Author name: imc-editor

El Charcón Sister City Project

An invitation to join the Binghamton El Charcón Sister City Project

          Looking for a more positive approach to the immigration issue?  Greater Binghamton's sister city relationship with the rural community of El Charcón (El Salvador) promotes education, leadership training and skills training, especially for women and youth. The result: a vibrant and resilient community that offers an alternative to risking the challenging journey to the U.S. in order to find work.  We invite you to join this exciting partnership.  Contact us at for more information!

Triple Cities Carousel 5 year Anniversary

Since the day Triple Cities Carousel launched five years ago, it has been my whole life. Running a newspaper is not an easy task for anybody, but starting one from scratch in the 21st century is as Sisyphean as it gets. I have given my everything to Carousel, and that has more often than not come at the expense of my health, my relationships, my sanity, and my personal well-being. I cannot always tell where Carousel ends and I begin, because everything about the newspaper and the organization that has grown around it is so close to my heart.

I am incredibly proud of the impact Carousel has had on the local community, and I am forever grateful to the staff, advertisers, and readers who have gotten us this far. Together we have built something amazing. After this next issue goes to print, it is time for me to walk away and let Carousel continue on without me.

I’m very excited to announce that next month I’ll be stepping into the role of Marketing Director at Binghamton University's Anderson Center for the Performing Arts. This job is a dream come true for me, and I’m very much looking forward to starting this next chapter of my life.

As many of you know, Carousel was sold late last year to local media group Equinox Broadcasting. They’ve got a great team of creative, media-minded folks over there, and I have full faith that Carousel will continue on under their stewardship and grow to levels I never could have imagined. It’s not my place to announce the new editor-in-chief, but rest assured that the paper is in good hands. I, for one, am extremely excited to see what the future brings for Carousel, and for the local arts scene as a whole.

And so, friends, there is nothing left to do but party. Carousel's 5th Birthday Bash is coming up this weekend, and I hope to see you all there. We will toast, we will hug, we will cry, and we’ll dance like a bunch of maniacs.

–Chris Bodnarczuk, founder

Winners of Smartphone Photo Contest

Winners Announced Smartphone Photo Contest & Exhibit at Cooperative Gallery

Kalindi Naslund won both the First Prize and People’s Choice Award in the Smartphone Photo Contest for her photo “Tour Eiffel, Paris 2017” taken from Sacre Coeur Basilica.  Second Prize was awarded to Jonathan Cohen for his dramatic sunset of “Port Orange, FL.”  (pictured above)  Lori Warfield won Third Prize for a winter forest scene called “Sentinels.” The winners shared $500 in prizes. Proceeds from the entry fees will also benefit the Dept. of Public Art for its Mural projects.

Honorable Mentions were awarded to Carrianne Fairbairn for “Summer Nights,” Tim Sullivan for “Shades of  Night,” Amy Cousins for “Dancing in the Night,” Cassarah E. Jones for “ “While the Rooster Crows,” and Peg Johnston for “Scrabble.” Joshua Bernard judged the contest .

The Smartphone Photo Contest will be open one more week Friday March 23rd from 3-6 and Saturday March 24th, 12-4 pm at the Cooperative Gallery 213 State St. in Binghamton.

The first-ever local Smartphone Photo Contest and Exhibit attracted 49 photographers showing 121 photos snapped on their phones. According to Peg Johnston, curator of the show, “First timers, amateurs, and professional photographers all tried their hands at photos taken with their phones with remarkable results.”

Peg Johnston has been a member of the Cooperative Gallery since its inception in 2000 and has mounted several installations and curated exhibits including the “TRASH Eco Art” exhibit, “Binghamton: A Memoir,” and the “Book as Art” show. In 2016 she received the Heart of the Arts Award from the Broome County Arts Council.

The Cooperative Gallery, a popular stop on the First Friday Art Walk, located at Artists Row –State of the Art, at 213 State Street in Binghamton, is open on First Friday 3- 9 pm and regularly Fridays from 3-6 and Saturdays from 12- 4 pm.  A free weekly e-newsletter is available by signing up at or on Facebook  at Cooperative Gallery 213.

121 Photos at the Smartphone Photo Contest

Smartphone Photo Contest & Exhibit at Cooperative Gallery

When the first-ever local Smartphone Photo Contest and Exhibit opens at the Cooperative Gallery 49 photographers will show 121 photos snapped on their phones. The state of emergency cancelled First Friday but the gallery is open Fridays 3-6 and Saturdays 12-4. According to Peg Johnston, curator of the show, “Smartphone photos are ubiquitous on social media and at all gatherings, and I am impressed with both the sheer beauty and often the serendipity of the images these people have captured.”

Joshua B. Ludski will be the judge for the contest and there will also be voting for a People’s Choice Award. Cash prizes will be awarded at 1 pm on Saturday March 17th.  Proceeds from the entry fees will split between cash prizes for winners and a donation to the Dept. of Public Art. Participating photographers will gather for a Gallery Tour including brief presentations by entrants.  The public is welcome.

Peg Johnston has been a member of the Cooperative Gallery since its inception in 2000 and has mounted several installations and curated exhibits including the “TRASH Eco Art” exhibit, “Binghamton: A Memoir,” and the “Book as Art” show. In 2016 she received the Heart of the Arts Award from the Broome County Arts Council.

The Cooperative Gallery, a popular stop on the First Friday Art Walk, located at Artists Row –State of the Art, at 213 State Street in Binghamton, is open on First Friday 3- 9 pm and regularly Fridays from 3-6 and Saturdays from 12- 4 pm.  A free weekly e-newsletter is available by signing up at or on Facebook  at Cooperative Gallery 213.

Photo: “Phones at the Ready” a photo of the Carnegie Library at the Luma Projection Festival by Peg Johnston



Amazon: Resisting the Monopoly

It is becoming harder and harder to have a locally owned business and as a consumer, to buy local. Amazon is now the default for many shoppers and is rubbing out any competition be it local or national. An article in The Nation details the many ways the Amazon stacks the deck against entrepreneurs. And, as progressively minded citizens know, local dollars tend to stay local and help the local economy much more than money spent in big box stores, and certainly in online stores. Amazon affiliates with smaller entrepreneurs but, as this article details, at increasingly unfavorable terms. Now we need to support alternatives even if they are a bit more inconvenient or expensive. For instance, is an online bookseller affiliated with small businesses all over and they have great service, support the little guy.  Is it possible to get along without Amazon?  Let's find out!

Economic Development: Does It Add Up?

Maybe it’s me, but it just doesn’t add up.  What I’m referring to is our Regional Economic Development Council (REDC).  I was never good at math, but I can do arithmetic. In the 2017 Progress Report for our REDC (Pg. #20) there are two tables.  Using these tables I found the following: In the six years between 2011 and 2016 we committed $276,028,945 of State funding. Based on this investment, we created 2,219 jobs.  If I simply divide the number of jobs created by the dollars invested, that is $124,393.40 per job.

If I look at this differently, these tables also show how these State dollars leveraged private investment.  These leveraged funds generated 460 projects totaling $1.444 billion.  It also quantifies the number of jobs retained by these investments (16,077).    So the total number of jobs created and retained is 18,296. This arithmetic ($1.444 billion divided by 18,296 jobs) yields a cost per job of $78,847.56. Does that seem high to you?  It does to me!

Now here is my problem.  In a recent needs assessment commissioned by the Community Foundation of South Central NY (Oct. 2015) and prepared by Horn Research LLC revealed the following: Of the five counties surveyed (Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego and Tioga) Broome County had the highest number of people living in poverty 17.4%. This is an increase from 2000, when it was 12.8%. It is worth noting that the Statewide Poverty Rate is 15.6% and the National Poverty Rate in 2016 was 12.7% (US Census Bureau).  Of those living in poverty, children are the largest affected population. In Broome Co. 25.3% of children (under 18) live in poverty.  This is an increase from 2000 when the number was 15.9%. Coupled with this, pockets of high childhood poverty exist. In the City of Binghamton 47.3% of our children live in poverty.

Now, if we consider those living above the poverty level, but not making anything near the “Household Survival Budget” (United Way) the picture is even bleaker.  United Way has coined a new acronym, ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed).  These are folks who make more than the US Poverty Level ($11,670 for an individual and $23,850 for a family of four).  The Household Survival Budget reflects a need of $19,380 for individuals and $56,964 for a family of four.  In Broome County these ALICE individuals represent 26% of our population. So if we combine those living in poverty (17.4%) and the ALICE population (26%) approximately 43% of Broome Co. residents are struggling to survive.

We need jobs!  We need gainful and meaningful employment.  To achieve this we need a real dialogue among all concerned stakeholders.  This would be similar to the recent collaborative efforts to address our Opiod crisis.  We need a new approach to how we do economic development, including who should be at the table.  Clearly the numbers do not add up!

by Mark D. Bowers


Local Photographer Wins National Prize

Four of Nancy Basmann’s work displayed at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center in Nashville, Jan. 14-16, 2018, as part of International Photographic Exhibit.   Basmann on 15 Jan. received from the American Society of Photographers a Northeast District Medallion Award in honor of her award-w image “Addict”.

Basmann was named a Silver Medalist during Professional Photographers of America's 2017 International Photographic Competition. A panel of 33 eminent jurors from across the United States selected the top photographs from nearly 5,800 total submitted entries at Gwinnett Technical College in Georgia. Judged against a standard of excellence, 2,660 images were selected for the General Collection and 644 (roughly 11 percent) were selected for the esteemed Loan Collection—the best of the best. The Loan Collection images will all be published in the much-anticipated "Loan Collection" book and over 200 selected General Collection images will be published in the "Showcase" book by Marathon Press.  

The level of the award is determined by how many of those four images receive the highest possible honor: acceptance into the PPA Loan Collection, which is displayed at photographic exhibitions, conventions and other photography events. Basmann was named a Silver Medalist, meaning that one of her four merited images entered the PPA Loan Collection. She was one of only 108 Silver Medalists.  She also has a portrait in the Showcase Collection.

Professional Photographers of America (PPA), which has 30,000 members, is the largest international nonprofit association created by professional photographers.

Basmann’s award-winning images appear on her website



SPONSORED BY Cooperative Gallery 213 and the Two Rivers Photography Club

January 5-27, 2018

            The Cooperative Gallery 213 and the Two Rivers Photography Club are sponsoring the 7th Bob Johnston Photography Show and Competition January 5-27th, 2018. “Now in its seventh year, this Photo Competition attracts incredible photography in both black and white and color,” according to Bill Gorman of the Cooperative Gallery. “We are very excited to welcome back Chuck Haupt, a professional photographer, formerly with the Press and Sun Bulletin and gallery member, as this year’s judge.”

            A reception for the photographers, friends, and the public will take place January 5th at the First Friday Art Walk from 6-9, with gallery hours starting at 3 pm that day. The Exhibit will be open Fridays 3-6 pm, Saturdays 12-4 pm and by appointment until January 28th. Prizes and cash awards for the winners will be announced at First Friday, January 5th at 7:00 pm at a reception for the artists and the public.

            All photographers are eligible to enter up to three photos in any format in this open themed show. There will be cash prizes for Best of Show, two Judge’s Choice each in Black and White and Color, and ten Honorable Mentions will also be awarded. Photos may be submitted Friday, December 29, 4-6 pm, Saturday December 30 12-4pm. (Pick-up dates are Sat. Jan 27th 4-6 pm and Sun. Jan. 28th 3-6 pm. For complete guidelines, please consult the gallery website at or the club website Or email

            The Competition is named for Bob Johnston, a lifelong photographer and a gallery member who died in 2010. “Bob Johnston was an ‘Ansell Adams’ kind of photographer who worked mostly in black and white film and favored both urban and natural landscapes,” said Bill Gorman, also a photographer. Bob Johnston defined a good photo this way: “For me, the successful photograph is one in which both the abstract elements and the subject matter of the image reinforce each other to provide an emotional experience for the viewer.”

            The Two Rivers Photography Club has monthly meetings, skill building sessions, and competitions throughout the year. The Cooperative Gallery, a popular stop on the First Friday Art Walk, located at 213 State Street in Binghamton, is open on First Friday 3- 9 pm and regularly Fridays from 3-6 and Saturdays from 12- 4 pm. Find us on Facebook at Cooperative Gallery 213 and sign up for a weekly e-newsletter on our website at or on Facebook.

Windsor’s Got Talent

You heard me.  You know it.  Everyone has some kind of talent – young or old!  So let's get out there
and show it!  You've been to First Knight or at least heard all about it.  We've been rocking New Year's
Eve here in Windsor for the past five years.  People have come from far and wide to join our festivities
because they know Windsor is the place to be on December 31st for safe family fun.

So let's step it up a notch and show them what you've got.  We are putting together an exciting talent show at First Knight and we need you!  We need singers, musicians, dancers, poets, magicians, jugglers, stand-up family oriented comedians, actors, storytellers, or surprise us with a talent we don't even know about.  We are not looking for professionals, just people of any age 1 – 100 who want to have fun and share a few moments in the spotlight.  You can perform alone or with friends.  Don't be shy!  We are not going to judge anyone and Simon will not be here.  Instead we will have a drawing and several participants will receive a prize for stepping out and stepping up to share their time and talents.  (Need not be from Windsor to be part of this)

Call Elaine to sign up at 655-3399 or email her at  Get on board, Windsor.
We need you!

GOP Tax Plan Spells Fewer Jobs, Higher Taxes, and Less Benefits for Middle-Class Families

Community Leaders Call on Congress to Reject the GOP Tax Plan
Corning, NY — Community, faith, and union leaders rallied together to call on the Senate to reject the GOP tax proposal, which is currently being forced through Congress. If passed, the bill will result in a massive tax hike for millions of working families across New York State.

The latest report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirms that Americans earning under $100,000 a year will be significantly worse off under the GOP tax plan. The bill extends the bulk of its tax breaks to billionaires and large corporations, with 62% of the giveaways going to the wealthiest 1% of Americans by 2027.

In addition to a higher tax burden for low- and middle-income earners, the bill eliminates deductions for medical expenses, student loan interest, and state and local taxes (SALT), while laying the groundwork for devastating cuts to education, health care, and emergency services.

“During this season of giving and generosity, the tax bill is particularly offensive and sinful. It
takes away a lot of money and benefits from poor and middle-class and gives it to the very rich while exploding the deficit and compromising our children’s futures,” said Rev. Peter Cook, Executive Director of the New York State Council of Churches.

“The Senate and the House leadership are attempting to ram through a poorly conceived and malicious tax plan.  Like the snake oil salesman of yesteryear, they are trying to tell us that this plan is good medicine for the poor and middle-class but nothing could be further from the truth.  These tax plans will raise taxes on many low- and middle-income New Yorkers and create greater income inequality in our state and country. We need a bottom up tax plan that provides tax breaks for our poorest residents rather than more trickle-down policies that only make those with the most resources even wealthier,” said Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute.

"The GOP tax plan is further evidence of the President and Congressional leadership's scorn for poor and working Americans. This is a blatant, immoral attempt to redistribute wealth from the bottom to the top. It is as shameful as its architects are shameless," said Rev. Emily McNeill, Executive Director of the NYS Labor-Religion Coalition.

“Why would our elected officials pass a tax bill that only benefits billionaires and hurts small business owners, middle-class families, and hard-working Americans? It’s not fair. It’s not right. It makes no sense. We must all come together to make sure our elected leaders understand that we cannot and will not stay quiet while a tax bill like this remains a possibility. For those politicians who vote ‘yes’ and betray American families, our message is clear: we will not forget this and we will remind you at the ballot box,” said Sarah Chmura, Board Member for the New York State Nurses Association.

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