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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Issue of the Week: Drunken Driving

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Issue of the Week: Drunken Driving

A recent report put Wisconsinites at the top of the list for drunken driving, with more than 25% of those polled admitting that they’ve driven while intoxicated in the past year. Unfortunately, the dangers of driving while under the influence hit home when pregnant Oconomowoc school administrator Jennifer Bukosky and her daughter were killed by a driver who’d had his license revoked for multiple OWI violations just two days before the accident.

The driver, former surgeon Mark Benson, apparently has a long history of substance abuse; his medical license was taken away in 2004 and he was sentenced for a 2007 drunken driving conviction to 75 days in the Waukesha County work-release jail, where he was to begin serving by May 9. What to do? Provide better information, beginning in elementary school, so kids stop drunken parents from driving? Increase the penalties for drunken driving offenses? Increase mass transit options, so drinkers can get home safely after a night on the town?

Send your suggestions to editor@shepex.com or go to www.expressmilwaukee.com.


Blog of the Week: “Rev. Wright Isn’t Running for President”
Michael Leon/MAL Contends (malcontends.blogspot.com)

“It’s worth noting, then, that whatever one believes of the ex-Marine’s oratory, Rev. Wright is not running for president and absolutely nothing has been presented to suggest that Obama is/has been/will be carrying on Wright’s views in any policy. “That’s likely because Wright has not made any policy pronouncements.

“He just likes to spout off at what makes him angry; maybe some talking heads like to do the same thing at times; maybe we do too. But Marines and black preachers can be a bit heavy-handed, unlike the judicious and thoughtful folks on cable TV.”


Rev. Jeremiah Wright


Jerk of the Week: Neil Noesen

Noesen is the notorious Menomonie pharmacist who refused to fill a woman’s birth control prescription— and then withheld the prescription from her— because he doesn’t believe in contraceptives and therefore won’t dispense them to women.

(You read that right.) He was disciplined by the state Pharmacy Examining Board, then took his case to court. Since his appeal failed, he’s trying to get the state Supreme Court—now dominated by right-wingers—to take a look. We say: If you don’t want to dispense pills, don’t become a pharmacist.


EVENT OF THE WEEK:

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo this weekend at UMOS, 2701 S. Chase Ave., where two stages will feature Mexican music and dance, plus children’s entertainment, food, merchandise, piatas, face painting and more. The free event takes place on Saturday, May 3, and Sunday, May 4, from noon to 9 p.m. Carnival rides will be given on Thursday, May 1, and Friday, May 2, as well. For more information, call 389-6007 or go to www.umos.org.


Winners of the Week: Energy Profiteers

While the price of a gallon of gas has hit an all-time high at $3.75 locally, and electricity rates have been raised twice since Jan. 1, energy corporations are posting enormous profits. Royal Dutch Shell posted a record profit—$9.08 billion—for the first three months of 2008. BP increased its profit 63% during the same period, to $7.62 billion. And the biggest of them all, ExxonMobil, reported the highest quarterly and annual profits ever—ever—in the last quarter of 2007, when its profits soared to $11.66 billion.

The company will post its latest numbers on May 1. Not to be outdone, local utility We Energies reported a $123 million profit for the first quarter of 2008, thanks to a cold winter. That’s a 22% increase in profits over last year. The company is able to pass along the rising cost of fuel to its customers—the reason why our rates have been hiked twice in four months.


QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people.” —Cesar Chavez

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