SPAC must support New York City Ballet

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionThe Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s (SPAC) abrupt announcement of its plan to cut the 2018 season of New York City Ballet (NYCB) from two weeks to one week has left many long time ballet devotees feeling shell shocked.In spite of SPAC’s new President and CEO Elizabeth Sobol’s stated commitment to the strengthening of SPAC, this abrupt slash in the annual NYCB season is hardly evidence of any real commitment at all.Do we need to be reminded of the spectacular history of SPAC’s founding? It was George Balanchine, Lincoln Kirstein and Nelson Rockefeller, giants all, who brought SPAC into being. That the Philadelphia Orchestra was later added made the new endeavor shine brighter. Do we need to be reminded that NYCB was and remains one of only a handful of the world’s greatest ballet companies?With an unmatched repertory and dancers of extraordinary virtuosity — to say nothing of a superb orchestra — it makes me shake my head in disbelief that every time there’s a question of financing at SPAC, it’s NYCB that gets shown the door. And what about that financing? A recent press release from the SPAC board vigorously applauds the fact that for another year,  SPAC has broken even financially. Broken even. And yet we can no longer afford a second week of ballet. How does this make any sense? And please, could we have some explanation for why there’s never the slightest mention of a cut in the three-week Philadelphia Orchestra season? What’s so precious about the orchestra that’s not precious about world- renowned NYCB?SPAC and its decades-long presentation of NYCB has made Saratoga the envy and the icon of the dance world.Presenting the city ballet for only a week is a slippery slope toward eventually presenting no city ballet at all — and a betrayal of SPAC’s founders.Sheila ParkertSaratoga SpringsThe writer is the former owner of the Adelphi Hotel.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Charities: Shorten up fund-raising events

first_imgTwo recent examples: One had two speakers and lasted over two hours. The second had 15 honorees and lasted one-and-a-half hours. While organizations are doing their best to raise money, there’s a growing insensitivity to audience attention span. “The mind can absorb only what the seat can endure.”The message to meeting planners is tighten up your formal programs to 45 minutes or less. Recognize a few key people — maximum of three. Don’t overkill a good thing. Please find a way to better facilitate a larger group of people.We’re happy to support you, but please have pity on the time we are lending you. Run a tight program. Start on time, have an end time and end on time, particularly the cocktail hour. Silent auctions are OK as they are. Live auctions must be limited to seven items or less.Neil GolubSchenectadyThe writer is executive chairman of the board of Price Chopper.More from The Daily Gazette:Motorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positionsSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departments This is an important message to charitable organizations holding fund-raising events and galas. The formal part of most programs, including speakers and honorees, is getting too long. There’s too much talk. Audiences giving up their free personal time are getting turned off with long, drawn-out events. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Hammerson angles for Flemings’ City stake

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Evans set to go private despite minority veto

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Legal challenger

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Follower of fashion

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Richardson plans more action in Manchester

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PREMIUMBatik house empowers women in Jambi’s ‘drug village’

first_imgLinkedin Google Forgot Password ? LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Facebook In a yellow-painted stilt house in the heart of Jambi city, Jambi, Tinah, 42, was batik painting on a white cloth in her workshop. Around her, there were piles of batik fabrics that highlighted the traditional print patterns of Jambi as well as ready-to-wear batik attire.The house, named Rumah Batik (Batik House) is where Tinah started her journey to empower local people in Danau Sipin village. The village was infamous as a “drug village” where drug users and sellers lived among the residents.The house contains many stories of her efforts to provide alternative sources of income and skills for residents to take part in batik creation and business, instead of being involved in drug abuse or drug trafficking.The native of Jambi said her workshop had 18 members, some of whose children or family members were involved in drug-related cases.The members are all house… Topics : Log in with your social account batik Jambi drug-network drug-offenses police Drugs-traffickinglast_img read more

10 Italian towns in lockdown over coronavirus fears

first_imgThree others there have tested positive to a first novel coronavirus test and are awaiting their definitive results.Codogno mayor Francesco Passerini said the news of the cases “has sparked alarm” throughout the town south of Milan.The 38-year old, who works for Unilever in Lodi, was in a serious condition in intensive care. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said “everything is under control”, and stressed the government was maintaining “an extremely high level of precaution”.Streets in the towns were deserted, with only a few people seen abroad, and signs showing public spaces closed.In Casalpusterlengo, a large electronic message board outside the town hall read “Coronavirus: the population is invited to remain indoors as a precaution”.The first town to be shuttered was Codogno, with a population of 15,000, where three people tested positive for the virus, including a 38-year old man and his wife, who is eight months pregnant. Authorities in northern Italy on Friday ordered the closure of schools, bars and other public spaces in 10 towns following a flurry of new coronavirus cases.Five doctors and 10 other people tested positive for the virus in Lombardy, after apparently frequenting the same bar and group of friends, with two other cases in Veneto, authorities said at a press conference.Over 50,000 people have been asked to stay at home in the areas concerned, while all public activities such as carnival celebrations, church masses and sporting events have been banned for up to a week. Topics : ‘Extremely worried’ He had dined earlier this month with a man who had visited China in January, and had later shown flu-like symptoms, but has since tested negative for the virus, Italian media said.A football friend of his, the son of a bar owner in Codogno, has also tested positive, along with three regulars at the bar.The three, all of whom are retired, live in the small town of Castiglione d’Adda. The mayor there said the locals were “extremely worried” about the spread of the deadly disease.Some 250 people were being placed in isolation after coming into contact with the new cases, according to the Lombardy region, and 60 worker at Unilever have been tested for the virus.Trenord regional railway said its trains would no longer be stopping in three stations in the affected area.The head of the Veneto region, Luca Zaia, said a 78 and 67-year old, from the village of Vo’ Euganeo, at the foot of the Euganean Hills near Padua, had tested positive.He said “a sanitary ring” would be created around the village, where public spaces would be closed.Three other cases of the virus in Italy are being treated in isolation at the Spallanzani Institute in Rome.The outbreak of the so-called COVID-19 illness, which began in December has killed more than 2,200 people and infected more than 75,500 in China.Over 1,150 people have been infected and eight have died across 26 other countries, according to the World Health Organization.last_img read more

Asian shares grind higher, virus risks block the way

first_imgAsian shares rallied for a fourth straight session on Thursday as US markets swung sharply higher and another dose of central bank stimulus offered some salve for the global economic outlook.Wall Street seemed to find relief in the strong performance of former Vice President Biden in the Democratic nomination campaign. Biden is considered less likely to raise taxes and impose new regulations than rival Bernie Sanders.The US House of Representatives also approved an US$8.3 billion funding bill to combat the spread of the virus, sending the emergency legislation to the Senate. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 dipped 0.6 percent after its overnight jump, but EUROSTOXXX 50 futures rose 0.6 percent and FTSE futures 0.4 percent.The upbeat sentiment comes despite the coronavirus crisis showing no signs of slowing, with mounting deaths globally, Italy closing all of its schools and California declaring a state of emergency as cases there grow.“There is little doubt that the COVID-19 outbreak will slow global growth considerably this quarter, and we expect it to actually produce a rare non-recessionary contraction in GDP,” said JPMorgan economist Joseph Lupton.Read also: Coronavirus puts ‘fragile’ global recovery at risk: IMF to G20He noted the bank’s all-industry PMI measure of activity for February slumped 6.1 points, the largest one-month drop on record, and at 46.1 was at the lowest since May 2009.The Federal Reserve and Bank of Canada had both responded by cutting interest rates by 50 basis points, and markets in the euro zone are pricing in a 90 percent chance that the ECB will cut its deposit rate, now minus 0.5 percent, by 10 basis points next week.Yet, as policymakers grapple with the best strategy to avoid a global recession, some major central bank have been less keen to follow suit.In the end, monetary policy was not a cure for the disease and the impact was likely to get worse before it got better.“As we test more folks for COVID-19 in the United States, the case loads will rise and perhaps exponentially. So in the short-term, risk assets obviously remain beholden to Covid-19 headlines,” Tom Porcelli, chief US economist at RBC Capital Markets.“We have to get past the threshold where COVID-19 shifts from panic to headline exhaustion and subsequent news on it becomes more and more of a fade,” he added. “Then risk assets can move higher in earnest.”Healthy, for nowAt least the US economy was in healthy shape to face the risks, with services sector activity jumping to a one-year high in February, while private payrolls gained 183,000.The better data combined with the rally in stocks to nudge 10-year Treasury yields up from all-time lows under 1 percent to stand at 1.02 percent. Yields had fallen for 10 straight days, the longest slide in at least a generation.That move gave the dollar a slight lift, with the euro dipping back to $1.1140 from a two-month high of $1.1212 hit earlier in the week.The dollar stood at 107.34 yen, from a five-month trough of 106.84, while the dollar index held steady at 97.333 =USD.Gold steadied after jumping in the wake of the Fed’s rate cut, and was last at $1,638.97 per ounce.Oil prices rebounded by more than 1 percent on a smaller-than-expected rise in crude oil inventories in the United States.Brent crude futures firmed 68 cents to $51.81 a barrel, while US crude added 59 cents to $47.37.Topics : Read also: World Bank unveils $12b aid package to combat coronaviruscenter_img In another wild swing, the Dow surged 4.53 percent, while the S&P 500 gained 4.22 percent and the Nasdaq 3.85 percent.Asian markets followed, if more cautiously. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.7 percent, in its fourth day of gains.Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.9 percent and hard-hit Australian shares finally managed a bounce of 1.1 percent. Shanghai blue chips put on 1.3 percent.last_img read more