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 · Region Watch · Film Fest: The Sequel
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Film Fest: The Sequel

- November 17th, 2005
The box office was so boffo on last summer‘s Traverse City Film Festival that a sequel is in the works: That would be August 1-6 for you advance planners, a week later than last year‘s event.
Festival organizers hope to use the State Theatre and Opera House downtown once again for the 2006 event, in addition to a new venue. Plans are also in the works to add an extra day of programming along with more parties and panels with actors, directors, and writers.
Organizers report that last summer‘s festival tallied some 50,000 admissions, amounting to the most successful film festival launch ever -- including those of the world-renowned Sundance and Telluride film fests. A majority of the festival’s 54 screenings and all special events were sold out, with ticket sales reaching $150,000. Another $54,000 was generated by concessions and merchandise sales.
Traverse City Chamber of Commerce President Doug Luciani estimated in a news release that the first-time event had a $5 million impact on the community in five days.
Across the United States, film festivals are bringing millions of dollars to their host communities.
Between 1995 and 2000, the number of film festivals around the world rose from 450 to nearly 700. In the past five years, the number has multiplied fivefold in the United States, and has exploded to an estimated 1,600 festivals worldwide.
What gives Traverse City the edge in terms of drawing power for major directors and films is the participation of Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore. An area resident, Moore co-founded the event last summer with author Doug Stanton and photographer John Robert Williams.
One of the festival goals is to make it a global event on par with fests in Telluride, Sundance and Toronto. There‘s much to be gained by such a strategy: For instance, in 2005, the Toronto Film Festival generated $1.8 billion for the city. In the decade between 1993 and 2004, the economic impact of the Toronto Film Festival Group grew from $30 million to $1.5 billion.

Homelessness
hits home
A townhall meeting on homelessness in Northern Michigan was set for Monday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. at the Traverse Area District Library as the Express went to press. The event features Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell as keynote speaker.
During a recent “street count” conducted by Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan, volunteers identified 438 homeless persons in a five-county area in Northern Michigan. That included 220 men, 137 women and 80 children under the age of 19. Many reported that they had been forced to sleep outdoors at near-freezing temperatures.

 
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