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Build Detroit for Detroiters

In response to some recent letters and articles about whatever happened to Detroit’s plan to be a great city to live in, it’s upsetting to see every trace of the past disappear. It used to be that John R was an avenue filled with history. Now it’s gone, just like Paradise Valley went, replaced by hospitals or ballparks and roads, or some wealthy developer’s building under restoration. Take a look around the rest of the older part of the city and you’ll see an inch-by-inch disappearing act.

But Detroit still isn’t a good urban community, catering to the general populace. If you’re not into casinos, going to garbage-art show galleries or expensive restaurants, there isn’t much else.

Just because Mies van der Rohe is famous doesn’t mean what he established here in Detroit worked. It could have if it was part of a greater overall scheme with some vision. —Patricia Williams, Eastpointe

 

Students say goodbye …

Wanted to say that I really enjoyed the article you wrote on Peter Williams (“Fond Farewell,” Metro Times, July 7). I thought you did an amazing job. I am a former student of Peter Williams at Wayne State, and know what a great teacher and artist he is. He really inspired the students to push themselves, go beyond the expected to discover something new. He didn’t exactly tell you what to do, but raised questions and forced to think about the process of painting.

He also tried to introduce new artists to students, so they had someone to study and learn from. And seeing his work often in local and national art galleries was an inspiration to others. I know he will be missed by the local art community. Thanks for the great article. —Natalya Lemberskaya, West Bloomfield

 

… and good riddance

When I was an art student at Wayne State University, I had the misfortune of having Peter Williams as an instructor for one of my classes. Williams used his critiques as weapons against students he didn’t like as often as he did to help develop a student’s talent.

Reasons to incur Williams’ wrath ran the gamut from disagreeing with him to being female or white. His harping on white racism and societal unfairness belied the intolerance and bigotry I saw displayed in his classroom.

I have never encountered such mean-spirited vindictiveness on the part of an instructor, before or since. Despite his best efforts, I am still painting. With him gone from Wayne State, local art students can breathe more easily. —David Prescott, Auburn Hills

 

Free at last

Thanks for your follow-up article on Vidale McDowell (“Sprung,” Metro Times, June 23). For weeks, I have been thinking about your first article on the case, the appalling contradictions involved, the injustices, the apparent let’s-get-someone-at-all-costs mentality.

A shame that there will apparently be no follow-up on this score. —Richard Lindell, St. Clair Shores

 

Give us some truth

Re: “The Establishment Turns on Bush” (Metro Times, June 30), amen, brother! I have a cousin who believes we must support the President in order to be patriotic and the only way to support the troops is to support the war. Today I sent her your column. We must constantly challenge ourselves and others to find the truth. It hurts my heart, because I do love our country and all that it could/should be. Having grown up in the ’60s on “question authority,” I have never known the phrase to contain more magnitude. —Kim Beattie, East Lansing

 

Getting his goat

I think it’s grossly unfair how Jack Lessenberry and others have derided George W. Bush for continuing to read My Pet Goat after learning of the second World Trade Center hit back on 9/11. (“May the truth set us free,” Metro Times, July 7). Did it ever occur to anyone that maybe he just wanted to find out what happens to the goat? —Todd Steven Kindred, Garden City

 

Erratum: Metro Times’ July 7 review of the film Before Sunset misstated the plot of Before Sunrise. The lovers spend a day in Vienna and plan to meet again after six months.

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