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OSNA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving a sense of community by sponsoring group activities and providing members with the information, tools and administrative support necessary to address important local issues.

You can contact us at StratfordNeighbors@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Save the Theatre & The White House" Rally ... Thursday 5/24 4:30 PM

Recent actions by the Mayor and certain Town Council members make it clear that they have declared war on the theatre, the White House, Councilman Matt Catalano and all Shakespeare Theatre and Performing Arts Center supporters and volunteers.

Their actions require those that value the Historic District, the Performing Arts and our neighborhood integrity to join us Thursday May 24th in front of the White House at 4:30pm. We all must act NOW and make our numbers and voices seen and heard. Channel 8 News is already scheduled to cover the rally and other news outlets, blogs and citizen advocacy groups have been notified, are organizing and plan focused and wide spread coverage. It's time to act go, spread the word and go viral.

Here are a few of the salvos fired by the anti-theatre war mongers:
  • April 10th: Mayor Harkins without warning and behind closed doors orders the locks changed on the theatre and demands the return of all keys. The night before at the Town Council meeting, Councilman Catalano and SaveStratford Advocate Tom Smith attempt to get the Raymark Resolution on the agenda. So the Mayor responds the very next day. 
    • The Mayor's action was NOT a coincidence. 
    • The Mayor's excuse? The theatre is not safe and must be throughly checked out for code violations before anymore events take place. 
    • Really? Not safe? Over 6,000 people visited the theatre last year and volunteers have been working inside the theatre for 2 years. Where was the Mayor's concern then? Hmmm?
  • May 9th: The Mayor announces that the code violations in the theatre will cost $377K to fix. No real details, no report, just a number to get taxpayers riled up and justify keeping the doors locked.
    • Subsequent letters to the editors and blog posts point to a veritable stonewalling of the volunteers and supporters by the Mayor and certain council members
  • May 14th: At the Town Council public forum, scores of supporters show and speak on behalf of the theatre and White House asking the Council to take action, unlock the theatre doors and follow through on the bids to fix the White House.
    • Barely half the Council show for the Public Forum.
    • During the Council meeting, this video clip shows the hostility and stonewalling by the Mayor and suggestions by Councilman Jim Connor that, "it might be time to think of another use for the theatre property, such as senior housing or a sports complex."
    • Sports complex? Really? In the Historic District? In a residential area?
    • The back and forth between Matt and the Mayor in the video clip says it all
  • May 16th: Councilman Catalano responds to the assault, the verbal abuse and the total dishonesty by the Mayor and the silence of the rest of the Council.
    • Bravo Matt for saying what everyone has been thinking since April 10th. It's time to "call it likes we sees it folks." 
There are many more articles and letters to the editor that detail the salvos since April 10th, but the overall message and strategy of the those that want to tear down the theatre AND the White House is crystal clear.

The Mayor, his supporters and the back room developers who have their sites set on all that riverfront property feel they can lock the doors and stop the volunteers from opening the theatre because they believe that the theatre/White House advocates are all talk and no action.

Well after watching and reading about the events and actions of the past 45 days, hopefully, you are like me and are "Mad as Hell and I'm Not Going to Take it Anymore"!!

Judging by the emails, blog posts and comments and follow up letters I have read the past week, I'd say the anti-theatre players have gone too far and awaken the sleeping giant that is the citizenry of Stratford.

Show your supposed town representatives and Mayor they've gone to far and join your neighbors and friends May24th at 4:30 outside the White House to "Save our Heritage."

Its time to tell the Mayor and Town Council to unlock the doors and fix the White House NOW

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