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No Field of Dreams

Interesting reality check `“The fat lady sings?,” June 19`. Strategic planning has not been one of this area’s strong suits. Margot Knight seems right. There are lots of models from other cities to learn from. Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (opened 2001) is spectacular; the Goodman Theatre move to the Loop in Chicago worked out just as Mayor Daley wanted it to.

The facilities planning and construction must plan for cost overruns. Long-term fund-raising for ongoing operations cost and upkeep need to be evaluated and planned for, due to the reality of shrinking donations across the board and the continuing current economic downturn. Can our existing ballet and opera really afford increased rent? The ballet has not always been able to afford even having a live orchestra play at The Nutcracker!

It would help if Orlando had an arts and cultural affairs director. (Kathy Ramsberger was hired by the city of Orlando and then loaned to the performing arts center to raise money.)

We need the city to hire someone to market our existing cultural attributes now, someone that can interface with the Orlando Convention and Visitors Bureau and nurture the existing venues and  struggling cultural organizations. Our Downtown Arts District is struggling; the CityArts Factory has had a turnover in tenants. We need to build an audience now and not expect to fill the seats at performances at a new performing arts center by thinking “when we build it they will come.” This is not a field of dreams, it is Orlando.

Karen Carasik, Orlando

Obama is Right?

This is only the beginning, brother `Bloggytown, June 26`. I, as most of you, was shocked when `Barack Obama` sided with the right on FISA, the death penalty and now handguns. But then I thought about it a little deeper, and came up with a justifiable theory.

This is something that he has to do right now. The right wing has Middle America so afraid of their own shadows that if he doesn’t, we will have a repeat of the Reagan-Bush years. Most of you don’t remember that, but I do and I remember how fucked up it was. This shouldn’t be surprising at all. The man is doing what needs to be done so that we can have someone with a grain of independent thought in the White House; someone who isn’t afraid to express his or her opinion for fear of being labeled unpatriotic or even set up in some conspiracy. He has to take one for the team.

In these three decisions he is doing exactly that. Just as he is doing with the evangelicals who have more power in our political system than ever should be allowed by any religious organization; Barack Obama is taking it on the chin for the greater good. If anything I am even more behind him than ever.


Black Helicopter Day

June 30 may be remembered in history as the day Americans began the moral and solemn process of holding their government accountable to the U.S. Constitution.

To secure this end, the people have begun to claim and exercise a little-known, but unalienable, “right of redress,” rather than depending upon the will of the majority. Most do not know that this profound natural right, first articulated 800 years ago in the Magna Carta, is embodied and protected by the petition clause of the First Amendment.

On June 30, approximately 1,200 American citizens began the process of exercising the right by serving a legal notice and demand for redress upon the president, the attorney general and every member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, at their local district offices. The notice includes seven petitions for redress of grievances for violations of the Constitution, including the Iraq invasion as a violation of the war powers clause, the Federal Reserve System’s violation of the money clauses and the USA Patriot Act’s violation of the privacy clauses.

Any assertion that by electing either McCain or Obama we can cure the ills that now plague America is simply naive.

John Chimbor, Sanford

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