Put performing arts center on river

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We very much appreciate Ricardo Azziz's vision for Georgia Health Sciences University -- to move the university forward by attracting promising young researchers to the faculty. My husband, Dr. Lowell Greenbaum, was one such person recruited to what was then, more than 30 years ago, the Medical College of Georgia.

To be very honest, when I came down to visit the school and the city, I could not envision my life here. The downtown was a series of empty stores, quite desolate. In its former location, the Augusta Museum of History's outstanding display was of stuffed ducks.

While the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art always highlighted art and talented local artists, it was not until the outstanding Morris Museum of Art was established that significant art found a worthy home.

Then when I heard about the Augusta Opera, the Augusta Ballet and the Augusta Symphony, I started to give this opportunity for my husband another consideration.

We are all now in another century, and younger people want more "cool," as Dr. Azziz characterized it. Certainly a performing arts center would fit that description, as it would revitalize this city to benefit all, both newcomers and established residents; many of the latter have already expressed such a desire.

It is time for this project to move forward, and the now-vacated Golf and Gardens is the perfect location. Envision such a building fronting the Savannah River where patrons could walk out at intermission to enhance the evening's cultural experience. Augusta is fortunate to have such an exciting location, and we should make the optimum use of it.

With such an addition, Augusta definitely would fulfill its potential as a city to which people would wish to visit as tourists and relocate for professional opportunity.

Gloria R. Greenbaum

Augusta

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countyman
21630
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countyman 06/09/11 - 09:36 pm
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Building the performing arts

Building the performing arts center somewhere downtown is a wonderful idea... Continuing to think small makes Augusta end up with small results in return.. The city can build the multi-purpose facility and performing arts center..

Let's keep in mind private investors(Cal Ripken and Jim Jacoby) are behind the mix-use project while the performing arts center would be solely funded by local taxpayers..

The baseball stadium, restaurants, retail, shopping, etc creates a much larger tax base compared to the perfoming arts center... The mix-use project can become a regional tourist destination compared to the peforming art centers.

Little Lamb
48970
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Little Lamb 06/09/11 - 10:15 pm
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countyman wrote: Let's keep

countyman wrote:

Let's keep in mind private investors (Cal Ripken and Jim Jacoby) are behind the [baseball stadium on Reynolds Street] while the performing arts center would be solely funded by local taxpayers. . . .

The news media has not produced one shred of evidence that Ripken and Jacoby are willing to put up one thin dime toward the cost of a baseball stadium downtown. All we have are nervous Nellie commissioners who cower behind their motions and their votes to "enter into talks" with Ripken and Jacoby behind the closed doors of Fred (What, me worry?) Russell's office.

If Ripken and Jacoby have a proposal, you don't need an ordinance. Just put your proposal in writing and submit it to the city government and make a press release showing the public what you propose. Keep your discussions in the open.

What do you want, Ripken and Jacoby? What will it cost? What are you willing to contribute? What do you want taxpayers to contribute? What do you hope to get out of your investment? What should the taxpayers get out of their contribution?

We do not need a city government resolution to get these offers into the public debate!

countyman
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countyman 06/09/11 - 11:46 pm
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The issue is being put back

The issue is being put back on the agenda in the next two weeks..

The final cost and estimates will be available to the public in the near future..

Fundamental_Arminian
1871
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Fundamental_Arminian 06/10/11 - 03:30 am
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"It is time for this project

"It is time for this project to move forward, and the now-vacated Golf and Gardens is the perfect location. Envision such a building fronting the Savannah River where patrons could walk out at intermission to enhance the evening's cultural experience. Augusta is fortunate to have such an exciting location, and we should make the optimum use of it.

"With such an addition, Augusta definitely would fulfill its potential as a city to which people would wish to visit as tourists and relocate for professional opportunity" (Gloria Greenbaum).

The performing arts center sounds wonderful, but how are we going to pay for it? Didn't the Golf and Gardens close for lack of state funding? Haven't financial deficits forced the city to eliminate the Human Relations Commission, privatize Augusta Public Transit, and contemplate privatizing the Municipal Golf Course? Besides, how many more performing arts centers do we think we need?

If the former Golf and Gardens property is so great, surely some private investors will realize its value, buy it, and build something great that our city can collect taxes on. Meanwhile, let's learn to live within our means. The weeds on the property are teaching us a valuable lesson: Don't count on government money!

DuhJudge
206
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DuhJudge 06/10/11 - 05:10 am
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Stop spending my damn money

Stop spending my damn money for me. Socialists have infiltrated your unemployed heads. Cool happens. It isn't created artificially by a few visionaries. It happens when the movement is supported by the many because of powerful leadership, not just pulled along kicking and screaming. It is not art that comes first , nor sports, ....... it is leadership. And somebody should step up and stop these socialists NOW.

knighttime
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knighttime 06/10/11 - 06:25 am
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there was an interestng

there was an interestng debate/story on fox news the morning about long Island wanting to build a new hockey arena for their team. The just of it was that these pet projects never pay for themselves. The winners in these deals are the team owners and the people that own property around the stadium. The loosers are the taxpayers.

augusta citizen
10010
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augusta citizen 06/10/11 - 06:48 am
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I think the people who are

I think the people who are doing all the wanting need to start raising donations so they can do all they want. Wish in one hand, spit in the other, see which one fills up first.

Riverman1
93509
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Riverman1 06/10/11 - 07:05 am
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Many don't realize how small

Many don't realize how small Augusta is, yet they call for these huge projects to be built with county money. The last census showed about 200,000 people in the entire county. Only 40% of those are white, which means roughly 80,000. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I'm simply pointing out the facts.

The median income of a household in the county averages $38,000. For comparison, in Columbia County the median is $65,500.

When you consider the residents of the old city, the true urban area, the population is only 44,000 with even less whites percentage wise. These are realities and not bad things, but facts to work with. When we say we are a city of 200,000 it's not like we're an affluent midwestern city of the same size. We have to be realistic.

Bizkit
35500
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Bizkit 06/10/11 - 07:07 am
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I guess all the MD.s and

I guess all the MD.s and PhD.s that have lived here attending MCG the last 100 years were "uncool". There have been some stellar doctors and scientist who have lived here the last thirty years (especially before the early retirement program), yet they were all apparently uncool. Who knew!!!! I know they have recruited stellar MDs and PhD but usually they leave. Guess what- it doesn't have anything to do with Augusta being Cool but MCG treating people like crap with false promises and misleading statements. I don't think making Augusta a Cultural mecca is in any logical form an association with a Research mecca. And what about producing more physicians for Georgia. Seems priorties are in kool-aid land.

librrb
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librrb 06/10/11 - 07:31 am
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Thank you, Gloria Greenbaum,

Thank you, Gloria Greenbaum, for expressing my opinion exactly. Why can smaller cities like Columbus, Savannah, and Charleston manage to have decent performing arts centers while Augusta can't? We have the perfect spot at the Golf Gardens site--Let's do it! A performing arts center could have a much broader appeal than a baseball stadium.

beegumgal
0
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beegumgal 06/10/11 - 09:17 am
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Just because someone is

Just because someone is "recruited" from outside the community does not necessarily mean that their impact will be positive. Sometimes the "community," even one as provincial and backward as Ms. Greenbaum obviously believes Augusta to be, may suffer very bad consequences from those who believe themselves to be superior intellectually, politically, and culturally.

Sweet son
11585
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Sweet son 06/10/11 - 01:43 pm
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When I saw the title of this

When I saw the title of this letter I knew it had Greenbaum written all over it. If Mr. and Ms. Greenbaum want to be "cool" like "Dr. Cool" over at MCG then so be it. If they want their arts then they can drive to Savannah, Macon, Columbus or other cities which fulfill their needs. Then they can drive home and get their government retirement checks. With that money they can write other checks to pay for symphony orchestras and other cultural items that they need. By the way, I don't think that we need a new baseball complex either.

ECDanes
1
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ECDanes 06/10/11 - 02:56 pm
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I agree with Gloria that a

I agree with Gloria that a Performing Arts Center would be a better fit for that location than a ballpark. BUT this all comes down to dollars and cents and how to pay for it. If the arts community and local philanthropists can rally behind the idea and raise enough in private donations to offset the costs then this is certainly something that should be considered, especially if private donations towards a riverfront arts center exceed what Ripken and Jacoby are willing to put toward a ballpark complex. We saw that locals will step up to the plate and donate to a worthy project.. look at The Kroc Center.

Brad Owens
4906
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Brad Owens 06/10/11 - 04:51 pm
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Gloria & Lowell are Yankees

Gloria & Lowell are Yankees for sure but they are genuine in their support for the arts in hopes of enriching the quality of life for Augustans.

Projects like this are why we have a SPLOST. Put it on the ballot and see if the voters want it.

The TEE Center should have been revoted because the voters approved $25mil and the final cost was over $100,000,000.00. we could have used that $25mil to get the basic funding done for a PAC. But noooooo!

The baseball stadium is a better idea than TEE but still a bad idea now due to TEE.

I am sour on allowing the sleazy developers to get one more penny out of my pocket ever again. Let them all meet at the TEE and discuss the good ol' days when they could get anything passed with the sixth vote Atiken gave them.

Brad

Willow Bailey
20605
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Willow Bailey 06/10/11 - 09:52 pm
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I spent the day in downtown

I spent the day in downtown Aiken today, as I do several days a month, and for a very small city, it is so nice. Good shopping, good restaurants, and friendly people. No worries when walking alone either.

I am a lifelong resident, and we do need improvement. Let's see, which came first, slow economics, or silly government? As I recall, it was silly government.

wbbh
69
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wbbh 06/11/11 - 12:33 pm
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Let be clear, Ms Greenbaum,

Let be clear, Ms Greenbaum, you want such a center for your own enjoyment. A performing art center featuring symphonic music and opra and ballet dances will contribute nothing to making Augusta cool to 99% of the MCG students.

Riverman1
93509
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Riverman1 06/11/11 - 01:13 pm
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Downtown Aiken is one of the

Downtown Aiken is one of the premier downtown areas in the country. Tourists just like to walk around there. Aiken Development has done such a good job there. Augusta could learn from them.

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