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COMMENT OF THE WEEK “We all need reminders like this, adults and children alike. Be grateful for all that we have, whil remembering to help thos less fortunate.” - “Peg K.” commenting on Susan Barrett Tater’s column about her family’s Kenyan vacation in her Jan. 4 column.

January 11, 2012

To see more story comments, go to voicenews.com

A ridiculous start to an exhaustive process

Matthew Fahr Columnist Seven Republicans put their fate in the hands of about 122,000 Iowans Tuesday, Jan. 2 to gauge where they stood in this marathon of political fervor we call an election cycle. That semi-nonbinding vote total was the measuring stick that weeded the already bickering field down to four. Here is both the purity and the complete ignorance of the process that these professional politicians voluntarily inserted themselves into. They are all basing the future of their campaigns on a microfiche-thin portion of the electorate that is notorious for not getting within the area code of picking the next President. All of them spent millions - except for Rick Santorum, who did not have to due to the fact that he was bringing up the rear for the first 98 out

Stop the price gouging Let the voice of the people be heard. Verizon already pulled their $2 fee to pay your phone bill. Now if we can only get SEMCO Gas Company to do the same? I used to pay my gas bill online for the convenience of not having to write a check and send it in. But come on SEMCO, $5 to pay your electric bill online? Get your act together. These companies cannot continue to pull the wool over us consumers any longer. There is no way in the world that it costs any kind of money for an electronic transaction. There are no people involved. So I guess I go back to sending in my payment the old fashioned way and it does not cost me anything. Well I guess one way to look at it is at least the postage will help keep the post office in business. Also at least someone at

Kids able to shop with heroes because of community support On Thursday, Dec. 15, the Lenox Township Firefighters Association held the annual Shop With A Hero Program at the Meijer store in Lenox Township. This year the Heroes were able to take 115 under privileged children on a shopping spree that was capped off with a visit with Santa Claus and

of 100 polls taken in the Hawkeye State - trying to woo a miniscule segment of voters they may have a 5 percent interest in seeing again before November. There were straw polls, one of which Michelle Bachmann somehow won - trips to fairs and diners and overblown bus tours through some of the 99 Iowa counties. There was also the first test of the 2010 Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court, which removed restrictions on corporate and union spending in elections. So now instead of candidates spending their own money to pummel their opponent into the ground with mostly baseless and usually smearing attack ads, they can have some vaguely-named group do it for them under the guise of free speech. Now candidates can keep their money in their coffers for more signs and hats while The Citizens for the Continued Mass Production of Marshmallows gets to spend endless sums of money to bash whomever they choose in any manner they choose while the candidate they support stays clean. It is a concept that Mitt Romney has

already warmed to with the help of super PAC Restore Our Future. No one knows any more about Romney, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich or Santorum than they did when they were doing photo ops next to butter sculptures last August. The only delineation that voters came away with was the candidates entrenching themselves behind the label “conservative” or “moderate” both vague terms in their own right that can be swayed or defined in 143 different ways over the next year. All this caucus basically decided was nothing except the fact that it decided nothing. Yet this cherished bastion of electoral frozen tundra remains some sort of shining diamond in the nomination process. When the dust settled a mere 5 percent of eligible voters turned out to vote in both the Republican and Democratic caucuses. Over 24,000 came out to vote for a president running unopposed while Romney “won” with just over 30,000 votes. A state so ferocious about keeping their spot at the head of the line can only draw that percentage of eligible voters to gyms,

SEMCO will have a job. Someone has to open my envelope and process the check. I bet the person enters the check into the same computer that automatically processes the check when you do it online for $5. Price gouging the consumer must stop.

responsible for the fast and furious gun running scandal with Mexico. Holder also filed federal lawsuits against the state of Arizona and a couple other states for instituting laws to help stop the influx of illegal aliens into their states.

ED GROPPI Chesterfield

Attorney general subverting voter rights Attorney General Eric Holder is in the process of trying to stop the state of South Carolina from installing a photo identification voter law. I believe 16 states already have such a law but he evidently doesn’t want any more states to have it. I would surmise it would be much easier in a close election to install the Democratic candidate into office by using good old Chicagostyle election rigging. Photo I.D. laws would make the system much less vulnerable to breech the system. But not to worry; President Obama stands by his attorney general who has also been

a free pizza and pop party provided by Meijer. This event could not be possible without the help of numerous organizations, departments and individuals. A special thank you goes out to: Richmond Rotary, Living Word Fellowship Church, Waste Management, the boxing department from Achatz Pie Co., New Haven Firefighters Association, Richmond-Lenox EMS, Detroit Sector MWR of Homeland Security, Mary Lou Kraft and all of the employees from the Macomb Correctional Facility Employees Association, Mark and Kathy Dickey, Dave Marry, Chris and Jamie Boyd, Hillary Yamen, Ron Trombly, Cheryl Albacelli, Nancy Hansen, Betty Hartyway, Jodi Kethe, Robin Murphy, Jeanette Ventimiglia, Carol Swantek, Karon

O. HOHMANN Columbus

Deal with insurance truants The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) announced its assessment to insurance companies will be $143.09 per insured vehicle effective July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. This increase of almost 15 percent ($18.20) was attributed to longer periods of treatment for injured persons and lower long-term investment assumptions. The $143.09 assessment represents $116.84 to cover claims, $26 to address the $2 billion estimated deficit, and $.25 for administrative expenses. The current deficit is estimated at $290.71 per insured vehicle. The MCCA paid out $811 (more than $115 per

Ottenbacher, Kathy Honold, Vickie Fouchia, Angie Lenont, Barb Trombly, Kathleen Klein, Ross Champagn, our new Meijer Store Director Kimberly, all of the Meijer employees and volunteers, and a special thank you to Dawn Baumgart. We thank each and every one of you and wish you all a very safe and prosperous New Year! CHIEF DENNY FOUCHIA and The Lenox Twp. Firefighters Association

Donation, time for Girls Scouts appreciated The Hope for the Hungry food pantry of Living Hope of the Bay church would like to thank the Girl Scouts of Troop No. 30099 from Great Oaks Elementary for the food they collected

PUT IT IN WRITING The Voice welcomes letters to the editor. Letters to the editor may be sent by e-mail, fax or mail and MUST INCLUDE a name, home address and daytime phone number to allow us to verify the identity of the writer. We reserve the right to edit letters for space and clarity, especially those exceeding 300 words in length. Send letters to: The Voice Letters to the editor 51180 Bedford New Baltimore, MI 48047 editor@voicenews.com (e-mail) (586) 716-8918 (fax) churches and town halls to have their voices heard? It is a state that is about as diverse as the Gobi desert, yet is supposed to be a representation of the pulse of a party? There are hundreds of counties in this country that are more diverse than

the state of Iowa, but they are fawned over by candidates for almost a year to draw single-digit numbers to cast their caucus ballot. It is ludicrous on more levels than I can count. I will never understand it, but it is the system that is in place and what these

professional lifelong politicians signed on for and what I get to gleefully comment on for more than a few months.

insured vehicle) in 2009 for claim costs. This state of Michigan is the only state that has a setup like this. Seventyfour percent of the drivers in Detroit alone do not carry auto insurance. Not to mention the thousands of drivers that only purchase their insurance either through a local or online insurance company to pay just enough to register their plates and never pay the balance to keep their insurance current. A law should be passed that any and all drivers that do not carry the minimum amount of insurance required should have their vehicle impounded or be required to pay the total amount of the auto policy to keep their driving privileges. We should also be allowed to purchase out-of-state insurance because those who obey the law should not be stuck paying the associated costs for uninsured drivers in this state. In my family alone there have been three instances where uninsured drivers have caused us more than just higher insurance premiums. From out-of-pocket expense to replacing vehicles or other associated

costs, there has to be something done to eliminate this problem. Just because someone thinks they have nothing to lose, should not give them the right to walk away without paying a single dime for their lack of responsibility.

and the free market. If history shows us anything it shows us that the “free market” is a myth. In fact the market place is subjected to manipulation for profit that has become the new business model for the 21st Century. The oil industry is a perfect example. We are told to “Drill Baby, Drill,” yet there are no guarantees that oil we drill here will be sold here to reduce our dependence on foreign sources. More likely it will end up in China. The price of gasoline is far more dependent on the machinations of speculators than supply and demand. Wall Street continues to amass huge fortunes by playing the system rather than investing in companies that actually make things and in so doing, create jobs. It is the right and proper role of government to force corporations to do the right thing even if it means decreased profits.

STEWART SALTERS Lenox

Fracking worth our attention I find it supremely ironic that Mr. Zmuda (“Fracking fears are overblown,” Jan. 4, 2012) chose to submit his letter extolling the virtues and benign safety of fracking right at the time when the people of Youngstown, Ohio suffered two earthquakes in as many days that have been linked to fracking operations by seismologists from Columbia University. Indeed the state of Ohio has acted to stop all fracking operations while an investigation can be made to determine the extent of the risk. Meanwhile the state of Oklahoma has endured over 50 earthquakes in 2011 that can be traced to fracking operations there. Finally, I must take issue with Mr. Zmuda’s understanding of history

Cheer team grateful for donations

their donations, making our first cheer team poster possible: Tom Watkins - Eloquent Expressions (photographer), Print Masters Printing Co., Baxter Insurance Agency, LifeCare Chiropractic Clinic, LifeCare Martial Arts Center, St. John’s Marsh Dental, Oliver Carbide Products Inc., On Point Embroidery, Blue Star Demolition, Dana’s Kitchen, and Prior Plumbing & Heating Inc. Our poster is on display in many businesses in the Algonac area, with our schedule attached. Please come and share in the excitement as we host our first BWAC League meet on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at AHS! Thank you!

The Algonac High School Varsity Competitive Cheer Team would like to thank the following businesses for

MICHELLE WYKOWSKI, coach and JULIE MYTINGER, cheer parent Algonac

and donated to our food pantry recently. We appreciate both the donation as well as your time to help support our pantry. Without donations such as yours, we would not be able to provide muchneeded food for the less fortunate in our community. The Girl Scout organization has a long history of helping those in need, and you should all be proud to be part of such an organization. Thank you again, and God bless you all. KAREN WIEGAND Coordinator, Hope for the Hungry food pantry

Contact Matthew Fahr at (586) 716-8100, ext. 300 or at matt.fahr@voicenews.com.

DAVID SWAIN Richmond

TM

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