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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mary Mcleod Bethune School in Detroit Needs Help from Education Warriors Immediately

By Richard C. Clement  - Friends of George Cushingberry

Mary Mcleod Bethune
Your help is needed in the matter of the Children of the Mary Mcleod Bethune School at 8145 Puritan Detroit, MI 48221 regarding the use of playground equipment. The school has a new principal that was made aware of being a recipient of the new playscape with no lead warning.  

The project has a very tight deadline of September 29th through September 30th. The teaching staff is acclimating itself to the new school year and they need you the public to assist them in their endeavors.
  • In need of partners who can help finance this project. Ware required to raise $8,500 in 7 days. This does not include funds needed for many of the materials.
  • In need of partners who could volunteer on a weekday to assist in providing at least 80 volunteers.
  • In need of a media partner who is willing to facilitate getting the message to people in other communities.
  • See below for a detailed list of needs.

For more information please contact:
Yvonne Rucker
Executive Director/Founder
Turning dreams into ride at a time!
"LIKE" us on Facebook
Donate: paypal

This is a partial list of items
Food Responsibilities
·         Secure breakfast, lunch and beverages for 30 adult volunteers on Prep Day 1
·         Secure breakfast, lunch and beverages for 15 adult volunteers on Prep Day 2
·         Secure breakfast, lunch and beverages for 250 adult volunteers + children on Build Day
o    Include vegetarian options
o    Consider additional “kid friendly” food for children on site
·         Secure water for all volunteers during Build Week
o    Estimate about (5) 12 ounce bottles of water per person per day
·         Identify an appropriate space to set up food for Build Week
·         Develop plan and secure supplies needed for serving food
o    Paper goods and utensils
o    Heating units, refrigeration/coolers, access to power, etc.
o    Ice
Recruit 5-7 volunteers (separate from Build Day volunteers) to help cook, serve and distribute food and water
Recruitment Responsibilities
·         Secure volunteers for general construction on Build Day (rain or shine!)
o     50-75 from Target
o     125 from Bethune Elementary-Middle School  and local community
·         Secure 25-30 volunteers to assist with site prep on PD1
·         Confirm a stand-by crew of 10-15 volunteers for PD2
·         Secure 15-20 Team Leaders for leadership on Build Day
o    No experience necessary
o    Team Leaders must attend a 1 hour orientation prior to Build Day
·         Secure 3-5 volunteers to staff the registration table
o    Registration volunteers must attend a 30 minute training prior to Build Day
·         Secure music and microphone for Build Day
o    Music all day (radio station, DJ or stereo system)
o    Microphone and speakers that will amplify sound throughout the site
·         Identify a photographer and/or videographer to take images before, during and after the build
·         Identify a space for the Registration Area on Build Day
·         Communicate important information to volunteers prior to Build Week
o    Work with the Logistics team to provide parking information
o   When to arrive, what to wear/bring
Public Relations Responsibilities

·         Work with project partners to make sure the community is fully aware of the playground project
·         Attend a separate conference call with KaBOOM! communications representative to go over Build Day media
o    Develop a plan for press releases and media invites
o    VIP invitations
·         Work with project partners to develop an opening and closing ceremony for Build Day (facilitated by KaBOOM!)
o    Someone from each partner to speak at the kick off and ribbon cutting ceremonies
o    Produce a ribbon and scissors for the ribbon cutting ceremony
·         Thank you banners
o    One banner to thank  Target
o    One sign to thank all other project supporters
Fundraising Responsibilities

·         Fundraise $8500 for community contribution, due 30 days before Build Day, [8/31/16]
·         Set goals for follow up projects/days
Consider developing a maintenance fund for the long term care and upkeep of the playground

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Firefighters Fight Cancer with Weed Proceeds from Proposed New Laws

By The Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.

Starting September 22, 2016, firefighters in Michigan will benefit from Marijuana Revenue when 30% of all sale proceeds are earmarked for the Firefighter Presumption of Cancer and First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund. Marijuana advocates cheered this part of House Bill 4209 of 2015 because it is similar to the fight to remove all criminal penalties from the books for the plant. This is another example of how the plant can return a benefit to the community and save lives at the same time. When a firefighter with 5 years of experience files this application, it will suspend the employee’s workers' compensation claim against his or her employer.
The employer will file a counter claim against the applicant based on the following:
The statutory presumption may be rebutted by scientific evidence that the person was a substantial and consistent user of cigarettes or other tobacco products within the 10 years immediately preceding the date of injury, and that this use was a significant factor in the cause, aggravation, or progression of the cancer.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) may not implement the Fund until funded. Thus no activity on any submitted application may take place until that date. Any application received prior to that date will be logged in by date and time when received by our office. 

If you have any questions on the administration of this fund, you may contact the Claims Processing Division at 517-284-8912. The submission of an application does not guarantee the right to benefits under the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act.

In order to submit an application the first responder must:
  • Be a member of a fully paid fire department or public fire authority and be compensated on a full-time basis,
  • Be in active service of the department or authority for at least 60 months,
  • Be diagnosed with any respiratory tract, bladder, skin, brain, kidney, blood, thyroid, testicular, prostate, or lymphatic cancer,
  • Be employed in the active service of the department or authority at the time the cancer manifests itself, and be exposed to the hazards incidental to fire suppression, rescue, or emergency medical services in the performance of his or her work-related duties,
  • First apply for and do all things necessary to qualify for any pension benefits to which he or she may be entitled.
The application must be submitted via U.S. Mail attention: 
State of Michigan / Workers’ Compensation Agency
First Responders Presumed Coverage Fund,
P. O. Box 30016
Lansing, MI 48909.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Firefighters and Sheriffs in Michigan Benefit from Legal Marijuana Sales with Proposed New Legislation

By Richard C. Clement - Friends of Cushingberry

"Legislation will fund County Governments and Public Servants"

Michigan’s effort to legalize marijuana by legislative procedure is going to benefit counties, substance abuse agencies, and local governments.  The following package of bills passed by the Senate will create job opportunities for software vendors to bid on supplying the Marijuana Tracking System for all Cannabis business must have to continue to participate in the program. When it becomes operational, your card will be used to track the amount of marijuana each patient has purchased over time.  You will be able to possess 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana at any time in the State of Michigan.

The major beneficiary of these set of bills is the State of Michigan's 1st Responder Presumed Coverage Fund at the tune of $500,000 from the proceeds of the Medical Marijuana Program.  The next beneficiaries are the County Governments like Wayne County who will receive 35% of all revenue from Marijuana sales. Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napolean and the 82 other county sheriffs will enjoy this cash cow on the backs of Marijuana users as soon as it becomes the law. Local governments will receive 25% of the proceeds from Marijuana for their use.

Cities like Detroit could use the money for things like rebuilding recreation centers and create green jobs in manufacturing and, education. Cities will also have the abilities to place caps on the number of businesses in their locality. Caps must be anti-discriminatory and be in compliance with Federal Zoning Laws.

The legislation places a 50 ounce limit for each Medical Marijuana Center with a valid license. Currently the City of Detroit  Building Safety and Engineering Department (BSEED) is granting conditional waivers to new marijuana business owners on the grounds that the owner works to bring the location up to code. BSEED is very generous and confident that business owners will do the right thing to be legal.

A brief analysis of the bills are as follows:

HB 4209 - license and regulate medical marijuana growers, processors, provisioning centers, secure transporters, and safety compliance facilities;  This bill creates a marijuana licensing board, an automated tracking system, an advisory panel, provisions for forfeiture, defines tax rate,  and sets civil fines. This bill grants powers to State and Local Governments to define duties regarding Marijuana in the community

HB 4210 – Gives specific definition of the content of medibles (non smoke able) Marijuana. Also spells out procedures for violations of the provisions of the card:
  •       16 Ounces of Solid Medible Marijuana (brownies, cakes,  etc.)
  •          7 Grams for using in a vaporizing pen
  •       72 Fluid Ounces of liquid marijuana

Outdoor growing is allowed as long as the medicine is out of sight from the street, in a secure location and locked.  Security could be a dog, camera and lights so that other people don’t rip you off. Companion Senate Bill 0141 introduced by Senator Coleman Young seeks to address the inequities of this bill like vehicle transport and other issues that must be worked on by the House of Representatives for a compromise.

HB 4827 – This bill will allow software companies to bid on the Marijuana Tracking System because it defines the specifications for the developers to use in designing and implementing the Statewide system.  This bill will track the sales of marijuana between patients and the growers who interact with retail sites.

In summary, these pieces of legislation have a lot to be desired. The transport law that was enacted by former State Senator Virgil Smith has been declared unconstitutional by courts in the State because it exceeds the current Michigan Medical Marijuana Law.  The three tier system for growing will open up opportunities for growers, testers, and manufacturers.  Local law enforcement will be released to go after Meth and Heroin users who are really destroying the neighborhoods and the country with their drug of choice. 

Michigan Supreme Court
Candidate Judge Deborah Thomas
To fix this you must vote in the upcoming general election by turning over the ballot and voting for Judges that will make the proper change like Judge Deborah Thomas will if she is elected to the Michigan State Supreme Court. You have until October 11th, 2016 to register to vote in the November 8th General Election.  You can start voting on September 24th, 2016 at 5 locations in the City of Detroit or, your local City Clerk’s office if you don’t live in the City of Detroit.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Case For Restoring The Name of Dr. Ethelene Crockett on High School at Mack and I-75 - Dr. Ben Is Not a Friend of Detroit

By Richard C. Clement - Friends of Cushingberry

Dr. Ben Carson High School
There are many Detroit residents who strongly object to the use of Dr. Carson's name on the high school located at Mack Ave and Interstate 75 in Detroit Michigan.  Dr. Carson is representing a man who is a wealthy bigot who should have stayed on reality TV. Dr. Carson himself has long since traded his Detroit Credentials for soul of devils who want to wipe out the history of  Detroit by renaming Detroit Public Schools to Academies and, the creation of unlimited numbers of charter schools.

Given the failure and the Voters outright rejection of the Emergency Manager concept, we are asking for a Federal Court order directing all of these appointed "overseers" cease and desist their duties immediately. From Robert Bobb to Darnell Early, the children still do not have toilet paper and the district went from a surplus to a deficit overnight. Getting Federal convictions of a few principals and a contractor is a pure show. Especially given the massive amount of  money that was squandered over the years by consultants and do-gooders from the State Legislature in Lansing. After further review of State Management we are left with evidence of  meaningless standardized tests and,  watered down programs for students.

Therefore and after further review of Dr. Crockett's credentials, the evidence is clear that her name should be restored to the high school and Dr. Ben Carson's be reassigned to an appropriate special education program within DPSCD.

"In order to succeed, you must learn how to Read!"
    Councilmember ProTem George Cushingberry Jr.

Dr. Ethelene Crockett Biography is courtesy of the

Dr. Ethelene Crockett
Ethelene Crockett (1914 - 1978) Inducted: 1988 Era: Historical Group: African American Area(s) of Achievement: Medicine/Health Care

Dr. Ethelene Crockett was a Detroit physician who became well known as a community leader and humanitarian. 'She was involved in the betterment of society in areas beyond medicine. Her unselfish contributions of time, knowledge, energy and leadership served to rectify social inequality to help those whose need was immediate, and those who could not speak for themselves,' stated a 1978 New Detroit, Inc. resolution.

Dr. Crockett began medical school at Howard University when she was 28 years old, married to George W. Crockett, Jr., later a Congressman, and the mother of three children. She became Michigan's first black woman specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. For 35 years, Dr. Crockett practiced medicine as an outstanding obstetrician in Detroit.

Dr. Crockett was an energetic advocate for day care centers to assist working women. She frequently lectured on family planning and public health care. She directed the Detroit Maternal Infant Care Project from 1967 to 1970, and helped design and direct the Detroit Model Neighborhood Comprehensive Health Center. In 1980 the first Detroit Public Schools Vocational-Technical Center was dedicated in her honor as the career training center for the Health Occupations.

In 1972 she led the fight to liberalize Michigan's abortion laws. In 1977, the Detroit Medical Society selected her 'Physician of the Year.' She was the first woman to be president of the American Lung Association, the nation’s largest and oldest voluntary health organization. She served on the Detroit Public Library Commission and as an officer for the Michigan Cancer Society. In 1971 the Detroit Free Press cited Dr. Crockett as one of "nine of Detroit's Most Successful Women." She received the 'Woman of the Year' Award from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Beta Omicron Zeta Chapter in 1972. In 1973 the Howard University Alumni Federation, Washington D.C. cited her 'For Conspicuous Service to Her Profession and Community.'

Ethelene Crockett came of age during the Depression. A black woman from a poor family, she was able to go to college and then to medical school. "If you want something badly enough...and if you can communicate that desire to others...what you want can be had," were her words in explaining her accomplishments.

Source of this Writing:
Michigan Women’s Historical Center & Hall of Fame • 213 W. Malcolm X Street, Lansing, Michigan 48933 517-484-1880 • •

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Cost of Reopening Johnson Center - Starting from Ground Zero to Completion by 2018

By Richard C. Clement
     Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.

Johnson Recreation Center was built in the 1930’s on the corner of Cherrylawn and Chippewa in Detroit Michigan. The Center sits on Joe Louis Park that is maintained by the City of Detroit General Services Division. This historical structure was the only place that allowed African Americans to swim in the City of Detroit.  This was an outdoor pool that was easily accessible to citizens in Northwest Detroit and Southern Oakland County.  (Click Here for Park History). The pool was modified by building new construction around the current structure. Now citizens in the neighborhood are restless as this once great and historical structure sits empty and being used for a storage dump.

Bringing Johnson Center online in its current condition will cost $750,000 and the same amount per month to maintain. This is because of the plumbing and other code violations that are now out of compliance with today’s building code and energy saving standards.

To demolish the old center will cost $250,000 and, the proposed new center will have an 8 lane pool and diving board.  Improvements like energy efficient, tank-less water heaters, motion sensors attached to lights and, self-generating power with solar cells with lower monthly operational costs. This plan includes an 8 lane Olympic sized pool with 3 and 10 meter diving boards at a cost of $180 per square foot. Additionally a new Gym will contain rooms for boxing, arts, and community meetings.

This project will help to restore our neighborhood instead of Downtown/Midtown Detroit.

The procedure of demolishing the old and rebuilding the new will result in lower monthly maintenance costs that over time cost much less to maintain. To finance this project Councilmember Pro-Tem George Cushingberry Jr. is recommending that we approach the Department of Housing and Urban Development for up to $20 million in funding and, seek grants from philanthropic organizations.  Johnson Center may be eligible for historic status by the City and, that will give us access to more money for the project.

If you are interested in signing the petition to reopen the center please click here to sign the petition in support of revitalizing Johnson Center for the neighborhood. 

By signing this petition you are putting your elected officials on notice that we want something done and we want results now.  According to Dwight Smith, President of the 8 Mile Old Timers Association, they have over 1700+ signatures now and we are using this list to show how much support is in the surrounding neighborhood for the center.

Feel free to voice your concerns to my fellow City Council Members and Mayor Mike Duggan. We want you to contact your State Senator Ian Conyers, State Representatives LeslieLove, Laytonya Garrett, and Wendell Byrd in Lansing MI to get on board with the program. We feel that the best way to start taking back our neighborhoods is, through the re-establishment of the neighborhood rec-centers because, there is never enough money to invest in our children.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Detroit Marijuana Business Owners Team up to Challenge Harassment of Patients by Wayne County Sheriff Deputies

By Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.

Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napolean
The Wayne County Sheriff's offices has decided to attempt an end run around the Detroit Medical Marijuana ordinance and arrest anyone with a Medical Marijuana Card that has visited a Herbalists place of business. Victims are being stalked and stopped by a 4 car team of deputies asking very intrusive questions.  Then their car and property is seized arbitrarily, and the victim is made to walk or catch a taxi home. .

If you are stopped by a team of Wayne County Deputies and, they take your vehicle after leaving a Medical Marijuana compassion center, you are strongly recommended to fight the charges.  You will be given two choices.
1.  Pay the Wayne County Sheriff up to $2500 to get your car back
2.  Pay $250 bond money and wait for up to 3 days to get your car back
  • If you choose option 1, then you will never receive a court date and get your money back. This is a shakedown of the highest order. They are taking advantage of your need for transportation. In too many cases to be mentioned here, charges are never brought against the victim, the victim is bullied into giving up the money and getting their car back.
  • If you choose option 2, then you  WILL receive a court date and given the opportunity to get your property back (including confiscated medicine) by going to trial. 
    • At that time you have the choice to ask for a jury trial. You may be able to instruct a Jury on Nullification procedures and responsibilities to you as a Juror. For any Marijuana case brought before a Jury, jurors can vote not guilty to anyone being charged with a Marijuana possession crime and not be in violation of a judges instruction to a jury.

This issue is ongoing and currently being looked into by legal agencies and advocates and, we are appalled at the conduct of Wayne County Sheriff Deputies who have chosen to disregard the card and choosing to continue the 80 year drug war as designed by Harry Anslinger, a racist civil servant that hated the ground African Americans walked on and, the first CEO of the Drug Enforcement Agency in 1929.
Meanwhile, you are strongly encouraged to get legal counsel and fight for the following:
  1. Return of Vehicle ASAP
  2. Return of Confiscated Medicine 
    1. This may include compensation from the Wayne County Sheriff to replace damaged or destroyed medicine that was illegally confiscated by Wayne County Deputies..
  3. Refund of all collected “fines" and Court Costs.
  4. Dismissal of all charges and expungement of all arrest records for Marijuana Possesion.
Make sure to use your cell phone to document the harassment when your car is getting seized and, please obtain badge numbers of the deputies. 
Save all receipts from the Wayne County Sheriff!!!
In more than one case, the car and the medicine were returned to the victims, when it was determined that the plaintiff had valid reason for entering the establishment. You want your vehicle and medicine returned at once.
There is nothing illegal about visiting a Medical Marijuana facility in the City of Detroit, especially if you have a Medical Marijuana card. Pursuant to the Home Rule Act Section 117-3 of 1909 , these facilities are recognized by the City of Detroit as a valid place of business. 
Currently Detroit's Marijuana Ordinance is suspended until a court evaluation is performed by the 3rd Circuit court in January of 2017. (click here to view the case status (Case# 16-004201-CZ Jones, Ronald, et al v City of Detroit))  The Plaintiffs have successfully argued before US District Court Judge Avery Cohen that the ordinance is discriminatory and will shut down dispensaries owned by indigenous citizens of Detroit.
Judge Cohen ruled in favor of the Sons of Hemp and remanded the case back to the 3rd Circuit Court for re-hearing of valid plaintiff claims.
Both Sides have until September 23, 2016 to exchange Witness briefs in support of their positions.  Plaintiffs have until November 11, 2016 to present ANY discovery information to the court.
However, both sides can reach an agreement in a settlement conference that can happen 42 days after the January Case Evaluation date. The first available date for the conference is February 13, 2017. Both sides have a chance at settlement before it reaches the full court with a jury. Court cases cost a lot of money and time.
If NO settlement is reached, then the plaintiffs will be headed to court.
Finally, please remember to show up and VOTE for positive Judges, State Legislators and President in 2016 and 2017.  This is the proper and only way that you can make effective change in your neighborhoods. Vote for the candidate that will best represent your beliefs and values.  
Early voting for the November General Election starts on September 24th, 2016!!!!!
The last day to register to vote in the November General Election is October 11, 2016 at 4:45pm. Don't miss this date!
The last day to vote early in the November election is November 7th, 2016
This is NO time to be sitting on the sidelines because too many people have sacrificed for us to do the job.   Women got punched out on a bridge in Alabama by men who did not want them to vote at all. However and for the better, times have changed and you have NO excuse not to show up and vote. You DO have something to vote for!
The well being of everyone will be in complete jeopardy if the wrong candidate wins the election in November.. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Take Back Our Neighborhood With A NEW Johnson Recreation Center - Built by Union Skilled Trades Members and Neighborhood Supporters.

by Richard C. Clement  
     The  Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.

Johnson Recreation Center has to be rebuilt from the ground up because it will cost more per month to operate.  Jonson Center looks new on the outside but when you go inside, the pool and other construction issues become more apparent. The pool was a former outdoor pool that served the neighborhood before, during, and after normal working hours of 12-7:45pm. 

Currently the pool at Johnson Center is not code compliant to today’s Building Safety Engineering Department standards(BSEE) and, cost ineffective because the Johnson Center pool was built around the existing outdoor pool. During the project the contractors built the new face around the old structure and kept the old plumbing in place.

At this moment Johnson Rec Center is being used as a storage facility for unused and paid for things like signs, games, etc. You do not go inside with a suit on, more like blue jeans and a t-shirt because of the dust.

Solution?   A number of solutions were being floated around the neighborhood. One involved a special assessment on all residential property within a 2 mile range of Johnson Center.  This self-imposed fee on your property tax of an additional $50 per are restricted funds that cannot be touched or diverted to anything else by law.    Another solution is to seek out a grant as a non-profit to receive funds to build a new center that is economically feasible to manage.  Features like tank-less water heating and lights connected to sensors will greatly reduce the electric and light bills to the taxpayers.

Once the new center is built, then the residents will have membership privileges and will be able to use the center along with other citizens.  The neighborhood association in charge of managing the funds use on recreation will have a great say in the direction of their investments.

If you are interested in supporting this cause please contact our office so that we can set up a meeting to make an action plan.  We also plan to be at the annual 8 mile gathering behind old Beaubien Jr. High School a.k.a. Bates Academy.

We feel that Johnson Center is a vital asset to the neighborhood and if we can reopen this facility, this will lead to a rebirth of our community in District 2, especially for the children. - Good Stuff on the Internet