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Future of Binghamton's Sidewalk of the Stars?

What is the future of Binghamton's Sidewalk of the Stars--the 44 monuments to some of the area's most legendary artists--outside the Metro Center Downtown?

That's the question Barry Blakeslee is asking after he tried to begin the process of getting a star for Butch Skeene, a singer who entertained countless people for decades in the Southern Tier.

But he was told the program was discontinued. The head of the committee which runs the program says it is on hiatus until the city moves the stars to a new location.

Binghamton Mayor Rich David said he's working with the county to find a new location.

"It is appropriate to stay in downtown because we have a growing arts presence downtown. We certainly have the Forum and the Arena downtown," said David.

"The idea now is to move them to the Riverwalk, put them on concrete pedestals, have the legend of the individual under which makes a lot of sense. But that, I imagine, is going to be a very time-consuming, very expensive process," said Robert Keller, President of the Sidewalk of the Stars Committee.

"It should be in a high-traffic location such as the Oakdale Mall, Otsiningo Park or somewhere where there's a lot of people to see this. These people made Binghamton, from Rod Serling all the way through to Butch Skeene," said Barry Blakeslee, President of Blakeslee Restaurant Supply. 

44 people are honored on the Sidewalk of the Stars. The city maintains the sidewalk but the stars are funded privately. Blakeslee is planning a May fundraiser to pay for Skeene's monument.



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