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    New ‘Meet the Press’ studio pays tribute to heart of democracy, free exchange of ideas – NewscastStudio - January 25, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Subscribe toNewscastStudio's newsletter for the latest in broadcast design and engineering delivered to your inbox.

    Just like the city it calls home, the new studio of NBC News Meet the Press explores the dichotomy of modern versus classical in a town that still leans heavily on storied traditions while coexisting in a world thats constantly hitting refresh on the flow of information and conservation.

    Set Design

    NBC News Studio N1

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    After over 60 years broadcasting from the studios of WRC, the networks owned station in Washington, D.C., NBC execs made the pivotal decision to move Meet the Press and the networks bureau closer to the heart of the city paying credence to the mantra of location, location, location.

    In the district, location is important but so is access, access, access so the network opted to start exploring ways to expand its downtown presence even before a January 2019 fire that heavily damaged its ancillary studios on the upper floors of an office building.

    The debut of Meet the Press from the space culminates a months long process of moving both on camera and behind the scenes areas across town.

    Once the decision was made to create a new hub in the heart of the district and NBC secured the additional space, the network turned to the design team at HD Studio to fill the newly acquired real estate with multiple broadcast and work environments including this ground-level studio for Meet the Press.

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    While Studio N5 on the eighth floor and the bureau newsroom on seven embrace clean lines and LED video walls, so popular in broadcast studios today, the first floor is decidedly different.

    We wanted to create a space that speaks to NBCU News Groups commitment to Washington-based coverage. It was important to us to balance the federal-style architecture with the unique modern finishes and latest technologies to break from the generic feel of many modern workspaces. Plus, creating expansive windows across the first floor studios and newsroom also reflects the importance of journalistic transparency, said Marc Greenstein, SVP of design and production at NBC News and MSNBC.

    To facilitate that concept, HD Studios team created a bit of a backstory about the new home for Meet the Press it was a found space that had been expanded and modernized over time, noted Bryan Higgason.

    We always looked for ways to pit something very modern against something very classical, he noted in an interview with NewscastStudio.

    The roundtable area most of the LED video walls in the archways can be moved to reveal real windows. Photos courtesy of Niel Galen and NBC News.

    The main roundtable area for Meet the Press was enclosed with paneled walls and archways painted in a colonial blue discovered through research into historic architecture dating back to the founding of the country.

    This gives it the basic structure of a traditional colonial room complete with framed pictures and faux marble and wood floors.

    In many ways, its sort of opposite the open concept thats become all the rage in both home and office designs of today but also a reflection of the design sensibilities of another era.

    Not only does this go a long way in creating a perfect area for pointed questioning and interviews, but its a recognizable, consistent space viewers can expect to see each week.

    These chats take place around a simple circular table with flared based sits on a circular custom carpet with the Meet the Press logo ringing it somewhat reminiscent of another famous (albeit oval-shaped) area rug found elsewhere in the city namely at the White House.

    Though the pandemic will likely mean MTP has to rely on social distancing and remote interviews for the time being, the table is designed to sit up to four guests in addition to Chuck Todd and can be shot in the round.

    HD Studio nixed the idea of using traditional hidden camera ports (disguised through open-backed bookshelves or dark corners of the studio) that are often mainstays of roundtable setups and instead paid close attention to blocking the camera positions as well as the evolving nature of the shows format.

    Cameras will still show up on air from time to time, but thats also a nod to the connection to be old and new and the flow of conversation from around that table out into the world, noted Higgason.

    Meanwhile, the gently curving archways that box in this area are decidedly traditional but have the very modern option to be filled with seamless 1.56mm UHD LED panels from Neoti that can be used to showcase stylized imagery of D.C. landmarks or be used for remote interviews.

    Whats not immediately visible, according to Higgason, is that all of these panels can be moved around behind the blue walls to reveal the real glass windows beyond as well as combined with an oversized, gold web-like sculptural gold map of Washingtons highly recognizable spoke street layout.

    This configuration was inspired by Studio 1A in Rockefeller Center, which has its home base between two perpendicular walls of glass, giving the network a high profile billboard of its presence while also giving passersby a peek into the process of newsgathering.

    Just off this area is a more open, modern feeling glass box space with two perpendicular walls of glass overlooking the 45-workstation newsroom beyond, perhaps another nod to 1A.

    The main desk in this space is another blend of old and new its basic shape is that of a colonial or federalist style desk with its gracefully bowed legs and other carved details.

    However, its been finished in a bold bright red thats found throughout the new D.C. facility as well as the networks New York headquarters (and decidedly not very traditional).

    It also includes integrated glass panels with color-changing LED edge lighting effects and frosted bars another motif common found, for example, in the header element in the seventh-floor newsroom and throughout Studio N5 on eight.

    While a truly antique piece could be emblazoned with a gold seal and leafing, this desk has custom, internal lit reveal lines and an NBC peacock in the center.

    Shooting the red desk through one wall of windows gives viewers a dramatic view of an intricate barrel-vaulted ceiling with dark coffers that runs down the center of the newsroom, also inspired by neoclassical and federal architecture a shot that started to show up during NBC and MSNBC coverage of the inauguration.

    The rear wall of the newsroom is finished in the same bright red as the desk and equipped, directly behind the studio window, a 22 video panel array that providesa prominent digital canvas for branded or topical graphics on both one and multi-shot setups from the desk.

    Interestingly, the designers didnt set out with a red, white and blue color palette in mind for the space, said Higgason.

    The team initially was more focused on integrating visual continuity to other NBC studios, but quickly discovered red went a long way in warming up the look and it ended up being a great way to blend in a bit of that modern take on design with otherwise traditional looks.

    A more traditional anchor desk layout situated with glass on both sides and a dramatic barrel vault above.

    Meanwhile, on either side of the central barrel vault is a more modern interpretation of that architectural element suspended, internally lit rectangular frames arranged in grids, another example Higgason points out as a bridge between old and new.

    The team also tucked thousands of LEDs in the coffers, cornices of columns and in other architectural details throughout the space, giving NBC the ability to create a multitude of moods and looks that spreads beyond just studio lighting cues.

    Getting these ceiling elements installed involved detailed work with HVAC and electrical contractors to get all of these systems as close to the structural ceiling as possible giving the space the most possible using ceiling height (about 14 feet), said Higgason.

    HD Studio also had to work around numerous structural columns that hold the building up spaced about every 20 feet or so in a grid pattern throughout the space. One also, located in the studio area, also had to be relocated to create a larger footprint.

    Of course, columns are no stranger to neoclassical, federal-style architecture, so they were ultimately worked into the design.

    To refine the look, however, the columns were clad with a stone-like finish and etched with symbolic words such as Honesty, Truth, Wisdom and Tenacity all meant to stand for, both literally and figuratively, the foundations on which journalism is based on.

    It felt important to provide reminders for what the people in that room do and speak to the qualities of the people delivering the news, explained Higgason.

    Staffers will also be able to look down for other reminders of their mission to facilitate conversation between the public and elected officials numerous quotes about the free press and its relationship with the government are adhered to the floor.

    One of the most obvious things about this text, however, is that it doesnt line up with the rather grid-like layout of the rest of the space instead, theyve been aligned to roughly form spokes reaching out from the Capitol grounds.

    The idea is that the people in that are listening to what is emanating from that buildings, said Higgason.

    Also outside the studio is an open space that includes a combination of green room and gathering spaces for guests and workers alike.

    An open area outside the studio includes a green room and large NBC peacock bench installation.

    Rather than just rely on traditional seating, HD Studio came up with the idea to use a top-down view of the NBC peacock logo as a multifaceted seating area complete with faux marble bases.

    Each feather is a separate segment of the installation and topped with one of the corresponding six colors found in the iconic logo.

    Although COVID-19 likely means gathering in the area (as well as the other planned communal meeting areas throughout the newsroom) might not be leveraged right away, Higgason says it will be interesting to see how staffers and guests end up gravitating to it and sparking additional conversations.

    Set Design

    NBC News Studio N1

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    For more than seventy years, Meet the Press has been the place where presidents, policymakers, foreign leaders, and those in power have come to speak directly to American viewers, said Todd. This year, we will continue to be the gold standard of Sunday public affairs programming with the same sensibilities and mission, only now from a 21st-century studio with the latest technologies and broadcast capabilities.

    Set Design Bryan Higgason, Paul Benson and Sid Wichienkuer of HD StudioLighting Design Niel Galen of The Lighting Design GroupLED Displays NeotiFabrication blackwalnutSystems Integrator BeckTV

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    New 'Meet the Press' studio pays tribute to heart of democracy, free exchange of ideas - NewscastStudio

    Surprise bust of Csar Chvez in Joe Biden’s office – Explica - January 22, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Paul Chvez did not know that the sculpture they had requested of his father, union and civil rights leader Csar Chvez, would end up in the White House.

    Just this week he decided to loan a bronze statue to President Joe Biden and rushed to pack it up and deliver it to him from across the country, California. It came as a surprise to him when he saw Biden at his new desk in the Oval Office, with the bust of his late father behind him.

    We still have a smile from ear to ear, Paul Chvez said in an interview.

    During his campaign, Biden promoted unity and racial justice, and Chvezs son said the new president appears to be trying to advance those ideas through a series of decorative changes in his office.

    He noted that the presence of the statue in the White House marks the beginning of a new day after the administration of Donald Trump, with his policies against immigration. Chvez Jr., who is president and director of the board of directors of the foundation that bears his fathers name, predicted that under the new government the contribution of workers, immigrants, and Latinos will be taken into account.

    Every time Biden is seen at his desk, the farm union leader will be there.

    The changes in the Oval Office were first seen when Biden signed a series of decrees and other measures in his first hours as president.

    The most notable change is a blue carpet with the presidential seal in the center, which was last worn by Bill Clinton and replaces a colorful carpet installed by Trump. Biden also decided to use the gold curtains from the Clinton era.

    In addition to the Chvez bust, there are also other civil rights fighters Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, as well as a sculpture of President Harry Truman. Biden removed a bust of Winston Churchill.

    On the wall in front of Bidens desk there is a picture with a collage of photos of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt which also includes another father of the country, Alexander Hamilton.

    Conspicuously absent is a portrait of President Andrew Jackson, a Trump favorite who signed a law that led to the expulsion of tens of thousands of Native Americans from their lands.

    Biden retains the Resolute desk, built from oak from the British Arctic exploration ship HMS Resolute. But he got rid of the red button Trump installed on his desk to call a butler to bring him Diet Coke, his drink of choice.

    All presidents change the dcor of the Oval Office at the beginning of their administrations to reflect their personal taste or promote certain ideas.

    The White House has in its warehouses an extensive collection of furniture, paintings, and other artifacts. Presidents can also borrow items from the Smithsonian and other museums.

    The White House curator oversees everything and the renovation is done within hours, after the departure of the outgoing president and before the arrival of his successor.

    Biden also replaced some military flags that Trump used for decorative purposes and replaced an American flag and another with the presidential seal. They are both behind your desk.

    He also selected a dark brown leather chair to replace Trumps russet chair.

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    WeatherTech FloorLiners and Cargo Liners – Unboxing, installation, cleaning and review – BMWBLOG - January 22, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    This is a sponsored post by WeatherTech. More information about WeatherTech automotive accessories can be foundhere. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.

    Winter is already here and in many parts of the world, the weather has turned snowy and frozen, making life quite difficult for many drivers. However, there are some things you can do to make winter life easier on your BMW, thus making it easier for you. In this video, we will review the WeatherTech Floor Liners and Cargo Liner. Rubber floor mats are very helpful in the winter. If you live in snowy climates, winter mats help keep the snow and grime from your boots from ruining your cars carpets.

    The reason we like them so much is that they are specifically made for your particular vehicles floor. The edges of the WeatherTech mats reach up several centimeters all the way around, tuck into the edges of the footwells and go all the way up behind the pedals. The benefit of this is that when the snow and slush on my feet invariably melts on the floor under the pedals, the cupped sides keep the snowmelt from sliding over the edge and getting on the carpeted interior.

    Let the rubber mats take the abuse and then, once its dry outside, take the mats out, hose them down, let them dry and put em back in. To learn more about the BMW WeatherTech FloorLiners and CargoLiner, click the video below and dont forget to subscribe to our channel:

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    All the Inauguration Day Design Stories You Need to Know – Architectural Digest - January 22, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    After what will go down as one of the most contentious presidential transitions in American history, January 20, 2021, marks the start of President Joe Bidens term. While theres been plenty of focus on both the outgoing presidents departure and the Biden administrations agenda for its first 100 days, there are plenty of design components to Americas grandest political tradition worth taking note offrom cleaning the countrys most famous residence to projects marking the historic occasion.

    A Brief Interregnum and the Bidens Moving Plans

    Protocol dictates that a new presidents personal effects cant be loaded into the White House until after he is officially sworn in. As during other inaugurations, that means that a 90-person moving team will remove the last of the Trump administrations possessions and load in the Biden familys belongings, some of which have been waiting in a Maryland storage facility, in a matter of just five hours.

    A compressed transition period, an abandonment of certain transitionary traditions, and the realities of a pandemic have made matters even more challenging for the incoming first family. As The New York Times reports, the Bidens didnt have the chance to meet the White Houses residence staff and prepare for their arrival, missing out on an opportunity to plan out life at their new home. Though the briefer transition timeline and lack of logistical coordination pose definite challenges, theres hope that the Bidens familiarity with the White House could make the move at least a little easier.

    No Decorator? No Problem!

    The Times also notes that the Bidens have no current plans to consult an interior decorator to help them bring the new administrations White Houses aesthetics to life. However, the White House curators will help the first family avail themselves of the executive mansions permanent collection of furniture if they so choose, sharing information about inventory and White House room layouts with the Bidens.

    The West Wing Gets a Deep Clean

    With last year proving that the president and various others in the West Wing arent magically immune from COVID-19, wiping the slate clean between presidents will feature an unprecedented level of deep cleaning throughout all 55,000 square feet of the White House.

    In a statement shared with ABC News, the Government Services Administration says it will thoroughly clean and disinfect the building spaces between the administrations and ensure that everything is up to standard, including all furniture and flooring, not to mention any conceivable surface that could bear a trace of the coronavirus. Government contracts indicate that $127,249 is earmarked for 2021 Inaugural Cleaning, with an additional $200,000-plus allocated for an uptick in janitorial and housekeeping work at the White House.

    A Big Budget for Carpet and Curtains

    In addition to that unprecedented spending on hygiene, it sounds as if the WhiteHouses carpeting is going to get cleaned up and made over. ABC News cites a $115,000 government contract to correct the current floor condition for West and East Wing offices, plus the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, by installing new carpeting. Thats on top of a reported $44,000 earmarked for Inauguration Carpet Cleaning, and another $29,523 for curtain cleaning. Though that number might seem astronomical out of context, it tracks with a $42,000 carpet cleaning contract from January 2017, two weeks before Trumps inauguration.

    Joe May Not Be Riding His Peloton to D.C.

    Like the rest of us, Joe Biden has had to get creative with his exercise routine amid the pandemic. But some worry that Bidens Peloton spin classes could pose a national security threat. If he wants to bring his Peloton with him (and who wouldnt?), it might require some modification to meet cybersecurity standards. That would likely mean removing the camera and microphone, as well as keeping the bike away from sensitive areas where important government business takes place. If hes the kind of guy who pedals and talks to people, that could be problematic, former deputy NSA director Richard Ledgett Jr. told the Times.

    The Inaugural Gift of Crystal

    Though Biden will no doubt receive congratulations and presents from various heads of state in the days and weeks ahead, the first official gift marking their time in office will come from much closer to home for the former Delaware senator. As it has since the inauguration of George H.W. Bush, Lenox Corporation will present an inaugural gift of crystal for the incoming president and vice president. Both gifts are the work of Pennsylvania craftsman Peter ORourke, who used archival illustrations to create 17-inch crystal vases depicting the White House (for Biden) and the Capitol (for Harris) over a working period of five months.

    Corning Glass Museum Celebrates a Shattered Glass Ceiling

    Once she takes the oath of office, Kamala Harris will go down in history as Americas first female vice president. To commemorate the occasion, the Corning Museum of Glass released a congratulatory video that features the shattering of a (literal) glass ceiling, only for the pieces to be swept up and transformed into something else. May that positive transformation be a sign of things to come.

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    All the Inauguration Day Design Stories You Need to Know - Architectural Digest

    Watching Minari, I Saw My Immigrant Experience On The Screen For The First Time – WBEZ - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    When our family arrived in the United States in 1989, we quickly discovered the magic of yard sales and alley finds. At yard sales, we bought housewares for a quarter a piece, a 1970s couch for $40, an armful of toys and stuffed animals for a buck. In back alleys, we found free mismatched dining chairs and mid-century modern telephone tables now very much back in vogue, I hear.

    At the time, we were living in a roach-friendly apartment complex in Annandale, Virginia, a hub in the Washington, D.C. area for many lower-income immigrants during the 1990s. It was poorly-lit and cramped, but it was a place to make our own after a two-month stay at the home of a Korean woman who hosted new immigrants. One day, my father came home with a 10-by-15 piece of carpeting from an alley nearby. At that time, we thought it was a rug, but now I realize it was a scrap piece of leftover carpet the kind a stingy landlord might install in a slipshod rental-unit renovation.

    My dad wanted to wash his new alley find, but he didnt know about carpet cleaning services nor could he afford it. So our entire family my parents, brother, grandmother and I headed down to a nearby creek with the rolled-up carpet. I cannot trace my fathers reasoning for washing the carpet in that creek; I imagine that very act probably contaminated the scrap even more. In any case, on that summer day in 1989, our family washed the carpet along the bank of the creek. I was 9 years old, and I still remember the feeling of the cool stream around my ankles.

    This was a memory buried deep in my mind, likely suppressed by the same shame that kept me from inviting friends to our apartment or taking the food we ate at home to school for lunch: Poor is bad, different is bad both notions so egregiously false I wish I could travel back in time to tell my child self that these are lies, to tell her to hold her head high.

    The memory of my family by the creek from our hardcore years, as my brother and I jokingly refer to them bubbled to the surface as the closing scene of Minari faded to black and the credits rolled after a virtual screening I attended in November. The new film based on the childhood memories of Korean American director Lee Isaac Chung and starring Korean American actor and Second City alum Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead, Okja, Burning) has been garnering praise and generating awards buzz. It was even the subject of some controversy recently, when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association rejected the film from entering the Golden Globes Best Picture race because it was predominantly in Korean.

    Minari has been described as a story about a Korean American immigrant family a concept so specific and loaded for me that as soon as I hit play on the trailer a few months ago, I began to tear up. My instinct then was to claim the film right away: This one is about, and for, Korean-American immigrants and their children. This one is almost better than Parasite. That one was a South Korean film, and I was so proud when it swept awards season, but this one this one is about my parents and my brother and my grandmother and me in the United States of America. This one is ours.

    Thats what a lack of representation does: It makes you rabidly proud and irrationally possessive of something that finally reflects you.

    Chung, the filmmaker, has said his intent was to make a film for everyone. During a Q&A after the virtual screening, he said, We just didnt want this film to be something that people compartmentalize as being, this is an immigrant story about this directors parents. It felt like it needed to go to that register of creating more of a human story that could work on a universal level.

    The film does that, I think. But the way it conjured up memories of my own familys early years in the U.S. painful, hilarious, harrowing, bizarre ones tells me there is a specific power, a particular magic, in seeing an authentic reflection of something approximating ones own experience, especially for people of color. As entertained and moved as I have been by countless films and TV shows throughout my life, none in recent memory has evoked so much stuff, for lack of a better word, as this film has.

    The way Yeuns character, the patriarch, would raise his voice or sit alone, stewing in his white, sleeveless undershirt, reminded me of my own father and the fear he sometimes invoked in my brother and me. As children, we didnt understand his perpetual anger and anxiety. Now I recognize them as byproducts of what I call immigrant life stresses finding jobs only to lose them months later, not being able to understand the language of the world around him, scrambling to make rent each month, trying to maintain ties with relatives back in the motherland, daily losing his grip on the elusive American dream.

    Of all the imagery in Minari, though, the most powerful, for me, was the way the character of Monica, the wife and mom played by South Korean actress Han Ye-ri, wiped her tears during her arguments with Yeuns character. She always wiped them swiftly, with dignity, as if they were a waste of time. Thats how my mother cried when she argued with my father over, well, immigrant life stresses. In South Korea, she was a brilliant, spunky social worker who helped orphans. Here in the States, she worked in a Kmart stockroom, a dry cleaners, a shoe-repair shop and a convenience store. This year, she was forced into retirement at age 70. The law firm where she worked as a conference-room aide setting up lunch and coffee for attorneys half her age, cleaning up after their meetings laid her off when work-from-home became a semi-permanent policy during the pandemic.

    In the Minari Q&A, Chung said he started off his career thinking that I wanted to make films that arent about my life. But after making this film, he acknowledged that it felt precious to have something that I can show to my family both to my parents, in which they feel like they were seen and heard, and then also to my daughter, something I can leave behind to her, that she can see where we come from.

    Beyond being a gift to Chungs loved ones, Minari, for me, is a reminder that we need more, not fewer, stories like this today more movies, more books, more poems. To help us understand one another beyond stereotypes and caricatures, to find common ground, to make many feel seen for the first time and embolden them to tell their stories.

    Seeing ones own life, culture, and perhaps more importantly, their economic class, mirrored in a film is not a common experience for many immigrants and more broadly, for people of color. Recently, Hollywood has held up films like Crazy Rich Asians and Always Be My Maybe as examples of Asian-American representation. But they still portray a life that does not reflect mine beyond the color of our skin. Minari, which features a leaky mobile home and a cursed farm for much of its running time, is a truer reflection of the precarious struggle of my family and many others like us.

    All my life, Ive watched characters like Kevin McAllister in Home Alone, Kelly Kapowski on Saved By the Bell (the original series, not the 2020 remix), the well-coiffed 20-somethings on Friends. They were entertaining enough, but difficult to relate to. Frankly, meaningful representation wasnt something I even knew to expect. But more than three decades since that summer day by the creek, I am thrilled to finally see a film that represents my family and me. It joins a growing canon of thoughtful films about the immigrant experience.

    It allows me to say: This one is about us. This one is ours.

    Esther Yoon-Ji Kang is a reporter for WBEZs Race, Class and Communities desk and WBEZs Education desk. Follow her on Twitter @estheryjkang.

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    Lyric welcomes the new year with new stage – The Miami Times - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Performance venues across the country are anxiously awaiting a post-pandemic environment when they can throw open their doors to waiting crowds and hear the sweet sound of thunderous applause.

    The Lyric Theater in historic Overtown is no exception, and its operators are more than ready with a restored theater auditorium and brand-new stage. All it needs is the green light from public health officials to reopen.

    Shortly after theaters were forced to shutter in March, rotting stage floor boards at the Lyric led to the discovery of a termite infestation. Thats when the decision was made to quickly eradicate the pests, demolish and rebuild the stage, and undergo a full blown auditorium renovation during this unplanned intermission.

    What awaits the public in 2021 is a historic space restored to the opulence and grandeur of the original 1913 playhouse. The Lyric Theater is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the last remaining original structure from Miamis segregation-era Harlem of the South.

    Geder Walker, the Black businessman who built the Lyric Theater, was a well-traveled man, and when he decided to construct this building in Miamis Colored Town, he did so with the beautiful and grand opera houses and theaters from Europe in mind, said Timothy A. Barber, Lyrics executive director.

    Over the years the theater has seen many different iterations, but the current interior more closely resembles the magnificence of the original space, hailed by a 1915 newspaper as the most beautiful and costly playhouse owned by colored people in all of the Southland, said Barber.

    The $120,000 restoration was made possible with funding from the Southeast Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency, Miami-Dade County through the office of then chairwoman Audrey Edmonson and volunteers from the Overtown community.

    Besides the complete rebuilding of its 2,600-square-foot stage, theater enhancements include interior painting in the auditorium and historic lobby; custom woodwork in the theater on the proscenium, walls and doors; new built-in stairs for the stage; carpet installation; custom door painting; and bespoke fixtures installed on doors. Local residents were hired for demolition. Vendors who worked on this labor of love include Ronys Fine Carpentry, Nutting Engineers, National Concrete Polishing, Alliance Fabrication, Tito Miller and Jerry Mack. The entire project was designed and overseen by Barber himself.

    Timothy A. Barber, executive director of the Historic Lyric Theater and Black Archives, unveiling the theaters renovated auditorium and stage in November 2020.

    Front and center on the stage foundation is the face of a lion, which is the logo of The Black Archives, History and Research Foundation of South Florida, which acquired the Lyric Theater in 1988. The lion comes from the African proverb, Until the lion tells the story, tales of the hunt will glorify the hunter. The foundation believes the proverb is the essence of the archives, whose mission is to collect, preserve and disseminate Miamis Black history from 1896 to present, and tell its untold stories and ensure that history is preserved for future generations.

    Inside the restored Lyric Theater facing the balcony.

    Built in 1913, the Lyric Theater quickly became a major entertainment center for Black Americans in Miami. The 400-seat theater was built, owned and operated by Walker, an enterprising Georgian who came to Miami prior to 1900. The theater anchored the district known as Little Broadway, an area alive with hotels, restaurants and nightclubs frequented by Black and white tourists and residents. It served the community as a movie and vaudeville theater for almost 50 years, and was a symbol of Black economic influence free of discrimination and a source of pride and culture within Overtown.

    An image of the Lyric Theater in its segregation-era heyday is displayed on the wall of the theaters original lobby.

    A view of Lyrics new 2,600-square-foot stage, recently rebuilt after a termite infestation.

    After his death in 1919, Walkers wife, Henrietta, continued to operate the Lyric, which was also used as a community auditorium. School children and civic groups performed on its stage and special events such as commencement ceremonies were held there. Visiting luminaries like Mary McLeod Bethune, Ethel Waters and the Fisk Jubilee Singers lectured and sang at the venue.

    The Lyric continued to operate as a movie theater until 1959, when it became a church of the General Assembly of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith. When Overtown began to deteriorate in the 1960s the Lyric closed and would remain shuttered for decades.

    Phase one of restoration of the former showplace began in 1989. In 2000, after extensive rehabilitation and funding from the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the newly restored Lyric Theater opened once again.

    This is the first time in 20 years that the theater has been closed to audiences, but it is persevering through the generosity of its funders.

    As a Black-owned nonprofit organization, we are not strangers to funding difficulties and the stretching of resources. The Black Archives has always had to be extra vigilant about obtaining and safeguarding our coffers. Thankfully, we were able to practice good stewardship over our resources, said Barber.

    The Black Archives has had to pivot from public in-person events to virtual activities due to the coronavirus pandemic, like many cultural institutions throughout the nation. It has been presenting thoughtfully curated online programming for the last 10 months, from live Black history trivia shows and childrens storytime, to panels on race, religion and social justice. The date for the next fully public event is tentatively slated for February 2021.

    Because the Lyric does not host its own theater company and has typically served as a performance venue for others, developing original programming is a new enterprise that entails careful planning under current conditions that makes economic sense.

    While we are still watching the developments with COVID-19 and the current surge, we are hopeful that at the top of 2021, we will be able to bring back in-person activities. Things will be different than before, taking into account safety measures and social distancing, but we are looking forward to returning with signature programming like our amateur night showcase, Lyric Live, Barber said. We know that people are really craving live entertainment and we hope to bring it back to Overtown in a safe and well-thought-out way.

    Miami anxiously awaits that day.

    An old photograph of when the Lyric Theater fell into disrepair in the 1960s while being used as a church.

    Officially renamed The Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater Cultural Arts Complex, the venue is now the oldest legitimate theater in Miami. Adjacent to the citys central downtown business district, it is an anchor site of the Historic Overtown Folklife Village. Just as in Overtowns glory days during the early part of the 20th century, the theater is poised to once again become, in the 21st century, a symbol of Black economic influence, as well as a social gathering place and a source of pride and culture.

    The Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida is a photographic and manuscript archival research repository dedicated to documenting the history of people of the African Diaspora in Miami-Dade County. Founded in 1977 by Dorothy Jenkins Fields, it has became one to the largest repositories for the history of Black Americans in Miami. The nonprofit organization is housed at the Lyric complex.

    An exterior view of the present day Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater Cultural Arts Complex.

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    Lyric welcomes the new year with new stage - The Miami Times

    RIVERVIEW’S PHYSICAL THERAPY TEAM OFFERS FALL PREVENTION TIPS, SERVICES – kroxam.com - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    With the addition of snow and ice under our feet, the fear of falling heightens for many. However, Mother Nature is not the only culprit when it comes to falls. Many falls happen in the home, where you may think you are most safe.

    Fortunately, there are ways to make your home a safer place with a few easy adjustments, according to RiverView Healths Coordinator of Physical Therapy Lindsey Ebertowski, DPT.

    Before the snow even fell, we were seeing a higher number of falls taking place throughout the community, Ebertowski shared. I think its due to the lack of exercise with more people being homebound and getting deconditioned.

    RiverViews Physical Therapy Team can help with any mobility issues you or a loved one might be experiencing.

    There are actions you can take today, and as you age, to help keep you safe and independent tomorrow, she stated. Make a plan today. Stay independent tomorrow.

    Ebertowski suggests the following:

    Check the floors in each room in your home and reduce tripping hazards:

    Check the kitchen:

    Check the bedrooms:

    Check inside and outside stairs and steps:

    Check the bathrooms:

    Falls are also more likely when wearing inappropriate footwear, such as flip-flops that dont cover the heel. Wear safe shoes that fit well, have a firm heel to provide stability, and have a textured sole to prevent slipping.

    Falls and a fear of falling can diminish your ability to lead a full and independent life, Ebertowski stated. Although one in every four older adults falls each year, falling is not a part of normal aging. You have the power to reduce your risk of falls.

    Ebertowski and RiverViews Physical Therapy Team are movement experts who improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. If you worry about falls, have had a fall, or have experienced a loss of balance, talk to your primary care provider about having a physical therapy evaluation. For more information, call RiverViews Rehab Services at 218.281.9463.

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    RIVERVIEW'S PHYSICAL THERAPY TEAM OFFERS FALL PREVENTION TIPS, SERVICES - kroxam.com

    Two sides of the health care coin | Rocketminer | wyomingnews.com – Wyoming Tribune - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Talk about a stark contrast ...

    Couple weeks ago, I got down on the floor to play with my granddaughter.

    For years Ive been wearing knee pads whenever a task involved getting down on my hands and knees. Some prior surgery, and 60 years of wear and tear made it necessary. Going without felt like kneeling on a Lego block.

    When I asked my doctor about it years ago, he said he couldnt recommend ever getting down on your hands and knees. Physical therapists smile when I tell them what the doc said.

    How about the guys who install carpets for a living, I thought.

    But this was something new. It was a really sharp pain in my right knee, like someone heating up an ice pick and stabbing it in right below the kneecap.

    Just what I need, I thought as I struggled to get back up from the floor from playing with my granddaughter, another trip to the orthopedic surgeon.

    But I figured a guy cant go through life without getting down on the floor with grandkids and Labrador retrievers. So I called the clinic where that orthopedic surgeon works. And this is what I posted on Facebook (because, like, we put everything on Facebook these days):

    A sharp pain in my right knee flared up last weekend. On Tuesday I called (the clinic one town over) for an appointment with the doc who fixed my other knee and both shoulders. Hes in (my town) today, the scheduler said. Can you be there at 1:40?

    You betcha.

    So I had my appointment within four hours, my post continued. X-rays were taken, and I had my diagnosis of bursitis by mid afternoon. Then I was able to get right in to see the physical therapist Ive gone to in the past. Its now three days later, Ive had two physical therapy sessions, and Im well on my way to recovery.

    This is not a health care system I want to fundamentally change.

    The surgeon I saw who is also the team physician for our university football team fixed my left knee when I tore my quadriceps tendon 11 years ago. Then he fixed rotator cuffs on both my port and starboard shoulders. Great guy.

    I wasnt on Medicare for those surgeries, but I am today. So Im not the most attractive patient with a bum knee. Nevertheless, I got great care.

    So I put all that on Facebook. And I soon got a response from a young mom overseas, who I have known all of her life, who was born in the United States but now has two sons and a daughter in a country that has nationalized health care. This is what she wrote:

    Dave in (my countrys) health care. Pain in knee. Call Dr., appointment in two weeks. Goes to appointment, told to take Paracet. Gets sick leave. Dave calls Dr. again a month later, gets another appointment in two weeks. Goes back in. Gets told to try some rub-on pain killer prescription. Longer sick leave. Dave calls back still in pain. Another two weeks waiting for appointment. Dave insists on X-ray. Dr. agrees just to get him to quiet down. X-ray is scheduled in three months down the road. X-ray Dr. looks and says there is nothing wrong with it. Dave gets sick leave for extended period. Dave is pissed he cant get decent healthcare and is willing to pay more for diagnosis. Dave goes home to Wyoming where he should have never left.

    She added that when her son was 18 months old, he needed to see a dermatologist.

    I called in January to find out his appointment was for November, she wrote.

    I know our health care in the United States isnt perfect. I know how fortunate I am to have such great care available so quickly.

    I just think the folks who are determined to turn our health care over to the government should talk to folks, like this young friend of mine, who are living with it every day.

    Lets not screw up what, at least in my experience, is some pretty wonderful care.

    Dave Simpson has been a newsman for four decades, working as a reporter, editor, publisher and columnist. He lives in Cheyenne. He can be reached at davesimpson145@hotmail.com.

    Continue reading here:
    Two sides of the health care coin | Rocketminer | wyomingnews.com - Wyoming Tribune

    The River: Reflecting on New Year’s days gone by on riverboats and saying a relieved goodbye to 2020 – User-generated content - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The riverboat captain is a storyteller, and Captain Don Sanders will be sharing the stories of his long association with the river from discovery to a way of love and life. This a part of a long and continuing story.

    By Capt. Don SandersSpecial to NKyTribune

    Thank goodness 2020 is three days behind us. The day before the turn of the calendar, I found myself reflecting on New Years days gone by.

    The steamboat cruising season began in Spring lay-up, and once started, lasted until nearly the end of the year sometime around Thanksgiving.

    There were never any Christmas or New Years Eve celebrations aboard the DELTA QUEEN when I was there. Before the end of each year, the crew was laid off and collecting their unemployment checks at least I was. In fact, I looked forward to the break at the end of the year as we had no off-days, vacations, or other forms of time-off. The steamboat cruising season began in Spring lay-up, and once started, lasted until nearly the end of the year sometime around Thanksgiving, usually. The official Logbook of the DELTA QUEEN, 1971, notes:

    Sun. Nov 28. The End of the Trip and the end of the 1971 Season. Most of the crew paid off, and [boat] departed Podras Street Wharf for Avondale Shipyard.

    On Thursday, 25 November 1971, Thanksgiving had no annotation in the Log commemorating the holiday. If there was a special celebratory meal served on the Main Deck for the passengers in the Orleans Room dining area, the festivity failed to spread below to the Crews Mess. Later crews may tell a different story when the DELTA QUEEN ran later into the year.

    However, holidays aboard the Casino Boats of the late 1990s and early to mid-2000s were a different tune. On the five gambling boats I commanded, the DIAMOND LADY, EMERALD LADY, PLAYERS, GRAND VICTORIA I, and the GRAND VICTORIA II, holidays were special times of celebration as they were when most people were off work and available to patronize the vessels. Of my five casino boats, I remember the GRAND VICTORIA II the best, where 16 years of my life were invested in that lovely stern paddlewheeler.

    I remember the GRAND VICTORIA II the best, where 16 years of my life were invested in that lovely stern paddlewheeler.

    From Christmas Eve through New Years Day, the GRAND VIC II, or GVII, on the Middle Ohio River, Mile 506 at Rising Sun, Indiana, and across the river from Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, was one of the busiest and most lucrative times of the year. Onboard the boat, inside the spacious shoreside pavilion, and around the grounds and roadways belonging to the property, all took on a holiday air thanks to the vessel and shoreside crews working diligently under the marine departments command with the Captains and the Marine Director in charge.

    During that special week, employee and crew vacations and requests for days off for the holidays were denied. Every hand available was necessary for the rush of anticipated patrons flocking to the lure of the gaily, although gaudy, decorations.

    On Christmas Day, the casino closed from 3 a.m. until noon giving most of the employees, except for the on-duty mariners required to be aboard the GVII according to the vessels Certificate of Inspection, some holiday time at home with their families. By noon, though, a crowd stood waiting beyond the turnstiles for the gates to the boarding ramp to open. Unless a rare emergency arose, such as exceptionally high water on the Ohio River rising to such a level to flood the roads leading to the property, Christmas morning was the only time gaming closed during the year.

    An outside contractor came aboard specializing in installing inflated balloons inside a huge net suspended from the overhead atop the vast open space above the escalators.

    Of all the holidays, New Years Eve was the grandest and most celebrated on the GRAND VIC II. While gaming continued after the Christmas Day rush, an outside contractor came aboard specializing in installing inflated balloons inside a huge net suspended from the overhead atop the vast open space above the escalators. A pull line attached to the nets bottom was the trigger that released the balloons with a hard yank. Once the net and contents were in place a few days before the beginning of the upcoming year, the rope had to be secured and guarded until the countdown reached zero when a hardy tug unleashed the balloons onto the revelers heralding in the coming year below. Tensions remained high for several days before the big night lest some prankster pulled the cord prematurely, thereby jeopardizing the captain-in-charges employment security.

    New Years Eve aboard the GRAND VICTORIA II was a super-gala event. Instead of just one group of celebrants aboard the vessel, the evening was divided into three separate cruises.

    Each had their time aboard the boat, and after the lesser sub-groups had their turn, the primary party-goers crowded aboard for the countdown to midnight. Everyone dressed their best, and my costume was the full-dress uniform with a shiny, silk bowtie and the ornate high-pressure Captains Cap.

    My costume was the full-dress uniform with a shiny, silk bowtie and the ornate high-pressure Captains Cap.

    Everyone from the General Manager to all the company directors was aboard. The pilothouse became the hub of activity where a TV, tuned to the balls drop in Times Square in New York City, coordinated the drop of the festive balloons inside the vessel beneath the Captains quarters.

    During the hours before the anticipated stroke of the clock announcing the approaching new year, the pilothouse hosted various department heads who needed the assurance that everything was in readiness for the anticipated drop of the inflated rubber bladders hanging high above the opening beneath the roof to the carpet of the Main Deck, some five stories below.

    The visitors most welcome in the wheelhouse were Tom Sanders, Director of Marine Operations, and Arland Boyd, Director of Security. Except for the General Managers occasional appearance, the other big shots were accorded their ranks courtesy. Still, they were regarded as no more than curious interlopers in the delicately-tuned operation.

    A quarter of an hour before the countdown, either the Bridge Mate or the Deck Mate took charge of the scene at the net.

    A quarter of an hour before the countdown, either the Bridge Mate or the Deck Mate took charge of the scene at the net and carefully readied the pull cord while the deckhands stood by to clear the, then stopped, escalators of the balloons after the release. Of course, all of the participants co-ordinated the exercise with two-way radios they carried; assigned to Channel 9, the mariners channel.

    With the television tuned to the station carrying the traditional merrymakers in Times Square, the Captain-on-Watch (me on several occasions), watched carefully, and with a hand on the switch controlling the microphone to the public address system throughout the vessel, followed along with the count from New York City:

    FIVE FOUR THREE TWO ONE HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

    That goes for this year, too

    HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2021!!!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2021!!!

    Captain Don Sanders is a river man. He has been a riverboat captain with the Delta Queen Steamboat Company and with Rising Star Casino. He learned to fly an airplane before he learned to drive a machine and became a captain in the USAF. He is an adventurer, a historian, and a storyteller. Now, he is a columnist for the NKyTribune and will share his stories of growing up in Covington and his stories of the river. Hang on for the ride the river never looked so good.

    View post:
    The River: Reflecting on New Year's days gone by on riverboats and saying a relieved goodbye to 2020 - User-generated content

    Grove City in 2021: Focus is on planning, not just for this year but for next 20-plus – ThisWeek Community News - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Alan Froman|ThisWeek group

    For many people, the primary focus for 2020 was to just get through the trying year of the COVID-19 pandemic, an economicdowntown, social unrest and a contentious presidential election, making it a year they'll likely always remember but want to forget.

    Meanwhile, Grove City officials are entering 2021 with a focus on planning for the next 20 years and beyond, Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage said.

    "We're usually in a constant state of long-range planning," he said. "We've survived the pandemicyear quite well as a community financially and in the impact on our economy."

    The city was helped by being one of the most diversified in central Ohio, offering a mix of housing and jobopportunities anda blend of businesses, he said.

    "That diversity is shown in the mix of housing and job opportunities we have," Stage said. "It's the blend of all the industries we have in Grove City, from high tech to logistics and lots of thingsin between."

    No amount of planning could have prepared the city for something as unexpected as the pandemic, however, council president Christine Houk said.

    Both the council and the administration were dedicated to providing support that residents and businesses needed, she said.

    "That was on the front burner for the nation and for our community," Houk said."We will continue on that front, but I can't really make a crystal-ball projection" regarding what form that support will take in 2021.

    The pandemic did force the city to reprioritize its 2020 plans and delayed progress on a number of projects that should get started or ramp up over the next 12 months, Stage said.

    That includes the Columbus Street extension that will serve to connect Grove City's Town Center with the new Beulah Park Living development.

    "We hope to start construction before the end of January, and it will be a four- or five-month project," Stage said.

    The Columbus Street project originally was expected to get underway in 2020, but the pandemic and the process of the city negotiating with the owners of 18 properties affected by the planned expansion to buy a portion or all of their parcels lead to pushing the starting date back, Stage said.

    The city also expects to take the first steps toward developing the 30-acre park that will be in the middle of the Beulah Park development area, he said.

    It's still to be determined the entire slate of amenities for the new park, but during 2021, "our goal is to make it begin to look like a park," Stage said.

    The initial work will include completing additional grading, placing a path around the perimeter of the park and planting trees, he said.

    An amphitheater is planned as a centerpiece, but a timeline for development of one still is being finalized, Stage said.

    The city has applied for $1 million from the state's capital budget to help fund the $3.5 million amphitheater project, he said.

    Beulah Park is one of three public recreational-space projects the city has preliminary concepts for,but details still must be worked out,Houk said.

    The other planned projects are the redevelopment of the old Grove City Public Library parcel on Park Street and an adjacent city-owned parcel into a park site and the creation of a new in the Pinnacle development.

    "All three of them are in the concept form right now, but we have not yet committed to what the amenities are going to be in those parks," Houk said.

    The decisions regarding the parks at Beulah and the old library site will be shaped in part by the recommendations in the Town Center conceptual framework, which is expected to be adopted this year, she said.

    "Both the City Council and the planning commission were presented with a draft version of the framework in 2019, and we're expecting to receive the document in its final form early in the new year," Houk said.

    The framework will help provide guidelines to develop a vision for the new parks, she said, but 2021 also likely will include an effort to determine cost estimates for potential amenities that could be included at the sites.

    "Those cost estimates will help us determine what we think we can afford and want to do at the parks, what some funding opportunities might be and prioritizing the order in which we want to try to get these projects completed," Houk said.

    Last February, council approved a resolution that Houk and Stage had originated to form a substance-addiction and mental-health action-plan committee for the Grove City community.

    Creating an opioid action plan was one of the goals council had set for 2019, Houk said.

    "The committee is a partnership with ADAMH and a number of local partners in our community," she said. "The first goal was to get a community roundtable discussion organized to include representatives from South-Western City Schools, mental-health clinicians and health-care providers to talk about theissues they are seeing involving addiction and mental health."

    The pandemic's rise made it difficult to get everyone togetherfor the public discussion, but the committee has begun meeting on a regular basis, Houk said.

    "The stress of the pandemic has affected a lot of people's mentalhealth, and some people are copingthrough addiction," she said. "We need an effort like this even more than before."

    The pandemic forced the temporary closure of the city's Evans Senior Center, and the facility remains closed because of concerns about the higher risk of contracting COVID-19 among older adults.

    The closure has allowed the city to complete some planned sprucing up in the building, including upgrading the restrooms, repainting walls and ceilings, making the building more handicapped accessible, installing new carpet and reconfiguring some rooms to provide more space for activities, Stage said.

    Exactly when the Evans Center will be able to reopen is unknown, he said, but when the public is able to return to the center, "they will find a more enhanced facility," he said.

    afroman@thisweeknews.com

    @ThisWeekAfroman

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    Grove City in 2021: Focus is on planning, not just for this year but for next 20-plus - ThisWeek Community News

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