Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Upton, Whitwam make a perfectly lousy pair

Editor, (HP, 2/11) about [Rep. Fred] Upton's pal, Dave Whitwam, another whiner complaining about environmental lawsuits holding up his demented vision of a golf course that will supposedly lift all boats? He can smell the stimulus money like blood in the water, and is now talking about a 6-foot deep canal and marina that just happens to dovetail with Harbor Shores projects that have allegedly already been fully funded. What could better for the people of Benton Harbor than a brand new marina to dock their itty bitty yachts in?

For two decades this pair has presided over the demise of Benton Harbor, and now they're trying to cash in on its "resurrection." Anyone who opposes or disagrees with them is portrayed as an obstructionist or worse, while all the while they spout inclusiveness.

The marina is a truncated version of the plan to reopen the old Benton Harbor shipping canal, which was aborted 10 years ago by Whitwam's Cornerstone, diverting a million in grant money to alter a creek to make a bigger parking lot for Atlantic Automotive on Territorial. This was supposed to benefit downtown Benton Harbor, bring jobs and tax revenue, but so far none of those things have materialized. These same promises and assurances are now being used to mask a blatantly venal attempt to subjugate a priceless and irreplaceable public park and beach to an increasingly precarious looking private commercial development.

Speaking of "priceless," in the article about the loony idea for the $5 million wading pool cum marina, The Herald-Palladium also mentioned that the city of Benton Harbor plans to ask for $3 million for Harbor Shores road improvements. In the last sentence, the article states that the city will also apply for funds to upgrade its water and sewer systems. Now there's an afterthought for you!

Benton Harbor