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Topic: Flint has more problems than water!

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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

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Residents along Zimmerman Street say that life in Flint, Mich., is as precarious as ever and that there has been no relief from the city’s entrenched problems.
BRITTANY GREESON FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
On This Block, Worries Run Deeper Than Flint’s Tainted Water
Yes, this Michigan city is being promised clean water. But residents have seen no relief from more entrenched, though less publicized, problems.

By JULIE BOSMAN
APRIL 25, 2017
FLINT, Mich. — One resident of Zimmerman Street has trouble sleeping from the gunfire that crackles through the air at night. A married couple down the block has heard squatters camped out in an abandoned house next door. A grandfather across the street cannot find steady work in the city, getting by with odd jobs that pay less than $9 an hour.

If anxieties over the water in Flint have eased, they have been replaced with different ones.

On this block of crumbling bungalows on Flint’s west side, residents said that life in Flint is as precarious as ever. Many are still distrustful of their tap water, though it now comes from Lake Huron, not the notoriously polluted Flint River. The government has just promised to replace lead pipes in houses throughout the city, another step to help people in Flint out of the three-year-old water crisis.

But there has been no relief from some of their most entrenched though less-publicized problems. And many of those have grown worse because of the tainted water that poisoned residents and further eroded their city’s reputation and property values.

Look down the block and you see what we’re dealing with, said Loyd Thomas, 70, a veteran of General Motors, standing on the front porch of his white bungalow.


The house next door has burned down, like so many others in Flint. Often the fires are set by arsonists, bent on vandalism or insurance fraud, who are never caught. He points to the sloping surface of Zimmerman Street, a block pockmarked by craters and deep ruts that never seem to be fully fixed.

“They say things here are going to get better, that we’re going to have a recovery,” Mr. Thomas said. “I just keep waiting on it.”


Steven Diehl, 29, making enchiladas for dinner as his daughter Stevie, 1, glided across the floor. Mr. Diehl’s main worry about Flint is gun violence.
BRITTANY GREESON FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Steven Diehl sits on his front step, his eyes trained on two of his children as they play, climbing a tree near the curb. On a warm April evening, Zimmerman Street is humming with life.

It is Monday night, so Mr. Diehl, 29, allows them outside. On weekends, he is more cautious, rarely leaving the house in the evenings.

His main worry about Flint these days is gun violence. Just the other night, he heard gunfire that sounded dangerously close. The next day, around 8 a.m., he was awakened by shots on the corner, apparently people firing their guns into the air. Last year, there were 45 homicides in the city.

“People with the littlest problems shoot at each other instead of talking it out,” he said. “Everybody just wants to be bigger than the next man. That’s how people think out here.”


Mr. Diehl works five hours a day at the sandwich shop Jimmy John’s, a flexible shift so he can be around for his children.

Soon, he will gather the children — Jaxsin, 6, Kennedy, 5, and Stevie, 1 — and lock the doors for the night. “I take care of my own house,” he said. Inside, he says he has a sense of security.


Anthony Johnson, wearing a T-shirt bearing the image of his late cousin, grilled dinner for family members, including his son Zion Ivory, 3, front right, and his grandson, Amire Johnson, 2, back right. “I feel like Flint is falling,” Mr. Johnson said. “It just keeps on falling.”

Mr. Johnson had started the day like so many others: coffee, breakfast and a scan through Craigslist ads for work. Sometimes he finds restaurant jobs, roofing work, doing odd jobs for homeowners. They are almost always temporary gigs, and usually they are outside Flint, which has lost thousands of jobs in recent years. This day, he comes up empty.

Some weeks are better than others — he usually finds work four days a week. “I’ve got to keep myself busy,” said Mr. Johnson, 40. “There are so many problems in this city, I can’t even count them. But jobs are No. 1. Without a job, you can’t support your family.”

Most of the work he finds pays minimum wage, which in January was increased to $8.90 from $8.50 in Michigan. But it’s not enough. Mr. Johnson has had run-ins with the law, including a destruction of property conviction, though he doesn’t believe his record has impeded his job search. Through a cousin, he says, he just got a lead on a full-time job at a factory. He’s waiting to hear whether he will get an interview.


He is also contemplating a move next month to North Carolina, where he says the work is steadier and more plentiful. Sometimes he wonders if he’s giving up on the city where he was born and raised.

“I feel like Flint is falling,” Mr. Johnson said. “It just keeps on falling. I don’t think it’s going to get better.”


Todd Davis and Tamatha Watson on the front porch of their home. At night, they said they have heard people enter vacant homes in search of valuables.
BRITTANY GREESON FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Todd Davis and Tamatha Watson have lived in their two-story home on Zimmerman Street for more than a decade. They used to have a next-door neighbor, Dorothy Overman, who planted a community garden across the street and daffodils, ivy and tulips in her front yard. But Ms. Overman moved away and now that house stands empty and hollowed out, like several others on the block.

Blight is pervasive in Flint. City officials estimated in 2015 that nearly 20,000 properties were in need of “blight elimination,” including vacant lots and crumbling buildings. On many blocks, there are more decaying, abandoned houses than inhabited ones.

On Zimmerman Street, people like Ms. Watson, 47, feel that their sense of security has been abandoned with the houses. They worry that even more buildings will empty out. At night, they say they can hear people going inside the vacants, rustling around, stripping metals away, looking for valuables. Sometimes squatters use their phones as flashlights, casting an eerie glow visible to the neighbors.

In March, Ms. Watson’s Chihuahua-dachshund mix, Mr. Boo Diddle, suddenly began barking in the direction of the house next door, which was once Ms. Overman’s. Ms. Watson peered out the window and saw a man in a blue shirt breaking the front door down. He left with the stove, brazenly rolling it away on a dolly. The haul left track marks in snow on the unshoveled sidewalk.


Ms. Watson said she called 911, but that the police never came. A spokeswoman for Karen Weaver, the mayor of Flint, did not respond to an inquiry about the call. “The police don’t do anything,” she said. “They literally could have followed the tracks and figured out where he was.”


Derek Sywyk in the living room of the home he shares with his girlfriend, Kathryn Dunman. “I would like to leave, but I don’t have the finances for that,” Ms. Dunman said.
BRITTANY GREESON FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Derek Sywyk and Kathryn Dunman used to like living on Zimmerman Street. They are within walking distance of a flower shop, a neighborhood tavern, a Mexican restaurant. They know their neighbors, like Ms. Watson and Mr. Davis, and exchange friendly waves with neighbors they don’t know as well.

But they are stuck.

“I would like to leave, but I don’t have the finances for that,” said Ms. Dunman, who owns the house and shares it with Mr. Sywyk, her boyfriend. Their living room is painted a cheerful yellow; the tables and walls are covered with Easter decorations, painted ceramic eggs and plush bunnies.

Decades ago, houses on Zimmerman Street were worth much more. Mr. Sywyk’s grandparents bought the house next door for $65,000, he guesses in the 1980s; now it’s worth a small fraction of that price.

Think of Ms. Overman’s house, across the street, Mr. Sywyk and Ms. Dunman said. She had lived there for more than 30 years and raised her children there. Four years ago, she was fed up with Flint’s problems and moved to Burton, a neighboring town. Ms. Overman says her house sold for only $5,000.

Mr. Sywyk, who does volunteer work for the State Health Department, dreams of escaping. “It’s just so tiresome,” he said. “Sometimes I just want to give up.”


If he moved up north, he said, he’d finally get away from Flint’s problems.


Darla Wright with one of her three children, Kenjrell. Ms. Wright fears that her children were poisoned by the lead-tainted water they drank for so many months.
BRITTANY GREESON FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Darla Wright’s worries over the water in Flint have never gone away.

Ms. Wright, a stay-at-home mother, lives in a modest house on the block with her boyfriend, Jaron Jones, and their three children. It is her daughter Jariah whom Ms. Wright worries about the most.

In 2014, the city made the switch to water from the Flint River, which flows a few blocks north of Zimmerman Street. Jariah, the youngest, was only a toddler then; now she is a bubbly, outgoing 6-year-old with shiny gold earrings in her ears. Hearing the adults talk about the water, she chimes in. “The water from the faucet is yucky,” she said.

As Jariah zooms down the sidewalk on her bicycle, Ms. Wright, 30, watches her. She says the water made Jariah’s skin dry and patchy, sometimes discolored. Ms. Wright fears that her children were forever poisoned by the lead-tainted water they drank for so many months.

Once or twice a week, she stops at a church a short drive away to pick up free bottled water. The family goes through at least 10 cases of water a week, using it for nearly everything short of flushing the toilet, though officials have assured residents that filtered tap water is safe.

“I’m so scared,” she said. “There’s nothing we can do about it. I don’t know if I would let them drink the water ever again.”
Post Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:39 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

AC Dumas warned residents on April 4th that "Because people are LEAVING Flint, the residents will pay more! We'll also pay more for water/sewer use, house & auto insurance, property taxes, groceries etc.



Proposed Flint budget includes hike for garbage collection

From left, Walter Johnson, and Duane Stone, both employees of Republic Waste Services, collect garbage on Friday, August 5, 2016 in Flint. The waste company's contract to pick-up garbage in Flint was extended after much dispute on Monday, August 1, 2016. Tegan Johnston | MLive.com
Tegan Johnston | tjohnsto@mlive.com
Print Email Roberto Acosta | racosta1@mlive.com By Roberto Acosta | racosta1@mlive.com
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on April 04, 2017 at 7:00 AM, updated April 04, 2017 at 8:10 AM
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FLINT, MI -- The proposed 2017-18 fiscal year budget for the city of Flint includes a potential increase to residents for waste collection.

Mayor Karen Weaver presented the budget to council members during a meeting Monday, April 3. Council members accepted the budget 7-0, with Councilman Scott Kincaid and Councilwoman Vicki VanBuren not in attendance.

It will now move on to public hearings and scrutiny from the council before final approval.

Part of the budget asks for an annual hike of $27.36 for the waste collection fee beginning July 1. It would push the cost per parcel from $150.47 to $177.83.

A prolonged dispute over a waste contract began in June 2016 after council members voted down Weaver's recommendation to sign a five-year, $17.5 million contract with Rizzo Environmental Services.

Future of Flint's waste collection services unclear as contract nears end
Future of Flint's waste collection services unclear as contract nears end
Flint City Council voted against hiring a new trash collection company potentially leaving the city in limbo as the date for their current contract to end nears.


Weaver later withdrew support for the contract after it became publicly known Rizzo was being investigated by the FBI for bribery and corruption allegations, with accusations the company paid cash bribes to Macomb County officials in exchange for help in gaining waste-hauling contracts there.

Councilwoman Monica Galloway questioned why the increase was in the budget, given the city touting a savings in the agreed-upon, one-year contract with Republic Services and the option to extend the agreement.

Dave Sabuda, the city's interim financial director, said the slight increase is due to a decline of residents or parcels paying in for the services provided, leaving fewer customers to cover the cost of the contract.

The proposed budget shows no increases to water or sewer rates.

A public hearing on the 2017-18 proposed budget is expected to take place within a week's time for city residents to offer their comments, followed by departmental budget sessions.
Post Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:06 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The problem is bigger than water and is being ignored. I sometimes watch several community sites just to see how they are faring. Imagine my surprise when one normally closed site posted on the regular facebook site and announced the problems were so critical that 5 homeowners were considering leaving Flint.

On 2 sites I found similar messages: "where there is no law enforcement, there is lawlessness."

I did not realize things and the mistrust of City government had gotten so bad.

"The problem with our crime is not going to change anytime soon because they aren't interested in fixing it right now for the same reason we have water issues. They're trying to push out the "undesireables" so they can clean it up to make property values g up after the investors have bought up everything", said one disillusioned poster.

There's more to this than people want to know-Kettering, Mott, U of m, MSU all investing in Flint,Buying up everything. Why do people think that is- why are the poorer neighborhodsthe one with higher lead levers. wrote another.
Post Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:24 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

I must admit that I sometimes seem a conspiracy in the actions of City Hall. But perception can be reality and the frustration of crime in their neighborhoods breeds a deep misconception that government, the police and the state police don't care.

One site mentioned frequently mentioned the Rite Aid on Atherton and Fenton where drugs users smoke crack and nod off in the parking lot. Employees and residents call police to no avail.

The hookers that walk the south side are an issue. Also residents are fearful that several missing women have been forced into human trafficking. Women recall incidents of being stalked and having to call for help.

Recently a woman died of a drug overdose in a "well known" drug house. Comments include that if the drug house was so well known why was it still there.
Post Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:47 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

A man in a video at the Caboose bar stole a woman's purse and has been seen in the vicinity of U of M-Flint. There is a belief the campus police are not responding. Same thing for a videotape in the downtown neighborhood that clearly shows a neighbor robbing a home. The homeowner believes little is being done after a month and posted the video on line.

Several communities describe "screams, gunshots and sirens on a regular basis. There is a fear of patronizing certain stores because of drug dealers in the parking lots. Neighbors are threatened and talk of fearing to confront the troublemakers. Landlords refuse to respond to complaints.

And yet the City can have the Chief and allegedly 10 officers protect a church against incivility!
Post Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:06 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Home Local Article
ONLY ON ABC12: Flint city worker accused of picking up prostitute while on the job

Flint city worker accused of picking up prostitute while on the job

By Jessica Dupnack | Posted: Tue 12:39 PM, Apr 25, 2017 | Updated: Tue 6:23 PM, Apr 25, 2017

FLINT (WJRT) - (04/25/17) - A City of Flint maintenance worker is accused of picking up a prostitute in broad daylight in his marked work truck. Part of the encounter was caught on cell phone video obtained by ABC12 News.


The video went viral on Facebook last week. Now, it’s in the hands of police, who want to know what was going on in the city-owned truck.

The man behind the camera says he watched, as it appears, a City of Flint maintenance worker picks up a prostitute while on the clock. The woman is seen talking to the city employee on the driver's side along Fenton Roa in the middle of the day. Then, a minute later, she climbs inside and they drive off together.

It caught the attention of a Flint woman who says her 55-year-old mother is the one in the video.

“I thought, ‘Oh my God, no way’. I just cannot believe this, just humiliated,” said Dustin Bachman-Roat.

Bachman-Roat lives right across the street from her mother on Flint's south side. She says this isn't the first time she's seen the big red truck hanging around.


“I've seen him in the neighborhood. I've seen him at her house parked right out front in the City of Flint vehicle,” Bachman-Roat said.

The cell phone video cuts out before we're told the two parked in the driveway at an abandoned home. Then, the woman disappears inside.

ABC12 News took the video to Flint Police and started asking questions.

“It was handled very swiftly by order of the chief and it’s something that the City of Flint takes very serious,” said Ofc. Tyrone Booth.

Booth says they've questioned witnesses, but aren't ready to say exactly what happened. If it is what it appears to be, the city employee could face a misdemeanor and could lose his job.

“There are families connected to it on both sides and it has a large impact on the community itself that we will continue to protect,” Booth said.
Post Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:09 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

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Home Local Article

Growing sinkhole underneath Flint sidewalk near daycare
By Jessica Dupnack |
Posted: Mon 5:44 PM, Apr 24, 2017 |
Updated: Mon 5:46 PM, Apr 24, 2017

FLINT (WJRT) - (04/24/17) - A sinkhole is never good, but it's even worse when it's right next to a child care center. A busy sidewalk on Flint's north side has become hazardous.

A local contractor noticed the large sinkhole Monday morning while he was driving on Dupont Street near Home Avenue. It's just feet away from the old Gundry Elementary School, which is now a daycare.

"You got three feet of water down there and three feet of muck under that. If a kid falls in, he's not going to be able to get back out," said Jeff Masters.

Masters put up caution tape and started calling the City of Flint for help. He waited for three hours, worried that someone walking or riding their bike along the sidewalk would fall in.

Crews came out Monday afternoon and put up caution signs.

It wasn't exactly the solution that Masters was hoping for. He says it's only a matter of time before the sidewalk crumbles and the sinkhole gets bigger.

ABC12 News reached out to the City of Flint to find out when it would be fixed for good. As of Monday afternoon, we have not heard back.
Post Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:32 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

This is one huge sinkhole and the new sidewalk above it is in danger of collapsing. As one commenter noted " This is a hole to a bottomless liability insurance premium".

The Little Caesar's at 815 Welch near Chevrolet also has a large sinkhole according to a posting.
Post Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:35 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The south side of Flint was on alert as a murder suspect was being chased through their neighborhoods by the helicopter and multiple police units for hours. Many in the south side were depending on Flint Police operations for updates as they expressed their fear. The murder suspect was said to be from the Regency housing and may have been linked to a reported 12 to 20 shots fired. After hours of search, the suspect was not found.

Two areas on the east side reported shots fired. The police responded that no shots were fired. However one group just blocks away reported a person was observed by neighbors shooting at a red cadillac passing by. They say the police just drove away and did not even look at the shell casings.
Post Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:47 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The New York Times got it right:

If anxieties over the water in Flint have eased, they have been replaced with different ones.

On this block of crumbling bungalows on Flint’s west side, residents said that life in Flint is as precarious as ever. Many are still distrustful of their tap water, though it now comes from Lake Huron, not the notoriously polluted Flint River. The government has just promised to replace lead pipes in houses throughout the city, another step to help people in Flint out of the three-year-old water crisis.

But there has been no relief from some of their most entrenched though less-publicized problems. And many of those have grown worse because of the tainted water that poisoned residents and further eroded their city’s reputation and property values.
Post Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:51 am 
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ksabin9325
F L I N T O I D

quote:
untanglingwebs schreef:
The south side of Flint was on alert as a murder suspect was being chased through their neighborhoods by the helicopter and multiple police units for hours. Many in the south side were depending on Flint Police operations for updates as they expressed their fear. The murder suspect was said to be from the Regency housing and may have been linked to a reported 12 to 20 shots fired. After hours of search, the suspect was not found.

Two areas on the east side reported shots fired. The police responded that no shots were fired. However one group just blocks away reported a person was observed by neighbors shooting at a red cadillac passing by. They say the police just drove away and did not even look at the shell casings.
Embarassed and the cops lied the kid ran into the house we picked the casing and requested for the police to take some with them they finally did and said it was from a 32 but nothing was done they didn't go to his home or anything
Post Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:02 pm 
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