Curt Guyette

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Four Questions Gov. Snyder Must Answer During Congressional Testimony

Four Questions Gov. Snyder Must Answer During Congressional Testimony

2016-03-14 00:00:00

What we have come to learn about the Flint water crisis over the past several months—including the fact that a city of 100,000 people was left exposed to alarming levels of lead in its drinking water for nearly two years—has left our state reeling and our nation angry in disbelief.

But even more so, we—here at the ACLU of Michigan's Democracy Watch blog—aren’t just outraged by what we’ve uncovered through our investigations. We’re outraged by what we don’t yet know.

Democracy Watch: Gov. Snyder Tainted by Flint Water Crisis

Democracy Watch: Gov. Snyder Tainted by Flint Water Crisis

2016-01-11 00:00:00

The Flint water saga has taken some wild twists in the past few weeks.

Here’s a quick recap: On Dec. 29, 2015 – a day cynics would say was chosen to generate the least amount of coverage possible during the holiday lull – the Flint Water Advisory Task Force appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder issued a scathing critique of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s (MDEQ).  In part, task force members reported that:

Researcher: State Tried to Cover Up Child Lead Poisoning in Flint Following Switch to River Water

Researcher: State Tried to Cover Up Child Lead Poisoning in Flint Following Switch to River Water

2015-12-21 00:00:00

The State of Michigan attempted to cover up the fact that its own data revealed a significant spike in lead found in Flint children after the state forced the city to draw water from the Flint River, a researcher who studied the Flint crisis has alleged.

In a posting Monday on the website FlintWaterStudy.org, Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards accused the state of neglecting the lead-poisoning issue even though Michigan officials knew as early as summer 2014 that there was a problem.

Democracy Watch: Prosecution of Detroit Water Shutoff Activist Called 'Disaster'

Democracy Watch: Prosecution of Detroit Water Shutoff Activist Called 'Disaster'

2015-12-19 00:00:00

In the summer of 2014, as the City of Detroit was shutting off water to thousands of homes a week, a small group of activists resorted to civil disobedience in an attempt to draw attention to the crisis.

They gathered before sunrise on East Grand Boulevard, outside a facility operated by Homrich, the demolition/environmental contractor paid more than $5 million to conduct the shutoffs.

The protestors’ goal was to prevent shutoff crews from being dispatched that day. About 20 people marched, chanted, sang songs, and blocked the gate to the company’s parking lot. 

Democracy Watch: Politics Compel EMU Board To Keep EAA Alive

Democracy Watch: Politics Compel EMU Board To Keep EAA Alive

2015-12-10 00:00:00

In a move characterized by critics as both overtly political and terribly damaging, the Board of Regents for Eastern Michigan University on Tuesday decided to keep the controversial Education Achievement Authority breathing when the board ducked a vote that could have pulled the plug on this abject failure.

The test subjects of this misguided educational experiment have been the children attending the 15 low-performing Detroit schools that Gov. Rick Snyder placed in the EAA when he created it four years ago.

Democracy Watch: EAA Earns Failing Marks on Openness

Democracy Watch: EAA Earns Failing Marks on Openness

2015-12-02 00:00:00

Last December, regents for Eastern Michigan University put the Education Achievement Authority on notice, saying that a number of severe problems had to be addressed in the coming year for the controversial school district to remain in existence.

Conceived by the Snyder administration as an experimental approach to educating students in the state's lowest-performing schools, the EAA has been a profound failure since it first began operating 12 Detroit schools as well as overseeing three charters in the fall of 2012.

Revised EPA Memo Raises Troubling Questions Amid Flint Water Crisis

Revised EPA Memo Raises Troubling Questions Amid Flint Water Crisis

2015-11-11 00:00:00

The ongoing Flint water crisis generated headlines last week when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report warning that road work or hydrant flushing could shake loose toxic lead particles from rusted pipes and that residents needed to be notified about such work in order to protect themselves.

But what is not included in the EPA report is at least as significant as—and perhaps even more worrisome than—what the report does contain.

Dangerous Water and Lost Trust in Flint: Why the Feds Need to Step In

Dangerous Water and Lost Trust in Flint: Why the Feds Need to Step In

2015-10-06 00:00:00

In the past few weeks, the problem of lead in Flint’s drinking water has quickly gone from being a story largely ignored by the mainstream media to a scandal that’s making headlines nationally.

Faced with overwhelming evidence, state and local officials who adamantly insisted for months that there was no problem have been forced to admit that their unequivocal assurances were completely false.

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EXCERPTED FROM THE METRO TIMES Sitting on the front porch of the Highland Park duplex she owns, Michelle Belton looked out on what used to be Cortland...
In 2015, to mark the first anniversary of Flint’s fateful switch to river water, about 100 Flint residents marched through their city’s downtown in protest. “...
WASHINGTON—There was much partisan heat generated, but very little light shed, when Gov. Rick Snyder and U.S. EPA administrator Gina McCarthy appeared recently...
What we have come to learn about the Flint water crisis over the past several months—including the fact that a city of 100,000 people was left exposed to...
The State of Michigan attempted to cover up the fact that its own data revealed a significant spike in lead found in Flint children after the state forced the...
In a move characterized by critics as both overtly political and terribly damaging, the Board of Regents for Eastern Michigan University on Tuesday decided to...
Last December, regents for Eastern Michigan University put the Education Achievement Authority on notice, saying that a number of severe problems had to be...
The City of Flint took center stage Wednesday during a meeting of water experts considering proposed changes to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “...
The ongoing Flint water crisis generated headlines last week when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report warning that road work or...
When Gov. Rick Snyder and a clutch of other officials stood shoulder-to-shoulder in Flint on Thursday to announce that the city would soon be returning to the...
In the past few weeks, the problem of lead in Flint’s drinking water has quickly gone from being a story largely ignored by the mainstream media to a scandal...
July 16, 2015 Michigan Water Crisis
ACLU of Michigan investigative reporter Curt Guyette (pictured), who has been reporting extensively on the mounting water crisis in financially strapped...
It took a while for LeeAnne Walters to realize the full impact of the number: 13,200. Walters—a stay-at home mom with four sons and a husband in the Navy—had...
March 04, 2015 Democracy Watch
After six years of state control, this much is beyond debate: Emergency management has neither fixed the finances of Detroit Public Schools nor provided even...
February 26, 2015 #TBT
With a history of civil liberties stretching back almost a century, the ACLU has got plenty of amazing cases for #TBT. Every Thursday, we'll be sharing updates...
February 25, 2015 Democracy Watch
The idea of charging some customers less than others for water might seem counter-intuitive at first, but once economist Roger Colton explains why it makes...
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