Ben Lando

Bio

Ben Lando, a 4th generation Kalamazooan, became a journalist more than 20 years ago covering Kalamazoo city and county governments and other community stories for local radio stations and newspapers. Based in Washington, D.C., from '06-'09, he was a reporter and editor for United Press International covering U.S. and global energy/political/security stories. He moved to Baghdad in '09 as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Time, and other news outlets. He founded www.iraqoilreport.com which remains the premier outlet covering economic, security, and political developments. He returned home in 2013, started a family, and launched NowKalamazoo in 2019.

Articles

a group of men fighting in the street in downtown Kalamazoo, some of them waving U.S. flags

October 19, 2022

A consultant hired by the city of Kalamazoo didn’t just recommend 40 policy changes, it also suggested better communication to the community and a police department more receptive to critique – two ways to avoid a repeat of the summer of 2020.

officers on bicycles block a road while two others question a protestor

October 18, 2022

A consultant recommended dozens of changes to Kalamazoo city administration and police policies following the controversial summer of 2020 protests. Over a year later, a quarter of them have yet to be fully completed.

September 20, 2022

Dear Reader, When I founded NowKalamazoo in 2019, our mission was to fill the gap in community news coverage with truly local, independent, high-quality journalism. Beginning with our award-winning coverage of the homelessness crisis, we’ve expanded into telling the stories of local entrepreneurs, restaurants and chefs, and other people and organizations whose actions are an […]

a Portland Loo public toilet installed near a park

August 24, 2022

City officials outlined plans and solicited input from businesses on a range of downtown Kalamazoo priorities.

a screenshot from a Fox News segment with Commissioner Chris Praedel sitting at a city commission meeting

July 27, 2022

Chris Praedel and the rest of the Kalamazoo City Commission stopped public urination from going on someone’s criminal record. But because he used the term “equity” to explain his vote, a Fox News host featured him on his show, and fans from around the country bombarded Praedel with angry messages.

two road signs reading "one way" and pointing in opposite directions

July 19, 2022

The City of Kalamazoo is planning to switch Kalamazoo and Michigan avenues from one-way to two-way. We get your questions answered about this major development underway in downtown Kalamazoo.

Daniel May stands at an unfished bar inside his cocktail lounge

June 20, 2022

The new Dabney & Co., named after a pioneering mixologist who was forced to buy his way out of slavery, will open in the former Civil House Coffee space in downtown Kalamazoo.

yafinceio harris sits and talks to a young man

May 16, 2022

A decade ago, two enemies in Kalamazoo put down their guns. Following two straight years of record gun violence in the city, their intervention program remains especially vigilant in helping others decide to disarm – or not pick up a gun in the first place.

Raphael Thurin and Trent Friske stand in a room full of marijuana plants

May 10, 2022

The only Black- and Indigenous-owned marijuana business in Kalamazoo is targeting another 400 pounds a month when their expansion is completed. But Ahki Canna is an outlier in an industry dominated by the white and wealthy.

The leaders of the new Obodo Easy Access Clinic stand in a row

February 16, 2022

One of the first clinics in the country for mind-and-body family care is opening in Kalamazoo. An explicit goal is to protect against the harm from a healthcare system that makes Black families particularly vulnerable.