Friday, May 26, 2006

It's Not Too Much To Ask

From The Detroit News comes the story of Councilwoman Barbara Ziarko, who recently asked the city's legal staff to prepare an ordinance requiring the translations on exterior signs. There's a lot to this story once you find out who's involved.

"This is for the safety of our residents as well as our police and fire (personnel)," Ziarko said. "If emergency crews can properly identify a location, they can know if there are chemicals or dangerous substances (on the premises)."

This is certainly reasonable and in fact it contributes to neighborhood safety and the protection of police and fire personnel.

Paul Zalewski, the city's fire marshal, said identification problems began cropping up over the last two to three months when one of his inspectors began alerting him to difficulties locating certain businesses.

"He told me, 'If I'm having this problem, the engine companies are probably going to have this problem too,' " Zalewski said. He estimated no more than 50 businesses would be affected. .

Emergency officials said people calling in fires or other emergencies often don't have addresses handy, and use landmarks or names to direct emergency crews.

Makes sense doesn't it?

But, Noooooooo! Guess who jumps to the forefront of not serving the best interests of the whole community?

"I can't swallow any effort that moves in the direction of forcing a person or entity to utilize English," said Imad Hamad, regional director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Read about Imad and his love affair with Hezbollah.

How long will it be before he's joined by the jackals of the ACLU? After all, they honored Imad at a Fund of Michigan Annual Dinner where the keynote speaker was none other than Howie "the scream" Dean. A humorous note here, Dean's speech indicated that Democrats lost the 2004 election because they simply could not articulate what they believed in. Ya think???

And finally the voice of reason from a local shop owner who is already complying.

Jamal Shaow's Babylon Fruit Market in Sterling Heights already has two signs, one above the door and another atop a sign by the roadway. And each features the store name twice, once in Arabic and again in English.

For his part, Shaow said he has no problem if Sterling Heights opts to require English-language identifiers such as "Grocery" or "Bakery" beneath a store name that appears in Chinese, Japanese, Arabic or another language.

"Personally, I don't have anything against that idea," he said. "I think we should have them. We live in the United States, so having a sign in English isn't too much to ask."

No, Mr. Shaow, it's not.

Michelle Malkin: English-Only Fight...At The Nail Salon

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