A cut above
Re: last week's letter about the Dequindre Cut Greenway ("A cut too deep," May 27), it's unfortunate that the writer has such a negative view of such a positive happening. Here is a pathway that now connects both Elmwood and Lafayette Park districts with Detroit's best amenity, its riverfront. Yet, her views mirror the very suburban mentality that has been in evidence since the areas were rebuilt, areas that were originally marketed as "suburbs within the city." And, we saw that same mentality when Lafayette Park residents turned down developer Dennis Kefallinos' plans to redevelop the former Wayne State University pharmacy building all because of feared parking issues. Rather than embrace the proximity to downtown and the riverfront, options that simply don't exist for most Detroiters, the writer would rather continue erecting more walls so that the wrong persons don't come into the enclaves of Lafayette Park and Elmwood.
Contrary to Ms. Sherwood's statement that her neighborhood has lost all the benefits of the trees, the persons responsible for implementation of the cut have eliminated all of the nonindigenous growth that pervaded the area. And, as one who has resided in a Lafayette Park condo (for nearly 20 years) that overlooks the cut, my partner and I couldn't be happier with the results. As to enactment of an ordinance that would have eliminated persons camping there, I'm sure that would work tremendously, just like the current ordinance against graffiti successfully works now. —Robert P. Thibodeau, Detroit
Channel the anger
I have just finished Sandra Svoboda's excellent article on statewide cable franchising and its consequences ("Tangled up in cable," May 6). Here in Massachusetts, the winds are beginning to blow that way, and our access community is gearing up to provide opposition. It is certainly no level playing field when large corporations can distribute money to legislators in anticipation of influencing their votes. Access facilities and local governments attempt to publicize alternatives to the one-size-fits-all approach with far more modest resources, at best. —Donald S. Berman, President, Beverly Cablae & Telecommunications Corp., Beverly, Mass.
Kudos to Jack Lessenberry for calling out one of Detroit's biggest phonies: Mitch Albom ("Time to honor," May 20). Sure, Mitch can write about sports quite well — although he couldn't hold Mike Downey's pen — but his saccharine "books" are better suited for an After School Special. This charlatan has received a free pass for far too long — my lasting image of him is during the strike, when he opted out of walking the line and facing that whole Freep-News goon squad nastiness, because his fans would be hurt by missing his columns. And he has the nerve to ask, "Who the bleep is the ACLU?" Well, who the bleep is the real Mitch Albom? —Steve Walsh, Kalamazoo