Letters for January 13 

Readers sound off on our best albums of the decade, the local music industry, and coffee's third wave.

Page 2 of 3

Yes. The fact that it is hard to make a living here musically is absolutely impacted by these things. Can't get a larger gig to make a little more money and sell merch unless you are part of one of Live Nation's 360 deals, or already signed to a major label that has an agreement with them, you can't publicize your gig, or get your music played on radio, because their parent company Clear Channel owns all the popular "local" radio stations, and even if you just want to go to a concert these days, tickets are too high for most people to go to see bands they like at these venues.But they even did us one better: Now you can't even go and buy a guitar to sing some rebel music without putting money directly in the pocket of some of music's historically ideological and political arch enemies.I said it.

Far-right, fundamentalist billionaire Christians now own the majority of the Bay Area's mainstream music industry, and they're not stopping there.

Conservative elements, some of them overtly Christian in California Alcohol Control, are trying desperately to close down dozens of smaller venues where music has always had a chance, places I grew up around, and played in, like Cafe Du Nord, Slim's , DNA Lounge, Great American Music Hall, Glass Kat, and Bottom of the Hill.

If you support the Fillmore, the Warfield, Guitar Center, KMEL, or anyone of the other dozens of radio stations Clear Channel owns here, you are putting money in the pockets of the Christian right.

In fact, why even bother going to the Fillmore, or Guitar Center?

Why not just send your money directly to the "Council for National Policy," the secretive right-wing think tank that some of the men I mentioned are members of? Or just send it in to "Supporters of Prop 8 in California"? You're doing the same thing each and every time you support any of these businesses corporations, by buying a ticket to the Warfield or a guitar amp from GC.

So, when your participation in a concert at the Fillmore or Warfield makes money for your enemies, or pours more cash into the coffers of Prop. 8, don't complain as they grow fatter while local music dies. The fact that they even OWN the Fillmore in the first place is insane, really. I can't even begin to draw a parallel except to say it would be like the KKK purchasing the ACLU. Seriously.

Solution: Boycott them all. Every one of them. All Clear Channel stations, Goldenvoice venues like the Warfield and Coachella, boycott mainstream radio like KMEL and ALICE, boycott Guitar Center, and also hold bands and artists accountable for who they work for and who they make money for. Meanwhile, go indie. Do your own gigs and your own promo, and take no prisoners.

There is something happening here that people need to wake up and see. We are under attack. Period

And before you make up your mind on this issue, I ask that you, the people, do some research.

I use the following search tools and relationship mappers.

1:  www.muckety.com

2: http://mapper.nndb.com/

3: http://www.viswiki.com/en/

4: www.Wikipedia.com

I think this is a wonderful time for anyone involved in the music industry, especially here in the Bay Area, to take a step back, take it all in, and see the big picture.

Piero Amadeo Infante, Berkeley


It's a Big Deal

On February 2nd, 2010, I'm voting against Measure B, and I urge you to join me.

First, Measure B violates California state law. The reports and plans offered as the basis for Measure B aren't signed by an engineer of any kind, licensed or unlicensed. We simply don't know who performed the conceptual engineering nor who wrote the measure. SunCal's Pat Kehiler claims the law requires an engineer to sign only the final engineering plans for construction bid documents, but that's plain wrong. Mr. Kehiler should go back and read Section 6735 of the California Business and Professions Code, which clearly states: "All civil...engineering plans, calculations, specifications, and reports...shall be prepared by, or under the responsible charge of, a registered civil engineer and shall include his or her name and license number."

This may seem unimportant, but it's not. Measure B includes engineering concepts and plans for sewer systems, roadways and other infrastructure features. These plans delineate very specific widths and locations for pipes, and pumping stations concepts; road and ferry system concepts; right-of-way widths; and street widths. These types of specifications are crucial to environmentally sound sewage processing and safe efficient traffic flow.

Getting the details of these types of designs wrong could have catastrophic consequences for Alamedans. If the infrastructure for Measure B is not designed by an experienced, licensed civil engineer, nightmarish traffic congestion, increased roadway hazards, sewage overflows and the like could result. So when SunCal's representatives try to tell you it's "no big deal," don't believe them.

The Legislature's original intent in passing the above Business and Professions statute was to ensure all parties investing in an engineering and construction project — banks, for instance — have solid, dependable data by which to base a realistic risk assessment. Alameda taxpayers, whose money could ultimately fund Measure B, deserve no less.

What we do know about Measure B is the engineering reports and other exhibits of almost 300 pages are voluminous and incomprehensible to a layperson. Even I, with 33 years' experience as a licensed civil engineer, had difficulty deciphering them and am not an attorney to understand all the legalese components of the one side non negotiable Development Agreement. Clearly, the Measure contains major flaws. Just a quick check reveals designs a licensed civil engineer would never propose, such as key roadways that are too narrow so that trucks do not fit and don't meet city design standards and no civil engineer would propose a ferry terminal without including the costs for cleaning and preparing the Seaplane lagoon for ferry service.

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