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Cover Story

Higgins on Afghanistan

by Geoff Kelly

Two months ago, when President Barack Obama unveiled his plan to commit 30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan, he also declared that he would start bringing troops home by the middle of 2011. Don’t count on that second part, says Congressman Brian Higgins, who made his second visit in 18 months to Afghanistan at the end of December.

News Analysis

Continental Drift

by Bruce Fisher

Is there a compelling public interest in preserving the artifacts and sacred sites of an ancient civilization?

Getting a Grip

The Politics of Snow

by Michael I. Niman

We Buffalonians can’t help reveling in amusement watching disoriented Mid-Atlantic cities struggle under a beautiful, fluffy blanket of snow. It started early this winter with a Washington, DC police officer pulling a gun at a snowball fight—not really clear on the concept.

Week in Review

7 Days: The Straight Dope From The Week That Was

by Geoff Kelly

Scorecard: The Week's Winners and Losers

by Zachary Burns

Phony Witnesses, and Another Suicide

by Buck Quigley

Puck Stop

Winter Vacation

by Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

No hockey until March. The National Hockey League is officially in shutdown mode, a quadrennial rite of passage as the best of the best participate in the Winter Olympic Games.

Theater Week

Some Explicit Polaroids

by Anthony Chase

Torn Space Theater continues its exploration of British “In-yer-Face” drama with Mark Ravenhill’s 1999 play Some Explicit Polaroids, which opens next week.

Classical Music

Vienna Vs. London

by Jan Jezioro

The final Friends of Vienna concert for the 2009-2010 season takes place this Sunday, February 21, at 3:30pm at the Unity Church, 1243 Delaware Avenue, and features the young, lyric coloratura soprano Emily Tworek Helenbrook in a program of Viennese rarities, accompanied by David Bond (piano), Carol Timmerman-Yorty (clarinet), and Matthew Swensen (tenor).

Left of the Dial

Midlake - The Courage of Others

by Donny Kutzbach

Glossary - Feral Fire

by Donny Kutzbach


We Have Our Round 4 Finalists!

CONGRATULATIONS to our four finalists in our Battle of Original Music: Glass Hero, The Breathing Tree, Deja Fuze, and Jimmy Meat and the Potatoes.

5 Questions With...

Kevin Purdy: Tech Blogger

Buffalo resident and Rochester ex-pat Kevin Purdy is a senior editor at the technology and productivity website Lifehacker (, which in 2009 was named one of the “25 Best Blogs” by Time magazine.

Film Reviews

The White Ribbon

by M. Faust

The Films of Ladislaw Starewicz: Bizarre Early Animation, 1911-1933

by M. Faust

Shutter Island

by George Sax

Club Native

by M. Faust

Oscar Shorts 2009

by M. Faust


On The Boards Theater Listings

Movie Times (Friday, Feb. 19 - Thursday, Feb 25.)

Film Now Playing


See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of events to watch out for the week, including our editor's pick: Babik With the BPO, at the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall on Friday, February 19th.

You Auto Know

Observations From The Buffalo Auto Show

by Jim Corbran

As my 17-year-old son Andy and I were lucky enough to find a free parking spot on Franklin Street, 200 feet or so from the Buffalo Convention Center door, I thought to myself, “So far, this is the best Buffalo Auto Show ever!” Then we got inside.

Offbeat News

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

April Gaede, who four years ago guided her teenage daughters, Lynx and Lamb (performing as “Prussian Blue”), to a brief music career singing neo-Nazi songs, announced a new project recently on the white nationalist Web site

Letters to Artvoice

Building Better Bridges

by Kevin F. Yost

Lousy Cover, Artvoice

by Paula Paradise


Listings and Resources

Buffalo has a large and diverse gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. For further information about its numerous organizations and activities, visit Gaywatch at, call the Western New York Pride Center (852-7743), or email


Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable,” said renowned economist John Kenneth Galbraith. If that’s true, I’m doubling the damage to my dignity by using astrological analysis to make an economic forecast in this horoscope.


Ask Anyone

I’m in a committed heterosexual relationship so I guess I’m “straight” now. I haven’t always been. Most of my previous relationships, long and (ahem) short, were with other men. The thorny issue is not my sexuality, with which I am perfectly comfortable.