Still holding on

Re "King con" (Metro Times, Jan. 25), way to jump on the media bandwagon for this story, which broke quite a few weeks ago, I might add. I read the book, loved the book, and, frankly, could care less whether his police record was completely accurate. The fact of the matter is that whether it's 100 percent accurate or not he overcame an addiction and is helping a lot of people by telling this story. He's a good writer and it's a captivating, life-changing story — bottom line. I think it was completely absurd for you to even publish this article as well as put that cartoon picture of him on the cover — it was completely one-sided and unfair, hardly the work of a real journalist, let alone an editor. —Toni Cozad, Berkley


Baby steps for media giants

I need Oprah and Random House to admit they, too, have a problem.

Here's my rendition of the First Step for these two humungous media outlets: "We admitted we were powerless over revenue and stature, and our lives have become unmanageable." —Arek Sarkissian II, Tucson, Ariz.


Telling tales out of school

Jack Lessenberry ended his Jan. 18 column citing a Detroit teacher who, to the extent Lessenberry's story is true, should clearly not be in the classroom. Intended or not, this example strongly implied that the example is the norm. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Nowhere does the article cite the overwhelming majority of teachers in Detroit and throughout the state whose commitment to their students are cause for high praise. Working nights and weekends, using personal money for supplies not provided by the district, continually upgrading their skills and knowledge — not at all uncommon. —David Hecker, President, AFT Michigan


Students must think

As a college instructor and administrator who specializes in assisting freshmen transition to the demands of college life, I have some real reservations about the new high school requirements. Don't get me wrong; I applaud any effort to enforce more rigorous academic experiences on our young people. However, Mr. Lessenberry's last example summarizes the greater, unspoken problem. Students are used to getting good grades (let alone passing) with very little effort. In fact, they are surprised when they get a bad grade in college with perfect attendance. They lack independence and critical thinking skills. They don't know what to expect in college, and are unable to handle the responsibility of getting work done without "progress reports" and six card markings. They have no active study skills because they have over-relied upon technology. Unless grade inflation is addressed and a back-to-basics methodology enforced, the new requirements will cause no improvements. Take it from someone in the trenches. —Susan Trudeau, Assistant Director, University Academic Services, University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit


Stuck in the middle

It's a toss-up as to who is more execrable: BAMN and their anti-democratic, anti-free speech tactics, or carpetbagging Ward Connerly and his supporters for their distortion of the English language in various petitions and ballot proposals in which they try to mislead people into thinking they're supporting civil rights instead of attacking affirmative action. These groups deserve one another, but unfortunately, we seem to be stuck with both of them, and I dread the results. —Michael Paul Goldenberg, Ann Arbor


Back on home plate

Re: "Delectable deco" (Metro Times, Jan. 18), an interesting side note regarding Wirt Rowland, whom the Café was named after, is that he is one of the founding fathers of Smith, Hinchman and Grylls, now, collectively known as the SmithGroup, which, after moving their corporate headquarters from several downtown high-rises, finally settled a few years back, into the Guardian Building. SmithGroup is the Guardian Building's largest tenant. —Camille Sylvain Thompson, Public Relations Coordinator, SmithGroup Inc., Detroit


Reviewer, repent

Re: Johnny Loftus' review of the Schaeffer record (Spun, Metro Times, Jan 18), I can vouch that Bryon's voice did and does frequently rise above an "indoor voice," sir.

And whatever production preferences exist or lack on an album, good songs and composition sell an album, period. I think you focused far too much on the negative versus the positive.

You have a gift in your position, Mr. Loftus, to affect people in positive ways and to use your criticism constructively. For a band that's been trying to get something going for a long time, I think that Schaeffer deserves more praise than reproach.

I feel that you were on the verge of admitting that you actually liked the album, but because of your typical, personal musical tastes and general preferences in production, ultimately, mentally decided that you just couldn't. —Bradley R.L. Kelly, Troy


Bowled over

Are there any other Detroiters or those of us who live in the surrounding suburbs who are just as disgusted with the general "hurry and make ourselves look presentable before company arrives" attitude currently being doled out by the city of Detroit?

Detroit gives the appearance of a dying city: The local economy is in the toilet, local government is a joke, and we're busy trying to spruce the joint up in the next two weeks? What a debacle!

I hope that everyone who comes to Detroit for the Super Bowl knows it for what it is and isn't fooled by the smoke and mirrors.

Detroit has an enormous homeless problem that it doesn't address properly or humanely, it seems we've got more vacant buildings than occupied, no reliable suburb-wide transportation system like most major cities, a staggering violent crime rate and not much going for us other than some casinos and two fancy stadia for underperforming sports teams.

That being said, ignore the man behind the curtain — and welcome to Detroit! —M. Killian, Redford


Erratum: In last week's "Warm-up bands" (Metro Times, Jan 25), we misidentified the blues festival. It was the Ferndale Blues Festival.

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