Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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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