I have some comments for the judges of the 2001 photo contest ("Captured by light," MT, June 6-12). I'm a little disappointed in the black and white category. The top two placing photos are not very impressive at all.
It seems that the judges are grasping for some deep artistic sentiment in the shot awarded first place in what is really nothing more than a severely out-of-focus shot. There is nothing there to connect with or to ground the shot. Second place looks like little more than a page from someone's spring break photo album. It's almost as if it was picked because of the pretty girl reclining in the shot. Third place, however, is a very nice shot and should have scored higher. That shot really tells a story with expression of the man's face seemingly motionless in the car — waiting for something either as simple as the traffic in front of him to move or waiting, deep in thought for something to happen in his life. The play with the focus of the shot does well to focus on the man and his thoughts while the rest of the world around him is a blur. —Matthew Lange, Troy
There is a myopic sort of journalism, where the writer cannot read beyond the press release to the real story. This is a short-sighted view of the world, and one that cheats the reader of the truth. George Tysh practices this limited form of journalism, depending on other written sources and second-hand accounts to decide a story ("There goes the hood," MT, June 13-19).
If Tysh had gone to Birmingham and seen the Guyton house with his own eyes, and actually spoken with the residents of that neighborhood, then he could have written with the authority he can only posture. In fact, the Heidelberg vision was not only extended to, but warmly accepted in a Detroit suburb. It was neither "cold nor swift". The house was already planned for demolition. And yet, the community quickly rallied around Guyton’s vision, as an example of diversity in a town that is often misread as one whose only concerns are "Valium abuse and NADAQ reports." Despite Tysh's miscues and misconceptions, Detroit’s Museum of New Art will continue to sponsor and support such off-site projects. MONA views them as invaluable tools for breaking down such barriers as Mr. Tysh's, not only to the arts, but between communities. —Jef Bourgeau, director, Museum of New Art, Detroit
Fighting City Hall
Thank you for the variety of opinions and advice regarding Detroit’s next mayor ("Looking for a leader," MT, June 20-26). Mayor Archer helped business restructure downtown as a social gathering spot for sports, gambling and other entertainment. In that regard, he followed through on many of the plans the late Coleman Young advocated for years. How these developments will help the entire city remains an open question.
Archer’s PR did not go far in the neighborhoods. Residents like us have to badger city hall constantly regarding street lights, dumping, abandoned buildings, cars and routine police services. The cops are marginally more responsive to neighborhood calls. At least they no longer tell you to move out.
We agree with Maggie DeSantis. The constant skirting of laws meant to protect the community harm residential areas and contribute to the city’s demise. The culprits include absentee property owners and quick-buck artists, both on the street and in the suites. We’re tired of hearing the city has no resources to enforce its laws. The new mayor must be the lead organizer to help neighborhoods tear down the useless, discarded remnants of Detroit’s past. If that were accomplished, it would go a long way in changing the attitude and outlook of many city residents. —Irene Duranczyk and Tom Lonergan, Detroit