Community activist Sheila Crowell points to one of two huge hills of contaminated soil excavated during construction of Munger Middle School and left for the kids. Photo taken 8/30/12 Diane Bukowski

From:  Sheila Crowell, Mother,  Resident, Homeowner, Advocate,  Community Leader who Fights for All. 

Sheila Crowell shows depth of standing water.

To:   Detroit Public Schools officials 

Photos taken by Sheila Crowell in June and July, 2012

August 22,2012

As each of you know, I have talked to you through email, including showing a few of you the Standing Water which is located located between the two hills of contaminated soil on the Edsel Ford W. side of the school. Water has been there for months, no one is doing anything about this mess. Water stands in the street by the curb because of the water that comes from this area on school property.

Standing water between two contaminated hills on Munger grounds after rainstorm.

As each of you know the West Nile Virus is bad this year. People of all ages walk, run, even ride bikes on the street and sidewalk on Edsel Ford West.

Neighborhood also affected by water draining from contaminated soil on Munger grounds.

Also please do not forget the residents who live on Larkins only yards away from this standing water, also having to face the standing water problems from the DPS property each time it rains hard, causing standing water to lay between DPS property line and Ironside, because of what?

As you should know, I have too many pictures to prove what I have said.

Kids with bikes playing on Munger’s contaminated hills during summer.

What about the youth who are riding their bikes onto the hills? All it would take is for one to slip and fall into the standing water that has laid for months. When winter comes, the water will freeze, meaning it will never leave.  Am I the only person that cares about the safety of our residents of all ages?

A dedication was held for the new Munger on August 25, 2012. What we found odd was the attention the DPS gave to the dedication by cutting the grass in the tennis court; this was the first time in 2012.

Summer rains flooded street in front of Munger.

You can cut grass when it benefits you, yet the DPS cannot or will not do anything about a horrible problem such as standing water which could cause great harm to others, just like the lack of cutting down 15 feet of weeds that are located on the DPS property behind Munger school.

Munger grounds flooded as well, showing patches which need to be investigated for contamination.

I have been asking for 2 years for the DPS to help our youth and all be safe that go into the DPS owned park. This is not a bush, it is a baseball diamond covered in weeds that you for some reason will not take care of just like the standing water!!!

Pile of contaminated dirt left during construction–was it covered over by hills?

August 2, 2012 

Chadsey High School demolition after numerous reprieves occasioned by student walk-outs over the years. What happened to all that wreckage?

As many of you know, a new school was built replacing the old Chadsey High & Munger on Martin in the 48210 Claytown Neighborhood.

The reasons for my email to you all are:

1. McGraw: Street is missing “curbs” at school site next to the berm on McGraw. Some were installed others parts were not.

Sewer on street in front of Munger backed up in flood.

2. Martin: A line of “patching” was so called done from Martin to Edsel Ford W along the street  next to the sidewalk. This action caused one of the city sewerage drains to back up along the front of the new school on the city’s street with standing green water about 2/3 inches. I was told it was the tarring of the street that caused the drain to be stopped up. It has been drained,  at the same time part of the drain was broken. The next rain will tell if it was unplugged the right way or will it cause more problems? This also put’s our “lives in danger”.

Holes left in mud after rain brought contaminated soil onto sidewalk.

3. The contaminated soil from the two hills which is on the DPS property, has run not only onto the DPS school driveway & sidewalks, also the contaminated soil has run down the sidewalks onto Edsel Ford W, covering more drains at the same time putting lives in danger. With each rain this action will continue to take place. In the winter it will become ice, putting all “lives in danger.”

4. At the bottom of the two hills is a somewhat flat area of land, which fills up with water, also causing the contaminated soil to run onto the sidewalk etc., leaving it for days with standing water. Last rain was 5 days ago, as of yesterday water was still laying on this area. So with each rain we have, the contaminated soil will run from the two hills putting all our “lives in danger.”

On Aug. 30, 2012, area between two hills on Munger ground was covered with mud and strange scaly materials left over from previous rain. Diane Bukowski photo.

4. Edsel Ford W has been beat up so badly from the heavy trucks that came from the DPS site there are more hole in the street than you would want to count, also putting “lives in danger.” Not only EFW, Martin, McGraw, Cecil, Pittsburg, Barden. The DPS is responsible.

“Handicapped” parking space outside Munger.

5. Sidewalk with the handicapped plate, which is located at EFW & Larkins has contaminated  Soil on this area where the contaminated soil has run down the street from the problems of the two hills.

5. Concert has been poured, hardened, and left in the “alley between Larkins homes” at EFW by the DPS workers installing the iron fencing along with two buckets. My son cuts the alley [grass] and has for “years,” helping to make it safe & clean.

The City of Detroit also has a responsibility to both property owners on each side of the alley. The DPS does not keep up its responsibility; fencing is rusted, broken and dangerous, weeds growing, wires hanging.  My son can do only what he can, at the same time “not placing himself & his wife in danger”, because the DPS has no sense of responsibility for anyone walking, running, riding, anyone living on Larkins. Putting all “lives in danger”.

Workers cleaning up after floods on Munger grounds.

I ask that you call me, meet with me, please help me to help our residents be safe. The DPS  wanted to tear down two schools then build one school, the DPS has a true responsibility to each of our homes and lives, not putting our “lives in danger.”

This is not right nor fair to the City of  Detroit. These problems add to the too many problems we already have. Please we do not need any more problems added to our homes, lives and Claytown Neighborhood.

“To cause harm to another is unacceptable from anyone.”

Why were sewers patched by workers during rain? Ms. Crowell said similar material was layered under the contaminated hills during construction.


Decomposed dead dog on Munger grounds during construction. Was the carcass buried under the mounds on which kids will play?

VOD editor: Ms. Crowell reported violations to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality during this period. VOD is currently reviewing documentation of those reports and any actions taken to remediate hazards, and will report back shortly.

Youth play basketball at bottom of contaminated hill next to Munger on August 30, 2012.

VOD visited the Munger grounds with Ms. Crowell on Aug. 30, 2012. There had been no rain, but the two hills of contaminated soil were still there, with a strange looking patch of scaling, crackled mud left from previous storms in between them (see photo above).

We watched as youth played basketball on a court adjacent to the mounds, and women with their babies in buggies enjoyed the weather, walking through the Munger grounds next to the mounds. 

The historic Chadsey High School housed students of all races for decades in Detroit. Students conducted several walk-outs to stop its closing.

Detroiters voted for the Proposal S DPS half-billion dollar bond with the expectation that they would be provided with good, safe schools for their children.

Instead, Chadsey High School, one of the most acclaimed in the city, and a gorgeous historic building, is now gone, as is the old Munger Elementary. In their place is a modern-looking building on grounds that are a danger to the students and the neighborhood.

Veronica Wright of Chadsey High School protests the proposed closure of her school, as Stewart Elementary School student Satin Berry points to sign supporting her, in March, 2005. Mr. and Mrs. Daniel McDonald hold the sign. Both historic schools have since been closed along with at least half of the schools that existed in Detroit in 2000.

The Detroit City Election Commission just voted to put a renewal of that bond on the November ballot, after DPS EFM Roy Roberts slipped his proposal to them with no publicity. (Story coming.)

Detroiters must stop providing profits for construction companies like Walbridge Aldinger, which is closely tied to Gov. Rick Snyder, and vote NO on the so-called “renewal.”

The Katrina-style devastation of the Detroit Public Schools system is an unforgiveable crime against the children.

Contact Sheila Crowell at

2010 groundbreaking brochure shows companies which profited from Proposal S.

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