Letters to the Editor

Apr 27, 2005 at 12:00 am

A mother’s prayer

Just read your story, “Florence Nightingale meets Sherlock Holmes” (Metro Times, March 23), on the Web. You wrote about my son Andrew Warshaw.

Thank God for the testing that was able to prove Andy committed the rape in Macomb County, and led to a conviction in the murder of Steven Kaplan. I’m also thankful the rape victim wasn’t killed.

I often wonder how many other people he has hurt (or even killed) during his lifetime.

I was a 26-year-old nurse at William Beaumont Hospital, working in the nursery the night Andy was born. My first husband and I were childless, and we were thrilled at the prospect of adopting him. He appeared normal in every way, until about the age of socialization — around 2. I thought it was just the “terrible twos” but the bizarre behavior, lying and acting out, only got worse. He wouldn’t listen to adults like the other children. He began to see a psychologist at age 3. When he was 4 years old, I looked into his eyes — and was terrified. I knew something was very wrong. By the time he was a teenager, he was in special away-from-home programs, and could never conform to any rules.

He almost appeared “evil” at times. He disrespected authority figures and began committing crimes like burglary and auto theft at age 12. It was clear this wasn’t something he would “grow out of.”

You called Andy a drifter … like he was nobody’s child or family member. That was really sad to read. He had family that loved and adored him, and he hurt them all. We all tried so hard.

I feel safe for my family, and for society, now that he’s in prison. He won’t be able to hurt anyone anymore, as long as he’s confined.

While some mothers dream of their sons becoming doctors and lawyers, I pray Andy finds peace in prison. That’s the best place for him, and it’s the safest place for the rest of us.

If it wasn’t for the rape victim turning him in, he might still be out there hurting other people. Thank God she had the courage to file charges. She prevented someone else from being hurt or even killed, and she put an end to his seemingly endless rampage. Thank God. —Barbara Kenig, Las Vegas, Nev.


The editor’s creed

Mr. Bohy: Loved your column this week, “The esteem of religion” (Metro Times, April 13), especially: “I believe in one God who’s worshipped in many ways under many names. He lives inside of me, and that’s all the church I need.”

It was as though I had written that. —Steve Holsey, Detroit


Boosting those spirits

After reading “Motown booster about to go bust” (Metro Times, April 20), I must say I understand where Keith Owens is coming from. In a time of constant Detroit-bashing, media hype and unbalanced reporting, even the best of us can grow weary from time to time.

However, as a resident who loves the city of Detroit, I would be remiss if I didn’t make a few points. If you love something and you truly want to see it do well and prosper, you fight for it. The issues Mr. Owens raised are valid, and he himself even stated that things are being done to address some of the most important factors that are making it hard for the city to retain its middle class. It only takes a little time to study other minorities who have created healthy, prosperous cities such as Dearborn to see that these people stayed together in the tough times and good times before they were able to create the enormous wealth enjoyed by their children today. I believe that is the problem in our community: We are not willing to fight over the long haul to achieve greater results for our children. It’s not just about “saying nice things about Detroit,” it’s about showing the nation and, more importantly, our children that extraordinary things can happen when we as a people come together to seek economic equality, social justice and basically demand a higher standard of living in our own neighborhoods. This city will indeed prevail again, and those same things that drew Mr. Owens to Detroit when others said don’t go there should be the same reasons why he and others of African-American heritage should continue the fight. Detroit needs us to stand up for it, not abandon it. —David Tinsley, Detroit, [email protected]


Bustin’ loose

Keith: I’ve been meaning to write to you long before now to tell you how much I dig your articles. I’m a native Detroiter, born here at an African-American hospital — Burton Mercy on the corner of Beaubien and Eliot — in 1948. The hospital, which was the only place where our doctors and nurses could practice medicine, was torn down many years ago.

Last month, after several years of contemplation, I decided that enough is enough. As Robin Harris used to say, “gotta go, gotta go.” I’ve been a professional musician — full-time — all of my life, so I can easily compare the ’60s and ’70s to now. I can’t make a living here anymore in music and, unlike many in my generation, music is my life. Many others have quit — not me! By Oct. 1 of this year I’m outta here. As for yourself, keep writing those great articles of yours until you decide to “split” as well. I never thought that Detroit would eventually become “artist-unfriendly,” as it has become. Since 1980 the decline has been steady with no end in sight. Now is the time for me to use one of the freeways that was built to help kill African-American businesses in the first place, to get to a new destination. —Leonard King Jr., Detroit, [email protected]


Stars and bars

Greetings: I read your piece (“A South by Southwest 2005 timeline,” Metro Times, March 23), and I’d just like to say that I was at both Paybacks gigs and thought they were great. Yeah, I bought ’em drinks, got their autographs, etc. You are absolutely right about the Amazonian cocktail waitress too. I remember her particularly well because she accidentally elbowed me soccer-style in the back of the head earlier that evening. I saw stars. —Paul Værlien, Oslo, Norway


Unpromising premise?

I read with great interest Tom Barwin’s comments in the Metro Times letters section regarding race and politics in this region (“More than words,” Metro Times, April 13) and I was offended by your comments that only those who wish to get past the issue of race in this area are “good folks.”

I sincerely doubt Harold Washington would support a premise that black people should ignore race in our lives and just move on and dismiss the impact of race in the marketplace. I am also quite sure as a black man Harold Washington would reject your premise that ignoring race is what coalitions should be about.

In summary, as a good person myself I have no intentions of dismissing race, retreating or surrendering to the legacy of racism in this area and of course even in the city of Ferndale. I would hope that you do not ignore the racism in Ferndale because it still remains an ugly feature of your city. Your promise to join the folks at Metro Times is also quite disturbing and troubling given that nasty race-baiting is a staple of this publication.

I have friends and family in Ferndale. I would like to assure them that you, as their city manager, will not ignore racism in Ferndale and you will not enter the era of “post race” politics at their expense. —Greg Thrasher, West Bloomfield, [email protected]


Making sport

Re: “Mitch slaps” (Metro Times, April 13), it seems like the whole issue is moot when someone with the title of publisher and editor is calling the shots. Because the fact that the little feller lied will always be outweighed by the fact that the little feller sells papers. —Ray Chalmers, Canton


Canada: Terrorist haven?

Dear Jack: I enjoyed your column (“Economics for dummies, Metro Times, April 20), which included the horse hockey that 9-11 hijackers “came down from Canada.” We get that one all the time. Gingrich now, somebody else later.

As for a lot of us speaking French, if only we could speak it half as well as we speak American. —Tom Henderson, Windsor, [email protected]


Errata: In Chris Handyside’s article about Brendan Benson (“The alternative to success,” Metro Times, March 16) the Wellfed Boys lineup was listed as Benson, Chris Plum on lead guitar, Zach Shipps on bass and Matt Alijan on drums. The Wellfed Boys full lineup included Eric Pott on bass. Also, in Curt Guyette’s “Dream Scheme” (Metro Times, April 20), the name of the chair of the Macomb County Commission was given incorrectly. Her name is Nancy White.

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