Focus Macomb Newsletter
Macomb Matters June 2020 Issue 70
- Message from Mark
- Employee Focus
- Employee Accolades
- New Hires/Retirees
- Meet the Department
- Macomb County’s COVID-19 response continues
- Local organization addresses growing need for mental health services
- For Your Benefit - Digital services offered through county health plans
- Perks at Work
- Providing support by keeping it casual
- 2020 Census
- Paw Print
- Recipe Corner - Ice Cream in a Bag
- Event Calendar
- Blog Log
- News Nook
Message from Mark
Hello and welcome to the latest edition of Macomb Matters. I’d like to begin my note by saying thank you to the county workforce. The last three months have been hard. But our staff has responded to every challenge with a positive attitude and a willingness to contribute. For instance, we’ve had employees volunteer for work outside their normal duties. They delivered Meals on Wheels, distributed PPE and packaged food for local pantries. We’ve also had employees reassigned and departments step up when called to do so. Our elected officials and department leaders have continued to be part of the solution and for that, I am grateful.
I also appreciate how flexible you have all been with the changes implemented over the last few months. Whether this was working from home or participating in the new workshare program, our staff has been understanding and open to all of our policy updates. HR has been working hard to put your welfare first. I want to commend Andy and his team for the many long hours that have been spent interpreting ever-evolving circumstances for your best interests.
Thank you for your patience on these matters. I am so proud of Team Macomb.
Take care everyone,
Meet Jeff Bednar, the environmental resources manager in the Macomb County Public Works Department. Jeff joined Public Works in September 2017 and serves as the primary liaison and advisor regarding water resources to the Public Works Commissioner Candace S. Miller. He oversees efforts to reach out to local municipalities, individuals and businesses to find ways to preserve and protect water quality. He spends a lot of time managing projects with regional, state and federal partners as well, and assists with spill response 24/7.
“The most rewarding aspects of my career include not only improving water quality, but also improving the quality of life,” said Jeff. “It’s great to have the support of both County Executive Hackel and Public Works Commissioner Miller. I see us as a part of a team, building a community where businesses thrive in an environment that supports all of the natural wonders around us.”
The job hasn’t been without its challenges. “The biggest by far was in seeing how far behind our office was in technology when I first arrived. Thankfully, with great support from the County Board of Commissioners, we have been making big strides in the way we store and manage data. Some of our maps and drawings date back to the 1800’s!”
The data is being preserved and organized digitally, says Jeff, which will allow the department to “better evaluate the condition of our existing assets and build a plan for preventative maintenance.” The transition in technology is also enabling the department to better serve customers, and improve response time.
Technology has also helped Jeff and the department serve the community during the current public health emergency. They are managing services and personnel remotely whenever possible, says Jeff, adding: “We are quickly becoming experts in every type of call-in and video conferencing tools in existence!” That being said, there is still a lot of field work to be done, and the team’s mission to improve water quality and protect water resources is uncompromised.
Jeff is fully invested in water safety, conservation and preservation. “The two greatest sources of water quality problems in the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair are polluted water runoff and illicit discharges,” said Jeff. “Macomb County is committed to a long-term, sustained effort to preserve and protect those resources.” Jeff’s commitment to these efforts reaches beyond his career at Macomb County. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Clinton River Watershed Council and teaches hydraulics and hydrology at the University of Detroit Mercy. He also served as the Chair of the Michigan Stormwater Floodplain Association.
Outside of work, Jeff is active in community theater and music ministry. He has performed in many musicals including Les Misérables, Jesus Christ Superstar, Little Mermaid, Titanic and the Hunchback of Notre Dame. He attends St. Kieran Catholic Church in Shelby Township. He also enjoys trail running, hunting and kayaking.
Jeff and his wife Mary have both made careers out of serving their communities, and their children are following in their footsteps. Their son Noah is a recent graduate of Michigan Tech, where he studied Environmental Engineering. Their daughter Emily is in the Autism Studies Masters’ Program at St. Mary’s College and their daughter Rose is a sophomore at the UAIS. They have two Wirehaired Pointing Griffons and take care of his mom’s “aging, but quite happy, Pomeranian.”
Jeff is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame in Civil Engineering (Water Resources). He attended Notre Dame on an NROTC scholarship and served as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy. Prior to joining the county, Jeff spent 20 years as a water resources senior project manager for a private municipal consulting firm based in Macomb County.
County employees take on special assignments
On March 13, 2020, Macomb County declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that day, county leaders and personnel have been on the ground ensuring essential services continue for residents. This includes the delivery of Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors, the distribution of shelf stable food at the Macomb Food Program and the packaging of personal protective equipment for those in need.
Prior to the coronavirus crisis, the majority of these tasks would be performed by public volunteers. But when the statewide stay-at-home order was put in place, that changed and the county had to turn to its workforce to get the job done. All told, more than 175 employees answered that call for help.
Jennifer Bruzzese, a consultant with Human Resources and Labor Relations, was one of those individuals.
“These assignments help you experience the county’s mission at its core - and that’s helping people,” she said. “I’m proud to be a part of that.”
Over the last several weeks, Bruzzese has taken on a variety of roles, which she performs with the approval of her manager during her regular work hours. She has assembled care packages for vulnerable populations, handed out food at local pop-up distribution sites and delivered Meals on Wheels to senior citizens.
“There are so many people in our community who are in need and who rely on the county for essential support,” she said. “For instance, being a part of the Meals on Wheels program is so much more than delivering food. We perform a daily wellness check that ensures the health and safety of homebound, vulnerable individuals, which can save lives.”
Bruzzese credits her supportive team at the Department of Human Resources and Labor Relations for allowing her to schedule time to assist in these assignments. Other departments taking action include Equalization, which has a small staff of 10. As of Friday, May 22, Equalization’s staff had completed 116 assignments, or 11 percent of all requested tasks, a huge accomplishment considering that Equalization represents around 0.0037% of the county staff
“Everyone is rallying together knowing how important this work is,” Bruzzese said. “It feels good to join with my county co-workers and make a positive impact on our community.”
In addition to the positive feelings associated with getting involved, county employees receive a gratuity payment for each hour they are reassigned. This means individuals working in controlled environments are paid an extra $3 per hour, and those working in uncontrolled environments are paid an extra $5 per hour.
For those interested in getting involved, there are many opportunities available. Though, Meals on Wheels and its delivery program has the greatest immediate need.
“When I’m out with Meals on Wheels, the recipients are so appreciative..it warms my heart,” Bruzzese said. “And I feel safe in that role too, as the county provides all of the necessary personal protective equipment, like gloves, face masks and hand sanitizer.”
If you’re interested in taking on an assignment like Bruzzese, or signing up for something else, here’s how to get involved:
- Check with your supervisor to get approval.
- Work with your department reallocation contact, the individual responsible for assigning staff to various work assignments. This person will have access to current positions and can coordinate your interests and availability.
- Sign up by the end of the day, the day before the assignment.
- Report to your position on your scheduled day/time.
**Please note: Each department reallocation contact and payroll clerk is responsible for tracking the hours their employees are eligible for gratuity payments. Staff will need to record and report their time to them.
It’s a simple process, are you ready to help us help others? Macomb County needs you. Please answer the call.
For questions, contact human resources at Human.Resources@macombgov.org.
Click here for a list of New Hires/Retirees
Meet the Department
Lake St. Clair CISMA
Residents and neighbors of Macomb County love our beautiful parks and access to natural resources. In fact, we hear time and again how much they enjoy the opportunities for kayaking, fishing, boating, biking, hiking, running, swimming or simply getting outdoors with family and friends. To ensure these opportunities remain accessible and to expand recreation in the future, a dedicated team of professionals work behind-the-scenes to manage resources and plan for what’s next.
McKenzi Waliczek is one part of that team. Hired in 2018 through grant funding from the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program, Waliczek serves as the Lake St. Clair Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) Coordinator. Her position, which operates out of the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development, works collaboratively with partners to raise awareness about invasive species and advise partners and the public on best practices for invasive species management. She hosts trainings and events, provides outreach materials, manages websites and social media, presents to local groups and oversees grants to control invasive species and restore native landscapes. Over the past two years, she has:
- Treated over 1,176 acres of invasive species
- Surveyed over 83,000 acres
- Reached 196,368 individuals through media, events and other outreach efforts
- Held over 20 free public events (mobile boat washes, MISIN mapping events, etc.)
“I’m proud of our efforts to raise invasive species awareness and help build a resilient landscape to strengthen our natural communities,” Waliczek said.
A major focus for the CISMA has been the removal of phragmites, an invasive reed species. According to government sources: “Phragmites can rapidly form dense stands of stems which crowd out or shade native vegetation in inland and estuary wetland areas. Phragmites turns rich habitats into monocultures devoid of the diversity needed to support a thriving ecosystem. Non-native Phragmites can alter habitats by changing marsh hydrology; decreasing salinity in brackish wetlands; changing local topography; increasing fire potential; and outcompeting plants, both above and belowground. These habitat changes threaten the wildlife that depend on those wetland areas for survival.” The reed also rapidly degrades infrastructure like roads and creates visual impairments for drivers, as phragmites grow along road right-of-ways. This makes it a public safety issue.
But removal of the plant, which can grow to 20 feet in height, is not that easy. You cannot simply mow or pull it from the ground because phragmites have a dense root network. In fact, their roots can go down up to two meters in depth, while spreading horizontally 10 or more feet. Simply put, this plant is a pest that requires serious attention.
Thanks to federal grant funding, Waliczek has been able to coordinate a 2019-2021 pilot project that will explore various control methods, like cut to drown, in three Macomb County townships. For instance, last year, she oversaw phragmites treatment and management in:
- Harrison Township at the Murdock Ballard Relief Drain
- Shelby Township in portions of the Disco Drain near 25 Mile
- Clinton Township at a detention pond close to the Clinton Township Fire Station
As of April, Waliczek and CISMAs across the state had to pause their efforts in response to COVID-19 and the state of Michigan’s spending freeze. But stay tuned to https://www.sixriversrlc.org/lsc-cisma for updates and for future calls for help. The public’s assistance with reporting invasive populations could provide a major boost in the fight against this threat in Macomb County and beyond.
Pictured: McKenzi Waliczek with a Red Swamp Crayfish, an invasive species in Michigan.
Pictured: Phragmites control efforts in Macomb County.
Healthstyles can help you "Win by Losing"
The Healthstyles committee is always looking for new ways to connect with employees and encourage them to establish and achieve their health goals. This past fall/winter, some committee members were able to participate in a FREE program sponsored by Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BCBS) called Win by Losing.
At its core, it looks like any other weight loss program. Participants email/text their weekly weights each Friday during the nine week competition. The team captain tracks all the weights and reports the team's progress to BCBS. The members of the committee that have tried it have lost weight, (the Wellness Warrior team came in 8th place out of 72 this past session!!) but they have tried to make it more than just weight loss. BCBS includes a very nice "Tool Kit" with the program to help set up your "healthy" goals. The "Tool Kit" has recipes, meal plans and tools that participants can follow whether they wish to lose weight or just maintain a healthy weight. This program is open to any employee even if BCBS is not their current health insurance carrier. Teams can be made up of 10 or less participants, 11-29 participants, 30-59 participants, or 60 or more participants. The top winner in each category wins a trophy and tumblers for their participants.
The Healthstyles committee found that having a team captain and a team of no more than 10 participants kept the tracking simple and made the group more manageable. Their team came from seven different county departments and they communicated through emails and text. You can set up your team with just employees from your department and have a weekly weigh-in. The beauty of this program is that it can be customized to work best for the individual team. For instance, the Healthstyles team captain, Claudette Wizniuk, sent out weekly reminder emails to weigh-in and included helpful hints from the BCBS resources along with little snip-its of her own journey. This fostered an environment where participants shared their successes instead of focusing just on the weight. The best take-away from this program, for those who have participated, is the support that they have given each other, and even though the program has ended, the group still continues to check in weekly with each other so they can continue to maintain their healthy choices and goals!
Now that the committee has two sessions under their belts, Healthstyles would like to get more employees involved when Win By Losing starts up again at the end of September 2020. The fall session concludes just before Thanksgiving so you can get your healthy eating and exercise habits all in place before the holiday season. You will want to be on the lookout for more information in August, but start talking to your co-workers NOW to see who wants to Win by Losing with you!!!
Macomb County’s COVID-19 response continues
Macomb County leaders and personnel have been on the ground responding to the COVID-19 crisis since mid-March. Together, this group managed emergency operations, continued vital Health Department services, provided support to those in need through Macomb Community Action programming and helped the local business community.
It’s now the end of June. The curve of the coronavirus has flattened and the economy is reopening, but there is still work to be done in the fight against COVID-19. The county is therefore remaining vigilant to keep the community safe. To help in these efforts, please remember to take practical steps for protecting yourself and others. Wear face coverings, wash your hands and social distance as best you can. These actions are small, but they can save lives.
Local organization addresses growing need for mental health services
A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 45 percent of adults in the United States have felt a negative impact on their mental health due to COVID-19. A number of factors play a role in that report, including fear of the virus, loneliness due to social distancing and stress related to financial insecurity. And it isn’t likely that those issues will be solved for some time.
It’s clear - there is a growing mental health crisis in our country - and Macomb County Community Mental Health (MCCMH) is on the front lines.
“We try to make sure no one falls through the cracks,” said Crystal Bouissi, director of Community and Behavioral Health Services for MCCMH. “People are feeling isolated, but we’re here to help.”
MCCMH was founded in 1974 as a local Community Mental Health Services Provider for individuals with and without insurance who have severe, unstable and highly complex mental health issues. Bouissi has been with the organization for 19 years, first serving as a case manager. She cites working with people and helping them improve their lives and their overall functioning as a driving force in her career.
“My time as a case manager working closely with families and sharing in their daily struggles impacted me deeply,” she said. “It has motivated me to ensure that individuals can live as independently as possible in the community.”
In her current role as director of Community and Behavioral Health Services, Bouissi helps oversee a variety of programs, including the crisis center, peer support and the Children’s Mobile Crisis Unit, which provides in-home or community-based intervention services to children and their families to prevent hospitalization and to save lives.
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, many of these programs involved work in the community or some type of face-to-face service through MCCMH’s six local facilities. With a workforce of more than 1,000 therapists, case managers, social workers, doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, peer support specialists and administrators, the organization serves more than 17,000 individuals and families every year.
“We take a well-rounded approach to treating an individual - addressing the needs of their mind, body and soul,” Bouissi said. “We deal with all of their symptoms and the causes of those issues so they can hopefully live normal, independent lives. That’s why we have medical personnel, licensed mental health professionals and peer support specialists, who have been through our programming and can relate to someone who is suffering and needs help. They express understanding and share their stories, which eases the transition into treatment.”
When COVID-19 began to spread in Michigan in early March, MCCMH leaders started adjusting these services to ensure the health and safety of staff and clients.
“MCCMH worked to implement emergency strategies that ensured no interruption in our programming,” Bouissi said. “This meant having about 80 percent of our staff providing telehealth support for psychiatric services, therapy, applied behavioral analysis, mobile crisis, diversion and group therapy. However, MCCMH nurses and other staff continue to work face-to-face with high risk consumers that require monthly medication management and crisis services via in person visits on an ongoing basis.”
With no immediate end in sight for the COVID-19 pandemic and financial insecurity on the rise, these types of services will become even more essential. Especially for individuals who have never accessed mental health support and do not know where to turn.
“We are starting to see a slight increase in calls from individuals who have not used our services before,” said Dr. Agnes Ward, a licensed psychologist and the chief clinical officer for MCCMH. “COVID-19 has caused new issues for people and there are certainly new cases of anxiety. People are worried about contracting the virus and other existential issues like death.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, those experiencing anxiety can feel nervous, restless or tense; have a sense of impending danger, panic or doom; have an increased heart rate; breathe rapidly; sweat; tremble; feel weak or tired; have trouble concentrating or thinking; have trouble sleeping; experience GI problems; and/or have difficulty controlling worry. Knowing these symptoms can help individuals who may be dealing with this mental health issue for the first time.
“In my public training sessions, I educate people on how they can address this condition and other concerns around COVID and mental health,” said Dr. Ward. “I recommend adding structure to each day by scheduling routines. It’s also important to stay active, maintain connections with family and friends, practice a hobby, and, for individuals who are working from home, to establish a boundary between work and private life.”
She also recommends using the myStrength application, an online service that is free for Macomb County residents. “It’s a great entry point for individuals that might be too nervous to call our office,” she said.
Residents can access the program by visiting www.mystrength.com, clicking “Sign Up” and entering the code “MCCMHcomm” - which will enable free service. After completing a profile, the application will build a personalized action plan with resources, goals and a daily progress tracker.
For individuals that feel their condition is more severe and that help is needed beyond the app, Dr. Ward recommends getting in contact with MCCMH.
“If you don’t know where to turn, I ask that you just give us a call,” she said. “We have a wide array of services, and chances are, we have something for you. If we don’t, we can make a referral and assist you through that process. But please know - you are not alone and there is help available.”
The MCCMH Crisis Center is open and available to anyone and will work to make appropriate linkages to community resources. Individuals can receive services by calling the Access Center at 586 948-0222, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. A 24/7 crisis line is also available at 586-307-9100. Visit www.MCMMH.net for more information.
For Your Benefit
A Message from Andy McKinnon
This piece of Macomb Matters is normally reserved for a section titled For Your Benefit. Normally we attempt to share some important information and sprinkle in some light hearted comments. While I believe we can all use a little light heartedness at this time, I actually think it may be dismissive of what is happening in our country. Between COVID-19, the murder of George Floyd and the social discourse that is occurring, it's difficult to take anything lightly. I certainly hope that this article is taken in the spirit with which I write it and if anything strikes you wrong or obtuse, please share that with me as conversations are so important at this time. We must be able to have discussions and work to understand each other.
One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King is as follows:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
When I think of this County, I think of a group of people who can be and are the "light" and the "love" that Dr. King speaks about. You all chose to work in the public sector. It is the public sector that can implement policies and practices that can positively or negatively impact its constituents and employees. Usually public servants don't intentionally choose to implement policies that negatively impact specific constituents. However, it is a fact that intentionally or unintentionally past public policy has disproportionately and negatively impacted segments of our society. It doesn't mean those policymakers had ill intent, but it does put a fine point on how important each and every decision we make is. We have the power to effectuate positive change, but we also have the power to create hurt and anger. I know we have a team that yearns to effectuate that positive change and I look forward to working alongside you to make this happen.
One word that continuously comes to mind is empathy and I believe it's important to distinguish between sympathy and empathy. During these times, I think empathy is easily explained. When I watched the video from Minneapolis of George Floyd I was disgusted, of course, but I also thought - What if Mr. Floyd was my brother, father or son? Or what if that was me? Frankly, as a human, I don't think it's hard to empathize with Mr. Floyd or his family as you watch those graphic images and it absolutely chokes me up. I used to take pride in not showing emotion, and yet writing this, I absolutely want to break down. Anger, fear, fury, terror, grief, sadness, loss, helplessness, pain, outrage and so many more emotions must be what is being felt by Mr. Floyd's family, friends and community.
Then, I have watched as people have torched buildings, police cars, thrown projectiles at police, spat on officers, and said things to and about our police officers that are absolutely deplorable. I am again disgusted. How would I feel if my brother, mother, son/daughter, or myself was a police or public safety officer? Again, as a human, I don't think it's hard to empathize with our police and their families and I am similarly choked up. Anger, fear, fury, terror, grief, sadness, loss, helplessness, pain, outrage and so many more emotions must be what is being felt by our police families, friends and community.
Having sympathy, what I believe is feeling sorry for another, or others, is a kind emotion. However, feeling sorry for someone(s) won't put us in a position to attempt to understand where others are coming from. If we cannot attempt to put ourselves in others’ shoes, we will continue to do as we have always done, which based on what is happening and has been going on for too many years, is clearly not working.
Real and important change will likely not be quick or easy. Also, I don't believe it will start until we start speaking to each other again, and it doesn't appear society is at the talking stage yet. Therefore, I today ask, and maybe in the short term, and until society is ready to talk, that you just pray/meditate/pause for quiet reflection. Please pray, meditate or quietly reflect and request peace, leadership (at all levels), understanding and increased empathy for yourself and others.
Finally, I ask that we all be extra vigilant in our words and actions. There has been a recent uptick in the reporting of insensitive comments and actions on behalf of our staff. Oftentimes these comments or actions come out in a moment of anger, when being sarcastic or during a failed attempt at humor. I know I have been guilty of transgressions like this plenty of times over the years. Every word we speak and every action we take has the power to build or the power to destroy. Join me in trying to limit the words and actions of destruction and replace them with constructive words and acts.
Please stay safe and well.
Perks at Work
Working from Home and Summer Plans
While working at home, why not update your home workspace? Perks at Work is here to help. Save on key items for productivity like a new monitor, keyboard, chair or faster WiFi! For your everyday essentials, Perks at Work has partnered with brands like Instacart and Walmart to make sure you always have access to the items you need. You can also save on food delivery meal subscriptions, such as Blue Apron, Freshdirect, Home Chef and Doordash.
One of the current challenges facing parents who work from home is how to keep children entertained and learning during the work day. Every Thursday, Perks at Work hosts a day of learning for kids (and adults) that helps to keep everyone physically and mentally engaged. The Community Online Academy (COA) provides courses such as Hip Hop Dance, Basketball and Cooking. They also offer language classes such as Chinese, Spanish or Sign Language. Find out more at www.perksatwork.com/#perksatworkCOA
If your summer plans include a vacation, Perks at Work Teams are working closely with their travel and ticket partners to ensure that they provide the highest level of support. Visit the Travel home page at: https://www.perksatwork.com/travelhome/ for helpful travel tips during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Travel assistance is also available by contacting the Perks at Work Customer Support or Help Center. Have a fun and safe summer!
Providing support by keeping it casual
The Macomb County Board of Commissioners Casual Day Program is still underway. While some county staff work remotely, and others begin to filter back into their offices, the BOC is encouraging everyone to continue donating to this effort. As we have learned over the last few months, now is the time to support organizations that base their missions around helping others.
The Casual Day beneficiaries for June and July dedicate their time and energy to two very different, yet important, causes: Rescuing and helping dogs; and supporting individuals who are facing unexpected pregnancies. The organizations supported through the Casual Day Program are chosen prior to the beginning of each year through submitted nominations. So, whether you’re keeping it casual at home throughout the week or throwing your jeans on for Fridays in the office, here are the charities being sponsored this period:
June: I Heart Dogs Rescue and Animal Haven
This organization is a no-kill rescue that not only rescues dogs but also rehabilitates, re-homes and provides a place of refuge. It is based out of Warren and staff is always ready to work with those interested in adopting the right dog for them. To learn more about I Heart Dogs and how they support the dog rescue world, click here.
July: Compassion Pregnancy Center
This organization specializes in helping individuals experiencing unplanned pregnancy by providing pregnancy tests and limited ultrasounds, as well as education and mentoring. The Compassion Pregnancy Center strives to provide all the information an individual may need. To learn more about this organization click here.
Please note: If you are working remotely, feel free to donate to the organizations directly.
Deadline extended, Macomb ranks high in response rates
The 2020 census is still underway - and recently, due to limitations related to COVID-19, the count deadline was extended. The federal government is now aiming to have the census completed by October 31, so if you have not yet filled out the form, please do so now!
More than 78 percent of Macomb residents have already participated - which ranks the county as 16th in the nation for response rates. Can we count on your support and raise that ranking?
Here’s why it matters:
"During the coronavirus crisis, residents have seen how their government serves them in new and responsive ways," said Ernest Cawvey, director of Macomb Community Action, in a recent interview. "And the census is one way to support their government to make sure we receive the appropriate funding to provide these services."
Later this summer, census-takers will visit the homes of individuals who have not yet filled out their form. But there’s still time to complete it online, by phone or by mail.
If you’d like to complete the form via the mail, be sure to follow these easy tips to make sure you’re counted:
- A paper questionnaire was mailed to addresses that had not yet completed the census several weeks ago
- To confirm the questionnaire is legitimate, verify the envelope it came in reads "U.S. Census Bureau" and "U.S. Department of Commerce" (which is the Census Bureau's parent agency)
- When filling it out, use blue or black ink - not pencil
- When finished, return the questionnaire in the envelope provided
- If the return envelope is unavailable, mail the completed questionnaire to -
- U.S. Census Bureau
National Processing Center
1201 E 10th Street
Jeffersonville, IN 47132
- U.S. Census Bureau
To complete the questionnaire online without the customized census ID provided on an original letter mailed in March, go to the 2020 census website and use the steps below to access it using address verification:
- Visit my2020census.gov
- Hit the “Start Questionnaire” button in the upper right hand corner.
- When you are directed to the login page, instead of entering the ID, go to the link at the bottom of the page labeled “If you do not have a Census ID, click here.”
- You will first be directed to the address verification page and once the system is able to identify you, you’ll be set up to complete the rest of the survey.
If neither the paper questionnaire or the online version is preferred, completing it by phone is the third option. To do so, call 844-330-2020 for English or call the number associated with your preferred language from the list provided here by the U.S. Census Bureau.
No matter how you complete the questionnaire, doing so will have a tremendous impact on the next 10 years in a variety of different ways. So let’s make sure we all participate. Because every voice counts.
Greetings from Chief Randazzo!
School’s out for summer! And while school was technically happening at home the last few months, the end of online classes means that children will have more time to play, explore and in some cases, spend time with their family pets. But sometimes, this increased interaction can result in serious challenges. So in today’s feature, I’d like to provide some tips* for parents that will hopefully keep their children and their pets safe and happy this season.
- Recognize that your pets need their own time for rest and de-stressing. Pets should have quiet places where they can retreat, and children should be taught to not disturb the pet when it is resting. Create a retreat for your pets by blocking off an area that they like and make sure the children understand that the pets should not be bothered when they are using their retreats.
- Remember that small children are not good at recognizing signs of stress or danger from animals. Growling, hissing, avoidance, stiff body posture, whale-eye, raised hackles, twitching tails (cats), nervousness and lip licking are just some behaviors that demonstrate the pet’s anxiety is increasing and could result in a bite. Most pets give ample warning before a bite, but frequently a child is not able to recognize the warning signs. They may push the animal until it feels it has no more choices.
- Be especially protective of older pets. They are likely to have some varying degree of arthritis. It may be painful if a child pats them too hard, hugs them or falls on them. Many older animals lose their hearing and/or vision and can become startled and alarmed when a child suddenly appears within their space.
- Do not allow children to interfere with a pet when it is eating. This should be a stressor and distraction-free time for a pet to enjoy their meal. Many dogs have a natural desire to protect their food and may fear the child is competing for the meal. This is a common reason for dog bites to children.
- Always supervise children and pets when they are playing together. Toys can be a source of competition and a dog might bite if its toy is removed. Tug of war can result in accidental bites if a dog grabs for a better hold on the toy and accidentally catches the child’s hand.
- Do not allow children to climb on dogs, pull their ears, play with their mouths, tug their tails, or engage in other aggravating behaviors. Many animal control officers cringe when they see photos or videos of children climbing on large dogs, noticing the anxiety and stress of the dog and knowing that bite is likely to result from this unwanted aggravation.
Our pets are important members of our families. So let’s make sure our children know the right ways to interact with them. The end result - an animal that is ready and willing to show endless amounts of love and companionship.
*Tips originally shared by Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control.
Recipe Corner - Ice Cream in a Bag
- 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup 1% milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup rock salt
- 5 cups ice cubes
- Wash your hands and clean your cooking area.
- Fill the large bag half full of ice and add rock salt. Seal the bag.
- Put milk, vanilla and sugar into the small bag and seal it.
- Place the small bag inside of the large bag and seal again carefully.
- Shake until mixture is ice cream. About 5 minutes.
- Wipe off the top of the small bag, then open carefully and enjoy!
Nutritional value per serving (½ a bag): Calories 90; Carbohydrates 15 grams Protein 5 grams; Fat 1 gram; Sodium 65 milligrams
The Macomb Matters Committee would like to thank the hard-working staff at MSU Extension for their recipe contributions. For more information about the programs MSU Extension offers, please visit https://msue.macombgov.org/MSUE-Home.
1-pint sized zip-lock plastic bag 1-gallon sized zip-lock plastic bag Measuring cups and spoons
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Make Macomb Your Home also maintains a comprehensive calendar of community events. Be sure to check it when you are looking for ways to enjoy Macomb with friends and family:
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