We saw a wide range of reactions to the excerpt from Frances Stroh's book that was featured in our May 11 issue ("Frances Stroh: Caught between a crumbling Detroit and manicured Grosse Pointe"). For instance, a reader named fred pishalski posted:
Well-written and interesting, especially for folks who didn't grow up surrounded by wealthy families like we did in GP. This is a good narrative for folks who think that the only thing you require to be happy is lots of money. We knew too many families, which had a workaholic father who physically abused his children and a mother who coped by excessively drinking. Very definitely a slice of Americana that is not often exposed.
And Paul Unger commented:
Cute story of a sheltered girl observing things from the inside of a secure car window. I wouldn't say she was "caught" in between anything, more like she took a drive, dropped acid, crossed the GroPo boundary on Jefferson, thought that made her rebellious in a way, pranced around Detroit for a few hours, and went back to Grosse Pointe, back to the usual problems people have in that community, that is pretty much a joke to 99 percent of the rest of the population. As far as being a photographer, great! But had you been stripped of all your money and forced to live on the streets of Detroit, and went on to be a photographer anyway, then I would give you merit. Sorry, but I can't really give this woman a pat on the back like her parents had for so many years growing up. You dropped acid, you went to Detroit. Big deal. I see no "loss" here.
In response to our May 4 feature, "Collateral damage," Anika Goss-Foster, the executive director of Detroit Future City, wrote:
On behalf of the 100,000 plus Detroiters whose input informed the Detroit Future City (DFC) Strategic Framework, I must correct the false statements made in relation to the plan and our work.
The DFC Strategic Framework absolutely does not propose the idea of a shrinking city or recommend relocating residents. The DFC Implementation Office's mission is to put the framework's recommendations into action through equitable civic participation, planning and land use, and policy that improves quality of life for Detroiters where they live today, while working to realize a 50-year plan for a sustainable Detroit.
Just last month, the DFC Implementation Office released the first comprehensive report on Open Space through engaging over 30 Detroit organizations to develop an approach that starts today, but has a long-term outlook that addresses Detroit's vast amount of vacant land. We also recently released the Field Guide to Working with Lots, which gives Detroiters a user-friendly guidebook that offers step-by-step instructions and resources to transform vacant land in their neighborhood into various landscapes.
These are just two of the DFC Implementation Office's portfolio of initiatives that demonstrate how we put the framework's recommendations into action to address quality of life issues for Detroiters today, while instituting a foundation for long-term, systemic changes to create a sustainable Detroit.
In response to Larry Gabriel's May 4 Stir It Up column comparing discussions of a Gilbert-Gores soccer team with neighborhood development ("Detroit's future is in its neighborhoods"), Glenn Mead of Northville wrote:
Larry Gabriel's column about the Gilbert-Gores scheme to reinvigorate Detroit by building yet another stadium was right on. These boondoggles never contribute anything to the people. They are just moneymakers and recreation for the suits who inhabit the luxury boxes. The CEOs and politicians love them because they inflate their egos and they can hang their hat on a big glossy project that gets a lot of press. Meanwhile, the people keep struggling in their daily lives. More top down, trickle-down economics where the beautiful people scam the system and build their wallets and egos.
And to make it worse, the mainstream press (think Detroit Free Press) lights up their front page with all the hoopla of a new stadium for downtown! Wow! And the talking heads on TV smile and chatter too!
Just think: Another stadium that will lie vacant 300 days a year and rust. And then in 20 years the owners will want another new one paid for by the taxpayer.