Happenings -- recent or ones you missed
|Recent, current or upcoming events of all sorts of interest to the Vanguard community. If there’s a happening you want us to know about, send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.|
Our friends at Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! Remember that as a Brooklyn College alumni, you are entitled to a $5 discount on full-price tickets to most performances at Brooklyn Center.
Some of the great shows coming up in 2009 include:
- Patti Austin and the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Saturday February 7 at 8pm: 2008 Grammy Award winner Patti Austin teams up with the legendary Duke Ellington Orchestra in an evening of jazz classics, including selections from her latest CD, “Avant Gershwin.” Ask about special “gold seating,” which includes the opportunity to meet Ms. Austin at an exclusive post-performance reception.
- Vusi Mahlasela and Rokia Traoré in concert, Saturday February 14 at 8pm: Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a double bill of two of Africa’s most exciting contemporary singer/songwriters, South Africa’s Vusi Mahlasela and Mali’s Rokia Traoré.
- Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, Sunday February 22 at 3pm: A powerful, passionate afternoon of flamenco, praised by The New York Times as “an infectiously joyful celebration of music and dance.”
- To Kill a Mockingbird, Sunday April 19 at 3pm: Based on Harper Lee’s powerful Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, this classic American tale of justice, acceptance, and forgiveness is brought to life by Montana Repertory Theatre.
- Marvin Hamlisch in concert, Saturday, April 25 at 8pm: Best known for his smash hit “A Chorus Line,” this Tony, Grammy, and Academy Award-winning composer/performer returns to Brooklyn Center for an elegant evening of unforgettable music.
TO ORDER TICKETS
By Phone: 718-951-4500, (Tues-Sat, 1pm-6pm)
Kings and Jews: Read All About It!
By Norman Gelb
My long gestating book, KINGS OF THE JEWS: EXPLORING THE ORIGINS OF THE JEWISH NATION, has finally been published.
It’s an account of the evolution, more than 2,000 years ago, of the Jewish nation under a succession of rulers. Who really were King David and King Solomon? Was Herod the Great all bad? Why was Queen Athaliah executed by the guards of the Holy Temple? Etcetera.
The book is also an account of the nation’s emergence through a sequence of traumatic developmental experiences: the Lost Tribes of Israel, the Babylonian Exile, the Maccabee uprising, survival in a Middle East more turbulent then than it is today, et. al.
I have published the book through the Iuniverse self-publishing house which has, I think, made a decent job of producing it, illustrations and all. The book is available from Amazon. You can get an idea of it by looking at the websitewww.kingsofthejews.com
Alas, without the marketing services of a mainstream publishing house behind me this time, all the author’s copies I have received are being sent by me to possible media book reviewers.
I would, of course, be much obliged if anyone spread word of my website to offspring, siblings, colleagues, passing stranger and anyone who might be interested in the subject.
By Stan Isaacs
Warning: This column is an unabashed commercial, an outrageous
blowing of my own horn, a shameless bit of chutzpah, a blot on my escutcheon as an unassuming, modest fellow.
It is a response to business associates and family who have badgered
me for not doing more to promote my just-published book,
“Ten Moments That Shook the Sports World” (268 pages, Skyhorse Publishing, $15).
The book was published in July. And despite some exuberant
comments like “You wrote a book?” and “I would read it if I
didn’t have so much homework,” “Ten Moments” has not
reached No. 1 on the Best Seller’s List. It hasn’t even reached the Best Seller’s List.
Astute readers would recognize that the title is a play on
Jack Reed’s famous “Ten Days That Shook the World” about
the Bolshevik takeover in Russia. I would have to admit that
for all the thrills and chills in “Ten Moments” it doesn’t have the gravitas of Reed’s epic.
In these hard times my publisher, Skyhorse, hasn’t been able
to send me on a cross-country book-signing tour. No sweat.
I have been lined up with radio stations all over the country and
have become a morning, afternoon and night presence on sports
talk shows. I did more than 40 radio interviews near and far
—Manchester, NH, Boise, ID, and Louisville, KY among others.
I wondered how many books I could hustle in Shenandoah,
Iowa —is there a bookstore in Shenandoah?—until I was
told that Shenandoah is actually a suburb of Omaha, Nebraska.
I suspect there isn’t a hamlet in the country that hasn’t been
afforded the overwhelming pleasure of hearing me talk about
how thrilled I was to cash a $2 win bet on Secretariat in the Belmont Stakes.
To help stimulate sales, I am including a list of the chapters
along with a bit of a tease to whet readers’ interests in dropping
everything they are doing to rush out to the local bookstore
(preferred) or Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com before they
run out of books. On the other hand, if you are a cheapskate, you will feel that what I have inflicted on you here is enough.
The hook of the book is that these are ten epic events that I covered. I list the events in descending order of shock to the world.
No. 10—The First Super Bowl. In which I note that exalted
Green Bay coach, Vince Lombardi decided his team was a little
too tense as it left for the game. So he stopped the bus, stepped into the aisle and did a rousing soft-shoe dance.
No. Nine—John McEnroe’s Wimbledons. In which I tell
about a three-hour conversation in a Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
restaurant with a lady fan of McEnroe who turns out to be a member of the Irish legislature.
No. Eight—Secretariat’s Belmont. In which I report moments
of panic by the horse’s owner which almost results in jockey Ron Turcotte losing the mount on Secretariat in the Kentucky Derby
No. Seven—The Miracle Mets. In which I dare suggest that some
Mets wives were the determining factor in one of the Mets’ World Series victories.
No. Six—Harvard Beats Yale, 29-29. In which I report the
background of what I regard as the greatest headline ever to appear in a college newspaper.
No. Five—The Princes of New York. In which I compare
the sartorial splendor of some of the New York Knicks as contrasted to the abysmal wardrobe of Bill Bradley.
No. Four—Ali-Frazier. In which I reveal the real story of the
disappeareance of Muhammad (Cassius Marcellus Clay was a grand old name) Ali’s Olympic gold medal.
No. Three—The Jets Upset the Colts. In which I reveal
that New York Jets coach Weeb Ewbank had his own way
of keeping his boys loose for the Super Bowl; he told them a dirty joke.
No. Two—The Shot Heard “Round the World. In which
I quote an eloquent and prescient New York Times editorial on the “inspirational drama” of the Giants-Dodgers playoff series.
No. One—The Munich Olympics. In which I hitch a German
television van to ride through the streets of Munich trailing marathon winner Frank Shorter.
So that’s it.
To repeat, it costs $15, and bookstores across the land
have been alerted for a stampede of buyers. But as for cheapskates….
BC President Kimmich's report
This is a report by President Christoph Kimmich to
Brooklyn College alumni on progress and achievements
at the college in the last year.
To the College Community,
As the academic year draws to a close, I write to brief you on major developments at your alma mater.
· This year's Commencement Exercises saw the largest graduating class in decades. We conferred degrees upon 3,566 students -- 2,408 undergraduates and 1,158 graduate students. Mary Pennisi, a member of the Macaulay Honors College who will be going to law school this fall, spoke eloquently for the class of 2008. And speaking for the class of 1958, the golden anniversary class, with some eighty members in attendance, was Donald Kramer, whose long-time support of the College has never wavered.
· Representative of the quality of our graduates this year are Joshua Leinwand, who has been admitted to Yale Medical School on full scholarship, Kristin Juhrs, who will pursue a master's degree in performing arts at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and Benelita Tina Elie, who is taking up a research position at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
· Two undergraduates received Jonas Salk Scholarships, the University's pre-eminent student honor. Ghulam Dastgir, who majored in chemistry and studied the molecular mechanisms of infectious diseases that afflict third‑world nations, will attend SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Alex Pyronneau, a biology major, did research on cell‑wall protein biogenesis in order to understand how proteins work. A member of the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program and of Phi Beta Kappa, he will attend Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
· Honorary degrees were awarded to two of the country's most renowned writers. Paul Auster, also acclaimed as a translator, poet and film director, is the author, among others, of The New York Trilogy, The Invention of Solitude, and The Brooklyn Follies. Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize‑winning author of The Hours, A Home at the End of the World, and other novels, served until this spring as director of the fiction concentration of the College's MFA program in creative writing, taking it to new heights. An honorary degree was bestowed also on Philip G. Zimbardo, '54, a celebrated professor of psychology, author, and social‑political activist.
· Distinguished alumni awards went to our Commencement speaker, Leonard Lopate, '67, the widely‑respected host of the Leonard Lopate Show on National Public Radio, and to Sarah Benson, MFA '04, the artistic director of the SoHo Repertory Theater in Manhattan.
· A Presidential Medal was presented to Willard N. Archie, '68, formerly CEO of Mitchell & Titus, the country's largest minority‑owned accounting and management consulting firm. A member of the Brooklyn College Foundation board from 1986 to 2000, he has given generously of his time and expertise to the College.
Renewing our Faculty
· We reached a milestone this year: faculty hired since 2000 now make up fully half of the full-time teaching faculty. Classrooms and laboratories reverberate with fresh ideas and vibrant energy. Numbering altogether 234, these accomplished teacher-scholars will be joined next semester by another forty, the result of searches by our academic departments this year.
· We welcome this fall the masterly pianist Ursula Oppens, who joins the Conservatory of Music as Distinguished Professor, and the award‑winning author Amy Hempel, who is the new director of the MFA program in fiction. The College will be able to attract noteworthy faculty through the generous support of alumni who this year alone endowed three new chairs -- the Herbert Kurz, '41, Chair in Constitutional Rights; the Carol, '61, and Larry Zicklin Chair in the Sciences; and the Jay Allan Newman, '68, Chair in the Philosophy of Culture.
Middle States Re-Accreditation
Brooklyn College is about to undergo a re-accreditation review by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an event that takes place every ten years. In preparation for a site visit by the Commission next spring, the College spent the year conducting a thorough a self‑study that sought to reflect upon strengths and accomplishments, pinpoint new directions that might be taken, and uncover areas that seem to call for improvement. The project drew on the dedication and commitment of faculty, staff, and students assembled in various working groups. Their findings have been brought together by a Steering Committee and will now be consolidated into a cohesive draft report. A series of Town Hall meetings this fall will give the College community ample opportunity to voice opinions and concerns about the report in anticipation of the site visit.
Progress on Capital Projects
The coming year will see the completion of the first entirely new building on campus in over thirty years and substantial progress on two eagerly anticipated facilities for both arts and sciences.
· Work on the West Quad in the next few months will concentrate on the interior of the building itself, the exterior restoration of James and Roosevelt Halls, and the installation of a wrought iron fence and low brick walls to mirror the grounds of the East Quad.
· The transformation of Roosevelt Hall into a state-of-the-art science complex is well underway. Architects for the project have been in discussion with a working group of science faculty and are now in the process of drafting a schematic design. We will monitor developments closely to make sure that the complex does justice to our programmatic priorities.
· The east side of the campus too is getting a new face. Once the original scope for the performing arts center had been modified to include the demolition of Gershwin, the architects scheduled meetings with members of the performing arts faculty to clarify needs and preferences for performance spaces and rehearsal studios, set design and construction workshops, exhibition space, classrooms and offices. A welcome accompaniment to the new center will be the opportunity to realign the heavily used but undistinguished Hillel entrance in a classical axis with the Library's tower so as to create a more pleasing and inviting portal.
· Construction of an eight-story student residence by a private developer at the corner of Kenilworth Place and Farragut Road is expected to be finished early next year, in time for the incoming class of fall 2009. This is a significant departure for a college that for all its time has served commuter students. A task force is being appointed to examine changes we will have to anticipate to accommodate the needs of students in residence.
· Brooklyn College welcomes its new provost, William A. Tramontano, who will assume his duties as the College's chief academic officer in July. Dr. Tramontano is currently dean of natural and social sciences and professor of biological sciences at Lehman College, where he also served as acting provost and vice president for academic affairs. He brings strong leadership to the College, a commitment to faculty growth and development, and a proven ability to initiate and implement new academic programs.
Much has been accomplished this year. We brought to bear ideas, energy, and time -- and never lost our enthusiasm. I look forward to continuing that productive work together in the year ahead.
With all best wishes for a restful summer.
Christoph M. Kimmich
By Jon Friedman, MarketWatch Each Friday this month, Media Web has profiled a prominent television business journalist. In this final installment, we feature the godfather of TV business journalists.
Myron Kandel vividly remembers when he was about to begin a career in television nearly three decades ago. At a meeting of the Society of Business Writers and Editors, Kandel, a lifelong print journalist, told some friends about his plans to join something called the Cable News Network. Elizabeth Yamashita, a rather blunt professor at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, looked at the unprepossessing Kandel and shot back, "YOU are going to be on television?" Chagrined, Kandel replied, "Yes, Elizabeth, I'M going to be on television." Kandel, who started at CNN in 1980, didn't bother to mention what he told me a few weeks ago: that his entire body of TV work until that point had consisted of three appearances on panel shows.
A big debt
Television business journalists -- as well as investors and news junkies -- owe Kandel an enormous debt. Kandel retired in 2005, although his fans can still catch him when he appears on PBS's "Nightly Business Report." He worked at CNN for 25 years, serving as the network's financial editor and a very popular commentator. He shrugs off the notion that he was a trailblazer, but I'm happy to call him one. More than anyone else, Kandel and the late, great Louis Rukeyser popularized financial news on TV. Today's broadcast journalists could learn a great deal from understanding what distinguished Kandel and Rukeyser from their peers. They knew their stuff, of course -- and they offered viewers much more than many of today's shouters, who seem to aim as much for entertainment as for analysis. "I tried to add a common-sense approach," Kandel told me over breakfast. He always remembered that his job was to inform viewers, but not act as their stockbroker. "I never recommended a stock," he pointed out.
Naturally, Kandel is watching the battle being waged by General Electric's CNBC and News Corp.'s Fox Business Network. (News Corp. also owns MarketWatch, the publisher of this column.) Kandel said he wouldn't presume to critique Fox or CNBC but had a few well-chosen words of wisdom: "To anyone starting a business network, the No. 1 ingredient has to be integrity, followed by accuracy and an independence of both advertisers and corporate ownership. When I was on the air, I criticized Turner Broadcasting and [CNN's parent company] Time Warner on a number of occasions." In the early 1990s, a controversial song called "Cop Killer" was making waves. Kandel was outraged by the title and said so on the air. He knew that Warner Bros. Records, a sister company to CNN, had distributed the song. "I said, 'This is a disgrace,'" Kandel recalled.
He laughed fondly when he talked about the heady, early days under "that crazy guy, Ted Turner," CNN's fabled founder. One CNN executive told Kandel he wanted him to take a screen test, and Kandel shot back, "Forget it." Kandel lacked the polish of Walter Cronkite, but his knowledge, sincerity and credibility came shining through. "Mike" Kandel, as he is fondly called by friends and colleagues, and CNN were on their way. Kandel promptly built a department whose ranks, he noted, included "a fresh-faced kid out of Seattle named Lou Dobbs." He also has fond memories of working with another up-and-comer, Maria Bartiromo, who went on to become CNBC's biggest star. "Myron Kandel taught me everything about markets and the economy at the very beginning of my career and I will always cherish his friendship," Bartiromo said. "He has always been a mentor to me." It's no surprise to Kandel that Bartiromo has enjoyed such a successful career. "If we had a whole staff of Maria Bartiromos, we'd be in good shape," he said.
If journalism had more Mike Kandels, we'd be in great shape.
A "Picnic" For Ann Lane
By Gloria Levitas
Fifteen Vanguardians gathered – before going on to dinner -- at the home of Al Lasher on Tuesday, May 20th. The occasion was the rare presence in New York of Ann Lane, who lives in Charlottesville, North Carolina and rarely makes it to New York for the usual events. Ann had a recent bout with illness She's OK now.
The gang of 15 spent a very pleasant hour greeting each other, eating hors d'oeuvres, drinking as much of the Lashers’ good wine that we could manage, and catching up with each other's lives. It had been raining, but when we left the Lashers for the restaurant, two blocks away, the rain had stopped and we were all in a good mood when we reached "Picnic", the restaurant on 101st Street and Broadway. (The 15 became 16 when Henry Grinberg’s wife Suzanne joined us after work). We noticed that it was Happy Hour (crowds) and the restaurant itself was hidden by one of the ubiquitous scaffoldings that are to be found on almost any block at any time in the city. As it happened, we were at “Picnic” because that evening was graduation night at Columbia and Barnard and the grads had appropriated most of the neighborhood restaurants. Al Lasher was resourceful enough to find a restaurant that would seat 16 together.
We walked in and were greeted by an unexpected sound. Turned out this was Opera night at "Picnic", and a cheerful young woman was singing famous operatic arias. She actually had a terrific voice and even without a microphone, she could blast you out of your seat. She was also a "Picnic" waitress. After that first solo she promised to sing again later. She did. The startled Vanguardians were not sure what to make of this, but there we were. So we sat down.
We were seated at two tables next to each other. And then in true Vanguard spirit things that could go wrong, did, at least at our table. First they ran short of the specialty, fried soft shell crabs. Then there was the wine: Rhoda Karpatkin, skilled in wine tasting presumably from her years at Consumer's Reports, (although I am not sure they were reviewing wine while she was in residence) ordered a white Muscadet and the red house wine. But they didn't have the Muscadet and brought a similarly priced Pinot Grigiot which Rhoda declared to be PLONK. We then ordered a more expensive Pinot Gris which was okay.
Table one (Al Lasher, Stephanie and five others) got their orders in a reasonable time while Table two alternately gabbed, drank and pretended to be fine as we gobbled up bread and olive oil. In between, we listened to the soprano at ten-minute intervals, and as Henry Grinberg was the music critic of Vanguard in his day, he identified every aria, not always correctly, except for Madame Butterfly, but then everybody knows that. The waiters were apologetic, but the kitchen was slow. And we finally did get served. Anyway, by this time we had drunk a lot of wine and were feeling no pain.
And then -- several arias later – and probably stung by the lagging service, the waiter informed us that three dinners were on the house, as was the wine, and we would all get free desserts. We congratulated ourselves for ordering the more expensive wine, pigged out on the desserts, and walked out into a lovely, cool evening. A memorable (typical?) Vanguard event: unpredictable, noisy, chatty, and in the end, lots of fun . And Henry gave the singer an A.