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Detroit: Disconnecting water from people who cannot pay is an affront to human rights, say UN experts

Three UN experts on the human rights to water and sanitation, adequate housing, and extreme poverty and human rights expressed concern June 25 about reports of widespread water disconnections in Detroit of households unable to pay water bills. “Disconnection of water services because of failure to pay due to lack of means constitutes a violation of the human right to water and other international human righ ...

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Two Detroits

River Days, along with the annual Fireworks display, are billed as family-friendly events showcasing the best of downtown Detroit. Complete with corporate sponsors and media coverage, the signature events mark the beginning of summer for Detroit. Contrasting one Detroit where leisure and fun are a premium is another where 60 percent of children live in poverty, mass water shutoffs are attracting internation ...

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Future time

Time is slippery in Detroit. Sometimes you turn a corner and step into the future. It happens in early summer walking through the Cass Corridor, coming upon an unexpected iris garden, determined to provide wild beauty in the face of encroachment. It happens in the fall in the countless celebrations by urban gardeners who have made it through another year to harvest. It happens in the gatherings across the c ...

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Flint’s big gulp

A recent MLive-Flint Journal analysis of water and sewer rates in 25 Genesee County communities found the residents of Flint pay between $65 and $120 more per month than their neighbors. And those costs are soon to rise higher still. In his proposed budget, Emergency Manager Darnell Earley is calling for a 6.5 percent hike in water and sewer rates for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. Six percent more ...

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Wayne County exec. candidates

Sixteen names are on the official candidate list for the office of Wayne County Executive. Detroiters and residents in the other 42 Wayne County communities will have to wade through the long list of familiar political family names and political veterans looking to unseat incumbent Robert Ficano. Ficano’s administration has been marred by federal investigations, a failed jail project and a $175 million budg ...

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EAA takes up declining revenues, pink-slips 99

Expecting a continuing drop in enrollment, the Education Achievement Authority board at its June 17 meeting approved a smaller budget for 2015, ignored reports of excessive spending on travel, and accepted Chancellor John Covington’s sudden resignation. It also approved pink slips for 99 staff members facing unemployment because of “economic necessity.” At the same time, the board voted to pay itself for tr ...

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Contempt of court

Lennette Williams and her daughter Mailauni first came to public attention in 1998. Ms. Williams then challenged the Chief Judge of Wayne County Probate Court Milton Mack because of his mishandling of her $30 million settlement with Henry Ford Hospital. The money was intended to provide for her and Mailauni because of complications that had arisen during the birth of Mailauni, 16 years earlier. Their case b ...

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