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Children's Theatre criminal probe to be dropped?
Original post made
on May 8, 2008
Palo Alto police are expected to announce early next week they have dropped the criminal investigation into financial wrongdoing at the city-run Children's Theatre, sources familiar with the case said this week. Yet Police Chief Lynne Johnson denied that an announcement of the conclusion of the investigation is imminent.
ARCHIVE: Children's Theatre investigation
Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 8, 2008, 9:59 PM
Posted by Katie Christman,
a resident of Professorville
on May 13, 2008 at 7:58 pm
Ok, folks, simmer down. I just found out some of us don't know that some of you are 'trolls', that is, folks who just like to argue and can be found commenting, usually acidly and with bad grammar, on many different topics on different forums online.
Putting these folks aside, who frankly seem as if they would rather spend their taxes on a good hanging like in the old days, you know, REAL entertainment, is hard for me, because I love the freedom of speech that our city our state and our country allow, even in these somewhat 'freedom-abrogated' times.
To all the other people on this forum, theater supporters and those who doubt the worth of the Palo Alto Children's Theater and Friend's organization, I offer the following;
The 'city owned' buildings were donated. And various enormous improvements and two more additions were funded through the Friend's, we are talking millions of dollars, and those buildings do not belong to that organization but to THE CITY. But a building is only as good as the people who inhabit it.
Our city and its residents are always seemingly more willing to spend on infrastructure, though that was not always the case. When I was a little girl, if you went to Rinconada pool, they kept your clothes safe for you, and you could buy hot, fresh food at the snack bar. My childhood summers are enriched by these memories. The city spent plenty to build the new pools and I certainly don't mind that, but when I asked, why no service, why no burgers, I was told they no longer have the staff to do it. Which means less jobs for citizens, especially young people.
The Children's Theater and Library, Junior Museum, Boy Scout House and Girl Scout house, and Lucy Stern Community Buildings and Theater are public buildings. They house variously funded community services, classes, etc., some of which are free and some of which have nominal fees. Most are subsidized in one form or another, and residents use some of them for weddings and parties, auctions, and seminars. The Junior Museum is free (with a suggested donation). This community center, just a few blocks from the Main Library and Art center, is a major organ of our city. It serves us all, whether we know it or not. It provides recreation, excersize, companionship, education, comeradery, and many other social benefits including 'keeping them darn teenagers out of trouble'( it is interesting to me that the detailed description of 'theater insider' 'teenagers' (in their twenties) who supposedly helped the thief break in doesn't seem to fit any known theater participants. Probably friends or acquaintences of involved kids, not the kids themselves, if they even existed).
My daughter started wanting to volunteer at age six. Most organizations don't allow volunteers until twelve or more. Children's Theater starts at eight for volunteering, if your mommy comes too.
Most 'children's' organizations don't include twenty-four year olds, either, but ours helps kids make the transition from child to responsible adult, in fact the 'kids' in their twenties who have been RUNNING the place in Pat Brigg's absence started there as children.
This is a VERY SPECIAL place, and I say, if theater is not your bag, it should be a model for similar public/private partnerships. I have a two year old, and when she is eight, her sister will be twenty, yet it will be possible for them to both be involved at the same theater at the same time. Furthermore it has stood the test of time, and my Grandmother was in the first plays way back in the thirties. My kids can go and see pictures of Great Grandma and Mom and Auntie on the wall.
And if you think I had a childhood of privilage, you are right. But our house was small, we rented, we had lots of kids, and little money. What made me privilaged was LIVING in PALO ALTO, where fabulous resources such as the theater were equally accessible and attractive to children of very different backgrounds, socially and financially. I live here now, because it is NOT a suburb, it is a beautiful small city, and I love it because I found my place here despite being told many times I could never live here as an adult. I hung out with kids who went to Harvard and Swarthmore and Pomona and Santa Cruz, Berkeley and Penn State, and whose parents were doctors and lawyers and teachers and poets or who bagged groceries and kept chickens. Some went to Paris or Hawaii every Christmas, some got in an RV to visit their grandparents in Sun City.
The Children's Theater is an integral part of our city, and there are many other important parts. I agree that more oversight needs to be put in place, not just for the Theater, either (what is this about a thirty thousand dollar temporary roundabout?!). But you who say, 'get it off the city's dollar' are literally cutting of your noses to spite your face, and I say, instead you should bring YOUR concerns and constructive ideas forward, tell us what you are interested in funding, lets do it! As long as it doesn't require petty mean suppositions about people, or digs at people who aren't cynical, or divisive and cruel innuendos, which are in my humble opinion NOT representative of our city, (I know, I know, we're going to lose some of you trolls on that one, oh, well), I bet you can get a grass-roots movement to include curling or morris dancing or whatever activities you favor. Let me know, maybe I can help you write a grant.
In the mean time, Hurrah! I can go down and buy my eight dollar ticket and watch my kid and my neighbors' kids and my nieces perform, and sit on the grass with my two-year old, and enjoy ONE building where, at least, we still have STAFF as a priority, and where everyone is welcome.
Love to my City and all of its inhabitants,
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