November 30, 2015

Mr. Keith Crain, Editor-in-Chief

Crain’s Detroit Business

Dear Mr. Crain:

Kirk Pinho did not represent journalism well in his (November 20, 2015) article about the Moneta Energy, LLC, redevelopment of Detroit’s Lee Plaza Residential Hotel.  Craig Sasser, Managing Member, made public the redevelopment plan  (November 19, 2015) at Breakfast on the Boulevard, the 11th Annual Event of the West Grand Boulevard Collaborative (WGBC), the group that organized the WGBC Community Coalition and signed a Letter of Understanding (May 16, 2014) with Henry Ford Health System and their development partners (Kirco Manix and Cardinal Health) for the Cardinal Warehouse on Rosa Parks (12th Street) just south of the Boulevard, having received multi-millions of public funds for the private business.  Without providing any facts about the qualifications, experience and resources of Moneta Energy, Pinho expects readers to accept his opinion and (that of an anonymous) “source of mine . . . that ground would never be broken . . .”   Based on my reading of the John Perkins book Hoodwinked . . . – hoodwinked fits perfectly the definition of what appears to have happened to Mr. Pinho, as evidenced by his Lee Plaza article.

With the recent Henry Ford Hospital announcement of their new Cancer Center about a mile away, and the Cardinal Warehouse even closer, one must consider the real reasons why Mr. Pinho is pushing the idea that the Lee Plaza area is not ready for investment.  Does he represent a cohort of developers who have their eyes on the Lee Plaza neighborhood as they march north and west from their downtown and university-cultural district strongholds?  Two years ago, Dr. John Popovich, President and CEO of Henry Ford Hospital, quoted the founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford the first who, according to Dr. Popovich, said “when Henry Ford Hospital is ready for a major expansion, it will have all the land it needs across the street” – and guess what, 100 years later, it has come to pass.  I was present on two occasions when Dr. Popovich quoted Henry Ford, and on both occasions I asked if Henry Ford was a clairvoyant, or if there are forces in place that insured his 100-year forecast.  On both occasions my question was dismissed as an attempt at humor, but my question remains a serious inquiry.  There is absolutely a story to be written about development in our community, but it will require the interest and talents of a real investigative reporter.

In the meantime, those of us who truly believe in the principles of a democratic economy are working – neighborhood by neighborhood – to build a strong and sustainable nation, in spite of negative messages delivered by people who write in the press, but don’t know, or perhaps don’t care, about upholding the standards of good journalism that are essential to a sustainable American democracy.

Very truly yours,

Mildred Hunt Robbins

Click here to view a PDF of the Letter to Editor.

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