Traverse City Record-Eagle


March 2, 2014

City official critiques shelter critic's grammar

TRAVERSE CITY — A citizen who offered his opinion to Traverse City’s elected officials on the possibility of developing a permanent homeless shelter received a response from one commissioner that he called insulting: a lecture on grammar.

John Cunningham recently sent an email to Mayor Michael Estes and city commissioners that expressed his concerns over a request from Safe Harbor of Grand Traverse — a group of 23 churches that provides overnight shelter to the homeless — to convert a vacant, city-owned building on Wellington Street into a permanent shelter.

Cunningham’s email read, in part:

“(W)hy don’t you guys look up every homeless name and see how long they been living like I promise u people it will be years!!! and the criminal back ground n drug use and what have they have done to change it i am willing to bet it shows they haven’t done anything they dont care or wanted to change ... .

“Simply put .. These aren’t homeless u guys are gonna house, it’s Street people ... Big difference ... BIG.

“The bleeding hearts need to stop ...” Cunningham wrote.

“I didn’t know if I’d get responses or not,” Cunningham said. “I got four responses. The three from Mayor Estes, Gary Howe and Jim Carruthers were all fine. They responded with respect. And then I got the email from Jeanine Easterday, which basically called me an idiot because of my grammar. I don’t claim to be a literary genius, but being an idiot is far from it.”

Cunningham, who lives near Cass and Twelfth streets, a few blocks from the proposed shelter, said he typed his email out on his cellphone.

Estes’ and Howe’s responses were short and sweet.

“(T)hank you for your email, hope you will consider a letter in the (Record-Eagle),” Estes wrote.

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