Just when I was about to give up on everything, Annette Stokes from Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ office came into my world. I’d been dealing with a difficult situation for about six months and actually just wrote to Chambliss to vent as I’ve never gotten help from this government in the past. Chambliss responded almost immediately and assigned this fantastic Annette Stokes to address my situation. They have turned a very grim situation into a positive one for me. A huge thanks goes out to Stokes for her efforts. If you don’t vote for Saxby Chambliss then you just joined the stupid club.
-- Cindy Obester
Sen. Saxby Chambliss will not be on the November ballot. He is retiring from the Senate.
Thanks to The Telegraph for the article “Digital Domain” (Sunday, Aug. 3) reporting the conversion of movie theaters from celluloid film to digital format. This is a major change and irreversible. Already some 85 percent of the 40,200 U.S. screens have converted to digital, leaving about 6,500 screens teetering on the brink of going dark because they cannot afford to convert. These are the small independent theaters such as our very own Douglass Theatre.
The Douglass Theatre has been home to the Macon Film Guild since January 2001. The guild’s movie savvy team selects a variety of intriguing new, independent and foreign films from a broad spectrum of countries and cultures. We are looking for the best new examples of directing, concept, acting and plot. The selection includes debuts from new directors and the latest films from directors who only screen in independent theaters. There are also fascinating documentaries such as “Finding Vivian Maier” showing at 7:30 p.m., on Tuesday, Aug. 19.
To show such films (or for that matter, any film) next year, the Douglass will have to convert to digital this winter. Conversion for a multiscreen theater operated by conglomerates owning dozens of theaters has cost $50,000 to $70,000 per screen. Their costs have been paid for by the film studios, company shareholders and supplier discounts for multiple screens. The independent theaters, like the Douglass, are on their own.
Of the 6,500 theaters at risk about 1,000 are convinced they will find some way to afford conversion. Digital conversion for the Douglass Theatre will cost about $80,000. That’s a lot, but it can be covered with a combination of matching grants, member contributions and sponsors.
Without converting to digital, the Macon Film Guild and the Douglass Theatre will also be out of the business of showing new films next year. And, downtown Macon will be without the charm and prestige of an art house theatre. Please be generous with your contributions and letters of support as the campaign gets underway to take the Douglass digital. And come see “Ida” this Sunday (2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.).
-- Camp Bacon
Macon Film Guild
A community must
There is a locally produced television show hosted by entrepreneur Alex Habersham titled: “A Call to Action.” Consider this a cry for action in the case of respected businessman Charles Henry Douglass’ home. Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of those trying to preserve the historic structure and to do what we can to save it from the wrecking ball.
On Aug. 11, the entire Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission will consider the recent recommendation of its Design Review Board and move forward with extending Douglass house proponents additional time to raise money needed to ensure the home’s safe relocation or grant the home’s current permission to demolish it to make way for a parking lot for the coming Dunkin’ Doughnut Shop adjacent to the Medical Center of Central Georgia. The Design Review Board recommended making every effort to save the house based on four criteria that the Douglass’ home easily met.
The house has been thoughtfully and wisely designated as the possible future home of Macon-Bibb County’s Office of Small Business and Mercer University’s Upward Bound program. This beautiful building would be a fitting site to house both, and could possibly serve as a tourist destination for those wanting to see the place where the seeds of economic prosperity and self-determination were planted. Douglass was a bold, visionary and revered businessman that happened to be black at the height of one of our country’s most tumultuous periods.
For Douglass to have even considered owning a hotel and theater in the 1920s Macon was unprecedented. His business not only survived but thrived in the heart of the South. If walls of his home could talk, they would have much to say.
With that said, it is incumbent upon the Macon community to support the effort to save the Douglass house. This is especially true in the black community since the home serves as a beautiful reminder that black people can, despite obstacles, opposition and oppression succeed.
Please join the effort to preserve this important landmark by contacting the Planning & Zoning Commission and voicing your support and by attending the Aug. 11 public hearing. A collective victory is needed in this case to protect the integrity of significant historic sites throughout our community to ensure that we and generations unborn will have references concerning where we have been. That way they will know better where they should be going.
-- Clarence Thomas Jr.
On Monday, August 4, a great American hero died at age 73. James S.Brady, who was President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary. He was severely wounded on March 30, 1981 by John W. Hinkley. In his attempt to assassinate Reagan, Hinkley used a $29 pawnshop special handgun that he had bought with a false I.D.
After Brady’s slow recovery he became a strong supporter of more stringent restrictions on the sale of handguns. It took Brady 12 years for Congress to pass, and President Bill Clinton to sign, “The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act,” that ushered in background checks and waiting periods for many gun buyers. He advocated a federal ban on assault weapons which the GOP let expire in 2004.
Two million Americans have been denied the purchase of guns because of the Brady Bill and its mandatory background checks. The National Rifle Association still opposes the Brady Bill because they believe it inconveniences law-abiding people who want to buy a gun. They also support allowing folks on our terrorist watch list to buy their favorite guns. A scary belief.
James Brady was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996 by Clinton. He was a true American hero.
-- Frank W. Gadbois
I am confused, how can Michelle Nunn run as Michelle Nunn? Is not her name Michelle Martin or has she left her husband and children? Did she not take her husband’s last name and if she did, when they were married should she not be known as Michelle Martin? Is it legal for her to be on the ballot as Michelle Nunn or she should be on the ballot as Michelle Nunn-Martin or Michelle Martin-Nunn? Can anyone explain this to this?
-- Allen Berglin