Fabio's Turn -- I very much appreciate Marty Demarest's article "Orchestral Maneuvers" (11/20/03) on the state of the orchestras in the United States. If we constantly had the sort of insightful coverage that The Inlander provided in this article, we would certainly be playing to a different beat today.
I would like only to clarify two points. First, I have never suggested that the Symphony should not have a role in the education of the new generations of music lovers. Those who know my work at the Spokane Symphony can testify to the enormous strides we have been able to make in providing as much music education we can within the limited resources we have. And this is the issue. If I blame the shift in public education away from the arts, it is because this has affected not only the professional cultural organizations in town but also the quality of education overall.
Second, I think that it is indisputable that culture (in the proper sense of the word) has little space in the media, unless it is disguised as something else. It is not a question of blaming the media for our ills, but we can't say that we have been helped by it, either.
As for the young student who complained about the high ticket prices for symphony concerts, I am glad to say that we have tickets available for all our concerts for less than what it costs to attend a movie. And if younger people are intimidated by the "formal nature and esoteric etiquette" associated with symphony concerts, I would encourage them to come to one of our Met concerts.
The Spokane Symphony can be proud of its efforts in providing high-quality music to this community while still remaining financially stable. With articles like this on a regular basis, we may maneuver ourselves out of this crisis. There is nothing else like great music to remind us all of our humanity.
Music Director, Spokane Symphony
Save the STA -- At least the wealthy and elite of Spokane can be assured that they will continue to get exclusive and preferential representation by a career politician, our new mayor. Congratulations, your special interests will be met while the rest of the city remains a living ghost town.
The STA will get help preventing the disabled and elderly from getting to medical care and other services. STA will also get support with helping the working poor of Spokane lose their jobs by its continued efforts to eliminate their primary source of transportation. Sen. West did nothing to prevent this.
The streets in the neighborhoods predominantly populated by the working poor will continue to deteriorate, once the working poor lose their jobs because public transportation is no longer available. Lacking an income, they won't be able to afford cars; therefore, fixing streets will be a waste of tax dollars. Sen. West did help western Washington cities get their streets fixed with our tax dollars.
As the county commissioners, Spokane City Council, our new mayor and the STA board work hard to eliminate public transportation, as Spokane's infrastructure continues to fail, as our educated youth relocate to cities with jobs, as small businesses are replaced with conglomerates paying minimum wage and as nonprofit social service agencies are further stretched to their financial limits, we can be happy that Sen. West has fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming the mayor of Spokane. Let's hope that Mayor West does not continue the work that Sen. West did for Spokane.
Publication date: 12/04/03