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Oooh, that smell ...

Nice job on the article about John Nagy ("The last stink," Metro Times, Oct. 24). When you were in the area, you should have checked out the new playground that People's Community Services put in last year. It's right next to the I-75 right-of-way, so you can see it from the northbound freeway.

It has a wheelchair-accessible playscape and swings that were funded with a Kellogg grant. It's one of the nicest playgrounds in the city — all done with donated monies and volunteers. Most people don't even know it's there!

Now the kids that use it will have to smell the stink from the composting. Why do the polluters always win? —Connie Kennedy, Clinton Twp.


She's leaving home

Unfortunately, the very insensitive decision by the Detroit City Council to allow the Marathon refinery to expand (i.e. create more public health issues) has forced me to leave Detroit as well. I am a lifelong resident of the city, grew up in southwest, moved away to the northwest side after high school, and came back in 1992. I have lived faithfully in southwest Detroit since then, always fighting the powers that be on issues of air quality, public health and economic development.

I also worked with many grassroots organizations with a focus on environmental justice as a part of the battle for safe, low-income-affordable, secure and sanitary housing. I know firsthand that policy makers in this city understand the detrimental effects their decisions have upon the physical health and well-being of our citizens. We advocates have brought national experts on how to create "clean technology" with clean jobs into City Council sessions. We provided information showing that investments into cleaner technology are cheaper, make as many (if not more) jobs and are friendlier to the public health.

I honestly believe at this point they cannot plead ignorance. Because they believe the city is already a center of manufacturing, and pollution is already a factor for the city, they see no harm in letting additional polluting facilities be sited in this area.

So, as an old babe, with hopefully some years left, I don't intend to spend them in Detroit. Unless the people in this city stand up to the oil and automobile industry, things won't change. Most advocates who really get to make decisions on our behalf (and they do the best job under the circumstances) don't live in the conditions we live in or have the limited incomes most of us have — so they shy away from direct, radical action, compromising away the health and well-being of ourselves and our children.

But it did not happen, so it does not for me matter anymore. I am leaving, boarding up my house and splitting Detroit. From afar I will complete my Detroit series of poems, the latest being "Detroit: Envisioning Greed for Hope." Need I say more? —Kaleema Annie Sumareh, aka Kaleema Hasan, Detroit


Lost sanctuary

Regarding Detroitblogger John's "Losing Grace" (Metro Times, Oct. 24), I am a 28-year-old, Polish-Irish descendant, and I have been visiting St. John Cantius with my family since I was a child.

Given the distance from our home, we only made the trip to the church on the big holidays, but it was always my favorite place for Mass. I remember being tired as a child, excited for Santa to come, but still realizing that St. John was a special place to me and to my family.

My great-grandparents came here from Poland, and lived in Delray for a long time. We'd go to Mass on Christmas Eve, and over the years I came to learn some of the Polish hymns that were sung there. I would listen to my grandmother and mother sing them as I tried to understand what they meant. Mass in Polish, when you don't speak or understand it, can give you a lot of time to look at the beauty that surrounds you.

Like many others I understand why the church must close, but it still hurts my heart that this week will be the last time I set foot in the sanctuary. I am thankful for those that kept the church open long enough for some of us young people to retain fond memories of this beautiful place. And I am thankful to you for showing others what some of us have known for years. —April Bowen, Dearborn Heights


A bone to pick

I've always looked forward to your Best Of issue (Metro Times, Oct. 17) and the picks for the Detroit faves. I've had great results trying these choices in previous years. This time, it's different, and I'm a little pissed.

I decided to try the Best Ribs at Slows Bar BQ, apparently chosen by your staff. My visit consisted of lunch there (a half slab of ribs with two sides at $15.95) and an order to go (a whole slab with two sides at $24.95) for my family to try. While beer selection was nice, the staff was polite, and I agree the ribs were tasty and tender, they cost way too much, the three side dishes I tried were horrible and the portions were suited for a bird. The cornbread was dry and cold, the black-eyed peas were barely edible, and the black beans were no better. The take-out order came with no sauce, unlike the selection of five or six offered at the table. When asked, I was supplied a thimble-sized "container" for sauce.

The prices, plus an additional $1.25 take-out fee, were ridiculous at best. I can assure you that I won't recommend these ribs to my friends. None of us have this type of expendable cash, like your either overpaid or expense-accounted staff does. I'll go back to my previous and affordable rib joints. They'll taste even better now. —Scooter Reynolds, Farmington Hills


Erratum:
The photo in "Losing Grace" (Metro Times, Oct. 24) was taken by Detroitblogger John.


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