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Re: E-M:/ Article about Jean Klock Park in Benton Harbor



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Enviro-Mich message from Andrew Mutch <andrewimutch@yahoo.com>
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Mark,

That train has already left town. Most of the Whirlpool employment in the Benton Harbor area is white collar. 

"The administrative headquarters of Whirlpool Corporation are located
just north of the city, and the appliance giant moved much of its
manufacturing to Southern states as it began to globalize it's
operations. Once the area's largest employer, from a peak of 2,400 in
the 1960s, Whirlpool cut its Benton Harbor manufacturing workforce down
to 300, a figure that remains the same today. With it's recent
acquisition of Maytag, Whirlpool has announced a reversal of this trend
of sorts, planning to bring additional jobs to the area, although it's
unclear whether any of the jobs will be non-administrative positions."

http://infohack.newsvine.com/_news/2007/10/23/1043909-how-private-developers-plan-to-profit-from-a-90-year-old-lake-michigan-park-donated-for-the-children

What's incredibly frustrating is to see a park given as a gift with the best of intentions that has been slowly chopped apart, always in the name of progress including:

* Land for an MDOT interchange that years later was undone but the land was never returned to the park
* Land sold off for residential development that now is being marketed for multi-million dollar homes 
* Lost portions of the park "replaced" with land that was already owned by the city or properties that are likely contaminated. 

Over the years, some have benefited from these desecrations of Jean Klock Park but it's hard to see how these have benefited the majority of the residents of Benton Harbor. 
Andrew Mutch
Novi



----- Original Message ----
From: Mark Richardson <Mark.Richardson@macombcountymi.gov>
To: Robert Isaac <rjisaac@gmail.com>; enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 11:29:25 AM
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Article about Jean Klock Park in Benton Harbor

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Enviro-Mich message from "Mark Richardson"
 <Mark.Richardson@macombcountymi.gov>
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I imagine the Governor in a candid moment would respond (skipping the "
DEQ considered every alternative" part) that keeping Whirlpool
executives happy will help prevent Whirlpool from decamping to another
country thus preserving jobs for the very poor black people who use the
park, and what's more important to these poor black people anyway, jobs
or the park?

Most people on this board can see just how shortsighted such arguments
are.  What's may result if this deal goes through is that yes,
 Whirlpool
maintains its headquarters and executive amenities in Benton Harbor but
still shifts all the blue collar jobs to Mexico, China, or wherever. 
The poor may end up without both their jobs and the park.

Maybe the next Great Lakes compact should consist of an agreement
between the Great Lake States and Ontario that they will mutually
refrain from giving any tax breaks or special deals to any business or
industry, and that they will mutually refrain from surrendering any of
their public lands along the Great Lakes to private interests.

>>> "Robert Isaac" <rjisaac@gmail.com> 10/25/2007 10:03 PM >>>
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Enviro-Mich message from "Robert Isaac" <rjisaac@gmail.com>
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>
> Why is it that Granholm supports this public park privatization and
> ethnic cleansing of this public park resource over the wishes of
> the mostly black and mostly poor residents of Benton Harbor? 
Granholm
> certainly seems to be on the wrong side of
> the racial justice and environmental racism issue when it comes to
her
> actions on behalf of Whirlpool and their land grab of this prized
public
> resource.   That isn't what Democrats are supposed to be
about.....unless, of course,
> Granholm's hero is George Wallace when it comes to her intervention
> on behalf of the ethnic cleansing of this Benton Harbor public park.
>
>

Ethnic cleansing: noun : the expulsion, imprisonment, or killing of an
ethnic minority by a dominant majority in order to achieve ethnic
homogeneity

http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/ethnic%20cleansing 

Gentrification: noun : : the process of renewal and rebuilding
accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into
deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?gentrification 

The two are not interchangeable.  That being said, why is it so
surprising for a major corporate funded political party and its
politicians to support its benefactors over the wishes of the
populace?

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