November 2, 2001
Same Game, New Century
| November 2, 2001
New Order is used to breaks and rebirths. There have been many in the band’s lengthy career, beginning with their rise from the ashes of Joy Division in 1981(after the death of vocalist Ian Curtis), a split from 1990 to 1993 while its members pursued other interests, and the just-concluded eight-year hiatus that ended with the release of their new album Get Ready. Now these Manchester natives are ready to remind the 21st century populace just who brought electronica to the masses.
Armed with their signature blend of techno beats and post-punk mood, the new disc feels like an introduction to ’80’s pop for a new generation, or rather a final swan song in a career that has now spanned three decades. But making their mark will be difficult in 2001, as many people can’t name a New Order song or describe their sound. If music fans are wary, New Order has the stamp of approval from two pale-skinned, bald-headed musicians still fresh in our minds: Moby (who included them on this summer’s Area: One Tour) and former Smashing Pumpkins frontman, Billy Corgan.
For those needing a benchmark of similar bands, think Depeche Mode and Duran Duran. If you are still unsure, put in Trainspotting and fast-forward to the club scene where Renton meets Diane (the background song is “Temptation”). The industrial/metal band Orgy even covered their 1983 hit “Blue Monday.”
On this album, the leadoff track and first single “Crystal” moves a little more vigorously than most New Order fare, with its grinding guitar riff and melodic bass line. The video for the song features a performance by a group of twenty-somethings masquerading as the band,
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November 5, 2001
Dozens of members of the Cornell Organization for Labor Action, the Cornell Greens, Cornell Democrats and other students joined over 520 Ithaca activists Saturday in an effort to convince the city school board to adopt what Cornell signed last July with 1,100 of its service and maintenance workers: a commitment to providing a livable wage for many of its low-paid workers. Nearly 55 groups participated in Saturday’s parade, which was organized by the Tompkins County Living Wage Coalition and the Ithaca Paraprofessional Association, a union representing 210 of the Ithaca City School District’s teachers’ aides, teachers’ assistants, family liaisons, bus aides, and security aides. Carrying banners and penny jars, they coursed through Ithaca’s streets from the Southside Community Center to the central pavilion on The Commons. There, music and dances featuring mimes and bongo drums followed speeches by labor leaders and rally organizers. Debbie Minnick, president of the Ithaca Paraprofessionals Association, said that the starting salaries for paraprofessionals is just $6.72 an hour, “not enough to make ends meet,” noting that many on the bottom rung of the school district’s pay scale have to rely on charity organizations to make it through to the next paycheck. Last spring, Ithaca’s Alternatives Federal Credit Union published an updated study that calculated a livable salary in Tompkins County at $17,540 a year, or $8.43 per hour for a 40-hour week. The Ithaca Paraprofessional Association is currently negotiating a new contract, demanding $11.50 per hour for a 30-hour week, or a $14,000 salary for ten months, according to Minnick, president of the association. “It’s ridiculous not to pay people who are caring for our children not enough to live on,” said Hugh Ryan ’00 at the rally, echoing the sentiments of many who demonstrated. However, the nine-member school board “has been very resistant,” explained Carl Feuer, a member of the steering committee for the living wage coalition, which launched an effort at the beginning of the year to raise wages for paraprofessionals. “We started [negotiations] at the beginning of January, we came back to the table this fall, but we have not reached an agreement between what they want and what we want. They put an enormous stumbling block in our path [recently],” Minnick said. Neither labor representatives nor school board members would elaborate on the obstacles faced during contract negotiations. However, by demonstrating at the rally, Minnick said her group would show that “[paraprofessionals] are not going to work for peanuts anymore. We’re there for the children everyday. It’s a sin what we’ve been paid.” Rally organizers agreed that public support for the livable wage issue is catching on. “[The contract with Cornell] does give me encouragement — the community is looking to Cornell and what they have done,” Minnick said. Feuer added, “If we put this to a vote, we would absolutely win. We had a petition drive a few months ago [on the issue] — this is something people grabbed out of your hands to sign.” Students at the rally were critical of school board members and of Prof. Henry Kramer, industrial and labor relations, in particular. Members of COLA carried glass jars to collect pennies to help Kramer pay the estimated 15 cents increase per $1,000 of property value that livable wages would cost Ithaca residents. “These people deserve a living wage. The reason they don’t have one is that a small minority [particularly school board members] oppose it. What’s ridiculous is that the people who are most opposed to it are those who are most able to afford it,” said Michael Petela ’02. Although Kramer and other school board members would not comment on the living wage issue while negotiations are ongoing, Mark Finkelstein ’70, Tompkins County chair of the Republican Party, has appeared with Kramer on public access television shows and has followed the issue. Finkelstein explained the school board’s motivations for showing hesitance. He noted that lower income residents — some who do not earn a “livable wage” themselves — would have to shoulder the burden of extra taxes, either from direct property tax or from higher rent. “The goal of the school board is to try to provide good education for students in the most economical way,” Finkelstein said. “[The board] has to keep the interests of lower income taxpayers in mind, and not to pit one group of lower income people against another group [of lower income residents]. It is not the responsibility of the school board to redistribute income to pay above-market wages to one group is to take away from others who have to pay property taxes, and that’s not fair and that’s not what the school board is charged with doing.” Still, the living wage coalition enjoys broad support in Ithaca, having endorsed Ithaca’s 4th Ward Democratic candidates Carolyn Peterson and Jamison Moore ’04, both present at the rally. Ithaca Mayor Alan Cohen ’81 also made an appearance. Partnership between Cornell and Ithaca activists has helped propel the living wage issue to the forefront of local politics, according to rally participants. Members of the United Auto Workers Local 2300 union, which negotiated a living wage contract with the University, and other Cornell staff and students marched in a show of solidarity for the paraprofessionals. “We’ll keep fighting until [paraprofessionals] are earning a living wage — it’s a small group of people fighting hard that can really make a change. Having this rally gets the issue out [in public], and gets people to talk about it,” said Lela Klein ’02, COLA member and community liaison. The living wage coalition is currently focusing on improving earnings for paraprofessionals, a relatively easy target because of their highly unionized workforce, according to Feuer. The group’s goals, however, extend to all Ithacans working at wages which cannot support them, “we’re also committed elsewhere, especially in service [and retail industries], to establish a livable wage whether [employees] are part of a union or not, we’ve just got to figure out how to do it,” Feuer added. Archived article by Yoni Levine
November 5, 2001
West Campus, North Campus and Collegetown residents will have an opportunity to cast their votes for Cornell students in two contested races tomorrow, and could choose a representative in two other local races. In the City of Ithaca’s fourth ward, which comprises West Campus and much of Collegetown, Jamison Moore ’04 and Peter Mack ’03 will be squaring off for one of the ward’s two Common Council seats. Moore is running on the Democratic Party’s slate. Mack is running on the East Hill Unity Party slate, along with incumbent Joan Spielholz, who is running for the other fourth ward seat. Mack and Spielholz are both endorsed by Ithaca Mayor Alan Cohen ’81. In interviews and in their political literature, Moore and Carolyn Peterson, the other Democratic candidate for the fourth ward, voice concern over urban sprawl and fair wages. They encourage smart growth, or promoting the reuse of current downtown commercial areas for new businesses. Both are endorsed by the Ithaca Living Wage Coalition. Mack and Spielholz see encouragement of business in Ithaca as essential to keeping rent and property taxes down. Both seats are for two-year terms. Derek Burrows ’03, running on the independent Collegetown party, is pitted against three-term incumbent Nancy Schuler, a democrat, for the fourth district on the Tompkins County Board of Representatives. Burrows hopes to bring student representation to the county board for the first time. His main concern, in addition to bringing a student voice to the board, is to retain sales tax dollars by encouraging responsible growth in the county and to manage the budget more responsibly. “We have suffered from eight years of mismanagement and poor planning. Tax hikes are imminent to head off pressure to the budget.” Schuler, having served on the board for 12 years, is looking to build on her work in office this coming term, by extending public transportation service between Collegetown and downtown Ithaca and coordinating with the county health department to make restaurants safer, she said. As far as meeting pressing budget concerns, Schuler added, “Money has to come from somewhere. … I am looking forward to working with the University in figuring out a sort of payment in lieu of property tax [which Cornell does not pay, due to its tax exempt non-profit status].” In the North Campus and Fall Creek area, home to approximately 3,000 freshmen and over 20 fraternities and sororities, Daniel Cogan, a Cornell researcher on the Democratic Party slate and William Korherr, running as part of the Fall Creek Progress and Development Party, vie for the Fifth Ward seat. Cogan wants to focus “on trying to encourage development as much as possible in already built up places of the city — students and everyone here should get basic needs met without having to depend on a car,” he said. Cogan considers himself one of the few critics to stand up to the “current administration which has subverted the democratic process. … The Common Council has fallen in step behind [the mayor], and, with certain exceptions, people haven’t tried to restrain his power grab,” Cogan added. Korherr — who could not be reached for comment — is in favor of national chains moving into the city more aggressively in the Southwest area near Buttermilk Falls park, downtown, and in the West End. Korherr sees this as necessary to stem the flow of sales tax dollars to locations outside of Tompkins County.Archived article by Yoni Levine