Detroit water department http://michiganradio.org en Detroit has put water shutoffs on "pause"--but not across the board http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-has-put-water-shutoffs-pause-not-across-board <p>The Detroit water department recently announced a temporary break in its campaign to cut service to delinquent customers—but some people are still being shut off.</p><p>Last week, water officials agreed to a 15-day “pause” in water shutoffs, which have ramped up since March as the department tries to collect millions in delinquent payments.</p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18537 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit has put water shutoffs on "pause"--but not across the board Forget left and right on water shut-offs. Let's figure out how to fix the non-payment problem http://michiganradio.org/post/forget-left-and-right-water-shut-offs-lets-figure-out-how-fix-non-payment-problem <div><p><em>Update: The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has announced a 15-day suspension of its controversial shutoff campaign. &nbsp;</em></p></div><div><div class="gmail_default" style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal; display: inline;">​</div><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Unless you’ve been completely out of touch, you know that the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has been shutting off service to thousands of customers who haven’t paid their bills.</span><p><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">This has sparked huge controversy, protests and even condemnation from the United Nations. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes even got involved.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Last week, he told the deputy director of Detroit’s water department that shutting off water to city residents has, quote "caused not only a lot of anger in the city (but) also a lot of hardship."</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">And the judge added, "it’s caused a lot of bad publicity for the city it doesn’t need right now." That much is not in dispute. But not everyone is in agreement that this is an atrocity.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s emergency manager, supports the shutoffs, saying that the rule everywhere is that <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140716/METRO01/307160105/Orr-very-supportive-Detroit-water-shut-offs-nonpayment">“if you use water, you hav</a></span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140716/METRO01/307160105/Orr-very-supportive-Detroit-water-shut-offs-nonpayment">e to pay for it.”</a> He notes that there’s an assistance program, and says that if people are in trouble, “all they need to do is call.”</span></p><p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 16:15:05 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 18451 at http://michiganradio.org Forget left and right on water shut-offs. Let's figure out how to fix the non-payment problem Civil rights groups want to meet with Detroit officials about water crisis http://michiganradio.org/post/civil-rights-groups-want-meet-detroit-officials-about-water-crisis <div align="left"><p><font face="Tahoma"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Civil rights groups are asking to meet with Detroit officials about a controversial water shut-off campaign.</span></font></p><p><font face="Tahoma"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">The ACLU and the NAACP want to meet with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to find a “fair, humane, and meaningful review process,” which would include adequate notice and a hearing to determine whether individual water customers can’t or won’t pay their bills. </span></font></p> Sat, 19 Jul 2014 15:02:48 +0000 Lester Graham 18439 at http://michiganradio.org Civil rights groups want to meet with Detroit officials about water crisis One group in Detroit is providing water to those in need http://michiganradio.org/post/one-group-detroit-providing-water-those-need <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Detroit's water crisis is making world-wide headlines.</span></p><p>First came shut-off notices. Then water was turned off to nearly 15,000 customers in April through June, many of them low-income or seniors – or both.</p><p>The Detroit Water Brigade is one of the groups helping those who've lost water. The group has distributed over 300 cases of water in the past few weeks to Detroiters.</p><p>Deemeko Williams is the Chief Coordinator at Detroit Water Brigade.</p><p>“We provide lots of love, empathy, compassion, and we let people know that this is not their fault, but this now has become their fight,” Williams said. &nbsp;</p><p>Donations are coming from their website <a href="http://detroitwaterbrigade.org/">detroitwaterbrigade.org</a>, an Amazon wedding registry in the group's name set up to provide bottled water and supplies and resources hubs.</p><p>Williams said the best way to resolve the issue is to have the water board host a community meeting and let the thousands of residents who are suffering come and set up a payment plan.</p><p>Williams suggested that the meeting be help in Cobo Hall’s Grand River Ballroom from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for five days.</p><p>“We have 700,000 people that still live here in the City of Detroit, and the majority of them are falling through hard economic circumstances,” Williams said. “We call for an end to the shut off immediately!”</p><p>Williams says places like&nbsp;Comerica Park, Ford Field and Eastern Market are behind on their bills, yet still have running water.</p><p>“Joe Louis Arena owes $80,000. The V.A. hospital owes $131,000, and they are trying to run the buck on low-income and seniors to pay their bill and it’s unfair. It’s unjust,” Williams said.</p><p>To read more about Detroit water shutoffs click<a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/welfare-rights-group-backs-un-criticism-over-detroit-water-shutoffs"> here</a>.&nbsp;</p><p><em>*Listen to full interview above.&nbsp;</em></p><p><em>*<span style="line-height: 1.5;">If you’d like to find out more about the water shutoffs in Detroit, check the links below. You can also call 1-844-42-WATER if you live in Detroit and you’re water has been shut off.</span></em></p><p><em>-Bre'Anna Tinsley, Michigan Radio Newsroom.&nbsp;</em></p><p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 20:35:52 +0000 Stateside Staff 18362 at http://michiganradio.org One group in Detroit is providing water to those in need Detroit is shutting off water to delinquent customers. But is everyone getting the same treatment? http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-shutting-water-delinquent-customers-everyone-getting-same-treatment <p>In Detroit, controversy is raging over one of the few things the bankrupt city has in abundance: water.</p><p>So far this year, Detroit has shut off for 17,000 customers as it tries to collect millions in overdue bills.</p><p>But many residents are upset with how the city is going about it—and question whether some are getting special treatment.</p><p></p><p></p><p><strong>“Here we are, giving out water…and we still owe on the water bill”</strong></p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 21:57:10 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18337 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit is shutting off water to delinquent customers. But is everyone getting the same treatment? Welfare rights group backs UN criticism over Detroit water shutoffs http://michiganradio.org/post/welfare-rights-group-backs-un-criticism-over-detroit-water-shutoffs <p></p><p>The United Nations says recent water shutoffs at the homes of poor Detroiters are a violation of international human rights.</p><p>That came after a letter was sent this week to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.</p><p>The letter came from a coalition of welfare rights groups. They accuse Detroit's water department of putting poor people at risk with mass shutoffs.</p><p>Back in March, the city began to shut off water service to more than 150,000 delinquent customers who collectively owed more than $118 million.</p><p>One of the groups appealing to the United Nations is the <a href="http://www.blueplanetproject.net/">Blue Planet Project</a>, based in Ottawa, Ontario. We were joined today by its founder Maude Barlow.</p><p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 20:48:02 +0000 Stateside Staff 18164 at http://michiganradio.org Welfare rights group backs UN criticism over Detroit water shutoffs In this morning's news: Palisades re-opens, Detroit's water dept., MI attorney general election http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-palisades-re-opens-detroits-water-dept-mi-attorney-general-election <p><strong>Palisades returns to service</strong></p><p>The Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in southwestern Michigan re-opened yesterday after finishing repairs to a tank that leaked slightly radioactive water into Lake Michigan. The plant has had nine shutdowns since September 2011; company spokeswoman Lindsay Rose says the tank has been redesigned to guard against future leaks. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says there was no public health risk from the radioactive release.</p><p><strong>Detroit's water department</strong> <strong>faces restructuring </strong></p><p>Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has big plans to restructure the city’s water department. It would largely keep the same governing structure, with representatives from Detroit and surrounding counties, but the authority would also pay Detroit to lease the department’s assets.</p><p>“Orr’s plan suggests that spinning the water department off to an authority would allow it refinance its debt, and borrow more readily for capital improvements,” Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/theres-some-pushback-against-kevyn-orrs-plan-detroits-water-department">reports</a>.</p><p><strong>MSU law professor running for Michigan attorney general</strong></p><p>Michigan State University law professor, Mark Totten, announced yesterday that he is running for Michigan attorney general in 2014. Totten, a Democrat, used to be a federal prosecutor. Democrats will choose their attorney general candidate at a nominating convention next year; no other Democratic candidates have entered the race yet. Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette is expected to seek re-election.</p><p> Tue, 18 Jun 2013 11:41:58 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13101 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: Palisades re-opens, Detroit's water dept., MI attorney general election