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NPR: What Benton Harbor knows that Ferguson doesn't

National Public Radio reports that in the aftermath of the violence in Ferguson there are a lot of people saying violence doesn't make a difference. But if you look at what happened 11 years ago in Benton Harbor, violence led to some changes. 

Excerpt: Eleven years ago, Benton Harbor, Mich., was a lot like Ferguson, Mo. It was a small town where racial tension with police reached a boiling point. Afterward there were promises of change for the city.

To hear the report, click here.

Source: National Public Radio

NYT: Stoking a Hearth for Human Rights

Michael Kimmelman of the New York Times recently visited Kalamazoo to learn about the architecture that makes up the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. He recommends a pilgrimage to the building that embodies the lofty goal of the center on the Kalamazoo College campus. He says, "Mostly the center’s design is laudable simply for being eloquent and humane."

Excerpt: 

"What makes the building special is partly the novel form, which grows straight out of the center’s ambitions. It’s also the element of handicraft (those cordwood masonry exteriors) when so much marquee architecture leans on high-tech materials and 3-D printing."

For more, please read the entire review here

Source: New York Times

U.S. News & World Report: Check out the beer in Kalamazoo

For those looking beyond the known craft beer world in Denver, Portland, and Dublin there are at least eight other places in the world to visit and U.S. News and World Report says Kalamazoo is one of them. As the story says: "People are fermenting grains all over the world." But not every metropolis is a veritable beer city, overflowing with homegrown breweries, gastro pubs and beer festivals. For this reason, U.S. News selected a few spots where you may not have considered tipping back a pint.

The city's six new microbrews, Bell's Brewery, the West Michigan Beer Tour, January's Kalamazoo Beer Week were all cited as reasons to give the Kalamazoo beer scene a try.

Read the full story here.


Source: U.S. News and World Report

USA Today says Kalamazoo Marathon one of 14 all runners should try

A recent USA Today story points to 14 spring races all runners should try. If you can find a way to train for them during the slippery winter months the story suggests "the reward of an attractive and exciting springtime race will make all of the frozen fingers, runny noses and dark early mornings totally worth it."

Among the 14 it recommends is the Kalamazoo Marathon.

Excerpt: "A unique race that takes place in the heart of the commonly-referenced Michigan city, the Kalamazoo Marathon offers runners an exciting tour through the area's parks, trails, neighborhoods and downtown mall. The biggest draw, though: a chance to 'earn your mittens.' Runners who complete the Wisconsin Marathon on May 3 and then the nearby Kalamazoo Marathon on May 4 are presented with a special "mittens" medal. It may not keep your hands warm but it will sure look good hanging next to your other two newly earned awards. May 4, 2014."

Read about the other 13 races, here

Source: USA Today
 

Why would you want to move to Kalamazoo?

A Kalamazoo College grad stirred up a bit of -- well, it would be going too far to call it controversy -- but he did stir things up with a list of 30 Things to Know Before You Move to Kalamazoo

Some humorless folks saw none in the list, especially in the way he labled K-College vs. Western Michigan University.

Other folks took issue with some of his choices for reasons to want to move here.

That got us to thinking. Why do you live here? Do you recommend Kalamazoo to others even if you are not a Realtor? 

Did Sam Bertken get it right? What do you think are 30 things someone should know before they move to Kalamazoo?

Bradenton Herald: New baseball team has name

Kalamazoo's new baseball team will be aptly named The Growlers, reports the Bradenton Herald. The name for the team, which makes its debut next year, was picked following an online contest. The Growlers will play at Homer Stryker Field and are part of the Northwoods League, a summer league made up of top college players from North America. Other names considered as part of the contest were the Cabbies, the Clutch, the Kangaroos and the Krakens.
 
For more, please read the rest of the story.

Source: Bradenton Herald

Al Jazeera: Where students go to college for free

The cost of college is becoming an insurmountable hurdle for many families around the country--but not so for the residents of Kalamazoo, a small, vibrant city of 75,000 in southwestern Michigan, reports Al Jazeera. Since the program’s launch, about 2,800 Kalamazoo Public School graduates have taken advantage of Promise funds, totaling $50 million thus far--all paid by anonymous donors without the aid of an endowment or other fund-raising efforts. And there’s no end in sight for the Promise--it’s guaranteed by the donors to continue in perpetuity.

For more, please read the rest of the story.

Source: Al Jazeera

Battle Creek Enquirer: Hope for the homeless

Daniel Jones  had one life that seemed to work but didn’t, and now he has another that does, reports the Battle Creek Enquirer. And he appreciates that in ways few people can imagine.

“This is exactly where I’m supposed to be,” he said. “I can be led. I may need a two-by-four, but I can be led.” And for the last three years he has been led here, to the Haven of Rest, a nonprofit organization that helps Battle Creek’s homeless population, serving perhaps 1,100 people a year.

For more, please read the rest of the story.

Source: Battle Creek Enquirer

Kalamazoo Gazette: Kalamazoo Poetry Festival to be held in April

Long a hub for decorated writers, Kalamazoo will host an inaugural poetry festival to celebrate the best from the region, and invite two acclaimed poets, to share their works, reports the Kalamazoo Gazette. The inaugural Kalamazoo Poetry Festival will be held April 4-5 and will feature readings, discussions, workshops and more, event organizers announced.

For more, please read the rest of the story.

Source: Kalamazoo Gazette

MiBiz: Collaboration in Battle Creek and Kalamazoo

Battle Creek and Kalamazoo are collaborating like never before, reports MiBiz. The reason, economic development leaders say, is that what’s good for the region is most often good for their individual communities in the end.

For a discussion on that collaboration with regional economic development leaders, Southwest Michigan First's CEO Ron Kitchens and Karl Dehn of Battle Creek Unlimited, please visit here.

Source: MiBiz
 

MLive: Community Garden near completion in downtown Kalamazoo

Deb Killarney tells MLive that she feels that downtown Kalamazoo could be more sustainable. She now manages the Central City Community Garden to address that concern. The community garden plot at a corner of Eleanor and Burdick streets was leased to the Downtown Citizens Advisory Council for $1. The idea was initially proposed in 2004 and is finally taking shape.

Excerpt: "We had to really look hard to find space in downtown," Killarney said. "There are not many blank spaces downtown that get sun."

For more, please read the rest of the story.

Source: MLive
 

Sun Times: River kayaking in Berrien County

In the waterside community of Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, a kayak trip is never more than a few moments away, reports the Sun Times. With easy access to the Paw Paw and St. Joseph rivers, which connect to the serene waters of coastal Lake Michigan there are a number of kayaking opportunities for those living or vacationing in Harbor Shores.

For details, please read the rest of the story.

Source: Sun Times

WMUK: Kalamazoo library to become a 'Family Place'

A renovation project that starts later this month will turn Kalalmazoo Public  Library’s Children’s Room into a place where young children and their parents can learn together, reports WMUK, 102.1-FM. Known as a "Family Place", such libraries use play to help young children learn.

Excerpt: KPL Director Ann Rohrbaugh and Youth Services Director Susan Warner say the "Family Place" project builds on the library’s commitment to early childhood education. The library's previous work with young kids and their parents was validated by the invitation for the library to apply for a federal grant through the Institute of Museum and Library Services to join the nationwide effort.

For more, please read the rest of the story.

Source: WMUK
 

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Guide to the beach towns of southwestern Michigan

The Cleveland Plain Dealer recently sent a correspondent to visit St. Joseph, South Haven and Holland and had this report.

Excerpt: This area is also known as the Art Coast for the myriad galleries and arts fests that color the charming small towns lining the lake. Sure, we've been to the Atlantic -- Cape Cod, South Carolina, Florida and Mexico. And we've been to the California coast, taking in the sun and scenes at Venice Beach and Santa Monica. We've even been to the Adriatic. We never swam much on any of these vacations. The water was always too cold or too dirty, or we were too afraid of jellyfish and sharks. The beaches were usually so crowded it was hard to cram your blanket into the sea of humanity. That's never been a problem on the soft white-sand beaches of southwest Michigan, surrounded by natural dunes straight out of New England. Though the water can be a bit nippy, we've always found the lake clean, clear and -- for the most part -- free of rocks and seaweed. The rolling waves will make you think you're at the ocean -- minus the stinging salt.

Bonus: It's a lot easier to get there, just about five hours from Cleveland.

For more on each community, please read the rest of the story.

Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer 

Kalamazoo Gazette: Gay rights ordinances under review

The City of Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo Township have adopted an ordinance banning  discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. And one like those may be passed soon in Oshtemo Township, reports the Kalamazoo Gazette. Gay rights advocates plan to continue a push to get more municipalities to enact such measures.

For more, please read the rest of the story.

Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
 
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