Award winning Tomlin to discuss theatre at SMC

first_imgEmmy and Tony award winning actress Lily Tomlin will speak on Saint Mary’s campus Monday in O’Laughlin Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. “An Evening with Lily Tomlin” will be hosted by the theater department’s Margaret Hill endowed lecture series, which has brought figures such as actress Glenn Close and director Hal Prince to campus in previous years. As part of Tomlin’s visit, she will teach a class before the lecture on Monday. Students in the theater class, which is closed to the public, will present what they have worked on with Tomlin and she will provide feedback, as well as share her own professional knowledge with them. “If you had a formula, that would be great, but you don’t exactly,” Tomlin said. “If by being [in the class] and exchanging my own experiences and whatever knowledge I’ve gleaned over all these years and have a real exchange with the students, hopefully I’ll learn something.” Tomlin was born in Detroit, Mich. She said she started performing on the back porch of her home for her parents. Tomlin talked about growing up in an apartment that had characters who inspired her to imitate them and put on shows for her families, or anyone who would watch. “Over time, it’s like you develop a kind of fascination with it — a love and feeling for all these different types of humans,” she said. Originally, Tomlin attended Wayne State University to study medicine, but was attracted to her elective courses in theater instead because she wanted to express herself. “I always wanted to express something — and that has to be part of something all actors want to do — it’s expressing something about the human condition or other human beings,” Tomlin said. Tomlin started her career in coffeehouses and cafes in New York, and since has had countless roles in television, film and stage. Just a few of her projects include “Laugh-In,” “The Lily Tomlin Show” and “Murphy Brown,” on television, onstage she performed in “Appearing Nitely” and “The Search” and was featured in the films “Big Business,” “I Heart Huckabees” and “A Prairie Home Companion.” Tomlin’s own experiences vary widely, but theater is her favorite medium. “[Theater is] the thing I like most because I like the immediacy,” she said. “I’m glad I have the chance to do a little bit of anything.” Tomlin is known for her comedy, but the actress has played dramatic roles as well. “I didn’t really see an incredible difference between [comedy and drama,]” Tomlin said. “It is all similar things, a continuum. You lean one way or the other. It’s the capacity of every human to be as dramatic or comedic, as sad or as funny at any moment.” Throughout her career, Tomlin worked with other actors such as Bette Midler, Steve Martin, Glenn Close, Martin Short and several more. She said some of her favorite moments are particular scenes that stand out to her. One example she gave was a scene in director Robert Altman’s movie “Short Cuts” when the actress playing her daughter hands her a plastic bag with goldfish. “There is some tiny moment, that maybe it doesn’t even register for the audience. There is just a moment there and it just rings so true for me that I just love it,” Tomlin said. Tomlin said acting should give people a way to come together. “I think in some way it just elevates you as a human, and somehow you hope that that familiarity with other people sort of validates all of us,” Tomlin said. “If we all find the same things moving or funny, then there is a huge connection there.” For acting students, Tomlin said she had “homely advice” that she said may have stemmed from her own upbringing and the generation she grew up in. “That could be a factor of the time I came up in, if you had any kind of awareness or consciousness, the last thing you wanted to do was do something for money,” Tomlin said. “You wanted to do something for excellence or to make a contribution — to be a real artist.”last_img read more

ND biology professors collaborate on malaria

first_img “It would take me about 2 1/2 hours to tell you malaria’s lifecycle,” Ferdig said. What makes malaria a unique parasite is that both humans and mosquitoes carry it. Biology professor Dr. Nora Besansky researches the African mosquitoes that carry human malignant malaria. Her current research examines evolutionary changes of the mosquito Anopheles Gambiae. One of the cutting edge research projects that is unique to Notre Dame is the genomic mapping of both the malaria parasite and the mosquito vector. While the human genome has already been mapped, the genomic research going on at Notre Dame is highly specialized and important to understanding infectious disease in general. Currently, there are multiple faculty members researching malaria and the mosquito vector that carries it. Together, with other researchers and scientists at Notre Dame, these biologists have been able to comprehensively look at the cause, the mosquito vector and the effect of malaria. Notre Dame’s research on malaria is a “web of interaction,” involving multidisciplinary research and collaboration, biology professor Dr. Michael Ferdig said. Besansky said when a mosquito bites a human, the parasite first enters from the bite and then travels to the liver. After it leaves the liver, the parasite attacks the red blood cells. The red blood cells than burst and the parasite can re-enter the blood stream or attack another part of the body.center_img There are four types of malaria and while all cause harm, only one, malignant malaria, is always fatal, Besansky said. What makes malaria different than other vector-carried diseases is the complex life cycle of the parasite. “Malaria is a parasitic disease that is characteristic of poorer parts of the world, especially the tropics,” Besansky said. “The mosquito can transmit the parasite to a human, but if the mosquito bites again, it can take the parasite back into its system in the blood meal,” Besansky said. Ferdig focuses on the vector, studying the parasite itself. His research looks at the malaria parasite and its resistance to drugs. “Once we know all the genes of the vector, the parasite and the human and know how they interact, we can understand how drugs would work to stop the parasite,” Ferdig said. “This is why the genome stuff is so powerful. If you can break the cycle somewhere in the malaria life cycle, you can end the disease.”last_img read more

Veteran Huddle employee dies

first_imgHelen Hiatt, a 46-year veteran employee of the Huddle in LaFortune Student Center, died at the age of 92 on July 26 in her Elkhart home, according to a University press release.Students knew Hiatt as “the mother of the Huddle,” since she began working for the store in 1967 and continued until 2013, the press release stated. Despite her official retirement in 1986, Hiatt took on the part-time duties of restocking the dining area with condiments, utensils and napkins every day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.Scherry Roberts, operations manager of the Huddle, remembered Hiatt’s spirit and enthusiasm.Hiatt was “a wonderful, feisty lady and a great worker. She was loved by all of us and will be greatly missed,” he said in the press release.Memorial contributions may be made to the Diabetes Association of St. Joseph County, United Health Services, 6910 S. Main St., Granger, IN 46530.Tags: Helen Hiatt, Huddlelast_img read more

Rowing team hosts annual Erg-A-Thon

first_imgThe Notre Dame rowing team will host its fourth-annual Erg-A-Thon on Friday afternoon, as the team works to raise money for pancreatic cancer research.“We started [the Erg-A-Thon] four years ago because a couple girls on our team had parents or relatives affected by pancreatic cancer,” senior Christine McGough said. “It’s a pretty serious cancer. It’s one of the most deadly cancers of the most common ones.”Last year’s Erg-A-Thon raised over $9,500 dollars for the Harper Cancer Research Institute, according to senior and co-chair of Erg-A-Thon Vicky Ryan.“We donate the money to undergraduate research over there, so it’s going right back to the school,” Ryan said.At the event, there will be a line of “ergs” set up, which are the rowing machines used by the team to train during South Bend’s winter months, Ryan said. For a small donation of $3, a person can choose to row or have one of the girls on the team row for them in races against friends or other distinguished Notre Dame persons.“We’ve had races where different athletes will come and race,” McGough said. “Our manager came and raced us last year … We had a couple professors come out and race last year. It’s a fun event.”McGough even admitted that last year, the team manager raced against and actually beat her.“It’s a sprint at the Erg-A-Thon though,” McGough said. “Sprinting isn’t my thing.”In addition to the rowing, there will be a raffle with various Notre Dame prize packages, she said.“There’s going to be women’s basketball game and men’s basketball game tickets and signed ball packages,” McGough said. “There will also be a Brian Kelly signed football with field passes to the Stanford game, and naming rights to one of our boats.”New this year is the added dimension of a quad competition, McGough said. Whichever quad of dorms races the farthest will be given a few points towards the Hall Cup, since the rowing team does not have an actual home meet. There will also be t-shirts available that the rowing team designed specifically for the event.“There’s a purple one and a pink one,” McGough said. “But the purple one is the main one, since that is the color of pancreatic cancer [awareness].”Even though rain is in the forecast for Friday afternoon, McGough said she believes the day will still turn out beautifully.“We’ll be there rain or shine,” McGough said. “Everyone else should come out and have a great time. It’ll be lucky. We’ve had four years of good weather, so fingers crossed.”The Erg-A-Thon will be on Fieldhouse Mall, just behind the Lafortune Student Center from 12 to 7 p.m., Friday afternoon.Tags: Erg-a-thon, harper cancer research, rowing teamlast_img read more

Candidates square off in midterm election

first_imgMany Notre Dame students aren’t registered voters in Indiana, so their ballots won’t affect the outcome of the U.S. Congressional elections in the state’s second district. However, since Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s are located in the second district – along with Holy Cross College, Bethel College, Indiana University-South Bend and Ivy Tech Community College – the race between incumbent Republican Jackie Walorski and Democrat Joe Bock will certainly impact the region in which current and future students live.The Observer spoke to Joe Bock on Friday about his stance on issues that are of special interest to students. Walorski’s campaign did not respond to requests for an interview over the past week.Walorski, a South Bend native, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 and currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee, Veterans’ Affairs Committee and Budget Committee, according to her campaign website.Bock said his disappointment with the current “dysfunctional government” is one of the main reasons he’s running.“I just can’t believe how dysfunctional our government is,” he said. “And frankly, there are certain groups of Republicans who are so uncooperative that I think they need to be taken out, and that’s why I’m running against Jackie Walorski.”Education in the districtBock said the local colleges and universities are key parts of the northern Indiana economy and he would like to see them leveraged to develop the region economically.“There’s been a lot of focus on high technology here in St. Joseph county, but there’s a lot of manufacturing here as well,” he said. “We need to make sure [these companies] are positioned to expand.“Certainly, on the high-technology side, the universities have a huge role to play in terms of faculty members patenting their discoveries and then turning those into companies. That’s the whole idea of course, with Innovation Park and Ignition Park in downtown South Bend. We’re going to get more accustomed to seeing faculty members working with investors and creating companies.”According to an August press release from Walorski’s office, she toured the district to “hear from education officials, community leaders and students about ways to improve opportunities that will prepare northern Indiana students for a globally competitive workforce.”Bock and religionBock is a faculty member of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health and an international humanitarian aid worker. According to his campaign website, he holds a PhD from American University and served in the Missouri legislature for six years, and he said he has worked at Notre Dame for eight years.He is also a parishioner at St. Therese of the Little Flower Catholic Church in South Bend, and he said his faith is the source of his motivation in the election.“I got involved in international humanitarian work because of my faith; I got involved in politics because of my faith,” Bock said.Bock cited Catholic Social Teaching on the Dignity of the Human Person and the Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers as he described his stance on economic issues.Economic policy“I see a government that is going more and more in the direction of favoring large corporations that have operated on the basis of maximizing profits without much of a moral compass at all, unless the board or the CEO has a moral compass,” Bock said. “There are certainly companies out there who are that way. That’s one of the things that the Notre Dame business school tries to address – business is not just for profit.“And I think we need a government that doesn’t just favor large companies, that also supports small businesses. We need a government that supports workers and provides an environment where people can thrive.”Walorski’s website highlights job creation as a key issue and cites her experience in the Indiana State Legislature as proof of her commitment to it. The website also addresses her views on the national debt and her conclusion that “Washington is broken.”“With our national debt standing at nearly $17 trillion and counting, Jackie firmly believes we must put a stop to runaway spending to protect future generations and sustain a strong economy,” the website states. “Jackie supports a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, a model that worked in the state of Indiana.”Bock said he believes students should have options to refinance their loans much like people who buy homes have options to refinance their mortgage. He said he supports maintaining or expanding the Federal Pell Grant program as well.“The budget that Paul Ryan put forward, the head of the budget committee in the House, actually cuts Pell Grants,” Bock said. “That’s something that Congresswoman Walorski supports. She voted for that budget, and that’s one of the areas where we differ.”Sexual assaultRecently, colleges and universities have entered political conversations as part of ongoing national concern with prevention and response to sexual assault. Bock said he finds the prevalence of sexual assault “astonishing and shocking and despicable” and believes it is appropriate for the federal government to address since it’s a problem nation-wide.“I believe Notre Dame and other universities and colleges are raising awareness among students,” he said. “Certainly, from the standpoint of dealing with it in the criminal justice system, there needs to be ways in which women can speak up without feeling like they are making themselves a spectacle. And I think people are trying to address that in different ways, and I think we need to be open to addressing that issue as well.”Bock said he thinks “it’s appropriate to move forward” with the White House campaign against sexual assault, since it’s an issue “that has been neglected for far too long.”In January 2014, a bill authored by Walorski “to provide protection for whistleblowers of military sexual assault” was signed into law by President Obama, according to her website. According to a South Bend Tribune report, the bill requires an inspector general investigation into “any retaliatory personnel actions taken against victims who reported rape, sexual assault or other sexual misconduct.”Immigration reformNotre Dame announced in fall 2013 that it had adjusted its admissions policies to make it possible for undocumented students to attend. Bock said he understands the frustration of colleges and universities trying to make their policies without federal reform yet.“To me, if you have comprehensive immigration reform, you don’t necessarily need to do a special [policy] … for students,” he said. “Colleges and universities are doing that now … [because] they’re frustrated that there’s no reform yet. But I think as a government, what we need is to focus on having reform and addressing the issue, not just putting out heads in the sand and ignoring it.“The fact that the Speaker of the House (Republican John Boehner) was unable to bring forward an immigration bill is pathetic,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons I’m running.”According to an Aug. 19 report in the South Bend Tribune, local immigration advocates were disappointed with Walorski’s lack of support for House Resolution 15, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act” when they met with her in August. Walorski did not take a position on the broader issue of immigration reform or the path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants during the meeting, the Tribune report stated.“She currently is not saying anything about [immigration reform], except that she’s listening,” executive director of La Casa de Amistad Sam Centellas said in the article. “She’s being a politician; she doesn’t want to show her hand until she sees what happens.”Bock said because illegal immigration to the United States is a civil violation, not a criminal violation, he believes an appropriate response would be a fine.“The idea would be, rather than putting all of our resources into border guards and everything else, we ought to assess a fine on people who come in illegally and we ought to adjust it to the point where it’s a deterrent to come in,” he said. “It needs to be fair to all concerned, including people who have been trying to come in legally … but at the same time, we need to respect the rule of law.”Bock cited Catholic Social Teaching about respecting the dignity of the person as informing his views on immigration reform.Polls close in Indiana at 6 p.m. tonight.Tags: campaign, Congress, Election, House of Representatives, Jackie Walorski, Joe Bocklast_img read more

Man behind ND logo dies

first_imgA memorial service and Mass for Jim T. Butz, class of 1949, who worked in the Notre Dame Stadium press box for decades and was instrumental in the creation of the iconic Fighting Irish leprechaun logo, will take place at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Monday morning.Butz, who died Oct. 12 at the age of 90, will be buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery on campus.Butz was on the sports information department staff for the football team from 1947 to 1949 and returned to Notre Dame every home football game for 31 years to work in the press box as a stringer for United Press, Jim P. Butz, the son of Jim T. Butz, said. In the mid-1960s, the University planned to change its current mascot, an Irish terrier called Clashmore, but Jim P. Butz said his father, who worked at Wilson Sporting Goods at the time, immediately thought of Ted Drake, an illustrator for Wilson.“Dad said, ‘I know exactly the guy you need to be working with,’” Jim P. Butz said. “He called on Ted and said, ‘can you create some symbol for Notre Dame, some example their Irish heritage that they want to exemplify?’ And [the leprechaun] was what Ted came up with.”Jim T. Butz gave Drake’s drawing to the University, and in 1965, the leprechaun became the official mascot, Jim P. Butz said. Drake, who died in 1999, went on to design the logo for the Chicago Bulls.“When you think of how many millions of people know that Fighting Irish logo – the vast majority of the people who are alive never knew the University had a different mascot,” Ric Jarrett, a friend of the Butz family, said. “They see the ND and Fighting Irish logo … That one little tiny aspect of his life has touched a couple hundred million people.”Jim T. Butz was devoted to Notre Dame and a lifelong fan, his son said. A native of Akron, Ohio, Jim T. Butz grew up listening to Irish football on the radio, and after high school he was drafted into World War II. Whenever he could find a typewriter, Jarrett said Butz would write a letter to Notre Dame’s dean of admissions and express his interest in attending the University.“He would tell him he had survived this or survived that and wanted to go to school,” Jarrett said. “He did that the entire time he was gone.”Jim P. Butz said after the war, his father had trouble getting into Notre Dame since all the soldiers who had been drafted while they attended Notre Dame had priority so they could finish their degrees. Jim T. Butz asked some friends to put in good words for him, and he caught the attention of Sports Information Director Charlie Callahan, who brought Butz’s case to then-University President John J. Cavanaugh.“Fr. Cavanaugh called for his file, and all of the letters in the file were neatly typed, nothing handwritten,” Jim P. Butz said. “It was easy to read. Everything was documented. That’s when Cavanaugh said, if Fr. Sorin had not established Notre Dame for students such as this, who did he establish the University for? He asked how many beds they were already short, and he said, ‘We’re going to be short one more.’”Before he even started as a student in 1946, Butz was hired by Callahan as a staff member, and Butz soon became a public-relations writer for athletic director and football coach Frank Leahy. For the three years Butz was a student, the football team never lost a game, and in 1947 the team won one of the four national championships under Leahy’s leadership. For all that time, Butz was “Leahy’s right-hand man; he was the one speaking for him,” Jim P. Butz said.Jim T. Butz married in 1948, had the first of five children and graduated after three years. Afterwards, he moved to a Chicago suburb to raise his family and work for Wilson Sporting Goods’ marketing department. He continued to write, ghostwriting for sports greats such as bowler Joe Wilman and golfer Arnold Palmer, his son said.Eventually Butz settled in the golf industry, running a variety of golf-related companies until he became acting executive director of the Professional Golfers Association (PGA), which took him to Palm Beach, Florida, his son said. He also lived in Los Angeles for a time before retiring in the Chicago area near his family. For the entire time he worked in Chicago, Butz returned to every Notre Dame game in a media capacity, and he was unfailingly courteous to fans of every team.“My dad would make a point of greeting visitors from other schools and welcoming them from Notre Dame,” Jim P. Butz said. “He’d pull them over to our tailgate, wherever he found them.”Throughout his life, Jim T. Butz always remembered when somebody helped him succeed, his son said, whether Callahan, Leahy or a Belgian family. Jim P. Butz said when his father was behind enemy lines during the Battle of the Bulge in WWII, his squad hid for days in the basement of a house in Wye, Belgium. Years later, Jim T. Butz returned to Wye.“He would bring blue jeans. He would bring candy bars to the family whose house they hid out in,” Jim P. Butz said. “He just wanted to thank them for having a house, for having someplace for him to hide. They didn’t really play any material role in his survival, but he just felt that burden of responsibility, that obligation to them. He felt that toward so many people in his lifetime, and he was always trying to repay favors to people who had helped him.”Jarrett said Jim T. Butz’s was devoted to the University for his entire life and several of his children and grandchildren attended Notre Dame or Saint Mary’s.“His family was first; his friends were second,” Jarrett said. “Anything and everything Notre Dame would have been right up there. He loved everything about the University. He loved his time there; he loved supporting the school. Having lived through WWII, in his mind it was … the ideal place to be. He loved it. He loved it in his 20s and he loved it in his 90s.”Jarrett said Butz embodied the qualities of a Notre Dame graduate.“If you were to roll up all the things which as an outsider you’d think of Notre Dame, that’s what he would be,” Jarrett said. “He was a kind man, smart, intelligent. He was a real people person. He got everything done … he lived the real deal.”Tags: Fighting Irish leprechaun logo, Jim T. Butz, logo, Mass, Memorial Servicelast_img read more

ND, SMC students injured in crash

A Notre Dame junior and a Saint Mary’s junior were taken to Memorial Hospital after a car accident on U.S. 12 in Niles, Michigan, on Saturday night.The hospital confirmed both students were still in critical condition Sunday afternoon.The car was heading east on a bridge over the St. Joseph River when the driver lost control and spun across the center line, where it was struck by a westbound car, Michigan State Trooper Jim McGaffigan said.Both students were entrapped in the car with injuries, McGaffigan said. While emergency workers were attempting to extricate the passengers, another eastbound vehicle struck a fire truck protecting the scene, which was pushed into the car with the students still inside it, he said.The students did not sustain any major injuries from the second accident, McGaffigan said.The University declined to comment on the condition of the students due to privacy constraints. However, administrators have remained in contact with the student’s family, University spokesperson Dennis Brown said in an email.“We keep their son and others injured in our prayers,” Brown said.The father of one of the students was driving the car and also taken to the hospital, McGaffigan said.McGaffigan said icy road conditions were likely the cause of both crashes. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.Editor’s note: A previous version of this article said the driver of the car had been released from the hospital Saturday night. The driver was in stable condition, but stayed overnight in the hospital.Tags: car accident, Notre Dame, saint mary’s, students read more

Becca Blais, Sibonay Shewit elected student body president, vice president

first_imgEddie Griesedieck | The Observer Juniors Becca Blais, left, and Sibonay Shewit speak at the student body president debate Monday at Carey Auditorium. Students voted Wednesday, electing Blais the next president and Shewit the next vice president.Judicial Council announced the results of the campaign for student government at 1:50 a.m. Friday in an email sent to the student body. Juniors Becca Blais and Sibonay Shewit will take office for the 2017-2018 term as student body president and vice president April 1.Blais and Shewit were up against one other ticket, juniors Rohit Fonseca and Daniela Narimatsu.“We’re incredibly honored to have this opportunity to serve the student body,” Blais said. “We’re here to listen to every voice and amplify those voices. We would like to commend Rohit, Daniela and [campaign manager Madi Purrenhage] on an incredible campaign. It was an honor to run with friends.” The Election Committee of the Judicial Council announced at 1 a.m. Friday in a press release that the Fonseca-Narimatsu ticket for the student government election was required to forfeit 5 percent of the votes cast for the candidates’ ticket, a reduction from the original 7 percent forfeiture that was announced in a press release Wednesday.According to Friday’s release, Fonseca and Narimatsu were found to be “in violation of Subsection 17.2(e) of the Student Union Constitution” during their campaign.“Receipts for all election materials purchased or donated must be presented to the Election Committee prior to any use of the materials,” the section reads. “All receipts must be accompanied by a list of materials purchased.” According to Wednesday’s press release, Fonseca and Narimatsu purchased Facebook advertising prior to receiving the Election Committee’s approval.Section 17.2(f) of the Student Union Constitution calls for a “forfeiture of candidacy,” rather than a forfeiture of votes.“The Election Committee voted to remove Subsection 17.2(f) from the allegation result ‘in light of the senate’s decision’ per Subsection 13.5(j),” Friday’s release read.The 5 percent sanction was inconsequential, as Blais and Shewit’s 2,435 votes accounted for 52.89 percent of valid (non-abstention) votes prior to the sanction and 54.17 percent of counted votes following the sanction.Fonseca and Narimatsu’s initial 2,169 votes accounted for 47.11 percent of valid votes; following the sanctions, the ticket received 2,060 eligible votes, or 45.83 percent of the post-sanction total counted.There were 4,846 votes cast, with 242 abstentions — meaning the Blais-Shewit won a narrow majority of all votes cast — for a turnout rate of 58 percent.“We’re just very thankful to our team for standing by us — every student that shared their ideas with us,” Shewit said. “[Blais] and I are very, very excited to carry on the idea of revamping student government and making it student first.”The results were originally scheduled to be released to the campaigns at midnight Wednesday, however the appeal process delayed the release.When Blais and Shewit take office in April, they will become just the second female president-vice president pairing.The Observer reached out to Purrenhage for comment on behalf of the Fonseca-Narimatsu campaign, but had not received a response by the time of publication.Tags: Judicial Council, student body president elections, Student government electionslast_img read more

Jamestown Extends Its State Of Emergency Declaration

first_imgStock Image.JAMESTOWN – The City of Jamestown will be extending its State of Emergency declaration for another 30 days starting tomorrow at 9 a.m.During this time City Hall remains closed to the public, officials said. Public garages will be closed and there will be no downtown parking enforcement as well.Playgrounds and basketball courts also remain closed. Monthly alternate parking regulations are still in effect, report officials. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),Another 30 days? Goodbye businesses that were hanging on by the skin of their teeth, which is just about the whole downtown area!!,I agree we need to open businesses. We have so few cases in this area. If we all have to wear masks then we do . We are not NY Citylast_img read more

Jamestown Tarp Skunks GM Says He Will Not Renew His 2021 Contract

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) WNY News Now File Image.JAMESTOWN – The General Manager of the Jamestown Tarp Skunks has chosen not to renew his contract as General Manager of the ballclub for the 2021 season.GM Frank Fanning says he plans to fulfill his July 1 Memorandum of Understanding with the team and is not aware of any new job postings at this time.Earlier this year the team postponed their 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic concerns.Fanning released the following statement to local media Wednesday afternoon: “I enjoyed meeting a lot of people in Jamestown, there were some great times.” Fanning said. “I’m proud of the splash that the Tarp Skunks made. I so appreciate the renewed fan interest in baseball; every day I was here I had the fans in mind – especially the children and families.”“Baseball is sometimes a season by season sport for players, as we all know; and sometimes it is season by season for members of the front office as well. Even when there’s no season. For the most part, I was signed for one year to turn the franchise around, and I made good on my promise. The current global climate plays a factor into my decision too, it’s time for me to return home.”“On January 22nd, over 3 million people saw the name “Jamestown NY” and “Chautauqua County” hit their newsfeeds when the team relaunched the brand at Jamestown Community College. #SkunkJunk merchandise has outsold the last five total years of the prior grape logo, and many more millions of impressions have been made since the relaunch. Excitement has been generated with everything from merchandise specials, to a fundraiser for the St. Susan’s Center.”“We made Politico. That says it all. A collegiate team just crushing it. We had so many local businesses like Ecklof Bakery who got so excited about the brand – Chad just went to another level! Plus, the folks at Forte making an Oreo-skunk drink. We had fans sending in pictures of themselves wearing their #SkunkJunk. We’ve got great sponsors in PA and western New York who believed what I was talking about. It’s an easy sell when you and the client are both passionate about revitalizing Jamestown baseball and bringing it to another level.”“The ‘Tarp Skunks’ brand is a gift to Jamestown. It is so baseball-universal, and the groundwork is laid for the management group to continue to do something special with it. It requires serious work and attention to sustain. I remember late nights in the office, 2 or 3 in the morning, drawing the uniforms and caps and researching popular MiLB designs for apparel, preparing huge orders of merchandise. I remember meeting with Brandiose in San Diego to shoot ideas around, and working with Randy at the Jock Shop weeks before release to put together a wide-ranging first line of items. Some of this experience was really fun and exciting,” says Fanning.“There were obviously challenges, but I always felt like I could overcome anything. Now, it’s up to the Board of Directors to maintain that momentum and continue the positive trend, the goal was to give Jamestown something it never had before. Here it is. I wish them luck.”“I cannot leave without thanking some of the wonderful people I met: Randy Anderson at the CSHOF was helping with prospecting right from the start; Mayor Eddie Sundquist – a breath of fresh air to Jamestown, he had my back the whole time; my Assistant, Kyle Hammond, worked tirelessly at his first ever sports job and is a huge part of the success; Greg Peterson was always there for me too. George Sisson at JCC always provided a great dose of reality in all of our meetings. Randy Marsh and the guys at the Jock Shop are co-builders of this brand. And of course, the golden era is still represented through the knowledge, trustworthiness, and integrity of Russ Diethrick AKA Mr. Baseball.”last_img read more