Aug. 25 2010 12:00 AM

There goes the neighborhood

There goes the neighborhood

I generally enjoy your publication and will pick up a copy whenever I see a new edition. However, I’m writing in regard to the recent article in the City Pulse by Neal McNamara entitled "The New Tycoon (8/18/10)". Here’s the first paragraph:

“On the day that Rochelle Rizzi first saw the grand, brick Old Town house along Pine Street in Lansing it was "complete construction zone." The 6,000-square-foot Colonial Revival house, formally known as Old Town Manor, was once the home of the superintendent of the School for the Blind but had been vacant more than a decade. Rizzi was on a quest to find the perfect space for her marketing firm, Rizzi Designs, and when she stepped inside, she knew she had found the right place. ‘I knew which furniture was going to be in what room,’ she remembers. ‘It just seemed like a great fit.’”

The article goes on to refer to "Old Town Manor" a couple of more times. As a long time resident of the area, I wonder where Mr. McNamara got his facts. First, Pine Street is not in Old Town. According to the Old Town Commercial Association Bylaws most recent revision (Feb. 4, 2010), the westernmost border of Old Town is Seymour Street. Second, if there is something more formal than Ms. Rizzi calling the house in which she conducts business "Old Town Manor", I’d like to know where to find it so that I may obtain a copy for myself.

This may seem like semantics to some, however, erroneously indicating that a business is within the boundaries of a neighborhood denigrates the actual neighborhood where it resides by ignoring that neighborhood’s existence. While the business in question may belong to the Old Town Commercial Association, it is actually domiciled within the boundaries of the Old Forest Neighborhood. Several attempts have been made to make this point clear to Ms. Rizzi and to request that she include mention of these facts when referring to her business’ location to the press.

Old Forest is a large, diverse and vibrant neighborhood spanning from the west side of Seymour street to the east side of Martin Luther King, from the north side of Saginaw to the south side of Willow. Squarely within the midst of these boundaries lies the former School For the Blind property that Rizzi Designs shares with an excellent charter school and soon to come, the Ingham County Land Bank, which is currently refurbishing the old library building. Also encompassed are several churches and other businesses, which call Old Forest home.

I realize this is a bit off the point that Mr. McNamara was trying to make with his article but I would expect that ALL of the facts contained therewithin would be accurate — especially those within his opening paragraph. In light of this, I would think a correction to this article should be forthcoming in the next edition of the City Pulse. Thank you.

— Kevin Webb, Lansing