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By Robert A. Vella

Here’s the latest developments in the terrible public health crisis hitting the impoverished community of Flint, Michigan:

  • Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has opened an investigation into lead contamination of Flint’s drinking water supplies.
  • FEMA has responded to Governor Rick Snyder’s state of emergency declaration and request for federal disaster relief.
  • An outbreak of Legionnaires disease has also struck Flint, resulting in 10 deaths so far, although it’s not yet clear if this is related to the lead contamination.
  • Flint’s water supply has been switched back to the Detroit system, but lead contamination still persists making the water unsafe to drink.
  • High lead levels, which are known to cause brain damage, have been detected in many children in Flint.
  • The Republican-sponsored emergency manager law, which seized power from democratically-elected local officials, is being seen as causing this crisis because it took Flint off the safe Detroit water system in 2014 as a cost-cutting measure.

Further reading:

AG Schuette opens investigation into Flint water crisis

Michigan’s Failure to Protect Flint

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4 thoughts on “Update on the Water Contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan

  1. Sad, sad state of affairs. I wonder WHAT, if anything, has happened since all of the talk and discussions of blame. I am afraid ignorance and the lack of taking responsibility is rampant in our country. Too many of us leave it for someone else to solve –the “not our problem” attitude is prevalent in too many sectors of our society. I am old…I do not know what more I can do…so one day, I wrote I am putting forth “hope” in this world—it was the best I could offer. My statement was met with sarcasm and a reprimand of:” get off your __ ___ ___ and do something!” So NOW I am thinking–WHAT CAN I DO? I have no wealth by any stretch of the imagination… –raised my three daughters the best I could—championed and spoke up for the oppressed, fed the homeless, taught in a very conservative school district and continued to bring in literature from authors who were not White in my feeble attempt to open the children’s minds to other cultures and ways of being…every year I taught a unit on the Jewish Holocaust, though I am not Jewish and do not know anyone who is…was forced out in the end because of my creativity and progressive mind…(as were a few teachers preceding me and three of my friends after me…)…and NOW I sit here in a little house in the rural area and do not know what MORE I can do…because I do not have the means to drive out of here and walk the protest marches. I do send emails daily to members of Congress and make phone calls to encourage those people in office to help others, to help the environment———what more can I do? I do need direction…and, so again, I offer HOPE…I keep offering the best I have…because maybe if we all put forth a positive force, something good will happen…I often wondered about the Tibetan monks and hermits—and, I too, in my younger years, wondered, “WHY do they sit in their caves and pray…WHY don’t they do something?” …now, I have an inkling of WHY. However, I am open to concrete suggestions of action of what I can do to help this country, our people, the refugees, the immigrants, the homeless, …our children…our future….
    I enjoy reading your writing, Robert. You are doing a great service with keeping us aware of what is happening in our country and in our world.You are doing more than just “hoping.”

    • Thank you kindly, Johann. You have done and are doing what you can for your country – as have I. However, the worsening situation has spun out of control. I’m afraid America is speeding downhill and there’s no turning back. What’s worse is that it will take much of the rest of the world with it.

    • I feel your pain, johann. I understand what it’s like to feel helpless because you’re unable to do things you would like to do. But know this … every effort you make is worthwhile. And it fills the gap of those who simply sit on their behinds, wring their hands, mutter to themselves, and … do nothing! Keep up the good fight … even if it’s no more than putting a pen in your hand or sitting behind your computer to write and send emails to the people that count. The rest of us who recognize the dangers our country is facing are right behind you.

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