Kalamazoo, MI- Charlie’s P.L.A.C.E invites all youth ages 5-14 to participate in an county-wide track meet to take place at Kalamazoo Christian High school. With support of a parent or legal guardian, youth can register using the
Kalamazoo, MI- Urban Democracy FEAST organizers were not able to go with crowd-source funding for their spring event. To stay safe and comply with federal social distancing as well as executive orders put into action by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
The organizers plan on producing a series of podcasts that will supplement the face to face meetings and provide opportunities to engage with community online. For more information visit: www.urbandemocracyfeast.org
Kalamazoo, MI- The atmosphere at Fox Ridge Apartments was calm this afternoon, as a food truck stationed near the community’s office to distribute food packs to children in the community. Still, as of 12:45, workers reported that they had handed out over 100 food packs so far, and anticipated many more before their shift would end.
With more than one-third of Kalamazoo Public Schools households living below the federal poverty line, 14% of which are experiencing “deep” poverty (at or below 50% of the poverty line), this service is essential to the wellbeing of children who rely on school breakfasts and lunches to meet their nutritional needs and would otherwise be unable to access regular meals during the Covid-19 school closures. In addition to children, food is available to any person up to age 26 who is enrolled in an educational program for the mentally or physically disabled, according to the Kalamazoo Public Schools website.
The process of handing out food packs was efficient, with no identification, proof of enrollment or family size required to collect needed items. Workers, wearing gloves while sorting crates and handling pre-packed bags, were courteous and helpful, making sure to let folks know when they would come back again.
Included in each bag, meant to provide two days’ worth of nutrition, were milk, juice, cheese, sliced apples, graham snacks, yogurt, muffins and whole grain crackers. 2-day packs will be given out on Monday and Wednesdays, and on Fridays the packs will contain 3 days’ worth, to last through the weekend.
While collecting items for my own family, several small children, clad in surgical masks, came to the truck to pick up their provisions. Cheerfully thanking the workers in the “Meet up to Eat up” van, a few even moved their masks aside to share smiles. Crisis or no, children’s joy can’t be contained!
Families with more than one or two students will want to make sure to bring reusable shopping bags or totes (or extra hands) to transport their items – take it from this mama, who hadn’t thought that through before making the trip. Lugging five kids’ worth of milk three blocks home proved challenging!
Food will be distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:30 to 12:30 at all Kalamazoo Public Schools, with the exception of
Indian Prairie, and Winchell Elementary, as well as A.L.P. and South Westnedge School. Additional sites Include Interfaith Homes and Eastside Neighborhood Association from 11:30 to noon at each, and Fox Ridge Apartments and New Village Park from 12:30 to 1:00. Any changes to this schedule will be posted on the KPS website.
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Spring break for students in Kalamazoo and Portage will continue as originally planned April 6- April 10, extending the mandated closure.
Many schools including Lake Michigan Catholic Schools announced spring break will continue as scheduled from April 3 – 13. All activities and events at both buildings, including daycare programs, are suspended until further notice. Kalamazoo and Portage will stay on schedule with spring break, April 6-10.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced the immediate closure of all Secretary of State branches statewide. Offices can only be accessible by appointment and limited reasons through April 5. Walk-ins will not be accepted and doors will be locked. The Home & Garden Expo has been cancelled as well as the St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicking off March 14.
Essential services will continue for Kalamazoo County offices but with limited staff beginning March 16 through April 5.
Kalamazoo Public Library and Portage District Libraries announced the doors will be shut from March 14 to April 5.
All public universities in Michigan have suspended in-person classes and switched to online learning including Western Michigan University. Classes will be online through April 3. Starting Monday, March, 16, Kalamazoo Valley Community College will shift to online coursework delivery..
Kalamazoo College has suspend in-person classes and using online classes for two weeks after spring break, March 17-March 26. Lake Michigan College announced campus will be closed for all face -to face classes from Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 20. Southwest Michigan College Dowagiac and Niles campuses will be suspended face- to -face classes and switch to online learning beginning Monday, March 16.
All ‘non-essential’ meetings for the City of kalamazoo have been cancelled. Including meetings planned to seek citizen input on a proposed ordinance to stop landlords from discriminating against prospective tenants. Senior Services of Southwest Michigan offices will close starting Monday, March 16. Home care and meals on wheels will still function as normal. The Kalamazoo County Jail does not have in-person visitation, only remote visitation by video.
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.