4/7/23: A revised arena agreement

Friday, April 7, 2023

High 51°/Low 33° Sunny

After much debate, Kalamazoo county leaders have agreed to sell land to arena developers, but with some tweaks. Also: Kalamazoo schools is installing cameras on school buses in an effort to catch dangerous drivers. And after two years, work on I-94 will finally come to an end.

NowKalamazoo Partner Event
Group of people laughing and chatting underneath the text "Eat. Drink. Give. Craft beer. Wine. Great food."

A fundraising gala supporting

logo for Gryphon Place

Friday, April 28, 2023 | 7-10PM
Girl Scouts Program & Training Center

It’s back! Eat Drink Give returns to bring hundreds of guests together to enjoy a memorable evening filled with food, drinks, music, and fun. This gala features tasty creations, an impressive selection of wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages for sampling, an awesome venue, fabulous raffle and auction prizes, and best of all — people who want to make a difference!

The funds raised at Eat Drink Give will support Gryphon Place’s local programs and services, including 2-1-1, suicide prevention, youth services, Restorative Practices and more. We know the last few years have been difficult for everyone, so the joy of celebrating and supporting our community is needed now more than ever. We hope to see you there!

For tickets and more information: www.gryphon.org/edg

News You Need To Know

County approves arena land sale

During a special meeting on Thursday, Kalamazoo County commissioners agreed to sell two downtown Kalamazoo parcels of land to developers intending to build an arena. Board Chair John Taylor signed the agreement with Catalyst Development, which is likely to sign the agreement today. That would allow it to move forward with the planning phases of the project.

The county commission originally considered the sales agreement during its regular meeting on Tuesday, but some commissioners felt it needed tweaking. Taylor told Fox 17 the agreement he signed is 99% the same as the original. What changed is language that allows the county to buy back the properties if Catalyst backs out. It also details that 20% of concession space will be reserved for “economically disadvantaged communities who reside in Kalamazoo County” for a period of 15 years. Construction on the arena could begin as soon as the fall. [Fox 17]

Cameras for school buses

In an effort to crack down on drivers illegally passing school buses, Kalamazoo Public Schools is purchasing 115 Stop Arm cameras. The cameras will be installed on the stop signs that extend from the sides of school buses when they stop to pick up or drop off students. They’ll record the license plates of any vehicles that pass the buses during the stops. The district will share those pictures with the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, which will issue citations to the drivers.

Passing a stopped school bus with the stop sign extended is a civil infraction in Michigan, punishable by a fine of $100 to $500 dollars. Motorists passing those buses has long been a problem in Kalamazoo. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen cars fly past school buses,” said KPS Trustee Jennie Hill. The purchase will cost the district about $126,000. [MLive]

I-94 Portage Road work wrapping up

Traffic on Portage Road in Kalamazoo could finally return to normal sometime this summer. The interchange between Portage Road and I-94 has been under construction for two years. The $87 million project will result in the highway being expanded from four lanes to six lanes. The Michigan Department of Transportation said the work will be done by August.

The entire project launched in April 2021 and was meant to be completed by last fall. Several issues forced work to be delayed. The COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues, and design changes all contributed to the delay. MDOT Spokesperson Nick Schirripa told WWMT that he understands the strain that construction has caused local drivers. “It’s been challenging from the work end of it, but I think from the public perspective it’s been even more frustrating,” he said. “We want to get this done and we’ve been chomping at the bit for the better part of the last year to deliver it as quickly as possible.” [WWMT]

Things To Do In Kalamazoo

Brought to you by

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Board Game Night – this is a bookstore | Bookbug
5:00PM 4/7

Elemental Press Presents: Recreation Collective Hard Boiled Opening Event – Park Trades Center
5:00PM 4/7

Music with Steve Kamerling – Brick + Brine
6:00PM 4/7

Pitch Night – Startup Zoo
6:00PM 4/7

Pre-Party with Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
6:20PM 4/7

Ultra Reflection Fashion Show – Kalamazoo County Expo Center
7:00PM 4/7

Live Music with Bear Tracks Music – Green Door Distilling Co.
7:00PM 4/7

The Play That Goes Wrong – WMU, Shaw Theatre
7:30pm 4/7-8, 4/13-15; 2pm 4/16

Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers w/ Parker Ryan – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
8:00PM 4/7

5th Anniversary Twerk Werk Fest – The Xperience By Luxury Escapes
8:00PM 4/7

The Missing Generation – Old Dog Tavern
8:00PM 4/7

Beginning Birding: Hawks of Kleinstuck – Ayurvedic Wellness Center
8:00AM 4/8

Kalamazoo Indoor Flea Market – Kalamazoo County Expo Center
8:00AM 4/8

Southwest Michigan Beekeeping Expo – Kalamazoo County Expo Center
9:00AM 4/8

Your Story! A Chronicle of Connection – Public Media Network
10:00AM 4/8

Antique Bottle & Glass Show – Kalamazoo County Expo Center
10:00AM 4/8

Kids Workshop: Peter Rabbit’s Garden – Wenke Greenhouse Retail Store
10:00AM 4/8

Art Detectives: Through Georgia’s Eyes – Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
10:30AM 4/8

The Easter Bunny visits Wenke Greenhouses – Wenke Greenhouse Retail Store
10:30AM 4/8

Egg Hunt – Mayors’ Riverfront Park
2:00PM 4/8

Washington Ave Art Crawl – Edison Neighborhood Association
2:00PM 4/8

Classic Movie: Li’l Abner – Portage District Library
2:00PM 4/8

Bell Book and Canto – Dormouse Theatre
6:00PM 4/8

Joshua Davis – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
8:00PM 4/8

Stand Up Comedy Night – Presidential Brewing Co.
8:00PM 4/8

The Kennedy Affair – Hub Tavern + Grill
9:00PM 4/8

See more upcoming events here.

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