Mailbag: For tickets, all you need is luck

I read your article in the Independent on the battle of the Beatles and the Stones on Saturday morning ("The battle of Beatles, Stones," City Lights, Feb. 16). My wife and I decided that we could not miss this show, since we are of that era. We called the box office, and it was sold out for the last performance! Boo hoo.

Two people are at fault for us missing this: one being me for reading the article two days late, and the other is you. Yes, you! Next time the Academy for the Performing Arts is presenting a musical, could you do the article one week early? And I guess Jamie Knight also has some blame. This type of production needs to run longer.

Thank you for a great article (without the music).

Norman Blanco

Fountain Valley

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Questions on the Woman's Club

Thanks so much for the coverage you have given the Woman's Club of Huntington Beach and the fair acknowledgment that the residents are concerned about the variances that have been requested to rebuild the facility ("Vote for new club delayed," Jan. 26).

I am a member of a group of 71 downtown residents opposed to the variances being requested. We do not feel that the activities of their "hall-for-hire" is appropriate for our neighborhood. We are also very skeptical as to their philanthropic, not-for-profit claims.

While references are always made, we can find nothing specifically cited as to what charities, civic organization, causes, etc. are benefiting from the activities that take place at the Woman's Club, other than a 2008 reference to $1,000 given to high school seniors. It would seem a perfect time to celebrate any recent support that the Woman's Club has provided to our community.

The revenue opportunity of the constant hiring out of the clubhouse seems to be their primary fundraiser (again, we ask, for what). Based on information provided in the filing by the club, the utilization of the facility for the 12 months prior to the fire would indicate that the clubhouse was rented out for 141 events and had three member-related events. That would also indicate that on average, 12 events are held per month, or about three per week. And as you have heard, not all are compatible with the neighborhood.

This is why we continue to ask for information on what is supported by the Woman's Club, but have received no answers. It would certainly appear that more than $1,000 per year could be supported. We are drawn to the conclusion that the club is somehow simply a club for hire with no advantages to the community, other than the cheap rent, as shared by the club's vice president, Elaine Craft ("Fire affects other groups," May 12).

We continue to be in a state of confusion over the activities of the Woman's Club, its benefits to the community and its unwillingness to share information, and we are wary of a new and improved hall-for-hire in our neighborhood. We look forward to learning more about the current involvement of the club in our community — or let's get honest and say we have a group running a hall-for-hire for their own personal enjoyment and create a more honest debate on how appropriate their facility is in a residential neighborhood.

Margo Cormier

Huntington Beach

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Islam's problems based in Koran

Although I respect the implicit motives of Mona Shadia underlying her effort to educate us about her faith and her culture, I'm afraid she's gone way over the top. "In Islam, men, women are treated as equals" (Jan. 26) was a headline so egregious and patently false that I'm surprised that it passed muster with your editors.

Shadia's early life was spent in the relatively secular environment of the Mubarak regime, and she is fortunate to be a member of a seemingly enlightened and loving family. But she is obviously in deep, dangerous denial with respect to what is and traditionally has been going on in the Muslim world with respect to sexual discrimination.

Although practices vary country by country, what about the fact that in Saudi Arabia women can't drive, can't leave the home without a chaperone and can only aspire to a token level of participation in the political process?

In some countries, there are laws permitting death by stoning for adultery, rape victims being charged with promiscuity and the necessity of being cloaked from head to foot before leaving the home, as well as the forcing of girls as young as 10 or 12 into marriages with men twice their age or older.

In Afghanistan, without the presence of the United States, it's highly probable that by now there would not be a single girl anywhere in the education system. These are, of course, but a handful of examples of the blatant, persistent discrimination against women in the Islamic world.

Shadia would have us believe that all of this is the result of misunderstanding of the Koran by "so-called Muslim rulers" of "so-called Muslim countries"! Incredible! I wonder how the royal family of Saudi Arabia would regard her assessment of them?

It's one thing to try to teach people about another's culture, but it's another to attempt to accomplish that at the sacrifice of the truth. And, won't it be interesting to see what enlightened changes occur in Egypt under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Ian Campbell

Huntington Beach

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