Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Power of the Pen.

By Bob Resch: Purple Walrus Press.

In my lifetime I've never spent much time thinking about a ball point
pen.  For me, it always had just one function.  Writing.  Pure and
simple.   It was either blue or black ink,  and I carried one
throughout all my school and working years.  No big deal.  But, as I
watched President Donald Trump signing his executive orders recently,
a whole new level of interest in the pen came to mind.

History tells us that ancient Egyptians in 3150 BC discovered that
they could convert bamboo stems into a primitive form of a fountain
pen.  They formed a nub on one end and pushed a writing fluid through
the stem and were able to communicate.  In 1888 Jon Loud, a American
leather tanner patented a roller tip marking pen that had too many
problems for it to be mass produced.  In 1935, The Biro brothers from
Hungry hit on the idea that would become the modern day marking pen.
Today the "Ball Point" pen is about 5 1/2 inches in length and comes
in a wide variety of makes and models with tons of colors to boot. The
"feel" of a pen is a function of it's weight, thickness, length and
balance.  A "Technical Pen" is used by an engineer, architect or
drafter because lines have to be consistent.  Back in the day we all
remember the fabled "Fountain Pen".  God forbid it leaked in one's

President Obama used a black lacquer Cross Townshend rolling ball pen
when signing official documents into law.  He used 22 of them to sign
the Affordable Care Act in 2010.  He used so many because he would
give them away to members of Congress or Foreign Dignitaries.  George
W. Bush, however, never used more than one pen, and it appears that
President Trump is a one pen man as well.

So, now we have this innocent looking little instrument.  How could
something so small have such a powerful impact on all our lives?  Glad
you asked.  We can't buy a house, a car or get married without the
Power of the Pen to sign the contract.  Great songs have been "penned'
by Lennon and McCartney, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Ashford and Simpson,
Bob Dylan and the list goes on.  In the hands of a screen-writer,  the
Power of the Pen brings us classic Movies like The Wizard of OZ,
Citizen Kane, Star Wars, and a host of others.

But, without a doubt, the pen IS mightier than the sword.  More lethal
than an AK-47.  More powerful than a B2 Bomber.  Faster than a rocket
ship.  More devastating than a nuclear bomb.  WHY??   Because In the
hands of a thinned skinned, impatient, defiant leader of a country,
the Power of the Pen can start wars that kill and devastate. It can
build walls.  It can separate families.  It can prosecute and
persecute.  It can bring pain and suffering. So Sad!!

However, it's nice to know that on the other hand, a respectful,
fair-minded, tolerant and benevolent leader can use the Power of the
Pen to bring Peace, Prosperity, Hope, Salvation as well as Love and
Kindness.  A simple signature can unleash The Power of the Pen tearing
down walls and building bridges.  It can bring enemies together.  Yes,
The Power of the Pen can create a bright future where there's plenty
of Harmony, Joy, and Happiness!!  Awesome!!

Good things DO come in small packages.  This little writing instrument
called a pen represents far more than just ink on paper.  The pen
creates an expression of words and ideas that leave an impression.
The Pen can reveal heart and soul.  Good or bad intentions.  When one
places his/her signature on a document, it represents approval or
disapproval.  For most of us when we sign on the dotted line it's for
just us or our family.  But, when a President of a country signs on
the dotted line, he/she is knowingly stating that this order or law
will affect millions of people.  Getting it right is of great

The Pen will continue to be one of the most powerful instruments on
this earth. With that in mind, we can only hope that this generation
and the ones to follow will learn to use it prudently.

Bob Resch Purple Walrus Press.

The Ugly Mug Cafe in Ypsilanti is now Cross Street Coffee.

Last week several people in Ypsilanti contacted me with questions about their favorite coffee place The Ugly Mug Cafe, located on 317 W. Cross Street. Folks wanted to know what was going on at their favorite cafe. The buzz was that the interior was looking different as some of the artwork that had been on the walls had been removed according to one person who contacted me. There was also word that The Ugly Mug decided to change their name to Cross Street Coffee.

I contacted The Ugly Mug, I mean Cross Street Coffee, over the weekend to see if I could come in and take a few photos for an article. After the woman who answered the phone spoke to a manager I was politely told that they would would rather I come to take photos in about a week or so as they were transitioning the interior and working on new signage.

Here is what I do know. As of January 25, Ugly Mug Cafe located at 317 W. Cross Street in Ypsilanti, has changed its name and is now calling itself Cross Street Coffee. The coffee shop has been a local favorite for several years.

According to a post on the Cross Street Coffee facebook page the coffee shop remains under the same management and is serving the same coffee. According to the post the name change will allow the business to grow and set themselves apart from other Ugly Mugs throughout the nation. Certainly sounds reasonable to me!

The coffee shop is also proudly displaying art work by local artist Dora Diaspora.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.

Monday, January 30, 2017

America: The inconvenient truth!! By PWP contributor Bob Resch.

We as a nation have stepped into a new era.  This is uncommon ground.
This is shaky ground.  The feeling like a ground swell of an impeding
earthquake.  This does not feel good.  And too many, this is not the
America they signed up for.

We're in an era of 'Alternate Facts' that attempt to cover up the
inconvenient truth.  Where border agents defy judges orders on travel
bans. Where US citizens are handcuffed and detained at airports.  It's
an era where potentially millions could lose their health insurance.
Where Russia can get away with meddling in the American election. An
era where some feel we must build walls.  Where nothing has been
mentioned about the deficit.  Where conflict of interest for the
President and high ranking officials in the White House is no big
deal.  Neither is nepotism.  Many are dazed.  Many are confused.  But
one person can still look you in the eye and say  "everything is going

Welcome to the WACKY,  WILD & CRAZY  WORLD of The President of the
United States Donald Trump.

In his haste to sign executive orders, Mr. Trump forgets that he and
his staff are suppose to notify the authorities that will enact his
orders, so they know what is expected from them.  Oopps!!  Is that
part of the job??  If Mr. Trump would just step back and nominate more
candidates for his cabinet that have had SOME experience, life would
be so much better.

Folks, no matter which side of the aisle you're on, what we are seeing
here is a person elected POTUS who has ZERO experience governing and
Good God Almighty, does it ever show.

Buckle up!  Hold on tight!!   The first 100 days is going to be a
terrifying ride.  One thing for sure, Mr.Trump will have to continue
using training wheels in his new position.  We can only hope he is a
fast learner because we are all on the same bus.

Purple Walrus Press contributor Bob Resch.
Image created by Dan Percival.

Ozone House to host fundraiser for LGBTQ youth.

On February 16 Ozone House in Ann Arbor will host a fundraiser in support of it's youth services for young people that identify as LGBTQ and seek out Ozone House for support and services.

The 4th annual Home Sweet Home fundraising event will include wine, cheese and chocolate in support of LGBTQ youth. The event will be held at Zingerman's Greyline located at 100 N. Ashley St in Ann Arbor at 6:30 PM.

You can purchase tickets through February online at ozonehouse.org. Tickets are $75.

According to Ozone House nationally 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. Further, one in 4 calls received by Ozone House 24 hour crisis line is from an LGBTQ youth. 25-40% of homeless youth, which translates into teenagers, are having to experience unstable living arrangements. These teens face bullying and rejection from their families. This tragic reality occurs here in Washtenaw county on a daily basis.

 Ozone House also has a support group called PrideZone that meets weekly at their Ypsilanti location on N. Hamilton St., where LGBTQ youth create a community to discuss issues, support each other as well as have a lot of fun.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Peaceful protest against immigration ban Federal Building Ann Arbor Sunday.

 Demonstrators protested the ban against immigrants Sunday in front of the Federal Building in downtown Ann Arbor.  As of 1:00 pm roughly 250 demonstrators had gathered for the impromptu protest. The demonstration was organized in effort to protest against the horrific events of this week according to an organizer.

Protester Deborah Orlowski spoke to Purple Walrus Press during the demonstration. According to Orlowski,"I think the ban is illegal and un-American."

Many protesters carried signs with messages reflecting their anger toward the immigration ban such as One Human Family, and Build Bridges Not Walls.

Jeff Brown
Founder/Editor in Chief
Purple Walrus Press.
Protesters in front of  Federal Building in Ann Arbor Sunday. Photo Purple Walrus Press.

Ann Arbor demonstrators gather in support of Standing Rock protest movement.

Protesters in Ann Arbor demonstrated Saturday in an act of solidarity with the Standing Rock No Dakota Access Pipeline protest movement that is happening nationally. The protest was held on the sidewalk in front of Chase Bank located at 125 S. Main street in downtown Ann Arbor. Of the roughly 25 protesters participating, many of them carried signs illustrating opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Last week President Trump signed an executive order that has reinstalled construction of the pipeline. Protests occurring across the nation are in reaction to the order signed by Trump.

The Dakota Access Pipeline threatens the entire water supply for the Standing Rock Reservation that is situated on the border of North and South Dakota. Standing Rock is a Great Sioux Nation reservation.

Since last summer demonstrators have gathered at Standing Rock to protest the construction of the pipeline which runs through a portion of land that many say is a sacred burial ground. Protesters at the Standing Rock site are angry and feel the pipeline is threatening the water source for the reservation in North Dakota.

Shunahsii Rose, an organizer of Saturdays protest in Ann Arbor, spoke to Purple Walrus Press during this afternoons demonstration.  Rose does inter generational community building that has to do with restoring a relationship between people and the earth. According to Rose, "We believe wholeheartedly in the leadership being demonstrated at Standing Rock." Rose believes, in her opinion, that the people at Standing Rock are defending water and are encouraging people to protect water as an important resource. Rose believes that there is an indigenous uprising that is happening across the globe right now and that in this country many foundational principals are set on violence against native people.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press
Protesters in front of Chase Bank Ann Arbor. Photo Purple Walrus Press.

Saturday, January 28, 2017


Typically, when it comes to the movies, I'd rather not read the book,
nor do I want to know the plot in advance.  For me, it takes away the
drama.  I like to figure out the who, what, where, when and side plots
of the story line  It's like watching the re-run of a ballgame where
you already know the score.  What's the point???

So, as you can see, I had some reservations about Patriot's Day.  Not
only did I know the story line, I was one of many people around the
world that watched the moment by moment coverage of the Boston
Marathon bombing on that fateful day of April 15, 2013..... including
the death and capture of the Tsarnaev brothers.

My sole purpose for going was to see if the audience would be taken
'behind the scenes' of the investigation and hopefully uncover the
method and manner that the Boston Police and the FBI found the
suspects.  It was a worthy gamble.

The cast is diverse ranging from Mark Walberg, John Goodman and J.K.
Simmons as Boston cops and Kevin Bacon as the FBI point man.
The film has a reality check by inserting a ton of real life cell
phone videos from spectators who witnessed or were part of the
carnage.  Some of these scenes are tough to watch, but ultimately
proved to be instrumental in the capture of the Tsarnaev brothers.

I'm always intrigued by the way investigators go about their business.
These are very, very smart people.  I feel like they could solve a
Rubik's cube in 30 seconds....blindfolded!!  They could do a 1000
piece puzzle during a lunch break.  In this case, the FBI and Boston
Police set up a scale model of the bombing scene in a nearby warehouse
within minutes of the incident. Through a meticulous review of cell
phone videos and business security cameras they where able to pick out
the suspects in the first few hours and the chase was on.

The resiliency of the city of Boston is an underlying central theme.
Even the day the town was ordered to 'shelter in place' was enhanced
with real video from police helicopters showing nary a single movement
on any street.

We all know the outcome with the death and capture of the brothers.
The pain and suffering of those impacted in the bombing is captured
and is heart rendering.  Many have been working tirelessly piecing
their lives back together after suffering horrible injuries.  It's
hard to believe only 3 were killed and 260 injured.  They are BOSTON
STRONG pure and simple.

This is also the story of law enforcement and first responders. It's
the story of how they reacted under pressure and performed at a world
class level.......and often times this effort is taken for granted.
Not this time. The closing scene shows live footage of the parade of
police officers in their cars returning to headquarters after the 'all
clear' had been given. What an amazing scene as they soaked up the
love and affection of the citizens of Boston.  It would be hard to
believe if this doesn't bring a tear to your eye.

I would highly recommend that you see Patriots Day on the big screen!

Bob Resch
PWP Contributor

Friday, January 27, 2017


In a video message just released by Flint Water Crisis activist Melissa Mays of Flint, she stated that it has been over 1005 days since the city of Flint has had clean water. Mays says that she is angry with the State of Michigan for recent comments regarding Flint water. Melissa commented, "The State decided to come out and say, hey, look what we did. Our 90th percentile for Flint (Lead) is 12 parts lead per billion." Melissa stated that the only safe level for lead is 0.

 Mays said, "The State being proud of themselves for dropping down to 12%  is like saying, hey, you have metastasized cancer, but its one organ less than fatal. You still have cancer, but at least its not that one organ more." Mays said the State should not be proud of itself for having 12 parts lead per billion in Flint drinking water.

Further, Mays stated that it is cold out now, and that contaminate readings are always lower when it is cold.

Mays also brought up the issue of bacteria in the drinking water in the city of Flint, and stated that no one is talking about that matter. She mentioned symptoms Flint residents continue to complain about from water use including hair loss, burning eyes, breathing issues, and blistering.

According to Mays more testing needs to be done by the State and DEQ before saying that lead levels in the city are showing a pattern of going down.

Melissa Mays is a major Flint Water Crisis activist and has appeared on national network news stations. Melissa is also a Purple Walrus Press contributor.

Jeff Brown
Founder/Editor in Chief/Publisher
Purple Walrus Press.
Downtown Flint. Purple Walrus Press photo.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


Purple Walrus Press is excited to announce a new partnership with The Ann magazine. On January 23 The Ann magazine launched the ANNthology, a Monday-Friday eNewsletter featuring independent local news and views, journalists and bloggers. The Ann formed a group of 17 collaborators to supply information that will be shared through a five-day-a-week email newsletter. Purple Walrus Press is flattered to be featured as one of the contributors!

The ANNthology eNewsletter is free and delivered in your email each weekday morning. Sign up here!

You can check out today's ANNthology edition here to see what it's all about.

A big thank you to The Ann!

Jeff Brown
Founder/Editor in Chief/Publisher
Purple Walrus Press

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Eastern Michigan University students held a demonstration Tuesday voicing upset in regard to EMU not dropping code of conduct charges involving black students taking part in a sit-in. The Sit-in took place in the student center in November.

The November sit-in was in response to several incidents in which racist graffiti was painted on a wall on the EMU campus in September and October.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.
EMU student protesters inside the Student Union Tuesday. Purple Walrus Press photo.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


When Ann Arbor singer-songwriter Chris Good contacted me last week I knew something special was happening on the local music scene. I was right. Chris informed me about his new project Friends with the Weather. Actually, Friends with the Weather is a brand new project consisting of singer-songwriters Seth Hendricks, David Hupp, and Chris Good. Seth Hendricks is based out of Ohio, and David Hupp is out of Indiana. This unit is loaded with highly talented Michigan based collaborators, including Seth Bernard. This is great news for the local music scene.

The better news is that Friends with the Weather has recently released their self-titled album, and it shines brightly. If you are looking for some inspiration during these dreary mid winter Michigan days I've got the remedy. All you need to do is put on their debut album, sit back and take in the good vibes.

The album opens with Blessed for the Journey, which is an inspirational song accompanied by slightly country tinged guitar. The next track Loveliness is a song about the passing of time and healing. For me there is something about this song that brings to mind the musical sensibilities Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years album. Check out the crisp sounding drums front and center.

The third track, country informed Light Awakes, is also featured in a video version, and it is one of the best songs on the album as it rolls like a lazy flowin' river. The song is comforting, inspirational, and hopeful: Something we all need these days.

Other highlights on the album include the excellent bright and up-beat pop rocker It Gets Better featuring shimmering electric keyboard and poppin' horns, and the sweet-sounding jazz funky On the Other Side.

Excellent song-writing, stellar Michigan based musicianship and pure inspiration are the hallmarks of the fine debut album delivered by Friends with the Weather. What else could any self-described Michigander rock/folk/soul fan ask for in the middle of the winter?

Catch Friends with the Weather with Seth Bernard Friday 1/27 at Rumpus Room in Chelsea at 8pm. Saturday, 1/28 Founders Taproom, Grand Rapids, 9:30pm. Sunday, 1/29 at the Kalamazoo First Congregational Church UCC at 7pm.

Also see Friends with the Weather at the Ark in Ann Arbor on March 28!

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.

Friends with the Weather.

Monday, January 23, 2017


We've just witnessed the changing of the guard in Washington.  There's
a new Sheriff in town.  The baton has been passed.   Donald J. Trump
is the 45th President of the United States of America.

His acceptance speech had some good moments promoting National Pride
and putting America First.    He immediately set about on governing by
signing an executive order to start the process of rescinding
Obamacare like he promised.  Then he signed an order to raise mortgage
fees so that first time buyers would find it more difficult to buy a
home.   Hmmmm, this was a new item on his agenda.  This would NOT be
returning power to the people as promised in his speech.

Then day 2 came along...... and we saw an astonishing spectacle.  More
than 2 million ladies marching all over the USA and the World seeking
respect for the rights of Women....AND A PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION AT
THAT!!  I can only imagine that all of these marches must have shaken
the incoming Trump Administration to the core.

So what does the incoming President do?  He trots his press secretary
Sean Spicer out to the podium late in the day and immediately
disparages the press for creating a false impression that more people
attended the Obama inauguration than Trump's.  Say what??  Huh??  Talk
about deflecting the real story.  Not a single word about the
demonstrations.  Wow!

I'm reminded of this quote from the Spider-Man movie: "With great
power comes great responsibility".  Mr. President, are you listening?

The size of the crowd doesn't matter.  The size of one's hands, or if
one's hair is real or fake doesn't matter.  What matters is that
President Trump and his cohorts speak honestly to the American people.
If your mantra is putting "America First",  then you've got to quit
putting your vanity, ego and self interest first.

Trump's rocket ship of a Presidency has just been launched and already
I can hear signs of nervousness and panic.  Unless there's major
progress in the next two years, I would anticipate that Spicer saying

By Purple Walrus Press contributor Bob Resch.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


In a show of solidarity hundreds of demonstrators participated in a peaceful march protesting the Trump administration in Ypsilanti Saturday. The march began at Bona Sera Restaurant in downtown Ypsilanti around noon. Demonstrators marched several blocks West on Michigan Ave, then headed South for several blocks before looping around back to Bona Sera.

Saturdays People Power March was coordinated by the group Love Resilience Action Ypsi. The organization advocates opposition to the Trump administration. The demonstrators, which included many families with children, were positive and upbeat throughout the march through the streets of downtown Ypsilanti.

Demonstrator/marcher Nathanael Romero spoke to Purple Walrus Press. Romero stated, "Trump has taken over the government. and rolled back a lot of progress we have made. This is an opportunity to come together and galvanize."

Throughout the nation hundreds of thousands of Trump protesters have taken part in marches since the Friday Inauguration.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.
Demonstrators march through the streets of Ypsilanti Saturday in opposition to Trump. Photos Purple Walrus Press.

Friday, January 20, 2017


Friday evening the Trump opposition organization Love Resilience Action Ypsi held an event downstairs at Bona Sera Restaurant in Ypsilanti called Sharing Space after the Trump Inauguration. The event runs until around 11pm. According to their facebook page  Love Resilience Action Ypsi grieves the loss of dignity, progress, and civility in the country. The group advocates opposition to the policies of the Trump administration.

Love Resilience Action Ypsi coordinated Friday nights event in order for the community to come together and share their grief and solidarity. There was also an Open Mic for music and expression.

Love Resilience Action is also coordinating a Trump opposition march scheduled for Saturday beginning at noon in Ypsilanti. Friday nights event at Bona Sera Restaurant centered around creating signs and banners for Saturdays People Power Celebration, Community & Resource Gathering.

I spoke to Eugene Kutz at Friday nights event. He is a Journalism student at Michigan State University. Eugene stated that, "I will be participating in the march in Ann Arbor Saturday. I'm happy to see this was happening in Ypsilanti. There are a lot of good things happening in town and there are a lot of beautiful people in the city."

The Saturday Trump opposition march will begin at noon at Bona Restaurant located at 200 W. Michigan Ave. in downtown Ypsilanti. According to the groups site, "The march will be a loop and will end at Bona Sera for a Celebration of People Power."

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.
Sign making at the Sharing Space event. Purple Walrus Press photo.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


So I just got my newest water bill. $204.38 for last month. 14 UNITS CONSUMED and all we do is shower and flush our toilet. We spend $160/mth at a laundromat because our water STINKS. I'm so tired of being robbed, poisoned, lied to, and being bullied into paying for poison.

Contributed to PWP by Flint Water Crisis activist Melissa Mays.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Wednesday evening Ypsilanti City Council approved a contract for incoming Ypsilanti City Manager Darwin McClary.  McClary will make a salary of $100,000. Ypsilanti City Council approved the contract by a vote of 5-2. McClary will begin as City Manager most likely at the end of February. Richardson and Robb voted against the contract according to a source.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.

Monday, January 16, 2017


Amy Goodman and Issa Rae spoke to a packed Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor Monday morning. Goodman and Rae were the keynote speakers at the U of M Martin Luther King Symposium.

Amy Goodman is the host of the Democracy Now which airs on public radio and television nationally. Goodman has won many awards for her investigative journalism. She is also an author.

Issa Rae created and is featured in The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl and the up-coming HBO series Insecure.

Amy Goodman took the stage a 10:30am and delivered a powerful lecture focused on civil rights and the state of the country. She began the lecture by discussing how the KKK in 1970 blew up the transmitter of a Houston community radio station called Pacifica. Goodman stated Monday that, "She cannot believe today we are are still speaking about the KKK." Goodman pointed out her deep frustration and upset in regard to the fact that the KKK endorsed Trump.

Amy Goodman also spoke of Trumps twitter war with John Lewis. Lewis led the Selma march in 1965. During the march Lewis, a civil rights organizer, was beaten by police and was seriously injured. Lewis recently stated that he doesn't see Trump as legitimate. Trump fired back on twitter that Lewis represents a crime infested district and is all talk, no action. Goodman expressed her outrage at Trumps weekend tweet targeting Lewis. Lewis was a coordinator for SNCC (Student Non violent Coordinating Committee) in the 1960's.

During her lecture Goodman referenced Martin Luther Kings 1967 speech condemning the war Vietnam. During the famous speech King stated, "The United States is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today."

Amy Goodman talked about Rosa Parks, and the little known fact that Parks had been a civil rights activists for quite some time before her refusal to give her seat up for a white person on a city bus. Goodman told the audience that prior to her famous bus refusal to move, she had been a secretary to a NAACP coordinator in Alabama.. Goodman added that the mainstream media gets it wrong when reporting about Parks because they do not acknowledge that she was indeed a civil rights activist for years before she refused to give up her seat to a white person on the bus.

Toward the end of her lecture, Goodman stressed that news publications must show images of war, protest or any other subject matter that may be uncomfortable to look at because people need to see what actually goes on as far as war or any other violent political struggle.

Amy goodman shared that an arrest warrant was put out for her in North Dakota for her coverage of the what she calls, Stand Off at Standing Rock where Native Americans were protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. The charges were later dropped.

During the second hour of the lecture Amy Goodman interviewed Issa Rae. During the on stage interview Rae spoke of her path and journey from growing up in L.A. Senegal, and Maryland, to HBO series star and creator. Rae went to a white school in Maryland and constantly had, "The feeling of being out of place." Rae talked about feeling out of place again when her family moved back to L.A.

She spent  much time growing up, and as a student at Stanford writing in her journal about feeling awkward and black. She eventually realized that many people related to these feelings. This inspired her creation of her half hour HBO series, Insecure.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.
Amy Goodman speaking at MLK Symposium Hill Auditorium Ann Arbor. Purple Walrus Press photos.

Sunday, January 15, 2017


If you haven't been to the Ypsilanti Food Co-op located in Ypsilanti's Depot Town you need to check it out because it is really something special. Located on 312 River Street, the Ypsi Food Co-op, managed by Corinne Sikorski, offers healthy organic food, a wide variety of natural body care products, as well as a clearly well-thought out and interesting beer and wine selection.

But front and center at the Ypsilanti Food Co-op shopping experience is the warm, welcoming, and always friendly atmosphere that greets you as soon as you walk in the door, and these days this is no small thing.

The Ypsi Food Co-op focuses on local, natural, and delicious tasting food. According to their website the goal of the Co-op is to provide healthy, tasty, and ethically-produced food. Equally important, the Co-op strives to take an active role in the vision for a sustainable community, both on a global and local level.

YFC houses a wood-fired oven which produces artisan breads and pastries. The bread is baked in small batches to insure high quality and delicious bread.

The YFC opened its doors back in 1975, and was an off-spring of a "bag co-op." which was operating in the early 1970's.

If you care about healthy food, healthy living and, community connection,  the Ypsi Food Co-op is your place.

The Ypsilanti Food Co-op is opened each day from 9am to 9pm.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.

Fresh produce at the Ypsilanti Food Co-op. Purple Walrus Press photo.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


Folks, please stop pissing and moaning about Cory Booker. Yes, I know all of your bleeding hearts are broken once again, to see your latest progressive hero, become the next great sell-out/disappointment.
But folks, the problem is not Cory Booker, the problem is campaign finance reform.
Instead of fighting over the purity of our congresspeople, we ought to acknowledge that NONE of the progressive things they fought for and GAVE US, happen without them playing the game.
Purity in politics is difficult under the best of circumstances, not to mention the (campaign finance) circumstances we have in place now.

Purple Walrus Press contributor Brooks Parola of Brooklyn, New York and formally of Flint, Mi.

Friday, January 13, 2017


Trauma Informed Care training from SAMHSA. After last night's sham of a #FlintWaterCrisis Town Hall where residents were removed for asking questions and shamed for demanding information, it is CLEAR that the City, Federal, and State employees NEED to take this training. Especially since they caused our trauma and refuse to change their behaviors to STOP traumatizing our community. 

Flint Water Crisis activist Melissa Mays of Flint.

Downtown Flint 2016. Photo Purple Walrus Press.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Confirmation hearings continue today in Washington as all eyes are on James Mattis. President elect Trump has selected James Mattis as his nominee for the position of Secretary of Defense. The Senate Armed Services Committee hearing began at 9:30 am Thursday morning.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Senator John McCain began the hearing at 9:32 this morning.

The first to speak was Chief Executive Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative Sam Nunn who stated that he favored granting Mattis a waiver so that he would qualify to serve as Secretary of Defense even though Mattis has only been retired from the military for only four years. It is required that that retired military personnel be retired for seven years before taking political office.

Former U.S. Senator Nunn sighted Mattis's recent community service as an example of his commitment to the community.

Shortly after Nunn spoke, Mattis addressed the committee. Mattis said that he would, "Bring business reforms to the defense dept, and stated his wish for a waiver.

McCain asked asked what Mattis thought in regard to Afghanistan and if he believed the United States has a strategy, Mattis stated, "I believe we do but it needs to be reviewed.

McCain stated to Mattis that the Baltic and the Ukraine are concerned about U.S. commitment to them. Mattis said that he, "Will be committed." Mattis continued to say that he, "Sees Russia as an adversary in key areas."

In regard to questions in the hearing relating to Israel Mattis said that Israel's security is important to the United States and that the U.S. needs a better relationship with Israel. Mattis also stated that, "We should be a partner in building a resolution between Israel, Palestine."

Mattis said that he wants to continue the nuclear upgrade program.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


This morning President elect Trump stepped to the microphone at Trump Tower in New York City and gave his first Press Conference as President elect. I am reporting key points and statements made by Donald Trump during Wednesday's press conference,

Incoming Press Secretary Sean Spicer opened the Press Conference by sharply criticizing BuzzFeed and CNN for reporting on recent allegations regarding Russia calling them, "Unsubstantiated". It should be noted that CNN's Jake Tapper refuted Spicer's assertion toward CNN by, "Differentiating" their report from "Irresponsible" Buzzfeed report. This from CNN.

Minutes later Trump stepped to the podium.

Trump began the Press Conference by thanking the news agencies who criticized other news agencies reporting on recent leaks regarding allegations involving Russia.

Here is a list key points made by Trump during Press Conference: I am para phrasing the first four points.

Ford is keeping jobs in Michigan/U.S.
Pharmacy companies need to make drugs here, not abroad.
I will be the greatest job producer god ever created.
Veteran healthcare will be strengthened.

In regard to a question asked relating to recent unsubstantiated allegations regarding Russia hacking and business ties Trump stated that "It's all fake news. put out by sick people."
As far as hacking, "I think it was Russia." He added, "We have much more hacking going on." Also, "Democratic Party didn't have hacking defense."

When asked about how recent reports affect relationship with Russia Trump stated, "Putin said they didn't do it and I respect what they said." He said also, "Look what we learned from the hacking."
Trump stated, "I have no business deals, or loans with Russia."
Trump stated that Obamacare is, "Complete disaster." And he will, "Submit Replace and Repeal plan." "Complicated stuff," Trump added.

Regarding a question about the wall:

Trump, "We're going to build the wall." Not going to wait to build." "Mexico will reimburse us." "It will happen."
Trump: "Russia will have greater respect for our country when I'm president."
"Putin shouldn't be hacking U.S."

And that concluded Trump's first Press Conference as President elect. I have left any opinion regarding what Trump stated during the press conference out of the equation.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.

Monday, January 9, 2017


People say that we need to engage, listen, have better understanding of the other side...probably.
But, I'd also argue, that when large segments of the population have decided that it's okay to live in a post-factual world; that their feelings and opinions are as valid as contrary, factual evidence, when they don't have to follow basic rules of fair play...constructive debate and discussion is impossible.
The focus has turned to winning the debate or discussion at all costs, no matter how preposterous your strategy is for doing so...it has NOTHING to do with WANTING to understand.

Purple Walrus Press contributor Brooks Parola of Brooklyn, New York.

Sunday, January 8, 2017


It was a close game, but in the end EMU lost to MAC rival Buffalo 77-68 at the Convocation Center Saturday. Though EMU played tough they were inconsistent in rebounding and Buffalo took full advantage.

With little time in the first half EMU led by 8 points, but lack of offensive rebounding and mental mistakes were their downfall by the time the clock ran out. The EMU defense continued to play strong but to no avail.

Willie Mangum led the Eagles in scoring with 17 points. EMU sophomore Baylee Steele played strong with 12 points.

Next up for Eastern Michigan will be the Falcons of Bowling Green at Bowling Green Tuesday, Jan 10 at 7pm.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.
EMU' guard Willie Mangum receives the ball against Buffalo Saturday. Purple Walrus Press photo.

Saturday, January 7, 2017


Local organization Love Resilience Action Ypsi is planning several events surrounding the Jan 20 Presidential Inauguration. According to the organization facebook page the group grieves the impending loss of dignity, civility, and progress as our nation ushers in the Trump administration.

On Monday, Jan 16, Love Resilience Action is asking for the community to support and witness the teens of Ypsilanti Community High in their silent procession, and art show commemorating MLK Jr day and the anniversary of the Frederick Douglas address to Ypsilanti. This will begin at the Water Tower and finish at Mix Studio on Michigan Ave downtown. There will then be a teen curated art show.

On Friday Jan 20 from 7pm to 11:30 there will be materials available downstairs at Bona Sera to create your own sign, banner or other art for the march the following day. There will also be an open mic for music and expression.

On Saturday Jan 21 at 12pm a march will begin at Bona Sera restaurant downtown. the march will visit locations around Ypsilanti commemorating local historical abolitionist, black civil rights, women's rights, lbgt and union victories.

The march will return to Bona Sera followed by a celebration of PEOPLE POWER . There will also be a community gathering/resource fair with the goal of bringing people together. There will be a supervised child area.

For more information visit the Love Action Resistance Ypsi page.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.

Thursday, January 5, 2017


Wednesday evening Purple Walrus Press was contacted by an anonymous source who stated that Meals On Wheels Ypsilanti found a deceased person at the Towne Centre Place Apartments in Ypsilanti who had died of "natural causes." However, at this time I cannot officially confirm this information regarding a deceased individual.

The anonymous source also told me that, "The elevators in the apartment building are still an issue." The source also stated, "No freight elevator so getting him out was an issue." According to the source the deceased person was, "Very large, about 400 lbs."

Thursday morning I contacted Meals On Wheels Ypsilanti. I spoke to a woman named Carey. Carey told me over the phone that Towne Centre Place Senior Apartments has two different elevators. She said that there is one large elevator which she said could be considered a freight elevator. She stated to me that this large elevator has problems at times. Carey also stated that, "Within the last week it has been down."

Carey told me that the other elevator, which is smaller, seems to be okay as long as the weight is limited.

In August 2016, Purple Walrus Press reported on multiple problems occurring at Towne Centre Place, which is home to many seniors. These problems included non-functioning elevators, air conditioning problems, and cleanliness issues within the building.

Thursday morning I attempted to talk to staff at the apartment building but could not make contact.

Wednesday night I contacted media representative for Forest City, Jeff Linton. Forest City is the company that owns Towne Centre Place. As of Thursday morning I am waiting for a response.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press
Towne Centre Place Apartments Ypsilanti, Mi. Purple Walrus Press photo.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Eastern Michigan opened up the MAC season with a convincing 85-63 victory over visiting Central Michigan at the Convocaton Center in Ypsilanti Tuesday. And for the record Rob Murphy notched his 100th win as EMU head coach.

It was a tight game in the early going as the teams stayed within 2 points of each other, but by late in the first half EMU began to build a consistent lead. By the time the 2nd half began Eastern had all of the momentum,

A major factor in the win for the Eagles was their strong defensive play as EMU held the leading scorer in the nation, Marcus Keene, to 22 points. This was no small feet as CMU's Keene entered the game with a scoring average of 30.7 points a game. The Chips entered Tuesday's game against EMU with a 10-3 record. The 9-5 Eagle showed why they were picked to win the MAC West as they dominated CMU in the 2nd half.

From the floor Eastern shot 43.5 percent (30 of 69 and hit five 3 pointers. They Eagles also stole the ball from the Chips 12 times.

EMU's Baylee Steele was outstanding in the game as he scored 18 points and had 10 rebounds. James Thompson matched Steele's 18 points as the pair led EMU in scoring.

In the post game EMU coach Murphy said that though the team didn't play well enough in the first half they picked it up in the 2nd half. Coach Murphy also said that a goal for the Eagles was to take away CMU's 3 pointers.

This was a fantastic win for our EMU Eagles and an exciting way to open up MAC season play.

Next up for EMU is Buffalo at the Convocation Center Sat, Jan 7 at 2:30.

Go Eagles!

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.
EMU guard Ray Lee takes it to the net against CMU. Photo Purple Walrus Press.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


An Ypsilanti group called Etc (Every Thought Counts) is coordinating a donations event for the victims of Sundays apartment building fire that occurred in the downtown area of Ypsilanti. The fire began around 11:00 am Monday destroying much of the apartment building located on Washington Street just South of Emmett.

ETC will be collecting donations in the form of apartment essentials and clothing for the victims of the fire. The group is seeking donations such as clothing of all forms, including professional attire,
pajamas, and shoes. The group is also asking for donations of any small appliances.

The donation event for fire victims will be held Wednesday, Jan, 4 from 8:30 am to 4 pm at the First United Methodist Church located on 209 Washtenaw Ave, Ypsilanti 48197.

You can also feel free to bring donations today to the church. Contact Heather Dew. 517-402-1075.

Facebook event details can be found here.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.
Ypsilanti Fire Dept responding to Apartment building fire downtown Ypsilanti Monday. Purple Walrus Press photo.


 The local organization Love Resilience Action Ypsi is coordinating a march and community gathering on Saturday, Jan 21, the day after the Presidential Inauguration.  The march will head to historical places in Ypsilanti in observance of the areas history of civil rights, women's suffrage and union struggle.

There will also be a Creative Inauguration emphasizing the groups vision of an interconnected future.

According the Love Resilience Action Ypsi facebook page the group grieves the impending loss of dignity, progress, and civility in the country. The organization advocates opposition to policies of the new administration. Further, the organization seeks to create connection and belonging through diverse voices.

I was informed by a march organizer that more information will be available soon regarding the event.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.

Sunday, January 1, 2017


A fire broke out at an apartment building in downtown Ypsilanti roughly two hours ago. The apartment is located on Washington Street just South of Emmett. As of a roughly an hour ago smoke could be seen billowing from a window on the north side of the building on the top floor. A large number of police and fire trucks were on the scene, as well as at least one ambulance.

I spoke with two people who live near the scene of the fire. Joe Frontiera, who lives near the scene of the apartment building fire stated, "I heard sirens and realized it was right across the street." Frontiera went outside and immediately saw smoke coming from the apartment building.

A source at the scene who wanted to remain anonymous stated to Purple Walrus Press that, "It was on the 2nd floor, on the left side of the building close to the front." The source said, and I'm paraphrasing, that someone who he referred to as a girl with a candle was in the building: "Then the whole place went up." The source was "Pretty certain" no one was still in the building.

As of roughly 12:00 pm the fire seemed to be extinguished.

Stay tuned for updates.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.
Fire today at apartment building on Washington St downtown Ypsilanti. Photos Purple Walrus Press.