Commentary

Observations

By John Patrick Ford

SD Opera hopes to show life begins at 50

A dedicated new board of directors teamed with determined employees and association members to rescue San Diego Opera from the brink of bankruptcy. In just four weeks the successful drive to raise $2.4 million was a great vote of confidence from mostly small donors, many of whom never gave money to the opera company before.

Preparing to care for seniors

As an adjunct to my series on health care issues, I have a report on the new Jacobs Medical Center under construction on the UC San Diego Health System campus at a cost of $839 million.

Can opera shed its elitist image?

It was a spirited gathering for the special members’ meeting of San Diego Opera last week. Concerned patrons and subscribers spilled their enthusiasm and frustration over the future of opera in San Diego with comments and advisory resolutions to a receptive board of directors led by President Carol Lazier.

Searching for water

In San Diego it’s easy to say, “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink” with the ocean and bays on the western frontier. Yes, there is an inexhaustible supply of water out there, but not for human consumption.

SD Opera on life support

Last week was a hectic test of survival for San Diego Opera. Chaotic meetings reduced the board of directors into opposing factions and put management out of touch with a new power bloc.

Showdown at SeaWorld

Animal lovers are freaking out over the perceived treatment of the orca whales that are the celebrity stars of SeaWorld’s Shamu show. They claim keeping these striking wild mammals in captivity to entertain thousands of spectators is cruel and inhumane.

The way with words keeps changing

What new word or saying do you find to be overused and should be banished from our language? Everyone has a candidate, but the choices vary by generation, age groups and the use of social media.

Must the opera become a phantom?

It was a solemn occasion at the recent performance of Verdi’s “Requiem” by San Diego Opera. The board of directors shocked the community and the international opera world the previous day by announcing the opera company would cease operations at the end of the 2014 season.

What’s the future of Japan Inc.?

It has been more than two years since I last wrote about Japan. Not much has happened there except the usual political merry-go-round with premiers leaving, and then coming back, with mixed results. That has been just one reason that the nation’s economy has been stagnant for two decades.

Prosperity breeds income inequality

Inequality has been a buzzword for some time. Now it is upgraded into being a national issue when President Barack Obama tossed out his views in his State of the Union address.

Finding opportunities in real estate

As expected, there was a large turnout for the annual Burnham-Moores Real Estate Conference last week. An upbeat forecast for the industry was also anticipated. The audience got what it wanted to hear from highly respected speakers in the San Diego business community.

Keeping community groups public

Community group volunteers are a valuable resource. They provide free labor to achieve the organization’s goals and mission. And usually they are the primary contributors or provide access to major sources of funding.

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John Patrick Ford

John Patrick Ford is a free-lance writer based in San Diego....

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