Let’s encourage use of electric cars


Some people in Michigan have expressed concern that because electrically powered vehicles pay no fuel taxes, they do not pay anything to maintain state roads. That concern ignores some very important facts.

The state Legislature addressed this issue in 2015 when they added registration fees for electric and hybrid vehicles. Electric vehicles less than 8,000 pounds presently are assessed $135 in addition to normal registration fees. Hybrid vehicles pay an extra $35 yearly. Since the fuel tax is currently 26.3 cents per gallon, the extra registration fee is equivalent to buying 513 gallons of gasoline, which would be 12,832 miles of driving at 25 mpg. Drivers also pay state sales tax of 6 percent on fuel, but that revenue is not dedicated for road maintenance or construction.

As for Gov. Whitmer’s proposed fuel tax increase, if fuel taxes are raised, registration fees for electric vehicles will also increase by $5 for each additional cent of fuel tax. This would effectively triple the additional costs for electric cars. (Bridge Magazine, April 2019)

Many of us think we should be encouraging electric vehicle use, thereby reducing atmospheric pollution and helping to address the climate crisis. While the state’s existing road funding taxes do not do that, it’s unfair to make the case that electric and hybrid cars do not pay their fair share for state roads.

State government should be doing everything possible to help make the transition to renewable energy. Recent changes in property taxation policy and net-metering regulations for solar power generation are going in the opposite direction. Let’s keep that in mind when we vote for state legislators next year.

Jonathan Fisk

St. Joseph

All triathletes deserve their due


I am writing in response to your article published the day following the Ironman 70.3 Steelhead triathlon (“A perfect day for a triathlon,” July 1). Over the past eight years, I have participated in Steelhead six times and have volunteered twice. Steelhead weekend is always my favorite weekend of the year. It is amazing to see our local community transform, and the dedicated volunteers and enthusiastic spectators make Steelhead even more remarkable.

This year, however, something stood out from your article. Of the 17 local athletes cited, 15 athletes were male, while only two athletes were female.

There were 2,005 athletes registered for Steelhead. Of those athletes, 1,586 athletes finished the event, and 419 athletes either did not finish (DNF) or did not start (DNS). Of the 1,586 athletes who finished, 1,100 were men (70 percent) and 486 were women (30 percent).

One criterion, and many would say the most important criterion, for ranking athletes is gender. Male and female athletes are separated and ranked accordingly. However, aside from citing only two local females, The Herald-Palladium instead chose to cite purely on finish time, which excludes the majority of female athletes.

In addition, citing athletes by finish time not only discriminates against female athletes, it also excludes many older athletes as well. Most athletic events are separated not only by gender, but also grouped by five-year age brackets. This demonstrates the importance of age grouping.

I am disappointed that The Herald-Palladium did not more accurately represent all participating athletes.

Lisa Altman

St. Joseph 

Is Pelosi really devout?


In The Herald-Palladium on June 28, an article stated that Nancy Pelosi was a devout Catholic. Not so – a devout Catholic would never support abortion. The definition of a devout Catholic is defined in the dictionary as: pious, religious, dedicated, reverent, God-fearing, spiritual, holy, etc.

No devout Catholic – I emphasize the word devout – would support abortion or the killing of unborn children.

Since Roe v. Wade there have been more than 60 million, yes 60 million, unborn babies murdered. Hitler murdered millions of innocent men, women and children. I leave us all with a question: Does the legalizing in our country of the killing of the innocent unborn make us any better in this respect?

Paul Wilcoxson


Deer whistles would reduce roadkill


As I drive down our highways and country roads, I see many, many animals that have been hit by cars or trucks and killed.

To see these poor animals is truly disheartening. I would like to suggest that drivers invest in deer whistles. They are usually less than five dollars a pair. The whistles (simply stuck on your vehicle’s grill or bumper) prevent collisions because of the ultrasonic sound they emit. Humans can’t hear the sound, but it is a clear warning to animals and stops them in their tracks before they enter the roadway.

Julia Smith