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Cover Story

Open for Business, Fighting for Choice

by Geoff Kelly

In the months that followed the appointments of first John G. Roberts and then Samuel A. Alito, Jr. to the US Supreme Court last fall, the matter of abortion rights returned to its familiar place as a centerpiece of national debate—a place the issue occupies whenever a new justice is nominated to the court and in the runup to every national election. In the 33 years since Roe v. Wade allowed for the possibility of safe, legal abortions throughout the US, politicians and judicial nominees at every level of government have been pressured to stake out clear positions on the ethics of abortion and a woman’s right to choose.

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “Nothing would be done at all,” said Cardinal Newman, “if a man waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault with it.” Let’s forgive his sexist language and concentrate on the truth he articulates, which is profoundly apt for you right now. It’s important that you try to do what you can’t do very well—that you not use your lack of mastery as an excuse to avoid practicing an immature skill. Be willing to look foolish as you improve, and paradoxically you will often appear brave and inspired.

Letters to Artvoice

Oil is pretty slippery stuff. The press is playing up $3 a gallon gasoline, record oil company profits and the $400 million retirement package for Exxon’s former CEO. But these stories are trivial compared to the oil story they have ignored all along. The war in Iraq. It’s an oil war. And you don’t have to take my word for it. Read former Republican strategist Kevin Phillips’ new book, American Theocracy: the Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century. The corporate media may have failed us but authors like Phillips are providing the needed analysis.


HR4437: Illegal Immigration Control Act

by Miakka Natisse Wood

Last week’s nationwide protests against HR 4437 made the nation aware of the impact immigrants have on the workforce. The bill, already passed by the House, would make illegal immigration a felony and would seek to penalize and deport any illegal immigrants in the US. The unified front displayed particularly by Latinos has led some protesters to draw comparisons of their plight to that of African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement. While the Senate begins to debate the bill, we asked Buffalonians if it’s right to send 12 million people back to their home countries, perhaps to the detriment of our economy.

Getting a Grip

Nuking the Dollar

by Michael I. Niman

Hyperinflation is a nasty thing. I was in Nicaragua in the 1980s when that country experienced an inflation rate of 14,000 percent. Prices would regularly triple overnight, wiping out a family’s savings within a week. A trip to a grocery store would involve hauling a shopping bag of currency—money that the government printed on a daily basis, often adding new zeros every week. Coins disappeared, since, with one US penny buying, in theory, a wheelbarrow full of Nicaraguan nickels, scrappers quickly melted down the nation’s change. Lower denomination notes would end up in piles next to toilets, since they cost less then a sheet of bathroom tissue.

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ In April issues of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, the chief executives of two huge companies in politically sensitive industries were revealed to have received such extravagant bonuses or stock options that even veteran industry observers were said to be shocked. While customers of both companies are chronically panicked about rising prices, Lee Raymond, who retired as CEO of ExxonMobil in December, was reported by the Times to have received the equivalent of $144,000 every day for 13 years, and William McGuire, CEO since 1996 of the highly profitable health-insurance manager United Healthcare, was reported by the Journal to be sitting on stock options that, because they were mysteriously timed to kick in at the best possible date, are worth $1.6 billion.

Artie Awards Nominees

Artvoice will present Buffalo’s local theater awards, the ARTIES, at the Town Ballroom on Monday, evening, May 22, 2006. The event will be a benefit for Benedict House, which provides residential and support services for individuals living with AIDS. To be eligible for an Artie, an artist must live and work in the Buffalo area; a theater must produce work locally, primarily with local artists. In addition, awards are given to visiting artists for work of distinction. Nominees are determined by a committee of fifteen who vote on the 19 categories and make recommendations for the Katharine Cornell awards.


An Unexpected Gift

by Cynnie Gaasch

An exceptional gift was made to the Burchfield-Penney Art Center this month. Unrequested, the Burchfield Foundation gave the Buffalo institution thousands of notebooks, sketches and documents of 1,128 paintings from the Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967) estate, as well as a sample of unusual wallpaper designed by the artist and a dark and brooding painting of the artist’s studio. The wallpaper sample and painting are both currently on display at the Burchfield-Penney. In addition, the Foundation made a second gift in the amount of $250,000 in support of the center’s new building, to be completed by the fall of 2007.

Fine Dining

Prime Time

by Arthur Page

When it comes to rationalizing major purchases, I often use a yardstick that looks at the price paid as an investment over time. For example, that new $400 suit, if worn 50 times, costs only $8 per wearing. And those $2,000 drapes, if they dress up your windows for 10 years, had an “annual cost” of only $200.


The Courage to Speak

by Brian McMahon

I stood for an hour

In solemnity of snow

& the symmetry of my stillness,

Book Reviews

"Till Death Do Us Art" by Robert Pomerhn

by Bradley Lastname

Till Death Do Us Art is the follow-up to Robert Pomerhn’s first poetry book, Blest For This Poet Crest To Rest On My Chest, and it contains two dozen new poems written from 2003 up to the time of Hurricane Katrina last fall. “Rank Recipe,” written for the sufferers of this hurricane, is unforgiving of the Bush administration, who probably were still reading “My Pet Goat” when that tragedy went down.

You Auto Know

And Now for Something Completely Ridiculous

by Jim Corbran

As someone who spends a lot of his time around cars, I suppose I should be excited about the Veyron. But you know what? I rank it right up there on my list with Paris Hilton, the Dallas reunion movie and listening to Dick Cheney. It’s overpriced, over-styled and ridiculously over-consuming.

Puck Stop

Bankruptcy Bowl

by Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

As we revel in the second round of this exciting playoff series, it seems like a distant memory, just three short years ago, when both the Buffalo Sabres and the Ottawa Senators were teetering on the brink of insolvency and obsolescence. Interestingly, both teams cited similar circumstances that got them to that point—a crushing debt load, operating in small, low-revenue markets and, in the case of the Senators, having to cope with a then weak Canadian dollar.


by AV Film Staff

Even before Google, when I’m looking for a hard-to-find video, the first place I turn to is Chicago’s legendary Facets. Founded in 1975, this nonprofit media arts organization stocks an astonishing array of movies and other video programming that most distributors won’t bother with. They even have their own label for independent and world cinema that deserves to be seen, even if they’re not likely to sell more than a few thousand of any given title. Some recent releases:

Film Reviews

Here She Blows: Poseidon

by M. Faust

These Boots Are Made for Gawking: Kinky Boots

by George Sax

How Not to Impress Girls: Art School Confidential


Facts, Not Fiction

by M. Faust

If you want to see films that are entertaining, challenging and informative these days, films that are likely to be able to defend their place in the marketplace with any kind of pride, documentaries are by far your best bet. And the Canadian International Documentary Festival—Hot Docs for short—has proven itself over the last dozen years to be a showcase of some of the best nonfiction films being made.

See You There

Buffalo Contemporary Dance: Dances for Our Mothers

by Cynnie Gaasch


by Buck Quigley

Read It While You Can

by Peter Koch


by M. Faust

Artist of the Week

The Milkfat Collective

by Daniel B. Honigman

Why you should know who they are: In what many refer to as a two-crew town when it comes to underground hip-hop, the Milkfat Collective is stating their case to be the third. With a jazzy sound that includes live instruments, Milkfat is looking to carve their own niche in the Buffalo music scene. As a matter of fact, Milkfat just started selling their music three weeks ago, and they’re learning that they have a lot of fans. Go figure. Artvoice sat down and shot the breeze with Milkfat’s five members, Reginoff, Andrew, KG, Joshua and John. Milkfat is performing Thursday, May 11, at Broadway Joe’s as part of Coldcut Thursdaze’s “Hide Your Daughter” special, hosted by A.L.Third. The show starts at 11pm.

Left of the Dial

Arctic Monkeys

by Donny Kutzbach

Harry Nilsson

by Joe Sweeney



Anything else you would like our readers to know about the band? We're a young band playing music that has effort and conviction behind it, and we're working hard to progress. That's something almost impossible to find in Buffalo lately.


Rock It Like It's Hot

by Joe Sweeney

The Chicago quartet OK Go is one of several up-and-coming bands that understand where rock ’n’ roll came from: R&B, soul and blues. The result is a welcome resurgence in the art of hip-shaking rock records, and OK Go’s 2005 release, Oh No, is an ideal example. An energized slab of 1970s arena riffage, crisp falsetto harmonies, slinky disco bass and chattering new wave nuggets, the album is a punch in the kidneys to every platinum-selling rock band with a pole up its ass. When they hit the Buffalo Icon stage on Monday, OK Go will try its damndest to remind you that rock ’n’ roll is fun.