Kudos to Metro Times for it’s necessary features about abandoned homes in Detroit. As a lifelong Detroiter, I’ve seen neighborhood after neighborhood fall into disrepair. This problem can no longer be ignored or swept under the rug.
Your paper is performing a service with this new feature. I’ve got other ideas, such as "Ugliest Back Yard," "Best Liquor-Store Parking Lot for Loitering and Drinking," and more. If I sound bitter or cynical, it’s only because I see blight and live with it each day — and I’m tired of it. I’m sure many other Detroiters who do their part in keeping their property well-maintained are also tired of it. —Paul Martinsky, Detroit
Call the landlord
I find this abandoned home section really offensive. If you are going to feature abandoned homes in Detroit, then please feature nearby a photo of one of the homes of one of the 8 zillion absentee suburban landlords who maim Detroit neighborhoods through neglect. —Jean Vortkamp, email@example.com, Detroit
Pot of gold
I appreciate your news story in the Metro Times dealing with the Rainbow Farms killings ("Out of joint," Metro Times, Jan. 23-29). Under the laws passed during the 80s to fight organized crime, the assets seized can be sold off to fund law-enforcement budgets. It's a common tactic to seize property as a fund-raiser for the seizing law-enforcement organization. Sometimes, the desire to acquire property is the primary factor which leads to an investigation. The laws hold that if even a small amount of drugs is found on a property, that property can be seized — even if the owner was not responsible for the drugs being there. Luckily, the laws have been changed in recent years so that the property owner can contest the governments claim to their property. But it is not always an easy process to liberate your possessions, and it is almost impossible if you are legitimately guilty of drug possession or intent on distribution of narcotics. It is a shame that Rohm and Crosslin died, I'd really hate to see the county get the property, since it was obviously the driving force behind the investigation. —Darius Thomson, firstname.lastname@example.org, Madison Heights
As a follow up to your recent article about Comcast in Detroit ("Mega hurts," Metro Times, Jan 9-15) , I'd really love to hear Comcast's thoughts on its recent "successful transition" of broadband Internet services for former MediaOne RoadRunner clients who were moved to Comcast's new network.
Unfortunately, the transition was a complete disaster for virtually all the broadband customers in southeast Michigan. The move was riddled with extended service outages and collateral damage to users' systems as a result of Comcast's transition software. Amid all this Comcast introduced an increase in service monthly charges while managing to reduce the level of service and quality of service they had previously offered to MediaOne subscribers.
I contacted my local cable commission with regard to Comcast's poor service during the system move. I was told by the cable commission that they were inundated with calls complaining about how the transition was managed. I also filed a formal complaint with the attorney general's office in Lansing. They, like the cable commission in Westland, stated Comcast had racked up a real laundry list of dissatisfied customers. While things are beginning to return to normal, the metro area is still peppered with outages and tons of dissatisfied customers. —Khris Hruska, email@example.com, Westland
The human side
I wanted to give you my heartfelt thanks for writing your article about Rabih Haddad and painting for us a picture that was richly detailed ("Visa-vis Rabih," Metro Times, Jan. 16-22). So many of the articles we read simply tell us that Mr. Haddad has been denied bond, that he's from Lebanon, that he had an expired visa and that Global Relief Foundation was shut down at the same time. But your article went beyond that and showed us the human dimension to this ordeal. His and Salma al-Rushaid's story is a beautiful one which I believe will serve as a source of inspiration for many others. —Adil Azeez, firstname.lastname@example.org, Canton Township