Editorial Quick Hits: Cull deer to reduce accidents

Statistics released by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments are meant to warn drivers about the accident threat from deer, but the figures also illustrate the need for occasional culls.

There were 5,557 vehicle-deer crashes in the six Southeast Michigan counties in 2014. For the five-year period 2010-14, Oakland County had the largest average with 1,761. Also, seven of the top 10 communities with the highest five-year averages are in Oakland County.

Leading the way is Rochester Hills, which had a five-year average of 145 accidents. The city has an ongoing problems with its large deer population. Attempted culls were fiercely opposed by some residents. So, Rochester Hills has resorted to posting warning signs.

That’s not enough. Although there were no fatalities from vehicle-deer crashes in 2014, autos have been severely damaged, passengers injured and seldom has a deer survived.

The best alternative to control deer in heavily populated areas — and reduce the threat of accidents — is to conduct culls by sharp-shooting law enforcement officers.

University harnesses technology

Northern Michigan University expects approval from the Federal Communications Commission to expand its Internet service area so that it provides access for educational purposes to community colleges, Indian reservations and schools in rural communities throughout the sparsely populated Upper Peninsula. The 8,600-student university already provides Internet access on campus and up to 30 miles away.

David Maki, NMU chief technology officer, says the expansion is a cost-effective way to give more students Internet access to classes.

He notes if several educational entities share the one-time cost of $50,000 for a new tower, an area with 2,000 students would initially pay about $25 per pupil. Annual costs would be much less because the maintenance fee is only $5,000. The expense is less than a third the price of a textbook, which averages about $100.

Use of the Internet in education is common but in rural areas access is limited or non-existent. Kudos to NMU for trying to resolve this problem. Colleges in other less densely populated areas should follow the school’s example.

History worth remembering

The Holocaust is more than just a period of time in history. It is an example of humans at their worst.

Unfortunately, it’s not the only example.

That’s why Michigan State University’s Jewish Studies program’s efforts to hire a professor specializing in Holocaust studies and European Jewish history is so important.

The post will be MSU’s second endowed professorship in Jewish Studies and it will help the program reach more students and study the lessons of the Holocaust in more depth. It was made possible by a $1.5 million gift from William and Audrey Farber and $500,000 from Michael and Elaine Serling.

Jews throughout the nation just observed their High Holy Days or New Year’s celebration. They look to a prosperous and productive year.

But they also keep an eye on the past, as should all people. As time passes, history often sanitizes horrific events such as the Holocaust.

It, as well as other genocides, must never be forgotten because they serve important lessons that all people should learn.