Sounding off on Echo

Re: "Out of their triage" (Metro Times, May 19), I am a medic with the Detroit Fire Department. I hope your story opens eyes and maybe shames our administration into doing what they need to do. It seems that common sense, duty to our citizens and the task of making real changes to alleviate shortcomings in our system have taken a back seat to token programs and not rocking the fire boat.

When the Echo program was implemented it was obvious to many that there were shortcomings. Hobbling our fleet to support this program, which has no hope of alleviating the core problem, was among the worst.

The truth is that we are so used to working under these conditions that we don’t know what it is like to have positive change. We just know how to hope. Bringing our plight and the plight of the people we serve to the attention of everyone that listens is our only hope. I thank you for being an instrument of change. —Jesse Rangel, Dearborn


Angry about ASS

I am writing to express my gratitude to the Metro Times, and hipstress cub reporter Sarah Klein, for illustrating so clearly in "Strangled in Red Tape" (Metro Times, May 12) why I am "not a big fan of the Abandoned Structure Squad." I guess that the misrepresentations Metro Times chose to print represent my punishment for being unwilling to cooperate with what I believe is nothing more than another series of Detroit-bashing rampages. To be clear, Klein left out most of the story — for example, the fact that the Greater Corktown Development Corporation is a 30-plus-year-old nonprofit, community-based development organization. Mr. Gray, on the other hand, is characterized as the community-spirited "little guy" who is actually an absentee landlord looking to make a buck. Shame on us for wanting to rehabilitate houses for owner occupants rather than taking the easy way out and supporting the city turning them all over to a handful of landlords. Or is it shame on the Metro Times for resurrecting this bottom-feeding series and pretending that it is helpful to the city?—R. Scott Martin, Executive Director, Greater Corktown Development Corporation,


Poetic license

I was pleased to see "The return of the Abandoned Structure Squad" (Metro Times, May 12), and I was pleasantly surprised, with bemusement and pride, that your article included my letter to Metro Times.

Now, I want to make record to you of a fact that is probably already known by you and many of your readers. The first line of my letter, "With rue my heart is laden," is also the title and first line of a poem by A.E. Housman. If I had imagined that my letter would be published, I would have included credit to Mr. Housman. —David Helmbold, Ann Arbor


Jack not cynical enough?

For someone as ordinarily cynical about "the media" (as if he were uniquely alone and apart from the herd), Jack Lessenberry’s recent choice of Helen Thomas for one of his rare bouquets is a hoot ("America’s best journalist," Metro Times, May 12). Sweet old lady, but sort of like that kitschy, stuffed moose wearing sunglasses in somebody’s den, no? The hunch here is she rates because Lessenberry knows her "personally fairly well," a clumsy, self-important insertion not unlike his on-air (always on-air) donations to public radio during pledge week, or his use of the f-word to appear hip to the kids.

If this transparent weasel is paid more than $50 per column, please don’t ever announce it. There’s enough depressing news in the world. —Todd Steven Kindred, Garden City


Hold the Corn

Re: "Banned in Kalamazoo" (Metro Times, May 12), your publication contains enough liberal garbage in its news every week. Is it really necessary to also include David Corn’s incessant, rambling nonsense in it as well? We get the point already! Try and be a little more politically diversified in your political article selections. It would make your paper a little more stimulating to read rather than having the same brain-washing message holding up an otherwise shallow and boring political section week after week. —Amanda Monahan, Detroit

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