Historical Archive

BBC People and Places: News and In The News!

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East Otis makes the New York Times - 3/2008

Jim and Andy in California - 8/2008

Alumni Does Good - 1/21/2008

Recent musical exploits of Eric Lesselbaum - 1/21/2007

Bruno Durand - 11/9/2003

Johnny Lordon and Al Sawicki - 5/4/2004

March, 2008 - East Otis makes the New York Times!

To avoid the wrath ofthe New York Times, rather than copy it here, I will insert the link...
New York Times article.
Thanks to the Ronald Mayer and John Ross who sent me the reference.

August, 2008 - Alumni get together...

<Jim Arslanian and Andy Adler>

Andy Adler is on the left and Jim Arslanian is on the right.
(Carlsbad, CA)

January 21, 2008 - Alumni Does Good, Wins Nobel Prize!

October 16, 2007:

I have learned from one of our alumni, Bob Myerson, that his brother, also an alumni of BBC, Roger Myerson, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics. The article from the New York Times follows. "Roger looks pretty much like he did in 1962, just taller and maybe a little less hair."

<Roger Myerson>

Roger Myerson

3 Americans to Share Nobel Prize in Economics

Published: October 15, 2007

The Nobel Prize in economics was awarded today to three Americans for their work in mechanism design theory, a branch of economics that looks at the design of institutions in situations where markets do not work properly. Leonid Hurwicz of the University of Minnesota, Eric S. Maskin of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and Roger B. Myerson of the University of Chicago shared the award for “having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.

Their work addresses situations in which markets work imperfectly, such as when competition is not completely free, consumers are not fully informed or people hold back private information. In such cases — for example, when people refuse to divulge how much they are willing to pay for a good — trade can break down.

Their work also addresses cases where transactions do not take place openly in public markets, but within companies, in private bargaining between individuals or between interest groups.

The prize winners’ groundbreaking work has been pivotal in assessing how institutions perform under such conditions, and in designing the best mechanism to make sure that goals, such as optimal social welfare or maximum private profit, are reached, the academy said. The winners’ work has helped determine whether government regulation may sometimes be necessary.

Mechanism design theory today plays a central role in many areas of economics and parts of political science, the academy said.

"The theory allows us to distinguish situations in which markets work well from those in which they do not," the academy said in a statement. "It has helped economists identify efficient trading mechanisms, regulation schemes and voting procedures."

The three economists will share the prize of 10 million Swedish krona, or $1.56 million.

Last week, former Vice President Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations network of scientists, were awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, for their work on man-made climate change.

Also last week, Doris Lessing, the Persian-born, Rhodesian-raised, and London-residing novelist, won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Mr. Hurwicz, 90, who was born in Moscow, is Regents Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Minnesota. He pioneered the development of the field, and was followed later by Mr. Maskin and Mr. Myerson.

In a conference call with reporters today, Mr. Maskin was quoted by The Associated Press as saying of Mr. Hurwicz: "Many of us had hoped for many years that he would win. He is 90 years old now, and we thought time was running out. It is a tremendous honor to have the opportunity to share the prize with him and with Roger Myerson."

Mr. Maskin, 56, was born in New York City. He has been the Albert O. Hirschman Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton since 2000. Mr. Myerson, 56, was born in Boston. He is the Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago.

"There were a lot of us working in this area in the late 1970s," Mr. Myerson told the A.P., describing his work as investigating "How does information get used in society to allocate resources."

Last year, the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science was won by Edmund S. Phelps, a Columbia University professor, for his contribution to macroeconomics, in particular his sophisticated explanation of how wages, unemployment and inflation interact with one another. His explanation held, in essence, that wages and inflation tend to rise in tandem, one pushing up the other, until the unemployment rate reaches an "equilibrium" or "natural" level at which prices no longer rise.


January 21, 2007 - Recent musical exploits of Eric Lesselbaum.

December 23, 2006:

      Our new CD featuring Tracy Brathwaite is a hit!!
      Our next gig is at:

           Featuring Vocalist-Kevin Crutchfield
           The Village Cafe, Bronxville
           143 Parkway Road
           Friday, 1/5/07 from 9-11 PM

January 15, 2007:

      We proudly announce that the Eric Lesser Blues & Soul Revue will be appearing at Westchester's Premiere Jazz and Blues Club

           Yvonne's Southern Cuisine Restaurant
           503 5th Avenue
           Pelham, NY
           2 Saturday nights in February
           February 3 & 24, 2007
           Make your reservations now!

January 17, 2007:

      Check out our new website:
      Spread the word & buy those CD's!!!


John "Bruno" Durand.



Author: By Diane E. Lewis, Globe Staff Date: 11/09/2003 Page: G1 Section: Boston Works

Six years ago, John Durand managed a day-care facility and honed culinary skills in his spare time. Now, the 58-year-old Malden man has difficulty following recipes and reading road maps. Durand has frontal lobe dementia, a neurological disease that is robbing him of his memory. It has also taken his livelihood. He was forced to give up his management job due to depression, a symptom of his illness. With two children and mounting bills, the burden of supporting the family shifted to his wife, Peggi Stallings Durand, 52.

" The switch from gainfully employed family man to dependent spouse was devastating, said Durand.

"For whatever reason, men define their lives by their employment or what they are doing in life," he said. "Because they do that, all their acquaintances and friends tend to come from work. You lose that if you have to give up a significant career. All the things you knew you were and that you were appreciated for aren't there anymore."

Though his brain condition is rare, Durand's experiences are not. Currently, 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, according to the Massachusetts Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. Of those, up to 450,000 people are individuals under the age of 65 who suffer from memory disorders including frontal lobe dementia, conditions that impact memory and behavior.

As the baby boom generation ages, the number of people suffering from Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia will dramatically increase over the next 15 years, rising to 6 million nationwide, said Paul Raia, director of patient care at the chapter. In Massachusetts, more than 175,000 people will have the disease, up from 140,000 today. Of those, up to 17,500 will be stricken before 65.

"Right now, we are seeing cases where a spouse develops the disease and cannot work any longer," said Raia. "So, one person has to work, raise the children, and care for a spouse at the same time. We're also seeing teenagers and young children who have a parent with dementia or Alzheimer's disease, and we're seeing people in their 50s develop the disease while caring for a parent who has already been diagnosed."

Specialists say the increased numbers will exact an economic toll on workers and employers. The average caregiver forfeits more than $659,000 in income, Social Security, and retirement benefits over his or her lifetime while caring for sick family members, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving. These figures include all types of caregiving, including help for relatives with Alzheimer's.

US employers spend $61 billion annually on worker replacements, absenteeism, lost productivity, health insurance and other costs associated with Alzheimer's, reports Ross Koppel, principal investigator for the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania's medical school.

Those financial costs will multiply as the population ages, said Koppel, who believes employers could retain valuable employees by developing flexible schedules, elder-care referral services, and alternative work arrangements for those who are caring for ailing spouses or parents with dementia.

Some employers are paying attention. Twenty percent of US companies offer services to help workers with caregiving responsibilities, reports the Society for Human Resource Management. By 2005, 10 percent more are expected to offer services. At Arnold Worldwide, a Boston advertising firm, workers can obtain elder-care services through the Corporate Counseling Association.

"When the worker calls, the counselor will help them identify the services they need," said Maurice Haynes, Arnold's work-life director. "The counselor would find out where the best Alzheimer's doctors are or where the employee can find assisted living for a parent or spouse, or which home-health programs are available."

Peggi Durand hasn't asked her workplace for assistance yet, but she knows she will have to eventually. A family therapist, her work schedule is flexible enough to allow her to care for a teenage son and drive her husband to his medical appointments. A daughter is in college.

"I am looking at the fact that, at some time, I will have to take an extended leave from work," she said. "That would not be fully paid. The leave would be paid for with whatever accumulated sick days I have and maybe some vacation time. I haven't had to take a month off for anything yet, but I know that as John's disease progresses there will be more and more things that he cannot handle."

Durand's ordeal began in 1993, when he became depressed and had to quit his day-care management job. He later took a position as a public housing advocate for Massachusetts tenants. When funding dried up in 1995, he left and began working as a courier. Two years later, he developed neurological symptoms. His brain had difficulty processing the steps needed to write a check, make coffee with a coffee maker, and set a clock radio alarm. A year later, he was diagnosed with dementia. He also had to quit his courier job.

"He would plan a route, but if you asked him how to get from one place to another, he could tell you but he could no longer to do it," said Peggi Durand. She said it would take her husband three hours to complete a 20-minute delivery.

Today, Durand spends three days a week at the Rogerson House in Jamaica Plain. The facility, which operates a day center for Massachusetts residents with Alzheimer's disease, set aside a room that Durand uses as a studio. There, he paints abstract pictures reminiscent of the painters Joan Miro and Wassily Kandinsky.

Friends at the Durand family's church raised money to help finance John Durand's visits to the Rogerson House.

"Painting has become a replacement for work," he said in an interview at the Jamaica Plain center. "I only paint here. I don't paint at home. That makes this place special, and it gives me a reason to come here."

Said Peggi Durand: "John was a very good administrator. He loved it and he was very competent. But now he has trouble finding things that he feels competent doing. Painting has helped. He had an art show last spring. People bought some of his paintings and that replaced some of the, `I can't work anymore' feelings he was having. It also helped him get back some of the things he had valued at work."

While her husband tries to exert some control over his life, Peggi Durand worries about finances. Bills that were taken care of immediately are sometimes paid late because of unforeseen expenses. A $100,000 equity line against the couple's single-family home has helped defray some of the costs, but she can't stop wondering about the future.

"We've lost a whole functioning adult and that has added stress to me and the kids," she said. "The human needs in the family have increased so dramatically that things I never would have put on the back burner in the past are now ending up there."

Diane E. Lewis can be reached at dlewis@globe.com.


Johnny Lordon and Al Sawicki.


"I am glad that the good weather is finnally here. I went fishing with Al Sawicki at Quabbin lake in central Ma. He is a master fisherman. Enclosed are some photos of our results. "

It looks like it was a tough day for the fish. I count 9.
This looks like three fish.
Four more here.


And alas two more.

Updated: 2/14/2009