Letters

Letters 07-06-2015

Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...


Home · Articles · News · Features · A Smash Hit
. . . .

A Smash Hit

Robert Downes - August 4th, 2005
There doesn‘t seem to be enough superlatives in the dictionary to describe the success of the first Traverse City Film Festival, which drew thunderous applause, standing ovations and full
houses at the 600-seat State Theatre throughout the week.
At a pre-festival party, co-founder and Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore said the event had sold 15,000 advance tickets before it opened, an unparalleled feat for a first-time film festival and the envy of directors everywhere.
Perhaps even more amazing was the fact that the festival was organized in a mere two months. Author Doug Stanton who also co-founded the event with Traverse City photographer John Robert Williams, said that he and Moore had discussed the possibility of a film festival for several years but was astounded when the filmmaker decided to move ahead with the idea in May with virtually no staff or funding.
Then too, the dilapidated State Theatre had languished for years in a state of disrepair, with local promises to refurbish the building going nowhere.
Support came quickly, however, with more than 100 area businesses turning out to sponsor the event and scores of volunteers materializing to spruce up the State (the theater also benefited from an “anonymous“ donation by Moore) And although the festival‘s all-volunteer organization suffered much in the way of infighting, turf wars and resignations, somehow the show managed to go on.
Politics went by the wayside, with filmgoers seeming resolute to accept Moore‘s promise that the event would be about enjoying good films rather than whipping up controversy. When a sailboat went past the Open Space showing of “Jaws“ with the far-right counter film festival promoted on its sails, it was greeted with a mixture of boos and yawns from the crowd of more than 6,000.
No one seemed more surprised by the level of acceptance from Traverse City‘s largely Republican business community than Michael Moore. Speaking at the opening night showing of “Mad Hot Ballroom,“ he said he never dreamed two months ago that conservative talk radio station WTCM-AM would sign on as a sponsor. He also thanked Republican State Rep. Kevin Elsenheimer (R-Bellaire) for supporting the festival in a courageous local newspaper column. Former Republican Gov. Bill Milliken and his wife Helen received thanks for sponsoring one of the festival‘s major events.
“That‘s the great thing about America,“ Moore told the crowd on opening night. “Although we may disagree at times and have different ideas and backgrounds, we can still come together to make good things happen.“

-- by Robert Downes

The ‘Other‘ Film Festival...
in Harbor Springs
It‘s the Blissfest‘s four-part Irish Film Fest, which kicks off at the Harbor Springs Middle School Cafeteria on Wednesday August 4. Irish music and a brief introductory lecture begins the evening’s program at 7:15 p.m.
Irish films dealing with famine, revolution and emigration will be shown each Wednesday night during August, including “The Great Hunger,“ “Captain Lightfoot,“ “Out of Ireland“ and “Beloved Enemy,“ leading up to the Harbor Celtic Festival to be held August 26-27 at Zorn Park.
 
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