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A multicolored issue

I am writing because I can't shake my uneasy feelings about Jack Lessenberry’s column ("Detroit’s year of reckoning," Metro Times, Jan, 1-7). He makes a statement about two-thirds of the way through the article that, yes, does sound a lot like racism. I fully expected, though, that the following paragraphs would give some insight into the statement so that by end of the article, it would not sound a lot like racism.

"...[A]nd so what Detroit needs instead, frankly, is a whole lot of white people with kids and dogs moving in and a strategy to get them there." Why a whole lot of white kids and not a whole lot of middle-class black kids, brown kids, yellow kids, red kids? Middle class, yes, but white? Why?? I think you owe your readers some rationale. I didn't find it in the rest of the article. —Sr. Cathey DeSantis SSJ, Detroit

What works today

I always read Jack Lessenberry’s take on Detroit. We need to get the middle class back to Detroit. To do it, we need to make Detroit clean and safe. All other matters must take a back seat, because until Detroit is clean and safe the middle class, white and black, is going to chose another place that is. Second we should go after Sen. Carl Levin, Gov. Jennifer Granholm and our mayor to push for a federally funded subway system up Woodward, at least to Grand Boulevard. Demolish Tiger Stadium and put the land out for bids to Meijer and Wal-Mart to build shopping on the site. Enough already with yesterday, lets do what will work for today. —Kennneth M. Davies, Detroit

Editor’s note: We received numerous letters concerning Jack Lessenberry’s column. Read excerpts from more letters and Jack’s reaction here.

Watch out, Tipper

Jack Lessenberry wrote a fabulous column about Al Gore ("Al Gore: The real story," Metro Times, Dec. 25-31, 2002). I am devastated that he is not running. In addition to being charismatic, I thought he came across as sexy and sophisticated — so unlike the current occupant of the White House. —Reba Shimansky, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Return the gift

I am a regular reader of Metro Times and think that you do a great service to the people of metro Detroit. But I object to the "gift" you suggest Michelle Engler should receive — an extra-large dildo so that her husband can bend over and enjoy it in good health ("News Hits," Metro Times, Dec. 25-31, 2002). Stick to the news; if you really wanted to write filth, you should have gotten a job at Penthouse. —Max Sanborn, Garden City

A fair shake

Brian Smith, those of us who met you at the march looked forward to your article ("Mute point," Metro Times, Dec. 25-31, 2002). You are a wonderful writer; I would say this even if you didn't do such a good job of getting every detail correct. So often the press presents anti-war protesters as a group of fools or radicals who don't deserve much attention. You took the time to learn who we were and gave us dignity. —Mary Black, Beverly Hills

On the right track

The Ann Arbor to Detroit train is a great idea ("They think they can," Metro Times, Dec. 25-31, 2002). However, I think its success would be compromised if it terminates at the tiny Amtrak station in the New Center area. As recently as 1983 commuter trains used to terminate at the east end of the Ren Cen. Access is still there, but is slated to disappear with the proposed east riverfront development. Plans are to extend I-375 to the river, build more parking garages and pave over the last rail link to downtown as a biking-hiking trail. Also, the I-375 extension, only two blocks long, would cost $70 million, compared to the $50 million cost for train service. Let's not lose sight of the need for any transit proposal to deliver people to a real destination — downtown. —Ed McArdle, ecoed@netzero.net, Melvindale

Hitting the target

Ricky Phillips, I enjoyed your Torpedoes story ("20th century boys," Metro Times, Dec. 25-31 2002). I was a Detroit disc jockey from the late-’60's through the mid-’80's and managed two bands then: Savage Grace in the late ’60s and, for a short time, the Mutants (with Ralph Serafino ,very briefly, on drums) in the late ’70s. Both were exceptional, as were the Torpedoes. This band had all that was needed for success: singing, playing, writing, and an incredible stage presence. I often thought of Johnny Angelos as being hot like Mick Jagger and as cool as Brian Ferry. —Jerry Lubin, jerryace@juno.com, Oak Park Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

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