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Cover Story

Imagine a City With No Police

by Geoff Kelly

Two weeks ago, late on a Wednesday afternoon, a Buffalo police officer who asked to remain anonymous—“a veteran patrolman,” as he would later identify himself—telephoned to say that he and his fellow officers had decided to stage a mass “sick-out” on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. He told Artvoice the decision had just been reached that afternoon, and claimed that 65 percent of the rank and file had committed themselves to call in sick for 48 hours.


Discussing the Deaccession Decision: Personal Reflections

by Edmund Cardoni

You may not like “deaccession” as a word. (Ah, I see my Spell-checker doesn’t like it either, or even recognize it. My Spell-checker suggests “decision,” “recession,” “secession,” “discussion,” or “decisions.” Sorry, Spell-checker, I’m afraid none of those will do, although this is a discussion about a decision. I’ll have to add it. Voila, I’ve just added it. Now my Spell-checker, like the rest of Buffalo, knows a new word.)

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ About half the students who attend the Jewish primary school King David, in Birmingham, England, are Muslims, and in fact, their parents work hard to get them in because they so respect the school’s ethos and its halal-like diet. All students learn Hebrew, recite Jewish prayers, and celebrate Israeli independence, but there is a Muslim prayer room, also, and Muslim teachers are hired for Ramadan. However, confided one parent, the school tries to keep a low profile so as not to inflame the religious rabble-rousers.

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Dear Rob: As an experiment, I’ve been trying to soften myself—to see what it’s like to stand in a room and not always take the lead, not assume that no one else knows what they’re doing except me. It’s had an interesting effect so far: People seem more eager to play nice and offer me their good energy. But I don’t know if I’m willing to give up my take-charge instincts for much longer. Do I have to resign myself to either being strong or being loved? -Assertive Aries.” Dear Assertive: Could you add a little more love to your take-charge ferocity? And be more softly aggressive? And be open-hearted in your assertiveness?

Five Questions For...

Addison Henderson and Korey Green

The Forgotten City, by local filmmakers Addison Henderson and Korey Green—a.k.a. Knuckle City Films—is a compelling and sometimes brutal portrait of racial and economic strife in Buffalo. Green and Henderson were drawn together by a 2004 murder: A close friend of Green shot and killed one of Henderson’s best friends on Buffalo’s East Side. Stung by the tragedy, the filmmakers—who had been passing acquaintances before the murder—decided to work together to tell the story of the killing and the sort of environmental hopelessness that turns young people into criminals.

Letters to Artvoice

Thanks to Artvoice and Bruce Jackson for bringing sanity to Buffalo. “The War Against the Albright-Knox” (Artvoice v6n8) shed the light of day on the senseless attack on the museum. Everyone I know in the area has been delighted by the creative developments designed to bring art to the whole community—and the community to the arts. The Albright-Knox has been the brightest star in Buffalo for the past few years. The enthusiasm of the crowds at the Friday Gusto at the Gallery programs shows how hungry we are for thoughtful and stimulating entertainment in our region. Rather than thoughtless, silly complaints, the museum director deserves only our appreciation and respect for bringing the arts in Buffalo into a new era. Once again, Artvoice comes through as our primary source for sanity in the Buffalo print media.


Beware Adult Supervision

by John McMahon

The Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority, better known as the Erie County Control Board, drew unwanted attention recently when it was revealed that its Finance Committee had met without notifying the public in an apparent violation of its own code of conduct.

The News, Briefly

Common Council Report

by Geoff Kelly

Buffalo Common Council’s newest member, Demone Smith of the Masten District, began the Tuesday, March 6 session with a brief prayer—a curious, occasional ritual in the otherwise secular halls of governance. Smith asked for God’s blessing; he might have prayed for a fuller understanding of the legislative bodies operating procedures. At the end of the afternoon’s proceedings, Smith found himself in the unusual position of asking the Council not to adopt a resolution he had submitted.

Design Matters

Bigger Small Built Works

by Albert Chao

More than 100 parking meters on Allen Street are stenciled with words beginning with the prefix re-, which means both “again, anew” and “back, backward.” “Parking Meters,” a concrete poem conceived by David Taglione, student at the University at Buffalo, was one of the earliest projects realized in Small Built Works, an architecture studio led by Brad Wales, clinical assistant professor at UB, in spring of 2001. Taglione’s piece, along with seven other projects, reflects an active integration of a studio class at UB with the city of Buffalo. Small Built Works engages urban neighborhoods with unique methods for transforming, reinterpreting and revitalizing. Wales’s students have completed numerous projects since then, including three bus shelters, a windmill, a 17-foot-tall kiosk, four bike racks, a granite monument to Frederick Law Olmsted, a sculpture park and a Mardi Gras float with a retractable roof.

In the Margins

Too Cool for School(s)

by Kevin Thurston

Washington, DC-based poet Rod Smith seems to span generations in both directions. Not necessarily a member of any poetic school, he has been associated with plenty of them: New York School, Language Poetry and, most recently, Flarf. (Flarf is a poetic movement, often associated with generating material via Google searches that are then “sculpted.” Practitioners include K. Silem Mohammad, Nada Gordon, Jordan Davis and Gary Sullivan amongst others. Sullivan defined Flarf as a “kind of corrosive, cute, or cloying awfulness. Wrong. Un-P.C. Out of control. ‘Not okay.’”)


by Anthony Chase

In her play, Embody, playwright Lauren Gunderson imagines a period in the life of Leonard da Vinci when he was, as a young man of 24, almost executed for sodomy. Using historical texts and her own imagination, Gunderson fantasizes 15th-century Florence and the web of intrigue surrounding this episode, populating the tale with fascinating characters.

Fine Dining

The Cocktail Party: Sample

by Marla Crouse

Tucked into its spot on Allen Street like the perfect puzzle piece, Sample invites guests to a nightly cocktail party. This whimsically themed restaurant was conceived as husband and wife Adam and Jennifer Goetz strolled New York City thinking about new ideas for Buffalo. After brainstorming, they headed back home to get to work and brought in partner Ed Castine and chef Aaron Dombroski from Tru in Chicago. The idea: a modern approach to eating, ordering bite-sized creations, either one by one or in groups of three or more. Although a fairly unique concept in our area, food in miniature, served in trios, has been hitting the culinary world for the past decade, most notably with Thomas Keller’s tasting menu at his Napa Valley restaurant the French Laundry. What makes Sample so innovative is bringing these haute cuisine ideas to a hip space at a reasonable price.


The Stage as Political Platform

by Tom Dooney

When this play is over, conservatives won’t want to speak with me,” writer Gary Earl Ross predicts with a smile. “And neither will liberals. It’s going to be a long time before I will be able to show my face around Democrats or Republicans.”


With Your Shield or On It: 300

by M. Faust

The historical stage, for those of you who may be rusty on your ancient history (or grew up after a time when they stopped teaching it): In the year 480 BC, Xerxes, the king of Persia, is taking over everything he can. He now has his sights set on Greece. Just as happy to have them surrender, he offers terms to the leaders of the various Greek city-states. Given that Xerxes’ forces number in the area of 5.3 million (if you’re to believe Herodotus, and lots of historians do), many of the Greeks figure there’s no sense postponing the inevitable and give in.

Film Reviews

The Poetry of National Dissolution: Iraq in Fragments

by George Sax

It wasn’t only Saddam’s imaginary weapons systems that sent Americans into the invasion of Iraq. It was ignorance of Iraq itself, and of its people.

Film Clips

Miss Potter

Alone With Her

Left of the Dial

Son Volt: The Search

The Stooges: The Weirdness


The Hue Testament

by Donny Kutzbach

Maybe rock isn’t dead. Perhaps it’s just gone underground and it’s hiding out as it gets leaner: more artful, more interesting. It can’t hide much longer, particularly if we’re talking about the Arcade Fire.

See You There

Secret Chiefs 3 with Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

by Donny Kutzbach

Blues'n March Festival

by Buck Quigley

The Tragically Hip

by Donny Kutzbach

David "Fathead" Newman

by Shaun Smith

Calendar Spotlight

The Corrections

Brian Wheat and Groggy Darlin'

Sunburned Hand of the Man

Jacek Muzyk

by Shaun Smith