What is the real mission of PCPA?

I was sorry to see that no PCPA drama, tech students, teachers or musicians were pictured in the Allan Hancock College 100 year anniversary magazine. I experienced PCPA in the 1980s as the amazing dramatic arts wing of AHC. Back then PCPA offered an intense schedule of literary theater and classic musical (no Disney) productions, which were judged by out-of-town critics to be the heights of regional theater in the western United States.

The omission mirrors an article on May 29 about PCPA where AHC is mentioned zero times. Instead, the article celebrates the post-COVID return of local entertainment.

PCPA is covered like it is an independent ticket-funded entertainment company. AHC, however, is a community college funded by the public. What "we do best" should not be entertainment for hire but education. PCPA once educated students (and all interested members of the public) through creation, performance and content of its productions.

Certainly the president of AHC and the board can explain the academic function of PCPA now? Is it an independent theater company with a mandate to sell tickets, especially Solvang? Or is it the dramatic arts program at a community college?

Camina Tripodi

Santa Maria 

More should be done to address illegal fireworks

As June reaches its zenith, the sound of pops and clouds of smoke fill the sky for weeks until reaching the occasion. Thousands are wasted yearly, just for gunpowder and charcoal. The “my money, my choice” debate may come to mind, but money doesn’t always solve all problems. Residents of communities often light fireworks for the entertainment of their family members, not realizing that others in the community may struggle with anxiety, irritability, and stress.

Coming from someone who lives in a neighborhood that’s made up of a vast majority of elders, firecrackers just turn into a distraction and ruin the fun of the much-anticipated holiday. My own dog even suffers from anxiety. We're all affected by this problem from the big scary dog barking at the edge of the fence to the dog hiding under the blankets.

The main issue here seems to be the lack of attention brought to it. Others don’t mind it, but a large group does. Moving the annual fireworks show to Pioneer Valley High School was the first step in creating a safer environment.

I personally believe that SMPD can do more with their power to limit the number of illegal fireworks thrown. Residents continue to celebrate because the consequences don’t knock on their doors.

Angel Vega

Santa Maria

Immigrants should tell their story

With the recent influx of migrants at the southern border, voices on either side of the issue once again clash, as they have for ... well, for as long as humans have claimed territory.

So the question is, how is no one tired of this cycle yet? Over and over again people do everything in their power to exile and oppress migrants, or they use the promise and illusion of change for personal gain. Immigrants are powerless and used as pawns, with little control over the situation, almost like a child listening to their parents argue.

With a predominantly Hispanic and migrant population in Santa Maria, this issue is incredibly relevant for many people, but this common struggle doesn't directly translate into collective action. It's clear why, since undocumented immigrants live in a climate where their actions are seen as taboo. The media constantly shames them and labels them as a threat to the country and its values, and politicians are fearmongering and defaming them.

This is exactly the tactic used by nativists throughout U.S. history, and by silencing our voices, we are letting them win. The fear that immigrants will outnumber the American population and replace their culture is the reason they are set out to silence us.

So speak up. Stop hiding away, because the decision to look for a better life is not something to be ashamed of. In fact, it's the exact opposite. It shows our true values such as hard work, determination, and perseverance, the exact same values that this country was built on!

Expressing our intentions will undeniably bring more support than arguing, as it shows that we are just as American as they are. No one should have their entire lives governed and constrained by an imaginary line. We can't expect the opposition to understand us if we don't give them a voice to listen to and reason with.

Joan Cisneros

Santa Maria

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