Ypsilanti Citizen Opinions Sidetrack

Thank you Ypsilanti
By Dan DuChene & Christine Laughren
Jun. 23, 2010   ·   5:07 p.m.

Christine Laughren and Dan DuChene, co-owners of the Ypsilanti Citizen, pose in front of their company's banner at Frenchie's during the Citizen's one-year anniversary party.

The Ypsilanti Citizen was launched in November 2008 to inform the Ypsilanti community about the news and events that were happening in their area.

Since our launch,...read more

Crossroads Summer Festival; rockin’ ladies night
By Dave Heikkinen and Frank Wright
Jun. 23, 2010   ·   4:37 p.m.

Barbara Payton and the Big Boss Trio rock Washington Street.

A special Ladies Night was held Friday at the 2010 Ypsilanti Crossroads Summer Festival in conjunction with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Just...read more

Crossroads to hold Ladies Night for Relay for Life
By Dave Heikkinen and Frank Wright
Jun. 16, 2010   ·   9:13 a.m.

On June 11, the 2010 Ypsilanti Crossroads Summer Festival featured a rousing opening set from roots and blue grass band Dragon Wagon.

Dragon Wagon was joined on...read more

Electric rail pollution leads to dirty laundry
By Laura Bien
Jun. 15, 2010   ·   11:42 a.m.

From the approximate vantage point of the present-day Materials Unlimited, the interurban car barn and powerhouse on Michigan Avenue loomed large.

Maggie Smith was not looking forward to a forenoon of sewing pleats.

She put down her newest customer’s summer dress. Downstairs, she offered to get potatoes...read more

EMU students in wartime
By Laura Bien
Jun. 1, 2010   ·   10:32 a.m.

The 1942 Aurora yearbook, the 50th
anniversary edition, included images that contrasted modern and
old-time students.

Leroy Grindle was an Ypsilantian soldier who lost his life in WWII. He was a member of the Michigan Normal (EMU) class of ’41, and is memorialized with a black...read more

Reader encourages Beal, City, residents to reflect on actions surrounding Thompson Block

Ypsilanti Farmers Market

Letter to the Editor

By Andrew Clock
Mar. 4, 2010    ·    9:41 a.m.


There has been a lot of discussion in the last couple of days about the Thompson Block, Stewart Beal, and the city of Ypsilanti. I wasn't able to attend Tuesday's City Council meeting, but it certainly sounds like it was, as council meetings go, very entertaining. A lot of the comments on markmaynard.com and annarbor.com are also both colorful and entertaining. Usually I'd be all for sparring with all anti Ypsi or pro Beal or what ever extremists, but this time it all seems to have gotten very dull, and utterly unproductive.

To be sure, there needs to be a resolution to the situation, and sooner than later. The building as it is now, and the blocked streets that come with it, can not remain. Saving the building is a noble cause, but current economic conditions make completing the project and making the building a viable part of Depot Town nearly impossible. We can not allow the shell of the Thompson block to remain indefinitely, waiting for financing to materialize. The building has become blight, and sadly, it is time for it to come down. I hope that Mr. Beal is able to move on, develop the undamaged section and add a new crown jewel building to Depot Town, a modern version of his vision.

The problem with the “pro tear it down” position is not the idea itself, but how it is being presented and carried out. While I can only support Mayor Schreiber's position on cooperating with the developer so far, Mr. Murdock's approach of extreme confrontation is embarrassing to the city. We deserve to have city business conducted as just that, business. There is no place in business for bickering, threats and personal attacks. That goes for Mr. Beal as well; his public letter of response is only dragging on the bickering. These petty attacks are not accomplishing anything. City Manager Ed Koryzno's recommendation for legal action is in the best interest of the city, Mr. Murdock's rhetoric on the matter is not. While this situation will likely end in court, the city and Mr. Beal have a lot of other business they are both involved in. Just because this issue winds up before a judge, there is no reason to destroy the relationship between the city and Beal Properties. Both parties would be wise to remember that.

A note to those who have been throwing around the old “crack-den-with-needles-in-the-yard-dangerous-ghetto” descriptions of Ypsilanti, give me a break. You instantly lose all credibility when you enter that into a public forum. The funny thing is, the pro-Beal side is throwing that one around as much as the tear it down side. None of you are winning any supporters taking that tack.

To Mr. Beal; I am sorry that your vision for the Thompson Block has not turned out as we all hoped it would. But I ask you, turn this into an opportunity to put a new face on Depot Town and the city as a whole. Where your detractors call you slum lord, show them a collection of beautiful and well kept historic buildings around the city. Where people say you failed in Depot Town, show them a breathtaking addition to the remaining portion of the Thompson Block. You are more than capable of proving their words wrong with your actions.

To the city; take care of how you conduct your business. While you can't be stepped on by a developer, don't alienate a valuable taxpayer. You are elected to carry out the business of the city and protect it's best interest, not bicker with people in a public meeting. And, if you are going to take swift and decisive action with Mr. Beal, then I think it is time to take another look at the long-neglected depot. If we're going to start applying leverage now to immediately remove the Thompson Block, then it is high time efforts are renewed to apply leverage to repair or remove all of our abandoned and boarded up buildings. You're not in the business of picking fights, you are in the business of improving life for your constituents.

To everyone involved, it's time to take a step back and look at the consequences of your statements and actions in this matter. We've got a lot of work to do in our city, and bickering, insults, and name calling are not going to get us anywhere. It's time to stop, remember that we're all responsible adults, and get back to work.

Related article:
City Council denies extension for Thompson Block

-Editor's Note-
The Ypsilanti Citizen welcomes letters from the community to run in our opinions page. To send a letter to the editor, visit our contact us page, or send an e-mail to editor@ypsiciti.com.

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