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Cover Story

Good News in Midtown

by Geoff Kelly

On a recent July evening, the strong wind carrying an unkept promise of rain, Chris Hawley stands in a city-owned vacant lot adjacent to 19 Coe Place, surveying a pile of debris—tree limbs, parts of a tree trunk more than three feet in diameter, rocks, twisted tin, construction trash. The debris is backed up against a metal fence that separates the backyards of Coe Place’s south-side houses from the parking lot of Belmont Shelter Corporation, the independent, nonprofit, affordable housing agency that took possession of 19 Coe Place in January.

Letters to Artvoice

Mexico’s recent presidential election, hailed as free and fair by the Bush administration, is revealing a Pandora’s black box of vote manipulation tactics like massive “vote spoiling” and “vote suppression” in districts favoring left-wing candidate, Lopez Obrador. The ruling PAN party even placed an opposition (PRI) leader, an ex-president, under house arrest during the election to intimidate voters. While Republicans haven’t resorted to this extreme yet, investigations by journalists like Greg Palast, as featured in a recent Artvoice article, have revealed an assortment of dirty tricks and theft used by Republicans to steal votes in the 2000 and 2004 elections. Sadly, it took a recent cover story in Rolling Stone magazine, by no less a celebrity than Bobby Kennedy Jr., to draw a national bead on this vital issue. Palast and his ilk were deemed bad news bears by a mainstream media too preoccupied with good looks and bad behavior to waste time and space on distractions like stolen national elections.

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

CANCER (June 21-July 22): A literature professor told me an amazing fact: Many of Emily Dickinson’s poems can be sung to the tune of the traditional folk song “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” (Try it with the poem that begins “The soul should always stand ajar,” which you can read at To hear the music, go here: I like this unexpected resonance between high art and rustic style, between subtleness of mind and earthy feelings, between elite ideas and populist execution. Furthermore, I recommend that you yourself try similar blends in the coming week.


Bouncers or Bust?

by Brian W. Wright

After recent batterings involving bouncers in downtown bars and nightclubs made the news, city officials are playing with the idea of regulating all bouncers by making them go through a licensing certification program. City officials say that such a program will help to curb the violence that news reports say is rampant in downtown bars—but they also recognize that these licenses will cost the city money and plenty of man-hours. Moreover, there are plenty of bar patrons who believe that this is just a load of media hype fomented by a few isolated incidents. So the question must be asked: Is the media searching for a problem that doesn’t exist, or is this a real issue that should be taken care of before it gets too far out of hand?

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ Ron “King Suki” King won the US checkers championship in June in Medina, Ohio, claiming the $6,000 first prize by emerging from a field of 41 competitors whose intensity generally rivals that of more popular and complex games. King, the world “free style” champion, is known as the Muhammad Ali of checkers for trash-talking his opponents. Also competing was another world champion (in a form of checkers in which the first three moves are always at random), Alex “The Mad Russian” Moiseyev, who assured an Agence France-Presse reporter that, as in chess, the top players have to think 10 moves ahead.

Getting a Grip


by Michael I. Niman

Middle Eastern oil is generally a thin, easy-to-pump liquid. Hence, for generations, when oil was selling for less than bottled water, oil companies turned to producers like Saudi Arabia for their oil. The Saudis took the billions we gave them and pumped the money back into the US economy, basically buying up the country. Today they own an estimated seven percent of the entire US economy. It’s like having your crack dealer or your favorite tobacco company buy the house you mortgaged to feed your addiction. After years of fueling our economy on cheap Saudi oil, the House of Saud now owns a pivotal chunk of our country.

The News, Briefly

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

by Peter Koch

O Albany!

by Geoff Kelly & Matthew Holota

Not So Fast

by Peter Koch


The Shore You Reach

by Loren Keller

Shopping Cart

by Ryki Zuckerman

Book Reviews

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations… One School at a Time, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

by Karen A. Depalma

Three Cups of Tea is not a great book but rather a compelling story told well by journalist David Oliver Relin and Greg Mortenson, upon whose life it is based. In the fall of 1993 Mortenson, a former US Army medic and platoon leader, emergency room nurse and mountaineer was part of an expedition to summit K2, the world’s second-highest peak.

Play Ball!

Trouble in the Heartland?

by Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

In the 1980s the dream of MLB expansion for Buffalo was very close to happening. Back then Rich Baseball Group bought and operated a network of minor league teams at each level, with teams here in Buffalo (AAA), Wichita (AA) and Jamestown (A).

Film Reviews

Homecoming Queen

by M. Faust

The Architecture of Ego

by George Sax

Film Clips

A Scanner, Darkly

by M. Faust

You, Me, and Dupree

by M. Faust

Iron Island

by George Sax

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

by M. Faust

See You There

Mad Decent Tour 2006: Diplo/Bondo do Role/CSS

by K. O'Day

2006 American Accordionists' Association Festival & Competition

by Buck Quigley

Articles of Impeachment: A National Teach-In

by Peter Koch

Deadboy and the Elephantmen

by Donny Kutzbach

Left of the Dial

The Alison Piptone Band: Tigerbabies

by Geoff Kelly

Tracy Morrow: Morning Is the End of the Day

by Matthew Holota

La Cacahouette

by Donny Kutzbach


Burning Paris

Anything else you would like our readers to know about the band…Burning Paris is made up of former members of Seven Day Faith, Lucid and Hanabi. Veteran lineup that came together to write great hooky contemporary rock mixed with all of our different influences.

Calendar Spotlight


by Michael A. Colucci

The Thirds

by Buck Quigley


by Kat Brady

Aaron Piepszny

by K. O'Day

Divine Machine


by Michael A. Colucci

Peter Frampton

by Buck Quigley