Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Paul Tukey: A Chemical Reaction

To the friends of A Chemical Reaction,

I wanted to pass along a bit of news out of the town of Hudson, as posted on our today:

Euphoric phone calls and emails poured out of Hudson, Quebec, this past week with word that Michael Elliott — the same man who shepherded North America’s first anti-pesticide bylaw all the way to the Supreme Court — was named mayor again after 16 years in retirement from town politics.

Elliott, who is a key figure in the documentary film, A Chemical Reaction, had hinted to us that he was considering running for the town’s top elected office. The filming of the movie, he said, made him realize he “had a lot of unfinished business.”

Ultimately, when Elliott announced he was running, no one else in the town of 5,200 stepped forward to oppose him. He earned the seat by acclimation.

That sets up an intriguing battle. The town’s three golf courses have been exempted from the town’s historic anti-pesticide bylaw that took effect in 1991 and many folks, Elliott included, have objected to the courses’ free ride with pesticides. Will the new/old sheriff take on this fight to make history a second time around? I wouldn’t bet against it.

After the sold-out Maine premiere last week, we were approached by a woman who declared that "everyone in North America needs to see this film and I want to help make that happen." To that end, she pledged a $10,000 matching grant, which means that for all donations we raise up to $10,000 in the next 60 days, she'll match them dollar for dollar. If we're successful with this campaign, we should be in position to release the DVD for sale by Christmas. Our web site is now set up for tax-deductible donations to the movie and we're well on our way with more than $1,600 in the past week alone. Among the donors has been Steve Kalafer, a three-time Academy Award nominated documentary director and producer who attended our New Jersey premiere. He said our film was one of the most "eye-opening, educational and compelling documentaries" he has seen this year. "I just never knew any of that stuff about lawns," he said, "and I'm sure the rest of America will have the same reaction . . . if they see the film."

Sun Valley, Idaho, Oct. 17
Orlando, Fla., Nov. 5
Miami, Fla., Nov. 6
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla, Nov. 9
UMaine Orono, Nov. 12 (tentative)
Burlington, Vt., Nov. 18
Ottawa, Ontario, Dec. 3

I hope all is well with all of you and I'll keep in touch. If anyone wants details on screenings or donations, let me know.


Paul Tukey

Paul Tukey is author of The Organic Lawn Care Manual, as well as the founding editor and publisher of People, Places & Plants magazine and cohost of the HGTV show by the same name. This self-confessed mowing addict is the American Horticultural Society’s Communicator of the Year for 2006. He also is the founder of and spokesman for Safe Lawns, a national awareness campaign to draw attention to emerging natural lawn care alternatives.

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