Journal of the San Juan Islands


Fair should keep $25K grant, but ditch drive-in movies | Letter

October 18, 2013 · 5:37 PM

The $25,000 Drive-in Theater grant that will be implemented at the fairgrounds will actually do the opposite of what it was intended to do.

It will generate adverse relationships with the island residents whose homes border the fairgrounds and without their support, future projects may be in jeopardy.

It will cause unnecessary fuel consumption, air pollution, sound pollution, light pollution, and vagrancy issues. It will cause unnecessary traffic congestion. It will not foster good parenting, as movies will be shown after a 10 p.m. sundown.

It will promote restless teens to hang out and watch the movies for free without supervision. It will require a “police” presence to enforce rules and regulations to be imposed by non-police staff.

The grant will actually end up draining the already scant funds of fairgrounds as soon as they purchase the equipment because, according to experts in the movie industry on our island, they will have to spend lots of dollars to make this project work.

There is no demand for the content that they will be showing; the cost of renting the movies are too high for the real projected turnout of viewers.

The grant is given based upon creating an attraction or return of visitors to promote our hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and vacation rentals.

This pollution driven eyesore will do none of that, and as many who spoke at an Oct. 15 meeting in objection of this, it does not represent in any way what our islands stand for, nor what we want to project to the rest of the world.

Please spare us from the embarrassment. Grant the $25,000 to the fairgrounds but please don’t make them spend it on this disastrous, break-the-bank folly.

Norris Palmer/Friday Harbor


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