Utah libraries want you to be part of the state’s biggest book club

1 of 2 View 2 Items Michael Lionstar Cristina Henríquez, author of "The Book of Unknown Americans," will be visiting the County Library's Viridian Event Center on Jan. 17 to discuss her book, which is being featured in the second-annual United We Read SLC campaign this year. SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County libraries are calling all bookworms to participate in a county-wide reading campaign, aimed to foster empathy and kindness, as well as build connections among readers. "The whole idea … is to get people connecting, and what better place to connect than at your public library," said Liz Sollis, Salt Lake County Library marketing and communications manager. The second-annual Salt Lake County reading campaign United We Read SLC, in partnership with Utah Humanities, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County and Murray libraries, begins this month and runs through the spring. This year's selection is writer Cristina Henríquez's "The Book of Unknown Americans" — and the author will visit the Beehive State to kick off the campaign. "That's incredible, we are very excited about that," Sollis said. Michael Lionstar Cristina Henríquez, author of "The Book of Unknown Americans," will be visiting the County Library's Viridian Event Center on Jan. 17 to discuss her book, which is being featured in the second-annual United We Read SLC campaign this year. Henríquez, who is from Illinois, is an award-winning author whose work has been featured on Amazon's Top 10 Books of the Year and chosen as a New York Times Notable Book of 2014, among other awards and recognitions. According to Henríquez's website, her stories have been featured in a variety of publications, including the New Yorker, The Atlantic and the American Scholar. Henríquez's visit will kick off the campaign with a Q&A and book signing at the Viridian Event Center on Jan. 17, and participating libraries will host discussions of her book Continue Reading

2013 Black History Month events in New York

WNET - Channel 13 Documentary: "Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll," the American Masters season opener that celebrates the rich history of the African-American gospel singer and guitar virtuoso who has been described as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Her work inspired Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and others.Date/Time: Feb. 22 at 9 p.m. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images HBO’s documentary goes on stage and behind the scenes with superstar Beyonce. HBO Documentary: "Beyoncé: A Documentary Special." The feature-length HBO film, directed by the superstar, features a look at her childhood in Houston, behind-the-scene peeks and dynamic live performances. "HBO has a history of pushing every boundary with class and authenticity," said Beyoncé, who is executive producer of the film. "Some of my favorite shows are on HBO, so I am excited that my film will be part of its bold programming. This film was so personal to me, it had to have the right home." "Everybody knows Beyoncé's music, but few know Beyoncé the person," said Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming. "Along with electrifying footage of Beyoncé onstage, this unique special looks beyond the glamour to reveal a vibrant, vulnerable, unforgettable woman."Date/Time: Feb. 16 at 9 p.m. World War II soldiers – like these black Marines trained at segregated Montford Point – and recent veterans from Iran and Afghanistan will be celebrated by three city agencies in Manhattan on Feb. 27. MAYOR'S OFFICE OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Reception: A salute to African Americans in the military - presented by the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs, the city's Department of Records and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services - will be held in Manhattan for Black History Month.Date/Time: Feb. 27, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.Place: Surrogate's Court Building, 31 Chambers St.Info: Continue Reading

750-mile Empire Trail holds promise across New York state

In scale and scope, the proposed Empire State Trail — an east-west, north-south, 750-mile endeavor — is uniquely bold and, some say, long overdue.Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the $200 million project during his State of the State address last month, promising to deliver on long-sought efforts to finish and join the Erie Canalway and other key multiuse pathways across the state by 2020.In so doing, New York might lay claim to having the largest such trail network in the nation, connecting Buffalo to Albany, and New York City to the Canadian border.Work starts this year with $53 million being set aside to construct nearly 73 miles of trail connections, to include bridging the gap between Lyons and Port Byron in Wayne and Cayuga counties. The total project entails three phases and 352 miles of new or improved trail with more than half that distance covered in the third and final phase. When finished, the Empire State Trail will pass through 26 of New York's 62 counties. There already are calls to extend the trail to Long Island, while those in the Southern Tier eye possible connections. MORE COVERAGE ► NY eyes largest state-run trail in U.S. ► 10 changes Cuomo wants to make in NY ► Study: Canal trail has big benefit ► Progress made on Erie Canal trail Residents in the Rochester region know the promise: tourism, economic development, health and wellness, and all-around quality of life. Monroe and Orleans counties were the first to complete the Erie Canalway Trail in its present form, border to border, crossing the north-south Genesee Riverway and Genesee Valley Greenway trails as it passes through Rochester."It's definitely benefited us, especially during the summertime," said John Dembeyiotis, co-owner of Riki's Family Restaurant, which has backed up to the canal and trail in Fairport for the past 31 years. "Even Continue Reading

‘Caribbean Week in New York’ returns this week with events for New Yorkers with roots in the region, persons who travel there and folks planning to visit

Caribbean Week in New York returns to the city on Saturday and the Caribbean Tourism Organization-sponsored celebration is truly better than ever this year. For individuals and their mobile devices, there’s a new app to help navigate the week’s activities, which run from June 1 through 7. Available for Apple and Android devices, the app can be downloaded from the Apple store or Google Play. There is also a link to Google Play on www.onecaribbean.org. For the entire city to see, the Empire State Building tower will be lit in festive and diverse colors of blue, turquoise, orange, green, red on June 5 in honor of Caribbean Week. Organizers have created a Caribbean Week program which has virtually something for everyone — for persons whose roots lie in the region, for travelers who want to relive or redo their Caribbean visit and loads of enticements for prospective tourists. The week starts Saturday with the benefit “Gospel Celebration” concert at the Bethesda Healing Center, 167 E. 98th St. in Brooklyn. The show, which starts at 6 p.m., features a region of talented performers. Admission is $20. Throughout the week there will be special sessions for government officials, tourism industry representatives and the media and investors, such as the Avalon Invest Caribbean Now! investors’ forum on June 5 at the Radisson Martinique, 49 W. 32nd St. (at Broadway) in Manhattan, beginning at 7:30 a.m. Jack McElroy Dancers perform at the 2012 Rum & Rhythm event during Caribbean Week in New York. And there was plenty of food (below) at the affair in addition to the rum and other beverages. Jack McElroy There are also several free events for the public to attend, such as the Students’ Colloquium, from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on June 4 at the New Yorker Hotel, 481 Eighth Ave. , where Caribbean students present sustainable tourism projects; and the Celebrity Chef Program, which serves up food demonstrations by culinary Continue Reading

New York Today: Free and Cheap Events, 10/2/2011

SUPREME CUISINE. Meet legendary chef Ferran Adrià of El Bulli at Williams-­Sonoma for a signing of his new cookbook, "The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adrià." 3 p.m. Free with purchase of book. 10 Columbus Circle. (212) 581-1146. A WALK TO REMEMBER. Join the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's, the nation's largest event raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research. 9 a.m. Free. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, 56th Ave. and 11th St., Queens. To register or donate, visit alz.org. LATIN FLAVOR. Enjoy a unique presentation of "merengue típico," traditional Dominican merengue, and "merenhouse," a blend of merengue with American hip-hop and rap. 3 p.m. Free. Central Library, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Queens. (718) 990-0700. SING. SING A SONG. The Museum of the Moving Image presents "Sing! The Music of Sesame Street." Join this joyous and sometimes poignant salute to 40 years of "Sesame Street" music featuring old favorites and guest appearances by the industry's biggest stars. 1 p.m. $6-$12. 36-01 35th Ave., Queens. (718) 784-0077. FOOD FOR THOUGHT. Listen to stories by contributors from "The Broken Circle Anthology," a book about world hunger and how to remedy the problem. Nonperishable food donations will be accepted and will benefit the Food Bank of New York. 7 p.m. Free. Bluestockings, 172 ­Allen St. (212) 777-6028. A FESTIVAL 'GALA.' Bite into a large variety of apples, fresh cider and the nation's largest apple cobbler at the Queens County Farm Museum. Families can also learn fun apple facts, take a hayride and play free games during the annual Apple Festival. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 73-50 Little Neck Parkway. (718) 347-3276. SIGNS OF 'FREEDOM.' Jonathan Franzen signs copies of his novel "Freedom," which tells the story of a deteriorating middle-class family in Minnesota. Accompanying him will be Colson Whitehead, who will sign copies of "Zone One." 2 p.m. Free. McNally Jackson Books, 52 Continue Reading

Pow! Bam! Zap! New York Comic Fest hits Westchester

Is Westchester ready for some Pow! Bam! Zap!!!? The organizers of the New York Comic Fest think so.The one-day celebration of all things comics at the Westchester County Center on Saturday will unite more than 60 vendors and 50 writers and artists who will sign and sell autographs and drawings, attend panels, judge trivia and costume contests.The festival, a first for the area, is the brainchild of comic book artist Cliff Galbraith and Dan Greenfield, a journalist and White Plains resident. A few years ago, Galbraith co-founded the Asbury Park Comic Con in New Jersey.Westchester, home to many in the comic book industry, was next on the list.“I have probably passed the Westchester County Center hundreds if not thousands of times,” said Greenfield, 47, a former Journal News staffer who writes about comics at 13thdimension.com. “It never made sense to me. Why don’t they have a comic book show?”Galbraith, speaking by phone from his studio in Red Bank, N.J., described Comic Fest as a throwback to the classic comic conventions of yore: a chance for fans to browse back issues, memorabilia and collectibleswhile connecting with comics creators in a small-scale setting.He compared it to Comic-Con International, the Woodstock-sized celebration of geek culture, TV, video games and movies that began as a humble comic-book convention in San Diego in 1970. Many fans gripe Hollywood has taken over the event, Lex Luthor-style, and turned it into a marketing platform.“So many comic conventions have turned into celebrity cons,” said Galbraith, 55, who is perhaps best known as the author of the series “Rat Bastard.” “They’re more concerned about Captain Kirk and ‘Walking Dead’ cast members than any actual comic creators.”Notables at the festival include include Mark Waid, the writer behind “Daredevil” and “The Indestructible Hulk,” and Jim Steranko, a legendary artist for Marvel Continue Reading

Pair turns second edition of Encyclopedia of New York City into reality

Profs. Kenneth Jackson and Lisa Keller were undoubtedly the first people to fight over the Encyclopedia of New York City, second edition. No surprise there, since Jackson, the Jacques Barzun professor of history and the social sciences at Columbia University, and Keller, associate professor of history at SUNY Purchase and Lehman faculty fellow at the Herbert H. Lehman Center for American History at Columbia, are, respectively, editor-in-chief and executive editor of the just-released compendium of everything you could possibly want to know about the Big Apple. "We had some discussions, occasionally loud discussions, about some entries," Keller said. "Not many, but some." The friends and longtime collaborators oversaw the project, an updating of 1995's "Encyclopedia of New York City," a 7-1/2-pound volume that sold close to 75,000 copies. The second edition, released in time for the Christmas rush, weighs in at just under 9 pounds. The tome includes more than 800 new topics and over 400 illustrations and represents the work of 800-plus contributors, many of them local historians, Jackson said. More than five years in the making, the second edition covers an, well, encyclopedic array of topics, from Bernie Madoff to the Happy Land fire; Federal Hall to the Schrafft's restaurant chain. There are charts throughout, including those showing how city residents voted in every presidential election, the number of homicides in the city from 1960 to 2009, and the date and purpose of every ticker-tape parade from 1886 to 2009. The second edition is also notable for what was not included. Like churches. "There are too many of them, more than 1,500 in Brooklyn alone," Jackson said. "We just could not list them all." Same thing with thespians, but for a different reason. Iconic New York City actor Woody Allen has an entry, while residents like Harrison Ford do not. Thirteen full pages are devoted to newspapers. The 1,561-page second edition has over 400 Continue Reading

Heavy ‘Sunday Night’ ESPN schedule may put strain on the New York Yankees

After losing the spring training ratings race to SportsNet New York and the Mets, the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network and the Bombers undoubtedly will rebound big-time Sunday night with the lid-lifter at Fenway. But who are the real winners and losers here? ESPN, through its "Sunday Night Baseball," has exclusive rights to the game, but agreed to have its telecast blacked out in New York and Boston, allowing YES and NESN to air the opener. As such, Sunday night's appearances by the Yankees and Red Sox won't count against their maximum "Sunday Night Baseball" allotment. Teams are allowed a max of five appearances through the course of the season. So, before a pitch is even thrown, ESPN is a winner. Most of the country will see Yankees-Red Sox on ESPN2, and the network will have the flexibility to air an "extra" Yankees and Red Sox game during the season. YES should do a monster rating Sunday night. It is a winner here, too. However, the TV circumstances surrounding Sunday night's matchup could return to haunt the Bombers. They could be the losers here. Through his tenure as Yankees manager, Joe Torre was never thrilled about playing on "Sunday Night Baseball." It often left his team at a disadvantage for the next game on Monday night, often scrambling late into the night to get to a new city. This isn't an issue Sunday night. There's an off day Monday before the series continues in Boston. But looking ahead at the Yankees sked, and games ESPN could now air on Sunday night, there are some travel issues. If ESPN decides to televise the June 20 Mets-Yankees game, the Bombers will have to catch a late bird to Arizona for a Monday nighter in the desert. On Sept. 26, ESPN could cherry-pick Red Sox-Yankees, which for the Bombers would be followed by a flight to Toronto for a Monday night date with the Jays. Of course, those who believe the Yankees' playoff ticket is already punched won't have a problem with any of this. Others, who envision a Continue Reading

Labor’s duty to New York: Unions must agree to save co-workers and the city

The first substantial round of public-sector layoffs has arrived in this time of widening budget deficits with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's impending dismissal of more than 1,000 administrative personnel and station agents. Chairman Jay Walder is moving with due and necessary speed to balance the agency's books, setting a precedent that all levels of government across the state appear destined to follow - with devastating consequences. Only enlightened leadership by public-employee labor leaders will spare New Yorkers, including union members, the brunt of having thousands of police, firefighters, teachers and others lopped suddenly from the payroll. Are you among those who are upset that Mayor Bloomberg has ordered the shortening of parades to save money? How will you feel when street cleaning is severely curtailed? That's coming, too. On the job for only a few months, Walder is taking early actions that are well-designed. He is letting go 600 bureaucrats and back-office workers, whose loss, he believes, will have little or no impact on MTA operations. If so, Walder is doing what his predecessors should have done long ago. He has also targeted for dismissal 450 station agents - employees who used to sell tokens or MetroCards and now sit in bulletproof booths, providing assistance as requested. Some may wind up reassigned to station cleaning. There they will at least be demonstrably useful. Walder projects that the layoffs will produce $50 million in savings - a nice piece of change, but minuscule compared with the MTA's financial hole. Next up are the elimination of bus routes and subway lines, along with dismissals for drivers, motormen, conductors and many others. The Transport Workers Union has begun to scream. But TWU leaders have the fate of their members in hand. The choice is simple: Relinquish three straight years of 4% pay hikes and grant major workplace productivity savings, or throw thousands onto the unemployment lines. Continue Reading

Barbra Streisand and Carole King both come home to New York for rare live shows

They're both from Brooklyn. They're both game-changing figures in music. And, this week, both will make rare, and telling, appearances in the city that launched and inspired them.Barbra Streisand and Carole King will bring it all back home starting Wednesday, when King sings in Central Park's East Meadow as part of a free show to kick off a new Ken Burns' PBS series  saluting our nation's leafy preserves: "The Parks: America's Best Idea." Then on Saturday, Streisand will give an insanely rare show at a miniscule downtown club – The Village Vanguard - the same hole-in-the-wall where she performed a try-out in 1962 backed by Miles Davis' band.Streisand's show means to send up a red flare illuminating her new album, "Love Is the Answer," which arrives next Tuesday. Like this weekend's concert, the disc returns Babs to her roots, reviving the kinds of jazz-tinged standards she sang on her first works from the '60s. King's return to the park also has special resonance. Back in 1973, at the height of her commercial and creative powers, she gave a free concert in this green space drawing over 100,000 people, a record for the time (even beating Streisand's "Happening" in Central Park from 1968). In those eras, both Streisand and King presented very new approaches to more than just music. They also offered different views of style, and of womanhood itself.The Barbra Streisand of New York in the '60s bears little resemblance to the slick and honed image of her Hollywood life in the years since. In her days playing Village clubs like the Bon Soir, Streisand sang in a wildly quirky style, full of bravura color and zany asides. She radically reinterpreted the classic American song book with eccentric arrangements and a singing style as broad as opera and as rhythmic as jazz. Her arrangement of "Happy Days Are Here Again" found in this forced optimistic tale from the '30s a dark, deliberate, and yearning undertone that spoke more of the wary '60s. Her version of "He Continue Reading