LYNDA VIDAS: ‘The Real Manistee’ is made up of ‘real’ people

TO THE EDITOR:

I would like to respond to Ms. Pasco’s and Mr. Opalka’s letters to the editor (published in the News Advocate on Nov. 21 and Nov. 30-Dec. 1 editions, respectively).

I agree with what the beauty of Manistee is. I am proud of the lakefront, marina, parks, River Street, the Vogue and the Ramsdell. However, like Mr. Opalka, I took a drive around town. I noticed all that he saw on the North Side streets. Yes, Quincy is not the only street in need of repair and storm sewers on the North Side. I also looked at the roads in the subsided areas — not the pretty Manistee. Then l took a ride by Ms. Pasco’s side of town, particularly Spruce Street — beautiful, well-groomed curbs, storm sewers.

As to the Real Manistee being anonymous: Our names have been in the paper and are on a petition. Are we out-of-towners? Some are, but most of the Real Manistee organization lives on Quincy Street.

As for criticism of no volunteering or serving on committees, you are quite wrong there as well. Ms. Pasco just finished her term with the Manistee Conservation Board. I just took a new position on that very same board. I also belong to the Manistee Water Guardians, who are working to protect the very water you love, and the Manistee Peace Group.

I am a new recruitee for the Vogue volunteers. I work for hours pulling garlic mustard for the conservation district. Funny, you belonged to the district but l never saw you out pulling garlic mustard. I must have just overlooked you like you’ve overlooked me. Your unresearched conclusion about who and what we are was just that.

I also invested in Manistee. I bought a house on Quincy that was a shell that had been empty for five to eight years. I had this house rehabbed and was proud to become part of a neighborhood that I just helped improve. I also rent a small business on River Street.

You note that you don’t see us at board meetings. That will be a thing of the past. But most of the people on the North Side are not quite as affluent as the South Side. Many of us work night shifts, day shifts, sometimes several jobs. A lot of us do not have the time to join groups. We work hard to make ends meets. We are real people. Two of the people on our street live here to take care of their mothers who are in their 90s. We help each other shovel snow. We talk over the fences.

As to Mr. Opalka … thank you. It is not just a matter of Quincy Street, it is the whole North Side. The only street that has maintenance is Monroe, which runs through to U.S. 31. We welcome your letter and would welcome anyone else that wants to see the North Side improved.

Lynda Vidas

Manistee

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