Friday, April 29, 2016


The Ypsi Area Show and Shine Car Show is soon upon us and I can't wait! The show will take place Sunday, May 1 in Riverside Park in our fair city of Ypsilanti, of course!
Riverside Park, by the way, is one of the most beautiful parks in the county and provides the perfect locale for this great event.

If you love cars, I know I do, then you are going to have a blast checking out all the different kinds, types, makes and models displayed at this show. But there's more! The event will also be featuring live music, food and other fun stuff.

When Sunday comes make sure you get over to Riverside Park in Ypsilanti and check it out. Make sure you bring the kids, too!

The Ypsi Area Show and Shine Car Show.
Riverside Park
Ypsilanti, Mi
9am - 4pm  Sunday, May 1.

Jeff Brown
Editor in Chief
Purple Walrus Press

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Leslie Van Houten, Leslie Van Houten. Why does that name sound so familiar? Hmm. Oh, I know. Because she was one of the Charles Manson "Family" members convicted of murdering Leno and Rosemary La Bianco in Hollywood Hills CA in the summer of 1969.

As many of you may or may not recall, Charles Manson was the leader of what was basically a cult leader in California who wished to start a revolution in which blacks and whites would be pitted against each other in violent revolution. In his deranged scheme based on what he perceived as secret messages sent to him exclusively by The Beatles in the lyrics of their latest album titled The Beatles, more commonly known as The White Album, he believed that after the race war ended he would emerge as the supreme world leader. Yikes. The Beatles song Helter Skelter was interpreted as containing the contents or framework of the apocalyptic race revolution which would result with him reigning supreme. Coo coo, I know. Imagine how the Beatles themselves must have felt at the time.

Anyway, on the evening of August 9, 1969 Charles Manson ordered "Family members, Leslie Van Houten, Steve "Clem" Grogan and four other family members who on the previous night had murdered socialites Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigal Folger, and Wojciech, to go out and kill super market mogul Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary. Manson sent Van Houten and two others up to the house. Van Houten stabbed Rosemary LaBianca 41 times.

In a trial in Los Angelos, CA,  that began on June 15, 1970 Leslie Van Houten was charged with two counts of murder and one count of conspiracy.

This brings us to today. On April 15, 2016, Leslie Van Houten, age 66,  was recommended for parole after serving 46 years in prison. The decision was made at a hearing at the California Institution for Women according to the Los Angelos Times. What happens next is that there will be a review of the decision by a legal team and then it will all be up to California governor Jerry Brown who does have the ability to block the recommendation.

I remember reading the book Helter Skelter after it came out when I was in Junior high school in Flint in 1975. It was spooky creepy then, and its spooky creepy now. As for her possible release, I don't know. Many members of victims families continue to suffer the consequences of  the murders that took pace on the evenings of August 8 and 9 in 1969. Hopefully, the families of the victims will have some say in regard to the final decision regarding the parole of Leslie Van Houten, We shall see.

Jeff Brown
Editor in Chief
Purple Walrus Press
Leslie Van Houten far right with other Manson "Family" member during 1970 trial. Photo credit USAtoday.comAdd caption

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Purple Walrus Press Writers Alley. Poem by Mack Macateer.

We are fallen stars sleeping in a tropical world
Under a sky woven into flickering atmospheric patterns
Palm trees silhouetted against indigo violet clouds
Cars drive by on the highway above and next to us, their lights trailing off into the distance
We are the island youth
Vagabonds and pirates
We sleep like a pack of dogs, cuddling one another for warmth
A harmonica lazily drones in the darkness
A single coqui frog sings in response
Melting the night
We live to be free another day

Mack Macateer

If you would like to be published in Purple Walrus Press Writers Alley submit your poetry, fiction or non fiction to

Monday, April 25, 2016


First, let me say what a wonderful organization Water Defense is. As many of you know Water Defense has been spending a lot of time in Flint lately testing the water in the city. They have a simple message. As stated on their website, "Water Defense is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to clean water". They believe, and I'm directly quoting their website, "That water is a fundamental human right". Their mission is, "To use technology and public engagement to inform people about what is in their water. That's pretty damn beautiful in my opinion in light of all the misinformation, lack of information or plain old non-information from the State of Michigan

Well, what has Water Defense found in Flint water? Plenty. Scott Smith, who is the Technology Officer and Investigator from Water Defense told MLIVE that, "Testing the water in Flint has shown trihalomethanes such as chloroform in the water in some of the homes". Again, this as reported in MLIVE Sunday April, 24, 2016, and is not a direct quote, but is based on information in the article.
Okay. Well what the heck is chloroform? I did some checking. According to Delaware Health and Human Services, " Chloroform is man-made and comes from chlorine which is used to disinfect water. It is also used in industrial processes. It is colorless with a sweet taste. The Delaware Health and Human Services also states that, "Low levels of chloroform are found in the air and inland rivers and lakes and ground water. It can also be found in the air above swimming pools".

"Chloroform is used as a solvent, and is used in paper and board industries. It is also used in pesticides".

According to Delaware Health and Human Services, "Most of the population is exposed to low levels of chloroform in food, drinking water and indoor air". According to the website, "Exposure to higher levels of chloroform is very unlikely for anyone outside industries using or manufacturing chloroform".

According to the Delaware Health and Human services website, "Chloroform effects the central nervous system , liver, and kidneys in humans exposed to large amounts of chloroform through drinking liquids or breathing air containing large amounts of chloroform". All of this information regarding chloroform is from the Delaware Health and Human Services website. In high enough amounts it can be very harmful.

For me, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, this does beg the question, how much chloroform has been found in the Flint city drinking and bathing water and at what levels? I can only speculate that because of the fact that it was mentioned by Water Defense that chloroform was found in water samples from some Flint homes that it not a normal finding. On top of all the other garbage going on in regard to the Flint Water Crisis I find this news confusing, disturbing and pretty damn frustrating to be honest. There seems to be an ever continuing maze of new and often times conflicting information. Again, I'll echo the sentiments Mayor Karen Weaver has stated many times, just dig up and replace all the pipes!

Stay tuned for up dated information on this complicated matter.

Jeff Brown
Editor in Chief
Purple Walrus Press

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Did you know that Geno Auriemma, women's basketball coach at the University of Connecticut, emigrated to America at age 7 from his native Italy? The rest is history. Fast forward to storrs Connecticut.

Geno Auriemma Hall of Fame women's basketball coach at the University of Connecticut came to UCONN from the University of Virginia where he was an assistant coach of women's basketball. He arrived at UCONN in 1985 to become head coach of women's basketball.

Upon his arrival he was known to have said, "What a dump". "I will be out of here in 4 years". His salary was $26,000. Thirty one years later coach Auriemma has won 11 national championships, was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame and has established UCONN basketball as the capitol of women's basketball. His latest success is winning 4 national championships in 2013-14-15 and 16. He also has has been asked twice to coach the USA'S  women's basketball team, winning the gold both times. It is fair to say that he is making in  excess of $26,000.

Looking back to 1985 and his remarks of, "What a dump" UCONN has become a world class university and 4 years has become 31 years. Geno- Be careful what you say!

 Gerry Brown
AKA Figlio Sicily
AKA Sigimo

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Recently, I had the opportunity to see the film Pride, released in 2014. Pride chronicles a noble chapter in the gay liberation struggle, when working-class gay activists took up the cause of striking miners in Great Britain during the crushing rule of Margret Thatcher. 

Pride is a mainstream, bigish-budget flick, but focuses it's formulaic attention on the right action. I truly enjoyed it, found it both entertaining and edifying. And, best of all, cathartic. I especially loved the somber and poignant rendition of "Bread and Roses," sung by the miners in the union hall. After the show, I wikipediaed the song, got the amazing backstory to it, and memorized the lyrics (there are only four versas; or stanzas; or whatever).

Pride made me proud. It made me angry. It gave me hope. It is an inspiring flim that spotlights a tremendous moment of real solidarity in the workers' movement. 

Purple Walrus Press contributor


Finally, charges have been pressed in connection to the Flint Water Crisis. It was announced today  that Michigan Department of Environmental Quality employees, Mike Prysby and Steven Busch are charged with misconduct in office, conspiracy to tamper with evidence and willful neglect of office.

A third individual, Flint employee Michael Glasgow has been charged with tampering with evidence and willful neglect of office. This according to Local 4 Detroit at 10:39 a.m. this morning.

A press conference held by Attorney General Bill Schuette will begin a 1 pm.

Stay tuned for updates.

Jeff Brown
Editor in Chief

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Minutes ago as I was working on a Flint Water Crisis article for tomorrow I learned that on Wednesday Attorney General Bill Schuette will be announcing criminal charges against individuals in connection to the Flint Water Crisis. According to the Detroit Free Press up to four people may be criminally charged including an individual with the City of Flint as well as individuals "connected" with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Stay tuned. Look for a PWP update tomorrow.

Jeff Brown
Editor in Chief


It is clear that the young people of Flint are a major priority for for Black Eyed Peas Rapper Taboo. He spoke to, let me re-phrase that, he LISTENED to 25 people including many young people from Flint at The Community Foundation of Greater Flint on Saturday.

I personally am very moved by the fact that Taboo came to Flint with the sole purpose of listening to young people in the city. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be many opportunities for young people in Flint to express themselves in this kind of forum regarding the Flint water crisis.

This Flint visit by Taboo is so incredibly inspiring and motivating for people in the community and provides exactly the kind of support people need.

Listen, the State of Michigan certainly has not extended this kind of support or empathy for young people in Flint. What a shining example of love and unity Taboo has shown the entire community.

Jeff Brown
Editor in Chief
Purple Walrus Press.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Purple Walrus Press Poetry Corner: Poem by Mack Macateer

Still a lone wolf
After all these years I've roamed
Seeking life or death
On the winds ive traveled 
To where i thought was home
If i find my way in this no mans land
This paradise lost
I hope its where the love is
Cause im sitting at the edge of the world
With my heart in my hands
And im throwing it into the ocean
Where the Pacific has no memory

Mack Macateer


Joannah Soderborg    Purple Walrus Press contributor.

      Cleveland is an underrated city.  I recently spent some time there and was reminded of some great museums they have to offer.  The Cleveland Museum of Art has an extension collection of painting, sculptures, and artifacts.  The Natural History Museum is right by it and is equally impressive.   Both have extended hours one day a week and are also FREE.
    The Rock-n-Roll hall of Fame Museum also calls Cleveland home.  It is $23.00 for adults but the price is well worth it.  If you love music, you will love the costumes, guitars, props, and hand written lyrics on display.  There is also lots of music you can listen to and videos to watch.  I happily spent 5 hours there and could have easily spent more time.  So, get your friends or family and trek the 3 hours east to Cleveland.

Saturday, April 16, 2016


A big thank you to hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons. An all-natural "pop-up" grocery store is opening this weekend in the parking lot of the New Jerusalem Full Gospel Baptist Church on Carpenter Road in Flint. RushCard, which is a company co-founded by Russell Simmons, is contributing in the funding of the grocery store. And get this, not only does the store offer natural food but it also offers free nutritional classes. Love it. As we know, nutritional information is extremely important in coping with the water crisis in the city.

In March Simmons visited Flint when he donated 150,000 bottles of water and spoke at length to Flint residents about the crisis. In a statement in March to M LIVE Simmons said, "What is happening in Flint is a reflection of how both the government, with the water crisis, and the private sector, with the fresh food shortage, have fallen short in serving community needs".

This pop-up grocery store speaks volumes for not only Russell Simmons, but for his company RushCard.

Jeff Brown
Editor in Chief
Purple Walrus Press


On Thursday, April 14 workers in over 300 American cities went on strike demanding a $15 an hour work wage. Workers from various fields went on strike, from professors to fast-food workers, and rightfully so. As most of us realize, $8.50 doesn't quite cut it to put it mildly. Rising a family on $8.50 an hour is a joke, and not a funny one. With all of the talk about "family values" in this country $8.50 is cruel. But it seems the United States is not a compassionate country as far as many state and federal policies. Here's to striking workers in 300 cities! It is time to raise the minimum wage and right now,

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press

Thursday, April 14, 2016


On Utah republican Senator Mike Lee's website it says, "Mike standing for you". Well, he certainly doesn't care about the people of Flint, Michigan because he just blocked up to $250 million in funding in the energy bill that was ear-marked to aide in the Flint water crisis. The fact that Senator Lee blocked funding is not only disgusting but difficult to fathom. Well, let me take that back. In light of all the deception and lying going on by the State of Michigan and the governors office nothing surprises me anymore, and I'm sure I'm speaking for the 100,000 residents of Flint who are having to suffer through this seemingly endless water crisis.

I put in a call today to Senator Lee's office in Utah inquiring as to how and why he would choose to block funding for Flint and other communities with water issues. I'm sure I won't hear from him or any of his staffers. Of course, if anyone from his office did return my call they would surely say in response to my question that the State of Michigan has a rainy day fund for this man-made disaster and that its up to the states, blah, blah, blah. Well, the bottom line is that I still don't see much action at all happening in Flint as far as fixing this on-going water crisis. There has been much media attention but little action. I certainly don't blame Flint Mayor Karen Weaver for the inaction, I do blame the State of Michigan and the federal government for cool, cold and callous inaction.

Jeff Brown
Editor in Chief
Purple Walrus Press

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Let me tell you that when I learned in January that the Pretzel Bell restaurant was returning to Ann Arbor I thought I was going to faint! No kidding! What joy this news gives me! For decades the Pretzel Bell was an Ann Arbor institution. When I say institution I mean INSTITUTION! In legendary status it was right up there Tommy Harmon, Ricky Leach,  Bo Schembechler, and The MC 5! The MC 5? Oh, why not?! Phew! I'm beside myself!

Anyway, the Pretzel Bell opened its doors in 1934 on Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor. After the restaurant closed its door in 1985 I could hardly walk past the old location without having a good cry. For years and years the P Bell was thee place to go. Down to earth , friendly, cozy, lively, and brimming with good ole down home comfort food. You always left (or staggered out) with a smile on your face and a satisfied tummy.

The incredible news is that it is back! The doors of the new Pretzel Bell will open on April 14. It is pleasantly located at 226 S. Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor. Perfect locale! Make sure you check out the pastrami-spiced pork shoulder served with grits.Oh, baby! Also enjoy craft beer and wine! Oh baby, baby! Perfect!

Jeff Brown
Editor in Chief
Purple Walrus Press

Photo Credit:

Monday, April 11, 2016


In a press release Monday, April 11, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services stated that two more deaths in Genesee County have been attributed to Legionnaries Disease. The MDHHS  reported in Monday's statement that from 2014 to 2015 there have been 91 cases and 12 deaths from Legionnaries in county.

For some odd reason the three additional cases from 2014 and 2015 were not reported to the public health system. According to the MDHHS press release two cases were not "Properly reported" to the public health system and the third case was somehow reported in a "Different jurisdiction".

 A public health investigation is trying to figure out where people who have died or have been sickened with Legionnaires Disease were exposed to the illness. Places where it is believed people contracted the disease include hospitals, water, and community venues according to the release.

The press release also stated that the MDHHS "Cannot conclude that the increase is related to the water switch in Flint nor can we rule out a possible association at this time".

Not only is this new information disturbing but it suggests to me that once again the public has not been made aware of extremely important information regarding a life threatening illness lurking in the Flint area. Oh, and yes, it is not much of a leap to speculate that this out break of Legionnaires is directly related to the Flint water crisis. I mean come on!

Jeff Brown
Editor in Chief
Purple Walrus Press.


On April 13 Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon and Department of Environmental Quality Director Keith Creagh will testify before congress in Washington D.C. Further, I'm glad to say that local hero Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha will also be there testifying. Dr. Mona is the real hero of the Flint Water Crisis.

The hearing will begin at 10:00 am and will be live streamed so watch for it. It will be well worth your time to check it out. I thoroughly enjoyed watching EPA administrator Gina McCarthy and governor Snyder being grilled by congress last month. They were both strongly reprimanded by most congressmen and women, Unfortunately, I'm not sure how much good that really did because to these eyes there is still a total lack of urgency in fixing the Flint water crisis.

Stayed tuned for updates.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press

Saturday, April 9, 2016


 Speaking as I guy from Flint with family and strong ties in the Flint community, boy, I'm doing a lot of head scratching theses days. Like most people, whether you have have ties to the community or not, I am disgusted and horrified by this Flint water crisis. As far as the head scratching I'll start with this.  The latest news I've learned is that as of March 31 only a mere handful of homes have had their rotten, corroded, lead laden, and toxic poisonous water pipes replaced. 14 to be exact. Why such a small number?

In early March Flint Mayor Karen Weaver began the Fast Start initiative. The idea was to replace water infrastructure for 30 homes in 30 days. Weaver says that state lawmakers still have yet to approve $25 million requested by governor Snyder. Now, that is one helluva a head scratcher! Why on earth is that money not being approved? I don't get it.

The lack of necessary funding approval to fix the water crisis is appalling, but there is more troubling news. In an article by City Lab it was stated that several homes that tested high in lead and have had their water lines dug up have, wait for it, copper lines not lead! I'm no water line expert but this tells me that all of the water lines in Flint need to be replaced now.

The State of Michigan and the federal government must fix this disaster. For crying out loud, just dig up the whole water infrastructure and do it quickly!

Jeff Brown


Thursday, April 7, 2016


At precisely 9:20 am, Monday, April 4, on an otherwise normal Michigan morning, a man, I mean woman, no, I mean  man sashayed into the PNC Bank on West Grand River in Brighton, Mi and pulled off one stunning bank robbery. I mean it was pulled off with the utmost style and pizzazz.! Can someone say Tootsie?(1982 Dustin Hoffman movie). Indeed, the robber was a man dressed as a women, a rather well dressed woman with black wig and all.

The man showed a gun and also apparently what looked like a bomb. Geez! That's hardcore! Makes you wonder what the bomb looked like. I mean a gun and a bomb is a lot to schlep, especially in a maroon and white dress, blue scarf and maroon full length dress coat! Also noteworthy is that our stylish robbers get away car was a mustang. Nice!

My only suggestion is that for our stunning bank robbers next bank hold up that he selects a nice navy pantsuit instead of a dress.

Jeff Brown
Editor in Chief
Purple Walrus Press

Photo credit to

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Graham Nash is back and I'm excited about it. On April 15 he will release his first collection of new songs since 2002. Word on the street has it that This Path Tonight is one of  the strongest albums of his long career. Can't wait! Graham has been through a lot of late including including a separation from his wife. From what I know he's sorting things out and writing about emotional challenges and courage on this new record. I respect artists who wear their emotions on their sleeve and bare all to the world. That's why musicians like John Lennon, Kristen Hersh, Neil Young and Graham Nash are truly great artists. We can all relate to them and that's a beautiful thing.

Jeff Brown

Graham Nash  Photo by

Monday, April 4, 2016


Okay, let me get this straight. On December, 28, 2015 a Flint city hall employee returning from holiday break discovered that a window at city hall was broken. Upon entering the building the employee discovered that an office was broken into. Reports stated that inside the office documents containing the city's water information were scattered on the floor, and also that a T.V was missing. Indeed, M Live reported that officials said that an office inside city hall was broken into and that it contained documents that related to the city's water system. Wow! Further, M Live reported that the Flint Police stated that a break-in occurred at a vacant suite (sounds kind of swanky) that contained documents relating to the city's water system.

In a March 18 M Live article new Flint Police Chief Tim Johnson stated, " It was definitely an inside job. The power cord to the T.V  wasn't even taken. The average drug user knows that you need the power cord to be able to pawn it." Inside Job? Hmm.

Lets see. This burglary occurred at the same time that the Flint Water Crisis was beginning to receive big time national and world wide headlines. At this same time suddenly a Flint city hall office containing information and documents about the city's water system is burglarized. Doesn't this all sound more than a little SUSPICIOUS! Kind of brings to mind another burglary that occurred 44 years ago in this country. Now, who or whom would have it in their best interests to steal water documents from Flint city hall? Lets see. Let me think. Oh! how about this for speculation! Could it be that someone in the governors office decided that there was or could be evidence in the Flint city water records that may implicate the Snyder administration in criminal negligence in regard to the water crisis? Could it be that some aide to the governor decided to hire some schmuck to break into the city hall office or "vacant suite" with intent to find and destroy evidence that might incriminate the Snyder administration? Or how about this? Maybe the Michigan Dept of Environmental Quality was frightened about evidence that might incriminate THEM  in wrong doing or criminal negligence in relation to the Water crisis: Hell, what if the EPA hired someone to break into the office for the same reason. Who the heck knows . But the truth is that it is oddly coincidental that just as the entire nation if not the whole world was learning about the Flint Water Crisis atrocity an office at Flint City Hall containing city water files and documents was broken into. Yes, it does sound familiar.

Wild speculation? I don't think so. Where is Deep Throat when you need him?! This break-in should be viewed as one hell of a national scandal.

Jeff Brown
Editor in Chief
Purple Walrus Press

Friday, April 1, 2016


Chicago teachers have gone on strike today and who can blame them? This is a massive strike. We are talking 20,000 teachers. Word is that it will be a one-day strike though it may stretch out longer. Striking teachers are demanding  funding for basic classes like gym and art. Heck, they need funding for basic supplies! One striker who was on CNN wondered why kids in the city of Chicago can't have what kids have out in the suburbs? That sums up how many feel, and boy, isn't it the truth.

I would like to point out that in 2015 the Congressional Research Service (Sounds quite formidable doesn't it?) reported that, "The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost U.S tax payers $1.6 trillion dollars! Holy mackerel! That's a lot of dough! Yet, teachers are forced to make due without proper supplies and kids in Chicago are cheated out of classes like gym, art, and supplies. What a raw deal.

Jeff Brown Editor in Chief