Letters to the Editor
I'm writing this response to the Oct. 28 edition of Metro and the impression from the Fly column ("Sale House") that the sale of Mission Ale House came out of left field, that employees were kept completely in the dark and it occurred when we were all looking the other way. Nothing could be further from the truth. We were all aware that the ABC intent to sell notice had been posted two months earlier.
Those of us who worked more often during the day were fully aware of different potential business groups doing walk-throughs, holding meetings and inspecting the facility. This included Johnny V, who served as GM for the past few months. We often discussed the very real possibility that if a deal were to be completed, we [might] not be retained by the new ownership group. It is true that the exact timing of the deal and the actual transition date was unknown to us until a few days prior simply because that is the nature of these transactions. The new and old owners needed to complete the negotiations. It is also true that the sale date occurred while John was on vacation, and he received a call saying his services would no longer be required. The timing was completely unrelated. We enjoyed working with John and wish him well. The same holds true for the new group headed by Fred Jackson.
It does feel as if an era has passed. Those of us who were involved with Mission in one way or another since 1996 (not just the past few months) feel saddened by the closure but in this economic climate and with the attitude of some in the law enforcement community 14 years was a pretty damn good run.
Tom O'Hara , Former director of marketing for Mission Ale House and Smoke Tiki Lounge
I was happy to see your feature "Rocktober" (Cover Story, Oct. 28) about the local music scene and the bands you chose to showcase. Though I was a little disappointed that the story lacked mention of the promoters that are working hard to keep the local scene alive, such as PinUp Productions, Man Down Productions, and myself (Barb Rocks Presents).
Instead Arsenic Productions, a promoter from Santa Cruz, are referred to as "reliable scenesters" because they are calling it quits? Don't get me wrong, Arsenic has done a lot in Santa Cruz for shows and aligned themselves strategically with PinUp here in San Jose, but where's the love for those that have been working hard for years to bring live music back to the South Bay?
In addition, as much as it's sad that some local music venues are closing, it would be more positive to mention that there's been an increase in venues that have switched to a live music format in 2009, such as The Venuez in Santa Clara, Mountain Charley's in Los Gatos and Zen Lounge in Mountain View. This proves that live music is getting stronger in the South Bay and venues are starting to see the benefits to this business model.
It would also be nice to see your staff writers out at local shows, getting first-hand information on the hardest working bands in the local scene. Sometimes I feel that these bands, as well as the promoters behind the shows, are overlooked.
Keep up the good work on writing about the scene; it would be great to keep seeing articles about who is making a difference in live local music!
Barbara Wahli, San Jose
The largest draw to downtown San Jose for many years now has been Christmas in the Park. It has continued to grow year after year and brings visitors from all over. Even residents in the city up north will bring their families down for this event (and it is usually the only time they come down).
What would you think about a similar event for Halloween? Picture downtown lit up in orange and purple with elaborate Halloween displays assembled by talented local artists. Perhaps a lot of the infrastructure could even be shared with Christmas in the Park (e.g. retail booths). Just some food for thought.
Joshua Santos from SanJoseInside