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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.
Mitch "Poet like Poe" Burns and Marcel "Fable" Price open show

At Put Up or Shut Up the crowd pays attention

When two poets decide that an audience at open mic should give an artist more respect, they came up with a way to make that happen. In Kalamazoo, they call it Put Up or Shut Up. 

Divine Whiskey

Craft distilleries in Southwest Michigan abuzz with creative spirit

You've heard about the craft beer boom. But have you kept up on local distillers? Jeremy Martin talks to those behind the explosion in the world of spirits.

Homer Stryker MD, School of Medicine

Med school will help address shortage of physicians

The new Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine has given the school a chance to create the curriculum of the future. Jane Parikh reports on what's ahead for the school. 

Past contest winner Geoff Groff

Past home brew competition winner gives advice to budding brewers

A past winner of Bell's Brewery Home Brew Competition tells what worked for him. Jeremy Martin has the story.

Station 702

Eatery, Station 702, is about more than omelets and sandwiches

Station 702 opened its doors Sept. 6 with hopes of being a place that brings three neighborhoods together. Brad Loomis talks about what its like to start a business that many hope will be a catalyst for change on the Douglas Avenue corridor. 

Angie Schuyler of Recipro City

All the merchandise is free at Recipro City

What if the most important person in our society was the person who gave the most? Angie Schuyler can imagine a society like that and her store, Recipro City, is a model for the gift economy.

Jake’s Vanilla Bean Porter made by Paw Paw Brewing Company

More coffee and beers are coming in the same glass

Who knew? Turns out the flavors of coffee and beer can be complementary. Jeremy Martin reports local brewers and roasters are getting together to bring out the best in both. 

La Vie en Orange owner Kori Jock

Kori Jock's undies business creates a party in your pants

Blend a sassy style with lots of cheekiness, and deeply rooted personal values, especially environmental sustainability, and you have the high-energy Kori Jock's La Vie en Orange, which turns T-shirts into hand-made underwear designed to make you happy. 

Ben Hooper, left, Carol Zombro, and Brishen Miller

The Bard in the park, on wheels, with Fancy Pants

Shakespeare wrote that all the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. Fancy Pants Theater want to make sure all local parks are a stage, if not the world (not yet, anyway). Zinta Aistars checks in with the principals of the theater troupe.

Corner Record Shop3

Corner Records leaves the corner; returns as Satellite Records

Goodbye, Corner Records. Hello, Satellite Records. The shop at the corner of the shopping center on West Main Hill is moving closer to it customer base in the Vine Neighborhoods. 
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Bakery Thumbnail

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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