Categories: 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?
The Chilean said: “I think the team knows perfectly what they have to do. “We lost that game but we have still to play six games more and we will fight to the end to win the title. “If we don’t do it, it is because Liverpool will win their four games, but I don’t think some things change after the game on Sunday. “Of course, the fans believe that we can do it. “The two games postponed – if we win both we are just one point behind Liverpool. “If you don’t believe (when you are) just one point behind the leader, nobody can believe anything. “We have had a very good season so far and we hope we finish in the last six games in the same way.” City’s title destiny may be out of their hands but they will look to apply pressure as they play the first of their games in hand at home to bottom side Sunderland on Wednesday. Pellegrini insists little has changed as a result of Sunday’s defeat to leaders Liverpool. The loss left third-placed City trailing the Reds by seven points and Chelsea by five but, with two games in hand, Pellegrini claims the battle could still be too close to call. Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is convinced his side are still firmly in the Barclays Premier League title race. “The important thing is that we win our games,” Pellegrini said. “We can do nothing about the other teams but we can do a lot of things here. “That is why I am sure the players know exactly what they have to do and we will try to start winning one of the two games postponed so both teams, Chelsea and Liverpool, must feel we are only three or four points behind them with one game also to play at the end of the season.” City will be without key midfielder Yaya Toure, who limped off just 19 minutes into Sunday’s game with a leg injury and will be out for 10 days to a fortnight. That means he could also miss matches against West Brom and Crystal Palace but the problem does not appear as bad as first feared. Vincent Kompany and top scorer Sergio Aguero, who made his comeback at the weekend after five games out with a hamstring injury, are both fit. Meanwhile, Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet has admitted he would willingly swap places with arch-rivals Newcastle as he attempts to drag the club back from the brink of relegation. The Black Cats head into a daunting visit to the Etihad Stadium knowing their Barclays Premier League destiny could be all but decided if they emerge with a sixth successive defeat with seven points currently separating them from safety. Poyet admitted after Saturday’s 1-0 home reverse at the hands of high-flying Everton that a root and branch review of the club is required if it is to ever release itself from a seemingly perennial tailspin which is sucking it back towards the Football League. And he has cast an envious eye along the road to Newcastle, where counterpart Alan Pardew finds himself entrenched in a battle to win over his club’s fans despite the Magpies sitting ninth in the table. Asked to characterise the challenge of managing in the north-east, Poyet said: “The most important part, which is the fans, they love it, they love football and they are desperate to do well. “Go across the river and go to Newcastle – they are in an unbelievable situation in the table and there is a nightmare. “Can we change over? Because that is a great problem to have, to be ninth? “Why? Because it’s that drive to get better all the time and to be always on top and it doesn’t matter how many games you have won in the past because you need to win the next. “That part of football, I love it because it’s the best way to do it, to try to get better all the time. “In terms of mentality for me, it’s perfect, the north-east. It’s always better if you finish ninth instead of 10th, and I am like that. “The problem is at the moment it is so bad that it’s not enjoyable, so the idea is to make sure that we don’t put ourselves in this situation anymore. “It doesn’t matter who is the manager, I am talking about the club now, the club itself.” Full-back Phil Bardsley will miss the trip through suspension after collecting his 10th booking of the season against Everton. Midfielder Liam Bridcutt will also be absent because of a personal issue, while striker Steve Fletcher (ankle) is unlikely to play again this season and goalkeeper Keiren Westwood continues his recovery from a shoulder injury. Press Association
Even though a dozen riders came out to race in the plus five conditions, the series came down to a final sprint between points leaders Kevin Shaw and Pat Ferris. Coming down the home stretch, Ferris pulled out from behind Shaw, crossing the finish line first by a close margin of about a foot.With twelve riders all in close proximity, the first split of the race came on the gravel uphill and downhill, with Ferris, Shaw and Gary Hilderman George Gamble pulling away from the pack on the muddy section. Ferris and Shaw increased their lead even more at the last gravel hill, pulling away from their competition for the remainder of the race.Ferris, who first won this event back in 1998, completed the 27 km loop race at a time of 57 minutes 48 seconds, winning his second Roubaix series in a row and for a record fifth time, finishing this year’s series with 14 points and two stage wins.- Advertisement -2010 winner Gary Hilderman finished the race third after outsprinting George Gamble for a time of 58:43.2008 winner Bob Andrews emerged victorious in the 17 km event, winning with a time of 38:14. Dian Loro placed second at 49:45.There isn’t much time to recover for last weekend participants, as the Blizzard Bike Club will be back on the pavement this Sunday, April 1, when the club will hold a paved road race. The race will run from Humpty’s to the Beatton Park Road, out to the Montney Store and the Old Montney Highway, then back to Humpty’s for a total distance of 60 km.Advertisement There will also be a 25 km distance as well. Start time for both is 2 p.m.For more information on the Blizzard Bike Club or any of the club’s upcoming events, visit the club’s official website.