Thursday, July 16, 1998
When Etha Gray came to The Western Stage in 1989, she didn't come offering her services as Sue Fishkoff states >(CW, July 9), she came asking for assistance to develop her own African-American Theater Company in Seaside--and she got it.
The Western Stage made its Studio Theater available for a presentation of some of her plays. The Western Stage provided a director and a drama coach to work with her company in Seaside and created an internship with a stipend so she could study marketing and publicity at the Western Stage.
Although I do not know the details, I do know that during the same period she was supported by a Seaside organization called the Citizen's League and that the League received financial support specifically for Etha Gray's projects from the Cultural Council of Monterey County. And as for Etha Gray's claim that it is difficult to mount shows every year with little financial support--is that news?
The Western Stage continues to support the concept of a community based theater company in Seaside, but please spare us the "Poor Etha Show." Come on Etha, get on with it!
I read Steven T. Jones' "On the Bus" in yesterday's Coast Weekly and, considering the seriousness of the current efforts by Monterey Salinas Transit to cut its number of routes locally by approximately 40 percent, I am shocked that the Weekly would publish such an obviously frivolous article about MST and its riders at a time like this!
I spoke to four members of the Salinas City Council (Mr. Armenta, Ms. Caballero, Mr. O'Campo and Mr. Styles) about [the injunctions they are seeking against alleged gang members] >(CW, July 2). They graciously took time to answer my questions. The following questions are still unclear to me:
1. The injunction is directed only against one gang. The gangs fight each other. The injunction seems to have the effect of the police and city council "taking sides" in a gang rivalry. I was told by Mr. Styles that the city council intends to extend the injunction to other parts of the city and other gangs. My understanding of the Acuna case is that this injunction is only allowed under very limited conditions and limited locations.
2. To be on the list, you do not have to be convicted, just found to be "Wearing clothes, having tattoos, making signs." I am concerned that lonely young "wanna-be" gang members will be put into the criminal system for such actions. If listing them causes them to lose rights (such as housing or jobs), it is a denial of due process.
3. If they have already been convicted and are on parole or probation the injunction is not needed. The probation rules can be implemented citywide and NOT select a particular area or gang.
4. What is the procedure for a young person to get off the list?
5. What evidence is there that this injunction has been effective in other cities that are similar in size and composition to Salinas?
Congratulations on some really terrific issues lately. The stories on the three spirits arts gallery, the man's side of pregnancy and the gang-assembly injunction were compelling and innovative, and the Summer Fun issue is still next to my couch for reference. Good work.
Corrections and Clarifications
More than one reader called to chastise us for our write-up of The Godfather as one of this year's 52 video picks. The problem? We erroneously gave credit to someone other than Francis Ford Coppola for directing this 1972 classic. Some of the callers were quite upset. But we haven't found any horse heads in our bed--yet. We're sorry, capiche?