Mr. Lessenberry: Thank you for "Heroes and scoundrels" (Metro Times, Nov. 14).
Respectfully, one thing you didn't mention is of extreme importance to my husband and me. As it stands now, a handful of people at state party headquarters have a dangerous amount of control over all local elections in the state of Michigan.
The state parties already have the ability to target mail to "likely" philosophically aligned conservative or liberal voters, thus saving considerable dollars in campaign expenses. Their scam, planned for the Jan. 15 primary, would refresh and update data that they already have.
Currently, in the spirit of building their farm teams, state Democrat and Republican parties use their nonprofit mailing rates to elect local candidates of their choosing. Independent candidates don't have a chance in these local elections backed by state party leaders.
Just as Michigan taxpayers will have to pay for the presidential primary, all postal customers subsidize these political party mailings. —Joyce Fitch, Sterling Heights
Truth & justice
Regarding Sandra Svoboda's story on Judge Mary Beth Kelly ("Courting controversy," Metro Times, Nov. 7), thank you for taking the time and energy in making the effort to write this very comprehensive article. You are a true journalist and must be commended for a job well done. There have been many attempts to get this information to the press but many reporters have backed away from this story. Your courage is phenomenal as well.
I would like to note that it was difficult to locate papers around Juvenile Court when the paper came out. Many Metro Times boxes were totally empty. I don't know if this is because of the popularity of the article or if someone had them removed to keep the public from reading this story. I truly hope that the former is the case.
Again, thank you for bringing this story to the attention of the general public. —Judge Sheila Ann Gibson, Wayne County Circuit Court, Family Division, Juvenile Section, Detroit
Having read Mel Small's review of the Whitney ("Refined manor," Metro Times, Nov. 21) and, as the new owner of this iconic Detroit institution, I wanted to say thank you for recognizing the improvements we're making. We're putting a lot of effort and investment into making the physical property the jewel it was meant to be and, as your reviewer points out, are putting equal effort into delivering the finest food and service in metropolitan Detroit.
Chef Lutes is incredibly talented, creative and enthusiastic and we're delighted to have him on board. Ditto for Claudia Tyagi, our sommelier, who's doing wonderful things with our wine list, and Geoffrey Browning, our general manager, who's making sure that service is what our guests expect.
The Whitney is an historic Detroit landmark. Our goal is to make it the contemporary focal point for fine dining, entertainment and good times and a source of pride for everyone in the city. Please continue to monitor our progress. —Bud Liebler, Bloomfield Hills
Best. Issue. Ever!
I put in my vote for the Nov. 21, 2007, issue of Metro Times as the year's best (Yes, I know the year isn't over yet!) I read the entire issue from front to back. I enjoyed reading the "100 Greatest Detroit Songs Ever" — I could hear the music in my head as I read each and every winning song title. I liked the photo of a young, long-haired, clean-shaven Bob Seger. (I've admired the fact that he always shows up to receive his Detroit Music Award whenever he wins.) I liked the article on the reopening of the DIA and related art articles. "Motor City Cribs & Rides" is always fun to read. And I totally enjoyed Larry Gabriel's "Walking the Corridor." I'm downtown all the time and one of the fun things to do is walk around looking at the architecture and marveling at the way the area is improving. You'll know Midtown has truly come back when the major grocery chains start coming back into the city. —Allen Salyer, Troy
Much has been stated about the impact term limits have on the failure of Michigan's Legislature. Term limits allegedly lead to limited experience for dealing with the complex business of government.
Hogwash! Simplification and placing authority where the responsibility resides are the answer, not complex navel-gazing. We could return to the cozy relationships of the past that secured campaign funds and politicians' comfort zones.
Most politicians have a great deal of life experience. Although dealing with moneyed lobbyists in private conversations in public hallways, and accepting campaign cash, don't require much experience. Individuals end up selling their "experience" to special interests.
Who controls the flow of that money? The unelected party leaderships do, controlling who runs for office and what gets approved by the Legislature. Look at Michigan's primary debacle, where both parties sought to privatize voters' lists created with public money. Remember the strict party line "no" votes that stalled budget progress?
Lansing gridlock is caused by a blind exchange of loyalty for money, not term limits or limited experience. Blaming term limits for our malaise is an excuse to revive old politics. Reinventing the past is a return to the age of the "Golden Rule," he who has the gold rules. —Chuck Fellows, South Lyon
Errata: In "It's Easy Being Green" (Home Universe insert, Metro Times, Oct. 31), we incorrectly identified a photograph; the Willerer residence in Corktown features a scenic wall created with reclaimed bathroom glass. Also, in "Mecca mirth" (Idiot Boxing, Metro Times, Nov. 14), the woman pictured was Susan Bassal, not Sarah Bassal. And in "Torch song" (Metro Times, Nov. 14), we misspelled the name of the founder of Causing a Scene productions; his name is Christopher Leadbitter.
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