Following the news of investigative reporter Ryan Felton's departure from Metro Times, reader Felicia Davey from Hamtramck wrote this note of praise.
We need to read investigative reports by Ryan Felton. Still waiting for positive resolutions to the problems reported in "A Room With a View" in Feb. 4-10, 2015. Hope the News Hits team follows up. Thank you.
Where will I find Mr. Felton's freelance reports? Perhaps in The New York Times, The Village Voice, or Rolling Stone magazine? I'll surely be looking for his byline. Then he could appear on Democracy Now.
Of course, because his writing style is so articulate, elegant, and professional, Mr. Felton could become a professor of law or journalism, and I wish him all the best.
Thank you for your good work, Mr. Felton.
Breaking the Banksy
News came last week that Detroit's 555 Gallery was officially selling its infamous "I remember when all this was trees" painting. Believed to be created by the internationally acclaimed street artist Banksy, the painting was originally created as graffiti in Detroit's dilapidated Packard Plant, which the 555 Gallery removed in order to preserve it. When news came that the 555 was selling it through Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, Calif., MT's Michael Jackman wrote a blog post concluding that "placing the piece in such a high-profile show almost assures that the Packard Banksy will find its new life far away from the Motor City."
The post drew numerous comments on social media. Facebook user Katie McIntosh commented:
555 Gallery should be ashamed of themselves for doing this. I don't care what you use the money for. You should never have taken it if you did not plan to keep it as a Detroit treasure. Just yet again someone else using the city for what you can make money on and then leave the ruins ... typical.
Reader Jacob Longton countered:
As I've posted elsewhere: They took it from a dilapidated property, completely neglected by the "owner" who ought to have no claim on anything in the property which he had abandoned. It is preserved, and people have been able to enjoy it. Now they are selling it and the proceeds will go to advance their nonprofit organization which benefits the community, including arts programs for children. Sounds like a good scenario to me.
In his July 29 column, Jack Lessenberry wrote about Muhammad Abdulazeez, the man who opened fire on military bases in Chattanooga, Tenn. Lessenberry warned not to focus on Islamic motives but rather the man's age, concluding "White men in their early 20s who are losers and have guns are baaaaad news" — which drew ire from some readers. Reader "Adam Kadmon" responded:
Abdulazeez and Sirhan Sirhan aren't (weren't) white. John Houser, the man who shot 11 people in a Louisiana theater earlier this month, is 56. The Virginia Tech shooter, 23-year-old Seung-Hui Cho, was in his early 20s, but he wasn't white. Let's not forget the Tsarnaev brothers, the Boston Marathon bombers — they didn't use guns until they were on the run.
You don't have to be young, or white, or even have a gun to be dangerous and deadly.
I think it's long past time for you to drop the "liberal spin" you like to put on these violent tragedies, Jack. It is not helping.
News came last week that Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland and fiance Carré Callaway were moving to Detroit. In a response blog post, MT's music editor Mike McGonigal admitted he had no idea who Borland was, but posed the question: "Where else is it news just for an asshole has-been '90s hack musician to move to a place?" Some readers objected to the sentiment. Reader "Tonydelite" commented:
Wow, way to make the guy and his family feel welcome. Who gives a shit if his band sucks? He's bringing tax money to the city and taking care of a house that would otherwise be empty. We need more people living in the city. Period.
Wes, welcome to the city. Our journalists may be terrible, but the majority of our citizens are good people. If I see you around, I'll buy you a beer.