You really can buy anything in America in 2015 -- even things you would never guess in a million years that someone wanted to buy. Who knew, before this weekend, that if you donate enough money, you can even become a quasi-cop and go chasing down criminals and assorted poor people in your spare time? Is this an exceptional country or what?
I'll admit it can take just one film to usually convince me to come to a film festival. In the case of this year's Berlinale, it was Jafar Panahi's Taxi. I knew I wanted to sit in that bursting at the seams press screening, first thing in the morning, to watch it. And, as is usually the case with my cinematic instinct, I was right.
New York City received a lot of attention recently with a bold promise made to some of its youngest residents: Mayor Bill de Blasio ran on a campaign to fund full-day public preschool for all New York City children through a modest increased income tax on residents making more than $500,000 a year. Although Mayor de Blasio's tax proposal was not approved by the state legislature or supported by New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo, the legislature did approve statewide funding for pre-K that included a $300 million increase for New York City's preschool program. New York City is moving forward for children -- and it isn't the only major city and school district making strides towards providing high-quality public preschool programs to as many children as possible. Several large districts that have been doing this for a while are already seeing strong results.