St. Joseph commission shouldn’t be partisan

Editor,

We have another extremely important election coming up on Nov. 5 in the city of St. Joseph. Three seats are available. I am reminded why elections are so important.

One of the things I have always liked about the makeup of our commission in St. Joe is that it was always a nonpartisan commission, which I have always found very important for a town our size. Nonpartisan in this case means that commissioners don’t run on party affiliation so that issues don’t get too divisive and that commissioners act as an at-large body representing the whole city, not as a Democrat or Republican.

This last election changed that with ideology going to the left of the spectrum rather than staying in the middle as nonpartisan and working together as an at-large body focusing on job growth, job retention, infrastructure, keeping taxes and fees as low as possible and our parks in good order.

We dont need radical, whacky environmental policies or extreme LGBT legislation or to overspend on luxury items like a lighthouse keeper residence. We need a commission that is not biased and not legislating from one political side or the other.

With all that being said, I will be voting for Susan Solon, Shawn Hill and Al DiBrito.

Michael Emlong

St. Joseph 

Colorado statistics prove marijuana is bad business

Editor,

Facts matter and we are sharing what is really happening to Colorado. Whoever attempts to use Colorado as a positive example of marijuana legalization is sadly mistaken.

The Rocky Mountain High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Strategic Intelligence Unit reports their fifth update from September 2018 paints a stark reality. 

Since recreational marijuana was legalized:

• Marijuana-related traffic deaths increased 151 percent, while all other traffic deaths increased by only 35 percent.

• Traffic deaths involving drivers who tested positive for marijuana more than doubled from 55 in 2013 to 138 in 2017. This equates to one person killed every 2.5 days, compared to one person killed every 6.5 days.

• The percentage of all Colorado traffic deaths that were marijuana related increased from 11.43 percent in 2013 to 21.3 percent in 2017.

• 69 percent of self-identified, marijuana users admitted to driving after having consumed marijuana.

• 70 percent of drivers charged with DUI of alcohol also tested positive for marijuana.

• There was a 16.4 percent increase in pedestrian traffic deaths in the seven states that have legalized recreational marijuana between 2012 and 2016, while all other states had a 5.8 percent decrease.

• Marijuana-related emergency room visits increased by 52 percent. While hospitalizations increased by 148 percent.

• Colorado marijuana use for ages 12 and older is ranked third in the nation and is 85 percent higher than the national average.

• 65 percent of local jurisdictions in Colorado have banned medical and recreational marijuana businesses.

Can we learn from what has gone on in Colorado and not follow in their shadow? We live in the beautiful city of South Haven. Everyone who values our community and current way of life, please vote “yes” for Prop. 2019-1 to keep recreational marijuana businesses out of our town.

Rich and Cindy Krupp

South Haven

Solon’s past experience will help St. Joseph

Editor,

Above the door of St. Joseph’s Heritage Center are the words, “The Past is Prologue,” first written by William Shakespeare in “The Tempest.” These words mean that what happens in the future is based upon the past.

This is much like the oft quoted phrase, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” attributed to American philosopher George Santayana in his book “The Life of Reason: Reason in Common Sense.”

When elected, Susan Solon will gain the perspective of sitting on the commissioners’ side of the St. Joseph City Commission table. She has already spent 20-plus years listening and observing as a staff member, most recently as the city’s communications and marketing director, and as a resident. She has the experience, insightfulness and creativity to continue the great work in progress that is St. Joseph’s hallmark.

A vote for Susan Solon is a vote for stability in St. Joseph. I wholeheartedly encourage you to vote for Susan Solon for St. Joseph city commissioner in the Nov. 5 election.

Gustave A. Damaske

St. Joseph

Trump betrays oath to protect Constitution

Editor,

There are many examples of Mr. Trump’s betraying his oath of office to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”

However, calling the emoluments clause “phony” is truly egregious and a sign that 1) he has no intention of fulfilling his oath of office; 2) he has not read the Constitution; and 3) he is well on his way to becoming America’s first dictator. All supporters of Mr. Trump should read or re-read “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” Mr. Trump is following in the footsteps of a dictator that the entire world fought to overcome.

Rita dePedro

Bridgman

Hanny is excellent choice for South Haven council

Editor,

I am writing in support of Liji Hanny for South Haven City Council. He is a person of incredible integrity and compassion who has a strong desire to serve the community.

Through many years of involvement with the South Haven community, Liji Hanny has shown deep interest in city issues and brings the perspective of someone with children in the school district, extended family in the area, and professional work in Southwest Michigan.

In his professional career with the Boys and Girls Club of Benton Harbor, I have seen Liji Hanny repeatedly demonstrate an unwavering dedication to helping others and collaborating to improve the lives of young people. Because of this dedication and compassion, he is an excellent choice for the Ward 3 City Council position.

Iza Graham

South Haven