Thursday, April 1, 2021

Concerns Over EMU Sexual Assault Cases: EMU President James Smith Statement Regarding U.S. Rep Debbie Dingell Letter to Dept of Education.

Photo Jeff Brown Purple Walrus Press.

Editor in Chief & Publisher Jeff Brown.

 Amid a federal lawsuit, criminal charges, and a letter from Representative Debbie Dingell to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cadona relating to sexual assaults reported at Eastern Michigan University, EMU President James Smith has released the following statement.

We welcome and appreciate Congresswoman Dingell's concern about this matter and share her interest in the safety and well-being of our students. We have stated from the outset our willingness to further engage in a review of University actions related to these cases, and this remains our commitment. 

We appreciate the Department of Education’s support of institutions’ Title IX compliance efforts, and we would welcome its review of our actions, which are also currently being assessed by the independent external firm of Cozen O'Connor -- a national specialist in Title IX work. The University is committed to learning every detail as to whether our processes related to these cases were followed and, if not, why not and what steps should be taken so that our students are protected and feel supported in reporting sexual assault. We have stated from the beginning of this matter that we are committed to full transparency in this process – and the Cozen O’Connor report will be made public when it is finalized later this spring.

I want to reiterate my deep and unwavering support for all survivors of sexual assault, and our commitment to do everything we can to provide a safe environment for our students. There is no place for sexual violence in our community. 

The survivors who have come forward are showing incredible bravery in choosing to tell their stories.

Protecting students is critical to the University’s educational mission. Our staff in law enforcement, Title IX, student affairs, and elsewhere work tirelessly every day to try to create a safe and supportive community for students, faculty and staff. 

The University has initiated several actions in recent years to create greater awareness and encourage the reporting of sexual assaults. Much of this has been accomplished as a result of grants we have been awarded by the State of Michigan in recognition of these efforts. Details can be found in this Title IX grants update

James Smith, Ph.D. 
President, Eastern Michigan University

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Hate To Say It But Michigan COVID-19 Rate Is Surging: Statement From Congresswoman Debbie Dingell.


Photo Jeff Brown Purple Walrus Press.

Editor in Chief & Publisher Jeff Brown.

I hate to say it folks, but currently the COVID-19 rate is surging in Michigan. In fact, Michigan has the highest rate of COVID-19 in the nation. While many states are showing a decrease in the number of COVID 19 cases, the same cannot be said for Michigan. On Wednesday, the state's seven day average for daily cases was 2,073...the highest since the middle of January. Why we are having what appears to be a significant surge of COVID-19 here in Michigan I really don't know, but the truth is that there is a surge.

On Thursday Congresswoman Debbie Dingell addressed this rise in COVID 19 cases in the state in a post. Read her statement below:

"Day 367. Michigan needs to pay attention. Our numbers are not going in the right direction. On Wednesday, the state reported 3,164 new confirmed cases of the virus, bringing the seven-day average of new daily cases to 2,073, the highest seven-day average since Jan. 18. The total number of COVID-19 outbreaks statewide rose this week by 9% over last week to 645. The biggest proportion of outbreaks are tied to the K-12 school settings. A couple of schools in my district have had to close for quarantines for a week or two. And hospitalizations are up. We know we have different strains of COVID in the state. There are more than 725 known cases of the very contagious B.1.1.7 variant in the state and we account for 15% of the known cases of that strain in the U.S. We have had one identified case of the South Africa variant. We need to be aware. We could be headed for a dangerous surge and none of us wants that. We all need to keep following the guidelines. We need to get vaccinated and if we are vaccinated still use a great deal of common sense which includes wearing mask and keeping our distances."

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Spring Is Just Around The Corner: Register For Ypsi Arbor Little League!

By Editor in Chief & Publisher Jeff Brown.

 Folks, it may not feel like it right now, but spring is right around the corner, and you know what that means, right?. It means baseball, of course!! Yes, it is time to dig out those bats, balls, and gloves! This is the time to register your ballplayer for Ypsi Arbor Little League, and start breaking in those mitts!

Founded in 1953, Ypsi Arbor Little League has been around for decades, and is the oldest little league in the state of Michigan. Further, they are the first Little League in America to include a female player, Carolyn King! Not too shabby.

Games are played from early May through late June. There is t-ball, coach pitch, minors, majors, and junior teams. Games are played at Recreation Park and Candy Cane Park in Ypsilanti.

Players at every skill level are invited to join and scholarships are available for families that qualify. All players and coaches will be required to wear masks and social distancing will be practiced. Registration is currently open for all age groups.

Shake off those winter blues and register for Ypsi Arbor Little League today! You'll be glad you did.

Registration information can be found on their website.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Ann Arbor Parents Rally for Safe Return to Voluntary In-Person School Saturday In Downtown Ann Arbor.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

Editor in Chief & Publisher Jeff Brown.

 Approximately 100 parents and health professionals braved frigid temperatures to participate in a rally in downtown Ann Arbor Saturday afternoon calling for a safe return to voluntary in-person learning. Demonstrators called for a "Reasonable Return" to voluntary, hybrid in person schooling. Recently a petition was signed by over 600 community members reportedly following the opinion of 130 local physicians and pediatric providers. According to a statement from protest organizers, "Health experts agree that schools can reopen and remain open safely, without driving COVID transmission."

Demonstrators carried signs saying, 'Set a Date Families Need A Choice', 'Children Before Unions' and 'Kids Need Classrooms.' The demonstration began with protesters chanting 'Communicate Set A Date' and 'Whitmer Says Open Schools/Doctors Say Open Schools.' Many of the parent protesters brought their school age children to participate in the protest which began at noon. 

The debate as to whether or not schools should return to in person learning has been contentious in the Ann Arbor area. What is for certain is that all members of the Ann Arbor school community are deeply divided on the issue.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Governor Whitmer State of The State Address Tonight.

Editor in Chief & Publisher Jeff Brown.

 Governor Whitmer will be delivering her State of the State address Wednesday night January 27. This will be her third State of State address. The address is going to be virtual. 

The address is scheduled to begin at 7 PM and will be live streamed.

The governor is expected to talk about her COVID-19 recovery plan and a new job initiative. The plan would have to be approved by the Republican controlled legislature.