We'll kick off the New Year with responses to last week's package of resolutions for living in Donald Trump's America in 2017.
"I really loved reading this," writes Cajun Lady. "I have been so angry and depressed since November 8 that at times I feel useless. However, today I feel rejuvenated and motivated by everything written here. I truly hope people in North Carolina and the United States seriously think about what has taken place since the elections. Rather than letting certain racist and misogynistic groups think they have won and that it's 'game on' for outrageous behavior, we need to address the wrongs and try to make things right and better."
Cityfox asks: "How is it the country clubbers, gated-community billionaires, and trust-fund babies get to use the word 'elitist'? The real story: the so-called job creators did not want to spend money to train workers for the digital age. The bosses wanted low-wage workers. They didn't want to pay health or pension benefits. Owners closed factories. They left town for overseas. Complacent workers in rural areas did not take advantage of government programs to retool and learn new computer/digital skills. The revenue base of towns dwindled as rural kids moved to cities for jobs. They didn't want to stay down on the farm or work in coal mines or steel mills. Once Trump voters find out they've been bamboozled, maybe they'll start voting in their own best interests."
Finally, John Allore, a former managing director of Deep Dish Theater Company and a member of the financing team for Durham's DPAC, has some thoughts on the troubles facing independent theater companies in the Triangle ["Fade to Black," December 21]: "1) We are in relatively good economic times. A good time to ask for money or plan your capital campaign. A recession will hit again: not a good time to ask. Plan now, wait for a recession, move back into a pop-up space, and buy a property at a discount.
"2) What to buy? Consider the assets local governments tend to own. Then consider if any of those assets in your community are abandoned or have 'outworn their useful life.' I'm thinking schools, rec centers, fire stations, etc. Is there a local eyesore that could be converted? Would you be solving a community problem? Could you partner with your town or city?
"3) Deep Dish didn't close because it failed. Shows were sold out well in advance of opening night. Deep Dish closed because Silverspot didn't want the competition. There is still an audience on that side of the Triangle.
"4) Consider joint-ventures/multiuse. People tend to forget that Burning Coal took an old school and converted it into a theatre and affordable housing. 5) Owning is good; a long-term lease is just as good. 6.) The next time your local government pitches a new rec center, tell them you want a theater instead.
"7) Propose a theater to your local government. How do you do this? Get on the government's citizens capital advisory committee. 8) The Durham Budget Office is about to release a survey in the new year asking citizens to weigh in on future capital needs. A theater is not on the draft list, but that doesn't mean you couldn't write it in.
"9) The Carrboro Board of Aldermen didn't reject the Artscenter's bid to build a performing arts venue. They asked them to go back to the table and return when they had a better strategic vision. To my knowledge, the Artscenter hasn't returned with a proposal, and I would propose that, ever since they dropped theatrical programming from their mission, they no longer represent our interests. There is nothing precluding another group coming forward and making a request to Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Orange, Chatham, or all four!"