April 16, 2014

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Letters to the Editor

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Letters to the Editor

Jack attack

I wonder whether or not Jack Lessenberry reads The Nation. If he did, then he might not have written his most recent love letter to Gov. Rick Snyder (“Immaturity on the left,” March 6).

An article on The Nation’s website, written by John Nichols, titled “Rick Snyder’s Detroit Takeover Is Not What Democracy Looks Like,” has the following information:

“What Snyder does not mention is that the state he runs has played a role in Detroit’s decline by withholding financial assistance that is due the city. The Detroit News notes that the city’s elected representatives are angry with the state for failing to provide over $220 million in revenue-sharing payments.”

The same article also point out: “If the Detroit takeover is implemented, it is estimated that almost 50 percent of Michigan’s African-American population will live in communities that are not run by local elected officials but by gubernatorial appointees.”

The other salient issue is that, under the hostile takeover, Belle Isle, the Detroit Department of Water and Sewerage and even the Detroit Institute of Arts could be put up for sale to the highest bidder. Citing this as the “fundamental challenge,” Mr. Nichols goes on to state that:

“In tough times, under pressure from lenders and taxpayers, cities often make cuts. They even privatize services and sell off public facilities. But under Snyder’s emergency manager law, Detroit’s elected officials won’t be making any of those calls. An appointee of a Republican governor will be.”

Rather than publish someone who wants a fascist takeover of our largest city, I believe it would be preferable if the Metro Times would, instead, publish someone who would direct another Occupy movement, if and when the emergency manager law affects Detroit. The people have the power — we need to use it, and take back what is rightfully ours. —Donald Handy, Mount Clemens

Fair play

Thank you for publishing Curt Guyette’s great story about the Michigan State Fairgrounds (“Fairground zero,” March 6).

With Detroit on the brink of getting an emergency manager, a reminder that harsh budget cuts can turn out to cost more than they ultimately save is timely.

Further, I enjoyed learning of META EXPO’s dreams and neighbors’ desires for the site. With one-of-a-kind historic structures full of reuse potential and the ideal location for a true hub for regional transit, the fairgrounds could again become something very special to the region. It could be a uniquely Detroit draw that generates economic activity and helps transcend municipal boundaries. Or it could be southeast Michigan’s eight-millionth half-vacant strip mall.

Just because Detroit and Michigan are facing financial hardship doesn’t mean we have to settle for, let alone give free land to, a plan so shortsighted it is unlikely to ever be fully leased. —Claire Nowak-Boyd, Wayne State University

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