Category Archives: Michigan (including Kalamazoo)

A Problem Solved: WMU’s BTR Park Downtown on Arcadia Commons

  The following was submitted to the Kalamazoo Gazette on 8 June. The next day the Gazette’s Community Engagement Specialist informed me that it would be published as a guest column within the next few days.  This has not happened as of 15 June so I decided to post it here in a slightly expanded version. Solutions […]

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Tuesday Noon (26 May 2015) Nature and Art at KIA

A program coming up at noon Tuesday (26 May) at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art sounds promising for people interested in art and nature. Here’s what the KIA’s website says about it:   From the Darkness: Light: What an Ecologist and a Poet See in the Art of Ladislav Hanka  Presenters: James Armstrong, Kim Chapman […]

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Earth Day 2015 Colony Farm Orchard Protest

The Save the Colony Farm Orchard group held a second protest rally at the Orchard on this day (22 April 2015). Three speakers made brief remarks. The following is approximately what I said plus a few things that I left out for brevity or that I should have said but didn’t. My topic was What would […]

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Spring Wildflower Walk at Brewer Woods

  Under the auspices of the Southwest Chapter of the Michigan Botanical Club, I will lead a field trip at the Michigan Nature Association’s Brewer Woods Sanctuary on Saturday 2 May 2015. It begins at 10:00 AM at the woods, located in Pavilion Township. The 41-acre preserve is mostly beech-maple forest, or southern mesic forest. […]

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Must the Colony Farm Orchard Be Developed?

  Between 1959 and 1977, Western Michigan University (WMU) received gifts of  land–the Colony Farm–that had been acquired by the state with tax-payer money several decades earlier. The land came to WMU with a restriction that it was to be kept as open space for public use. The gift and the restriction were mostly the […]

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April 1, 2015, the Frogs are Calling

  Winter had a long tail that ran all way to the end of March, but mid-afternoon today when Katy and I pulled into the driveway here in Oshtemo Township we could hear the clatter of the wood frogs calling without having to lower the car windows. We had heard nothing when we left early […]

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Petition to Save the Colony Farm Orchard is Available to Sign

Western Michigan University has once again renewed its attempt to demolish the naturally occurring vegetation and fauna of the Colony Farm Orchard (CFO). The purpose, it is claimed, is to expand WMU’s Business, Technology, Research (BTR) Park.   Many of us will remember the battle between WMU and the pro-environment opponents that occurred in 2009-2010.  […]

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February 2015, California and Kalamazoo

Katy and I gave February in Kalamazoo a miss for 2015, as did a few other people we know.  The Polar Vortex of 2014 was what prompted our and others’ decisions. And away to warmer climates was the right direction to take: The vortex was operating this year too.  Here in Kalamazoo, the daily low […]

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In Southwest Michigan, Vote Tuesday November 4 For Paul Clements and Mark Totten

Election day 2014 is coming up.  The Democratic party has some remarkably good candidates. Paul Clements and Mark Totten are two.  Clements is running for US Congress in the 6th district.  Totten is running for Michigan Attorney General. Here’s a letter I sent to the Kalamazoo Gazette several days ago (published on-line at M-Live) about […]

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A Day at the Elkhart Jazz Festival, 2014

Elkhart, a middle-sized town in northern Indiana, holds a jazz festival every year on the weekend closest to the Summer Solstice. Katy and I drove down for the Saturday afternoon session this year. Jazz musicians don’t tend to be early risers, so not much was happening until 10 or 11 AM other than high-school jazz […]

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