Help The Murray Family Give Back To Those In Need

This past summer was an saddening eye opener to Majyck Radio, to personally witness families put in situations of having their homes foreclosed on, especially when they did what they were supposed to do according to their lenders and the law. Unfortunately, the banking system appears to write and rewrite their own laws, forcing families out of there homes.

This is true for the Murray Family and thousands more across the country. Majyck Radio, matthewwaynemurrayOccupy Our Homes, Occupy Kalamazoo, Moritorium-michigan-now.org and concerned citizens stood shoulder to shoulder with the Murray’s and witnessed the local sheriffs department lock them out of there home with no where to go.

Resilient as the Murray’s are, they continue to fight the bank for their home, while unselfishly helping those that are without housing. Please support them, buy and download music created by the talented Matt Murray.

Kalamazoo- Matthew and Beverly Murray and their two girls were the victims of a wrongful and illegal eviction in May 2013. With the help of Occupy Our Homes, they fought valiantly. But in the end, there was simply not enough manpower in their area to hold off the Sheriff. Sadly, they were removed from their home by Bank Of America’s thugs and with the help of the sheriff’s department.

Matthew has said in many of his interviews, “for everyone of us they evict, they’ve created an activist!” This has certainly been true of the Murray family, who have spoken at many protest and in fact have produced numerous videos exposing the bank fraud and abuse committed against the homeowners in America.

The Murrays have said, they can never again pass a person by without trying to help in some way. It’s become a passion – a mission to help those who have lost their homes.

Before they were evicted Matthew had produced an instrumental Christmas album for WingSpan Records/White Horse Entertainment called: 

 Matthew Wayne Murray’s

 The Spirit Of Christmas Past

The Murray’s have committed to give back a portion of this album’s proceeds to Occupy Our Homes and the National Coalition For The Homeless, as well as several other regional and logal outreaches. To download your album and help others this Christmas, please go to:  http://www.matthewwaynemurray.com

Kalamazoo Group Goes Caroling with Lyrics About Raising Minimum Wage

KALAMAZOO – Michigan United community leaders in Kalamazoo took the Michigan United Carolersfestive holiday tradition of caroling and added an activist twist. They created carols with lyrics about raising Michigan’s minimum wage and visited the houses of their state representatives, Margaret O’Brien, Tonya Schuitmaker, and Sean McCann.

“Through our Christmas carols, we are raising awareness about the need to raise Michigan’s minimum wage,” says Pat Early, a member of the caroling group. “We want to spread Christmas cheer while addressing this important issue,” added another caroler from Portage, Randy Iuliano.

Since August, the group has been calling on the state legislature to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016. They have also been trying to schedule a meeting with Governor Snyder to discuss wages and poverty. They hope that he will be a leader in Lansing and work to rally support for this issue.

Michigan United believes that the political gridlock in Lansing is not allowing for common sense policies to be passed. Raising the minimum wage is something that both Democrat and Republican-led legislatures and Governors have done in the past. The group believes it is important for the minimum wage to be raised so that it can maintain its value and purchasing power. The purchasing power of Michigan’s minimum wage has currently decreased to a point where a full-time job at minimum wage pay will still keep a family in poverty.

Caroler, Brenda Hahn, who lives in Kalamazoo, adds, “We hope that as people are celebrating the goodness of the season, they will understand that there are people out there struggling to bring home the Christmas cheer to their families. We think that raising minimum wage is one step our state government could take toward addressing poverty and fair pay.”

 

 

Good Food Kalamazoo Roundtable to Spark Community Conversations around Food

Kalamazoo, MI– Good Food Kalamazoo, a coalition of food and hunger organizations, is hosting the Good Food Roundtable on Tuesday, November 12, 11:45am-1pm at Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes (901 Portage Street). The Roundtable will bring a diverse group of community members together to discuss ways to empower the Kalamazoo community to provide itself with food that is healthy, green, fair, and affordable. This event is free and open to the public.

Representatives from KVCC’s Healthy Living Campus and Kelly Clarke from the Kalamazoo County Land Bank will each give a 10 minute presentation. A robust conversation among attendees about the topics raised will follow. All are encouraged to bring a bag lunch.

Good Food Kalamazoo is a coalition of community members from Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes, People’s Food Co-op, Fair Food Matters, Michigan Food Policy Council, Michigan Farmers Market Association, and Michigan Land Trustees. Drawing on the statewide efforts of the Michigan Good Food Charter, the coalition has been exploring for the past two years how to localize our food system and make it more sustainable.  The Roundtable conversations seek to develop a broader community awareness of the needs and opportunities involved in doing so. For more information, visit www.kzoolf.org/index.php/advocacy/good-food-kalamazoo/.

City Of Kalamazoo 2013 Municipal Election, November 5, 2013

Kalamazoo, MI–Tuesday morning, voters will have an opportunity to vote for their local representation  including Kalamazoo, Portage, South Haven and Three Rivers.

Poll stations in SW Michigan
Poll stations throughout SW Michigan

 Commissioners are elected every two years on a non-partisan basis. All seven city commission seats are open. Candidates with the most votes will become mayor and vice mayor, respectively.  Six out of seven incumbents are running for this years election.

In Portage, six candidates are seeking to fill three four-year council seats. The mayoral postition for Portage is also available, but Mayor Pete Strazdas is running unopposed.

In Parchment, there are four candidates for four seats on the Parchment City Commission — incumbents Terry Hageman, Vice Mayor Robert Britigan III and Thomas Balmer, as well as Jon Heasley, son of Mayor Robert Heasley.

Other  ballot initiatives in Southwest Michigan include:

  • Centreville: Centreville Public Schools officials are asking voters to approve a $12.8 million bond proposal that would pay for facility upgrades and repairs. If approved, the district’s current debt levy of 4 mills would increase to 6.95 mills starting in 2015 and stay near that level until starting to drop in 2028. It would be paid off in 2035.

  • Constantine: Constantine Public Schools officials are asking voters to approve a $6.62 million bond issue to upgrade the middle school. Also on the ballot is a request to renew the district’s 18-mill non-homestead tax. If approved, the bond issue would not involve a tax increase, and voters would continue to pay the current debt levy of 6.8 mills.

  • Three Rivers: Three Rivers Mayor Tom Lowry is seeking an eighth term and faces a challenge from newcomer Larry Nichols. Linda Gearhart will challenge incumbent Larry Matson for a two-year term as the city’s at-large commissioner. Incumbent Jared Hoffmaster and newcomer Diane Lee Haley-Clay are uncontested for the first and third district commissioner seats, respectively.

  • South Haven: South Haven Mayor Robert Burr is seeking re-election to a third two-year term. His opponent, Frank Consolino, has pleaded guilty to three felony charges of marijuana distribution and is scheduled to be sentenced the day before the election. If he receives prison or jail time he would be ineligible to serve as mayor because he would be unable to fulfill his duties, according to South Haven Clerk Amanda Morgan.

Polls will be open Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Check online at www.michigan.gov/vote to see a sample ballot and to determine their polling place.

Michigan United and Michigan Organizing Project Rally For Immigration Reform In Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo- Thursday, over 100 members of Michigan United held a symbolic rehearsal citizenship ceremony for “Future Citizens” of the steps of the County Courthouse highlighting the need to comprehensive immigration reform with an earned path to citizenship this year. The event comes at the beginning of the August congressional recess, which advocates are anticipating will be key to the immigration reform movement.

Participants came from towns across southwest Michigan, including Sturgis, Hartford, Fennville, Benton Harbor and Kalamazoo.  City Commissioner Don Cooney led the group in a symbolic rehearsal of the oath of citizenship, the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem.

“Our country’s founding principles-equality, opportunity, freedom, hard work- are what immigrants have come seeking for generations,” said State Representative Sean McCann. “Immigrant families are living by these values, seeking a better life. It is long past time for immigration reform. It’s time for Congress to get past partisan politics and do what makes sense”.

Immigrants like Itzel Gomes,  from Malawi, has been waiting for his visa approval for 15 years. Ivan Gomez, a small business owner, from Borneo has been in the United States for 13 years. Despite, working, paying taxes, following the law, owning businesses and pursuing higher education, there is no pathway to citizenship available to them.

DREAM ( Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) students, Victor Esparza and Itzel Gomez have been able to obtain college degrees and pursue jobs in their field of education, opening more opportunities than the traditional field work afford to them.

Demonstrators delivered approximately 600 signatures to Congressman Fred Upton’s Kalamazoo office to urge him to vote in favor of immigration reform.

The Senate passed an immigration bill in June that included a pathway to citizenship. The bill passed with an impressive 68-to-32 majority. The Republican-led Congress has left for August recess without resolving  the issue. Congress will be back in session, Sept. 9.

Participants plan to continue with additional actions throughout the August Recess.

  

Memorial Day Celebrations 2013

(Kalamazoo, MI)- Memorial Day parades and celebrations going on throughout SW Michigan to honor servicemen and women who put their lives on the line for their country and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and those that continue to fight for the rights and privileges we have today.

The following events are scheduled for Memorial Day:

  • Allegan: 10 a.m. parade from Griswold Auditorium to Oakwood Cemetery.

  • Bangor: Ceremony at the Veterans Memorial 8:30 a.m., parade 9 a.m. along M-43 to Arlington Hill Cemetery.

  • Bloomingdale: 11 a.m. parade from Bloomingdale High School to village park.

  • Breedsville: 11 a.m. parade from Main Street to Breedsville Cemetery.

  • Centreville: Parade at 9:30 a.m. from Adams Park to Prairie River Cemetery for a ceremony.

  • Climax: Founder’s Day bash and Memorial Day events include 9:30 a.m. parade from Climax-Scotts High School to Prairie Home Cemetery.

  • Colon: 9 a.m. parade from Colon Elementary School to Lakeside Cemetery.

  • Comstock: Noon parade from Comstock Avenue to Merrill Park.

  • Constantine: 10 a.m. parade from U.S. 131 at the bridge to Constantine Township Cemetery.

  • Decatur: 11 a.m. parade from VFW to Lakeside Cemetery, Harrison Cemetery at 11:30 a.m., Hamilton Township Cemetery at 1 p.m. and then to the Veterans Home for the Veterans Memorial.

  • Fulton: Kids’ parade at noon, communitywide parade 12:30 p.m. to ceremony at South Fulton Cemetery.

  • Galesburg/Augusta: Fort Custer National Cemetery Memorial Day service 2 p.m. Sunday, May 26. Placement of flags by area volunteers on the Avenue of Flags 9 a.m. Saturday, May 25.

  • Gobles: 9 a.m. parade on M-40 to ceremony at park.

  • Gull Lake/Richland: 11 a.m. program at Prairie Home Cemetery.

  • Hickory Corners: 10 a.m. parade from Cadwallader Park to ceremony at East Hickory Corners Cemetery.

  • Kalamazoo: 10 a.m. parade from Michigan Avenue to Riverside Cemetery on Gull Road.

  • Lawrence: 10 a.m. parade from Lawrence High School to Hill Cemetery.

  • Lawton: 10 a.m. parade from corner of Walker and Union streets to ceremonies at Oak Grove Cemetery.

  • Martin/Gun Lake: 9:30 a.m. parade from Martin High School to Memorial Park on North Main Street.

  • Mattawan: 11 a.m. parade from Mattawan Early Elementary School to ceremony at village park.

  • Mendon: Noon parade from Mendon Township Library to naval ceremony at Portage River and ceremonies at Mendon Catholic Cemetery and Mendon Township Cemetery.

  • Otsego/Alamo: 9:30 a.m. parade from Mountain Home Cemetery to Memorial Park.

  • Paw Paw: 9:30 a.m. Navy memorial ceremony on Michigan Avenue at the river, 10 a.m. parade from Gremps Street to Maple City Veterans’ Memorial Park.

  • Plainwell/Cooper: Noon ceremony at Sherwood Park. No parade because of road work.

  • Portage: 10 a.m. parade from Southland Mall on South Westnedge Avenue to Portage Central Cemetery and Portage Veterans Memorial.

  • Saugatuck-Douglas: 9 a.m. parade in Saugatuck, 10 a.m. parade in Douglas.

  • Schoolcraft: 11 a.m. parade from Cass and Cedar streets to Schoolcraft Cemetery.

  • South Haven: 9 a.m. parade from downtown to Lakeview Cemetery.

  • Three Rivers: 10 a.m. parade from Kelsey and Main Streets to Riverside Cemetery.

  • Vicksburg: 10 a.m. parade from Vicksburg Administration Building to Vicksburg Cemetery that will include the first memorial ceremony at the new veteran’s memorial site.

  • White Pigeon: 10:30 a.m. parade from American Legion Post 138 on South Lincoln Street to White Pigeon Township Cemetery.

Lydia Mendoza Forever Stamp Issued

To honor the musical contributions of legends responsible for making music that has a global impact on culture, the U.S. Postal Service announced the launch of a new Music Icons stamp series with the issuance of a stamp honoring Lydia Mendoza, a star of Tejano music.

Lydia Mendoza an American guitarist and singer of Tejano, conjunto, and traditional Mexican-American music. Mendoza is also fondly known as “La Alondra de la Frontera” (or “The Lark of the Border” in English).

According to a release, the Lydia Mendoza Forever Stamp was dedicated during a special ceremony featuring actor Jesse Borrego best known for the role of Jesse Velasquez in the hit TV series, Fame as master of ceremony at the Guadalupe Cultural Center in San Antonio, TX. Mendoza is to be honored in the Postal Service’s new Music Icons series, which will include legends Ray Charles and Johnny Cash later this year.

Protesters Chant” Power To The People” in Front of Bank Of America

(Kalamazoo, MI)- Friday, protestors stood in front of Bank of America to stand in solidarity with the Murray Family from Coldwater, MI that were recently a victim of the largest mortgage fraud in history.

Local supporters, Occupy Kalamazoo and some of Kalamazoo’s local artistry came out to spread the word POWER TO THE PEOPLEto others the fraudulent activity Bank of America is doing to hardworking homeowners. Lots of people slowed down to read the signs held by those fighting for justice for homeowners.

One customer asking what was going on, vowed to close her account with Bank of America after learning some facts from some of the rally participants.

Local media from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids were invited to cover the rally for the Murray’s and keep the conversation going about the epidemic of home foreclosure, especially in Kalamazoo. Unfortunately, individual home foreclosures aren’t important enough for local mainstream media to cover.

Video footage of rally:

Protesters March in Kalamazoo, Chanting, “Heck No to GMO’S”

Protesters March in Kalamazoo, Chanting, “Heck No to GMO’S”

(Kalamazoo, MI)- About 300 hundred protesters met up at People’s Food Co-Op Saturday to stand in solidarity with many other rallies taking place action the nation to demand that the FDA require labeling on all foods, especially GMO’s (genetically modified organism).

“March Against Monsanto” protests were held in 52 countries and 436 cities, including Kalamazoo, MI, where demonstrators waved signs that read “OMG! GMO FrankenFood” and “Say NO GMO’s”.

A GMO is a plant or animal that has been genetically altered to improve its ability to grow in non-native environments, resist pests, withstand extreme weather conditions, produce more food (like milk in cows),  shorter growth time for harvesting chickens and fish or show other desired traits for more food yield.

Most corn, soybean and cotton crops grown in the United States today have been genetically modified.

Tricia LeBlanc, organizer for the Kalamazoo Monsanto march spoke as well as a community farmer and community advocates about the importance of knowing what is in your food and where it comes from.

 http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/33315707

Click the link>>>Check for video footage of rally:

 

Kalamazoo Residents Demand Total Clean Up, Not Cover Up

Kalamazoo-Hundreds of supporters rallied in Kalamazoo to send a clear message to the EPA that the residents of Kalamazoo want complete removal of PCB’s from the old Allied Paper Mill site on Alcott.  In 1999, Bryant Mill Pond was excavated, and PCB-contaminated soils were piled up at the Allied site. Most residents were under the impression that the PCB’s were removed from the area in 2007 with the demolition of the old paper mill.

PCBs(polychlorinated biphenyls) are synthetic organic  chemicals, banned in the US in the 1970’s, that have a high range of toxicity used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications, such as: carbonless paper, plastics, rubber, paints, and transformers.  These contaminates located at the Allied site sit directly on top of an aquifer that provides water to approx. 48,000 residents.

Residents, especially in the Edison Neighborhood have a higher risk of exposure. If these PCB’s are not cleared out properly, they will remain in the air, soil and water for hundreds of years.

Mayor Bobby Hopewell of Kalamazoo, Sean McCann State Rep. for Kalamazoo as well as city commissioners residents made remarks at the rally.

The EPA proposes to seal the 1.5 million cubic yards of waste containing PCBs, keeping it kn Kalamazoo in perpetuity and costing residents millions of dollars. The residents spoke loud and clear as the march proceed to the Allied site, that they want the toxic pile removed to a landfill that is able to receive hazardous waste in Wayne County.

Hopewell and other city officials will head to Chicago Thursday to meet with EPA officials to seek a resolution to a $300 million-plus estimated cleanup.

Project Connect 2013 in Kalamazoo

Hundreds of people turned out Wednesday afternoon to the Kalamazoo County Expo Center to connect with a variety of free, on-site services, ranging from haircuts to eye exams to personal hygiene, clothing and books.

Project Connect, is a semi-annual event  sponsored by Kalamazoo County’s Poverty Reduction Initiative and connects individuals and families in financial need with over 50 vendors offering services such as parenting support, employment assistance, medical screenings, housing assistance and health insurance.

Many community members take advantage of the one stop approach, eliminating excess travel. Attendees at this years event were able to fellowship with a spaghetti lunch and refreshments.

Previous events easily attracted 700 attendees, but the numbers appeared lower than expected.

Cinco De Mayo Celebrations in Kalamazoo

May 5th marks the date in 1862 when an outmanned, overmatched Mexican militia succeeded in crushing Napoleon’s French army at the Battle of Puebla.

Today, Cinco de Mayo is recognized mostly in the U.S. as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride (Mexican Independence Day is celebrated Sept. 16).  Throughout SW Michigan, cultural celebrations of food, entertainment and fact sharing will offer will fill the weekend. Check for events near you:

Los Bandits at The Union

What: Kalamazoo Tex-Mex band Los Bandits of Michigan playing blend of R&B, gospel, country, rock, norteño, and tejano music
When: 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: The Union Cabaret & Grille, 125 S. Kalamazoo Mall
Cost: Free
Contact: 269-384-6756

 Rugger’s Up & Under

What: Kalamazoo punk rock band Rudy’s Broken Leash, with .50 cent tacos and specials on Mexican beer
When: All day, with music at 9 p.m (in Boomerang’s)
Where: Rugger’s Up & Under/Boomerang’s, 711 W. Michigan Ave.
Contact: 269-373-1412

Wayside West

What: Kalamazoo country band Bronk Bros.
When: Doors open at 11 a.m., music at 3 p.m.
Where: Wayside West, 3406 Stadium Drive
Contact: 269-375-1930

 

Kalamazoo Salsa

Kalamazoo Salsa!

Kalamazoo Salsa!

When: 9:30 p.m. Saturday (free lessons at 10 p.m.)

Where: Blue Dolphin, 502 S. Burdick St.
Cost: $5, ladies free all night (ages 18 and older)

Cinco de Mayo at the Globe Theatre

What: DJ Tropicz spinning Top 40 and Latin hits
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Globe Theatre, 241 E. Kalamazoo Ave.
Cost: Free

Old Burdick’s

What: Taco and margarita bar from 5-9 p.m. and a Most Interesting Man in the World contest, where people are encouraged to dress like the Dos Equis man and win prizes.

Where: Old Burdick’s Bar & Grill, 100 W. Michigan Ave. (other parties at two other Old Burdick’s locations)

When: 4 p.m. Saturday

Contact: 269-343-0032, www.oldburdicks.com

Mariachi band at Los Amigos

When: 8 p.m. to close Saturday
Where: Los Amigos, 3317 Stadium Drive
Contact: 269-532-1170

 

 

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