Many people rely on your music reviews to catch new acts. After seeing Delta 88 at 313.jac, I was disappointed with Carey Wallace's review of the band ("Watch that swinging door," MT, Jan. 17-23). Here is my review of the performance I saw:
"Delta 88 started slow and stayed slow. Danny Kline fancies himself a poet and takes himself too seriously, like Jewel. Alex Anest is great on lead guitar, but he got few chances to show it. After a few beers, I was practically begging him to speed it up a bit.
"The band needs to mix some upbeat songs in with their ballads, maybe even do some covers. If they continue to rely on a fan base of patient, thoughtful people, they will remain a bar band charging $5 maximum cover charge until the day they call it quits. They really do have talent, it's their presentation that needs work"
An informal poll taken from my table and during frequent trips to the bar showed about half the people in the bar were there to see Delta 88 after reading the Metro Times article. Most left long before I did. I will continue to read the reviews in the Metro Times, but I might seek a second opinion in the future. —Greg Jensen, Detroit
We find it incredible that Jack Lessenberry could promote the ACLU, a long-standing opponent of campaign finance reform ("Baby Bush and the ACLU," MT, Jan. 24-30). The ACLU opposes such reform, saying that it is against the First Amendment which protects freedom of speech; however, the Supreme Court ruled in 1976 that when speech is inextricably intertwined with conduct, the conduct may be regulated if it threatens serious harm. This action by the ACLU puts it in bed with Baby Bush. —Bob and Marie Fehribach, Sterling Heights
I enjoyed Curt Guyette’s article about the demonstrations at the inauguration ("On the bus," MT, Jan. 24-30). I didn't get to go to Washington myself, but I was there in spirit and by mid-afternoon on Saturday I finally did get to see throngs of protesters raining on W.'s parade on C-SPAN, and the Shadow Inauguration on C-SPAN on Sunday afternoon. It did my heart good. I felt the unity and solidarity too. It was tremendous. The one thing W. has united, it seems to me, is the left. And we needed that. And now, unfortunately, America needs that, somewhat desperately it looks like to me.
I do, however, have to point out that you know you're old when you read: "something I suspect was very much like a 1960s-era civil rights rally," and you don't have to imagine it, you remember it. —Patricia Santhuff, Bremen, Ga.
Your worthy effort ("Striking Out," MT, Jan. 24-30) to help our community learn the lessons of the Detroit newspaper strike missed a very important point. This strike was not simply a struggle between two giant media conglomerates and a group of newspaper unions. This struggle was also part of what former UAW President Doug Fraser described in 1978 as a "one-sided class war" waged by the leaders of industry, commerce and finance against all working people, the poor, minorities and many in the middle class. The labor movement still has not fully grasped the reality that corporate America is out to undo every gain workers, minorities, women, environmentalists and other progressives have won since the 1930s. The most important lesson we can learn is that organized labor must play a leading role again in bringing together and mobilizing the forces necessary to create a new mass movement — one that demands that corporations be socially responsible to workers and communities; makes our politics democratic and open and measures our society by its quality of life and social and economic justice. By framing struggles around the bigger picture, more local battles can be won. —Sam Stark, Southfield
Wells — enough!
Editor’s note: A version of this letter originally appeared on the Enviro-Mich listserv. It is being reprinted with the permission of the author.
The Metro Times has a brief piece on the Romulus hazardous-waste well fight ("Wells of frustration, MT, Jan 24-30). The article notes that the well is likely to be approved by DEQ Director Russ Harding, over community objections and despite the Site Review Board's recommendation of denial. MEC's Dave Dempsey is quoted saying "It's the most dramatic example of the overall change, which has been to muzzle the public and sequester decision making behind Harding's closed doors."
But it is not just the hundreds of Romulus residents that oppose this well that stand to lose if it is sited. All Michigan residents will be affected, as Michigan becomes the dumping ground of the Midwest. Toronto is already sending us its trash and sewage sludge. Will Michigan be
importing Toronto's hazardous waste next? —Mary Beth Doyle, Ann Arbor