Fulton seemed weary
Regarding your Aug. 6 editorial about the departure of San Diego Planning Director Bill Fulton: I don't think it was so much a change in mayors as just people. He was very frustrated at the communty meetings. I also watched him at the city meetings reporting on "progress"—he looked tired and depressed. I think an academic environment is better for him. I agree it is a loss for us.
Jan Bourgeois, East Village
Stop being so emotional
In reply to the Aug. 6 letter from Nicola Ranson about the Central American children escaping poverty: She compared this with Jews of Europe escaping death in the 1940s.
This is the thinking of people who function with emotion rather than rational reasoning. We must not keep the children here; we must, with hearts bursting, return them to Guatemala, etc., as speedily as possible, after seeing to their health and hygiene. Otherwise, a multitude will come from all over the world to join 300 million Americans, only about 10 million of whom support everyone else. Picture a VW with people bursting out of all windows; productive Americans and businesses will leave this land, tired of supporting too many non-productive dependants.
Our heart-bleeding must stop, and we must, as a nation, look to improving ourselves and seeking foreigners who have come to contribute to the common needs, rather than being led by heart-bleeders like Ms. Ranson. The nations from which these kids come have to be made to support their populations or they must be overthrown by the people of that nation. As long as the U.S. eases the pressure on them, they don't have to change.
Our leaders must stop kissing emotional rumps, and opportunists who benefit from this invasion, and do what they know they must.
Saul Harmon Gritz, Hillcrest
Hedgecock and arts funding
I enjoyed reading Kinsee Morlan's second installment of the county's relationship with local arts organizations ["Art & Culture," Aug. 13]. When I saw "the Voluntary Fund for the Arts" commented upon, it rang a big bell inside my memory bank. That idea originated with me when Roger Hedgecock was a county Supervisor in the early '80s.
At that time, I was a volunteer working in the COMBO annual corporate fund drive, giving me insights into the arts world in our county. When I saw first hand the hard time the arts had in raising donated funds, the thought occurred to me that there has to be a way to get the word out countywide but at low cost.
What goes to every legal parcel regularly? Property tax billings! I contacted Hedgecock with the idea to have an insert in every property-tax bill, giving individuals, businesses and other property owners the opportunity to support the arts community in our county. Hedgecock immediately saw the upside potential and did what needed to be done within the county to bring the idea to fruition, and it became a reality. These inserts became routine.
The challenge became for the county to sell the idea in the public domain so it could be successful. As I recall, that effort never really got traction, so it bounced along, bringing in a modest level of arts funding, but that was after the county first reimbursed itself for the cost to manage this effort. The net dollars raised is what Leah Goodwin had available for arts funding. I never knew how much the county skimmed off the gross receipts; I don't think that amount was ever publicized.
The biggest supporter of this initiative, Hedgecock, left the Board of Supervisors to become mayor of San Diego, and so I believe it became an orphan until about 1993, when the county did away with it. I also think that the various arts groups did little to keep this funding vehicle front and center in the public's mind as another source of funds.
I still believe that, if done right, this type of outreach effort into the broader county community could be very workable and monetarily rewarding. Just look at how successful the recent crowd-funding initiative was for the San Diego Opera! One thing I did learn in all this was the over-the-top level of politics that seems to permeate the arts world in our county. Like most everything these days, it's about the money and controlling that fund of dollars for the benefit of the arts community. Politicians don't want to lose control of how any publicly generated dollars are spent!
Just thought you'd like background on the beginning of the Voluntary Fund for the Arts. Wonder what Hedgecock would say these days about this initiative for which he did all the heavy lifting.
Lou Cumming, La Jolla
Thanks for the laughs
Why I look forward to Wednesdays and the drive to get CityBeat: "Cleaner than the colon of a vegan prom queen!" ["Sordid Tales," Aug. 13]. You clearly got lots of laughs from this reader. Thank you, our precious good golly Gollum!
Kilian Roever, Chula Vista
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