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Little-known fact: When Wharton Studios decamped from Ithaca in 1919, they took their toys and headed west one step ahead of a crowd of summons-wielding creditors. Unable to get things up and running out there, Ted Wharton signed on to work for Louis B. Mayer, subject to a secret clause in h…

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Early August brings the return of the Golden Horde to Ithaca and our sleepy little city revives. Cell phone towers creak with increased activity, Guatemalan coffee bean inventories plummet, the parking lot at Wegmans become as clogged as Donald Trump’s arteries and bone-headed traffic maneuv…

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With gunplay now commonplace on the streets of Ithaca and new police officers harder to recruit than deputies in Hadleyville at high noon, there are ominous rumblings out there about trammeling our Second Amendment rights.

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On a bright, sunny June afternoon in Ithaca, New York, a pall hung over the house at 1 Cemetery Lane.  By virtue of phenomena not explicable by meteorological science, a dark, low cloud had parked itself over the property for as long as anyone could remember.  Winged creatures seemed to patr…

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News item: As it turns out, Ithaca is more than just surrounded by reality — it’s dealing with it. The nationwide labor shortage has left businesses — box stores and mom-and-pop shops alike — in Ithaca unable to find enough staff to operate as vaccine rollout pushes life a bit closer to norm…

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About a week ago, four pieces of Amy Dickinson’s mail were delivered in error to SBR headquarters. Can’t blame the US Postal Service — these are crazy times. Still, in the spirit of helping out, and also because I don’t know how to forward snail mail, I thought I’d do Amy a kindness by handl…

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News item: Starting sometime this month or next, more than a billion cicadas will emerge, after 17 years underground, in a dozen U.S. states up and down the eastern seaboard. This group of cicadas, known as Brood X, is among the largest populations of all 17-year periodical cicadas.

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SCENE:  We’re in the middle of a virtual sexual harassment group awareness workshop, moderated by Clinical Social Worker MELINDA CORNSTARCH. There are six male current and former New York politicians sharing the screen, and it is emotionally charged — a lot of pained expressions. Of local in…

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Scene:  The Inner Sanctum at 108 East Green Street: the office of Mayor SVANTE MYRICK.  It’s 9:00 AM, and His Honor is meeting with his Executive Assistant ANNIE SHERMAN to get a handle on the schedule for the coming day…

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February 22, 2021: The City of Ithaca and Tompkins County jointly released a draft report on their process to reimagine public safety in the community. Before that rollout had been shared with the Common Council or IPD, though, an interview of Mayor Svante Myrick appeared in GQ outlining the…

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Sure, 2020's behind us but, as we're constantly reminded, we're not out of the woods yet. My own strategy for powering through to summer is to immerse myself in present-moment awareness. It's the very foundation of being centered in the Universe, or so says Ira Cornstarch of the Online Corns…

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Wasn't April supposed to be the cruelest month? Then came May, June, July, August, September, October, November...and here we are. I don't always have two free fingers to jam into my ears when the news comes on, so the grim bulletins of 2020 still occasionally penetrate my bubble. Wacko deni…

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SCENE: The Oval Office. Seated at the Resolute Desk is still-president DONALD J. TRUMP. Legal Advisor and hair-dye spokesperson Rudy Giuliani is maintaining a cadaverous presence behind the president's chair as GEORGE BAILEY, of Bedford Falls, is ushered in by a White House attendant. BAILEY…

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Some hell broke loose at Notre Dame University this month when, after a particularly exciting football game, 10,000 fans mobbed the field in a scene suggesting that no pandemic exists. 

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Not to be ungrateful, but I owe my bookie a fortune from betting against Cornell. I had them closing by Labor Day, then double or nothing on September 30, triple or nothing on Columbus Day. Did not see them pulling this off for so long. What's next? Safe driving on campus? 

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It seems that Donald J. Trump, ignoring the cardinal rule of presidential politics ("Don't mix Bob Woodward and audio tapes."), has been outed as having downplayed the danger of the COVID pandemic while being fully informed of its seriousness.  While this came as a shock to precisely nobody,…

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We join chief of staff Mark Meadows in the Situation Room at the White House, recently converted into the Trump/Pence 2020 campaign headquarters.  The secure chamber is a hive of activity, with staffers and interns scurrying in and out.  One wall of the room is an enormous interactive electo…