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Voters & wolves
In March, 253,000 Michigan citizens signed a petition for a 2014 ballot initiative to stop a state sponsored wolf hunt. This referendum opposes the designation of wolves as game animals.
Last week, Senator Tom Casperson introduced Senate Bill 288, which if signed into law, will prevent voters from having a say in what happens to wildlife in Michigan.
Clearly, Senator Casperson does not believe in the democratic process. In a 2006 referendum the voters said NO to the hunting of doves. If SB 288 is allowed, not only will the hunting of wolves be legal, the hunting of doves, Sandhill Cranes and Great Blue Herons to name a few will also be possible.
SB 288 would allow the Natural Resource Commission, appointed NOT elected, to designate any species a game animal. Michigan voters will not be able to challenge this, which is a direct assault on our rights.
Senate Bill 288 was approved in committee and now moves to the Senate. Whether you believe in wolf hunting or not, this gross move by Casperson takes away our constitutional right to vote.
We urge the citizens of Michigan NOT TO REMAIN SILENT. Contact your Michigan Senators and Representatives and tell them to oppose SB288. For more information contact: action.keepwolvesprotected
Micheal & Joanne Cromley • Afton
Lansing’s attack on voters
First it was doves, then it was wolves...
now 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 them.
Senator Casperson (R-Escanaba) introduced a bill that would 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.
S.B. 288 targets your right to vote and your elected representation on all issues relating to the killing of non-game species held in trust for all Michigan citizens.
Adding a slap in the face of families still struggling to make ends meet, the legislation attaches a $1 million appropriation, which is, by design, to silence registered voters by making it also “referendum proof.”
There is no question these out-of-touch special interest groups and undemocratic legislators fear your fair public vote -- they want to silence your voice in every way possible.
Please call your state representative and Governor Snyder today. Ask them to uphold your vote and the integrity of democracy by rejecting S.B. 288, or any other version of this ridiculous attempt to circumvent the will of the people and your voice!
Julie Baker, Songbird Protection Coalition • Lansing
Welcome to Pure Michigan, where, thanks to Republican influence, potholes may sink your car, but “not to worry” we’ll charge you more for your license.
Welcome to Pure Michigan, where schools lose more money every year to educate your children and where your school or community may be taken over by an “emergency manager” who can invalidate your votes.
Welcome to Pure Michigan, where legislators pass up federal assistance to set up insurance exchanges, costing citizens an additional $8 million, and where you have the right to “work for less.”
We have a dream for Pure Michigan, but first we must “Cure Michigan.”
Lou Ann McKimmy • via email
Someone must not know too much about fishing at you newspaper, otherwise you wouldn’t have the title “Spring Sports” besides a man holding what clearly is a king salmon. You had to look no farther than the trees in the background (some of which are turning color) to realize that this is a fall fish, not a spring one.
Kelly M. Croff • via email
April is National STD Awareness Month. If you’re a sexually active young person, you should know that sexually transmitted infections (STI) are on the rise in the United States, especially among young people: there are 20 million new infections in the U.S. each year, half in the under-25 age group.
As a college student, I know there’s a lot of misinformation out there among people my age about STIs and how it can feel uncomfortable talking about getting tested. Because many STIs cause no symptoms, getting tested (and using condoms) is the best way to take care of yourself and your partner.
Learn about STIs and testing by visiting “Get Yourself Tested” at www.GYTnow.org or contacting a Planned Parenthood health center at 1-800-230 PLAN to schedule a checkup. Planned Parenthood works every day to keep young people healthy, and their doors are open to everyone. Go! Get yourself tested!
Kim Wiggins • NMC Vox: Voices for Planned Parenthood
The facts on right-to-work
A recent opinion stated that one result of the so-called “Right to Work” (RTW) legislation would be that new workers who are hired cannot be compelled to join a union.
The fact is, the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 outlawed “closed shops” where a worker had to join a union.
However, RTW significantly changes one issue: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1963 that workers who chose not to participate in a union could still be required to pay some reasonable cost to the union since they benefitted from union negotiations.
The RTW law takes away this requirement. This is why the RTW has been identified by many as the “Right to Freeload.”
Workers who choose not to contribute will now benefit from the results of contract negotiations, but do not have to pay any portion of the cost.
In other words, the legislation takes away the union’s right to be paid for its services. This is not only unfair but detrimental to a union’s ability to compete against wellfunded corporate interests whose goals often conflict with the workers.
It costs time and money for a union to negotiate and secure higher wages, better hours, safe working conditions, retirement benefits and other items.
The real aim of the RTW legislation has little to do with freedom and choice, rather, it is to deny the unions their financial base and ultimately render them powerless. This not only adversely affects the union’s ability to negotiate for their members at the workplace but also to represent workers’ rights in the political arena.
Since workers’ rights have most often been represented by the Democratic Party, it is no coincidence that these efforts to defund unions have been engineered in red states. Advocates of the RTW legislation also claim that job growth will result. What research exists does not support that.
While it may be true that businesses are attracted to states that have anti-union policies, the evidence indicates that RTW policies are not good for the economy or for the worker in those states.
The only competition which exists among RTW states is a race to the bottom to pay the lowest wages and benefits while maximizing corporate profits. The rapidly diminishing middle class deserves better.
George Robson • via email