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December 20, 2012 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-12-20

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frontlines >> letters

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State Bill Would Threaten
Safety In Roadside Zoos
Two bad bills that ignore public safety
and animal welfare will soon be voted
on by our state legislators. SB 210 and
SB 1236 would virtually gut Michigan's
Large Carnivore Act of 2000 that was
established to protect the public and
large carnivores (bears and large cats,
such as lions and tigers).
SB 210 exempts small roadside
zoos accredited by the Zoological
Association of America from
Michigan's captive wildlife laws and
regulations and from state oversight.
These zoos would be able to have cap-
tive bears and large cats and operate
under much weaker standards than our
larger zoos that are stringently regu-
lated by the Association of Zoos and
A ZAA member application is a
mere four pages. There is no insur-
ance requirement; lacks public safety
procedures; no policy prohibiting
selling animals at auctions; few or
no references to animal dietary and
husbandry standards, veterinary care
or psychological well-being of the
animals; and cage size requirements
are a fraction of a regular zoo. And
ZAA permits the breeding of large
SB 1236 allows the public handling
of bear cubs up to 9 months old.
The Large Carnivore Act prohibits
public interaction with captive car-
nivores for good reason. Bear cub
bites and scratches and worse are
well documented in "roadside zoos".
A 9-month-old bear cub weighs 65
pounds, can climb trees at 6 weeks of
age and outrun humans.

And as the Michigan Humane
Society predicts, "Passage of this bill
would mean more roadside zoos,
more bear 'attractions' and more ani-
mals being exploited."
Tell your legislators to have the
common sense to vote no on SB 210
and SB 1236.

Anne Honhart

Gov. Snyder Did Not
Betray Michigan Workers
The letter "Gov. Snyder Betrayed
Michigan Workers" (Dec. 13, page 6),
starts out by saying that the gover-
nor "expressed that a right-to-work
agenda would be too divisive" then
changed his mind.
What the writer fails to mention is
that the primary reason Snyder did
this was because Bob King, president
of the United Auto Workers, ignored
his promise to the governor that
he would not push for passage of
Proposal 2 [which would have made
collective bargaining a constitutional
right]. He then went on to spend $30
million to push it.
That has been described as a
"catastrophic mistake (As you know,
President Obama received a lot of
money from the unions, and they
expect a payoff.) That caused Snyder to
raise $25 million to counter this move.
The people who raised that money
want a return on their investment.
The writer goes on to describe it as
a "union busting right-to-work bill."
Nothing could be further from the
truth. This bill does not deny union
organizing rights nor ban collective-
bargaining. The choice is up to the

workers whether or not they want to
belong to a union. Also, union mem-
bership in Michigan is only 17 per-
cent, half of whom of are government
employees. To me, that means that
83 percent of those eligible for union
membership simply do not want it.
In addition, when foreign car
manufacturers want to open up a
plant in the United States, they only
go to states with right-to-work laws.
That is why unemployment is up in
Michigan. Another point: according
to the U.S. Department of Commerce,
employees in 12 right-to-work states
have a higher per-capita income than
in Michigan. Besides that, the pay
raises that Michigan workers receive
have risen less than any other state in
the union.
As to the contention that Florida
and Nevada experience higher unem-
ployment: the unemployment rate in
Florida is 8.5 percent, and in Nevada
it is 11.5 percent, whereas that statis-
tic in Michigan is 9.3 percent. Also,
the per capita income in Oklahoma
for last year is higher than Michigan's.
Currently, 13 right-to-work states
have higher per-capita income than
In closing, the writer claims that
the governor has "betrayed you."
According to the U.S. Commerce
Department's Bureau of Economic
Analysis, Michigan's gross domestic
product was the worst in the nation
under former Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
Do you really want to "defeat Gov.
Snyder and his Republican legislature
in 2014"?

Dr. Edward Goldberg
West Bloomfield

Vandal Strikes Temple Israel


andals struck Temple Israel
in West Bloomfield early
this week and spray painted
"End Zionism!" in large black letters
on the east wall of the building. A
circled letter "/6C' appeared next to the
According to Lt. Tim Diamond
of the West Bloomfield Police
Department, the graffiti was reported
by a member of the synagogue secu-
rity staff at 8:30 a.m. on Monday,
Dec. 17. Police believe the vandalism
occurred sometime late Sunday night
or early Monday morning.
Diamond said so far the circled

"A" signature has not been identified
with any specific individual, sect or
At press time, no suspects have been
charged, and police are continuing to
investigate. According to Diamond,
the Oakland County Prosecutor will
decide whether the perpetrator(s) will
be charged with a hate crime after an
arrest has been made.
"It's deplorable," said Temple Israel
Rabbi Paul Yedwab. "It's now in the
hands of the authorities investigat-
ing the case:' He said the words were
quickly removed from the synagogue

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December 20 • 2012 5

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