Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on June 18, 1988 · Page 15
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 15

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Saturday, June 18, 1988
Page 15
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DETROIT FREE PRESSSATURDAY, JUNE 18, 1988 1 5A Downtown stores I ! I 1 V expect to BY DAVID MCHUGH, LORI MATHEWS AND DAVID PIERINI Free Press Staff Writers If the Grand Prix heads upriver for Belle Isle next year as planned, there will be more than a few people on the downtown waterfront waving a sad farewell. Among the mourners will be some owners of small businesses downtown and out-of-town race spectators, interviews around the race course indicated Friday. Mickey Mardirosian, owner of Mickey's, a convenience store at 161 W. Congress, said he does his best business on Grand Prix weekend. "Not only that, but business is good the two weeks before Grand Prix," said Mardirosian, who sells Grand Prix T-shirts and souvenirs. "It's really going to hurt us and all of Detroit. This is where it should be." Wendy Freedman of Everybody's Nuts, a candy and peanut shop in the Renaissance Center, said: "It's going to eliminate us from doing any business on that weekend. Business picks up on these weekends because we're right in the hub of everything." But others interviewed Friday didn't seem worried a bit. Tom McGrath, kitchen manager at Galligan's on E. Jefferson, said business will not drop sharply because there is no competition on Belle Isle. "They'll go over to watch the race and then come back here and party," McGrath said. Jim Webb, a spokesman for the Westin Hotel, said the rooms will be sold out again next year because "there are no hotels on the island." Business owners near the bridge appeared generally lukewarm. "It's not going to benefit me," said Armando Apess, owner of the Acapul-co restaurant across Jefferson from Belle" Isle. "They'll pull the same thing they did for the boat races . . . control the crowds." Anne Smith, manager of Pinkey's Boulevard Club on E. Grand Boulevard, said the race would probably help business somewhat. "Usually, things on the island don't have much impact except from people leaving. I'm sure we'd benefit from it somehow." Many spectators leaving Friday's events said they would not return if the Prix is moved. Belle Isle new site for Grand Prix GRAND PRK, from Page 1A casino gambling on the island. "I hadn't put the two together," he said, "but you could if you tried real hard." Young said the 2.8-mile Belle Isle course would use existing roadways and occupy 20. percent of the island. The remainder of the island would be open to the public during race weekend. The pit area and garage for the circuit would be permanent. Young didn't have an estimate on what the cost would be for paving roads, constructing bleachers, garage and pit area, and providing parking. Nor could he say who would pay for it. The race currently is supported through private financing. Young made the announcement at an afternoon press conference, flanked by Detroit Renaissance chairman Charles Fisher III and Bernie Eccel-stone, vice-president of the Federation International de l'Automobile. Young said the City of Detroit, Detroit Renaissance and the FIA have agreed in principle to a multiyear contract to hold the races on Belle Isle. Young said he believed potential traffic problems on the island could be solved by isolating some lanes of the MacArthur Bridge to handle Grand Prix traffic only. He also proposed using ferries and buses. Detroit Renaissance president Robert McCabe called Belle Isle "the only viable alternative." "Traffic would be difficult, but it won't be a problem," McCabe said. "They get 500,000 people out there every year for the boat races, so it can accommodate a large number." The Prix course has been squeezed by downtown expansion for several years developments such as the People Mover, the Millender Center and the expansion of Cobo Hall. Now Amervest, a development firm which optioned the land that includes the Renaissance Center and some of the surrounding area from the Ford Motor Co., plans to start developing that area beginning this fall. McCabe said earlier Friday that Amervest wanted to build a new parking deck in the Renaissance Center's Lot B in September. That area is used for trailers to house the racing teams and for the concession section. McCabe said other plans called for a high-rise office building which would wipe out the current start and finish line and much of the bleacher seating. The change of venue would allow construction of the permanent garage and pit area FIA has wanted since the race came to Detroit in 1982. feel loss Dave Dobrin, 39, of Milford said, "It won't have the ambience it has now. ... We won't be going next year if they do that. Who needs the hassles?" Jerry Taylor, 42, of Milwaukee had planned on making the Grand Prix an annual visit, but no more. The big attraction for Taylor had been easy access to activities from his hotel, no cab fares or rental cars. "The thing that made this race unique is that it's run through the streets of the city. I love it," Taylor said. "I had planned on coming to Detroit this weekend every year. On my second visit, I find those plans have been destroyed. It's depressing." Leaders of Friends of Belle Isle, a 1,300-member non-profit organization, had varying opinions. In 1985, the Friends went on record against any commercialization of Belle Isle, including casino gambling and the race. But the board could reverse its position, President Harold Glover said. "I do think the race can be accommodated, but it requires some sensitive planning, " he said. "I think any opposition that is going to mount could have been circumvented by better communication," said Glover. The city did not contact the organization before making the announcement, he said. Board member Claire Merz said she was not opposed if Detroit Renaissance President Robert McCabe's 1985 offer to refurbish the island's old casino and not otherwise change the island still held. "I can handle that," she said. "The one guarantee he made was that the island would be left in better condition than when they started getting ready for the race," But board member Hank Scott was opposed: "Belle Isle is a park, a place for people to enjoy, not a place for a racetrack." Senior citizens shooting pool at the casino were unhappy with the news, and many said they would be willing to fight it. "They're not going to get Belle Isle," said Michael Kovich, 71, who lives near the island. "We don't litter, we fish here, we jog here. , . . This is our home." Prix parade hashes up fun BY LYDIA SMIGIELSKI Free Press Staff Writer Thanksgiving Day leftovers were served up checkerboard style Friday night, but 100,000 customers searching for a sampling of that Grand Prix taste didn't mind a bit. "I think it's fantastic. It makes the people more friendly," said Ed Rowley, 66, of East Detroit who watched Detroit's first Grand Prix parade with his wife, daughter and two grandchildren. "It looks like Detroit is alive." Dave Pittman, the parade's art director, said eight of the 17 floats were created especially for the Grand Prix festivities.' The remaining floats, including the giant Thanksgiving turkey, were spruced up in checkers to match the Grand Prix theme. All seven of the giant balloons were; originally in last year's parade, Pittman said. Prime viewing spaces for the event a tribute to the automobile were plentiful. Many spectators were wrapped around light poles, camped out, on top of buildings and campers, and perched on top of trash cans, benches and shoulders. "I think this is really astounding," said John Ivory Sr. of Detroit, who carved out a curbside view of the event. "We are seeing things we haven't seen before." The parade was thrown by the Parade Company, which also organized last November's 61st annual Michigan Thanksgiving Day Parade where 700,000 spectators braved freezing temperatures. Young said there was no pressure from FIA to., move the race. But Eccelstone, also president of the Formula One Constructors Association, said earlier Friday that he wouldn't accept a downtown arrangement that didn't include a permanent garage and pit location. Amervest's plans made a permanent structure at the current location improbable. McCabe said he hoped repaying of the roads would begin by fall, but there was no way to estimate when the garage or grandstand construction would begin. r DAVID C SHAFFERSpecial to the Free Press Actress Marsha Mason, above, watches the action in the pits Friday. Mason is taking racing tips from actor Paul Newman, right. More on Mason's racing interest in Names & Faces, Page 12C. Fans on one by lori Mathews and David pierini Free Press Staff Writers Patrick Fitzgerald and Carl Mertz could hear something that sounded like thunder, but the two six-year-olds just couldn't see the cars flash like lightning across the track. No matter where they went Friday, all they seemed to glimpse were passing kneecaps. Then Patrick's mom got inspiration from above: the People Mover. "The only impression they had of the race was the noise," said Pam Fitzgerald, 39, of Grosse He. "The barriers on the ground were too tall, so that's why we're up here." Parents and short ones weren't the only Grand Prix viewers Friday to take to the skies. Mover-riding spectators enjoyed a view of the entire course, in air-conditioned comfort. "I got my 50 cents worth," said Susan Huffer, 30, of Dallas. "I've never been on anything like this before. I went to the race last year but they didn't have this then. This is "Oh, Lord, we just got this thing settled," McCabe said. "It's going to take some time to begin the process of building it." Belle Isle was one of the first sites considered for the Grand Prix when the race was inaugurated, according to Thomas Adams, who headed the Detroit Renaissance group that helped organise the first race in 1982. The island was ruled out originally because it is accessible only by a single bridge and had inadequate facilities for garages and limited room for grandstands, said Adams. Detroit City Council members expressed mixed opinions about the announcement. "I would be deeply disturbed if Belle Isle was in any way despoiled," said Mel Ravitz. Nicholas Hood said, "My immediate reaction is it would solve a lot of the traffic congestion we now have downtown." David Eberhard said, "If it's amicable, let's try it - let's see." Maryann Mahaffey and Clyde Cleveland were opposed. Mahaffey said, "Everybody wants Belle Isle for their own private purposes. But it was designed as a public park and it should be used as a public park." The four other members could not be reached for comment. "This is definitely something that perhaps should have been done long ago," Eccelstone said at the press conference. "But we're very pleased to be staying in Detroit. We enjoy coming here, and we're looking forward to having a better location. This will give Detroit as good of a facility as the other circuits we race on." The most recent garage on the Grand Prix circuit was constructed this spring for the Gilles Villeneuve course on Montreal's Notre Dame Island. The garage, which cost $6.5 million Canadian, is a one-story building containing 42 single-car garages topped by a three-story tower housing race offices and press facilities. Each garage is 20 feet wide and 40 feet deep. Sitting atop the garages are 43 hospitality suites, holding about 30 people each, that rented for $15,000 during the Montreal Grand Prix last weekend, spokesman Raymond Beau-chemin said. McCabe apparently was the point man in engineering a 60-minute meeting between Eccelstone and Young around 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Westin. "Bernie told me this morning that he wanted to meet the mayor," McCabe said. "I wanted to get it done and show everyone that we had to act now or we'd be in trouble." 'f '-W. n track get view of the other great . . . cheap fun," said Huffer. For some people, the first day of the three-day racing event was a chance to get up close and personal. Dave Kovach, 30, of Allen Park carried a white race helmet signed by race celebrities. Buying a pit pass, Kovach hoped, would be his guarantee of Formula One signatures. Once inside Pit Row, however, Kovach found himself bothered by "amateur fans" people who don't know how or when to approach their target. "Geez, they let anybody in here," said Kovach, as he scowled at an autograph-seeking youngster trying to get to a driver. "They shouldn't let the average person in here." As driver Derek Warwick of Great Britain emerged, Kovach rushed with crowds of other spectators to get a precious autograph. It was obvious, however, that many of the women hanging out in Pit Row hadn't bought their pit passes. One, wearing a bright red mini-mini-dress, bright red lipstick and 12" 3 Speed Oscillating Desk Fan Reg. Now 229' $499 a f Remember , I Father's Day 1 1 June 19th J Hp Heavy Duty 2JA Ton Garage Jack Reg. '129" NOW $099 Limit 1 Per Family 105 units chainwide Air Hhrnme Deluxe Trallor r,ji( Touch-up Spray Gun Reg. Now 36" $22" Hitch Ball 1Ve" or 2" Reg. Now 4" $299 300 units chainwide Portable Air Compressor Plugs Into Cigarette Lighter 200 P.S.I. Reg. Now '25" $4 99 130 units w chainwide Rea. 13" Leather Tool Pouch engine uieaner k And Air Duster U Reg. 15" Now 99 195 units Set Reg. 12M cnainwiae 110 units 8.A.E. or 5" Heavy Duty Bench Vise Reg. Now 39" $AA99 60 units 4m9 chainwide Reg. '10" 150 unite chainwide V x 50 Ft. Air Hose $13" ALLEN PARK 6540 Allen Rd. N.W. Cor. Southfield and Allen Rd. NtMl In Manhall Mmlt 028-4943 EAST DETROIT 19368 E. Ten Mile Between Kelly and 1-94 778-8330 LIVONIA 28691 Plymouth Rd. Bet. Inkster and Middlebelt Nmxt It W.ney'l 2615370 I ' shocking blond hair became "re-porter-for-a-day" as she went to each pit, meeting drivers and trying to find out where the crews would be Friday night, "In case I have to do some follow-up work." When asked for whom she was working, the woman said, "It's no one's business ... but mine. Now, get lost. " But for many Pit Row people, especially the emergency service rescue teams, Friday meant the first of three days of serious business. Many of these fire fighters and police officers take vacation time to volunteer, but say the compensation makes it worth it a T-Shirt and a keg of beer donated by Stroh's when the event is over. "Being bunkered-up (in fire gear) can be tough, especially on a hot day, but all of us look forward to this year after year," said Jay Reynolds of the Troy Police Department. "Just one little problem, though. We don't have a bathroom. It can make for a very long weekend." TOOLS & STUFF TV? V o r v. m ft. j" Dads and Grads Sale!! LCD. Stopwatch With Alarm Reg. '7R Now $299 V7 85 units chainwide 350 units chainwide Tools 10 Pc. " Drive Hex Bit Set S.A.E. or Metric '4" $Q99 chainwide a I I 140 units chainwide 6 Pc. Precision Screwdriver Set Jusf990 3" Utility Cut-Off Tool !1 Now 120 units 29" $22" chainwide V4" Heavy Duty Die Grinder PeJ: Now 100 units '29" $22" chainwide 1200 units G.I. Type Folding Shovel Just $399 3 "Great For Camping 350 units chainwide s 6 Pc. Flare Nut Wrench S Set S Reg. 9 Now If 3 Air Sandblasting Kit Now 130 units 3 $Q99 chainwide S.A.E. or Metric 9 210 units chainwide Now $Q99 2 Ft. Aluminum Level 5M $399 chainwide chalnslde Metric Sockets ....$799 5Pc. Brass Air mi Now JUSf$3" Quick Coupler Set P0NTIAC ROYAL OAK 4336 N.Woodward Between 13 and 14 Mile Atn$$ from Art Van 540.0344 17 S. Telegraph M-59 at Telegraph Tel-Huron Center 335-7100 Were sentences for two Beech-Nut execs just? Although one defendant pleaded with the judge not to give him a prison sentence, two former top executives of Beech-Nut Nutritional Corp. were each sentenced Thursday to a year and a day in prison and fined $100,000 for distributing phony apple juice intended for babies. The juice, labeled as 100 percent apple juice for babies, actually was made from a flavored concentrate that had little or no apple juice. Do you think prison sentences were justified? yes, 84 Percent "They need to make them serve more time." "What's this world coming to?" "It's important that we protect our kids." No, 16 Percent "Jail isn't justified but maybe some community service work ' would be." "They were just trying to save ' money for the company." "The fine sounds sufficient enough to me." Soundoff is a non-scientific, reader-opinion feature. Percent ages are based on 359 calls. Today's Question A Michigan State researcher says more fathers want to take an active role in raising children, but society is not very accommodating. Paternity leave a is rare, dad has difficulty staying home when the kids are sick and it's unheard of for fathers to bring their children to work. (Story on Page 3A.) Do you think most fathers would spend more time with their children if they could? ' To vote call before 2 p.m. Yes: 222-8833 No: 222-8844 0 Tarps Heavy Duty Polyethelene with Grommets 5'x7' $1.99 8' x 10' $4.99 12' x 16' $11.99 10' x 20' $12.99 16' x 20' $19.99 15' x 30' $27.99 20' x 30' $36.99 Larger Sizes Available 1 250 units chainwide Ball Joint or Tie Rod Separator Reg. Now IC99 t100 240 units 0 $3 chainwide chainwide 6" 3 Jaw Gear Puller Reg. Now $A99 w 180 units chainwide 7 Pc. Ball Point Hex ,. Key S.A.E. or Metric Reg. Now 5M $399 250 units chainwide 32 Pc. Bit Set With 3-Way Ratcheting Handle Reg. Now $1199 muuniis B" chainwide UTICA (Lakeside) Across From lakeside HURRY IN Sale Ends Wed.. June 22nd Next to Children's Palace N.E. Corner Hall and Shoenherr 247-0202 4 L'liYi'iMfiM j 1 1 i

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