News

Children's Theatre fans ask council, 'Why?!'

But no answers are available pending outcome of a police investigation

About 30 supporters of the Children's Theatre crowded into the Council Conference Room Monday evening to ask the City Council for information and express displeasure with the abrupt closure and treatment of four staff members: Director Pat Briggs, Assistant Director Michael Litfin, Costume Supervisor Alison Williams and Box Office Assistant Richard Curtis.

"The people at the theatre are my friends, and I don't think they've been treated well," Mac Clayton said. "I don't blame the City Council for that, yet."

But the city could be held liable for "substantial damage to their reputation and standing in the community that has resulted," Clayton said.

"You guys know (the theatre staff) are people of impeachable integrity," Friends' board member Cy Ashley Webb said. "Since the city has not provided an explanation we can only assume it's a witch hunt. Please put an end to this nightmare."

Former Friends President Suzan Stewart was near tears as she addressed the council.

In the past, the city and the theatre supporters always worked together, even forming the first private-public partnership, she said.

"I am feeling so upset about this issue simply because I'm embarrassed about the City of Palo Alto," Stewart said. "This is not the Utilities Department. This is children."

Aleks Merilo said the leadership of Briggs and Litfin inspired him to become a drama teacher.

Portraying a dancing polar bear at age 10 was one of his most memorable experiences, Merilo said.

"For four years, I saw more of Pat (Briggs) and Michael (Litfin) than I did of my parents. They are the hardest-working people."

Mayor Larry Klein reminded the speakers, some of whom spilled into the hallway, that the council could not respond.

"The members of the City Council don't know any more than you do," Klein said.

Join the discussion on Town Square

Related stories:

The show will go on at Children's Theatre

UPDATE: Theatre investigation related to thefts

Palo Alto Children's Theatre celebrates 75th anniversary

Comments

Posted by Howard, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 29, 2008 at 8:16 am

What an idiotic waste of the council's time.


Posted by tried to view, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 29, 2008 at 8:27 am

I was not able to attend, but planned on watching the live broadcast. I wanted to see the oral communications about this issue. Funny that none of the meeting was broadcast last night either on cable or via live webcast. I understand there was a portion of the meeting that was to be a special session, but I thought the oral communications were public.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2008 at 9:14 am

The people who spoke last night before the City Council are misguided. We need to wait until the Police Department have completed their review and release their report.

There was not a Council Meeting last night. The CC met to appoint people to two commissions.


Posted by A resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2008 at 9:43 am

My understanding is that this investigation was prompted by the very people whose reputations are now being trampled, as a result of some equipment that was stolen last summer, and that it took some effort on the part of the staff of the Children's Theater to light a fire under the police. I appreciate the Police Department's need to investigate, but after so many months, to close the theater on no notice whatsoever, confiscate computers from people's homes, and inform the community of only one fact - that they have put the theater staff on "administrative leave" - all without any consultation with the mayor or the city council, has to be seen as at best reckless disregard for the reputations (never mind the feelings and in fact the very health) of people who have given so much to our community. Is there some excuse for doing it this way at this time?


Posted by Bill, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2008 at 9:51 am

How can people jump to conclusions when they have no information? Do they always assume the worst of our council and staff. That's a sorry commentary on the intelligence of some of our residents.

Remember it was the city manager, not the police or council, who ordered the investigation and closure of the Children's Theatre.


Posted by Renee Deutsch, a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2008 at 10:35 am


Hi everyone,
Last week I was told to be patient and wait for the results the council meeting, but the results are minimal. I was a member of the Palo Alto community for thirty years and I am outraged, ashamed and very very sad about the way the staff of the Children's Theatre have been and are being treated.
We have always worked together, Theatre and City, and although there may have been disagreements about the cutting of hedges, this co-operation led to the Friends making the City a gift of a one million dollar stage.
We have lived together through literally floods and earth quakes, and for this community to be torn apart in this way is tragic and, I am sure, totally unnecessary.
Please, Palo Alto, do something, Renee.


Posted by Ed, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 29, 2008 at 10:53 am

Since when do the police need the city council or the mayors permission to investigate ANYONE who is potentially committing a crime? They should be fortunate that they are not in jail if they in fact did commit a crime!

C'mon people! If the police are involved it is potentially a CRIMINAL case and not just a interdepartmental investigation. Criminals come in all shapes and sizes....enough said.


Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 29, 2008 at 10:55 am

Not sure about the above statement "for this community to be torn apart in this way is tragic and, I am sure, totally unnecessary"
This is apparently a police investigation and is therefore outside the realm of the city council.
I think we need to let the investigation run it's course and then see what the results are.
I am sure many people thought that there was nothing wrong at the Utility Department also


Posted by Derek Wood, a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2008 at 12:02 pm

It's very, very easy to sit on the internet and take verbal swipes at the people in this article. It's far less easy to get up, go downtown and voice your concerns in person at the venue available to you.

I don't see in the article where anyone was demanding that the investigation be dropped. It appears to me that Palo Alto residents were simply advocating on behalf of the Children's Theater staff, and protesting the way that the city has thus far handled the situation. I know this is the era of Bush Administration civil rights suppression, but I think in Palo Alto citizens can still address grievances to their elected officials.


Posted by R Wray, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 29, 2008 at 12:23 pm

All of this is just one more illustration why the government should not be in the theater business.


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 29, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Where do we go to voice concerns? I am a current PACT family and we feel very, very stressed about what is happening with the theater.

I do not understand what we are to do next. The city council appears unwilling or unable to do anything. I find that very scary that such a police state exists in Palo alto that no one has control over the City Manager. Best not get stopped missing a tailight on University Ave, no telling where you'll end up.

Can the state Attorney General step in?


Posted by a Palo Alto parent, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2008 at 1:17 pm

Parent, I think you're getting hysterical. Let's try to keep things in perspective and be rational.


Posted by Blame Bush, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2008 at 1:18 pm

It must be Bush'e fault. That should settle the blame game.

Simple question: Why is City of Palo Alto paying for the $1M operatinal cost of this children's theatre? Does CPA pay for Little League?


Posted by Tim, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 29, 2008 at 2:05 pm

My daughter participated in several showes at the CT, and I have to say I was not pleased with how Michael and Pat dealt with children. They were very heavy-handed, rude, and quite frankly, obnoxious. My daughter was n two shows, one directed by Michael and one by brilliant guest directors from New York. The difference between the shows was very noticable. The NY show brought out the best in the children, whlile Michael's guidance resulted in robot-like performances.


Posted by Stop-The-Subsidy, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2008 at 2:14 pm

One message from this "incident" is that the city of palo alto should not be using taxpayer funds to subsidize the small number of children involved in this operation to the tune of over 1 million dollars a year.

City Manager Benest is quite right to be opposed to continuing this subsidy. It is not clear that as long as Larry Klein and his son have influence on the city council that rationality will prevail and the city is extricated from this responsibility which it seems to be overseeing with little success. However, it is clear that it is time to wish this group of people well and let them start funding their children's theatricals on their own dime.


Posted by past-PACTer, a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jan 29, 2008 at 3:50 pm

The theater is there to provide artistic enjoyment for the community.
My guess is most of the budget goes to securing rights for the plays, which can easily run 20000 a production, that is why you cannot film the show.
Does the city of London support the Old Globe or NYC the Met?


Posted by Former PACT Parent, a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 29, 2008 at 4:35 pm

First of all everyone: Patience Please! There is no benefit to be gained from hounding the City Council or second-guessing the police investigation.

Second, our experience concurs with Tim from Downtown North. Our child participated for a number of years. The contradiction between the outside directors and the inhouse staff was devastating. The outside directors appeared to select cast members based upon talent and ability. Their shows were invariably superior in every way. However, when the inhouse staff ran the shows, the casting appeared to be based mainly upon favoritism and which parents/volunteers were pushing the most (and perhaps donating the most). As a result of these choices and because of rigid approaches to staging, the inhouse-directed shows were inferior. It was a sad commentary that some children could get speaking roles only when the inhouse staff was not making the decisions.

Perhaps this episode offers a good opportunity to review the policies and procedures for PACT to make it more oriented to excellence and fairness.


Posted by replier to former Pact parent, a resident of Professorville
on Jan 29, 2008 at 4:52 pm

It sounds like you are urging that outside directors run the theater. Theater for children is very, very popular in the bay area. Most other rep companies charge one hundred dollars or so for participating in a play, with scholarships available for those who cannot afford it. Perhaps this would reduce the bias and nepotism present in the current casting process, as well as reduce the load on Palo Alto taxpayers.


Posted by Sean, a resident of Monroe Park
on Jan 29, 2008 at 4:58 pm

If the cost of production is about $1M per year, and there are about 3500 youth participants per year, what is wrong with having each kid pay about $285 per production? How is it that Little League can get by without CPA subisdies, but the PACT cannot? Something is really amiss here.


Posted by music parent, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 29, 2008 at 4:59 pm

Thanks for the illuminating discussion. Music is also very, very popular with Palo Alto students. We have music nonprofits headquartered here in Palo Alto that sure would benefit from a 1M subsidy from Palo Alto taxpayers - how can we get some of that?


Posted by PandP, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 29, 2008 at 6:14 pm

Why support the Children's Theatre? For many reasons! It puts on 22 shows a year. Whether you like it or not, these are incredibly well-attended. The Wizard of Oz played to full house every night and they had to add more shows to accommodate the demand. This is typical for most of the shows that they produce. What is more, they do this for a ticket price that is, quite simply, unbeatable in the Bay area: $4 for kids and $8 for adults.

Secondly, they provide not only theatre training for the kids, but also after-school supervision. You may not like Pat and Michael's style, but their institution has provided generations of kids with a wonderful place to go day after day. For many kids (and for teenagers especially) the theatre is a second home.

Thirdly, as many have noted, participants do not have to pay in order to be in a play. Many of us have long encouraged Pat and Michael to charge for this privilege (and a privilege it is when you see how many kids come to audition and how few can be handled in each show), but they have always refused to do so. Their argument has always been that this is a community theatre and they want to make sure that all kids have the ability (financial ability) to participate.

Is there favoritism in terms of picking participants? No doubt! So, welcome to the world of theatre. (For that matter, welcome to the world of sports, academia, etc.) There are some kids who appear in show after show. Some are enormously talented, others not. With each show, however, you also see many, many newcomers and an amazing number of very young kids who want to try out.

Fourth, the Theatre does a number of outreach shows each year. They take their amazing talent to local schools (elementary and middle schools) and introduce kids to the world of theatre. You will not see a for-profit theatre do this - at least not without asking the PTA to pay an arm and a leg for its services.

Fifth, there are the Hot Dog shows. Again, you may not be a fan, but a huge number of Palo Altans ARE. They do four hot-dog shows during the summer and each time they sell out! It is, quite simply, a Palo Alto tradition.

And, please do not forget the Conservatory that runs for something like 6 weeks during the summer for a mere $300!!!!! You will not find another camp of this quality, excitement, and eager participants in Palo Alto - and certainly not for $300. Indeed, you would be lucky to find one that charges $300 PER WEEK!

Last, but not least, what you must realize is that the objective of this theatre is not just to entertain young and old, to introduce kids to the art of theatre, and to train them as actors. One of the main objectives of the Children's Theatre and its staff from its beginning has been (and continues to be) to teach kids about community. Because each play generates a new community; one in which they have to learn to depend on one another; one in which they have to learn to trust one another; and one in which some may play bigger roles, but rely often in a very big way on smaller players as well as on their crew.

So, should the community support such an activity? Absolutely!


Posted by thanks to Tim, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2008 at 6:16 pm

Having people speak out, while painful to some, helps explain the theater operations. Perhaps charging to participate would weed out those who are not really interested in acting. We saw a teen boy run all over the stage socking and jumping at auditions, who was cast a few months ago. Meanwhile, other children who appeared to have better voices and abilities either got minor roles or were not cast at all. Other theaters have a committee, not just one person casting roles.
In fairness to other performers, musicians and athletes we would be willing to pay as long as the theater is kept open.


Posted by a long time resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2008 at 6:23 pm

It is very interesting to read about the CT.

As a long time resident living far from the CT and never hearing anything about it the discussion is informing.

I have never heard of the CT recieving a big subsidy of tax money. Is it the salaries/benifits of the employees?

The children participating should be chosen by random selection and not by who the parents are or about the talent of the children, but just by their desire to be in the plays. This should be a place to learn about acting if any city taxes go to it. A privately funded CT can select who is to be in their plays. They can rent space for their CT just like a private dance studio would do.

In many ways the city is "BROKE". They are talking about selling or long term leasing of city property to get money for basic services.

They can't afford a Fire Station in the Western half of the city. And more and more things they can't afford.

Also of interest is the comment about Larry Klein's son. Who is he and what does the son do? Does anyone know.


Posted by Sean, a resident of Monroe Park
on Jan 29, 2008 at 7:05 pm

PandP,

Most of your arguments also apply to Little League, AYSO, etc. However, there is one major exception:

"Thirdly, as many have noted, participants do not have to pay in order to be in a play"

The youth sports organizations, as well as Boy Scouts, etc. pay their own way. Kids with needs are provided for. There is no class discimination, becasue those who can pay do, and those who cannot either do not, or make up for it in other ways, like volunteering.

I think, from what I now know, that the CT is on the government tit. There seems to be the presumption that arts are super special. Well, if they are, then the parents should be willing to pay super duper. In fact, they would only need to pay about the same as the other youth organizations.

I can only surmise that the CT is just one of those things that got going early, and then took advantage of its position to soak the taxpayers of Palo Alto. The notion that most PA parents are not willing to pay for their own kids opportunities is ridiculous.

The way to clean house is to cut them off from taxpayer subsides. This simple act will focus their efforts. Imagine a youth theatre that actually is willing to pay its own way. The ossified leadership, that it now has, would have been gone a long time ago, if this were the case.

If the CT is to improve and grow, it must be taken off its dependence on CPA funds.


Posted by PandP, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 29, 2008 at 7:30 pm

Sean,
When Little League gets as much crowd attention as the theatre does(300 people per show, six to nine shows per production), then perhaps we can compare.


Posted by annoyed, a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 29, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Okay, I have been reading this stuff for days, and I cannot stand it anymore.

Yes, the city supports the theatre. So do many, many cities in America. Do you think the Met runs without city money from NYC? Have any of you ever heard of the hotel tax? What do you think that pays for? Little League? Do you think theatres in SF run without city money? Or theatre, opera, or dance companies in San Jose????

And how much do all of you support the arts? If the arts were supporter by the citizens, we wouldn't need to have these arguements, now would we?

No theatre, dance, opera, or symphony in the world can survive on ticket sales. And certainly not tickets that cost $8.00 a piece. Wake up!

I grew up in that theatre, I learned most of what made me a decent person from those people. I just can't stand the fact that all of you are sitting around making accusations about people you do not know. And talking about arts funding in ways that make no sense.

Do some research. Understand the lack of funding for the arts, and feel blessed you live in a city that has some respect for the arts.

I only hope you are all this annoyed, and spend this much time worrying about the leadership of the country..........


Posted by annoyed, a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 29, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Okay, I have been reading this stuff for days, and I cannot stand it anymore.

Yes, the city supports the theatre. So do many, many cities in America. Do you think the Met runs without city money from NYC? Have any of you ever heard of the hotel tax? What do you think that pays for? Little League? Do you think theatres in SF run without city money? Or theatre, opera, or dance companies in San Jose????

And how much do all of you support the arts? If the arts were supporter by the citizens, we wouldn't need to have these arguements, now would we?

No theatre, dance, opera, or symphony in the world can survive on ticket sales. And certainly not tickets that cost $8.00 a piece. Wake up!

I grew up in that theatre, I learned most of what made me a decent person from those people. I just can't stand the fact that all of you are sitting around making accusations about people you do not know. And talking about arts funding in ways that make no sense.

Do some research. Understand the lack of funding for the arts, and feel blessed you live in a city that has some respect for the arts.

I only hope you are all this annoyed, and spend this much time worrying about the leadership of the country..........


Posted by concerned citizen, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2008 at 8:20 pm

Does anyone know why the city auditor is leaving at the same time as the biggest political implosion in Palo Alto history? Perhaps she was unwilling to go along with these Machaviellian intrigues.


Posted by Nick, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 29, 2008 at 8:25 pm

I have done I don't even know how many shows at PACT, and it has been such an incredible resource for me. I realize not everyone participates in the theater, but it cannot be denied that PACT has a huge following. I frequently preform in the Second Saturday performances, and those are, for the most part, all sold out at the beginning of the year, many of them before we have even begun to write them, and all of them before we start rehearsing.
It was said earlier that, "it is clear that it is time to wish this group of people well and let them start funding their children's theatricals on their own dime." I would just like to say that in our school system an enourmous amount of money is spent on programs very few people participate in. I am not in glass blowing for instance. By the logic expressed in that quote, should my tax dollars go into programs that I don't participate in, should an interesting and well rounded education be guaranteed only to those who can afford it. I think not. The question is not then, should we spend tax payer dollars on the PACT, but rather, should tax payer dollars be spent to better the education of our cities children.


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2008 at 8:30 pm

Interesting discussion. I'm not sure comparing PACT and the Met is the right track though - I doubt many hotel rooms get sold in PA for out of towners coming in for a big night on University topped off by a PACT performance (maybe the occasional grandparent!).

If you look around the country, annoyed, you'll see many many Childrens Theater programs (I googled - the list is very long). Some are big and prosperous; others smaller. But very few (none I could find) were city funded, even in much bigger cities. Some get grants and outreach money, and some Park & Rec program funds in the summer. But none I saw with City employees running the operation.

So good news - arts lives! It has a big audience. So many attend and participate - no doubt they would be willing to give more to sustain the activity. It doesn't require tax subsidy and city control - it can leave the nest and flourish on its own. No more City Manager! No more pleading at Council meetings!

While we have a nice institution in PACT, we also have nice AYSO and Little League and Girls Softball and many other activities. Now, the city does provide venues for some of these. But they don't underwrite the program - the parents and sponsors and other well-wishers do. This seems right - the city pays for infrastructure (multi-purpose in many cases), the users pay for programs. I think the participation in these activities is pretty high and the programs all have great merit - so not clear why they are independent while PACT is city sponsored.

So I hope PACT continues to thrive, but hopefully weans itself off City funds.


Posted by a Palo Alto parent, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2008 at 9:08 pm

With people like Terry, Palo Alto will soon be as fine a city as Milpitas, or maybe even Union City. There are reasons lots of people want to live here, and one of them is the great old Children's Theatre. Knock down all the charming old houses, build up Taco Bell monstrosities, cut arts funding, put up some strip malls, and we might as well save ourselves some money and move to Newark.


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2008 at 9:21 pm

PA Parent, sorry you disagree. I won't throw bricks back at you though - no need for sarcasm and ill will. I might actually be a thoughtful, well-intended person (as I'm sure you are) who happens to disagree with you - who knows!

For my part, if I thought city-funded PACT were what is special about PA, I certainly wouldn't choose to live here. Our people, our schools, our world-class university neighbor, our open spaces, our lovely homes and streets - those are big assets to me. I'm sure community (vs. city) funded children's theater would be fine for me. Maybe we would put the $1M toward better libraries, would be a nice improvement from my point of view.

I don't disrepect Children's Theatre, or any other program. But $1M in city funding seems off-key for this kind of program, esp since some many apparently would be willing to pay something for this fine experience for our children.


Posted by a Palo Alto parent, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2008 at 9:28 pm

That million dollar city funding number is not correct. The city doesn't fund the theatre, the theatre is part of the city, but a lot of volunteer hours go into running the theatre, also Friends of the Theatre fundraising, and private donations. You might want to check your facts. The theatre is part of the city, as is the recreation dept., the libraries, parks, art center, etc. You can't really single out one department you don't happen to care about and say it isn't needed.


Posted by Kate, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2008 at 10:00 pm

The Children's Theater is part of the Parks and Recreation Department - like the tennis courts (free to anyone from anywhere to play), the Duck Pond, the Baylands, the parks, the swimming pools,the Children's Museum and Zoo, the recreation classes for children and adults, the Baylands Interpretive Center, the entire Lucy Stern complex and much more.. It's part of the entire fabric of Palo Alto's diverse recreaetional and artistic culture which makes living in this town so 'special'. The critics are shootiing from the hip with no organizational knowledge and little institututional memory. The city maintains an excellent baseball park on Geng Road in the Baylands for youth baseball. Take all of this away- and what do you have? Just another 'place'. Anyone who doesn't like it - is invited to leave.


Posted by Take-It-Private, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2008 at 10:04 pm

> You can't really single out one department you don't
> happen to care about and say it isn't needed.

Of course you can! That is what critical analysis is all about.

What good is an education if you refuse to use it?

This operation needs to be "taken off the books". The City Manager has been correct in pointing to it as a "non-essential" service.


Posted by Denocracy-Use-It-Or-Lose-It, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2008 at 10:07 pm

> Anyone who doesn't like it - is invited to leave.

People who don't like it are invited to make their voices heard -- as is their right in this democracy.

Some seem to believe that if you don't look like us, and talk like us, and genuflect like us--you don't belong here. Isn't that the same tune the Brown Shirts were singing during the 1930s in Germany?


Posted by opera observer, a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Report from Metropolitan Opera -
<Web Link;

for those interested in the subsidy


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2008 at 10:32 pm

PA Parent - first, sorry that you feel if your neighbors disagree with you about funding of theatre programs, they should move away. That seems very harsh. I hope a spirit of mutual respect and appreciation is something we all can value about our town.

On the budget - per page 139 of the 2007-08 PA City Budget, expense for the PACT is $1,227K vs. revenue ticket sales, etc. of $293K for a net of $934K. So about $1M is correct.

On Kate's point - I do agree that the city providing facilities (which they do for other programs) makes sense. Cities often provide infrastructure. But just as they have soccer fields but don't run AYSO and have balls fields but don't run baseball and softball, so they could provide a venue but not run the theatre program. And as supporters of those sports orgs will correctly point out, the program groups in fact pay the city money for maintenance of the fields they use.

Why would lack of city funding spell doom for PACT? It was illuminating that a poster above said the directors did not want to charge participation fees, as almost all youth programs do. We have a community where many can afford to pay and in fact give more - and with that, the PACT would be independent of the city. It seems like a good thing and PACT would like continue and thrive.


Posted by a Palo Alto parent, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2008 at 10:37 pm

What else should the city not be funding, Terry, or do you just have it in for the CT? The good news is that there are no cuts being considered for PACT. I doubt you could find much support for cutting out one of PA's oldest and most beloved institutions.


Posted by Kate, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2008 at 10:39 pm

To take it private

You said "This operation needs to be "taken off the books". The City Manager has been correct in pointing to it as a "non-essential" service."

Paying the taxes on Benest's house is a non-essential service too - and he gets to stay on and on and on until his youngest graduates from high school. Tell me what is essential here?


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2008 at 10:42 pm

That Met Opera link seemed broken for some reason, but here's another: Web Link

That is their 2005-06 Annual Report.

Highlights:
- $209 million of operating expense (wow!)
- $325 thousand from government agencies, including Federal, State, and City, for 0.2% of operating expenses (page 6)

So good news for fans of the Arts - the Met, at least, does not need government subsidy!


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2008 at 10:43 pm

PA Parent, I'd rather not get in a shouting match with you. I've been respectful and I have tried to be thoughtful and constructive. Sorry that we disagree. I am sure PACT will do well, city funded or otherwise, and I wish you and others involved with it nothing but the best.


Posted by a Palo Alto parent, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2008 at 10:59 pm

Take it private, the Art Center has about the same city funding as the CT, would you cut that too? How about the Children's Library? Children's Zoo? Are they essential? Why stop there?


Posted by Abby, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jan 29, 2008 at 11:38 pm

Let's focus on not being quick to judge. The Children's Theatre has done an outstanding job for 75 years. While I was slow to understand their insistence on remaining free and available to all, after having watched how various "pay to be in a play" institutions function, it became obvious that the Children's Theatre was clearly superior.

This is a legal situation, not a political one. This is happening at a time that a director is very, very ill. Let's support our community - and remember how the Theatre has supported us.


Posted by Take-It-Private, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2008 at 11:44 pm

> Paying the taxes on Benest's house is a non-essential
> service too - and he gets to stay on and on and on until
> his youngest graduates from high school.

The payments for his house are a part of his compensation package, not a "service" to the community.

> Tell me what is essential here?

Nothing at all! This was a con-job that Benest put over a weak, and ineffective Council. It's too late to go back on this promise, but the next Council had better be on notice that people are unhappy about this "gift" to Benest.


Posted by Take-It-Private, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2008 at 11:51 pm

> the Art Center has about the same city funding as the CT, would you cut that too?

The Art Center is definitely not an essential service. Records show that much of the Center's activities are offered to people outside of Palo Alto--which clearly is not an "essential service".

> How about the Children's Library?

It's not clear that a "Children's Library" is necessary, particularly since there are branch libraries throughtout the town. But given that the currently library has been funded from private sources, best to leave it the way that it is.

> Children's Zoo?

Definitely not an "essential service". Again, many of the visitors are from outside Palo Alto. This activity should be taken private as quickly as possible. There is no reason that money from regional sources should not fund this activity.

> Are they essential?

Nope ..

> Why stop there?

Why indeed. All of these activities are the manifestation of "special interest" politics which have dominated the Palo Alto political stage for decades. It would be great to get all of these subsidies on the table and then figure a way to get them off the taxpayers shoulders and onto the shoulders of those who consume these services.


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 30, 2008 at 12:22 am

Take-it-Private, who consumes these services? All I hear from you and those who agree with you, is hearsay.

About 1% of the Palo Altans I know, and I know many of them - in all demographics - would agree with your position on service provision.

You're clearly in the minority, and quite uninformed about the role of the arts in cognitive and community development.

There is a TON of research out there - start googling!



Posted by Barbara, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 30, 2008 at 2:04 am

This article was originally about parents asking why the theatre was being investigated. Take it Private has changed the topic and is trying to politicize this. This is NOT civil discourse.

Whether you like it or not, the theatre has provided us all with 75 wonderful years of entertainment. They have raised our kids, taught them life skills and provided a safe community outlet. This is not the utilities department.


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 30, 2008 at 2:55 am

Barbara, Hear! Hear!


Posted by renee deutsch, a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2008 at 3:42 am


Hello Kate and P.and P.

Thanks for trying but nobody is listening.

Terry, I did actually fly in from the Netherlands for the Theatre's 50th and, no, I was not subsidized.

Is anyone still thinking of Pat and Michael during all this? Since I am prevented by the police from sending them emails, give them my love.

Renee.


Posted by a Palo Alto parent, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 30, 2008 at 8:04 am

If Take it Private were the emperor of Palo Alto, we'd see our community go downhill very quickly. The good news is that he's not, and the majority of the citizens here know a good thing when they see it.


Posted by Sparky, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 30, 2008 at 8:28 am

Barbara's right. This is NOT the utilities department. If it were, it would be a (possibly) sensible function for the city to perform. As it is, it is the city funding something that parents and donors should do, possibly with some govt grant $ (like umm just about every other kids program).

No one is dissing the PACT or saying to shut it down. The question is just how it should be funded and whether the city should be in charge. Should we nationalize Broadway or Julliard?


Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 30, 2008 at 9:09 am

Renee--How are you prevented by the police from sending them e-mails? Have they been placed in solitary confinement? E-mail can be checked from any computer.
People are trying to make it sound like the work of the PA police on this case is somehow a kin to the gestapo in action.
The city council has no say whatsoever on police matters, so stop asking them to intercede. This is a criminal investigation that needs to run it's course.
Let's remember that everytime there is a crime anywhere, the media always are able to find someone who says "I cannot believe that this person/ these people are involved". We have plenty of that here in PA


Posted by renee deutsch, a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2008 at 10:26 am


Marvin, if I were not handicapped by the fact that I now live 6000 miles away from the Theatre I would come over and discuss with you in detail why you are wrong on all four points. As things stand now we will have to leave it up to the Friends of the P.A.C.T. to help sort out this mess, if you are so sure the city council and the P.A. community cannot be asked for help. Renee.







Posted by steve, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 30, 2008 at 10:31 am

Wow, Palo Alto is full of misinformation! Certainly the Art Center and CT get subsidies from the City to run programs; however, the Art Center has excellent cost recovery so if you look at the City budget you will bee that the Art Center has very little loss compared to the CT which loses almost $1 million yearly. What is more interesting is that number of students who partipate in CT programs. It is the same 30-40 for every production -- school site visits exempted. It would be cheaper to give the 30-40 partipants full tutition to Cal.


Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 30, 2008 at 10:32 am

Renee--I will stand by my 4 points, since they are basically correct.
As far as I know the people involved have not been arrested so they have access to e-mail. The police are investigating a crime and there is no evidence of any violations on their part. the city council cannot interfere in police matters, despite what you think. And there was a crime that occurred involving the theft of equipment.
See wasn't that simple.


Posted by pat, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 30, 2008 at 10:53 am

"Take it Private has changed the topic and is trying to politicize this. This is NOT civil discourse."

Since when is it not considered civil discourse to discuss politics?!?! The PACT discussion has everything to do with the politics of the way this city is run and where our tax dollars are spent.


Posted by Scrooge's Nemesis, a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Jan 30, 2008 at 11:14 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Sean, a resident of Monroe Park
on Jan 30, 2008 at 11:36 am

"The city maintains an excellent baseball park on Geng Road in the Baylands for youth baseball."

Kate, yes that is correct, and it is the correct model. The City provides the facilities, then charges a small users fee to use those facilities. Just ask the youth baseball teams that use Baylands. The City does NOT support the operation of those teams. The CT should be forced to support its own operation. There is bias in action going on here, and is by the arts community.


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 30, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Sean:

Organized sports opportunities are all over the place; many of those activities are free, with venues readily available.

By contrast, easily accessible and affordable opportunities to participate in the arts, are not.

By their very nature, arts activities (most of them) require a facility. How many playing fields are there in Palo Alto? How many theatre venues? Case closed.

It's pretty obvious that if there is a bias in Palo Alto, and American culture in general; that bias tends toward favoritism of athletics (which have largely merged with popular culture) over cultural activities that include the classical theatre, dance, and other traditional arts.




Posted by Take-It-Private, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2008 at 12:13 pm

> This article was originally about parents asking
> why the theatre was being investigated. Take it
> Private has changed the topic and is trying to
> politicize this.

Specific questions were asked, and specific questions were answered.

> This is NOT civil discourse.

Suggest you look up the definition of "civil discourse".


Posted by Sean, a resident of Monroe Park
on Jan 30, 2008 at 12:35 pm

Mike,

"By their very nature, arts activities (most of them) require a facility".

I don't understand your point, Mike. CT kids should pay their own way, just like the sports kids. It is called participation fees. I ahppen to know that some of the kids that were in CT wee also in Little League. They paid for LL, but they did not pay for CT. Why is that, Mike?

There seems to be the presumption that arts are basic, and sports are not. Yet, sports are a form of performing arts.


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 30, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Sean, first, I'm not going to get into a shouting match about the relative value of sports vs. the arts. They're both vital parts of what we have come to understand as civilized culture.

That said, how much direct payment is made for the acreage devoted to playing fields and school gymnasiums in Palo Alto? Please bring me up to speed on that, and then compare those numbers to what we spend on arts facilities and arts education. I think those numbers may surprise.

Furthermore, some of the arts are just as demanding as any sport. Ballet is one example.

btw, sport is a part of physical culture. Sport is not performing art, period - not unless you subscribe to the vapid approach to so-called "sports" like poker contests, and the mindless "contests" that reality TV has contrived in its continuing attempt to turn Americans into dumbed-down cretins. Or, you have been seduced by the mindless commercialization of sports like football and baseball (both of which II have played at fairly high amateur levels) into some kind of sideshow, featuring the "best looking, hardest hitting, fastest-car-driving, most-sex-appeal, players?

The ability of a student to participate in a play, or some other art form is something that we should not do away with lightly.

Here's a speech, given at this year's commencement, at Stanford. Anyone who thinks the arts aren't necessary, or that we shouldn't be giving one heck of a lot more suppori to them in our schools and communities, should read and heed the words that follow:

***********************************************
IN THE FRAY: The Impoverishment of American Culture
Remarks delivered by Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the
Arts in his Stanford Commencement Address on July 17, 2007

There is an experiment I'd love to conduct. I'd like to survey a
cross-section of Americans and ask them how many active NBA players,
Major League Baseball players, and "American Idol" finalists they can
name. Then I'd ask them how many living American poets, playwrights,
painters, sculptors, architects, classical musicians, conductors and
composers they can name. I'd even like to ask how many living American
scientists or social thinkers they can name.

Fifty years ago, I suspect that along with Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays
and Sandy Koufax, most Americans could have named, at the very least,
Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Arthur Miller, Thornton Wilder, Georgia
O'Keeffe, Leonard Bernstein, Leontyne Price and Frank Lloyd Wright. Not
to mention scientists and thinkers like Linus Pauling, Jonas Salk,
Rachel Carson, Margaret Mead and especially Dr. Alfred Kinsey.


I don't think that Americans were smarter then, but American culture
was. Even the mass media placed a greater emphasis on presenting a
broad range of human achievement. I grew up mostly among immigrants,
many of whom never learned to speak English. But at night watching TV
variety programs like the Ed Sullivan Show, I saw -- along with
comedians, popular singers and movie stars -- classical musicians like
Jascha Heifetz and Arthur Rubinstein, opera singers like Robert Merrill
and Anna Moffo, and jazz greats like Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong
captivate an audience of millions with their art.

The same was true of literature. I first encountered Robert Frost, John
Steinbeck, Lillian Hellman and James Baldwin on general-interest TV
shows. All of these people were famous to the average American --
because the culture considered them important. Today no working-class
kid would encounter that range of arts and ideas in the popular
culture. Almost everything in our national culture, even the news, has
been reduced to entertainment, or altogether eliminated.

The loss of recognition for artists, thinkers and scientists has
impoverished our culture in innumerable ways, but let me mention one.
When virtually all of a culture's celebrated figures are in sports or
entertainment, how few possible role models we offer the young. There
are so many other ways to lead a successful and meaningful life that
are not denominated by money or fame. Adult life begins in a child's
imagination, and we've relinquished that imagination to the marketplace.

I have a reccurring nightmare. I am in Rome visiting the Sistine
Chapel. I look up at Michelangelo's incomparable fresco of the
"Creation of Man." I see God stretching out his arm to touch the
reclining Adam's finger. And then I notice in the other hand Adam is
holding a Diet Pepsi.

When was the last time you have seen a featured guest on David
Letterman or Jay Leno who isn't trying to sell you something? A new
movie, a new TV show, a new book or a new vote? Don't get me wrong. I
have a Stanford MBA and spent 15 years in the food industry. I adore my
big-screen TV. The productivity and efficiency of the free market is
beyond dispute. It has created a society of unprecedented prosperity.

But we must remember that the marketplace does only one thing -- it
puts a price on everything. The role of culture, however, must go
beyond economics. It is not focused on the price of things, but on
their value. And, above all, culture should tell us what is beyond
price, including what does not belong in the marketplace. A culture
should also provide some cogent view of the good life beyond mass
accumulation. In this respect, our culture is failing us.

There is only one social force in America potentially large and strong
enough to counterbalance this commercialization of cultural values, our
educational system. Traditionally, education has been one thing that
our nation has agreed cannot be left entirely to the marketplace -- but
made mandatory and freely available to everyone.

At 56, I am just old enough to remember a time when every public high
school in this country had a music program with choir and band, usually
a jazz band, too, sometimes even an orchestra. And every high school
offered a drama program, sometimes with dance instruction. And there
were writing opportunities in the school paper and literary magazine,
as well as studio art training.

I am sorry to say that these programs are no longer widely available.
This once visionary and democratic system has been almost entirely
dismantled by well-meaning but myopic school boards, county
commissioners and state officials, with the federal government largely
indifferent to the issue. Art became an expendable luxury, and 50
million students have paid the price. Today a child's access to arts
education is largely a function of his or her parents' income.

In a time of social progress and economic prosperity, why have we
experienced this colossal cultural decline? There are several reasons,
but I must risk offending many friends and colleagues by saying that
surely artists and intellectuals are partly to blame. Most American
artists, intellectuals and academics have lost their ability to
converse with the rest of society. We have become wonderfully expert in
talking to one another, but we have become almost invisible and
inaudible in the general culture.

This mutual estrangement has had enormous cultural, social and
political consequences. America needs its artists and intellectuals,
and they need to re-establish their rightful place in the general
culture. If we could reopen the conversation between our best minds and
the broader public, the results would not only transform society but
also artistic and intellectual life.

There is no better place to start this rapprochement than in arts
education. How do we explain to the larger society the benefits of this
civic investment when they have been convinced that the purpose of arts
education is to produce more artists, which is hardly a compelling
argument to the average taxpayer?

We need to create a new national consensus. The purpose of arts
education is not to produce more artists, though that is a byproduct.
The real purpose of arts education is to create complete human beings
capable of leading successful and productive lives in a free society.

This is not happening now in American schools. What are we to make of a
public education system whose highest goal seems to be producing
minimally competent entry-level workers? The situation is a cultural
and educational disaster, but it also has huge and alarming economic
consequences. If the U.S. is to compete effectively with the rest of
the world in the new global marketplace, it is not going to succeed
through cheap labor or cheap raw materials, nor even the free flow of
capital or a streamlined industrial base. To compete successfully, this
country needs creativity, ingenuity and innovation.

It is hard to see those qualities thriving in a nation whose
educational system ranks at the bottom of the developed world and has
mostly eliminated the arts from the curriculum. Marcus Aurelius
believed that the course of wisdom consisted of learning to trade easy
pleasures for more complex and challenging ones. I worry about a
culture that trades off the challenging pleasures of art for the easy
comforts of entertainment. And that is exactly what is happening -- not
just in the media, but in our schools and civic life.

Entertainment promises us a predictable pleasure -- humor, thrills,
emotional titillation or even the odd delight of being vicariously
terrified. It exploits and manipulates who we are rather than
challenging us with a vision of who we might become. A child who spends
a month mastering Halo or NBA Live on Xbox has not been awakened and
transformed the way that child would be spending the time rehearsing a
play or learning to draw.

If you don't believe me, you should read the studies that are now
coming out about American civic participation. Our country is dividing
into two distinct behavioral groups. One group spends most of its free
time sitting at home as passive consumers of electronic entertainment.
Even family communication is breaking down as members increasingly
spend their time alone, staring at their individual screens.

The other group also uses and enjoys the new technology, but these
individuals balance it with a broader range of activities. They go out
-- to exercise, play sports, volunteer and do charity work at aboutthree times the level of the first group. By every measure they are
vastly more active and socially engaged than the first group.

What is the defining difference between passive and active citizens?
Curiously, it isn't income, geography or even education. It depends on
whether or not they read for pleasure and participate in the arts.
These cultural activities seem to awaken a heightened sense of
individual awareness and social responsibility.

Art is an irreplaceable way of understanding and expressing the world
-- equal to but distinct from scientific and conceptual methods. Artaddresses us in the fullness of our being -- simultaneously speaking to
our intellect, emotions, intuition, imagination, memory and physical
senses. There are some truths about life that can be expressed only as
stories or songs or images.

Art delights, instructs, consoles. It educates our emotions. And it
remembers. As Robert Frost once said about poetry, "It is a way of
remembering that which it would impoverish us to forget." Art awakens,
enlarges, refines and restores our humanity.




Posted by Kids 1st, a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 30, 2008 at 1:41 pm

There is an alternative business model.

PYT is a children's theater in Mountain View. The operation is fair and free of nepotism and cronyism. Seems to this observer that Palo Alto would do well in considering a merger with this operation.

Furthermore, PYT achieves great productions without all the funding we see with the Palo Alto theater operation.

1,000,000 dollars is a huge temptation that always draws excuse makers and personal justifications.


A tip for the Palo Alto PD - financial crime problem?
Call the IRS. I am sure their is a false 1040 or other federal criminal matter.



Posted by Art F., a resident of Gunn High School
on Jan 30, 2008 at 2:27 pm

as someone who has dealt with both CT and PYT and can say that PYT plays favorites with the "wealthy" kids for more than I have ever seen at the CT.
Trust me when I say, if you donate the big bucks and put in many many hours your kid (talent or not) will be the lead again and again and again.
If you are a working parent with little time and only spend the bare minimum your child (talent or not) will be in the chourus every time.
It should be noted that CT does in fact have fees for summer programs and other classes during the school year. However the price is far more economical than for anything at PYT --
I suggest that if you have a lot of money and want your child to have a lead role - join PYT. If you want you child to have a well rounded full community experience - you could not do any better ANYWHERE than at the CT.


Posted by dad, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 30, 2008 at 2:37 pm

I second Art's opinion re: the differences between PYT and CT.


Posted by Joe Taxpayer, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jan 30, 2008 at 4:32 pm

I think it is more than fair the people donate from free will as opposed to government theft via taxes from those who do not care about theater.

I only want the pot holes filled and the criminals in jail.

Quit stealing my money to make your self feel better.



Posted by Take-It-Private, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2008 at 4:51 pm


> Adult life begins in a child's imagination, and we've relinquished
> that imagination to the marketplace.

Not exactly clear how this statement can be shown to be true, but it is clear to this academic elite is horrified by the idea and existence of "the marketplace". The marketplace is the great equalizer. It offers society a place where people who have worked to trade their time, their energy, and their unique skill set with someone else who has another skill-set using an opportunity to trade their products, wares and/or services based on a mutual agreement of equal value, or at least perceived equal value.

This elitist at Stanford seems to be showing great horror that idea, abhorring the idea that artists should actually have to do something that has value in the marketplace, being expected to demonstrate its value and deal with people who many not want to buy their particular "product".

If artists had anything to say, the marketplace would scoop it up--because people are not nearly as stupid as this elitist would have us believe.

And it would seem eminently clear that this elitist is saying that "artists" are not like other people, and should not be bound by the same economic laws like the rest of us are.

> Art is an irreplaceable way of understanding and expressing
> the world

Most of us would like to see the world as it is, not in some "encoded" fashion that has been provided by someone who may not have any understanding of the reality of the world, or be even remotely attuned to its history and the evolution of the peoples of the planet.

Artists should be free to do whatever it is that they do, just not subsidized by the taxpayers who are told that they have no input into "art" and are not likely to be able to understand the "art of the elites" anyway.

We also have to worry about government sponsored art. The NAZIs and the Communists have shown the world just how government "understands and expresses the world", as told through the eyes of government sanctioned "artists".

By and large, a long polemic by someone who is in the education industry, and not really a member of the world at large.


Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2008 at 4:57 pm

TIP

This makes it sound that there is something superior in the after school activities or those involved in arts rather than any other activity.

I feel that adult life is evolving in all activities a child goes through and whether we invest their time in theatre or sports, volunteerism or free play, additional learning or scouting, the value of the time spent on how the kids mature is relatively equal.

I do not want the theatre crowd thinking that they are doing something superior for their kids than others are doing in other just as rewarding and maturing activity.


Posted by Take-It-Private, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2008 at 5:16 pm

> I do not want the theatre crowd thinking that they
> are doing something superior for their kids than others
> are doing in other just as rewarding and maturing activity.

There are always going to be who are richer, smarter, better dancers, better singers and who think that they are just all-round better. That's life.

The issue here is whether a small number of these people have a right to government subsidies to advance their "betterment" at the expense of other kids, and the city environment as a whole.

Keep in mind, that the $1M yearly subsidy is $10M every decade, and maybe $20M if properly invested. That money could be better spent on the city as a whole, than on this little group.


Posted by Fireman, a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2008 at 8:49 am

Missing last summer???? Wow right on top of that?? Slow down your moving to fast. Got to make this investigation last.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 31, 2008 at 9:38 am

I have only heard positives about PYT.


Posted by Newark resident, a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Shame on you!
"With people like Terry, Palo Alto will soon be as fine a city as Milpitas, or maybe even Union City. There are reasons lots of people want to live here, and one of them is the great old Children's Theatre. Knock down all the charming old houses, build up Taco Bell monstrosities, cut arts funding, put up some strip malls, and we might as well save ourselves some money and move to Newark."
Posted by a Palo Alto parent, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 29, 2008 at 9:08 pm

PALO ALTO PARENT--
What's wrong with NewarK? And why would you trash it in this forum? Obviously you are an elitist pig. They have alot to offer citizens in Newark, including a state of the art recreation center with an indoor Olympic size pool. They also have an active theater company with many productions that actually offer socially redeeming topics such as "The Laramie Project". There's more cultural diversity in Newark than Palo Alto any day; they have numerous Community events and Parades, and---guess what? Alot of families live there! Another thing I like about Newark: they have an "Old Town". What's that you say? Well, it's just that. They want to preserve the history and heritage of the old Town of Newark, before it became a City. How long would that last in Palo Alto? It wouldn't. Big developers would have smashed any plans to preserve an Old Town, what with the millions they could make off of "redevelopment".
Yes, you all who can afford to live in Palo Alto(including the 4 CT staff) sure do pay the price. Not only in housing prices, but you live in a pretty insulated world. Oh, and before anyone goes off about how much tax they pay here, it is directly related to the assessed value of your house, so really, it's all relative. People here don't really pay that much more for a "lifestyle" that is Palo Alto, because they presumably can afford it.
You, as a parent have the responsibility to teach your children that just because you don't think something is fair, just or right, don't degrade others or the city they live in just because you are priviliged enough to be able to reside in Palo Alto.


Posted by Art lover, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 31, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Art is in the eye of the beholder. A well turned double play is a beautiful, spontaneous and interpretive thing. Much better than some of the outdoor "art" on California Ave., or that piece of junk in front of City Hall.

Palo Alto should get out of paying for art. Leave it to the believers that want to donate their money.


Posted by Derek Wood, a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Newark resident,

you misunderstand - Palo Alto Parent meant Newark, NEW JERSEY. ;)

p.s. How about we all lighten up a little? Tomorrow's Friday!


Posted by Mayfield Child, a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 1, 2008 at 10:30 am

This thread gives a little twist to the old saying

"BREAK A LEG".....

Well wishes to the staff for a speedy recovery.


Posted by Mayfield Child, a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 1, 2008 at 10:34 am

AND ON WITH THE SHOW!!!!!


Posted by no more said, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 2, 2008 at 1:08 am

RIP Michael Litfin


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