Reader responses to Detroit's incinerator, DPS, breast feeding 

Metro Times readers weigh in

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Raising a stink

We received a number of comments about Ryan Felton’s July 9 story about Midtown’s incinerator problem. Reader “JJ” posted:

The fumes and odor have been problems since the incinerator was opened. Blocks-full of urban professionals (nurses, teachers, lawyers, doctors, engineers, law enforcement officers, etc.) packed up and moved from New Center and the North End when Detroit city government failed to respond to the incinerator issue and to other chronic problems, such as nonfunctioning streetlights. We now hear stories about the promise of urban farming. But just as major concerns about toxic lead deposits in the soil being absorbed into city-grown vegetables caused distress during the leaded-gasoline era, we now need to worry about the long-term adverse health effects of cadmium, mercury, and, yes, lead, from the incinerator’s smoke and ash showing up in the diets and bodies of impoverished Detroiters who constitute the new urban farmers.

The problems of the incinerator’s pollution and the unreliability of street lighting will be relatively easy to solve, but only if they are ranked as priorities, so that hard decisions will be made for the benefit of all. A new generation of young professionals who are hopeful about Detroit’s future is now experiencing the same challenges that Detroiters have faced for decades. Perhaps these new residents will leverage their enthusiasm, knowledge, and skill to help promote smart, healthy decision for the community. Thanks to the international platform supported by the potential for a public-owned premier international crossing and new rail mass transit within Detroit and between major Michigan cities, there has never been a better time to resolve once and for all the incinerator’s damage to health and the environment, the matter of reliable safety street-lighting, and other key issues.

Facebook user “Darryl Crosby” posted:

Wow, been a native Detroiter for almost 30 years. No one has ever considered the smell to be an issue when the old residents were there. Now the “new crowd” catches a whiff and it needs immediate attention. To say what’s happening in Detroit isn’t a racial thing is to see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil. Detroit needs to stop trying to appease these suburban people and fix problems for the people who have been here for years. No one cares what the hipsters think; they can stay in Royal Oak if they think there’s something wrong with the city.

Facebook user “Michael Conte” posted: 

A couple of these comments are funny. So a couple of you are complaining that new people (something Detroit desperately needs) move in and now this is an issue. Maybe that’s because the “new people” are actually doing something about it instead of sitting on their asses letting everything around them rot.

School’s out

We received comments about Jack Lessenberry’s July 9 column about the race for Wayne County executive. Reader “Harry Palmer” posted:

It doesn’t matter who you put in charge of the EAA. It won’t make any difference if you turn every school in the DPS into a charter school. Until you address the poverty issue in the city, the results will be the same. It’s long past time for Snyder and his “privatization, free market” pals to admit that.

Is this guy a boob?

We received comments for Jack Lessenberry’s July 2 column that mentioned that Gov. Snyder had signed two bills that permitted women to breast-feed in public. Reader “G.M. Ross” wrote:

My basilisk eye falls upon “Never forget” in which Professor Lessenberry was “happy last week” about the age of enlightenment (small “e”) regarding public breast feeding. Why is it that new age liberals have to justify every goddamn thing people want to do because it is convenient, fulfilling or fulfills freedom of personal expression? Even as the last of the New Dealers, this is almost enough to make me a Republican. I have even considered the virtues of Islamic fundamentalism.

Years ago, at a social event, when, with scant apology, a woman whipped one out when she could have left the room, I left instead. In taking summary leave: “We come over in steerage but we ain’t there anymore.”


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