It was a dark day on May 21, 2007. Governor Granholm came to the city of Benton Harbor, Michigan to give Whirlpool her blessing to take-over the city of Benton Harbor.
As reported in the Herald Palladium, David Whitwan, the former CEO of Whirlpool said, "'Today, we are pleased to announce the real beginning of a project called Harbor Shores."At the evening celebration, Granholm said, "It is more than bricks and mortar and a Jack Nicklaus golf course."
For the record, the one-half Billion Dollar Harbor Shores development is part of a massive plan to turn Southwest Michigan, including Benton Harbor, into one of the "hottest vacation destinations in the country." This translates into billions in profit for a handful of already rich people. Harbor Shores will include an 18-hole Nicklaus Signature Golf Course; about 860 units of [elegant exquisite] housing; a 350-room hotel, conference center [for the rich] and 60,000-square-foot indoor water park [for members only]; a second hotel; 27,000 square feet of commercial space; and two marinas. [And don't forget the new posh condominiums that will replace the boarded up homes the City has stolen.]
Jack Nicklaus described his plans for the centerpiece of Harbor Shores as a "top-flight public golf course." Nicklaus meant to say a top-flight "private elegant golf course for the rich only." Harbor Shores was appealing to developers because the 530 acres of beautiful land was available for almost no money. It was a steal. Second, the design includes three holes in Benton Harbor's Jean Klock Park beach. Without these holes, the course and overall development would fall short of being marketed as a world class destination.
The development in Benton Harbor, a city controlled by Whirlpool, will convert our Jean Klock Park beach — the only place in the city that provides public access to Lake Michigan — into a golf course for the very rich. The park provides the only place where the African-American residents of Benton Harbor can freely enjoy the environment, open space dunes and beautiful beach within city limits. The filling in of wetlands and the pesticide usage will have a devastating impact on the environment, on city residents, waterways, and wildlife.
Whirlpool, Governor Granholm, the Benton Harbor City Commissioners, Mark Mitchell, of the Alliance for World Class Community, and others supporting this take over of a city cannot hide from the truth forever. Harbor Shores will drive the residents of Benton Harbor completely out. There will be no training and few jobs, directly or indirectly, nor renovation of homes for the citizens. There will be a direct take-over of Benton Harbor, a city that is 96% African American.
My question to the Governor is: What if the state of Michigan spent a fraction of the tax payer dollars the governor is pouring into Harbor Shores on employment and education for the residents of Benton Harbor? What about this simple solution: Harbor Shores development is for the rich. Corporate greed is put ahead of the peoples' need. Let us fight this take over.
VICTORY FOR REV. PINKNEY!
The Benton Harbor community achieved a tremendous victory on May 14, 2007. Rev. Edward Pinkney will not go to prison on the phony vote fraud charges. This victory occurred because the people courageously stood up to Whirlpool. "The victory shows the importance of people being involved," said Belinda Brown. "People are tired of being pushed down and kicked out. People are ready to take a stand for what's right." They are setting an example for all Americans.
— The Editors
"Where are our church leaders?"
Where are they when the beach where they once baptized is taken over? Churches demand lots of money from the people. Their pastors ask for big money during appreciation time to go off to big conventions and to buy expensive clothes. What do the people get in return when left without jobs, recreation, and a school system that's falling apart? People are getting sick of it. If the church isn't part of the solution then they are part of the problem.
— Emma Kinnard
Condolences to the Holt Family
"A young man died shielding a young lady from bullets on a city bus in Chicago. It touched me. It was remarkable to see someone put someone else's life before their own. I am sorry that he lost his life. But only a child of God would protect a friend. We need more people with love. We don't have that anymore in this world — where everybody looks out for everybody, red, black, white or Jew or gentile."
— Marquette Coates
Watch the Save Jean Klock Park video
The video shows how a "promise for future generations is being broken by a Governor favoring corporations instead of the public."