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Topic: Will Flint water take a back seat?

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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

U.S.

Miles From Flint, Residents Turn Off Taps in New Water Crisis
By MITCH SMITHNOV. 24, 2017

PLAINFIELD CHARTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. They found pollutants in the water at the National Guard armory in June. Then contractors showed up to test nearby residents wells, many of which were also tainted. Soon, people from several miles around were turning off their taps and even brushing their teeth with bottled water.

Panic over the water in this part of western Michigan seems to grow by the day. The Rogue River, which runs through, tested high for contaminants this month. Days later, Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan announced an action team to address the substances. Health officials say they are studying a possible cancer cluster.

The source of much of the tumult: a local shoemaking company, Wolverine Worldwide, the maker of popular footwear brands like Hush Puppies and Merrell and a mainstay in this area since 1883.

Decades ago, Wolverine dumped sludge and leather from its tannery in the woods around here. For years, the company and the government stayed mostly silent about the trash piles, even as developers built houses and a golf course near them and even as researchers documented serious health risks from chemicals in the sludge.

Now residents say they sense grim echoes of the ongoing crisis in a different part of this state, Flint: the bottled water, the finger-pointing, the hard-to-decipher test results. And indeed, some of the same government agencies that botched the initial response to lead-tainted water in Flint three years ago are on the case here, trying to avoid past mistakes and reassure residents.


TRUMP RULES
Why Has the E.P.A. Shifted on Toxic Chemicals? An Industry Insider Helps Call the Shots OCT. 21, 2017

Still, fear abounds.

You just sort of lose your peace, said one Plainfield Township resident, Meaghan Schweinzger, a day before crews arrived to remove rusty barrels and leather scraps from the hillside near her childrens trampoline.

Ms. Schweinzgers well water is among at least 30 to have been found to exceed the federal governments recommended lifetime exposure levels for PFAS, also known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. She lives on the same street where Wolverine once dumped sludge that included Scotchgard, the waterproofing chemical used in Hush Puppies shoes that contained PFAS.

Photo

Cleanup crews searched the woods for barrels containing toxic waste. Credit Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times
Though PFAS, once common in household products, have been linked to serious health problems such as decreased fertility and increased cancer risk, the science about those risks is still developing and regulations are limited. At least three states, including Michigan, have issued warnings about eating fish with high levels of PFAS.

It keeps you up at night, Ms. Schweinzger said. You dont sleep, because youre wondering, What dont we know yet?

The scope of the problem remains an open question. Wary locals have been reporting potential dump sites 76 so far, state officials say in backyards and hillsides in this area just north of Grand Rapids, where the suburbs fade into the countryside. Wolverine officials said they were helping investigate those sites, but said many were not theirs.

Kathleen Shirey, who is helping lead the Michigan Department of Environmental Qualitys response, said her agency had not been fully aware of Wolverines past dumping and was continuing to investigate whether other reported dumpsites were related to Wolverine. She blamed shoddy record-keeping and loose dumping regulations in past generations.

Weve asked the company they apparently dont have too much, either, in way of historical files, Ms. Shirey said. So what were primarily relying on is citizen memory and reports.

Wolverine officials acknowledged dumping waste, but said they had complied with applicable laws at the time, and were committed to working with regulators and cleaning up the mess. The officials emphasized that the health risks of PFAS were not known at the time of the dumping, and that the extent of those hazards remains unknown.

Several nervous residents pointed out flaws in Michigans response in Flint, about 120 miles east, where the states environmental quality agency gave assurances about a 2014 change in the citys water source that ultimately poisoned people with lead and put them at risk for Legionnaires disease. That debacle led to involuntary manslaughter charges against the states former top drinking water official, as well as the states chief medical executive, the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and other government workers.

Photo

Sandy Wynn-Stelts home in Plainfield Township. Her water tested well above the advised levels of PFAS. Credit Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times
Flint, a majority-black city that has struggled with depopulation and poverty, looks very different from Plainfield Township, which is mostly white and middle-class. And the causes and details of the two crises are very different. But residents of both places use some of the same language to describe their fear, their feelings of betrayal and the sense that they are stuck in a dangerous waiting game.

Its the same way with Flint, said Sandy Wynn-Stelt, whose water in Plainfield Township tested well above the advised levels of PFAS. People were willing to sacrifice peoples lives and peoples livelihoods and peoples value because they wanted to make a profit or they wanted to spend less money.

Ms. Wynn-Stelts husband, Joel Stelt, died last year of liver cancer. Though proving a cause of his cancer may never be possible, Ms. Wynn-Stelt said she suspects the contaminants may have played a role. Exposure to PFAS has been tied to liver problems and some kinds of cancer.

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Ive got to believe drinking Scotchgard for 24 years was probably a little bit taxing on his liver, said Ms. Wynn-Stelt, who is part of a group of residents that has filed a notice of intent to pursue a lawsuit.

Wolverine officials declined to comment on Mr. Stelts death, but said they were doing everything possible to clean up the contamination and reassure residents. The company has also tried to pass some responsibility onto 3M, the maker of Scotchgard. Officials with 3M responded with documents saying they told Wolverine about the PFAS risk years ago and that Wolverine had failed to act.

Wolverines claims are as misguided as they are transparent, William A. Brewer III, a lawyer for 3M, said in a statement. He called blaming 3M an attempt by Wolverine to deflect scrutiny of its own disposal practices.

Wolverine has provided bottled water, grocery store gift cards and whole-house water filters to families believed to be at risk for contamination. Christopher Hufnagel, a senior vice president for the company, said it was voluntarily working with Michigan regulators to clean up the mess.


We think the actions were taking today are the right thing to do, Mr. Hufnagel said last month. Certainly this has caused some anxiety, and were working to alleviate that anxiety.

Some residents gave passing grades to the efforts to respond to the tainted water, but others criticized Wolverine and the environmental quality department for not taking action years ago, especially in 2000 when the maker of Scotchgard announced plans to reformulate the product and PFAS were increasingly recognized as a risk to health.

Where was the D.E.Q. with forcing cleanup and forcing Wolverine to pay for it? said Patti VanderZouwen, who lives about half a mile from a dump site near the armory. Her family continued to drink bottled water even after a test did not reveal PFAS in their well.

The recent outcry here has validated the concerns of a small group of residents, called the Concerned Citizens for Responsible Redevelopment, who for more than seven years have sought additional government scrutiny of Wolverines environmental practices, and who were sometimes met with resistance for criticizing a hometown company.

Richard Rediske, an environmental chemist at Grand Valley State University, has worked with that citizens group, and he suggested a link between Scotchgard and the elevated levels of PFAS in fish near the Wolverine tannery, which closed in 2009.

He called the current situation truly a big health hazard, and said Wolverine needed to pick up the pace and do more studies.

As uncertainty festers, residents said they were struggling to adjust. People have discarded vegetables from backyard gardens. Parents have limited outdoor playtime for their children. Many residents said they fear their houses will never sell now.

But some signs of normalcy have returned.

Ms. Schweinzger said that her daughter, who as an infant drank formula mixed with water from the tainted well, missed taking baths after the contamination was discovered. But the familys whole-house water filter was installed a few days ago, and the girl, now 6, celebrated with a bath.
Post Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:30 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

71 Michigan water systems now have higher lead levels than Flint ...
www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2017/.../71_michigan_water_systems_had.html
Oct 30, 2017 - (This story has been updated to correct a date.) FLINT, MI -- Seventy-one water systems in Michigan now have higher lead levels than the city ..MLive


71 Michigan water systems now have higher lead levels than Flint

Updated Oct 30; Posted Oct 30
Beakers of chemicals stand on a laboratory shelf at the new Genesee County Water Treatment Plant on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, on Stanley Road in Oregon Township.
Beakers of chemicals stand on a laboratory shelf at the new Genesee County Water Treatment Plant on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, on Stanley Road in Oregon Township. (Terray Sylvester | MLive.com)

By Ron Fonger rfonger1@mlive.com
(This story has been updated to correct a date.)

FLINT, MI -- Seventy-one water systems in Michigan now have higher lead levels than the city of Flint, results of the most recent federally-required testing shows.

Water sampling in Flint from January through June showed the city's 90th percentile for lead was at 7 parts per billion, far better than the last six months of 2016, but still higher than 92.6 percent of the 1,333 water systems regulated by the state Department of Environmental Quality.

In the first six months of this year, 71 water systems had higher concentrations of lead than Flint. Just 24 systems had more lead than the city in the second half of 2016.

Only two private water systems in the state -- Island Lake Apartments in Livingston County and Knorrwood Knolls Subdivision in Oakland County -- had at least 10 percent of water samples from high-risk sites exceed 15 ppb in testing this year, the federal threshold for lead.


Although the new results show how far Flint has come in emerging from the city's water crisis, it is also a reminder of how much better other water systems are performing when lead is the measure.

"The water lead levels in Flint, continue to trend downwards from levels we measured in August 2015," said Marc Edwards, a professor from Virginia Tech University, whose research identified extreme corrosivity of improperly treated water from the Flint River and the resulting leeching of lead from transmission pipes and home plumbing here.

"Obviously, Flint benefits from a more rigorously vetted sampling pool than elsewhere in the state, so if anything, there are probably many, many more systems in Michigan that probably have worse water lead levels than Flint," Edwards said.

Dozens do have higher lead concentrations, according to the Lead and Copper Rule test results requested by MLive-The Flint Journal from the DEQ, including the cities of Monroe (15 ppb), Benton Harbor (12 ppb), Muskegon (11 ppb), Owosso (11 ppb) and Saginaw (10 ppb).

The governor told residents Flint water was "comparable to cities with similar size and age of infrastructure in Michigan and the U.S."

Not only cities and townships, but subdivisions, apartment complexes and mobile home parks have water systems required to comply with LRC testing rules.

Thirty-six of those water systems registered 10 percent of homes with 10 ppb of lead or more during the first six months of the year, meaning the systems would be above the lead limit proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder earlier this year.


MLive-The Journal could not reach representatives of the two water systems that are currently above 15 ppb of lead in 2017 testing.

Knorrwood Knolls, which had a 90th percentile of 22 ppb of lead, has increased phosphate treatment dosages and is conducting further investigation to determine why its levels are so high, according to the DEQ.

A notice posted online by Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash says treatment of water to make it less corrosive to pipes and home plumbing began in Knorrwood Knolls in October 2016.


"The source of the lead is being investigated through additional testing and the ... phosphate feed rate and/or phosphate blend" will be adjusted until lead concentrations are lowered, the county's posting says.

Island Lake Apartments in Livingston County, which registered the highest lead level of any water system in the state at 82 ppb, also had elevated lead in water (37 ppb) levels during testing in the last six months of 2016, according to state records.

The system serves a population of less than 50, according to the DEQ.

MLive-The Journal could not reach APA Investments LLC or Rama Cherukuri, the registered agent for the subdivision.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency first published the Lead and Copper Rule in 1991 and has used it since as a tool to control lead and copper in drinking water.

The rule requires water system sampling every six months with the number of samples based on the population the system serves.

In addition to Snyder, others have said the LRC is in need of revision.

In April, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Twp., introduced the National Opportunity for Lead Exposure Accountability and Deterrence Act of 2017 in the House of Representatives.

That measure would lower the federal lead action level from 15 to 10 ppb by 2020 and to 5 ppb in 2026.

Kildee and U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) have also sent a joint letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, detailing concerns about other proposed revisions to the LRC.

The current regulation requires that water systems target homes at high risk for lead contamination, such as those with lead service lines.

If lead concentrations exceed an action level of 15 ppb or copper concentrations exceed an action level of 1.3 ppm in more than 10 percent of customer taps sampled, the system must take action to control corrosion.

LRC testing in Flint before the city's water crisis was compromised because city officials have said they submitted false documents to state regulators, claiming sampling sites were qualified as high risk even though the city had no reliable inventory that told them the composition of service lines.


In the most recent six-month tests, Flint's levels were 7 ppb in the first six months of 2017, 12 ppb in the second half of 2016, 20 ppb in the first half of 2016.

Before the city's water source changed to the Flint River in April 2014, Flint's water registered 0 ppb of lead in testing dating back to 2008.

Rob Bincsik, Flint water distribution center supervisor, said in a statement to MLive-The Journal that lower lead levels are "the result of a lot of hard work from many people including city of Flint employees, consultants, as well as those assisting from DEQ and EPA.

"The results are directly related to a more optimized level of corrosion control and the continued removal of lead service lines," Bincsik said.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said in a written statement that while "results are promising, we also realize there is still a substantial amount of work that remains to be done."

"As work continues to replace lead tainted service lines, we must continue to complete improvement projects throughout the distribution system and fully optimize our corrosion control program, which should only improve our water quality more and more," Weaver said.
Post Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:35 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Lead levels highest among Detroit kids in Michigan - and increasing
www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/.../lead...detroit/107683688/
Nov 14, 2017 - Just 1.8 percent tested positive for lead poisoning in Genesee County, where hundreds of Flint children were exposed to lead-tainted water ..Detroit News



Detroit kids lead poisoning rates higher than Flint
Karen Bouffard and Christine MacDonald, DetroitNews Published 2:45 p.m. ET Nov. 14, 2017 | Updated 11:51 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2017
2017-1114-rb-me-lead009Buy Photo
(Photo: Robin Buckson / The Detroit News)

Detroit had Michigans highest proportion of children test positive for lead poisoning in 2016 8.8 percent of kids tested including one ZIP code where 22 percent were found to have lead poisoning.

Data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services show children are being sickened by lead in counties from Manistee to Hillsdale and St. Clair, though the rates of lead poisoning in Flint continue to improve.

Just 1.8 percent tested positive for lead poisoning in Genesee County, where hundreds of Flint children were exposed to lead-tainted water after the city switched its water source in 2014.


INTERACTIVE MAP: Explore a map of lead testing results in Detroit by ZIP code

High blood lead levels can lead to developmental problems, behavioral disorders and learning difficulties, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its a common problem nationwide in cities that have large numbers of homes built before 1978, when lead-based paints were banned from use in housing.

Under federal guidelines, medical intervention is recommended for children 6 and younger who have blood lead levels higher than 5 micrograms per deciliter.

Statewide, the percentage of children tested who were found to have elevated blood levels increased from 3.4 percent in 2015 to 3.6 percent last year. It was the states first increase, according to records dating back to 1998.


Jackson County had the highest rate of lead poisoning among counties in the state, with high blood lead levels in 7.6 percent of children tested. Calhoun and St. Joseph counties followed at 6.4 percent. In Wayne County, outside of Detroit, 2.1 percent of kids tested had elevated blood lead levels.

A 2016 Detroit Health Department study found a link between lead poisoning and housing demolitions in the city, where 93 percent of homes were built before 1978, according to city data, and first reported Tuesday by Bridge magazine. The risk was most significant for kids who live within 200 feet of a demolition, especially those that occur between May and September.

City tackles lead problems

Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun, the Detroit Health Department director, said reducing lead exposure is a top health priority in the city, where the lead poisoning rate increased from 7.5 percent in 2015. Detroits lead poisoning rate decreased by half between 2009 and 2015.

Quite frankly, its really because of the old housing stocks that Detroit has, Khaldun said. Most kids who are getting exposed to lead ... are getting exposed through lead paint in their homes, and so weve really been trying to focus on primary prevention.

Those homes also have lead service lines snaking beneath them. At a national water conference earlier this year in Flint, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department Director Gary Brown, calling it a conservative estimate, said Detroit has at least 125,000 lead service lines probably more than the rest of the state combined. The city is exploring options but does not currently have a long-term replacement program in place.

Lead service lines beneath the city carry water into homes and businesses and are a potentially dangerous threat, but it could take decades to remove them at a cost of up to $500 million, according to some estimates.

Khaldun said the city already is waging a fierce battle against lead poisoning, with multiple programs aimed at cleaning up houses and educating the public. The lead poisoning rate dropped 50 percent in Detroit between 2009 and 2015. Khaldun noted that the Detroit City Council unanimously approved an ordinance on Oct. 31 that requires inspections of all rental properties.

(Because of the ordinance) we will actually know ... what those levels of lead are in those homes, and we are working with those landlords and those owners so that they are doing something about the lead in those homes, Khaldun said.

Lyke Thompson, director of the Center for Urban Studies at Wayne State and project coordinator of the Detroit/Wayne County Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, said the ordinance to force landlords to get their properties inspected which includes lead paint inspection will help prevent poisonings.

Under current law, housing units are supposed to be registered and have passed city inspections by obtaining a certificate of compliance before they can be rented out. But city officials admit they have let the vast majority of landlords ignore the rules for more than a decade, The News reported last month.

If landlords refuse to follow the rules, renters will be able to escrow rent after a series of deadlines, under regulations passed late last month. Mayor Mike Duggan has added staff and contractors to do rental inspections.

Landlords will need to get an initial $450-$700 lead inspection and then an annual $250 risk assessment, where a trained inspector looks for problems like peeling paint.

Khaldun said the city is launching a lead exposure prevention program this month in partnership with the Wayne State University Center for Urban Studies and ClearCorps Detroit, a nonprofit lead mitigation group.

Theyre already going into the homes and showing families how to appropriately clean their homes so that their children are not at risk, why we thought Why dont we move demolition information into those home visits, Khaldun said.

Abdul El-Sayed., the former city health department director now running for governor, said he led the study on lead exposure and housing demolitions and a task force that compiled recommendations and made sure the report was made public.

The report was posted online, and El-Sayed said he hopes recent media scrutiny will compel more urgent action. He said hes disappointed that not all of the Task Forces 18 recommendation have been implemented.

My hope is they they ... will get this done immediately, because kids deserve the best and they deserve that when the city does something like demolish a home which I think is done in part for public health purposes, that it is done with public health in mind and that it as safe as it possibly can be, El-Sayed said.

Focus beyond Flint

While Flint has been a focus of lead mitigation efforts by the state Department of Health and Human Services, problems of lead poisoning in other parts of the state have not been forgotten, spokeswoman Angela Minicuci said Tuesday.

Flint was a man-made crisis, so the response was not necessarily all due to the lead levels it was due to the fact that the water switch corroded the water, Minicuci said, when asked about the hundreds of millions of state, federal and charitable dollars that have been spent to replace lead service lines, distribute bottled water and mitigate the effects of lead poisoning in that community.

You cant make an apples-to-apples comparison between Flint and other cities in the state, she said.

Minicuci said that because of the water switch in Flint, there was this impact on health, but it was a man-made crisis versus Kent County or the Detroit areas of the state (where there are) historic issues of lead exposure in the environment as a whole it could be in paint, it could be in soil, it could be related to the industry (or other sources).

Minicuci said some of the same programs used to mitigate lead exposure in Flint such as the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program that provides case management and behavior and health services for children with high blood lead levels are available to families across the state. But much of the money Flint received can only be used in Flint.

We are funded to spend specific dollars in specific places with a lot of these programs, Minicuci said. Resources we have received from the state or the federal level were specifically designed for reaching Flint as a result of the crisis, so we cant use those funds otherwise.

Tina Reynolds, health policy director with the Michigan Environmental Council, said MDHHS has done a good job of leveraging the Flint windfall in ways that can benefit other communities. For example, some of the money has been used to train lead mitigation contractors, specialists who are needed across the state.

(The state is) creatively pushing dollars to education and outreach, Reynolds said. I think were doing the best we can with the largess that we have received.

Minicuci said its up to the state Legislature to decide how to prioritize Michigan lead mitigation resources going forward.

Were working in Detroit. Were working in Kent County. Were working in other areas of the state with elevated lead levels, Minicuci said. They have remained high focus communities for quite some time, but weve just in the last year or so given Flints lead levels our priority response.

Staff writer Jonathan Oosting contributed to this report.

kbouffard@detroitnews.com
Post Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:48 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

MICHAELMOORE10 Things They Won't Tell You About the Flint Water Tragedy. But I Will ...
https://michaelmoore.com/10factsonflint/
But if you live in Flint or the State of Michigan as I do, you know all to well that ... Which means that while the children in Flint were drinking lead-filled water, .... Don't Call It Detroit Water It's the Largest Source of Fresh Drinking Water in the ...



News of the poisoned water crisis in Flint has reached a wide audience around the world. The basics are now known: the Republican governor, Rick Snyder, nullified the free elections in Flint, deposed the mayor and city council, then appointed his own man to run the city. To save money, they decided to unhook the people of Flint from their fresh water drinking source, Lake Huron, and instead, make the public drink from the toxic Flint River. When the governors office discovered just how toxic the water was, they decided to keep quiet about it and covered up the extent of the damage being done to Flints residents, most notably the lead affecting the children, causing irreversible and permanent brain damage. Citizen activists uncovered these actions, and the governor now faces growing cries to resign or be arrested.
Here are ten things that you probably dont know about this crisis because the media, having come to the story so late, can only process so much. But if you live in Flint or the State of Michigan as I do, you know all to well that what the greater public has been told only scratches the surface.

While the Children in Flint Were Given Poisoned Water to Drink, General Motors Was Given a Special Hookup to the Clean Water. A few months after Governor Snyder removed Flint from the clean fresh water we had been drinking for decades, the brass from General Motors went to him and complained that the Flint River water was causing their car parts to corrode when being washed on the assembly line. The Governor was appalled to hear that GM property was being damaged, so he jumped through a number of hoops and quietly spent $440,000 to hook GM back up to the Lake Huron water, while keeping the rest of Flint on the Flint River water. Which means that while the children in Flint were drinking lead-filled water, there was one and only one address in Flint that got clean water: the GM factory.
For Just $100 a Day, This Crisis Couldve Been Prevented. Federal law requires that water systems which are sent through lead pipes must contain an additive that seals the lead into the pipe and prevents it from leaching into the water. Someone at the beginning suggested to the Governor that they add this anti-corrosive element to the water coming out of the Flint River. How much would that cost? came the question. $100 a day for three months, was the answer. I guess that was too much, so, in order to save $9,000, the state government said f*** it and as a result the State may now end up having to pay upwards of $1.5 billion to fix the mess.

Theres More Than the Lead in Flints Water. In addition to exposing every child in the city of Flint to lead poisoning on a daily basis, there appears to be a number of other diseases we may be hearing about in the months ahead. The number of cases in Flint of Legionnaires Disease has increased tenfold since the switch to the river water. Eighty-seven people have come down with it, and at least ten have died. In the five years before the river water, not a single person in Flint had died of Legionnaires Disease. Doctors are now discovering that another half-dozen toxins are being found in the blood of Flints citizens, causing concern that there are other health catastrophes which may soon come to light.

Peoples Homes in Flint Are Now Worth Nothing Because They Cant Be Sold. Would you buy a house in Flint right now? Who would? So every homeowner in Flint is stuck with a house thats now worth nothing. Thats a total home value of $2.4 billion down the economic drain. People in Flint, one of the poorest cities in the U.S., dont have much to their name, and for many their only asset is their home. So, in addition to being poisoned, they have now a net worth of zero. (And as for employment, who is going to move jobs or start a company in Flint under these conditions? No one.) Has Flints future just been flushed down that river?

While They Were Being Poisoned, They Were Also Being Bombed. Heres a story which has received little or no coverage outside of Flint. During these two years of water contamination, residents in Flint have had to contend with a decision made by the Pentagon to use Flint for target practice. Literally. Actual unannounced military exercises complete with live ammo and explosives were conducted last year inside the city of Flint. The army decided to practice urban warfare on Flint, making use of the thousands of abandoned homes which they could drop bombs on. Streets with dilapidated homes had rocket-propelled grenades fired upon them. For weeks, an undisclosed number of army troops pretended Flint was Baghdad or Damascus and basically had at it. It sounded as if the city was under attack from an invading army or from terrorists. People were shocked this could be going on in their neighborhoods. Wait did I say people? I meant, Flint people. As with the Governor, it was OK to abuse a community that held no political power or money to fight back. BOOM!

The Wife of the Governors Chief of Staff Is a Spokeswoman for Nestle, Michigans Largest Owner of Private Water Reserves. As Deep Throat told Woodward and Bernstein: Follow the money. Snyders chief of staff throughout the two years of Flints poisoning, Dennis Muchmore, was intimately involved in all the decisions regarding Flint. His wife is Deb Muchmore, who just happens to be the spokesperson in Michigan for the Nestle Company the largest owner of private water sources in the State of Michigan. Nestle has been repeatedly sued in northern Michigan for the 200 gallons of fresh water per minute it sucks from out of the ground and bottles for sale as their Ice Mountain brand of bottled spring water. The Muchmores have a personal interest in seeing to it that Nestles grabs as much of Michigans clean water was possible especially when cities like Flint in the future are going to need that Ice Mountain.

In Michigan, from Flint water, to Crime and Murder, to GM Ignition Switches, Its a Culture of Death. Its not just the water that was recklessly used to put peoples lives in jeopardy. There are many things that happen in Flint that would give one the impression that there is a low value placed on human life. Flint has one of the worst murder and crime rates in the country. Just for context, if New York City had the same murder rate as Flint, Michigan, the number of people murdered last year in New York would have been almost 4,000 people instead of the actual 340 who were killed in NYC in 2015. But its not just street crime that makes one wonder about what is going on in Michigan. Last year, it was revealed that, once again, one of Detroits automakers had put profit ahead of peoples lives. General Motors learned that it had installed faulty ignition switches in many of its cars. Instead of simply fixing the problem, mid-management staff covered it up from the public. The auto industry has a history of weighing the costs of whether its cheaper to spend the money to fix the defect in millions of cars or to simply pay off a bunch of lawsuits filed by the victims surviving family members. Does a cynical, arrogant culture like this make it easy for a former corporate CEO, now Governor, turn a blind eye to the lead that is discovered in a municipalitys drinking water?
Dont Call It Detroit Water Its the Largest Source of Fresh Drinking Water in the World. The media keeps saying Flint was using Detroits water. It is only filtered and treated at the Detroit Water Plant. The water itself comes from Lake Huron, the third largest body of fresh water in the world. It is a glacial lake formed over 10,000 years ago during the last Ice Age and it is still fed by pure underground springs. Flint is geographically the last place on Earth where one should be drinking poisoned water.

ALL the Children Have Been Exposed, As Have All the Adults, Including Me. Thats just a fact. If you have been in Flint anytime from April 2014 to today, and youve drank the water, eaten food cooked with it, washed your clothes in it, taken a shower, brushed your teeth or eaten vegetables from someones garden, youve been exposed to and ingested its toxins. When the media says 9,000 children under 6 have been exposed, that means ALL the children have been exposed because the total number of people under the age of 6 in Flint is 9,000! The media should just say, all. When they say 47 children have tested positive, thats just those whove drank the water in the last week or so. Lead enters the body and does its damage to the brain immediately. It doesnt stay in the blood stream for longer than a few days and you cant detect it after a month. So when you hear 47 children, thats just those with an exposure in the last 48 hours. Its really everyone.

This Was Done, Like So Many Things These Days, So the Rich Could Get a Big Tax Break. When Governor Snyder took office in 2011, one of the first things he did was to get a multi-billion dollar tax break passed by the Republican legislature for the wealthy and for corporations. But with less tax revenues, that meant he had to start cutting costs. So, many things schools, pensions, welfare, safe drinking water were slashed.

Then he invoked an executive privilege to take over cities (all of them majority black) by firing the mayors and city councils whom the local people had elected, and installing his cronies to act as dictators over these cities. Their mission? Cut services to save money so he could give the rich even more breaks. Thats where the idea of switching Flint to river water came from. To save $15 million! It was easy. Suspend democracy. Cut taxes for the rich. Make the poor drink toxic river water. And everybodys happy.

Except those who were poisoned in the process. All 102,000 of them. In the richest country in the world.
Post Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:59 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

This Was Done, Like So Many Things These Days, So the Rich Could Get a Big Tax Break. When Governor Snyder took office in 2011, one of the first things he did was to get a multi-billion dollar tax break passed by the Republican legislature for the wealthy and for corporations. But with less tax revenues, that meant he had to start cutting costs. So, many things schools, pensions, welfare, safe drinking water were slashed.

Then he invoked an executive privilege to take over cities (all of them majority black) by firing the mayors and city councils whom the local people had elected, and installing his cronies to act as dictators over these cities. Their mission? Cut services to save money so he could give the rich even more breaks. Thats where the idea of switching Flint to river water came from. To save $15 million! It was easy. Suspend democracy. Cut taxes for the rich. Make the poor drink toxic river water. And everybodys happy.
Post Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:03 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

There is only so much money available. With Detroit children having such high lead levels and environmental issues arising around the state, you have to wonder how thee issues will be resolved.

Over a year ago Chris Poulos from the White Horse stated he believed part of the lead problem came from lead contaminating the ground after demolitions of housing and lead paint in some of these older homes. Lead paint that has not been remediated has been a long time problem. Chris is vindicated as SIGTARP released findings that local demolitions have not always had appropriate abatement issues for asbestos and other contaminants.

Public corruption seems to be rampant in both the county and Flint city government. And it is the taxpayers that bear the financial costs for poor governance.
Post Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:36 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

FLINT NEWS
State likely to reconsider funding for Flint bottled water in January

Updated Dec 7, 11:18 AM; Posted Dec 7, 11:06 AM
Rich Baird, Gov. Rick Snyder's senior advisor, listens to Flint Mayor Karen Weaver during a press conference in this 2017 Flint Journal file photo. Baird told Flint officials the state will likely reconsider continued state funding for bottled water unless the level of lead in city water spikes before the end of this year.
Rich Baird, Gov. Rick Snyder's senior advisor, listens to Flint Mayor Karen Weaver during a press conference in this 2017 Flint Journal file photo. Baird told Flint officials the state will likely reconsider continued state funding for bottled water unless the level of lead in city water spikes before the end of this year.(Jake May | MLive.com)

By Ron Fonger rfonger1@mlive.com
FLINT, MI -- The state is likely to reconsider funding for Flint's distribution of bottled water in January unless there's an unexpected spike in tap water lead levels.

A spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality said in an email Wednesday, Dec. 6, that if testing during the final six months of 2017 "continues to trend well below the federal action level through December, the state would likely revisit the availability of state-supplied bottled water at that time."

The email from DEQ spokeswoman Tiffany Brown says no final decisions have been made, but Flint Mayor Karen Weaver issued a statement Wednesday saying Rich Baird, senior advisor to Gov. Rick Snyder, told city officials that water distribution sites could close next month.

"Before I can support this move, I need to hear from the doctors we have been working with for the last two years ... and I would hope that state officials would ask for their professional opinions as well, before shutting down the (points of distribution)," Weaver's statement says.

Flint schools could be model for water testing under Snyder advisor's plan

There is currently no requirement that schools or child care centers have water tested for lead unless districts operate their own underground well system.

The mayor specifically mentioned Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Dr. Lawrence Reynolds and Pamela Pugh, the city's chief public health advisor, as individuals she wants to consult with.

State officials have been touting the dropping levels of lead in Flint water, something that has been demonstrated in the results of Lead and Copper Rule testing since the city was disconnected from Flint River water in October 2015.


Flint emergency managers authorized the use of the river on a temporary basis in what was promoted to be a cost-saving move but the water was never treated to make it less corrosive to pipes and plumbing, causing lead levels to spike.

In the most recent round of LCR testing, covering sampling from the first six months of this year, the city's 90th percentile for lead was at 7 parts per billion, far better than the last six months of 2016, but still higher than 92.6 percent of the 1,333 water systems regulated by the DEQ.

71 Michigan water systems now have higher lead levels than Flint

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said in a written statement that while "results are promising, we also realize there is still a substantial amount of work that remains to be done."

Testing by Virginia Tech University has also shown water lead levels in Flint have trended downward since August 2015.

The federal action limit for the 90th percentile for lead is 15 ppb.

Baird's comments were made during a private meeting with Flint School District Superintendent Bilal Tawwab and other city and state officials.

Baird told members of the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee Friday, Dec. 1, that he wants to create a model program for water flushing and testing for lead in Flint schools and has the money to at least help pay for it.

Bottled water in Flint schools is currently not paid for by the state but by Walmart, Coca-Cola, Nestle and PepsiCo.


Clare Liening, a spokeswoman for Flint schools, would not comment on the Wednesday meeting, but said in an email that the district is "currently working with community partners to ensure bottled water is provided to students for the remainder of the 2017-18 school year.
Post Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:59 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Even the Governor has pointed out that he fees charged by Weavers administration for the pipelines (about $2,500 per line) are excessive. M-Live readers state the cost has more than doubled in about 10 years.

Weaver an her associates have decided to cash in on the crisis. If this was HUD money, the city would have to show the fees as program income. Now the Weaver administration has added 2 inspection fees.

Months ago I looked at the City checkbook. I was surprised at 2 checks written to churches. I also noted a check to a ministers construction company for about $12,000. In addition three issues of checks were unavailable before they started again.

Now the checkbook is unavailable to the public. I don't remember a prior administration blocking the checkbook.
Post Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:11 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

On October 25, 2007 The Journal printer a Letter to the Editor from reader Betty Anderson titled It's payback time for the Pastors."

I couldn't agree more with the statement of the statement of the Rev. Lewis Randolph, pastor of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church that "No one has me in their back pocket" ["Area pastors join in support of Mayor" Hometown Headlines, October 10, page A6]

Randolph and his son appear to be in the Mayors front pockets. Don Williamson hired Randolph's son as deputy treasurer.

Under no circumstances should Randolph or any pastor use his pastoral influence for self-gain, job opportunities and political favors for their family and friends- that ultimately puts into jeopardy the churchs public image and Christian credibility.

Now it's payback time. Williamson is calling in his pulpit favors. He wants Randolph and the other 19 pastors that he refers to as his pastors- to whom he has given money and political favors- to coerce and manipulate members of their congregation to vote for him in the Nov. 6 election.

When Williamson's black pastors stand before their congregations or any group to declare the greatness of Williamson, I pray that the question in the minds of the members is whether these pastors support Williamson based on his Godliness, his leadership and how he allegedly has served this city or how greatly he has met their financial-political-personal needs.

Betty Anderson
Post Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:36 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Marcus Randolph helped a great number of people with water problems. Williamson also hired Randolph's other son in the Mayor;s office as well as Pastor Jennings son in the law department. The Mayor hired the daughter of one pastor after she was fired from the Sheriff Department for having sex with a man on parole.

The mayor also hosted advisory meetings with his group of pastors for a monthly breakfast or a lunch. The office staff was aware that many pastors came with their hand out and they usually prevailed.The Mayor an council members used to have discretionary funds they could use for the community.

Were the two $300 payments I saw in the checkbook payment for using the churches for public meetings? We will never know because this is a City Government in Secrecy.
What else is she hiding?

She hid the involvement of Gilcreast and Stanley in her administration. She blatantly uses the police department as her private army. It looks like she is using the campaign tactics of Stanley and Governor Snyder to hide her true campaign finances. Is she really funding all of these air trips to Washington and elsewhere out of her pocket or is she stealing a page out of the Kwame kilpatrick Enterprise? Who knows?
Post Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:00 am 
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