Sunday, January 31, 2010

Get Out...!

Anyone one doesn't have the proper genetics re: birther credentials in Hoboken has heard those popular words at one time or another, sometimes even from our elected leaders in the City Council.  Here's another in the classic series brought to you by the Wile E. Coyote, Eric Kurta.  His summary follows this 1993 video on a Board of Education outcome not pleasing to then Mayor Anthony Russo and the Birthers.

And yes, that is the now Councilman Mike Lenz adjourning the meeting after the vote.
Now who else can you spot of note in the video?

In November 1993, the Choice for Change reform majority on the Hoboken Board of Education voted to hire an individual from outside the district to become the new principal of the Demarest Middle School (I only remember that his last name was Diaz). Back then, most of the kids at Demarest were Latino and many had parents who spoke little or no English. Conferences between parents and the principal often had to be held with the school janitor translating (he was supposedly the only employee that could translate). Mr. Diaz came with great qualifications and was highly recommended as someone who had turned problem schools around. He was also Spanish-speaking, an added bonus given the school population.

Many locals took offense, however, at his hiring. Larry Sciancalepore was the favorite in-district candidate of the Hoboken born-and-raised crew led by the recently-elected mayor, Anthony Russo. Seconds after the Board voted to hire Diaz (00:26), Sciancalepore’s son let it all hang out, espousing the sentiment that was quite common then - and still is, to some extent - among Hoboken’s born-and-raised community.

“This is OUR town! Get out of our goddamn town!”

Diaz was hired, but Anthony Russo would gain control of the Board of Ed the following April and Diaz was let go. Sciancalepore took the position, but had difficulty performing and eventually stepped down after suffering a heart attack.

Emerging Art

This clip is from a European show, a version of the "Got Talent" series popular in many countries now. This artist from the southern region of Ukraine took up artistic expression with the use of sand instead of a paintbrush. What became an original means of creation expanded into storytelling, and moving art as she moves from one scene to another.

In this clip, she tells the story of Nazi Germany's invasion and destruction of the lives of ordinary people in World War II. Civilian losses were estimated in the three million range not even a decade after Stalin's man made famine in Ukraine killed 7-10 million.

For this performance, Kseniya Simonova earned first prize of $70,000.

Related: Harvest of Sorrow, the definitive work by Robert Conquest on the Soviet man made famine to break resistance to his efforts to impose socialism on farmers.

Dynamo: Defending the Honour of Kiev - the story of a famous soccer club and its game against a hand picked Nazi team during occupation.  The book is a historical view on the severity the city suffered and the inspiration for the movie "Victory" starring Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine and Pele.