How could Perry Tannenbaum get something so wrong? Or be so uncharacteristically dismissive? (CL Fall Arts Preview, "A Bumper Crop of Boffo," August 27.)
Anyone more than passingly familiar with Charlotte Repertory Theatre over the last 20 years knows, or ought to, that only one person was indispensable to the company's survival: Debbie (Willis) Fitts. She wrote the checks, balanced the books, survived gruesome audits year after year, and helped steer the fiscal ship so that Keith Martin and Steve Umberger could tend to the artistic and commercial goals that had been set. Since 1986, only Debbie Fitts has been constant -- solving more problems on a daily basis than some CEO's face in a week. Without Debbie Fitts, I doubt there would still be a Charlotte Repertory Theatre.
What I found most interesting was that, over time, this "volunteer," this refugee from Acme foods in Baltimore, had developed her theatrical instincts. She knew what Charlotte audiences liked to see, but unfailingly supported what would challenge them as well. When reality-based thinking was required, often in short supply in the theatre world, no more solid repository of it could be found. In short, she receives now only what she more than merits and deserves. I can't imagine finding a better Managing Director.
Seldom does Perry stray this far off-course. But this time, it's a doozie. He's going to need to call the Coast Guard to make land again.
-- Roger Durrett, Matthews
Correct Me -- When I'm Wrong
In her response to my letter in the September 3 issue, Tara Servatius muses about whether or not I even read her column ("Yes, Sex Causes AIDS," August 27). I spoke at length with Commissioner James and I read all of his proposal addenda prior to reading Servatius' column. Otherwise I would not have been as confused as I was about what sounds to me like her support for his plan, which she cites in her column: "...the last people Democrat County Commissioners want on this committee are the evangelical Christian ministers that Bill James wants to support. Personally, I don't see what the big deal is."
Encouraging that part of the picture is the key to the James vehicle and -- in essence -- support of his entire plan. If Servatius had read all of James' proposal addenda, then she would know what the "big deal" is. As usual, James is attempting to lay new groundwork for his ongoing anti-gay agenda. With an AIDS policy review board in place comprised of "evangelical Christian ministers," he would be able to achieve his goal of denying county AIDS services to anyone who is -- James' words exactly -- "not involved in a heterosexual, monogamous relationship."
As Servatius states in her response, sex can transmit AIDS. That is indeed a simple premise. But when a conservative county commissioner tries to attach his own personal religious and political agenda to services that impact those with HIV, the issues become much more complex. Don't be surprised at what I or anyone else might "imagine" when a columnist fails to paint the entire picture.
-- David Moore, Charlotte
It's Green They Say
If Tim Davis had done a little research, asked some questions, or looked at the back of the Green Utility Vehicle (Printed in big letters "RUNS ON VEGI-OIL"), he would have found out that the "gargantuan, gas-guzzling Chevy Suburban" runs on recycled vegetable oil ("Politics, Hotdogs and Music," Scene & Herd, Sept. 3). The GUV (http://www.ncgreenbus.com/) is a project of the Campus Greens from North Carolina State University, Meredith, and UNC-Wilmington, and has been touring the state for the past few months.
-- Gray Newman, Co-Chair Charlotte Area Green Party
Way Different In Boston
I stopped teaching in the 1980s when I saw the radical left take over our schools ("Why New Teachers Quit," by Shannon Griffin, August 13). Female teachers were whipped up into a feminist frenzy of pro-girl and blatant anti-boy activism in their classrooms. I felt sick to my stomach as I heard teachers giggling about putting the screws to (white) boys, especially athletes, in the classroom. I hate racism -- and the Left is racist --hating and demeaning white Americans. I hear now they have "progressed" in my state to tell the children to fist one another's butts. The current state of education is abusive to children and I am no child abuser.
-- Jo Thompson, Boston, MA
Condoms Usually Reliable
I must take serious exception with the information on condoms in Tara Servatius' article ("Yes, Sex Causes AIDS," August 27). What is the source of information on condom failure? Having been married for 32 years to a woman who considers semen to be toxic waste, we have never had sex without using a condom, and in 1000+ condoms being used, none have ever failed. I have to wonder, what brands of condoms have such a high failure rate -- we have used a number of brands and have had no failures.
-- Name withheld by request