Walking Papers

“They shook my hand and said, `Merry Christmas, we’ll try to call you back – no promises; no guarantees. Turn in your uniform. See ya.’ It was that cold,” said Bart Sexton, retelling the events after a local United Parcel Service Christmas party last year.

A recently discharged Navy veteran of the

 The alarm is silent. Your wallet is empty. Such is the life of someone who’s been laid off.

By DAVID SPEAKMAN 

“They shook my hand and said, `Merry Christmas, we’ll try to call you back – no promises; no guarantees. Turn in your uniform. See ya.’ It was that cold,” said Bart Sexton, retelling the events after a local United Parcel Service Christmas party last year.

A recently discharged Navy veteran of the Panama invasion and the Gulf War, Sexton said he had been hired at UPS in October 1995. Although startling, his quick holiday-time dismissal was expected – and common. Sexton joined a select group of workers that many industries depend on – seasonal help. These workers, many in the 18- to 30-year-old range, usually are hired in October and become an important part of the corporate team.

When the holidays are over, and things slow down a bit, though, these “migrant workers” of the ’90s are dismissed. The good ones sometimes are called back when future jobs open. But not always.

Sexton knew at the time of hire “the possibility of layoff was an almost certainty.” But that didn’t make him feel any better.

Twentysomethings are bombarded by a series of firsts. First car, first permanent full-time job and, unfortunately, first pink slips.

Young adults are particularly vulnerable to unemployment, according to Gary Gatman, planning director for JobWorks, a northeast Indiana private sector employment and workforce development service based in Fort Wayne.

“Younger workers and part-time workers – usually mothers in two-income households – are among the hardest hit,” Gatman said.

Making matters worse, he said January through March is the most difficult time for the unemployed to find work. In general, the economy tends to slow down during this time period.

Although about the same number of unemployed are processed through JobWorks each month – about 30 in Allen County – Gatman said the program had a 60 percent job placement success rate in December but only a 17 percent success rate for January.

Although both Sears Roebuck & Co. and GTE have announced the possibility of reduction-in-force layoffs, a U.S. Postal Service mail processing center opened last year in Fort Wayne and soon is expected to hire another batch of part- and full-time workers.

Older workers sometimes fear that twentysomethings, who are traditionally paid less than their older counterparts, are a threat to their job security. Gatman said that wasn’t necessarily the case.

“Lower wages (for twentysomethings) is an advantage of sorts,” he said, “but that is offset by less experience. Employers want a proven work and attendance record. Settling for lower wages is not a major benefit.”

Dealing with first-time unemployment can be a scary thing, but it usually isn’t the end of the world. Tim Williams, a 25-year-old former sales administrator at The Essex Group in Fort Wayne, has been dealing with unemployment since he lost his job a year ago.

“First, you look at finances and see what you’re going to be able to pay,” Williams said. “I got rid of my new car, gave up my apartment and scanned the classifieds.”

Then there’s 29-year-old Julia Kirchhausen, who was with the Buffalo, N.Y., Philharmonic from January 1993 to July 1994. During her tenure, she was laid off – twice.

“They sent us registered letters at home,” said Kirchhausen, who has since moved up in the orchestral world and is now the marketing director of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. “It was very short and photocopied and not personalized at all. It was devastating, even though we knew it was going to happen.

“We knew what the cash flow situation was, and we knew that there wasn’t any,” she continued. “We went on unemployment, which is a humbling experience, because here you are a supposedly professional person who has been to college and done all the right things and has worked hard and worked well.”

And because bills can’t be paid without money, a possible source of funds is unemployment checks from the local Indiana Workforce Development office.

Although some frown on the use of public assistance, Sexton explained: “If you’ve worked, you’ve paid your dues. I don’t plan on living off the system for my entire life. Unemployment claims are a part of a job like medical and dental benefits.”

DEALING WITH DEBT

  • Claiming unemployment
    Why: If you’ve worked at least three months, these checks could keep you from starving or moving back with the parents.
    Where: Indiana Department of Workforce Development, 5821 S. Anthony Blvd.
    Phone: 447-3575
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
    What to expect: It’s first come, first served. Show up as early as possible. Expect at least two hours of waiting in line, answering a computer questionnaire and waiting to speak to a counselor. The counselor will schedule an appointment for a mandatory 90-minute course. Because of paperwork and red tape, benefits will be delayed at least one week from your application. Bring your social security or green card.
    What you get: Providing you have worked long enough to qualify and your past employer doesn’t deny benefits, you can expect to get between $50 and $217 each week for a maximum of 26 weeks in a one-year period – depending on your former salary. No taxes are taken out. You are required to sign a weekly form that lists at least one company where you are trying to get hired.
  • Food Stamps
    Why: Unemployment checks can’t cover all the bills – especially if you have children.
    Where: Allen County Division of Family and Children (formerly Welfare), 4820 New Haven Ave.
    Phone: 458-6200
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
    What to expect: Paperwork galore – especially if you don’t live alone. You can’t buy beer or cigarettes with food stamps. Call before showing up to be sure you bring correct identification and other information to the meetings.
    What you get: Specific dollar amounts depend upon demonstrated need.

WBST Ready to ‘Celebrate’ Mozart’s Death

Over the years, WBST-FM 92.1 has been known to celebrate the birthdays of famous composers. In fact, you might want to tune in a 2 this afternoon to check out Easy to Love, the 2-hour special conclusion to our week-long celebration of Cole Porter’s 100th birthday.

As I was saying, we’ve been celebrating composer’s birthdays for quite come time, and it’s become a little redundant

By DAVID SPEAKMAN
For The Muncie Star 
(Page T-15)

Over the years, WBST-FM 92.1 has been known to celebrate the birthdays of famous composers. In fact, you might want to tune in a 2 this afternoon to check out Easy to Love, the 2-hour special conclusion to our week-long celebration of Cole Porter’s 100th birthday.

As I was saying, we’ve been celebrating composer’s birthdays for quite come time, and it’s become a little redundant. So for a change of pace, we’ve decided to celebrate Mozart’s 200th anniversary. This anniversary does not commemorate his birthday, wedding, or even the publishing of one of his musical pieces. Nope, it might sound a little morbid but we’re celebrating the anniversary of his death.

So, since we had gone morbid and it’s not October and we needed to toss out any Halloween tie-in, how could any self-respecting radio station accomplish such a celebration? If your answer was “WBST’s Contest in Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Mozart’s Death,” then either you are a good guesser or you;re reading our program guide.

All kidding aside, when you tune in at 1 Friday afternoon, you’ll find that we’ve preempted Something Extra for a Mozart special. Yes, we’ll announce the winners of the contest, too.

The special first took formulation in the mind of Steven Turpin, our music director. You see, since we’re a classical music radio station, we literally get tons of promotional material from companies that are trying to hawk their goods to our audience. Most of it is junk, but every so often we finds a gem in the lot.

Steven found one such gem in the form of a book by Emily Anderson entitles, Mozart’s Letters. Steven, who has never been the biggest fan of Mozart, read the book however. Hey, it was free from the company and had neato pictures. But as Steven read the book, a collection of letters written by the composer, he found the letters so incredible and intriguing that it radically changed his feelings toward Mozart as a composer.

Then the idea for the special came to Steven. He thought it would be great to select letters from the book and music from the time period from which they were written. After a few conversations with Nancy Wood, our audience services director, we not only had the special with excerpts and music, but also a contest with free copies of the book and Mozart CDs. Gosh, now you know how our station works.

“The majority of the letters are written to his father,” Wood said.

“In one letter he’s explaining to his father about how fickle marriage is and how he feels that marriage isn’t important. Then a few pages later he is justifying his choice of Constanze Weber as his wife. It gives you a feel for where he was as an artist and what he was doing,” Wood said.

June, Moon, Spoon

The month of June is settling in quite comfortably. And if you’re anything like me, you don’t need a calendar to realize it’s June. I’m reminded by the mailman with his insistent stuffing of my mail box with wedding invitations.

If weddings and wedding music are your cup of tea, you might want to put down that copy of Modern Bride and take the time to tune in to WBST at 7 tonight when Pipedreams presents “Music for Weddings.”

Organists Joyce Jones, Roger Myquist, George Baker and Barbara Harbach join host Michael Barone for a display of a disparate grouping of mostly unusual embellishments for those June nuptials.

Speak the Words

If you do like romance but aren’t too hip on weddings, you might want to try the Sound of Writing at 11:30 this morning with two love stories, The first, “The Twain” by Liza Field, details those fleeting days when boys and girls cease to be buddies and become budding young lovers. This time is wonderfully captured in this chronicle that resonates to the double meaning of the word “cleave.”

Sound of Writing swings from young love to unrequited love with the reading of “What’s New, Love?” by Write Morris. This is the tale of Molly, a waitress, and her secret love for a Hollywood star who has seen better days. Her silent worship’s only demonstration is that of keeping his coffee cup full.

It Won’t Hurt

For some people, opera is like sweet nectar to the ear. For others it is not. Thursday morning at 11, Karl Haas’s Adventures in Good Music tries to bridge the gap with “Opera for People Who Don;t Like Opera.” This program contains a sampling of some of the magnificent orchestral parts that are contained in some of the world’s great operas.

Other than that, on Saturday we feature 4 1/2 hours of programming devoted to the operatic feats of the Chicago Lyric. First at 12:30 that afternoon, on The Chicago Lyric Opera, Christoph Gluck’s Alceste will be presented.

This adaptation of Greek mythology is the complete realization of the composer’s ideal to make music and drama a single entity, to endow both with human qualities and arrive at simplicity.

Later at 3:30 Saturday afternoon, The Best Seat in the House offers “Carol Fox an the Chicago Lyric.” Our hosts, John Meadows and Dick Ver Wiebe, recall some of the highlights of the company while under the aegis of its late director.

A Dynamic Duo

Words like “unpredictable,” “impulsive” and “playful” are not adjectives typically used to describe the presentation of classical music on public radio. This might well change at 7 p.m. Tuesday on WBST-FM 92.1, when Bob & Bill premieres as the newest daily addition to Muncie radio.

Bob & Bill – a.k.a. Bob Christiansen and Bill Moorelock – could certainly challenge the way listeners perceive classical

By DAVID SPEAKMAN
For The Muncie Star (Page T-15)

Words like “unpredictable,” “impulsive” and “playful” are not adjectives typically used to describe the presentation of classical music on public radio. This might well change at 7 p.m. Tuesday on WBST-FM 92.1, when Bob & Bill premieres as the newest daily addition to Muncie radio.

Bob & Bill – a.k.a. Bob Christiansen and Bill Moorelock – could certainly challenge the way listeners perceive classical music. Bob & Bill combines passion for the music with reverence and unpretentiousness, musical and cultural history with witty interplay.

Bob and Bill build momentum by revealing connections between selection that have no obvious link. And just when you think you’ve discovered the direction they are taking, they will make an unanticipated veer to the left or to the right.

Only 3 years ago, Bob & Bill debuted on Northwest Public Radio as a local program. WBST is proud to bring to the community this show, which has already won a Corporation for Public Broadcasting Gold Award for Best Music Program and a Public Radio Program Director’s Skim Award.

Two Centuries Later

The year that was 1990 went by rather fast, and the classical music world lost two great composers with the deaths of Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copeland.

1991, on the other hand, marks an important milestone in classical music. It is the 200th anniversary of Mozart’s death.

Performance Today plans to commemorate this event with “The Great Mozart Medley Contest,” which will be conducted throughout 1991 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays.

Host Martin Goldsmith said, “As the emperor said to Mozart in Amadeus, “Too many notes!” The Great Mozart Medley Contest will feature only the very best notes, in a manner we hope will be both entertaining and rewarding for our listeners.”

Once a month, Performance Today will present a “new” Mozart composition assembled from five brief excerpts of well-known Mozart works, and will ask listeners to submit postcards identifying those excerpt in sequence.

One winner a month will be chosen at random from the pool of correct entries, and will receive a volume of CDs from the Philips Records collection of Mozart’s music. Each winner also will receive a Mozart sampler disc and Compactotheque, an exclusive Phillips Classics guide to Mozart and the Mozart year.

The puzzle medley will be broadcast randomly during the first of the year, and all the year’s correct entries, winners ad non-winners will be eligible for the grand prize drawing of the complete 180-disc Mozart collection issues by Philips for the Mozart bicentennial.

The first monthly competition will be introduced on the air on Wednesday. Entries must be received by the close of business Jan. 21, to be eligible for the January prize. The first winner will be announced on Jan. 25. The other monthly contests will follow a similar schedule.

Goldsmith said, “Although I am not eligible, I hope that everyone else will have fun with this. This is not just for the Mozart buff – but for music lovers everywhere.”

Now before we write off 1990 as done and gone, let’s not forget New Year’s Eve. At 8 p.m. Monday, WVST will air and exclusive simulcast with WIPB Channel 49.

Live from Lincoln Center invites viewers to spend New Year’s Eve with the New York Philharmonic, Music Director Zubin Mehta and soprano June Anderson. A New York Philharmonic New Year’s Eve Gala is an appealing program that allows you to tune your TV to WIPB Channel 49 and WBST to enjoy the stereo sound of this musical delight.

Mehta and the Philharmonic will herald in the New Year with a program of works by Verdi, Johann Strauss Jr., von Suppe, and Meyerbeer.

Anderson, a favorite collaborator with the New York Philharmonic’s late Laureate Conductor, Leonard Bernstein, will be featured in selections by Bernstein as well as in arias from Verdi’s La Traviata.

Hugh Downs will host the broadcast, which takes place at the New York Philharmonic’s home, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincolns Center. The intermission feature will include conversations with Mehta and Anderson.

Coming to America

Every year hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants make the perilous trek across the U.S.-Mexican border, risking arrest, detention and the threat of abuse as they seek refuge and a new life in the north.

According to David Davis of Ball State University’s minority development, the immigration will have a radical impact on the structure of American society. He said that by the turn

By DAVID SPEAKMAN
For The Muncie Star, page T-15

Every year hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants make the perilous trek across the U.S.-Mexican border, risking arrest, detention and the threat of abuse as they seek refuge and a new life in the north.

According to David Davis of Ball State University’s minority development, the immigration will have a radical impact on the structure of American society. He said that by the turn of the century English will be the second language of the majority of Californians. Added to that are projections that within the next century white Americans will become the new minority.

This week, WBST will devote a series of special reports to chronicling the flow of those immigrants into the United States, focusing on the effects of the 1986 Immigration Act, which was designed to solve the immigration debate once and for all.

The stories – which coincide with the fourth anniversary of IRCA becoming law – started Saturday and will continue Monday through next Saturday on Morning Edition and Weekend Edition.

At 8 p.,. Saturday, Weekend Edition host Scott Simon takes listeners to the San Diego-Tijuana border, where the largest number of undocumented immigrants cross into North America from Mexico and Central America each day.

“We have wanted to do stories on the border for some time because who can cross and who cannot tells a great deal about how we define America,” Simon said. “By reporting it from the perspective of people who break a fence, dodge trucks, swim through raw sewage and risk assault and robbery from thugs to get here, we saw the relationship between the immigrants and the INS from a different vantage entirely.”

“We witnessed the tensions firsthand, and found there are no easy solutions to the border issue.” said Mandalit del Barco, who produced the Weekend Edition reports. “We kept hearing about how ironic it is that while the walls come tumbling down all over Europe, they’re being built up more and more between the U.S. and Mexico.

At 6 a.m. Monday, Morning Edition host Bob Edwards will begin to examine the ramifications of the passage of IRCA.

  • MONDAY – When IRCA was enacted 4 years ago, 3 million immigrants became eligible for amnesty. In this first Morning Edition piece, NPR reporter Celeste Wesson reports on where those people are today and what their new found legal status has meant to them.
  • TUESDAY – NPR’s Katie Davis reports from Mexico on “The push factor,” the economic conditions in Mexico that force many Central and South Americans across the border in search of better wages and living conditions in the north.
  • WEDNESDAY – NPR’s Isabel Alegria reports from San Francisco on whether or not IRCA has created a deep underclass of those still-undocumented immigrants who have fallen through America’s safety net.
  • THURSDAY – Celeste Wesson reports on how U.S. businesses have been effected by IRCA, which for the first time made it illegal for employers to knowingly hire undocumented workers.
  • Friday – NPR’s Paz Chohen interviews lawmakers, proponents and opponents of expanded immigration, in a report from the nation’s capital on the failure direction of U.S. immigration policy.

“Some have benefited from legalization,” said Wesson of IRCA ramifications, “but, for example, among farm workers legalization hasn’t translated into better working conditions and higher wages.” Wesson visits a north San Diego camp where farm workers – many of whom are documented – live in the woods, in shacks made of plastic scraps.

Wesson says that when the law was passed, employers geared up to face sudden employee shortages and the need to pay a lot more for workers.

Celebrating Copland

Wednesday is Aaron Copland Day at WBST. In honor of his 90th birthday, a special tribute is being paid to one of America’s most beloved composers.

Starting at 1 p.m. on A Copland Celebration: A Keyboard Tribute, pianist Claudia Stevens of the College of William and Mary in Virginia performs a program of piano works by and in tribute to Copland.

The concert also features the works of Virgil Thompson, Leonard Bernstein, David Diamond, Richard Bales, Sheila Silver and Claudia Stevens.

A Copland Celebration: A Concert Band Tribute continues the Copland extravaganza with the united States Coast Guard Band, which will perform original Copland works and transcriptions for band.

Scheduled highlights include a performance of A Lincoln Portrait narrated by Walter Cronkite and Emblems, Copland’s only pure band work.

Adventures in Good Music with Karl Haas adds to the tribute at 7 p.m. A Tribute to Aaron Copland underlines why the composer is considered the dean of American Music.

The birthday bash reaches its climax at 8 p.m. with A Concert in Celebration of Aaron Copland’s 90th Birthday. This is a live broadcast of Minnesota’s Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

The Orchestra, under the direction of Peter Bay, will perform Copland’s Music for the Theatre, Quiet Cry, Three Latin American Sketches and Appalachian Spring.

David Speakman is a communications intern for WBST.