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Thanks for the memories

Many thanks to Brian J. Bowe for his article titled "Make It Or Break It" (Metro Times, Jan. 24) about the founding of the All Media Guide — and many thanks to Michael Erlewine and staff for their vision and tireless efforts. A music enthusiast myself, I have found the All Music Guide to be an indispensable companion, the best source of information available. To all the staff at AMG, your work is greatly appreciated! —Gerald Kozlowski, Warren

 

Taxing her patience

Re: Jack Lessenberry's column "You get what you pay for" (Metro Times, Jan. 24), I am convinced this article was published to get a rise out of your readers! Or did I miss your tongue in cheek? I am confused.

Well, here you go:

Why do companies not want to do business in Michigan? Property taxes.

Why are people moving out of state? No jobs, high taxes.

Why are people driving to Indiana and Ohio to buy cigarettes and shop at outlet clothing malls?

Why are folks forced to take the risk and drive without insurance?

Why do accidents and possibly injuries go unreported?

No one can afford to live in this state without a lot of help.

Don't you dare ask for more from the unemployed, underemployed, part-time employed or un- and underinsured.

A state with absolutely no decent public transportation cannot expect its citizens to get to a job to pay even more in sales taxes.

How about oil companies and Halliburton refunding some federal tax dollars to all of us who have been paying for an illegal military occupation.

If you were just looking for an argument, I'm happy to oblige. —Mary Rose Weckerle, Canton

 

Don't tread on me

I had a problem with statements Jack Lessenberry made this week concerning taxes. In an attempt to strike a blow for further government control of my property, he gives examples of great things that tax dollars have given us, naming water utilities, freeways and public schools. Are these examples really that great?

If Jack is trying to say that only a government entity is capable of running a water works, he is wrong. It could likely be done cheaper and more efficiently in the private sector.

As for freeways, one can argue that white flight from Detroit, suburban sprawl and the area's lack of a real mass transportation system all owe a large debt to those roads.

Also I'd like to add that while Jack may have been made a dull boy, I and many others learned to read before ever setting foot in a public school.

It would do Lessenberry and his readers some good if he tried thinking outside the box when considering the role of government in his life.

By the way, the Perry Bible Fellowship is a great comic and you guys should hold onto that dude.

I also thought the article about the Goodmans a couple weeks ago was really good. You guys are geniuses when it comes to looking out for personal rights. Too bad you have no respect for private property. —Dan Keizer, St. Clair Shores

 

A race to the bottom

Re: Jack Lessenberry's column about taxes, I heartily agree. Tax-cutting by right-wingers (starting with Fat John himself) is in danger of turning our state into Michissippi. It's time the lunatic race to the bottom was halted. The Legislature had no intention of replacing the SBT they overturned. Now they can accuse the Democrats of being "tax and spend" when they replace the money lost. And they had better. And they had better find more, for that matter.

Jack didn't use the quote, but I will. It is frequently quoted, but there was never a more fitting time than now: "Tax is the price we pay for a civilised society" —Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. —Alan Thayer, Commerce Twp.

 

A very bad idea

Re: Jack Lessenberry's column, "Ready to swim in sulfuric acid" (Metro Times, Jan. 17), the sulfuric acid comes from acid mine drainage, not acid rain drainage.

The reason there is sulfuric acid is that when these rocks hit the air, it releases this wondrous substance through oxidation. This "project" will involve trucks carrying these mined materials passing directly through the city of Marquette, enhancing the chance that some form of accident may occur. You know the story, "Let's drive the trucks loaded with sulfuric acid-leaching rocks down one of the main roads in Marquette that are only 100 feet away from yet another river system. The Marquetters won't care!"

Thanks for the column highlighting what could become a serious setback in the preservation of Michigan's awesome and diverse environment. —Charles R. Pearson, Grosse Pointe Park

 

Conyers' child play

Metro Times is the only paper in town that does investigative reporting — which I believe to be the core of responsible journalism. But there is one bone I want to pick with you: Your News Hit about him ("Booby reprise," Metro Times, Jan 10.)

John Conyers was my congressman from his first term until five years ago when I became too damned old to continue to live in my big house. Is he a perfect human being? He is not. All long-time supporters know this.

He is the best congressman in Washington. I never had to worry about how he would vote. I knew he would, even when he was alone, be the voice of the otherwise silenced progressives. He is still the congressman who consistently represents me.

The allegations about staff-time abuses, as far as I know, remain allegations. Your News Hit speaks of it as a fact. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I think it is not proportional in importance to take him to task while the questions remain regarding Halliburton, New Orleans, lobbyists, etc., etc., etc.

Baby sitting? Good grief!

In general, thanks for being there, for doing what you do. —Martha Cuneo, Warren

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