Spare us the Horatio Alger story about Ruben Armiñana ("Symphonie Fantastique," Sept. 26). That he came to the U.S. with nothing is irrelevant to the story, and in saying he will not be stopped by the government, he exhibits a belief that he is above the law. No wonder he so admires Sandy Weill. This is actually a story of might making right. It implies that the existence of the Green Music Center is justification for its existence. Time for a course in logic all around! I assume they teach that at SSU.
Nicolas Grizzle's shoddy journalism fails on more counts than can be touched on here. The reader is never informed that the revenues from the Center will come nowhere near covering its expenses anytime soon, if ever, and that money will come from the pockets of students and/or taxpayers or through the continued privatization of our university system in return for unethical access to students, as in the case of the MasterCard deal.
Nor does Grizzle explain Sandy Weill's role in the toxic subprime mortgage debacle that is undermining the funding of our educational system. And Armiñana hopes that we really don't understand his deception about the "legislative executive process." But we do, and we know that it is controlled by the corporate rich and that Weill himself bragged about his outsized influence in ending Glass-Steagall. We've got it straight from the horse's mouth.
The article also fails to note that a music center this expensive is totally unnecessary for the education of musicians. It was built to this scale to please nonstudents and nonresidents at the expense of students and residents. Isn't it interesting that the smaller hall most suited to the needs of students is unfinished? Professor Phillips is correct. Dr. Armiñana should be reprimanded for impugning the reputation of one of his employees without providing any evidence to back it up, and the Bohemian should be ashamed for printing the slur.
Most important, the "bumpy road" to completion of the Center will look like smooth sailing when compared to what SSU students will be experiencing on the road to getting their degrees. Dr. Armiñana has thrown his students under the bus in exchange for some trinkets.
The Green Music Center has seats with terrible acoustics! Having previously toured the facility and listened to a demonstration of acoustic live music (piano), I was impressed by the sound in all the seating areas of the venue. I looked forward to the Alison Krauss concert on Sept. 30, with seats in the choral circle area alongside the stage.
It turns out that if the performance is amplified, speakers are set to cover the front of the stage forward and are mixed accordingly, leaving the choral circle alongside the stage in a terrible acoustic black hole with unintelligible vocals and a dead musical spectrum, compounded by the sound reflected from the huge outdoor crowd and loud outdoor speakers. Same for the address by the university president and venue staff. Their words could not be understood. This is not a negative comment on the actual performance, but on the dismal acoustics.
Management must address the acoustic problem for the seats alongside the stage. In my opinion a significant number of the seats are unacceptable for amplified performances. Be forewarned! Apparently, venue management did not think this through. Such seats are "backstage seats." This issue was also noticed by adjacent seat holders, and not my opinion alone.
When you own a piece of property, you want to be able to do as you wish. The American dream includes owning a place of your own and working to make it better. Americans also care about their neighbors. We understand that you can't start a retail business or build a five-story building in a residential neighborhood. Our rights to our own property have limits when our actions can harm our neighbors' enjoyment of their property. It's not only good manners; it's also the law.
Pacific Union College, like many developers, would like to pretend that their property rights are absolute. Napa County votes have repeatedly said that agriculture and open space are an essential part of our rural lives. We've fought to defend the environment. We've put in place laws, so that when developers put their profit above the rights of their neighbors, the law is on our side.
Let's teach the developers again to have some manners by voting yes on Measure U.
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