5/16/23: Pollution a priority

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

High 73°/Low 44° Sunny

Kzoo city leaders say cleaning up air pollution on the Northside is a top priority. Also: Kalamazoo is rejoining a regional economic development org two years after they split up. And there are photos popping up all over Bronson Park.

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Northside pollution a top priority for city leaders

Kalamazoo city commissioners last night pledged to do what they can to eliminate air pollution in the city’s Northside neighborhood. That follows the release last week of a state report showing that both noxious odors and harmful health effects are being caused by toxic gas releases from two Northside facilities: a wastewater treatment plant and a factory belonging to Graphics Packaging International. “We have a responsibility in this because we have given tax breaks to Graphics Packaging,” said Vice Mayor Don Cooney.

Plans are currently underway to build a dedicated pipeline to transmit wastewater between the Graphic Packaging plant and the wastewater facility. That could reduce emissions of harmful hydrogen sulfide gases. Graphic Packaging also has plans to install “scrubbers” to clean gases before they’re released. A meeting on Thursday could reveal more information on strategies for eliminating the pollution. Several city commissioners said they plan to attend in order to ask questions of state officials. That meeting will be held at 5:30pm at Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

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Kzoo rejoins SW Michigan First

About two years ago, the city of Kalamazoo cut ties with the regional economic development group Southwest Michigan First. Last night, the city commission decided to rejoin the organization. The action adds the city back to Southwest Michigan First’s Council of 100, a group of businesses, governments, and other organizations that collaborate on economic development goals. The membership costs the city $15,000 per year.

Kalamazoo left the organization in February 2021 to protest the hiring of former Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield as its CEO. The hire brought much criticism from the community because of Chatfield’s participation in blocking gay rights legislation. Chatfield subsequently stepped down. In rejoining the organization, the city highlighted Southwest Michigan First’s role in developing an arena in downtown Kalamazoo. [MLive]

Pictures on the sidewalk

Something unusual is happening in Bronson Park. Photographs of Kalamazoo Public Schools students are popping up all over the sidewalks. The installation is a part of the district’s outdoor art show, which officially begins on Friday. It’s also part of a larger, global endeavor called the Inside Out Project. The project encourages local artists to participate in posting black-and-white portraits in public spaces. KPS Art Lead Teacher Mandy Clearwaters told Fox 17 there’s also a deeper meaning in KPS’s action. “Our goal is to show that an artist is not a one size fits all. But artists look and act and feel in many different ways,” she said. Crews are still in the middle of installing the photos. Before the show launches Friday afternoon, there should be more than 900 faces gracing the surface of the park. [Fox 17]

Things To Do In Kalamazoo

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Kalamazoo Bike Week – Various

Peacock Planting Days – Bronson Park
9AM 5/16

Festival in the Flats – Celery Flats Park
10:30AM 5/16

Conservation Café: A Place Worth Protecting – John E. Fetzer Center
12:00PM 5/16

Cross Currents: East/West – Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
12:00PM 5/16

Green Drinks | Bronco Challenge for Sustainable Impact – Southwest Michigan First
5:00PM 5/16

Jazz with Barry Ross, Violin, and Terry Lower, Jazz Piano – Martell’s
5:30PM 5/16

Open Mic with THE DOC – Old Dog Tavern
6:00PM 5/16

Italy vs. The World – Comensoli’s Italian Bistro & Bar
6:00PM 5/16

Baklava In History: A Live and Interactive Class – Chef Channon’s Ecclectic Kitchen
6:30PM 5/16

Trivia night – Shakespeare’s Pub
7:00PM 5/16

Trivia Night – Louie’s Trophy House
7:00PM 5/16

Rules & Tools Supporting Struggling Readers – SLD Read
9:00AM 5/17

Portage Planting Days – Portage District Library
9AM 5/17-19

Advancing Housing Equity in Michigan During and Beyond COVID-19 – Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan
9:30AM 5/17

DIY Glassware Painting with Airstream Club International – Kalamazoo County Expo Center
2:00PM 5/17

The Personal Librarian – Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
2:00PM 5/17

Bike Rodeo – Kzoo Parks
5:00PM 5/17

Family Literacy Days – Kalamazoo Literacy Council
5:00PM 5/17

Washington Square Branch Library Spring Celebration – Kalamazoo Public Library, Washington Square
5:30PM 5/17

Trivia Night at the Bookstore – this is a bookstore | Bookbug
6:00PM 5/17

Board Game Night – Main Street Pub, West Main
6:00PM 5/17

3 of a Kind – Hilton Garden Inn
7:00PM 5/17

Karaoke – Shakespeare’s Pub
8:30PM 5/17

Wednesday Comedy Night – Final Gravity Brewing Co.
8:30PM 5/17

Growing Your Business Beyond 6 Figures – Kalamazoo Nonprofit Advocacy Coalition
9:00AM 5/18

Guardians of Michigan with Lynn Houghton and Jeff Morrison – Kalamazoo Public Library, Central
4:00PM 5/18

Rock-N-Roll into Summer! Family Resource Night – Kalamazoo Farmers Market
5:30PM 5/18

KalaSalon: YOU Can Build It! Coming Out of the Woodwork with The Dapper Hammer – Green Door Distilling Co.
6:30PM 5/18

Stulberg Spring Soiree – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
6:30PM 5/18

An Evening of Sound – KP (Fit)ness
6:30PM 5/18

Canuck Club – Final Gravity Brewing Co.
7:00PM 5/18

The Kettle Belles – O’Duffy’s Pub
7:00PM 5/18

Next To Normal – Kalamazoo College, Balch Playhouse
7:30PM 5/18-20, 2PM 5/21

Punk Rock Vinyl Night – Apoptosis Brewing Co.
7:30PM 5/18

Larry McCray wsg Out of Favor Boys – Rugger’s Up and Under
8:00PM 5/18

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