Concerning Curt Guyette’s article, "Down a green path," (Metro Times, Oct. 31-Nov. 6): Ever since I first became familiar with the work that James and Grace Boggs were doing, I've thought of Detroit in an entirely different light. You know those long stretches off Woodward with blocks and blocks of empty land, with a house here and a house there? I see gardens there now. You know all of those empty warehouses that are used every now and then for old-school house and techno parties? I see community centers.
If we ever needed to replicate an idea as if it were a virus, it is this one. I liked the article — good work. —Lester Kenyatta Spence, St. Louis, Mo.
I read with interest Jeremy Voas' column, "To kill or convert?" (Metro Times, Nov. 7-13). I agree with some of his ideas in that the United States must act as an honest broker in the Middle East. We should not even get involved with Middle East issues if our politicians are going to be openly and blindly supportive of Israel. I don’t always agree with Pat Buchanan, but I do admire him for his guts when he states that "Congress is an Israeli-occupied territory." However, having said that, I fail to see how Voas can be so critical about the decision of the United States to destroy the Taliban and go after Osama bin Laden, considering the staggering number of innocent lives that were lost during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. I also disagree with him when he states that instead of waging a war, we should have bought bin Laden for half the money. Does everything have to boil down to money? Where is his moral outrage? Can we buy people who are willing to get killed just to have an opportunity to kill a bunch of "infidels" so they could go straight to heaven and meet their "Allah"? —Pradeep Srivastava, firstname.lastname@example.org, Detroit
Advice for Kilpatrick
Jack Lessenberry's point is well-taken ("Now for the future," Metro Times, Nov. 7-13). Despite the odds, all Detroiters must pull together for a miracle cure. I am especially heartened that the Metro Times publishes along these lines, since media plays a crucial role in perceptions. The daily newspapers act like their profit lies on the side of inciting further conflict between the suburbs and their city. How can that help? We can now point to models that the new Detroit mayor can use. President Bush is one. After the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush urged Americans to keep spending their money and to keep flying the airlines. Mayor Kilpatrick can have the same dual priorities. He should make spending money in Detroit his top priority. In a consumer economy, little money circulating inside the city of Detroit dooms any other effort. The other priority is the bus system. The people need to get moving and the cheapest way to do that is restoring confidence in mass transit. Get the money and the people moving. There is no other way. —Dedria A. Humphries Barker, email@example.com, East Lansing
More advice for Kilpatrick
The election of Kwame Kilpatrick as mayor of Detroit is the result of a message sent by the electorate of the city. The mayor must not just occupy the position, but be a strong, dynamic, creative and caring leader to move our city forward. Gil Hill would have been a good mayor. He has always been one of the biggest supporters on City Council of business in the city and he will be sorely missed. Kilpatrick has a clear opportunity to not only fill the office and manage the city’s day-to-day affairs, but to actually be a leader, an innovator and the strongest voice for the city in decades. He has a lot to learn: how to handle and change the bureaucratic morass we presently have, how to effectively and efficiently change the education system, how to deal with the impending deficit, how to be a strong leader without becoming a pawn of special interests and the same old political ideologies of the past. Voters saw in Kilpatrick the potential to be a great leader. It is now up to him to fill those shoes. —John Biggar Detroit