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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Restoring the Revenue: 2015 Detroit Fire Department Equipment Upgrade proposal.

By Richard Clement

"Improving Service with technology"

Obsolete "Code-Red" Laptop
Plans to upgrade Fire Department trucks will include the installation of flat screen monitors that will display information regarding the location of the fire with a backup printing system with streamlined information.  Currently firefighters have to rely on a message system that contains a tower and a printer that produces a run sheet. According to various Detroit Firefighters, the font size is hard to read at 4am, it has too much information and, important data is hard to find on the printout. The flat screen monitors would replace a non-functioning and costly Code Red system that was purchased from an outside vendor.  

Information on the screen will give firefighters directions and, other information pertinent to the issue at hand. 

Closed Laptop on Rig
The recommendation from the President Pro-Tem’s Firefighter task force is to, de-install the old equipment, place old equipment on a cart for donation, and replace with touch screen, flat screen monitors. If we can put flat screen monitors on motorcycles and, have smartphones that can display massive amounts of content,  then we can place touch screen monitors in the fire trucks and give better information at the same time. When the city gets from under the cloak of bankruptcy, this will be a priority project for improved safety and service to firefighters and the Citizens of Detroit. 

Fixing Detroit Infrastructure with the help of FEMA. A Flood Silver Lining with Long Term Benefits

By The Friends of George Cushingberry  Jr.

"Help from Washington D.C. is on the way!" - President Obama

City of Detroit from Belle Isle
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be visiting flood damage victims in the City of Detroit. To help expedite things, we recommend that you take photographs and video with your cameras, tablets, cell phone, of damage to property.  Keep these pictures for your records. Next step is to go online at and apply for disaster relief. The last step is to send us the name of the insurance company and the amount of the claim if you were denied by your insurance provider.  Our office and City Ombudsman who will do a tabulation by company name and, amount of claim.

1. Document damage with pictures and video
2. Apply for Disaster relief from
3. If your private insurance claim is denied go to Step 4 otherwise go to Step 7.
4. Record the name of the insurance company and amount denied in a email and,
6. If you do not have email, fax or call the City  Council office with the information
7. End of process.

If your property is starting to develop black mold or other unhealthy activity due to the flood, these are some agencies that can offer assistance.

State Department of Human Services(click hereoffering assistance with completing applications for possible financial assistance and social services.
Detroit Buildings Safety, Engineering & Environmental Department(click here) offering tips on hiring contractors and information on obtaining permits, if required.
Detroit Department of Health & Wellness Promotion(click here) will advise citizens on health precautions to take. 
Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD),
1. American Red Cross 
2. Salvation Army offering services at their centers.

MI State Rep Leslie Love(D) Detroit
We are encouraging neighborhood block clubs to band together and demand infrastructure upgrades of the Water and Sewer systems in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties. This is a new and uncharted direction for the City when it comes to flooding and the truth about residents own insurance plans. City Charter Article 9 offers relief to residents with a City of Detroit rate for car insurance. Maybe the residents can demand and update to the charter regarding insurance rates and fair coverage to residents. The ultimate equalizer would have to come from the statehouse in Lansing regarding a statewide insurance rate for cars, rental property, and homes of Michigan citizens. 

Riverside Park
For Detroit to prosper in the future, we need fairness and accountability in insurance rates.  The City Charter is designed to protect and serve the needs of Detroit residents and, the citizens deserve open disclosure of home and car owners polices from insurance companies. An additional City ordinance regarding the management of insurance companies within the city may be upcoming. If you support the ideas of: enforcing the City Charter regarding car insurance, updating the charter regarding home/rental coverage, and fixing the infrastructure, we strongly encourage you to contact the Mayor and City Council to express your ideas and, make it an action plan.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bulk Collection After Flooding

Residents may call Department of Public Works for special bulk pickup.

Bulk pickup for Detroit residents is continuing daily in the aftermath of last week's flooding and citizens are being asked to leave their items at the curb until the City's trash collection contractors or DPW crews can pick it up.

Due to the large volumes of water damaged items that continue to be set out after last week's flooding, the City contractors are running behind schedule in picking up bulk items. In the meantime, a Department of Public Works team of more than 30 workers has been done dictated to providing additional bulk pickup.

DPW Director Ron Brundidge also issued a reminder that residents should leave their bulk items at the curb until collected and will not be ticketed.

In addition, those whose bulk collection day has passed, may call the City to request a special pickup. Residents should call (313) 224-3901 to notify DPW that they will be taking flood-damaged items to the curb.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Break Every Chain: Marc Emery's shackled ride through the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel on the way to Freedom and the Right to Vote

By Richard Clement

"Free at Last! Free at Last! Thank God almighty we free at last"   - M.L.K.

Marc & Jodie Emery
Marc Emery returned home to his wife and Canada a free man on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 @ 4:20pm EDT after serving 5 years in a US Federal Prison for selling seeds. Dressed in a T-Shirt, Shorts and, a brand new pair of Nike gym shoes, Marc was flown in shackles and chains from Louisiana to Minnesota and dropped off in Toledo where he was driven to the Detroit/Windsor tunnel.  At the Canadian border the chains and shackles were removed and, he was released to his wife at the Windsor Police Station to a cheering crowd of supporters. 

Marc's Freedom Walk
He was met at the Windsor Police Station by his wife Jodie and a crowd of international supporters with some of the best BC Bud you could get your lips on. Marc Emery gave a 1 hour interview to the press and the people regarding his time in the USA.  He was VERY complimentary of the United States and the progress made in decriminalizing Marijuana and stated the USA is farther ahead than Canada and that Canadian youth must participate in the upcoming election in 2015.  Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is about where George Bush was and, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is on Freeing the Weed.

Fresh out of Federal Prison
Marc’s message was very clear regarding the importance of participating in the political process by voting. He quoted Martin Luther King and is well read on the struggles of Malcolm X and the Civil Rights movement. He spent time in Mississippi with prisoners who were sympathetic to his plight and received thousands of letters supporting him from American citizens who are tired of being victims of a losing war on drugs. He was very adamant and insisted that voting is VERY important if people want true change in their communities.Currently, Marc is banned forever to return to the United States of America because of his “conviction”.  Marc made the point clear by inferring that “By voting and participating in the political process, laws will be changed so that employees of the people like President Obama, Gov. Snyder, Mayor Duggan and, other elected officials can sign laws and ordinances to remove prohibition on people like Marc Emery, Adam Brook and, Ryan Bashore so that they can travel to different countries without fear because of their political beliefs.”

Unity celebration on the
Ambassador Bridge at 4:20pm
Marc and Jodie emery are planning a 30 day tour through Canada to start the removal process of current Prime Minister Stephen Harper by registering and taking people to vote by 2015. In America, the current crop of Presidential Candidates for 2016 are totally weak when it comes to Marijuana decriminalization.  There is an election in Michigan on November 5, 2014 at 7am EDT with early voting starting two weeks prior to that date.  Voting Locations at Wayne County Community College East and West Campus have free parking whereas Election Central on Grand Boulevard is closer for people who are driving around downtown/midtown.

Jodie Emery is running for
Political Office in Canada
Finally I let him know that he is welcome to come to City of Detroit anytime and, gave Marc and Jodie a hug with an apology on behalf of the residents of District 2, the City of Detroit, State of Michigan and, the People of the United States of America for the pain and suffering that we put on his family because of failed drug war managed by few people with a misguided agenda.

Marc Emery was sent home like Dolemite with
 $100 and a new pair of Nikes

Monday, August 11, 2014

Detroit Water & Sewerage 10 Point Plan

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit Water & Sewerage Director Sue F. McCormick, along with a team of community partners today announced a 10-point plan that would allow DWSD to collect on overdue water bills while making it easier for customers to make payments, enter into payment arrangements and access financial assistance.

1. Waive turn on fees and late payment penalties
During the moratorium, which ends August 25th, the DWSD will waive turn-on fees for customers whose water has been shut of, as well as payment penalties.
2. Cut red tape
To simplify getting into a payment plan, customer only need to present a valid state ID. Once payment is made, service will be restored within 48 hours.
3. Extend hours at DWSD Customer Care Center
The DWSD has expanded hours at all of its CUstomer Care Centers, from 8a-6p Monday-Friday and 8a-3p on weekends to make sure customer service agents area available at all times. The DWSD has also added staff to reduce wait times.
4. Increase staffing at call centers and extend hours
DWSD has also expanded hours at its Call Center to 8a-7p daily and 8a-3p on weekends. Starting August 18th, the Call center will have 50 percent more staff and new phone technology to better serve customers.
5. Cobo Water Fair August 23rd
A Water Affordability Fair will be held at Cobo Center on Saturday, August 23rd. to give customers one last opportunity to connect with all of the DWSD and community resources available to them before the moratorium ends August 25th.
6. Improve notification for customers in danger of shut off
The DWSD is expanding its efforts to communicate with customers who are late on their payments or may be facing shut-off. Bills will more clearly explain their status and assistance information will be included with the bill. Workers also will hand-deliver notices to all homes in shut-off status one week before their scheduled shut-off to give them time to enter into a payment plan.
7. Implement an affordable payment plan
Any resident with a delinquent account can enter into a 24-month “10/30/50” payment plan by coming to their local DWSD Customer Care Center, showing a valid state ID and paying down only 10 percent of their past-due balance. (The previous down payment requirement was 30 percent of the past-due balance.) If a customer misses a payment, they can reapply for the program by putting down 30 percent of their past-due balance. A second missed payment will require a 50 percent down payment of their past-due amount. Any customer who misses a third payment will no longer be eligible for the payment plan.
8. Provide financial assistance for low income Detroit customers
Starting August 11th DWSD Customer Care Centers will begin processing applications for the Detroit Water Fund. By paying down only 10 percent of their past-due balance, eligible city residents will receive up to 25 percent assistance with their bill from the new Detroit Water Fund. DWSD has partnered with the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, which will prequalify residents. To be eligible for Detroit Water Fund assistance, customers must be Detroit residents who:
• Have an outstanding balance between $300 and $1000; AND
• Maintain Average Water Usage for their household size; AND
• Are either enrolled in DTE’s Low Income Self-Sufficiency Plan (LSP); OR,
• Have income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level (for example, a family of 4 must have an annual income below $35,775).
9. Build neighborhood partnerships
DWSD customers are not alone. We’ve established a support network to assist individuals who may not qualify for some of the DWSD assistance programs. Our partners include United Way 211, THAW, WAVE and Wayne Metro.
10. Provide a clear way to give
Many people have offered to help Detroiters who are struggling to pay their water bills. There are several ways to donate to the Detroit Water Fund: online, by text message, by check or by phone. Details are available at

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Light up District 2 by 2015 - A Three year plan for City of Detroit residents by the Public Lighting Authority

View the Plan by (Clicking on this City of Detroit Link) to see when your lights will be changed out by the PLA in Zip Code order.

Sights and Sounds of District 2
Changes in District 2 coming right at you..  

From the PLA:
The Public Lighting Authority of Detroit (PLA) has launched its aggressive three-year plan to relight the city of Detroit. 
Following the completion of two pilot areas, one on the east side and one on the west side of the City, the PLA has initiated its zip-code-by-zip code construction schedule to be completed by the end of 2016.

The PLA is replacing all old High Pressure Sodium lights with Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights with brightness the equivalent 
of 150 watts, more than twice as bright as the sodium lights.

Lighting Plan
• Blocks 300ft and below in length, will have a light on every street corner.

• Blocks  between 301ft and 700ft in length will have a light on every street corner and one light in the middle of every block.

• Blocks between 701ft and above in length will have a light on every street corner and two or more lights in the middle of every block.

As the PLA completes installation of the new lights in a ZIP Code, it will take over responsibility for maintaining those lights, with a commitment to repair a broken light within five days of being notified of the outage.

For more information, to see the updated schedule by zip code, details on alley light replacements or to report an outage of a new LED light, residents can log onto or email us at or call the Public Lighting Authority at 313-324-8290. - Good Stuff on the Internet