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Legislation paves way for more pipelines

On April 1, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signed four bills into law, which allow and incentivize natural gas and oil companies to build more pipelines, ostensibly to capture carbon dioxide emissions from existing and natural gas wells. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the leading cause of global climate change, occur naturally during the process of extracting fossil fuels. The four laws provide for tax incentives t ...

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Pollution and climate change threaten Michiganders, Africans alike

The global issue of environmental justice was at the forefront of a recent community discussion in Detroit in late March, highlighted by the participation of two African activists working for climate justice. The talk, titled “One Struggle, Many Fronts,” was held at the Cass Corridor Commons and was sponsored by the East Michigan Environmental Action Council and the U.S.-Africa Network. Emem Okon (Nigeria) ...

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Windom is Highland Park recall target

Highland Park Mayor DeAndre Windom’s effort to stave off his recall has failed. Residents leading the recall plan to file 1,000 signatures on April 7 calling for his recall. “The mayor did, in fact, single handedly shut down the water plant and did, in fact, contract another municipality for municipal water without first securing approval from the city council,” is the wording of the recall petition. So far ...

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Matters of perspective

We have now had one year of emergency management. Little has been achieved by Kevyn Orr. But the contours of the kind of city Mr. Orr, Gov. (Rick) Snyder and the corporate elite envision are emerging. They are advocating choices that will make Detroit a whiter, wealthier city, where a few people will live comfortably in a small downtown. Most of us will live in neighborhoods abandoned by services, except fo ...

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Missing girl: Tamara Harris

Tamara Harris, 17, was last seen by her DHS worker in the 5500 block of Conner on the morning of Friday, March 3, 2014 at approximately 8:25 a.m. Tamara is five-foot, one-inch, weighs 115 lbs., and has black hair, brown eyes and medium brown complexion. She was last seen wearing black pants, a gray shirt and a black velvet jacket. She has tattoos on her chest, arm, wrist, leg and foot. Tamara has a good men ...

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ORR’S CUTS DEVASTATE RETIREES

Belinda Meyers-Florence worked for the city of Detroit for 35 years. A licensed social worker with a master’s degree from Wayne State University, Meyers-Florence spent much of her tenure with the city fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS, treating drug addicts, and helping struggling and jobless Detroiters use federally-funded grants to keep their heat on during Michigan’s harsh winters. Detroit Emergency Manage ...

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Cost of state’s $9M theft from HP: Street lights and water plant

Over the last decade, the state of Michigan withheld $8.9 million in revenue sharing funds from the city of Highland Park. The state used the money to balance its own budget, according to a recent Michigan Municipal League report. Now Highland Park is fighting off the fourth state takeover in the last decade; struggling to provide basic city services; and currently amending a tightly stretched budget. ...

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House expands EAA

Only with the votes of two Detroit state representatives was the Michigan House of Representatives able to pass legislation March 20 expanding the statewide experimental district for failing students, the Educational Achievement Authority. The bill returns to the Senate for a concurrence vote. Fifteen Detroit Public Schools were taken in 2011 to form the district, which was created by an agreement between G ...

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Contracts and the Constitution

A Pontiac lawsuit, which could have far-reaching implications throughout Michigan, was heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati last week. The case was brought by city retirees who had their healthcare benefits slashed by then-Emergency Manager Louis Schimmel in December 2011. A federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of retirees in June 2012. Among other allegations, it was claime ...

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Questionable efforts

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and his high-priced attorneys fail to provide adequate representation for the city. They continue to fall short of basic responsibilities in protecting city interests. It seems Orr and company are determined to give tax money to bankers, no matter how questionable the banker’s claims. The initial efforts to settle debts with Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and USB were rej ...

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