The Franks, and No More Jazz


Centro bus company has gotten a bazillion dollars of the taxpayers’ money to build the Hub–an unpleasant new bus center erected downtown that preempted the Red Cross blood collection station.  And how is Centro serving those taxpayers?

Well, it for darn sure isn’t taking them to the Jazz Festival at Jamesville Beach.

For many years, Centro has run shuttles to the Jazz Fest when it was being held at Onondaga Community College (OCC).  This year it’s been moved out to Jamesville Beach and Centro’s not going there.

As with OCC, the Jamesville location is approached by a simple two-lane road and today and tomorrow that road is going to be backed up and blocked with ten zillion private vehicles because Centro won’t run a shuttle.  So if you’re sitting in your car somewhere down the line while Kenny G is playing, don’t blame Kenny.

You should blame either Frank Kobliski, executive director of Centro, or Frank Malfitano, producer of Jazz Fest.  And don’t try to talk to them about the situation.  The newspaper doesn’t list any phone number for Jazz Fest, and the web site has no “contact us” button.  Frank Malfitano doesn’t want to know if you have any problems or need any information about Jazz Fest.  And Frank Kobliski?

Let me tell you about Frank Kobliski.  One of his pet sayings has always been that his door is open and any of his employees can come in and talk to him any time.  Kobliski literally meant that his office door was open and his employees could walk in.  (Not the general public, of course.  All the downstairs doors are locked so nobody can get in.)

But Kobliski didn’t really want all those employees talking to him so what he did was have his office renovated.  Now, the door is still technically open but inside the door is an L-shaped partition that blocks his desk from view.   If you can’t see him then you won’t go into his office, and now you can’t see him.  Mission accomplished:  hide.

There’s no way to contact either Frank Malfitano or Frank Kobliski to ask them why there’s no shuttle running to the Jazz Fest this year.  And without a shuttle, there is no Call-a-Bus paratransit, and without paratransit people with disabilities can’t go to the Jazz Fest at all.  This is probably a violation of federal law, i.e., the Americans with Disabilities Act.  You can bet I’ll find out.

Meanwhile, this will be the first year that I can’t go to the Jazz Fest.

I cry.

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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2 Responses to The Franks, and No More Jazz

  1. Kate says:

    Frank Malfitano
    info@syracusejazzfest.com
    (315) 437-5627 / (315) 635-8045
    Syracuse Jazz Fest Productions, Inc.
    Suite Two, 314 North Avenue
    Syracuse, NY 13206
    http://www.syracusejazzfest.com

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