Katz Fires Back
Style published a letter from a Virginia Performing Arts Foundation board member, and former Carpenter Center Executive Committee member, claiming I never expressed my concerns to the design committee and voted for every initiative (Letters, June 29). This once again misrepresents the truth, and the foundation seeks to discredit anyone who asks questions instead of actually answering them.
As an ex officio member of the architect selection committee, I had no vote but argued against the team that was ultimately selected but ultimately agreed with the decision. I believed alternative teams had more creative and attractive buildings in their portfolios.
The design and construction committee had absolutely no role in approving the feasibility of the music hall only discussing its architecture and furnishings. The committee held no roll-call votes at any meeting I attended, and I did not vote at all on many of the issues brought via voice votes.
Numerous committee members knew the depth of my concerns. I most strongly voiced my concerns to Carpenter Center board members on this committee, because I have always feared reprisals from the foundation for disagreeing with their plan. Mr. Murray would have heard them directly had he attended Carpenter Center Executive Committee meetings.
Why can't the foundation admit there is no due diligence supporting the music hall and move on to Plan B: form a public/private partnership to renovate the Carpenter Center and the National Theatre, and then fill in the hole on Broad Street with a viable and attractive project that generates positive financial results instead of a deficit-ridden music hall?
Joel D. Katz
Save the Groundhogs
I, for one, do not want any 56-year-old woman calling herself the Virginia Watchdog ("The Watchdog," News & Features, June 29). I can't believe Style Weekly prints a story like this about this woman bragging about shooting groundhogs. That is sick, it's barbaric, and it's something I don't want to know about. What, was this a slow news week? Anyone know the number to PETA?
Counties Should Listen to Starr
I urge everyone who has not read Robin Starr's Back Page article on the spay/neuter problem in the Richmond area to please do so, then share this article with your friends and family ("Ignoring a Cure," June 22).
It is sad that counties as wealthy as Chesterfield and Henrico choose to ignore the suffering they condone by their complete denial that a problem even exists. In April I spoke at the same Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors meeting as did Ms. Starr. Her presentation was professional and factual, and she made an extremely generous offer of free spay and neuter services for the citizens of Chesterfield who could not afford to pay for this procedure for their pets. Our supervisors were not only uninterested in this offer of a partnership between Chesterfield and the Richmond SPCA, but they were extremely rude and disrespectful to her. Dickie King mockingly questioned her intent, pretending that he heard Ms. Starr offer to "spay and neuter all the dogs in Chesterfield." It was clear that this governing body had its mind set on the issue before any of us spoke.
Many dedicated individuals in the Richmond area devote countless hours to the spay/neuter initiative, but concerned citizens must support our efforts and let the people they elected know that we are offended at such uncalled-for contempt for people bringing legitimate concerns before them. The only gracious member of the Chesterfield board was Art Warren, who seemed to have listened to what we had to say and felt no need to employ sarcasm and worse to discredit those coming before the board to express an opinion. I wish I could say the same for his colleagues. It is obvious that the county officials will do nothing to effect needed change in our pounds unless the public demands that they do so.
A visit to the Maritime Provinces on Canada's east coast is a sure bet to win over young students and their parents alike. 'Rick Gray Jr.'s article on university education in Canada is worthy of note and makes sense ("College for Global Citizens," Back Page, June 15). The safety factor of living in a comfortable, affordable and relatively slower environment has much to be said for it also.
The three universities mentioned are only a small part of opportunity available in eastern Canada. There are other schools equally notable, such as St. Thomas University, the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton and Saint John campuses), Université de Moncton and other smaller institutions that offer a wide range of postsecondary fare. A broader worldview can only make our future brighter.
We cited an incorrect figure in "Soul-Searching" (Cover Story, June 22). Philip Morris says its new research center downtown will be home to about 500, not 700, new jobs. Style regrets the error.
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