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Fear of flights

The expansion of City Airport was stopped years ago because of the many dangers surrounding an airport in a densely populated area ("Whither City Airport," Metro Times, Dec. 12-18).

City Airport was opened as a noncommercial airport with no large aircraft flying in. Detroit tried to expand this airport to handle the large planes and the whole area for miles around the airport was affected.

Noise pollution, fuel dumping and plane crashes should be a major concern for everyone. Tests have proven that noise pollution does affect the health of people living within miles of the airport. Lectures in classrooms have had to be stopped until low-flying planes have passed over. There are numerous tests that prove the dumping of fuel from the planes. The resale of homes within miles of the airport takes a loss. Detroit doesn't have the money, manpower or equipment to handle a large plane crash.

We stopped Coleman Young and Southwest Airlines years ago. People today should not sit back and let big business run this expansion into their homes. —Lyn A. Breen, Clinton Township

Missing link

I read Paul Lee's essay with interest, but I think he missed the most significant link between the United Nations conference on racism and Sept. 11 "No apologies," Metro Times, Jan. 2-8).

True, the delegates in Durban, South Africa, did debate reparations for slavery, but denying us and African descendants around the world something comparable to 40 acres and a mule wasn't the worst of what happened there.

The conference also took up the matter of equating Zionism and racism, and the United States wouldn't discuss it. Israel didn't attend. I was ashamed to learn Colin Powell didn't attend. The underlings who did go made a show of walking out of a meeting.

So a few days later, on Sept. 11, when terrorists with hardened hearts stunned us, I couldn't help wondering whether the arrogant United States had missed the last chance to avert disaster.

Perhaps sending our most important diplomats to South Africa and taking the entire conference very seriously might have kept the pilots slumbering. —June Day, Detroit

Fighting back

As a strong advocate of First Amendment rights I take serious exception to A. Alfred Taubman getting away with silencing Hank Mishkoff and his "Sucks" Web sites ("Cyber tussle," Metro Times, Dec. 19-25).

In the interests of fairness, supporting Mishkoff's right to speak and the public's right to know, I have created www.taubman-sucks.com. All the censored material is made available on this Web site. —Ronald J. Riley, rjriley@rjriley.com, Grand Blanc

Off and running?

I would like Jack Lessenberry to explain why any capable candidate should have to wait to run for the state's highest office ("Big questions for 2002," Metro Times, Dec. 26, 2001-Jan. 1, 2002). With John Engler leaving, Jennifer Granholm is poised to set a new tone that engages the people and challenges the lawmakers; for all their past experience, Jim Blanchard and Dave Bonior simply don't offer that potential for greatness as the next governor.

Politics is much more than just the milestones of past records; it is that illusive thing called integrity that allows one person to be entrusted with the concerns of many.

Michigan residents have been at the mercy of Engler's regime for over a decade. The last gubernatorial election was an embarrassing exercise in sensational diatribe and voter apathy.

The election in 2002 must be about change, and the future. Jennifer Granholm brings to Michigan and our people the challenges of progress. Michigan should be a place where we celebrate our diversity of communities, rather than try to vote them out of the process.

I encourage all the student voters, and African-American voters, and LGBT community voters, and Arab-American voters, and yes, union voters, to engage themselves with her inclusive political approach. —Joe Gavrilovich Detroit

Awake and dreaming

Kudos to Melissa Giannini for her entertaining story on Slumber Party, who played a set I greatly enjoyed on New Year’s Eve ("Up all night," Metro Times, Dec. 26, 2001-Jan. 1, 2002). I enjoyed the story and am moved by their music. I was glad to see a long-overdue feature on this fine band. —Frank Bartlo, Detroit

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