Wednesday, November 29, 2017

On the Flint Water Crisis: Activist Melissa Mays of Flint.

Contributed to Purple Walrus Press by Melissa Mays.

Please don't forget Flint. We're on Day #1314 in the #FlintWaterCrisis. Lead isn't our only contaminant we're fighting and facing. We need our mains, interior plumbing and appliances replaced because they were also destroyed by the caustic water pumped through our system. And we STILL pay their highest rates in the US for water that is hurting so many...

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Student protesters speak out against hate / Richard Spencer at University of Michigan Tuesday in Ann Arbor.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Approximately 200 University of Michigan students participated in a protest speaking out against hate and white supremacist Richard Spencer on the Diag which is located in the center of the UM campus in Ann Arbor. The Speak Out protest was organized by several student groups and began at 6 pm Tuesday night, November 28 in front of the Graduate Library on the central campus. Students are angry at the prospect that known white supremacist Richard Spencer has applied to speak at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in the near future.

Organizers of Tuesday night's Speak Out protest against hate, called upon students and members of the community to share thoughts, stories, opinions and thoughts regarding Richard Spencer and the university of Michigan's response to Spencer's request to speak at U of  M.

One Michigan student who spoke during the protest stated that he is frightened by the fact that Spencer wants to speak on campus, while telling the crowd that there is a KKK chapter 20 miles from Ann Arbor in Howell. (This information from the student speaker is not confirmed and reflects the views of the speaker). The speaker also stated that he feels unsafe.

Another student speaker at the protest said that as a student at Michigan, she feels that students, herself included, are exhausted by their efforts on campus to fight racism on behalf of the university. According to the student, "We need to be compassionate to one another."

University of Michigan student groups have called for a "Week of Action" and are asking for faculty, graduate students and instructors to participate in week long protests on campus in response to what student protesters see as a racist Trump administration and Richard Spencer. A student walk out is planned for Wednesday at 11:45 am, November 29 in protest over Richard Spencer and his white supremacist views. An all day student strike has been called for Thursday at U of M in protest over racism and Richard Spencer. Friday, there will be a LEO Bargaining Rally at Palmer Commons at 12 pm.

As of this writing, Tuesday night at 8 pm, a University of Michigan Board of Regents Special Meeting is being held to discuss the possibility of allowing Richard Spencer to speak on campus. The  meeting is taking place in the the Michigan Union Anderson Room.

Evident at tonight's Speak Out Rally on the UM Diag was the fact that student protesters feel that the university is not standing up for them, not protecting them and not making them feel safe on campus. Student protesters feel that the fact that the school is entertaining the idea of allowing Spencer to speak on campus is making students feel exploited.

Photos Purple Walrus Press.

UM Diag Tuesday night, Nov 28.

News Alert: Pentagon confirms North Korean missile launch Tuesday afternoon.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

At 2 pm Tuesday, November 28, the Pentagon confirmed that North Korea has launched a missile. A spokesman for the Pentagon stated that at 1:30 pm Tuesday, the United States detected a missile launch from North Korea.  As of 2:00 pm Tuesday, the missile is still in the air. At this time there is no information about the trajectory of the missile.

This is a a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell statement Enbridge Line 5 safeguard agreement.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI 12) has released a statement on Governor Snyder's agreement with Enbridge that would require the company to make immediate improvements to the Line 5 pipeline in order to insure environmental protection for the Great Lakes. This protection includes replacing a portion of Line 5 and shutting down the pipeline during periods of severe weather. 

The Enbridge Line 5 Pipeline is a oil pipeline that is in the Enbridge Lakehead System, that will transport petroleum from the western portion of Canada to eastern Canada. The controversy surrounding Line 5 revolves around the fact that the pipeline will pass through environmentally sensitive areas such as the Straits of Mackinac. The Straits connect Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

According to a press release from Congresswoman Dingell, “This agreement is a beginning toward safeguarding the Great Lakes and protecting the drinking water that 40 million people rely upon. The Line 5 pipeline carries twenty-three million gallons of oil through the Straits of Mackinac every day. A spill in this area would be devastating for the Great Lakes ecosystem, economy and our way of life, and that is a risk we cannot afford to take. Enbridge has repeatedly failed to disclose potential vulnerabilities to this pipeline, and this agreement will help hold the company to account, ensure the public is informed and that critical safety standards are in place. While this is an important step, I continue to believe that if a comprehensive study of the pipelines finds Line 5 to be unsafe, it should be shut down.”

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver's water service line replacement Fast Start Initiative continues.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

As of November 21, 2017, lead tainted water service lines have been replaced at 5,752 homes homes in the city of Flint. The Mayor's initiative is now in phase 4 of the Fast Start Initiative. The mayor's plan is to replace the lead-tainted service lines at 6,000 homes in Flint before the end of the year.

According to a press release from the Flint mayor's office, "Crews from four area companies are replacing lead and galvanized service lines leading from the street to the water meter in residents’ homes during this fourth phase of FAST Start, extending the mayor’s efforts to restore safe, clean drinking water to Flint residents. Overall, service lines to 5,752 homes have been replaced since FAST Start launched in March 2016."

According to the press release from the Flint mayor's office, work crews noted that 1,185 homes in Flint have copper service lines which, according to the city, do not need to be replaced. Work crews are using a method called hydro-excavation in order to check the internal composition of some of the service lines. Apparently, this allows crews to avoid digging up service lines made of copper and focus on home that have lead-tainted pipes.

Speaking as someone who grew up in the city of Flint, I only hope that work continues and that all of the water service lines are replaced in the city, and the sooner the better.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration puts a shine on Depot Town in Ypsilanti Saturday night.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Ypsilanti residents turned out in high numbers Saturday evening, November 25, in Ypsilanti's Depot Town to participate in the Tree-Lighting Celebration. The Depot Town Tree-Lighting Celebration marks the beginning of the holiday season in Ypsilanti and at 6 pm Saturday evening, that tree lit up like a, well, Christmas tree! Santa and Mrs Clause could be seen mixing with the crowd and admiring the tree, also!

After the successful lighting of the tree, folks strolled over to the Depot Town Freight House for hot chocolate and cookies that were on the house. Pretty awesome! Oh, I cant forget the reindeer! Yep, Santa let one of his reindeer hang out for a while in front of the Freight House. I tried to get an interview with the reindeer but he was too busy having his photo taken with the all kids. Oh, well.

The weather was fab, the crowd was awesome, the reindeer was cute and the hot chocolate and cookies were delicious. What better way to kick off the holiday season in Ypsilanti!

Photos Purple Walrus Press.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Ypsilanti Depot Town Tree-Lighting Celebration November 25.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

If you love the holiday season then Depot Town in Ypsilanti will be the place to be Saturday, November 25 at 5:30 pm! Come on down and enjoy the Ypsilanti Community Choir, and and gather with Depot Merchants, tenants, residents of the community and friends while witnessing the lighting of the tree. Sing Christmas Carols, also! This event officially kicks off the Holiday season!

After the lighting of the tree, tag along with Santa and Mrs Claus and head over to the Freight House for hot chocolate and cookies. Meet one of Santa's reindeer, also!

Special thanks goes to Bank of Ann Arbor for helping to transport Santa's reindeer all the way from the North Pole!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving from Purple Walrus Press! Now, where's that Arlo Guthrie album?!

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Happy Thanksgiving from the folks at Purple Walrus Press! If you are traveling, be safe! If you are staying home for Thanksgiving, relax and enjoy!

Soon yours truly will be torturing my wife and two kids by forcing them to listen very carefully to the entire 20 minute long Arlo Guthrie Thanksgiving classic talking song, 'Alice's Restaurant' in the car. Oh, deep down they love it, right?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

David Cassidy dies. I will miss him. This is my tribute.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Sadly, singer David Cassidy died Tuesday evening at a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida after being admitted to the intensive care unit several days ago for organ failure. According to a statement on David's facebook page posted at approximately 9:45 pm Tuesday night, November 21, "It is with great sadness that I post this message.
David Cassidy has meant so much to so many people.
"David was an iconic teen idol in the 70's and he maintained a career spanning movies, theatre, music, writing, directing. His multi-generational connection to so many people from all walks of life, from all around the world will be felt today.
Despite being a star, he was kind hearted, thoughtful and considerate of others and a friend.
He will be greatly missed."

As for myself, David Cassidy certainly made quite an impression on me while growing up in the late 1960's and 70's. When I was in elementary school back in Flint, Friday night meant two things. First, Friday meant that, mercifully, the school week had ended, and second, it meant the Partridge Family. Yep, between 1970 and 1974, every single Friday night at precisely 8 pm, I parked myself in front of our massive rabbit eared Panasonic T.V. set to watch the coolest show ever, which was of course, The Partridge Family. The Partridge Family was a music sitcom that starred David Cassidy. The theme of the show was centered around a widowed mom (Shirley Jones) and her musical rock star kids who set out on a successful pop rock music career. Cassidy played the oldest son (Keith Partridge) and lead singer of the family band...and David Cassidy did actually sing! 

For the 8, 9, 10 and 11 year old me, the show was the epitome of total hip and coolness. In my book, as a kid, Cassidy was the very embodiment of cool, hip, and total grooviness. Cassidy's good looks, cool demeanor, and even cooler hair style inspired me to fall in love with rock and pop music. Sure, I loved listening to my parent's Burt Bacharach and Herb Alpert albums, but Kieth, that was where it was at in the early seventies!
Let me say this... by the 5th grade I had a total David Cassidy (Keith Partridge) hair style...real long and everything! Seriously, The Partridge Family show did make a huge impact on me growing up in that the show inspired in me a life-long passion for rock, pop and style.

Soon after the Partridge Family show ended in 1974, I moved on and discovered The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, but I never forgot David Cassidy. I will miss him.

Remains of World War ll pilot sent back home to Wyandotte, Michigan after 73 years.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

On Monday, November 20, 2017, the remains World War ll pilot Lieutenant Donald Underwood were finally sent home today to his family who live in Wyandotte, Michigan. Lieutenant Underwood was listed as KIA/MIA since the end of the war in 1945.

U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell's office helped non-profit organization History Flight, Lt. Underwood's brother George Underwood, 91, of Wyandotte and son in law Mike Mehall in locating and identifying the remains of Lt. Underwood. Lt. Underwood's remains will be buried in Arlington Cemetery on November 28th.

According to Congresswoman DebbieDingell,  “Today, more than 73 years after Lt. Underwood was lost in World War II, his family is able to bring him home. This is a day of joy, of gratitude for Lt. Underwood’s service to our country, and a day of closure for his family, who never gave up hope. We must never forget the men and women in uniform who are missing in action, prisoners of war, and the individuals who have sacrificed so much for this nation. May this day bring hope to all families who are waiting for someone they love to return. I am grateful to those whose dedication made this day possible, and honored to have worked alongside Lt. Underwood’s family to help bring him home and honor his sacrifice in service to our country.”

Monday, November 20, 2017

Notorious murderer Charles Manson dies: Focus should be on victims.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Much has been written about the murderous "Manson Family" cult leader Charles Manson. I was seven years old in 1970, which was the year Manson and "Family' members were convicted of murder, but I do have vague memories of the horrific event and subsequent trial a year later, as there was massive media coverage of the bizarre trial and conviction of Manson and his cult of followers. As a seventh grade junior high school kid, I read the book 'Helter Skelter' in 1975 when it came out. The book, written by Vincent Bugliosi in 1975,  documented the story of Manson and the murders he orchestrated, that were in large part, inspired by a sick and delusional political vision he had in 1969. Indeed, the book was chilling in its detail and was a bit much for the 12 year old me to grapple with at the time.

Here is a brief re-cap of the horrific events of August 9, 1969.

August 9, 1969, was a hot and steamy night in Benedict Canyon, which is a part of Beverly Crest, located just north of Beverly Hill in Los Angeles, California. On that horrible evening Charles Manson sent four devoted members of his "Family" to the home of a famous Hollywood couple named Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski. Tate was an up and coming actress and Polanski is a well known movie director. Polanski was out of the country on the night of August 9, but Sharon Tate was home and had several friends over to keep her company. These friends included Detroit native Jay Sebring, who was a well known Hollywood men's hair stylist, Abigal Folger, heiress to the Folger Coffee fortune, her boyfriend screenwriter Wojciech Fryow ski and friend of the resident grounds keeper, Steve Parent. Also murdered by the Manson Family, at the direction of Charles Manson, in coming days within the general area were grocery store chain owner, Leno LaBianca, his wife Rosemary LaBianca, and music teacher Gary Hinman.

Manson Family members, including Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian and Patricia Krenwinkel, were ordered by Manson to converge on the Tate/Polanski residence at 10050 Cielo Drive and murder the inhabitants, including Steve Parent, who was a friend of the live in grounds keeper. All of whom had no relationship to the killers in any way shape or form.

Around 10:00 pm, August 9, 1969, the four Manson Family members horrifically murdered all inhabitants of the home, except the grounds keeper, who had a room at the opposite end of the mansion from where the murders took place.

Charles Manson died Monday, November 20, in a Califoria hospital while serving life in prison for the horrible 1969 slayings. He was 83. In Monday's news much was written about the life and times of notorious Charles Manson...He hung out with late Beach Boy, Dennis Wilson, he was born in Cincinnati to a 16 year old girl....on and on. Monday, the spotlight should be on the seven young individuals who were the victims of Manson's bizarre, politically inspired (sickly) and planned massacre.

Here is a brief bio of the four victims who were brutally killed at the Tate/Polanski residence on August 9, 1969. They each deserve acknowledgement and recognition.

Sharon Tate was 26 years old when she was murdered. She was an actress and model. She is best remembered for her role in the 1967 movie, Valley of the Dolls, for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. Sharon was described as shy as a child and people often misinterpreted her shyness to being aloof. She graduated from Vicenza American High School in Viicenza, Italy in 1961. She was born in Dallas, Texas.

Steven Parent was 18 years old had recently attended his high school prom and was working two jobs to save money for college. He was killed in the Tate driveway.

Abigail Folger was 25 years old. She was heiress to the Folgers Coffee and a close friend of Sharon Tate. Abigail volunteered as a social worker in Los Angelos and dedicated to the welfare of children and civil rights. Abigail graduated from Radcliffe College with high honors.

Jay Sebring was a well known men's hair stylist in LA who had grew up in Detroit. He had a passion for style.

Woojciech Frykowski was born in Poland in 1936. He moved to the United Stated in 1967 at age 31 and as an aspiring screenwriter became good friends with director Roman Polanski.

Sadly, the Manson Family murders contributed to the polarization of an already deeply divided America in the 1960's and 70's, as many older Americans at the time mistakenly attributed the delusional political views of murderous cult and Manson, to anti establishment sentiments common among the younger generation at the time.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Eastern Michigan men's basketball topples Howard University at the Convocation Center Saturday.

EMU's James Thompson drops it in the bucket in first half. Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

The Eastern Michigan University basketball team toppled visiting Howard University on a rainy November Saturday by a score of 76-66 at the Convocation Center at home in Ypsilanti. The 4-0 Eagles shook off a slow start early in the first half and quickly dominated the 0-4 Bison by playing strong defense and out re-bounding Howard University 47-26.

 EMU Junior Elijah Minnie scored a team high 21 points, while junior James Thompson contributed to the Eagle victory with 18 points. Thompson also snagged 14 rebounds. Junior Paul Jackson, out of Stone Mountain Georgia,  played a stellar game at guard scoring 16 points.

This Eagles team looks good and appears to have a lot of positive chemistry.

Next up EMU takes on Indiana in Bloomington, Ind on Friday, November 24 at 4:30 pm.

Photos Purple Walrus Press.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Parola Perspective: Harassed women who come forward must be believed.

By Brooks Parola. Purple Walrus Press.

I’ve thought about this ever since the Trumpsters brought it up last year. I think it’s VERY likely that Bill Clinton engaged in harassing, and maybe even predatory behavior over the years. I think if any women come forward, they should be believed like anyone else.
I also think that the GOP relentlessly went after him, and it was therefore reasonable to dismiss much of it, as political; although many of us had serious concerns about him from the beginning, and should have taken the accusations more seriously.
Also, unlike Trump, Bill was never caught on tape boasting about his predatory behavior; and then elected anyway! Unlike Moore, no one has accused him of pedophilia, and all of the men who led the impeachment movement against him, engaged in far worse while trying to take him down for lying over a consensual sex act...yeah, no politics there!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Eastern Michigan gets much needed gridiron win over Miami of Ohio

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

The Eagles of Eastern Michigan University got a much needed gridiron win over Miami of Ohio Wednesday night in Oxford, Ohio. The Eagles 27-24 win over the RedHawks came after a frustrating loss last week to MAC rival Central Michigan. In fact, it has been a frustrating season for not only the EMU football program, but for fans as well, including yours truly. Our 4-7 Eagles have suffered three overtime loses, not to mention the fact that all seven EMU loses have been determined by one score. Wednesday night's win was a confidence booster for an Eagles team that went to a bowl game last year.

Eastern Quarterback Brogan Roback completed 15 of 27 passes for 269 yards, while bruising EMU running back Ian Eriksen rushed for 112 yards on the ground. EMU'S Shaq Vann rushed for a respectable 53 yards.

Catch Eastern Michigan at Rynearson Stadium ( The Factory) next week on Tuesday, November 21 at 7 pm. Next Tuesday's game is Senior Day. So come on out a cheer on the EMU Eagles in their final game of the season.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Eastern Michigan University sets new record for student athlete graduation rate.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to Eastern Michigan University, the NCAA graduation rate report was released last Wednesday and EMU student athletes have set a new student athlete graduation rate record. According to the report, EMU student athletes recorded a graduation rate of 83%. According to the EMU press release, that figure represents an increase of two points higher than last year's rate.

According to statements made to EMU by Vice President/Director of Athletics Scott Wetherbee,  "Academic success and degree completion are high-priority items for this department." "I want to commend our student-athletes for their efforts and ability to balance all of the academic and athletic demands, our coaches for their focus on education first and recruiting talented students to our teams, and our staff for their ongoing support of our student-athletes' academic endeavors."

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Stop Trump Ann Arbor to host meeting November 17.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

The local organization Stop Trump Ann Arbor will be holding a meeting on Friday, November 17, from 6 pm-8:30 pm at the downtown Ann Arbor District Library to discuss the groups principles, ongoing deportation defense campaigns and the effort to to inform people of their Rapid Response Team. Further, there will be a discussion relating to current events and what actions Stop Trump Ann Arbor should take in effort to resist the Trump administration's immigration policies, efforts and initiatives. There will also be discussion about how the organization can focus the direction of Ann Arbor, the state and the nation.

According to organizers, "All who support the work of Stop Trump Ann Arbor are welcome."

Monday, November 13, 2017

Ypsilanti Farmers Market-Indoors.

By Editor and Publisher Jeff Brown

The Ypsilanti Farmers Market-Indoors has begun! Stop by Tuesday, November 14. Check out the Farmers Market-InDoors every Tuesday through December 19, from 3-7 pm and every second Tuesday of the month from January until April.

Vendors include seasonal produce, locally raised meats, baked treats, crafts, honey, jellies and more.  Food from Earthen Jar will also be featured each week! There will also be a children's activity table as well.

Check out the Ypsilanti Farmers Market-Indoors. You are going to love it!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Ypsilanti Inaugural Zombie Scavenger Hunt and Challenge! November 11.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Saturday, November 11, an interesting, intriguing and drop dead awesome sounding event will be taking place at Frog Island Park in Ypsilanti. What is this most awesome event, pray tell? Well, it is the Ypsilanti Inaugural Zombie Scavenger Hunt and Challenge. Told you it was cool sounding!

Here's the scoop. The event will begin in Frog Island Park at 7 pm, ushering in two to three hours of "dead funny tricks n treats." Word is that this is to be an annual event to take place a few weeks before Halloween next year. This happens to be the first year of the event. According to organizers, there will be lots of prizes.

Participants will break into teams which can have one to four people. According to organizers, "Please have a sober driver or uber on speed dial-never know where you will end up!!" Yikes. Also, stated is that you should wear comfy shoes. Organizers say to bring phones that can take pictures and video.

There will be eight prizes from local favorite places and two cash prizes for the winning team and best Zombie.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Time For Gun Control In America???

By Bob Resch. Purple Walrus Press.

The deadly massacre that just occurred at a church in Sutherland
Springs, Texas, that killed more than 26 and injured numerous others
is still ringing in the hearts and minds of Americans.

It's becoming the new normal.  Another heartbreaking headline ripping
across newspapers and our TV and computer screens.   Another Mass
Shooting.  What's the reason for all this mayhem and bloodshed?

I just read a recent article in the November 7th issue of the New York
Times by Max Fisher and Josh Keller that might offer some insight.

"The United States has 270 million guns and has had over 300 mass
shooting since 1982.  No other country has over 46 million guns or
more than 18 mass killings in their history. Most killings involve
guns, usually handguns that are legally obtained."   A New Yorker is
just as likely to be robbed as a Londoner but is 54 times more likely
to be shot and killed in the process.

Mother Jones reports that "More Americans have been shot to death in
the last 25 years than have died in every war."

These are startling statistics and one aggravating circumstance is THE

We've heard it a million times.  GUNS DON'T KILL.  PEOPLE KILL.  But
one thing is clear in the make up of the human species. We all have
breaking points.  Depression, Frustration, Love, Jealousy, Envy, are
just some of the emotional triggers that often times overrule common
sense, not to mention that AMERICA IS A VIOLENT PLACE.

The second Amendment of the Constitution is a contributing factor here
as it gives  "The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not
be infringed".

The NRA will always make it's presence felt in every debate.  In 2016
more than half of the House of Representatives got money from gun
rights groups.   Let's face it, some people like to collect guns like
some people collect stamps.

Guns can be a hobby, or a means of protection, or a security blanket,
or a hunting tool.  But when a cool mind turns angry and vengeful, a
gun becomes a lethal weapon.

Maybe it's because Death comes easy in Hollywood. People of a certain
age, like myself,  grew up watching Western movies where gun play and
killing the bad guy was just a normal part of the story line.  The
modern day Movies are no different except there's far more blood

The debate over Gun Control will be debated for years to come.

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Voting Day in Ypsilanti: Residents trickle into polling locations Tuesday.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Under cool temperatures and sunny skies, Ypsilanti residents trickled into polling locations Tuesday to cast their votes. In Ypsilanti, two proposals were on the ballot November 7. These ballot Proposal are as follows.

1. Washtenaw County Community Mental Health and Public Safety Preservation Millage.

2. Washtenaw Intermediate School District Special Education Millage Renewal proposal.

Both of these proposals represent important issues and are relevant to our local community and county.

According to polling station workers at Estabrook Elementary in Ypsilanti, as of 12:15 pm, 260 residents in Ward 2 Precinct 1, 2, 3 had cast their vote.

Monday, November 6, 2017

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) releases statement addressing shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

In the wake of Sunday's horrific shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has released the following statement on Monday, November 6, 2017.

“It is impossible to comprehend what it must have felt like to wake up this morning in Sutherland Springs, a small, tight-knit community roughly 35 miles southeast of San Antonio. So many neighbors lost. The sound of yesterday's gunfire and sirens still ringing in the air.”
‘We know, thankfully, that two good Samaritans turned on and pursued the shooter and may have prevented this nightmare from lasting even longer. And we are grateful for the heroism and the quick, decisive action of these two men.”
“Yesterday I spoke with Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt, Jr. and offered not only my condolences, but my unequivocal and complete support.”
“We know the investigation into exactly what happened and why is ongoing, and it's important that we allow this investigation to be completed so we can know exactly what happened and exactly what we might be able to do to prevent tragedies like this from occurring in the future. I hope that Texans who call Sutherland Springs and First Baptist Church home will soon have some answers.”
“I hope each of us will pledge to be a light in the darkness, and to the families whose lives are forever changed by atrocity, let us provide a strong shoulder of support.”

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Texas Governor Greg Abbott releases statement on horrific church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas Sunday.

Photo taken by WLWT Channel 5 News Cincinnati.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.
Tragically, 26 people were killed Sunday in a shooting inside of a church in Sutherland,Texas. According to local law enforcement, the shooter has been identified as Devin Patrick Kelley age 26. Many others inside the church were wounded. The suspect was found dead inside his car, not far from the scene of the shooting.
Governor Abbott has released the following statement on the shooting in Sutherland Springs, TX.
"While the details of this horrific act are still under investigation, Cecilia and I want to send our sincerest thoughts and prayers to all those who have been affected by this evil act. I want to thank law enforcement for their response and ask that all Texans pray for the Sutherland Springs community during this time of mourning and loss."

Harvest Festival in Detroit east side neighborhood takes on soggy night and Statue of Liberty?

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

The Farnsworth neighborhood Harvest Festival held on Moran Street on Detroit's east side in the Motor City Saturday night, November 4, was at once interesting, intriguing and well worth the drive from Ypsilanti, even in the driving rain. In other words, I'm glad I braved the the weather and unexpected traffic jam on 94 E. to make it on time for the annual neighborhood festival.

The Harvest Festival was held in a vacant lot near the corner of Farnsworth and Moran, which is located off  of East Grand Boulevard in Detroit. As far as food and drink on the rainy Sunday evening, there was plenty. Several tables, under canopy, were set up in the lot in close proximity to a outdoor wood burning stove. Apparently, the wood burning stove stays put there in the vacant lot all year round. The lot definitely seems to be a neighborhood gathering area.

Lets talk food. Two tables were stacked with fresh pieces of wood-stove made and delicious mounds of pizza slices, topped with olives, artichoke, tomatoes, mushrooms, green pepper and mozzarella. This was no ordinary pizza, this stuff stuck to your ribs. Another table featured a steaming hearty lentil soup. Perfect for an outdoor harvest festival on a rainy night in the Motor City. I sound like Anthony Bourdain! Scratch that...Bourdain is much cooler than I am.

A couple hours later came the event that everyone, well, almost everyone was waiting for. Word was that once darkness descended on the Detroit east side neighborhood, a giant previously constructed, um,  structure, was to be erected and set afire in a different vacant neighborhood lot located a block or two away. To be honest, this caused me a little concern. I mean, burning a pre made structure in a vacant lot? Well, I guess I've always been a cautious person and the whole burning thing was a bit out of my comfort zone. Go ahead and call me a square, it's ok. I should say that I was told that every year folks do notify the Fire Department before the burning part of the festival. That, I like.

So suddenly, the soon to be burned wood structure/figure appeared in the lot and it looked a heck of a lot like, ummm, the Statue of Liberty? Word was from one person I spoke to that, yes, the roughly three stories tall figure was meant as a representation of the Statue of Liberty. Well, there is quite a likeness. The figure was built by local Detroit artist Joe Weertz, who resides in the neighborhood. It was so interesting and striking to look at that I hated to see it burn. It took several attempts, but soon the figure of the Statue of Liberty was ablaze. I took a few more steps back. Honestly, I wasn't sure what to make of the fact that the figure was set on fire. Was the burning a political statement of some sort? Did the fact that the burned figure structure was meant to represent the Statue of Liberty signify a political message relating to policies under the Trump administration? In essence, was the burning figure making a political statement through art? I asked a couple people who said they didn't know. I wanted to speak to the artist who built the figure in order to find out what the burning of the figure structure was supposed to represent but I was unable to track him down. What the figure and subsequent burning of the figure represented is up to ones own artistic interpretation. I was reminded of the fact that the beauty of art lies in individual interpretation. Whether art offends or not, is in the eye of the beholder. Nonetheless, the event was interesting to observe...from a safe distance!

There was another key event at the Harvest Festival...Hayrides. Yes, hayrides! Two tractor pulled wooden wagons offered hayrides, with hay and everything, to anyone who wanted to hop on. This was very popular with the kids of course! The tractor hayride wound its way through several blocks in the east side neighborhood and judging from the smiles on the faces of hayriders, much fun was had and that is a good thing.

Photos Purple Walrus Press.

Statue of Liberty structure.
Statue of Liberty structure ablaze.
Moran Street building.
Store front on Moran Street.

Friday, November 3, 2017

U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell releases statement on House Republican's Tax Plan.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Thursday, November 2, 2017, House Republicans displayed their new tax bill, but the plan has raised a few eyebrows.

U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) has released the following statement on House Republican's tax plan.

"Working Americans should be at the heart of tax reform. Families in Michigan and across the country are looking to Congress to enact tax reform that provides real relief for childcare and education expenses, makes homeownership affordable and accessible and promotes retirement security. Instead, the GOP tax plan released today gives a multi-trillion dollar tax break to the wealthy and big corporations at the expense of working Americans who need it most.

“Particularly concerning is that this tax reform bill represents a one-two punch for the American people. After adding trillions to the debt in tax breaks for the wealthy, this plan paves the way for devastating cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and the programs families, children and seniors depend upon for health care and retirement security. This is unacceptable. Democrats fully support tax reform that puts working families first, promotes economic growth and makes our tax code simpler and fairer, but I will not support tax reform that adds $1.5 trillion to the deficit only to benefit the wealthy. Working families must benefit.”

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Activist Melissa Mays on the Flint Water Crisis.


Contributed to Purple Walrus Press by Melissa Mays of Flint.
Good morning everyone! Enjoy some of my sass as I talk about living in the #FlintWaterCrisis and fighting back. I just read what I said and sugar coated, it is not. Please call your Senators and Congressional Reps and demand they fund infrastructure for Flint. We need new mains, interior Plumbing and fixtures replaced. It's 1285 days since we've had clean water. And counting. Also, "Flint" airs again this Friday (11/3) on Lifetime at 8 pm EST

Read this article about Flint Water Crisis activist Melissa Mays that is written by Melanie McFarland of
Generally by the time Lifetime has gotten around to making a movie based on a true story, the headline-generating event in question typically has concluded. Not so with “Flint,” the cable channel’s fictionalized depiction of the Flint water crisis. When it debuts Saturday at 8 p.m. keep in mind that people like Melissa Mays and Nayyirah Shariff, activists depicted in the film by Marin Ireland and Jill Scott, are still contending with toxic water being piped into their homes.
Although Flint is in the process of replacing an estimated 20,000 lead-tainted water lines, that work isn’t required to be complete until 2020. In the meantime, Mays told Salon, “the longer they're waiting to pull the pipes out, the bacteria's worse, all the different cancer-causing byproducts are worse.”
The water caused the spread of Legionnaires' disease, a potentially fatal lung infection.
Showering hurts, Mays said. “In Flint, the shower smells of chemicals. It burns your eyes, your nose. We have two shower head filters, and it still burns,” Mays said. “If you get a rash, every time the water touches it, it burns all over again . . . I cut my finger cooking and I almost put my hand under the sink, and you have to stop because it burns like fire. But also there's bacteria in there, which causes MRSA. We have a lot of skin infections.”
Even without wounds, Mays said, the water “makes your hair feel like straw, like you've had a ton of hairspray on it. Your skin starts to peel off your face. We're not even taking hot showers anymore because the bacteria and the cancer-causing byproducts are released into steam and you breathe it in. That's how people have died.”

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Case of the Ypsilanti Missing Sidewalk Next to Dom's Bakeries.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Bob Resch. Purple Walrus Press.

I must admit to having a sweet tooth.  I'm a coffee and donut guy.
I've tried to break the habit but have been a miserable failure!!  I
assuage my guilt of consuming calories with exercise...especially
walking.   Dom's Donuts on Washtenaw Avenue is a favorite destination
for my craving.

Numerous times my journey through Normal Park takes me to Cross Street
then Anna Street.  As I prepare to make a left hand turn at Washtenaw
Avenue, I am met with,  not a sidewalk, BUT A 75 FOOT DIRT PATH NOT
 Next to this dirt path is a short retaining wall that's just about to
topple from the weight of the hillside.  My instincts tell me: THIS IS

It's risky business if a pedestrian or bike rider doesn't time the
break in the eastbound traffic from the light at Mansfield.  If you
do, this allows you to traverse the 75 feet with relative
ease.....providing you're a normal healthy person.  If you don't time
the break in traffic, you're subject to traffic whizzing by at close
to 50mph. The wind whip from an AATA bus is a little disconcerting
especially since it's only about 3 feet from the curb.  Needless to
say this is NOT handicap accessible.

Recently, I was standing at the corner of Dom's parking lot surveying
the various elements to this story when a gentleman named Rodney, who
lives a block away, came out of Dom's with, you guessed it, a coffee
and a bag of donuts.  I introduced myself, and asked him if the
'missing sidewalk' bothered him. Rodney, who's lived here 33 years,
proceeded to tell me, very pointedly, that if he could, he would get a
couple of his friends and dig out the retaining wall and at least
widen the path.   WOW!!   I told him I was trying to find a solution
which brought a smile to his face.

My next move was to contact City Council member Beth Bashert who
informed me that Washtenaw Avenue is not City property, it is owned by
MDOT, so the City needs to co-ordinate with them, and then,  the
engineering people take it from there.  Money has to be allocated in
the budget as well. There are also questions concerning grade and
easement ( the use of someone's land for a specific purpose).  She
calls her explanation " a short version of the steps to greatness" and
she thanked me for bringing this issue to her attention.

I've heard Beth Bashert is a diligent, hardworking, results oriented
person and I believe that with her involvement, this fix will happen
sooner than later.

I can only imagine how big a smile the completed project will bring to
Rodney's face and many other Ypsilantians!