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The Business Page

Welcome to the business page, a blog where I'll take you behind the scenes of greater Rochester's fast-changing economy. My name is Ben Rand, and I intend to introduce you to some of the personalities, concepts and events that make news in business here. I've been a business reporter for eight years in Rochester and a journalist for 18, working in four states. I grew up in Pittsford, but moved away after college for about a decade. My wife and I live in Irondequoit with our two children.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Singing Economist

Economics is commonly derided as the "dismal science," but Kent Gardner of the Center for Governmental Research is doing his part to help his profession shed that moniker.

At a lunchtime address this week to a joint meeting of the Rochester Women's Network and the local chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Gardner broke into song.

Yes, song. One moment, he was talking about upstate New York's economic woes and their intersection with state government, and the next, he was satirically singing (a capella, of course) about Albany.

For example, to the tune of "Camelot," from the famous musical Camelot, he crooned this verse:

"Once elected I need never have to worry.
The district's boundaries make each win a breeze.
In short I must decree, That I've a life carefree
I'm happ'ly-ever-aftering---

here in Albany."

And then, a few moments later, to the tune of "Maria" from West Side Story, Gardner sang this verse:

"The most beautiful sound I ever heard--the budget. The budget, the budget, the budget!
All the deals of the year in a single word--the budget. The budget, the budget, the budget!
They've offered to sell us the budget.

So a campaign needs a check! I know pays off handsomely!
The budget--I can't wait to spend NY's budget!"

Kent told me after the meeting that he briefly was a music minor in college, which explains his fair attempts to jazz up a subject that some people find...well...dismal!


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