An Opera-Sized Hole in the Fall Arts Guide
Your August 27 cover promises "the complete season," but doesn't list any of the performances in Lyric Opera of Chicago's 55th season, which begins September 26 with Puccini's Tosca, starring Chicago-area native Deborah Voigt. Gounod's Faust opens October 5, Verdi's Ernani opens October 27 (new production designed by Lyric's production design director Scott Marr), Janacek's Katya Kabanova opens November 22, and Lehar's The Merry Widow opens December 5 (new production by Chicagoans Gary Griffin, Daniel Ostling, and Mara Blumenfeld). Your readers can learn more about these productions and order tickets at www.lyricopera.org or by calling 312-332-2244, ext. 5600. And for those who have never previously attended a Lyric performance, our "Newcomers Club" offers discounted tickets to selected performances this season: www.lyricopera.org/newcomer. —Magda Krance, Manager of Media Relations, Lyric Opera of Chicago
Do What Must Be Done
Mayor Daley has "apologized" for the "implementation" of our parking meter debacle ["Fail," parts one, two, and three, by Ben Joravsky and Mick Dumke), but he still won't own up to the financial failure it is for the city and how it has adversely affected the lives of the vast majority of Chicagoans. Daley should resign, but he is too arrogant to do so, so voters must oust him at the next election.
Voters held Michael Bilandic accountable for snow removal, and they should similarly hold Daley accountable for this mess. It's time for Chicago voters to tell Daley: "You're fired!" —Walter Zarnecki, 35th Ward Republican Committeeman, Logan Square
Who'll Pick Up Where the IG Leaves Off?
Re: "City inspector David Hoffman quits," by Mick Dumke, August 26
Mick: The next phase of the discussion regarding Hoffman's bid should focus on his stated goal (and main platform issue) of reform and cleaning up corruption in Illinois. Maybe if he successfully ran for the AG position (as he originally planned, according to most sources thus far), he would be in a position to go after the corruption we in Illinois and Chicago are so troubled by.
But if Hoffman prevails in his Senate run, what real good does that do us when it comes to our local scandals and corruption? I see only rare examples of federal senators affecting timely and important change where local corruption is concerned. For example, we would have to wait for Hoffman to be the senior senator before he would even have a say in who gets appointed U.S. attorney (the choice of which obviously bears on local corruption). I suppose that another example of a senator's ability to impact local corruption is just the way that they wield their influence. They can disfavor and strategize to cut out known corrupt players from federal projects, etc. But that would occur during less than transparent back door dealings, which shouldn't sit right with us.
So I ask, if Hoffman makes it to Washington, what muscle stays behind to effectively police local corruption in Illinois and Chicago?
Hoffman has done a great job in many ways as Chicago IG, and has always shown himself to be politically ambitious. I think now we're reaching a phase where his fight on local corruption issues is drawing to a close, and his ambition is taking the wheel. If he makes it, he'll be a good senator, I guess, but Chicago's going to have to look elsewhere for its next big reformer. —pete sapeye
I think the term is Hubris when it comes to this move. He is not going to be able to raise $5-$8 million dollars for the primary and then another $10 million for the general against Mark Kirk—not at $1,500 limit per pop per the FEC rules.
Hell, he is going to have a hard time collecting 5,000-10,000 signatures and getting his name on the ballot without a political organization—the same organizations he finds so reprehensible.
This move just shows that all of his pimping of the media (or him being a media whore) was calculated for a run for political office—but he was too much of a wimp to run against Lisa Madigan for a job for which he is better suited.
Anyway, it will be entertaining seeing him go down in flames. —Ballot Challenge
Be Suspicious, Be Very Suspicious
Re: "Saints Talking" by Deanna Isaacs, August 28
It's the same phenomenon as with the board of the Theatre Building: When boards get big enough, they eat their own. Not their young, as with lions, but their old, as with humans. Secrecy always accompanies the pursuit of power, like smoke and fire. Whenever someone seems to be hiding something, it's because they've got something to hide. And they're too self-absorbed to see how their every effort to conceal it makes its exposure all the more inevitable. —Lawrence Bommer
More Background on William Burroughs
Re: "William Burroughs, Unabridged" by Ed M. Koziarski, August 28
Howard Brookner's documentary Burroughs (1983) is a must-see. You can still rent it from Facets Multimedia on VHS, though I don't think it's ever been issued on DVD. Brookner died of AIDS some time ago, so who knows what happened to the film rights. —J.R. Jones
I actually had something to do with Burroughs coming to Lawrence—I was on the student activities committee and we booked Ginsberg to give a reading, and Burroughs tagged along (quite unexpectedly) and decided he liked the town. A couple of years later I arranged for him and Grauerholz to come to Wichita for a reading and a screening of the Brookner film, and a signing at a local bookstore the next day. You can see the radical, borderline-surreal inscription he left in my copy of Naked Lunch here: http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=54595#p54595. —Michael Gebert