Insight: Latest in Syria / Natomas Levees / New Jerusalem / Gatsby Ballet
Monday, January 14, 2013
UC Davis professors discuss the latest developments in Syria. New legislation to protect from flooding in the Natomas Basin. A play based on the excommunication of Spinoza from the Jewish community. The Great Gatsby brought to life through ballet.
Latest in Syria - On Friday, January 11, Syrian rebels seized the largest helicopter base in Taftanaz, located north of the country, a key facility in the government's escalating air war that the rebels had beent rying to take for months. This recent development allows rebels to create something closer to real "liberated" territory, a goal that has eluded them until now and what is bringing Syrians to sing "My Taftanaz, the martyrs of God, our country is winning." We check in with Keith and Heghnar Watenpaugh, two UC Davis professors who can provide insight to what these recent developments mean for the Syrian people. Also, see the unsually cold weather the Middle East is currently experiencing.
Natomas Levees - Flood protection has been a top priority going into the new year particularly in the Natomas area, as the Natomas Basin is surrounded by 42 miles of levees and vulnerability to flood waters. On the first day of the 113th Congress, Congresswoman Doris Matsui has reintroduced key pieces of legislation that would authorize the Natomas Levee Improvement Project (NLIP). According to Matsui, the Sacramento region is "the most at risk urban area to river flooding in the nation" and the project is critical to protecting thousands of Sacramento residents and billions of dollars of property and infrastructure. Today we're joined by District 3 Councilman Steve Cohn and Natomas Buzz editor Brandy Boyd to discuss this significant yet not-well-known issue.
New Jerusalem - The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza is a play based on true events about Baruch de Spinoza, a philosopher whose progressive theories of divinity threaten to destroy an entire community. As history tells it, Spinoza was vilified for his philosophy of needing a secular government, and was exiled from Amsterdam and from the Jewish people for what it implied--that man could discern what is right and wrong without God's assistance. As dramatized in the play, Spinoza struggles for not only his own liberty, but with the most personal questions of philosophy, faith and government that we continue to wrestle with today. Shannon Mahoney, New Jerusalem director, and two of the play's actors join us. The play opened at Big Idea Theatre on January 10 and continues through February 9.
Gatsby Ballet - "Suddenly one of the gypsies, in trembling opal, seizes a cocktail out of the air, dumps it down for courage and, moving her hands like Frisco, dances out alone on the canvas platform. A momentary hush; the party has begun." - F. Scott Fitzgerald. And so the tumultuous, whirling parties of Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby are brought to life through (ballet) dance in Ron Cunningham's first new ballet in five years. We'll be speaking with Ron and Carinne Cunningham, both artistic directors at the Sacramento Ballet, and daughter Alex Cunningham, who will be playing Gatsby's leading lady, Daisy Buchanan. The ballet will be running at the Community Center Theatre from Feburary 7-10.