5/24/23: Drive-thru marijuana

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

High 69°/Low 39° Sunny

The city of Portage will now allow drive-thru marijuana dispensaries. Also: A virtual event tomorrow will seek to answer questions about Kalamazoo’s downtown event center project. And southwest Michigan welcomes a new bishop.

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Portage approves marijuana drive-thrus

The Portage city council has given its final approval to a plan to allow drive-thru marijuana dispensaries in the city. The distribution method was initially allowed under pandemic rules meant to slow the spread of COVID-19. Those rules ended with the end of the pandemic state of emergency, but dispensary owner James Brayton told council members that a drive-thru is still necessary. “There’s demand for it and, from what we’ve seen, it’s not excessive,” he said. “But for the people that do count on that, it’s very important.” He’s talking about people who are disabled or who suffer from anxiety that makes going into a dispensary difficult.

The ordinance change allows for drive-thru dispensaries, but only for ones that also meet other criteria. Rules call for security cameras and drive-thru lanes that leave space for cars to line up. The ordinance update also changed one other thing: the spelling of marijuana. For years, state and city documents have referred to the drug as “marihuana” with an “h.” The updates change it to the more common spelling with a “j.”

Kzoo releases road change videos

Later today, Kalamazoo residents will get a first glimpse of new plans to dramatically change the flow of traffic downtown. But before that happens, they can see videos about the project. The city of Kalamazoo has released a series of five short videos about the decade-long project to morph several one-way streets into two-way streets. The first of the streets to be updated will be Kalamazoo Avenue. Though that phase of construction won’t get underway until next year, an open house from 4:30 to 7pm today at Bell’s Brewery will give the public a chance to ask questions.

Odds are that many of those questions could be answered by the videos, though. The five shorts go through the history of downtown Kalamazoo streets, the process that resulted in the current plans, and how the project will go forward. You can see all the videos on the city’s YouTube page.

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Got arena questions?

What we do know? There are plans to build an arena and event center in downtown Kalamazoo. Just about everything else is up in the air. A virtual event Thursday morning will seek to answer some of the questions flying around about the project. The event will be held over Zoom and feature Jonas Peterson, CEO of Southwest Michigan First, and Jane Ghosh, president and CEO of Discover Kalamazoo.

Some other things we know about the project is that it’s planned to be built on four blocks of land between Westnedge Avenue and Park Street along Kalamazoo Avenue. It’s expected to cost about $300 million, none of it coming from public funds. A portion of the money will go toward Northside development. Formal plans, timing, and details such as what happens to Arcadia Creek are still in development. [MLive]

Weekend murder was not a shooting

A woman killed over the weekend was stabbed to death, not shot as we reported yesterday. According to a statement from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, Taylor Anne Dragicevich, 28, was stabbed several times at the Emerald Park Apartments off East Cork Street on Saturday afternoon. She was taken to the hospital where she later died. WWMT reports that Dragicevich had filed a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend earlier this year. Police have not identified the ex-boyfriend as a suspect, but a person of interest was arrested in Lawton on Sunday. [WWMT]

Pope picks new Kzoo bishop

The head of the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo is hanging up his vestments. Bishop Paul J. Bradley has run the local diocese since 2009, but church law requires him to retire after he turns 75. Yesterday, the Catholic church announced his replacement: Edward M. Lohse, 61, of Erie, Pa. Lohse will become the fifth bishop of the Kalamazoo diocese once he is ordained in July. The Kalamazoo diocese covers roughly 80,000 Catholics in a nine county area. [MLive]

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Garlic Mustard & Dame’s Rocket Pulling Day – Kalamazoo Nature Center
8:30AM 5/24

Party in the Park – Bronson Park
10:00AM 5/24

Public Services Week: All Things Wastewater – 1415 N Harrison
5:30PM 5/24

Public Services Week: All Things Water – 415 E Stockbridge
5:30PM 5/24

this is a puzzle competition – this is a bookstore | Bookbug
6:00PM 5/24

Board Game Night – Main Street Pub, West Main
6:00PM 5/24

Eating Wild for the Future – Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones
7:00PM 5/24

3 of a Kind – Hilton Garden Inn
7:00PM 5/24

Decades of Hits! – Kalamazoo Civic Theatre
7:30PM 5/24

“Love Is…” volume 6 – Kalamazoo Bach Festival
7:30PM 5/24

Karaoke – Shakespeare’s Pub
8:30PM 5/24

West MI Apple Blossom Cluster Dog Show – Kalamazoo County Expo Center
8AM 5/25-29

Downtown Kalamazoo Event Center (virtual meeting) – Southwest Michigan First
9:00AM 2/25

Open Mic Night at Table of Contents Cafe – this is a bookstore | Bookbug
5:00PM 5/25

Public Services Week: All Things Public Works – 415 E Stockbridge
5:30PM 5/25

Public Services Week: Groundwater and Water Production at the Central Pumping Station – 215 E Stockbridge
5:30PM 5/25

West Michigan Area Show Opening and Awards Ceremony – Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
5:45PM 5/25

GLAMA Jam! – Old Dog Tavern
6:00PM 5/25

Paint With Coleen: Bee Happy! – Parchment Community Library
6:00PM 5/25

City Centre Live!!!!! w/ Zion Lion – The Xperience by LuXury Escapes
6:30PM 5/25

Sunny Bleau and The Moons: Slow Burn Album Tour – Dormouse Theatre
7:00PM 5/25

GD Funny! May – Green Door Distilling Co.
7:00PM 5/25

Sadie Bass Live – Rugger’s Up and Under
7:00PM 5/25

Friday at the Flats – Celery Flats Park
4:30PM 5/26

Portage Craft Market – Celery Flats Park
4:30PM 5/26

Music with Steve Kamerling – Brick + Brine
6:00PM 5/26

The Beer Garden Sessions ft. Megan Rae Band! – Presidential Brewing Co.
7:00PM 5/26

Emily Braden – Jazz at the Crawlspace
7:30PM 5/26

Roochie Toochie and the Ragtime Shepherd Kings – Dormouse Theatre
8:00PM 5/26

Fenne Lily & Christian Lee Hutson w/ Work Wife – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
8:00PM 5/26

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