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Lots of alternatives

Concerning the parking situation as affected by the new Greektown Casino ("Parking roulette," MT, Nov. 1-7), I used to park at the Mobile Parking structure on Bates and Randolph next to the National Theater. The monthly rent was jacked up from $60 to $100. Then we learned they were going to kick us out Nov. 17.

I went over to Joe Louis Arena parking. I’m now paying $40 a month, saving $720 a year. They also have daily rates.

They have a free shuttle that takes me right to my building, the First National, and picks me up at night right where it left me off, right at the door. The parking structure is clean and bright, and big.

I believe they have 3,500 spaces now, but there is room for many more.

We can't let these greedy parking lot owners push us around. If they want the big bucks, they can get it somewhere else. It's unconscionable the way they handled this, treated us and raised the rates on people who can ill afford it.

Great article, keep us informed on the progress of this thing. —Michel Marsh, Westland

Transit choices?

Detroit’s city leaders are absolutely pathetic. They should all be forced go on a group field trip to a real city. Did Greg Bowens happen to notice a working public transit system (i.e. an alternative to being forced to drive and park) on his little field trip to Chicago?

I work in the building adjacent to the new Greektown Casino, and the fact of the matter is we have no other alternative but to drive and search for somewhere to park. I'd be very grateful for a transit alternative (and no our SMART bus system doesn't count — they don't even post route and timetable information at the stops.)

I own a car, but I ride my bike into work downtown from my home the Wayne State area, just to avoid the hassle and expense of parking. I'm not looking forward to the casino opening, or to winter. —Sharif Zawideh, Detroit

Editor’s note

We published a letter critical of the Neighborhood Services Organization in our Oct. 25-31 issue. What follows are a selection of letters sent to us by clients of the organization.

My thoughts about the NSO range from pleasant to very frightening. I cannot blame the counselors for the crazy behavior of their clients. Most of the anger comes from the lack of money or social programs. Most of the NSO counselors have never treated me like dirt and have given me encouragement when I was homeless. If I ran a shelter program, I would hope a few of the NSO counselors would help me run it. —Grant J. Chapman, Detroit

The person who wrote the letter "Bad neighborhood" in the Metro Times should spend 24 hours inside the NSO.

It offers on-site drug counseling. On average, it feeds 200 people daily. Does NSO take our dignity away? The NSO has staff members who go out of their way to make sure that the clients retain their dignity and rebuild self-esteem. The walk-in center is a great help to those in need of help and the staff aids in that by treating the clients with dignity and respect. —Velda Sharpek, Detroit

I’m here (at the NSO) because of the help these people have given me. I’m 75 years old. The counselors do a very good job looking out for us, helping us in all manners and treating us with respect. —Carlos Johnson, Detroit

Erratum

A News Hit column item ("Legal Masquerade," MT, Nov. 1-7) should have said that the National Lawyer’s Guild — not the American Civil Liberties Union — helped bail 13 demonstrators out of Detroit jails during the protest of the Organization of American States last summer. The ACLU is working with the NLG to have the charges dismissed.

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