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May 13, 2008 - 9:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, government, public records.

I've only read a few open record laws in my journalism career, so I can't say the state of New York has the prettiest Freedom of Information preamble, but it is a nice, inspiring bit of prose:

§84. Legislative declaration. The legislature hereby finds that a free society is maintained when government is responsive and responsible to the public, and when the public is aware of governmental actions. The more open a government is with its citizenry, the greater the understanding and participation of the public in government.

As state and local government services increase and public problems become more sophisticated and complex and therefore harder to solve, and with the resultant increase in revenues and expenditures, it is incumbent upon the state and its localities to extend public accountability wherever and whenever feasible.

The people's right to know the process of governmental decision-making and to review the documents and statistics leading to determinations is basic to our society. Access to such information should not be thwarted by shrouding it with the cloak of secrecy or confidentiality. The legislature therefore declares that government is the public's business and that the public, individually and collectively and represented by a free press, should have access to the records of government in accordance with the provisions of this article.

That phrase on public problems becoming more sophisticated and complex reminds me of the post I did Saturday about the importance of freely sharing information, discussing issues and exploring different perspectives -- a key mission of The Batavian.

In order to give Batavia the kind of online forum it deserves to discuss and explore all issues, we certainly intend to seek out, retrieve and examine public records -- not in the "gotcha" spirit of much of traditional media, but in a spirit of openness, frankness and with a goal toward creating a better Batavia.

May 13, 2008 - 8:34am
posted by Philip Anselmo in GCC, entertainment.

Comedian Bill Dawes will take the stage at Genesee Community College Thursday night following an afternoon workshop at the college. From the press release:

The Genesee Center for the Arts at Genesee Community College will conclude its 16th successful season with an afternoon workshop and “one-night only” event featuring actor and comic Bill Dawes, with special guest Kyle Fincham. On May 15, Dawes will be holding an afternoon workshop (times to be announced) with college students at Genesee, collaborating on the art of stand-up comedy and offering a question-and-answer period. Following the workshop, the Genesee Center for the Arts and Genesee’s Fine Arts Committee will be presenting Spring Offensive with Bill Dawes! featuring Bill Dawes and special guest Kyle Fincham in an uncensored night of cutting-edge comedy. Spring Offensive with Bill Dawes! premieres Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 8:00PM at the Stuart Steiner Theatre.

Dawes began his professional acting career in the Broadway production of “Sex and Longing,” opposite Sigourney Weaver. His other credits include the stage productions of “Gross Indecency: The Trials of Oscar Wilde” and “My First Time,” as well as the independent films “Born Loser,” “Evenhand” and “The Science of Love.” On the small screen, Dawes has enjoyed success in guest roles and as recurring characters on a variety of shows, including “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Oz”, “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.”

General Admission ticket prices are $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for college students, senior citizens and GCC faculty/staff. This performance is attended for mature audiences only. For more ticket information and reservations, contact the Genesee Center for the Arts Box Office at (585) 345-6814. The Genesee Center for the Arts Box Office accepts cash and checks only, credit cards are not accepted.

May 13, 2008 - 8:29am
posted by Patrick D. Burk in Scrabble, Literacy Genesee/Orleans, Summer.

Well last night was the Annual Scrabble Fundraising Tournament for Literacy Genesee/Orleans at Elba Central School.  I was the MC and Host for this event once again this year.  A great time was had by all and the top finishers were the Batavia High School Team and Second Place Honors went to the team sponsored by Genesee Orthopedics.  Rounding out the top three was Third Place finisher Sheperd, Maxwell and Hale's Team.  Several Auction Prizes were given away and the annual Basket Raffle Prizes were awarded.  More importantly thousands of dollars were raised to promote Literacy in Genesee and Orleans Counties.

I am off to open our "Summer Place" this week.....will spend some time down there each day.  I find it interesting that each year we so look forward to having the place open so we can use it...yet we hate the drudgery of opening it.  This  year we have hired a "technician" to open the place with us....takes off some of the drudgery.  Next up is planting the gardens..the perrenial raking and in fact the cleaning.  By this weekend we should be in good shape.  The nice thing is that once it is done....it is done...our own nice permanent vacation retreat.   There is something to be said about having a peaceful place.....  it renews the soul.

Batavia High School has six - yes count them six - students selected for HOBY this year.  I am proud to be a part of this program and proud that our High School has a Sophomore Class of this magnitude.  It will be another fine program at SUNY Geneseo in June...more on this later....just had to pass along the BLUE & WHITE PRIDE.....

Here's hoping you have a wonderful day. 

 

 

May 13, 2008 - 8:26am
posted by Philip Anselmo in news, headlines, wbta, muckdogs.

Check out WBTA for this and more stories:

• Muckdogs General Manager Dave Wellenzohn will stand atop a lift above the entrance to Dwyer Stadium starting this Friday morning and through to the premiere of his radio show — I presume on WBTA — at 8:15am Saturday morning. All in the name of promoting the team.

May 12, 2008 - 7:54pm

The City Council voted unanimously to approve a $10,000 fund transfer — another $15,000 will be voted on at the next meeting — to fix up the ball field at Dwyer Stadium, home to the Batavia Muckdogs. A recent inspection of the field by the grounds crew found an uneven field ravaged in some spots by divots.

Naomi Silver came by the meeting to talk about the proposed maintenance. Silver heads up the business side of the Rochester Red Wings that took over management of the Muckdogs in early March.

When Silver was questioned about how long the Rochester group planned to manage the Muckdogs — even if it failed to turn a significant profit — she said: "We want to come here. We don't want to get rich on it. We want to do the right thing."

Silver called the Red Wings relationship with the Muckdogs "a true labor of love."

May 12, 2008 - 6:42pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in news, Daily News, headlines.

From the Daily News (Monday):

• About 70 people came out for Batavia's YWCA Mother's Day tribute Sunday. Music was provided by several Batavia artists, including: Cooper Singers, James Armstrong and Family, Gracie Marthrel and daughter La'Shonna Mims, and the Brenda Hayes and Family singers.

• Onward goes the city cleanup. Some 40 volunteers with the Helping Hands crew went out to the city's southside for the cleanup over the weekend.

• A potential tuition increase will be at the top of the agenda of the Genesee Community College's Board of Trustees meeting tonight at 7:00pm in the Board Room of the college. Costs could go up $50 per semester for full-time students and $4 per credit hour for part-time students.

• Patti Pacino, Sharon Messina, Laurie Mastin and Sen. Mary Lou Roth received this year's YWCA's Fabulous Females Award. They were honored at a brunch and ceremony Saturday.

• Muckdogs General Manager David Wellenzohn will join Rochester Red Wings officials Naomi Silver and Dan Mason for an update on Dwyer Stadium at tonight's City Council meeting at 7:00pm at City Hall.

• Col. Alexander Marchioli is retiring after more than 50 years of work with the U.S. government. The Batavia native's life is chronicled by reporter John Loyd in today's paper.

• The United Way of Genesee County will kick off its Day of Caring at 8:00am Wednesday at DeWitt Park on Cedar Street in Batavia. Volunteers will head out into the community from 9:00am to 3:00pm to help out (clean, rake leaves, help out with yard work). Call Lori Stupp at (585) 343-8141 to volunteer or for more information.

For the complete stories, the Daily News is available on local newsstands, or you can subscribe on BataviaNews.com.

May 12, 2008 - 6:13pm

Gov. David Paterson and Sen. Chuck Schumer visited the Grange at the Genesee County Fairgrounds today for a forum on agriculture. More than 100 farmers from upstate counties came out to attend the Q&A session that kicked off with a brief recap of the federal Farm Bill by Schumer.

About 20 people lined up at the microphone for a chance to ask the governor questions on agricultural policy and the future of upstate farms. In fact, there were so many folks interested in getting their voice heard that the governor didn't have time to address them all — and an event that was expected to last about a half-hour ran well over an hour. Immigrant labor and supporting youth education in agriculture were among the many issues raised by the public.

Paterson was joined by state Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith who took up the issue of immigrant labor. From a released statement issued by the governor's office after the event:

Farmers have been increasingly frustrated at their inability to find qualified workers to harvest their crops, hampered in large part by federal regulations requiring them to exhaust all domestic possibilities before being granted waivers to hire non-domestic workers. Farmers insist the supply of farmhands is far outweighed by the demand, and without sufficient federal waivers from the Bush Administration, crops will literally die on the vine.

The governor also discussed a state program to fight the Plum Pox virus that threatens "stone fruit crops" such as peaches. The program will continue to study infected crops and reimburse farmers for their losses from destroyed crops.

UPDATE: The blog Poltics on the Hudson covers Gov. Paterson's visit:

Business leaders in upstate are criticizing the governor’s plans to go back to the old policy, in which a New York City chairperson oversees the state’s entire economic development program.

Right now, Dan Gundersen serves as the upstate chair, based out of Buffalo.

“No one has said that we are taking Mr. Gundersen away from upstate,” Paterson told reporters after a town-hall meeting in Batavia on farm issues with Sen. Charles Schumer.  ...

“And I certainly understand that the economy is reeling, the anxiety is overflowing in upstate New York.”

Paterson went on to say that “I wanted to have an ability of the agency to have a centralized organization” yet he doesn’t plan to diminish any services to upstate.

“If we don’t change something, we’re not going to have improvement around here,” Paterson said.

“And I would invite some of those who said they were irked, to please call me because I let them know since the time I was in office two months ago that if they ever had a problem, they should call me and not one of them have called me in the past few days.”

Also, here's News 10's coverage.  And Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the Albany Watch blog wonders why Paterson has missed four consecutive legislative work days.

His absence is giving rise to speculation that he doesn’t intend to push an aggressive agenda for the rest of the legislative session.

“It’s hard to drive the Albany agenda without being in Albany,’’ said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group. “That’s why the Executive Mansion is in Albany.’‘

 

Update posted by Howard Owens

May 12, 2008 - 4:59pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, Rochester.

Twenty-three-year-old Rondell Breedlove was setenced to 15 years in prison at Genesee County Court today, according to the district attorney's office. Breedlove pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery in June following an incident in October, 2006, when a Batavia man was shot to death out front of his home on Dellinger Avenue.

One of four suspects involved in that robbery-turned-murder, Breedlove was initially charged with second-degree murder following the death of Desean Gooch, who was 23 years old when he was killed, according to the Daily News archives. Two of the other four men charged in the case have already been setenced.

Breedlove is a Rochester native who is currently serving a prison sentence on an unrelated matter. The sentence pronounced today will begin once he finishes serving his first term. The district attorney's office couldn't say for sure when that would be.

May 12, 2008 - 12:00pm
posted by Patrick D. Burk in Literacy Volunteers, Scrabble, Mother's Day.

I hope all you Mom's out there had a wonderful day yesterday.  The family and I took my wife out to The Miss Batavia Diner for Mother's Day breakfast....so cool and we love it there.  Lisa and the crew at the Diner are always friendly and so accomodating....not to mention the best food in Batavia....LOVE IT....  The remainder of the day I worked at the college as we started to clean up the wonderful set from Jimmy Dean.....  It indeed was one of the best sets I had ever seen and the play was a huge success.  I thank the entire community for supporting our efforts.  NEXT UP - JESUS CHRIST, SUPERSTAR Auditions at BHS May 19 - 20 at 6:30 in the Auditorium.  The performance is in August.  Special shout out to ROXY's Music Store for their fantastic help with Jimmy Dean.

We finished the day doing what we like doing best....taking care of our grandson and watching TV with the family....a nice day overall.  Quiet and wonderfully fun of family... that is always the highpoint for me.  It was a good day,

Wow....sometimes things do seem to creep up on you.  TONIGHT is the Annual Literacy Volunteers Scrabble Tournament at Elba Central School......It is a ton of fun and for a small donation you can play or bring a team.  Plan on stopping in for some fun times....the doors open at 6:30 and we begin at 7PM.  You don't really need to know too much about the games....just think about big words and how best to use your scrabble tiles....that is the best way to play.   There is also free refreshments and chances to win a ton of prizes.  Bring a few extra dollars for the white elephant auction.....That always goes over real well.......You bid on secret gifts with clues....and I am the Auctioneer. 

SO STOP ON OUT TO ELBA CENTRAL SCHOOL TONIGHT WITH A COUPLE OF FRIENDS AND BRING A FEW BUCKS WITH YOU....FOR THE Literacy Volunteers Annual Scrabble Tournament.... Lots of fun and good times....

So this week will be full of fun stuff and things to do....always so busy.  Off to get some more things done and once again...Thanks for your support!!!!

May 12, 2008 - 8:41am
posted by Philip Anselmo in news, crime, headlines, wbta.

Check out WBTA for this and other stories:

• A 19-year-old Harvester Avenue resident was charged with menacing, city police said. Officers were responding to a report of an underage drinking party when the young man allegedly answered the door with a knife in his hand.

May 11, 2008 - 4:43pm
posted by Wendy Castleman in animal shelter, cats, dogs.

What a wonderful surprise to see the videos of our animals on The Batavian. And then to read what The Batavian is all about. Thanks for helping to promote the shelter animals available for adoption. We have some wonderful animals looking for good homes.

May 11, 2008 - 9:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in cats, adoption, shelter.

The Genesee County Animal Shelter has posted another video to YouTube advertising its cats available for adoption.

Here's the shelter's web site.

May 10, 2008 - 9:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, community, thebatavian.

Walter Lippmann (1889 to 1974) did damage to American journalism, and possibly to American democracy.

Why does that matter to Batavia? Because one of the philosophies behind The Batavian is to get as far away as possible from Lippmann's brand of journalism.

Lippmann was an influential thinker and writer in the early part of the 20th Century.  He wrote a number of books on the press, politics, society and government.

Lippman was an elitist. He believed that the modern world was too complex for the average citizen to grasp, and that Joe Public probably didn't care anyway. Modern democracy worked best, he argued, if the governing class was comprised of experts and professionals who set the policy and then manufactured public consent. The role of the press in this model was to merely transmit the decisions and actions of the elites  in simple terms, with little questioning or interpretation, aiming to maximize emotional impact.

Eric Alterman put it this way in a recent piece in Atlantic magazine:

Journalism works well, Lippmann wrote, when “it can report the score of a game or a transatlantic flight, or the death of a monarch.” But where the situation is more complicated, “as for example, in the matter of the success of a policy, or the social conditions among a foreign people—that is to say, where the real answer is neither yes or no, but subtle, and a matter of balanced evidence,” journalism “causes no end of derangement, misunderstanding, and even misrepresentation.”

Lippmann likened the average American—or “outsider,” as he tellingly named him—to a “deaf spectator in the back row” at a sporting event: “He does not know what is happening, why it is happening, what ought to happen,” and “he lives in a world which he cannot see, does not understand and is unable to direct.” In a description that may strike a familiar chord with anyone who watches cable news or listens to talk radio today, Lippmann assumed a public that “is slow to be aroused and quickly diverted . . . and is interested only when events have been melodramatized as a conflict.” A committed élitist, Lippmann did not see why anyone should find these conclusions shocking. Average citizens are hardly expected to master particle physics or post-structuralism. Why should we expect them to understand the politics of Congress, much less that of the Middle East?

While the whole of modern American journalism is not all Lippmann, it is too often beset by Lippmann's approach -- the tendency to take what governing officials tell us at face value; the tendency to sensational complex and weighty issues; the tendency to avoid reporting issues in their complexity and nuance.

How is that approach good for democracy?

One of Lippmann's contemporaries was John Dewey (1859 to 1952).  In The Public and its Problems, Dewey argued against Lippmann's approach to journalism and democracy.  Dewey believed that on the whole, the public could grasp complex issues, discuss them, grapple with them and achieve balanced solutions.

Dewey correctly recognized that facts only have meaning within perception, and perception is always subjective. 

While this was a problem for Lippmann, and why reporters should strive to be scientifically objective, Dewey embraced the notion that a conversation around differing perceptions could actually enhance decision-making.

Wikipedia puts it this way:

Dewey also revisioned journalism to fit this model by taking the focus from actions or happenings and changing the structure to focus on choices, consequences, and conditions, in order to foster conversation and improve the generation of knowledge in the community. Journalism would not just produce a static product that told of what had already happened, but the news would be in a constant state of evolution as the community added value by generating knowledge. The audience would disappear, to be replaced by citizens and collaborators who would essentially be users, doing more with the news than simply reading it.

The Web actually makes Dewey's conversational form of journalism much easier. Digital communication allows all members of the public -- the press, the politicians, the government agents and the citizens -- to discuss choices, consequences and conditions as equals.  Reporters need no longer be bound by the limitations of print and present just the so-called objective report, but rather explore, examine, raise and answer questions, and start conversations.

We saw an example of this style of journalism played out last week in The Batavian.  Editor Philip Anselmo interviewed Councilman Bob Bialkowski.  Mr. Bialkowski said that one of the problems facing Batavia is declining neighborhoods.

He says that "entire neighborhoods are a problem — trash all over, abandoned cars in the back yard." Head over to the southside of the city, to Jackson Street, over near Watson and Thorpe streets, State Street, and you'll see what he's talking about.

So, Philip took his advice, drove around those neighborhoods and didn't find a lot of evidence of decline.  Philip, who is well traveled and has covered such small cities as Canandaigua, where there are some pretty sub par neighborhoods, did a follow up post saying he couldn't find the decline.

This prompted a rejoinder post from Council President Charlie Mallow, who wrote:

There have been a few postings about the state of our neighborhoods and people’s opinions of the rate of decline. From someone new to the area or familiar with big city living, some missing paint and a little litter are not anything to be concerned about. People in big cities have had to live with falling property values, absentee landlords and drug activity for years. The obvious question is, why wouldn’t the people of Batavia point to the precursors of decline and pull together to keep the quality of life we have always enjoyed?

Notice a trend here? Same set of facts, different perceptions.  And if you follow the conversation in the comments as well as the related blog posts, a clearer picture emerges of the goals and aspiration of the City Council to clean up the city before things get too far gone.

Traditional, print journalism could never achieve this depth of coverage of a single issue.

By offering a method and manner to discuss choices, consequences and conditions in Batavia, The Batavian hopes to help make Batavia a stronger community.

As the site grows, as more people sign on and get involved, the more meaningful the conversations will become, the more benefitial to all of Batavia.

We hope you will participate often yourself, tell your friends and neighbors about The Batavian and help us reach our goal of enabling a better-informed, more involved community.

Previous Related Posts:

 

May 9, 2008 - 3:15pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Holland Land Office Museum, photos.

Finally paid a visit to the Holland Land Office Museum on Main Street this afternoon. Ron Pinney was kind enough to take me around and show me some of the artifacts they've got on display there. He told me about the corkscrew as big as a cat that the colonials used to unplug lumps of dried fruit from a barrel. He showed me the dentist chair and the rusty metal tooth-yanker that made us both wince. 

Pat Weissend came out and introduced himself, too. He's the museum's director, and a bit of an online experimenter himself. He has been filing podcasts all about the museum and its goodies for some time now. There's one about the infamous anti-Mason William Morgan. Another about the Seneca Chief Red Jacket. Even a quick three-minute episode called: "Where did the name Batavia come from?" Check it out if you want to find out.

Tune into The Batavian next Friday for a video tour of the Holland Land Office Museum, led by Pat Weissend. In the meantime, here are a few photographs I snapped while I was there today. Maybe you can figure out what they are.

May 9, 2008 - 1:20pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in news, crime, Daily News, headlines.

From the Daily News (Friday):

• Batavia police are still baffled by bloody clothing and a pillowcase that were found in March in a dumpster in back of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on North Street. Reporter Scott DeSmit writes: "None of the items had holes or cuts consistent with foul play and no other bodily fluids were found." One of the shirts found was "saturated with human blood," which would indicate a lot of blood lost.

• On the agenda for City Council's next meeting: revisions to the city code and a transfer of $10,000 to a "Dwyer Stadium reserve," plus a few other items. Before the regular meeting gets underway, the council will hold a public hearing for residents to comment on the proposal to remove a traffic light at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Ross Street. The meeting is at 7:00pm Monday in the Council Board Room on the second floor of City Hall.

• Larry's Steakhouse plans to open in July at 60 Main Street at a spot once occupied by Harry's and Prato's. On the menu: steak, seafood and pasta.

• Mothertime Marketplace opened today at Batavia Downs. At the weekend event, vendors will be selling used toys, clothes, furniture and other items. It is open from 10:00am to 6:00pm today, from 10:00am to 5:00pm Saturday, and from 8:00 to 10:00am Sunday. Admission is $2 for adults. Visit www.mothertimemarketplace.com for more information.

• A Genesee County Chapter of the American Red Cross benefit raffle held Saturday at LeRoy Country Club drew a crowd of nearly 200. No mention of how much money was raised for the association.

• The Genesee County Business Education Alliance will hold a Spring Breakfast Meeting at Bohn's Restaurant in Batavia at 7:15am May 16. It costs $15. Call Melinda Chamberlin at (585) 343-7440 for more information.

For the complete stories, the Daily News is available on local newsstands, or you can subscribe on BataviaNews.com.

May 9, 2008 - 8:22am
posted by Philip Anselmo in news, headlines, wbta, grants.

Check out WBTA for this and other stories:

• More than a few state grants have been awarded to Genesee County recently, including: $93,000 for the town and city to take a look at consolidating services, $250,000 to help with the law enforcement dispatch consolidation already underway and another $150,000 that will go to the city for sidewalk improvements.

May 8, 2008 - 5:42pm

Can't seem to dredge up anything of great import in the way of news this afternoon. Whenever that happens, I head out into the community, into the shops on Main Street and elsewhere, into the parks...

Batavia police tell me they don't have anything to report — I've called them twice today so far. We should probably consider that good news. Strange though, since a city councilman told me that the city was already 300 calls above where they were this time last year.

Still not much luck connecting with the busy city manager. I did get a couple City Council members on the phone today, but didn't make it much further than that. I'll be meeting with Sam Barone next week. Looking forward to it. Sam mentions fishing, bowling and reading under special interests on the city's Web site. I'm a fan of all three myself, though I'm only good at the last one.

Also, I found this fine shot of the bend in the Tonawanda River in my camera. Have those bulbs popped yet?

Then I met with Hal Kreter over at the county's Veterans Service Agency. He's a great guy — a longtime U.S. Marine himself — who works for an organization that fills the gap between the American veteran and the no doubt intimidating bureaucracy of the federal government.

That's about all for now. But here's a note before I go: The Batavian's MySpace is humming along. We've picked up 30 friends so far — honestly, I don't know if that's very many, but I'm excited about it. For those of you interested in that, please stop by and check it out. We'd be happy to be your friend. For those who aren't interested or just don't know much about the site, it's a social networking hub where anyone can register and create a personal profile for themselves, meet other folks, keep up remotely with friends. Music is big on MySpace, so we're hoping to link up with a few bands, maybe even put together a music video from time to time to bring back here to our site. Look for that in the future.

May 8, 2008 - 12:54pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in news, Daily News, headlines.

From the Daily News (Thursday):

• The city sent out 800 notices of code violation. This topic was covered by The Batavian in a post by City Council President Charlie Mallow from this morning. Reporter Joanne Beck notes: "Those letters were for properties needing assorted repairs and house numbers and for other infractions such as leaving garbage containers in the front instead of the back yard."

• Batavia's Ways & Means Committee recommended approval of an "unexpectedly expensive hangar project" at the county airport. With supply prices "skyrocketing," the committee felt it was best to move forward now rather than wait for costs to get even more out of control.

• Reporter Scott DeSmit writes: "One of three men accused of barging into an Ellsworth Avenue house and attacking a man inside will likely face trial after rejecting a plea deal in Genesee County Court Wednesday. Daniel N. Dawson, 32, is charged with three counts of first-degree burglary and two counts of second-degree assault for the April 8, 2007 attack."

• Upstate population growth is lagging, according to the New York State Association of Counties. Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans counties all declined in population from 2000-2007. "Genesee lost 2,248 residents, a 3.7-percent drop."

For the complete stories, the Daily News is available on local newsstands, or you can subscribe on BataviaNews.com.

May 8, 2008 - 11:05am
posted by Patrick D. Burk in Batavia Players, Jimmy Dean, Community Theater.

Opening Night!!!!  Yikes!!!!! I always get the jitters....not that being nervous isn't what I do best.  I am compulsive about making sure that everything is just right.  Last two nights the PRESS has been there, I have been gluing and painting and tweaking and taping, to insure that the picture I saw in my mind lands on the stage at Genesee Community College.  What a week!!!!   I am so proud of this show...it really does shine!!!

That is where the problem of doing plays or musicals lies.  It depends on how you look at things.  Theater is one of the few art forms that can not be replicated.  I mean, sure we make tapes of certain nights and look at them again...but the alive feeling is what it takes to make the show.....well.... the show.  That only happens once, when the audience member is impacted the first time...it never happens again.  Once played....always lost.  That is the nature of the beast as it stands.  It also is the beauty of LIVE theater.  Each and every performance is its own separate piece of art, subtly being changed each time to be slightly different then before.......

When I start to design theater productions I look at it all as one big painting.  What does each and everything look like in a certain way on stage.  What type of actor will fill this role or what color the drinking glass should be.  I am that centered and compulsive... trust me.   I see the whole thing as a snapshot in the minds of those that will be sitting in the seats in the theater.  If I was a good painter, I probably would paint my scenes...instead I imagine them.... I can only draw stick figures.....  I tend to land on color a lot....Color sets the mood and allows the show to exist in a certain frame of mind.  It either soothes or inflames....or it adds a sense of nostalgia.

So...tonight opening night....All the last minute preparations.....all the work that has yet to be done and all the tickets left to be sold.....  Opening night of "Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean" at Genesee Community College - 7:30PM.  As I have said many, many times....this is a dream come true for me.... I am lucky that way.  I have many dreams about shows and performing......playing a certain character or sharing a favorite play or musical.   In Batavia, this community, I get the support to make those dreams come to life.... How indeed fortunate I am.   Please come see our show.

 

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