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Review: Connor Coyne’s URBANTASM Book Four: THE SPRING STORM finishes the gripping allegory with a hammer blow

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Review: Connor Coyne’s URBANTASM Book Four: THE SPRING STORM finishes the gripping allegory with a hammer blow

By Robert Thomas The publication of the fourth and final book of Flint author Connor Coyne’s serial novel, URBANTASM, marks the finale of his epic allegory set in the heart of the American Rust Belt in the fictional city of Akawe, Michigan, somewhere north of Detroit. As befits any gripping serial, The Spring Storm delivers a hammer blow with a rollicking readerly ride through a perfect storm of rusty decay and an abundance of evil.  Having reviewed the first three books for East Village Magazine*, I approached Book Four with anticipatory...

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“At the Intersection” 182-year-old Flint congregation considers their place in the community

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“At the Intersection” 182-year-old Flint congregation considers their place in the community

By Tom Travis As the congregation of  St. Paul’s Episcopal Church celebrates the 150th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone in 1872, they also are considering what it means to be “at the intersection” and what kinds of impact the church will and should have in the community. The Episcopal congregation began worshiping in Flint 182 years ago. The present building, at the corner of Third and Saginaw Streets, is their fourth location.  It was  constructed 150 years ago. The anniversary has stimulated the congregation to...

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Commentary: The legal road to Roe v. Wade and back: It’s more than just a court case

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Commentary: The legal road to Roe v. Wade and back: It’s more than just a court case

By Paul Rozycki Perhaps nothing illustrates both the legal and personal sides of the abortion issue better than two unrelated recent events. A few weeks ago, we learned that the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to overturn a half century of protection for abortion rights, and, in the same week, we learned that the lack of baby formula is reaching a crisis level.  Based upon a leaked court opinion, (Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 2022) it appears that the U.S. Supreme Court is on track to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that...

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Education Beat May Flint School Board meetings: EDEP dismissed; no school closings or staff layoffs; infrastructure woes continue; intra-board tensions ongoing

Posted by on 12:22 PM in Analysis, Features, Local News | Comments Off on Education Beat May Flint School Board meetings: EDEP dismissed; no school closings or staff layoffs; infrastructure woes continue; intra-board tensions ongoing

Education Beat     May Flint School Board meetings: EDEP dismissed; no school closings or staff layoffs; infrastructure woes continue; intra-board tensions ongoing

By Harold C. Ford The May 11 and 18 meetings of the Flint Board of Education (FBOE) – together lasting nearly 12 hours – began with purported good news that Flint Community Schools (FCS) had been released from the imposition of an enhanced deficit elimination plan (EDEP) by the Michigan Department of Treasury.  Any euphoria elicited by the EDEP-dismissal announcement soon evolved into a parade of FCS constituents anxiously and unanimously urging the district not to close schools – specifically Pierce Elementary and the Accelerated Learning...

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FPL architect says “Libraries are the greatest act of love you can give your community” as area residents pour in

Posted by on 11:35 AM in Analysis, Features, Local News | Comments Off on FPL architect says “Libraries are the greatest act of love you can give your community” as area residents pour in

FPL architect says “Libraries are the greatest act of love you can give your community” as area residents pour in

By Jan Worth-Nelson When Kay Schwartz and her crew of 31 staff and the library’s board of trustees began the planning process seven years ago for the Flint Public Library’s major renovation which culminated with a three-day opening celebration May 19-21, one value emerged over all others. “We wanted it to be a welcoming community space above everything else,”  Schwartz said, walking around the capacious new layout the day before the public opening of the dramatically made-over 60-year-old Kearsley Street structure....

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“A community jewel,” “Magnificent legacy, ” — Community leaders celebrate Flint Public Library reopening after $30 million renovation

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“A community jewel,”  “Magnificent legacy, ” — Community leaders celebrate Flint Public Library reopening after $30 million renovation

By Jan Worth-Nelson   “Wow!”  “Awesome!”  “Spectacular!” “A polished community jewel”  “Wonderful” “A magnificent legacy” Speakers at the re-opening ceremony and ribbon cutting Thursday of the  renovated Flint Public Library outdid each other with superlatives in the bright sun of a day characterized by cheers, gratitude, and hope. The $30 million project, created through a broad-based  combination of public, philanthropic, and private funds, has been in the works...

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Flint Schools Superintendent considers library opening: “We got next”

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Flint Schools Superintendent considers library opening:   “We got next”

By Jan Worth-Nelson After the joyful ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Flint Public Library Thursday, Flint Community Schools Superintendent Kevelin Jones slipped away alone across the parking lot from the glossy new building to the empty wreck that is the former Flint Central High School, closed in 2009 and now crumbling, tagged, vandalized and boarded up just a few dozen yards away. The contrast could not have been more pointed. “Today was emotional,” Jones said.  “As I walked through the library and I looked over at Flint...

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Library reopens after $30 million renovation with three-day celebration

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Library reopens after $30 million renovation with three-day celebration

By Jan Worth-Nelson A two-year-long, $30 million renovation of the Flint Public Library culminates with a three-day celebration beginning Thursday,  reopening the 90,000-square-foot facility to the public after a long wait made even longer by the COVID pandemic. A ribbon cutting begins the festivities at 10 a.m. Thursday on the lawn,  followed by self-guided tours until 4 p.m.  Library services will not yet be available. The first day of service will be Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Jazz on Wheels are scheduled to perform on an outside terrace...

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Education Beat: Schools board postpones closures after 30 speakers plead to keep Pierce, ALA open; district released from State-imposed Emergency Finance Plan

Posted by on 6:20 PM in Analysis, Features, Local News | Comments Off on Education Beat: Schools board postpones closures after 30 speakers plead to keep Pierce, ALA open; district released from State-imposed Emergency Finance Plan

Education Beat: Schools board postpones closures after 30 speakers plead to keep Pierce, ALA open;  district released from State-imposed Emergency Finance Plan

By Harold C. Ford A six-hour meeting of the Flint Board of Education (FBOE) on May 11 began with purported good news that Flint Community Schools (FCS) had been released from the imposition of an enhanced deficit elimination plan (EDEP) by the Michigan Department of Treasury.  But any euphoria elicited by the EDEP-dismissal announcement quickly evolved into a parade of FCS constituents anxiously and unanimously urging the district not to close schools – specifically Pierce Elementary and the Accelerated Learning Academy.   The long meeting...

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“Phenomenal” threat to abortion rights a “major wakeup call,” longtime pro-choice advocate asserts

Posted by on 5:53 PM in Analysis, Features, Local News | Comments Off on “Phenomenal” threat to abortion rights a “major wakeup call,” longtime pro-choice advocate asserts

“Phenomenal” threat to abortion rights a “major wakeup call,”  longtime pro-choice advocate asserts

By Jan Worth-Nelson In the wake of the leak of a draft opinion suggesting the U.S. Supreme Court is about to overturn Roe v. Wade, some have suggested men should, as the memes go, “STFU,” or “Shut the F–k up.” But if any area man has a voice worth hearing on the matter, it is Jim Richardson. Richardson is a life-long community activist who was director of Planned Parenthood of East Central Michigan for 22 years, from 1987 to 2009. In a recent interview,  he called the likelihood that the end of Roe v. Wade...

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“Heinous,” “scary,” “devastating”– Area women react to possible end of Roe v. Wade

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“Heinous,”  “scary,” “devastating”– Area women react to possible end of Roe v. Wade

By Jan Worth-Nelson I set out to try to find out how some area women view the possibility that Roe v. Wade might be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.  The 1973  decision gave women the right to decide whether they wanted to continue a pregnancy; at long last, first trimester abortions were made legal. Some forget that that decision struck down a Texas ban on abortion, establishing that it was unconstitutional.  The majority opinion was based on the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, marked by its “right to privacy”...

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“Defend Roe Rally” draws 250 to downtown protest: “It’s not just about protests — VOTE!” speakers say

Posted by on 7:07 PM in Analysis, Features, Local News | Comments Off on “Defend Roe Rally” draws 250 to downtown protest: “It’s not just about protests — VOTE!” speakers say

“Defend Roe Rally” draws 250 to downtown protest:  “It’s not just about protests — VOTE!” speakers say

By Jan Worth-Nelson, Tom Travis and Paul Rozycki Chanting  “We are not your incubator,”  “No uterus, no opinion,”  “Keep your laws off my body,” “My body, my choice,” “Abortion is health care,”  “We want Roe,” and  “We’re not going back” among others, about 250 Flint-area citizens marched from the Flat Lot in downtown Flint Saturday to the Genesee County Courthouse, where they heard speeches from a half dozen area activists on reproductive rights. It was...

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The East Village Magazine – May 8, 2022

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The East Village Magazine – May 8, 2022

The latest edition of The East Village Magazine is available for download and viewing here: View...

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Education Beat: Keiona Murphy settles in as Flint School’s assistant superintendent; aims to help district “move forward”

Posted by on 11:42 AM in Analysis, Features, Local News | Comments Off on Education Beat: Keiona Murphy settles in as Flint School’s assistant superintendent; aims to help district “move forward”

Education Beat:  Keiona Murphy settles in as Flint School’s assistant superintendent; aims to help district “move forward”

By Harold C. Ford Keiona Murphy has settled in to her new position as assistant superintendent of Flint Community Schools. Murphy was elevated from her interim status as assistant superintendent. Her salary of $114,954 is augmented by an additional $4,200 stipend.  Her appointment on Feb. 9, along with other central administrators, was approved by a unanimous vote, 7-0, of the Flint Board of Education (FBOE). Murphy’s responsibilities include: state and federal programs; technology; directing student and family services (enrollment); pupil...

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Arbor Day means “Tree City USA” again for Flint, many new trees for Pierce Park

Posted by on 6:44 PM in Analysis, Features, Local News | Comments Off on Arbor Day means “Tree City USA” again for Flint, many new trees for Pierce Park

Arbor Day means “Tree City USA” again for Flint,  many new trees for Pierce Park

By Jan Worth-Nelson A dozen retirees from the College Cultural Neighborhood Association (CCNA) worked alongside a half dozen professional tree lovers more than half their age to celebrate Arbor Day in Pierce Park Friday. The day also marked the City of Flint’s 22nd year as a “Tree City USA,”  a national designation of the Arbor Day Foundation  recognizing efforts to keep the community tree-filled and green, according to Angela Warren, administrator of the Genesee Conservation District (GCD). Her crew of young...

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Flint honors “Heroines and Humanitarians” in sculptures at City Hall

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Flint honors “Heroines and Humanitarians” in sculptures at City Hall

By Paul Rozycki It’s been a long and winding road, but the sculptured busts of the six women honored as “Heroines and Humanitarians” have now found their way to a permanent home in the Flint City Hall. This slideshow requires JavaScript. In a well-attended ceremony at Flint City Hall April 28, the statues of Claressa Shields, Edith Prunty Spencer, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Sybyl McPeake Atwood, Frances Willson Thompson and Olive Beasley were formally installed as a central part of the front lobby. The project began more than three years ago,...

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Flint’s 200th anniversary of founding honored with premier of new musical work at May 1, 3 p.m. concert

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Flint’s 200th anniversary of founding honored with premier of new musical work at May 1, 3 p.m. concert

By Tom Travis Michigan composer and Saginaw resident, Catherine McMichael was commissioned by the Flint Symphonic Wind Ensemble (FSWE) to compose a work commemorating the 200th anniversary of Flint’s founding in 1819. The work was intended to be performed in the 2020 season but due to the COVID shutdown the FSWE did not perform a concert in 2020. Now, at last, the 14-minute long commissioned work, titled “Legacy,”  will be performed at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 1 at the Flushing Mayfair Bible Church (5339 West Pierson Road) with...

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Public speakers plead with council to approve updated zoning ordinance

Posted by on 8:51 PM in Analysis, Coronavirus, Features, Local News | Comments Off on Public speakers plead with council to approve updated zoning ordinance

Public speakers plead with council to approve updated zoning ordinance

By Tom Travis A passel of young people from across Flint attended the last city council committee meeting to show their support and rally the council to approve the new proposed zoning ordinance. The new ordinance is expected to be on the council’s agenda the first week of May. In a nearly unanimous council response each council member chimed in agreeing that the city needs updated zoning codes. One of the many public speakers, Travis Gilbert declared, “One of the most effective ways we can move our city forward would be to pass...

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Commentary: A critical look for critics of the 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory

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Commentary: A critical look for critics of the 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory

By Paul Rozycki If there is any doubt that race plays a powerful role in American history, one only needs to examine the response to the 1619 Project from around the nation. Pulitzer Prize winning author Nikole Hannah-Jones, the creator of the 1619 Project, which explores American history through the lens of slavery and race, spoke at the Capitol Theater in Flint recently to a full house, as part of the Ballenger Eminent Persons Lecture Series. Nearly all of those in attendance, and those who shared a Zoom workshop a day later, supported the...

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Flint Repertory Theatre makes history with an LGBTQIA+ take on the world’s longest-running musical

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Flint Repertory Theatre makes history with an LGBTQIA+ take on the world’s  longest-running musical

By Tom Travis The Fantasticks, the world’s longest-running musical, is being produced by Flint Repertory Theatre this summer, June 3 to 19. But there is an unusual plot twist in the Rep’s production that will make theatre history: A fresh new rewrite with an LGBTQIA+ focus by the show’s original book writer and lyricist, Tom Jones who is now 94 years old and still lives in New York City, in collaboration with the Rep’s director Michael Lluberes. Flint’s June production will be the world-premier of the LGBTQIA+ rewrite of by Jones...

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Education Beat: Critical deadline approaches for Flint Schools; board triad hints Northwestern to be Flint’s high school campus; no criminal charges for Green

Posted by on 5:06 PM in Analysis, Features, Local News | Comments Off on Education Beat: Critical deadline approaches for Flint Schools; board triad hints Northwestern to be Flint’s high school campus; no criminal charges for Green

Education Beat: Critical deadline approaches for Flint Schools; board triad hints Northwestern to be Flint’s high school campus;  no criminal charges for Green

By Harold C. Ford In its recent meetings, the Flint Board of Education (FBOE) faced looming critical deadlines about staffing decisions and building closures, suggested Northwestern might become Flint’s one high school, and heard that former president Danielle Green, accused of assaulting board treasurer Laura MacIntyre, will not be charged. “We knew this day was coming,” Carol McIntosh, vice president of the Flint Board of Education (FBOE)  stated in an April discussion. “If we don’t close schools, it’s a drain on our system; our...

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Fire Chief Ray Barton and Flint Fire Department grieve the loss of fellow firefighter John Stenger

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Fire Chief Ray Barton and Flint Fire Department grieve the loss of fellow firefighter John Stenger

By Tom Travis This story has been updated to include John Stenger’s obituary. – Editor In a somber and poignant moment during last week’s city council meeting, Flint Fire Chief Ray Barton shared, at the request of council, news of a recent untimely death of one of Flint’s long-time firefighters, John Stenger. In a hushed voice, Chief Barton explained, “Our firefighter lost his life to suicide.” He said more first responders around the country die to suicide  than in the line of duty. Stenger, 50, died by...

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AFSCME contract with seven to eight percent raise a “step forward and not a step backward” Mayor Neeley declares

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AFSCME contract with seven to eight percent raise a  “step forward and not a step backward” Mayor Neeley declares

By Tom Travis “This contract is a step forward and not a step backward,” Mayor Sheldon Neeley said today, announcing a new negotiated contract between Local 1600 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and  the City of Flint. “This is the first negotiated contract since our city was deconstructed by the emergency managers forcing labor agreements that were not negotiated,”  Neeley said. “I stand here united with my friends at the Local 1600. I understand that for the working...

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Tendaji Talk tackles critical race theory; 1619 Project creator to appear in Flint April 13

Posted by on 3:56 PM in Analysis, Features, Local News | Comments Off on Tendaji Talk tackles critical race theory; 1619 Project creator to appear in Flint April 13

Tendaji Talk tackles critical race theory;  1619 Project creator to appear in Flint April 13

By Harold C. Ford “Any anti-racist effort is being labeled as critical race theory.” –Jonathan Chism, assistant professor of history, University of Houston-Downtown, co-editor of Critical Race Studies Across Disciplines, 2021, Lexington Books The most recent Tendaji Talk tackled the tough, divisive topic of critical race theory (CRT) during a 90-minute, virtual meeting of  15 Flint-area persons.  Joyce Piert, formerly an instructor at Beecher Schools and the University of Michigan-Flint, and Thomn Bell, currently director of diversity and...

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The East Village Magazine – April 2022

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The East Village Magazine – April 2022

The latest edition of The East Village Magazine is available for download and viewing here: View...

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Fundraiser for Ukraine shows “Americans will always come through,” organizers say

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Fundraiser for Ukraine shows “Americans will always come through,” organizers say

By Jan Worth-Nelson A little more than halfway through a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for Ukraine at the Dom Polski Hall Wednesday night, the kitchen ran out of food.  Almost everyone added extra cash to the donations box, and blue and yellow “Support Ukraine” and “Stand Up for Ukraine” signs sold briskly at a side table.   “We had enough for 225 people, but this looks like more than 250 already,” said Nyk Bartkiw, chairman of the organizing Peace in Ukraine Committee from St. Vladimir Ukranian Catholic...

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Flint yard waste collection begins April 4, 2022

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Flint yard waste collection begins April 4, 2022

By Tom Travis Yard waste collection in the City of Flint will start up again the week of April 4. Yard waste is picked up weekly on residents’ normal trash collection days through December 2, 2022. In Sept. 2021 the city council passed a new waste service provider contract that began Oct. 1, 2021 with Priority Waste that will include waste collection every week for trash, recycling and yard waste. The contract is for $19.7 million for waste pick-up through June 30, 2024. The resolution allows for the option of a two-year extension to that...

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EAB sends a letter accusing city council of “violating responsibilities”, demands response by April 11

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EAB sends a letter accusing city council of “violating responsibilities”, demands response by April 11

By Tom Travis [This article has been updated to reflect that the council did take action on 15 out of the 19 resolutions. EVM Editorial Staff.] The Flint City council met for an eight-hour meeting Monday night, with two hours spent discussing the council’s behavior and two resolutions. The sum of the 19 resolutions and ordinances on Monday’s agenda totaled more than $7.5 million in city business. The council did vote and pass 15 resolutions on the agenda. Most of the council’s discussion focused on two resolutions that have...

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Legislation aims to redevelop Buick City in Flint for investment and environmental renewal

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Legislation aims to redevelop Buick City in Flint for investment and environmental renewal

By Tom Travis New legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives this week aims to help bring new economic development opportunities to Flint’s Buick City and generate economic revitalization in Flint, according to a Monday press release from U.S. Representative Dan Kildee’s office. The legislation would make Buick City an Opportunity Zone to generate economic development and investment. The legislation was co-sponsored by Kildee (D-MI-05) and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD-02). The new legislation,  called the Rust...

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Education Beat: Flint School Board President Green removed after alleged assault on Board Treasurer MacIntyre

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Education Beat: Flint School Board President Green removed after alleged assault on Board Treasurer MacIntyre

By Harold C. Ford “This is a painful day today … In order for us to move forward we’ve got to learn how to forgive.”  Joyce Ellis-McNeal, installed as Flint Community Schools board president after an alleged assault by Danielle Green.  “Today’s incident was a slap in our face … We were set back … I cannot tell my scholars not to fight when we, as adults, cannot control our emotions … We got to wake up as a community.”  Marlis Settle, Flint Community Schools employee. “It’s horrible … Nobody should be brutalized like that … It should...

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Commentary: Flint’s I-475 freeway and race: A concrete barrier, or a road to reconciliation?

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Commentary: Flint’s I-475 freeway and race: A concrete barrier, or a road to reconciliation?

By Paul Rozycki A therapist trying to analyze Flint’s attitude towards race might use the term bipolar. On one hand, Flint was the first major city to choose an African-American mayor, Floyd McCree.  It passed one of the first open housing ordinances in the late 1960s, after a community sleep-in at City Hall. A Republican governor came to support the effort. It’s been the home of the United Auto Workers (UAW), historically one of the more progressive unions in the nation. In contrast to many cities, Flint avoided major conflicts during the...

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Sports Beat: Beecher and Grand Blanc on path to repeat as state champions

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Sports Beat:  Beecher and Grand Blanc on path to repeat as state champions

By Harold C. Ford Genesee County comprises about four percent of the state’s population (roughly 400,000 of 10 million people), but two local school districts – Beecher on the north side of Flint, Grand Blanc on the south side – currently claim half/50 percent of the boys state championship basketball teams. Both schools won state titles a year ago in March 2021. And both schools are steamrolling their way to possible repeat championships in the annual Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) boys basketball tournament. Both teams...

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Education Beat: Linda Boose to fill vacant Flint Community Schools Board seat

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Education Beat:  Linda Boose to fill vacant Flint Community Schools Board seat

By Harold C. Ford Linda Boose was selected Tuesday by the Flint Board of Education (FBOE) to fill a seat vacated a month ago by Adrian Walker.   The decision came after two rounds of interviews lasting nearly 2.5 hours, with five members of the board  – Danielle Green, president; Joyce Ellis-McNeal, vice-president; Laura MacIntyre, treasurer; Allen Gilbert and Chris Del Morone, trustees, voting unanimously for Boose.  Trustee Carol McIntosh was absent.  Walker, then board treasurer, left to take a position in Michigan state government. ...

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11-hour city council session disintegrates into a lecture from the public and EAB president

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11-hour city council session disintegrates into a lecture from the public and EAB president

By Tom Travis Beleaguered for 11 hours, the city council verbally wrestled with each other in Monday night’s meeting discussing the topics: “respect, decorum, and censure.” Members of the public, council members and the chair of the Ethics and Accountability Board (EAB) lectured the officials on their behavior and lack of completing “city business.” “Repeated lack of decorum and violations of the Charter” – Council Vice President Herkenroder It began early on during the Special Affairs...

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“It only takes one person”: historic Mott Park Neighborhood residents come together to rejuvenate abandoned club house and grounds

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“It only takes one person”:  historic Mott Park Neighborhood residents come together to rejuvenate abandoned club house and grounds

By Tom Travis “It just takes one person to have that vision or to have that love for their community. And that one person must be brave to step out and take the bull by the horns. It just takes one person and then they’ll gravitate and get other people involved. Even in a bad neighborhood, it takes just one person,” said Mott Park Neighborhood resident, Gennois Wiggins. “And I would add that it starts with one person,” added another Mott Park resident, Chad Schlosser who works in campus ministry at UM-Flint. Mott...

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$9.6 million in federal spending coming to Flint-area organizations, Kildee announces

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$9.6 million in federal spending coming to Flint-area organizations, Kildee announces

By Tom Travis Support for a North Flint food cooperative, assistance for affordable housing and blighted property demolition, training for school nurses, criminal justice reform, funding for more critical care hospital beds, and creation of a science and technology student mentoring program are among Flint-area initiatives set to benefit from $9.6 million of federal funds approved this week. The appropriations are part of a $1.5 trillion spending bill to keep the federal government operating through the end of 2022 fiscal year. U.S....

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Laborious eight-hour city council committee meeting tackles council rules, North Flint food market

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Laborious eight-hour city council committee meeting tackles council rules, North Flint food market

By Tom Travis It took the city council finance committee eight hours Wednesday evening  to tussle their way through a contentious meeting.  The agenda contained 10 resolutions to be discussed, but the council spent most of the eight hours discussing, arguing and battling through two resolutions in particular. One resolution concerned setting a date for a public hearing for residents’ input on the rules that govern the city council. The other was a resolution to allocate $600,000 of the city’s $94 million federal ARPA (American...

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I-475 corridor community input meeting set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 22 at FIM

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I-475 corridor community input meeting set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 22 at FIM

By Tom Travis (This article has been updated to reflect a change of venue for the March 22 meeting.) The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has announced another in a series of public meetings for public input on the I-475 corridor for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 22 followed by another presentation at 6:15 p.m.  The meeting will be held at The Whiting, 1241 East Kearsley Street in Flint. COVID safety precautions will be followed and masks will be required indoors. According to a press release, MDOT is seeking input from the public on...

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The East Village Magazine – March, 2022

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The East Village Magazine – March, 2022

The latest edition of The East Village Magazine is available for download here: View...

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Ukrainian community gathers to offer prayers and songs for the “homeland” at candlelight vigil

Posted by on 9:39 PM in Analysis, Features, Local News | Comments Off on Ukrainian community gathers to offer prayers and songs for the “homeland” at candlelight vigil

Ukrainian community gathers to offer prayers and songs for the “homeland” at candlelight vigil

By Tom Travis On a cold wintry Thursday night more than 100 people squeezed into the tiny St. Vladmir’s Ukrainian church on West Pasadena Avenue, just outside of the City of Flint border.  It was standing room only for a candlelight prayer vigil in support of Ukraine as Putin wages war against it. The prayer vigil was organized by local Ukrainians and local government officials including, Nyk Bartkiw, Mary Martin, Congressman Dan Kildee and Genesee County Clerk John Gleason. Bartkiw is the chairman of a committee that calls itself...

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“How we find relief” Mott-Warsh Gallery exhibit examines human experience of overcoming stress

Posted by on 9:24 PM in Analysis, Features, Local News | Comments Off on “How we find relief” Mott-Warsh Gallery exhibit examines human experience of overcoming stress

“How we find relief” Mott-Warsh Gallery exhibit examines human experience of overcoming stress

By Tom Travis The newest exhibit at Flint’s Mott-Warsh Gallery asks the question, “How do people find relief amid life’s daily barrage of challenges?” The exhibit, called, Whatever Gets You Through the Night, explores this many-sided topic, according to a press release from the gallery. The exhibit will be on display until Aug. 20, 2022. Artists featured in the exhibit include Mary Lovelace O’Neal, Adrian Piper, Derrick Adams, Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, Dawoud Bey, Kerry James Marshall, Whitfield Lovell, Barbara Chase...

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“Hopeless, helpless, sad, and angry,” local Ukrainians react as Putin wages war

Posted by on 9:40 PM in Analysis, Features, Local News | Comments Off on “Hopeless, helpless, sad, and angry,” local Ukrainians react as Putin wages war

“Hopeless, helpless, sad, and angry,” local Ukrainians react as Putin wages war

By Tom Travis Flint area Ukrainians are urgently contacting friends and relatives still in the embattled country and say they feel hopeless, helpless, sad, and angry. Flint resident Linda Pylypiw, of Ukrainian and Latvian heritage, said she believes the Russians are “once again trying to crush the spirit of the Ukrainians and not treat them like a separate people but as the unwanted step-children of the Russians.” A local attorney, Pylypiw has a first cousin in Ukraine. The cousin has two children in their 30s who live in Kyiv....

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“Art is an outlet” – Jerin Sage, Flint’s interim-placemaker

Posted by on 1:46 PM in Analysis, Features, Local News | Comments Off on “Art is an outlet” – Jerin Sage, Flint’s interim-placemaker

“Art is an outlet” – Jerin Sage, Flint’s interim-placemaker

“By Tom Travis  Jerin Sage, the Greater Flint Art Council’s interim placemaker, leans forward with a bounce in his voice, his hands flying as he speaks, and exclaims, “Art is not about being the best.  It’s about giving it your all and putting it out there.” In an interview at Dorothy’s House of Coffee, Sage, 36, explains the concept of “placemaking” and how he came to believe in it as he worked with the city’s first placemaker, Kady Yellow.  She recently departed for a new position in...

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Memories of Woodrow Stanley: student, councilman, mayor, county commissioner, and state representative

Posted by on 9:08 AM in Analysis, Commentary, Features, Village Life | Comments Off on Memories of Woodrow Stanley: student, councilman, mayor, county commissioner, and state representative

Memories of Woodrow Stanley:  student, councilman, mayor, county commissioner, and state representative

By Paul Rozycki Many tributes to Woodrow Stanley have spoken of his dedication to the Flint community, his service on the Flint City Council, mayor of Flint, the Genesee County Commission, and his role in the State House of Representatives.  Many have spoken of Woodrow’s comeback from a bitter recall campaign as he refused to look back and returned to the political stage for new challenges. Woodrow Stanley and Mott Community College But my memories of Woodrow Stanley go back further than that. He was a student at Mott Community College when I...

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Review: World premiere at The Rep of “Wrong River,” captures one Flint family’s near impossible struggle to survive the water crisis 

Posted by on 7:20 PM in Analysis, Features, Local News, Reviews | Comments Off on Review: World premiere at The Rep of “Wrong River,” captures one Flint family’s near impossible struggle to survive the water crisis 

Review: World premiere at The Rep of “Wrong River,” captures one Flint family’s near impossible struggle to survive the water crisis 

By Patsy Isenberg “Wrong River” is a story about six people in a home in Flint at the start of the water crisis. It’s intense and delves into each character’s personal reaction and how the water crisis intensifies and complicates their lives. It premiered at The Flint Repertory Theater last weekend and runs through Sunday afternoon, Feb. 20.  The production is directed by Flint native Jeremiah Davison, now of Atlanta. Playwright Josh Wilder of Philadelphia, who brought the play to Flint originally during The Rep’s New Works Festival,...

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Education Beat: Flint School Board acts on new hires, infrastructure repair, temporary deficit relief, strategic plan

Posted by on 7:18 PM in Analysis, Features, Local News | Comments Off on Education Beat: Flint School Board acts on new hires, infrastructure repair, temporary deficit relief, strategic plan

Education Beat: Flint School Board acts on new hires, infrastructure repair,  temporary deficit relief,  strategic plan

By Harold C. Ford In a five-and-a-half hour meeting ending at midnight Feb. 9, the Flint Board of Education (FBOE) worked its way through a packed agenda and acted on a half-dozen key matters. The board’s actions covered new hires and compensation packages; critical and ongoing infrastructure needs; the intricacies and interplay of the district’s Emergency Deficit Elimination Program (EDEP) and the temporary infusion of federal dollars via Elementary and Secondary School Relief (ESSER) legislation; and tabled a long-awaited strategic...

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Commentary: Addressing Flint’s racial and economic inequities should be top priority for $94.7 million ARPA funds use

Posted by on 1:44 PM in Analysis, Column, Commentary, Coronavirus, Features, Local News | Comments Off on Commentary: Addressing Flint’s racial and economic inequities should be top priority for $94.7 million ARPA funds use

Commentary:  Addressing Flint’s racial and economic inequities should be top priority for $94.7 million ARPA funds use

By Linda Pohly On June 1, 2020, in the wake of the George Floyd murder and during the early days of the COVID -19 pandemic, the city council and mayor of Flint adopted a joint resolution declaring that racism is a public health crisis and setting out a plan for addressing the crisis as a city. The joint resolution described the marked disparities in the economic and health impacts of the pandemic on communities of color.  It stated:  “(T)he City is committed … to prioritize racial equity in our decision making processes, to acknowledge...

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Five proposed Flint redistricting maps to be considered by Flint Election Commission at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday

Posted by on 12:33 AM in Analysis, Coronavirus, Features, Local News | Comments Off on Five proposed Flint redistricting maps to be considered by Flint Election Commission at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday

Five proposed Flint redistricting maps to be considered by Flint Election Commission at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday

By Tom Travis The Flint Election Commission has announced a meeting regarding the redrawing of city ward boundaries (redistricting) for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16.  The meeting will be held in City Council Chambers on the 3rd floor of City Hall, 1101 South Saginaw St. Flint’s Elections Commission is made up of City Clerk Inez Brown, City Assessor Stacey Kaake and Assistant City Attorney JoAnne Gurley. A document detailing five proposed maps for the city’s nine wards has been released. The six-page document can be viewed here and...

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City Council Beat: Children’s Museum explores new property despite pot facility near by; Flint Police and Fire employees granted premium pay

Posted by on 7:58 PM in Analysis, Coronavirus, Features, Local News | Comments Off on City Council Beat: Children’s Museum explores new property despite pot facility near by; Flint Police and Fire employees granted premium pay

City Council Beat: Children’s Museum explores new property despite pot facility near by;  Flint Police and Fire employees granted premium pay

By Tom Travis The city council Monday unanimously approved an MOU (memorandum of understanding) allowing the Flint Children’s Museum (FCM) to purchase from the City of Flint the “old Farmer’s Market” property on E. Boulevard Drive. The council also approved a resolution allowing the City’s Police and Fire department essential workers to receive premium pay for work during the pandemic. Since October 2021 the city council agendas have had the Children’s Museum MOU listed as a resolution for consideration. In...

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Vista gallery, drop-in center provide nurturing space for “healing and trust,” access to resources

Posted by on 3:09 PM in Analysis, Features, First Amendment, Local News | Comments Off on Vista gallery, drop-in center provide nurturing space for “healing and trust,” access to resources

Vista gallery, drop-in center provide nurturing space for “healing and trust,” access to resources

By Madeleine Graham  Nestled into a corner of the J.C. Penney wing of the Genesee Valley Mall is an art gallery that provides a nurturing environment for those with disabilities, including mental health issues. It is called the Vista Visions Art Gallery, also known as the Vista Drop-In Center. The gallery and drop-in center started in 1985  as a collaborative effort with volunteers and was known as Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA). Vista is open 11: 15 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday The Gallery is open from noon to 3...

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