Saturday, April 29, 2017

Rally for Jose Luis Sanchez-Ronquillo held at Bach Elementary in Ann Arbor Friday.

A rally was held on Friday, April 28, 2017, for Jose Luis Sanchez-Ronquillo at Bach Elementary in Ann Arbor. Jose Luis, an Ann Arbor resident and father, was detained by ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) Wednesday, April 19, while checking in with immigration officials, as was his routine. Luis, who has lived in Ann Arbor for 18 years, has two children who attend Ann Arbor Public Schools and is married. Luis has one child who attends Bach Elementary on Ann Arbor's West Side, while the other attends Pioneer High School. Jose Luis has worked at a local restaurant for many years.

According to a statement last week by WICIR (Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition For Immigrant Rights) ICE will likely deport Jose Luis next week and are asking the community to, "Call or email your senators asking them to pressure ICE to grant a stay of removal to Jose Luis."

Organizers of Friday's rally and mach are hoping that through the community uniting their voices in support of Luis, his outcome can be changed. Roughly 75 people, including many children, participated in the march and rally that gathered in the playground of Bach Elementary.

The pre-march rally featured several speakers including Bach Elementary Principal Alison Epler and and Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor. Several participants in the rally were moved to tears as the speakers shared their feelings regarding what they see as the injustices immigrants are facing today in the U.S. in the wake of Trump's election.

Amid chants of, "Say it Loud, Say It Clear, Immigrants Are Welcome Here", Mayor Christopher Taylor stated during the rally, "We in Ann Arbor value everyone in the community. We know that deportation will not make America safe. We have to support the family."

After the half hour long rally, participants, including many children, marched from the Bach Elementary playground and onto the sidewalks of Ann Arbor's West Side neighborhood.

Also participating in the rally was Ann Arbor State Representative Yousef Rabhi.

Jeff Brown
editor & publisher
Purple Walrus Press.
Photos Purple Walrus Press.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Ypsilanti Downtown Farmers Market to open May 2

Mark your calendar because Tuesday, May 2, is opening day for the Ypsilanti Farmers Market Downtown! Yes, season 12 of Growing Hope's vibrant, healthy and all around cool Ypsi Downtown Farmers Market will kick off and you don't want to miss it!

A variety of vendors will be selling fresh, seasonal produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, syrup, honey, jams. jellies, as well as, plants and crafts. All kinds of great things!

Ypsilanti Farmers Market Downtown accepts SNAP, cash, credit, Double Up, and Food Bucks.

See you there!

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Perspective from Flint Water Crisis activist Melissa Mays.

Hmm... what do I have to say about our 3 year anniversary? Well, 3 years ago a bunch of greedy jackasses changed the residents of Flint's lives forever. They then worked their butts off to cover it up as people were poisoned and died. ALL of these people should be behind bars. They are not. YET. So we must accept our new path and fight. Not each other, but every single person who did this to us. So people need to look in the mirror and decide if they are on the side of the people, or not. Those that choose "or not" and attack the residents here in Flint who are fighting every day to survive, will be exposed and taken down with the poison ship. We have no more options. When the people fight together, they win. 
Day 1096 in the #FlintWaterCrisis

 Melissa Mays.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Two vehicle accident on Washtenaw in Ypsilanti Tuesday afternoon

There was what appears to be a serious two car accident on Washtenaw Ave just West of Mansfield Tuesday afternoon, April , 25. The accident occurred at approximately 3:25 pm backing up traffic along east bound Washtenaw between Hewitt and Mansfield. As of 3:45 pm, traffic was being diverted via a side street over to Packard.

Two Huron Valley ambulances, Ypsilanti Police, EMU Police, and Ypsilanti Fire Dept responded to the scene of the accident.

The airbags in both vehicles were deployed and I saw one person involved in the accident transported to the hospital. As of 4:00 pm Ypsilanti Police on the scene would not confirm the number of people injured at the scene of the accident.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.

Photos Purple Walrus Press.

USS Michigan nuclear sub arrives in S. Korea and it is no picnic

According to a April, 25, 2017 press release from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs, guided-missile submarine USS Michigan arrived in Busan on April 25, for what the press release is calling a routine visit during a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific. Busan is South Korea's second largest city.

According to Tuesday's press release, "During the visit Sailors will experience the culture and history of the Republic of Korea, as we foster outstanding relations between the U.S. Navy, ROK (Republic of Korea) military and the local Busan community." That does sound lovely.

It just so happens that the USS Michigan has arrived in S. Korea just in the nick of time for North Korea's huuuge military parade. Oh, Fun! I say parade, but I happened to catch North Korea's "parade" on April 15th, (no, not in person!) and yikes, that was one holy mackerel freaking scary parade! Yike! Yeah, I watched the whole parade on you tube in the morning. The North Korean humongous military parade was so horrifyingly fascinating that I couldn't take my eyes off of it. It was on my birthday, too! Yep,  I spent my whole birthday morning quaking in my boots, I mean slippers, watching N. Korea's army strut around all over the place! Scary stuff! I was ready to build one of those underground 1950's style nuclear shelters in our backyard!

In other words, I don't think the United States Navy is in South Korea to experience the culture and take in the sights. I mean, this is no picnic. We are living in frightening times. I wish the USS Michigan was there for a picnic. As stated in Tuesday's U.S. Navy press release flashing across my computer screen,"USS Michigan is the second submarine of the Ohio-class of ballistic missile submarines and guided missile submarines, and the third U.S. Navy ship to bear the name." My dad served in the United States Navy proudly during the Korean War, and he's very concerned about tensions currently between the United States and North Korea...We are all concerned. Nope, this is no picnic.

Jeff Brown
editor & publisher
Purple Walrus Press.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ann Arbor resident & father detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Last Wednesday, April 19, 2017, Ann Arbor resident and father, Jose Sanchez-Ronquillo, was detained by ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) while checking in with immigration officials. Luis, who has lived in Ann Arbor for 18 years, is married and has two children. One child attends Bach Elementary while the other attends Pioneer High School. Jose Luis has worked at a local restaurant for many years. This according to information from the organization Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition For Immigrant Rights.

According to WICIR, ICE will likely deport Jose Luis next week and are asking the community to, "Call or email your senators asking them to pressure ICE to grant a stay of removal to Jose Luis."

Contact Gary Peters - (D MI) 202-224-6221 Or Detroit office 313 226-6020 Toll free 844 506-7420

Debbie Stabenow - (D MI) 313 224-4822 Or Detroit office 313 961-4330

Debbie Dingell - (D MI) 313 278-2936, DC Office 202 225-4071, Ypsilanti Office 734 481-1100

ICE Field Office Detroit: 313-568-6049

Jeff Brown
editor & publisher
Purple Walrus Press.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hundreds Rally and March For Science in Ypsilanti Saturday

Temperatures were comfortable, and the sun was shining brightly as hundreds of people participated in the March For Science in Ypsilanti on Earth Day, April 22, 2017. The rally and march, hosted by Ypsi Huddle, and Michelle Deatrick of Michigan to Believe In, gathered in front of the Mark-Jefferson Science Complex building on the campus of Eastern Michigan University at 3:00 pm Saturday. Several hundred people were in attendance for the pre-march rally including many EMU students and faculty. Speakers at the pre-march rally in front of Mark-Jefferson included City council member Beth Bashert, EMU professor of Physics and Astronomy Patrick Koehn, UM Law Professor and counsel to the Detroit Mayor,  Professor Eli Savit, and EMU student organizer Katherine Baker. Baker is a graduating senior with a BS in Biology.

The focus of the rally was to unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science to uphold the common good, and for political leaders and policymakers to enact evidence-based policies in the public interest.

After the rally at EMU, demonstrators marched down Cross Street and into Riverside Park where marchers gathered in front of the gazebo. Several speakers addressed the roughly 300 demonstrators in Riverside Park including Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed (former Director of the Detroit Public Health Department & canidate for MI Governor) State Representative Ronnie Peterson, State Representative Yousef Rabhi, nurse and union leader Heather Roe, Michelle Regalado Deatrick (Farmer and environmental activist) and EMU Professor Ruth Ann Armitage, PH.D. from the Department of Chemistry.

Jeff Brown
editor & publisher
Purple Walrus Press
March for Science in Ypsilanti Saturday April 22. Photos Purple Walrus Press.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ken Burns Vietnam War documentary preview at Michigan Theater Ann Arbor riveting & emotional.

The new Ken Burns documentary titled The Vietnam War was previewed at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor Wednesday night, April 20, and the film was riveting, emotional and real. The entire 18 hour documentary will be aired on PBS in the fall, but Ann Arbor was treated to a special preview Wednesday night, and to top it off, Ken Burns himself was there. Burns, who grew up in Ann Arbor, spoke to a packed Michigan Theater crowd before the movie and explained what we in the audience were about to watch on the big Michigan Theater screen. All in attendance, including myself, were fascinated by his pre movie talk and were full of anticipation for the film.

For myself, and all who attended last night's preview, The Vietnam War documentary was powerful, stirring and very emotional. As a Baby Boomer born close to the tail end of the Baby Boom generation, I was a kid during the Vietnam War, but I remember it well. In fact, the war made a tremendous impact on me and shaped the political views I have as an adult. I was too young to have been directly impacted by the war, but old enough to have been affected by it, as the war loomed in the background of my childhood. The Vietnam War officially ended when I was in junior high school, and frankly, it frightened the hell out of me. Of course, it goes without saying that my distant association with the Vietnam War does not compare to all of the soldiers and families, American and Vietnamese, who died or had friends and family members who died in that conflict, or came home and were never the same again.

The Vietnam War documentary preview captured but a fraction of the upcoming full length eighteen hour documentary that will air on TV in the fall but it was obvious through the clips shown Wednesday that The Vietnam War documentary is a studied, detailed, descriptive and accurate depiction of what it was like for American troops to fight in Vietnam, but just as importantly, the film depicts the feelings, thoughts and attitudes of those who fought in the war. The film also focuses on the family members of those soldiers who fought and died in the Vietnam War, and this is what makes the movie so interesting and genuine.

As we all know, the Vietnam War deeply divided our nation. As Burns pointed out in his pre- movie remarks, the political division in our American society that occurred during the war in the 60"s and 70's continues to run deep.

Make sure you see this important and still relevant documentary when it airs on PBS in the fall. No matter how much you already know about the Vietnam War, this documentary will be enlightening.

Jeff Brown
founder & editor
Purple Walrus Press.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Long history in America of insisting there are no free rides makes for short-sighted tax policy.

By Brooks Parola. Purple Walrus Press.

Folks, I know we have a culture and long history in America of insisting that "there are no free rides". But that attitude really makes for bad, frustrating, and short-sighted tax policy.
The wealthy in this country (at least since the 1980's) have convinced you that YOU should not have to pay for someone else's healthcare, college, or transportation systems. But the fact of the matter is, that's all a con so the WEALTHY don't have to pay for YOUR healthcare, college, and transportation systems.
The result is NO ONE is paying for any of these things, (except for those who can afford them) and so the freedom we pride ourselves on, exists today, only for those who can afford it. The rest of us have no freedom at all since the costs of things that provide us with freedom are way out of our reach, making us wage slaves, to our jobs, and outrageous expenses.

Brooks Parola

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Indivisible Town Hall W / Debbie Dingell well attended / thought-provoking Tuesday night in Ypsilanti.

The political organization Ann Arbor Indivisible hosted a Community Town Hall w / Congresswoman Debbie Dingell Tuesday night at Ypsilanti High School. First, let me say that Debbie Dingell (D-MI) is one hard working Congresswoman. Dingell stated that she has taken part in ten town hall meetings in ten days! That's a helluva lot of town halls. I would say that well over one-hundred residents attended the dynamic town hall, and I'm sure that not one of them left unsatisfied.

Tuesday's town hall focused on healthcare, the environment, and protecting good jobs for families. Those attending the town hall were encouraged to ask questions pertaining to what they were passionate about, whether it was about the environment, the Supreme Court, or immigration. Dingell made it clear that she wanted to know what people were concerned about.

As the town hall began Dingell made it clear that she believes in telling the truth, even if it means praising positive political initiatives taken by republicans, and that was refreshing to me. For example, During her opening speech Dingell said that there are many elected officials in Michigan, Democrats and Republicans, who are deeply concerned about the Great Lakes in Michigan and want to see available funding for Great Lakes restoration.

Other issues that Dingell commented on during here opening remarks included the Flint Water Crisis, lack of pay raises in the state, and the Affordable Care Act. Dingell commented that the Flint Water Crisis is terrifying, and that, and I'm paraphrasing, the infrastructure must be fixed. Dingell added that fixing the infrastructure in Flint needs to include replacing corroded water pipes.

Around 18 people stood in line to ask questions during the Q & A section of the town hall. One woman asked Rep. Dingell about her stance on abortion. Dingell responded, "Abortion is between a woman and her doctor period." Next, a young man in the audience asked about her feelings on deploying U.S. troops in Syria. Dingell responded,"Trump needs congressional approval before authorizing the deployment of troops in Syria." Her response was met with great approval in the form of robust applause from the audience.

Near the end of the town hall Dingell made two comments that struck me, First,"We need to get money out of politics." How true. The second comment Debbie made that stayed with me was her statement,"If you want to fix the problem, you have to be part of the answer. How true, Debbie, how true.

Jeff Brown
founder & editor
Purple Walrus Press.

Rep Debbie Dingell Town Hall Meeting Tuesday night in Ypsilanti. Photos Purple Walrus Press.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Earth Day March for Science Ypsilanti Saturday April 22.

Keep Saturday, April 22 open on your calendar, folks. Why? Because it is Earth Day, and a very important and interesting event will be taking place in Ypsilanti called March for Science. The event will be hosted by Ypsilanti / EMU Women's Huddle and it sounds fantastic! Various area and local organizations and residents that stand in support of the fact that science is extremely instrumental in sustaining a healthy environment, will be holding a peaceful march and rally on Saturday, April 22 (Earth Day). The march will begin at 3pm in front of the Mark Jefferson Science Complex on the campus of Eastern Michigan University where there will be a brief program. Following the program participants will march to to Riverside Park where there will be a closing program. The event will end by 5pm.

There will be several speakers at the event, including Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, canidate for Governor Abdul El-Sayed, and Ypsilanti City Council Member Lois Richardson. Multiple organization will also be participatimg in the march including Ypsi / EMU Women's Huddle, Ypsilanti To Believe In, Michigan To Believe In / Our Revolution, American Federation of Government Employees Local 3907, Huron Valley Area Labor Federatioon, AFL-CIO, Ypsi Food Coop, Solar Ypsi, EMU Federation of Teachers, Mentor2youth, and the Washtenaw Reginal Organizing Coalition (WeROC). Wow! That's a lot of organizations. Hope I didn't miss any!

Hundreds of Marches for Science will be occurring around Michigan, the nation and all of the world on this day. These marches are in direct support of the March for Science in Washington, D.C. Organizers on a local and national level are focused on mobilizing and uniting a major, diverse and nonpartisan movement for positive change. Further, organizers are intent in calling on local, state and national policy makers to back and support science and evidence based policy making.

According to local march co-organizer and EMU science degree candidate Katie Baker,"As our community and our nation face unprecedented environmental, medical, energy, agricultural, and many other challenges, I'm amazed that we have to act urgently together today to maintain the fundamental role of honest and credible science into the future. But we do!"

Jeff Brown
founder & editor
Purple Walrus Press

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Tax March / Rally in Ann Arbor draws huge crowd Saturday

It was a beautiful day in Ann Arbor for a protest and what a protest it was. Over 1300 people crowded the Diag on the campus of the University of Michigan on Saturday, April 15, 2017, calling for Trump to release his tax information and to listen to five important keynote speakers calling on the president to release tax information.

The march, coordinated by the Progressives at the University of Michigan, began in downtown Ann Arbor outside of the Federal Building at 2pm. Demonstrators marched to the Diag on the UM main campus downtown to await several speeches by speakers, including Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, State Representative Yousef Rabhi, State Representative Kristy Pagan, Ann Arbor School Board Trustee Susan Baskett, and U of M Law Professor & Senior Counsel to the Detroit Mayor, Eli Savit.

The focus of the rally was to address the fact that Trump refuses to release his tax information and that Trump's assertion that,"People don't care" is not true. Organizers of the protest march and rally called for people to come together in Ann Arbor to show Trump that people do care about ethics and transparency in government. Certainly, the vocal and energized crowd was successful in voicing disapproval in regard to Trump's unwillingness to release tax information.

The crowd of demonstrators cheered in support of the speakers at the rally and many carried colorful signs calling on Trump to release his taxes.

Jeff Brown
founder & editor
Purple Walrus Press.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell speaking at Tax rally on Diag U of M campus Saturday. Purple Walrus Press photos.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) announces Jobs Agenda / Flint and other Michigan cities need commitment

On Tuesday, April 11, 2017, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) announced her much needed American Jobs Agenda at three different press conferences throughout the state of Michigan. Stabenow announced her agenda in Detroit, Flint and Lansing. Rogers Foam was the site of Stabenow's announcement in my hometown of Flint. Rogers Foam produces foam products that act to protect car batteries in vehicles like the Chevy Volt and Cadillac.

According to a press release from the Stabenow camp,"We need to be laser focused on creating jobs right here in Michigan."I know that many Michiganders share that sentiment, particularly, those in Flint. Over the past ten years or so several fantastic eateries and restaurants have opened in downtown Flint, but turn a few corners in my hometown and you will clearly see evidence of a city struggling with issues of poverty and unemployment. Many neighborhoods in the city are hurting and it is painful to see. At the same time the city is brimming with wonderful, dynamic, and hard working people.

Lets hope the American Jobs Agenda will positively impact Flint and other cities that need help in Michigan.

Jeff Brown
founder & editor
Purple Walrus Press.
Downtown Flint. Summer 2016. Purple Walrus Press photo.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sexual Assault Prevention & Awareness event held on UM Diag Ann Arbor Wednesday

 Folks strolling through the Diag on the campus of the University of Michigan Ann Arbor were treated to a special and important event Wednesday, April 12. The organization, SAPAC (Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention), held their third annual sexual awareness event that provided educational information and fun activities focused on informing the public about sexual awareness. Several tables were set up in the middle of the Diag that were focused on aspects of primary prevention, including engagement consent and healthy relationships.

The sexual Awareness Prevention Center provides crisis intervention, advocacy and support that is free of charge. Support is provided for survivors of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking and sexual harassment to University of Michigan students, faculty and staff.

I spoke to SAPAC event coordinators, Lena Briggs and Christina Cartwright during Wednesday's event. Both coordinators said event was attracting many interested UM students who spoke with peer educator volunteers and picked up available SAPAC information packets. The coordinators were pleased with comfortable temperatures and sunshine.

Jeff Brown
founder & editor
Purple Walrus Press.
SAPAC volunteers at Wednesday's event. Photos Purple Walrus Press.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Fresh Thyme in Ypsilanti forced to close its doors Tuesday due to potential power surge.

Information is sketchy at this time, but as of 9:00 Tuesday morning Fresh Thyme Market in Ypsilanti has been forced to close its doors for the time being because the cash registers are not functioning. Currently, employees are in the parking lot of the store notifying customers that the market is closed until further notice.

According to Assistant Store Director Ben Ondreyka, they are waiting for DTE to arrive and assess the situation. Ondreyka stated to Purple Walrus Press that the store does have basic power as far as lights and refrigeration, but that the registers have, "Lost internet connection." It was evident that Ondreyka was not exactly sure what the source of the issue is, but speculated that there may have been some kind of power surge that has led to a lack of internet connection for the cash registers.

Ondreyka stated that everything was in working order when produce workers arrived to work at 5:00 am Tuesday, but suddenly, at 7:00 am, the register power loss / lack of connection was discovered.

Stay tuned for updated information.

Jeff Brown
founder & editor
Purple Walrus Press.


As of early Tuesday afternoon Fresh Thyme has re-opened. According to Assistant Store Director Ben Ondreyka, a phone breaker was tripped. Fresh Thyme management contacted the phone company and the situation was quickly resolved by approximately 11:00 am.

Fresh Thyme employee notifies customers that the store is closed Tuesday morning in Ypsilanti. Purple Walrus Press photo. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

House Rep Debbie Dingell and Barbara Comstock introduce House Resolution condemning ethnic, religious, racial hate crimes

 U.S. House Rep Debbie Dingell (D-MI) Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Congressman Scott Taylor (R-VA) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), introduced House Resolution 257 on April 6. This resolution condemns ethnic, religious and racial hate crimes. In times like these, the importance of this resolution cannot be overlooked. Also encouraging is the bipartisan nature of the resolution.

According to Dingell,"The rising wave of hatred, Islamophobia and anti-Semetism facing our nation is unacceptable. This is not who we are. I am proud to work with my friend Congresswoman Comstock to bring together our colleagues - Democrats and Republicans - to reject hate crimes against all members of our community."

Dingell also made clear her view that it is extremely important that Americans not allow fear to be a divisive force in this country, and that we all must unite.

According to Comstock, "Our diversity is what makes our country and our communities great and I'm pleased to join my friend and colleague, Rep. Debbie Dingell, in introducing this resolution." Comstock also stressed the importance of unity in our communities, and that Americans must remain vigilant against those who promote hate and division.

Jeff Brown
founder & editor
Purple Walrus Press.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

House fire Normal Street in Ypsilanti Sunday.

The Ypsilanti Fire Department responded to a house fire early Sunday afternoon April 9. The fire occurred at 33 Normal Street in Ypsilanti. According to the media spokesman for the Ypsilanti Fire Dept, the fire occurred on the second floor around the window frame. There were no injuries.

Pittsfield Twp and Superior Twp fire departments also responded. At this time the fire is under investigation.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.
House fire Sunday Normal Street Ypsilanti. Photos Purple Walrus Press.

True Blue: A Tribute to Michigan Bicentennial Celebration was a dazzling affair.

First, let me say what a thrill it was to have attended the True Blue: Tribute to Michigan Bicentennial celebration Saturday evening, April 8 at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor! True Blue Tribute to Michigan showcased students, faculty and alumni in an extraordinary multi-media event presentation that passionately, poignantly, and meticulously told the story of the University of Michigan. The event was emceed by UM grads Darren Criss and Jacqueline Toboni, and both were charming.

As the audience was filing in, photos were being shown on a big screen above the stage capturing Ann Arbor and UM campus moments throughout the decades. As a nostalgic kind of a guy, I was hooked immediately. The photos poignantly captured the essence of the university, from the rambunctious 1920's, through the politically charged and tumultuous 1960's and 70's, and through the 2000's. Fascinating!

You want to talk about interesting speakers at the event? Well, check this list out! Dr. Sanjay Gupta,, Dr, Karin Muraszko, Muscian Gil Scottt Chapman, Astronaught Alfred Wordon of Apollo 15, Ari Weinzweig owner of Zingermans Deli and Roadhouse,  Action for Survival founder DouglasScott, English Professor Ralph Williams, former football star Desmond Howard, coach Jim Harbaugh, and UM President Dr. Mark Schlissel, and that's just to name a few. Whew! James Earl Jones was supposed to be a key speaker but unfortunately, he had to cancel.

The passion and enthusiasm these UM students, faculty, and alumni brought to Saturday evening's event was palpable and downright inspiring whether you were a UM alum or not.

 There are two things that struck me during the UM Bicentennial event. First, Sanjay Gupta said that the UM strives to bring people together from all walks of life, no matter how different their backgrounds. That spoke to me. Second, based on the fact that the program highlighted student political dissent on the Michigan campus, as well as the university's much celebrated sports programs, the open-minded, progressive and non-judgmental world vision of the university was very apparent. It is abundantly clear the UM encourages students to think about, explore and discuss controversial political issues openly as well as enjoy, have fun and partake in traditional college activities such as athletics. I love that. College is supposed to be about exploring the world, new ways of thinking, and expanding your mind, as well as enjoying fun traditional college events like football. That is the beauty of college. Saturday night's True Blue Tribute celebration event exemplified why the University of Michigan is one of the finest schools in the world.

In the end, all I can say is GO BLUE!

Jeff Brown
founder & editor
Purple Walrus Press.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Exciting workshops coming up Ann Arbor Civic Theater!

Two fantastic workshops are coming up soon at the Ann Arbor Civic Theater in May! A dialect workshop led by Susie Berneis will be held on Saturday, May 6, from 1-4pm. On May 13 a physical characterization workshop will be led by Gerard Dzuiblinski from 1-4pm. The workshops will take place at A2CT Studio located at 322 West Ann Street in Ann Arbor. Each workshop will cost $25 for non A2CT members and $20 if you are a A2CT member. That's a pretty good deal if you ask me! The workshops are open for actors of all ages. You do need to pre register which can be done online at For more info you can also call A2CT office at 734-971-2228, or email, or go to the website.

The dialect workshop led by Susie Berneis will cover all the basics of determining the proper dialect and applying it to text. The characterization workshop led by Greard Dzuiblinski will address how to use physicality to create character. Both workshops sound fantastic!

Jeff Brown
founder & editor
Purple Walrus Press.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

I'm so proud : Flint Water Crisis activist Melissa Mays.

Contributed to Purple Walrus Press by Melissa Mays.

I'm so proud of the amazing legal team at the Natural Resources Defense Council and ACLU of Michigan for fighting so hard for Flint. We've been fighting the State of Michigan since September 2015 to get the lead and galvanized pipes out of the ground so we can take the first steps toward a recovery. This does not fix everything but it's the first battle we knocked down in this war and we're going to keep going!! So exhausted but so proud!!!

Melissa Mays of Flint.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

3rd annual SAPAC event on UM Diag Ann Arbor April 12.

The 3rd annual SAPAC (Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center) event will take place on the Diag on the campus of the University of Michigan April 12. The Peer Education program at SAPAC is hosting the event.  The event will take place from 10am -4pm. According to information advertised by SAPAC they will "take over" the central portion of the campus including the Diag. There will be fun activities and educational opportunities for members of the university community who just may happen to be in the vicinity of central campus.

Tables will be set up that will focus on aspects of primary prevention including engagement consent and healthy relationships

Stick around for swag, photo opportunities, games and activism!

Jeff Brown
founder & editor
Purple Walrus Press.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Observations : Confirmation Hearings for Judge Gorsuch.

Bill Hammond. Purple Walrus Press.. 

I've been watching the Confirmation Hearings for Judge Gorsuch and I have some observations I'd like to share. 
 • The first is that it is apparent that the Republicans and the Democrats will not agree.
• The second is that Filibuster or no Filibuster, Gorsuch will be confirmed.
My observation is that we, as the American people in the majority, are very angry that our candidate did not receive the needed Electoral College votes to actually be named President. But just as important or perhaps more important we are angry, and I believe justifiably so, that the Republican led Senate saw fit to exercise a totally unprecedented (ab)use of power to deny Judge Garland, or ANY NOMINEE, a hearing to be named to the Court. In so doing, Mitch McConnell and the Republican Senate set NEW precedent to block future SCOTUS nominees based solely on political considerations. So, again in my opinion, the Republicans today should not be surprised that there is backlash against this Nominee.
Much has been made of the fact that so many recent SCOTUS nominees have been approved by near unanimous votes. I would agree - that should establish that a SCOTUS nomination should be held to a high level of approval. Right now it will take 60 votes for a nominee to be approved. Such votes cannot be found. So after a filibuster is ended the Senate will likely change their rules back to a simple majority. Then they will approve Judge Gorsuch. This will violate the very principle that so many Republicans on the Judicial Committee have cited in the approval of the most recent nominees with a near unanimous decision.
I would like to suggest two things:
• This nomination should be withdrawn. This will stop all new precedents from being established.
• That President Trump nominate Judge Garland. When he was originally named by President Obama he was a compromise candidate who was thought to be more amenable to Republicans and yet still marginally acceptable to Democrats. That would go a long ways to repairing this Rep/Dem rift in Congress and would show that perhaps we can get passed ideological politics and get back to actually governing!!

Bill Hammond. 

EMS Huron Valley Ambulance fascinating & important open house April 27 Ann Arbor

There is a group of unsung hero's in our local communities here in Michigan.These are individuals who come to our rescue during what are often our most frightening and critical times. I'm talking about individuals who work for Huron Valley Ambulance.

Have you ever considered a career as an Emergency Medical Technician or Paramedic? If you have you are in luck. Huron Valley's Center for EMS will be holding an open house for those interested in a career as an EMS Technician or Paramedic. During the event you will able to check out the Huron Valley Ambulance Education Center for yourself and learn about all of the programs that they offer. Those attending the open house will go on a fascinating tour of their 911 emergency communications center. You will also get to see and experience central ambulance operations that includes ambulance and facility tours. Further, participants will tour the education facility and the new state of the art satellite program, Last but not least, you may feel free to take a little spin in their custom computerized driving simulator! That's it, count me in! Also, a light dinner will be served during the event. Not bad!

The open house is on Thursday, April 27th from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, and will be held at the Huron Valley Ambulance Center headquarters at 1200 State Circle in Ann Arbor. People are encouraged to RSVP to Oren Jackson at or call them at 734-477-6314.

Ann Arbor based Huron Valley Ambulance is a nationally accredited, non profit community ambulance service that covers Washtenaw, western Wayne and southwest Oakland counties.

This open house will certainly prove to be a fascinating and important event. See you there!

Jeff Brown
founder & editor
Purple Walrus Press

Monday, April 3, 2017

Forum held Sunday on medical cannabis and pro athletes at Rackham in Ann Arbor.

A forum on cannabis and professional athletes was held at Rackham Amphitheatre Sunday, April 2. The forum was presented by Students for Sensible Drug Policy. The forum was facilitated by leading cannabis researcher Dr. Sue Sisley of Arizona. The panel included two former NFL players, Todd Herremans and Eugene Monroe. The discussion was fascinating, powerful, eye opening and heart-breaking. Herremans played for the Philadelphia Eagles and Monroe for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Former NFL stars Herremans and Monroe are strong advocates of legalizing cannabis as an alternative to opiods, and believe that no players should be punished for using cannabis. Dr. Sisley shares their views on  cannabis.

It has been well publicized in recent years that NFL players are extremely prone to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Further, NFL players, whether they are still playing or have retired, experience severe muscular pain and nerve pain. According to Monroe and Herremans, team physicians routinely prescribe opiods as a treatment for players experiencing pain caused by injuries on the football field. Herremans, who played for twelve seasons in the NFL believes that cannabis is misunderstood. During the forum Herremans also stated that he doesn't like how opiods make him feel. This is why he prefers cannabis as a pain reliever.

Ex Jacksonville Jaguar Eugene Monroe agrees, and stated that cannabis has been helping people for "Years and years."

Both players retired from football because they are fearful of the onset brain and neurological issues. The fear these ex players feel was palpable during the forum. They spoke of their own immediate families and how CTE and pain issues ripple out and effect the well-being of the entire family of the person experiencing chronic symptoms.

For Dr, Sue Sisley, and former NFL stars Monroe and Herremans the bottom line is simply that cannabis relieves pain, as well as, neurological issues including brain damage, and the effects of CTE. Further, Sisley, Monroe, and Herremans were clear that no player should be punished for using cannabis, whether for medicinal or personal use. And lastly, each panelist advocate for no more fines or suspensions for cannabis use in the NFL.

As Dr. Sisley explained in the forum, cannabis is a positive alternate to opiods for pain as, and I'm paraphrasing, the oil in THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis, is intended to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

I'm no doctor but cannabis as an alternative to prescribing opiods certainly makes sense to me. Hopefully, the NFL will agree in the near future.

Jeff Brown
founder & editor
Purple Walrus Press
Medical cannabis forum Rackham Sunday, April 2 in Ann Arbor.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Ann Arbor Hash Bash was a real smash!

So I woke up Saturday morning remembering that the old Ann Arbor Hash Bash was happening during the day. I quickly decided to head downtown at noon, or rather, "High Noon," to cover the festivities on the UM Diag. Great idea, I thought to myself.

Well, let me say that I'm no prude but I had never gone to the Ann Arbor Hash Bash before and driving into downtown Ann Arbor was like driving out of downtown Chicago at rush hour. Parking space? Forget about it! I had to park over on the West side of Ann Arbor and hoof it over to central campus!

As I was walking between Maynard and State Street on William heading toward campus I looked up and saw something hovering over what seemed to be the middle of the Diag. What was it I wondered. Was it a UFO? Was it some kind of freakish fog? Was it a very, very low cloud descending upon the UM Diag? No. As I approached the massive thing a bit closer I realized it was a gigantic, enormous, man eating haze of pure marijuana! There it was, this thick greyish thing hanging there right over the middle of the Diag! Holy mackerel, I thought. I was afraid to go too close to it!

Well, anyway, after a little pleasant chatting with the friendly Hare Krishna folks who were situated at the corner of the Diag near State Street, I summoned the courage to walk over to the exact location of the gigantic man eating haze where all the smokers and speakers had gathered. Of course, I had my trusty camera. People actually kept coming over to me and asking if would take their picture while they were holding up bags of marijuana! Geez. I would say to them, "Do you really want me to take a picture of you holding up a big bag of marijuana? "Sure! they would say. Hmm.

To be honest, I didn't last very long out there on the Diag as I started to feel a little woozy. I'm a light-weight!

I said goodbye to the friendly Hare Krishna group and decided to head over to the M-Den on State Street and to chat with my old friend who manages the shop. I felt the need to thumb through a Bo Schembechler book, you know, just to gain a little equilibrium.

But seriously, it was a gorgeous day, people were out at the old Hash Bash having a great time and that's a beautiful thing!

Jeff Brown
founder & editor
Purple Walrus Press.
Ann Arbor Hash Bash UM Diag 2017. Photos Purple Walrus Press.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

EMU Theatre production of Spring Awakening illuminates the darkness.

The Eastern Michigan University Theatre production of Spring Awakening opened to a mostly packed house Friday evening in the Quirk Theatre located on central campus. I am certain that everyone who saw the performance left the theatre deeply moved. Directed by Pirooz Aghssa  and based on the 1891 play by German playwright Frank Wedekind, Spring Awakening is a story of the darker side of life for young people, particularly teenagers, though people of all ages can relate to this story.

At the heart of the play are the characters Wendla, beautifully played Lindsey Scheidler, and Melchior, excellently played by Brendan Kelly. Wendla is a teenage girl searching to feel and really experience life. Melchior is also on a quest to find love, connection and humanity. Both characters are lost in a cold, rigid parental world and are at the mercy of dominating and seemingly unfeeling parents.

The play is doused in teenage angst, beatings, loneliness, pain, sexual desire and perhaps most importantly,  isolation. Tough stuff. This is for mature audiences only and for good reason. Situations  in life don't always have a happy ending. The content of the play is intense as the issues of rape, abortion and suicide are illustrated honestly and addressed in an uncomfortably realistic manner. I'm sure some of the scenes cut very close to home for many in the audience. It was apparent that there were those in the audience who were moved to tears. But that is exactly what good theater moves us. That is why we go, we go to the theater to be moved.

We live in a the sanitized world of facebook, but in reality life is messy, very messy. EMU's remarkable production of Spring Awakening reminds us that we are not alone when it comes to lifes darker realities.

Performances will be in the Quirk Theater April 1, 6, 7, 8 at 7pm and April 2 & 9 at 2pm.  More information can be found here.

Jeff Brown
founder & editor
Purple Walrus Press.

Spring Awakening. Eastern Michigan University.