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Film Fest complaint

Have you ever bought a ticket to an event you really wanted to attend and been turned away at the door because the seller arbitrarily decided not to honor your ticket? Did you then look at the ticket and try in vain to find the small print somewhere on it saying it would be invalid under unforeseen circumstances? I doubt this has happened to any of you unless you paid up to $50 to attend the 4th annual Little Rock Film Festival.

I am a film lover. I've gone every year. I thought it was a great festival this year. It had a better variety of films, of better quality, and it had more directors, cast, and crew members in attendance than I have seen in any of the previous years. But I also saw the majority of people who'd bought the $30 "Festival Passes" that "guaranteed entry" turned away from the Wednesday night premiere. My $50 "Party Pass" guaranteed admission to all movies and also to the festival parties. Guaranteed, that is, until Saturday night when the Festival booked a party venue that was too small to allow anyone other than sponsors and VIP ticket holders although it was advertised for anyone with a $50 ticket and up. All day long on Saturday, one board member after another addressed the audiences of each film I saw, enthusiastically inviting all of us to that night's party. I looked forward to it all day long. On arrival, all Party Pass holders were first told we'd have to wait a half hour until all the VIPs and sponsors were admitted first, but 30 minutes later we were told, "Sorry, we have reached the lawful limit, we can't let you Party Passes in." Surely they had known, based on the number of VIPs and sponsors invited, that there would not be enough room for everyone. I wondered why they hadn't chosen to fix the problem by finding an alternative venue. I wondered why they had continued to invite us all day long to this over-booked party instead of just announcing in the theater that due to a planning problem it would have to be for VIPs and sponsors only. They allowed it to become a public relations fiasco that was a bad ending to what had been a great day of movie going. I hope that the numerous sponsors of this festival, generous people who had nothing to do with planning that party, will become aware that while they were inside enjoying themselves, dozens of disappointed people like me who had supported the film festival by purchasing $50 tickets were going home feeling rejected and angry and wondering if they would even bother to attend next year, at any price. All I know for certain today is that I was already foolish enough once to purchase an expensive ticket for a festival that proved it makes promises it won't keep. It may take some healing before I'm foolish enough to give them a second chance. I hope enough festival sponsors will read this and then will communicate to the festival's board members that they cannot continue to treat their audience in this manner or eventually, they will no longer have one.

John Matlock
Little Rock

Tribute to JP

Quorum Court member Pat Dicker spoke May 27 to the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission, and urged them to adopt — as they did — an amendment to Reg. 6 that would prohibit surface discharges of wastewater into the Maumelle Watershed. We must protect our drinking water, she said — as she has said for years.

Ms. Dicker has supported protections for our drinking water from the first, and, year after year, she has faithfully attended all the meetings, all the lobbying sessions, all the special workshops and all the government meetings addressing policy over Lake Maumelle, and its watershed. Never has she wavered from insisting that strong measures must be enacted at all levels of government to keep pollution from excess development out of our drinking water. Her health became poor, but she persevered — even coming to meetings in a wheelchair.

She ran for re-election again this spring, and last week, she was defeated in the Democratic primary by Teresa Coney. This did not deter Ms. Dicker from getting up early this morning, and getting across town in time to appeal to state officials to protect her district, and our community, against the worst known threat to our water — sewage runoff into the lake from surrounding property, as it becomes developed.

We are all the poorer for her departure from elected office.

Kathy Wells
Little Rock

Made in the USA

I am declaring this week Hooray I Got a Fan Made in the USA Week! A hardware store sent a flyer in my local paper with a box fan on the front page. I asked my daughter to get one for me. When she came in with the box, she must have thought I had really lost my cool with the yell I gave. It just did my old heart good to see Made in the USA stamped on the box. Perhaps there is still hope for those of us who are tired of imported junk.

Peggy Wolfe
Heber Springs

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