Emeritus Faculty Association #111 November 2005
Friday, November 4, Javits Seminar Room, Melville Library E2340, 10.30 am.
After our customary informal half-hour over coffee, fruit, and pastries, courtesy of the Provost's Office, Gilbert Kalish, Distinguished Professor, Head of Performance Activities, and renowned pianist, will discuss "Music at Stony Brook, from Then to Now," with observations along the way on the fine art of musical collaboration, the status of a performance program in an academic department in a research university, what distinguishes Stony Brook's program from others, the story behind the recruitment of the Emerson Quartet, and the joys and challenges ofÊ performing the work of contemporary composers. Bring your brown bag lunch to continue the conversation after his talk.
Gil Kalish came to Stony Brook in 1969. A native New Yorker and graduate of Columbia College, he studied with Leonard Shure, Julius Hereford, and Isabella Vengarova. For thirty years pianist of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, he was a founding member of the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, promoting new music in the sixties and seventies. From 1969 to 1997, he was on the faculty of the Tanglewood Music Center, serving as its chair from 1985 to 1997. A frequent guest artist with many of the world's most distinguished chamber groups, he is also noted for his duo performances with cellists Timothy Eddy and Joel Krosnick and soprano Dawn Upshaw, and most remarkably, his thirty-year partnership with mezzo-soprano Jan De Gaetani. His 100 recordings range from the classical repertory and twentieth century masterworks to new compositions. In 1995, he received the University of Chicago's Paul Fromm Award for distinguished service to the music of our time, and in 2002 Chamber Music America's Service Award for exceptional conributions to chamber music. For more Gil bio, go here
The meeting of October 10th began with three announcements.
Homer Goldberg noted that the special emeritus room on the 4th floor of the library is now complete except for furnishing;
Caroline Levine urged everyone to make arrangements for getting their flu shots;
and Judy Wishnia advised members to stick with the Empire Plans prescription program rather than the new Medicare option (see note later in this newsletter).
Frances Bonner then spoke of the recent death of Harold Friedman, recalling how he had recruited Harold into the Chemistry Department in1965. Harold had been both a good friend and an ideal colleague. Harold's important contributions to the field of chemistry were widely recognized, and today his graduate students hold positions at prestigious universities throughout the country.
Merton Reichler then introduced the featured speaker, Wolf Schafer. Merton recalled that he had been a student in Schafer's course on the history of tourism where the readings consisted of Mark Twain's books on travel. Schafer talked about his Center for Global History and the series of conferences he is organizing on the subject both at Stony Brook and other venues internationally. More about this can be found here
Beware of drug solicitations!
All retirees should have received a letter from the state stating that our current prescription plan is better than any of the plans offered under Part D of Medicare.This information is correct. Retirees will be inundated with proposals from dozens of private companies offering coverage under part D. They are all considerably more expensive than our plan. Most private plans will cost between $30 and $45 a month with a yearly deductible of $250. In addition, you will have to pay 25% of the cost of the prescription. Given the cost of prescription drugs, 25% is much higher than our current co-pay. If you want to save money, you can use the mail-in plan ($20) as opposed to the local pharmacies ($30) for a three month supply. Of course, the use of generics, if they are available, will save you even more money. Stay healthy!
Don't forget the election November 8!
Although its an off-year election, mostly only for town and county offices, for the first time in ages the election is expected to be close. So its important to get out on the 8th to vote for the candidates of your choice.
This year we will still be using the old mechanical voting machines. The Help America Vote Act requires new machines to be installed in time for the election a year from now, else federal funding will be forfeited. One factor that has delayed the changeover was a preference in the state administration for an electronic machine manufactured by Sequoia Voting Systems, one of the leading manufacturers of electronic voting systems purchased in the United States. Public access to the company's vote-counting software is prohibited by trade secret laws, and most computer scientists consider this type of machine insecure. Nevertheless until recently none of this seemed to deter our officials. Then Sequoia was purchased by Smartmatic of Venezuela. Suddenly there seems to be a problem. This month, (October 14), CEO Antonio Mujica was refused entry into the US and his visa revoked. Click here for Venezuelan news which may have escaped your native media.
The Government Accounting office has also recently (21 Oct) issued a report critical of current voting machines and practices. The full 94 page report is available in PDF format at
Or for a good short summary click here