Women of Michigan — we need to call an all-state meeting to get together and see what we can do about the unbelievable attitudes of our Republican lawmakers toward us. Really, why don’t they think we are competent enough to make our own health care decisions? Why do they think it is okay to deny two of our democratically elected female representatives the right to speak on the floor of the House and then insultingly say Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum were “throwing temper tantrums” and “needed to be in time-out?” Come on! Why do these men get to redefine freedom of speech to suit themselves? What’s with the patronizing attitudes?
Here’s one idea — we can take the $25 million dollars spent on the Pure Michigan campaign and split it. The Republican-led House can spend 1/2 on their campaign (the marvelous effects of which are being negated by the extremely negative publicity their misogynistic actions have generated for our state in the national press) and we’ll spend our half making sure needy women get the necessary health screenings to keep our bodies and souls together so we can get back to being mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, foster mothers and friends.
For our well meaning sisters who voted for the offending legislators, why not call their offices and remind them of your vote? Remind them that they did not run on a platform of denigrating women and not giving women credit for being critical thinkers. For those of us who voted for Democrats, please redouble your efforts to make sure this fall you actively campaign to elect Democrats to both House and Senate seats.
While it would be fun to have our meeting, let’s try these measures first as I know we are all pretty busy.
Bicyclers: Announce yourselves
As more and more bicyclists use the local trails, it has become difficult for pedestrians to use them. Most bicyclists do not announce themselves, and thus pedestrians are at their mercy. The extreme speed cyclists, in spandex suits and fancy equipment, have such an intense need to make their time that they are oblivious to anything about the trail and anyone on it but themselves. On Sunday I was on the Wheelway between noon and 2 p.m., and bikes were coming by at about one every 15 or 20 seconds. Modern bikes are so silent they cannot be heard by a walker until only a few feet away, which could be too late.
If speed cyclists have no concern for others on the trail, they should think of themselves, since the helmet protects only the head. Parts of the Wheelway are open to a steep drop-off, and a collision, especially there, would be a disaster. Bicyclists complain often about discourteous or aggressive drivers on the road, but on the trails the tables are turned, and it’s against the walking public. There is increasing hostility toward the speed of bikes on the trails, and cyclists should wake up to that and bicycle responsibly. Message to bicyclists: as you make an approach, call out a simple “on your right” or “on your left.” Or just ring a bell. Someone’s safety may depend on it.
Jean Wynn, Petoskey