Andy Robins started his professional radio broadcasting career in 1974. He was a reporter for stations in Kalamazoo, Benton Harbor-Saint Joseph, and South Haven before joining the news staff of WMUK 102.1 FM, the NPR-affiliate public radio station in Kalamazoo in 1985. He became the station's news director in 1998 and retired in 2021. He now is an independent journalist in southwest Michigan and co-produces the science fiction podcast RetroRockets. https://retrorocketspodcast.podbean.com/
The last shoe drops
A third-generation Kalamazoo cobbler is shutting down his shop with no one left to take it over when he retires this summer. It’s a trend in a craft that has devastated local customers and, nationally, underscores an embrace of waste.
A new place to play, again
Two years ago, the Edison Neighborhood Association handed over a playground to a new owner. It had been in disrepair, and a magnet for litter, drugs, and danger. Now its development is reinvigorating streets that had been written off.
Mental health professionals of color are in the vanguard of the fight against burnout
The pandemic has increased the already large need for mental health services. The system hasn’t kept up, putting more pressure on those on the frontlines.
Supporting youth mental health: Opportunities and obstacles
A recent community conversation amplified the needs and solutions to maintaining young people’s wellness.
What’s ahead for downtown Kalamazoo?
We talk to Rebekah Kik, the head of Kalamazoo’s Community Planning & Economic Development Department, who is tasked with turning around downtown governance and kick-starting a new era of development.
Language barrier key to welcoming refugees
English skills make accessing services and work opportunities easier – and widens the circle of support for processing trauma. Kalamazoo Literacy Council is holding a special training to support refugees on Feb. 12.