H.S. resident questions organization’s tactics
To the editor:
I am writing in response to Lisa Hofmann’s letter to the editor [“Resident questions business owner’s intentions for Highland Square,” Feb. 22-28 West Side Leader] in which she attempts to call into question the motives of Steve Albrecht and the fate of the Highland Theater. As a spokesperson for the diminutive Highland Square Neighborhood Association (HSNA), she should be aware that her caustic implication that Mr. Albrecht is less than transparent is a classic example of the “pot calling the kettle black.”
On numerous occasions the HSNA has cleverly omitted any reference to the third schematic option being considered for the site — an option that employs the footprint of the theater box and in its place builds a Community Learning Center. This option has the potential to benefit the community at large, the business district and Portage Path [Elementary] School. Entries on the HSNA Web site by its members like to pretend that this option doesn’t exist — even though it was presented clearly in the forum, the Akron Beacon Journal and the West Side Leader. They also like to pretend that the Highland is the only mid-sized theater in town, even though E.J. Thomas [Performing Arts Hall] seats 900 with the ceiling lowered. Morevoer, they have tried to suggest that parking for the new development is excessive, but only by overlooking the parking required for the library.
The HSNA would be better named if it called itself the Save the Theater Task Force; it is, after all, an insulated group that cannot lay claim to representative opinion. If they want to make a case for saving the theater, that is their right — then do it. In the meantime, be aware that spin and strategic omissions — lies really — only continue to deteriorate their credibility.
Enough of the shenanigans. Residents have a right to fair, balanced and comprehensive information so as to make up their minds. And enough of the decoys; if Ms. Hofmann had resisted the Albrecht bashing and instead relayed data regarding her group’s feasibility study, perhaps she would encounter more success in rallying support to save the theater.
Robert Carpenter, Highland Square