Tuesday, January 30, 2018

MSU Women's Rowing Team March / Meet with Board of Trustees.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to The State News, the Michigan State University student newspaper,  approximately 50 women on the MSU Women's rowing team held a march that led from Jenison Field House to the Hannah Administration Building on the MSU campus Monday.

Following the march, rowing team members met with Trustees Dianne Byrum, Brian Mosallam, Melanie Foster and Dan Kelly intent on addressing university policy changes following the Nassar case, according to The State News.

“We have victims of his abuse on our current team and in every class along the way,” the statement in The State News read. “We are questioning Michigan State University’s approach to Nassar; his criminal actions, the women he has abused, and the response of the University and athletic department. To say nothing is to say you agree and we do not agree with how this has been handled.”

The State News reports that Larry Nassar was the rowing team doctor from 1998 to 2016.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell statement on Safe Sport Autorization Act / MSU coach Izzo and Dantonio deny complaints relating to handling of sexual assault allegations regarding players.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor and Publisher Jeff Brown.

In wake of the horrifically disturbing Nasser case, U.S Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI 12) has released the following statement on House passage of the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act.

“We all have a responsibility to protect our young people from despicable, predatory behavior, and this important legislation represents a first step in addressing the deep-rooted and systemic problems that came to light in the Dr. Larry Nassar case. This legislation sets up an independent body to investigate allegations of misconduct throughout Team USA and set up training for athletes, coaches and parents. This is an important step in the right direction, but we must continue to seek progress by ensuring the reforms made in this bill are fully funded.

“I am also pleased that leadership of the Energy and Commerce Committee agreed to my request to hold hearings and conduct a bipartisan investigation into the Dr. Larry Nassar case. Even though Dr. Nassar will spend the rest of his life in prison, we must work in a bipartisan manner to get to the root of this issue and put the right protections in place to ensure it never happens again.” 

Meanwhile, in light of a disturbing investigative report from ESPN'S "Outside the Lines", suggesting a pattern of widespread denial and inaction on part of the MSU athletic department relating to sexual assault, MSU head football coach Mark Dantonio and head basketball coach Tom Izzo, as of Saturday, have denied allegations relating to the handling of sexual assault allegations regarding players.

Parola Perspective: Short but succinct comment regarding MSU by PWP contributor Brooks Parola.

Brooks Parola -  Formally of Flint.

Thank you Magic! Folks, blind loyalty is bullshit! This is not about loyalty to your team or school!
Whether you're an alum of Penn State, Michigan State, or my school, Michigan, you need to support any and all investigations and be willing to stand by the conclusions and accountability they demand, as long as they are fairly done!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette Media Conference MSU Investigation Saturday. "We will put a bright light at every corner of the university."

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette held a press conference Saturday, January 27, to update the media on his investigation into Michigan State University, relating to systemic issues with sexual misconduct at MSU. Today he announced that he has an open and ongoing investigation into these systemic problems of sexual misconduct, according to the Attorney General's Office.

The investigation into Michigan State University is being headed by independent special prosecutor William Forsyth. The Michigan State Police will be assisting by providing investigative support and resources.

The following are quotes from Saturday's  press conference:

" It is abundantly clear that a full and complete investigation of what happened at Michigan State University, from the president’s office on down, is required. This investigation is and will continue to be, independent, thorough, transparent and prompt,” said Schuette. “My department and this investigation will find out who knew what, and when.”

“In all my time as a prosecutor, I have always put victims and survivors of crime first. Truth and justice are the bedrock of any investigation, and that is the philosophy I will bring to this case,” said Forsyth. “Like everyone, I have questions, and I am going to answer those long overdue questions.”

"Michigan State Police welcomes this opportunity to help the Attorney General to fully investigate and determine if any other crimes have been committed," said Col. Etue.

According to Schuette during the press conference, "We will put a bright light at every corner of the university."

Stay tuned for updates.

U.S. Representatives Dingell, Upton and Walberg have called for investigation into Nassar case.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

U.S. Representatives Debbie Dingell, Fred Upton and Tim Walberg, members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, have released the following statement that calls on the committee to conduct an investigation and hold hearings into the U.S. Olympic Committee, WSA Gymnastics and Michigan State University's handling of the Dr. Nassar case, according to a press release from the Office of Congresswoman Dingell.

“For 30 years, Dr. Nassar exhibited predatory behavior that scarred the lives of hundreds of young women. We are all inspired by the courage of these survivors to tell their story in court to expose the true character of Dr. Nassar and the scope of his misdeeds. Even though Dr. Nassar will spend the rest of his life in prison, we must get to the root of this issue and ensure it never happens again. There are many unanswered questions about how he continued to have access to young girls despite the numerous allegations against him. As the committee in the House of Representatives responsible for overseeing matters relating to sports, it is essential that the Energy and Commerce Committee exercise our jurisdiction on this important issue.

“As a federally chartered institution, USOC has many questions to answer, including the details of their relationship with Dr. Nassar, how they dealt with allegations of abuse, and how they intend to fix the problem moving forward. It is imperative that we get to the bottom of this.

“Families in Michigan and throughout the country were traumatized to learn the perverse details of this tragedy. It is incumbent on all of us to ensure this never happens again and to learn the role that USOC, USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University played in the tragedy.”

Friday, January 26, 2018

Beth Bashert Has Announced Candidacy For Mayor of Ypsilanti.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.
Friday morning, January 26, Purple Walrus Press received a press release stating that Beth Bashert is announcing her campaign to serve as the next mayor of Ypsilanti. According to the press release, there will be a Campaign Kickoff Event on Saturday February 17, Sidetrack Bar & Grill. The event will be held from 4:30-6:30 pm. The following is Bashert's announcement from Friday's press release.
I am announcing my campaign to serve as Ypsilanti’s next mayor, along with a Campaign Kickoff Event on Saturday February 17, Sidetrack Bar & Grill, 4:30-6:30pm.
I know that I can provide the strong leadership that we need to successfully prioritize Ypsilanti’s goals and resources. We are moving into our first fiscal year without financial crisis.  This gives us the opportunity to help our city move forward after many years of struggle. We must do this in a smart and effective manner.  
Local politics is my passion. I care deeply about the future of our city; my children and grandchild live in Ypsilanti. During the 27 years my spouse and I have lived here, I have worked as a campaign manager, a fund developer to provide services and shelter for homeless people, an activist to protect women’s right to choose and to protect green spaces, and as a community organizer to pass & protect Ypsilanti’s LGBTQ+ non-discrimination ordinance.  In addition, while representing Ward 2 on City Council, I have been active in other efforts to further many other causes that are important to our community. In my copious spare time, I also sell cars at a local dealership!
It has been a challenge and privilege to serve on City Council this past year. I’ve worked with—and learned from—the public servants and staff who do the work, give the time, and yes, take the heat in helping Ypsilanti be the best it can be.
I look forward to bringing our city together to work on pressing issues, such as racial justice, housing affordability, sustainability, economic growth.
Unity and leadership for the future of Ypsilanti!

Parola Perspective: Our racist culture excludes minorities from the benefits of legalized marijuana

By Purple Walrus Press contributor Brooks Parola, formerly of Flint.
Folks, Angela Rye, of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee is absolutely correct. Leave it to our racist culture to exclude minorities from the benefits of legalized marijuana after spending years demonizing them, and throwing them in jail for using and possessing a drug, that much of white America has suddenly decided is okay.
People being held for marijuana use and possession need to be released and pardoned, and the worst thing we can do now, is impose institutionalized racism, (once again) on this budding new industry, after having disproportionally incarcerated blacks for using a drug that never should have been illegal in the first place.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Two Michigan State Police Officers Shot While Serving a Search Warrant in Union TWP.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

At 11:15 am, Wednesday morning, Sgt Aaron Steensma and Trooper Daniel Thayer, both of the Marshall Post, were shot while executing a search warrant at a home located on Francisco Road that involved a cold case investigation when they came under fire. While attempting to take cover Steensma was shot in the chest  and Trooper Thayer was shot in the chest and hand. According Michigan State Police Director Kriste Kibbey Etu, Steensma is in serious but stable condition at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.

According to a press release from the Michigan State Police Wednesday, “Thanks to the quick actions of troopers at the scene and the excellent medical attention he received from ProMedica Coldwater Regional Hospital, West Michigan Air Care, and the trauma team at Borgess Medical Center, D/Sergeant Steensma is doing remarkably well for the seriousness of his injury,” Etue stated.

MSP has confirmed that the suspect is deceased. There is an ongoing investigation at this time.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Parola Perspective: Sanity prevailed Monday.

By Brooks Parola PWP.

Folks, we can't trust McConnell, and we certainly can't trust Trump, but guess what? The Arabs and Israeli's can't trust each other either. But, we don't just shrug our shoulders, and wash our hands of ever trying to get peace in the middle east, now do we?
No, in fact, much like the bipartisan group of 30 senators who came up with the compromise, the U.S. and other nations have proudly and relentlessly continued the good fight, of bringing the two sides together to achieve middle east peace.
Like mediators in the middle east conflict, SANITY prevailed today, when both sides realized that a protracted gov't. shutdown was too big a risk for either side. The Democratic Party has not "abandoned" the Dreamers, and neither have many in the GOP who ALSO want to help them.
Might McConnell renege on his promise? Of course. But keep in mind, he didn't just make a promise to Dems and Dreamers, he made a PUBLIC promise to them and MEMBERS OF HIS OWN PARTY regarding an issue that 86% of the Americans want.
Now, I guess those on the far left wanted some kind of iron clad guarantees from McConnell, Trump, and Ryan, that they'd pass a DACA bill...hmmm...now whose being naive?

Monday, January 22, 2018

Levin, Kildee, Dingell, Lawrence Statement on Fourth Short-Term Continuing Resolution

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to a press release issued at 6:42 PM Monday evening, Congressman Sander Levin (MI-09), Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (MI-14) issued the following statement after voting ‘no’ on a bill that fails to include a long-term budget or the priorities of the American people:

“It is unacceptable for Congress to continue funding the government just weeks at a time. Another short-term continuing resolution—the fourth since last October—hurts our military readiness and injects uncertainty into our economy.

“Congress should pass a long-term budget that provides certainty to our military and addresses the priorities of the American people. With so many unresolved and pressing issues, including the opioid epidemic, pension crisis, disaster relief, crumbling infrastructure and protecting DREAMers, Republicans and Democrats must sit down together and reach a compromise. We stand ready to work in a bipartisan fashion to address these issues.

“While Senator McConnell has now pledged Senate action, we need a commitment from Speaker Ryan in the House to work with Democrats on a long-term budget agreement as well as legislation to fix our broken immigration system and protect DREAMers. We oppose another short-term funding bill for these reasons.”


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Government shutdown: Congresswoman Debbie Dingell's statement on impact and what Michigan families need to know.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

At precisely midnight Friday the federal government shut down and thousands of federal employees will now be placed on furlough.

Saturday, January 20, 2018, U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI 12) released the following statement on the federal shutdown outlining the expected impact on Michigan families in the 12th District. According Dingell's office, the Congresswoman will remain in Washington for as long as needed to come to a bipartisan agreement to re-open the government. Dingell is ready to help constituents navigate issues and concerns.

“It is unacceptable that after a year of putting off critical priorities and hurtling from one short-term funding bill to the next, President Trump and the Republicans who control the House and Senate refuse to work to find common ground to meet the needs of the American people. This shutdown is not good for this country and is completely avoidable. There is bipartisan support for legislation that would provide long-term funding for the government, certainty to the military, and address critical priorities including funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program and raising budget caps on non-defense spending, one third of which goes to veterans and national security. This is not a war of words; it is about real people’s lives, and we need to get it done. This is what the American people expect and it is what they deserve.
“Last year, President Trump tweeted that ‘our government needs a good shutdown.’ There is no such things as a good shutdown. Failure to find a bipartisan compromise disrupts the lives of millions of Americans and has a significant impact on our communities and economy. The last shutdown cost the American economy $24 billion. This is unacceptable. We were sent to Washington to govern, and I stand ready to work around the clock to end this shutdown and do the job the American people elected us to do. My office will remain open to help families, veterans, seniors and businesses navigate this situation.”

Read the following Questions and Answers on the anticipated impact of a Federal Government Shutdown as presented in Saturday's press release from Debbie Dingell's office.

Will I continue to receive my Social Security and SSI checks?
During a government shutdown, recipients will continue to receive their Social Security and SSI checks.  However, a shutdown suspends the issuance of Social Security cards.  On a typical day, approximately 60,000 Americans apply for Social Security cards, which they may need to be able to start a job, take out a loan, open a bank account, or conduct other financial transactions.  During a shutdown, no Social Security cards are issued.

Will my mail still arrive?
Yes.  The approximately 500,000 Postal Service employees are exempt from furlough because the Postal Service is self-funded.

Will I still be able to visit the national parks and monuments?
During the 2013 16-day shutdown, national parks, national monuments, and the Smithsonian museums were closed.  However, the Trump Administration has announced that it will work to keep national parks “as accessible as possible” in the event of a shutdown.  Officials have said that the anticipated plan is to keep many national parks open for hiking, wildlife watching, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.  Open-air parks and monuments in Washington, D.C. will remain open.  However, other services that require National Park Service staff, including campgrounds and concessions, will be closed.

How will the shutdown affect FEMA natural disaster clean-up efforts?
It’s unclear how ongoing FEMA recovery efforts in Texas, Florida, California, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands from recent hurricanes and wildfires will be impacted.  FEMA staff would still respond to emergencies, but the Trump Administration has not clarified how many workers, if any, would continue with long-term projects.

What is the impact on veterans’ services?
During a government shutdown, all VA medical facilities and clinics will remain fully operational.  However, VA call centers and hotlines cease to function, and Veterans Benefits Administration public contact services are not available.  In addition, the 2013 16-day shutdown stopped progress in reducing veterans’ disability claims backlog, which had previously been progressing at a rate of almost 20,000 claims per week.  In addition, during the 2013 16-day shutdown, many veterans lost access to vocational rehabilitation and education counseling services.

What is the impact on U.S. military personnel?

The Defense Department issued guidance today saying that in the event of a shutdown, “Military personnel on active duty, including reserve component personnel on federal active duty, will continue to report for duty and carry out assigned duties.”  Regarding their pay, the Washington Post reports, “There would be no gap in their pay unless the shutdown lasted past February 1, and otherwise they would continue on the job without getting paid until the shutdown ended or until Congress and the President agreed to cover their costs before it ended.  The last time the government shut down, in 2013, the military remained on the job and legislation to pay service members during the shutdown was signed by President Obama.”

What is the impact on small businesses?
A shutdown halts federal loans to small businesses.  During a shutdown, the Small Business Administration stops approving applications for small businesses to obtain loans and loan guarantees, typically $1 billion per month. During the 2013 16-day shutdown, the SBA was unable to process about 700 applications for $140 million in small business loans.

What is the impact on federal housing loans?
During a shutdown, the Federal Housing Administration stops approving applications for housing loans.  During the 2013 16-day shutdown, the FHA delayed processing over 500 applications for loans to develop, rehabilitate, or refinance around 80,000 units of multifamily rental housing.

What is the impact on medical research?
During a shutdown, NIH shuts down most medical research taking place on its campus in Maryland, prevents the enrollment of patients in NIH Clinical Center studies, and stops reviewing medical research grant applications and making or renewing research grants.

What is the impact on the Centers for Disease Control?
During a shutdown, CDC has to greatly curtail its activities to conduct flu season surveillance and monitoring, promote immunization, support state and local health departments, and update disease treatment and prevention recommendations.

What is the impact on food safety activities?
During a shutdown, the FDA is unable to support the majority of its food safety activities.  The 2013 16-day shutdown sharply curtailed critical FDA food safety inspections of domestic and international food facilities.

Which federal employees keep working during a government shutdown?

When there is a government shutdown, federal agencies are required to classify their employees as either “essential” or “non-essential.”  The employees classified as “essential” continue to work during the shutdown.  However, the employees classified as “non-essential” are put on unpaid furlough.  In the 2013 16-day shutdown, about 800,000 of the 2.1 million civilian federal employees in the executive branch were classified as “non-essential” and furloughed.

Do furloughed federal employees get back pay?
That is up to the Congress and White House.  The precedent has been that furloughed employees are later paid, through enactment of legislation.  For example, that was done in the most recent shutdown in 2013.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell / Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur applaud EPA's decision to reconsider impairment status of Lake Erie

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur have issued the following statements after news that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided to withdraw its approval of Ohio EPA's evaluation of the state's list of impaired waterways. According to a press release from Congresswoman Dingell's office Thursday, January 18, the assessment failed to address the open waters of Lake Erie. According to the release, U.S. EPA had previously accepted both Ohio's and Michigan's assessments even though Michigan had previously designated the open waters of Lake Erie impaired, while, at the same time, Ohio had refused to do so. U.S EPA now considers the Ohio assessment "incomplete" (read full letter here).

“With this change of heart, EPA is finally taking a first step toward protect the drinking water 11 million people in Michigan, Ohio and throughout the Great Lakes region rely upon,” said Dingell, a Member of the Great Lakes Task Force. “Failure to recognize these waters as impaired puts public health and the Great Lakes economy at risk. There is no line of separation in Lake Erie, and it is clear that EPA must take a proactive approach in confronting this challenge facing the entire region.”

“EPA’s decision to reconsider the status of the open waters of Lake Erie is right on. There is no magic line between the impaired Lake Erie waters of Michigan and Ohio,” said Kaptur, Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force. “This is simple, Lake Erie should be designated as impaired because it is. This past summer 1,000 square miles of the Lake were covered in green slime – even a child can see the Lake is impaired. The State of Ohio has proven time and again that it has more excuses than solutions.  We hope Governor Kasich and the Ohio EPA will join us in welcoming the U.S. EPA’s input and expertise in helping return our Great Lake to great health.”

In November, 2016, Dingell and Kaptur sent a letter to the EPA urging them to disregard Ohio's determination and designate the waters as officially impaired.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Eastern Michigan defeats Akron in men's basketball 63-49.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

The Eagles of Eastern Michigan University downed the Akron University Zips by a score of 63-49 at the Convocation Center in Ypsilanti Tuesday night. The 11-7 Eagles  notched an impressive win that puts them in good standing for their up-coming against Ohio University at the Convo Center on Saturday, January 20.

Eastern Michigan's Elijah Minnie scored 22 points and had five rebounds, while teammate Paul Jackson scored 20 points with eight rebounds.

The Eagles offense was strong from the start, shooting 46 percent (21-45) from the floor.

Catch the Eagles at the Convocation Center in Ypsilanti on Saturday, Jan 20 as they face Ohio University at 2 pm.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Michigan Representative Debbie Dingell calls town hall to discuss new GOP tax bill

Town Hall, Saturday January 13th, 2018
Photo by Riley G. Bender
By Riley G. Bender: Purple Walrus Press.

Michigan Representative Debbie Dingell led a town hall on Saturday to discuss the recent GOP Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The event was hosted by Taylor, MI Mayor Rick Sollars in the Taylor City Hall. The Trump era tax bill is over 500 pages long and complex (to say the least), with debate around the potential future impacts remaining heated. Among Congresswoman Dingell’s town hall panel were State Representatives Erika Geiss, Darrin Camilleri, Cara Clemente, Ronnie Peterson, Adam Zemke and Yousef Rabhi. Also present on the panel were Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood; Stephanie Leiser, a tax policy lecturer from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; and Maggie Randolph, Senior Research Analyst from the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation.
Representative Dingell began the discussion by emphasizing the need to place politically charged discussion aside in order to discuss the potential impacts, positive and negative, of the bill on Michigan residents. This sentiment was echoed by Senator Hopgood, who added that the majority of the bill’s impact on the average citizen would not necessarily manifest as a large increase, but that there would be “other implications” including public programs that offer assistance to the community.
Representatives Clemente and Rabhi emphasized the importance of sharing information regarding the tax bill in order to spread awareness and ready the community to make any changes necessary. Perhaps one of the more practical pieces of information shared by the panel prior to the commencement of questions came from Ms. Leiser, in the form of a tax calculator which compares the current tax status quo from 2017 to the changes coming in the 2018 tax year due to the new bill (accessible here).
Lastly, Ms. Randolph highlighted the bill’s removal of the Individual Mandate for health insurance effective January 1, 2019, which previously required all citizens without health insurance to pay a penalty. According to Randolph, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the removal of the Individual Mandate penalty could result in a decrease in individuals with health insurance policies by thirteen million over the next ten years. They predict that this will result in a premium increase of ten percent per year for plans on the marketplace on top of any current trends.
Much of the initial dialogue as well as responses to questions from the audience were taken by Ms. Leiser and Ms. Randolph. While the town hall’s primary focus was toward the new GOP tax bill as a whole, the majority questions from the audience quickly focused the lens of discussion toward the healthcare aspect. The tone was occasionally passionate, but remained respectful and welcoming for members across the community.
Saturday’s town hall was slated as the first of many to come. Details for future events will be available soon.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy statement condemning Trump administration's inaction after report on Russian meddling.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) has issued the following statement regarding a new report that was released by U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, that outlines Russian interference in approximately nineteen European countries. Murphy is also a member of the U.S Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“This report needs to be a wake-up call for the Trump administration. The extent of Russia’s interference is not new—we know Russia has brazenly meddled in democracies across the world, including our own,” said Murphy. “Congress passed our Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act with strong bipartisan support, but the Trump administration has not used the tools given to it in this legislation. Congress needs to support additional anti-corruption efforts, and the Trump administration needs to immediately start using the tools Congress provided them to fight back against Russia’s dangerous propaganda and disinformation crusade.” 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Congresswoman Dingell seeks answers from US Postal Service on delivery issues in Ypsilanti

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (MI-12) sent a letter on January 11 to the U.S. Postal Service Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Megan J. Brennan regarding continuing problems with mail delivery in Ypsilanti. In December 2016 Dingell raised similar issues after Ypsilanti residents and community leaders raised concerns about long delays in delivery and pickup,  periods where no mail was delivered for days and unreachable and unresponsive customer service. Dingell is urging USPS to investigate the matter and share what steps are being initiated to improve service.

According to a press release from Congresswoman Dingell's office, “Mail delivery problems in Ypsilanti are an ongoing issue which I have raised before, but we are receiving a significant number of complaints from city leaders and constituents because the problems with mail delivery have become so serious,” wrote Dingell. “While it is understandable that the holiday season may cause some delays, these issues go well beyond that and have been going on for too long. Residents of Ypsilanti must be able to rely on timely, consistent mail service and this is clearly not the case at this time.”
The full letter can be read here and below.

Ms. Megan J. Brennan
Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer
United States Postal Service

Dear Ms. Brennan:

                This letter is to once again address the unacceptable quality of mail delivery service in Ypsilanti, Michigan and to request that the U.S. Postal Service conduct an assessment of the problem and develop a plan to correct it.  Mail delivery problems in Ypsilanti are an ongoing issue which I have raised before, but we are receiving a significant number of complaints from city leaders and constituents because the problems with mail delivery have become so serious. While it is understandable that the holiday season may cause some delays, these issues go well beyond that and have been going on for too long. Residents of Ypsilanti must be able to rely on timely, consistent mail service and this is clearly not the case at this time.
                Service issues include:
·         Mail is often being delivered after 8pm.
·         Packages are reported as delivered although they remain undelivered and stored on trucks overnight. Constituents rely on the safe and timely delivery of medications and other highly sensitive packages that require confidence in the ability of the USPS.
·         Mail is not being delivered for days at a time.  A large bundle of older mail is then delivered after several days.
·         Mail is consistently being delivered to the wrong homes - so often that neighborhoods have taken to organizing street wide communication to sort on their own.
·         The Ypsilanti Post Office is unresponsive to customer complaints.  Residents are unable to speak to anyone via telephone regarding their mail service problems and voicemails are full.
·         Lines and wait times at the Ypsilanti Post Office building are exceed hours during peak hours, oftentimes with no more than a single individual working the counter.
·         A void in staffing means mail carriers are constantly changing and “filling in gaps” as opposed to mail carriers handling assigned routes.

                As I mentioned, this is not the first time we have heard these types of complaints about the Ypsilanti Post Office. It is important that these issues be investigated so we can understand the underlying issues that cause this chronic poor service and so the Post Office can implement the necessary corrective measures are implemented.  Residents of Ypsilanti deserve a higher quality of service then they are receiving today.   Please provide the results of your assessment of the problem as well as steps being taken to address. I am also requesting a meeting in the next few weeks with the appropriate USPS personnel to discuss these issues my constituents are facing, what USPS believes is causing them and what your action plan is to improve mail delivery for the residents of Ypsilanti.

                Thank you for your attention to this issue and I look forward to receiving your prompt response.


Debbie Dingell

Member of Congress

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Rep. Debbie Dingel, State Legislators, and Local Officials to Hold Town Hall on Republican Tax Plan Saturday.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) District State Legislators and local officials will hold a Town Hall on Saturday, January 13 at 1 p.m. Information will be provided about the Republican tax plan that was signed into law in December. The Town Hall will address how the plan will impact families in Michigan in the coming months and years. Experts and officials will answer questions and talk about the impact health care, Social Security, Medicade and other important programs moving forward.

The Town Hall will be free and openedto the public.

What: Town Hall on recently passed republican tax plan.


State Rep. Erika Geiss
State Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood
State Rep. Darrin Camilleri
State Rep. Cara Clemente
State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud
State Rep. Ronnie Peterson
State Rep. Adam Zemke
Mayor Rick Sollars
Stephanie Leiser, Lecturer focusing on economic and tax policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Maggie Randolph, Senior Research Analyst, Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation

WHEN: 1-2:30 p.m., Saturday, January 13

WHERE: Taylor City Hall, City Council Chambers, 23555 Goddard Rd, Taylor, MI.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Attorney General Bill Schuette: 10,000 OK2SAY tips received from students in Michigan.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Today, January 8, 2018, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced that the OK2SAY student safety program has received 10,734 tips since the program began September 2014. According to today's press release from Schuette's office, "In 2017 alone, the program received 4,605 tips-up 37% from 2016. For the first time suicide threats topped the list."

Tips were received across 30 categories including the following:
  • 1,205 tips on suicide threats;
  • 961 tips on bullying;
  • 456 tips in the other category, related to anxiety, stress, depression, harassment
  • 390 tips on self-harm
  • 311 tips on drugs; and
  • 287 tips on cyberbullying.
According to the Michigan Attorney General's Office, “This program can be categorized as nothing else but a success, and it is a success because Michigan students are using it,” said Schuette. “OK2SAY has given students who previously did not know where to turn a confidential place to get help. I want to thank our presenters and the OK2SAY technicians at the Michigan State Police who make students feel safe and comfortable when providing tips. They are another piece of the puzzle that makes this program such a success.”               

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Suspected water main break closes Pearl Street between Huron and Washington in Ypsilanti Saturday night.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

As of 8:15 PM Saturday night Ypsilanti Fire Department, Huron Valley Ambulance, Ypsilanti Community Utility Authority (YCUA), and DTE are searching for the source of a suspected water main break on Pearl Street between Huron and Washington in Ypsilanti. According to YCUA, there is what appears to be a water main break in the vicinity of a brick building located at 108 Pearl. The building is directly across the street from Congdons Ace Hardware. No one appeared to be inside 108 Pearl Street except for firemen.

YUCA and Ypsilanti Fire Department are waiting for DTE to detect the exact location of what is believed to be a water main break. Temperatures are currently in the low single digits turning Pearl Street downtown into a sheet of ice and creating dangerous conditions for crews.

This is an ongoing situation. Stay tuned for updates.

Photos Purple Walrus Press.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Cows Killed By Deputies In Dixboro Area Thursday.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

As reported in Purple Walrus Press Thursday evening, January 4, the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department sent out an alert to the community that a cow was on the loose near the intersection of Dixboro and Plymouth Roads in Superior Township Thursday afternoon. In fact, the Sheriff's Department has stated that at 11:20 am two cows escaped through a broken trailer door near the intersection of Dixboro and Plymouth Roads while the owner of the steer was taking the animals to be butchered in Milan. According to the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department, the owner felt she had no way to safely retrieve the the two steer. According to the Sheriff's Dept, all involved agreed that because of the size and aggressiveness of the steer, their proximity to neighborhoods and the fact that the cows were on their way to being butchered in Milan, the animals should be "dispatched at the scene and later transported by the owners.

Deputies and local residents searched for and located the animals.Shortly, both animals were located and dispatched due to their size and aggressiveness, according to the Sheriff's Department.

According to the Washtenaw Coiunty Sheriff's Department, once the animals were located the owner resumed possession and decisions regarding how and when to dispose of the steer were solely up to her.

The following is the statement from the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department that was posted on their facebook page.


On Thursday, January 4th at 11:20 AM Washtenaw Metro Dispatch received a call of two cows running loose near the intersection of Plymouth Rd. and Dixboro in Ann 
Arbor Township. 

Deputies arrived on scene and met with the owner of the animals. The owner clarified that these animals were large steer and as she was transporting them to Milan to be butchered her trailor door was broken and the steer got loose. The owner also advised that she had no way to corral the animals. Subsequently, all parties involved agreed that due to their size, aggressiveness, proximity to residential neighborhoods, and that they were previously set to be butchered the animals would need to be dispatched on scene and transported by the owners afterwards. 

Deputies, along with the owner and several local citizens worked together to locate the animals. The first animal was located a short time later and a Sheriff’s Office Supervisor was able to dispatch the steer. The second steer however, was more difficult to locate and required the use of the Michigan State Police helicopter. Again, due to the size, aggressiveness, and proximity to residential neighborhoods the decision was made to utilize the neccessarey resources in order to locate and dispatch of the animal. 

The Sheriff’s Office role was to ensure public safety by assisting the owner in locating and dispatching of her animals in a timely and safe manner. Once both animals were located the owner resumed possession and the decisions of how and when to dispose of the animals are sole hers.