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Kalamazoo


With such a recognizable moniker you'd think Kalamazoo wouldn't need nicknames, but through the years changing names have reflected the city's refusal to stand still. The Zoo, Celery City and Mall City are a few. The innovative thinking that brought downtown Kazoo the nation's first pedestrian mall in 1959 thrives today. Innovations in life sciences, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals combined with the expertise of Kalamazoo's universities - Western Michigan, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Davenport College - make the city a center of research, development and technology. It's all part of an eclectic, vibrant city with a cultural scene that Kalamazooans love to boast about. The Kalamazoo Symphony, Kalamazoo Institute of Art and scrappy local theater companies are a few of the offerings. Locals love their festivals, many at the Arcadia Festival grounds, and their outdoors, whether it's taking to the Kalamazoo River or biking the Kal-Haven trail or golfing at the nationally-acclaimed Milham Park course. The city's sports fans have competitive college teams, minor league baseball and hockey to follow. And it all comes with a Promise. All high school graduates who live in Kalamazoo qualify for scholarships at any public university or community college.
Amy Waugaman of Boatyard Brewery

Women changing the 'boys club' nature of craft brew businesses

Not only do women like to drink craft beer, they also like to make it, and make places to make it. Jeremy Martin talks with some of those women.

FHC Run Team 01

Run turns healthcare workers into people on the move

At the Family Health Center, getting fit means setting a good example for their patients. Chris Killian reports.

Silvana Quadros Russell, Brazilian Oven

Sharing traditions from Brazilian gardens to Kalamazoo Tables

A two-year-old company using 400-year-old recipes has found its niche among food lovers.  Silvana Quadros Russell, founder of Brazilian Oven tells Zinta Aistars the story of the cheese buns of her native Brazil that Americans are coming to love.

Stacy Burdette, Founder of Hacker Gals

Women get a place of their own to hack away

Creativity has a new home in Kalamazoo. It's the makerspace hosted by Hacker Gals. Founder Stacy Burdette talks with Jane Parikh about what they're up to.

Michael Evans / Adult Literacy

Kalamazoo Literacy Council says everyone needs to read

Today, knowing how to read is basic in order to get a job. But one out of three job applicants lack the reading skils needed to do the job they seek. The Kalamazoo Literacy Council is stepping up efforts to change that. 

Tom Small

A revolution that can change the world, one backyard at a time

As the world changes at a pace that is impossible to keep up with, a grassroots movement wants to help communities cope with what's ahead. Zinta Aistars has the story on the Transition Movement. 

Marsha Meyer, left, and George Martin

Roses are red, violets are blue; when you think of poetry, think Kalamazoo

A lot of poetry is being created in the Kalamazoo area. The Kalamazoo Poetry Festival was created to make sure everyone knows about it. Zinta Aistars talks with the organizers about the area's first festival for poets, poetry lovers, and the poetically curious. 

Dr. John Sorenson, CEO of Vestaron

Spider research helps Vestaron build a better pesticide

The key to killing pests can be found inside spider venom and at Vestron they are tapping that mechanism to create what they believe will be a pesticide that does not do the damage created by today's peticides. Kim North Shine talks to Dr. John Sorenson.

Community Promise 02

Loans, financial literacy, and more drive Community Promise in first year

When you think of a cooperative a credit union may not be the first thing that comes to mind. At Community Promise Federal Credit Union they are making that unique financial model work for the benefit of those in the neighborhoods. George Martin has the story.

Blanca Cardoza Owner of Fiesta by Blanca

Fiesta by Blanca a local salsa that's in demand

Salsa has overtaken ketchup as the No. 1 condiment in the land. And Blanca Cardoza is finding the marketplace for her salsa, Fiesta by Blanca, is wide open. Zinta Aistars talks with the budding entrepreneur about the appeal of the spicy condiment that updates family recipes to reflect today's tastes.
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Video

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Local food offerings rise with opening of new bakery

Traditional Irish scones and cakes are just two of the goods that are attracting customers downtown to the new location of the Victorian Bakery, its first retail setting.

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The Solar Project

The largest solar array in Michigan sits in a field in Charleston Township, the result of a DIY project by a father and son and business partner team, whose company, Kalamazoo Solar LLC, sells the power back to Consumers Energy. But their ultimate goal is to manufacture complete solar arrays in Michigan--at a price individual consumers can afford.
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