Saturday, March 24, 2018

Thousands Rally & March Against Gun Violence Saturday in Ann Arbor.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Thousands of people protested gun violence Saturday in Ann Arbor at the March For Our Lives rally and march. Participants began gathering at 10:00 am in the parking lot of Ann Arbor Pioneer High School. Main organizers for the event included Kennedy Dixon, Celeste Kampurwala and Moms Demand Action. The March began at approximately 12:40 pm.

The overwhelming majority of marchers were young people (students) but demonstrators represented a wide age range. Several students spoke at the pre-march rally with passion, energy and strength. It was clearly evident that demonstration/march participants were deeply affected and moved by student speakers.

Following the last student speaker demonstrators marched behind Pioneer High School, headed over to 7th Street, over to Stadium and then back to the Pioneer parking lot. Thousands participated in the March chanting, 'Hey Hey Ho Ho The NRA Has Got To Go, and 'Vote Them Out.' many carried signs reading, 'Am I next, 'Action Now', We Are Watching, 'How Many Prayers Till It Stops, and 'Protect Kids Not the NRA'.

Photos Purple Walrus Press.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Parola Perspective: Unprecedented level of political polarization.

By Brooks Parola, formerly of Flint.

So, I keep seeing these workshops the press does, where they get Republican and Democratic voters together and hash it out.
This new one on NBC is similar to others I've seen, where the two sides agree to be nicer to each other, but get this: they cannot reach agreement on FACTS...hmmm...1) Big surprise, and 2) Well, that pretty much shows that the entire workshop was a substantive waste of time now wasn't it?
Folks, we are at an unprecedented level of political polarization in this nation, ever since the rise of FOX, talk radio, right-wing blogs on the internet, and the loss of the equal time law. Big Surprise! After all of that, we cannot agree on facts...71% of Republicans think the Russia probe, is a made-up seems to me, the problem (the reason we cannot agree on facts) is clear.

Monday, March 19, 2018

March is National Colorectal Cancer Month.

Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to the MDHHS, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths, and National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month offers a perfect opportunity to talk to your doctor about screening for the disesase.

The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 4,510 new cases of colorectal cancer and 1,670 deaths due to the disease in Michigan this year. Through colorectal cancer screening, doctors can find and remove hidden growths (called “polyps”) in the colon before they become cancerous. Removing polyps can prevent cancer altogether, according MDHHS.

“Adults age 50 and older should be regularly screened for colorectal cancer,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Unfortunately, many people aren’t getting tested because they don’t believe they are at risk or they aren’t aware of the different testing or screening options. The importance of early detection cannot be overstated. Make it a priority to discuss the different testing options, including at-home tests, with your provider.”

MDHHS states that black people suffer disproportionately from colorectal cancer. In 2014 in Michigan, the rate of new cases was 44.54 per 100,000 for black residents compared to 35.3 per 100,000 for white residents. In 2015, the death rate from colorectal cancer was 19.3 per 100,000 for black residents compared to 13.2 per 100,000 for white residents.

Colorectal cancer risk increases after age 50. However, if you have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, talk with your doctor about starting testing before age 50. Many cases of colorectal cancer have no symptoms especially early on when it can be more effectively treated.

There are several screening options available, including colonoscopy and simple take-home tests. Many health insurance plans, including the Healthy Michigan Plan, cover lifesaving preventive tests. Check with your health plan to find out the details of what colorectal cancer screening is covered.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Parola Perspective: On Tyrants.

By Brooks Parola -  Purple Walrus Press.
I hate to say it, but I fear that tyrannical government is all the Russian people know, and therefore, what makes them most comfortable.
From the Czars to Stalin, to Putin, they’ve only known tyranny. They hated Gorbachev for all of the upheaval he created, but also, for being “weak”.
Then again, when you look at some of the people we’ve elected...Guilliani, Christie, Trump, we love the tyrants too, now don’t we?

Friday, March 16, 2018

U.S. Rep Debbie Dingell delivers opening statement at First Joint Pension Committee Meeting.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to the office of U.S. Representative Dingell, U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) Thursday delivered the following opening statement at the first meeting of the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pensions.

“Thank you Mr. Chairman. It’s an honor to be here with you and with Chairman Brown on an issue that is so important. 

“We do have a monumental task ahead of us. I have lived with these men and women for years who worked a lifetime and contributed money to their pension fund. They’re not asking for a hand out. They invested in their pension, thinking they would have a safe and secure retirement, and suddenly the system is not there for them.

“I continue to have grown men cry in my arms because they don’t know how they are going to live – they don’t know how they’re going to eat, what they’re going to give their families.

“So we’ve got to roll up our sleeves and get to work. This select committee was created for a reason. It was created because there will be an economic crisis in this country if we do not act on multiemployer pensions by the end of the year. It’s that simple. We’ve got to make difficult decisions, but I know almost everybody on this committee and we’re not afraid of tough work.

“John taught me, and his father taught him, that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. We need to listen. But by the end of the year, we have a moral responsibility to the working men and women of this country to figure this out and come up with a solution. And none of us are afraid of tough work.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Rally To Save Our Staff held on Eastern Michigan University campus Thursday.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Roughly 100 Eastern Michigan University staff participated in a Rally To Save Our Staff  demonstration and march that was held on the University's campus early Thursday afternoon. Participants braved cold temperatures to voice their anger over what demonstrators believe are unfair staff cutbacks due to university budget constraints. The rally was sponsored by EMU AAUP. Rally participants chanted "Shame", "Bullshit", and "Chop from the top."

According to the Rally to Save Our Staff facebook page, "Top administrators at EMU are eliminating 60 clerical and technical and professional jobs." Participants in Wednesday's rally want to stop the cuts and, "Demand a new way forward for EMU." This according to the Rally to Save Our Staff organizer on their page..

EMU president James Smith recently stated that Eastern Michigan University is facing a $4.5 to $5.5 million budget deficit for the 2018 fiscal year. Smith attributed the need for staff cutbacks to a projected 2.5 percent student credit hour drop for the 2018 fiscal year, in essence creating less tuition and fees revenue.

According to a Jan 25, 2018 conversation with WEMU, President Smith stated, "If we did nothing from today going forward, we would be between four and a half to five and a half million dollars off where we need to be to make our budget work. In order not to be in that situation, which means you are literally drawing from the university savings account, which is not robust, we said we have to look at position eliminations, and we have to look at our spending around our supplies budget, our materials budget, and what we call SS&M here on campus." This according to a conversation between James Smith and WEMU.

CIT Tournament: Eastern Michigan socks it to Niagara Wednesday to advance in tourney

EMU's Paul Jackson hits a 3 pointer at the Convo. Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

The Eagles of Eastern Michigan University clobbered the Niagara University Purple Eagles 83 to 65 in the opening round of the Tournament Wednesday night at the Convocation Center in Ypsilanti. With a record of 22-12 Eastern advances to the second round of the tournament. I must add that I am shocked that Eastern did not receive an invitation to play in the NIT with such a strong win/loss record. Not to worry, PWP will look into it this atrocity. But EMU is thrilled to be selected to play in a post season tournament and hopefully raise a new championship banner in the Convo Center.

Back to last nights game..The Purple Eagles of Niagara, yes, Purple Eagles, didn't have a chance against our sharp-shooting EMU Eagles Wednesday. Redshirt Junior Elijah Minnie out of Pittsburgh, Pa scored a career high 29 points, nailing five beautiful high arcing 3 pointers. T'was a thing of beauty. Meanwhile, Junior James Thompson (Baton Rouge, La) scored 20 points and snagged 16 rebounds. Senior Tim Bond notched 11 points with 12 rebounds and eight assists. Most awesome. As I said, 19-14 Niagara didn't have a chance.

EMU was dominate on defense as Niagara shot only 35% from the floor. The Purple Eagles managed only 30 points in the paint.

As for Eastern's next victim in the CIT Tournament, we'll have to wait a bit and see, as the next opponent is listed as TBA. No worries, we can wait. When the next game is announced, you'll be the first to know.

Photos Purple Walrus Press.
Malik Ellison from Flint heads downcourt.
Tim Bond about to slam dunk
Elijah Minnie scores from inside the paint.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Tappan Players to perform production of "13 The Musical" this weekend: Prepare to be schooled!

By Editor and Publisher Jeff Brown.

Don't look now, but Ann Arbor's Tappan Players (Tappan Middle School theater students) are about to school us older folk on what it is like to be 13. The Tappan Players will be performing the musical production "13 The Musical" this weekend Friday, March 16 through Sunday, March 18 at Tappan Middle School in Ann Arbor.

The play is directed by Reilly Conlon and produced by Jenn Monk-Reising, John Reyes and Lisa Richardson. Assistant Director is Brandon Waldenmayer. Music Director and Band Conducter is John Reyes and the production is choreographed by Katya Palczynski, Colby Cesaro, Reilly Conlon and Lauren Kapnick.

But enough about the grown ups! If you want a kids perspective on love, divorce, adjusting to life in a new town, and everything in between, (yikes!) then you surely don't want to miss The Tappan Players production of 13 The Musical. It's all here, the whole schmere!

Catch "13 The Musical" this weekend!

Friday, March 16 7:30 pm
Saturday March 17 2:00 pm
Sunday March 18 1:00 pm

Tappan Auditorium located at 2251 E Stadium Blvd Ann Arbor, Mi.

Tickets $12.00 and children & seniors $10.00 available at

Ypsilanti High School students Walk Out of Class Wednesday Morning In Protest of Gun Violence/Solidarity with Parkland Florida Students.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Hundreds of Ypsilanti High School students walked out of school at 10:00 am Wednesday morning, March 14 in protest of gun violence and in solidarity with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida. Ypsilanti High School students joined a nationwide student led and student organized walkout intent on speaking out against gun violence in this country. Students locally and nationally are demanding sane gun law legislation and are speaking out against the National Rifle Association policies and politicians who accept financial support from the NRA.

After staging the walkout, Ypsilanti High students marched to Ypsilanti's Riverside Park to participate in a Rally For Gun Safety which featured numerous student speakers representing Ypsilanti High and other local high schools. Hundreds of students participated in the rally. Student speakers were passionate, powerful and eloquent as they advocated for gun control legislation and shared strong personal feelings and experiences regarding what it is like to grow up and go to school in a nation that is riddled with mass shootings that occur with frightening regularity in public venues and in schools.

Photos Purple Walrus Press.

Monday, March 12, 2018

NOW celebration for Women's History Month.

Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to NOW, in celebration of Women’s History Month, March 8 the Washtenaw County Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the Skyline High school NOW Chapters celebrated together “Feminism Across the Generations: The History and Future of Feminism in Washtenaw County”. The gathered group watched an excerpt of the film “Passing the Torch”, a Lilly Tomlin-narrated documentary about feminism in Michigan since the 1960s, and talked about the various movements over the years and how the Washtenaw County NOW chapter contributed.     
According to the March 8 press release from NOW, the older generation reminisced about boycotting Domino’s Pizza when it was under Tom Monaghan’s leadership due to the pro-life support and sexist policies of the company during his tenure.  They also recalled organizing for the Equal Rights Amendment, reproductive justice, and equal pay. Members also took the opportunity to highlight the work of member Kathy Fojtik Stroud in founding the first safe houses for battered women in the area.
According to NOW, "Ashika Kumar, President of the Skyline High school chapter and a junior at the school, along with other members of the chapter, talked about the evolution of their activism, particularly in the wake of the 2016 election.  The students are organizing to support progressive political candidates and motivate young people to vote. The younger generation brought up issues such as ageism as they have tried to affect change and the importance of intersectionality - the need to be fully inclusive, in social justice activities." 

The National Organization for Women is the largest organization of feminist grassroots activists in the United States, with chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. NOW seeks economic equality and an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will guarantee equal rights for women; champions abortion rights, reproductive freedom and other women’s health issues; opposes racism; fights bigotry against the LGBTQIA community; and seeks an end to violence against women.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Representatives welcome EPA Action Plan to combat toxic algal blooms in Lake Erie.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to a press release from the office of Debbie Dingell, U.S. Representatives Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) issued the following statements today after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an action plan to combat harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. Dingell and Kaptur have repeatedlyurged EPA to take steps to manage excessive phosphorous, the root cause of toxic algal blooms, to protect human health and the environment.

“It is critical that EPA take action to protect the drinking water that 11 million people in Michigan and throughout the Great Lakes region rely upon,” said Dingell. “We have urged EPA to be more aggressive in combatting Lake Erie’s toxic algal blooms, and this action plan is a step in the right direction. However, we continue to believe that full remediation of Lake Erie requires an impairment designation by EPA. We will continue working with state and federal stakeholders to ensure communities have the resources needed to clean up these waters and protect the health of residents throughout the region.” This according to the March 7 press release.

"Though we welcome support from U.S. EPA to combat harmful algal blooms, this plan does not reflect the urgency or accountability we need in this fight," said Kaptur. "This first step must be followed by actions on the state and federal level to meet the plan’s reduction targets. Congress has provided one important tool for achieving these goals by funding the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Even still, the Trump Administration plans to cut GLRI funding by 90 percent. We cannot settle for the U.S. EPA having its budget slashed and hands tied leaving the Great Lakes and the millions of Americans who rely on them for water and commerce in the lurch.”

According to Dingell's office, In November 2016, Dingell and Kaptur sent a letter to U.S. EPA urging them to list the waters of Lake Erie as officially impaired. Last May, EPA accepted both Ohio’s and Michigan’s assessments even though Michigan had designated the open waters of Lake Erie as impaired, while Ohio had refused to do so. The Representatives reiterated their call for EPA to disregard Ohio’s determination. U.S. EPA now considers the Ohio assessment to be “incomplete.” Read the full letter here.

Today’s plan from EPA outlines federal and state efforts to achieve the binational phosphorus reduction targets adopted by the United States and Canada in 2016 under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Under the agreement, the U.S. committed to reduce phosphorus nutrient sources by 40 percent, according to Dingell's office.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Flint activist Melissa Mays on the Flint Water Crisis: Day 1405: No dignity for the victims.

By Purple Walrus Press contributor Melissa Mays of Flint.

Day #1405 in the #FlintWaterCrisis: No dignity for the victims.
Ok so rumor has it that 90 people per day are getting their water turned off in Flint. THIS IS INSANE. We pay the highest rates in the US for water that STILL causes rashes, bacterial infections and more. NOW you're going to try to take away what's LEFT of our dignity by forcing residents to use rainwater or melt snow to flush their toilets, or scrounge for bottled water to try to bathe. You say you want us off of bottled water yet you're forcing us to use it or go without?!?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?! 50 people were shut off by 10 am this morning. Based off of WHAT? I was also told by a friend that she was laid off working for the Water Crisis because the State said the Crisis is over. REALLY?!?! Because we in Flint weren't aware of that!!! And based off of WHAT?! Your weak testing where you are NOT looking at the highest risk homes or properly identifying plumbing?!?! Seriously? The same people who LIED and said our water was safe while people died and inadvertently poisoned their families are telling us it's all good now? RIGHT. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Student led Die-In held at Liberty Plaza in Ann Arbor Saturday.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Roughly 175 people participated in a student led Die In and rally held at Liberty Plaza in downtown Ann Arbor Saturday, March 3. Ann Arbor Pioneer high school students organized the rally / Die In to honor the victims and survivors of the Parkland Florida shooting. According to student organizers, "We will commemorate the lives of the 17 students and teachers killed and we will protest gun violence in America by staging a Die In. Together we will demand action from legislators who have stood idly by while our nations children are being massacred with weapons of war."

The Die In / Rally featured student speakers and comments from Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor and Ann Arbor Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeanice Swift.

Participants in the Die In included not only local high school students but residents of all ages. Many participants carried signs stating 'I Should Not Be Afraid To Go To School' and 'Never Again.'

According to one student speaker who attends Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, "We are not old enough to vote but we won't be silenced." Skyline High School senior Liam Keaton addressed the large crowd stating, "Congress misrepresented the wishes of the people after Sandy Hook...Why? The answer is the NRA."

Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor and Ann Arbor Superintendent Jeanice Swift spoke before rally participants stating their full support of high school student gun violence protesters and pledged to support students in their quest for gun control legislation.

Members of the Pioneer High School choir performed as the event came to a close.

Purple Walrus Press fully supports high school students in Washtenaw County and throughout the nation in their brave and powerful movement to legislate strict gun control legislation.

Photos Purple Walrus Press.

Ann Arbor Pioneer student organizer.
Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor.
Ann Arbor Schools Superintendent Jeanice Swift.
Ann Arbor Skyline High School student organizer.