Tag Archives: children

Flint decision makers no-shows at today’s Congressional hearings on Flint Water Crisis. Scary situation.

Flint Water Crisis hearings
Source: C-Span live stream

The Congressional hearing on the Flint Water Crisis was live streamed this morning, 03 February 2016.

Michigan Gov. Snyder and officials he appointed who made the decision for the City of Flint to stop receiving water from the Detroit Water Company and get it from the contaminated Flint River instead, have elected not to be present at the hearings. Detroit had been Flint’s supplier of clean, fresh water for over 50 years.

After Snyder nullified Flint’s election and put former “Emergency City Manager” Darnell Early in place there, the decision was made during his term of service from 2013-2015, to change the city’s water source to the Flint River. The decision to not spend $9000 for three months of corrosion control treatment to seal the pipes carrying the water was made, even though this is an EPA requirement. Treatment would have prevented the river’s contamination from causing lead and other heavy metals to flake off from corroding pipes to enter the city’s potable water supply.

High lead levels resulting from the corrosion have caused irreversible, permanent lead poisoning to all of Flint’s children who drank the contaminated water, which is probably all of the city’s 9000 children. Lead is a neurotoxin which shortly after ingestion, causes damage which commonly includes brain damage. Resident Mrs. Leeann Walters speaks of her own child and other Flint children whom suffer from a panoply of symptoms including liver damage, slow weight gain and poor eye health. On Earth reports:

Panel testifying at Flint Water Crisis Hearing
Source: C-Span

LeeAnne Walters’ four children started getting sick around November of last year. Her 14-year-old, J.D., was in and out of the hospital, and her four-year-old twins, Garrett and Gavin, would get scaly, itchy rashes whenever they took a bath. “I could see the water line on Gavin’s stomach,” Walters says. In February, the pediatrician wrote a note to the city saying that Gavin, who has a compromised immune system, couldn’t consume the water.

City officials came out to test the Walters’ tap that same month and found lead levels at 397 parts per billion. For reference, anything greater than 15 ppb—what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers an acceptable level—can result in irreversible damage to a child’s brain.

Mr. Early chose to evade service of the subpoena summoning him to the Congressional hearings and is also not present. On a side note, Early was appointed by Gov. Snyder to serve as Detroit Public Schools “Emergency Manager” at an annual salary of $221,000 after leaving Flint in Jan 2015 . But Early has announced that he will step down from that position on 29 Feb 2016.

Cong. Stacey Plaskett of the US Virgin Islands, points out that Mr. Early received $181,000 for poisoning Flint’s children, and that this situation is an example of the powerful adverse health impacts that residents of environmental justice communities may experience.

Several Congressmen have asked the EPA representative present at today’s hearing to explain why the EPA failed to notify Flint residents when the lead and copper rule failure was discovered a year before the issue became known to the public.

Flint native and film maker Michael Moore is on the ground, researching and reporting on the situation. I’m sorry to say that it looks even worse up close than it does from a distance. Moore’s first point:

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.

Elijah Cummings
Source: bet.com
Rep. Elijah Cummings asked the most important question of the day: he wanted to know why so much blame is being assigned to the EPA when the decisions made to poison the people of Flint. He commented:

What you all have done has given us … a platform, the basic information … to go higher. I hope that the governor (Snyder) will understand that these are people who are suffering … About the water bills: If I’m being poisoned, can’t wash with the water, can’t drink the water and then I’m being asked to pay for the water, that doesn’t make any sense. (This is) about what happened – so you can correct it and so hopefully, it doesn’t happen again.

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Sustainable & green training/events – March

Check back for updates.
Calendar treeNewark-Montclair Urban Teacher Residency – Apply through 3/15
The Newark-Montclair Urban Teacher Residency is an innovative Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program offered at Montclair State University in partnership with the Newark Public Schools. Participants will receive free tuition and a $26,000 stipend. A 3-year teaching commitment is required.

Residents enroll in full-time graduate coursework each semester (summer sessions included) and participate in summer internships with community based organizations in the city of Newark. Applications are currently being accepted for Secondary level (K-12) subject matter certification in mathematics or a field of science. Final Application Deadline extended till Friday, March 15, 2013.

More at http://greenwei.com/blog/free-tuition-stipend-for-msu-masters-urban-teacher-residency/

Is Our Water Safe To Drink?
Public Hearing in East Orange sponsored by Councilwoman Alicia Holman
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 6:30 – 8:30pm
CITY HALL, 44 CITY HALL PLAZA, E. ORANGE
https://www.facebook.com/events/557057327645425/

Newark Kids Count 2013 Forum
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 9:30am – 2:30pm
The Paul Robeson Campus Center
350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Newark
https://www.facebook.com/events/386113894821185/#

Using an interactive format, we will explore issues that threaten Newark children and identify concrete next steps that we, as a community, can take. We will focus on two broad areas – child and maternal health and early literacy. Special guests include Newark’s Branch Brook Elementary Principal Joseph Cullen, whose students achieve well above city and state averages on reading tests. The event is free, but you must register to attend. A complimentary breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Register at http://wfc2.wiredforchange.com/o/8716/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=71612. For more information contact Reggie Dorsey at rdorsey@acnj.org

NJ Land Conservation Rally
One-day educational conference about preserving
New Jersey’s open space and farmland
Saturday, March 9, 2013 9am – 5pm
NJ Institute of Technology
Newark, New Jersey

Online registration will close at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 5. Registration fee will remain at $80 per person for a full day of educational & inspiring workshops, breakfast, lunch and social reception. Register online today! Registration will also be accepted at the door.

If you live or work in Newark, Rally scholarships are available, thanks to Victoria Foundation. To become eligible: download, fill out and return registration form.

1st Annual Patricia Harris Parent Summit
Saturday, March 9, 2013 9am – 5pm
John F. Kennedy High School
Paterson NJ

Citywide Parent Summit to continue Pat’s legacy of effective parental involvement and engagement in school improvement.
https://www.facebook.com/events/481929115201697/

Kokokidz Latino Youth Peer Empowerment Group Meeting
Sunday, March 10, 2013 5-6:30pm
Villa de Colombia
12 Mercer Street
Hackensack, NJ
https://www.facebook.com/events/427537817332045/

Young Latinos support each other in the areas of career, education, applying for scholarships, civic engagement, sustainability practices and cultural preservation in their communities. Kokokidz meets once or twice a month in Hackensack or another North Jersey town. If you’re a Latino student junior high school through college age, Kokokidz will help you be more effective in your life and learn to make positive change happen in your school and community.

Contacts:
Ivan Wei 201-688-0036 @ivanwei
Luis Ariel Lopez Wei @lalwei

If you’re available as an adult mentor please contact our advisor Kimi Wei on Facebook or Twitter to discuss volunteer opportunities.

Community Service: We are looking at different types of community service opportunities. If you have a cause or event you’d like us to engage with please share details.

Kokokidz is currently helping with the movement to Close New Jersey schools on Martin Luther King Jr. Day https://www.facebook.com/pages/Close-NJ-Schools-on-MLK-Jr-Day/276810379041778

Climate Action Meeting at Cook College
Sunday, March 10 7pm
Cook Campus Center (Rutgers)
59 Biel Road, Room 202, A & B
New Brunswick, NJ

The meeting will begin with a video chat featuring Bill McKibben of 350.org, followed by a discussion of what actions to do next on the local, state and national levels. Come with ideas and bring friends. The momentum depends on each one of us to act now! For a short capsule of the February 17 Forward on Climate rally event go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=anXE46utpo8

Sponsored by Melanie McDermott, Initiative on Climate and Society, Rutgers University and Tina Weishaus, Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War

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