Keep gunfire out of New Years Eve

The Detroit News

One of the more stubborn and deadly traditions in Detroit is the firing of guns into the air to mark the arrival of the New Year.

Granted, there are few noisemakers as dramatic as a gunshot. Nor many as dangerous. Bullets fired into the air must come down, and when they do, they have the potential to harm people and property. Even more threatening are bullets fired in an arc.

Once again this year, Detroit police officers are urging residents to find safer ways to celebrate. Why not bang pots and pans? Or what’s wrong with a simple kiss at midnight? As long as the lips you’re kissing aren’t already taken, there’s little risk of anyone getting hurt.

But firing off guns is just not acceptable.

Cops patrolling on New Year’s Eve will be passing out trigger locks. It’s a good idea. And the locks should be used.

They’re not only a deterrent to impulsive New Year’s Eve gunfire, they also keep children safer. Detroit has had too many episodes of children being injured or killed while playing with loaded guns.

Be smart, Detroit. Make noise in less lethal ways.

Three times would not be a charm

For the second time in 14 years, the state has declared that the financial emergency in Hamtramck has been resolved and so the city is out of emergency management.

The city now will be guided by a Receivership Transition Advisory Board, appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder, with local officials ultimately again taking control of the community’s finances.

Emergency Manager Cathy Square did her job. She was appointed in June 2013 to address a $2 million shortfall in the city’s $5.6 million budget. Of the deficit, $1.4 million was money the city owed to its pension system. After a year and half, the city has an unaudited fund balance of $3 million.

Now it’s up to the city leaders. The emergency manager system is not a long-term fix for municipalities. Local officials must keep Hamtramck on stable financial footing.

Square praised the cooperation of officials and city unions in erasing the deficit.

Hopefully, using that same type of teamwork, Hamtramck’s leaders and workers will get it right this time.

Wolf hunting should be state option

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in Washington, D.C., has thrown out an Obama administration decision to remove the gray wolf population in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered species list.

The judge’s ruling, unless overturned, will prohibit further wolf hunting and trapping in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. All three states have had at least one hunting season since protections were removed.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service dropped federal protections from those wolves in 2012 and handed over management to the states. That was the correct move.

Howell ruled the removal from the list was “arbitrary and capricious” and violated the federal Endangered Species Act. The same argument can be made of Howell’s decision.

State game and environmental agencies are the most appropriate groups to handle the gray wolf issue. These local officials have the expertise to determine what type of a threat the wolf is to areas in their states, not some judge hundreds of miles away.