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Off the Marc

I am writing to defend my good friend and fellow legislator Marc Corriveau who was attacked by Jack Lessenberry in his last two columns ("Our sorry state," Metro Times, Sept. 26, and "Your leaders at work," Metro Times, Oct. 3).

Jack doesn't know anything about Rep. Corriveau except what he heard from a well-meaning yet naive volunteer at a Democrat club meeting, who thought she was helping Marc and mistakenly thought Jack was a friend.

I have known Jack for years. I respect his sense of humor and sharp tongue and he's supported me through thick and thin. In turn I have supported him, which isn't always easy given his mocking ways, but I don't support his attack on my friend.

Mark Corriveau is a freshman legislator from Northville, who, as a team player during the Great Budget Debate, took one for the team — withholding his vote on an in important and controversial bill — to force Republicans to come to the table to negotiate a bipartisan and comprehensive solution to the state's economic problems. I'm sure his vote looked odd, and it was a painful thing for Marc to do, but it worked. Marc is a really smart guy.

Not only is Marc smart, he's compassionate and ethical and is everything you want a good legislator to be. Marc gave up his law practice to come to Lansing for the right reasons — to fight for jobs, funding for public education, police and fire protection and to speak for those who can't speak for themselves. I'm proud to be Marc's colleague and friend. —State Rep. Marie Donigan, 26th District, Royal Oak and Madison Heights, Royal Oak

 

Right on Marc

Most of the time, I do not share your views but thank you for calling Marc out. You should have also called the others out that were too afraid to vote because of either cheesing off their party or facing a recall — a no-win in their eyes. This is a gut-check time for the state. Being term-limited should give our reps the freedom to make the right choices regardless of party and regardless of political fallout. How about stumping for abolishing term limits and switching to a part-time legislature? Lobbyists and bureaucrats run Lansing under term limits, since our elected knowledge base is gone. —Jim Allen, Northville

 

Not amused

Just wanted to comment on "50 Cent vs. Kanye West vs. Kenny Chesney" (Metro Times, Sept. 26). I thought it was a disgrace to journalism. Why do you have to bring down these artists listed in this piece? Maybe because you lack writing skills and the only way you are going to get people's attention is by bringing out flaws in other people. If you thought you were funny, I wasn't amused. It's clearly wrong and ruins the integrity of journalism. —Martin Dobek, Allen Park

 

Harvest theme

I read Larry Gabriel's commentary about Detroit being a food desert ("Life in the desert," Metro Times, Sept. 26), with the following recent perspectives. A few weeks ago, I spent a weekend as a volunteer at the 22nd annual Farm Aid Concert in New York City. The event happened because visionary leaders from the city and the state intentionally solicited it to draw attention and to promote efforts to link New York farmers with New York City restaurants, schools and other institutions. At the press conference the morning of the show, New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer spoke about the 70 green markets on public property in New York City. New York has been promoting green markets in parks and urban agriculture in vacant lots for some time.

Farm Aid's theme this year was "homegrown," which sums up exactly what New York is accomplishing. Programs promote locally grown foods in public school lunch programs. Detroit could learn much from a visit to New York. There are urban pioneers here doing exemplary things, but they could do so much more if there was a concerted political will. I had an inside look, from my job in the "Farm Yard," where farmers and concertgoers gathered to talk. It was apparent that something exciting is growing.

I would challenge the Detroit City Council or the state leadership to convene an exploratory conference, invite Michigan farmers, food producers and all people interested in the sustainable development of Detroit, and representatives from New York. The bonus would be taking one more brick out of the wall between Detroit and out-state Michigan while building a healthier future for our children and our community. —Al Cholger, Southfield

 

MT takes top honors

The Michigan Press Association recently released the results of its Better Newspaper Contest, and the judges from the Wisconsin Press Association had some good things to say about Metro Times that we'll share with you.

In the statewide contest of the largest-circulation weeklies features editor Brian Smith's profile of Stephanie Loveless ("T-Girl") took the first place award for feature stories, while former culture editor Sarah Klein took a first place in the news category for her study of young people feeling the burden of credit cards and college loans ("Forever in their debt"). Jack Lessenberry's "exceptional insight" snagged a second place in the columnist competition, while photographer Doug Coombe took a second place in picture stories for his shots of choreographer Lisa McCall's revue "Blues Rhythm." MT took third places for overall excellence and for the Blowout X special section.

We're hard at it, every week, first off to deliver something to you, the readers. But when our peers recognize what we're doing as well, it feels good. And if you missed the stories by Brian, Sarah and Doug, steer your browser to metrotimes.com. We'll have them ready for you. —W. Kim Heron, editor

Send letters (250 words or less, please) to letters@metrotimes.com. Please include your telephone number for verification. We reserve the right to edit for length, clarity and libel.

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