As per the request of one of the DanceNet readers, here are copies of the past ramblings of the DanceNet Webmaster.
During the week, I was lucky enough to attend Jenny Thomas's Intro to Tap class. I wish someone would bring this champion tap dancer from England to this area just for tap workshops. The class was certainly beyond "beginner"; I wouldn't have been able to follow it if I was just a beginner, but everyone there was already an experienced dancer so we were able to learn a short routine in the alloted hour.
At 3:15 am on the last night of dancing, I had to drive home and I was wide awake. I had a lot more dancing to do and I wasn't even tired. As it was, it took an hour of talking to people before I could actually leave the building, particularly since I wouldn't see some of those people again for another year (particularly the wonderful follower from England).
Next year, I'll have to seriously look at doing the whole week. There's a certain comraderie that you can only get if you take classes with these people. Just showing up for the dance isn't going to cut it. I was told that someone was assembling a list of the "beginner/yellow track" students for a mailing list or message group so they could all stay in touch. However, the event was enough for me to meet some fine dancers and we all looked forward to seeing each other a year from now.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
I highly recommend it.
One thing that brought them to mind is that I was in their Foxboro store on Route 140 the other day and I casually asked them if they knew where to recycle batteries (which *are* considered hazardous waste!). They told me that they (that store) collects batteries and ships them off to be recycled elsewhere and they accept other brands of batteries, too.
Well, even my local town has no clue as to how batteries could be disposed of, even as they tell us *not* to dump batteries in the trash. I suggest each and everyone of you go down to your nearest Radio Shack® store and ask them if they have a battery recycle process and if they do, bring in all your old batteries there and dispose of them properly. And then (this is important), consider giving them your business whenever possible so they can see the value of being a good corporate neighbor and continue to keep battery chemicals out of our town waste.
And nothing happened. If it weren't my car, it would have been funny. Actually, it was hilarious. The look on the mechanic's face was priceless as he knew we were watching him. It was worth the extra hour of wait time as the shop manager came over with a voltage meter to confirm that the "new" battery was indeed dead as a doorknob.
So, besides learning how to diagnose the difference between a dead battery and a bad alternator or starter, I learned that you should test the thing you're fixing *before* you put all the pieces back together.
Correction on last week's note about recycling old batteries. The guy at the store told me that they only recycled *rechargeable* batteries, and that normal alkaline and lithium batteries can be tossed in the trash. I'm still not sure about just throwing batteries into the trash in general but that's what I heard. If anyone else has any information, please let me know.
I got a note this week from someone asking me to write an editorial asking all my readers to write into the City of Cambridge to support the continued availability of the Mount Auburn VFW on Huron Avenue for the many dance venues that host public dances.
I must admit that my first reaction was "...wasn't this the person who once said to me that he and his friends had no use for this website...?", but I suppose that this is neither here nor there.
I'm sure many of you have heard that the Mount Auburn VFW has been sold or will have been sold to the City of Cambridge for use by a variety of city services. The location is used currently being used by three or four (or more) promoters who hold weekly dances that are open to the public.
I thought about some of the dance venues in that building and whether or not I wanted to do anything here.
One of the promoters is an organization that holds dances and offers lessons and workshops with outside teachers, in fact, doing everything like a dance studio but under a not-for-profit charter. I think they directly compete with people who have rent or mortgages to pay for, but with different tax rules. In the past, this has caused a lot of needless tension in that community between the amateur and professional dancers, though things have been quiet recently after a change in management.
The other is a popular public dance run by someone who is...well, let's just say he's not going to be the next Mother Theresa. This person has made it a habit of poorly treating other dance professionals in the dance community for as long as I've known him (14 years now) and came pretty close to forcing me to completely quit dancing back in 1993 (meaning this website almost never happened). I've seen an often-repeated pattern of bad behavior and apologizing that any normal person would not repeat more than once and I see no change in the forseeable future.
But, I suppose, the typical dance customer really doesn't care. They aren't interested in dance politics nor are they really interested in my opinions of the people who hold those dances. They do care about losing a popular dance venue (well, we'll have to see if that's so).
The Mount Auburn VFW, at 688 Huron Avenue in Cambridge, has been a local popular social dance location for many years. While the location has a bar, most attendees enjoy the venue because they're not under any pressure to keep the venue open by buying alcoholic drinks. They're there to dance and that's all they have to pay for.
It would be nice if the City of Cambridge could see the value of leaving the VFW (guess it'd have to be called something else soon) as it is: a place for people to gather and have a good time without doing anything illegal or dangerous. I would think that anything that would keep people (especially young people) inside and off the streets would be seen in a good light. I have a hard time seeing that the City's proposed activities at this location could co-exist peacefully with social dancing, but stanger things have happened. One would think that the loss of the VFW for social dancing would be a net loss for the city and surrounding areas, even with the addition of other social services.
One person who's trying to start a write-in campaign suggested that you write to the following through email (does email really have the same effect as a written letter?):
We've recently lost the Brookline Community Center for the Arts and now we're about to lose another dance location. While I do not have a high opinion of some of the groups using that location, the loss of the VFW for *all* dancing can't be good. I suggest that each of you consider writing in to the various officials and ask them to reconsider.
The absolute final word, from someone who's probably smarter than me, on the issue of getting rid of used batteries:
"...we did a big OSHA training last year at work and alkaline batteries qualified as a hazardous material that needed to be disposed of by sending them to a recycling facility. That's at Harvard, though -- I don't know if the same standards would apply elsewhere."And just so you know, I noticed the local Best Buy store had a bin that accepted rechargeable batteries.