December 24, 2007


Modern airwaves get taste of old-time flair —

Radio play delivers entertainment


 Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Voice actors and sound effects technicians of Scarlett Rat Entertainment perform “It’s a Wonderful Life, The Radio Play”Saturday at Homer’s Center for the Arts. The performance was taped and will be broadcast on WXHC 101.5 FM at 6 p.m. on Christmas Day.

Staff Reporter

HOMER — Anne and Maurice Stoughton recalled the days each sat in their homes, listening to the old-time radio shows.
“When you hear it on the radio, you imagine the action,” said Anne Stoughton, 72.
The Stoughtons were among nearly 150 people who went to experience a taste of those days Saturday at the Homer Center for the Arts, where the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” was recreated in the form of a radio play.
The presentation, by Scarlett Rat Entertainment, was the second radio play at the center, told through a 13-member cast whose members read from scripts, played music and created the sound effects.
“We knew as soon as we finished last year’s performance (“A Christmas Carol”) that we wanted to try to make it a tradition,” said Karen Sager, a member on the board of directors at the center.
The play was recorded and will be broadcast at 6 p.m. Tuesday on WXHC at 101.5 FM.
Jim Green, owner of Dryden-based Scarlett Rat Entertainment, said he has been performing radio plays for four years now.
“I always liked the old-time radio theater. It allows people’s minds to create the image. It’s a fun medium,” he said. “I love this story; it’s a redemption story. It’s about a man who discovers his value as a human being.”
Diane and Link Wheaton heard an advertisement for the play and went because it sounded interesting.
“It’s part of bringing back the past where people used to sit around the radio,” Link Wheaton said.
Dan Hayes, executive director of the Center for the Arts, said the performance cost $2,500, paid for through grants, membership money and ticket sales.
“I just wanted to do something different for the holidays,” Hayes said of the second radio play. “End with something different but still in the holiday mode. And this is just fun.”
The 1930s radio studio format allowed the audience to visualize George Bailey, whose life became hopeless after a series of events. Bailey, who wanted to take his own life, was guided by an angel named Clarence, who brought the joy and meaning of Christmas back into Bailey’s life.
“It definitely fulfilled my expectations,” said Deb Pallozzi, 50, of Ithaca. “I watch the movie so much it’s easy to see it all.”
Sager said she was not sure if younger people would like Saturday’s radio play as much as those who grew up with the medium. Two young brothers proved her wrong.
David and Noah Chase of Freeville listen to radio-play all the time.
“We don’t have any (television) channels,” David, 8, said.
“Our mom listens to radio shows all the time,” Noah, 10 added.
This is the second time the brothers came to the radio play. David said his favorite part was watching the actors make the sound effects, while Noah said he enjoys watching the actors’ expressions as they read the script.
Hayes said next year, the Center for the Arts hopes to host “Miracle on 34th Street.”




Local river flooding concerns subside

Forecast calls for chance of white Christmas and less likelihood for flooding of Tioughnioga River.

Staff Reporter

Higher temperatures and the accompanying rain Saturday night into Sunday have left the area a bit soggy but haven’t completely ruined hopes for a white Christmas.
The city experienced flooding on Route 281 near Wheeler Avenue and on Pendleton Street, at the bottom of the hill near Huntington Street.
East River Road in Truxton was closed due to flooding this morning.
Bob Hudgins, a hydro-meteorological technician at the National Weather Service’s Binghamton office, said the Tioughnioga River was initially expected to crest at about 9.5 feet later this evening. The projection was revised mid-morning to call for the river to stay below flood stage of 8 feet after it was determined that there had been less snow melt runoff than expected.
As of 5 a.m. today, Hudgins said the Tioughnioga was running at 7.5 feet deep.
In Binghamton, Hudgin said there had been a recorded 26.2 inches of snow so far this fall and winter, while the average for this time of year is about 21 inches.
About three-quarters of an inch of rain fell Sunday in the area, Hudgins said. On Saturday, the average temperature was 33 degrees, and the average was 43 degrees on Sunday, “which obviously caused a lot of the snow to melt off,” Hudgins said.
“Once this front passed through last night, the temperatures began to fall and that pretty much stopped the runoff from the snow — the snow stopped melting for a while, at least,” Hudgins said.
The temperature was just below freezing on Main Street in Cortland shortly before 10 a.m. today.
Average wind speeds over the weekend were about 18 mph, but Hudgins said that the National Weather Service measured gusts up to 40 mph.
The forecast for the rest of today is mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers, with a high in the lower 30s. Tonight the low is expected to be in the lower 20s.
Tuesday the Weather Service is calling for partly sunny skies with highs in mid-30s and overnight clear skies with lows in the low 20s.
The high temperatures are expected to be in the lower 40s Wednesday and around 40 on Thursday. There is a chance of snow or rain showers Thursday. The overnight low Wednesday into Thursday is predicted to be in the lower 20s.



Fire department gets $68,700

U.S. Rep. Michael a. Arcuri (D-Utica) announced $68,700 for Locke Fire District One through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.
Details about the grant to the Locke Fire Departmetn were not available this morning.
“I am glad to announce federal funding to help local first responders access new technology and upgrade equipment to best protect our communities,” said Arcuri.
Since taking office in January, Arcuri has announced more than $435,000 in Assistance to Firefighter Grants for emergency first responders in Cayuga County.




Burglaries  investigated

City police are investigating a string of burglaries that took place beginning Wednesday and were reported this weekend in the College Hill area.
Police said at least four vacant student residences were reported broken into.
Details on the burglaries were not available this morning.
Police are actively pursuing leads and ask that anyone with information contact them at (607) 753-3001.