Kudos on voter I.D.
Appreciated the recent News Hit "Mess of suppression" (May 9) regarding voter suppression laws now before the Michigan Legislature. Your assessment is spot-on. As a member of Michigan Election Reform Alliance, I am working with our group to convince the legislative majority that these suppressive bills should not be passed. One other fact mentioned by Ms. Dossin in her testimony before the House Redistricting and Elections Committee is that minority citizens prefer to register with third-party organizations rather than with public agencies. If the suppressive rules regarding training of third-party groups pass both houses of the Legislature, this law will ensure that fewer minorities are registered this voting season. Exactly what Paul Weyrich envisioned, as you mention.
Thank you for your comprehensive reporting on this issue. —Nancy Bedell, Grand Rapids
Stay for the music
I eagerly read your columns whenever I can. I quickly learned that among the "intelligentsia" Jack Lessenberry and Larry Gabriel are must-reads. Metro Times is one of the few experiences that has held me back from thumbing a ride out of here. I am weary of literally screaming and scratching from bed bug bites, creepy roaches crawling across my lap in this beautiful, affordable apartment in this grand old building in Brush Park.
One morning recently, this 71-year-old teacher, author and historian looked across the Woodward bus aisle and witnessed a man publicly masturbating. He rose undisturbed, zipping up his pants when the screams of my young female seatmate grew louder. The bus driver paid no attention, nor did the busload of male passengers until he exited.
Just as I decided to give up and hop the first Greyhound out by dusk the next day — after watching the horrifying 11 p.m. TV news, hope appears in the form of the Martin Luther King Marching Band blasting out strong sounds. Just as my sleeping pill was about to take me out of my misery (watching the roaches crawl on the ceiling and seeing another brutalized image staring back at me), I heard this music. Replacing the horrific tales and pictures were some kids in marching band uniforms playing with gusto. The bandleader's arms swayed, directing them to blow their horns and crash their cymbals. "Oh, my God!" I cried out joyfully. Some believe there are no coincidences. The next morning, the newspaper headlines read that Ford and the UAW had donated a large sum of money to the marching band. They need $90,000 more to go to the summer Olympics 2012.
Please, spread the word. For more information, call Victoria Miller at 1-313-433-1079. —Nettie Jones, Detroit
Pumpkin papers redux
Sorry this is somewhat late (it took time to recover from the mild shock), but unless I've been hallucinating more than usual lately, I believe the estimable Jack Lessenberry mentioned in a recent column (April 18) that Alger Hiss had once been a spy for the Soviets. Lord, maybe the Mayans were right after all! —Robert del Valle, Royal Oak