Letters to the Editor

Schools worth saving

I just saw the article on Whittier and Longfellow schools ("From school bells to doorbells," Metro Times, June 6). I've been keeping tabs on this drama for some time now, as these schools share the same architect as a school in Rochester Hills that I worked on saving for nearly a year.

I do hope you continue to report on this story — a lot is going on behind the scenes and only through media attention will the public start to see the whole picture. I do hope to read an update when the finalists are interviewed and when Whittier is up for bid.

I sincerely hope that demolition does not happen for these schools. The quality and character of them and the neighborhoods that they are nestled in make them true gems. They should remain that way. The school system should not look for short-term gains, the plan should be a long-term solution — good for the schools, the community, the city, the people, the neighbors and, of course, historic purposes (on many levels).

Your quality article shows as much of the true picture as possible. —Peggy Schodowski, Rochester Hills, member, Historic District Study Committee


Ferndale not gay

In response to your article about "Affirming Ferndale: How a once faltering suburb became a hub for gay community",

I've found the entire notion as Ferndale being metro Detroit's center of gay culture and activity to be a complete fabrication by Ferndale city planners. When I first moved to this region about six years ago, I was quickly pressured to move to Ferndale, as that was where all the gays apparently were. At the time it appeared to be somewhat true with gay hot spots like Temple and Cobalt. But when I bought my house I found it odd that there was only one gay peson on my entire block. Most others were blue-collar NASCAR types (very ungay). Further, I found that most gay businesses seem to struggle in Ferndale, mostly because there aren't enough gays to support them. Boutique clothing stores pop up and disappear, furniture stores come and go, all aimed at the facade of a gay community that simply isn't there. All the gay hype in Ferndale appears to be masterfully crafted by their city planners in hopes of distinguishing Ferndale from other blue-collar inner ring suburbs that are struggling to find their identity.

It's unfortunate that Metro Times and other media are trying to prop up a gay scene in Ferndale that simply doesn't exist, when a very real and thriving gay scene in Detroit chugs along quite successfully, if mostly ignored by the media. —Jordan Medeiros, Detroit


Affirm's commitment

"Affirming Ferndale" (Metro Times, May 30) was a fun story full of historical facts that were both educational and inspiring. The gay and lesbian community, throughout its struggles and evolving equal rights movement, has been able to flex its muscles while continuing to build on its strengths.

It is by the dedication of movers and shakers, such as Jan Stevenson, Craig Covey and others, that the gay and lesbian movement is able to step up to the plate and speak our voice: "We're here. We're queer. Get used to it!"

As a community activist, and a board member of Affirmations, I strongly believe that it is our voice that can change the world in a positive way.

In years past, MT has published articles that have been involving, sometimes controversial, about real life and real people in the gay, and straight, community that have spoken truthfully to the world we live in and questioned authority to seek the answers.

Thank you for sharing our stories, our struggles and our history. It is within our humanity that we learn how to respect our diversity. —Michael C. Lary, Royal Oak


Unmasking hate

Larry Gabriel's opinion piece, "Black Christian hate" (Metro Times, May 30), was outstanding. It was truthful, thought-provoking and took courage to write. Prejudice and hate are prejudice and hate. Wearing a Christian mask changes nothing. —Steve Holsey, Detroit


Pump it up

Jack: I think you've got it all wrong. You shouldn't be "Grumpy about gas" (Metro Times, May 30). You should be "Happy about gas." We do not want to waste anyone's time, especially those hard-working politicians in Washington, by passing more laws or establishing more bureaucracy. Let the oil giants price the hell out of oil and gas for whatever reason. This is great because at some point the public will get it. They will start demanding and driving smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Then even the "little three" will start building more fuel-efficient cars. We will be back on the right track. There might even be more money spent on mass transit if the price of fuel gets high enough. This might even address the global warming problem. The sad part is we didn't get this windfall profit. We could have taxed fuel at a higher rate in the first place. Then we would have cash to build mass transit systems instead of asking to raise taxes to fund them.

Don't look a gift price hike in the nozzle. —Glenn Maxwell, Detroit


Death and the devil

I've always thought of Jack Lessenberry as a master of the false analogy, but in comparing Dr. Jack Kevorkian to "that guy long ago who used to preach in Galilee" (Dr. K and other suicides," Metro Times, June 6), Lessenberry outdoes himself.

It's well known that Dr. Death doesn't believe in God or the sanctity of life. Not very Christian there. And Kevorkian's former lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger, once described Jesus as some kook who got himself crucified.

The Dr. Jack Kevorkian phenomenon, however, is a kind of "Second Coming." The kind the poet W.B. Yeats refers to as a monster moving toward Bethlehem — the Antichrist. —Martin Yanosek, St. Clair Shores

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