season, which would be twice as many as last season.” The best time to get your flu shot is normally during September and October, but it is not too late to get your flu shot today. Look up your local pharmacy and make your flu vaccination appointment now.
eclectic across the board. I’ll tell you something I really liked, which is “The Octopus Teacher” on Netflix. Ohh…incredible photography of this octopus, and its relationship with the man who’s taking the footage. The trust that slowly develops between the guy who is basically free-diving — he’s not wearing an aqualung, because the noise of it would be off-putting. He’s become like a fish. He develops his ability to hold his breath for a long time. IT: Got one more? BTS: Well, the golden oldies are worth revisiting. My wife and I have been revisiting a whole lot of classic American musicals that you can find on Prime, “Oklahoma!” being one. It’s an interesting piece because you look at it with revisionist eyes now, compared to what its sensibility was in the ‘50s when it was made. And the classic Disney “Mary Poppins” — not the remake. Disney allowed a great deal of criticism of the banking industry, and of cold-blooded bankers in the scenes with all these stiff, regimented bankers in the last half of “Mary Poppins.” And I thought, “Wow, that’s pretty interesting for him, in his way, to do that, because he was a staunch, right-wing conservative. And yet he still allowed criticism of the pursuit of money for its own sake.” The worship of money. He allowed those characters to reflect that criticism of the worship of money. It didn’t occur to me at the time in the ‘60s when I saw it, but retroactively.
(NON) ITHACA CELEBRITY QUARANTINE FILM FESTIVAL 7 BRIAN TRENCHARD-SMITH
T H E BOYS , T H E OCTOPUS T E ACH ER , OK L A HOM A! A N D M A RY POPPI NS By Br yan VanC ampe n
ith the world on lockdown, what are we all watching? This week, I spoke to filmmaker Brian Trenchard-Smith, who has directed movies in just about every genre, from “BMX Bandits” and “Stunt Rock” to “Turkey Shoot” and “Leprechaun 4: In Space.” Brian’s new filmmaking memoir and manual, “Adventures in the B Movie Trade,” is now available on Amazon. Ithaca Times: When I saw your trailer for the book, I got really excited because that first long interview we did, you were just dropping science left and right about smart ways of working with low budgets. Like, you told me how you were able to cover a big meeting around a table with lots of actors and still make your day on your TV movie “DC 9/11: Time of Crisis.” I imagine the book is packed with stuff like that. Brian Trenchard-Smith: It is, it is. I actually go through that particular technique in the book. It’s 580 pages, [of] which maybe close to 200 involve photographs. So it is pretty much the size of a coffee table book. [laughs] It’s quite big. Should you buy it, you’ll see for yourself. IT: When did it occur to you: “I’ve got some wisdom to drop”? BTS: It occurred to me about two years ago. I had a couple of projects that didn’t go forward. I thought, “Okay, I have at least six months ahead of me before something could fall back into place. Why don’t I just write about my experiences?” I thought I would write my experiences for movie geeks and general film fans who always look at the DVD extras. Hopefully it is both educational and amusing. Nobody wants a didactic work. I think it has to be kind of anecdotal but still provide a portrait of what drives a director, and this director in particular. IT: What have you been watching while you’ve been quarantined? BTS: Well, I have been watching “The Boys,” which is on Amazon Prime. It’s this really controversial sci-fi/fantasy series that turns the whole superhero franchise upside down, so the superheroes are, in
fact, part of a whole fascist conspiracy that [laughs] apparently was originally developed by Hitler. [laughs] And they have been genetically altered, they have these superpowers, but they are, in fact, operatives of a giant company. They create super-terrorists so that they can be superheroes and go after the super-terrorists and keep the general public afraid of the super-terrorists. They remain the heroes of the country and of popular culture. And they make movies about themselves, and they have huge merchandising, and they dominate American culture, along with, shall I say, muscular Christianity. All these heroes are Christians. It is basically a way of satirizing the current state of affairs. The Superman avatar, let’s say, in “The Boys”— his name is Homeland, and he can just fly all over the place and he can cut people in half with his laser eyes. And he’s becoming more and more Trump-ian with every
episode. So there’s a great deal of criticism of popular culture and current politics in “The Boys,” and while it steps a little over the line with some of the extreme violence, it is nonetheless a really interesting show with a lot of smart writing. IT: There’s been a lot of good stuff along those lines, like HBO’s “Watchmen” and “The Old Guard” on Netflix. BTS: I liked “The Old Guard.” Well, I love anything [Charlize Theron] does. I loved “Atomic Blonde.” My viewing is
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ocal painters Domenica Brockman and Ileen Kaplan embody some of the challenges and pleasures of “going abstract” in a local culture where abstract painting exists in a strange cultural limbo. Brockman was previously known for her moody, darkening landscapes while Kaplan remains active as a painter of still-lifes and other finely crafted, effusively coloristic representational pieces. Both artists have turned to abstraction in the past few years. Both have shown real ambition in doing so. And yet, both follow well-worn tracks that indicate abstraction’s status as an established— if popularly misunderstood—genre. “Freedom in Constraint,” their twoperson exhibition at Corners Gallery, features new work created by both artists during the current pandemic. Opened in early October, the show will be up at least through the end of November. (The gallery and frame shop remains open by appointment only.) This is their first two-person show and it is a welcome pairing. Brockman’s work is the more challenging of the two: recalling, if hardly resuscitating, abstraction’s radical past. Her current work hearkens back to her training at Cornell under the late Eleanore Mikus, whose painterly minimalism resonates in the work of the younger artist. Working with encaustic (wax paint) on wood panels, Brockman combines insistent geometry and lush painterly surface. Her work continuously shifts, often drastically. Here, she eschews her signature multi-panel configurations. In single-panel pieces such as “Sound of the Ocean” and “Refractions #1,” she moves away from the reductively flat, frontal geometry and limited (often monochrome) palette of much of her recent work. Spiky, faceted shapes, joyously multi-colored, seem to pop out of her bare wood backgrounds. The use of paper collage (though not advertised as such) gives these forms unusually crisp edges. Smaller works in this vein, such as “Glimmer Refraction” and the noctilucent “Bright Spot,” are both playful and intimate. But Brockman’s shows challenge their dominant voice. The white-line-onblack-background designs of panels like “Galileo” and the smaller “Balancing Act” recollect geometric abstraction at its most
austere, while the pie-chart shapes and drier textures of “Periscope” and “Aunket” suggest her interest in the visionary but awkward proto-abstraction of the recentlyrevived Hilma af Klint. While Brockman’s turn to abstraction felt willful, Kaplan’s back-and-forth comes across as more organic. As if to advertise this, she is showing four flower paintings in the windows as an adjunct to the main show. These playfully deconstruct a signature theme: incorporating sketchy drawing, abstract forms and brushwork. As with these florals, Kaplan’s “abstracts”—mostly larger works on canvas as well as small ones on paper—are showily mixed-media, typically combining graphite drawing, pastel, oil and/or acrylic paint, as well as collage and sometimes printed textures. In this and in their domesticated abstract expressionism, they recall the work of former gallery artist Melissa Zarem, sadly missing from the local exhibitions scene for the past few years. Kaplan’s abstract work lacks Zarem’s deeply individual character, the latter’s profoundly sophisticated insouciance. Still, these are engaging, well-made paintings. Larger canvases such as “Dreaming in Red,” “Kiss,” and ”Big.Pink.Bang” combine big, bright shapes with stormy weather. The one-two punch of “Together” and “Calm” plays well with Brockman’s varied contributions. With their pale pink, warm and cool grays, and more geometric approach, they suggest a fruitful direction. Kaplan showed similar work at the State of the Art last fall in a two-person exhibition with fellow gallery member Patricia Brown. While SOAG exhibits typically feature one to four gallery artists, brought together on what often seems an artistically ad hoc basis, owner Ariel Bullion Ecklund’s shows at Corners display a more nuanced curation. While pairing Kaplan with an artist tentatively exploring mixedmedia abstraction makes sense, pairing her with one of Ithaca’s most ambitious abstractionists is more illuminating still. “Freedom” is a classic study in opposites that blur upon closer inspection. One looks forward to the gallery’s latest iteration with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation. Over the past decade, and particularly in this pandemic year, Corners has been a leading—probably the leading—independent local venue for painting and other more traditional “fine arts.” There’s much to be said for seeing high-end works of “craft” in a more formal gallery setting. Still, Ithaca needs a serious white-box gallery more than it does another craft shop; hopefully, Corners will maintain a distinctive course.
Cuppy and Stew
& R E D N E TUARANTEED DELICIOUS
By Jaime C one
civilian attack on a commercial aircraft was unheard of back in the mid 20th century, when Jack Gilbert Graham smuggled a bomb onto United Airlines Flight 629 and killed all 44 people on board, including the intended target, his own mother. The concept was so alien that no one knew how to react— not the legal system, the airlines or, least of all, two teenaged girls who were suddenly orphaned after their parents were killed in the bombing. The lives of those two girls and the complicated life led by their parents before they died is the subject of a new novel by Mecklenburg author Eric Goodman. His wife, Susan Morgan, was the younger of the two girls whose lives were upended when the plane went down over Colorado that day in November 1955. The first part of the book is a historical novel based on the information Goodman could glean about Suzanne Faulds Kerr and Stewart Morgan, aka Cuppy and Stew. Though he has a rough outline of the events of their life together, he filled in many of the blanks with his own imaginings of what might have happened. “Many of the events took place before Susan Morgan the person was alive or could remember,” Goodman explained. “Some of the major beats for the parents’ life we established through research.” What they do know is that the couple moved from Novia Scotia to South Africa in the late 1940s. He was 15 years older than her, and Cuppy was a nickname, short for Cupcake, that Stew bestowed upon her. Susan remembers them being very fond of one another. Unbeknownst to their children, Stew had a second wife whom he left behind. When word broke out that he was living with another woman, his very well-to-do father disowned him. That first half of the book is written in third person, alternating between the point of view of the mother and the father, in the voice of the daughter, who is telling their story. The second half is about Susan and reads much more like a memoir. Some of this story is informed by childhood diaries Susan found in the attic of one of her former homes, of which she had many. “She survived a terrible adolescence,” Goodman said. The bombing threw the lives of her and her sister (who was two years her senior) into utter turmoil; they were shuffled from relative to relative, many of whom were not equipped to suddenly take on the care of two girls. From a 12-year-old’s point of view, the scenario was a nightmare. The bombing made headlines worldwide, not just at the time of the incident but for months and years to come as the perpetrator was identified and his trial progressed. Not only did she lose her parents, but every-
Author Eric Goodman, who resides in Mecklenburg, recently released the historic, partially fictional memoir “Cuppy and Stew,” based on the life of his wife, whose late parents died in the 1955 bombing of United Flight 629 when she was 12 years old. (Photo Provided)
one viewed her as a tragic figure at an age when most girls just want to blend in and be normal. Graham was executed about a year and a half after the plane went down for the murder of his mother, though incredibly he was not charged with the killing the other passengers because air travel was so new there was not a law in the books against bombing an aircraft. A gifted scholar, Susan not only survived but thrived as an adult by repressing many of her most traumatic memories, Goodman said. Relatives viewed her as taking after her very intelligent father, and she went on to earn her PhD from the University of Chicago and a degree from Northwestern as well. Her sister, who did fine in school but was not seen as extraordinary, was not so lucky. She spent her teen years trying to shield her little sister from the harsh realities of the world and ended up being an auto worker who “limped through life,” Goodman said. She was a lesbian who was first married to a man but “had a wonderful partner by her late 70s, so they had a stable life then,” Goodman said. She died about 10 years ago. With her degree, Susan Morgan was a professor at Cornell for a time and continued to work in academics all her life. Goodman said he wanted to tell his wife’s story simply because it is the most compelling story he knows. He and Susan went on a tour of sorts through the characters’ pasts so that he could faithfully recreate Vancouver in the 1930s and the homes where his wife lived growing up. One chapter at the end of the book is the only one that does not fall into chronological order with the rest of the novel. It tells the dramatic story of the bombing itself, giving the reader more insight into what it must have been like for the sisters to be directly connected to the infamous crime; Susan, with the protection of her sister, came out of the experience on a much different trajectory than her sister did. “It’s really about what happens when normalcy gets totally blown up when you’re just a kid and you have to try to deal with it,” Goodman said. “The second half, I hadn’t realized when I started to write it, but it’s the tale of two sisters and how divergent their paths were.”
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LIONTAIL PRESS Contin u ed From Page 11
“Any kind of printmaking is such a sensory experience, and they say that scent is the strongest sense tied to memory,” she said. “It's one of those acquired smells, like people who like the smell of gasoline or something like that.” Ramsey’s grandfather passed away a few months ago after battling Alzheimer’s. Losing someone who had a profound effect on both her life and her drive to start her own business was difficult, Ramsey said, and she felt this way when her grandmother died last year, too. “When [my sister and I] were growing up, we spent so much time with them,” she said. “I took my first steps to him when I was a baby, and he and I have always been just incredibly close, but he was 92. … It doesn't make it too much easier, but it's not a young life lost. It's not a huge tragedy. It's just sad to lose somebody that you love so much.” Ramsey’s studio space is a letterpress shop on Cornell University's campus. She has only one business partner, Heidi. The two traveled from Plattsburgh, New York, to Ithaca after Ramsey met her in a garage print shop. She lifted Heidi into the back of a truck, slowly drove the five-hour trip from Plattsburgh to Ithaca and finally let Heidi rest on the Liontail Press studio floor. At 2,800 pounds, Heidi is the largest addition to Ramsey’s studio — and her most useful.
Laurin Ramsey popular “Finger Lakes” Letterpress Print (Photo: Casey Martin)
Heidi, better known as a Heidelberg Windmill industrial press, emblazons the cotton paper with Ramsey’s designs, ranging from lunar calendars to wedding invitations and cards. Stockdale said Ramsey made bee-inspired memory cards for her husband’s father, a beekeeper who died approximately three years ago. Etched with honeycomb, the cards were mostly white space for attendees to write down a memory and share with his family. Stockdale is the associate director of marketing and communications at the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She met Ramsey through Roeland while she and Roeland were living and playing music in California. Stockdale said Ramsey’s personable touch on her projects at Liontail is similarly distinctive in her approach to childcare with Gretta.
“She has a way of bringing a lot of emotion into her work,” Stockdale said. “Her work is not just graphic design. She offers that, but it's a lot more than that. … She just has a different take on what it means to be a local artist, and I think that really adds value to the entire art community here.” Aside from printing on treeless paper, Ramsey designs and prints wine bottle labels, a project she collaborated on with Scott Bronstein, the proprietor, owner and operator of Barnstormer Winery. Located on Seneca Lake, the winery offers tastings and produces approximately 3,000 cases of wine every year, Bronstein said. In 2016, Ramsey designed bottle labels that reflected the vintage aesthetic of Barnstormer. She also helped design some visual aspects of Barnstormer’s website
ENTER TO THE JEWELRY BELOW!
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approximately two years ago, including a vineyard map. “She has a style that's very visually appealing, striking,” Bronstein said. “It's a very unique, clean approach, where it communicates the brand and the intent of the brand very clearly. … I think her work is her, and she is her work. I think they're very tied-in together. I think she invests a lot of her being in and a lot of her energy into her creations, and I think it's pretty obvious when you look at her work that there’s a lot of care into it.” Ramsey started making masks during the pandemic, making them with a sewing machine she bought right before the pandemic-related shutdowns happened in March. She sold them on the Liontail Press website for $10. With each purchase she also donates a mask to an essential worker. Living states away from her family in Georgia has also been difficult, but Ramsey said she has stayed in touch through the now-household virtual avenues — Facetime and Zoom — and also by writing letters. Though apart from the people she loves, she said that knowing she has a daughter coming in February has been a blissful interruption after months of isolation. “It’s been intense, and the first few months especially were such a large transition,” she said. “I do feel really lucky, though, to have a partner, and I haven't felt alone. … Ever since finding out that I'm pregnant, there’s been a really welcome distraction, a positive distraction to everything else that's going on in the world.”
Virtual Music Concerts/Recitals
Bill Gregg Live Stream Concert | 7:30 PM, 11/7 Saturday | Traditional and original music on the autoharp and a variety of folk instruments in two sets. Streamed live from the Conservatory stage, he will be accompanied by highly accomplished guitarist Phil Robinson. Visit TCFA web site for streaming link. | Donations to benefit TCFA Symphoria Masterworks: Beethoven & Dvorak | 7:30 PM, 11/7 Saturday | Virtual, Virtual, Virtual | http://experiencesymphoria.org/ | Family Livestream $35, Individual Livestream $20 CCO Makerspace event w/ TCPL | 4:00 PM, 11/11 Wednesday | A fun, interactive program online with Max Michael Jacob, principal bassist of the CCO. Advance registration through TCPL is required to receive the Zoom link. While all ages are welcome, this will be presented with an adult/senior audience in mind. Cornell Concert Series Presents Jeremy Denk | 7:00 PM, 11/11 Wednesday | Denk will present a discussion on ‘writing elitism out of classical music.’ Noting how written and verbal communication can become obstacles between us and music, Denk takes a detour around the usual avenues of musical discussion, in an examination of pieces by Mozart and Clara Schumann.http:// www.cornellconcertseries.com/
Art Close to Home in Fields and Woods | 12:00 PM, 11/5 Thursday | State of the Art Gallery, 120 W Martin Luther King, Jr./State Street, Ithaca | An exploration by two artistsóFrances Fawcett and Susan Larkin--of areas still accessible during the pandemic. Show dates: November 5ñ29, 2020. Hours: Thurs. & Fri., 12-6pm and Sat. & Sun., 12-5pm. New York Abandoned: Exhibition by Greg A. Chianis Opening | 11:00 AM, 11/6 Friday | Tioga County Council On The Arts, 179 Front St, Owego | This is a photography exhibition by Greg A. Chianis at Tioga Arts Council in November. Live and Virtual!: Mosaics by Marjorie Hoffman at the CAP ArtSpace | 5:00 PM, 11/6 Friday | CAP Artspace, 110 North Tioga Street, Ithaca | ‘And it’s Good’ Mosaics by Marjorie Hoffman is a virtual AND live exhibit.† The exhibit opens on Gallery Night on Friday, Nov. 6th from 5pm to 7pm, as part of Gallery Night in downtown Ithaca (www.gallerynightithaca.com). Visit Artist Studios - First Sat. on the Greater Ithaca Art Trail | 11:00 AM, 11/7 Saturday | Nine Artists’ Studios, Ithaca, | Nine artists on the Greater Ithaca Art Trail open their studios to you on the First Saturday of every month during the year (except January).There’s no need to call ahead! Just go visit! All Covid-19 protocols are in place. Visitors must wear a mask. Visit†www. ArtTrail.com†to get the pdf showing who is open. You can view all 40 art-
ist’s portfolio pages, check out their websites, download the Brochure/ Map, and watch videos!† Stamped Ring Workshop | 2:00 PM, 11/8 Sunday | Foundry Workshops, 416 E State Street, Ithaca | The Stamped Ring Making Workshop is designed to walk you through the basics of metalsmithing by creating your own personally designed silver or brass ring. Separation of Art with a Capital ‘A’ | All Day 11/14 Saturday | Cayuga Museum, 203 Genesee Street, Auburn | Artist Victoria Fitzgerald explores the still profound lack of representation for women of all backgrounds in her art series on display at the Cayuga Museum through the end of the year. Masks and reservations required for museum entry. Glimmerglass Film Days presents Virtual Film Festival | All Day 11/5 Thursday | Complete with filmmaker interviews and panels, November 5-11. Theme: A Road Less Traveled.†http://glimmerglassfilmdays.org/ | Full pass $50
Movies Cornell Virtual Cinema: Boccaccio ‘70 | All Day 11/6 Friday | Thru 11/12. Four Italian auteurs
- Fellini, Visconti, de Sica, and Monicelli - joined forces for this 1962 portmanteau. Each director contributes a short film on love’s deepest moral questions.†w/prerecorded introduction by CU’s Karen Pinkus.†cinema.cornell.edu Cornell Virtual Cinema: Cane River | All Day 11/6 Friday | Thru 11/12. A racially-charged love story in Natchitoches Parish, a ‘free community of color’ in Louisiana. A budding, forbidden romance lays bare the tensions between two black communities, both descended from slaves but of disparate opportunity the light-skinned, property-owning Creoles and the darker-skinned, more disenfranchised families of the area.†cinema.cornell.edu Virtual Cinemapolis: City Hall | All Day 11/6 Friday | Shows the efforts by Boston city government to provide many services and illustrates the variety of ways the city administration enters into civil discourse with the citizens of Boston. Mayor Walsh and his administration are presented addressing a number of their policy priorities which include racial justice, affordable housing, climate action, and homelessness. | 72 hour rental available for $12 Virtual Cinemapolis: The Man Who Mends Women | All Day 11/6 Friday | A portrait of the impressive life and work of internationally renowned gynecologist Doctor Denis Mukwege from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He received the prestigious 2014 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for his struggle against sexual violence. Mukwege medically assisted over 46,000 sexually
abused women in sixteen years of professional practice. | 3 day rental for $12 Virtual Cinemapolis: F11 and Be There | All Day 11/7 Saturday | Cinemapolis, 120 E Green St, Ithaca | An electrifying fusion of music, image, and dialogue, F11 and Be There captures the life and artistry of the unique American photographer†Burk Uzzle. | 3 day rental available for $12 Virtual Cinemapolis: Coming Home Again | All Day 11/7 Saturday | Ends 11/19. Based on a personal essay by Chang-rae Lee that was published in The New Yorker, Coming Home Again is an intimate family drama about a mother, a son, and the burden of family expectations. | 3 day rental available for $12 Virtual Cinemapolis: Mausoleum | All Day 11/7 Saturday | Cinemapolis, 120 E Green St, Ithaca | A maxed-out mix of 1980s supernatural horror and slasher excess, MAUSOLEUM is a stylish, sleazy, and outrageously gory production, featuring a series of imaginative death scenes orchestrated by effects wizard John Carl Buechler | 3 day rental for $8 Virtual Cinemapolis: Nationtime | All Day 11/7 Saturday | Cinemapolis, 120 E Green St, Ithaca | The long-lost film that William Greaves made about the National Black Political Convention of 1972, when 10,000 black politicians, activists and artists went to Gary, Indiana, to forge a national unity platform in advance of the Republican and Democratic presidential conventions.† | 3 day rental for $12
Books Migrant Citizenship: Race, Rights, and Reform in the U.S. Farm Labor Camp Program | 4:00 PM, 11/5 Thursday | Virtual Presentation, Ithaca | What could and should fair labor standards and social programs for ìnoncitizenî migrant farm workers in the United States look like? VerÛnica MartÌnezMatsuda, associate professor at the ILR School, addresses this question in her new book. The audience is encouraged to submit questions via the Q&A window in the webinar. Virtual Panel by Panel Graphic Novel Book Club | 6:30 PM, 11/9 Monday | Adults are invited to celebrate their love of this diverse and subversive medium, and can sign up to receive a Binge Bundle containing three surprise graphic memoirs and/ or biography titles. Discussion will be offered via Zoom. Patrons can register through the online calendar at†www.tcpl.org TCPLís 4 Seasons (Virtual) Book Club | 6:30 PM, 11/12 Thursday | Tompkins County Public Library, 101 E Green St, Ithaca | Participants will read and discuss The Light Between Oceans, an acclaimed work of Australian historical fiction by M.L. Stedman.Patrons can register at https://www.tcpl.org/events/4seasons-book-club-light-betweenoceans-ml-stedman to receive updates and the Zoom meeting link. Limited copies of the book are available by patron request. Virtual Author Talk: Your Portal to Another World with the Writerís Room from Beatrix Greene | 6:00 PM, 11/14 Saturday | Novemberís event will feature
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Online Auction Start: November 19TH, 12PM Online Auction Closing Begins: December 3RD, 10AM
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Buy Local Issue - November 24 Holiday Gift Guide - December 9 Last-minute Gift Guide - December 21