Feedback: Reader Responses 

In reply to Jack Lessenberry's Politics & Prejudices column last week, "Verdict in — Snyder is to blame," wojoformich posted:

I voted for the governor the first term. He said he had a new bridge wrapped up. I still see no new bridge. Even though I knew he had only his interest in mind, I gave him a chance. We have been let down by most of the so-called leaders. So I wonder what the next generation will bring to the table? I hope and pray they learn from our mistakes.

And Ironjohn posted:

I have always wondered what is the compelling interest of the state in the financial affairs of a local unit of government. I have asked this question of many people in various forums and have never been given a clear rationale for suspending democracy in a city in favor of an emergency manager dictatorship. Oh, I know the legal authority exists because the state created that authority, but what precisely is the moral authority for such a takeover? What is in it for the state?

In response to our blog about how Wayne County had the second-highest population loss of any county in the United States, Martin Hodge commented:

In the 2010 census, Michigan was the only state in the entire country to lose population. The biggest city is so empty except for the heart of downtown. There is no effective mass transit. The weather is terrible. The majority of people live in sparsely populated suburbs causing themselves to build more and more roads that they will never be able to maintain. So you are forced to drive everywhere, which drives up the price of auto insurance. After the real estate collapse happened in 2008, and a large number of people lost their jobs, there was nothing holding them back. Take a look outside the fish tank. There is an entire ocean of possibilities. I was one of the people who left in 2008 and never looked back.

We posted Michael Jackman's piece, "'White House' artist Ryan Mendoza clears the air," on our website, and it already got a few reactions. Ed posted:

Glad to see that he made it right. In the end, it was his project, his responsibility, from start to finish. Given the nature of the project, well, something like this would never get pulled off without some outrage, regardless of the artist's intent. Detroit, like most other major U.S. cities, has a lifer class that has been so completely dicked over that anything you do as an outsider will be met with some degree of distrust and aggression.

A lesson is also reinforced, which is a "good" thing coming out of all of this: Never, ever pay your contractor in advance. Fuckers will walk on you every time.

And Dongald Trumpenis posted:

As far as I can see, the artist did nothing wrong, at any point.

Detroit has a long history of worrying more about its image than its problems. This guy took a highly representative sample of Detroit blight and made "art" out of it, and showed it to the world, and a whole lot of butt-hurt sprang up in a city filled with a million worse examples of decrepit houses.

The best we can hope for is that the rebirth of Detroit continues, and that one day that house will be what people seek out as a rare existing example of why Detroit (and America) had to get its act together.

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