Thursday, October 17, 2019

On The Loss of Congressman Elijah Cummings By Purple Walrus Press Contributor and Flint Water Crisis Activist Melissa Mays of Flint.

Today has been one of those days where I fought hard to stay busy. I didn't want to think about the massive loss Flint, Baltimore, the Social Justice world and entire country feels today with the passing of Congressman Elijah Cummings. This man is a hero to so many and I personally looked up to him for guidance and strength to keep speaking the truth. Even though we aren't in his district and he didn't have to, he pushed SO HARD to subpoena Rick Snyder and the Emergency Managers to get the truth out about the Flint Water Crisis. He spoke about courage, human decency and justice. His actions and words aligned. He gave me some of the best advice I will NEVER forget. I will also never forget the words he spoke when he presented me the Spirit of Millie award. Or him letting Snyder have it. Or just telling us to stay strong in Flint because we are not alone. But alone is how I felt for a bit today. I felt sadness, loss and fear for Flint's future as we lost such a strong fighter in our corner. But I reminded myself that I am surrounded by some of the toughest, most resilient people in the world: Flint residents. And that Congressman Cummings showed me that you never stop fighting and the strength of the individual is contagious. He also embodied such strength paired with immeasurable kindness and care to the innocent. I cried but feel comforted in knowing that we will not stop fighting. We aren't alone. And it's time to punch back even harder. For ourselves and for Rep Cummings, who would never want us to stop the fight for Justice for Flint and all the cities like us. Thank you for your service to mankind, Congressman Cummings. Rest in Peace, sir.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sixth Night of Aerial Treatment is Underway to Battle Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Michigan.



Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

To help combat Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), more than 430,700 acres have been treated and a sixth night of aerial treatment is underway, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has announced.

According to MDHHS, areas completed to date include Area 1-1 in Allegan County, Area 2-1 in Barry County, Area 3-1 in Berrien County, Areas 4-1 and 4-2 in Calhoun County, Areas 5-1 and 5-2 in Cass County, Areas 6-1 and 6-2 in Jackson County, Area 8-1 in Kent County, Areas 10-2 and 10-3 in Montcalm County, Area 11-1 in Newaygo County, Areas 12-1, 12-2 and 12-3 in St. Joseph County, 13-1 in Van Buren County and Area 14-1 in Washtenaw County and Area 15-1 in Livingston. Area 1-2 in Allegan County and Area 13-3 in Van Buren County have been partially completed and are on the schedule for tonight.
The areas slated for treatment tonight are on the Aerial Treatment Zones Map and include:
  • Area 1-2 in Allegan County.
  • Areas 4-3 and 4-4 in Calhoun County.
  • Area 8-2 in Kent County.
  • Area 9-1 in Lapeer County.
  • Areas 10-1 in Montcalm County.
  • Areas 13-2 and 13-3 in Van Buren County. 
Tonight’s schedule includes Fort Custer Training Center, a portion of which crosses into Kalamazoo County. The Center has approved aerial treatment. Please refer to the County-level Aerial Treatment Maps for more details of the identified zones’ locations. These schedules are weather dependent and may change.

As of Oct. 4, EEE has been confirmed in nine people, with four fatalities. Cases are in Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties. In addition, cases have occurred in 34 animals from 15 counties: Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Genesee, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lapeer, Livingston, Montcalm, Newaygo, St. Joseph and Van Buren. The mosquitos that spread EEE are still active and were caught in traps set Oct. 1 in southwest Michigan. This according to MDHHS.
More information is available at Michigan.gov/EEE.       

Parola Perspective by Purple Walrus Press Contributor Brooks Parola: Now That Mitt Romney Is Making News Again.

A couple of things now that Romney is making news again:
I said this about Jeb Bush in '16, and Romney could do the same moving forward: that there is a place for a moderate Republican in today's electorate...now, more than ever, as a reaction to Trump.
Imagine a Republican who dares to throw off the right-wing base of the party in favor of a platform that embraces many progressive issues, but stays conservative on something like abortion. You'd have many in this country embracing that especially over a Democratic party that won't welcome them...and the Democrats increasingly, don't welcome them.
In a system that requires you to have the most votes to win (yes, I realize the electoral college does not, but most with common sense, think it should) it's important to have a "Big Tent" party. And yet we have the AOC's, the far left of the party, who would purge anyone that was not pro-choice. And that's exactly how the Republicans portray Democrats as being "anti-religion", and extremist, and how someone like the Republican I've suggested above, could win.
AOC, and others on the far left are bound and determined to do what they've always done: Move the Democratic Party to the left, while continuing to alienate and shun more moderate parts of the electorate, which only results in continuing wins for the far right. I saw a post on a friends page, begging the Dems to not screw up impeachment, from a left-wing publication, as if the far left has won anything in this country. Quite to the contrary, they've lost more times than the Democrats have!
The far left in this country is emboldened by Trump, and the wave of people who despise him, and are confusing that with this belief that more Americans are now embracing their far left agenda. Well, if I had a dime for every time a political party or politician over-reached in my lifetime, I'd be retired to Aruba by now.
Folks, the Dems did not take back the House in '18 because all of those traditionally red districts suddenly turned socialist. All they are, was a reaction against Trump. As a result, those representatives, like Salt Lake City's Ben McAdams, will have to walk a fine moderate line, to stay in office, all while the AOC's of the world attack them, and try to purge them from the party. Forgetting the fact, that the whole reason she has any power at all, is thanks to them.
Folks, I am no fan of Mitt Romney, but if he and other Republicans position themselves as the Republican I've created above, and we let the AOC's of the world run rough-shod over the Democratic Party, be prepared for future Republican rule.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Flint Families Can Receive nutritious Food That May Limit Effects Of Lead Poisoning.

Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

MDHHS continues monthly Flint food giveaway, distributes vitamin-rich food that limits effects of lead exposure


According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Flint families may get nutritious food that can limit the effects of lead exposure during mobile food pantry hours set for October at locations throughout Flint.

According to MDHHS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has provided the Flint mobile food pantries since February 2016 in partnership with the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in Flint.

All mobile food pantry sites distribute foods rich in calcium, vitamin C and iron. Food available in October will include hard squash, sweet corn, onions, carrots, potatoes and bell peppers. Food distribution sites remain open while supplies last.
October dates by location are:
  • Asbury United Methodist Church, 1653 Davison Road.
    • Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 10 a.m.
    • Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 10 a.m.
    • Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 10 a.m.
    • Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 10 a.m.
    • Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 10 a.m.
  • Greater Holy Temple, 6702 N. Dort Hwy.
    • Thursday, Oct. 3, at 10 a.m.
    • Thursday, Oct. 10, at 10 a.m.
    • Thursday, Oct. 17, at 10 a.m.
    • Thursday, Oct. 24, at 10 a.m.
    • Thursday, Oct. 31, at 10 a.m.
  • Calvary United Methodist Church, 2111 Flushing Road.
    • Saturday, Oct. 5, at 10:30 a.m.
  • Bethel United Methodist Church, 1309 Ballenger Hwy.
    • Monday, Oct. 7, at 10 a.m.
    • Monday, Oct. 14, at 10 a.m.
    • Monday, Oct. 21, at 10 a.m.
    • Monday, Oct. 28, at 10 a.m.
  • Salem Lutheran Church, 2610 Martin Luther King Ave.
    • Wednesday, Oct. 9, at 10 a.m.
  • Flint Muslim Food Pantry, 4400 S. Saginaw St.
    • Saturday, Oct. 12, at 9 a.m.
  • Flint First Wesleyan Church, 3825 Davison Road, Flint
    • Saturday, Oct. 12, at 10 a.m.
  • Hispanic Tech Center, 2101 Lewis St.
    • Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 10 a.m.
  • Luke’s NEW Life Center, 3115 Lawndale Ave.
    • Friday, Oct. 18, at 10 a.m.
  • Second Chance Church, 5306 North St.
    • Saturday, Oct. 19, at 9 a.m.
  • Urban Renaissance Center, 2505 N. Chevrolet Ave.
    • Tuesday, Oct.19, at 11 a.m.
Flint residents can also pick up free nutritional food at the three Flint Help Center locations. They are Bethel United Methodist Church, 1309 N. Ballenger Highway, open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays; Asbury United Methodist Church, 1653 Davison Road, open Tuesdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; and Greater Holy Temple, 6702 N. Dort Highway, open Thursdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. This according to MDHHS.

This schedule is subject to change, and information about additional food distribution dates will be announced as they are scheduled. This according to MDHHS. For more information or to find out about any changes in the schedule, visit the Food Bank website at www.FBEM.org and find the updated schedule on the Mobile Pantry Distribution page, or call 810-239-4441.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

To Combat Mosquito Born Disease Aerial Spraying Will Be Conducted In 14 Michigan Counties.





Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to the Michigan Dept of Health and Human Services, due to the large geographic distribution and number of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) cases in humans and animals, coupled with warm weather projections, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and 12 local health departments have decided to conduct aerial spraying in high risk areas to combat further spread of the deadly disease EEE.

According to MDHHS, spraying is scheduled take place starting Sunday, Sept. 29 starting at 8 p.m. However, the ability to spray is weather dependent and the schedule may change. Residents are encouraged to visit Michigan.gov/EEE for up-to-date information.
Spraying will occur in the following 14 counties: Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lapeer, Montcalm, Newaygo, St. Joseph and Van Buren. All of these counties have cases of EEE in people, animals or both. Visit Michigan.gov/EEE for more detailed information.

Aerial spraying is conducted by low-flying aircraft, beginning in the early evening and continuing up until 4:30 a.m. the next morning, in areas of concern. Mosquito control professionals will apply approved pesticides as an ultra-low volume (ULV) spray. ULV sprayers dispense very fine aerosol droplets that stay suspended in the air and kill adult mosquitoes on contact. This is a tactic other states, including Massachusetts and Rhode Island, have recently employed to combat EEE. This according to MDHHS.

“We are taking this step to help protect the health and safety of Michiganders in areas of the state that are being affected by this dangerous mosquito-borne disease,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “The continuing number of cases in both people and animals indicate an ongoing risk for EEE exposure. We continue to urge residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites until a hard frost.” According to MDHHS.

The pesticide being used is Merus 3.0 which is an organic pesticide containing 5 percent pyrethrin. Pyrethrins are chemicals found naturally in some chrysanthemum flowers. They are a mixture of six chemicals that are toxic to insects. Pyrethrins are commonly used to control mosquitoes, fleas, flies, moths, ants and many other pests. Pyrethrins have been registered for use in pesticides since the 1950s.

As stated in a September 27 press release from MDHHS, in general, health risks are not expected during or after spraying. No special precautions are recommended; however, residents and individuals who have known sensitivities to pyrethrins can reduce potential for exposure by staying indoors during spraying. Aerial spraying is not expected to have any impacts on surface water or drinking water.                                                                      

Aerial spraying will be conducted in the nighttime hours as this is when mosquitos are more active. It is also when fish are less likely to be at the surface feeding and honeybees are most likely to be in their hives. However, owners should cover small ornamental fishponds during the night of spraying. While it is not necessary to bring animals indoors during spraying, concerned pet owners can bring animals inside during spraying.

Additional information about aerial spraying and other health-related information is available in a Frequently Asked Questions document at Michigan.gov/EEE.

As of Sept. 27, EEE has been confirmed in nine people, with three fatalities, in Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties. In addition, cases have occurred in 27 animals from 13 counties: Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Genesee, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lapeer, Montcalm, Newaygo, St. Joseph and Van Buren. There is an EEE vaccine available for horses, but not for people. Additional animal cases are under investigation, according to staement by MDHHS.

MDHHS is continuing to encourage local officials in the affected counties to consider postponing, rescheduling or cancelling outdoor activities occurring at or after dusk, particularly activities that involve children. This would include events such as late evening sports practices or games or outdoor music practices. The MDHHS recommendation is being made out of an abundance of caution to protect the public health and applies until the first hard frost of the year.

EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33 percent fatality rate in people who become ill. People can be infected with EEE from the bite of a mosquito carrying the viruses. Persons younger than age 15 and over age 50 are at greatest risk of severe disease following infection, according to MDHHS.

Although the aerial spray is considered necessary to reduce human risk, it will not eliminate it. Residents must continue to protect themselves from mosquito bites by:
  • Avoid being outdoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitos that carry the EEE virus are most active.
  • Applying insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved product to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
  • Maintaining window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Emptying water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.
  • Using nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.
Signs of EEE infection include the sudden onset of fever, chills, body and joint aches which can progress to a severe encephalitis, resulting in headache, disorientation, tremors, seizures and paralysis. Anyone who thinks they may be experiencing these symptoms should contact a medical provider. Permanent brain damage, coma and death may also occur in some cases.
More information, including a Frequently Asked Questions document, are available at Michigan.gov/EEE.  This according to MDHHS.