December 7, 2022

Page 1

Gift Guide 2022 FREE D E c E mb ER 7, 2022 /V Online @ ITHACA.COM SHERIFF DEPUTY FIRED FOR SERIOUS MISCONDUCT PAGE 4 AN EVICTION BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS? PAGE 4 SAFER STREETS FOR BIKERS PAGE 7 TOO MUCH BOOZE? PAGE 10 HOLIDAY CONCERTS PAGE 23 SEE PAGES 11-22
2 T he I T haca T I mes / D ecember 7–13, 2022 24-Month Certificate! 3.25% APY* $500 minimum balance FOR A LIMITED TIME 3.30% APY* $25,000 minimum balance 3.40% APY* $100,000 minimum balance For more info, visit mycfcu.com/certificates *APY=Annual Percentage Yield. APY is accurate as of 11/16/2022, and available for a limited time. Minimum account opening deposit of $500 required. Penalties may be imposed for early withdrawal. Fees may reduce earnings. Federally insured by NCUA.

Tompkins County Sheriff Deputy Fired for Serious Misconduct

In a November 28 press release, Tompkins County Sheriff Derek Osborne announced that a Tompkins County Sheriff Deputy has been fired for serious misconduct while on duty.

According to the press release, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office became aware of a complaint from a community member that was made to a law enforcement agency in Cortland County on November 9, 2022.

It was determined that the subject of the complaint was a Tompkins County Sheriff’s Deputy identified as Kristofer O’Rourke. After gathering further information that same day, it was determined to be a serious misconduct complaint and the deputy was immediately placed on administrative leave as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement.

According to Sheriff Osborne, an investigation was conducted by Undersheriff Olin and the complaint was ultimately determined to be sustained. “Our investigation uncovered inappropriate verbal communication of a sexual nature by O’Rourke to a member of the public while he was on-duty,” said Osborne. On November 21, O’Rourke was terminated from his position due to improper conduct as defined in 9 NYCRR 6056.2(h)(1).

Sheriff Osborne said, “The findings of the investigation and the termination for cause was immediately reported to

the Division of Criminal Justice Services so O’Rourke’s police officer certification would be permanently invalidated preventing him from working for another law enforcement agency in the future.”

Osborne continued saying, “The Tompkins County District Attorney was also consulted by my Office, and it was determined that the conduct did not rise to the level of a criminal charge. The Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office is currently reviewing other cases O’Rourke was involved in during his time at the Sheriff’s Office.”

On November 22, the New York State Police from the Livingston County area notified the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office that they had been conducting a criminal investigation of O’Rourke since August 2022 regarding a complaint they received while he was employed at the Geneseo Police Department in Livingston County, NY.

On November 28, 2022 the New York State Police reportedly charged O’Rourke with Criminal Sex Act in the Third Degree, a Class E Felony and Official Misconduct, a Class A Misdemeanor and returned him to Livingston County for arraignment.

Sheriff Osborne said that the Sheriff’s Office needed to delay notifying the public until the New York State Police could complete their investigation and charge O’Rourke.

According to Osborne, “O’Rourke

T ake N ote

was hired by the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office on August 8, 2022. He was a lateral transfer candidate from Geneseo Police Department in Livingston County. No disciplinary or performance concerns were reported during his background investigation.”

The background investigation process of the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office consists of records checks with all law enforcement agencies that the applicant may have contact with, an investigatory interview, associate interviews, a polygraph examination, a psychological test and a professional psychiatric interview all of which led to nothing indicative of this sort of behavior.

During O’Rourke’s 3-month stint with the Tompkins County Sheriffs Department, he was directly supervised by a Field Training Officer from 08/08/22 through 09/24/22, leaving him on solo patrol from only 09/25/22-11/08/22.

ON THE COVER: Ph.D candidate Spencer Beswick and his lost notebook ignited a spoon-full of mystery on the campus of Cornell University.

The Little Red Wagon

Artisan Market, Ithaca’s juried holiday show, is rolling back into town for its annual two-day event on Saturday and Sunday, December 10th and 11th. The show will be located inside the Triphammer Marketplace & atrium, with an expanded selection of regional makers. The Little Red Wagon will feature the work of approximately 50 fine artists and artisans and showcase a wide variety of

beautiful handmade local products, from pottery to clothing, jewelry, art, wood and housewares, craft beer, body care, coffee, pastries, and more.

The Little Red Wagon has been featuring Ithaca artisans since 2014 and has since become a beloved community event. Now conveniently located next to Ithaca Bakery and the Re-Use storefronts, the show serves as a one-stop local shopping event as well as a place to connect with

regional makers. Come both days to see all of the makers and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

The Little Red Wagon will be from 10 AM – 5 PM on Saturday, Dec 10th, and Sunday, December 11th at the Triphammer Marketplace. Located at the corner of NYS Rt 13 and Triphammer Rd. with plenty of free parking.

More information can be found at www.littleredwagonartisans.com.

ON THE WEB

Visit our website at www.ithaca. com for more news, arts, sports and photos. Call us at 607-277-7000

M ark L evine , M anaging E ditor , x 1217 E ditor @ i thaca t im E s com C hris i bert , C al E ndar E ditor , a rts @ i thaca t im E s com a ndrew s u LL ivan , S port S E ditor , x 1227 s ports @ flcn org

M att d ougherty , n E w S r E port E r , x 1225 r E port E r @ i thaca t im E s com s teve L awren C e , S port S C olu M ni S t s t E v E s ports d ud E @ gmail com

J osh b a L do , p hotograph E r J o S h B aldo @ gmail com s haron d avis , d S tri B ution F ront @ i tha C a t i MES C o M

J M b i L inski , p u B li S h E r , x 1210 jbilinski @ i thaca t im E s com L arry h o C hberger , a SS o C iat E p u B li S h E r , x 1214 larry @ thaca t im E s com

Christmas tree in Downtown Ithaca on the Commons. Provided by The Downtown Ithaca Alliance. Continued on Page 6

F r EE lan CE r S : Barbara Adams, Stephen Burke, G. M Burns, Alyssa Denger, Jane Dieckmann, Charley Githler, Ross Haarstad, Steve Lawrence, Marjorie Olds, Henry Stark, Bryan VanCampen, and Arthur Whitman

THE ENTIRE CONTENTS OF THE ITHACA TIMES ARE COPYRIGHT © 2022, BY NEWSKI INC.

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. FoundEr good t MES gazEttE: toM newton

D ecember
/
he I T haca T I mes 3
7–13, 2022
T
NO.
/ December 7,
Serving
readers weekly
VOL. XLIII /
16
2022
47,125
N ews line
NEWSLINE ����������������������������������� 3 COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS �� 6 PERSONAL HEALTH ����������������� 10 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 11-22 BOOKS ���������������������������������������� 25 ART ��������������������������������������������� 26 TIMES TABLE ����������������������� 28-29 CLASSIFIED �������������������������� 30-32
Kristofer O’Rourke (photo provided)

IN UIRING PHOTOGR PHER Q A

Mayor-Elect Revokes Police Chief Appointment Following Common Council Pressure

For a brief period of time it seemed like Ithaca’s seemingly never ending search for a new Chief of Police was coming to an end after Mayor-elect Laura Lewis released the agenda for the December 7 Common Council meeting with current Acting Chief of Police John Joly as her final pick for the position.The Mayorelect chose Joly over former IPD lieutenant Scott Garin and Binghamton Police Department Captain Chris Bracco.

However, after several members of the Common Council came out against appointing Joly to the position the Mayor-elect has announced that she will be revoking his appointment and reopening the city’s search for a new Chief of Police.

In a statement released on December 5 the Mayor Elect said, “Last week, I nominated Acting Chief Joly for the position of Police Chief. He has a long history of dedicated service to the department, including as Deputy Chief and, during the past challenging nineteen months, as Acting Chief. I believe his experience could have served the department and the City well going forward.”

She continued saying, “After careful consideration, I believe it is necessary to change course now and reopen the search. I respect the fact that a number of my colleagues disagreed with my recommendation and so I will be removing this appointment from the December 7 Common Council agenda. This has been an extremely difficult decision. I will soon announce a plan for a reopened search for the next Chief of the Ithaca Police Department.”

Acting Chief Joly has served in the Ithaca Police Department for over 15 years and has carried out the duties of the Chief of Police of the Ithaca Police Department under the title of “acting” police chief since former Chief Dennis Nayor retired in April of 2021.

In response to the Mayor’s decision to revoke his appointment

Joly said, “I am disappointed by the Common Council’s conclusion on my proposed appointment. I’m confident I would have continued to serve the City and the Department well as Chief, but I also respect that this is a decision that the Common Council needs to support. I wish the IPD all the best and, like all of us, wish the Mayor success in recruiting another excellent candidate to this crucial and difficult role.”

The Mayor has the ability to make a recommendation to the Common Council for who they believe is the best pick for the position, but the Common Council has the final say in approving the appointee. In order to be approved, Joly would need six votes from the Common Council. If the Common Council did approve, then Joly could have started his role

as Chief of Police on December 7 at a salary of $128,692.

The Mayor-elect came under pressure to revoke Joly’s appointment after four members of the Common Council publicly announced their disapproval of her pick. The four members were Alderpersons Cynthia Brock, Jorge Defendini, Ducson Nguyen and Jeffery Barken.

Common Council members

George McGonigal, Phoebe Brown, and Rob Gearhart sat on the police chief selection committee, but the council members who objected to Joly’s appointment say that Mayorelect Lewis did not adequately consult the rest of Common Council for their input before a final decision was made. Additionally, they say that more significant change is necessary in order to solve the problems that IPD currently faces.

4 T he I T haca T I mes / D ecember 7–13, 2022 N ewsline IF YOU COULD
YOUR
WHAT WOULD
““This year, lots of baseball and fun..” – Willoughby P. “2009, the first year of my sons life” – Amy P. “Last year of college, 2015.” – Leland W. “I don’t look back, only forward”. – Renate F. “2019, when we moved to Ithaca NY.” – Haven F.
RE-LIVE ANY YEAR OF
LIFE,
IT BE?
Acting Police Chief John Joly will have to wait for council consideration of his permanent appointment. Photo by Stella Frank.

Public Sector Labor Leaders Respond to Proposal for City to Hire

Outside Counsel to Replace City Attorney at Negotiating Table

The dispute between public sector labor unions and the city attorney is dragging into another month.

During the November 30 City Administration meeting public sector labor leaders confronted the City Administration Committee about the “unproductive” and “disrespectful” culture that has been allowed to exist in City Hall. They say this culture has had spillover effects that have made negotiating contracts with the City Attorney, the Director of Human Resources, and the City Controller more difficult.

In a statement released following the meeting, Justin Perkins (CSEA DPW Unit President); Thomas Condzella (PBA President); Emily Rodekohr (Ithaca Professional Firefighters Association) and Jeanne Grace (President of the City Executive Association) said that the City Attorney’s comments at the Nov. 9 Common Council meeting were “very indicative of the hostile culture that has been allowed to persist at City Hall and in local government.”

They continue saying, “this culture has not only led to the poor treatment of public workers and deteriorating public services in our community, but it has also led to many voices being marginalized, the same voices who should be part of conversations surrounding matters involving organized labor.”

A major point of contention in the statement was that city employees feel unheard by the City Attorney’s negotiating team. According to the statement, for the last decade the Common Council has approved labor agreements with little information about the actual needs of the workers.

The City Attorney has responded to these complaints saying that numerous successful labor contracts have been reached throughout his time as City Attorney. However, as a result of the unproductive status of negotiations he has offered to step away from the negotiating table and propose a resolution to allocate funds for the Mayor to hire outside counsel to conduct labor contract negotiations.

According to the City Attorney, “In light of recent events, I do not believe that it is in the City’s best interests for labor contract negotiations to be led by the City Attorney going forward.”

The proposal to hire outside counsel to replace the City Attorney at the negotiating table calls for the Common Council to transfer $110,000 from Account A1990 Unrestricted Contingency to Account A1210-5435, for the purpose of hiring outside counsel to conduct labor contract negotiations.

In response to this proposition the statement released by public sector labor unions said, “Why are there so many attorneys on the City’s side of the table from high power law firms like Roemer, Wallens, Gold and Mineux, LLP out of Albany that have been retained by the city for so many years?” They continued by asking why the city insists on having legal representation at the negotiating table when public sector unions have never had legal representation of their own.

The statement continues saying, “pitting your employees against trained attorneys, for basic cost of living raises while always requiring benefit reductions, whether you realize it or not, will continue bankrupting and busting the very unions represented before you today.” Labor leaders say that “stacking the negotiating table with high powered lawyers who have no understanding of our community, our work or the jobs we do, has never worked…and is the very reason we are in this critical situation.”

According to public sector labor leaders this adversarial and toxic culture “can be resolved face to face, in partnership, with all primary stakeholders involved in the collaboration at the bargaining table.” However, they have also said that they are “supportive of the concept of removing the City Attorney from matters involving organized labor and are hopeful for positive change.”

While labor leaders are supportive of removing the City Attorney from future negotiations, they say this change alone “will not ensure the much-needed move away from the destructive philosophy and culture that has been allowed to persist in City Hall, unchecked, for several years.”

Instead of allocating additional funds to hire outside counsel, labor leaders say that money could be put to better use by allocating it towards higher raises for city employees. According to the statement, a member of the CSEA DPW Unit makes a maximum of $17.12 per hour, or about $34,000 per year. That’s hardly a living wage when you account for the additional costs of taxes and health insurance.

According to the public sector labor leaders who spoke at the City Administration meeting and signed the letter to the City Administration Committee, “We need to consider drastic and radical changes now, to reverse course and set the stage for future success because there is too much at stake.”

DOWNS&

Ups

It looks like Ithaca College is getting a new artificial turf football field to replace the natural-grass field at Butterfield Stadium.

Downs

The historic season for the No. 9/10 Ithaca College football team came to an end in the NCAA Division III Quarterfinals as the Bombers fell to No. 1 North Central, 48-7, at Benedetti-Wherli Stadium

HEARD SEEN&

Heard

Mayor-elect Laura Lewis has appointed Deb Mohlenhoff as the next Chief of Staff for the City of Ithaca. Deb Mohlenhoff will begin as Chief of Staff for the City of Ithaca on January 9, 2023.

Seen

The Tioga Downs Casino Gave $1.1 Million to 54 Local Non-Profits on Giving Tuesday.

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

D ecember 7–13, 2022 / T he I T haca T I mes 5 N ewsline
UPS
QUESTION OF THE WEEK Do you support the city and county investing in a sanctioned homeless encampment like TIDES? 40.0% Yes. 46.0% No. 14.0% What is TIDES?. N ext W eek ’s Q uestio N : !!!!? Visit ithaca.com to submit your response.
Emily Rodekohr, Ithaca Professional Firefighters Association Thomas Condzella, PBA President Jeanne Grace, President of the City Executive Association

Shima Foroughi, Far From Her Home in Iran

Shima Foroughi moved from Iran to the United States in September of 2017. Growing up in Iran in a close, loving family, her mother was a teacher, one sister is a dentist, another sister is an attorney, and her brother is a student of dentistry. Shima gained acceptance to Isfahan University of Technology, one of the most prestigious public universities in Iran, before obtaining her Master’s degree in environmental engineering from Guilan University.

Given the continuing political protest in Iran, and the government’s aggressive crackdown on participants, Shima can only speak about once a week to her family in Iran. “After Mahsa Amini’s death by the Morality Police, people have been protesting the Islamic regime’s treatment of women. The government cut off internet access across the country. There is very poor phone reception available; and the quality makes it difficult for us to connect…”

“In Iran everything depends on submission to the ruling clerics. To get a job, a good home, to advance in

one’s occupation, depends on obedient observance of whatever is the current religious rulers’ decree…Many Iranians have college and advanced degrees. But jobs are scarce, except for the “insiders.”

It is all about one’s observance of fanatical Islamic Shia rules, with observance strictly following the Supreme Rulers’ demands: How one dresses, what one says, will affect one’s opportunities, where one is permitted to live, who gets what job-- depends on total loyalty to the Supreme Rulers…Many independent thinkers, artists, talented and highly educated people, have left Iran.”

“My mother was always so brave. She showed us how one fights for one’s dreams. She got an education and she worked hard at her job. Because she was so courageous, I grew up to be brave.”

Shima left Iran when she imagined her daughter’s future. Girls in Iran must cover their hair with hijab when they are seven. When she was young, she shares, “I cut my hair short and went out to play like a boy until I was a teenager. I wanted my daughter to have freedom and not have to hide. In Iran, women must have their father or husband’s permission to travel. Only

men can initiate a divorce. And if they divorce, the men get everything, including the children.”

For Shima it took eight years to achieve permission to immigrate to the U.S. “You can’t imagine how hard it was to say goodbye to my family at the airport. To leave everything I loved behind me. I was leaving what I knew for the unknown. In America I learned a new language, and new culture. But my daughter is a free human being in this country. She is happy and has many friends. Here she can sing in public, swim in public, attend coed classes, ride a bicycle…When I think of children growing up in Iran, her freedom was worth the years of effort it took to leave.

“There are many educated women in Iran. Women who have left Iran are supporting the women who are fighting for fair treatment within Iran. Freedom fighters go to the streets. But the price is severe. Many are arrested, wounded, killed…even children. If wounded, protestors cannot safely seek medical care for fear of imprisonment. Doctors who help secretly are in danger of arrest… But even though Iranians are scared, they continue the protests. They say, “I don’t have anything to lose.” We are not permitted to send money from the U.S. to Iran. So, sadly, there is little we can

do currently for our freedom fighters in Iran.”

And Shima’s life in America: “Upon arrival, I had the opportunity to pursue my Ph.D. in marine ecology at both Cornell and Rochester Universities, but I decided to follow my dream to develop my art. I exhibited in some galleries, while working in graphic arts at Cornell University.”

“Then I took the leap to create my own business. In my salon, I engage my love of art, fashion, and beauty and in a calm setting. I offer permanent makeup, micro blading, and scalp micro pigmentation. My work is popular, and I offer all these services in one salon…When a woman who has lost her eyebrows has them artfully reconstructed, she may cry with joy to see how beautiful she looks. This is priceless for me, giving someone their self-confidence back …”

“Being 100% responsible for developing my own business was risky. Opening during the pandemic was even more of a gamble. But I love my work and what I can offer to people. And now I have expanded my staff.”

“As an Iranian immigrant and successful businesswoman, it is important to me to advocate for all women worldwide, particularly for the courageous women in Iran, who are fighting for their basic human rights and freedom.”

also like to thank the New York State Police for their coordination with our Office in relation to their investigation and subsequent arrest of O’Rourke.”

The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the community member that came forward so that we could take swift and decisive disciplinary action. The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office has responded by saying that they are “dedicated to providing the highest quality law enforcement services to both residents and visitors of Tompkins County.”

Additionally, Sheriff Osborne has said “I would like to apologize to the residents of Tompkins County, that despite our best efforts at conducting thorough background investigations of applicants, for having one slip through the cracks and potentially put people in our community at risk.” He continued saying, “We would

Osborne has also said that he asks that anyone who may have had an improper interaction with O’Rourke, regardless of the jurisdiction in which it occurred, to please contact the New York State Police and report such at (585)390-4100, as the New York State Police will be accepting and consolidating any additional allegations.

“As Sheriff, I would ask the Governor and Attorney General to provide safeguards to better protect prior employers from potential liability from disclosing information of a concerning nature to agencies conducting background investigations on those applying for positions in the public safety field,” said Osborne.

6 T he I T haca T I mes / D ecember 7–13, 2022
COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
TOMPKINS COUNTY continued from page 3

Bike Walk Tompkins Advocates for Safer Streets for Bikers

On November 18, Bike Walk Tompkins organized a vigil that coincided with the World Day of Remembrance to honor the victims of road traffic violence at the Bernie Milton Pavilion on the Ithaca Commons resonated with this theme, in a call to Remember, Support and Act.

To start the event, Bike Walk Tompkins welcomed a gathering of 25 or so, braving the cold and dark as colored lights draped on bike wheel changed colors and hot tea was served alongside petitions calling for action to make roadways safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. Rob Cantelmo (Common Council Member and Chair of the City Administration Committee) and Erin Cuddihy (City Transportation Engineer) joined the group and stayed for the whole event. To prepare for this night, I looked for stories of walkers and bikers hurt or killed in the Ithaca area, thinking I wouldn’t find much. I tend to think of little Ithaca as a place where this doesn’t happen much and maybe dismiss it as mostly a big city problem. So I was shocked by how many accounts I found of serious roadway injuries and deaths of walkers and bikers, sometimes of people who were very young.

REMEMBER. Several people came to the microphone and shared stories sad and powerful, at times igniting shouts of anger, bringing home the vivid horror of lives touched by or lost to traffic violence. Kelda McGurk talked about the recent death of bicyclist Carlette Crowe on Floral Ave. and the petition she’d been circulating about unsafe Floral Ave. traffic conditions – one the victim had signed two days before his death. Victoria Armstrong read the names of several local road violence victims she remembers, and others stood up to speak of loved ones lost to car-onperson crashes. Then, the group viewed Sarah Nickerson’s beautiful and moving tribute to her niece Sophia, made into a video by local filmmaker Shira Evergreen, displayed on a white sheet quivering in the chilly breeze. Sophia was only 14 when she was hit and killed by a drunk driver last year while walking along a local roadway with her sister and friends.

SUPPORT. Speakers shared messages of empathy for those struggling with grief over people suddenly lost to crashes, and people hugged one another. The event concluded with a “walk of silence”, as the group carried their twinkling white candles north and along Cascadilla Creek to return.

ACT. As Americans, our society has an unhealthy focus on cars and speed, to the exclusion of slower, healthier and more earth-friendly ways of getting around. We tend to view deaths of walkers and bikers on roadways as somehow acceptable, or the person’s fault, as they

shouldn’t have been there. This is wrong. As the organizers of the first WDoR event in Ithaca, we called on the City of Ithaca to prioritize funding for roadway structures that make a safe space for walkers and bikers, rather than designing roads solely for moving cars as fast as possible, and we urged people to sign three petitions: 1) calling on the City of Ithaca to reduce its speed limit to 25 mph, 2) calling on local and state officials to promptly address unsafe traffic conditions on Rt. 13A/Floral Ave. and 3) calling on the Governor to sign the Complete Streets funding bill that would increase

state support to localities building streets that make a safe space for pedestrians and bicyclists. We urge you, the readers of this piece, to do the same, and to keep challenging your elected officials to make safety for vulnerable road users a priority. If you’d like more information about how to get involved in advocacy for safer roadways for all, please write: hello@ bikewalktompkins.org.

Sincerely, Margaret Johnson Director, Bike Walk Tompkins Center for Community Transportation

D ecember 7–13, 2022 / T he I T haca T I mes 7
GUEST OPINION
Photo Provided by Bike Walk Tompkins

An Eviction Before the Holidays?

The fight to stop an eviction of the residents at 417 S Aurora St. has taken many twists and turns over the past several months. The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department was set to carry out the eviction on December 9, but the Ithaca Tenants Union has announced that the Sheriff has decided to postpone the eviction until further notice.

The property is home to Kathy Majors and Jim Lukasavage. It was foreclosed on in June 2021 and sold to Habitat for Humanity of Tompkins and Cortland Counties in August of the same year.

An eviction warrant against the property’s residents was sought by Habitat for Humanity in August 2022, but local organizers and attorneys have helped them stay in the home for the meantime after arguing in court that the foreclosure process was improperly conducted.

Emily Turner, an attorney involved in the case told The Ithaca Times, “the city and the county instituted foreclosure proceedings and the city failed to notify all of the title parties.” She continued saying, “if your name is on a deed, you are entitled to notice of a foreclosure. And they did not notify our client who is one of the last members of the Majors family to hold the deed title.”

At the time of the interview, Turner refused to identify who her client was. However the client, Doi Majors, recently told The Ithaca Times that previous attempts to notify her of the foreclosure likely failed because her address has changed several times since she was displaced by Hurricane Katrina in 2006.

Doi Majors is the daughter of the original owner of the property, Richard Majors Sr., who passed away in 2008. Before Richard Sr. passed away he was married to Kathy.

When Richard Majors Sr. died, ownership of the property was transferred to his adult children — his daughter Doi lives in New Orleans and his son Richard Jr. lives in England. Previous reporting incorrectly stated that Richard Jr. was deceased.

In 2009 a land contract was signed between Kathy and the owners of the

property stating that she could stay in the house if she made monthly payments to the new owners and kept up on all the taxes and maintenance. Doi said that if Kathy kept up with $280 monthly payments she could pay a lump sum to buy out the rest of the property after two years. However, Doi recently told The Ithaca Times that she only received two monthly payments and hasn’t received any payments from Kathy since as far back as 2010.

Even though Doi was never notified about the foreclosure, the City

sent several notifications over the years to addresses that were incorrect. The outcome remains that Doi was never notified about the foreclosure, but since the City can prove they made attempts to notify her the foreclosure process was technically legal.

According to Doi, “I don’t know how they ended up getting the addresses that I had after I had come back to the city of New Orleans after the storm, but for what I understand they were sending notifications to the address that I had 20 something years ago.”

8 T he I T haca T I mes / D ecember 7–13, 2022
4th Ward Common Council Member Jorge DeFendini speaks at eviction blockade organized by The Ithaca Tenants Union in August, 2022. (Photo By: The Ithaca Tenants Union)

As a result of this mix-up, the court granted the residents roughly two months to raise enough money to repay Habitat for Humanity for what they have spent on the property in order for them to remain on site.

The lowest estimate for what it would cost to repay Habitat is around $20,000 but the fundraiser organized by the Ithaca Tenants Union has only raised about $7,870 as of December 5. The Ithaca Tenants union has warned that if the funds aren’t raised to repay Habitat, the organization retains the legal authority to place a lien on the property and take ownership of it anyway.

It’s unlikely that enough money will be raised in time to stop the eviction, and it looks like Habitat for Humanity will obtain ownership of the property. The Ithaca Tenants Union has said that they will be organizing an eviction blockade at Kathy’s home ahead of the scheduled eviction, but since the eviction date keeps getting postponed ITU is rescheduling the event.

In response to the Sheriff postponing the eviction ITU released a statement saying, “We don’t know yet when it will be, but we know that

they’re trying to throw us off and we expect short notice. They’ve been trying to wait us out for months to cover up the violence they’re plotting, and we can’t let up now.”

Habitat for Humanity is a multibillion dollar organization whose mission statement is to achieve “a world where everyone has a decent place to live.” However they are actively trying to evict people from their home in upstate New York during the coldest months of the year. They should be able to cover for their own losses without shaking down poor families for local governments whose resources are already stretched too thin.

However, the current reality is that Kathy and Jim are going to need help finding new housing in the near future. The Ithaca Tenants Union has said that they will use the money they raise to help Kathy afford new housing when she can find it.

On the other hand, it looks like Doi Majors will be unable to regain ownership of her childhood home from Habitat for Humanity once the organization takes ownership of it.

According to Doi, the attorney working on her behalf “gave me

the impression that I could buy the house back because Habitat had taken the house and we had not rightly been notified that the house was going into foreclosure.” She continued saying, “he was saying that he was representing me but he was actually representing Kathy because every proposition he gave me included Kathy.”

Doi said that even if she bought the house back and paid all the taxes — which she was prepared to do — Kathy still had to stay there because the attorney said that was one of the conditions that Habitat for Humanity had entered into.

Regarding her interactions with the attorney, Doi said, “I think they’re just trying to help Kathy and they’re using me because I’m the last owner on record.” She continued saying, “they tried to get me to pay the taxes to allow Kathy to stay there longer, but it didn’t work out that way.”

According to Doi, “I am interested in paying the taxes back to get the house but it doesn’t seem like I can do that because Kathy seems to be in the way.”

D ecember 7–13, 2022 / T he I T haca T I mes 9

Too Much Booze, Coffee, Says Study

With over 120,00 bars and coffee shops in America alone, it's fair to say we love a drink, whether it contains booze or caffeine. And according to a recent study commissioned by DrugGenius. com, millions of us are fueling the workday with coffees, and taking the edge off in the evenings with a nightcap.

Indeed, the survey of 4,000 respondents found that 28% of the average New Yorker's daily fluid intake is made up of booze and caffeine (this compares to a national average of 30%). Perhaps this isn’t surprising - while alcohol has embedded itself in American culture since the beginning of the republic, in recent years coffee culture has been on the rise too - in cities like Phoenix and Austin, almost half of all drinking establishments are now coffee shops. Most gyms now have their own coffee bars whereby gym goers are just as

likely to drink an espresso post-workout than drink a health juice.

While numerous studies have revealed the health benefits of coffee, and others argue that alcoholic drinks such as wine can be good for the body, a diet lacking in sufficient water can lead to headaches, fatigue, dull skin, weight gain and sluggish bowel function. After all, humans are made up of approximately 80% water! Moreover, consuming too much caffeine has been linked to anxiety, and dehydration.

The study revealed other statistics when it comes to New Yorkers' love affair with uppers and downers…

Almost half (48%) of respondents consider themselves 'booze fit’ - we’ve all met those people who ‘work hard and play hard’ and seemingly without any noticeable repercussions. They appear unfazed by hangovers despite having just a few hours’ sleep before having to wake up early the following morning to resume daily life duties, fueled by caffeine. 1 in 10 drinkers who consume

alcohol regularly also believe that an increased alcohol tolerance strengthens their body, which may explain why so many consider themselves ‘booze fit.’

47% of those who work long hours said having an alcoholic drink at the end of the day helps them relax and take the edge off after a difficult day.

Our love of booze is so profound that the average drinker is content gaining 13 pounds in order to continue consuming their favorite alcoholic beverages. This is about the equivalent of permanently carrying around 208 slices of bacon in your body!

Over one in three (37%) say they deem alcohol and coffee as essential purchases in their weekly shops. Moreover, the average drinker spends a fairly substantial $947 per year on hangover comfort food and coffees. That’s a lot of pizzas and lattes!

While all alcohol can lead to a plethora of health problems, too much caffeine can also lead to anxiety and dehydration. The people at DrugGenius.com have provided 5 alternative options to regular coffees and energy drinks for anyone looking for a more natural lift, and explained their benefits:

1. Tetracitrene, is a non-hempderived cannabinoid and naturally occurring compound made from citrus peels that provide a quick burst of focus, which kicks in within just 20-30 minutes. It also provides sustainable energy, sharpens concentration, and plays a role in appetite control to promote weight loss.

2. Mushroom coffee, using 100% pure, high-quality, and organic mushroom extracts is scientifically proven to yield important health benefits. Mushroom coffees contain no grains or starch fillers, just pure cordyceps mushrooms, which offer important

An Irish coffee might be a double shot of health danger, a new survey says.

health benefits like improved function, better cardiovascular health, and higher physical performance.

3. Electrolyte drinks are a great alternative to caffeine - they hydrate the body and directly provide nutrients like sodium, potassium, glucose, and B vitamins to your bloodstream. Sugar-free electrolytes contain essential vitamins, provide faster hydration than drinking water alone, and significantly boosts energy levels.

4. Ashwagandha (also known as ‘winter cherry’) combined with black pepper can help relieve stress-related anxiety, promote thyroid health, and foster mental well-being. Ashwagandha is an ayurvedic adaptogen rich in compounds called alkaloids that can help calm the brain, sharpen cognition, promote thyroid health, lower blood pressure, and strengthen the immune system.

5. Chicory root can be roasted, ground and brewed like traditional coffee beans. Aside from tasting similar to coffee, it is free of caffeine and is a good source of inulin, which helps digestion and supports a healthy gut.

10 T he I T haca T I mes / D ecember 7–13, 2022 Personal Health
give the gift of health dst 308 E. Seneca St Save 20% on Save 20% on our select our select bundle deals bundle deals
12 T he I T haca T I mes / h ol ID ay G I f T G u ID e 2022 / D ecember 7–13, 2022

$10 AND UNDER

LOCALLY-SOURCED HOT SAUCE, $10 SUEDE SAUCE COMPANY

Bring on the heat with Ithaca’s own local habanero hot sauce -- either half throttle or pineapple.

FRAGRANT ARTISAN SOAP, $8.95 HANDWORK

These fragrant Barefoot on Moss soaps (Cedarwood, Grapefruit, Lavender, Citrus) by Lise Bouvet are handcrafted “True Soaps” which contain no palm oils, synthetic fragrance or parabens. Just coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and olive oil.

CORNELL PLUSH DOG TOY, $10

THE CORNELL STORE

This cuddly 6” plush dog is perfect for your youngest future Cornell student

ITHACA COLLEGE LOGO ORNAMENT, $10

ITHACA COLLEGE BOOKSTORE

Bring this Ithaca College tree ornament home for the holidays this year

h ol ID ay G I f T G u ID e 2022 / D ecember 7–13, 2022 / T he I T haca T I mes 13

LOCAL HONEY VARIETY PACK, $20 ITHACA HONEY WORKS

Sweeten your holidays with a variety threepack of honeys from the Ithaca Honey Works.

CHILDRENS’ PREHISTORIC HISTORY BOOKS, $10-12 MUSEUM OF THE EARTH

You can give a child a look at what the Earth was like 450 million years ago. These colorful paperback books – Into the Ordovician and Silurian journey takes young readers on prehistoric adventures.

REUSABLE FABRIC GIFT BAGS, $10-20 SEW GREEN

Have a greener holiday with fabric gift bags made locally at SewGreen. The bags in holiday and other themes are reusable and a gift by themselves.

BALANCE THE BAKER GAME, $25 BRAIN SHOPPE

Here’s holiday pastries that aren’t fattening. Teaches kids about weights and balance as they take turns piling on the pastries without letting the baker drop it all.

COOKIE VARIETY 6-PACK, $25

LOCAL HISTORY BOOKS, $22 MUSEUM OF THE EARTH

Smith Woods: An Environmental History is the story of how a little forest near Trumansburg, NY came to be, and how it persisted.

Gorges History: Landscapes and Geology of the Finger Lakes Region is an exploration of the unique landscape of the Finger Lakes Region.

ITHACA IS GORGES LEATHER TUMBLER, $25 HANDWORK

Inspired by leather saddlery, the husband-and-wife Finger Lakes team of Renee Baum and Joe Chicone create these unique leathercovered Finger Lakes and Ithaca cups that look like New York and feel like Texas.

14 T he I T haca T I mes / h ol ID ay G I f T G u ID e 2022 / D ecember 7–13, 2022 $11-$25
OH GEE COOKIES Groton’s Oh Gee Cookies features a variety six-pack— the 6Pack Shakur or their tasty treats for holiday giving either for pick up in Groton or shipping.

Coloring inside or outside the lines is allowed in this tribute to Ithaca’s murals. This coloring book contains 200 line drawings of Ithaca’s famous murals and street art. Proceeds go to help fund future mural efforts. Not just for kids!

RAINBOW GUMMY CANDY LAB, $22 ALPHABET SOUP TOYS

Make learning delicious creating your own delicious gummy shapes using a gelatin mixture for ages 6 and up Concoct a spectrum of flavors and colors -- even sour gummies! This kit includes all the ingredients you need for a gummy good time.

h ol ID ay G I f T G u ID e 2022 / D ecember 7–13, 2022 / T he I T haca T I mes 15 $11-$25
ITHACA MURALS COLORING BOOK, $20 GREENSTAR
Cheryl Chalmers Art St udio & Gall ery in Ithaca CherylChalmersArtGallery.business.site/ 1355 Taughannock Blvd (rt 89) Call (607) 319 - 4277 SHOP ONLINE CherylChalmersArt.Etsy.com Google: Cheryl Chalmers@Amazon you w ?ITHus Are ITH is conveniently located and connects to over 750 one-stop destinations. delta.com united.com Ithaca Tompkins International Airport Ithaca Tompkins International Airport | 1 Culligan Drive Ithaca, NY 14850 Choosing our local airport keeps load factors high and positions us for new service in the long term.

LIMITED EDITION ITHACA MAP, $30 HANDWORK

Remember maps? They were pieces of paper showing lakes, roads, parks and whatnot. This 11” x 14” letterpress limited edition map of your favorite place will remind you of the good old days.

MINECRAFT LEGO FOX LODGE, $30 ALPHABET SOUP

Among the many Lego offerings for kids of all ages is the Fox Lodge. Kids ages 8 and up can use their Lego Minecraft skills to build a house shaped like a sleeping fox.The structure’s open back and lift-off roof make it easy to arrange the furniture and enjoy imaginative role play inside.

SILVER BUTTERFLY EARRINGS, $35 LAUREL O’BRIEN ARTISAN JEWELRY

These solid silver butterfly post earrings are handmade, hammered and forged in the Ithaca studio of Laurel O’Brien.

CORGI WINTER SOCKS, $30 BENJAMIN PETERS

Give the gift that will warm – if not the heart – the toes. These luxury stylish socks, made from cashmere, wool and cotton made in the UK make the perfect stocking or stocking-stuffer.

COFFEE LOVER POTTERY MUG, $49 JULIAEDEAN

This large sturdy coffee mug with leaf patterns from our area is perfect for taking outside to the porch for your morning coffee or tea. It is made by local Ithaca potter Julia Dean.

LAUREL BURCH SHOULDER TOTE, $32 FIBERS

Beautifully crafted in vibrant hues, this Laurel Burch shoulder totes are bright, bold, and can carry all you need.

16 T he I T haca T I mes / h ol ID ay G I f T G u ID e 2022 / D ecember 7–13, 2022 $26-$50

Ad

CLASSIC HANDMADE LEATHER BELT, $63 UNDER THE TREE ITHACA

These locally-Handmade leather belts come from Under the Tree Stoneware and Leather goods at their farm in Brooktondale.

LIGHT ON THE FIGURE, $55 BRIAN KEELER/NORTH STAR ART

GALLERY

“Light on the Figure- Aspects of Painting People” is an instructional book but also a compendium of more than four decades of painting people by celebrated local artist Brian Keeler.

CARVED MARBLE CHESS SET, $75 SUNSHINES CREATIVE DESIGNS

This carved marble chess set will delight the chess player in your family – or perhaps you. In a convenient case, this set can travel or decorate your home.

DOWNTOWN ITHACA CARD, $75 DOWNTOWN ITHACA ALLIANCE

Give the gift of downtown Ithaca and let the recipient choose! These cards can actually be purchased in any amount from $11.50 to $500 and is good and dozens of shops and restaurants on the Commons and beyond.

3-MONTH PAPERBACK BOOK SUBSCRIPTION, $60 ODYSSEY BOOKSTORE

These personalized book subscriptions run from 1-11 months for either paperback o hardback with either pickup or delivery with prices varying accordingly. A 3-month paperback, store-pickup subscription is $60. Like a personal book shopper for yourself or your favorite book-lover.

h ol ID ay G I f T G u ID e 2022 / D ecember 7–13, 2022 / T he I T haca T I mes 17 $51-$75 LOCAL FIBER POP-UP SHOP November 23 thru December 2022 Wed - Sun 11-6pm, Thurs till 8 pm 108 W. MLK Jr. St, Ithaca, NY Across from the State Theater and next to Handwork ALL LOCAL WOOL, MOHAIR AND OTHER NATURAL FIBERS, HANDSPUN AND MILLSPUN YARN, SPINNING FIBERS, HANDMADE GOODS, AND MUCH MORE! This special event is made possible by: LocalFiber.org and Downtown Ithaca Alliance
TIE DYED LONG SLEEVE SHIRT, $60 ITHACA TIE DYES
color to your holiday with this unique longsleeve shirt from Ithaca-based Ithaca Tie Dyes.

HOLIDAY COCKTAIL KIT, $80 RED FEET WINE

Every host will be glad you came – or gift this to yourself—with this spirited holiday collection of spirits to keep you warm by the fire. Whiskey, Amoretto, Kahlua, Vodka, Irish Cream and a recipe book to put them all together.

CBD TOPICAL CREAM, $95-135 YOUR CBD STORE

For friends and family who are complaining about those aches and pains, give them the gift of relief with a soothing topical cream of hemp-derived cannabinoids to reach the targeted areas.

RAINBOW MENORAH, $82 DEAR ELAAN

This rainbow menorah is made of a rainbow variety of colors which store aligned and then spread underneath to support and complement the candles. Made in Ithaca.

CARD PROTECTING WALLET, $90-155 BENJAMIN PETERS

This stylish and functional small wallet can keep your credit cards safe and available. Crafted of European leather, cards are protected from electronic interference and can give you access to your credit cards with one hand.

18 T he I T haca T I mes / h ol ID ay G I f T G u ID e 2022 / D ecember 7–13, 2022 $75-$199

SIMULATED DIAMOND NECKLACE. $180 MANSOUR JEWELERS

Luxury for less: this simulated diamond necklace from Lafonn sparkles.

RESIN/WALNUT CUTTING BOARD, $145 HANDWORK

A one-of-kind piece is both useful and artistic in your kitchen. This cutting board was handcrafted by Ithaca resident Tracy Smith with black walnut wood. Its handle is coated in a blue resin with an ocean wave design. If you look closely at this handle, you will also see an owl face made from black walnut shells looking back at you!

LOCAL WINE SIX-PACK, $96

SIX MILE CREEK WINERY & DISTILLERY

Put together Six Mile Creek’s awardwinning Cabernet Franc with bottles if Ithaca White, Ithaca Red, Ithaca Blush, Semi-Dry Riesling and Pinot Noir (or select your own favorites) for a variety pack of local vintage likely to bring the taste of Ithaca to anyone.

WARM FLANNEL SHIRTS, $115 BENJAMIN PETERS

Nothing feels better in the winter than a warm flannel shirt. These are Benjamin Peters own brand of heavy cotton flannel sport shirts in a variety of bright bold patterns.

h ol ID ay G I f T G u ID e 2022 / D ecember 7–13, 2022 / T he I T haca T I mes 19 $75-$199 Fruit Favorites Gift Box Picked, packed & shipped with care from the Grove High in vitamins & antioxidants Fruit so fresh, it’s still on the tree when you order! Our best-loved citrus and orchard fruits. What a gift – our most popular high-quality citrus and orchard fruits in one delicious assortment! Handpicked to order so it’s always fresh and perfect. • 2 Grove Navels Juicy, tangy-sweet, and seedless: the world’s #1 orange! • 1 Ruby Red Grapefruit So sweet, they never need sugar. • 2 Honey-Sweet Tangerines Heavenly sweet and easy to peel. Kids love them! • 2 Petite Red Navels Gorgeous red esh with berry undertones. • 2 Petite Golden Navels Snack-sized versions of the beloved classic. • 2 Pears Juicy, creamy, and perfectly ripe. • 2 Orchard Fresh Apples Crispy and fragrant with the sweet taste of fall. Call 1-855-408-9908 to order item 296X or Visit HaleGroves.com/H3YG52 Order Item #296X Only $24.99* (reg. $37.99) plus $7.99 shipping & handling. Satisfaction completely guaranteed. is gift ships in December at the peak of freshness. Order by Dec. 17, 2022 for GUARANTEED Christmas delivery. AZ, CA, TX & LA order by Dec. 14, 2022. Since 1947. Hale Groves, Vero Beach, FL 32966 IC: H3YG52 SAVE $13! Reg. Price $37.99 ONLY $2499* Special, limitedtime offer! Call now and SAVE 35%! *Plus $7.99 handling per pack to the 48 contiguous states. Limited time o er, good while supplies last. Not valid with any other o er. Limit 5 boxes per customer. Give the Gift of Cayuga
This Holiday treat family or friends to cruises on board the Teal - and support our mission of engaging students, residents and visitors in the enjoyment and protection of our lovely Cayuga Lake. Gift Certificates and Season Passes Available! discovercayugalake.org
Lake
20 T he I T haca T I mes / h ol ID ay G I f T G u ID e 2022 / D ecember 7–13, 2022

UPCYCLED ORIGINAL ART DENIM JACKET, $200 SEW GREEN

This one-of-a-kind upcycled denim jacket features original art by Sew Green owner Wendy Skinner as part of its inhouse brand, Jeans Jam.

MARTIN STREETMASTER UKELELE, $499 ITHACA GUITAR WORKS

If you play guitar and want to learn the uke, this size makes for a comfortable transition, and it’s great for both a child and full-grown adult. The top, back and sides are all mahogany, making it lightweight with a bright tone.

THEATRE FLEX PASS FOR 2, $320 KITCHEN THEATRE

Give the gift of laughter or tears with a 4-play flex pass for two to the Kitchen Theatre. Recipients can pick what they want to see and when (except opening night).

PREMIUM KIDS’ COASTER BIKE, $275 GORGES CYCLES

PFAFF SEWING MACHINE AND ACCESSORIES, $1745 QUILTERS CORNER

This Sewing bundle includes the PFAFF brand ambition™ 620 model sewing machine and a variety of accessories and notions great for the quilter you know. They might even create something to keep you warm this winter.

This is the year your young child can join you cycling with this safe, fun, stable coasting cycle. Wide tires, a light strong frame and coaster brakes make it easy for them to get going and has room to grow with them.

MENS SWEATER, $235-$350

BENJAMIN PETERS

Benjamin Peters house brand of heavy sweaters made in Scotland with wool or wool cashmere blends available.

UNIQUE CUSTOM EARRINGS $1650 MANSOUR JEWELERS

These striking custom-made earrings are created from 14-karat yellow gold watermelon tourmaline, green tourmaline cabochon, and diamonds.

TAYLOR ACOUSTIC-ELECTRIC GUITAR, $3499

ITHACA GUITAR WORKS

This acoustic guitar made of select-grade Hawaiian koa also includes It includes the ES2 acoustic pickup and a deluxe hard shell guitar case for storage and protection. You’ll hear a bold attack with an energetic tone profile that yields crisp trebles, a rich midrange and a low end that grows in over time.

h ol ID ay G I f T G u ID e 2022 / D ecember 7–13, 2022 / T he I T haca T I mes 21 $200+
22 T he I T haca T I mes / h ol ID ay G I f T G u ID e 2022 / D ecember 7–13, 2022

Holiday Spirit is Alive with Carols, Chorales, Concerts

What better way to embrace the holiday season than with good company, joyful spirits, and quality music?

Throughout the month of December, there will be holiday-themed concerts -- many of them free -- happening in Ithaca and its surrounding areas. Consider catching a break from the chilly weather by attending one or many of them, depending on your availability and taste in music,.

Ithaca’s own Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers will return to Ford Hall on Ithaca College’s campus—for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic— for an evening of holiday classics blended with gospel and spiritual music.

For the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers, this concert concludes an exciting year of sharing jubilant, touching vocals with Ithacan and extended audiences. In March of this year, they performed spirituals alongside the world-famous Fisk Jubilee Singers at Carnegie Hall. This was their debut at the venue, an experience that has carried over into their style and musicianship.

Details about the event’s repertoire have not yet been released but looking back at last year’s program can give you an idea of what’s to come. Their line up for the previous winter concert in -

cluded, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (James Weldon Johnson, arr. by Roland Carter), “Kekeli Tso Kekeli Me” (T.W. Kwami), “I Believe” (arr. Frankie Lanie), and “For Every Mountain” (Kurt Carr).

Admission to the event is free. A livestream of the concert will be available on the company’s new YouTube site, a link that will go public this upcoming weekend.

Thursday, December 8

• Ithaca College Concert Band

Ford Hall (Ithaca College) at 7 p.m. Free Friday, December 9

• Silent Disco Bernie Milton Pavilion (Time: TBD) Free

Saturday, December 10

• Cortland Repertory Theatre’s Holiday Broadway Brunch

24 Port Watson St., Cortland, New York, at 11 a.m. $100 per table of four (Meal and concert included)

• Santa’s Arrival Downtown Ithaca from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free

• The Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers’ Winter Concert Ford Hall (Ithaca College) at 3 p.m. Free

• A Tribute to the King! Hangar Theatre, 7:00pm $17

• Newfield Annual Community Tree Lighting Newfield Masonic Temple, 186 Main Street 5:30 p,m.,

• The Gift of the Magi Radio Play

37 Tompkins St., Cortland, New York, at 7 p.m. $20 per ticket

• Todd Meredith and THE RAVE-ONS

24 Port Watson St., Cortland, New York, at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices vary

• Silent Disco Bernie Milton Pavilion (Time: TBD) Free

Sunday, December 11

• The Savage Club Holiday Concert

1004 Auburn Rd, Groton, New York, at 2 p.m. Free

• Todd Meredith and THE RAVE-ONS

24 Port Watson St., Cortland, New York, at 2 p.m. Ticket prices vary

• The Cayuga Vocal Ensemble Presents: Radiant Dawn St. Catherine of Siena Church 4:00pm

Friday, December 16

• The Nutcracker

The State Theatre (107 W. State St.) at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices vary

Saturday, December 17

• The Nutcracker

The State Theatre (107 W. State St.) at 3 p.m. Ticket prices vary

• Cayuga Chamber Orchestra’s Holiday Celebration Ford Hall (Ithaca College) at 3 p.m. Ticket prices vary

Sunday, December 18

• Let the Heavens Be Glad! United Presbyterian Church, Cortland 2:00pm

• The Nutcracker

The State Theatre (107 W. State St.) at 3 p.m. Ticket prices vary

Entertainment

T he I T haca T I mes 23
D ecember 7–13, 2022 /
Arts &
he famed Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers are back for the first time in years to present their holiday concert December 10 at Ithaca College. (Photo provided)

She Said: The Rise and Fall of Harvey Weinstein

Ican’t remember ever feeling as culpable and guilty as I did in the wake of Maria Schrader’s “She Said” (Universal-Annapurna Pictures-Plan B Entertainment, 2022, 129 min.), which tells the story of the two New York Times reporters, Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan), who finally broke the story about Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein’s sexual crimes, blackballing and casting couch incidents, leading to Weinstein sentenced to jail.

Why do I feel so in the wrong? Well, I started reviewing films in February of 1987, and two years later, Miramax had their first big hit with Steven Soderbergh’s “Sex, Lies and Videotape” (1989). Weinstein and Miramax redefined indie cinema over the next decade with “Pulp Fiction” (1994), “The Piano” (1993), “Clerks” (1994), “The Crying Game” (1992) and any number of other hits that made “indie” cool and sexy, spawned

by a demon. Weinstein did make some great movies happen, but he also destroyed countless lives and careers, and of course, he designed a system that protected him from his own crimes.

Schrader’s film starts off in a low key, authentic way; Mulligan and Kazan feel like real reporters, not glammed-up starlets, and their performances anchor a very well-cast female ensemble that includes Samantha Morton and Patricia Clarkson; actors play the voices of some of the more famous victims like Rose McGowan, while Ashley Judd steps up, playing herself. It’s a genre cliché that the heroes’ loved ones don’t believe in what they’re doing, so kudos to this film for showing Mulligan and Kazan’s character not just working the case but dealing with being married parents raising their kids, and their jobs have no bearing on the story. That’s refreshing.

Schrader’s camera makes the most out of its many New York locations, finding fresh ways of seeing a city that’s been photographed in so many mov-

ies. (I was particularly struck by a high-angle shot of Kazan talking to a source on her cell phone as she’s standing in a NYT stairwell, and Schrader’s camera makes excellent use of the window behind her looking onto a busy intersection – very “North by Northwest”.)

Utilizing voice actors playing Weinstein and various victims reading transcripts of what was said in closed quarters, Schrader plays Weinstein’s crimes over a series of tracking shots down hotel corridors, revealing the ugliness that lies under all that Hollywood “glamour”.

By the time Mulligan finds herself being followed by a black, scary anonymous SUV, I found myself reminded of 70’s paranoid thrillers like “Three Days of the Condor” (1975), not to mention the great movies about the power of journalism, like “All the President’s Men” (1976), “Spotlight” (2015) and “The Post” (2017). And at a time when

The Fabelmans: The Fall and Rise of Steven Spielberg

In the Fableman’s, Steven Spielberg presents a moving largely autobiographical mosaic of family life. Though there were a few somewhat strange scenes throughout the film, he & his outstanding cast engage us with a range of elements - good, as well as problematic - which contributed to the development of one of the most creative and resourceful cinematic artists of the last century.

Gabriel LaBelle, in his first major role, does an extraordinary job as Sammy Fabelman, playing a young Steven Spielberg. The entire cast, including the bullies, provide convincing portrayals of the montage of characters who help make this film a contender for a Best Picture Oscar.

Early in the story, we get a scary look at Sammy's mother, Mitzi, a hauntingly effective Michelle Williams.She jumps behind the wheel of the family car and

urges her daughters to get in as she drives off in pursuit of a close view of an oncoming tornado.

One of her daughters asks, "Is this safe?" "Of course...," says Mitzi, as torrential rain begins to pour and electrical flames burst forth from power lines. (It's as if Homer's spirit helped Spielberg and Tony Kushner write that scene.)

As the family's cohesion commences to show some of the strains under which it has been functioning, Sammy's dad, Bert, sympathetically played by Paul Daino, tells his son, "If you stop making films, you'll break your mother's heart."

Meanwhile, Bert's efforts to acquire a better-paying job with greater significance leads the Fabelman family to Northern California. There Sammy is obliged to contend with anti-semitic bullies whom he describes as "tall as Sequoia trees."

In depicting the school yard encounter in which several of these

bullies demand an apology from Sammy, writer/director Steven Spielberg, demonstrates the psychological merit of absorbing a physical attack and maintaining the higher moral ground. However, it's still a difficult scene to watch.

Later, as the director/cameraman of an end-of-semester celebration, Sammy "shoots" (with his state-of-the-art camera) one of the "lead" bullies winning a close race in a "heroic" manner. When challenged, Sammy expresses uncertainty why his depiction was so positive, However, what ensues indicates that this alpha bully has been compelled to reconsider his previous behavior.

In a different vein, we're introduced to "Uncle Boris," whose visit had been warned of in one of Mitzi's haunting dreams. In some ways, Boris seems to parallel the "Ancient Mariner" of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's classic poem.

Donald Trump has just announced his intention to run again, “She Said” is here to remind us that the man is a sexual predator – not exactly fake news.

“She Said” is playing at Cinemapolis and Regal Stadium 14. Recommended: “Strange World” at Regal Stadium 14

RIP Brad William Henke (“Space Jam”, “Me and You and Everyone We Know”, “Choke”)

Boris could be considered the "Ancient Thespian."

At dinner, he's asked how he got started in film, and he states that his work began in 1927, with a role in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Boris noted that there was a lot of anti-semitism in show business at that time. Nonetheless, he remained "a junkie," addicted to working in film, even though things were often crazy.

The Fablemans, a Steven Spielberg Films Currently at Cinemapolis

24 T he I T haca T I mes / D ecember 7–13, 2022 Movie reviews
Paul Dano, Mateo Zoryan and Michelle Williams play a family much like the Spielbergs in The Fabelmans. Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan play intrepid New York Times reporters who chronicled and caused the downfall of Hollywood powerhouse Harvey Weinstein in “She Said.”

he artistic work of Ithaca resident Brian Keeler spans over four decades and in his recent book titled Light on the Figure: Aspects of Painting People, it includes many oil paintings, as well as pastels, watercolors, drawings and etching. The book was released in late spring and features links to YouTube videos where Keeler demonstrates various works in process.

He talks about his creative process and focus:

Ithaca Times: Tell us how you came to write your most recent book Light on the Figure: Aspects of Painting People?

Brian Keeler: When I wrote my previous book, Dramatic Color in the Landscape, it started as a comprehensive overview of my work, but then became focused on the landscape. So, this left room to explore the genre of paintings with people included. Within this book a variety of themes within the figurative tradition are included, such as portraits, allegorical subjects, the nude, street scenes, paintings done in Italy with people and other subjects.

I considered this book important for myself as a recap and compendium of my career but also as these paintings and drawings offer a unique interpretation of the figure as represented in a variety of contexts. My aspiration was to share this with students of art but also with the general public and art collectors.

IT: What are some of the steps you cover in your book on the nature of painting, drawings and etchings?

BK: Sharing the process of creating a painting is the goal of these demonstrations. here is ample text accompanying the illustrations to explain the techniques and ideas. There is something quite unique in regards to publishing

here- as the book contains links for many of the paintings to YouTube videos of the works in progress. There are also links to essays I've written to explain the background, art history inspirations and goals of select paintings.

IT: As an artist who has enjoyed painting people and landscapes –which iconic artists do you enjoy looking at now? And what is it about those artists that you find interesting?

BK: There are so many wonderful painters, historically or working today. Our museums are wonderful repositories of these treasures and offer us all great wonders of art. I just came back from visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City where they are featuring a special show of the Dutch Golden Age, called "In Praise of Painting." I just love the Rembrandts and Vermeers.. I also have admiration for the Italian Renaissance and Baroque era painters. Raphael, Piero della Francesca, Anrdrea del Sarto and Caravaggio are artists whose work I have focused on over the years.

IT: What are you doing now?

BK: I am currently working on a commissioned oil portrait - a 3/4 length oil of a trustee of Cornell University. I am always painting out of doors, doing plein air work.

I have a show going on now in Stroudsburg, PA at the Auradell Gallery until the end of December that presents over 40 recent works.

On Saturday, December 10th from noon to 7 we will have an open house and book signing here at the North Star Art Gallery in Ithaca. This event will include music from 4 to 7 by my gypsy jazz combo and friends- Zingology. RSVP's are requested at info@northstarartgallery.com

D ecember 7–13, 2022 / T he I T haca T I mes 25 Tickets available at: earlvilleoperahouse com//315 691 3550 18 East Main St Earlville NY Premiums apply to the first four rows College students half off general adm ssion with ID // Youth $10 (17 and under) // General/Member Youth V A C C I N A T I O N P R O O F N O L O N G E R R E Q U I R E D , M A S K S M U S T B E W O R N I N S I D E A T A L L T I M E S Check our website for latest updates Thank you to show sponsors: Community Foundation for South Central NY, Live Music Society, NBT Bank, Preferred Mutual Insurance Company sfcu, Bruce Ward, Architect, Fred s Inn Earlville Opera House Presents Irish Christmas in America “Lively and reflective...a powerful evocation of the season” Sponsored by November 25 - December 22 Tues. - Sat., 10AM - 4PM // Sun., 12 - 4PM 2 5 A N N U A L H O L I D A Y S A L E Dec. 11 @ 2PM $40/$36 -Folk Wax th Books
Keeler Sees the Light
Brian
in New Book
T

NORTH STAR ART GALLERY

featuring the new book by Brian Keeler LIGHT ON THE FIGURE Aspects of Painting People

BOOK SIGNING SAT. DEC. 10 noon-7 743 Snyder Hill Road, Ithaca 607-323-7684 or www.northstargallery.com

Two shows showcase diverse craft media talents

Work in the so-called crafts media animates some of today’s most ambitious gallery art. Contemporary artists working in textiles, ceramics, glass—and beyond—navigate the tricky terrain between traditional decorative and functional forms and the more individualistic demands of today. Not everything works equally well. The best “craft” artists combine respect for their medium and its traditions with an eye towards reinvention.

Two strong museum shows, both currently on-view in Syracuse, indicate diverse possibilities. Through the end of the year (December 31), the Everson Museum of Art, is showing “Raymon Elozua: Structure/Dissonance.” The veteran artist, based in New York City and the Catskills, is known for his gnarled, grungy sculptures that combine steel armatures with ceramic and glass, as well as other found materials.

Over at the Syracuse University Art Museum, “Anni Albers: Work with Materials” (up through December 11) demonstrates a radically different sensibility. The German-Jewish textile artist’s aesthetic, formed in the modernist crucible of the Weimar Republic’s Bauhaus school, is rigorously geometric yet frequently warm and playful.

Active since the seventies, Elozua has travelled many winding paths throughout his career. From functional pottery and trompe l’oeil ceramic sculpture to social documentary photography and digital graphics, his most significant work comes in the form of a contemporary reinvention of abstract expressionist sculpture. Drawing on his longstanding familiarity with vernacular and industrial materials, as well as his training as a ceramist, he creates dense conglomerations that suggest miniature worlds.

“Structure/Dissonance” fills two of the Everson’s large second floor galleries.

This writer is skeptical towards the tendency, widespread in contemporary art circles, to treat collecting and curating as interchangeable with making one’s own art. Still, it is interesting to see, lined up along a wall in the first gallery, modest selections from some of Elozua’s collections: rusty metal buckets, washing

machine agitators, gas stove burners, and colorful enamel cookware.

The first gallery also contains his earlier, mostly smaller sculpture. Collaborations with the photographer and art collector Alan Chasanoff and the artist’s life partner, painter Micheline Gingras, are characteristic of his way of working. The latter, from 1991, take the form of a pair of figurative sculptures. Both “Demon: Defense” and “Siren: Public Relations” —the latter holding a Mickey Mouse mask in front of its face—are grotesque caricatures enlivened by his distinctive clay-over-steel technique.

Straddling the worlds of industrial design, craft, and fine art, Anni Albers (1899-1994) is arguably the most important textile artist of the twentieth century. Long overshadowed by her male Bauhaus teachers and colleagues— including her husband Josef as well as giants like Klee and Kandinsky—she has gained increasing attention in recent years. Embracing global folk traditions, novel techniques and materials, and subtle formal innovation, her work here delights and astounds.

While representing seemingly polarized tendencies with abstract art, both the Elozua and the Albers exhibitions demonstrate playful, experimental approaches to material and technique. Both show a definite joie de vivre—unfashionable in this age of didactic and polemical art.

26 T he I T haca T I mes / D ecember 7–13, 2022
Art
Raymon Elozuo exhibits his striking “grungy” art --often from reclaimed items-- at Syracuse’s Everson Museum of Art. (photo provided)
D ecember 7–13, 2022 / T he I T haca T I mes 27