Friends of Belle Isle Aquarium
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Dear friends of Belle Isle
I cannot tell you what a pleasure it is to fight for the existence of
the Aquarium, working with dedicated people in an atmosphere uncharged
by the familiar annoyances of disparate politics, race and culture.
Here, we all have one agenda - the survival and well-being of the Belle
As you probably know by now, the city administration has decided to
shutter the Aquarium on April 3rd. The Friends of Belle Isle Aquarium
have gone to great efforts to reason with the City Administration,
apparently to no avail.
This leaves us with two options. Our first choice is that we can give up
and call it a day.
This is a viable option. We fought the good fight and no one would
berate us for walking away, even though it burdens Detroit with one more
one more ruin, one more step from being a city to becoming a slum.
The second option is much, much more difficult, but more fun. We fight.
In our efforts to work with the present City Administration and help
them see reason, we have kept our claws sheathed. Until now, no
inference has been made by this group to the City Administration's
appalling lack of vision or judgment. If we have to fight, this paradigm
will now change.
First, we will have to endure the Walk in the Wilderness. FOBIA will be
a government in exile for the duration of the Kwame Kilpatick regime. In
our darkest days, the media will for the most part forsake us and our
efforts will be scoffed at. But we will do our homework. When elections
come around, we will insure that we are included in the policy
centerpieces of whatever mayoral challenger faces off with the present
How do we know when we have won? Several parts of a jigsaw puzzle will
have to be in place in order for us to step back and say, "There!, We
We have to convince the mayoral candidates that an open Belle Isle
Aquarium is good for the city. Our homework is to lay the blueprint for
revival. We must educate and inspire potential candidates, show the
spreadsheets, know the business of running the Aquarium.
We must have a long-term framework in place to insure the survival of
the Aquarium. This must include a divorce from the Detroit Zoo, and a
commitment from the City and State that transcends the momentary
financial whims of any given administration.
That we should decide to stand and fight may be a seminal moment for the
people of the Metropolitan Detroit area. If we can get together and re-open
the Belle Isle Aquarium, what else might caring people of energy be
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