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Saving a city from developers

Re: Your recent News Hit, "The Royal 'E'" (Nov. 4), Election Day was a sad day for democracy in Royal Oak. A third-term mayor ran unopposed, and, depending upon the precinct, from a low of 5 percent to a high of 14 percent of registered voters exercised their right to vote. With apathy prevailing, could it be that residents feel they have no voice against the special interests, developers and attorneys who are dominating Royal Oak's agenda these days? 

Special interests certainly filtered down to City Hall just before the election, when developer Paul Glantz's attorney, former Mayor Dennis Cowan, abruptly asked for a "special workshop" for Emagine at the September Planning Commission Meeting. At the "workshop," a majority of residents who opposed the 73,000-square-foot development sat with Glantz, his attorney and high-priced consultants that were hired by Glantz and the city. Answers about definitive parking numbers and their plan of operations were hard to come by. Questions like, "How are you going to prevent the 21-year-old from giving his 18-year-old buddy alcohol once they are in a dark movie theater?" were posed but not answered. 

Despite the fact that Glantz has to have a Class C Liquor License until 2 a.m. complete with spirits, beer and wine, his "boutique bowling" expert told us that the party room with bowling was about "5th grade birthday parties" and nothing more. Residents are right to be both weary and wary of politics in Royal Oak. 

Emagine will surely put the Main Art Theatre, a compatible movie theater that has been a good neighbor for decades, out of business. Emagine's parking and traffic requirements will put both the neighborhood it fronts and especially independent, small downtown businesses at risk. How is this good business? 

Royal Oak residents are smarter than this. We moved here for its independence, its walkable downtown and anchoring neighborhoods. If "Big Box" is what we wanted, we would have moved to Novi or Canton, where the other Emagine projects are located, in the first place. —Peggy Goodwin, Royal Oak

One to grow on

Re: Jack Lessenberry's "Dear Gov. Granholm" (Nov. 4), thank you so much for finally saying what we as parents and voters have been trying to say for months! I am one of the many parents who are appalled by the "promise" scholarship that was made to college students. Our kids worked long and hard to earn those scholarships. By taking this money away — you are right — there will be lots of students dropping out of college and missing a great education. This also tells our children, who are future voters, about how the system works and how promises are made and broken. I hope the governor can hopefully make amends someday. —Charlene Gray, Harper Woods

Erratum: An Idiot Boxing column on Oct. 28 concerning the locally produced horror series Lee Martin's Midnight Hour should have stated that the show is a co-production between Great Lakes Cinema and Matt Winne, Ale House Productions, and Aaron Nowak, A2 Productions.

post mortem

jlessl posted: I have to say that Jack has nailed it about Kervorkian. He could have continued to bring society to some sort of humane understanding about "chosen" death, but, sorrowfully, this did not happen — because of Kervorkian himself. I always come back to the point that we will put our pets down to keep them from suffering, but we cannot bring ourselves to allow people to choose that exit for themselves. It breaks my heart. And I do understand those who argue that this may be a slippery slope. But so long as there are proper restrictions in place, it should be a person's choice to be able to end his life with dignity and have someone help in a humane way. Not too much to ask, really.

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