officers cleared in ware shooting, questions linger

Well, the Washtenaw County Prosecutor, Brian Mackie, has weighed in on the matter of the David Ware shooting. According to the press release issued by his office, it was a clean shooting. I was surprised, seeing as how he admits in the release that the deceased was shot in the back while attempting to flee, but apparently the “clean shooting” bar isn’t too difficult to clear. If you know that someone is a felon, and if he’s known to have carried a weapon in the past, it’s apparently OK to shoot them in the back. Here, if you don’t believe my interpretation, is a clip from the press release.

Earlier this evening there was a public meeting here in Ypsi on the matter. I wanted to be there, but I had another meeting to attend. Hopefully one of my readers went and will post their notes here tomorrow. I imagine it wasn’t pretty. There was already discontent brewing, and I can’t imagine that it abated any with the issuing of a release that essentially said, “No, our officers didn’t seem to be in any immediate danger, but they shot and killed him anyway, and we’re OK with that.”

I’m not saying that they were right or wrong to have shot. Ware and his friend had tried to run down the arresting officers with their car. God knows that it was a tense situation. By the time the foot chase began, shots had already been fired. (Three shots had been fired at the driver of the car as it lurched toward officers.) The officers had to have been on-edge. If you can believe Mackie’s press release, they knew going in that Ware had a prison record and that he’d been known to carry a firearm. Clearly it wasn’t a good situation as the three officers began running down Arcade, in pursuit of Ware. Unfortunately, I don’t think that comes across in this press release. We don’t hear that the officers were concerned that he might run into a home, or that it looked as though he might have been going for a weapon. What I read here is that the officers chose to shoot Ware in the back instead of giving chase. At least the gist that I’m getting from Mackie’s retelling of events.

(Another curious thing…. Did anyone else notice that the deceased is named in the press release as David Eugene Ware, whereas in the press he’s been referred to as David Antjuan Ware? I assume we’re all talking about the same person, right?)

One last note. I thought I remembered a blog post a long time ago on Brian Mackie’s record as a prosecutor, so I went and poked around in the archives of Steve and Hillary Cherry’s old site. And, guess what? I wasn’t disappointed. I found this interesting post. I don’t know how much is relevant to our current case, but I thought that it was worth mentioning that some people in the community were questioning his civil rights record a long time ago. Hopefully, our local press gets actively involved in this case before the community loses patience.

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18 Comments

  1. mark
    Posted February 7, 2007 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    There was something in today’s Ann Arbor News. As they don’t archive their stories online for very long, I’m reprinting it here. (One day I’d like to initiate a letter-writing campaign, asking that they change their policy and keep all of their stories online. Will someone remind me of that?)

    No charges in police shooting
    Prosecutor rules death was justifiable homicide

    Wednesday, February 07, 2007
    BY SUSAN L. OPPAT
    News Staff Reporter

    No criminal charges will be filed against an Ypsilanti police officer who fatally shot a fleeing drug suspect in the back, the Washtenaw County prosecutor has ruled.

    David Ware, 29, was killed in Ypsilanti on Jan. 23 as he fled from Ypsilanti Police Officer Uriah Hamilton.

    Prosecutor Brian Mackie ruled that the shooting, which came during an undercover drug operation by area police, was a justifiable homicide.

    Police allege Ware sold suspected crack cocaine worth $2,800 to Hamilton, who was working undercover for LAWNET, the Livingston and Washtenaw Narcotics Enforcement Team. A Michigan State Police detective testified last week that Ware and a relative, Maurice T. Moore, 25, tried to flee when LAWNET officers moved in to arrest them after the sale.

    Ware ran from a parking lot on Huron Street at Forest Avenue to a nearby residential street. During a foot chase, Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Steven Hiller said, Hamilton yelled “Stop! Don’t make me shoot you,” then fired three shots that struck Ware.

    Hiller said Washtenaw Medical Examiner Bader Cassin reported that a bullet to the back killed Ware, who was not armed.

    Hamilton’s attorney, Michael J. Vincent, said the police officers were in a dangerous situation.

    “Officer Hamilton was chasing somebody whom he had been told on more than one occasion was armed,” he said.

    “Without question, this was a sad, tragic day for all involved,” Vincent said. “But I don’t know what the hell else he was supposed to do.”

    Vincent said Hamilton believed Ware was armed and didn’t know who was firing when Washtenaw Sheriff’s Detective Sam Wallace shot at Moore as he drove at Wallace in an attempt to flee. Mackie ruled Wallace’s shooting as self-defense.

    In a press release, Hiller said that “Michigan criminal law has never, and does not now require an officer to gauge the dangerousness of the felon when making the decision to use deadly force.”

    The undercover operation and shooting are the focus of a community meeting tonight at 7 p.m. with area residents who are angry that the incident took place in a residential neighborhood. The meeting with LAWNET is at the Ypsilanti Recreation Park Senior Center.

    Meanwhile, Moore faces preliminary examination in 14A District Court today on six felonies, including attempted murder.

    The death of Ware is the second case in Washtenaw County in the past seven months involving the death of a citizen during an incident with police. Mackie has yet to rule on whether charges will be filed in the death last June of Clifton Lee Jr., a 45-year-old Ypsilanti Township man who suffocated during an altercation with Washtenaw Sheriff’s deputies.

    “Each case is different, factually as well as procedurally,” Hiller said. “Some cases take longer than others. Evidence was gathered quickly in this one, and the issues were pretty clear-cut.”

    Susan Oppat can be reached at soppat@annarbornews.com or at 734-482-1166.

  2. mark
    Posted February 7, 2007 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    So, according to this article 1) it was the bullet in the back that killed Ware, 2) the officer that fired the shot was Ypsilanti’s Uriah Hamilton, and 3) Hamilton “believed Ware was armed and didn’t know who was firing when Washtenaw Sheriff’s Detective Sam Wallace shot at Moore as he drove at Wallace in an attempt to flee.”

    If this is true, it goes a long way toward answering the questions that I raised in my post. Clearly, if Hamilton thought the earlier shots were fired by Ware, that would help explain why the events unfolded as they did.

  3. idmta
    Posted February 8, 2007 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Essentially, the meeting wasn’t so much about the incident as the general behavior of the local/regional police. The police did that to themselves by sticking wtheir policy of not discussing the specific incident. I don’t know what else they expected to happen.

    I think I walked into the situation w/an open mind and a pretty functional understanding of both “sides of the fence” involved – that being the police and a disenfranchised community that feels bullied by them. People were pretty pissed and have valid (that’s an understatement) concerns. Police in this region are notoriously corrupt – more so than the average. I think everyone knows that the police aren’t inherently “bad” any more or less so than any other demographic. I also think (I don’t “think”, I know) that 99% of the bad ones are never reprimanded. And that’s definitely what people are angry about. And like I said, rightfully so.

    The Ypsi Police Chief pretty openly (explicitly maybe) say that they “shoot to kill.”

    One guy came forward with information about some pretty reckless firearms behavior regarding the officer who actually killed David Ware. Something about a raid and the guy shooting two pets (or one pet twice?) and discharging his weapon 10 ft. from a 4 (or 2?) year old child.

    I mean, I’d be the first person to say, “Yeah, let’s try to be objective, etc.”, but… It looks really bad (not just this incident, but the whole situation). It could go national if people stay focused and interested. That came up, too. Everything came up. People around here are really articulate and are voicing valid concerns.

    Steve Pierce has video of the event that he says he’ll have up on ypsinews.com by tomorrow. He got the whole thing – for anyone who wasn’t there (or even those who were), it’s really worth watching.

  4. oliva
    Posted February 8, 2007 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    It was a terribly moving meeting–terribly painful. I have many notes and can try to get them deciphered and typed out, but I’m grateful that Steve P. videotaped it because it’s difficult to capture the substance of the meeting in notes. But Mark did a fine job of raising key points without having been there. There were some amazingly well-delivered questions and comments from people in attendance, including David Ware’s family members. The guy idmta mentioned–he was mighty brave to speak up about the horrific event he’d observed in which the same officer who shot David Ware entered a home and began shooting at pets not far from a small child. And others were similarly brave and delivered smart questions and comments.

    I kept thinking about the whole “Two Americas” idea–not just poor and not-poor but the deep racial divide right here in our dear Ypsilanti. No question we have a lot of work to do to make things better in many ways. We exchanged names and email addresses, and I hope this helps set in motion real ways to start fixing some of the trouble. It’s real, and it deserves a lot of attention. I agree with Mark, and Ed P’s suggestion during the meeting, that we need the press’s involvement.

    One main idea that was raised several times is that we need an independent investigation–for the sake of justice, of the youth of Ypsilanti, of the health of our city.

    Thank you to Amanda B. and Ed P. and all the others who made the meeting a reality. I thought Chief Harshberger showed real compassion and concern, said he’d get started after the meeting arranging for David Ware’s family (children) to get the help they need from whatever organizations can help them deal with what they’re left with. Ed P. was helpful and knowledgeable, letting us know the county has grief services for family members and neighbors who’ve been affected by this tragic event.

    One respected community leader (someone with a last name like Angus but who I should know and not have to guess about his last name, obviously essential and beloved in the neighborhoods of the South Side) who described himself as a “360,” someone who turned things around completely–now devotes his life to helping the young people of the South Side–made the excellent point that David Ware could have become a “360” too if he hadn’t been killed. He also asked directly what he should tell young black people who are being chased by the police, and the head of LAWNET said, as directly, If a police officer tells them to stop, they should stop.

    I appreciate Chief Harshberger letting us know that in Michigan officers are trained to shoot to kill. I had no idea. Quite horrifying. To shoot at legs or head, for example, could mean missing the shot, so they go for the torso, the clearest target.

    Well, you can see why this was such a painful, disturbing meeting from just these small bits. But it was an immensely worthwhile meeting, and I’m grateful it happened.

    Take care, everybody–

  5. t.d. glass
    Posted February 8, 2007 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    I certainly hope that no one blamed David Ware’s family, as some did here immediately after the incident.

  6. oliva
    Posted February 8, 2007 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    No one blamed David Ware’s family. Everybody listened to their questions and statements attentively and respectfully–and with heavy hearts. Thank goodness they were there–and so many people.

  7. ebjorn
    Posted February 8, 2007 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    In Today’s (Thurs 2/08/07) AANews regarding the forum last night at the Senior Center:
    =====================================

    Ypsilanti residents want probe in death of unarmed suspect
    Thursday, February 08, 2007
    BY TOM GANTERT
    News Staff Reporter

    Several angry Ypsilanti residents on Wednesday night accused police of racism and asked for an independent investigation into a fatal shooting of an unarmed suspected drug dealer who was shot in the back while fleeing police Jan. 23.

    During a two-hour meeting at Ypsilanti Senior Center that drew about 50 people, criticism was directed at the Washtenaw County prosecutor for quickly clearing Ypsilanti Police Officer Uriah Hamilton of criminal charges after he shot David Ware, 29.

    Prosecutor Brian Mackie announced Tuesday that the shooting, which occurred in Ypsilanti during an undercover drug operation by area police, was a justifiable homicide.

    Many in the crowd, both black and white, criticized the police for shooting an unarmed man in the back.

    “Murder is not the answer to the drug problem in our neighborhood,” said Trey Allen of Ypsilanti.

    Christopher Kelly of Ypsilanti Township, who identified himself as a cousin of Ware, told the crowd that he’s lived in Washtenaw County for a while and has seen many men run from police.

    “Not one has been shot in the back until Jan. 23,” Kelly said.

    The meeting was attended by Ypsilanti Police Chief Matt Harshberger, Michigan State Police Lt. Garth Burnside and Washtenaw County Sheriff Dan Minzey. No one from the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office was present. The police officials told the crowd they could provide few details of the shooting because of an ongoing court case involving another suspect in the incident.

    In earlier reports, police said Ware sold suspected crack cocaine worth $2,800 to Hamilton, who was working undercover for a Livingston and Washtenaw County Narcotics Enforcement Team. Police said Ware and a relative, Maurice Moore, 25, tried to flee when LAWNET officers moved in to arrest them.

    During the police chase, according to reports, Hamilton yelled, “Stop! Don’t make me shoot you!” He then fired three shots that struck Ware, authorities said. Moore faces felony charges including attempted murder.

    Tyrone Bridges of Ypsilanti called Wednesday’s meeting a waste of time. He said it is about “renegade cops pulling triggers on unarmed people.” He suggested a picket of the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office.

    Many in the crowd were angry that the information and reports that Mackie used to make his decision against filing charges are not available to the public. Several times, animated discussions broke out between members of the crowd and police who said they could provide little information on specifics.

    Harshberger repeatedly told the crowd that police investigations are slow, but in time all the information would be available and they could talk more openly then. Harshberger said there also will be an internal review of his department’s policies.

    Chuck Ream of Scio Township showed up because he was concerned with the shooting. He told the crowd that if Ware was white, he would not have been shot.

    Juanita House of Ypsilanti was one of many residents who were concerned with police firing on suspects in neighborhoods.

    “We don’t want our residential neighborhoods turning into gun battles,” she said after the meeting. “That is very scary. There were a lot of unanswered questions here.”

    At one point in the meeting, Kelly stood up and addressed Minzey. “Is this your solution to jail overcrowding?” he asked. “It may sound sarcastic to you. It’s real to me.”

    Robert Hunter was one of a handful that called for the independent investigation.

    “You ought to be ashamed of yourself to shoot someone in the back over drugs,” Hunter told the three law enforcement officials.

    Harshberger said an independent investigation would have to be authorized by the City Council.

    Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber attended the meeting and said he was open to the possibility of an independent investigation. But he said the council needed to review all the reports before making a decision.

    Schreiber said he was also frustrated with the length of time it took for the investigations to be completed.

    Also attending the meeting were relatives of Clifton Lee Jr., who died June 1 during a struggle with Washtenaw County Sheriff’s deputies after he tried to intervene in a traffic stop involving a relative in Ypsilanti Township. The prosecutor’s office has yet to rule on whether charges will be filed in that death.

    “This effects everybody in this whole community,” said John Lee, a brother of Clifton Lee Jr.

    Tom Gantert can be reached at tgantert@annarbornews.com or 734-994-6701.

  8. schutzman
    Posted February 8, 2007 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Thank god this whole business has finally been settled.

    Now we can all move forward.

    I <3 Closure.

  9. egpenet
    Posted February 8, 2007 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    It is NOT over, Brett.

    As Councilwoman Richardson said to me during a long summertime conversation, in fact, “It goes way back.”

    Mackie’s “decision” concluded that under Michigan law, the events as they unfolded were not contrary to Michigan statutes.

    Mackie’s “ruling” will be followed by LawNet, YPD and Sheriff internal investigations, which will probe the specific details, procedures, planning and communication issues according to specific departmental rules. Findings could be raised that might warrant going back to the Prosecutor for further review.

    Both officers who fired their weapons are on administrative leave, pending internal reviews.

    My personal opinions are: (1) the decision to chase/not chase should be reviewed, (2) the duty history of the YPD officer, Uriah Hamilton, should be reviewed, (3) details of just what went down (minute-by-minute) need to be published.

    A citizen panel, voluntary at this point, since there is no budget for a city or county ombudsman, should be formed to provide the family and the neighbors a full accounting. The media, for which there is no budget, should do the same.

    It may eventually prove necessary to help the family of Mr. Ware raise funds for legal action.

    Further, as the facilitator for the meeting, I can say that the mood of the meeting was less of a protest and more like a somber inquest. Yes, there was familial protest, and there was racial historical vitrol, and there was a good deal of predictable victimization, as well.

    It’s obvisouly sad and terrifying for families whose family members/friends place THEM and their children, neighbors and even pets in harms way, because law enforcement must come into their neighborhoods and homes to enforce the law.

    I was very grateful for Cheif Matt, the LawNet representative from the State Police, and for the Sheriff being there. I’m glad Mayor Schreiber came. I wish there was more that they could say. But until Mackie releases his report and the internal investigations are complete, and until the case is made against Mr. Ware’s accomplice, we won’t know much more than we know now. “The wheels of justice” and all that …

    I think those of us who were there came to clearly understand two things … (1) law enforcement at any level, when called to respond, WILL take total charge of a situation and will use overwhelming force to do so; and (2) although our drug laws suck, no amount of cocaine is worth a life.

    One last partial thought …

    I couldn’t sleep last night, at least not soundly. I mentioned on Ypsidixit that all of the “pieces of the puzzle” involved in getting Ypsilanti into the 21st century are present, but that each piece is being guarded by its holder and none will agree on whose cardtable the puzzle should be reassembled. And so Ypsilanti is hiding under a bushel basket, unable to move forward. In THAT context, I was talking about promoting, marketing and selling Ypsilanti to build tourism and bring business into town.

    Today, I have a feeling that there is even more holding us back. Somehow reconciling with ourselves and our history would be an important step. I had a dream that kept repeating itself, which was all confused about the UGRR, Mary Starkweather, Elijah McCoy, and today’s drug dealing network … how some of our greatest moments in history in Ypsilanti have twisted and knotted themselves over time into dark streets, gunfire and death … no longer for freedom and equality, but for bags of money.

    I feel empty. I felt this way when Robert Kennedy was shot, and MLK, and Medgar, even Malcom X. The difference is that those men were running TOWARD a goal. Regretably, David Ware was running away.

  10. schutzman
    Posted February 8, 2007 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Sarcasm, dude.

    I figured my use of a ” <3 ” would make it fairly obvious.

    On a non-sarcastic note, I’ll just say that Ypsilantians can’t be reconciled with a history they themselves aren’t even aware of.

  11. oliva
    Posted February 8, 2007 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Ed–for being a very articulate (take that, Joe Biden), excellent facilitator last night and also for this post today. I’m sorry for your not-sleeping. I do relate, felt like my entire torso (heart plus all the other parts that are fair game in the shoot-to-kill instructions) had been through a chipper or, anyway, chopped up, food processor style. Had the feeling for hours, finally slept, awoke with the very same feeling. I’m so grateful for what got started last night and think the citizens’ panel is not just an excellent idea but essential. Waiting for the wheels to move will, it seems pretty obvious, do real damage to people’s sense of justice and safety. And to justice and safety themselves.

    Can’t thank you enough for your work to make last night possible. Thank you again.

  12. egpenet
    Posted February 8, 2007 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Brett … then, let’s start at the beginning.

    Oliva … thanks.

  13. schutzman
    Posted February 8, 2007 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Okay, but I’m not sure if you mean the glacial beginning, the Indian beginning, the French beginning, the British beginning, the Godfroy beginning, the American beginning, the Woodruff beginning, or the Woodward beginning.

    More seriously, I think it’s unwise to suggest that there’s some point at which Ypsilanti ‘turned bad’, as I don’t know of any historical period in which the same sorts of things weren’t happening.

  14. mark
    Posted February 8, 2007 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Great comments all the way around. Thank you, everyone, for joining in the conversation. It sounds like I missed a powerful meeting. I look forward to seeing it once Steve posts it over at YpsiNews.com.

  15. robr
    Posted February 8, 2007 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Hey, Ypsi’s had bad Ju-Ju since its earliest days.. Godfroys Trading Post = Liquor to the Natives… But I agree, to an extent with Ed, as at least in recent times, Ypsi seems to take the one step forward, two back approach…

  16. idmta
    Posted February 10, 2007 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    I’ve been speaking w/a very nice woman from the RNA and she asked me to pass these along in Mark “The Middle Man” Maynard’s forum:

    -Make a comprehensive list of people involved. If the RNA isn’t already, it’s a (very) good thing to stay in touch w/people from the south side of Michigan Ave in some way or another. Staying in contact w/other organizations is a good way to let it be known that the issue is still on the table and hasn’t been forgotten. That keeps people motivated. Everyone organization may have different ideas about things like what the best sort of direct action is, but letting others know (in-some-way-or-another) that the issue is still important is the best way to make sure that it’s seen through. If people feel like everyone else has lost interest, they’ll give up. Let it be known here-and-there that you still care.

    -Someone should call the NAACP/Urban League/ACLU. I’ve already started, but I’m just one voice. ACLU and NAACP have regional offices in Detroit. There’s an NAACP Ypsilanti/Willow Run branch. The representative from that office was at the meeting. A phone call to her (requesting assistance from the NAACP in terms of appealing the decision) can accomplish a lot of things. The man that introduced me to her was the outspoken man in back wearing the hat. She may be in contact w/that particular group of individuals. People on that side of Michigan Ave. have a lot of things to get upset about and are probably concerned that something new is going to come up and people will lose interest (the tenement fire, for example). I think south side residents would be the first to point out that this thing is usually restricted to their neighborhood and if swept under the rug, will go back to being something that the powers-that-be try to keep there.

    -Call any and all publications one can think of and find out who they have covering it. (I contacted a few and left a message. If they don’t call back, I’ll call again. And again if I need to). Let them know that if someone isn’t covering it, that someone from our community will. If qualification or time is an issue, volunteer me and I’ll do it. The list of concerned citizens will come in handy when the press/media calls back and needs people from the community to interview (the man w/the hat, the ‘360’ guy, etc.).

    -Collect information and share it. For example, maproomsystems had some interesting info up in the past 24 hours that they were able to capture before it went to the digital recycling bin. I copied and pasted the cached information so if I (or anyone else for that matter) needs it, it’s right there.

    -Letter writing is great, but keep in mind that if someone goes to Lansing (to visit family, for work, for a concert, whatever), stopping in to speak w/our representative is as easy as stopping at a restaurant to get dinner. Same goes for reps. in Washington DC – if anyone doesn’t know how to make these types of appointments, let me know and I’ll get information and pass it on. Go in and tell them how you feel. They will listen. And they will care. It’s no more or less difficult than making dinner reservations or going on a tour of an historic site.

    -Any and all law enforcement agencies have good and bad apples. I don’t know the sheriff or chief of police personally, but I’m going to assume they know that as well as anyone else does. And I think they’re probably good men and will do their job. And they’re definitely not dumb; they know that everything is in the wrong place right now: an unarmed minority shot in the back, a county prosecutor w/a poor civil rights record, an officer w/a history of pulling the trigger. It’s practical to assume they’ll do their job well and to leave them be. Until they do otherwise, treat them as neighbors and (willfully) public servants.

    -When I think about where people “sprawled” from Detroit, Inkster is the first place that comes to my mind. And I’ve met countless individuals in Ypsilanti (at the community college, at restaurants, walking by my front door) that when I ask where they’re from, they say the came here from Inkster to take a stab at a better life. It takes one false arrest for one of those people to be in a situation where they’re fighting to not get Locked In to poverty. For anyone who has ever fought that battle (for whatever reason), it can’t be likened to anything. It’s like trying to climb up a 45degree incline that’s coated w/ice, except you’re doing it w/your entire life. Last I knew, Ann Arbor was trying to develop a green belt. That means that Ypsilanti is the end of the line in terms of sprawl.

    -My final idea is that Ed (I think that was Ed) stated three simple goals. When this subject is on the table, don’t let anyone from either side of The Fence make it about anything else. If one looks at it as a cut and dry problem that can be dealt w/in a very pragmatic fashion, there’s no reason the community won’t “win”. There’s an overall problem and this is a good time to address it. Keep in mind that tackling one issue may very well solve several others. But pick one (or a select few) concrete goals and don’t let it become about anything else. There’s already been an inquest on the police and that inquest provided a lot of answers and those answers led to what appears to be the best place to focus efforts.

    Having the case turned over by the prosecutor should be really simple. Don’t lose interest, get distracted, or behave like anything other than a lady/gentleman, and everything should go well.

    After keeping up-to-date on the situation and hearing what everyone at the meeting had to say, those are the ideas I have.

    (And for what it’s worth, I’d like to give a Gold Star to the man that moderated the meeting the other night. He had by far the most difficult job in the room and is a perfect example of what I mean when I suggest that anyone involved should “behave like a gentleman.”)

  17. Anonymous
    Posted February 10, 2007 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    The Police Communty meeting video is up on Google. Go to http://video.google.com and search for ypsinews.com. Sort by date to see the latest videos.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3406411114568937449

    We have recently posted over 30 hours of new videos from city council meetings and other public hearings just in the past month. It has been a very busy month in Ypsilanti and hats off to everyone that helped record these meetings.

    If you would like to volunteer to help record more of these public meetings, we always need volunteers. Operating the equipment is very easy, it is great way to get involved, and learn more about your community.

    Cheers!

    – Steve

  18. oliva
    Posted February 10, 2007 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Steve, for videotaping the meeting(s) and making them available. I hope people get a chance to watch and listen to Wed. night’s meeting and then print out idmta’s supremely clearheaded post (just ahead of Steve’s) and get to work.

    Another Gold Star, please: this one for idmta.

    Following up on his many excellent suggestions and ideas, I have contact info. for Jeff Donofrio, from Congressman Dingell’s office, who has attended a whole lot of local events, representing his boss when Dingell couldn’t attend. Very approachable and engaged. That was when he was “field representative”; now he’s Dingell’s top aide. So the two are probably very busy these days, with Dingell chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. But it can’t hurt to try to reach him (and Alma Wheeler Smith, maybe even John Conyers too, although he’s also very busy right now and not our congressman):

    jeff.donofrio@mail.house.gov, 734-481-1112
    (Dingell’s general local number is 734-481-1110)

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