Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Normal Park Neighborhood Annual Yard Sale Saturday June 3 in Ypsilanti. It's the Woodstock of Yard Sales!

If you love yard sales then you definitely don't want to miss the fabulous, ginormous Normal Park Neighborhood Community Yard Sale on Saturday, June 3, in, you guessed it, the Normal Park neighborhood in Ypsilanti. This event is the creme de la creme of yard sales! No, it's the mother of all yard sales! Wait, it's the Woodstock of all yard sales! Yep, it's really big! The NPNA Yard Sale will be held from 9 AM - 4 PM Saturday. Coolness!

The yard sale attracts people from all over the place, near and far, and is a most awesome way to get rid of stuff! We can all relate to the desire to get rid stuff, right?! Yeah, yeah!

Well, alright then! Make sure you make it over to the fabulous, groovy, and downright friendly Normal Park Neighborhood Association Yard Sale Saturday, June 3. It's like Woodstock....for stuff!

Jeff Brown
Editor / Publisher
Purple Walrus Press.
Purple Walrus Press photo.

Parola Perspective : Notion that Dems lost because they've forsaken blue-collar worker pretty incredible.

Brooks Parola. Purple Walrus Press.

 I gotta say, this notion that the Dems lost because they have forsaken the blue-collar worker is pretty incredible. All one needed to do was to look and compare platforms...not mention recall that Hillary and Obama were the ones to provide universal healthcare, which they suddenly realize they want and need, but only after Trump convinced them that Obamacare was bad.
Could Hillary and the Dems have done more to sharpen their message to focus more attention on blue-collar workers? Absolutely. But, it would also help if the blue-collar worker, (many of them who left the Democrats under Reagan, when Democratic support for unions was at it's zenith) would wake up, and stop being fooled by GOP, divide and conquer rhetoric.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Project Mow and Amazing Mowing Sheep of Ypsilanti, cute and economically smart on part of the city.

Project Mow was a smashing success for the City of Ypsilanti and a big hit with local residents. As I'm sure most people know by now, there is a local organization called Project Mow. Project Mow offers their sheep to 'mow' grass. you know, graze. The City decided to use Project Mow and their sheep to 'mow' the grass in challenging sections of Riverside Park in Ypsilanti. Project Mow and the Amazing Mowing Sheep of Ypsilanti (credit the nickname to me) set to work in Riverside Park on May 23, 2017. After six days of mowing (grazing) their work is complete.

Project Mow is environmentally friendly, community friendly, and just as importantly, the project is economically affordable, efficient, and smart. I spoke to DPW (Department of Public Works Ypsilanti) Director Stan Kirton on the phone Tuesday morning. Kirton told me that the grand total for for six days of Project Mow came to $180. Yes, Project Mow and the Amazing Mowing Sheep of Ypsilanti only cost the city $180. That is a pretty good deal in my book.

Stan even broke it down a bit for me. $180  for six day comes to $ 1.25 per sheep per DAY! Pretty darn good! Those sheep are cheap!  According to Kirton this Project Mow initiative fits in with Ypsilanti's Reduce City Carbon Foot Print initiative. I couldn't agree more.

Nice job City of Ypsilanti! Project Mow is cute and fiscally sound. Can't beat that!

Jeff Brown
Editor / Publisher
Purple Walrus Press.
Project Mow. Ypsilanti's Riverside Park. Purple Walrus Press photo.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Big turnout for Ypsilanti Memorial Day Procession

The sun was out and the temperature a comfy 70 degrees as hundreds turned out for the Ypsilanti Memorial Day Procession Monday Morning, May 29. The procession began on Huron Street south of Michigan Ave and proceeded north to Cross Street before heading to River Street in Depot Town. From there the procession headed north on River Street and concluded at Highland Cemetery.

The streets along the procession route were lined with residents, particularly on Cross Street in Ypsilanti's Depot Town where both sides of the street were packed with spectators.

The procession included local law enforcement, military veteran groups, local school marching bands and local elected officials. Local elected officials taking part in the procession included Ypsilanti Township Trustee Monica Williams, Ypsilanti Mayor Amanda Edmonds, City Council Member Beth Bashert, and State Representative Ronnie Peterson. The procession also included a walking Zap Zone Super Hero looking figure, a Star Wars Storm Trooper, and Wonder Woman, of course.

Jeff Brown
Editor / Publisher
Purple Walrus Press.

Photos Purple Walrus Press.
Barry Briggs Jr.
Ypsilanti Township Trustee Monica Williams.
State Representative Ronnie Peterson. (right)
Mayor Amanda Edmonds and City Council Member Beth Bashert.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Debbie Dingell joins up with former Ypsilanti foster youth for Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Day in DC.

In a May 25 press release from the Debbie Dingell office, U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI 12) teamed up last week with Brittney Barros and Mario McLean from Ypsilanti for the annual Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Day. According to the press release, "Brittney and Mario joined more than 100 foster youth alumni from across the country who traveled to Washington, DC to shadow members of Congress to get a behind-the-scenes look at the House of Representatives and share their experiences in the child welfare system as a way to influence policy around foster care."

According to Dingell, "These two young people are an inspiration for all of us. Brittney and Mario have overcome unbelievable challenges and both have a great outlook on life."

Brittney Barros, 18, works for Ozone House as a peer Outreach Worker and is also an advocate for foster youth through the Michigan Youth Opportunity Initiative, and serves as president and state co-director for Park West Foundation working to connect foster youth with federal and local programs. Brittney is enrolled in the music therapy program at Eastern Michigan University.

Mario McLean, 23, graduated from Michigan State University and is a District Sales Manager for Frito-Lay. While at MSU, Mario was active in the Fostering Academic Mentoring Excellence program. Mario currently mentors in his local Big Brother Big Sister program.

Jeff Brown
Editor / Publisher
Purple Walrus Press.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Memorial Day Procession Monday, May 29 in Ypsilanti.

In a press release from the Ypsilanti Police Department and the City of Ypsilanti that was posted on May 25, it was stated that the Memorial Day Procession will be held on Monday, May 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM. According to the release, "The procession will begin on Huron Street just south of Michigan Avenue and proceed north to Cross Street. Procession will head east on Cross Street to N. River Street." The procession will end at Highland Cemetery. The police and City of Ypsilanti would like to inform people to be aware that due to the fact that the procession will run through the city, there will be temporary road closures and detours.

Have a safe weekend.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Community Wing Project in Support of Ypsilanti's youth.

Contributed to PWP by Elisa Guyton.

The Community Wing Project: Giving our youth wings to fly!! 

Local artists, non-profits, and area businesses are partnering together in support of Ypsilanti’s youth - our future leaders. The goal of the Community Wing Project is to visually show our youth that Ypsilanti is here to help them fly. 

Together with Educate Youth, Ypsilanti Community Schools, and supportive citizens, a feather template was sent around for all to color in/get creative with. Once feathers have been collected, the teens at Educate Youth will construct into a pair of life-size wings to be showcased at Go! Ice Cream from June 2-16, 2017. (10 N Washington St, Ypsilanti)

June 2 is the first annual Ypsi Pride in coordination with First Fridays Ypsilanti. To help celebrate and support Ypsi Pride, various artists will also showcase their wings: Corner Health Center’s front window will have wings by Zeno Nuff Said; Educate Youth will have a wing mural by Joe LaVigne; and Ypsi Real will have chalk wings on their back wall. 

Contact Elisa Guyton, Mosaic Ypsi for any additional information. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

According to WICIR five kitchen staff members were detained by ICE Wednesday in Sava's Restaurant Ann Arbor.

According to the organization WICIR (Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights) at approximately 11:15 am Wednesday, May 24, five members of the kitchen staff at Sava's Restaurant in Ann Arbor were detained by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). According to WICIR, the staff members are Latino. Sava's is located at 216 S. State Street in downtown Ann Arbor.

Around 12:30 pm I was notified by an individual who had read about the detainment at Sava's on social media. I arrived in front of Sava's at approximately 1:15 pm. At that time it appeared that ICE had left the restaurant. The restaurant was open and patrons were could be seen dining inside.

 I did speak to an individual who witnessed a portion of the events that unfolded at the restaurant, but I have to say that when I asked this person what they had seen the individual was uncomfortable and reluctant to be interviewed.

At 4:30 pm Wednesday, I contacted ICE media representative Khalid Walls, and am currently waiting for confirmation regarding detainment's.

Jeff Brown
Editor / Publisher
Purple Walrus Press.
Sava's Restaurant downtown Ann Arbor Wed, May 24. Photo Purple Walrus Press.

Ongoing coverage of the amazing mowing sheep of Ypsilanti day two!

At approximately 10:00 am Wednesday morning, May 24, Purple Walrus Press checked in with the amazing grass mowing sheep of know, just to make sure they were ok, and to see if they had decided to stage a protest or sit in or something like that. But alas, there they were , just munching away on the grassy knoll, or rather, hill, there in Riverside Park in Ypsi. In fact, they were behaving just like...sheep! The sheep seemed quite content and focused on completing their task of 'mowing.' They were putting their hearts and souls into their work. You could just tell!

How about a brief recap. Sometime ago, I'm not sure when, the City of Ypsilanti decided to use sheep to 'mow' "challenging" spaces in Riverside Park in Ypsilanti instead of human beings. I know! Great idea! I mean, what human being wants to spend the day schleping a lawn mower up and down a grassy knoll anyway unless its for a paycheck. Oops, that's for another story. But anyway, the City of Ypsilanti decided to contract a cool sounding company called Project Mow and their sheep to do the dirty work of grooming (chewing) cleaning (licking) cutting (biting) tall grass on a grassy knoll in the park. You get the picture.

But, back to day two of the amazing mowing sheep! As I approached the grassy knoll I immediately noticed that all of them (the sheep) were lying down under their little hut house place. Aha! They WERE staging a protest! A sit down strike! But wait...No, suddenly, one of the little sheep turned and looked at me, and then stood up and ambled his/her way back over to the hill. Soon, the rest of the sheep followed him/her and soon all the sheep were back to mowing the grassy knoll. T'was a glorious sight to behold. Well, it was kinda cute, anyway. This whole project is just like living back in the 1800's I bet! Yep, its just like the Little House On the Prairie TV show! In fact, I was looking for Melissa Gilbert to show up and come running down the grassy knoll!

It has, however, proven difficult to find out how much money the City of Ypsilanti is paying the sheep, I mean, Project Mow. I do know that the work is being contracted by the City of Ypsilanti, but as far as figures, so far, I have been unable find the information regarding the cost of the project after a couple attempts. I'll let you know when I find out.

Meanwhile, who cares about the cost, right!?

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.
This guy is onto me. Photos Purple Walrus Press.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sheep mowin' grass in Ypsilanti... Say What?!?!

Yep, it is true! I just saw for myself! As of 11:30 am Tuesday, May 23, there is a flock of sheep 'mowing' grass in the city of Ypsilanti! Yeah, it is really weird!  Well, here's the skinny. Earlier in the week I saw a post on social media stating that the City of Ypsilanti is working with an organization called Project Mow to have sheep 'mow', you know, munch difficult and challenging parts in Riverside Park. I thought to myself, I've got to see this!

Late Tuesday morning I headed down to Riverside Park to check out the grass munching little guys, I mean, sheep! I was wondering to myself, what if they aren't hungry, or what if the don't feel like mowing in challenging places that not even smart and engineering humans don't want to mow?! So many burning questions! I mean, are they union? And what if they go on strike for cripes sake! Is this operation OSHA approved? Did anyone ask the sheep if they wanted to spend the next week mowing a steep hill in Riverside Park! And what would PETA say?! Oy.

Actually, when I first arrived at the scene of the 'mowing' with my camera and big zoom lens I think I scared the b'Jesus out of the little sheep, because as I approach the fence surrounding them they ran their little behinds into the little shelter hut thing that was in there for them. Uh oh. Not to worry, I backed up and they all popped merrily back out and resumed ' mowing' the steep hill in the park they were chewing on.

According to the Project Mow facebook page, "Baaahhh (Hello)! We are a flock of sheep looking to mow and overgrown fields to clean." That's cute. I like it. These sheep are clever and have strong command over the English language to boot, I mean, hoove. Baahhhd.

I did reach out to humans at Project Mow with a few questions. According to Yuko Frazier, Shepherd, the sheep will be stationed at Riverside Park until they finish mowing the hill which is thought to take 4-5 days. I'm curious as to how much money the City of Ypsilanti is paying Project Mow for the service. Understandably, Project Mow did not wish to divulge that information.

Earlier Tuesday morning I contacted Ypsilanti City Council member Beth Bashert about what Project Mow is costing the City. According to Bashert, "I don't know the cost. There is no staffing issue related to it because we are cutting staff so much that this is going to be a help to managing the city grounds. Also, we are choosing an extremely difficult place to mow saving staff time for other places that are easier to get to."

I learned that DPS director, Stan Kirton advocated for the project. I contacted the Ypsilanti DPS Tuesday. The person who answered the phone did not have any information regarding the cost to the City for Project Mow services. I was also told that Stan Kirton would be out of the office until Tuesday. Next Tuesday, I assume.

Well, it is all very interesting though I do have lingering questions. In the meanwhile, check out the cute little grass munching sheep! I hope their unionized!

Jeff Brown
editor, publisher & founder
Purple Walrus Press.
Mowing sheep in Riverside Park Ypsilanti. Photos by Purple Walrus Press.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Neighborhood Theatre Group in Ypsilanti to present "Dispatches from the Dumb Decade" June 2-4

Lots of great things are happening in Ypsilanti including Neighborhood Theatre Group! In fact, NTG will be performing their second full length original  musical "Dispatches from the Dumb Decade"  June 2-4 at the fabulous Bona Sera Underground. Neighborhood Theatre Group is made up of local actors and musicians!

"Dispatches from the Dumb Decade" is a pop / rock musical that sounds extremely topical to me as the plot revolves around a student journalist at the beginning of the new millennium. By the way, the plot also consists of the start of a new president, war, and a new media. Ring any bells?

The workshop performance will feature Eric Hohnke, Tom Hett, Maegan Murphy, Alice Duhon, Aaron Dean, Marisa Linski, and Kristina Fitzgerald. Charles Worth is featured on piano. The musical is directed by Kristin Ann Danko.  Dispatches from the Dumd Decade is by local playwright A.M. Dean. Music is arranged by the NTG House Band.

The performance will be a Bona Sera Underground (200 W. Michigan Ave) in downtown Ypsilanti. Performance times are June 2 at 8 pm, June 3 at 2 pm and 8 pm, and June 4 at 2 pm. Tickets are $10 general/$5 students (with valid ID) and can be purchased at the door or online. The show is recommended for ages 13 and up.

Sounds like an awesome show to me!

Jeff Brown
Founder & Editor
Purple Walrus Press.
NTG Dispatches from the Dumb Decade.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Ypsilanti Fire Department has received regional grant for FEMA equipment.

According to a May 18 press release statement from the City of Ypsilanti, the Washtenaw Mutual Aid Fire Departments Association received a regional grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The grant is for the grand sum of $496,360. Not bad! 

According to the press release, "This $496.360 grant will provide 16 Regional Participating fire departments with funding to purchase appropriate Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation equipment to safely provide out of patient care to victims suffering from cardiac arrest."

According to the release equipment includes Automated External Defibrillators, Automated Chest Compression Device and EMS training equipment.

Jeff Brown

Friday, May 19, 2017

Student altercation at Ypsilanti Community High School Wednesday night after Spring Choir Concert.

There was an altercation between two Ypsilanti Community High School students Wednesday night, May 17, outside of the school building following a YCHS Spring Choir Concert. Friday morning, May 19, Purple Walrus Press contacted Ypsilanti Community Schools Communication and Marketing Coordinator Taryn Reid in regard to Wednesday's altercation. In a statement to PWP Reid responded, "Wednesday evening after the Ypsilanti Community High School Spring Choir concert there was an altercation between two students and the police were called by a bystander. The incident is currently under investigation and as always Ypsilanti Community Schools' top priority is the safety of all students and community members at YCS events."

A message with similar information was sent out to families regarding the altercation from the Ypsilanti High School Principal on Thursday. The message from the principal included the following statement. "Your HS Administrative staff are gathering incident reports from witnesses that were present yesterday evening and will follow the student code of conduct in issuing discipline as a result of this." The message that was sent out to parents from the principal stated also, "No one was harmed." and that, "Members of the HS staff quickly intervened."

There has been much speculation regarding the student altercation on local social media in recent days, but I have displayed the facts as presented to PWP by the school administration. As stated above, the altercation is currently under investigation. Stay tuned for updates.

Jeff Brown
Editor in Chief & Publisher
Purple Walrus Press.
Photo Purple Walrus Press.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Parola Perspective: One of the most important lessons NOT learned by the American voter, as result of Watergate, was that the system worked.

Brooks Parola. Purple Walrus Press.

Folks, one of THE most important lessons NOT learned by the American voter, as a result of Watergate, was that the system worked!
Stop and think about it: Because of freedom of the press, Woodward and Bernstein were able to force an investigation of the POTUS. Congress did its job by investigating. The courts did their job by forcing Nixon to hand over the tapes.
But, instead of being proud of how our system worked like the Founding Fathers designed it to do, instead we lumped it in with Vietnam as another example of not being able to trust our government.
What's come out of that? A cynical voting public electing increasingly more cynical politicians.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Parola Perspective: When will Republican voters express outrage toward Trump?

Brooks Parola. Purple Walrus Press.

Folks, in the 1970's the Republican Party had respect for the rule of law, the constitution, the security of this nation, and their own party.
As a result, when it became clear that Nixon had NO RESPECT for those things, the Republican leadership in congress went over to the White House and made clear to Nixon, that he needed to pack his bags, before THEY joined Democrats in packing his bags for him...when will today's Republican Party do this?!
When are Republican VOTERS going to make clear to congresspeople that you are just as outraged about this as you would be if Hillary or Obama were doing it?!

Brooks Parola.

Monday, May 15, 2017

EMU new part-time lecturers rally in protest of pay cut Monday.

Roughly 40 Eastern Michigan University new part-time lecturers participated in a rally in front of Welch Hall on the EMU campus in Ypsilanti Monday afternoon, May 15. The rally began at 4 pm and was scheduled to continue until 5 pm.  According to EMU AAUP President Judith Kullberg, "The administration is continuing to propose in the current EMUFT contract negotiations that new-part-time lecturers will take a 25% pay cut. This would mean that new lecturers hired to teach in the fall of 2017 would be paid only $900 per credit hour", according to Kullberg.

The goal of Monday's rally was to send a strong message to the administration that faculty is demanding higher wage for lecturers.

Rally participants carried signs with statements including, 'Right to a fair contract', and 'I believe in fair pay, Health care Job security.' Rally participants also chanted, "Well paid teachers, Not stadium bleachers."

Jeff Brown
editor & publisher
Purple Walrus Press.
EMU lecturers rally Monday. Purple Walrus Press photos.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Rally to support EMUFT Lecturers set for Monday in front of Eastern Michigan University..

There will be an EMUFT lecturers rally on Monday, May 15 from 4-5 pm. The rally will take place in front of Welch Hall on the Eastern Michigan campus on the "Cross Street side." There also be a social event from 5- 6 pm.

According to a message sent out by President of EMU-AAUP Judith Kullberg, "The administration is continuing to propose in the current EMUFT contract negotiations that new-part-time lecturers will take a 25% pay cut. This would mean that new lecturers hired to teach in the fall of 2017 would be paid only $900 per credit hour." This according to Kullberg.

The goal of the rally is to send a message to the administration that faculty is demanding a higher wage for lecturers.

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

Friday, May 12, 2017

London England's Mongrel Dogs Rock Motor City Style

London, England based Mongrel Dogs.

So last week, as I was checking my Purple Walrus Press Twitter feed, I noticed that a band I wasn't familiar with was following my publication. The name of the band is Mongrel Dogs and they are based in the UK, London, England to be exact. On the band's Twitter page they posted a new song called 'High' and an accompanying video. Listen, these guys rock! I decided to contact the band and after a few conversations with the group (great guys, by the way) I learned that they have a new EP out titled 'High'. The EP contains three new songs, 'High', 'Ball and Chain', and 'Get Your Evil On'. Each track is packed with hook laden, hi-energy Rock and Roll that is infectious!

Influences on Mongrel Dogs include Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Jimi Hendrix. These guys definitely have taste and these influences are immediately apparent when you listen to their latest EP 'High' released in the winter of 2016.

The EP kicks off with 'High' and it is an excellent rocker. 'High' has attitude, chops, and an infectious hook. Check the soaring vocals in the chorus and the blazing lead guitar fill. The party continues with the foot stompin' 'Get Your Evil On' and its dive bomb lead guitar. The swaggering rocker, 'Ball And Chain' brings the party to a high octane flyin' down the highway close.

One thing for certain is that Mongrel Dogs would go over very well here in the Detroit area. Who knows, maybe we can get these guys over here. I mean London is, what, only 3,683 miles and an ocean away from the Motor City, right?

Check out the band's new video below!

Jeff Brown
Editor in Chief & Publisher
Purple Walrus Press

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Crews continue work on broken water line as they open big hole on Michigan Ave downtown Ypsilanti.

MDOT crews continue to work on a broken storm water line that occurred Tuesday, May 9, on Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti. Tuesday afternoon, at approximately 3:00, the eastbound lane of Michigan Ave, just east of Huron St in downtown Ypsilanti, was shut down as a large "void" was discovered directly underneath the eastbound lane of Michigan Ave near the intersection of Huron St and Michigan Ave.

Purple Walrus Press reported Wednesday, that according to an MDOT worker, "Parts that fix it need to be custom made." The worker stated Wednesday that there would be big hole in street Thursday. Sure enough, as of 12:30 pm Thursday, there is a gaping hole in the street directly in front of the Big Brothers Big Sisters office. Workers on the scene Thursday told PWP that they were hoping to have the repair finished by Saturday barring any complications. However, according to a public notice released from the City of Ypsilanti Wednesday night, the closure of eastbound Michigan Ave is expected to last through Monday, May 15.

Thursday afternoon water could be seen gushing from what can be best described as large above ground hoses that are diverting water around and away from the enormous 20 ft long, 15 ft wide and 12 ft deep hole in the ground in the middle of eastbound Michigan Ave,

According to an individual with Big Brother Big Sisters office located directly next to the section where the repair work is occurring, the situation has not had any effect on the organizations downtown office.

Jeff Brown
editor & publisher
Purple Walrus Press.

Photos Purple Walrus Press.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Broken storm water line creates big hole under Michigan Ave Downtown Ypsilanti

As of Tuesday afternoon the eastbound lane of Michigan Avenue just east of Huron Street in downtown Ypsilanti has been blocked off due to the fact that there is currently what is being called a big void underneath Michigan Avenue.

Michigan Ave was closed down Tuesday afternoon around 3:00 pm, as the underground void was discovered by MDOT. According to a MDOT worker on the scene Wednesday afternoon,"Parts that fix it have to be custom made. They will be available tomorrow."

According to the MDOT worker the void (hole) underneath Michigan Ave is 20 ft long, 15 ft wide and 12 ft deep. According to the worker at the scene,"Lucky to catch it before something happened."

I was told that it should be open by Friday night.

Jeff Brown
editor & publisher
Purple Walrus Press

According to the City of Ypsilanti the closure of eastbound Michigan Ave is expected to last through Monday, May 15.
Michigan Ave Ypsilanti Wed. Photos Purple Walrus Press.

Parola Perspective : Looks like Trump clearly doing things to obstruct investigation.

Brooks Parola. Purple Walrus Press.

So, right now there's just a couple of Republicans calling for an independent investigation ( possible Trump campaign collusion with Russian tampering of U.S.election), but I think that will change over time, if we have more days like yesterday, where Trump is clearly doing things to obstruct the investigation.
Today's GOP is known for their united front, but I'm not sure Trump gets that same respect. Right now, it's a marriage of convenience, but you can bet more Republican members will turn against him if he continues to so blatantly obstruct; and if a failure to call out that obstruction begins to threaten their own campaigns.
Many may soon realize that they can still press forward with their agenda with Pence as president, and more effectively without the headache of Trump.

Brooks Parola. PWP.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Notes from Flint Water Crisis activist Melissa Mays of Flint.

Contributed to PWP by Melissa Mays.

Got a lot of work done in DC. I was able to speak at the Women's March Environmental Justice panel, work alongside my amazing The FUNDRED Dollar Bill Project family again, and I was able to interview with Greta Van Susteren about the tax forclosures re-victimizing Flint residents along with all the fun nastiness popping up in our water (PLEASE TEST YOUR WATER!) Also, I was able to brainstorm with amazing artists and activists and we were able to hit a ton of Senate Offices to push the message that #FlintLivesMatter and remind them that they work for us.
I just want to thank Adam Mays for working as hard as he does so we can afford for me to self-fund these trips. It's important to keep in everyone's faces that Flint is NOT better, especially when completely disconnected people try to take our Healthcare. That is all, time to sleep. I'm happy to be home. Until I drive to Chicago tomorrow night for the Untrouble the Waters Conference...

Melissa Mays.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Congressman Dan Kildee statement regarding notices of tax liens in Flint for unpaid water bills & my two cents on issue as someone who hails from Flint.

Amid the truly horrific news that thousands of Flint residents could actually lose their homes to foreclosure for not paying their water bills, Congressman Dale Kildee has issued at statement. "According to Kildee,"Flint families should not have to pay for water that they still cannot drink, and they certainly should not lose their homes over this ongoing water crisis that was caused by the callous decisions of state government. I opposed this decision because Flint families deserve support from the state until there is confidence in the water system again."

After the the city of Flint recently sent out shut-off notices the city is threatening to put tax liens on people's home if they don't pay their water bills, which would put Flint residents at risk of losing their homes. According to 25 News, over 8000 have received notice, and are on the list for not paying their water bill for six months or more.

On May 3, 2017, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver state, "I must say, I agree with those who have spoken out against this process. I have  met with our interim City Attorney and Finance Director and they say the city is obligated by local ordinance to follow the procedure, and we must follow the law."

As most of you know, Flint is my home town and I have many friends and family in Flint and the Flint area. Though I moved to Ypsilanti from Flint in 2004, I remain deeply connected to Flint and the bonds that bind me to the city are strong and deep. For the past two years I have been baffled by the lack of response to the Flint Water Crisis on the part of not only the State of Michigan, but the the Federal government as well. Now, I am equally baffled by the fact that Flint residents could actually lose their homes if they don't pay their water bill?! Why on earth should Flint residents have to pay for water that is not fit to drink or bathe in. And on top of that, residents may actually lose their homes?! The water is unfit to drink. Residents are still required to use a water filter on their taps or use bottled water, yet they are being forced to pay for this water or risk losing their homes. Threatening foreclosure for not paying for poisonous water is cruel. What does this say about our nation?

Jeff Brown
editor & publisher
Purple Walrus Press.
Downtown Flint. Photo Purple Walrus Press.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Purple Walrus Press Writers Alley : Poem by Stanzie York.

When was I supposed to do all these things that I don’t ever do?

In the early morning when I get up before you get up?
Before or after a night of letting dogs out and quieting child nightmares?

When would I do these things you say I didn’t do?

When I got the child up, who was screaming and denying school?
When he refused breakfast and toothbrushing and showering?  And dawdled and tantrumed?
I know, while I was making his lunch and checking homework and signing papers and locating a dollar for chips at school.  That’s when.

Or, or…

Before or after I was making coffee and breakfast for everyone and filling dog water bowls?

While, at the same time, I hear you arise leisurely and read your iPad for the latest news and cat videos on Facebook.  Drink coffee.  Check weather.
While you get ready by yourself in the bathroom
While I’m still wrestling with the child who hates mornings.
Maybe I was supposed to be doing these things you say I don’t do…

Sometime when I put myself together for my own small job and slap a little makeup on and search for child’s clothes because it’s the blue shirt, mom, not the red one.

Oh, yes, I could do all this at night like organized people, you say.  Maybe then I could do what I’m not getting around to, what I’m falling apart on, what I’m neglecting because I’m sitting around all disorganized or what-the-fuck-ever I am.

That’s when I was supposed to do all this stuff that I don’t do.  Right?

After I take the screaming child to school maybe late and rush to my job maybe late and work all day on one thing or another.
Maybe sometime between picking child up, talking to a teacher, tracking assignments and homework.
Or, I know, during the day while making sure schedules are up-to-date and sports equipment is packed and uniforms are washed.
Maybe after I pay bills, do taxes, get everyone’s haircuts together, go to the doctor and dentist and make sure child and you get there too.
How about when I drive child to sport and pick up his buddy, too?  Should I do all these things when I pack the car with snacks and drinks for the ride to and from sport?
How about when I take three dogs to the groomers and vet?
And call that tree guy to get that thing trimmed for chrissake it’s about to drop limbs everywhere.

I could do whatever I’m neglecting at the same time I find a new lawn service because the other one sure isn’t working out.  I will do it when I negotiate prices, get recommendations from friends and neighbors.

Or before I wash more loads of laundry and go shopping.
And when I buy everyone’s clothing.  I could do all these things I neglect to do then.

Maybe I should do all this stuff I forgot to do while I’m cleaning the pee off the bathroom floor and the hair out of the drain and the grease out of the kitchen sink.
I could also add it to calling the plumber and the heating guy and keeping up on changing all filters and batteries because I know where the batteries are.  And no one else seems to.

How about when I change light bulbs all over the house?  Or change toilet paper and paper towel rolls and garbage bags?
Could I fit these neglected things in when I take out the trash and recycling bins and bring the cans to and from the backyard on garbage day?

Oh, I know, I can do it when I get the dry cleaning.  Yes.
Or when I put a new nylon on the washer hose.  Change sheets.  Wash sheets.  Dry sheets.
Or when I scoop poop and clean up dog vomit and make sure I buy food for the dogs that won’t make them itch or vomit after I do research online about food allergies.
What about before I deal with that lost check that never arrived and talk to the broker and the tax accountant?
Or when I drive to City Hall or the Secretary of State to stand in lines to pay fees?

Then?  Would you like me to do all the shit that I don’t do then?

Maybe as I cook and wash the fucking dishes and sweep the floors and pick up the shit that you, child, and buddies seem to leave every living where.  
When I take kids to swim and play basketball and see movies and have play dates at the park and go skating.  Sometime then.
Wipe everything and everyone down.

While you take meetings and talk to friends and watch TV and have opinions and get you yourself and you ready without thinking about anything but just that.  While I think of everything else and the kitchen sink.

And do everything. Everything. Everything.
Then.  Maybe.  I will catch up to your satisfaction.

Ok, maybe I got lost for a second.  I forgot and lost track of the answer.
Now, when was I supposed to do these things?  The things that get pushed to the side?  The things I don’t get to do?  Tell me.

Never mind.  I know.
I took an hour to get my hair cut.
I went to lunch with a friend.
I got my nails done.
I watched a TV show.
I shopped for myself.
I am horribly lax.
I get it.  
There are a few things that I haven’t done because of all this time-wasting.

I didn’t yet clean off the front porch, take donations to Goodwill, plant flowers and trees and shrubs in the yard, pull weeds, fertilize the grass, clean out the garage, paint the porch, wash windows, pick up every toy, hockey puck, basketball, baseball, football, frisbee, and tennis racket over and over and over.  Put away bikes and scooters and skateboards.  And I didn’t get a chance to stop by and pick up your prescription, print out that document to take to your workshop in the morning because you can’t deal with that stupid printer I bought, unpack your suitcase from your trip, turn off the lights in your study that you forgot, plug in your iPad, help you with your computer, find your phone, order your shirts online, bring that giant box of paper towels in off the porch, or clean out your goddamn car.

I fell short of all expectations.

And you sit on the back porch reading.  And tell me I don’t do shit after you wash the dishes for a day or two and decide it might be time to cook because, oh my fucking god, it is so late and we never eat as a family anymore.

So tell me.  Go ahead.
When was I supposed to do everything I didn’t already do?

Stanzie York.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Ann Arbor Civic Theatre's Junior Theatre production of Honk! Jr. delights & moves receptive audience Friday night.

From past experience I've come to expect that an Ann Arbor Civic Theatre performance will be top notch, however, I did not expect to be moved as much as I was by Friday night's production. The Ann Arbor Civic Theatre Junior Theatre production of Honk! Jr. opened to a nearly packed Arthur Miller Theatre located on the UM North campus Friday, May 5, and it is safe to say that no one in attendance left the theatre unmoved.

Honk! Jr, Directed by Denyse Clayton, and book and Lyrics by Anthony Drewe, is a musical adaption of the classic Hans Christian Anderson story, The Ugly Duckling. The mother duck Ida, performed very convincingly by Sara Mattson, after much waiting, finally watches her last duckling emerge from her egg. Several perfectly "normal" little ducklings had already hatched. However, this late hatching little duckling appears to be quite "different" from the rest. The duckling's siblings begin to call the duckling ugly. To make matters worse, the father duckling teases and picks on the little duckling, also. Indeed, the first words uttered by the father duck Drake upon laying eyes on the little duckling is,"Ugh, its a monster." I thought Jeremy Klooster played Drake terrifically.

Shortly thereafter, the "ugly" duckling becomes separated from her family and is indeed, lost. She encounters many creatures, including a crafty cat that would love to eat her, and a charming, self deprecating frog. Finally, she meets a lovely swan.

In the end, the ugly duckling realizes that everyone is special and deserves respect and love. In fact, in a wonderful twist of events, the duckling discovers that, actually, she is a swan herself! Thank goodness for happy endings.

The musical direction by George Stiles was fantastic as it mirrored each scene, whether jaunty or poignant. The acting was equally impressive. Chloe Lee payed the lead character of Ugly incredibly well. She brought depth, character and emotion to her character in a truly impressive and heartfelt manner. I was wowed. Looking around the audience it was clear that I wasn't the only one who was wowed. There plenty of teary eyed faces in the audience because they were so moved.

The beauty of this timeless story is in the message it delivers, which is stated in the plays brochure. "It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences."-Audre Lourde.

This message of acceptance is particularly poignant today. We are living in a time in America that is filled with hate and polarization. We might all learn a very important lesson from Honk! Jr. Let us hope that we do.

Catch performances at the University of Michigan's Arthur Miller Theatre, 1226 Murfin Ave this weekend. There will be matinees Saturday and Sunday at 1 pm and 3:30 pm.

Jeff Brown
editor & publisher
Purple Walrus Press.

Honk! Jr. Arthur Miller Theatre. Ann Arbor.

Parola Perspective : Double standard perpetuated by Republicans.

By Brooks Parola. Purple Walrus Press.

The double standard perpetuated by Republicans to great effect with American voters is absolutely mind boggling. No, I'm not talking about the sexist double standards Hillary was forced to endure, I'm talking about the double standard that says it's okay for the GOP to be totally dominated by the wealthy and corporate interests, but not okay if the Democrats do; which Democrats MUST do, if they hope to compete in the big monied world of American politics.
Yet time and again, the GOP is able to convince the American electorate that it's the Democrats who are the wealthy elitists, out of touch with the American people even as one Democrat after another implements policies directed at helping the middle and working classes, while Republicans have done nothing but implement policies that do nothing but destroy those classes. The latest being Obamacare, which sure enough, the Republicans are trying to favor the wealthy, at the expense of the middle and working classes.

Brooks Parola. PWP.