The Public Voice
Letters To The Editor 9.20.12
Thursday, September 20, 2012
It is no secret that MoM is a historically troubled organization (“Lisa Coscino, credited with revitalizing Museum of Monterey, ousted from director spot,” Sept. 13-19). For it to succeed means a coordinated effort by a creative director (someone like Coscino), a development director and operations manager – all managing well their own realms, as well as seeking resources in unity AND inspiring the staff.
Ultimately, the MoM’s Board of Directors must lead in supporting these efforts, as they are the owners of the MoM, per the governing documents. They are principally responsible for the MoM and sustaining it. I wish them well in fulfilling their responsibilities. - Gordonfuglie | via Web
I was a volunteer for the curator at MoM working under Rachael Swarthout during most of 2011. In December 2011, she told me to take a vacation and “they would advise me when they needed me again.” Needless to say, I never received an invitation back. I was later told that I was dismissed because I was “a spy for the other side.” I never knew there were sides in MHAA. I don’t believe Rachael acted on her own to dismiss me without the approval or suggestion of the executive director. Who in the world fires volunteers, especially those whose work has been greeted with appreciation? - Emily Griffith | via Web
I am a big fan of Walter Ryce and always look forward to reading his take on the art scene in Monterey. As a former treasurer and board member of MoM I took great interest in your piece of Aug. 9, “Mother of Reinvention,” which states that, “A look back at the reborn Museum of Monterey (aka MoM) suggests it’s cleared the storm that nearly wrecked it.” This assessment makes things refreshingly clear… or does it?
When I joined the board in September 2010 the MHAA endowment fund was about $750,000. The association then sold the Perry-Downer house and added another $850,000 to the reserves. Today the endowment stands at roughly $550,000. Evidently, the “revolution” described in your article has not extended to fund raising.
Lisa Coscino states that she has increased admission revenues from $230 to $3,145. What does this actually mean? Is it $3,145 in revenue per day? Per week? Per month? Or all year? If it is per day, then the museum should take great satisfaction in the programming successes of the past year. If it is per week or more, then the programs are doing only as well as those of the old Maritime Museum.
These are tough times for nonprofits and it will be difficult to support MHAA from $10 admission fees alone. Here is an idea: Ask the beneficiaries of the MoM programming to contribute. A few crumbs from the L.A. successes of Brandon Boyd (“front-man for Incubus”) and Cheech Marin (comedian-actor turned art collector) would go a long way toward filling the deficits. And these stars would get much needed PR from contributing to MoM. By contrast, why should MoM expect anything from the Grammy Museum or Levi Company in the way of support (as suggested in the article)?
Where are the funds going to come from to turn the Casa Serrano property into a “jewel box for smaller gatherings like Monterey Museum of Art’s La Mirada” (the MHAA Board president’s idea)? As I recall from a recent dinner held to raise money for the Casa, the plumbing for the bathrooms were in need of drastic repair. I am embarrassed to say that I had to go into the kitchen to wash my hands. And this is nothing compared to retrofitting the house and bringing it up to handicapped accessibility standards.
And finally, what does Coscino’s closing remark mean? Coscino says, “Every exhibit starts here, goes around the world and comes back, branding with the city of Monterey. That’s the plan to take over the world.”
I interpret this in the same way that Howard Finster, the well-known Georgia folk artist and visionary once told me, “I’ve worked on perpetual motion all my life until I can travel around the world in four minutes.” - John H. Enns | via Web
Bucking the System
If MPUSD cared about our children with disabilities, then they should approve the CORAL Academy as a charter school (“MPUSD parents say special-ed kids aren’t getting attention they need,” Sept. 13-19). Oh, then they wouldn’t get the $14,000 in ADA per child. Silly me! - Shauna Davis Rowe | via Facebook
The Final Noms
(“What would be your last meal on earth, with one caveat: that it have a local link, like a local ingredient or a restaurant dish,” posted to Facebook Sept. 12.)
The last meal that would ease me into the unknown would be: crab cakes from Passionfish as an appetizer, with a glass of Pinot Gris from Hahn Family Wines; main course, a piece of meat from the Monterey Cookhouse; and for dessert a piece of olallieberry pie from Gizdich Ranch. - Alan Vasquez | via Facebook
My last meal on Earth would be fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, with loads of fresh basil and just a touch of olive oil and coarse black pepper, paired with Moet Imperial Rose Champagne please! - Bonnie Hotz | via Facebook
My last meal on Earth would start with the calamari puffs from the Sardine Factory, paired with the Carmel Roads Riesling. Next would be the Abalone bisque, again from the Sardine Factory. My entree would come from Phil’s, in Moss Landing, and that would be the cioppino paired with a bottle of La Crema Pinot Noir. And finally, for dessert, a piece of German chocolate cake, from Rosine’s in downtown Monterey, and that would be paired with the Roxo Barbera Port and a cup of fresh ground coffee. (I get that from home.) Yep, that’s what I’m talking about! - Francesca Leonard Hinkley | via Facebook
My last meal on Earth would be calamari from Francisco’s in Marina. The BEST calamari in Cali! - Alexis Maceira | via Facebook
Without a moment’s hesitation, my last meal would be a bowl of cioppino from Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing. That taste of paradise would last a long time, even if I didn’t end up there! - Jan Jurnecka | via Facebook
CORRECTION: A photo on p. 18 of the cover story (“The BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit will breach at the end of September,” Sept. 13-19) was incorrectly attributed to Brian Skerry. The photo was “Sardine Run” by photographer Thomas P. Peschak.