Letters to the Editor

Published September 6, 2006

Hezbollah to blame for the latest violence in the Middle East

To the Daily:

I think Fahad Farugi should do some fact checking before writing his next letter to the editor (U.S. should jettison corporate ties, act justly in Middle East, 09/06/2006). The war fought between Israel and Hezbollah was started when Hezbollah militants violated Israel's sovereignty by crossing its border, killing eight Israeli soldiers, and kidnapping two others. Israel, like any other country would, reacted forcefully to such an attack. Unfortunately, Hezbollah decided that the best way to wage war from among the Lebanese civilian populace. This cowardly act by Hezbollah led to many civilian deaths. It is true that the United States did not exert pressure on Israel to cease its military response. This is because the U.S. government wisely saw that an immediate cease-fire would reward the militants, the true source of the conflict.

Nicholas Kohn
Class of '03

Ann Arbor City Council unwise to ignore developer

To the Daily:

While I can't say that I'm shocked that the Ann Arbor City Council is turning a deaf ear toward the recommendations brought forth by the urbanist Peter Calthorpe, I am disappointed that basic logic doesn't even seem to play a role in the Council's planning and development. The Metro 202 fiasco - when City Council fell one vote shy of the six votes needed to approve construction of a nine-story mixed-use building on the corner of Washington and Division streets -is just another example of the Council undermining the very ideas Calthorpe said were essential to the creation of a sustainable downtown core when he came here last year to discuss the future of downtown Ann Arbor. Unfortunately, this needless politicking isn't confined to the downtown business district, but is widespread throughout Ann Arbor. Instead of being a typical "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" situation, the city is instead sending the message that "You'll scratch my back or you'll never see your project built." So much for the progressive ideals the city claims it holds.

While I'm saddened by the fact that this project isn't going to move forward - unless the council does indeed bring it back for a second vote - I have to applaud McKinley, the project's developer, for opting not to revise and resubmit its plans. Until the city realizes what its needless muddling around is going to do to the city, the system will not change. The three members that voted down the project got caught calling a bluff and ended up getting seriously burned from it, plain and simple. They expected the developer to jump through the same idiotic hoops they force everyone else through, wasting endless amounts of money and time.

Now, after getting caught with their pants down, the city wants a do-over. If I were McKinley, I don't know if I'd really want a second vote. The city had its chance. Let them deal with the abandoned lot right in the middle of downtown.

Jason Roberts
The letter writer is a former