April 19, 2001
| April 19, 2001
In this age of modern electronics and technophilia, anyone can pick up a hand-held and make a movie. However, this phenomenon increases possibility of an indirect relationship between the numbers of films out there and their level of quality. Thus, the more people who decide to pick up camcorders, the more likely that what they are filming is crap.
This was not the case for first-time British filmmaker Marc Singer when he lugged some camera equipment into the caverns of the Amtrak tunnels in New York to shoot a film about the small shanty population of squatters that lived there. All odds were against him, with little experience and a crew made up of the homeless people on which his documentary was based. Still and all, Singer’s
Dark Days is one of most artistic, stimulating, and important modern documentaries that I have had the pleasure of viewing.
Daze: Why did you decide to make a film about the people living in the tunnel?
Singer: I wanted to make the film because I wanted to get them out of the tunnel. At the same time, they [the people living in the tunnel] would be the entire film crew and that way they’d help themselves get out.
D: Why did you choose to shoot in black and white?
Singer: A friend of mine asked, “Well, what are you gonna shoot on?” And I said, “I have no idea.” And he said, “Well, if you shoot on color and you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re going to fuck it all up. It’s gonna come out green, or it’s going to come out red.” And I said, “Ahhh.” He said, “If you shoot black and white, you can still fuck it up, but it will still look pretty cool.” So we shot in black and white. In hindsight, it was fantastic. It really worked because it really, I mean the tunnels were black and white.
D: The filmmaker’s presence is never alluded to in the film. Why?
Singer: It wasn’t a film about me. I didn’t say I’m going to make a film about myself filming. I hate when some people do that. I mean, some people do it quite well and get away with it. But, it’s not about you, it’s about who you’re filming.
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April 20, 2001
In a tune-up effort for the crucial upcoming Ivy League weekend, the Cornell women’s softball team squared off against St. Bonaventure. The Red could have easily looked beyond the 3-23 Bonnies. Instead, it took care of business and did what any good team does: dismantle an inferior opponent. In the first half of a doubleheader, Cornell struck early and often, scoring in each of the first three innings. The Red struck for three runs in the top of the first, keyed by a two-run bases-loaded double by junior Christina Trout. A solo home run by freshman Melissa Cannon extended the lead to 4-0 in the top of the second. However, the Bonnies fought back, scoring three runs in the bottom of the inning, to trim the deficit to one. In the next half inning though, Cornell once again took control of the game by scoring four times. Junior Kristen Hricenak led off the inning with a double, which was followed with a single by Trout. Allison Batten responded by smashing a timely double to score both Hricenak and Trout. Junior Annette Sheppard capped the rally with a double of her own to score Batten, giving the Red a 7-3 edge. The Bonnies scratched for single runs in the third, fourth, and sixth innings, but could not overcome Cornell’s lead. Freshman Sarah Sterman was the winning pitcher, hurling five strong innings and allowing five runs, only two of which were earned. In the nightcap, the story was senior pitcher Nicole Zitarelli. The ace threw six and one-third innings of shutout ball, allowing just six hits. Meanwhile, the Cornell offense gave her plenty of support. Both starting pitchers would not relent in the first four innings, as neither team could put a dent on the scoreboard. In the its next opportunity, however, Cornell put up a crooked number. After a Sweeney single and a Varde hit-by-pitch, Hricenak nailed a two-run double to open the scoring. Trout then followed with a single to put the team up 3-0. Cornell also added runs in the fifth and seven innings to round out the scoring. At this juncture, the Cornell softball team can concentrate on the all-important Ivy match-ups this weekend. With an 8-2 record, the team has positioned itself in the driver’s seat. Four games remain on the Big Red’s docket, as it holds a one game advantage over Dartmouth and a two game edge over Harvard in the conference. If the team can run the table, it will earn at least a share of the Ivy League crown. Standing in the way are Ivy foes Penn and Princeton. On Saturday, Cornell will host the cellar dwelling Quakers, who come to East Hill with a 2-6 mark in league play. However, having already been eliminated from title contention, Penn would like nothing better than to play the role of spoiler. After starting the Ivy League season by losing its first four games, the Quakers have righted the ship. They have won two of their last four games, with doubleheader splits against Brown and Yale last weekend. The team, however, has lost its last three overall, including the second game of the Yale doubleheader and a two game sweep at the hands of Villanova on Wednesday. At the plate, the Quakers have had trouble scoring runs this season. As a team, Penn has only hit .241 and has a total of five home runs on the year. The anemic offense has only been able to muster 99 runs in 35 games. However, the lineup does feature several strong hitters in Deb Kowalchuk and Erin O’Brien. Kowalchuk leads the team with a .341 batting average and has been a terror on the base paths with seven stolen bases. O’Brien leads Penn in both home runs (2) and RBIs (13). In addition to their hitting woes, the Quakers have not had much success on the mound either. Both their starting pitchers have ERAs well over 4.00 and feature losing records. Compounding this weakness, the defense has not given the pitchers much support, evidenced by the second game against Villanova, in which Penn committed seven errors. Sunday’s opponent, Princeton, will be a stern test for the Big Red. The Tigers have a storied tradition in softball, and despite their 3-5 record this season, they are no doubt a threat. The team is on a roll, having won four of its past six games including wins over Yale and Brown. The potent Princeton lineup is spearheaded by Brianne Galicianao and Kim Veenstra. Galicianao leads the team in batting average (.397), home runs (3), and RBIs (15). Veenstra is second on the team in batting average, hitting at a clip of .329. She has also launched three dingers and driven in eleven runs. Galicianao excels not only at the plate but also on the mound. She is undoubtedly Princeton’s toughest pitcher and one of the best in the entire league. She sports a Pedro Martinez-esque 0.98 ERA and leads the Tigers with six wins, including four complete game shutouts. In 86 innings of work, she has allowed just 87 base runners. Princeton’s second starter, Sarah Jane White is no slouch either. She is 5-4 on the season and has a 2.79 ERA. More than likely, the Big Red will pitch Zitarelli and Sterman this weekend. Zitarelli has recovered from a rocky start to the season, and has regained her form as one of the best pitchers in the Ivy League. She has allowed just four earned runs in her last 28 innings, including a 2-1 complete game win over Harvard last Saturday. Sterman has pitched consistently well all season long and leads the team with 12 wins. Cornell has undoubtedly the best offense in the league and is led by Varde. The newcomer earned her second Ivy League Rookie of the Week award this past week for her three-home run performance against Dartmouth last Friday. In addition to Varde, the Big Red features four other hitters batting above .300, and six others with at least three home runs. If Cornell can continue playing the way it has been playing all year long, it will be able to celebrate an Ivy League title at Niemand Robinson Field this weekend. Games start at Noon on both Saturday and Sunday.Archived article by Alex Ip
April 20, 2001
According to the Census Bureau, one census block’s population in Ithaca increased from 110 people to 5,882 people between 1990 and 2000. Another block decreased in population from 1,459 residents to 61 residents during that same time span. The amount of fluctuation in population numbers concerned the County Information Technology Department and the City and County Planning Departments enough that they decided to investigate. The reason: apparently the Bureau accurately calculated the population of students at Cornell University, but instead of proportionally distributing the numbers, they placed all the students in one census block. As a result, the drawing of district lines for the next decade’s worth of municipal elections might be delayed. “The Census decided to put the students in one block on Kelvin Place. A nice, residential area now has an approximately 6,000 extra people,” said Alderwoman Patricia Cartwright Vaughan ’61 (D-3rd Ward). According to the Census Bureau, college students were counted in the area wherever they lived in April 2000, regardless of not being in their home state. “They [students] live here nine months out of the year. The Census was very clear about it,” Vaughan said. Discrepancies with the residence halls on North and West Campuses are the central concern for the officials. City and county committees are working together to repair the problem. “The problem is that the Cornell numbers are in the northeast corner of the city,” said Tompkins County Rep. Michael Lane (D-Dryden), the chair of the charter review committee. The borders of the Town and City of Ithaca, along with the village of Cayuga Heights mix in that corner of the city. The Bureau misplaced students out of their prospective census blocks, or moved them out of the right districts. “As far as the census is concerned, when they do the county population, it’s divided into census tracks, and then into block groups, and then into blocks,” Tom Mank, planning analyst for the County Planning Department explained. “The dormitories were counted; they were just put in the same block.” The West Campus results were inaccurate, for example, counting 1,958 residents in the 1990 census, but only 165 in 2000. The difficulties with the census slow down the redrawing of district lines that officials are trying to accomplish by June. Due to a population decrease, Ithaca may lose a seat on the Tompkins County Board of Representatives. Candidates for next fall’s elections have to complete nominating petitions in June, thus officials are trying to set preliminary borders so that the candidates have a general understanding of their possible districts. “I think that we’ve gone over the hurdle. It has set us back two weeks, but we’re moving along,” Vaughan said. The Census Bureau has also made the same mistakes in other states. “We contacted the Bureau in Boston and it’s a nation-wide problem in group residencies. If we fix it and petition [for the changes to be accepted by the Bureau, [the changes] will most likely be accepted,” Lane said. The petition will most likely be sent to the Census Bureau in June or July. The county and city planning boards are working to make the numbers accurate for each census block using the Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a mapping system, which enables the officials to analyze the data more carefully. “We downloaded the raw data [from the Census Bureau] and we’re comparing the data using the system,” Mank said. “We’re trying to fix it.” Some officials believe that the GIS helps to fix the population numbers without an excess of time or speed. “[The GIS] is making it easier to stay with the time table we set for ourselves,” Lane said. “We couldn’t have done this before since we didn’t have the computers to do it. Now with microcomputers and software, we can do more than we could ten years ago,” Vaughan said. The same problem with population numbers affected Ithaca College, but not to the same degree as it did Cornell. “[The Bureau] made the same mistake with Ithaca College, but only in one district. It doesn’t really affect it at all,” Vaughan said. So far, the preliminary results are that approximately 405 residents will be moved from the City into towns on the redistricting map. About 355 of these residents will be placed in the Village of Cayuga Heights and about 50 will be shifted into the Town of Ithaca. The remaining numbers will be accurately proportioned to the other districts. “It probably worked out logically,” Lane commented. Officials are looking at other factors that may affect the apportionment differences. “To reiterate, it’s in the process. It’s looking like the dorms, but there may be other things involved, maybe frats and sororities as well,” Mank said. Archived article by Kelly Samuels