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High Tech Meets High Performance

by Sean Farley


Even though most high-performance gasoline engines are equally or even more high-powered than the classic hot rods of my youth, gas-guzzling has been tapering off over the last couple of decades. Advancements in engine controls, air and fuel delivery, combustion, and even newer transmission technologies have enabled high performance and fuel economy to play in the same playground. With these advancements have also come revolutionary steps to help walk us away from gasoline and the best part is that right now, you get to choose how big your personal steps are. Getting the right hybrid or electric vehicle (EV) for you may take some time, or you might be the type to jump right into it. Whichever buyer you are, I recommend learning some basics before you begin just to give you a boost of confidence when you are ready to sign on the line for your first EV. (1)


Many of the EVs on the market today would outperform any standard gas vehicle that you previously owned so you can expect some exhilarating test drives! People always want to know how far you can go with a “full tank”, and what you should really ask is “how many miles do I need to drive every day?” because charging overnight for several hours is much cheaper than a fast charge in the late afternoon. Based on Michigan’s average of $0.19 per kilowatt hour of electricity, that means about $1.90 per 25 miles, or $19 for 250 miles using overnight charging and up to $28 for an afternoon quick charge; while the same distance in an average gasoline car would cost about $35. When shopping for your next vehicle, remember to support union workers with buying union-made! (3)








Nurse Holding State Representative Seat Votes to Restrict Patients’ Access and Choices for Cancer Treatment

by Shawna Farley


Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Michigan. (1) While the best options for treatment are unique to every patient, a doctor’s recommendation can be moot if the patient lacks the financial means to access alternative treatments, such as oral medication provided though insurance companies.

House Bill 4071 corrects cost disparities by ensuring that the cost of coverage for oral chemotherapy treatments equals that for intravenous treatments. Through this change, working-class Michiganders can alleviate the worry of transportation and time off work when considering these lifesaving treatment plans.

Democratic Representative Reggie Miller helped sponsor this bill and without hesitation voted yes. All Democratic House Representatives voted yes. Despite testimony from The Michigan Nursing Association supporting this bill, the most egregious no vote came from Representative and nurse Jamie Thompson. (2). Joining her, Republican Representatives Dale Zorn, Jim Desana, and 37 other Republicans also voted no.










































(3) Representatives of the Michigan Association of Health Plans testified in opposition to the bill.v(5-11-23)
The following entities indicated opposition to the bill (5-11-23):
  • Michigan Manufacturers Association
  • Economic Alliance for Michigan
  • Health Alliance Plan
  • NFIB Michigan
  • Small Business Association of Michigan
  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce
  • Detroit Regional Chamber
  • Grand Rapids Chamber


Representatives of the following entities testified in support of the bill (5-11-23):
  • Michigan Society of Hematology and Oncology
  • American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

The following entities indicated support for the bill (5-11-23):
  • Michigan State Medical Society
  • American Lung Association in Michigan
  • Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance
  • Memorial Healthcare
• Michigan Nurses Association
  • Takeda Pharmaceuticals
• Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • American Society of Hematology
• The Pink Fund
  • Susan G. Komen
  • Association for Clinical Oncology








Aiyash                              Farhat                     McFall                                   Scott

Andrews                          Fitzgerald               McKinney                             Shannon

Arbit                                 Glanville                  Mentzer                                Skaggs

Beson                              Grant                       Miller                                     Snyder

Bezotte                            Green, P.                Morgan                                 St. Germaine

Bollin                                Greene, J.               Morse                                   Steckloff

Brabec                             Haadsma               Mueller                                  Stone

Breen                               Hill                           O’Neal                                   Tate

Brixie                                Hood                       Paiz                                       Tisdel

Byrnes                              Hope                       Pohutsky                              Tsernoglou

Carter, B.                         Hoskins                   Prestin                                  Wegela

Carter, T.                         Johnsen                   Price                                     Weiss

Churches                         Koleszar                  Puri                                       Whitsett

Coffia                               Kuhn                        Rheingans                            Wilson

Coleman                          Liberati                    Rogers                                  Witwer

Conlin                               Lightner                   Roth                                     Wozniak

Dievendorf                       MacDonell               Schmaltz                             Young

Edwards                           Martus                                                                  




Alexander                         DeSana                  Maddock                               Schuette

Aragona                            Filler                        Martin                                    Slagh

Beeler                                Fink                         Meerman                              Smit

BeGole                              Fox                          Neyer                                     Steele

Bierlein                              Friske                      Outman                                  Thompson

Borton                               Hall                           Paquette                               VanderWall

Carra                                 Harris                       Posthumus                            VanWoerkom

Cavitt                                 Hoadley                  Rigas                                      Wendzel

DeBoer                              Kunse                      Schriver                                 Zorn


Shining a Light on Restrictive Solar Ordinances in Monroe   


By Steven Meyer


At the Monroe Dems monthly meeting on June 1st, Paul Wohlfarth delivered a guest presentation about the various groups that have rapidly pushed anti-solar energy ordinances into effect throughout Monroe County. Paul was assisted in the presentation by Mark Farris and Bill Saul. The presenters encouraged everyone to join the Sierra Club’s Michigan Chapter to help advance pro-renewable energy legislation (1). On May 17, both Paul and Bill participated in the Sierra Club’s Citizen Lobby Day in Lansing. Bill explained, “It’s very inexpensive... The day we were there, there were 130 Sierra Club members in Lansing... We went into office after office after office for a whole day... So, if you want to get into a group that’s tied to this really big thing and go solar: Sierra Club.” Legislation that Paul, Bill and the other volunteers lobbied for were “Community Solar” (SB 152-153 and HB 4464-4465), and requested the state to remove the cap on rooftop solar and restore net-metering (2). The Rural Caucus of the Michigan Democratic party also supports the furtherance of solar farms and wind farms (3).


Paul presented a large map of Monroe County from September 2022, colored and labeled with descriptions on each local township about the status of “exclusionary zoning” ordinances on solar energy. The term “exclusionary zoning” is broadly defined and usually refers the methods of bad city planners who enforce racial and class segregation and suppression by distinguishing different areas as single-family housing and multi-family housing, city resources then become inequitably disbursed to those different zones which causes a profoundly disproportionate quality of life between those zones (4). For solar farms “exclusionary zoning” means when local planners limit solar development to industrial zones and restrict it from areas zoned as agricultural or residential. As Paul explained, “This story hasn’t been told at all... [pointing to the map] This all went on in one year. They went from township to township, these anti-green energy groups... and they used an ordinance that was put together in Riga Township by Kevon Martis... He goes around all over the Midwest stopping these green energy projects.” Paul specified some of the restrictive ordinances, “500 ft setbacks off of the property lines... 40 dBA sound limits [equal to a quiet library (5)]... some of them even outlawed P.A. 116 land [A Michigan Law for Farmland Preservation (6)]... Ash Township and Exeter Township... they’re gonna go ten percent lot coverage on solar farms. Ten percent?! You’re not gonna get a solar farm with that”.

Paul described a pivotal event in Monroe, “It was in February of 2022, in Monroe there was a group – it has a Facebook page, ‘Stop Solar! Save the Farms!’” That group sent out invitations titled, “SOLAR ZONING INFORMATION SESSION; An Educational Seminar for Township Officials; Townships Invited Include: Erie, Frenchtown, Ida, LaSalle, London, Milan, & Rasinville; (This meeting is by invitation only due to limited space.)” One line emphasized in large bold letters, “Featured Presenter; Kevon Martis”. Their stated objective, “Meet and network with other township officials that are presently working on solar ordinances. Gain information to make important decisions that will impact your community”. Paul and Mark tried to attend but were denied entry. Paul wrote about it in a column for the Monroe News, “A sign-in desk was at the entrance to screen entrants by the Stop Solar sponsors. Anyone not on the approved list was rejected” (7). The Ida Community Room where it was held has a capacity for 80 people (8), yet as Paul observed, “The meeting drew 40 Monroe township officials including one curious state representative.” Mark Farris named T.C. 

Clements was that now former representative, and he also observed Pat Porter a current Milan Township Planning Commissioner in attendance. So, excluding Paul and Mark from that half-capacity room proved that “limited space” was a lie to try to justify preventing the public from witnessing elected officials from all over Monroe discussing new ordinances “that will impact your community”. Mark immediately filed a complaint with the Attorney General citing a violation of the Open Meetings Act (9). Afterward, all seven of the Monroe Townships named in the invitation have drafted or are currently drafting new ordinances restricting Solar energy.



1: Sierra Club - Michigan Chapter:


2: May 17, 2023 Lobby Day - Sierra Club Michigan – Citizen Lobbyist Handbook (PDF):

3: Positions of the Rural Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party:

4: June 17, 2021 – White House Council of Economic Advisors, “Exclusionary Zoning: Its Effect on Racial Discrimination in the Housing Market”:


5: August 21, 2022 - Audicus article, “Noise levels of everyday sounds”:

6: Michigan Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program, Commonly known as P.A. 116 (pdf):

7: February 23, 2022 – Monroe News Opinion Column by Paul Wohlfarth, “Solar power events were tale of two meetings”:

8: The Ida Township Community Room:

9: Open Meetings Act Handbook – Attorney General Dana Nessel (PDF):

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