At last years Traverse City Film
Festival, organizer Michael Moore made a spur-of-the-moment promise based
on an idea from a member of the audience: if the TC Area Public Schools
would officially honor the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday for the first
time since its inception 26 years ago, Moore said he would lead a campaign
to provide new seats for the Lars Hockstad
Auditorium, located at Central Grade School on 7th Street.
True to his word, last week Moore announced a campaign to rip out all of
the old battered, uncomfortable seats at our film festival venue and
install new seats by the time this years festival rolls around.
In a letter to supporters, Moore said he has personally contributed
$10,000 toward a $100,000 campaign to turn the auditorium into a
world-class movie theater that will benefit not only our yearly festival
but the community at large and its young students all year round.
Moore hopes to raise the balance of funds within the next 30 days in order
to have the upgrade finished by July.
I have hired the same Michigan company that custom-built our beautiful
All-Made-in-Michigan seats at the State Theatre to replace all of the
40-year-old seats at Lars, he said. And to give everyone more room,
were taking out a thousand of the old seats and replacing them with 805
Donations can be made at http://www.traversecityfilmfest.org/496/lars/ or
by emailing email@example.com or calling 231-392-1134.
THUNDER DOWN UNDER
The boundaries of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Huron
will be dramatically expanded under a bill approved by the U.S. Senate.
The bill will extend the Sanctuarys boundaries to include the waters off
Alcona, Alpena and Presque Isle counties. The current sanctuary includes
448 square miles of water and 115 miles of shoreline; the expansion would
include 4,085 square miles and 226 miles of shoreline.
The expansion could be accomplished at no additional cost and would help
preserve the rich history of Shipwreck Alleyfor historians and divers,
where dozens of ships perished in the waters of Lake Huron, said Sen.
Carl Levin, D-MI, who wrote the bill.
The current sanctuary holds 116 shipwrecks; the expansion will protect an
estimated 178 additional wrecks. The sanctuary also protects the remains
of commercial fishing sites, historic docks, and other underwater
Of note, the expansion will cover the site of the Cornelia B. Windiate,
which is a three-mast wooden schooner and one of the Great Lakes most
intact shipwrecks. The ship sank in December 1875 when bound from
Milwaukee to Buffalo with a cargo of wheat, and was featured in an episode
of Deep Sea Detectives on the History Channel.
SOMETHING TO CARP ABOUT
Theres something fishy about a town hall meeting being held this Friday
by State Rep. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City.
Schmidt will seek public comment at a meeting about aquatic invasive
species threatening the Great Lakes at the TC Area Chamber of Commerce,
202 E. Grandview Parkway from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, May 20.
The jobs and commerce that rely on the Great Lakes are threatened by
Asian carp getting through the barriers in Chicago so its essential that
Michigan take steps to prevent the fish from becoming established in Lake
Michigan, Schmidt said. Im looking forward to listening to the publics
views and ideas on carp, and helping to provide information on how the
issue is being addressed right now.
Also on hand will be State Rep. Frank Foster of Pellston, who serves as
committee chair of House Natural Resources, Tourism, and Outdoor
For more info on the meeting, call Schmidts office at 1-800-REP-1046 or
send email to WayneSchmidt@house.mi.gov.
Michigan will receive more than $199 million in Recovery Act funds for
high-speed rail projects, according to a news release from U.S. Senators
Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow.
Funds will go to the development of a 135-mile high-speed rail corridor
between Dearborn and Kalamazoo, part of a project to speed service between
Chicago. Other funds will go to upgrade the Ann Arbor station.
Funds come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The
money was previously granted to Florida, but
reallocated after the Florida governor rejected it. The State of Michigan
bid for part of that funding. Michigan previously received more than $161
million in funding for high-speed rail and $40 million for Amtrak stations
in Troy, Battle Creek and Dearborn.
The $196.5 million for the Kalamazoo-Dearborn rail project will
rehabilitate track and signal systems to allow trains to travel at 110 mph
for the 235-mile stretch. Michigan will also receive $268.2 million in
funding for the purchase of 48 high-speed passenger rail cars and seven