We rejoice that an anonymous gift of $700,000 will enable our Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra to resume concert schedules. However:
▪ No raises for our musicians for two years.
▪ No reduction in their cost of health insurance, $1,750 per month for a family. This is 39 percent of their base salary of $54,000. Do managers pay 39 percent of their salaries for health insurance? Not likely.
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▪ Rental cost for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for Meyerson Hall is $1 a year. Rental of Bass Performance Hall is $370,000 annually. Apparently H. Ross Perot is a wiser and more generous patron of the arts.
▪ At no point did management offer to take the same salary reduction demanded of musicians.
▪ The FWSO has not launched an endowment campaign since 2000. In contrast, the Dallas Symphony raised $32 million last year, the Fort Worth Opera raised $1 million in three months, and the Fort Worth Zoo just announced a $90 million new endowment. Same economic climate.
Ronnie C. Barker,
Like many in Fort Worth, I am thrilled about the anonymous donor and the FWSO musicians’ subsequent return to work.
But I’m confused.
Richard Henderson’s Dec. 4 op-ed piece (“Musicians’ strike shows we all need to be stronger supporters of the FWSO”) implies there are now bigger financial problems than just the $700,000 mentioned by management throughout the strike.
Why the doom and gloom already? Shouldn’t this recent windfall energize the FWSO, not revert it to the same talking points it had until last week?
How much money will it take for symphony association president Amy Adkins to enthusiastically invite the public to support the symphony — an organization that brings joy and beauty to so many of us?
I’d rather not lose my symphonic concerts again in four years.
Let’s take a positive step toward growth, not a grudging one toward another year of a stagnant budget!
Jean Hadley, Benbrook
Rick Perry is the leading candidate for energy secretary in the Trump administration.
Perry once called Trump’s candidacy a “cancer” that should be “excised.”
Perry is the latest in a string of two-faced politicians who have discarded principle for personal gain.
I can’t imagine any appointee for secretary of state worse than Exxon Mobil Corp. chief executive Rex Tillerson, whom Putin presented with the Order of Friendship award.
Tillerson dismisses evidence that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) can cause earthquakes, asthma, contaminated groundwater, explosions, childhood leukemia, noise and air pollution or is a major contributor to climate change.
If Tillerson is appointed, I’m afraid every existing safeguard regulating the gas and oil industry would be lifted, every proposal for gas and oil pipelines through neighborhoods and national parks would be approved and that the Paris climate change agreement would be scuttled.