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City sees graffiti increase

County warns against travel

New Asian grocery opens

Documentary explores scary movies

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Cornelia Laemmli Orth, Music Director

Family Concert & Storytime Thursday, Nov 19th @ 4:00pm

Join us online for this free musical storytime, livestreamed from Autumn Leaves Used Books

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Saturday, Nov 21st @ 3:00pm / First Presbyterian Church Violinists Kirsten Marshall, Sarah Cummings w/ Guest Pianist Karl Paulnack

Free admission; Tickets must be reserved in advance

Our 44th Season: presented in-person & livestreamed

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VOL.XLI / NO. 13 / November 18, 2020 Serving 47,125 readers week ly

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ELECTION

CR IME

Kelles wins Assembly race

Police shortage, pandemic contribute to increase of graffiti around Ithaca

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he Associated Press has declared Anna Kelles the winner of the 125th District of the NY State Assembly after all the mail-in votes in Cortland County were counted, and a wide margin of victory was established in Tompkins County. “I am so honored by the overwhelming support of voters in Cortland and Tompkins Counties." Kelles said. "I am grateful to our election workers for their tireless efforts to run a safe election during this pandemic and I send them my heartfelt thanks and admiration as they finish counting the last of the absentee ballots. I also want to express my deep gratitude to all of the members of our community who supported my campaign. I will work hard for everyone in our district to meet our needs, especially those that have been highlighted through this pandemic. I am excited to get to Albany in January and start working alongside my colleagues to make a difference in the lives of all of the people of the 125th District.” Democrat Kelles ran against Republican Matthew McIntyre for the vacant seat of long-time Assembly member Barbara Lifton, who retired last January.

Mitrano concedes to Reed NY 23rd

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espite absentee votes still being counted in Tompkins County, Democrat Tracy Mitrano conceded the race for New York's 23rd Congressional District to incumbent Republic Tom Reed. "Believing in the need to uphold our democratic norms of free and fair elections and the need to ensure that every ballot is counted, I had continued on page 7

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eople walking around downtown Ithaca over the past few months may have noticed something different — more graffiti. Gary Ferguson, executive director of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA), said the increase in graffiti began around the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, in the middle of March leading to the beginning of April. “I think that [the lockdown] provided more opportunity for people who wanted to do graffiti to do it without being interrupted or without being caught or without being called into account,” Fergson said.

Graffiti tag on downtown building (Photo: Casey Martin)

He believes graffiti sends a message to residents — and not a great one. “Graffiti sends out the signal to the community or to people coming into the district, whether they’re visitors or they’re locals, that nobody seems to care about this area,” Ferguson said. “Or that nobody is in control or that anything can happen. It’s not always a warm signal or a warm sign, if you will.” Ithaca is no stranger to artwork adorning its empty walls, electric boxes and storefronts.

Local Farmes start to asses the season

But sanctioned art sends a much different message. “We have had projects over the years where we try to work with graffiti artists to do muraling in the community,” Ferguson said. “Whie some graffiti art can be beautiful, graffiti itself is a violation of people’s property and space. It can make a public space feel less safe, less secure, less inviting. Obviously for those reasons, we don’t like it. Downtown Ithaca Alliance and the City of Ithaca have graffiti removal materials, and the DIA addresses smaller issues of graffiti while the City of Ithaca tends to the bigger graffiti dilemmas. The Chief of Police at Ithaca Police Department, Dennis Nayor, said that the department is aware of the increase in graffiti, and is doing what they can to quell it when it’s reported. “...We are reactive versus proactive these days based upon our staffing and call volume,” Nayor said. “If anyone sees people committing graffiti we ask them to call us. Also they can use our anonymous tip line which is on the city website to provide information which we can investigate.” Nathan Lyman, chief operating officer of Ithaca Renting, echos Nayor’s point about the lack of police. He said he believes the increase in graffiti is due to budgetary constraints and the reduction in police workforce. “...Current social issues have reduced the presence of the police in the downtown and their ability to act as a deterrent,” Lyman said. “Additionally, with the reduced

Mobile Covid Testing������������������� 4

NE W S & OPINION Newsline��������������������������������������������������3-7 Sports�������������������������������������������������������� 10 Business������������������������������������������������ 11-16

ART S & E N T E RTAINME N T Film��������������������������������������������������������������17 Stage�����������������������������������������������������������18 Stage ��������������������������������������������������������� 19 TimesTable����������������������������������������������� 21 Classifieds������������������������������������������22-24 Cover: Photo: Casey Martin, Design: Marshall Hopkins

ON T HE WE B Visit our website at www.ithaca.com for more news, arts, sports and photos. Call us at 607-277-7000 T a n n e r H a r d i n g , M a n a g i n g E d i t o r , x 224 E d i t o r @ I t h a c aTi m e s . c o m G l e n n E p p s , R e p o r t e r , x 225 R e p o r t e r @ I t h a c aTi m e s . c o m J a i m e C o n e , E d i t o r , x 232 SouthReporter@flcn.org C a s e y M a r t i n , S ta f f P h o t o g r a p h e r P h o t o g r a p h e r @ I t h a c aTi m e s . c o m C h r i s I b e r t , C a l e n d a r E d i t o r , x 217 A r t s @ I t h a c aTi m e s . c o m A n d r e w S u l l i v a n , S p o r t s E d i t o r , x 227 Sports@flcn.org Steve L awrence, Spo rts Co lumnist St e v e S p o r t sD u d e @ g m a i l .co m M a r s h a l l H o p k i n s , P r o d u c t i o n D i r ec t o r / D es i g n e r , x 216 P r o d u c t i o n @ I t h a c aTi m e s . c o m L i s a B i n g a m a n , A cc o u n t R e p r ese n ta t i v e , x 218 l i s a @ I t h a c aTi m e s . c o m T o n i C r o u ch , x 211 A d m i n i s t r a t i o n Sharon Davis, Distribution J i m B i l i n s k i , P u b l i s h e r , x 210 j b i l i n s k i @ I t h a c aTi m e s . c o m L a r r y H o ch b e r g e r , A ss o c i a t e P u b l i s h e r , x 214 l a r r y@ I t h a c aTi m e s . c o m F r e e l a n c e r s : Barbara Adams, Rick Blaisell, Steve Burke, Deirdre Cunningham, Jane Dieckmann, Amber Donofrio, Karen Gadiel, Charley Githler, Linda B. Glaser, Warren Greenwood, Ross Haarstad, Peggy Haine, Gay Huddle, Austin Lamb, Steve Lawrence, Marjorie Olds, Lori Sonken, Henry Stark, Dave Sit, Bryan VanCampen, and Arthur Whitman

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▶  GIACsgiving- Greater Ithaca Activities Center will serve up turkey and all the trimmings for free, Friday, Nov. 20, 4:30–7:30 p.m. Meals will be available for pick-up, but GIAC will deliver plates to select locations in Ithaca, as needed. Walk-ups are welcome on the day of the event, but GIAC representatives encourage participants to reserve

N o t e

their meal in advance. Meals can be reserved using any of the following three options: Call GIAC at (607) 272-3622;Stop by the GIAC lobby reception area any time before Nov. 20 to put in a request; Fill out the online form on their Facebook event page. to attend the dinner. ▶  COVID exposure- TCHD announced a potential COVID-19

exposure at Texas Roadhouse in Ithaca The individual who tested positive is in isolation and any close contacts are in quarantine. Potential public exposures may have occurred at Texas Roadhouse 719-25 S. Meadow St., Ithaca during the following dates and times: Tuesday, Nov. 10, 3:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Wednesday, Nov. 11, 3:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

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All rights reserved. Events are listed free of charge in TimesTable. All copy must be received by Friday at noon. The Ithaca Times is available free of charge from various locations around Ithaca. Additional copies may be purchased from the Ithaca Times offices for $1. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $89 one year. Include check or money order and mail to the Ithaca Times, PO Box 27, Ithaca, NY 14851. ADVERTISING: Deadlines are Monday 5 p.m. for display, Tuesday at noon for classified. Advertisers should check their ad on publication. The Ithaca Times will not be liable for failure to publish an ad, for typographical error, or errors in publication except to the extent of the cost of the space in which the actual error appeared in the first insertion. The publisher reserves the right to refuse advertising for any reason and to alter advertising copy or graphics deemed unacceptable for publication. The Ithaca Times is published weekly Wednesday mornings. Offices are located at 109 N. Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850 607-277-7000, FAX 607-277-1012, MAILING ADDRESS is PO Box 27, Ithaca, NY 14851. The Ithaca Times was preceded by the Ithaca New Times (1972-1978) and The Good Times Gazette (1973-1978), combined in 1978. F o u n d e r G o o d T i m e s G a z e tt e : Tom Newton

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INQUIRING

N e w s l i n e

COVID

PHOTOGRAPHER Community groups collaborate to provide mobile COVID testing for the homeless By C a se y Mar tin

WHAT IS YOUR COLD

WEATHER LIFE PRO-TIP?

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EACH Medical, a local practice, has emerged as a trusted resource for the Ithaca community, and Tompkins County in general, particularly for those who face insecure and unstable housing situations. Initial funding of $20,000 from the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency (IURA) allowed for REACH Medical to provide weekly mobile COVID testing for a period of six months. Earlier this month, Tompkins County Health Department received $40,000 from The Kresge Foundation as part of a rapid response funding campaign to support local health departments leading COVID-19 efforts. The health department said it will use the money from the Kresge Foundation, along with initial funding to REACH from IURA, to supplement the mobile COVID-19 testing team for individuals experiencing homelessness or who are unstably housed. The Kresge Foundation, a private foundation sourced in Michigan which contributes grant money for the arts, education, health, and other community services, provides the funding for the Health Department to effectively process testing samples from county sites. “The Kresge award, as well as funding from local sources, is ensuring that the REACH team has what they need to conduct this testing as the

“A good Bonfire!” -Alex P.

“Breath of Fire yoga! Breath through your belly button!” -Natalya C.

“Just stay at home!” -Hazmi S.

COVID-19 pandemic continues,” said Frank Kruppa, the Tompkins County public health director. “REACH Medical is an important partner and has strong relationships in our community,” Kruppa continues, “Their ability to set up a mobile testing team is important to connect with individuals who cannot easily access the mall sampling site and may be in need of other medical or mental health services. This mobile testing is possible because of REACH’s commitment to serving the community and Cayuga Health System’s continued and integral support.” Mobile testing isn’t new in Tompkins County, as REACH has been working on it for months with the help of community partners. In April, the Park Foundation, a nonprofit foundation which focuses on providing grants in service of education, entertainment, and community service, approached REACH after the success of their original project. Park allowed for REACH to hire a full-time registered nurse and a community health worker, enabling them to provide general mobile healthcare to in-need residents. “We converted our whole practice to telemedicine in late March,” explains REACH Medical’s Director of Finance and Strategy, Amy Gecan. “We started meeting with this group of community health workers that are represented by differ-

“A good coat goes a very long way”

COVID

-Chaz M & Ines A.

Thanksgiving travel discouraged

A “Just dress warm. That’s all I have to say!” -Cherrie C.

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s COVID cases around the country surge, Tompkins County has seen its highest case numbers yet, this past week. With 135 active cases as of Nov. 16, Health Director Frank Kruppa urged continued vigilance and adherence to local guidelines. “We’re discouraging non-

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essential travel and gatherings, and the official state rules are no gatherings over 10, so obviously we’re asking folks to follow that as well,” he said. County Legislator Martha Robertson reiterated the importance of the basics as well. “The guidelines come down to simple things,” she said.

ent organizations like Human Services Coalition and Family and Children's Services. They asked us to join and to have our outreach program become part of that because of the fact that we have the telemedicine capability and because we are trusted by that population as the provider of care.” The Park Foundation then approached REACH Medical, clearly impressed with their ongoing healthcare services to the community, and committed to help REACH expand their work. However, REACH would not have been able to treat those in the community who really needed it if it were not for the long-time work of those at Family and Children’s Services (FCS) and their collaboration with providers such as Second Wind and Salvation Army. REACH cites those at FCS, such as Natalya Cowilich, for the trust they have built with the at-risk community in the county for years. “When I started conducting Outreach in the encampments with REACH Medical,” states Cowilich, “my goal was forming healthy connections and building that trust needed to be able to talk about those delicate parts of our lives and connect to compassionate, judgement-free care. Forging paths to healthcare requires trusting, therapeutic relationships to get to the heart of the healing. So, in the beginning, it was about the gentle introduction to this resource for folks. And, I am ultimately another vessel in the weaving of trust built by my colleagues and mentors who've been doing this work since before our collaboration with REACH.” If the situation arises where a positive case is found within the local house-insecure and

homeless community, the testing center works with REACH to find the positive individual. From there, it is up to the county to provide a space for the infected person to quarantine for the necessary amount of time. “We’re working really closely with the county on the COVID testing aspect,” Gecan said. “When patients get swabbed, all of the tests go to the [Cayuga Medical Center] lab. But there’s a way for them to differentiate that those specimens came from REACH as opposed to some other testing site. So if a positive test comes up, the county will notify REACH if they’re not able to reach that individual because a lot of these people don’t have active cell phones or a way to stay in contact. In terms of the quarantine and isolation aspects, that’s left up to the county to manage so people are not actually staying in the encampment if they’re positive or symptomatic.” Thankfully, REACH will continue to be able to provide their crucial services to those who need it most with the combined effort of the coalition. “It’s so much more than just what REACH has been able to do,” Gecan explains, “It’s an ongoing coalition, and they’re starting to actually put together a formal structure around how the outreach program works. COVID has helped bring these different agencies together for the community outreach work and to make it better coordinated. It’s really kind of a silver lining.” For more information on REACH Medical’s work go to reachprojectinc.org.

“Physical distance, refrain from gatherings and wear a mask. These things really do work.” With the recent uptick in cases, Kruppa said there has been a bit of a strain on contact tracing, and the Health Department has had to bring in train individuals from other departments to help. “We’ve been stretched over the last five or six days,” he said. “We’re meeting the demand but we could use a few days of low numbers to catch our breath

and get our feet under us.” With Thanksgiving looming, Kruppa knows there is an urge to gather, but encouraged people to “think seriously about their Thanksgiving plans.” “It’s a generational holiday, and right now that setting is the highest risk setting for COVID,” he said. “You’re getting multiple groups together, sitting around eating without a mask on, and then maybe you

By Rhiannon Coleman

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UPS&DOWNS

N e w s l i n e

FUNDR AISER

COVID CASES

State Theatre wants to save you a seat

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t might be awhile still until you’re back enjoying a live performance of any kind, but until that moment comes, the State Theatre is willing to save your seat. The shutdown has been hard on a lot of businesses, but not many places have been impacted the way performance venues have. The State Theatre’s doors closed eight months ago — their last show before the pandemic forced them to shut down was Graham Nash on March 7. Eight months later, gatherings are limited to 10 people, and the State Theatre remains closed. “The following week we had near sell-outs that were immediately wiped off the map,” Executive Director Doug Levine said. “Since then, every show has been canceled or postponed. We haven’t had a show in eight months, and there’s no federal support for venues like us.” In a normal year, the theatre, a not-for-profit, has to raise $400,000. This year, the pandemic has added an additional $150,000 gap in their funding — that’s where saving

your seat comes in. The theatre has launched the Save Your Seat campaign to help raise the money by selling seat plaques for $100 per piece. As of Nov. 16, less than a week after the launch, the campaign had already raised $35,100 of its $160,000 goal. “It’s a fun way to sponsor the arts and support the State Theatre,” Levine said. “You’ll have a plaque that says whatever you choose.” Levine estimates the theatre has lost at least 50 events to COVID, ranging from big concerts to smaller film screenings, but he plans to make up for it in a big way. On Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), the Tuesday after Thanksgiving where people are encouraged to give back to their communities in some capacity, the State Theatre will be hosting the Save Your Seat benefit concert, featuring artists with deep connections to the theatre and Ithaca. So far, the show features acts like Graham Nash, Margo Price, The Avett Brothers, Keb Mo, Béla Fleck, The Wood Brothers and Sam Harris of the X Ambassadors. Levine said

he’s been in contact with some other artists, but isn’t quite ready to announce them yet. “Our goal is to sell out,” Levine said. “We average 10 sell-outs a year, so if we could, it will help ensure we’re still around when the pandemic ends.” Like most everything else since March, the show will be streamed virtually, a shift the theatre has become comfortable with over the months. “We’re in the business of live shows, so when this all went down we all spent, like, 10 days crying into our own sleeves and just being kind of baffled,” Levine said. “But we picked ourselves up, identified the shift we had to make, assessed what kind of equipment we needed to purchase, and raised the money to buy those things […] I’m proud of my staff. I think we’ve mastered it within a couple months.” To buy a plaque or learn more about the Save Your Seat campaign, visit www. stateofIthaca.org/save-yourseat/. -Ta n n e r H a r d i n g

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have grandma and grandpa and older members of the family there who are more susceptible to having serious consequences.” Kruppa, Robertson, County Administrator Jason Molino and Deputy County Administrator Amie Hendrix then participated in a lengthy Q&A session with residents about masks, community spread and other concerns. Kruppa went into some detail about the best masks to keep yourself and others safe, and said that a good fit is most important. “You want it to be fairly snug to your face, with two layers of fabric to keep things from getting through. If you can blow a candle out with your mask on, it’s not thick enough,” he said. “We’ve had lots of conversations about gaiters, and at minimum you want to double them up because they’re made of nylon […] Disposable surgical masks are good options, they’re made for this exact purpose. But they’re a bit more difficult to come by and we want to make sure they’re available for healthcare settings when necessary.” With the rise in cases and the cool weather making people more apt to eat indoors, residents asked if there was risk to eating in restaurants. “We haven’t had a lot of experience here from restaurant exposure, but it has happened in other places,” he said. “Restaurants are risky because you have people coming together inside, multiple families, and you have to remove your mask to eat and drink. We understand that, but without masks the potential for spreading is increased.” Over the past few weeks, the Health Department has put out multiple notices about employees at different places, including Walmart, Target, Wegmans and Outback Steakhouse, working during their infectious periods. Kruppa made the distinction that just because they were infectious does not mean they were symptomatic. “They could work Thursday and Friday and then Friday night start feeling yucky, and then get tested Saturday or

Hockey Canceled Cornell University athletes won’t be hitting the field, ice or court anytime soon. The Ivy League Council of Presidents decided that league schools won’t participate in winter sports during the 2020-21 season, won’t play fall sports during the upcoming spring semester and won’t play spring sports through at least February 2021. Car Culture Wins Aurora Street has reopened to traffic as of Nov. 16. The street had been closed to allow for outdoor dining along restaurant row.

HEARD&SEEN Machete! An argument at Speedway ended with arrests after a woman brandished a machete during the fight, punctured a car tire and threatened another person.

IF YOU CARE TO RESPOND to something in this column, or suggest your own grievances or praise, write news@ithacatimes.com, with a subject head “U&D.”

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

What are your Thanksgiving plans? 21.7% Zoom family dinner

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26.1% Ignoring COVID guidance and having an in-person dinner 52.2% Eating alone on the couch in peace

N ext Week ’s Q uestion :

Describe your 2020 Black Friday mood. Visit ithaca.com to submit your response.

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SURROUNDED BY REALITY

GR ANTS

TCIDA approves grants for childcare facilities to make COVID improvements

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he Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency (TCIDA), administered by Ithaca Area Economic Development (IAED), recently approved an emergency grant program for use in upgrading childcare facilities to allow for safer operation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant funds may also be used by childcare providers to purchase personal protective equipment. Four grants, totaling $33,331, were awarded by the TCIDA last week. The grants were awarded to the following childcare providers: Ithaca Community Childcare Center, Tompkins Cortland Community College, Coddington Road Community Center and Downtown Ithaca Children’s Center. A law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in June allows New York State Industrial Development Agencies to offer grants up to $10,000 to small businesses and nonprofit entities with no more than 50 employees, expressly for the purchase of personal protective equipment and “installing fixtures necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19." “The TCIDA established the CO-

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VID-199 Emergency Grant Program and allocated $100,000 specifically to help Day Care Centers, Group Family Day Care, Family Day Care, and School Age Child Care Programs that are vital to the community and desperately need this type of equipment in order to operate safely,” said Heather McDaniel, Administrative Director of the TCIDA. Prospective applicants must be located in Tompkins County, must be currently operating, or plan to open within 90 days after purchases are made, and have been financially viable prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic. A minimum of $2,000 and a maximum of $10,000 is available per applicant. Priority will be given to applications for construction and renovation that would promote social distancing, including outdoor classrooms, HVAC modifications or other improvements related to indoor air quality. Applications will be considered as long as this new capacity for IDAs to award such grants remains in effect, or until the fund is exhausted.

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Crowing Crowds S

By St e ph e n P. Bu r k e ome hell broke loose at Notre Dame University this month when, after a particularly exciting football game, 10,000 fans mobbed the field in a scene suggesting that no pandemic exists. Of course, the pandemic remains a brutal reality everywhere. But reality was no match that night for the legacy of the Fighting Irish, the most storied football team ever. It is hard to overstate the importance of football at Notre Dame. A Catholic university, the library tower has a mural featuring an image of Jesus with arms raised. To the school populace it has always evoked a football referee’s signal for a score. It is fondly known as “Touchdown Jesus.” It is also hard to overstate the significance of this particular game to Notre Dame fans. Clemson University was visiting, ranked #1 in the nation. Clemson had won 39 games straight. On the unlikely chance that Notre Dame won, the Irish would leap to #1. The Irish weren't supposed to win, but did. And the fans weren’t supposed to storm the field, but did. Because of the pandemic the school added extra security for the game, but again, no match. The unexpected victory came in exceedingly rare double overtime, a much less predictable situation than regulation time. The game was on national television in prime time on a Saturday night. It had millions of avid viewers, but by the end millions of inadvertent ones too, tuning in to see Saturday Night Live in a special election broadcast, but instead finding a football game delaying the show. For them there was no context for the game and its visually stunning aftermath, waves of fans clearing walls to form a sea of tumult on the field, hugging and dancing. Meanwhile, here in Ithaca, Cornell last week announced the continued cancellation of all sports for the rest of the year, a decision made by the Ivy League, the only major college sector so far to take such action. The decision is particularly dispiriting for Cornell hockey after historic success last season, when for the first time ever both the women’s and men’s teams were league champions. It’s a big blow to campus life here. Hockey has long been a major enthusiasm at Cornell. There is no “Goal Jesus” anywhere, but Lynah Rink is a secular shrine of sorts at Big Red. To compare views about campus sports, their pleasures and (now) perils, I spoke with contacts in South Bend. One is a scientist and teacher at Holy

Cross College, a school just a few miles from Notre Dame. “I recognized three of my students in a photo in the New York Times,” he said. “Two of them were on their friends’ shoulders.” The scene did not particularly concern him. “That same day there was dancing in the streets” over the presidential election, he noted, in circumstances that were physically similar. Overall, he said, in such instances of sporadic outdoor crowds, he surmises “less a serious risk” to condemn or ban than “a slight one we have decided to accept, while taking steps to mitigate.” He allowed that one’s personal allegiances might affect such thinking. Still, he noted, “It seems the event didn’t do measurable harm. New cases of the virus here are down from the week before.” Another South Bend contact mentioned Notre Dame’s recent double whammy of alarming virus news after the school’s president, Fr. John Jenkins, attended a White House ceremony for the new Supreme Court justice, who taught at Notre Dame’s law school. Acquiescing to Trump administration practice, Jenkins went unmasked. That decision and its attendant publicity were not helpful to the school, especially when Jenkins, like others at the ceremony, subsequently tested positive for the virus. Virginia Woolf has a line about youthful exuberance that goes something like, “Down corridors and onto the field of play went the youth of South Bend, banging and singing,” although of course she said “England,” not “South Bend,” and the rest of the quote rendered here is rough, too, and has nothing to do with Touchdown Jesus, nor Touchdown Anybody. But the sentiments reflect those reported from South Bend, that it’s a thin line between carefree and careless youth. Expectations should be heightened further up the line. In other words, kids will be kids. They should know better, but are less likely to act safely when a security force that is official, trained, and paid stands baffled, and when the presidents of their school and nation relinquish responsibility and eschew good example in not just a moment of impulse but in full deliberation. The question stands: when communities taste a once-in-a-lifetime win, against foes in politics or anywhere, is it a wonder that they dance?


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Monday,” he said. “We go back to 48 hours before the onset of symptoms for contact tracing, so it doesn’t mean they did anything wrong or knew they were sick. It’s just the way the disease evolves.” As the pandemic wears on and winter moves in, all the members of the group expressed concern about mental health. “Depression can be a problem in the winter even in a great year,” Robertson said. “We want to remind people we do have resources for any type of help you might be meeting. Call 211 and people will be there to help you.” Hendrix added that exhaustion plays into it as well, for both people on and off the frontlines. “This is a pandemic and emergency like no other that we’ve experienced,” she said. “People are tired. They’re tired of wearing masks, tired of not seeing their families. I spent some hours at the Health Department and our nurses and contact tracers

are doing an exceptional job, and as cases continue to rise they have to keep putting their lives on hold […] We’re 10 months in and it’s tiring.” Kruppa agreed, and again encouraged people to seek help even if they’re not sure they need it. “211 is a great place for folks to look, and please know our mental health and substance abuse providers are ready and willing to help,” he said. “More importantly, don’t wait until something is a crisis. Reach out and have a phone call with the mental health department or any provider.” As the session came to an end, the group once again encouraged residents to spend Thanksgiving at home with the people they live with. “It’s going to be a quiet, low key Thanksgiving,” Hendrix said. “That’s personally something I need, there’s been a lot of action lately.”

GRAFFITI Contin u ed From Page 3

presence of other people being out and socializing in public space due to COVID, there is more time for the people to spray paint buildings without fear of being witnessed and reported to law enforcement.” Lyman, like Ferguson, agreed that the shutdown of activities and businesses has likely played a part too. “Another likely cause is the lack of other activities due to the pandemic, which might otherwise occupy the time of people who damage our property,” he said. Lyman said buildings that he owns have been affected by graffiti and many are considered historically significant by the city, state and federal authorities. “We work hard to keep our buildings in good and attractive condition for all the tenants and the community in general,” Lyman said. “Graffiti damages historic surfaces, and many times it is not possible

Don't we all want the benefit of hearing a "watchman's" perspective? Would the County please inform us as to their reasoning for this action? I sure would like to know. Thank you. -Deborah Grover, Ithaca, NY

THE TALK AT

COVID CASES

to completely remove it. We have limited resources and staff to do maintenance work. Having to shift workers to remove graffiti ultimately impacts our tenants, and our ability to respond to their requests for maintenance work.” Lyman has heard concerns from both residential and commercial tenants regarding the increase in graffiti. “While we do hear from residential tenants periodically, the majority of the feedback we receive is from commercial tenants who are trying to stay afloat during these difficult times,” Lyman said. “It is expensive and time consuming to remove graffiti. Failing to remove it invites more, and can cause patrons of the stores to be reluctant to shop there due to safety concerns.” -Sydney Keller

I

YOUR LETTERS Dear Hospicare Community,

F

or over 36 years, Hospicare has brought together a remarkable group of people to provide compassionate care to the seriously and terminally ill and their loved ones. Its nurses, aides, doctors, counselors, and social workers are a gift to those facing life’s most difficult challenges: tending to the body, mind, and spirit. November is Hospice and Palliative Care Month, a time to pay special recognition to the work done every day by these skilled individuals whose dedication to their mission has withstood even a global pandemic. It is also a time to honor those advocates, volunteers, referral partners, and donors whose support sustains the good work of Hospicare. As I offer my services to Hospicare as interim director, I’ve found the staff and management at Hospicare to be nothing short of remarkable. My impression has always been that Hospicare staff are uniquely dedicated to their mission and equally suited with both the temperament and skills to fulfill it. Our community is a better, more caring place because of the work they quietly perform in homes and care facilities throughout Cortland and Tompkins counties and the Hospicare residence on South Hill. In the coming months we strive to support our community through the programming that acknowledges the stresses of navigating grief and the holidays during a pandemic. On behalf of the Hospicare family of staff, volunteers, and supporters to a community that has embraced the mission and values of hospice and palliative care, we thank you. -Joe Mareane , Interim Executive Director at Hospicare & Palliative Care Services, Ithaca, NY

Re: Jim Crawford’s letter ELECTION Contin u ed From Page 3

planned originally to concede after all of the ballots were counted. I did not know how protracted the count would be," she said in a statement. "Tompkins County, the seat of the lion’s share of Democratic votes, does not project completion any earlier than late next week. Although the counting of absentee ballots continues to narrow the margin, the math has long pointed to a clear victory for my opponent. Moreover, I have grown very impatient with waiting to thank my supporters and provide closure for all of us. Assured now that

those absentee ballots are being counted in earnest, and that the process will soon end in an accurate count and a fair election, it is with that confidence that I now concede the 2020 Congressional District NY-23 election." Mitrano also ran unsuccessfully against Reed in 2018. The Tompkins County Board of Elections began counting absentee ballots on Nov. 10, and as of the afternoon of Nov. 17, was still working through the more than 11,000 absentee votes. Staff R eports

I

read in the recent IT print issue (11/11-17) a letter from Mr. James Crawford where he shared his concerns about voting integrity and security risk with the immense number of paper ballots to process in this year's election. I felt it was a well thought out and explanatory piece by an individual *who was actually present in the room* and tasked with this challenge here in our County, who wanted us all to know about what he sensed and saw. Following this courageous action (i.e., his "exercise of free speech"), I learned he was served a letter from his employer, Tompkins County, notifying him he'd been placed on leave! Huh? Why!? No ve m b e r

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read the letter from Jim Crawford expressing his concern regarding the change in voting practice related to the large number of mail-in ballots in this election cycle. I am thankful and grateful to him for sharing his thoughts at this important time. There is now a heightened anxiety by the voters. The public is well served to hear from those most familiar with voting in Tompkins County and their wisdom on this issue. The voters understand and demand that the integrity of the system be analyzed and always improved. All legal ballots should be counted. He knowingly understands that confidence and tranquility as he states in our voting practices is fundamental to the peaceful transfer of power in our democratic republic. Everyone should support the scrutiny and search for best practices. So, I became distressed to learn that Tompkins County, his employer, put Mr. Crawford on administrative leave for sharing his personal opinion with this paper. This kind of censorship is disturbing to free thinking people. It now brings into question the fair minded standing of our county government. It is unAmerican and troubling. I want to believe that Tompkins County will understand they overreacted. The Confidence and Tranquility in this county are at stake. -Ron Szymanski, Freeville, NY

Re: Spotted Lanternfly sighted in Fall Creek neighborhood

I

killed and reported one back in July (4th instar stage), and a field agent came out to look for more. Didn't find any then, did find some ailanthus trees in the area (which they like). There's also a reporter looking into it, he found more ailanthus trees (e.g., at the little park by Ithaca Falls). Folks need to keep an eye out throughout the neighborhood, and learn to spot the different stages (especially in June/July for the larval stages) and the trees! -Frederic Gleach via Ithaca Times on Facebook

Write to us! Say something or respond to an article by writing editor@ithacatimes.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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A Summer of Shy Shopping at the Market Open-air markets and an emphasis on supporting area businesses, local agriculture hasn’t escaped the effects of the pandemic. By Arleigh Rodgers

T

here’s not an industry that hasn’t been touched by the COVID pandemic this year. For local farmers, it’s hard to say whether that change has been definitively good or bad. The economic shutdown shone a light on small businesses, encouraging many people to support local food sources. However, restrictions on selling venues like farmers markets have forced a decrease in sales for many local growers. The Ithaca Farmers Market, a cornerstone of the local business scene in Ithaca, had to make changes since March to adapt to the pandemic. Farmers who sell at the market are feeling these effects — both as

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small business owners and people living through an unprecedented time. Peter Larson, owner of Just a Few Acres Farm, has been selling at the market throughout the pandemic. In March, the market was operating at its new location, the Triphammer Marketplace, when shutdown orders were instated. The market was then deemed an essential business and shifted its vendors to the outdoor pavilion, where the fall and summer market usually occurs, earlier than usual. Larson said his strongest sales through the pandemic were from March to July because he thinks many of his customers at that time were locals buying groceries rather than tourists visiting the pavilion. But when the summer arrived — and the mar-

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ket capped the number of people shopping to 150 to decrease density inside the pavilion — the increase in visitors often created a line with extensive wait times to enter the market. Attendants wait at both entrances to the pavilion to ensure the number remains low. Larson’s sales dropped dramatically as a result. He has spoken out about this issue on his YouTube channel, which has approximately 49,100 subscribers. “When those crowds ramped up, my sales went down,” he said. “The locals who just want to buy their groceries look at the line, and … they're going to go to Wegmans and get what they want right away. So it's been frustrating for me and I think some of the other farmers there. … It's always been

an issue at the market though, even before COVID. Tourists and students would flood into the market, and the locals just didn't want to deal with the hassle.” This issue is not affecting Larson alone. In a survey of full-time, associate and easyentry members of the market — called “IFM Covid-19 Mid-Season Member Survey: Full Results” — 37% experienced much less than average sales when compared to 2019, with 24.7% having less than average sales. 18.5% experienced average sales, 17.3% better than average and 2.5% much better than average. Larson said that now, the majority of his sales occur before the market opens or within the first hour. Rarely anyone else buys from his booth in the subsequent time


he spends selling at the market. This, too, is reflected in the survey, with 37% of vendor sales happening 9–10 a.m. Saturdays and 10–11 a.m. Sundays. “At 8:15, the locals start coming in,” he said. “They line up in front of the farm booths … and by 10 o'clock, I'm basically sitting around, and then there's very little sales for the rest of the market.” Bob “Bobcat” Vonagura, co-owner and packshed manager of Main Street Farms, said this issue has also affected his sales. At the market, he sells under Early Morning Farms, which Main Street Farms recently acquired. But because Early Morning Farms has only been at the market since April, Bobcat said that he cannot compare the low sales he experienced in 2020 to the previous year. “Starting out in the spring, it did feel like local food was hot,” he said. “I definitely did see a decrease in customers buying produce. … The lines were necessary but also had a big effect on the fact that a lot of people saw the lines, and they got scared away by [them].” Laura Gallup, Marketing & Events Coordinator for the market, said that at first, there was backlash on social media about the market’s plan to reopen. She said she thinks that after people saw how crowded indoor shopping at grocery stores was, they were better inclined to shop at the open-air market. “We had really tight restrictions on food in the beginning,” she said. “I know that was a really hard thing to deal with because it was hard to let some vendors come and not others.” David Stern, president of the market and owner of Windsong Farm, has a foot in both worlds. As a farmer, he said that he has seen a growth in sales among food products like meat and jellies. Conversely, sales of fiber products, like yarn and sheepskin, are lower than last year. In reference to the “IFM Covid-19 MidSeason Member Survey: Full Results,” he said that it is important to balance the vendor’s interests and issues with keeping customers happy as well. He said that although the responses to the survey highlighted a variety of vendors’ experiences during the pandemic, it would be difficult to satisfy every group that interacts with the market, vendor and customer alike. “We know that there's only so much you can do about it,” he said. “We are here for everybody as best we can, and we have to balance all those interests, and there's going to be winners and losers anyway. That’s the way capitalism works. … Any factors

To p : s c e n e s t h i s s u m m e r at t h e It h ac a fa r m e r s m a r k e t. B o t t o m : P e t e r a n d H i l a r i e L a r s o n f r o m J u s t a F e w Ac r e s Fa r m ( P h o t o s : C a s e y M a r t i n) No ve m b e r

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usually become accentuated, so what works really well in one year, this year may not work well at all. ” Bobcat said that many customers have opted to buy the Early Morning Farms’ Community Supporting Agriculture (CSA) Shares. The biweekly shares — vegetables freshly harvested and washed — are delivered to a number of locations, including the market and GreenStar Food Co-Op, for customer pick-up. This year, the farm has expanded to approximately 400 shares. Although the shares do not count for direct market sales, they have nonetheless filled the gap in for the farm’s lower sales at the market during the pandemic. Chaw Chang, owner of Stick and Stone Farm, also said he has seen an increase in CSA shares purchases but a decrease in sales at the Ithaca market. In a typical year, the market is a small portion of the farm’s sales. But CSA sales skyrocketed, with an approximate increase of 100 new members. In a non-pandemic year, Chang said summer CSA shares total 550, with 300 in the winter. This year, it was 650 and 400, respectively. Chang said he thinks customers are choosing to buy CSA shares during the pandemic because they are becoming more conscious of where they get their food. “In times of crisis, people tend to really want to go bare bones,” he said. “It's not just a fear. I think it's more of a desire to return to a more basic lifestyle. … As people get a little bit more isolated, something like getting your food from the most direct source is more desirable.” It’s important to support local businesses during the pandemic, Larson said, because of the educational effect it has on consumers and their community. He said he thinks the majority of buyers who chose local in the early stages of the pandemic have returned to more conventional means of purchasing food, like at a grocery store. But for a fleeting moment, it was remarkable to see a larger group of people engaging with local food sources, he said. “There's a group of consumers, especially in Ithaca, that are educated about the differences between local food and supermarket or industrial food,” he said. “We're saying small farming is still a valid way to farm, and it really was shown during COVID because these huge systems for food break down pretty easily. They’re pretty touchy. … It was nice at the beginning of COVID because folks rediscovered the food that was growing in their community.”

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Sports

Moving Parts By Steve Lawrence

We l l , we we re hoping…

W

hen the sports world fell apart last spring, we all crossed our fingers and hoped – or prayed, or whatever we do – and said “Well, this sucks for the athletes – especially the seniors – but we’ll get back to normal soon.” As stated in a letter to the public from Cornell Athletic Director Andy Noel, “The prognosis is no better than when spring and fall 2020 sports were canceled, and by most metrics the situation is worse now.” In the letter announcing the cancellation of winter sports at Cornell, Noel added, “Though Cornell has done an impressive job containing the virus on campus, it is in large part due to restrictions that would need to be lifted to allow athletic competition, including current travel and visitor policies. The Department will continue to advocate for the safe resumption of athletic competition when it is appropriate and safe to do so.” I share Noel’s sentiment that “The reality doesn't reduce the heartbreak of our

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student-athletes and coaches who have committed themselves to success,” and I have some degree of sympathy to athletic administrators charged with being the bearers of such unrelenting bad news. I say that because when one looks at the incredible maze of moving parts involved for decision makers at all levels, one can get a headache. As I often do, I reached out to Bill Bryant, who served as the Ithaca City School District’s Athletic Director for 20-plus years, and is now the top dog for the (19 school) Interscholastic Athletic Conference. Clearly weary of explaining this boondoggle (but gracious nonetheless) Bryant said, “We are moving forward with bowling and swimming seasons, and we were planning to include indoor track, but given we use the tracks at Cornell, Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland, and they’re all shut down, we can’t do it.” Bryant made it more confusing when he stated that several other Sections throughout New York State did in fact

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hold their fall seasons (Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo and Albany, for example), although Section IV did not. Bryant explained how many moving parts are in play, saying “A friend of mine is involved in the NYSPHSAA (New York State Public High School Athletic Association), and he was part of the COVID-19 Task Force. The group represented all eleven sections, comprised 36 people, and had representatives from the State Education Department, Health Department, Transportation Department [and] Administrators.” Yes, my head started hurting. The “moving parts” scenario was repeated when Bill explained that the decisions put forth for Section IV involved bringing together all five conferences (IAC, STAC, MAC, Delaware Valley and Tri-Valley), and he has become more proficient in Zoom meetings than he ever imagined possible. As an administrator, Bryant sees his share of angry emails and social media posts, and while he knows it comes with the territory, at the end of the day he is just as disappointed as the rest of us. “It’s very disheartening,” Bryant offered. “At this point, if there is a basketball season in January, we will have to limit the games to 50 people. You have players, coaches, refs and table staff, and there’s your 50. We won’t be able to have spectators. That’s frustrating.” He added, “Of course, it’s about the safety and health of the students, but I believe there is a mental health compo-

nent too. I really feel for the kids, I can’t imagine what it’s like for them to be disconnected from their coaches and their teammates. I really don’t want what happened to the class of 2020 to happen to the class of 2021.” ● ● ●

The passing of NFL great Paul Hornung brought to mind a case of mistaken identity involving one of our local icons. Several years ago, retired Cornell lacrosse coach Richie Moran was asked to attend a football game at Notre Dame, and like any self-respecting Irish Catholic, Richie was pleased to accept. The fellow that had invited him had secured some VIP passes, and Richie was on the field prior to the game, taking in the grandeur of the legendary stadium, the Golden Dome and campus. He noticed a man staring at him, and after a few minutes the man approached him sheepishly. Richie was accustomed to such treatment at lacrosse games, but this was new. When the man said, “I am a longtime fan and I’d be honored to get my photo taken with you.” Richie obliged, posed for the photo and shook the man’s hand. The star-struck fellow turned to his companion and said, “I can’t wait to show my dad that I had my picture taken with Paul Horning.” That mix-up caused quite a few laughs. If it happens again, it might give someone a heart attack if they think that Mr. Hornung has returned.


BusinessTimes

Ren’s Market opens in former Greenstar. Home Sales help Ithaca Index rally. Tompkins Financial promotes Faye Burke

Female funeral director breaks down barriers By Sydney Keller

P

erhaps the death industry is not the most common career path for a woman, or anyone really, but that didn’t stop Alison Weaver from being both director and owner of two funeral homes by age 26. Weaver grew up on a dairy farm in Moravia, New York, and no one in her family had ever been in the funeral business before her. Not only is it uncommon that Weaver is a first-generation funeral home owner, but also a female first-generation owner. She began working in funeral homes when she was 15, and that was when she realized that she wanted to go to school and obtain a degree in mortuary science. Weaver got her bachelor’s degree in the field from Gannon University and Simmons Institute. After graduating, she began her year-long residency program, which was required in order to get a license in New York State. She spent the second half of her residency working at Ness-Sibley Funeral Home and Covert Funeral Home, the two businesses which she nows owns. Joseph L. Sibley, the previous owner of Ness-Sibley funeral home, worked with Weaver for five years and, before retiring, offered Weaver his business. “I always wanted to own my own business. That's always, ultimately, what my goal was,” Weaver said. “I just didn’t think it would happen quite as quickly as it actually did.” Weaver accepted and became not just a funeral director, but an owner too. She spoke with her husband and they were in agreement that she could take on the new business. “‘Let’s do this,” Weaver said. “Let’s figure it out.’ And at 26 I bought both the funeral homes.” A funeral director is a career path dominated by men, but that may not be true in the future, according to Weaver.

Fully Local.

A l i s o n We av e r ow n e r o f N e s s S i b l e y a n d C ov e r t F u n e r a l H o m e ( P h o t o : C a s e y M a r t i n) “It’s definitely interesting,” Weaver said. “And there are more and more women that are starting to become funeral directors. And I definitely think that you’re going to see that trend continue.” Weaver has been a funeral director for 12 years now, but said during her first several years as director, people would often mistake her for a secretary or the wife of the funeral director. “That is definitely changing and this is such a male-dominated profession,” Weaver said. “But we are definitely seeing

Totally Mobile.

changes for there to be more women in this industry.” Weaver said she believes women naturally take on a more caregiving role, and being a funeral director fits into that. “So much of what we do is not with the deceased person,” Weaver said. “Ninety percent of what we do is with their families and the survivors that are left behind. And I think that men are passionate and empathetic, they have all those characteristics too, but I think women are born with a natural ability to be empathetic and

passionate and wanting to help and care for family that’s left behind.” She added that taking on the responsibility of both funeral director and owner has been tough at times. “It definitely gets crazy,” Weaver said. “I knew the shift from being director to being director and owner would be big. And it definitely has been.” Weaver has a husband and two young sons and says that balancing her family and her work has also been a learning process, but she is always available for the families she works with. “It’s definitely much more added responsibility because I take a lot of pride in trying to always be the person that responds to the families that I’m working with so that they know that I’m there for them whenever they need me,” Weaver said. “And it does get challenging at times.” Despite the challenges, Weaver is very passionate about what she does. “I never realized how rewarding it is to do what we do,” Weaver said. “I feel so strongly about the families that I work with...We always refer to them as ‘I’m working with our families.’ You’re working with such an intimate, one-time thing that they’re dealing with and so many of the families, I feel, have become life-long friends and family just because I get so much back from being able to walk through such a difficult time with someone.” There is something unique and different about every family and Weaver loves all the families because of this. “We really become a part of those peoples’ lives for a long time,” Weaver said. “It’s extremely rewarding and it’s why I wake up everyday and do this. I know, I feel, I am making a difference in their lives and the families I work with make a difference in my family every day. And they just really make me appreciate all the time I have with my family.”

Send Money Fast. Mobile Check Deposit. Lost Card? Turn it off. No ve m b e r

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New Asian grocery opens in former Greenstar space By Glenn Epps

A GREEN IDEAS

new market promises to offer an underrepresented selection of produce and Asian goods, while complementing other specialty grocers in Ithaca and surrounding towns. Ren’s Mart held a soft open on Nov. 1 and has since seen a steady flow of curious customers perusing the aisles of the former Greenstar Co-Op space at 701 W. Buffalo St. Father-daughter duo Rockey and Anera Ren oversee everyday operation

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of the market— the Rens’ fourth Asian market in upstate New York. With four-and-a-half aisles, two fridge walls, a produce alcove, a live seafood station and a couple of deep freezers, Ren’s Mart is packed with a variety of items — and there’s more to come. Anera Ren said in the coming months they hope to set up their fresh-baked goods counter and begin to offer prepared meals, pandemic permitting. “Our soft opening did not include our deli and our kitchen stuffs — we’re still

getting that up and functioning — but we do plan to offer roast duck, roast pork and crispy pork. They’re very good — we offer them in our Rochester store and they’re a hit,” she said. The Rens said their mission is to cater to as many Asian communities as possible, and a lingering glance reveals that. Pummelos, daikons, whole silkie chickens and eggs and a variety of ramen and frozen dumplings catch the eye. “For all of our grocery stores we strive to serve as many Asian communities as possible. We sell a lot of Filipino, Taiwanese, Chinese, Japanese and Korean and some Indian goods as well. We’re just trying to be as all-encompassing as possible.” Rockey, with his partner Qing Li, owns three other markets under the name Asia Food Market in Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo (where he boasts the largest Asian market in upstate New York, located in a former Walmart). The Greenstar location was an obvious and optimal space for their fourth operation. Seeing that it had already been a grocery store, the space didn’t require any renovation, so the Rens were able to move in easily.

Anera Ren, owner of Ren’s Market now open in the old Greenstar space at 701 W. Buffalo St. (Photos: Casy Martin)

The duo said they had been looking to open in Ithaca for quite some time, specifically eyeing the Greenstar location and noting the large Asian community who call Ithaca home for most of the year. “We looked into the Ithaca Asian food market and the city seemed to be lacking an all-in-one, encompassing market that offered a more diverse range of goods. We decided it would be a pretty good market to enter,” Ren said. “Our biggest concern is with the pandemic and whether we may have to shut down again, but we think that once this whole thing blows over it’s possibly going to be pretty successful here.” EBT and SNAP Benefits are accepted at the market, but users may have to hold off on visiting for two or three weeks, Ren said. A cousin who oversees the paperwork is working on resubmission and the store doesn’t expect the application to be approved until the end of the month. The store is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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Air Sealing


ITHACA BUSINESS INDEX

Summer Home Sales Help Rally T he Ithaca Business Index rallied 1.5 percent in September to a level of 159.41 from a revised mark of 157.02 in August. The gain is solely attributed to a jump in home sales. Losses in employment, labor force participation, retail sales, and hours worked held the index back. Compared to September 2019 economic activity was down 8.2 percent The number of jobs in the Ithaca metropolitan area fell by 1,200 in September after climbing by 1,000 in August. This brings the number of jobs to 60,300. All the figures in this report are seasonally adjusted so that any month can be compared to any other without regard to seasonal factors. However, some experts contend that the seasonal adjustment process is not appropriate given Covid’s influence on the economy. Nevertheless, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Ithaca’s seasonally adjusted unemploy-

ment rate fell to 4.4 percent in September from 6.9 percent in August. Comparable unemployment rates for New York State and the nation in September 2020 are 9.7 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively. The size of Ithaca’s labor force decreased by 2,300 persons to a level of 49,500. Anyone residing in Ithaca with a part-time or full-time job is in the labor force. In addition, anyone residing in Ithaca without a job, but actively seeking employment, is also included in the labor force. Decreases in the labor force imply shrinking economic potential. Retail sales in Ithaca edged downward by 1.8 percent in September to $141 million. The volume of retail sales was down 13.8 percent from a year ago. Employment in Ithaca’s retail sector was 800 jobs less than normal. The average work week in Ithaca shortened 3.5 percent to 32.5 hours from 33.7 hours in August. This figure is indeed an average that includes both full and part- time employees in the private sector. Compared to September 2019, average weekly hours worked was lower by 30

minutes. Home sales in Ithaca soared 72.3 percent in September. This is a major move even for this volatile indicator. Compared to September 2019 home sales were down 0.8 percent. At least part of the explanation for the big jump was the exceptionally low number of sales in August. In any event, the median home’s price appreciated markedly over the course of the year to $297,750 from $232,500. Help wanted advertising held steady from August to September. However, compared to September 2019, help wanted advertising was down 44.6 percent. Changes in help wanted advertising may foretell actual changes in employment in the months ahead. In the past five months, Ithaca’s economy bounced about halfway back from the Covid low of April 2020. Given how our major industries – higher education and health care – are performing, the regional economy is expected to hover at 8 to 10 percent below normal for the rest of year. In January 1985, the Ithaca Business Index stood at 100.00. In September 2020, the Index reads 159.41. This means that the Tompkins County economy has grown 59.41 percent in those 429 months. From 1985 until 1988, the Ithaca metro region grew at a rapid clip. The average annual growth rate was 6.0 percent. The Ithaca Business Index reached a peak of 129.25 in April 1989. A recession brought the Index down to a level of 111.32 in February 1992. This 34-month slide was much longer and more severe than the national recession which lasted only 8 months. Since then, the County economy has recovered, but annual growth rates of 1.5 percent are more typical these days. There was a less severe version of the Great Recession here in Ithaca that started in April 2008 and ended in July 2009. The most recent recession began in April 2014 and ended in March 2015. There was no national recession during this time, but economic activity in Ithaca stalled in the latter half of 2014 and fell 1.5 percent in 2015. Ithaca’s economy had been expanding since the summer of 2015 with growth rates of 3.7 percent in 2017, 0.6 percent in 2018, and 2.0 percent in 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic has curtailed economic activity throughout the world and in Ithaca. Currently, Ithaca’s economy is operating at about 8 percent below normal. The all-time high for the Ithaca Business Index is 177.30, its reading in April 2019.

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he women of Diane’s Down- ourselves on doing the repairs and town Automotive are smart, services that are necessary to make caring and professional mak- our customers’ cars safe and reliable. ing Diane’s Downtown Automotive We place a premium on making those an easy choice for all your vehicle re- cars and trucks run the best they can pair needs. to protect both our customers and All three of these women have been the environment. And we do so with on the other side of the repair counter. full explanations, competitive pricing, Each has felt that anxiety and uncer- and repairs done on time! tainty as they waited for the laundry As we celebrate our 15th year as list of repairs so many shops hand Ithaca’s only woman owned and operthem every single visit. At Diane’s ated repair shop, stop in and see what Downtown Automotive, we pride a difference this can make.

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B usiness T imes

Biz Briefs Tompkins Trust Company Honors Community Volunteers Tompkins Trust Company honored two individuals and four groups with James J. Byrnes Awards for Excellence for their outstanding volunteer service to the community. Twelve thousand dollars was donated to local charitable organizations from the bank’s endowment fund through the Legacy Foundation of Tompkins County. The honorees each designated their monetary awards to not-for-profit organizations of their choice. This year’s honorees are Martha K. Preston, the Gemm Shop Board of Directors, Richard and the late Rev. Eunice Tabor, the 201920 Volunteer Tutors and Mentors of the College Discovery Program, Ken Mudge and David Swift, and Richard Krizek. Typically, the bank would honor the recipients with a reception to present the awards. Due to COVID-19-related restrictions, no reception has been held. “COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on our community and now, more than ever, it is important to honor and

support the organizations that are dedicated to improving our community,” said Tompkins Trust Company President and CEO Greg Hartz. “The Trust Company, through the Legacy Foundation, is proud to recognize this year’s recipients who have promoted the arts, culture, education, helped those in need through volunteerism, and have improved the quality of life for so many in Tompkins County.” The James J. Byrnes Awards for Excellence program was established during the bank's Sesquicentennial Celebration in 1986 as a means of sharing its success with community members who have helped to enrich the quality of life in Tompkins County. In 2014, the Awards for Excellence program was renamed the James J. Byrnes Awards for Excellence to honor the retirement of Jim Byrnes, a longtime Ithaca resident and leader of Tompkins Financial Corporation. The endowment is administered by the Legacy Foundation, a local not-forprofit trust. The vision of the Legacy Foundation, which began in 1945, is a commitment to “improving the quality of life in Tompkins County for those who come after us." Since 1986, the Awards for Excellence program has recognized more than 259 individuals or groups with

awards totaling more than $372,000. A capsule look at this year’s recipients: -- Martha K. Preston, for her tireless work volunteering with The History Center and centering her life’s work on local history and preservation. -- Gemm Shop Board of Directors, an entirely volunteer Board, for its incredible efforts to the Trumansburg community as well as surrounding areas. -- Richard and the late Rev. Eunice Tabor, for their remarkable service to several organizations. -- 2019-20 Volunteer Tutors and Mentors of the College Discovery Program, for providing regular and ongoing tutoring and mentoring for a diverse population of youth in the program. -- Ken Mudge and David Swift, for their outstanding work as Program Mentors with Outings, a program of the Ithaca Youth Bureau. -- Richard Krizek, for his 27 years of service as the volunteer treasurer for the Special Olympics serving the Southern Tier, Tompkins, and Cortland Counties. Tompkins Trust Company has 13 locations in Tompkins County, Cortland, Auburn and Syracuse. Bank services include complete lines of consumer deposit accounts and loans, business accounts and

loans, and trust and investment services and leasing. Insurance services are offered through Tompkins Insurance Agencies, and wealth management services are offered through Tompkins Financial Advisors. Further information about the bank is available at www.tompkinstrust.com.

Tompkins Financial Corporation Promotes Faye Burke to Vice President, Talent Acquisition Manager Tompkins Financial Corporation has promoted Faye Burke to Vice President, Talent Acquisition Manager. She will report to Bonita N. Lindberg, SPHR, SVP Director of Human Resources. Burke has been with Tompkins Financial since 2018 and has more than thirty years of experience in the human resources field. In her role, she will be responsible for the planning, organizing and managing of the recruitment functions that support the organization’s goal of attracting, sourcing, recruiting, and delivering top talent to Tompkins Financial Corporation. Prior to Burke joining the Tompkins Financial HR team, she led the Talent Acquisition continued on page 16

James Hunter, Credit Union Rock Star, Has Been Named Chief Lending Officer at Alternatives Federal Credit Union James was most recently the Executive Director of Lending and Mortgage Director of Real Estate Lending at New Orleans Firemen’s Federal Credit Union in Metairie, Louisiana, a $182 million asset credit union. In concert with the credit union mission, he also spearheaded the creation of The Faith Fund. The Faith Fund is a nonprofit designed to help individuals and families better manage their money, escape predatory lending, and achieve financial stability.

James was also the Senior Vice President of Mortgage at HOPE Federal Credit Union, a $350 million asset Community Development Credit Union, based out of Jackson, Mississippi. “During his tenure, mortgage lending increased by 117 percent, generating more than $50 million in loans across the Deep South, one of the most impoverished regions of the nation. In 2017, 99 percent of HOPE’s mortgage loans were high impact loans made to first-time homebuyers, BIPOC persons, and women.”

Too many people are so far away from the starting line. That’s why I have devoted my life’s work to moving the goalposts to ensure equity. Financial inclusion and empowerment are fundamental rights, especially for those who have either been traditionally underbanked, underserved, underinsured, and underappreciated. It is my sincere goal to ensure that everyone has an equal start, and that begins with mission-driven, service-based lending, financial planning, and inclusive visioning.

Learn more at: wheregoodthingshappen.com If you need a loan, I want to hear from you, TODAY! Contact me at: jhunter@alternatives.org Learn more about my experience and vision at: wheregoodthingshappen.com/CLO/IT No ve m b e r

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BIZ BRIEFS Contin u ed From Page 15

team for a not-for-profit global healthcare organization located in Detroit, MI. “Faye joined Tompkins Trust Co. as the Sr. Talent Acquisition Specialist and quickly earned an excellent reputation for

Faye Burke

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her ability to recruit talent to our CNY Market even in this tight labor market. As a result, she was a natural fit to lead the newly created centralized talent function for our company. Her promotion to Vice President, Talent Acquisition Manager reflects her strong knowledge and skill set in this area as well as cultural fit to Tompkins Financial Corp,” shared Lindberg. Burke holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Society for Human Resource Management of Tompkins County (SHRMTC), and the Ithaca Business Women Network. Additionally, she serves as the Chair for the United Way Foundation. Tompkins Financial Corporation is a financial services company serving the Central, Western, and Hudson Valley regions of New York and the Southeastern region of Pennsylvania. Headquartered in Ithaca, NY, Tompkins Financial is parent to Tompkins Trust Company, Tompkins Bank of Castile, Tompkins Mahopac Bank, Tompkins VIST Bank, and Tompkins Insurance Agencies, Inc., and offers wealth management services through Tompkins Financial Advisors. For more information on Tompkins Financial, visit www.tompkinsfinancial.com.

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For Third Consecutive Year, Tioga State Bank Receives National Recognition in “Best Banks to Work For” Review

Tioga State Bank has received national recognition as one of American Banker magazine’s “Best Banks to Work For” for the third consecutive year. TSB was honored for all that their employees do for their customers and communities. Tioga State Bank President and CEO Robert Fisher commented, “As a com-

munity bank, serving local businesses, individuals and families since 1864, we are delighted to be recognized as one of the best banks to work for. Especially gratifying during a pandemic, the award is a tribute to the hard work and commitment our talented and caring staff provide to our customers and community.” The Best Banks to Work For program, which was initiated in 2013 by American Banker and Best Companies Group, identifies, recognizes, and honors U.S. banks for outstanding employee engagement and satisfaction. Full results of this year's program are available at https://www. americanbanker.com/ and in the October issue of American Banker magazine. Tioga State Bank, with 100 employees and $533 million in assets, provides financial services to the Southern Tier of New York State and Northern Pennsylvania with eleven conveniently located community offices in Broome, Tioga, Chemung, and Tompkins counties. The bank’s website address is www.tiogabank.com and phone number is 1-888-303-4872. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.


FRIGHTS

A New Documentary Tracks the Allure of the Horror Anthology

W

B y B r y a n Va n C a m p e n

hen I was a kid, we were visiting family friends in Pennsylvania and one night, all of us kids watched a scary movie on WPIX-11’s “Chiller Theater.” Starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Donald Sutherland, “Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors” (1965) scared the pants off of the whole gang. It wasn’t one scary story but a bunch of scary stories. When you’re that young, you remember these things like bizarre dreams. And a few years later, when Lee hosted “Saturday Night Live,” I howled when he talked about starring in “Dr. Terror’s House of Pancakes”. Over the last 12 years, there has been a deluge of fascinating documentaries about regional cinema, film genres and film studios, led by a reliable new breed of documentarians: Mark Hartley’s “Not Quite Hollywood” (2008), “Machete Maidens Unleashed” (2010) and “Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films” (2014); and David Gregory’s “Lost Souls: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau” (2014). Every time I see one of these films, I end up opening a computer file in order to jot down titles of films I haven’t seen. David Gregory’s “Tales of the Uncanny” (Severin, 2020, 103 min.) is like that. It’s a thorough and entertaining analysis of the horror anthology, and ten minutes in, I was making a list of flicks like “Dead of Night” (1945), Roger Corman’s “Tales of Terror” (1962) and “Twice Told Tales” (1963). Gregory had originally envisioned “Tales of the Uncanny” as a DVD extra, and had interviewed a handful of filmmakers and film historians. Then COVID hit, and he decided to use Zoom to invite many more directors and participants and expand what he had to feature length. The result premieres on Friday at Cinemapolis’s virtual cinema in affiliation with Fantastic Fest. The roster of interviewees includes film historian David Del Valle, DVD producer Michael Felsher, and filmmakers Jovanka Vuckovic (“XX”), Joe Dante (“Gremlins”), Mick Garris (“The Stand” and “The Shining” miniseries), Brian Yuzna (“Society”) and Larry Fessenden (“Habit”). They have lots of favorite anthologies, and strong opinions. I’m a DVD and Blu-Ray collector, so I’ve been a big fan of producer Michael Felsher’s work for many years. His company, Red Shirt Pictures, produces fine documentaries and commentary tracks for all manner of genre

films, mostly for Shout! Factory. The films he has worked on include “Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight”, “Crimewave” and the film that made him want to make films, the George A. Romero-Stephen King anthology tribute to EC comics, “Creepshow” (1982). “To have that involvement with “Creepshow” and with George was such a bizarre thing, because that movie was a game changer for me at the age of 10, when I saw it,” says Felsher. “And then, years later to do a documentary about it and then work on the Blu-Ray after that and to get to know George as a friend was such a surreal kind of thing. ‘Creepshow,’ just the artistry that went into that, is to me, to this day, just quite amazing. That movie is just a marvel of craft to me.” Felsher says that he’s been prepping to be a film historian since he started watching genre movies as a kid, Even so, he admits, “For every anthology I’ve seen, there’s probably five I haven’t even heard of.” Felsher says that anthology films are often made because of budget and volume. “It’s easy for a filmmaker to go out and make a short. Well, if they can make enough of them, they can somehow figure out a way to package ‘em together as a movie. “Or sometimes shorts have a more interesting life online, because of their short nature. You don’t have to have a 90-minute commitment. It’s a very malleable format in very many ways, and it’s one that’s adapting very well with the way that we watch media these days.” David Del Valle is a film historian, a former script reader for Cannon Films (he’s hilarious in “Electric Boogaloo”), and a well-known authority on the horror genre. He had a special relationship with horror icon Vincent Price, and has shared several Price anecdotes on home video commentary tracks for Price vehicles like “House of Wax,” “House on Haunted Hill” and “Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine.” Del Valle recorded a proper sit-down interview for “Tales of the Uncanny” before COVID hit, and when I spoke to him, he had just done some ADR recording for the film, highlighting some early French horror anthologies. “The anthology genre’s a whole kind of interesting genre, because it’s highly unsuccessful in many ways,” he told me. “’Dead of

Tales Of The Uncanny: The Ultimate Survey Of The Anthology Film (Image: Provided)

Night’ is probably the most famous, done in the 1940s in England, which had the famous [sequence with] Michael Redgrave ventriloquist segment. “And that’s the thing with anthology movies,” he says. “If there are three segments, there’s usually one that’s the best, and then you suffer through the other two for that one. You know, in ‘Tales From the Crypt’ (1972), it’s the Grimsdyke episode (“Poetic Justice”) with Peter Cushing.” Del Valle’s favorite “Creepshow” segment is “The Crate,” “because Adrienne Barbeau was such a bitch in it. It’s like ‘Virginia Woolf ’ for the horror crowd.” He likes “The Raft” in “Creepshow 2” (1987), but even he admits that the other two stories are turkeys, a familiar refrain. “My favorite, ‘Spirits of the Dead’ AKA ‘Histoires Extraordinaires,’ brought Federico Fellini, Louis Malle and Roger Vadim together,” Del Valle recalls. “What a weird grouping. The Fellini episode, ‘Toby Dammit,’ is brilliant.” Del Valle feels that the horror anthology is likely the biggest risk for finding financing, because so few have been hits. “When you pitch these things, it’s a very hard sell. Because they look at the track record. ‘Tales From the Hood’ was a little more successful, but that has got a stronger kind of gimmick. The Amicus ones were successful for a while. Of the Roger Corman Edgar Allan Poe movies, the least successful was ‘Tales of Terror,’ because it was an anthology.” A movie like “Cat’s Eye” (1985) may not have broken box office records, but I always had a soft spot for it. And it’s clear from the stories and opinions of the people interviewed in “Tales of the Uncanny” that they still have a great affection for the horror anthology. It’s nice to see these films discussed and appreciated beyond the times in which they were made. One thing is certain: my Netflix queue just got a lot longer.

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Stage

‘A Day’ explores struggles of life and how we cope By Barbara Ad am s

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ecessity spawns invention once again at The Cherry Arts, whose last production was lip-synched live in Stewart Park. The current show is filmed with multiple cameras inside Ithaca’s State Theatre and from there streamed to home audiences. Onstage, four actors, each in a bright chartreuse (green screen) COVID-safe cubicle, chronicle one average day that begins on a downbeat. As one character says to another, “You’re already convinced that your day will be terrible.” For these four stalled,

single 20- to 30-somethings, that day plays out as predicted…almost. “A Day” is the English-language premiere of Montreal-based playwright Gabrielle Chapdelaine, as translated by Josephine George. This episodic new work, stage directed by Wendy Dann and livestreaming directed by Sam Buggeln, progresses hourly by the clock, starting at a bleary 1 a.m.

A tousled Debs, played by Erica Steinhagen, can’t fall asleep; she’s the most dysfunctionally distressed of the four. Karl Gregory’s Harris runs a close second –– grouchy, constipated, and miserable, obsessing over his mangled relationship. He’s the spiteful guy who buys a half-dozen donuts and devours them all in front of his coworkers. Ignored and lonely, Sylvie Yntema’s Nico is that dedicated but invisible office worker, always helpful, never recognized.

“A Day” by Gabrielle Chapdelaine. Cherry Arts actors will perform live from multicamera green-screen booths in the State Theatre of Ithaca, (Photo: Provided)

As her forced cheerfulness gradually erodes, we see its high cost. Perhaps the most exquisite anguish is felt by Alfonso (Jahmar Ortiz): the positivity of this irrepressible optimist masks deep sadness and disorientation.

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A fitness buff, Alfonso burns off his frustrations with pushups (when he’s not online binge-shopping); Nico tries comfort food, lovingly tending a pot of minestrone. Harris just drinks and grouses loudly (“Everything sucks!); Debs whines and cringes and accidentally splatters her last cup of ramen all over the floor. The visual framing of the show underscores the play’s themes: everyone is isolated in their screen-box, and when they take turns narrating one another’s days, they stare at the other without really seeing. Yet this remoteness is countered by wild color: each cubicle has a bright-patterned wallpaper backdrop for the well-lit, sharp images of the actors. The effect is almost sunny. This lively and appealing mise-en-scène is thanks to Noah Elman, video design; David Kossack, photography; Daniel Zimmerman, production design; and Lesley Greene, sound and music. Many of the scenes are also interspersed with short black-and-white videos, as our four lost souls interact fleetingly with others –– a grocery cashier (Susannah Berryman), a congenial barista (Rafael Lopez), an inattentive coworker (Darcy Rose), and seven more. This gives a wider scope to the action, moving each out of their own sad bubble, as well as a visual kick –– actual backgrounds are transformed by sketching, giving the whole a fun, cartoonish feel. And though each person is stuck in their own life, the others (as if unseen friends) interact, sometimes offering encouragement. At noon, when Debs finally rises from her bed, the others huzzah: “Your vertical day has begun!” Toward the play’s hopeful end, they’re even boogieing together, their screens rakishly tilted. The action is interestingly complicated by the fantasy each person sustains. Harris fixates on his ex; Debs murmurs in French about saving and nurturing an infant. After knighting her imaginary coworkers,

Nico takes one’s cell phone home and has a long pretend conversation with it. Alonso actually visits his long-ago childhood home, hoping to see his mother at the window. That several reach out to their mothers reminds us of their youth, their fragility and unformedness at this stage of their life. “A Day” is not a particularly upbeat play during our forced quarantine, especially for those under 40. The need for distraction, for alternate realities, is underscored by each person’s frequent referencing of films, whose title, director, and date then appear on-screen. The shout-outs proliferate, from Claude Berri’s “Germinal” (1993) to Shen Ellis’s “Cashback” (2006). French films predominate, and while cinephiles will be thrilled at the litany, the invocations may leave many audience members outside the joke. More successful than comparing one’s life to movie scenes is Nico’s escapist gambit, a desperate computer search of linked celebrities, which the other three join in on: “Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, Edward Norton and Drew Barrymore….” It makes them feel like “part of one big family.” At 4 p.m –– that notorious low point in the day –– Debs disappears. The others worry: “Bad days happen –– she needs to understand that.” When she finally shows up again, everyone rejoices, acknowledging, “we’re in this together.” “A Day” walks us through quotidian depression but ends on a frail note of hope. The excellent acting and clever, sparkling visuals make the journey memorable.

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“A Day” by Gabrielle Chapdelaine and codirected by Sam Buggeln and Wendy Dann, streams Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 19-21. For tickets, visit thecherry.org/tickets/.

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ometimes a love story against impossible odds is exactly the ticket. And that dream materializes in Syracuse Stage’s excellent production of Lanford Wilson’s “Talley’s Folly” –– fully staged, filmed by Black Cub Productions, and streaming to viewers through Sunday. These days it helps if the couple onstage, unmasked and undistanced, exist

in their own pod, and in this case it’s the married actors, Kate Hamill (playwright of “Pride & Prejudice”) and Jason O’Connell (Salieri in “Amadeus”). These engaging actors take us far away –– back to the Fourth of July, 1944, in an abancontinued on page 20

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SYRACUSE STAGE Contin u ed From Page 19

doned boathouse on a farm near rural Lebanon, Missouri. Wilson himself was born in Lebanon in 1937, and this romantic drama –– which won the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Drama Critics Circle Award, reflects the world of his midwestern youth. Elegantly directed by Robert Hupp, Syracuse’s artistic director, the play is still timely, as aptly summed up in his program notes: “The theme of ‘Talley’s Folly’ is hope –– hope for this seemingly mismatched couple, hope for a seemingly divided country. Set against the backdrop of a national crisis, ‘Talley’s Folly’ doesn’t promise a happy ending, but it does offer the promise of a journey worth taking.” Matt Friedman, 42, an accountant (Jewish, heritage undisclosed), met Sally Talley, 31, a nurse’s aide (Christian, daughter of privileged locals), the previous summer at a dance, and he’s been writing her daily ever since. He’s now arrived, quite uninvited, to take their relationship further –– despite her denying it even exists. Knocking at the grand house on the hill, Matt, the “Communist infidel,” has been chased off by Sally’s shotgun-toting brother. He’s taken refuge in their decaying Victorian boathouse, where Sally arrives, determined to shoo him home to St. Louis. That’s the setup, but in fact the play opens as a story: Alone, Matt begins to narrate that fateful evening to the audi-

Chesney), is unrelentingly unwelcoming; for a full half hour she rails at Matt like a fishwife. As scripted, perhaps, but it makes us wonder why Matt’s so fond of her. Sally rejects him repeatedly until nearly the very end, her emerging change of heart ever so muted. Private about his own past, Matt probes Sally for hers –– as daughter Lanford Wilson’s “Talley’s Folly,” directed by Robert Hupp, of a wealthy family, featuring Kate Hamill and Jason O’Connell, streams through once engaged to the Nov. 22. Tickets: https://syracusestage.org/. (Photo: Provided) local sports hero destined for sucence, invoking his own awkwardness and cess, why has she never married? In turn helpful romantic embellishments –– the Sally pushes him to reveal his background willows, breeze, moonlight, crickets, frogs –– what nationality, what family, why and bees. And then, just for “latecomers,” single? he recites it all again, in double time. Their confrontation, shifting from This opening inevitably charms audicomical to painful and back, takes place ences, and with Jason O’Connell embodyin the weathered boathouse –– handing Matt, we’re easily swept up. He’s a somely designed by Czerton Lim and lit, passionate knight in a stuffy brown suit from dusk to moonlight, by Dawn Chiang; and outrageous red tie –– alternately intel- Jacqueline R Herter’s sound animates it lectual, doubtful, fierce, witty, and evasive. with fireworks, wailing dogs, and a distant It’s a fascinating performance, memorable band. The boathouse’s folly, or gazebo, was for its nuance and likeability. built by Sally’s uncle, who “followed his Hamill’s Sally, pert in a new sumheart,” as the couple is also trying to do, mer dress (period costumes by Suzanne however fitfully.

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Religion, history, and culture (even their accents) divide them, as well as the distance between his job in St. Louis and her life in Lebanon. But Sally, who’s eager to leave home, is a free thinker: Not every Christian girl gets fired from teaching Sunday school for lecturing on labor issues. And they’re on the same page politically; Matt jokes that her brother thinks he’s “more dangerous than Roosevelt himself.” Matt is persistent, demanding, fuming –– then flipping to tell stories and jokes and imitate Bogart. He discovers some old ice skates, dons them and stumbles around the deck, falling through, and only Sally’s amused warning of “copperheads, cottonmouths, and water moccasins” manages to extricate him. Sally swabs his wound with gin, they drink the gin, they banter, they eventually waltz. Matt’s relentless, multi-pronged attack finally wears her down, though he succumbs first. Uncomfortably, in a distancing, storytelling way, he shares his Lithuanian past, his family’s dark history, his own private vow. Their pitched battle goes a few more rounds before Sally, exhausted, agonizingly reveals her secret shame. Throughout, their exchange has been intense, tender, complex, and utterly believable. And the struggle has closed the gap between them, earning, to our great satisfaction, a sweet ending. Barbara Adams, a regional arts journalist, teaches writing at Ithaca College.

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Virtual Music Concerts/Recitals

Beiliang Zhu plays Bach | 7:30 PM, 11/20 Friday | Online, | Upstate New York-based, award-winning cellist Beiliang Zhu plays an unusual all-Bach program which includes the d minor violin partita played on 5-string cello and the G Major cello suite. This event is co-hosted with Pegasus Early Music, and will be presented online, with chat with the artist. NYS Baroque presents Beiliang Zhu plays Bach | 7:30 PM, 11/20 Friday | 2nd performance 11/22 at 4PM. Rochester musical icon and award-winning cellist Beiliang Zhu. She will perform an unusual allBach program which includes a violin partita played on 5-string cello and the G Major cello suite.†https:// nysbaroque.com/ Symphoria Casual: Beethoven’s Legacy | 3:00 PM, 11/22 Sunday | Virtual, Virtual, Virtual | Beethoven left an indelible mark on the future of both symphonic and chamber music: his masterful Concerto for Violin, Violoncello, & Piano seamlessly combines the two, featuring our own Sonya Stith Williams, violin, Heidi Hoffman, cello & Rob Auler, piano. http://experiencesymphoria.org/ | Family Livestream $35, Individual Livestream $20 Beiliang Zhu plays Bach | 4:00 PM, 11/22 Sunday | Online, | Upstate New York-based, award-winning cellist Beiliang Zhu plays an unusual all-Bach program which includes the d minor violin partita played on 5-string cello and the G Major cello suite. This event is co-hosted with Pegasus Early Music, and will be presented online, with chat with the artist.

Stage ‘A Day’ by Gabrielle Chapdelaine | 7:30 PM, 11/19 Thursday | Presented by the Cherry Artists’ Collective and live-streamed from the State Theatre. Tickets available at†thecherry.org†

her bureaucratic job to convince divorcing couples to stay together. | 3 day rental for $12 Virtual Cinemapolis: The Donut King | All Day 11/21 Saturday | The rags to riches story of a refugee escaping Cambodia, arriving in America in 1975 and building an

Art Close to Home in Fields and Woods | 12:00 PM, 11/19 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.

Movies Virtual Cinemapolis: Coded Bias | All Day 11/18 Wednesday | Coded Bias reveals the groundbreaking research of MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini, proving that facial recognition algorithms have the power to disseminate racial bias at scale.† | 72 hour rental available for $12 Virtual Cinemapolis: Born to Be | All Day 11/20 Friday | Follows the work of Dr. Jess Ting at the groundbreaking Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery. | 3 day rental for $12 Virtual Cinemapolis: Tales of the Uncanny | All Day 11/20 Friday | Presented in collaboration with†Ithaca Fantastik. An international Zoom-enabled feature-length documentary on the evolution, challenges and all-time Top 5 greatest anthologies ñ and segments ñ in horror. | 3 day rental for $12 Virtual Cinemapolis: The Twentieth Century | All Day 11/20 Friday | Toronto, 1899. Aspiring young politician Mackenzie King dreams of becoming the Prime Minister of Canada. But his romantic vacillation between a British soldier and a French nurse, exacerbated by a fetishistic obsession, may well bring about his downfall. | 3 day rental available for $12 Virtual Cinemapolis: Action USA | All Day 11/21 Saturday | Two FBI agents protect the fleeing girlfriend of a jewel thief slain by gangsters in a 4K restoration of the 1989 cult classic by director John Stewart. | 3 day rental for $12 Virtual Cinemapolis: Divine Love | All Day 11/21 Saturday | Itís the year 2027 in this dystopian, fluorescent Sci Fi story of Joana (Brazilian star Dira Paes), who uses

unlikely multi-million-dollar empire baking Americaís favorite pastry, the donut. | 3 day rental for $12

Special Events Women & Wellness Financial Roundtable Discussions | 10:00 AM, 11/18 Wednesday | Novemberís discussion on the topic of ‘Managing Your Finances During Periods of Uncertainty.’†www.tompkinsfinancialadvisors.com Virtual Spring Writes Poetry and Prose Open Mic | 6:00 PM, 11/18 Wednesday | Open to writers of all ages and experience levels, will be held via Zoom. To receive the Zoom link and instructions for participation, families with younger children, teens, and adults can register as performers or audience members at www.tcpl.org La Llorona del Rio Grande: A Story Told Through Noise | 5:00 PM, 11/20 Friday | The Ithaca Music Forum presents Dr. Ana AlonsoMinutti of the University of New Mexico.† Tales about the mythical figure of La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) are as old as they are varied.† This presentation will discuss one such retelling,† Email psilberman@ithaca.edu for Zoom registration link.†

Books NOW SHOWING: CODED BIAS Cinemaplis Virtual Cinema

Spring Writes Literary Festival in November (23 Virtual Events!) | 3:00 PM, 11/18 Wednesday | Virtual, Ithaca | Visit www. SpringWrites.org to see all of the events.

Notices Ithaca Rotary Club Weekly Meeting | 12:15 PM, 11/18 Wednesday | Rotary Club of Ithaca holds its weekly meetings via Zoom. This week features the annual Pride of Workmanship Awards Presentation. Visit www.ithacarotary.com†to† request an invite and link to the meeting. Intro to Virtual Reality | 4:30 PM, 11/19 Thursday | Offered by TCPL & Cornell mannUfactory. Participants will learn about and experience the basics of virtual reality. No previous experience is needed. Ages 16+ welcome. Participants can register and receive the Zoom link for the event by visiting https://spaces. library.cornell.edu/event/7069735. Trumansburg Farmers Market Thanksgiving Pop-Up | 12:00 PM, 11/23 Monday | Trumansburg Farmers Market, Corner of Rtes 96 and 227, Trumansburg | This is the first year the market has hosted a Thanksgiving event. Maximizing Production In Your Sap Collection System | 7:00 PM, 11/24 Tuesday | Free online workshop sponsored by The Cornell Maple Program.† www.cornellmaple.com.

Health Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings | 9:00 AM, 11/23 Monday | Every day, 9:00am, Daily Ithaca Group, Zoom ID 567 306 773, Dial in: 929-205-6099. Contact dailyithacagroup@gmail.com for the password.

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Town & Country

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Innovative Education English Teachers

OCM BOCES Seven Valleys New Tech Academy, Cortland Campus, is recruiting a full time secondary ELA teacher. We are seeking an ELA teacher able to create and maintain a student-centered classroom that supports the principles of project-based learning. Our Innovative Education staff members are collaborative, integrate, technology into the curriculum, and connect with local businesses and community agencies to build academic partnerships. NYS secondary ceritification is required. These positions will begin on or about December 1,2020. Applications accepted online only. Register and apply by 11/20/20 at: www.olasjobs.org/central. For more information, visit our website at: www. ocmboces.org EOE

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