The National Park Service Celebrating Its 100th Anniversary

Sep 1, 2016

This month marks the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service, which preserves and manages 412 areas in the United States covering more than 84 million acres in every state and the District of Columbia.  Created by law, under President Woodrow Wilson on August 25, 1916, the National Park Service has a tremendous responsibility as a caretaker of our natural treasures, some of which include national parks, monuments, battlefields, and other conservation and historical properties. 

In Michigan, we have many treasured national wonders, like the Sleeping Bear Dunes, Isle Royale, and the Pictured Rocks.  All of these natural beauties are preserved by the National Park Service.  You can find a national park close to you here.

NASA’s Juno Mission Completes Closest Fly-By

NASA’s Juno spacecraft completed its first orbital fly-by of Jupiter on August 27. The spacecraft was launched in August 2011 and arrived at Jupiter earlier this summer – on July 4. Juno’s mission is to collect information about Jupiter’s core, and will execute a total of 36 fly-bys while orbiting the planet. No spacecraft has ever flown this close to Jupiter, and with the data transmission from the first fly-by, researchers will be able to begin the exciting process of collecting and analyzing the data from Juno to learn more about the “gas giant.”

NASA is sharing this exciting mission with the public as well. In a few short weeks, JunoCam is expected to launch, which will share photos of Jupiter collected by the spacecraft with the public. You can learn more about the first fly-by here, and follow along with Juno’s mission on Facebook.

Grand Opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

The National Museum of African American History and Culture will be opening on Saturday, September 24th.  Because of the high level of interest in visiting the museum, a Timed Pass system is in place.  Passes are free of charge to the general public but only a maximum of six passes can be requested at any one time, and are available online or by phone at 800-514-3849.  The National Museum of African American History and Culture will be open 364 days from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.  If you are interested in visiting the museum, constituents are encouraged to request timed passes well in advance of your visit.  As of now, timed passes for September are no longer available but timed passes for October are still available.  Passes for November and December will be released in September and announced on the museum website.

Summer Events

With the end of summer approaching, it’s time to pull out the school supplies and backpacks! But you might want to end summer with a weekend worth documenting. Here are some fun activities in the 9th district cities of Royal Oak and Franklin: 

Arts Beats & Eats in downtown Royal Oak September 2nd - 5th.

Franklin’s Art in the Village on September 5th: This annual art fair features tons of pottery, glass, jewelry and other artwork by more than 75 artists on display and runs as part of the annual Franklin Labor Day Roundup. 

Feeling like wandering further and want to check out the changes happening in Detroit?  Head to the Detroit Jazz Festival, September 2nd - 5th.

Want to explore further afield? Check out Michigan’s Labor Day Festivals and Arts here.

Rep. Levin Tours the Economic Development in Hazel Park
On Thursday, August 25, Rep. Levin joined Hazel Park City Manager Ed Klobucher and Hazel Park Economic Development Director Jeff Campbell for a tour of some of the newest developments in the city.
The first stop was the construction site of the new Tri-County Commerce Center. This project is building a 574,000 sq. ft. facility for light manufacturing and commercial distribution center next to the Hazel Park Raceway. Construction is ongoing and will bring about 300 to 350 jobs to the city and roughly $250,000 a year to Hazel Park in new tax revenue. The center is also expected to generate new local and school funding through property value.
Rep. Levin’s next visit was to several restaurants gaining a positive reputation in the community. Mabel Gray is a new restaurant gaining fame in the local area. It is owned and operated by Chef James Rigato, who is a rising celebrity chef after being a contestant on the TV show, Top Chef. He was previously the chef at the Root restaurant in White Lake Twp.
Rep. Levin also visited the future site of a restaurant owned by photographer Joe Vaughn, which will serve both casual and up-scale dining options. The tour concluded with a visit to Cellarmen’s Brewery, a recent but popular addition to the city’s growth along the John R. Corridor.

These new businesses have gained Hazel Park statewide attention. In fact, Hazel Park is a current nominee for the Michigan Municipal League’s 2016 Community Excellence Awards. This prestigious award is given to communities which are setting the pace on economic development. Based on the discussions Rep. Levin held while visiting the city, Hazel Park is a strong contender for this year’s honors.

Congress Must Pass Meaningful Gun Safety Measures

Congress must pass meaningful gun safety legislation when Members return to Washington. The latest data from the Pew Research Center once again showed broad support for gun safety measures among voters of both parties.  We need to harness the momentum from the July 2016 historic sit-in, and vote on measures that prevent mass shootings from happening. Rep. Levin strongly supports the bipartisan Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015 (H.R.1076), known as “No Fly, No Buy,”  and the bipartisan Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 1217), which expands our background checks system.  Congress has an urgent responsibility to keep guns out of the wrong hands, and we must take action to prevent senseless gun violence. 

Legislative Outlook

The House of Representatives reconvenes September 6th for a four-week legislative work period.  In its first week back, the House is scheduled take up several financial services bills but other outstanding issues remain: appropriations for government operations in FY 2017, funding to help Flint, combating the Zika virus, and enacting commonsense, widely-supported gun safety measures.  The House must get to work on these and other important issues important to communities and middle-class families.