Letters to the Editor 

Double play

Dear editor: In his recent letter (Letters to the Editor, Metro Times, Aug. 22), the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy's Jeff Wattrick claims that Corktown supports the Conservancy's proposal for Tiger Stadium and that the Tiger Stadium Fan Club supports only a plan involving independent league baseball.

We find Mr. Wattrick's criticism puzzling. In recent weeks, we have worked hard to ensure that backers of all serious proposals — including the Conservancy — have adequate time to develop plans and generate resources. One such proposal includes independent league baseball.

True, we have concerns about the conservancy's minimalist approach to preservation, and we're troubled by its failure to identify a developer and reveal more specifics about the concept and its financing. But we're not alone. The Detroit Planning Commission refused to support the concept by a 5-1-2 vote and, in testimony before City Council, Preservation Wayne's Francis Grunow stated that "a major tenet of historic preservation is that you do not demolish a historic site without a developer, a detailed plan or financing in place."

Corktown is not monolithic. Many residents and business owners do not support demolishing much of Tiger Stadium when they do not know what will replace it, how the project will be paid for, and who will benefit from it.

While we may disagree with the Conservancy about specifics, we have the same long-term goal: to develop a plan that benefits Corktown and our city and region by making the wisest and best possible use of this historic resource. This can occur only through a transparent and honest process that does not needlessly limit options for the site. Unfortunately, over the past eight years — as the Metro Times has reported — city officials have consistently thwarted purposeful redevelopment. Full or partial demolition of the stadium without a clear plan simply continues this deeply flawed pattern.

For two decades, architects, lawyers, academics, urban planners and developers associated with the Tiger Stadium Fan Club have asked critical questions about the policies and priorities guiding the stadium's use and reuse. We will continue to question those who promote demolition based on vague concepts that lack funding and accountability. —Frank D. Rashid, founding member, Tiger Stadium Fan Club, Detroit


Great expectations

Being originally from India myself, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Meghana Keshavan's article "Bollywood Nights" (Metro Times, Aug. 22). I am glad to learn that South Asian youths are getting into show biz and other fields that were neglected by first-generation Americans (like me) for economic and cultural reasons. For us, adjusting to American accents, foods, and ways of thinking was itself a phenomenal feat. Since we didn't have anybody to fall back upon, we played to our strengths, kept our noses to the grindstone, worked hard and stayed in safe areas like medicine, engineering and business.

Our children, however, were born and raised here, and therefore don't have the handicaps we had: accents, fear of failure and financial or other insecurities.

But considering how global competitiveness has transformed the economic landscape, I expect our kids to work even harder than we had to in order to survive the cutthroat competition from developing countries, like India and China. I also expect our kids to get into politics, for that's where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. —Pradeep Srivastava, Detroit


"Sick" semper tyrannis

In "Now's the time" (Metro Times, Aug. 15) and several of your other recent articles, I have heard the call for "single-payer health care" (read "government-paid health insurance"). I hate to rain on the parade of all these folks, as I certainly agree that the system now in place is badly flawed and has needed overhaul for decades. But I must remind you that we already have two prime examples of our government running health care: The Vetrans Administration and Medicare-Medicaid. I shudder to think what these folks would do with a country to fleece. Possibly we could get the FDA to run it, as they have done such a fine job of protecting us from bad or worthless drugs. —Ron Patterson, Wayne


Free tirade

"No truck or trade with the Yankees," was an early Conservative campaign slogan against free trade with the United States. Part of Sir John A. Macdonald's 1891 election address also included a warning against reciprocity, which was the term used to describe the concept of free trade with the United States:

"But if it should happen that we should be absorbed in the United States, the name of Canada would be literally forgotten; we should have the State of Ontario, the State of Quebec, the State of Nova Scotia and State of New Brunswick. Every one of the provinces would be a state, but where is the grand, the glorious name of Canada? All I can say is that not with me, or not by the action of my friends, or not by the action of the people of Canada, will such a disaster come upon us."

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with American President George W. Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon for a summit in Montebello, Quebec, on Aug. 20 and 21, to discuss their new trade deal, Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP).

What is their objective or aim? "To identify and resolve unnecessary obstacles to trade and improve our response to emergencies and increase security thus benefiting and protecting Americans."

Has Canada finally become just another state under President Bush's belt? Will Mexican citizens see prosperity they never gained under the North American Free Trade Agreement? Who is benefiting under free trade promises?

Canada became a nation in 1867 in order to protect our national interests, and to prevent Canada from becoming just another state. Canada is a dominion, not another state that needs protection from itself. —Brian McNamara, LaSalle, Ontario

Send letters (250 words or less, please) to letters@metrotimes.com. Please include your telephone number for verification. We reserve the right to edit for length, clarity and libel.

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