Letter to ACC sign now

To: ACC
October 7, 2009

Dr. Haifa Fakhouri
Chief Executive Officer
Arab American Chaldean Council
28551 Southfield Rd.
Lathrup Village, MI 48076

Dear Dr. Fakhouri,

We, the residents of Southwest Detroit and other concerned individuals, are writing to you to express our disappointment at your choice to honor Manuel "Matty" Maroun as your Entrepreneur of the Year.

Mr. Maroun is the owner of the Ambassador Bridge, and his company's efforts to build a second span of this bridge without the necessary federal permits or environmental clearances have caused nothing but strife and anguish for our community. The Ambassador Bridge Company has illegally taken part of our public park, 23rd Street and continues to act above the law.

The Ambassador Bridge Company refuses to undertake a full environmental impact study for their second span of the Ambassador Bridge. They submitted a flawed environmental assessment and the federal government suspended their permit application. Over 500 residents attended the public hearing and voiced their opposition to the second span without the necessary federal, state and local process being followed.

Air quality in Southwest Detroit is one of the worst in the State and the children of Southwest Detroit are suffering from high rates of asthma. Rates of respiratory diseases are skyrocketing. The Ambassador Bridge brings in over 10,000 a day and we have more diesel trucks idling in the Bridge plaza. Our community deserves to know the impact of this massive transportation project on our environment and human health.

While the Bridge Company makes bigger profits from allowing more trucks across his bridge, our community pays the toll. The Ambassador Bridge Company has not made a single attempt to engage in dialogue with our community to discuss measure to mitigate air pollution, such as planting trees, creating a buffer zone around the truck plaza, or anti-idling regulations for diesel trucks.

In short, the Ambassador Bridge Company has not been a good neighbor to our community. We are dismayed at your choice, and hope you will consider an entrepreneur who gives back to the community and cares about the well being of its neighbors' health. We urge you to make a statement at the dinner that you support the families in Southwest Detroit and will work with us to ensure that an environmental impact study is conducted and all local, state and federal processes are followed. Please send any responses or questions to Kathy Wendler at Southwest Detroit Business Association at (313) 841-0986, ext. 22.


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Leigh SanchezBy:
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