Friday, February 26, 2010
The biggest positive I take out of the newcast was how well it flowed. It started with a pretty good wrap by Natalie McGurn about Centro's new transfer hub and followed with a story about Centro bussing for Saturday's Syracuse-Villanova game. After a national story about a jobs bill and a regional story about a protest againt a proposal to legalize selling wine in New York grocery stores, the newscast turned back to transportation.
We had a national story about the Toyota CEO apologizing for fatal flaws in the company's vehicles, and then a regional story about a deal with Toyota and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
The newscast went from a regional story back to a local feature wrap on how Syracuse schools are celebrating Black History Month and a local feature phoner about the premiere of Syracuse Stage's "Lookingglass Alice."
As our A block progressed, we became gradually heavier and heavier. Hannah Kollock did a great job reading her stories, and Natalie and Simon Rosenwasser did a great job with their wraps. Hannah is generally a slow reader, and although she told me this numerous times in the hours before the newscast, I failed to take it into account. I should have allowed more time for her to read each story.
However, I did not, and Hannah had to say "Now this" before the break instead of reading the tease. She then had to skip a story on a hero dog, and read an extremely abbreviated weather and goodbye. Hannah did a very good job preparing abbreviated versions of the tease, weather, and goodbye, and it sounded great. As producer, I also did a good job timing the newscast, figuring out what needed to be cut and and abbreviated, and ensuring it was six minutes long.
The talent did a great job throughout the day, and the problems fell on me, as the producer. It took me way too long to create the rundown and write stories, and luckily Hannah, Natalie, and Simon helped out and wrote some stories which I had intended to write. Another consequence of me being behind was that I did not have time to listen to Hannah read each story before the newscast, and realize how long it takes her to read each story.
Next week, I will be a lot quicker with the rundown and stories, and will make sure there is ample time to listen to Hannah read each story. I will also take into account that she is generally a slow reader. If Hannah, Natalie, and Simon build upon their solid jobs, then it should be a great newscast.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Assistant Superintendent Kevin Nuzzo said the option had been floating around for awhile. "Enrollment rates have decreased 10 percent in the last five years," said Nuzzo. "It's been pretty clear we haven't been meeting capacity."
Liverpool School Board member Mike Murphy said Liverpool schools have been losing about 150 students a year.
"There comes a time when you have to realize we have a budget to support a certain amount of people, and we're not meeting that number," said Murphy.
That, combined with huge budget cuts from Albany, led Superintendent Richard Johns to close Wetzel Road Elementary School by 2012.
Parents and community members gathered on Tuesday to discuss the closing, but both Johns and Nuzzo believe that is for the best interest of the town.
"We're not gaining kids, and that's the reality."
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The Baldwinsville Public Library is giving adults a chance to learn about computers and other technology they are not familiar with, by hosting a free weekly program called Wired Wednesdays. This week's session taught attendees how to download music from computers to mp3 players and iPods.
"I want to enjoy my iPod more. My kids loaded it up for me and now I want to know how to rearrange it, get rid of stuff, and put new things on," a newcomer to the program, Nancy Sears, said.
Librarian Val Chism began the program more than ten years ago with the intention of helping people learn about computer programs they might need to use to get jobs. But the program's current director, Julia Schult, said these days, people usually come for their own enjoyment or because they simply want to have a better understanding of what's going on around them.
Photo Credit to Sheraton website: http://www.sheratonsyracuse.com/
Everyone in Syracuse knows about this weekend: Villanova is to town for the biggest NCAA basketball game of the year. Not to mention the record-breaking attendance is expected to be 34,616 people and ESPNU’s College Gameday will be on Syracuse University campus.
With all this hype, local hotels are filling up…or are already full. The Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center has 236 rooms and are all full for Friday and Saturday, says General Manager David Heymann.
“We’ve been sold out for a long, long time…for probably 6 months,” Heymann said.
The Hampton Inn at Carrier Circle is not as close to the Dome as the Sheraton, but it has still received many reservations. Assistant General Manager Mark Goodsellow says the Hampton is definitely feeling the impact of Saturday’s game.
“We’re sold out completely tonight already, we’re half sold out for tomorrow, and we’re completely sold out for Saturday,” he said.
Just days away, the attention on this sold-out matchup continues to grow on the S.U. campus and the Syracuse community. Like the rest of the community, local hotels are anticipating game day.
Our newscast included coverage stories around the Central New York area and a few national stories. Our main stories were Centro’s plan to handle its bus routes for Saturday’s SU/Villanova game, how most hotels in the area are sold out for this weekend, and a special program at the Baldwinsville Library that teaches people how to use computers.
We also added stories about New York supermarkets possibly selling wine, a Toyota recall in the area, and Federal Reserve Chariman Ben Bernanke’s latest news on the economy.
I thought our newscast went pretty well for the most part. Merav Savir and Alyssa Norwin found very interesting stories, and they did a great job with their wraps. They met the necessary deadline for finishing their pieces, and the stories were timed out well.
Allie Leogrande did a nice job writing the stories she was assigned to write. She also finished everything on time. She was on time reading her stories during the newscast, and we went into the break exactly when we were supposed to. We could have been perfectly on time, but I cut Allie short on the weather to ensure we finished before time was up.
The highly anticipated Syracuse-Villanova game is just days away, and SU is expecting the largest crowd for an on campus college basketball game, ever. Does this larger than usual crowd need more buses to transport fans from parking lots to the Dome? CENTRO's Director of Marketing and Communications Steve Koegel says no.
Koegel says CENTRO will supply the same number of buses that it does for every other Syracuse basketball game, which is between 35-40 buses. He says when the football plays well, the Dome can fill up to 50,000 people, and CENTRO is responsible for busing many of them from the parking lots to the Dome. He says compared to a sold out football game, they expect Saturday to be “a piece of cake.”
He also says that many people attending the game are SU basketball fans that come to almost every game and they all have their own routines. They know where to park, how to handle the bus systems and have their own “secrets” of maneuvering their way to the Dome.
The number of people attending the game may increase traffic around the Syracuse University Campus. Koegel says most bus routes will not be affected by the traffic, but buses passing through campus will either be rerouted or get caught in slight traffic. He also says by the time the game is over, at around 11:00 or 11:30 pm, there will be less CENTRO buses on the roads, and less traffic.
CENTRO will not be responsible for transportation from Manley and Sky Top lots to the Dome for ESPN's College Game Day on Saturday morning. Koegel says normal bus routes will operate, but off campus fans who usually take buses from the parking lots will have to find their own ways to Carrier Dome for the morning show.
A record crowd is expected at the Dome this weekend for SU’s game against Villanova. And when the record falls for the biggest on-campus crowd ever at an NCAA basketball game, John Sardino plans on being there to see it happen.
But Sardino won’t be wearing any orange. He won’t even be there as a fan. Instead, he’ll be wearing his DPS captain’s uniform. Sardino, will be in charge of security at the Dome for its biggest game of the year.
Sardino said today that security is definitely going to be increased for Saturday’s night game. He said that the game’s 9 p.m. start time could affect fan behavior. “Well it increases the number of intoxicated people which is somewhat of a concern. You know that’s something that we look at,” he said.
Even with the game’s late start time and emotions running high in the arena, Sardino still doesn’t expect things to get too out of hand on Saturday. “I’m not expecting [bad fan behavior] and my experience has been by and large that our fans are there to watch the game, enjoy the competition and have a good time. We’re lucky that we deal with very few problematic people at the Dome,” he said.
Sardino has been with DPS since 1985. He’s seen the Dome filled up for everything from rock concerts to sold-out SU football games. So Saturday shouldn’t be anything new for him. “I’m expecting a good game and I’m expecting most of the fans, 99% of fans, to be into the game and there to cheer on the Syracuse Orange,” said the longtime DPS captain.
It sounds like Syracuse fans should be in good hands this Saturday with Sardino in uniform.
People working at The 500 Building on South Salina St. spent lunchtime outside in the cold thanks to a broken fluorescent light.
One of the building's owners, David Shah, says a ballast, the part of the light that controls the amount of electricity, broke, causing the fluorescent light to overheat.
Shah says one of the building's tenants called the Syracuse Fire Department after they smelled something burning.
The deli on the first floor of the building was packed with people buying sandwiches and coffee when firefighters showed up in the lobby after 12:30 p.m. A crowd of more than fifty people gathered outside and watched as firefighters rushed into the building.
People started coming back into the building after firefighters found the source of the burning smell. The fire department says there was no fire or smoke.
"This is the first time this has happened since I've been working here," Shah says.
Whelan says in order to make room for the acrobatics and trapeze that will be onstage, the first two rows of the house had to be removed. To make up for the lack of seats, Whelan says seats were added onstage - something he says has never been done in his 14 seasons with Syracuse Stage.
Theater-goers have the option to purchase one of the 96 stage seat tickets, which range from $31-$48. Normal ticket prices range from $24-$48.
Lookingglass Alice will run from February 24th until March 14th with both matinee and evening performances.
However, despite having the best team in the nation, and arguably the greatest women's team of all time playing at the Dome, a large crowd is not expected for the game. According to the Senior Associate Director of Athletics and Managing Director of the Carrier Dome, Pete Sala, there has been very little change in ticket sales from any other women's game. Sala blames this on the fact that the game falls on a weeknight.
"Unfortunately, this is a weeknight game. The last time we did the UConn game, we had over 5,000 people here," said Sala. "With it being a weeknight game, we're expecting about 2,000."
Despite fewer tickets being sold to the general public than originally hoped, Sala does expect more students to show up to the game tonight. In large part, this is due to students getting in line for the Villanova game on Saturday. Camping out for Saturday officially begins tonight.
"Otto's Army has that element all organized, and again the students come in for free for women's games. We're thinking we'll have at least two or three hundred kids for the women's game."
Sala said that there is usually not a big presale of tickets for women's basketball. Rather, it is usually a walk-up crowd, which is what he is hoping for tonight.
It's been five days since the Fashion Week finale in New York City and that means stores will be stocking up on the new trends. Marc Jacobs, Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger all dressed the runway with fur, nude colors, knee socks and blazers.
Fashion Week does not only effect the high-fashion world. The new styles trickle-down to the non-designer brands that sell in stores for middle and lower-class people.
The Rhodadendron boutique on Marshall Street has definitely kept up with the new ideas and trends on the catwalk.
"I'm seeing a lot of paralells from the clothes that we're getting in and then styles shown during fashion week," Senior Syracuse University student, Emily Friedman said, who works at Rhodadendron.
Although the new styles are hitting the racks of this small boutique in Syracuse, the shoppers have not increased because of it.
"I don't think it [Fashion Week] was a catalyst for anyone to say I think I'll go buy new clothes," said Friedman.
Friday, February 19, 2010
A chubby little boy skating circles around everyone else in the rink, glided effortlessly.Compared to him, everyone else seemed to be clumsily walking around the ice.
It's not like Matthew Robinson just put a pair of skates on yesterday. He has been skating for nearly half of his life.
"I've been skating since I was four," says the seven year old.
Robinson doesn't wear ice skates, he wears hockey skates. He says he loves watching the sport but doesn't play it. But he will be spending his February break cheering on his favorite team, the Syracuse Crunch.
"Crunch on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday," says Robinson. He lights up when talking about the Crunch; his smile reveals teeth too big for his tiny face.
Robinson says he's looking forward to the outdoor game this Saturday at the Fairgrounds. He also says he busted his lip open just three months ago at the Clinton Square Rink.
But that hasn't stopped him from skating here. Just like any hockey player, he shook it off, and kept skating.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Finding a winter job took on a whole new meaning for one Central New York teenager. Rachel Vansryke says she decided to work outside at the ice skating rink in Clinton Sq., rather than fold shirts at the Carousel Center.
"I love it here," she says. "I love my Boss. Everyone is awesome. It just gets cold sometimes when you're stuck outside."
Think of Vansryke as the lifeguard of the rink. She stands off to the side, watching the ice to make sure everyone is behaving.
You'd expect Vansryke to be an accomplished ice skater since she's worked at the ice rink since December. And, she gets to skate free of charge.
But, Vansryke says she's still a terrible ice skater. She says her co-workers have tried to teach her how to skate, but she can't stop falling.
"I can't say I'm the greatest," she says. "I look at all other people I work with and I'm like, 'How do they do that?' And, they have fun picking on me about it too."
Vansryke has two more weeks to improve before the ice rink closes on March 1st.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The Vintage Carnival takes places every year as one of the many events provided by Syracuse's Winterfest. It is an afternoon of food, fun and entertainment for senior citizens around the Central New York area to enjoy. Program director Bill Cooper said the event draws in about 100 people each year.
"We get a few regulars but each year we get a wide range of people," said Cooper. "It's just fun to come enjoy each others company."
The event included a performance by Nick Malpagano, an impersonator who did songs by Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, and Elvis.
One of the most traditional parts of the afternoon, however, was an appearance by the Winterfest bears, the symbol of the Syracuse carnival since it was first created 25 years ago. Sue Aviza started volunteering as a Winterfest bear back when her children when young and has continued ever since.
"I started volunteering about 15 years ago," said Aviza. "But after all these years you still get some new kid that does some weird thing every year, so it's fun."
Winterfest is going on for 12 days in Syracuse, and there's one activity that's been well-liked among people of all ages. Ice skating has been very popular since the event started last week. This week alone the Clinton Square Ice Rink is averaging around 140 more skaters per day.
As the classroom empties at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, one little girl sits quietly at a table, molding an animal out of blue clay.
“I really like making clay stuff like the pig that I just made," Katherine Martellock, above, said. Katherine, 7, and her mom, J.L. Bach, traveled from Cazenovia Wednesday just to visit the Everson. Bach says real art experience is good for Katherine.
“For her to see art, it’s very important. For her to see museums, for her to get ideas,” she said.
Katherine’s knowledge and passion for art is very advanced for someone her age. Not long ago, they visited the Everson to see the “Turner to Cézanne” exhibit.
“She walked up to the Monets and said, ‘Mom, I’ve already seen those before,’” Bach said.
This week, the Everson is having a weeklong program called “Take a Break” where children ages 5 to 12 can do different artistic activities including art classes and touring the museum.
Manager of Education and Community Partnerships Amy Goodall-Ayres says the program is especially beneficial for children on school break this week.
“It’s a way to get the kids involved in something while they’re not in school and keep their brains fresh and imaginative,” she said.
As Katherine starts to mold a snake out of the same blue clay, Bach sits at the table and watches. Even though this mother and daughter traveled far, their faces show their love for art was worth the distance.
Walt Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" asked, "Be our guest." That was not enough for the Magic Circle Children's Theater's version of the classic fairy tale. More than fifty children out of school for February Break crammed into the Spaghetti Warehouse (Above Right, from lakeeffectrunclub/wordpress.com) Wednesday to be part of a performance of "Beauty and the Beast."
The actors interacted with the children in character throughout the play by asking them what happened during the previous scene.
"We make our characters really dumb so that way we can get help from the children to know what they’re doing on stage and that way it interacts them a lot more," Navzad Dabu, who portrayed The Beast, said.
Children were also invited onto the stage to dance with the characters and act in different roles including the minister at the wedding between Belle and The Beast.
While their children were performing, parents were kept entertained by the Magic Circle actors' pop culture references, including a Spice Girls joke and a brief rendition of Diana's Ross "Love Don't Come Easy."
"I think the kids have more fun with the physicalities, the costumes, the particpation. The jokes are a lot of the time far more geared toward the adults," Dabu said.
Unemployment rates nationwide have hovered near the double digit mark for the past several months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But central New York's economy, while by no means thriving, is better than the national average. Jerry Evensky, Professor of Economics at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University says part of the reason CNY has stayed above the curve is its steady housing market which was listed as one of the strongest real estate markets in the nation last year, according to Forbes.com.
Winter break for elementary school kids is about a comfortable couch and a few good cartoons. Volunteers at the Everson Museum of Art are trying to change that. And surprisingly, kids can’t get enough of it.
Everson is hosting “Take a Break” art classes until Friday. The classes are free, and each day’s art project has a little twist. This morning is was sculptures with recyclable materials.
8-year-old Sarah Stowell, in the class with her younger sister Laura, proudly showed off her sculpture and promised she would be back tomorrow
The classes try to break up the mundane days of Winter break, but Amy Goodall, manager of Education and Community Partnerships, says it’s just about getting messy and having fun.
“Parents don’t want the mess in their houses, and the kids love it…I keep having to turn kids away because the classes fill so quickly”.
The classes continue Thursday and Friday from 10-12, but if you can’t make it this break, don’t worry. Goodall says "Take A Break" will be back for spring break in April.
Syracuse Crunch fans are in for more than just cold weather and good hockey at this weekend’s Mirabito Outdoor Classic. Fans will get to see pop icon Jessie James perform the national anthem before the game.
Local record owner Ulf Oesterle was instrumental in bringing the young singer to Syracuse. Oesterle said he was approached several weeks ago by the Crunch to find a nationally known singer for the national anthem. Weeks later, James was the choice. Oesterle thinks she’s a great fit for the event.
“She’s done the national anthem before for NASCAR events so really it was a perfect situation to bring her in and I was glad that we could work the deal out,” Oesterle said earlier today.
The Crunch take on the Binghamton Senators at 1 p.m. this Saturday at the State Fairgrounds. The game will be the first outdoor game in AHL history and has a chance to set the all-time attendance record for a minor league hockey game.
It's no secret that the industry of Syracuse has dwindled over the years. It's no surprise that the deterioration of industry has led to population decline. Fortunately for Syracuse natives, there is a place where one can be reminded of the good old days.
Dimpfl first got the idea for his mid-week disco show after talking with Adam Gold, one of the owners of Funk 'n Waffles. Gold had the equipment and Dimpfl had the skills, so the two organized the mid-week funk and disco show.
When DJing, Dimpfl uses the name Dr. and Mrs. Tumnus, a name he says came from an inside joke with his friends. Dimpfl says they would talk about how most DJs had singular names, so he decided to develop, as he calls it, his own split personality.
The name of the set, Mittwok: A Hump-Day disco Fanasta also has a story behind it. Dimpfl says his friends from New York City use the phrase "fanasta" all the time. Dimpfl also says he spent part of his childhood in Germany. Mittwok is the German word for Wednesday, and thus, the name was born.
Dimpfl says he plans to continue DJing at Funk 'n Waffles every Wednesday from 11 am until 2:30 pm.
The free program, meant for low income families, is a mix of education and activities. Each day the kids enjoy trips to educational locations, like the Onondaga Historical Society and Museum of Science and Technology. They also participate in activities like bowling, ice skating and arts and crafts.
"It's an enriched environment where they get to do things and see things that they would probably not otherwise be able to do or see," Revered Wendy Rhodehamel says.
"Safe Space for Kids" lasts until Friday, from 8:30 until 5:00 each day. Although registration is full for this break, the program is definitely something for parents to consider for next year's February break.
Children are attending lots of activities this winter break to keep busy. However, one program is keeping to their usual schedule, in the basement of University United Methodist Church.
Project Connection is a community center serving the Eastside of Syracuse providing youth enrichment programs for kids with developmental disorders, as well as typical children. Activities include anything from tutoring to recreational opportunities.
They are funded by the City of Syracuse, New York State and the Federal Government with stimulus money. Resources are made available for any intervention for any family member. Food, shelter, employment, transportation etc...
Michelle Krebs, the program assistant, said that the interaction between kids who have disorders and kids who don't, provides a very optimal environment because they learn from eachother.
"I've been coming here for the past four years and I have a lot of fun making friends and interacting," 13-year-old Michael McCoy said about Project Connection.
This is the third year that the church has done this program. It takes 25 children between the ages of eight and twelve years old each winter break.
With the program, children receive two meals per day, games, arts and crafts, and activities away from the church. For instance, today the kids were taken to Beaver Lake Nature Center today and had story time presented by the Onondaga Historical Society.
The "Safe Space for Kids" program is almost entirely run by volunteers. As the church's Treasurer and Trustee chair, Terry Richmond, explained, "Somebody helps out with cooking, somebody helps out with serving meals and so forth. They arrange activities. They've done a number of things to keep the kids busy every day."