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Letters to the Editor 

Stop funding flight

Re: “A case against sprawl,” (Metro Times, Aug. 18), when I think of sprawl, a spoiled child comes to mind. You know: “Daddy, I don’t like this Barbie — it’s old. Give me some money to buy a new one”.

Only now it’s more like the collective voice of yuppie white America saying, “Daddy Government, we don’t like this area — it has too many colored people. Give us some money so we can develop somewhere else.” And every few generations, spoiled yuppie America returns with the same request for their latest flight.

L. Brooks Patterson has been quoted as saying “I love sprawl …” Well, as long as he is using funding from Oakland County exclusively, that’s fine. However, MPO’s are funded by state and federal moneys — provided by taxes paid from all of the state and country’s citizens. Therefore, it should be appropriated through the tri-county area on basis of need (regardless of cause) — not influence.

In the long run, sprawl only creates widespread squalor and endorses irresponsibility with limited resources. After all, why take care of what you have when you can just abandon it in favor of something shinier and newer when it no longer pleases you?

It’s time Daddy Government said, “No more money. We are not going to keep giving you more taxpayer dollars every time you grow too bored with your neighborhoods or annoyed with your neighbors,” for the sake of all of us who have to actually work to pay taxes. —Vincent Daniels, Detroit, vincious@netzero.com

 

Down on the farm

An excellent comprehensive and factual article regarding urban sprawl and SEMCOG’s — and especially Brooks Patterson’s — part of this disgusting phenomenon. As one individual resident of 30 years in Oakland Township, we are completely surrounded by ostentatious homes of new residents who are oblivious to the destruction of green spaces, farmland and conservation.

In the long run, it’s developers, big business and the townships who profit from the urban sprawl. —Carol Piligian, Rochester

 

Not a swift move

Re: “The Republicans are coming” (Metro Times, Aug. 25), the fact is all the hubbub about Vietnam is only occuring because John Kerry chose to emphasize his service there. Frankly, I have to agree with you that it was a dumb move. He’s got much better fodder in the here and now to attack. The only reason I can conjure up on why he made Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign is that he or his handlers thought he really had it over on Bush there — in retrospect a silly move partly explained by the blinders many Dems wear when it comes to George W. Bush. —Bill Marshall, Applegate

 

Speaking ill of the dead

Your article about Darrell Banks (“Bank Shot,” Metro Times, Aug. 18) is well-written but is much ado about nothing.

In the article, his half-sister Lois Williams says, “Darrell sort of rejected his star status.” Probably because he wasn’t a star. The guy had one OK R&B hit and another minor one.

“He was a joker and he could always make you laugh,” continues Williams. “My grandmother would give him $5 to go get milk and he would be gone all day playing pool and when he would come home he wouldn’t have any milk or money.” This tells me all I need to know about the late Mr. Banks. Anybody who would spend his granny’s money shooting pool and gambling when the family needed milk and food essentials is not a nice guy! Is it any wonder some outside-the-family, European soul music freak had to raise money for a grave marker for him?

“My brother loved to sing,” remembers Ms. Williams, adding that that he also loved “to play pool and gamble.” Yeah, he gambled away his grandmother’s milk money then he gambled away his life by pulling a gun on a policeman. —Carl Ross, East Cleveland, Ohio

 

Erratum: Last week’s article on Cinecyde (“Sin-o-matic,” Metro Times, Aug. 25) quoted a WDET DJ named Ralph Sanchez. The DJ, of course, is actually Ralph Valdez, whose show airs on WDET-FM (101.9), Detroit public radio, each Sunday night from 10 p.m. to midnight.

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