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2019 HAS COME AND GONE. LONG LIVE 2019.
VOL.XL / NO. 19 / January 1, 2020 Serving 47,125 readers week ly
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
By M att Bu tler 2019 was a year. I’d like to say more about it, but that’s about what it was. There were 365 days, 12 months, 52 weeks, etc. All the normal trappings of a year. Of course, some things happened, certainly. But we understand if it’s all a bit of a haze, particularly since this Year in Review is wedged between the holidays, so we provide this to you as a recap. If we forgot something, let us know. If not, glad to hear it, and we hope you’ll follow along with all of us in 2020 as we strive to provide you with even better news than in 2019. Away we go! JANUARY
Let’s start with a local favorite: Emmy’s Organics introduced their plans to move to a facility on Cherry Street in the West End of Ithaca, though those plans were later cancelled after the area’s soil problems proved too costly to overcome. Later in the year, Emmy’s would announce a pivot, opting instead to build their facility in Dryden. In more development news, Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services announced its intentions to redevlop the Immaculate Conception site for affordable housing.
The year started with a new face leading the familiar hospital, as Dr. Martin Stallone took the helm of Cayuga Medical Center from the outgoing Dr. John Rudd. Local organizations tried to step up in the wake of the federal government shutdown, urging people with enough means to donate food to local food pantries to help bridge the gap for workers who were left without paychecks as the US government’s shutdown stretched on. Ithaca also welcomed Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul to Cornell University, where she delivered the State of the State and toured the upgraded Cornell High Energy Synchotron Source. A contract dispute
stopped construction work on the much-delayed Harold’s Square project on the Commons. Police Chief Pete Tyler announced his intention to retire during the spring, and said he would help select his replacement. The Town of Ithaca’s short-term rental policy, which has still yet to be solidified, was the subject of a petition arguing that it was unfair to people who need short-term rental properties to make ends meet (though the town has argued otherwise). FEBRUARY
Cornell announced updates to its rental property database, theoretically making information more readily available for students hoping to avoid problematic landlords or properties while navigating the rental marketplace. The new database was a result of a collaboration between Cornell’s off-campus living officials and the City of Ithaca’s Building Division. The City of Ithaca battled water main breaks all winter long, a result of rollercoaster temperatures that would cause pipes to freeze up one day, than expand too quickly the next when it warmed up and the pipes thawed. The four to five waJa n ua ry
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M a t t B u t l e r , 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 J a i m e C o n e , E d i t o r , x 232 SouthReporter@flcn.org E d w i n J . V i e r a , S ta f f R e p o r t e r R e p o r t e r @ I t h a c aTi m e s . c o m 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 E r i n S t e w a r t , A cc o u n t R e p r ese n ta t i v e , x 220 E r i 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 C o r y J o n e s , A cc o u n t R e p r ese n ta t i v e , x 221 C o r e y@ I t h a c aTi m e s . c o m C h r i s I b e r t , C y n d i B r o n g , x 211 A d m i n i s t r a t i o n Chris Eaton, 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 c h 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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INQUIRING PHOTOGRAPHER By C a se y Mar tin
IF YOU MOVED AWAY FROM ITHACA, BUT RETURNED IN 2030, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE CHANGED?
“I would love to see improvements on carbon neutrality and green infrastructure” -Rosie K.
“A more racially inclusive Ithaca – People just in general being more accepting of each other!” -Lillian B.
“Occupied storefronts.” -Michael W.
“A Bigger stage downtown!” -Jack H.
ter main breaks per week over the winter were signficantly higher than normal, according to Assistant Superintendent of Public Works Erik Whitney, and are indicative of the type of aging infrastructure the city has prioritized replacing recently. The worst of those came under the block of 200 South Cayuga Street, which would close for months after a water main break during the last week of February resulted in the City tearing up the asphalt on the whole block to cure the problem, inconveniencing drivers and business owners alike. In some of the oddest news of the year, there was a string of bomb threats made to the Tompkins Trust Company building on East Seneca Street, each one causing an evacuation and all the staff to wait at a different location until the office could be cleared by the police. Who had a problem with Tompkins Trust? Was it part of something bigger? We haven’t heard a word about this since it happened. But two weeks later, in March, there was another one that shut the building down for several hours. Oh, and that HomeGoods store everyone had been waiting for finally opened. MARCH
“Sorry, it’s just too cold for us to answer!” -Cam & Aylah
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March started with a beneficial effort organized by Gee June Bridal’s Layne Dann, who organized a prom dress drive to help those who might not be able, or want, to spend hundreds of dollars on an outfit for prom. Dann created a donation campaign that would then be used for inventory for
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The Commons Playground remained closed for much of the summer, disappointing many an Ithacan. The closure was exacerbated due to construction delays on the Harold’s Square project. (Photo by Casey Martin)
a market held at Center Ithaca closer to prom for local students. Common Council also introduced sweeping new tenant rights legislation designed to ensure properties are kept in code instead of sitting in disrepair, or even being rented while out of code. Speaking of the City of Ithaca, Mayor Svante Myrick and all Common Council members available for reelection (Laura Lewis, Steve Smith, Rob Gearhart, George McGonigal and Ducson Nguyen) declared they would seek to retain their seats in November’s election. Local priest Rev. Carsten Martensen was suspended from his duties at Ithaca College and Cornell University after both schools were notified of accusations of sexual abuse against him. In announcements, the schools both said they’d been notified by the Diocese of Rochester that Martensen was under investigation for misconduct from the 1970s. Martensen had been involved in campus ministry at both schools since 2007. After months of waiting, stops, starts, and pump fakes, Harold’s Square on the Commons was finally restarted. Plus, Lime’s controversial e-scooter pilot program came under further discussion after a report from the Mobility, Accessbility
and Transportation Commission recommended allowing the program to operate temporarily with a permanent review later. For county news, we’ve all heard plenty about this project but just to start a bookend for later: 46 South Street’s “further reviews” began in March, initiatied by the Trumansburg Planning Board. APRIL
Seeds of discontent with local law enforcement began to show in April and emerged as a theme of the middle portion of 2019. The first, and most prominent, example was on April 6, when two Ithacans, Cadji Ferguson and Rose Degroat, were both tackled and arrested by police officers after an altercation with a third party on the Commons and subsequently charged with various offenses related to the fight and their arrests. The case of the two hung over the city for months afterwards, especially highlighted by the release of body camera and surveillance camera footage in May (covered more later). Plus, two lawsuits were filed against New York State Policeman Jevon Pakkala, an Ithaca-area officer who was accused of wrongfully detaining and subsequently charging two area women after traffic stops. That number later grew to at least four lawsuits, all telling similar stories about Pakkala’s conduct during their traffic stops. In addition to all of that, the legendary The Nines restaurant property was finally sold, after a long saga between Nines owners Mark Kielman and Harold Schultz, at least two developers, the City of Ithaca and an effort to historically designate The Nines property. When the dust settled in April, it had been sold to local developers John Novarr and Phil Proujansky for $3 million, though no plans have yet been introduced to redevelop the property. Tompkins County athletes Cassie Taber and Kinsey Henry both competed well at the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emierates, with Taber winning a gold in the mini-javelin competition, a bronze in the 100-meter dash and a silver in the 4x100 meter relay, and Henry winning a bronze in the 400 meter dash and silver in the long jump. Tompkins County continued its examination of properties at 408, 412-414 N. Tioga Street, which it was looking to fill with needed office space. The legislature approved purchasing the properties for $1.8 million in April, though their office plans had roiled some city officials who wanted to see the properties redeveloped into housing if there was an opportunity available.
GreenStar workers at an August picket out front of the Buffalo Street location, rallying support for their unionization efforts. (Photo by Casey Martin)
Looking forward from a story in April, 2020 could prove to be a pivotal year for the Shops at Ithaca Mall, which faces an uncertain future. While mall officials stated in April that they had a hotel potentially interested in moving to part of the property and were looking at other ways to survive the continuously changing retail landscape, the mall’s value has fallen precipitously in the last 10 years and will face even more adversity with the impending departure of Planet Fitness from its location in the back of the building.
As mentioned previously, the City of Ithaca released hours worth of footage documenting the April 6 arrests of Cadji Ferguson and Rose Degroat on May 3 in response to public backlash over the arrests. The videos did not paint a rosy picture of the police officers involved in the incident, particularly regarding their treatment of Degroat. Mayor Svante Myrick, who authorized the release of the footage, said at the time that he had ordered an internal investigation into the conduct of Ithaca officers seen on the tapes.
Local politicians and Tompkins County History Center officials celebrate the official opening of the center’s new location on the Commons. (photo by Casey Martin)
After officially announcing his intentions earlier in the year, IPD Chief Pete Tyler officially retired in May, ending a local police career that started at Ithaca in the early 1990s and included a two-year stint as the department’s leader. The city school district’s Board of Education elections were decided, with write-in candidate Erin Croyle besting 12-year member Bradley Grainger to take his spot. Eldred Harris and Robert Ainslie were both reelected. In Lansing, the Alcohol & Drug Council of Tompkins County hosted an open house for its long-awaited Open Access Center, which brought 40 beds of residential detox and stabilization services to the area, along with a 24/7 walk-in assessment, referral and medication-assisted treatment services. Particularly since the opioid epidemic’s advent, detox services have been sorely needed, and were finally made possible through a federal grant announced in 2018. Also in Lansing, the Cayuga Power Plant announced a surprising but ultimately sensible decision to convert to a data center, shifting gears from its original intention to convert from coal-fueled to natural gas. Elsewhere, the National Book Auction scam saga continued, as New York Attorney General Letitia James officially stepped into the fray by taking Not to be forgotten: in May, the City of Ithaca’s Green New Deal, announced by Mayor Svante Myrick earlier that month, was approved by Common Council. It lays out goals for the city over the next decade, including 100-percent renewable electricity by 2025 and to make Ithaca a carbonneutral city by 2030, meaning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100 percent. Also in Ithaca, IPD officer Kyle Paolangelli was fired after admitting to perjury surrounding the January 2018 arrest of Jonathan Sanchez. JUNE
The endless back-and-forth over law enforcement co-location also continued, as Ithaca Police Department and the Tompkins County Sheriff ’s Office considered moving under the same roof. While there appeared to be some shade of momentum at this point in the year, that was squelched later in the year when the County Legislature voted against further exploration. Our largest story of the month was a leaked report, compiled by the Ithaca Teachers Association union, describing how teachers’ in Ithaca City School District largely felt unsupported by the district administration, particularly when Ja n ua ry
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Rich Shaff: Sharing Sight W By M a rjor i e Z . O l d s
hen a 4-year-old boy was screened at the Finger Lakes Region Lion’s Club Children’s Vision Screening project, his family was thrilled when he put on his first pair of glasses. He looked up in amazement at his mother while holding her hand. “Mommy, I can see your face!” Rich Shaff, longtime member of the Ithaca Lion’s Club: “His mother later reporting that her son was no longer so clingy, was beginning to engage with other kids. Now he doesn’t need to hover with a family member to navigate safely.” In high school outside of Philadelphia Rich Shaff’s guidance counselor recommended the College of Pharmacy program, a five-year program at the time. It sounded right to Rich and fortuitously a good friend of Rich’s was also admitted, and they commuted together in friend’s Austin Healey. After completing his pharmacy internship, Rich accepted a temporary job in 1976 with CVS Pharmacies in Ithaca. Rich stayed on for 18 years. Rich knew he liked helping people and was well-known and well-loved by his many customers for his courtesy, thorough explanations of the medications, including possible interactions with
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other medications. He spent as much time as needed to ensure that his customers derived the maximum benefit from their prescriptions he dispensed. Early on Rich realized his career selection was a good one and Ithaca was the right place for his family to put down roots. As CVS pharmacies proliferated and customers’ health insurance grew more complicated, Rich decided to try a hospital-based pharmacy setting, and was snapped up by a hospital in Cortland in 1991. Driving the scenic route along Fall Creek was delightful, but before long Woolworth’s (previously located where our award-winning Tompkins County Public Library is today) enticed Rich to return to retail. “Woolworths offered me and a colleague of many years ‘complete autonomy’ and it was a great experience.” When Woolworths closed in 1994 Rich was pursued by Rite Aid (relocated from the Commons to South Meadow Street) where he helped out for one year. ”By then I was familiar with the role of pharmacists in retail, nursing homes and hospital settings. I decided my dream job was in
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SURROUNDED BY REALITY
Now the Fun Begins By C h a r l ey G i t h l e r
ere in Ithaca, we’re about to enter what is widely considered to be the low point of the year. If there were a category in the readers’ poll called Best Time of Year to Hole Up in the Chanticleer for Two Weeks (and there should be), a strong case can be made for early January. It’s dark 23 hours a day. We have gray snow. Plus, as my brother reminds me every year, there is nothing as ‘over’ as The Holidays. Mostly, though, people are miserable about the weather. It’s going to be months before you can go outside without bracing yourself against a blast of cold air. We’re not the only people who have winter, and I have to say that some others seem to handle it with more aplomb. The Norwegians have a saying: “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.” (They also say, “shameful deeds bring on revenge,” which has nothing to do with weather, but as proverbs go, it’s pretty cool.) The clothing thing is an excellent point. Ever since they got that Viking thing out of their systems, the Norwegians strike me as eminently sensible people. Dress for conditions. Don’t wear flip-flops in snow. Mark Twain famously said of the weather, “if you want it to be sunny and warm all the time, move to freakin’ San Diego.” I’m paraphrasing here, but he’s right. What we need here is a paradigm shift. Embrace the winter. Either start doing something outside or start enjoying being indoors. Maybe it’s the assumption that clouds are always bad and sun is always good. Personally, I like a little weather. One day soon, and I’m serious about this, I predict a headline about me. It will read something like this: “Local man held without bail in meteorologist attack.” It won’t be about bad predicting, either. I understand about chaos theory and how tricky weather predictions are. Any prediction made beyond six hours from now is little more accurate than throwing darts at a poster marked ‘cold,’ and ‘not as cold.’ It won’t even be because they always tell you
what to wear. (Be sure to bundle up out there!) It’s going to be because of the constant, grinning editorializing about what is ‘bad’ weather and what is ‘good.’ (Keep your fingers crossed for sun!) I should let it go. Complaining about the weather is a more than a local pastime. It’s how we embrace the winter. It’s as much a part of Ithaca as a Prius in the Wal-Mart parking lot. And the fact that it’s cold and gray and you have to excavate your car like one of the Leakeys every morning until May, well, that’s what keeps a lot of the weak-spirited types in places like California and Florida. My grandmother was a Weather Channel shut-in, who monitored conditions to the last isobar, always knew the details of the 10-day forecast and could explain the mechanics of Doppler radar as if she’d invented it, even though she almost never actually set foot outside. It’s not really about the weather per se. It’s not even just a topic of conversation. It’s part of the Central New York genetic code. My point, if I have one, is that I think we Ithacans secretly like the dead of winter. We’re a little smug about enduring it. We don’t admit it, but it’s kind of cozy inside. A person can lounge around in socks like Ilya Oblomov all weekend without feeling the slightest guilt. You can’t do that in southern California. They’ll arrest you for Criminal Immobility. (That’s a real thing there.) And let’s face it, parsing the subtleties of an impeachment trial is best done in the dim light of Indoors, with an arctic wind howling outside. This time of year is an integral part of what makes us Ithacans. I’ll play along and complain, but I’m glad it’s here. Deny it if you want to, but down deep you all feel the same way, and anyone who wants to debate this further should meet me at the Chanticleer any time during the next two weeks. (I’ll be the one wearing flip flops and a fur hat.) By the way, yes… it is cold enough for me.
Participants in the Finger Lakes Region Lion’s Clu Children’s Vision Screening Project. (Photo provided)
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the Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca. I started there in 2000 and the first 19 years have been great.” Rich has overlapped Bonnie Howell, Rob Mackenzie, John Rudd and now Marty Stallone as CMC’s CEO, and each has shared their talents and insights with the community. Apart from Rich’s profession, and his
family, his other love is strengthening community. No stranger to community boards, Rich for years sang in the Ithaca Community Chorus while serving on CSMA’s board, and is still active on the Ithaca Salvation Army board. For 34 years a member of the Ithaca Lions Club, Rich was the chief administrative officer of the district of 43 Lions Clubs in the Finger Lakes Region, along with his wife Linda in 2002-2003. “Every community is different, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to travel to Lions projects throughout this region, this country, throughout the world.” With Rich’s characteristic modesty he describes the Lion’s Free Vision services partnership with the Ithaca Free Clinic:
“Fellow Lions member Ted Bryan, Ophthalmologist and owner of Clarity Eye Care in Cayuga Heights, proposed the Lions create an optical services program in partnership with the Ithaca Free Clinic. When they approached Norbert McCloskey, director of the Ithaca Health Alliance’s Ithaca Free Clinic, Norbert’s response was an immediate “Yes!” Both the Lions Club and the IFC boards gave their blessing and the project was launched in 2019. “IFC handles all the administrative details: reserving a room, scheduling appointments, handling intake. We bought the equipment thanks to a member Jim Rider’s generous contribution. In April of this year we began monthly appointments. Every month we see 8 patients. The ophthalmology is provided by volunteer doctors and every hourly appointment is filled…Dawn Young (formerly of Westtown Optical) fits and organizes other optician volunteers to fit glasses.” Rich and fellow Lions have also been aiming their sights on a specialized camera as part of Kids” Sight USA, the trained Lions members use for screening children 6 months- 6 years old. “We have been screening children at Head Start in Ithaca since 2004 and are hoping to screen children in the local schools, as other Lions have done in the Elmira schools last year, if the Superintendent and ICSD Board are in accord.”
it came to facing unsafe behavior from students in their classrooms or feeling powerless to discipline the students effectively. According to the report, which provided dozens of testimonials from teachers about their daily experiences, 44 percent of teachers surveyed rated the district’s support on discipline and behavior issues as “poor.” ICSD Superintendent Luvelle Brown said at the time that he was working with teachers and other distict officials on a task force to address the issues named. Showing off his baking skills, Ithacan Benjamin Mumford-Zisk used his acumen to win an episode of Netflix’s “Nailed It!” the popular amateur baking show. June also marked the official introduction of Dryden Town Supervisor Jason Leifer’s municipal internet plan, which would bring wired broadband to all Dryden town residents and saw continued movement throughout the latter parts of the year. It seems like the end of June was packed to the gills with news, so let’s take a swing at getting it all in: J.R. Clairborne was named as the first director of the newly-created Office of Veterans Services, beating out 36 other applicants and pledging to use his experience in the Navy and Naval Air Reserve to advocate for local veterans; Tompkins County Public Library announced the discovery of a time capsule from 1968 that was opened, revealing dozens of notes from residents of the area at the time and a copy of an Ithaca Journal from the time; Local First Ithaca created Independents Week to promote supporting local business week; the William Henry Miller Inn was sold to new owners Amy Fuhr and Chris Anderson. JULY
One of the most significant highlights of the whole summer: we got a new judge! Thanks to years of work by local criminal justice and legislature officials, an additional spot was opened on the Tompkins County bench, to be filled via election in November. Perhaps one of the most widely anticipated openings in Ithaca happened over the summer, with City Centre officially opening its doors and accepting tenants. The luxury apartment building, from Newman Development Group, now houses Collegetown Bagel and a Chase Bank location, and will soon welcome the Ithaca Ale House to its groundfloor as well. Speaking of development, the Downtown Ithaca Alliance also released the results of a second demand study conducted regarding the conference center, which showed actually more demand than had previously been determined in a previous study in 2017. More on that later, we promise. July also signaled the last gasp of the Finger Lakes School of Massage, which closed its doors officially after plenty of mismanagement and student complaints. The space now sits vacant, with students still in limbo about whether or not their degrees are still valid after the school’s accreditation was revoked. The Ithaca Times reported that the Diocese of Rochester would face at least 70 lawsuits related to the Child Victims Act, all of which were being brought by Boston attorney Mitch Garabedian. None of the cases came from Tompkins County, though. Remember that e-scooter program? Common Council decided to table it unitl more research could be found, and recent action by New York State could pre-empt any more research taking place. Unfortunately, July also saw a murder in Ithaca, at the Auden Ithaca apartment complex. After an argument in the morning of July 18, Kennan Orson Michael Paul was stabbed to death by his cousin Denzil Dexter Cummings. No update has been given about Cummings’ capture, though it was noted at the time that both men were from out of town and were here for a construction project. AUGUST
An investigation by the Ithaca Times uncovered years of complaints lodged by Southside Community Center workers about working conditions at the center and withheld wages by Southside administration. Three workers came forward with their stories, and the Tompkins County Workers Center confirmed that they had received complaints from 16 different workers over the last three years. Southside’s leadership denied the story’s conclusions. To add on to the previously mentioned arrests of Cadji Ferguson and Rose Degroat, Mayor Svante Myrick made his most extensive comments on the matter at an August meeting of Common Council, where he offered a public apology on behalf of the city and invited Degroat and Ferguson to meet with him personally to discuss the issue. Later that month, Ferguson was acquitted of his charges of disorderly conduct. Tommy Zurhellen of Poughkeepsie, NY, made his way through Ithaca in August as he walked across from Portland, Oregon back to Poughkeepsie in an attempt to raise money Ja n ua ry
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and awareness for the problems veterans face when they return home from a warzone. In similarly charitable news, Loaves & Fishes of Tompkins County was air conditioned for the first time in summer 2019 after a generous donation of $30,000 raised by local resident Sandy True. Ashley Cake and Dave Thomas of beloved local bar the Watershed announced they’d be opening a new draught bar in the same building, renovating the downstairs of the location to open the aptlynamed “The Downstairs.” Additionally, the Greater Ithaca Activtieis Center kick-started an effort to raise enough money to buy the gymnasium at the former Immaculate Conception site, which is now slated for an affordable housing redevelopment. Plus, the City of Ithaca mulled, albeit apparently briefly, a requirement for those enterig City Hall to show a photo ID during business hours. The measure hasn’t come up since some debate at City Administration Committee.
Ac t i o n f r o m a n o u t d o o r b a s k e t b a l l g a m e at G I AC , w h i c h i s t ry i n g t o r a i s e f u n d s f o r m o r e i n d o o r fac i l i t i e s . ( P h o t o b y C a s e y M a r t i n) the city. In beneficial affordable housing news, Cornell announced the extension of its agreement with Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars each year towards the establishment and construction of affordable housing units, sorely needed around Tompkins County and especially in the City of Ithaca. It was also revealed in October that a spill of sodium ferrocyanide at the Cargill Salt Mine had resulted in a violation notice from the state’s Department of Environmental conservation back in February.
On the Commons on Sept. 20, students from Ithaca College, Cornell University and all across the Ithaca City School District flooded the Commons as part of a global strike protesting inaction on climate change by people in power. Signs, speeches and chants were all in full force at the rally, which drew a sizable crowd to downtown Ithaca that migrated there from all over 8 T
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The previously unreported incident forced Cargill to install new collection equipment that was operated until samples showed the soil surrounding the spill once again met suitable health standards (which it eventually did). The Ithaca Planning Board also approved the controversial student housing development at 815 South Aurora Street. The Diocese of Rochester officially declared bankruptcy after facing a wave of lawsuits incurred by the opening of the Child Victims Act window. September also saw a deal struck between the City of Ithaca and Vecino and the oft-mentioned
Green Street Garage project, which will now include 218 affordable housing units, a 49,000 square foot conference center, 356 new parking spots and 2,000 square feet of street-level active use, rumored to be a small grocery store of some sort. Finally, IPD interim chief Dennis Nayor had the interim tag removed by Mayor Svante Myrick, making him the permanent successor to former chief Pete Tyler. OCTOBER
As the weather worsened with the advent of October, an Ithaca Times investigation into spending on the state’s Code Blue policy, designed to ensure warm housing for homeless people when the temperature drops below freezing at night, showed that spending jumped to $1.3 million last year (though covered by the state), and that overall bed nights counted under the Code Blue policy have spiked from 1,409 in the 2016 winter to over 12,000 in 2018-2019, either showing an increase in the homeless population’s awareness of the program or in the overall number of homeless people who need to utilize it to stay safe and healthy. Tragedy struck the Cornell community in October with the death of Antonio Tsialas, a freshman at the school whose body was discovered in Fall Creek near Ithaca Falls. Since his death, Tsialas’ family has been resolute that there is more to the story than is being told, and has established a
$10,000 reward for information that would lead to further clarity about the circumstances that led to their son’s death. As a result of the death, the school’s Interfraternity Council voted to ban almost all social events held by frats until Jan. 1, 2020, and Cornell President Martha Pollack told the Cornell Daily Sun that there was “significant misbehavior” at the Phi Kappa Psi party where Tsialas was last seen on Oct. 24, the night of his death. Former Cornell men’s basketball star Matt Morgan signed, but then was released, by the Toronto Raptors on the eve of the NBA season. Luckily, though, Morgan was subsequently retained by the Raptors for their G-League developmental team, Raptors 905, where he is still currently playing. After some initial hesitation during the annual budget negotiations, Ithaca’s Common Council endorsed more funding for Green New Deal-dedicated positions that would help complete work on the ambitious energy saving plan that hopes to be fully implemented over the next 10 years. October also potentially saw the final resolution of the Commons arrests of Cadji Ferguson and Rose DeGroat, as charges against DeGroat were dismissed by Tompkins County Judge John Rowley with a rebuke of the Ithaca police officers involved, which was then followed by an explanatory press conference held by the Tompkins County District Attorney Matt van Houten and IPD chief Dennis Nayor. NOVEMBER
November’s first week was marked by a mostly quiet bunch of local elections, with Mayor Svante Myrick retaining his position for a third term, as well as all five competing Common Council members winning their elections, despite rather impressive turnout for late-starting campaigns from three write-in candidates from the local chapter of the environmentally-minded Sunshine Movement. That election was, however, more notable for the debut of early voting in New York State. The new window provided several more days for people to head to the polls. Voters and Board of Election officials alike celebrated the convenience, though it does not appear that it pulled significantly more voters to the polls overall. The real test, though, will be how it impacts voting in the more popular election next year, when the race for President of the United States will take center stage. And of course, who could forget Cortaca? The annual rivalry game between Ithaca College and SUNY-Cortland took
its act to MetLife Stadium in New Jersey to a raucous crowd that gave the game exactly the spectacle-like atmosphere that was intended. Even better, Ithaca won 32-20. Unionization was a theme all year, covered in our story: “Union Fever.” Workers from Ithaca Coffee Company, GreenStar, Gimme! Coffee and the Sciencenter (most recently) have all either unionized, jumpstarted unionizing efforts or helped guide others through the process over the last year, and that’s only naming a few. It was also announced in late November that Ithaca attorney Seth Peacock and Tompkins County Assistant District Attorney Daniel Johnson would be vying to temporarily fill the spot on the Ithaca City Court bench, vacated by Judge Scott Miller when he was elected to the Tompkins County bench. Peacock was eventually selected by Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, and will hold the office until January 2021; an election will be held in November 2020 to determine who will hold the spot permanently, and Peacock has already indicated that he will run in that election. Around the county, Dryden’s study on the financial implications of its municipal internet system came back, and they were, frankly, glowing. The initial cost of the system would be $14 million, according to estimates, but if enough people buy into the service to make it viable longterm, the town could see over $10 million in revenue annually a decade after implementation. Tompkins County was well represented in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The City of Ithaca pledged to step up its enforcement against negligent or absentee landlords, though it’s too soon to tell the effectiveness of that effort. The Community Gardens was guaranteed its location for the foreseeable future after an agreement with Cayuga Medical Center. And you’ll never guess this, but 46 South Street actually got approved! The Ithaca Times lost a member of its own in November as well, with the passing of beloved colleague Cyndi J. (Brong) Blaisdell. She was an integral part of what we do here every week for the last 33 years, and we dearly miss her presence around the office.
which is still currently slated to be part of the Green Street Garage redevelopment project. Plenty of other projects will be funded with the remaining money as well, such as enclosing the Cass Park Ice Rink, formulating a Green New Deal action plan, expanding the State Theatre’s lobby and an Urban Environmental Education Center built by the Ithaca Children’s Garden in the city’s West End. Highlights of the month also included the official opening of the Tompkins Ithaca International Airport, a $34 million project that included renovation and expansion of the airport’s terminal and the construction of a customs facility which will allow the airport to accept international flights, potentially starting as early as spring 2020. Longtime Tompkins County Public Information Officer Marcia Lynch announced her retirement from the position after 13 years. Lynch’s meeting summaries were invaluable sources of information for journalists and, by extension, the public as well. Excitingly, local graphic designer Q Cassetti, of Trumansburg, had her design
campaign “Christmas Hive” adopted by Paris department store Galleries Lafayette. The Winter Light Festival saw its debut in downtown Ithaca as a replacement to the annual Ice Festival, albeit to mixed reviews. December had a few rather tragic episodes to include too, however. Dejour Gandy, a beloved local community center teacher who had grown up in the area and had deep local ties, was killed at his home by three assailants who are, at least as far as has been released publicly, still at large. His death inspired the founding of a GoFundMe dedicated to helping the family and funeral costs, which at press time has accumulated over $12,000 of its $25,000 goal. Weeks later, just as most were preparing for the Christmas holiday, a man identified as Michael Decastro entered the headquarters of Ithaca Police Department wielding a knife and was shot and killed after injuring a police officer. Further details are still being collected by the department, but they have announced that the officer injured in the incident was released from the hospital.
A n X A mbassadors per for m a nce du r ing 2 0 1 9. ( P h o t o b y C a s e y M a r t i n)
Christmas came just about a week early for Ithaca and Tompkins County, with New York State announcing nearly $14 million worth of awards for the county through its Regional Economic Development Council Awards. Arguably the most significant of the projects awarded money was $5 million for the downtown conference center, Ja n ua ry
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The Year in Sports By Ste ve L aw re nc e
ear in Review columns are fun to write, except for the fact that 7-800 words is barely enough to capture even a glimpse of all the cool stuff that took place in the past 12 months. Here is a snapshot… I loved starting the year off with the story about Louise Adie wrapping up her 14 year run as a kayak guide in Anarctica. She is an adventurer through and through, and I look forward to writing about her upcoming exploits. This was a great year for local Special Olympians, especially when Cassie Tabor and Kinsie Henry took the podium in Abu Dhabi at the World Games. Georgia@ithacatimes.com 607-277-7000 x220 Springtime brought a lot of stories my Newspaper: way, as George Valesente wrapped up his 40-plus year run as Ithaca College’s esteemed baseball coach. George was honored at the Hall of Fame ceremony at I.C., and he handed the keys over to someone he knows well: His son, David. The game of coaching musical chairs continued, as David’s job at Wells College was filled by Ryan Stevens, TC3’s coach. Speaking of Ithaca College baseball, it has been a blast to watch (Auburn native
and former Bomber) Tim Locastro put up some numbers in the Majors. He realized his dream to play at Yankee Stadium (for the Diamondbacks) and to thank his family and friends for making the trip, he hit one out. Tim is known for his speed and savvy, but he likes to flash some power once in a while. I was deeply saddened this spring when Clint Smith passed on a few short months after retiring as a NASCAR pit crew guy. Clint had some great stories about car racing’s Major Leagues, and he was a wonderful guy. I miss him a lot. I haven’t done too many bowling stories over the years, but I was so happy to write about Kelly Foster’s induction into the NYS Bowling HallClient: of Fame. Kelly’s lifelong dedication to her sport rivals that of any other athlete I know, and she was a very gracious and upbeat interview. I loved writing about Brenda Michaud and her fierce fight to run, swim and bike again after a cancer diagnosis and a long and arduous treatment plan. She’s a badass and a half. In August, I inserted myself into this column when I wrote about the bucket
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list item my daughter and I checked off. We hopped on our rented bicycles in San Fransisco and rode through Fishermans’ Wharf, Aquatic Park, the Presidio, across the Golden Gate Bridge and down to Sausalito, where we put the bikes on a ferry and rode across the bay. It was only a 10mile ride (with lots of headwinds, hills and an obstacle course made up of thousands of pedestrians and bicyclists) but it was a challenge and I loved every minute of it. The fall brought more glory to Ithaca College as the Bombers’ Parley Hannan wiped out the field of nearly 300 runners and brought Ithaca College’s first-ever cross country national championship to South Hill. Then, the Bomber football
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team made history by playing in front of a Division III record crowd of well over 40,000, at MetLife Stadium for the 2019 Cortaca Jug. The Bombers took down the Cortland Red Dragons for the third time in head coach Dan Swanstrom’s 3 years at the helm, and (semi) local guy Will Gladney put the finishing touches on a great career. Wil – who graduated from Owego Free Academy – set a ton of receiving records and is now working hard to try to make a career of it. Those of you who watched the Cleveland Browns beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night Football on November 14 might have looked on as the camera panned the Dawg Pound and said, “That looks like Steve Lawrence and Bill Bryant…” That’s right, the former ICSD Athletic Director and I were the guests of Jeff Grover (a Spencer-Van Etten grad, one of Bryant’s former players and a Browns employee) and we had a blast. Things got a little crazy - given we were in the midst of fans who had started tailgating 8 hours earlier - and a lot crazy when a Browns player infamously hit the Steelers’ quarterback over the head with the QB’s own helmet, but none of that changed the fact that Jeff afforded us an opportunity to see the inner workings and showed us a great time. So, for 2020, if any friends or readers have any experiences they’d like to offer me, I’m all ears. Please keep the story ideas coming, and as always, thanks for reading. With 27 years down, who knows how many to go?
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irst, some of my favorites from 2018, since circumstances prevented a year-end list: at Cornell, a haunting production of Wedekind’s “The Awakening of Spring” and Anne Washburn’s mesmerizing “Mr. Burns,” a post-electric play; Hangar: Kate Hamill’s zingy adaptation of “Pride & Prejudice,” and the exhilarating silliness of “Xanadu;” Ithaca College: an enchanting vision of Massenet’s opera “Cendrillon,” a charming “Twelfth Night,” and a brilliant staging of “Ragtime,” helmed by IC alum Eric Jordan Young; The Cherry: the highly physical “Rule of Thumb;” the Kitchen: a riveting “Ironbound,” the sweet musical “Girlfriend;” Opera Ithaca: a stunning “Carmen” at the Hangar and Thomas’s “Hamlet” in a hypnotic production by Zachary James at the Cherry. Finally, a thrilling Civic Ensemble season included the Re-Entry Project’s funny and trenchant “Streets Like This,” Saviana Stanescu’s fascinating “Bee Trapped Inside a Window,” and by far the best show of the year: the premiere of Judy Tate’s profound story of enslavement and freedom, “Fast Blood.” Now, on to 2019. Caveat: Try as I might, I don’t see everything, so I’m sure I missed some great theatre in the last year. Ithaca College offered
an invigorating and imaginative production of Jeanine Tesori’s musical “Violet,” a blend of folk, rhythm and blues and gospel directed by Greg Bostwick; and a stunning re-imagining of the old English play “Everyman,” Branden Jacob-Jenkins’ “Everybody,” directed by Cynthia Henderson. Cornell provided an eclectic round-up: a feast of language in Moliere’s scathing satire “Tartuffe;” a riveting docu-drama of environmental tragedy, Leigh Fondakowski’s “Spill” (helmed by Caitlin Kane); and the exhilarating celebration of adolescent girl-power, Sara DeLappe’s “The Wolves” were the highlights. At the Hangar: a lively modern “Restoration” comedy: “Or, What She Will;” sheer
delight in Cyndi Lauper’s “Kinky Boots,” and three lightly staged readings of large cast plays mostly featuring local actors in the Big Play Fest: a respectable offering of the great “Raisin in the Sun”; the effervescent wit of Kaufman & Hart’s “You Can’t Take it With You” (helmed by the irrepressible Robert Moss) and acting of great hilarity and heart-wrenching passion in “August: Osage County.” A beautifully rendered “A Christmas Carol” as imagined by adaptor Aoise Stratford and director Michael Barakiva capped a festive year. Civic Ensemble staged the William F. Buckley & James Baldwin debate in “Faith of Our Fathers” at the State and ended the year with “The Next Storm” at Cornell. The Cherry staged the premiere English translations of “The Shoe” (from Canada), and “Testosterone,” with a brilliant ensemble. Especially noteworthy was the trio of ‘solo’ plays featuring women: an intriguing Loza play, “The Saint;” Elizabeth Mozer’s performance piece “Asylum,” and an incandescent performance by Kathleen Mulligan as Emily Dickinson in “The Belle of Amherst.” House of Ithaqua brought Caryl Churchill’s urban fairy-horror tale “The Skriker” to life in a smart production helmed by A.J. Sage, inventively costumed by Liz Kitney and featuring J a n ua ry
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The Year in Theater
A shot from “Kinky Boots,” winner of 2019 Best of Ithaca Production of the Year. (Photo provided)
I t h a c a T i m e s 11
shape-changer Barbara Geary in the title role. The Ithaca Shakespeare Company moved up to a charming location in Upper Treman Park this summer, offering a warmly received “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and a stylish traversal of the rarely seen “Pericles.” Opera Ithaca offered us a top-notch production of a new opera commissioned by OI: Kamala Sankaram’s “The Infinite Energy of Ada Lovelace,” coupled with a clever staging of the ‘first’ opera by a woman, Francesca Caccini’s “Liberation.” The fall brought a gorgeously played and sung La Boheme in conjunction with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra (less convincing in its bare staging.)
The Kitchen continued to offer brilliant and highly diverse theatre; highlights included the nerve-wracking “The Children” by Lucy Kirkwood, about the aftermath of a nuclear disaster; a skillful revival of David Auburn’s Proof, featuring a South Asian cast; an excellent ensemble in Nina Raine’s complex and witty traversal of the differing worlds of the deaf, “Tribes.” Then there was Marco Ramirez’ “The Royale,” by far the best local theatre of 2019. The historic African-American boxer Jack Johnson becomes the first Black World Champion. Pulse-pounding drama, led by a powerful Jamal James as Johnson, a blazing Lisa Tharps, Kitchen veteran Alexander Thomas in a wry turn as Johnson’s manager, Sean Meehan and Dazmann Still,
directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh. Several local performers I enjoyed following the past two years: Joshua Sedelmeyer, who went from a hearty Fred in the Hangar’s “A Christmas Carol” to a heart-wrenching Bob Cratchitt; Sedelmeyer also played a southern hot-head in Fast Blood, William F. Buckley in “Faith of Our Fathers,” and a romantic Tony Kirby in “You Can’t Take It With You.” Helen T. Clark returned to play a delightfully dizzy Essie in the latter play as well as a chilling role in “Testosterone.” Karl Gregory added his comic chops to both plays as well, but was most endearing as a troubled brother in “Tribes.” “August: Osage County” offered several plum acting moments: Kathleen Mulligan was tragically torn as the
Guthrie Cardiac and Vascular Center Jamal James as boxer Jack Johnson in “The Royale” (Photo provided)
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elder daughter Barbara, Jennifer Herzog was a manic denier of reality as daughter Karen; and Effie Johnson played a rueful Ivy. Jacob White’s Little Charlie Aiken was a delight; Craig Macdonald a mysterious patriarch and Jeffery Guyton a sweet Charlie Aiken. And in “A Raisin in the Sun,” Cynthia Henderson was a grounded and spirited Lena Younger. Susannah Berryman gave a comic tourde-force in The Roommate and followed with a sly turn in “The Children;” while Dean Robinson had great turns in “Tribes” and “The Children.” Erica Steinhagen returned brilliantly to the stage, sailing through the Baker’s Wife in “Into the Woods” (amazing), followed by a tough-as-nails turn in “Kinky Boots.” We were blessed to have Norm Johnson and Beth Milles directing for several companies this past year. Transitions: Godfrey Simmons, Jr., co-founder of Civic Ensemble moved on to HartBeat Ensemble in Hartford, CT; Zachary James gave up the reins at Opera Ithaca to pursue a burgeoning career (including a major role at the Met in Glass’ Akhnaten); Mary Beth Bunge announced her upcoming resignation as Managing Director at the Hangar and Greg Bostwick celebrated his retirement from Ithaca College’s faculty. And transitioning from life on our planet: at Cornell, Alison Van Dyke, beloved mentor to generations of students and faculty, and Ed Intemann, a lighting designer and master teacher. And from the local acting community: the hilarious and protean Camilla Schade. Years of laughter and brilliant acting were celebrated in “But Is It Funny?,” a celebration of her life hosted at the Hangar and led by her sister Carolyn Cadigan. Camilla gave us a tremendous gift before she left, a solo performance of her final encounter with cancer (in collaboration with Kira Lallas), “Bones,” certainly the most spiritual and loving theatre of 2019.
Al Pacino plays Jimmy Hoffa in “The Irishman,” one of BVC’s top movies of the year. (Photo from Netf lix)
Our Favorite Films of 2019… and Three Others By Br yan VanC ampe n
used to be a film critic, but now I’m just a guy who goes to the movies sometimes. If you saw a great movie that’s not listed here, I didn’t see it. Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood was marketed as Q.T.’s take on the Manson murders, but it’s really a loving, almost fetishistic tribute to the profession of acting, show business history and the bromance between a struggling, neurotic actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his Zen master stunt double (Brad Pitt – just give this guy the Oscar, already.) Eddie Murphy could legit win an Oscar, too. Craig Brewer’s Dolemite Is My Name is the true story of dirty comic-turnedunlikely movie star Rudy Ray Moore. The less you know about Moore, the more this foul-mouthed “let’s put on a show” epic will surprise you and make you laugh; it’s Murphy’s best performance since Bowfinger (1999).
Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, a three-hour-plus crime epic in the mold of Mean Streets, Goodfellas and Casino, utilizes CG de-aging tech to track Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino across many decades of mobster life. Pacino plays Jimmy Hoffa so effectively that The Irishman becomes his film – fitting, given that Pacino and Scorsese have never made a film together before. Scorsese is free to disagree, but comic book movies are cinema, and the MCU films have fired my imagination like no other franchise I can think of. Joe and Anthony Russo’s Avengers Endgame is a three-hour culmination of the best fan service imaginable, bringing this unprecedented series of linked comic book films to a touching, poetic and satisfying conclusion. Jon Watt’s Spider-Man Far From Home balances a fun high school field trip
abroad with Spiderman’s showdown with the powerful and seductive villain Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). The filmmakers have a lot of fun blowing up the house at the end of the film. Can’t wait to see where Tom Holland as Peter Parker goes from here. Horror filmmaker David F. Sandberg makes a sweet movie about friendship and making your own family in DC’s Shazam. Goofy but grounded, the film features a great Mutt and Jeff comedy team in Zachary Levi, the newly transformed Billy Batson, and his pal played by Jack Dylan Grazer. In Danny Boyle’s Yesterday, a struggling singer-songwriter (Himesh Patel) gets hit by a bus and wakes up in a world where the Beatles never happened. (I wish everyone thought I wrote “Yesterday”). Featuring 19 Beatles songs, this is a joyous celebration of the impact of the Fab Four. The combination of Kate McKinnon’s comic supporting performance and the Google sequences alone are worth the J a n ua ry
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price of admission. What’s that you say? A feel-good family comedy about Nazis? Huh. Trust me, folks: Taika Waititi’s JoJo Rabbit is the riskiest, most out-there piece of film I’ve seen in many a season. Kudos to Waititi for even attempting this, and the less you know going in, the more JoJo Rabbit will rock you. I’ll admit that I went into Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep with very low expectations. How would Flanagan tie Stephen King’s sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 version of The Shining, a movie that King has always hated? Well, not only has Flanagan made a sequel that actually improves on King’s somewhat spotty novel, but by casting actors that resemble Kubrick’s cast and rebuilding sets rather than poaching shots from Kubrick, the result is a much better film than I could have hoped for. Oh, and it’s really scary. ***
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2020 brings workshops on healthcare and hospice care By E dw in J. Vie ra
he new year will bring plenty of opportunities to grow our education about the ever-expanding world of healthcare. Local ‘death midwife’ Angela Mennito will be holding several workshops in the new year which will provide a helpful space for people to navigate the maze of information and paperwork in being someone’s healthcare proxy, completing a living will, and a workshop regarding the last sounds of a person’s life. Mennito said the first workshop, which she describes as more of a work session, came about when some people sitting in her death cafe class needed a place to get some of the paperwork regarding being a health care proxy completed. Another inspiration for the workshop was the pivotal question people face at that point in their life - what if someone doesn’t know who they want as a healthcare proxy? “What if there’s not an obvious choice
or there’s an obvious choice and you don’t want that person?“ Mennito said. “So, we wanted an opportunity for people to be able to talk about it and say ‘Is this the best idea or not?’ That’s where that workshop came from. [...] There’s going to be a lot of handouts. Some are how to determine your wishes, there’s going to be a copy of a living will, and there’s a few people who’ve been through the process themselves and have less than easy situations. Like they do have family members and they don’t want them to be their proxy. There are people like that for them to talk to.” The second workshop will teach someone the responsibilities and duties that go along with being someone’s healthcare proxy. This is a type of power of attorney for health care that allows a person to name another person who can express their wishes and make health care decisions for them in the event they cannot
Angela Mennito is hoping to guide people dealing with the final stages of life. (Photo by Casey Martin)
speak for themselves. “Someone needs to be able to stand up to doctors who rattle off a bunch of stuff and then they leave,” Mennito said. “And so you have to make a decision with the information you don’t really understand so you need to be able to say, ‘Can you explain that to me again’ or ‘could you help me through this?’ The workshop would run from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m, includes lunch, and would cost $50. The final workshop is based on the knowledge that sound is the last of the senses to go as someone near the end of their life. “We want to use sounds to help people get in a more contemplative place and explore what they might want, who they
might want there, or what sounds they might want around them,” Mennito said. “It’s sort of calling on the senses to think about what you would like.” Mennito has been working to figure out a structure for this workshop as well but isn’t sure it calls for one. The workshops, according to Mennito, allow for a space where people can talk about these things and safely get them done. The first two workshops will be two hours with the third workshop being five hours with a luncheon in the middle. Mennito said the workshops are slated for late-winter/ early spring of 2020 with some being free and one costing $50. As time gets closer, Mennitto will release more information about them.
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YEAR IN MOVIES Contin u ed From Page 13
I have yet to see a decent American Godzilla movie, and Godzilla, King of the Monsters is a textbook example of why they suck so much: Godzilla and his mutant monster pals show up and wreck stuff.
Cut to a bunch of overqualified movie stars watching the carnage on computer screens. I like Godzilla, I just don’t need the overqualified movie stars. I think of the original Men In Black as one of the greatest comedies, but F. Gary Gray’s Men In Black International is just not funny. I like Tessa Thompson but
Chris Hemsworth, a natural comic, gives a vague and unfocused performance in the midst of all the overproduced globe-trotting FX sequences. X-Men Dark Phoenix ends its near-20-year franchise with a shrug and an unnecessary retelling of the Jean Grey-Dark Phoenix storyline with a recast bunch of X-Men Babies.
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Godzilla deserves better than “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (Photo online)
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Regal Ithaca Wednesday 1/1 through Tuesday, 1/7. Contact Regal Ithaca for showtimes. Spies in Disguise | When the world’s best spy is turned into a pigeon, he must rely on his nerdy tech officer to save the world. | 101 mins PG
Nelson, Marian Van Soest, and Ethel Vrana. The Reception for the artists, Gallery Night, January 3rd, 5-8pm.
PLUS ONE : a gallery artist invitational | All Day 1/2 Thursday | Corners Gallery, 903 Hanshaw Rd Ste 3, Ithaca | PLUS ONE is an exhibition featuring the work of Corners Gallery artists and their special guest artist’s work. On view through Jan. 25.
1/3 Friday Friday Music at Hopshire: Encore | 6:00 PM, | Hopshire Farm & Brewery, Freeville
1/5 Sunday Ithaca Jazz and Blues Jam | 4:00 PM, | Mix Kitchen and Bar, Ithaca
1/8 Wednesday Canaan Jam Session | 7:00 PM, | Canaan Institute, Brooktondale
Stage Disney’s Beauty and the Beast | 7:30 PM, 1/3 Friday | Syracuse Stage/ Drama Complex, 820 E Genesee St, Syracuse | Through Jan 5. Spectacular costumes and fantastic sets combine with beloved songs in this classic story about finding the magic in love.
Creative Sanctuary Club | 5:45 PM, 1/3 Friday | The Art Therapy Studio, 408 West State Street, Ithaca | Connect more deeply with your creativity through Art-Therapist-developed art prompts and/or techniques in an inspiring & relaxing atmosphere. All supplies & Tea provided. | 15
“Gang of Nine” | 5:00 PM, 1/3 Friday | State of the Art Gallery, 120 W Martin Luther King, Jr./State Street, Ithaca | The first show out of three this year for groups of Gallery artists. The works will be by members Stan Bowman, Ed Brothers, Eva Capbianco, Jay Hart, Ileen Kaplan, Harry Littell, Margaret
First Friday Gallery Night | 5:00 PM, 1/3 Friday | Downtown Ithaca, Center Ithaca, Ithaca | Downtown Ithaca explodes with talent in different shops, restaurants and hotels. Nearly 20 businesses downtown become the home to different local artists and sometimes global ones, as well.
Week of Friday, January 3 through Thursday, January 9, 2020. Contact Cinemapolis for showtimes. Uncut Gems | |A charismatic New York City jeweler always on the lookout for the next big score, makes a series of high-stakes bets that could
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Star Wars:The Rise of Skywalker | The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more in the final chapter of the Skywalker saga. | 141 mins PG-13 Cats | A tribe of cats called the Jellicles must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and
lead to the windfall of a lifetime. Howard must perform a precarious high-wire act, balancing business, family, and encroaching adversaries on all sides, in his relentless pursuit of the ultimate win. | 135 mins R Dark Waters | |A corporate defense attorney takes on an environmental lawsuit against a chemical company that exposes a lengthy history of pollution. | 126 mins PG-13 Little Women | Four sisters come of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War. Directed by Greta Gerwig, starring Saoirse Ronan, Timothee Chalamet, & Emma Watson.| 135 mins PG-13 Honey Boy | A young actor’s stormy childhood and early adult years as he struggles to reconcile with his father and deal with his mental health. | 94 mins R Jojo Rabbit | A young member of Hitler Youth finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.| 108 mins PG-13 Harriet | The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.| 125 mins PG-13 Parasite | All unemployed, Ki-taek’s family takes a peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks for their livelihood until they get entangled in an unexpected incident.|132 mins R
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“GANG OF NINE” - ARTIST RECEPTION Friday, January 3 from 5:00 - 8:00 PM | State of the Art Gallery, 120 W. State St., Ithaca | The first show out of three this year for groups of Gallery artists. The works will be by members Stan Bowman, Ed Brothers, Eva Capbianco, Jay Hart, Ileen Kaplan, Harry Littell, Margaret Nelson, Marian Van Soest, and Ethel Vrana. (photo: provided)
motivational reading program where children read aloud to a friendly dog.
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Beginner Bird Walks | 8:30 AM, 1/4 Saturday | Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca | Guided bird walks every Saturday and Sunday morning, sponsored by the Cayuga Bird Club. For more information, go to the club’s website, http://www. cayugabirdclub.org/calendar
09/19 Loans subject to credit approval.
Bombshell | A group of women decides to take on Fox News head Roger Ailes and the toxic atmosphere he presided over at the network.| 108 mins R Jumanji: The Next Level | As they return to rescue one of their own, the players will have to brave parts unknown from arid deserts to snowy mountains, to escape the world’s most dangerous game..| 123 mins PG-13 Black Christmas | A group of female students are stalked by a stranger during their Christmas break. That is until the young sorority pledges discover that the killer is part of an underground college conspiracy. | 92 mins PG-13 Richard Jewell | American security guard Richard Jewell (Paul Walter Hauser) saves thousands of lives from an exploding bomb at the 1996 Olympics, but is vilified by journalists and the press who falsely report that he was a terrorist. | 129 mins R Frozen II | Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land. They set out
to find the origin of Elsa’s powers in order to save their kingdom. | 103 mins PG
(proving they really made it all the way in).
siblings are also welcome. Space is limited for this free program, and registration is required.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood | Based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod.| 108 mins PG
Sew Amazing | 6:00 PM, 1/6 Monday | Seneca Falls Library, 47 Cayuga Street, Seneca Falls | Here’s a sewing class just for kids and teens in 4th grade and up. Learn basic hand-sewing techniques and create your own stuffed animal. All materials provided. Preregistration is required.
Knives Out | A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family. | 130 mins PG-13 Ford vs Ferrari | 152 mins PG-13
Special Events “Dip or Dodge” Chill Challenge | 1:00 PM, 1/1 Wednesday | Ithaca Yacht Club, W Shore, Ithaca | A fundraiser for the non-profit organization that owns and maintains the building that houses meetings for several different types of recovery groups. . A polar plunge with a twist. Participants can collect donations to “Dip” into the icy lake, or “Dodge” the waters and watch others wade in to retrieve a balloon
Tween STEAM @NPL: The Science of Snowflakes | 3:30 PM, 1/8 Wednesday | Newfield Public Library, 198 Main St, Newfield | NPL’s Tween STEAM after school program for middle school students will resume on Wednesday, January 8 with the Science of Snowflakes.
because your time is money.
come back to a new Jellicle life.| 102 mins PG
Cuddle-up Infant & Toddler Library Time | 10:00 AM, 1/8 Wednesday | Southworth Library, 24 W. Main Street, Dryden |
Preschool Storytime at Southworth Library | 10:00 AM, 1/3 Friday | Southworth Library, 24 W. Main Street, Dryden | A different theme every week! Family Movie Night: Abominable | 6:30 PM, 1/3 Friday | Newfield Public Library, 198 Main St, Newfield | The Frog Prince -puppet show | 10:30 AM, 1/4 Saturday | The Cherry Artspace, 102 Cherry St., Ithaca | Performed by Magic Garden Puppets. The princess makes a promise to a lonely frog for his help. Now he wants to drink from her golden cup, eat from her golden plate and sleep on her golden pillow – gross! See this classic tale with live music and marionettes . Meet the puppets after the show! | $8 -$12 Open Heart Kids Yoga | 11:00 AM, 1/4 Saturday | Tompkins County Public Library, 101 E Green St, Ithaca | A weekly yoga program is best suited for children ages 3 to 9, but younger
Family Story Time | 10:30 AM, 1/7 Tuesday | Newfield Public Library, 198 Main St. , Newfield | Join us every Tuesday for stories, songs and fun. There is a different theme each week. Preschool Science Series | 11:00 AM, 1/7 Tuesday | Tompkins County Public Library, 101 E Green St, Ithaca | Designed for preschoolers and their families and caregivers. Each week a new animal classification will be covered: amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and arthropods (bugs). Some weeks will feature live animals. No registration is required. Read with Miss Martha | 3:30 PM, 1/7 Tuesday | Seneca Falls Library, 47 Cayuga Street, Seneca Falls | Cozy up with a story and your favorite furry friend, Miss Martha! This is a
Annual Twelfth Night Community Celebration | 7:00 PM, 1/4 Saturday | First Unitarian Church Ithaca, 306 N Aurora St, Ithaca | The Annual Twelfth Night Celebration, an Ithaca tradition for four decades, is a rare example of what happens when people decide to entertain themselves, instead of letting someone else do it. It is primarily an evening of storytelling, in which the storytellers are members of the audience who feel like telling a story. Anyone is welcome to tell a story, and anyone is welcome to come listen. All ages are welcome. Stories can be true, or “true” (aren’t all stories “true”?). Most of the storytellers tell exactly one story a year in public, and that, of course, is at Twelfth Night. Yes, it’s perfectly OK to just come and listen. Bring a tasty treat to share, a couple of bucks to share expenses, and there’s all the makings of a great party. Saddle Up for Jesus Horse Riding Club | 7:00 PM, 1/4 Saturday | Brooktondale Baptist Church, 2311 Slaterville Road, Ithaca | A Christian, family-oriented riding club. We have club meetings, trail rides, horsemanship clinics for a variety of disciplines, cowboy devotionals and youth programs. Contact Lawrence Canfield at 607-539-6440.
Ithaca Folk Song Swaps | 2:00 PM, 1/5 Sunday | Tompkins County Workers’ Center, 115 The Commons, Ithaca | Upstairs from Autumn Leaves Books Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day) Celebration Dinner at Loaves and Fishes | 5:30 PM, 1/7 Tuesday | St John’s Episcopal Church, 210 N Cayuga St, Ithaca | Doors open at 5PM for beverages and fellowship. Al are welcome. Open Hearts Dinner | 5:00 PM, 1/8 Wednesday | McKendree UMC, 224 Owego St., Candor | Come and join in the fun. Whether you are looking for fellowship or a free meal this one’s for you. Contact: Denice Peckins email@example.com
Health Exercise Class for Seniors | 8:30 AM, 1/2 Thursday | Newfield Public Library, 198 Main St. , Newfield | Take off Pounds Sensibly | 6:00 PM, 1/2 Thursday | Candor Town Hall, 101 Owego Road, Candor | Contact Jean Dewey 659-9969 or jmdewey@ frontiernet.net Square Dance and Other Dancing | 2:00 PM, 1/3 Friday | Lifelong, 119 W Court St, Ithaca | Everyone Welcome (members and non-members). No experience or partner needed. For more information call 273-1511 Sacred Sunday Community at Yoga Farm | 9:00 AM, 1/5 Sunday | Yoga Farm, 404 Conlon Rd, Lansing | Open Meditation | 10:30 AM, 1/5 Sunday | Foundation of Light, 391 Turkey Hill Road, Ithaca | Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous | 4:00 PM, 1/5 Sunday | Community Recovery Center, 518 W Seneca St, Ithaca | FA is a free 12-Step recovery program for anyone suffering from food obsession, overeating, undereating, or bulimia. foodaddicts. org. Additional meetings held Mondays @ 7pm and Saturdays at 8am. Exercise Class for Seniors | 8:30 AM, 1/7 Tuesday | Newfield Public Library, 198 Main St. , Newfield |
SATURDAY, JANUARY 4 AT 7:00 PM
SATURDAY, JANUARY 4 AT 3:00 PM
First Unitarian Church, 306 N. Aurora, Ithaca | The Annual Twelfth Night Celebration, an Ithaca tradition for four decades, is an evening of storytelling, in which the storytellers are members of the audience who feel like telling a story. Anyone is welcome to tell a story, and anyone is welcome to come listen. All ages are welcome. Stories can be true, or "true.” Bring a tasty treat to share, a couple of bucks to share expenses.
Cinemapolis, 120 E. Green Street, Ithaca | Join the creators of 4 local short films for a free admission screening of their work! The following short films will be shown in the genres of horror, drama, and comedy: The Door (Tim O'Hearn); No One Has to Know (Mick Thomas); Fool (James Coleman); The Salesman (Redouane Elghazi). (photo: Facebook)
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Town & Country
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EMPLOYMENT Teacher – Literacy
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Ithaca.com/Ithaca Times/FingerLakes Community newspapers, the area’s energy media sales specialist to help local businesses reach our educated, dynamic and growing community. Experience in digital media or print advertising sales is preferred, but all representatives have a thorough training process from experienced professionals. This is a base-plus-commission position
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N e w J o b fo r 2 0 2 0 ! s alt h Be ne fit 5 Ne gotia te d Wa ge an d He Prog ra m 5 NY S Re tirem en t Pe ns ion 5 CD L/ Pa id Train ing ye r 5 Eq ua l Op po rt un ity Em plo ns and app licl ant s fro m *Wo me n, min ori ties, vet era are enc ourage d to app ly. und er- rep res ent ed gro ups
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I C S D Tr a n s p o r t a t i o n S e r v i c e s 20 T
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Diversity Enriches our workplace