Letters for September 30-October 6, 2004
Georgie Porgy, look out! Thank you, Bob Norman, for again being kind of the "morality police" for the right wing. Your article about Felix Rodriguez ("Contra Campaign," September 23) and his campaign against John Kerry again highlights the moral depravity of the right-wingers such as the Swift Boats for Lies bunch.
Next, and well before the election, I would love for Norman to take on Bush/Cheney full force. What he has done to the North Broward Hospital District would be great. Keep up the good work. There are too few journalists like Bob Norman in South Florida. Bravo!
The Hollywood Playhouse was a loser: Your Tailpipe piece on the demise of Hollywood Playhouse is a totally misleading and biased article chock full of innuendo and unsupportable nonfacts ("City Without Art," September 16). I wouldn't be so upset if Edmund Newton hadn't called me last week to ask my opinion, which differs greatly from his. Since I make my living in theater in Hollywood, and also reside in the building that houses the HART district school, I speak with some authority on the subject.
The piece's first paragraph deliberately misleads by alleging that the playhouse has put on award-winning plays for 50 years. This is simply not the case. Any meaningful theater awards have come only in the past few years and only under the stewardship of ex-Executive Director Andy Rogow, who was let go earlier this year. Before that, HP was a community theater with only two paid staff members. It is only after Rogow arrived that HP became a fully professional theater.
It is true that HP was fiscally challenged. But developer Gary Posner is not responsible for that. HP did this to itself over the past 14 years. Posner put his own money in to keep HP alive. Newton shows an astonishing lack of understanding about how not-for-profit theaters work.
Once HP made the decision to start paying people, it was incumbent on the board to provide the funding. But HP's board was not up to the task. That plus myriad physical plant problems, which created an enormous overhead, and an ever-dwindling subscription base put HP in debt years ago, and it never recovered.
It is inconceivable that HP had the funding necessary to mount an ambitious season. Each production could cost upward of $40,000. Faced with ever-increasing red ink, Posner did what most business executives would have done -- he cut his losses.
Meanwhile, the charter school is up and running in less than five months from the start of construction. Our building is in greatly improved condition, and if this is any indication, the completion of the HART project (including the 400-seat theater) will be a big positive for Hollywood. It might have been nice to say that in the article. There is more than one side to this story.
Jerry Waxman, Producer
The Hollywood Boulevard Theatre
Through the Mills
Finally, a compliment: I'd like to thank Michael Mills for his kind words in the recent New Times on my piece in the faculty art show at the Art Institute (Artbeat, September 16).
It is appreciated when a reviewer mentions work with such high praise.
Trina Renee Nicklas
Director of Arts and Humanities
Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
For the gente: Big up to Dave Amber! You have no idea how timely his article was. We had lots of people from the Broward area show up, and many mentioned the article ("The Lord Is My Bling," September 16).
The piece was well-written and informative. The event was a great success; 750 people showed up. God bless.
Via the Internet
Fed vs. Fed
Next chapter -- "Employee Relations Hell": Wyatt Olson's article on the Veterans Administration was extremely well-written ("The Hospital on the Hill," September 9). As a matter of fact, it could probably be the beginning of a novel.
I am an employee relations specialist for the federal government in Washington, D.C., and have forwarded the article to many of my friends. First, for the federal government hook, and second for the reading enjoyment. Thank you!
Don't legalize it: Loved the "Jamaica Yes Problem" article (Jeff Stratton, September 2). It touched something very dear to my heart. In reading it, I found that I knew most of these people mentioned.
I don't think there is any hope for Jamaica. I am pulling my family out, and once that is done, we will never go back. There are other, more attractive places to go for vacation, and if I could divert tourist traffic from going to that island, I would. Perhaps we need to start singing some songs boycotting travel to the island until there is some improvement.
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