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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

F.M. Kirby Center about to go “Exit, stage left?”

According to a source who spoke to me under the condition of anonymity, The F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre is in financial dire straights. It was also made very clear to me just how dire things are, and I quote, “It (The Kirby Ctr.) might not make it through the winter.”

According to this person, the center’s ticket sales have dwindled to the point where 50% of the staff has already been dismissed. He said it’s been a case of, as the economy steadily trailed off, so did the ticket sales.

One exception on the upcoming schedule has been the brisk sales of tickets to see the November 8th Johnny Mathis concert. But other than that lone bright spot, things have been, and things continue to look bleak from a revenue stream standpoint.

I asked about the current availability of foundation grants, yearly stipends from municipalities and corporate sponsorships, that sort of stuff. I was told that, again, as the economy kept worsening over these past 18 months or so, those sorts of funds started disappearing, much like the ticket sales have.

I contacted a city official who told me that while Community Development funds have been committed to the Kirby in the past, given the current state of the economy and it’s negative effects on the city’s coffers, those funds will no longer be available to support the arts for the foreseeable future.

On a somewhat related aside, I asked whether or not the city was still making a yearly cash outlay to support the Osterhout library here in the city and I was told that that is still the case.

And there you have it. That’s what I was told.

Looks as if the members, the Westmoreland Club crowd are going to have to dig a little deeper into their bottomless pockets.

Meanwhile, down in Washington D.C., our blundering and plundering administration today announced tougher federal regulatory standards for food safety. In other words, they just made it even more expensive for some of this country’s largest employers to conduct their business.

While the economy sags further, and while Americans are worried more about the future of their jobs than they are the future of their health care, the federal government just put yet another financial hurdle in the way of the job-producing private sector. They say timing is everything, and this administration is to timing what the last passenger to make it to the Titanic before it pushed off was.

They just don’t get it, do they?

Enhanced food safety? If you can’t afford to eat, the safety of your food sources won’t matter all that much. They just don't frickin' get it.

It might be time to reach for the panic button.

From the e-mail inbox:

Luzerne County Republican Party will hold an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, at its new headquarters, 41 S. Main St., next to Thai Thai.
The press is invited.

Renita Fennick
Executive Director
Luzerne County Republican Party

From the readers comments:

D.B. Echo has left a new comment on your post "My new toy": Geez. At YOUR age, I was expecting a different kind of scooter. Maybe a Jazzy, or a Hoveround...

Dude, thanks for providing one of those rare spitting-tea-on-the-monitor moments.

Cracked me up.


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