Faced with a house that was overflowing with stuff from the household and estate sales she haunts, Joanne Marvin grabbed her best friend (and fellow pack-rat) Sarahjane Moriarity and rented a Park Avenue storefront for a month to "purge" some items. "We're now into our second year," Joanne says.
Thus began Utter Clutter.
"Everything is second-hand," says Marvin, "but please don't call us a junk shop. We're a step above. We feature eclectica. We coined that word. It means all the items that make something eclectic."
The two women met, fittingly, at a household sale 10 years ago. They quickly became friends, sharing a need to collect things, and an inability to throw anything away. "I love standing in the store and looking at things that were once part of my life," Moriarity says. "It's a continuum of an item moving from one person to me to someone else. I hope it's never thrown away."
You don't so much shop at Utter Clutter as experience it and the women are definitely part of the experience. Their conversation is rapid-fire, and they usually finish each other's sentences. Here's how they described what's in their store:
Marvin: "You can't see it all in one stop..." Moriarity: "...like at a mall." Marvin: "I told him: one of a kind." Moriarity: "If we don't have it..." Marvin: "We'll find it for you." Moriarity: "We'll root through the attic." Marvin: "We're not a costume shop." Moriarity: "We cater to pop-kitsch." Marvin: "I explained that." Moriarity: "Kitsch." Marvin: "Irreverent." Moriarity: "Religious." Marvin: "Irreverent religious."
They're currently auctioning a Charles Manson record. But don't rush over to bid on it. The auction, says Moriarity, is "open-ended."
Like the items they sell, their customers (or "company") are eclectic. "Everything from drag queens to doctors," Marvin says. "Geeks, freaks, and uniques. One of our customers came up with that. I love the people here. That's what I really love about the business... the people."
Utter Clutter, 121 Park Avenue, is open weekdays from 12 to 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m. 271-1130.
--- Joseph Sorrentino
A worthy cause?
Kodak is now asking its employees to volunteer contributions to a lobbying force called the Eastman Kodak Employee Political Action Committee (KodaPAC). This group supports political candidates for federal and state office who are sensitive to Kodak's concerns. According to Kodak's intranet, these are politicians who "understand our business concerns and share an interest in our issues."
The intranet assures employees that contributing is both voluntary and in their best interest. But the language of the pitch sounds curiously like Kodak is suggesting its employees fund lobbying measures that will deregulate job exportation.
For instance, the intranet states that KodaPAC's "Big Picture" goal is to "Facilitate the effective management of Kodak's diverse global workforce, by fostering government policies which give Kodak the flexibility to fairly and efficiently manage its workforce in the US and abroad."
According to Corporate Media Relations manager Jim Blamphin, KodaPAC's goal is to "promote company growth."
"What is growth? Jobs. We have a global workforce," he says. "It's secondary, where those jobs are located." While he cites several examples of jobs being moved from cities overseas back into the United States, the fact remains that "fairly and efficiently managing" an international workforce may encompass reduced restrictions on outsourcing.
Stephen Ciccone, director and vice president of public affairs, denies that KodaPAC's goal is to expand Kodak's workforce overseas.
Because corporations are not legally allowed to make campaign contributions, they often encourage the formations of groups like KodaPAC. Through KodaPAC, Kodak can promote its political agenda --- to "reduce current costs and avoid new costs by seeking significant reductions in Kodak's tax and tariff burden, reduce the cost of compliance with existing government regulations and mandates, and oppose the introduction of new mandates or regulations" --- through the contributions of willing employees.
Mr. Smith goes to Washington? Maybe
Another entry in the 29th Congressional District race. Monroe County legislatorBill Smith made it official last week.
Smith, a Republican, was elected to the lej in 1996. He represents Pittsford and East Rochester. He was named majority leader in 2001.
It is his experience in the lej, Smith says, that makes him the top candidate to succeed Congressman Amo Houghton. Houghton is stepping down this year.
Smith pointed to economic development and job growth as crucial issues in the 29th District.
He faces competition from Republicans Mark Assini, a fellow county legislator; Rochester businessman Geoffrey Rosenberger; state Senator Randy Kuhl of Hammondsport; and Bill Nojay, chairman of the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority.
State Assemblyman Brian Kolb of Canandaigua is expected to announce this week whether he'll join the race --- but he has been talking like a candidate.
A May 20 convention will narrow the field of Monroe County Republican candidates to one.