Meet Mark

Mark has written a Newspaper Article addressing the Nano-tech Center and brain drain forces in each of the outlined scenarios.

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So Frustrated!

Author:  Nikki

Forces/Drivers:  Growing Arts District

Scenario C

Journal Entry

Dear Diary,                                                        October 5, 2015

I am so frustrated with the path that the city of Utica has surrendered to. A few years back, the economy and the city was booming and the arts were truly flourishing, and now it is the complete opposite. The city has been overcome by its weaknesses and threats, and there is a continuous loss of jobs and economic downturn.

My biggest disappointment in the Utica is the loss of, what use to be, its “growing arts district”. We have lost many of the city’s venues that promoted music and arts due to lack of revenue floating around. The Munson William’s Proctor Institute for the arts has closed down, which means no more art classes for kids and adults, no more music concerts, and no more historic art museum. The F.X. Matt Brewery has stopped their weekly “Saranac Thursdays” because people could not afford to come out and listen to music.  This was another huge loss for the city because “Saranac Thursdays” used to be a way to get older and younger people out of the house to listen to local and professional musicians perform while socializing. Perhaps the biggest loss for the arts is the “Music and Arts” Festival which highlighted all local musicians and artists. This was a 4 day event that took place all around the city, promoting the arts.

As a music teacher in the area, it is terribly sad to see that students have no way of expressing themselves, or showing off their talents outside of school. I have noticed that the quality of my band program has diminished over the years because students are not able to purchase, repair, or take private lessons on their instruments to enhance their talents. More and more I am seeing that my students know that music is not as important to society because what are they going to do with music after school?

It worries me that with businesses closing, younger people moving out of the city, and the city possibly on the verge of bankruptcy that crime will soar. We have already lost the arts in the area, how much more can we bear to lose?

See you tomorrow.

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Just Another Day in Utica

Author:  Nikki

Forces/Drivers:  Growing Arts District

Scenario B

Dear Diary,                                                        October 5, 2009

It seems as though everyday is just another day here in Utica. Nothing has really changed here in the last year and everything just seems like each weekend is becoming a routine. The city seems to have made a few small changes and it appears as though Utica is not heading in any sort of direction.

I was really hoping that the arts would start to take over and become more prominent in the community, but I was wrong. Almost every weekend I try and go to a coffee shop, bar or restaurant to listen to live music somewhere around the city, but it seems as though I just keep finding the same local talent no matter where I go. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of local talent, however, it would be nice to see different genres and talents. A few of the local bands have even stopped performing, or only perform on rare occasion because performing does not “put food on the table” and does not “put money in their wallet”.

With the city losing some local businesses and the younger population not settling or staying in Utica, there is not much revenue circulating. I would love to see the city bring in some famous acts to come and perform, but I do not think that the city is generating enough revenue for that. Even the F.X. Matt Brewery has cut down its weekly “Saranac Thursdays” do bi-monthly because people, old and young, stopped attending.

Being a music teacher, it is sad to see that students and younger musicians are losing out on opportunities to express themselves and show off their talents outside of their stresses of everyday life and school. I find that my students truly excel at the arts because it is not math, science, English, etc… The arts are 100% about them!

I really hope that the economy and Utica figure out a way to re-stimulate the economy so that the arts do not fade away.

See you tomorrow!

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An Amazing Year for the Arts

Author:  Nikki

Forces/Drivers:  Growing Arts District

Scenario A

Journal Entry

Dear Diary,                                                         October 5, 2012

This has been an amazing year for the arts district in Utica. The arts have truly flourished in this area and I love being a musician and music teacher more than ever! The city of Utica has really taken advantage of its strengths and opportunities, resulting in economic growth and prosperity in the community.

The streets, bars, coffee shops, and restaurants in West Utica are busy and filled with people of all ages listening to live music and art from both famous and local people. Each week, while the F.X. Matt Brewery hosts their weekly “Saranac Thursday,” I had the opportunity to listen to some local and famous bands, and it only costs me $5 to get in! I am thoroughly impressed with how the area is growing and how people actually want to come to the area and be a part of what is going on, instead of running away from the city the way people have been up to last year.

The growing arts district has progressed so much that there is no longer a separation between music and art; Munson Williams Proctor Institute is now hosting music concerts in their facility, the Utica Music Festival has both music and arts lined up on the streets for people to see and hear.

As a professional musician and music teacher, it is so wonderful to see that the arts are becoming an outlet for people. They are providing a break away from everyday stresses of work and life, providing younger people and outlet of “things to do” on the weekend, it is keeping people out of trouble and off of the streets for crime, and it is rejuvenating the economy because people are going out of their houses. Not to mention that this is an incredible way to showcase all of our local talent in the area.

It makes me feel like music and art are no longer “just something to do” in the area and that people are excited about going out now and like spending the money to support the talent and society.

See you tomorrow!

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Meet Nikki

Nikki has written three Journal Entries addressing the growing arts district driver in each of the outlined scenarios.

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Cost of Healthcare Too Much for Utica to Handle

Author:  Alicia

Forces/Drivers:  Hospital Merger, Brain Drain

Scenario C

Letter to the Editor

When it was announced that talks had begun for a possible merger between St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center (SEMC) and Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare (FSLHC), many people had their reservations. As a Registered Nurse at FSLHC, I myself was skeptical.

After years of talking, planning and implementation of the merger, the decision to close the St. Elizabeth’s campus still comes to a shock to most area residents. SEMC has been a landmark on Genesee St for decades and has served hundreds of thousands of people.

The reasons for closing the campus are stated as both financial and quality; financially it is just more cost effective to offer all services in one location, and the institution claims that this will provide a better quality of care to area residents.

But what about the quality of life of all the employees that will now be with out a job? FSLHC may take on some of the employees as transfers, but many will have to go out of the area to find work. The same pattern of jobs leaving and residents leaving continues. It is with great sadness that this area is losing so many jobs, many good, hard working people and a landmark in the community.

I am currently waiting to hear about the status of my own position. Though if I make it through this round of lay-offs, there is no guarantee of job security for the next few years. If I do lose my job, my family and I may be forced to leave the area. I have already begun looking for positions in Albany and Syracuse.  Even if we do manage to stay, I fear for the quality of healthcare that will be available in the community. With only one hospital, residents of the area will have no options for healthcare. So many people already seek treatment outside the area for major issues and I fear that trend will only continue to grow.

This hospital merger has brought the loss of hundreds of jobs, the closing of an iconic healthcare campus and the potential for a dramatic decrease in the quality of health services offered to our community. We are already a depressed area can we handle another blow to the economy such as this? I leaves me wondering, what is next for Utica?

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DOH Makes the Right Decision

Author:  Alicia

Forces/Drivers:  Hospital Merger, Brain Drain

Scenario B

Letter to the Editor

When it was announced that talks had begun for a possible merger between St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center (SEMC) and Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare (FSLHC), many people had their reservations. As a Registered Nurse at FSLHC, I myself was skeptical.

The Department of Health has recently turned down the institutions request to combine services and collaborate as one healthcare organization. Their reason for doing so was that there would be too many duplication of services and/or would create a monopoly in the area of healthcare in Utica.

While both hospitals clearly are only concerned with their financial gain and how the merge would affect their bottom line, at least the residents of Utica have the DOH looking out for their best interests. A merger would have given the area residents no choices as to where they receive their healthcare, but would have also resulted in hundreds of layoffs. When large scale layoffs like that occur, many people would have left Utica in search of other jobs. Is that really what we want for our area? More people leaving in search of better jobs and a better life? Let’s hope this idea of a merge between the two healthcare organizations in Utica has been put to rest for good.

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