Detroit water shutoffs continue after judge says poor have no right to water 


September 29, 2014

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes on Monday refused to block the city from shutting off water to delinquent customers for six months, saying there is no right to free water and Detroit can’t afford to lose the revenue.

Rhodes’s order served as a stinging rejection of arguments made by thousands of protesters who staged rallies last summer fighting shutoffs and argued that there is a fundamental right to water service.

"There is no such right or law," Rhodes said.

A six-month ban on water shut-offs would boost the rate of customer defaults and threaten Detroit’s revenue, the judge added.

"The last thing (Detroit) needs is this hit to its revenues," the judge said.

Rhodes issued his ruling after two days of hearings last week and said he lacked the power to issue a water shut-off moratorium. Regardless, a lawyer for 10 residents failed to convince him there was justification for such a drastic step, he said.

Rhodes said residents do not have a right to receive water service “let alone service based on an ability to pay.”

Alice Jennings, an attorney representing the 10 residents fighting water shutoffs, said she was “disappointed but not surprised” by the judge’s ruling. Rhodes, she said, missed the issue of safety and underscored the irreparable harm that comes with the shutoffs.

"We will be looking at an appeal," Jennings said. "We believe there is a right to water and there is a right to affordable water."

The city’s policy of shutting off water to residents in one of the nation’s poorest cities briefly overshadowed the city’s historic bankruptcy case and debt-cutting plan, which hinges on spinning off the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to suburban counties.

The city started a more vigorous shut-off campaign in the spring compared to other years in an effort to get more people to pay their outstanding bills or get on a payment plan. Rhodes on Monday called the efforts a “bold, commendable and necessarily aggressive plan.”

About 24,000 city water accounts have been shut off this year. A month-long moratorium halting shutoffs ended in August and crews are now back to shutting off water to up to 400 accounts a day, DWSD officials said last week.

Residents, civic groups, and “The Avengers” actor Mark Ruffalo participated in mass protests in recent months fighting the city’s treatment of delinquent water customers. A pocket of protesters lined West Lafayette Boulevard outside federal court Monday.

Ten residents requested the moratorium, saying it would give the city time to establish a plan to better help those who can’t afford to pay their water bills. Lawyers for Detroit say such an order would encourage further delinquency, cause the department to lose revenues and lead to higher rates.

During closing arguments, Jennings argued the “hodgepodge” of programs designed to aid a limited group of residents facing water shut-offs isn’t good enough for the city plagued by widespread poverty.

Jennings told the judge that a “very brief” stop to shut-offs would give the city more time to craft a cohesive program.

Tom O’Brien, an attorney for the water department, has countered that a 10-point plan to educate and assist low-income residents wasn’t constructed overnight.

"It was developed," he said, and "was intended to be practical."

O’Brien also played up a fund outlined in the plan, and a separate pot of annual aid money called for in a proposed Great Lakes Water Authority.

"That’s significant money, it goes a long way," he said.

Detroit’s bankruptcy trial, meanwhile, resumes Monday, five days after City Council members reclaimed power over city government while agreeing to keep Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr in place for bankruptcy-related duties.

The deal means council will resume control over city departments, contracts and other day-to-day matters. Orr’s official removal will be effective if the city’s debt-cutting bankruptcy plan is confirmed.

Orr is expected to testify soon about the debt-cutting plan.


September 29 2014, 09:50 PM   •   967 notes  •   VIA   •   SOURCE



Don’t forget we have to wake up Green Day tomorrow.


September 29 2014, 09:50 PM   •   257,079 notes  •   VIA   •   SOURCE

can we talk about the fact that the top 5 singles in itunes right now are all by women and the 3rd is a collaboration between 3 women.
can we talk about that


can we talk about the fact that the top 5 singles in itunes right now are all by women and the 3rd is a collaboration between 3 women.

can we talk about that

September 29 2014, 09:50 PM   •   20,183 notes  •   VIA   •   SOURCE



This Man With Severe Cerebral Palsy Created Mind-Blowing Art Using Just A Typewriter

Last year, 22-time Emmy award-winning reporter John Stofflet posted this news video he created for KING-TV in 2004, featuring Paul Smith and his artistic talents.

See the full video to see more of Smith’s artworks and to learn more about his inspiring story go here. 

This inspires me so so much

September 29 2014, 09:50 PM   •   149,113 notes  •   VIA   •   SOURCE
September 29 2014, 09:49 PM   •   11,943 notes  •   VIA   •   SOURCE




i mean really, who doesn’t want to be a mermaid

the little mermaid

fucking christ

September 29 2014, 09:49 PM   •   464,099 notes  •   VIA   •   SOURCE
September 29 2014, 09:49 PM   •   11,182 notes  •   VIA   •   SOURCE


these two i swear

September 29 2014, 09:49 PM   •   3,151 notes  •   VIA   •   SOURCE






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In honour of King Gavin part 2, I finally decided to post these. They’ve been sitting in my drafts for ages.

i could not find a single picture of someone dressed up as the trials guy, so i just put jack’s beard on the official art instead

EDIT: It has come to my attention that I forgot to credit the original cosplayers. I am extremely sorry about this, and would like to apologise to all parties involved.

Gavin: (x)

Michael: (x)

Geoff/Master Chief: (x)  unfortunately, this was the only link to this photo i could find. if anyone else knows who the exact cosplayer is, please tell me and i will update my information

Ray/Tuxedo Mask: (x)

Ryan is David Tennant

Jack is artwork from IGN


September 29 2014, 09:48 PM   •   829 notes  •   VIA   •   SOURCE
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Body Posi Stickers!! Look out, Central Coast 😉 #handmade #xyroncreativestation #stickers #posibodyinspo #positivebodyimageinspiration #endbodyshame #positive #startlovingyourbody #bodyposi #bodyconfidence #bodylove #bodyacceptance #lovethyself #loveyourbody #positive #inspiring #inspirational


Body Posi Stickers!! Look out, Central Coast 😉 #handmade #xyroncreativestation #stickers #posibodyinspo #positivebodyimageinspiration #endbodyshame #positive #startlovingyourbody #bodyposi #bodyconfidence #bodylove #bodyacceptance #lovethyself #loveyourbody #positive #inspiring #inspirational

September 29 2014, 09:46 PM   •   16 notes  •   VIA   •   SOURCE
September 29 2014, 09:46 PM   •   1,042,938 notes  •   VIA   •   SOURCE
September 29 2014, 09:46 PM   •   160,043 notes  •   VIA   •   SOURCE




The Mystical World Of Mushrooms Captured In Photos

Most people consider mushrooms to be the small, ugly cousins of the plant kingdom, but theirs is  surprisingly beautiful and wonderful world waiting to be explored. These beautiful mushrooms, captured by enthusiastic nature photographers, are a far cry from the ones you find in the woods or your local grocery store.

Most mushrooms, as we know them, are actually just the reproductive structure of the fungus they belong to – their fungal networks expand far further underground, and some fungi don’t even sprout the sort of mushrooms that we’re used to seeing. In fact, depending on your definition of “organism,” the largest living organism in the world is a fungus – there’s a honey mushroom colony in Oregon that occupies about 2,000 acres of land! ( Bored Panda )


Nature is amazing.

September 29 2014, 09:45 PM   •   9,435 notes  •   VIA   •   SOURCE