Thursday, January 22, 1998
A Slap to Rap?
No intentional disrespect towards Danny Hoch >(CW, Jan 8), but his futile attempt to awaken the Carmel elite to the hip hop culture is like bringing the Wu-Tang Clan to Sesame Street. Hip hop was created out of the desperation of inner city youth to have an outlet to express themselves through art, dance, poetry and music.
It was an alternative to help reduce gang violence that existed in New York during the early to mid-'70s. Graffiti, breakdancing, MCing (rapping) and DJing are the four pillars and the foundation of hip hop, which is respected and recognized all over the world.
Perhaps Hoch's intentions were sincere, but reducing our culture to using profanity, sunglasses and a mere baseball cap is a slap in the face and a stigma for those that live and breathe this powerful art form. If Hoch was concerned about enlightening the sleeping masses and preserving the culture then why bring a performance to a venue where people of color seldom shop, visit or even live?
I've been reading Coast Weekly since '94 after moving from New Jersey and I haven't seen or read an in depth article on hip hop yet. Hip hop is meant to be told not sold, because the only things I see in Carmel that are black and brown are the sidewalks and roads.
Pay Our Teachers
I am a relatively new parent of a child in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. To my shame, I am not familiar with many of the administrative, political and budget constraints that hinder the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District superintendent and board during current salary negotiations with the teachers. My involvement with my child's school has for the most part been limited to assisting with school functions, volunteering at fundraisers, and assisting in the classroom. But, after being informed that negotiations were essentially at an impasse, I took a more active role in questioning the situation. What I did find was: 1) The board asserts that there are no available resources to provide the teachers with the concededly deserved raises expected by the teachers. 2) The board spent an awful lot of money sending to parents in the district and "all interested parties" an extensive outline of its position regarding the negotiations (not enough money). 3) When questioned about such dubious use of school funds, District Superintendent Billy DeBerry's response was, "We can spend the money any way we want." Hmm. Mismanagement. Unaccountability. Arrogance. Am I becoming familiar with the administrative, political constraints that hinder the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District superintendent and school board position during these negotiations?
The Seaside City Manager welcomed the County Grand Jury's investigation, feeling it would be a slam dunk in his favor.
Instead, the Grand Jury called a couple of technical and personal fouls on him, his staff, and the city council, giving the game to the citizens and city workers. Of course, the game will be appealed by his designated cheerleader and pom-pom girls.
The Grand Jury's final report found many things wrong with the way the city's government has been run for the past two or so years, and placed the blame squarely on the city council's shoulders.
The report zeroed in on the polarization of the city council and its endemic troika-to-two votes that consistently rubber-stamped the city manager's schemes.
Maybe the Grand Jury's findings and recommendations will serve as a two-by-four between the eyes and get the attention of the Seaside mule. Let's hope the voters will stay awake and remember to vote on Nov. 3.
E-mail or Snail-mail Us
We encourage you to express your thoughts and reactions to our stories. We reserve the right to edit for space and/or libel. Please include your name, daytime phone number and the city in which you live. Write us:
By post: Letters, Coast Weekly, 668 Williams Ave., Seaside, CA 93955;
By fax: (408) 394-2909;
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org