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Cover Story

Weekend Rush

by Lucy Yau

There is a sensual if ethereal quality to Sharon Kalstek’s photographs. They are staged with a theatrical flourish. A theme of concealment underlies her dreamy portraiture. Subjects don masks, faces and bodies are partially hidden or obscured. A restrained eroticism pervades the pieces.


Getting Back at Betty

by Peter Koch

If you were to ask Betty Tryjankowski what her work on the City of Buffalo’s demolition team includes, she would tell you, matter-of-factly, “Everything.” And she wouldn’t be lying. As an integral member of the city’s Department of Economic Development, Permit and Inspection Services (EDPIS) for the past 10 and a half years, it’s been her job to process all of the paperwork that makes city demolitions possible. She puts together bid packages, she opens the bids, she sends out notices to proceed to demolition contractors, she makes sure the funding is available to pay contractors and then she pays them, she bills the property owners for demolitions, she schedules air monitoring on demolition sites, she processes the information from final inspections and, finally, she enters all of the important data into the city’s Hansen computer system, so it can be tracked by the city. To put it simply, were it not for Tryjankowski working hard and pulling at the reins, the city’s demolition activity would come to a complete halt. And doubtless that is what is about to happen.

Peace Bridge Chronicles #91

Ron Rienas: "It's Not About Trucks"

by Bruce Jackson

Every day there are emails about the Peace Bridge—some days three or four of them—from the Columbus Avenue homeowners group. The list of recipients is organic, growing larger week by week. One mailing for January 12 had 73 recipients. It included every local politician of note, local staffers for the area’s senators and members of Congress, the Buffalo News, Artvoice, WBFO, Don Esmonde, two Sam Hoyt staffers, Mylous Hairston and one member of the PBA.

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ Joshua Hoge, a schizophrenic confined to Washington’s Western State Hospital, is claiming at least part of his late mother’s estate even though he’s the one who killed her in 1999. Washington law prevents profiting from the “unlawful” and “willful” taking of another’s life, but Hoge was found “not guilty by reason of insanity,” and the legal issue is still unsettled. Furthermore, according to a January report in The Seattle Times, it appears that the mother’s estate consists almost totally of the $800,000 the estate won in a lawsuit against a county health clinic because it was negligent in delaying Joshua’s medications, which probably led to his killing her.

See You There

Artvoice BOOM Grand Championship

by Buck Quigley

Marah w/ Semi Tough

by Gore Petersen

The Fiery Furnaces

by Donny Kutzbach

Empowered Bodies: Roe at 35

by K. O'Day

Calendar Spotlight


The Failyears

The Prodigals

Ariel Dorfman

Easy Tease

G. Love and Special Sauce


by Anthony Chase

Even with nine shows on the boards this week and Studio Arena flailing for survival, conversation was, at least for a moment, dominated by talk of actor and Kavinoky Theatre managing director Steve Cooper’s nightmarish legal woes. The first rumors began to circulate when the Kavinoky Theatre abruptly called on Paul Todaro to replace Cooper as juror number three in their current production of the Reginald Rose play, Twelve Angry Men. Soon, however, the mystery behind this switch was solved when the Amherst police confirmed to the Buffalo News that Cooper had been “charged with second-degree sexual abuse in the inappropriate touching of an 11-year-old girl in late November.”


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Film Reviews

The Days of Wine and Oil: There Will Be Blood

by M. Faust

There is no dialogue for the first 15 minutes of There Will Be Blood. Mostly, there is one man in a hole, and he’s not the type to talk to himself. His name is Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), and in this year of 1898 he is digging for silver. The attempt nearly kills him, but eventually he has some success—not in silver, but in oil.

In the Margins

Letterhead, Vol. 1: Interview

Letterhead, Vol. 1: Review

by Joey Madia

Vine Byline

I've Said Too Much

by Paula Paradise

Wine writers notoriously embellish their wine reviews with adjectives, similes and metaphors so farfetched that, as a reader, one is left to wonder if they are even talking about wine, which is after all just fermented grape juice. Indisputably the master of fioritura and the most influential of wine critics is Robert Parker, creator and publisher of The Wine Advocate, a wine journal with over 40,000 subscribers worldwide.

You Auto Know

Here's the New Malibu, Barbie

by Jim Corbran

With a nod to my wife, who’s always been a huge Barbie fan, we get to this week’s subject, Chevy’s new Malibu. This could possibly be one of, if not the, most important cars General Motors has put in a showroom in years. Once the world’s largest producer of automobiles, the General is now looking up from the number two spot at rival Toyota.

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): When Doris Lessing was informed she’d won the Nobel Prize for Literature, she said, “I couldn’t care less.” What prompted her to be so blasé about receiving the world’s foremost award for writers? Can you imagine what her state of mind was? I think you’ll be able to after this week, Capricorn. You’re likely to get a major ego stroke that isn’t all that big a deal to you, mostly because you already know how valuable you are and don’t need external confirmation of that fact.

Ask Anyone

Where is the line between gossip and a good story? I’m a bartender, so I hear a lot of both, but even I’m not sure what the answer is. For example, I know and have often told the story of a prominent local politician who has a wife and family but secretly spends nights a couple blocks away from them in the house he shares with his gay lover. I like the story because it speaks both to the falseness of politicians and to the difficulty many people have being openly gay. I know the story is true. Am I being a gossip?.