Madison HeightsAugust 20, 2012
Meet the candidates over free bowling at Astro Lanes
By Andy Kozlowski
C & G Staff Writer
MADISON HEIGHTS — Campaign season will soon be in full swing now that the primaries have wrapped up and the candidates have been determined for the general election in November.
This period is typically accompanied by negative attack ads, one side blasting the other in a bid for the hearts and minds of voters. But Mark Bliss, a Madison Heights Republican running for state representative in the 26th District, wants to try something different.
The challenger to incumbent Democrat Jim Townsend, seeking to represent constituents in Madison Heights and Royal Oak, has contacted not only his rival, but political candidates across the state as well, inviting them all to a nonpartisan event.
And you’re also invited.
Instead of spending campaign money on ads, Bliss is teaming with Astro Lanes to treat everyone in Madison Heights and Royal Oak to a free game of bowling, one free game per person.
People can come and simply play a game of bowling if they wish. There will be no rallies, no speeches and no town hall meetings; there will be no solicitations for campaign donations, no lawn signs forced on attendees — just good times bowling.
Of course, politicians will be mingling in the crowd, Democrats and Republicans alike. It’s part of an effort to get away from the vile tone of modern politics and bring the representatives — and potential representatives — to the masses.
If people want to talk to the candidates and get to know them and their stance on the issues, they can — but they can just as easily ignore them.
The community event is set for Saturday, Sept. 15, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Astro Lanes in Madison Heights.
Each attendee gets one game of bowling free. Depending on the flow, the organizers may give away more free games, so it’s possible people may get two or three free games. But everyone is guaranteed at least one.
It also happens to be Astro Lanes’ 40th year in Madison Heights.
“When they (Astro Lanes) opened 40 years ago, my grandpa took my dad and his siblings to the alley,” Bliss said. “It was a big deal, that alley opening up.”
The bowling alley recently underwent some renovations and is ready to host the community event.
“We’re happy to hold this,” said Patricia Lamb, day manager. “We have all-new synthetic lanes in our center. Recently, we re-did our bars, and within the past couple of years, our tables were redone. We’ve had a lot of renovations done — it’s very nice, with a lot of comments from our clients.
“It’s been 40 years of the same owner,” she added. “This is a family-owned business, not a corporation.”
Bliss said he hopes the nonpartisan event will help soften the tone this election.
“If this example can make it all a bit more civil, in my race or others, and more about the issues, rather than partisan gun-slinging, then we’ll have done our job,” Bliss said. “It’s also nice to provide free games to members of our community, some of which are hard hit by the economic downturn, instead of just putting another flier in their mailbox that they’ll take to the recycling bin.
“I want to set a tone,” Bliss said. “Often we see candidates biting each others’ heads off publicly; we see political attack ads and get hounded by robo-calls. In reality, the most reliable source of information is the candidates themselves. I don’t know what the turnout at this event will be with the candidates — I can’t control who comes out. But this is about being available for anyone who wants to voice a concern.”
Astro Lanes is located at 32388 John R in Madison Heights. Bliss will hold a free community event there from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15: one free game of bowling per person. For more information about the venue, call (248) 585-3131. For more information about the event, visit www.electbliss.com/bowling.
- Last 7 Days
- Last 30 Days
- Missing woman found dead - West Bloomfield
- BHS Orchestra selected to perform at Carnegie Hall - Berkley
- All in the family - Clinton Township
- Christmas Wonderfest brings holiday wonder to Novi - Metro Detroit
- Premature birth rates decline in Michigan for sixth year - Metro Detroit
- Police seek help in fatal hit-and-run - Clinton Township
- Looking Back: 1920s Coolidge Highway - Berkley
- Shelby boy battles rare form of cancer - Shelby Township
- Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams - Walled Lake
- Macomb Home Depot creates college scholarship in honor of deceased employee - Macomb Township
- East Detroit student dies following pool accident - Eastpointe
- Attorney dies in Harper Avenue crash - St. Clair Shores
- CVHS students to stage production of ‘Hairspray’ - Clinton Township
- Looking Back: Selinsky-Green Farmhouse c. 1898 - St. Clair Shores
- Sterling woman hurt in shooting - Sterling Heights
- Christmas comes to the Shores - St. Clair Shores
- County board considers regional water authority proposal - Macomb County
- Shelby boy battles rare form of cancer
- Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams
- BHS Orchestra selected to perform at Carnegie Hall
- Macomb Home Depot creates college scholarship in honor of deceased employee
- Child prodigy becomes youngest artist exhibited at Park West Gallery
- All in the family
- Christmas Wonderfest brings holiday wonder to Novi