Letters: Other views on boat gas, no fault, hate crimes
Protect boaters at gas pump
Imagine that you're enjoying a summer day out on Lake Michigan. You and your family are cruising along on the water, taking in all of Michigan's natural beauty. Suddenly, the boat stops due to an engine malfunction. After costly repairs, you learn that because you mistakenly filled your boat with a high ethanol fuel blend, your engine was damaged – along with the promise of a full summer out on the water. Not only were the repairs expensive, but the engine warranty was voided because you used the ethanol fuel that was not properly marked at the pump.
That’s why last week, I spoke to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) representatives in Ypsilanti during a hearing on their proposal to allow year-round sales of E15. As 141 million Americans participate in boating each year, and with over 798,500 registered boats in Michigan, the summer sale of E15 puts the safety of Michigan residents in jeopardy. Fuels like E15 can result in expensive engine repairs and damage the market value of your family boat.
But the most pressing issue is that many Americans are unaware of E15’s shortcomings. According to a recent study, over 60 percent of people mistakenly assume that E15 is safe for all of their small engine products. In fact, E15 destroys many different types of engines and is prohibited from use in them by federal law.
At the very least, more work is needed to protect American’s and their families from misfuelling, and nine in 10 Americans believe the government should do more to educate consumers about the dangers of E15. But the real solution is to avoid the year-round sale of E15 altogether.
I once again urge the EPA to drop this reckless proposal and ensure that boaters on the Great Lakes and across the country can continue to enjoy time out on the water.
David Slikkers, director of government relations
Car insurance costs too high
I could not agree more with your Ingrid Jacques opinion ("Scrap Michigan’s faulty ‘no-fault’ car insurance," April 5). The elephant in the room is the trail lawyers and also the hospitals and medical professionals. Their fees need to be capped.
The hospitals and medical professionals also need to have their fees capped at what Medicare or Blue Cross would pay.
The whole concept of no-fault is faulty. Why should I have to pay for damages to my vehicle if the accident was not my fault?
Also, the number of uninsured drivers would be a lot lower if the insurance did not cost so much.
I live in what is considered a nice neighborhood in Dearborn and my auto insurance is $4,660 per year. We have two vehicles, drive very little (we live close to most places we visit) and have had no accidents in 30 years or tickets in over 40 years.
I talk to friends in other states and they are flabbergasted by our Michigan insurance rates.
No hate crime hoax
Nolan Finley’s opinion (“America’s hate crime surge is a hoax," April 7) is extremely misleading.
He states that the reported 17 percent increase in hate crimes for 2017 isn’t true because the number of reporting police departments increased by 1,000. But he neglects to point out what percentage this increase represents.
In 2016 there were 15,254 reporting agencies and in 2017 there were 16,149, an increase of only 5.8 percent.
Another way of looking at it is the population covered by these agencies. In 2016 there were 289.8 million and 306.4 million, an increase of 5.7 percent. Clearly the increase in hate crimes reported is not entirely due to the increase in reporting agencies, according to data from FBI Hate Crime Statistics.
The statement popularized by Mark Twain -- "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics" -- is very applicable in this case.