Letters to the Editor

Look about you

Thank you so much for Jack Lessenberry's article on the sulfite mining in Upper Michigan ("Ready to swim in sulfuric acid?" Metro Times, Jan. 17). This is a hugely important issue to those of us who love our Upper Peninsula. They have fought national and multinational corporations' indiscriminate extraction of natural resources with little or no regard to the environmental damage they leave behind.

We sometimes think with all the natural beauty in the state and national parks that this area is protected. Not so if you have sulfite mining pouring pollution into the air and water next door.

Keep up the great work. Thanks for remembering Michigan has two beautiful peninsulas. —Sarah Smith Redmond, Rochester Hills & Au Train


Blood and irony

I appreciate Jack Lessenberry's column. I turn to it first, and I agree with him 95 percent of the time. But a tangential comment in his recent Gerald Ford column ("How Ford held the road," Metro Times, Jan. 3) bears further thought. Do I detect irony or revisionism in his referring to the end of the Vietnam war as the collapse of "our brave allies"?

While they may or may not have been brave, and I concede that they were the U.S. government's allies, this is not the story that needs to be told. The Thieu-Ky regime was a corrupt kleptocracy, a brutal totalitarian dictatorship every bit as repressive as the Communist regime that succeeded it. It certainly did not rule with consent of the governed. Rather, it was a vestige of French colonialism and then U. S. neo-colonialism.

In a time when Washington's lies and "pro-democracy" rhetoric have led us into yet another unjustified, unnecessary and tragic war, and when high-school students are so ignorant of history that they ask me which came first, the Vietnam War or World War II, to whitewash the former South Vietnam regime as "our brave allies," even though intended ironically, becomes irresponsible revisionism.

It is because we as a nation do not know this history, that we are condemned to repeat it. —Dave Gendler, Ypsilanti


Wrath for McGrath

Re: Your Letters to the Editor section for Jan. 10, at best, Ned McGrath, director of communications for the Archdiocese of Detroit, misstates the facts; at worst, he deliberately misleads the public.

His sentence that Bishop Thomas Gumbleton "... did ask to stay on in the capacity of parish administrator to facilitate a transition to new leadership" gives the false impression that Bishop Gumbleton chose to end his tenure at St. Leo's.

If he had spoken with Bishop Gumbleton, he would have learned that Bishop Gumbleton asked to stay on in the capacity of parish administrator and to continue to serve as long as he was able, beyond the retirement age, as do many other priests currently serving in the archdiocese.

Instead Bishop Gumbleton was told he could continue to serve as pastoral administrator for only those months until Cardinal Adam Maida could identify and appoint a successor pastor.

The decision to leave St. Leo's Parish is not Bishop Gumbleton's. —Sue Sattler, Detroit


Shame on the church

Jack Lessenberry: Please know my husband and I feel the same way you do about Bishop Tom Gumbleton. I cannot believe the Catholic Church is turning this man out of St. Leo's in Detroit. We are not Catholic but have followed Bishop Gumbleton's wonderful career and life work caring for the poor all over the world. The good he has done in this world should not go without notice. This is a sad time for the Catholic Church to treat such a saint like this. Shame on them. I'm glad I am not a Catholic. —Marlene Glac, Troy


Rhymes and reason

I read Rebecca Mazzei's article "Seashell sanctuary" (Metro Times, Jan. 10) on a dark, drizzly day. The story, along with the photo of Tatiana Ziglar and her "pillow-y cheeks" and the inclusion of her wonderful poem, for a few moments punctured the incessant news of violence and school upheaval streaming from the city and brought a smile to my lips. Thank you, and long live the Poetry Palace! —Sven Gustafson, Ferndale


Not a bad kid

Re: "Juvenile injustice" (Metro Times, Dec. 13), Damion Todd was a classmate of mine — meaning I knew him and the type of person he really was. Can anyone say that at 17 years old we are really "grown" and able to make all the right decisions? Of course not. I'm in no way saying that he should not be held responsible for his actions. He took a life and will never be able to give it back. But our judicial system is there to rehabilitate, particularly to rehabilitate juveniles. Remember, he was a kid. As horrific as the crime was, are we to believe that no one at 17 can be rehabilitated?

Again, I knew him. A group of us used to walk home together. He was by no stretch of the imagination a bad kid, even in light of his life mistake. To take his life away will never bring Melody back. He's been in jail for 20 years. I'm no lawyer, but isn't manslaughter usually around a 15-year sentence? Again, the crime was one of the most serious. But this man has spent 20 years paying for his crime, and more importantly, has been rehabilitated. —Shannon D. Steward, Las Vegas


Kid Rock is a genius

Re: Your piece making fun of Kid Rock ("Boob of the year," Metro Times, Jan. 3), I can't believe what I read. How could you say these things about him? And what was it that you said about his brain? Obviously he has more of a brain than you do: He's a self-made millionaire and you work for someone else writing stories for a newspaper. Now who do you think has the bigger brain? He is a wonderful man with a good heart. And the part about him marrying Pam, well, you can't help who you love. Leave him alone and apologize to him for this obvious mistake that you all have made. —Melanie Bradford, Monticello, Ark.

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