SHORT TAKES: Be wary of proposed travel legislation

By Daily News • Last Updated 10:58 am on Monday, September 16, 2013

Wow! Have we got stuff coming down the pike.

How about proposed legislation to allow off-road vehicles to travel on the shoulder of Michigan roads? There’s plenty to consider here, but given the obvious distractions of texting and talking while driving, let’s not throw another obstacle into traffic while we play with our mechanical and technological toys.

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While we’re at it, let’s increase Michigan’s highway speed limit to 80 mph. Really?

You’ve got to be kidding. On the freeways you can already go 80 at the 70 mph limit with little chance of being ticketed. Does that mean that 90 mph will be the new normal? They say modern cars are built for those speeds. But the average drivers, much less our state’s crumbling roads, are definitely not. Those speeds call for far better education, more policing and much more money for roads and bridges, folks.

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There appears to be constant acrimony in Michigan’s Legislature, but none more questionable than failure to approve immediate effect on legislation extending medication to many thousands of needy Michiganders.

Regardless of where you stand on the issue, Michigan did commit to the program; but failure to give immediate effect means the loss of millions of dollars of federal support to local programs. That legislative decision is certainly not a favor to Michigan taxpayers.

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On a more pleasing observation, the 2013 Ash Cultural Event held last Thursday evening at the Greenville High School Performing Arts Center featured the Canadian Brass, and the concert was by all accounts a fascinating performance. We are indeed fortunate to live in a community that brings such performances, including the Grand Rapids Symphony, to our neighborhood.

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In another great community cause, Laura Thompson, executive director of the Alpha Center in Greenville, is bicycling 700 miles around Lake Michigan to raise awareness (and funds) for her organization.

Alpha’s mission is promoting life, strengthening families and helping couples to cope with unplanned pregnancies. Thompson is representing her Montcalm area in the ride that started Saturday and will end next Saturday. She’s hoping area folks will help her raise $5,000 for the eight-day effort.

To aid her in this quest, call the center at (616) 225-2265 or write to the center at 117 East Montcalm St., Greenville MI 48838.

Editorial opinions are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.

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