Thursday, May 19, 2011
All the way from Hawaii, there are concerns about the termination of Monterey Peninsula College’s dance department and the decision to let go of Walter White, department chairman. This is an issue near and dear to many dancers and artists on the Monterey Peninsula; however, it is also something that is taking a toll on dancers from the area that have gone on to contribute to other dance communities all over the world. This is not an isolated incident. The dance field is small and very tight knit. When something like this happens, it affects all of us who have become a part of this entire global dance community. MPC is losing a fine academic and creatively superior department, as well as amazingly dedicated and talented faculty, staff and students.
The dance department at MPC is a unique and special program that has become so with Walter White. Taking him away as a full-time mentor is a travesty and a mistake of huge proportion.
The U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that does not view dance as an essential part of our cultural imprint and identity. I have toured and traveled throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Dance in these parts of the world is important and enlightened. Here, it is entertainment and considered frivolous. This point could not be proven more by the actions of MPC to terminate both the dance department and Walter White’s contract. Ignorance must be bliss, because if the board fully understood the impact of their choice, they would not be trying to pull us all down to their level. - Kirsten Wilkinson | Kaneohe, Hawaii
Share the Road
As a Seaside resident and daily biker, I take issue with Seaside being painted as an unusually tough-to-bike place (“Breaking down the best and worst parts of biking by the Bay,” May 12-18). Sure, we could use more bike lanes on our arterial streets – but that could be said of everywhere on the Peninsula. Seaside has incorporated new bike facilities on reworked throughways like General Jim Moore, and meanwhile wide or multi-lane streets mean plenty of room for both bikers and drivers on Del Monte, Broadway, Noche Buena, and the like.
Getting “doored” can be a threat on any tight street with parked cars, but looking before opening a door and biking at least three feet from parked cars will prevent that. Likewise, the menacing “right hook” and “left hook” – when a driver notes a gap in car traffic but turns directly into a cyclist – can be prevented by looking for all forms of traffic before making a turn.
In Seaside and the entire Monterey Peninsula, we must continue to advocate for more comprehensive and connected bike-specific facilities in new and reworked roadways. Let’s demonstrate demand for bike facilities via strength in numbers, and meanwhile share the road by riding predictably and driving with respect for bikers. - KatieStubbendick | via Web
If the state is going to abdicate its responsibility to keep these parks open, then local citizens should take back control and responsibility from the state (“State to shutter 70 parks, four in Monterey County,” May 12-18). - Mark Bowen | via Facebook
[Gov. Jerry] Brown has become more aggressive in his second round. (“State to shutter 70 parks, four in Monterey County,” May 12-18). I love him as governor, though, and know cuts need to be made. I remember when the state didn’t control so many wonderful places in Monterey County; it was a joy to go to them at that time. Maybe we won’t have to pay to see what nature gave us. Now if they could just remove the parking lots! Please don’t get me wrong, I do believe our parks need protecting. - Ilene Cashman | via Facebook
I certainly enjoyed your lampoon of The Herald for hiding advertising as journalism, but at least the Pebble Beach Food & Wine event has some benefit to the community (“Squid Fry,” May 12-18). How do you square this stance with the Weekly’s annual public cheerleading for a psychic fair that has none? - JohnMount | via Web