Friday, April 07, 2017

March 31, 2017
By Brianna Provenzano

According to court documents released (click here) on Tuesday, the state of Michigan will set aside $97 million over the next three years to replace the lead-ridden water lines that currently service at least 18,000 homes in beleaguered Flint....

..."For the first time, there will be an enforceable commitment to get the lead pipes out of the ground," Dimple Chaudhary, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement obtained by Reuters. "The people of Flint are owed at least this much."
Below are the statistics on the horrors the city has faced since the ordeal began in 2015 — and what plans to move forward will look like.


Approximate population of Flint, a majority black city in Michigan about 70 miles northeast of Detroit.


The percentage of Flint residents that live below the federal poverty line.


Highest levels of lead, in parts per billion (ppb) found in samples of Flint's water. The EPA's limit is 15 ppb.


Times more corrosive the Flint River is than Lake Huron, which previously supplied Flint's water.


Number of Flint residents to sign a class action complaint against the EPA for negligence in April 2016.


The number of days Flint's water was considered "toxic and highly corrosive," according to that complaint.


Months that Flint city officials went knowing about the potentially toxic water residents were using, but not acting on it.


The number of Flint children ages six and under who were exposed to toxic lead levels.

$97 million

The amount of money the state of Michigan will set aside over the next several years to finally replace Flint's water lines.

I think President Trump has put the USA in a very dangerous place. We are now a target more than ever.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET on April 7 (click here)

President Trump came into office promising big disruptive changes in the way America defined its role in the world. American foreign policy would no longer be aspirational — it would be transactional. "What's in it for us?" would guide the new "America First" approach. Human rights? Downgraded. America as an idea, a beacon of freedom to tired, huddled masses? Been there, done that. Promoting democratic values as a way to strengthen America's own economic and national security? Nope. Trump just didn't see the connection. But as the new president is finding out, things happen. Chemical weapons are used. And the world's greatest superpower has to respond....

All the opining can go on and should, but, there is a brand new reality after 50 Tomahawk missiles hit their targets; the USA is now a target without a doubt by every country on Earth.

There is just no doubt there has been a global shift to the way the USA is now viewed. First "W" and his illegal war into Iraq and now another President willing to kill when the country is not a direct threat to the USA. Obama targeted terrorists and there were some very questionable incidents including the deaths and injuries of people in Afghanistan in a hospital.

The USA is not trustworthy on an international basis. The profile has changed and the question remains, "When will there be a pre-emptive nuclear strike to end life in the USA?" Look, the people voted him in and now Russia is on it's defenses deciding what happens not just in Syria, but, globally.

I watched Putin pacify "W" on a fishing trip to Kennebunkport. Then Tony Blair walking in lock step with "W" to prevent complete tragedy in the Middle East.

I have seen Obama side step President Medvedev in regard to interceptor missiles in Europe. He also opted to withhold sincere NATO or perhaps simply the USA intervention with Ukraine, even when Crimea was taken due to a lack of a national military in Ukraine. The USA and NATO had a reason to launch into a war with Russia. Russia broke a treaty over a completely disarmed country that surrendered it's nuclear weapons to INSURE peace for their country and people.

There is ONE THING every nuclear nation has to have to be a successful nuclear nation and that is transparency to war intentions; hence; the United Nations Security Council. Just previous to the launch of 50 Tomahawk missiles into Syria to target President Assad and his military, Russia was speaking at the UN Security Council to introduce a Resolution. Resolutions are the way countries begin to measure potential peaceful outcomes to conflict.

President Trump is JUST "W"RONG. There is no good way of saying it. The unannounced attack into Syria, a country that is not a threat to the USA, was knee jerk, populous, political and stupid.

Every country, including China and Russia and most probably France and Great Britain are reassessing as I write this the potential to end the Superpower status of the USA. I sincerely believe there are plans probably dating back to "W" to end life in the USA. It can be done. Superpower status was suppose to bring about peace, not unrelenting war and death. The misuse of the USA military in the recent past cannot be ignored nor should it be. The American people need to stand up to Trump and demand his resignation to remove the idiocy that was witnessed yesterday. This is NOT a man that can control his emotions enough to bring a proposal to the US Congress yet alone the United Nations.

There are American troops in Syria, aid workers, allies and Tomahawk weapons were released without warning? This is NUTS!

The nuclear era of the world has to be over and now!

Syria is a tragedy that was a long time in the making. The hatred of ethnic vs ethnic in Syria is not a new scenario. To believe, even for a minute, that 50 Tomahawk missiles were going to solve a problem that has existed for millennia is grossly incompetent and as witnessed extremely dangerous.

No President has the right to sit in the Oval Office and pass judgement on other countries to launch missiles to end a conflict because of campaign rhetoric. It is highly questionable that Trump is even within the 90 days of US military intervention by the Executive Branch of the USA Government! 

And then there is the global economic collapse of 2008 and a heating planet. The USA is not a country that can be reliably committed to minimalist intervention and protections of people of another country or even it's own! 

It is called a local economy and a citizenship of conscience.

March 28, 2017
By Sarah Roebuck

Traverse City, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU)-- Traverse City (click here) has been named the 'Strongest Town'.

In a bracket-style contest with 15 other communities throughout the nation, Traverse City was named the winner of the 501(c)3 non-profit organization, 'Strongest Town'.

The contest came down to Guelph, Ontario and Traverse City.

According to the organization, Strong Towns, the 'Strongest Town" contest is about showcasing towns that are doing their best to be strong, that have the building blocks in place to be strong towns today and in the future....

...Throughout the month of March, Strong Towns says readers and listeners vote match-ups between the 16 towns based on a variety of assessment tools, including podcast interviews, photos and essays.

The winner of the competition gets a free Curbside Chat in their town, plus signed copies of the organization's books, Thoughts on Building Strong Towns, Volumes I and II, and a certificate proclaiming their town is the strongest.

According to the organization's website, "the mission of Strong Towns is to support a model of development that allows America's cities, towns and neighborhoods to become financially strong and resilient."