Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Features · The Mackinac Bridge Labor Day...
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The Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk

Rick Coates - August 30th, 2010
Striding the Straits: The Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk
By Rick Coates
On Labor Day, tens of thousands of walkers will converge on the 53rd Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk. Since there is no fee charged to walk, only estimates are available on how many people participate; organizers guess that on a great year it‘s 60,000 plus, and on an average year, around 45,000. All indications point to this being a great year.
“This has been a great tourism season here in St. Ignace,” said Janet Peterson, executive director of the St. Ignace Chamber of Commerce. “The weather has certainly helped out this year
compared to last year. The Bridge Walk is one of the big events of the year for us; it is sort of the unofficial end of the summer celebration for a lot of people.”
For Peterson and the business community of St. Ignace, the 50,000-plus expected for this weekend will be a huge economic shot in the arm.
“Sometimes people think St. Ignace is just a town you drive through to get to other destinations in the Upper Peninsula,” said Peterson. “But we are also a destination. There is a lot to do here, plus, this is a great place to day-trip when going to the falls, the Soo locks, Mackinac Island and even Mackinaw City. We have a lot going on this weekend with our Arts & Crafts Dockside event Saturday and Sunday with 100-plus exhibits, lots of music and a fireworks show.”

STARTING POINT
St. Ignace is also where the Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk begins, hosted by the Mackinac Bridge Authority.
“If you are coming to St. Ignace for the weekend you may start here, the walk begins around 7 a.m. and you have until 11 a.m. to get started,” said Peterson. “There is bus service that will bring you back to St. Ignace for $5 per person.”
The 2010 Labor Day Bridge Walk is being dedicated to Lawrence A. Rubin, who passed away this year. Mr. Rubin was known to the people of Michigan as an instrumental figure in the construction and leadership of the Mackinac Bridge. He was the executive secretary of the Mackinac Bridge Authority from 1950-1983.
John Rintamaki is the accountant for the Mackinac Bridge Authority and coordinator for the Bridge Walk. So, does Rintamaki use his accounting skills to determine the number of participants each year?
“No, no, we have a couple of formulas we use to come up with our best guesstimate,” said Rintamaki. “We hand out numbered certificates as people finish the walk, plus we look at the number of tickets sold to ride the bus over from Mackinaw City, but not everyone uses the busses or gets a certificate, so we do our best. 65,000 participants has been our best year.”
So what impacts the numbers?
“A lot of things, from weather to campaigning,” said Rintamaki. “The weather looks good and since this is a campaign year we expect attendance to be up. Campaigns and organizations like to get their message out and we are in favor of that. But we do not allow signs or banners to be carried on the bridge for safety reasons.”

BE IN SHAPE...
Speaking of safety, has the walk ever been cancelled?
“No, we have had to delay it a few times over the years,” said Rintamaki. “We monitor the weather very closely every day for safety reasons.”
What should people contemplating doing the walk for the first time take into consideration before attempting?
“Remember that it is five miles and it takes around two hours; if it is hot and humid there is no shade,” said Rintamaki. So I would recommend that all participants make sure they healthy enough and physically in shape to walk that distance.”
While organizing the walk is not a full-time job, Rintamaki says somedays it sure seems like one.
“I work on it year-round but it is usually just a meeting here and there and then it starts picking up in the spring with more meetings. There is a lot of coordination with the Governors office, the National Guard, law enforcement and the many others who help us. By August 1, I am on this full time to get it ready. We have crews out putting up fencing, there are stages to be
set up and lots of porta-johns to arrange for.”

OTHER CROSSINGS
The Mackinac Bridge Walk is the only time that people are allowed to walk over the bridge, but the Bridge Authority does allow for other special crossing events throughout the year.
“We close down one lane for the DALMAC bike ride; we have been doing that for years. For the Bridge Walk we do not allow people to run or jog but the Governor’s Office does take a group at the start for a jog across and you have to sign up in advance and they draw names to determine who gets to jog with the Governor,” said Rintamaki. “We do have a couple of running events and we even have an antique tractor parade over the bridge.”
For details on the 53rd Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk and other events taking place at the bridge, visit the Mackinac Bridge Authority website at www.mackinacbridge.org and for all the happenings in St. Ignace over the weekend check out www.stignace.com

 
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