Letters to the editor

  • by BAR staff
  • Wednesday January 31, 2024
Share this Post:
Letters to the editor

APE should offer old seats to public

Two years have passed since the owners of the Castro Theatre announced that Another Planet Entertainment would be its new manager. While insiders worked behind the scenes with City Hall to thwart the will of the thousands of people who registered their opposition, both in person and as petition signers, the green light was given to destroy the seating configuration.

The last movie in the theater will be shown on February 4 and then the theater will close for perhaps two years for construction and remodeling. The slogan "Save the Seats" became a rallying cry for opponents of the installation of tiers with removable seating and I am wondering what will become of the actual seats in the destruction phase?

It would be nice of APE to offer them to interested members of the public to have as relics of their lost temple. Or perhaps donate them to organizations supporting cinema throughout the Bay Area for use in fundraising projects. This could be one last chance for some good to come out of a sad (for many of us) situation.

Michael Merrigan

San Francisco

Middle East conflict is long-running

In her article ("South Bay candidates debate for House seat," January 25) Heather Cassell writes "The Israel-Hamas conflict started on October 7...." Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Israel-Hamas conflict originates with Hamas' 2006 legislative election victory and seizure of full control over Gaza. Before that watershed event, the Benjamin Netanyahu government of the late 1990s tolerated Hamas' growing influence in Gaza as a way of undermining the more moderate and secular Palestinian Authority trying to negotiate a sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. After returning to power in 2009 and again in 2022, the Netanyahu government ignored the financial assistance Qatar provided to Hamas as part of its cynical "divide and conquer" policy to prevent an independent Palestine.

In response to Hamas missiles fired into Israel beginning in 2005, successive Israeli governments often responded with a disproportionate use of massive aerial bombardments that destroyed homes and other critical infrastructure and resulted in the death of thousands of innocent men, women, and children throughout Gaza.

By ignoring the preceding two decades of violence, Cassell dishonors the memory of the dozens of Israeli as well as the thousands of Palestinian civilians who have been the victims of both Hamas extremism and Netanyahu's Machiavellian tactics to cling to power and avoid going to jail for corruption prior to the current escalation of what is a decades-long conflict.

Tom O'Keefe

San Francisco

Never miss a story! Keep up to date on the latest news, arts, politics, entertainment, and nightlife. Sign up for the Bay Area Reporter's free weekday email newsletter. You'll receive our newsletters and special offers from our community partners.

Support California's largest LGBTQ newsroom. Your one-time, monthly, or annual contribution advocates for LGBTQ communities. Amplify a trusted voice providing news, information, and cultural coverage to all members of our community, regardless of their ability to pay -- Donate today!