Mayor Weaver’s FAST Start Initiative: Pipes at 460 Homes Replaced

By | Accountability, Community, Flint, Health, Leadership, Quality of Life | No Comments

Pipes at 460 Homes Replaced So Far through
Mayor Weaver’s FAST Start Initiative

FLINT, Mich. —Lead-tainted service lines at 460 homes have been replaced so far as part of Mayor Karen Weaver’s FAST Start initiative, with 55 homes getting new copper pipes last week.

Crews from two area companies are replacing lead and galvanized steel service lines leading from the street to the water meter in residents’ homes during this third phase of the FAST Start initiative, extending the mayor’s efforts to restore safe, clean drinking water to Flint residents. A total of 788 homes are set to get new pipes this fall.

Work crews plan to replace service pipes this week at homes on Copeman Boulevard and Begole Street between Forest Hill Avenue and Ballenger Highway; on Cumings Avenue between Pershing and Downey Street; and on Leland and Crawford streets and Alvord Avenue between South Grand Traverse Street and Fenton Road.

Mayor Weaver launched the FAST Start initiative to help resolve a number of problems created after a state-appointed emergency manager switched the City’s water source to the Flint River in 2014 without the necessary corrosion control chemicals being added. The corrosive water removed a protective coating on the inside of the pipes, causing lead to leach into the water flowing to homes and businesses in the City of Flint.

While the level of lead in Flint’s water supply has been substantially reduced since the city switched back a year ago to water delivered from Lake Huron by the Great Lakes Water Authority, residents are still being urged to drink only filtered water, and to replace their filters when needed.

So far, crews have installed new service lines at a total of 460 residences in Flint and capped the lines at three abandoned homes. Mayor Weaver’s goal is to have residents in 1,000 homes receive new pipes by the end of the year, and for thousands more to get new service lines in 2017.


Mayor Karen Weaver brings Flint back into national spotlight at DNC

By | Accountability, Community, Events, Family, Flint, Health, Leadership, Media, Michigan | No Comments

Repost from:

Mayor Karen Weaver brings Flint back into national spotlight at DNC

By John Steckroth – Digital news editor

PHILADELPHIA – Flint Mayor Karen Weaver spoke to Democrats Wednesday night at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, bringing Flint back to the national spotlight and commanding attention to the country’s crumbling attention.

“Our infrastructure is broken, leaking and rusting away,” Weaver said. “Our local economy struggles to rebound, and there are many more Flints across the country where environmental issues are hurting our kids and families.”

Weaver took office after the April 2014 switch to the Flint River that led to water crisis. Hillary Clinton visited the city in February.

“Flint is also a city in crisis,” Weaver said. “Five years ago, our Republican state government used the Michigan law to take over control of the city. In 2014, the state switched our water source to a polluted river to save a handful of dollars causing lead contamination to leech into our drinking water poisoning a whole community and leading to health impacts our children for generations.”

Local 4’s Devin Scillian caught up with Weaver after her speech and talked about the convention

Copyright 2016 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.

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Erin Brokovich Weighs in on Flint Water Issue

By | Flint, Health, Quality of Life | No Comments

The water issue in Flint have made national headlines.  Even environmental activist Erin Brockovich has weighed in on the issue.

Brockovish took to Facebook and responded to a photo of brown water gushing from a hydrant in Flint.  In her comment, she noted how serious a part environmental issues play in our lives.  She said that this is an example of “how bad it can get.”  The water discoloration was caused when maintenance crews replaced two valves in the area, according to Howard Croft, Director of Flint Department of Public Works.

The work required crews to shut off the water, which caused a backup of dirty water, and a need for extensive hydrant flushing.  The dirty water came from sediment buildup that occurred due to the broken valves.  Crews have been working for four months to identify and replace the broken valves, a number of which had been broken for quite some time.  Brockovich took a moment to point out that hours of brown running water is more than simple hydrant flushing, but that it is an indication of the poor water quality in Flint.

Brokovich also stated that “This highly corrosive water is causing serious (lead) and copper leaching throughout the community and is in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.”  Flint recently resolved other violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act, but now potentially faces new violations.

Brokovich met with U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) to discuss concerns about the city’s drinking water issues.

Flint River Used as Alternative Water Source

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Residents of Flint, MI are feeling the sacrifice the city officials made to save money until the Karegnondo Water Authority pipeline is completed. The water from the Flint River has tested positive for fecal coliform bacteria.  In response, Flint city engineers increased the amount of chlorine in the water.  This, however, has caused high levels of trihalomethanes, creating a possible violation of the Clean Water Act.

The water was also found to have lead contents of 13,000 parts per billion, which far exceeds the EPA’s suggestion of under 15 parts per billion. These high levels of trihalomethanes and lead have rendered the water unsafe to drink.

This pipeline issue is not unique to Flint, Michigan, however.  According to the American Society for Civil Engineers, many of the nation’s pipeline are heading in the same direction.  Soon, the nation will have to invest its time and resources into making improvements to existing pipelines, and/or creating brand new ones.  The cost of such an endeavor could potentially reach up to $1 trillion.

The new water pipeline that will service the city of Flint Michigan, set to be completed in 2016, will bring water from Flint’s previous provider: Lake Huron. It will be a welcome change from the need to treat water from the Flint River, which has been littered with everything from dead bodies to an abandoned car.

My position on Flint’s water woes:

By | About Karen, Community, Flint, Health, Quality of Life | No Comments


First and foremost, as a stop gap measure until the Karendgondi water pipeline is up and running, I will strongly advocate that the City of Flint purchase its water directly from  Genesee County, which ironically is still buying its water from the Detroit Department of Water and Sewerage. I say advocate at this point because, thanks to a few City Council members, any major decision proposed by the Mayor or City Council has to pass muster with the MTAB, the mechanism put in place to oversee city operations for an unspecified period of time in the absence of an emergency manager. Also, in direct contradiction to the City Charter, the city of Flint has an omnipotent city administrator who was bequeathed unparalleled powers to run the city by decree of Flint’s last emergency manager as a departing gesture. I will fight vigorously to return the city to its sovereign right, as a government by the people, in full compliance with the current City Charter, while simultaneously advocating for the stop gap measure I alluded to above.

I feel it is critical to act expeditiously to remove our citizens and our infrastructure from any further harm posed by Flint River water. The Virginia Tech studies have shown that Flint River water is seven times more corrosive than Detroit water, and is a direct cause of lead leaching from pipes used in our water delivery system. Flint River water is not only posing a tremendous health hazard to our people, it is also corroding our already frail infrastructure. The impending damage to both is immeasurable.




How aware and concerned are you about mental health?

By | Health, Quality of Life | No Comments

We are all affected in some way, shape or fashion by mental health issues. Approximately one in five adults will experience a mental health problem this year. But, what exactly is “mental health”? Mental health involves how a person handles stress, relates to other people, manages emotions, makes decisions, and perceives the world and their sense of purpose in life. That being said, mental health is an essential component to a persons overall health and well being.


Sadly enough, 75-80% of young people needing mental health services do not receive them. The reasons vary from mental health issues and issues going undiagnosed, lack of access to services, and even stigma associated with having a mental health issue of a diagnosis; no one wants to be labeled as “crazy”. The stigma of mental health issues and illness, however, is sometimes our worst enemy, and often times keeps us from seeking the help, support and services that are available to, and for us.


As with any illness, prevention and early intervention are our best defenses. We do screenings for cancer, we check our blood pressure and cholesterol, we eliminate foods from our diets that we know are not good for us, but when it comes to our mental wellbeing, often times, we turn our head and look the other way. We pretend things are just fine, or it’s a phase to be gone through. We make excuses for the behaviors or emotions we may be experiencing, or we see others experience, and then tragedy strikes; the molehill has turned into a mountain, and may not have had to.


People can and do recover from mental health problems, but it cannot be done alone or in isolation. Know some of the warning signs. This includes, but is not limited to: a change in behavior, difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, loss of interest in activities or friendships, weight gain or loss, engaging in high risk behaviors, problems at school or at work, to name a few.


What can you do to help yourself or someone you know who might be going through some mental health challenges? Talk to someone experienced that can help you, or get you pointed in the right direction, a professional mental health provider, your clergy person, school counselor or your doctor. The sooner one gets connected to appropriate services; the sooner he or she is on the road to recovery.


Keep good friends close; support is important. Be good to yourself, a balanced diet, adequate sleep and regular exercise all help to support good mental health. Lastly, don’t let stigma keep you or a loved one from getting services they are entitled to. And remember…Asking for help is 60% of the battle, don’t face the battle unarmed.

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