|Posted on Wednesday, April 06, 2005 - 5:58 pm:
According to the Mayor, it is a monetary reason for closing the aquarium. But has anyone researched how much money it will cost to close the aquarium down? It's not just a building, where you can lock the doors and turn off the power. The livestock must be removed, and then all the tanks must be emptied, etc.
I have only lived in the Detroit area for 2 years now, but have come to love the aquarium and am very sad to see it close. I only found out about the aquarium after living here for a year, since then I have been back about 6 times, including twice in the last week it was open.
It is such a shame the mayor is closing this historic landmark for "monetary reasons" yet not allowing those with money to keep it open, or take it over.
Diana R. Dubbeld (Diana)
|Posted on Thursday, April 07, 2005 - 5:23 pm:
The thing is, they are not closing the concervatory, and those two buildings share heat, electricity and water, so they are not saving amy money by shipping out our fish and closing its doors.
|Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 5:15 am:
Money is not the problem. The problem is that, for ulterior motives, the Mayor and Zoo Director Kagan wanted to shut the Belle Isle Aquarium, and they have.
If money was the problem, the Mayor and Dr. Kagan could have solved that problem by appealing to the public via television and radio for donations to save the Aquarium. The money would have been raised in no time.
The Mayor and Kagan could reply that they could not in good conscience appeal to the public for donations to cover the Aquarium's current deficit and repair needs, knowing that there would only be another deficit next year.
The anwer to this reply is that the enormous surge in attendance at the Aquarium from mid-February thru April 3, when news of its closing finally brought it a modest amount of publicity and public awareness, shows that, with proper marketing the Aquarium could operate without a deficit, or with a very small one.
As for the Aquarium's repair and renovation needs, these are only around one or at most two million dollars, They result from the Detroit Zoological Society spending about 38 million dollars on renovations, repairs, and new exhibits at the Zoo in Royal Oak over the last ten years, while spending less than $100,000 at the Aquarium in Detroit. The Aquarium's unmet repair and renovation needs are modest and not annually reoccurring. It is extreme hypocrisy to claim that they justify closing the Aquarium, when they result from the Director of the Detroit Zoo to spend virtually all capital improvement funds at the Zoo in Royal Oak over the last ten years, with the aquiesance and complicity of Detroit's Mayors during that period.
It follows that money---the Aquarium's deficit and the costs of its repair and renovation needs---is a mere excuse for closing it, not the reason.
It is important to understand this, truly understand this, because it follows that FUND RAISING TO COVER THE AQUARIUM'S DEFICIT AND REPAIR AND RENOVATION NEEDS SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN THE TASK OF ANYONE TRYING TO SAVE THE AQUARIUM. THE TASK OF PEOPLE WHO WANT TO SAVE THE AQUARIUM SHOULD HAVE BEEN AND REMAINS TO RAISE MASS POLITICAL AWARENESS AMONG THE PEOPLE ABOUT WHY THE MAYOR AND ZOO DIRECTOR WANT TO CLOSE IT, EXPOSE THEM AS LIARS, AND ORGANIZE MASS POLITICAL PRESSURE TO FORCE THEM TO KEEP IT OPEN.
FUND RAISING EFFORTS TO ARE NEEDED TO FINANCE COSTS OF THIS POLITICAL CAMPAIGN. THAT IS, FUNDS FOR A POLITICAL WAR CHEST.
FUND RAISING EFFORTS TO PAY FOR THE AQUARIUM'S DEFICIT AND REPAIR AND RENOVATION NEEDS ARE A WASTE OF TIME AND, INDEED, COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE.
WHY? BECAUSE THEY IMPLICITLY ACCEPT THE MAYOR'S AND ZOO DIRECTOR'S LYING PREMISE THAT MONEY IS THE PROBLEM.
Of course, if one or a few maverick rich people or lucky recent Lotto winners could have been found to donate a million or two dollars, this would have been useful insofar as it would have deprived the Mayor and Zoo Director of the excuse that the immediate deficit and repair needs cost were the reason they wanted to close the Aquarium.
But only a very small amount of resources should have been devoted to efforts to find money from such sources.
AS WE HAVE SEEN, GREAT EFFORTS TO RAISE MONEY THROUGH NORMAL APPEALS TO CORPORATE AND FOUNDATION SOURCES HAVE FAILED ALMOST UNIFORMLY BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN BLOCKED BY MAYOR AND ZOO DIRECTOR AND THE FACT THAT THE AQUARIUM, TILL ITS CLOSING, REMAINED A PART OF THE ZOO WHOSE LEADERS WANTED IT CLOSED. ONLY ONE DONATION OF $10,000 AND THE ROOF REPAIR OFFER ARE WORTHY OF BEING REFERRED TO AS GENEROUS, GIVEN THE RESOURCES OF THE DONORS INVOLVED. ($2500 FROM A CASINO GROSSING ABOUT ONE MILLION DOLLARS A DAY IS AN INSULT, NOT GENEROUS)
ATTEMPTS TO DIRECTLY APPEAL TO THE PUBLIC TO RAISE SUCH AMOUNTS OF MONEY WERE DOOMED TO FAIL, BECAUSE OPPOSITION FROM THE MAYOR INEVITABLY RESULTED IN EITHER OPPOSITION BY THE MASS, CORPORATE MEDIA, OR AT BEST A HANDS-OFF POLICY OF GENERAL NEGLECT OF THE STORY, AND BECAUSE NO SMALL GROUP OF A FEW DOZEN PEOPLE WITH VERY LIMITED RESOURCES IS IN ANY POSITION TO CONDUCT A CAMPAIGN ON ITS OWN TO REACH THE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE NECESSARY TO RAISE SUCH SUMS THROUGH SMALL DONATIONS.
It also should also be remembered that neither the Mayor, nor the Zoo Director, have announced publicly or stated in writing that obtaining a certain amount of money would guarantee the Aquarium's continued operation. They both wanted to shut the Aquarium to further their ulterior motive (their delusional dream) of financing a big, expensive Aquarium downtown, thinking that closing the Belle Isel Aquarium would make selling a downtown aquarium easier (with all the attendant perks, campaign contributions, job and consultant appointments to make, and personal "glory" involved).
THE STRUGGLE TO SAVE AND REOPEN THE BELLE ISLE AQUARIUM IS NOT OVER.
HOWEVER, THIS STRUGGLE MUST BE A POLITICAL STRUGGLE TO EXPOSE THE MAYOR AND ZOO DIRECTOR AS LIARS AND MISLEADERS WHO WOULD FOIST AN UNAFFORDABLE, UNSUSTAINABLE BIG AQUARIUM (and 100-150 million in new bond debt) ON DETROIT'S CITIZENS FOR PERSONAL GAIN AND VANITY.
ONLY MASS POLITICAL PRESSURE IN DETROIT CAN ENSURE THAT THE AQUARIUM WILL REOPEN. IT IS POSSIBLE TO ORGANIZE SUCH PRESSURE, BECAUSE CLOSING THE AQUARIUM HAS DEEPLY ANGERED A HUGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE.
ALL FUNDRAISING EFFORTS MUST BE STRICTLY SUBORDINATED TO THIS POLITICAL GOAL. FUNDRAISING EFFORTS TO COVER THE AQUARIUM'S PAST DEFICIT AND REPAIR NEEDS ARE COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE BECAUSE THEY ACCEPT THE MAYOR'S AND ZOO DIRECTOR'S PRESENTATION OF THE PROBLEM, OR FRAMING OF THE ISSUE.
TO REPEAT, MONEY HAS NEVER BEEN THE PROBLEM. CONSEQUENTLY, EFFORTS TO RAISE MONEY WILL NOT SOLVE IT.
WE NEED TO ORGANIZE A SUCCESSFUL RALLY IN DETROIT SUNDAY APRIL 24 TO REOPEN THE AQUARIUM AND ENCOURAGE AS MANY AS POSSIBLE WHO ATTEND TO GO TO THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING THE FOLLOWING MONDAY IF COUNCIL IS IN SESSION.
THIS SHOULD BE THE FOCUS OF OF ANY GROUP TRYING TO SAVE THE AQUARIUM. THIS IS NOT AN EFFORT WHICH ONE OR TWO PEOPLE ALONE CAN ORGANIZE. PREVIOUSLY, THE AQUARIUM ITSELF BROUGHT PEOPLE TO DETROIT TO VISIT IT. WE WILL HAVE ONLY REALLY ORGANIZED ANY POLITICAL FORCE IF WE ARE ABLE TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER TO RALLY, DEMONSTRATE, AND PROTEST NOW THAT THE AQUARIUM IS CLOSED.
COLLECTING A FEW THOUSAND DOLLARS OF DONATIONS, WHETHER PURE GRATIS OR FOR A GIFT SHIRT, WILL NOT BRING US ANY CLOSER TO REOPENING THE AQUARIUM, UNLESS WE USE THAT MONEY FOR PUBLICITY AND RALLYING AND ORGANIZING POLITICAL PRESSURE ON THE MAYOR.
BECAUSE MONEY---THE DEFICIT AND REPAIR ISSUES---IS NOT WHY KAGAN AND KILPATRICK HAVE CLOSED THE AQUARIUM. THAT'S THEIR LYING EXCUSE. DON'T BUY IT. DON'T DELUDE YOURSELF INTO THINKING WE CAN REOPEN THE AQUARIUM BY WORKING YOURSELF INTO A FRENZY TRYING THE RAISE MONEY THEY COULD HAVE RAISED IN A WEEK OR A FEW DAYS IF THAT REALLY HAD BEEN THE PROBLEM.
SAVE THE AQUARIUM, OR REOPEN THE AQUARIUM SHIRTS ARE A GOOD THING TO DISTRIBUTE, BECAUSE 1) THEY RAISE AWARENESS THAT PEOPLE CARE AND PUBLIC PRESENCE OF THE ISSUE, 2) THEY STIMULATE DISCUSSION OF THE ISSUE, AND 3) ALSO GENERATE FUNDS TO KEEP ORGANIZING.
THEY ADVERTISE THE CAUSE AND GET PEOPLE TALKING.
WITH THAT IN MIND, WE SHOULD DO A SHIRT SAYING "REOPEN THE BELLE ISLE AQUARIUM" "RALLY ON BELLE ISLE SUNDAY, APRIL 24, 2005" "PROTEST AT THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING, MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2005." (OF COURSE, WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE COUNCIL IS IN SESSION. THEN GET BELLE ISLE AQ. ON THE AGENDA THAT DAY. )
WE SHOULD ALSO DO AN EAST JEFFERSON BILLBOARD FACING WEST (THAT IS, FACING TRAFFIC GOING TOWARDS BELLE ISLE FROM DOWNTOWN) SAYING THE SAME STUFF.
SOME SHIRTS SHOULD BE B AND W, SOME BLUE, SOME WITH CLOWNFISH.
WORRIED PEOPLE WON'T WANT SOMETHING DATED? DONT MAKE TOO MANY AT ONCE. THEY MAY BECOME "COLLECTIBLE"
AND OUR MAIN EFFORTS SHOULD BE SELLING THEM ON BELLE ISLE, AT THE EASTERN MARKET, AND TO AND THRU CHURCHES AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS ON THE EAST SIDE OF DETROIT. WE CAN SEND SHIRTS AND A FEW PEOPLE TO NOVI. BUT THAT'S NOT WHERE WE'RE GOING TO FIND THE MOST PEOPLE TO RALLY, DEMONSTRATE, AND PROTEST. AND WE SHOULDN'T BECOME AN ARM OF MURRAY GULA'S BUSINESS. WE DO NOT HAVE UNLIMITED FORCES. WE CAN;T BE EVERYWHERE OR ORGANIZE STUFF IN EVERY CITY.
THIS IS NOT THE SUNNI TRIANGLE, WHERE THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE ARE FURIOUS OVER THE ISSUE WE'RE PROTESTING AND THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ARE READY TO DIE TO FIGHT FOR IT.
IF WE DON'T FOCUS ON DETROIT AND FIND A WAY TO LINK UP WITH PEOPLE IN DETROIT, WE WON'T ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING EXCEPT BEING AN EASILY DEALT WITH FOIL FOR THE MAYOR.
|Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 10:13 am:
We should take it to his doorstep of his manison. People I talk to think the mayor as a joke. Recent polls have him slipping down below 40%.
|Posted on Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - 2:03 am:
And that number is generous!!!
|Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 4:19 pm:
Why do you care? The City of the Detroit is a huge piece of crap. I spend a lot of energy passing along all the problems of Detroit to others around the country.
|Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 9:07 am:
Perfect site :-) I will recommend it to all my friends and fans <IMG USEMAP="#myMap" width=20 height=20 src="http://www.google.com/images?q=tbn:SiMRW_bkcQ cJ:www.communityserver.org/emoticons/emotion-51.gi f"><MAP NAME="myMap"></MAP>