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Letters to the Editor

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Fixing the neighborhoods

This is in response to a letter you published from Ryan Dloski (Metro Times, April 24-30, 2002). I find it hard to believe that a reader in Grosse Pointe Woods has a clear idea of what Detroit needs. Living and working in Detroit, I feel surrounded by despair and destruction. I drive by burned and gutted buildings every day, I've watched houses burn and be left to rot, I've watched business after business pack up and leave. We don't need gentrification, if that means "displacing" the poor. However, we absolutely do need development, housing, businesses and beautification. More and more people are working downtown. But still too many leave at the end of the day. Why? So much of the city is ugly, dirty and, yes, dangerous. Those of us living here need to do more than our part to keep our homes and neighborhoods clean and safe. We need to encourage small businesses to come here — and support those that are here. Development means money for the city, which, when combined with effective leadership, helps everyone — poor, middle-class, and rich. —Tony Potts, tony@anthonychristian.com, Detroit

It’s in the mix

I strongly disagree with the assertion in Lisa M. Collins’ article that "the little gentrification that does take place is African-Americans with money replacing African-Americans without money" ("Gentrify this," Metro Times, April 17-23) My husband and I live in the Woobridge section of Detroit, near the Cultural Center. We share a border with Wayne State at Trumbull and Warren. In that area there is a total mix of both affluent and lower-income African-Americans and whites, both couples and single gays and lesbians, married couples, single-parent families, students, etc. The mix makes for an interesting and lively neighborhood that I, as a transplanted New Yorker, find interesting and a good deal of fun to live in. The article makes it sound as though those of us who moved in that are "middle-class" are waiting with bated breath for the "lower-income" people to get out of town. That is hardly the case in my experience. Perhaps our area is different from the other "gentrifying" areas of Detroit, but I think not. I hope that if there is further change, which is inevitable, the mix will remain as balanced as it is now. —Elizabeth Sherrill, elizabethhennessey@hotmail.com, Detroit

Memories of Shakir

I just thought I'd write a short letter to say how much I enjoyed Robert Gorrell’s interview with Shake ("Shaken & stirred," Metro Times, April 17-23). I am originally from Glasgow, Scotland, and was lucky enough to meet Claude Young and get to know him pretty well before my recent move to Amsterdam. His constant stories about Shake over the years never failed to fascinate me and the tone of your interview certainly brought back some pleasant memories. Also last year when I finally made my pilgrimage to Detroit (after 13 years of trying) I spoke at length to Shake over the phone — he is one of the most interesting, frustrating, funny and talented people I have ever met, and I thought the article brought out all of those qualities in equal measure. —Jason Brunton, Jason@iridite.demon.nl, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Tired story

George W. Bush stole the presidential election, an election he clearly lost — or so Jack Lessenberry rolls out, always without supporting evidence, every few months ("The emperor is still naked," Metro Times, April 17-23). Blah, blah, blah. Throw it against the wall enough and people will believe it. Or possibly, whine enough and people will give you the attention you so desperately crave. Bush won. Gore lost. Grow up and get over it. —Thomas Wilk, Livonia

Clarification

In our story about a new casino deal proposed by Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick ("Casino countdown," Metro Times, April 24-30), a quote by Greg Bowens, onetime spokesperson for former mayor Dennis Archer, dealt specifically with the quality of temporary casinos and was not a commentary on Kilpatrick’s proposal. Bowen made his comments prior to the release of the Kilpatrick plan.

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