Page 6 - The Eagle 04 25 13

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April 25, 2013
Wolves, birds and votes threatened
To the editor;
First it was doves, then it was they've targeted
democracy and your right to vote.
The politicians and bureaucrats
in Lansing have been working
overtime to take double standards
and hypocrisy to a whole new level
-- and they're on the fast track to
avoid your "emotional" input to stop
Senator Caperson (R-Escanaba)
introduced bills that would, among
other things, allow the unnecessary
sport shooting of mourning doves,
wolves, or any other protected
species in Michigan that radical
individuals want to use for target
practice or skin out as trophies.
But S.B. 288 and H.B. 4552 go
further, by targeting your right to
vote and your elected representa-
tion on all issues relating to the
unnecessary killing of traditional
non-game species held in trust for
allMichigan citizens.
This aggressive power grab has
a hidden agenda that is known to
be very unpopular and they want
accountable representation and
the peoples' voice permanently
removed from the process…they've
crossed the slippery slope and are
now ready to force it down your
Some legislators have even gone
so far as to suggest that the same
registered Michigan voters who
elected them, are now somehow
incapable of being trusted to cast
their fair public vote on a referen-
dum or make a decision on how
they feel about issues that are
known to be very important to
Adding a slap in the face of fami-
lies still struggling to make ends
meet and deep budget cuts to
important programs that serve the
needs of vulnerable citizens in our
state, the legislation goes even fur-
ther, by attaching a $1 million
appropriation...which is, by design,
to silence registered voters by mak-
ing it also "referendumproof."
There is no question these out-
of-touch special interest groups
and undemocratic legislators fear
your fair public vote -- and they
Voters in the Plymouth-Canton
Community School District will
be asked next month to vote on an
issue that will go a long way
toward determining the future of
the district.
Voters will be asked to approve
$114 million in bonds to fund a
new middle school, upgrades and
enhancements to every building
in the district and new technology
for students and teachers. If
approved, themillage would keep
the existing debt levy at current
levels, which means these goals
will be accomplished without an
increase in themillage rate.
After careful consideration of
all components, we think voters
should approve the request.
The technology andnewschool
portions of the issue have drawn
the most discussion. The bond
would fund, among other things,
the 1:1 initiative, which would put
digital computing devices in the
hands of all district students-
effectively giving them electronic,
interactive textbooks. This is the
education is evolving and if the
district does not embrace this
technology, our students will be
left behind. Other nearby dis-
tricts-notably Northville and
Livonia-have recently approved
or are asking for bonds for similar
The middle school issue has
been another source of con-
tention. If the bond is approved,
Central Middle School would be
closed down and there are some
in the community that would
rather see that facilitymaintained
as a cheaper alternative. Keep in
mind that buildings have a limit-
ed shelf life and Central has, real-
istically, outlived its usefulness.
Community School district has
done an admirable job of provid-
ing an excellent education to stu-
dents despite the budget chal-
lenges that have faced them in
recent years.
They've done their part; it is
time for district voters to do
theirs. VoteYes onMay 7.
I feel a little like Orson Welles
back in 1938.
OK, I'm not THAT old, but this is
a bit of urban history that has
endured right upuntil today.
Welles was the guy way, way
back then who decided to read a
portion of The War of Worlds by H.
G. Wells to the listening radio audi-
ence. Back then, everybody lis-
tened to the radio, as it was the
only source of electronic entertain-
ment in thehome.
The problem was, his perform-
ance was so convincing, listeners
panicked when they heard that
ferocious Martians were attacking
Earth. People ran out of their
homes screaming and others
packed up their cars and fled their
People thought the fiction
Welles was reading was real, even
though the premise seemed so far
fetched and fantastic to radio exec-
utives that consequence never
occurred to them. They didn't think
any rational, thinking person
would ever believe any of the story
was real.
It never occurred tome that any-
body could possibly believe or
think thatmy column last weekwas
based in reality, either. And yet, I
received two complaints about it,
one alleging that all the opinion
pages were pulled from the paper
in Westland City Hall and that the
library in that city disposed of the
papers to keep them out of the
hands of impressionable minds. I
have no idea if that is true, mainly
because if it is, I really don't want to
know. If that were true, then we get
to that pesky First Amendment
business and Freedom of the Press
and all those issues.
Anyhow, I was dumbfounded
when the man called. He contin-
ued to badger me after I tried to
explain that the column, on the
opinion page, by theway, was satire
and a joke, intended only to amuse.
He continued to question me as to
why it wasn't labeled as such and
how were people supposed to
know it was all in jest? All I could
do was reiterate that it was a joke,
but he kept on and on and on and I
really hadno other answer for him.
Except, well, maybe people
would know it was a joke because it
was funny? Apparently it wasn't as
funny to him as I intended because
he took it very, very seriously.
returned his
call I spoke to a
woman who
also chastised me soundly telling
me that young peoplewere going to
read the column and attempt some
of the antics I satirized. Well, that
set me back a bit, because, honestly,
it just never occurred tome.
It really was intended to be
amusing, but I guess I may have
missed themark there.
When I explained this to a
friend of mine, he asked if I really
thought the library in Westland
would remove the offending pages
fromthe papers.
“Wouldn't that be contrary to
everything a library stands for?” he
asked. “Imean, wouldn't that be the
most blatant kind of censorship,
close to book burning?”
I never thought of that, either,
but I guess he has a point. He want-
Last week, three area public safety departments agreed
that their continued help in Plymouth Township might be
doingmore harmthan good.
The leaders of the three fire departments in Northville
and Canton townships and the City of Livonia collectively
agreed that they could no longer jeopardize the safety of the
residents of their own communities by sending resources
into Plymouth Township, where officials have gutted the
township department leaving only a skeleton crew to serve
28,000 residents.
We think they made the right decision and we applaud
their action in taking a stand against what has become an
unfair and costly drain on their departments caused by the
short-sighted decisions of Plymouth Township officials
determined to eliminate professional firefighters.
When these officials began to downsize their fire depart-
ment, using the pretense of budget constraints, many area
residents complained and even attempted to get a ballot ini-
tiative approved to fund a full-time, professional depart-
ment. The township board members wanted nothing to do
with allowing public input into how tax money was used or
allocated and fought an expensive court battle to ensure that
there would be no vote of the people about their own public
safety department, even if residents were willing to pay a
dedicatedmillage to fund it.
How proud these officials must be of their accomplish-
ments and their victory in denying the public their right to
vote on the issue and fulfilling a political vendetta to get rid
of the fire department. Now, when a fire or medical emer-
gency occurs in the township, residents must rely on the
equipment and staffing of Northville Township, Canton
Township or Livonia, where there are full-time departments
with operational equipment and fully-trained and certified
Emergency Medical Technicians with Advanced Life
Support training.
PlymouthTownship opted, instead, to use a private ambu-
lance company based in Ann Arbor. Since these rigs are also
on call throughout Ann Arbor and South Lyon, if they are
busy or on-call there, the response time that could mean life
or death, a full-recovery or crippling aftereffects of an injury
or illness, is lost.
The closed fire stations, lack of proper equipment and
skeleton crew of fire fighters are all testament to the arro-
gance and ignorance Plymouth officials who have demon-
strated their willingness to gamble with the lives of the very
peoplewho elected them.
While they claimed their actions in eviscerating the fire
department were financially necessary, they did find
$650,000 to erroneously buy a piece of property that they
may have to return to Detroit, to refuse almost $900,000 in
federal money to staff the department and to spend thou-
sands for new golf carts, obviously far more important to
them than public safety. They have also agreed to spend
nearly $800,000 on amile or so of streetscape, also apparent-
Plymouth Township opted,
instead, to use a private ambulance
company based in Ann Arbor.
Neighboring leaders made best decision for all
Vote yes
for schools
I mean, wouldn't that be
the most blatant kind of censorship,
close to book burning?
Boy, talk about no sense of humor...
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