Eyes on the bridge
Thanks for keeping the spotlight on the Detroit International Bridge Company ("Don't fence us out," Oct. 8). Every time I read about more abuses by the bridge company — taking public property, building without permits, violating zoning laws, etc. — I wonder why the city of Detroit or the state of Michigan does not use the power of eminent domain to remove "Matty" Moroun as the gatekeeper to this part of the country.
Look — I know how eminent domain can be abused. I lost a jury trial for a Detroit man whose house was illegally torn down while he was away, to build the Conner Avenue Chrysler plant. We argued that the Poletown decision was wrong, and that private property should not be taken for commercial interests. History proved us right, and the Michigan Supreme Court eventually reversed itself on the Poletown issue. In the meantime, my client had put a gun in his mouth and took his own life.
The point here is that while Chrysler is not a public purpose, the bridge does meet the requirements for condemnation by the government through the power of eminent domain, which still exists. It would serve Mayor Cockrel well to stop Moroun's game-playing and put him out of our misery.
—Matthew R. Abel, Detroit
Jack Lessenberry hit the nail on the head with his Oct. 8 column ("Stem Cell Lies") about the spin and lies being put forth by David Doyle and the opponents of embryonic stem cell research in Michigan. For people like myself, who are facing a diminished quality of life and a shorter life expectancy as a result of such chronic diseases as type 1 diabetes, the lies being put forth about this research are disgusting and unacceptable. Time and time again, I have seen opponents of stem cell research switch sides once someone they love is affected by one of these diseases. It seems that, for some, compassion only comes when it is convenient or benefits them personally. I hope that Doyle is able to sleep at night knowing that he is standing in the way of cures and new treatments that thousands of people in this state need. A vote for Proposal 2 in November is a vote for cures and ethical research that will not cost taxpayers a dime. —Ryan M. Dinkgrave, Detroit
The C+ review of The Battle of Seattle (Cinema, Oct. 1) was cheap cynicism and lazy journalism. The reviewer admits the movie did a lot of things well, then disses it for failing to get the global justice message out, like the protesters. It wasn't the greatest movie ever made, but easily a B or B+, or even better, and well worth MT readers' time to see the dramatization of a complex, important story that has not generally been that well told. If "alternative" reviewers apply a faux higher cinematic standard to a worthy effort like this than they do to the grossly overrated crap flooding the mainstream theaters, the cheap allegation of "failing to convey the message" will be self-fulfilling, because people won't go to movies they would enjoy and benefit from. I expect better from Metro Times.
—Thomas William Stephens, National Lawyers Guild, Detroit
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