Larger Than Local (re: Harbor Shores)
Herald Palladium, May 23, by Kevin Allen
excerpts & commentary:
"There are issues that are sort of universal in nature, about the battle over where we draw the line of what is appropriate economic development," said Hugh McDiarmid, spokesman for the Mich. Environmental Council. McDiarmid said the Nat'l. Park Service would set a dangerous precedent if it allows Harbor Shores to lease 22 acres of the 73-acre park, which was given to Benton Harbor as a gift in 1917.
"From our standpoint, the visibility [publicity] is important, that it be seen as something larger than just a local issue," McDiarmid said. "Some of the principles involved transcend the immediate issues that are of concern to people in Benton Harbor and Berrien County." [Berrien County "players" & developers would disagree with McDiarmid, much preferring to operate in isolation, doing things the "Berrien Way" as they have for decades. Secret meetings without documentation, etc.]
Carol Drake, vice president of Friends of Jean Klock Park: "This is a huge controversy and is precedent-setting, and I'm not surprised at all that people from all over are watching this," she said. "It is more than just a local story."
Drake said the organization's Web site receives a sharp increase in traffic after a newspaper article appears in another market. "We get e-mails from people all over who say how important it is to not let this park be used for these purposes," she said. "A lot of people are paying attention to this."
Cindy Arch, who works in Novi as exec. director of Defense of Place: "Vulnerable places are going to be the first ones to go down." [to corporate land destruction]
Jeff Noel, a Harbor Shores trustee and Whirlpool's vice president for communications and public affairs, said the media attention suggests that Harbor Shores developers are creating a good product. [PRODUCT? humanitarian and ecological disaster as "product?" Read: Whirlpool propaganda. It sounds like Jeff "the Gangsta" - Whirlpool's nickname for him - may not have read the various media reports referred to here if he thinks thinks they're "good."]
"It also sends a message that the not-for-profit organizations developing Harbor Shores are on to something," he said. [What they are "on to" is how to provide cover for the mother ship Whirlpool, in it's mega-greed theft & destruction of land which is deeded to Benton Harbor for eternity. Those non-profits like Cornerstone are sucking all kinds of funds right out from under Benton Harbor. Whirlpool's ethical founders, Louis, Frederick, and Emory Upton are turning in their graves.]
Jeff Noel said the Twin Cities' struggles with the economy and race relations reverberate around the nation. [There's no question about that. People, especially people of color, are on the edge of their seats to see how the next grand land theft and population displacement will go down.]
"I'm a big believer that when an issue is as complicated as this one, that if the reporters take the time to write about it, it helps people make informed decisions," Noel said. [Sure, Jeff.
This issue is as complicated as any Hollywood heist movie. Just one big robbery. And, like in the movies, the bad guys could care less about the human and environmental ramifications. You told Uof M Business School that to prevent anyone from getting in your way, you give them some washing machines. We know you'll stop at nothing, Jeff "the gangsta".]