Jon Towne

Between the Lines: Eating Organic in Michigan

We see the "Certified Organic" label everywhere these days. It's in little food co-ops and big supermarkets. But what does it mean? And how did it all begin? Maynard Kaufman and Julia Christianson supply some answers in the book they edited, The Organic Movement in Michigan . It's a collection of 19 essays by different Michigan authors that's published by Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance, or MOFFA. The essays tell the story of the organic movement from its first days and consider its future.

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Hup Skerries, via YouTube

Jesse Smith And Sean Gavin To Play A 'Pure Drop' Irish Concert

Just a fiddle, and a flute. And rhythm, ornaments, breath accents, and stories. In the tradition of Irish folk music, two players is enough for an evening's entertainment, harkening back to the days when resources were scarce but social music-making was prized. On Thursday at First Congregational Church, fiddler Jesse Smith (Danu, The Tap Room Trio) and flutist Sean Gavin (Bua, Teada) will perform, highlighting their new album, Music From The Lost Continent , which was called "straight-up trad at its best" in a Tradconnect review . Cara Lieurance spoke with Jesse Smith about his love of the music and his admiration for players of the past, including Michael Coleman, who was famous in the 1920 for his cylinder recordings.

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Kalamazoo Public Schools and three other districts appear to be moving closer to settling a lawsuit against the state. The districts went to court after the School Reform Office said it might close 38 schools, including two in Kalamazoo. 

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Commissioners are also considering major changes for the veteran services department.

Kalamazoo County appears likely to place a senior millage on the November ballot, though it still has to work out the details. On Tuesday commissioners set a special meeting for August 8 where they hope to hammer out the language.

Kevin Lavery, WKAR

Democratic lawmakers in Lansing have rolled out bills to give a stronger advantage to Michigan companies bidding to do business with the state. 

A petition to end gerrymandering is circulating in Michigan. Stryker Corp. wins a $240 million lawsuit for patent infringement. WMU will upgrade the president's house on campus before Edward Montgomery's first day.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

The city also plans to switch to single-stream recycling.

Streets and parks in the City of Kalamazoo will get an update thanks in part to a large private donation the city received last year. On Monday, city commissioners agreed to spend $1,470,000 from the Foundation for Excellence for the work.

Among other things, the city plans updates for three parks, Davis, Rockwell and Frays. It’ll also add a sidewalk along part of Woodward Avenue and catch up with tree trimming and removal on the North Side.

Seita Scholars Program courtesy photo

A winter coat? Boots? An umbrella? Sheets? Toothpaste? Things we take for granted. Not so for former foster youth starting college, says Ronicka Hamilton, director of Western Michigan University's Seita Scholars Program that helps these students succeed at Western. The program, which just graduated its 100th student, is now collecting items for the new round of participants. On today's WestSouthwest current affairs show, we revisit the Seita Scholars Program. It turns 10 years old this fall. (Click on icon to hear the show.)

Larry Page, Wikimedia Commons / Wikimedia Commons

The state Department of Transportation is experimenting with an alternative to the well-known M-22 highway sign in northern Michigan. That’s because the signs keep getting stolen. 

“We Got It Done”: Governor Snyder Signs Budget

Jul 17, 2017
Kevin Lavery, WKAR

The state officially has a spending plan for 2018. Governor Rick Snyder signed a signed a $56.5 billion budget Friday. 

State House Republicans and Democrats introduce legislation affecting immigrants. Michigan Democrats and anti-Trump groups team up to do healthcare town halls. Kalamazoo County wants to move the veterans service office. The Kellogg Foundation grants Battle Creek $1.5 million for economic development. New data shows Michigan gets most of its newcomers from Texas. 

Katherine Nofs

Based on a 2004 book by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry, the Broadway adaptation of Peter And The Starcatcher became a Tony-winning show in 2012 that tackled the timeless themes of the Peter Pan story in an original way. On top of that, it boasted virtuoso roles for twelve actors, and a charmingly low-tech staging that, by design, enhances the audience's willingness to believe. The ensemble cast for the Farmers Alley Theatre production, which begins July 21, includes Harrison Bryan as Peter, and Courtney Martin as Molly. They tell Cara Lieurance what it was like to take on their roles. And Deputy director Rob Weiner helps explain the elements of Peter And The Starcatcher.