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Archive for April, 2011

The View From Lazy Point is a lazy and hubristic book from a talented writer Carl Safina.  If he had stayed on the northern tip of Long Island, New York, giving it his full attention and talent, he might have given a powerful lesson in what we can learn in our own small surrounding.  Instead he leaves the island to give us gadfly tourist accounts of his fun trips to the Belize Barrier Reef, Bonaire, Southeast Alaska, Svalbard, Shishmaref, Kenai Peninsula, Islands of Palau, and the South Shetland Islands of the Antarctic Peninsula.

In addition to all this travel, he spends a great deal of energy complaining about everything that pisses him off politically, socially, culturally, environmentally, in world economy, well no aspect of life is missed.  He morphs from naturalist to historian to economist to philosopher without ever getting in deep water.  He must have learned that maneuver from all those shore birds who dodge the waves.

The maps by Jon Luoma were excellent, and the drawings by Trudy Nicholson were beautiful.

Don’t bother getting your feet wet with this one as you have read better; and surely in the future he will write better.  Charles Marlin

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Patti Smith’s well written memoir, Just Kids, chronicles the 1970’s and 1980’s in New York City. When she moved there she was young and full of hopes and dreams. Soon after she arrived she met Robert Mapplethorpe who had similar hopes and dreams. The book is a touching tribute to her friend, soul mate, and one time lover.

Along the way they met the famous and those who would become famous in the art and music worlds. Patti became a major rock star, Robert a famous, and notorious, photographer. To get there all they had to do was endure:

Sleeping on park benches
Sleeping on the floor of friends’ apartments
Cheap rented rooms
Cheap hotels
Cheap rented loft and living spaces
Bedbugs, lice and roaches
Eating out of dumpsters
In Mapplethorpe’s case, male hustling to pay the rent
Any job, no matter how low the pay

They were both very talented, but they needed luck too, from any kind, moneyed, and connected person. In their wake many acquaintances languished and died from drugs, alcohol, poverty, and no luck.

Just Kids is well worth the time if you are interested in the culture of New York City in the 1970’s and 1980’s and to better understand “overnight success”.    John Hink

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Executive Director of Bridge Builders Community Foundations.  Full-time position in 501(c)3 charitable organization available on or about August 1, 2011.  Duties include providing leadership for growth and program management for 80+ scholarship and charitable endowment funds with $5.5 million in total assets.  Salary mid $30,000s.  Minimum qualification: bachelor’s degree in business, non-profit leadership, community development or related field.  Willing to earn advanced degree within 5 years.  Strong leadership, communications, organizational, technical and financial skills required.  Experience with non-profit and community services organizations preferred.  Must relocate if not resident of service region.  Send letter of introduction, current resume, three to five letters of recommendation, and one-page written response to the question, “Why do you desire to work in the area of philanthropy?” to: Ms. Susan Williams, President, Board of Trustees, Bridge Builders Community Foundations, 213 Seneca Street, Oil City PA 16301.

Deadline for applications: May 15, 2011.  Equal opportunity employer.

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