I want to thank Ann Mullen personally and commend her for her outstanding work on the Environmental Disposal Systems (EDS) commercial hazardous waste injection well project ("Well hell," Metro Times, Aug. 7-13). The extensive time and energy that she dedicated to researching and understanding this complex issue was reflected in this very telling story. Never before has a reported covered the issue as thoroughly and accurately as she has.
I was shocked and disappointed by many of the comments made by Mayor Kilpatrick, and intend to discuss these issues with him. Are you aware of the ties between EDS and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality? Two former DEQ employees (one is Tom Segall, the former chief of the DEQ geological survey division) are now employed by EDS.
My deep appreciation goes out to Ann Mullen for all her hard work on this important issue. She has done a great service to the public by shining a clearer and brighter light on this environmental nightmare threatening our region. — State Rep. Raymond E. Basham, Lansing
Talking while white
Jeremy Voas, I found your experience at the State Theater at the hands of two Detroit police quite insulting, considering your "white privilege" status ("Hard time," Metro Times, Aug 21-27). Was I supposed to sympathize with you and your buddy because you were unfairly roughed up by the Detroit police, jailed for no reason and fined? At least you had the bail. Many African-Americans have been taught from birth to stay out of the way of the police. Many know that they can be framed
and beaten for BBW — breathing while black.
I would be afraid to ask any police who was arresting/handcuffing me for their badge number. I do want to continue breathing and keep my health intact. I do not have the "privilege" of going against security/police in America even when they are wrong. Since I continue to remember Malice Green, I try not to attract attention to myself if at all possible; the deck is already stacked in too many cases. I would consider your police experience minor, a case of talking while white. Consider yourself lucky. —Diane Crawford, Detroit
Same old story
Jack Lessenberry's monotonous drum-beating for Kevorkian and assisted suicide is growing very old ("Kevorkian’s issue is still alive," Metro Times, Aug. 21-27). Rather than being compassionate, Kevorkian was ghoulish. For proof of this, I suggest a quick reading of Kevorkian's book Prescription Medicide. Readers will learn that Kevorkian's ultimate goal was not the alleviation of suffering but rather, a license to experiment on the people he was euthanizing — an act he once called medicide but changed to obitiatry when it was pointed out to the red-faced sucide doctor that his original term actually means to kill a doctor.
As to Lessenberry's larger issue, that we all may someday be old, helpless, in miserable shape and without any prospects of getting better: What vulnerable people need most is acceptance, community services and proper medical care. When they receive these, studies repeatedly demonstrate, the desire to commit suicide evaporates in almost every case. Perhaps that is the reason the people of Michigan rejected Oregon-style legalization of assisted suicide by a 71 percent-29 percent margin in the 1998 election. —Wesley J. Smith, Oakland, Calif.
A friend indeed
Many thanks to Sarah Klein and all our friends at Metro Times for your very kind concern about our financial troubles ("Jammed up," Metro Times, Aug. 7-13). Metro Times really distinguishes itself in so many ways, and this article is a perfect example. Sue and I are so grateful for the consistent interest your paper has shown in all of our projects: Earthfest, musician alliances, marijuana legalization, prison projects, community radio, the Green Party and my campaign for Congress.
Detroit is a better place to live because of the Metro Times. —Tom Ness, Ferndale
The true crime
Bravo to Keith Owens for his column, "Just Legalize It" (Metro Times, Aug. 14-20). It boggles my mind that an activity so ingrained in our culture — smoking pot — is still illegal. A federal survey in 1997 reported that 21 million Americans smoke it on a regular basis. That's one in 10 adults. We cannot put 21 million people in jail, and we shouldn't waste our tax dollars attempting to do so. Legalize it so that our police officers can devote their attention to real crime. —Adam Wiggins, Pasadena, Calif.