Surviving but Not Thriving Poverty in Kalamazoo
Teach Tango, Will Travel
Makerspace Becomes a Reality
Southwest Michiganâ€™s Magazine
The Sweet Life
Commercial beekeeping with Jeremiah Barnes
up front encore
DUANE ROBERTS DIED IN 1989
TODAY HE’S FIGHTING FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE IN OUR COMMUNITY AND BEYOND
Duane Roberts was a champion for social justice and racial equity in Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo Public Schools graduate, who served with the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II and was president of the local branch of the NAACP, was instrumental in convincing the KPS Board of Education to desegregate Kalamazoo’s schools in 1971. His legacy is the Duane Roberts Scholarship, created to honor him and his commitment to social justice in Kalamazoo. Each year the scholarship is awarded to two minority KPS graduates who, like Duane, demonstrate a commitment to social justice. We can help you show your love for Kalamazoo and leave a legacy too. Call 269.381.4416 or visit www.kalfound.org to learn how.
2 | Encore OCTOBER 2015
“When I couldn’t see my golf ball land, I thought I just needed to get my eyes checked. I was shocked to find out it was a tumor on my brain. I was really overwhelmed, but knew I had to look into my options and come up with a plan right away. Knowing the care I needed was extremely complex, I thought I was going to have to go to a specialized hospital like the Cleveland Clinic or Mayo. Everything changed when I found out Bronson has the specially-trained neuro team with the same experience as those at any nationally-known hospital. I connected with the surgeons right away, and I was comfortable knowing I could stay close to home without compromising the quality of my care. I can’t say enough about the care I received at Bronson.” Mark, Grand Rapids, Michigan To watch Mark’s story and learn more about brain surgery at Bronson, visit bronsonpositivity.com/brain.
Editor's note encore
Surviving but Not Thriving Poverty in Kalamazoo
Teach Tango, Will Travel
Makerspace Becomes a Reality
Southwest Michigan’s Magazine
The Sweet Life
From the Editor
Commercial beekeeping with Jeremiah Barnes
ncore is all about celebrating the people, places and organizations that make this community great. In fact, there are so many wonderful stories for us to tell that we could fill multiple issues every month. This month, in addition to presenting stories that celebrate the community, we also look at a hard subject that plagues our county: poverty. In a community where so much is good and many people are prosperous, a third of our residents live in poverty. It seems hard to fathom that one in five children in our community lives in a family that struggles regularly to obtain food and other basic necessities. But we need to fathom it. As Tim Ready, director of Western Michigan University’s Lewis Walker Institute said in a March story in the Kalamazoo Gazette, “The first step is to recognize that we have these issues and they matter.” This month Encore takes that step. In researching his story "Surviving But Not Thriving," which appears on Page 24, writer Andrew Domino found that signs of poverty in Kalamazoo County aren’t obvious, like the person panhandling on a street corner or those living in run-down, dilapidated homes. But just because poverty is often hidden from view doesn’t mean it isn’t there. As Andrew tells us, poverty isn’t synonymous with unemployment. Two-thirds of the adults in poverty in our community work part time or full time. Many times they work more than one job. The United Way has a term for these individuals — ALICE, meaning Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed — and it includes families with adults who have jobs but are not bringing in enough income to pay for basic needs like health care, housing, transportation, food and child care. In his story, Andrew looks at renewed efforts by the city, county and local organizations to combat poverty and find a way to help our most vulnerable citizens. With an influx of funding from the newly established Foundation for Excellence, there is real hope that their efforts can make a difference for the estimated 45,000 of our fellow citizens living in poverty. But if throwing money at a problem would solve it, poverty would already be lower in Kalamazoo County. It is more complicated than that and requires collaboration and coordination among local governments, nonprofits and other agencies that serve the poor. These agencies and leaders all want the same thing: to see everyone in our community not just survive, but thrive. And so do we. But we have to take that first step: recognize that poverty in our community exists and fight it, not hide it.
Marie Lee 4 | Encore JUNE 2017
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Encore Magazine is published 12 times yearly. Copyright 2017, Encore Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Editorial, circulation and advertising correspondence should be sent to:
www.encorekalamazoo.com 117 W. Cedar St. Suite A, Kalamazoo, MI 49007 Telephone: (269) 383-4433 Fax: (269) 383-9767 Email: Publisher@encorekalamazoo.com The staff at Encore welcomes written comment from readers, and articles and poems for submission with no obligation to print or return them. To learn more about us or to comment, visit encorekalamazoo.com. Encore subscription rates: one year $36, two years $70. Current single issue and newsstand $4, $10 by mail. Back issues $6, $12 by mail. Advertising rates on request. Closing date for space is 28 days prior to publication date. Final date for print-ready copy is 21 days prior to publication date. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by those interviewed and published here do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Encore Magazine or the official policies, owners or employees of Encore Publications.
FEATURES Surviving but Not Thriving
A Lot of Buzz
Is poverty in Kalamazoo County a fixable problem?
Millions of bees keep Jeremiah Barnes busy as a … well, you know
DEPARTMENTS 6 Contributors 7 First Things Happenings in SW Michigan
12 Up Front
They Made It! — After a long gestation, Kalamazoo's makerspace is a reality
Better-for-You Beauty — Suzanne HuffmanChamberlin is an advocate for safer beauty treatments
38 Back Story
Meet Tim Krone — Pedal Bicycles’ owner enjoys spinning his wheels
30 Two that Tango Duo travels globe teaching Argentine dance
32 Events of Note
On the cover: Commercial beekeeper Jeremiah Barnes uses a smoker to check on one of his 500 hives. Photos by Brian Powers.
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Robert M. Weir
For this month’s issue, Lisa Andrew, a freelance writer spoke with Jeremiah Barnes, and blogger, writes about owner of Harvest Honeybee Farm finance, culture and hobbies for in Hickory Corners, and discovered publications in Kalamazoo, across the ins and outs of commercial the U.S. and online. While writing beekeeping. “I knew that honeythis month’s story on poverty, he bees were important for crops,” was surprised to learn how many Kalamazoo County families cannot afford housing or even food. You Lisa says. “but I was astounded to learn exactly how important.” At 24, Barnes already has a lifetime of experience — his first introduction can see more of his writing at www.dominowriting.com. to honeybees was from the vantage point of a car seat: His father is also a beekeeper. “You can immediately grasp that Jeremiah loves his occupation and knows anything and everything about honeybees.” Lisa is a Portage-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to Encore.
A Kalamazoo-based freelance writer, Kara brings us this month’s story on Doruk Golcu and Erin Malley, instructors of Argentine tango who are married to each other. Malley told Kara that “U.S. teachers are really nice to students, but Argentine teachers are like: ‘What is this? Fix it!’” As an American, Kara says she identified with Malley, who had a hard time learning how to “follow” in tango. Golcu, on the other hand, said his challenges with “leading” are related to his upbringing in Turkey. “In Turkey,” he says, ”there is a lot of giving up control. You give control to your family and social circle, which sometimes makes me a natural follower.” See more of Kara’s writing at karanorman.com.
Robert, a Michigan-based writer, says he had two distinct reactions to his interview with Suzanne Huffman-Chamberlin for this month’s Enterprise story on Suzanne’s Organics Salon. First, not being one to frequent upscale hair salons, he was impressed by the salon’s enticing ambiance, which brought back contrasting memories of the one-chair, small-town barbershop of his youth. Second, having often written about issues of social justice, he was impressed by Huffman-Chamberlin’s activism within her industry to raise awareness about healthful alternatives to toxic skin and hair chemicals.
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211 East Water Street, Suite 401 Kalamazoo, MI 49007 269.343.2106
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Tour gives glimpse of the past
Kay WalkingStick, New Mexico Desert, 2011
Kay WalkingStick exhibit opens The exhibit Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist, opening at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts on June 17, is not to be missed. WalkingStick is recognized as one of today’s most accomplished artists of Native American descent, renowned for her landscape paintings and diverse approaches to painting. Her art often reflects themes of race, identity and national history. A Sensual Suggestion, 1974 More than 65 works from her 40-year career will fill all four main-floor galleries at the KIA. WalkingStick will visit Kalamazoo June 14–17 for several events, including a community welcome from 5:30–7p.m. June 14 at Kalamazoo City Hall and an artist’s talk at 6:30 p.m. June 15 at the KIA. The exhibition opening will take place from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. June 17. It will include a blessing at 11:30 a.m. and a celebration with traditional Native American music, dance and demonstrations by artists from the Gun Lake, Nottawaseppi Huron and Pokagon bands of the Potawatomi tribe. For more information, visit kiarts.org.
Better grab the chance now. If you love glimpsing into the past through the dusty windows of Kalamazoo’s historic buildings, then take in this year’s Hidden Kalamazoo tour June 16–17 in downtown Kalamazoo. The Hidden Kalamazoo tour began in 2013 as a way to showcase vacant downtown buildings, but as more and more of Kalamazoo’s historic buildings are transformed for new uses, there are fewer and fewer of these sites to tour, organizers say. Among this year’s tour stops are the former Masonic Temple building at 309 N. Rose St., the floors above the Old Dog Tavern, and the nearby Muleskinner. In addition, the tour will visit historic spaces actively used over the years, including the Kalamazoo State Theatre, Kalamazoo City Hall and the Ladies' Library building. Tickets are $15 and are available at Spirit of Kalamazoo, 154 S. Kalamazoo Mall; D&W Fresh Market stores at 2103 Parkview Ave. and 525 Romence Road; Kalamazoo City Hall, 241 W. South St.; and the Kalamazoo Public Services Building, 415 Stockbridge Ave.
One of the sites from a previous Hidden Kalamazoo tour. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 7
First Things encore
Kalamazoo pro/am soccer is back A surprise hit with families last year, high-level soccer returns this summer as Kalamazoo Football Club (KZFC) begins its second season in the pro/am National Premier Soccer League. The team’s roster includes both local collegiate standouts and international talent, giving local soccer fans an opportunity to see high-quality live soccer. The Kalamazoo club will face such rivals as Detroit City FC and Grand Rapids FC and welcome league newcomers the Milwaukee Torrent and FC Indiana. This month the Kalamazoo team’s home games are 5:30 p.m. June 11 and June 18 and 7:05 p.m. June 24 at Mayors' Riverfront Park, 251 Mills St. They will include half-time entertainment and full concessions. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for youth. For more information, visit kalamazoofc.net.
Take in an open-air concert
Those who love outdoor concerts but lament the short seasonal window Kalamazoo provides for such events will find ample opportunity to get their musical fix at this summer’s Concerts in the Park. Beginning this month, the weekly free concert series presented by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo will feature local artists performing at Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo every Sunday through the summer. Performances begin at 4 p.m. Concerts slated for June are: • June 4, the Kalamazoo Singers, choir; • June 11, The Red Sea Pedestrians, world/roots band; • June 18, Kalamazoo Concert Band, symphonic band; and • June 25, Susan “Bluesy Suzy” Harrison, singer/songwriter. For more information and the full summer schedule, visit KalamazooArts.org. The Red Sea Pedestrians
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encore First Things
Farmers Alley stages It Shoulda Been You Yep, it’s wedding season, and Farmers Alley Theatre has one you can attend that will make you laugh and sing — without having to bring a gift. It Shoulda Been You, playing June 9-25 at the Little Theatre, on Oakland Drive, features the Steinberg wedding, where the groom is Catholic, the bride is Jewish, her mother is a force of nature, and an ex-boyfriend drops in to make things interesting. It’s an event where anything that can go wrong does, but it’s still all about love. We promise. Show times are 8 p.m. June 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 and 24; 2 p.m. June 11, 18 and 25; and 7:30 p.m. June 15 and 22. Tickets are $33–$35. For tickets or more information, visit farmersalleytheatre.com or call 343-2727.
Something Delicious Learn to cook something
Here's a fun together-time activity with your friends or even your teenager that comes with a bonus: food. The People’s Food Co-op Natural Grocery & Deli, at 507 Harrison St., has two cooking classes scheduled this month. On June 20, the Cooking 105–Dessert class will show you how to ditch that box of Betty Crocker and make your own healthy and delicious desserts. During a June 27 class, the co-op’s culinary masters will demonstrate how to turn fresh vegetables into spring rolls, which they say are great for a quick meal and perfect for picnics. Both classes will be held from 6:30–8 p.m. The cost for each is $20 per person or free for those ages 12–17. You can register for the classes in person at the PFC. For more information, call 342-5686.
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First Things encore
Author to discuss ‘Aging with Soul’ Thomas Moore, the author of the New York Times bestselling book Care of the Soul and the forthcoming book Ageless Soul, says aging is not growing old but becoming more mature, ripe and interesting. And this month he will talk about “Aging with Soul” in a local dinner address and weekend retreat. Moore will be the keynote speaker for the Transformations Spirituality Center’s Voices of Wisdom Dinner June 15 at the Fountains Banquet Center, 535 S. Riverview Drive. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a reception, and tickets are $100. Moore will conduct a retreat on the same topic at Transformations Spirituality Center, 3427 Gull Road. The retreat will be held from 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. June 15 and 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. June 16 and costs $185. For more information or to register, visit TransformationsCenter.org or call 381-6290 ext. 327.
Arcadia Ales launches summer music series Attending a mini-music festival along Kalamazoo’s riverfront
with brew in hand on a warm summer night — what could be better than that? Arcadia Ales Kalamazoo, at 701 E. Michigan Ave., is launching the River’s Edge Summer Music Festival Series June 24 at its new outdoor entertainment space. The inaugural event begins at 3 p.m. and runs until after midnight. Western Michigan University students from radio station WIDR will spin records from 3–5 p.m., and performances will start at 5 p.m., featuring Retro Pop Shuffle, Brian Koenigsknecht, Mechele Peters & ’Til The Cowboys Come Home, FlyLiteGemini, DC & Yolonda Lavender, and Crime Funk. Other starting times and dates for the series are 5 p.m. July 22, 4 p.m. Aug. 12 and 4 p.m. Sept. 16. Tickets are $10 for each date or $30 for all four. Those 21 and younger, including children, are admitted free but cannot be present after 9 p.m. To buy tickets or for more information, visit arcadiaales.com/ summermusic or call 276-0458. (See ad on Page 39.)
10 | Encore JUNE 2017
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up front encore
They Made It!
After a long gestation, Kalamazoo makerspace is a reality by
loud rumble fills a frigid warehouse at 1102 E. Michigan Ave. as master woodcraftsman Don Batts leans over a wood jointer, making a twisted board flat with every pass across the circular blades. Helping him on his woodworking project is Rick Briscoe. “What they’re doing …” Dan Wilkins says, then pauses as Batts starts up the jointer. “What they’re doing is making a lot of noise,” Wilkins quips when it’s quiet again. ”We’re good at that!” replies Briscoe, who is helping Batts craft a workbench for Kzoo Makers, a community-based workspace, or “makerspace,” where members share equipment and knowledge. The workspace opened its doors in September after prolonged effort by its nonprofit parent organization, the Kalamazoo Innovation Initiative, to create a makerspace in the area. Wilkins is the current project manager for Kzoo Makers, Batts is the group’s woodworking “zone leader,” and Briscoe is a member of the makerspace. The woodshop takes up only a section of a warehouse that, if things go according to plan, will also house diesel mechanic training, metal-working, tooling, and screenprinting programs. The woodshop alone has everything one would need to turn roughcut lumber into finished furniture. On the other side of a breezeway, there’s a 3-D printing area with seven large printers; an 80-watt laser cutter that makes everything from beer caddies to etchings and engravings; a conference table; and an open classroom with a projector, white board and individual workstations. A virtual reality system sits against the opposite wall of the huge room, and down a hallway are smaller areas that house a video production room, electronics room and craft room where a recent polymer clay event was attended by individuals ages 8 to 60. 12 | Encore JUNE 2017
Clockwise from above: Dan Wilkins is the project manager for Kzoo Makers, a makerspace near downtown Kalamazoo; Kzoo Makers member Don Batts crafts a decorative wood piece on a CNC machine; Cathy Pruess, at right, teaches her daughter Diedra Pruess to set up a sewing machine; and member Joel Smith makes an electric shaker converter.
There’s also a room where regular classes are held on how to program the Raspberry Pi, a tiny, affordable computer that can, for example, be put inside a robot.
Supported by members Currently, Kazoo Makers’ operating costs run about $3,000 per month, a sum nearly covered by the organization’s 52 members, who pay for memberships ranging from lifetime ($4,200) to all-hours ($200 per month) to regular ($50 per month). Junior
encore Up Front
memberships run $35 per month, while day passes are available for $20. Near the 3-D printers, some beautifully turned dowels produced by Batts sit on a table, effects of his recent foray into Computer Numerical Control machinery, which he’s teaching himself to use. CNC machinery can cut materials such as wood, plastics and even steel, doing what used to be painstakingly done by hand with such tools as routers. It took Batts 15 minutes to make his dowels on the CNC machines. “It would take you all day to do that by hand,” says Wilkins. Batts purchased two CNC machines for himself after he suffered a shoulder injury. While most of the equipment in the makerspace belongs to individual members, w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 13
up front encore
Organize Your Garage!
Above: Lynden Kirk, at left, and Laurie Krohn, are programming Raspberry Pi computer modules. Right: One of the makerspace's seven 3-D printers at work.
the focus was on training youth, developing curriculum and “doing a lot of things for the community.” Those activities are important, he says, but he emphasized that member support is a top priority for him right now. The 38-year-old Wilkins, son of an Army officer, has a background in production management and was retired after 20 years working for water heater producer Bradford Whites Corp. when he heard about the
all of it is available to any member, once properly trained to use it. Most machinery is oversized, in keeping with Wilkins’ plans for the space. For example, while some people have a 6- or 8-inch jointer in their home workshop, the makerspace has a 16-inch jointer. “We’re trying to make every area into a place where people who have their own equipment at home still want to come,” says Wilkins. When he first heard about plans for a makerspace through his involvement with the Kalamazoo Makers Guild, he noticed that
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Kalamazoo Innovation Initiative’s plans for a makerspace. The effort had stalled over finding a facility and financing. Wilkins, who has been working for 3½ years toward a college degree in computer engineering at Western Michigan University, had what lots of people didn’t have: free time. He also had money to invest, so he used his time to hunt down a facility and some of his retirement savings to pay the first six months of rent for Kzoo Makers. Perhaps the biggest boon to his hunt was running into Mike Cunningham, a diesel mechanic with 45 years of experience, who wanted to buy a building, use part of it for diesel machinery training and fill the rest with renters. The two started looking at places together and found one down the road from Cunningham’s house. “I’m not gonna lie — that part is nice,” says Cunningham, laughing. The northern 25 feet of the building is designated for Cunningham’s diesel training school, which he hopes will include forklift training, air-brake training, Class B Commercial Driver License (CDL) training for driving buses and dump trucks, and heavyduty-equipment training. Cunningham had been looking for a facility for six years before he met Wilkins.
“The only reason I got a space is because of Dan,” says Cunningham, who purchased the building last August. “Nothing would be possible if he weren’t here.” “Dan’s the man making it happen,” agrees KII Board President Al Holloway, who has been working to bring a makerspace to Kalamazoo from its inception.
More on Kzoo Makers Location: 1102 E. Michigan Ave., just east of Riverview Drive Phone: 269-270-3141 Hours: 4–8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday Website: kzoomakers.org When Wilkins and Cunningham found their current warehouse, which had been owned by a repossession business, “the rooms were like a giant trash can,” says Wilkins. At first, Wilkins concentrated on filling the “clean” side, installing 3-D printers, the Raspberry Pi room, and a crafting room because, as he says, “that’s a makerspace.” Toward the end of December, members started on the woodworking area, bringing in machinery one piece at a time. About
2,000 feet of the warehouse is cordoned off for local bronze artist Joshua Diedrich, who rents a studio there (see Encore, May 2017). There’s also a 5-ton overhead crane near the welding zone. “You might put your belt buckle on there,” suggests Wilkins. “We’ll swing you around,” jokes Cunningham. Wilkins, who acts as the chief operating officer for the KII, is currently working with Kzoo Makers’ zone leaders to develop training in their specific areas. While certain lessons on the machinery could take up to 1½ hours to be introduced, Wilkins wants to see those lessons packaged into 15-minute segments. As for the community outreach that was part of the KII’s original vision, 10 Boy Scouts recently created pinewood derby cars on-site. With an instructor and a parent standing next to them, they got a 15-minute training session and then operated a bandsaw by themselves. In February, the makerspace hosted a public event assembling nest boxes — essentially large birdhouses — for native bluebirds. The makerspace leaders also have plans to produce a giant Adirondack chair with the Kzoo Makers logo on it. The chair will be a symbol of what the Kzoo Makers are up to — crafting new projects and making new things. “Wherever we go,” says Wilkins, “it will be a free sign for us.”
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Salon owner is an advocate for safer beauty treatments Robert M. Weir
The beautiful etched butterfly that adorns
a large window at the entrance to Suzanne’s Organics Salon, at 254 E. Michigan Ave., is symbolic of the transformations that can occur within the shop. “This is our logo, ‘The Spirit of Beauty,’” says salon founder and owner Suzanne Huffman-Chamberlin. “It’s about the soul, the evolution of the soul. We are always changing, transforming, becoming more beautiful internally and externally.” 16 | Encore JUNE 2017
The butterfly, however, is also symbolic of Huffman-Chamberlin’s own transformation over the years. Having started to “do hair right out of high school,” 28 years ago, she became accustomed to using the methods and products that permeate the beauty industry — products laden with chemicals. Then, in 1990, she took a trip to India that immersed her in Eastern medicine. There, she was introduced to the book Rejuvenation: A Wellness Guide for Women and Men, written
Left to right: Suzanne’s Organics Salon owner Suzanne Huffman-Chamberlin is an advocate for organic cosmetology; the interior of her downtown Kalamazoo salon; the salon’s logo etched on a window; and some of the natural and organic beauty products sold at the salon.
by Horst Rechelbacher, founder of the organic cosmetic line Aveda and acclaimed “father of safe cosmetics.” Inspired, Huffman-Chamberlin began to incorporate yoga, meditation, massage, aromatherapy, daily journaling, diet, nutrition and the use of natural cosmetics into her
cosmetology profession. “That was the very beginning of my deeper personal spiritual and professional life,” she says, and of her efforts to practice “safe cosmetology.” In 2006, Huffman-Chamberlin attended what she describes as an “eye-opening, lifealtering” workshop hosted by Rechelbacher in Minnesota. “He introduced us to a book, Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry, by Stacy Malkan,” HuffmanChamberlin says. Deeply motivated, she returned to Kalamazoo determined to practice her craft differently. “I was a partner in another salon at that time,” she says, “but once I had this new information, I felt compelled to go all the way into this realm of safe cosmetology, not just compromise by bringing in a few
safe product lines. And I wanted a clean, enriching environment to work in.” She found an optimal location in a building nestled into one of Kalamazoo’s historic commercial districts, customized the interior and then opened Suzanne’s Organics Salon in 2011. The salon’s interior is a reflection of HuffmanChamberlin’s desire for simplicity and naturalness. It incorporates the building’s history via exposed red brick walls that offer a sense of warmth while serving as a neutral backdrop for locally crafted artwork. There’s a modern Asian light fixture over the door created by an artist in Holland and reclaimed from the former Journeyman Café in Fennville. “I and my husband, Rob Chamberlin, designed the space. He did all the furniture and woodwork and built the cabinets,” Huffman-Chamberlin says. “We keep our
space simple and clear, making it pleasing to the eye. And when clients lean back in a chair for a shampoo, they look up at this beautiful, original, embossed tin ceiling.” Even the products used and sold at the salon reflect Huffman-Chamberlin’s belief in natural beauty. Made from essential oils, they contain no ammonia, parabens, sulfates, artificial dyes, synthetic fragrances or other toxic substances. “We don’t do perms or traditional relaxers. Primarily cutting and coloring. That’s why we don’t have a strong chemical fragrance in the air,” HuffmanChamberlin says. But she practices what she believes not just at her own salon; she has also become a strong advocate for safe cosmetology within the salon industry and the Kalamazoo community. “In truth, we shouldn’t even be having this discussion,” she says. “All salon owners and stylists and consumers should be sufficiently aware of what we’re putting on our bodies.” w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 17
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She emphasizes that stylists who perform chemical services every day are especially at risk, and she hopes that by educating them they will, in turn, educate their clientele. “A greater degree of information creates the opportunity for consumers to choose,” she says. “Some of our clients are pregnant women who want safe alternatives because chemicals go through the umbilical cord and can harm the fetus. Some of our clients come from as far away as Detroit and Grand Rapids because they have physical reactions to chemical-based products used in other salons.” Consumer information and education is necessary, Huffman-Chamberlin says, because cosmetic manufacturers in the United States are self-regulated. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration, according to a brochure for Suzanne’s Organics Salon, “only steps in after the product has caused (consumer) complaints.” The brochure also quotes the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environmental research and advocacy organization, and its claim that “98% of all products contain one or more ingredients never publicly assessed for safety.”
The products sold at the salon are a reflection Huffman-Chamberlin’s commitment to healthy beauty.
“The dilemma for us in the U.S.,” says Huffman-Chamberlin, “is that the cosmetic industry’s self-regulating authority, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel, has banned only 11 toxic ingredients in products like shampoo, soap and sunscreen while regulators in Europe have banned 1,100. The reviewers in the U.S. say their research shows the products are safe, so consumers assume they’re safe. But I don’t think they are. If the ingredients are safe, why are they banned in Europe?” In addition to informing their own clients, Huffman-Chamberlin and her staff also provide health information through the salon’s website, social media, public workshops and conversations with other salon owners and stylists. Interaction with cosmetic consumer advocacy groups such as the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (formerly the Breast Cancer Fund) help keep the staff up to date on the latest research and consumer advocacy, Huffman-Chamberlin says. She has
also created a highly informative brochure that displays the salon’s healthy product lines as well as toxic cosmetic chemicals to avoid. Huffman-Chamberlin acknowledges that influencing consumers is a challenge, especially when they are accustomed either by culture or economics to buy the cheapest soaps and shampoos. “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how to approach the community at large,” she says. Her answers, which she is still formulating, include coordinating public-service campaigns with Kalamazoo-area social justice, medical and holistic health groups as well as area citizens and students associated with environmental studies and women’s studies. “I’d like to advance the discussion of what’s happening with cosmetic chemicals, then really initiate a grassroots effort for change, because it’s going to take all of us getting out there and talking about these issues,” she says.
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Surviving But Not Thriving Poverty is Kalamazooâ€™s hidden problem story by
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hen you say, ‘Who are the poor?’ The poor are all of us.” So says Dr. Tim Ready, director of the Lewis Walker Institute at Western Michigan University. He has focused his work on understanding poverty in Kalamazoo and throughout the United States. Ready has studied minority populations throughout the U.S. for the last three decades and says poverty is something that can affect nearly everyone. Some people grow up in poor families and have little chance to improve their situation. Others fall into poverty because of their choices, such as substance abuse, or their circumstances, such as a serious injury, he says. While some may equate poverty with a person holding a cardboard sign on a street corner or those who make weekly visits to a food pantry, in most cases it isn’t that obvious. It can just be struggling each day to keep the heat on, Ready says. “There are a lot of people in this country who are economically insecure,” he says.
its own measure of poverty — called Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) — and included families with adults who have jobs but are not bringing in enough income to pay for basic needs like health care, housing, transportation, food and child care. Using the ALICE numbers, a family of four in Kalamazoo County requires a “household survival budget” (what’s needed to meet those basic needs) of about $57,000 a year. The ALICE report estimates more than onethird of families in Southwest Michigan, which includes Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties, are under financial hardship. A quarter of the “household survival” expenses for a family of four goes to child
POVERTY IN KALAMAZOO These organizations are helping those who struggle to pay for basic needs, providing them with the tools to exit poverty:
By the numbers
• Urban Alliance, uainc.org
To the federal and state governments, poverty involves a monetary line — specifically, the poverty threshold, an income level calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau each year that takes into account a household’s number of family members, their ages and the cost of living averaged across the nation. If your household income is below the threshold, you are in poverty. In 2017, that threshold is $24,600 for a family of four with two children under age 18, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Ready estimates that 16 percent of Kalamazoo County’s population was in poverty in 2015. In the city of Kalamazoo, the estimate was 32 percent. However, a 2017 report by the Michigan Association of United Ways (the parent organization of the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region) puts those percentages higher. The organization found that 36 percent of Kalamazoo County residents and 59 percent of Kalamazoo residents were in poverty. The organization’s “ALICE Study of Financial Hardship” used
• Goodwill Industries of Southwestern Michigan, goodwillswmi.org • Community Action Agency, kalcounty.com/hcs/caa • Michigan Works! michiganworkssouthwest.org • Housing Resources Inc., housingresourcesinc.org • Kalamazoo food pantries, foodpantries.org/ci/mi-kalamazoo care, almost double the cost of maintaining a car or paying rent or a mortgage. “Lots of poor people are working, but it’s not enough, especially if you have a couple of kids,” says Nancy Lindman, interim CEO of the Michigan Association of United Ways. “We all know Alice; she is taking care of your kids. Alice is the person who gave you a coffee this morning before you went to work.” Art Cole, service director of Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes, says about 40 percent of the annual visitors to his organization’s food
pantries are under the age of 18, often visiting with their parents. In 2010, the average visitor made three to four stops at Loaves & Fishes. In 2015, that number increased to more than five, Cole says. “There’s a growing edge of people who never thought they would have to turn to a place like Loaves & Fishes,” Cole says. “People say, ‘I’ve been staring at the phone for two hours and finally called.’” Ready says many people are in “transient poverty” — they’ve slipped below the threshold because one income earner has lost a job, or the cost of medical care has left them in deep debt. With time, and another source of income, they can move out of poverty. Michelle Davis, executive director of Housing Resources Inc., a Kalamazoo organization that matches low-income families with apartments and, ideally, homes, says about 60 percent of the families that reach out to HRI have at least one adult household member who is employed. HRI’s clients earn money, but it just isn’t enough to pay for housing. Davis says HRI representatives will often give presentations at large employers in the region about HRI and volunteering, only to have those companies’ employees approach her and her staff to ask for help with their own situations. “We give speeches to some of the big businesses (in Kalamazoo),” she says. “The CEOs have no idea that after the talk their employees come to us for housing. It all comes down to wages. With jobs in the $10-to-$15an-hour range, that isn’t enough.”
Jobs, not money Ready and city leaders are members of Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo, a group organized by the city of Kalamazoo to develop ways to combat poverty in the community. Shared Prosperity was created in 2015 after an earlier county program, the Poverty Reduction Initiative, was dissolved because of a lack of funds from government and private organizations. Shared Prosperity meets weekly to talk about the city’s efforts to reduce poverty rates. The group is just getting started, with only a few small programs to its credit w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 21
so far. Its partners include Housing Resources Inc.; Urban Alliance, a Kalamazoo-based nonprofit organization focused on preparing people to find jobs and homes; and Kalamazoo County’s Community Action Agency, which helps with utility bills and tax filing, among other tasks. Earlier this spring, Shared Prosperity announced that part of the Foundation for Excellence — an anticipated $70 million contributed by local philanthropists and others — is expected to be used to create jobs, rejuvenate Kalamazoo’s infrastructure and support small business growth. Shared Prosperity members had asked Kalamazoo residents living in poverty about what assistance they wanted from their government. Ready says several groups of people told them the same thing: Even though they are in poverty, they don’t want money thrown at them. “They don’t want money. They want jobs,” he says, “but that requires training. That requires that basic needs are met.”
Gaining momentum A job is just one of the things Devin McDonald, 30, of Kalamazoo, was looking for. After serving a prison term for drug-related crimes, he found a job at a restaurant, but then lost it because court appearances related to child support payments cut into his work hours. McDonald ended up at Momentum, a six-week career training program by Urban Alliance and Kalamazoo Valley Community College that is funded by private donors and grants from local groups like the Kalamazoo Community Foundation and the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation. McDonald learned technical skills like blueprint analysis and computer use in industry, but even more important for him, he says, was the emotional support he received from the teachers and his classmates. “As long as you change your thought process, you can succeed,” he says. “I was used to self-sabotage. I thought I wasn’t worthy (of a job).” Luke Kujacznski, executive director of Urban Alliance, calls that mindset “emotional poverty.” “A lot of people have a complete lack of hope or a belief that they have anything to contribute to society,” Kujacznski says. “(People in poverty) are fantastic at surviving, but they feel they’ve lost the chance at thriving.” Kujacznski says participants in the Momentum program often come from referrals, with officials in the Kalamazoo County Drug Treatment Court suggesting candidates likely to succeed at Momentum. Other government agencies, such as the Kalamazoo County Office of Community Corrections (which supports alternatives to prison), and probation officers also recommend participants for the Momentum program. Kujacznski says the majority of referrals to the program come from past graduates who recommend friends or family members. Since the training program was started in 2013, Momentum has seen an 80 percent graduation rate. Ninety percent of those graduates find a job after leaving the program and stay employed 90 days or longer, says Kujacznski. “If (Momentum) provides someone who is eager for that chance at employment, they stick it out (at the job),” he says.
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A participant in the Momentum program’s Production Technician Academy practices working on an assembly line.
The program is growing quickly, with about 140 graduates anticipated in 2017, twice the number of graduates in 2016. Momentum has two locations, one on Stockbridge Avenue and the other on the city’s east side or north side, depending on where the participants in that session live. The program has partnerships with about 50 Kalamazoo County businesses — mostly in manufacturing, hospitality or food service — that hire graduates after a series of interviews, like any other job applicants. Kujacznski says when Momentum was starting, it was difficult to find businesses willing to hire ex-convicts, but it has become much easier as the program has proven itself effective. “Our retention rates are so much better than hiring people off the street,” he says.
Coordination needed Short-term poverty can be attributed to job loss or other (usually) temporary situations, but drug abuse and related criminal records are often behind long-term poverty. A study by the Center for Poverty Research at the University of California found that while 56 percent of people living below the Census Bureau’s poverty line were able to move out of poverty within a year, 36 percent of those return to poverty within four years. The average length for a person living below the poverty line was almost three years. Kalamazoo Vice Mayor Don Cooney says the city’s Shared Prosperity group is attempting to coordinate various area nonprofits to better reach people in need. “We’ve got the Kalamazoo Promise and all these social services,” Cooney says. “The city can be the catalyst, bringing groups together.
Many times nonprofits are competing for the same (grants).” Davis agrees, saying coordination is needed to streamline the process of getting people into a home, helping them learn job skills and more. Because each nonprofit has its own record-keeping and computer systems, clients have to produce the same documentation and sign the same paperwork at each organization they seek help from. It’s time-consuming and redundant, Davis says, but she notes she’s seen more coordination among organizations in Kalamazoo than in other places around the U.S.
Another issue facing people in poverty is gentrification, a process by which investors buy homes in areas usually available to people with little income, fix them up and rent them out to those who can afford higher rental costs. These new homeowners and renters then criticize the neighborhood for not meeting their higher standards. “They say, ‘These people shouldn’t live there,’ about people who have been there their whole lives,” Davis says. Possibly the most important need is awareness, those living in poverty say. Christie Armentrout, 28, of Kalamazoo, says
The American Community Survey, a Census Bureau report provides details on poverty in Kalamazoo County in 2015: Living at less than 100 percent of the poverty level
45,473 (18.3%) Under age 18 The survey estimated Kalamazoo County's population in 2015 at
11,557 (20.7%) Age 18 to 64
31,201(19.6%) Age 65 and older
Racial breakdown of those in poverty: Black White Asian Other
2015 percentage below poverty level (by ZIP code): Northside neighborhood of Kalamazoo (49007)
Kalamazoo Township (49009)
Southeastern Kalamazoo (49001)
Eastern Portage (49002)
Southwestern Kalamazoo (49008)
42.7% 26.8% 20.9%
14.7% 12.8% 6.5%
she spent a lot of time staying with friends and family after a difficult childhood. She started drinking alcohol at the age of 12 and dropped out of school in 10th grade. Encounters with the police led her to Urban Alliance. She graduated from the Momentum program in 2016 and says she’s interested in studying recreational therapy, a type of treatment for people recovering from serious illness or disability. “There weren’t a lot of people willing to help me, so I thought it was OK to live that way,” Armentrout says. “It (the Momentum program) was like coming out of the mud.” Kujacznski says many people that Urban Alliance targets have not been given an opportunity to get out of poverty. “If society only sees you as a drug abuser or a felon, where do you see your value?” he asks. “If we really cared, we’d want to learn more. Instead, we push (poor people) to the fringe and wonder why they can’t do more.” Cole says many people coming to Loaves & Fishes are referred there by other organizations, where staff can recognize when people aren’t getting enough nutrition. Loaves & Fishes gets some of its food from community donations (like food drives at schools, concerts or other events) and some through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The majority is purchased directly from food producers, using money from donors. “For $1 we can provide three balanced, nutritious meals for a person,” Cole said. Ready says adults who are in poverty have children who face difficulty breaking free from poverty themselves. A child who doesn’t have enough to eat won’t be able to perform well in school, which closes doors in the working world. “I think people view poverty as a personal failing,” he says. “People do have to be responsible for their own lives, but it’s difficult for a person who grows up poor to not remain poor.” HRI has a “housing hour,” at 4 p.m. each Wednesday, when anyone can walk into the office at 420 E. Alcott St. to seek help. Sometimes local politicians, journalists and others observe housing hour. Afterwards, they tell Davis they had no idea of the immense need for affordable housing in Kalamazoo. “These are our citizens,” Cooney says. “How can this not be the highest priority?” w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 23
Jeremiah Barnes has an occupation that
few people know exists: full-time commercial beekeeping, which includes selling honey and using his bee colonies to pollinate farmers’ fields. When Barnes is asked what he does for a living, his response is typically met with surprise. “They don’t know that people actually do that,” says Barnes, owner of Harvest Honeybee Farm, in Hickory Corners. “We kind of are inconspicuous because you only move bees at night. Some beekeepers will do it during the day, but for the most part you move them at night because the bees go dormant — they don’t fly.” These behind-the-scenes bee caretakers transport their honeybee hives to blueberry and squash fields, apple and other fruit orchards, and vegetable crops to engage in pollination. Barnes’ bees pollinate fields for many farms, including Harvey’s U-Pick Farm in Tekonsha, where as many as 30 kinds of crops are grown. “I send bees there the whole entire summer,” Barnes says. “Because (when) he’s got one thing out of bloom, he’s got another (in bloom).” From car seat to beehives When you talk to Barnes, it doesn’t take long to recognize this good-natured guy’s passion for honeybees and his extensive knowledge of them. To him, understanding honeybees is second nature. And it should be. His first memory of honeybees was from the vantage point of a car seat watching his dad, Scott Barnes, transport, check on and take care of honeybee hives. Before Jeremiah was born, Scott Barnes started beekeeping as a hobby, and it eventually grew into something much bigger: a full-fledged, fulltime honeybee operation called St. Joe Valley Apiaries. That Three Rivers business started with two honeybee hives and is now at 3,000 hives. When Jeremiah was older, Scott allowed him to paint the bee boxes. When Jeremiah was 11, his father allowed him more hands-
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on experience with the bees. “He called me a ‘tote-and-fetch,’” Barnes says, chuckling. “If he needed two boxes to put on (a) beehive, I’d go around and grab them for the hive and he’d move onto the next one.” Eventually, Scott began educating Jeremiah about the honeybees themselves, providing lessons on how to find the queen, determine if a hive is healthy and diagnose and fix an unhealthy hive. Finding the queen can be a bit tricky at first, Jeremiah Barnes says, but following certain techniques, such as holding the frame just so, will lead to success, he says. Though beekeepers each have their own method, Jeremiah prefers holding the frame at a 45-degree angle down from his face and always in the sun. Another important factor: Don’t smoke the bees too much. “When smoked too much, the bees will actually scatter, including the queen, (and) some queens are very good hiders,” Barnes says. Beekeepers use smokers, hand-held devices designed to generate smoke, to keep the bees calm — the smoke blocks the insects’ alarm pheromone. Barnes smokes a hive’s entrance, where guard bees reside, using pine needles and composite wood pellets in his smokers. “It takes patience and experience,” Barnes says, “and after awhile you can get pretty quick at doing it. You don’t actually look for an individual bee. You don’t go bee to bee to bee looking for her (the queen). You just kind of look at the whole frame, and all of a sudden she’ll just pop out at you.” Beekeeping takes a wide range of knowledge, which includes understanding the destroyers of honeybees, such as mites, parasites, disease, viruses and predators. Beekeepers must also know how to successfully split a hive to create more hives, and how and when to harvest honey — to name only a few things. With so much for a beekeeper to learn, one might wonder what the hardest part is to understand. There is no one factor, Barnes says. “The thing is, it’s kind of like a compound question,” he says, “because so much goes
A LOT OF BUZ Z How Jeremiah Barnesâ€™ business keeps him as busy as his bees
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into bees that you kind of just have to know everything. So I guess that’s just kind of what it was — getting a grasp of what it takes to make a beehive a good beehive.” Becoming a beekeeper Barnes did not initially want to follow in his dad’s footsteps, but that attitude quickly changed when he began working with the hives and discovered he loved working with bees. “I worked full time with my dad every summer, and I went traveling with him after I graduated high school,” Barnes says. When Barnes was 17 years old, his dad gave him his own crew. Barnes would head in one direction to set and check on bees; his father would head in another. Now married and a dad, Barnes still helps his father when needed, but a couple of years ago he struck out on his own. He purchased 40 beehives from his father and now has approximately 500. Each year around Thanksgiving, the Barneses load up their bees on approximately 11 semitrucks with open-back flatbeds and take them to Florida, where they remain until 26 | Encore JUNE 2017
Clockwise from top left: Jeremiah Barnes checks a tray of bees in one of his hives; Barnes loads hives of bees to be moved at night when bees are dormant; trays of bees in one of Barnes’ many bee boxes; and a close-up of bees at work.
Bees increase their numbers very well in Florida, Barnes says. Next year he anticipates reaching his goal of filling two open back flatbed semitrucks with bees — approximately 800 hives — and then maintain that number rather than make it grow. That’s about all one person can handle on their own, Barnes says. Right now all that he wants is a oneperson operation, but if he ever wants to expand, qualified workers are only a phone call away. “About everyone in the family has worked for my dad at one point or another,” Barnes says. 'Managed pollination'
returning to Michigan in the middle of April. A mature hive has 40,000 to 60,000 bees, Jeremiah Barnes says, which means that, with Scott and Jeremiah’s hives combined, they transport at least 140 million honeybees to the Sunshine State. Many beekeepers make this trek every season to take advantage of the weather. “For the most part, beekeepers take bees down there to make splits,” Barnes explains. “They split bee hives into new ones.”
Although Barnes’ occupation might not be well known, honeybees play a crucial role in the U.S. agricultural industry by pollinating crops. More than $2 billion is produced by Michigan’s fruit and vegetable industry alone, and half of that amount is entirely due to honeybee pollination, according to 2015 data presented by Zachary Huang, associate professor in Michigan State University’s entomology department. Some crops, such as blueberries, are 100 percent dependent on bees. One of the biggest pollinations in the country occurs in California, where 80 percent of the world’s almonds grow, according to an article in Mother Jones magazine. It takes about 85 percent of all the available commercial hives in the United States for the almond pollination. Scientific American calls
it the “largest managed pollination event in the world.” Each February, Barnes and his father join the ranks of beekeepers from across the nation who ship some of their honeybees to California for the almond pollination. Those bees remain in California through the middle of March. After that, they are shipped to Florida where the Barneses will make splits with those hives. In the middle of April, all of the Barneses' honeybees return from Florida to Michigan. Barnes says it takes almost two million beehives to pollinate the almonds. “There’s 900,000 — almost one million — acres of almonds, and it takes two beehives to an acre on average,” he says. “So anywhere between 1.5 to 2 million beehives are out there every winter from February to March, just those four to six weeks.” Barnes admits that “getting bees out to California is a huge process.” The strongest hives are selected and prepared for travel. The outside of each bee box, the lids and pallets are power-washed, because the trucks carrying the beehives must stop at California’s agricultural inspection stations before entering the state. “If they’re not clean enough, they’ll reject them at the line and the bees just traveled 2,500 miles for nothing,” Barnes says. The beehives are placed on wooden pallets for transport, with four beehives fitting on one pallet. The Barneses place their bee boxes on a 48-foot-long open-back flatbed semitruck — with more than 400 hives typically making up one semi load — and drop a net over the top of the bees and tie it down with bungee cords. When they arrive in California, inspectors pull up the bee net and set out traps to see if fire ants or any bugs not native to California come to the traps. If the inspectors find too many bugs, the truck driver has to either turn around or allow the inspectors to powerwash the bee boxes for a hefty fee of up to $2,000 per truck. Getting the honeybees to California also requires hiring a good shipping company. This is key, Barnes says, because the drivers must care for the bees during transport. For instance, if the trucks get held up in a traffic jam or break down on the side of the road, the bees require being sprayed with water to keep them cool. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 27
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“The guys that haul for us, they have a few beehives themselves, and they know bees and they kind of take it personally,” he says. “They make sure to take care of them for us.” Honey production Although Harvest Honeybee Farms performs pollination work, honey production is its main focus. Barnes sells quite a bit of honey at farm stands, he says, but 90 percent of his product is sold wholesale to big buyers, who purchase honey from beekeepers and put their label on it. Other major customers for Barnes these days are breweries. “This year is really popular for breweries,” he says. “The brewers take a lot of honey (to brew beer).” In Michigan, honey comes during the summertime in spurts that beekeepers call honey flows, Barnes says. To prepare for honey crops, Barnes places two smaller boxes called “supers” on top of the larger boxes that contain a beehive. These supers are 6 5/8 inches in depth, with eight frames inside, and are specifically used for collecting honey. When full, each frame can hold up to six pounds of honey. Bees like to store their honey “upstairs,” he explains, while the queen lays her eggs in the hive below. Prepping the hives for honey production also allows Barnes to tend to the hives. “If I’m going out there and getting them ready for a honey crop and putting extra boxes on top, I might be putting some protein in and be putting essential oils in them to kind of help with the bees’ overall general health,” Barnes says. Each time a beekeeper gets into the hive, he or she risks killing the queen, so Barnes tries to do at least three things when he has to open his beehives, such as adding the
Tips for hobbyists
Honeycomb constructed by bees inside a bee box.
essential oils, putting in protein and placing items that will catch insects like certain beetles that wreak havoc on beehives. After this, he leaves the hives alone. "You come back a few weeks later and they might have 100 pounds (of honey)," he says. "That's just neat to watch every year." In early June, Barnes places three to four supers on top of the bee boxes. When he comes back a few weeks later, each super will contain between 20-40 pounds of honey. If the hive and the honey flow are strong enough, that one hive alone can produce 100 pounds of honey, Barnes says. To harvest the honey, Barnes uses a heated fume board that pushes fumes up through the hives, and bees up and out the top of the supers. He removes the supers and leaves the bees and queens residing in the beehives safely below in the parent boxes. Inside each of the supers reside the frames dripping with honey. Barnes takes the frames to another local beekeeper, Brian Hannar, owner of B. Hannar Apiaries in Schoolcraft, who has an extraction facility. Bees ingest nectar and on the trip back to the hive add enzymes that create honey, he says. They then dry it and cap it in storage cells and cover it with wax, and that’s where Hannar’s extraction comes into play. “It’s pretty much a process of decapping the thin wax that’s over the cells,” Barnes says. “That’s the real simple version of it.” After the honey winds up in a storage tank, any wax that remains in the honey — after going through extractions, a series of pumps and a machine that separates the wax from the honey — will float to the top. “We barrel from the bottom,” he says. “That’s considered raw honey.”
For anyone interested in beekeeping, Barnes emphasizes the importance of doing research before jumping into it, such as attending Kalamazoo Bee Club meetings. The meetings are free and open to the public, with schedules posted online. If someone interested in bees knows a beekeeper, Barnes says, ask the person questions and pick his or her brain because beekeeping — even as a hobby — is not a cheap endeavor. “The initial start-up cost is quite a bit,” he says. “For just a couple beehives, you’re
looking at $500-plus, but that’s because you have to buy the woodenware (the bee boxes and the frames inside).” Barnes also sells beehives. When those new to beekeeping come to buy a beehive, he offers some key advice: Buy at least two the first year. “More than likely one of them is going to die,” Barnes explains. “You just learn every year what to do better, what to change and what to try. Some things work, and some things don’t.”
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Two that Tango
Duo travels globe teaching Argentine dance Kara Norman
amount of tango dancing in a city corresponds to the amount of sushi restaurants in that city,” jokes tango instructor Doruk Golcu. Then he deadpans: “There are now sushi restaurants in Kalamazoo.” His wife and partner in instruction, Erin Malley, laughs. “Then Kalamazoo is probably ready for tango,” she agrees. Malley, who grew up in Kalamazoo and graduated from Western Michigan University’s dance program in 2001, joined Golcu this May in teaching an Argentine tango class for 30 | Encore JUNE 2017
WMU’s Department of Dance. The class began in May and runs until June 28. Argentine tango is a dance form developed in working-class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Montevideo, Uruguay, around the end of the 19th century. Essentially walking with a partner to music, tango is danced at various speeds while dancers keep their feet close to the floor. The dance relies heavily on improvisation, which Malley and Golcu, who have been dancing together for almost 15 years, have gotten very good at. Sometimes they perform
Erin Malley, left, and husband, Doruk Golcu, travel the globe teaching Argentine tango.
in opposite roles and teach role exchange in their classes. “She can dance the man’s part in high heels,” says Golcu. “Sadly, I cannot.” Malley, 37, and Golcu, 36, are back in Kalamazoo after having spent the past 18 months traveling the globe teaching Argentine tango. Golcu is originally from Istanbul, Turkey. The couple met in 2004 in New York City at tango milongas, or casual social dances,
when Golcu was an undergraduate studying biology at Roosevelt University there. Malley was in New York doing, as Golcu describes it, “the starving artist thing,” developing choreography and auditioning for dance performances. They danced socially, taught together part time and eventually got married. In 2007, Malley started her own company, Malleable Dance Theater, in New York City. Golcu earned a Ph.D. in neurobiology in 2009 at Roosevelt, and then the couple moved to San Francisco so he could start work as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. (Malley ran her dance company on both coasts and taught Pilates after the move.) “The ‘responsible’ thing I did in my life,” says Golcu, “was getting a science degree.” But his area of research (on the behavioral effects of T. gondii infection) wasn’t well funded, so Golcu had a choice: pursue other research topics or stop working in his field. “If I was going to do something that bores me just for the money, I could have just gotten an office job and not gone through all the emotional pain of a Ph.D.,” he says. He stopped pursuing science seriously and dedicated himself more fully to illustration,
one of his side passions. At the same time, after years of dancing and teaching together, tango took off for the couple. They started dedicating themselves to the dance as more than just a beloved hobby. In the spring of 2015, they were giving a workshop in San Francisco when a visitor from Ireland said, “This is one of the best classes I’ve ever taken. I wish you would come to Ireland.” The couple was planning to vacation in the United Kingdom a few months later, so they responded, “Actually, that’s possible.” Their weekend event in Dublin resulted in a career traveling and teaching across the globe. Malley and Golcu have given performances and conducted workshops for students of tango in such far-flung places as Hawaii and Turkey as well as Ireland and in cities as different as Boulder, Colorado; Columbus, Ohio; and Seattle. “That first workshop worked for us on so many levels,” says Malley. “We enjoyed the pressure behind the dance, and it was fun thinking, ‘We must be something if we’re doing this in Ireland, right?’” Between tours, the two stay with friends and reconnect with tango mentors in San
Francisco and Denver. They also return to Kalamazoo, where Malley has family and where she graduated from Hackett Catholic Central High School (now Hackett Catholic Prep) in 1997. (“It was not my choice” to attend Catholic school, she says, laughing.) During their off time, the couple work on choreography and practice dancing. The two also lay the groundwork for future tours, setting schedules, applying for grants and strengthening their artistic networks. Malley has recently started filmmaking and video work, interests she pursues when she has spare time. As for their tango venture, Malley and Golcu embrace flexibility. “The cultural scene continues to be strong in Kalamazoo, so why couldn’t it also support a tango scene?” asks Malley. But it takes a while to grow one, she acknowledges. Of the class they’re now teaching at WMU, Malley says, “We’ll give people a little jump off and see how it sticks.” For more information, visit the website erinanddoruktango.com.
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Bands & Solo Artists
Bell's Garden Opener: Greensky Bluegrass — Kalamazoo-based progressive bluegrass/rock band, 8 p.m. June 1–3, Bell's Eccentric Café, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., 349-7759.
All in the Timing — A collection of short plays by David Ives that combine wit, intellect, satire and fun, 8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., June 23–July 22, New Vic Theatre, 134 E. Vine St., 381-3328. Musicals
Trios — A musical revue featuring songs from popular musical trios of the 1930s and beyond, 8 p.m. June 2 & 3, New Vic Theatre, 134 E. Vine St., 381-3328. It Shoulda Been You — Farmers Alley Theatre presents a musical about a wedding that brings together comically different families, 7:30 p.m. Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., June 9–25, Little Theatre, 798 Oakland Drive, 343-2727. COMEDY Crawlspace Eviction: ECON — Improvisational comedy show on the topic of economics, 8–9:30 p.m. June 16 & 17, Jolliffe Theatre, Epic Center, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, 599-7390.
Carter Lezman — Acoustic, folk and pop singer/ songwriter, 7–10 p.m. June 2, Arcadia Ales Kalamazoo, 701 E. Michigan Ave., 276-0440. Gun Lake Live Summer Series — Great Scott, June 3; Union Guns, June 10; Bronk Brothers, June 17; Jedi Mind Trip, June 24; all shows 6–10 p.m., Lakefront Pavilion, Bay Pointe Inn, 11456 Marsh Road, Shelbyville, 888-486-5253. Concerts in the Park — Kalamazoo Singers, June 4; Red Sea Pedestrians, June 11; Kalamazoo Concert Band, June 18; Susan Harrison, June 25; all concerts begin at 4 p.m., Bronson Park, 342-5059. Soul-Filled Sundays — Matthew Borr & Carrie McFerrin, folk, Americana and pop duo, June 4; Molly Konzen, classic jazz pianist, singer and songwriter, June 18; Mike McLain and Jeff Willson, blues duo, June 25; all shows 5–7 p.m., Arcadia Ales Kalamazoo, 276-0440.
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Zion Lion — Family-friendly outdoor concert, 5:30 p.m. June 11, Flesher Field, 3664 S. Ninth St., Oshtemo Township, kpl.gov. Live Music at Arcadia Ales — The Sam Pilnick Project, June 14; Steve Pesch, June 21; both shows 7–9 p.m., Arcadia Ales Kalamazoo, 276-0440. The Avett Brothers — American folk rockers, 8 p.m. June 16, Wings Event Center, 3600 Vanrick Drive, 345-1125. Naughty Professor — New Orleans-based jazzfunk sextet, 9 p.m. June 16, Bell's Eccentric Café, 349-7759. Jim Gill — Award-winning musician and author presents family concert, 6:30 p.m. June 22, Oshtemo Township Park, 7275 W. Main St., 553-7980, kpl.gov. Son Little — Aaron Livingston performs American rhythm and blues, 9 p.m. June 23, Bell's Eccentric Café, 349-7759. River’s Edge Summer Music Festival Series — 3 p.m. June 24, Arcadia Ales Kalamazoo, 701 E. Michigan Ave., arcadiaales.com/summermusic or 276-0458. Sponge — Detroit-based American alternative rock band, 8:30 p.m. June 24, Bell's Eccentric Café, 349-7759. Dark Star Orchestra — Grateful Dead cover band, 6:30 p.m. June 25, Bell's Eccentric Café, 349-7759. Chamber & Jazz Gourmet Classics: KSO Burdick-Thorne String Quartet — Music and fine dining, 12:30–3 p.m. June 4, Principle Food & Drink, 230 S. Kalamazoo Mall, 743-6563.
VISUAL ARTS Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., 349-7775
June 20-22 • 9:30 am – 12:00 pm Age 3.5 to 7 years old
32 | Encore JUNE 2017
Laith Al Saadi — The Voice finalist performs blues, soul and classic rock, 7:30 p.m. June 10, Bell's Eccentric Café, 349-7759.
Summer Solstice Jazz — Live jazz with Dan Willenberg and his trio, Crescendo Academy of Music instructors and students, and other local musicians, 7–11 p.m. June 21, Union Cabaret & Grille, 125 S. Kalamazoo Mall, 345-6664.
of Dance Patti Herm School Presents
For more details call and register at (269) 694-5721 or pattiherm.com
The Joy Formidable — Welsh alternative rock band, 8:30 p.m. June 7, Bell's Eccentric Café, 349-7759.
Exhibits Tea Party Everyday
High School Area Show — Artwork by high school students in the region, through June 4.
Pressed for Time: History of Printmaking — A historical survey of the four major processes of Western printmaking, through July 2. Impressions: Printmaking in Japan — Japanese woodblock prints from the KIA collection, through July 23. Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist — A Smithsonian exhibition by the Native American artist displaying her abstract paintings, landscapes, drawings, sculpture and signature diptychs, June 17–Sept. 10; welcome party for the artist, 5:30–7 p.m. June 14, Kalamazoo City Hall lobby, 241 W. South St.; opening celebration with dance and demonstrations by artists from area tribes, 11 a.m.– 5 p.m. June 17, KIA. (Also, see “Thursday Evening at the KIA,” below.) Events Sunday Tour — Walk through the exhibit with a docent: High School Area Show, 2 p.m. June 4. ARTbreak — Weekly program about art, artists and exhibitions: 1,000 Years of Karakami Art, documentary, June 6; Rookwood and the Longworth Family, talk by Bill Glass, June 13; Lasansky: Inside the Image, documentary, June 20; Edward Hopper, documentary, June 27; all sessions begin at noon, KIA Auditorium. Thursday Evening at the KIA — Film Premiere: Crazy Carl, by Kyle Misak, June 8; Artist's Talk: Kay WalkingStick, June 15; New Art from Traditional Influences, with Michigan artist Jason Wesaw, June 29; all sessions begin at 6:30 p.m., KIA Auditorium. Other Venues
VanOrden and Kerr: Pen & Ink and Photography — Exhibit by Val VanOrden and Pamela Sue Kerr, through June 23, Portage District Library, 300 Library Lane, 329-4544. Art on the Mall — Artisans display and sell work, noon–8 p.m. June 2, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. June 3, Kalamazoo Mall, 342-5059. KIA Fair — Artwork for sale and children's activities, 3–8 p.m. June 2, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. June 3, Bronson Park, Kalamazoo, 349-7775. Art Hop — Art at various Kalamazoo locations, 5–8 p.m. June 2, 342-5059. LIBRARY & LITERARY EVENTS Kalamazoo Public Library Movies in the Park — Watch Ghostbusters under the stars, 9–10:30 p.m. June 15, Oshtemo Township Park, 7275 W. Main St., 553-7980. Parchment Community Library 401 S. Riverview Drive, 343-7747
“We wanted a more gracious setting for our rehearsal dinner.”
ith all the last-minute pressures and out-of-town guests, the Beacon Club was the perfect place to get everyone together for a relaxing dinner. We all enjoyed the unhurried, personal service, and being able to hear each other conversing in normal speaking voices!
Since 1947 we have offered unparalleled fine dining from the area’s only Cordon Bleu-trained Chef plus reciprocal privileges at over 120 other clubs. Memberships start at less than $15 per month.
5830 Portage Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49002 (269) 343-9000 • theBeaconClub.com
Parchment Book Group — Discussion of Clara and Mr. Tiffany, by Susan Vreeland, 7 p.m. June 5. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 33
Front Page: Donuts & Discussion — Currentevents panel discussion with local media, educators, politicians and special guests, 10:30 a.m.–noon June 17.
Ultimate Vintage Truck Show — All types of trucks and utility, military and emergency vehicles, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. June 24.
Portage District Library 300 Library Lane, 329-4544
2017 Great Race Mid-Day Stop — Over 120 pre-1972 autos stop on Day 6 of The Great Race, June 29.
Friends of the Library Book Sale — 9 a.m.–3 p.m. June 3.
Kalamazoo Valley Museum 230 N. Rose St., 373-7990
Top Shelf Reads — A young professionals' book group discussion, 7 p.m. June 12, Latitude 42 Brewing Co., 7342 Portage Road, 585-8711.
And Still We Rise: Race, Culture & Visual Conversations — Works that draw on the tradition of storytelling through quilts, through June 4.
Help Others — With Your Dog — Assistance Dogs International explains how your dog can help others, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. June 24.
MI Spring Skies — Tour the night sky over Michigan, 2 p.m. Sat. & Sun., 3 p.m. Tues. & Thurs. through June 15, Planetarium.
Must Be 21+: Game, Doodle, Color — Hang out, play games and meet friends, 7 p.m. June 26.
Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine — A look at men and women who served as surgeons and nurses during the Civil War, through Sept. 2.
Other Venues Immigration and Justice for Our Neighbors Reading — 5:30–6:30 p.m. June 7, Bookbug, 3019 Oakland Drive, kalamazoopoetry festival.com.
Animotion Festival — Dinosaurs and animation workshops, June 2 & 3.
NATURE Kalamazoo Nature Center 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., 381-1574 Golf Cart Tours — Tour the fen looking for plants and animals, 4 p.m. June 5, DeLano Woods, meet at DeLano Homestead, 555 West E Ave.; 4 p.m. June 19, Habitat Haven Trail, meet at Visitor Center parking lot; registration required. Summer Night Hike — An evening hike to learn about nocturnal animals, 10 p.m. June 15. Basics of Beekeeping — Beginning tools for keeping bees, 2 p.m. June 18. If We Build It, They Will Come: Cornerstone University Research Presentation — Dr. Rob Keys discusses research on KNC's Willard Rose Prairie, 5–7 p.m. June 24. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary 12685 East C Ave., Augusta, 671-2510. Birds and Coffee Walk — A morning bird walk and discussion over coffee, 9–10:30 a.m. June 3 & 14.
Gilmore Car Museum 6865 Hickory Road, Hickory Corners, 671-5089
Paul Sereno — Famous University of Chicago paleontologist speaks on "Our Hidden Genius," inspiring others to pursue their destiny, 2 p.m. June 3.
Classic Car Club of America Museum Grand Experience — Restored classic automobiles, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. June 4.
Dinosaurs: Land of Fire & Ice — Special exhibit exploring the age of the dinosaurs, June 17– Sept. 17.
Do-Dah Parade — Fun floats and whimsical costumes, 11 a.m. June 3, downtown Kalamazoo, 388-2830.
Vintage Motorcycle Weekend — Saturday Ride, vintage motorcycles 25 years and older, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. June 10; Show & Swap Meet, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. June 11.
Fossils: Storytellers from the Past — Planetarium Coordinator Mark Reed discusses fossils and life that once existed in Kalamazoo, 1–3 p.m. June 22. Advance registration with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at WMU required, 387-4200.
National Cereal Fest — World's longest breakfast table, parade, children's activities and entertainment, June 9 & 10, downtown Battle Creek, bcfestivals.com/cerealfest.
7th Annual All Air-Cooled Gathering — Rare aircooled cars, including Franklins, Frayer-Miller and Holmes, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. June 17.
Wild Edibles Workshop — Walk the trails looking for wild edible plants, 9 a.m.–noon June 10. MISCELLANEOUS
Lunchtime Live! — Live music, food trucks and vendors, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. summer Fridays, starting June 9, Bronson Park, with music by
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Shelagh Brown Band, June 9; Bobby McManus, June 16; Scott Davis, June 23; Matt Gabriel, June 30, 337-8191. Parade of Homes — Homes with the latest trends in construction and design, 4–9 p.m. June 9 & 16, 1–9 p.m. June 10 & 17, 1–5 p.m. June 11, 6–9 p.m. June 12–15, various locations, 375-4225; see kalamazoohomepage.com for details. Corks for Conservation — A wine-tasting event with music, food, silent auction and live animal presentations, 6–10 p.m. June 9, Binder Park Zoo, 7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek, 269-979-1351. Kalamazoo Pride 2017 — LGBT pride festival presented by OutFront Kalamazoo, with live entertainment and information booths celebrating diversity, 6 p.m. June 9–12:30 a.m. June 10, 2 p.m. June 10–12:30 a.m. June 11, Arcadia Festival Place, 145 E. Water St., 349-4234. Broncos' Night Out — Enjoy local band Barn on Fire and views of the city, 8–11 p.m. June 9, WMU Heritage Hall Grand Lawn, 601 Oakland Drive, 387-8816. Vicksburg Old Car Festival — Including Tin Can Tourists vintage trailer and motorcoach club, auto parts swap meet, juried craft show, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. June 10, downtown Vicksburg (with Cruise Night and ’50s Drive-in on June 9), facebook.com/ Vicksburg-Old-Car-Festival-118214114873005. Kalamazoo Mud Run — Get muddy or stay clean on a 5K trail run, 8 a.m.–noon June 10, starting at Kalamazoo Community Church, 2435 N. 26th St., kalamazoomudrun.com. Kalamazoo FC Soccer Games — 5:30 p.m. June 11, 5:30 p.m. June 18 and 7:05 p.m. June 24, Mayors Riverfront Park, 251 Mills St., kalamazoofc.net. The Tale of Beatrix Potter Tea — Afternoon tea and a dramatization by Brynda Filkins, 3–5 p.m. June 13, W.K. Kellogg Manor House, 3700 E. Gull Lake Drive, Hickory Corners, 671-2400. Pasture Dairy Open House 90th Celebration — Farming technology from each decade, wagon rides and ice cream, 4–8 p.m. June 13, Pasture Dairy Center, 10461 N. 40th St., entrance on North 39th Street, Hickory Corners, 671-2508. Voices of Wisdom Retreat & Dinner — Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, discusses "Aging with Soul" and the art of staying young at heart: keynote dinner, 5:30 p.m. June 15, Fountains Banquet Center, 535 S. Riverview Drive; retreat, June 15 & 16, Transformations Spirituality Center, 3427 Gull Road, 381-6290 or TransformationsCenter.org; registration required. Buttermilk Jamboree — Music and arts festival with swimming, dancing and local food, June 16– 18, Circle Pines Center, 8650 Mullen Road, Delton, 269-623-5555 or buttermilkjamboree.org.
United Kennel Club Premier Dog Show — Agility, obedience and dock-diving events, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. June 16–18, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 2900 Lake St., 343-9020. South Haven Harborfest — Celebrate Southwest Michigan's maritime history with music, crafts and food, 11 a.m.–11 p.m. June 16, 8 a.m.–11 p.m. June 17, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. June 18, downtown South Haven, southhavenharborfest.com. Hidden Kalamazoo — Walking tour of hidden historical sites, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. June 17 & 18, downtown Kalamazoo, hiddenkalamazoo.com. Father's Day Car Show — Sponsored by the Southern Michigan Street Rod Association, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. June 18, Historic Charlton Park, 2545 S. Charlton Park Road, Hastings, 269-945-3775. Dad Fest — Celebrate dads with a cookout, games and family activities, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. June 18, Northbridge Church, 8824 Douglas Ave., 385-4378. Carson & Barnes Circus: CircusSaurus — World debut of CircusSaurus, 4:30 & 7:30 p.m. June 20 & 21, Kalamazoo Expo Center East Lawn, 580-743-7292. Free Park Day — Free admission to all Kalamazoo County-owned parks, 7 a.m.–sunset June 21, 3378191 or facebook.com/events/102279550315108. Movies in the Park — View Secret Life of Pets under the stars at sunset, with family activities at 7 p.m. June 23, Oakwood Neighborhood Association, 3320 Laird Ave., 337-8191. Cheetah Chase — 5K run, 8 a.m.–noon June 24, Binder Park Zoo, 7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek, 269-979-1351; registration required. Kalamazoo Reptile & Exotic Pet Expo — Buy, sell or trade, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. June 24, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, Room A, 779-9851. Urban Craft Fair — Artists, handmade items, vintage décor, food trucks and music, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. June 24, Bronson Park, Kalamazoo, 269-9035820 or facebook.com/events/1628767760481941. Strawberry JAMboree Craft Show — Arts and crafts, magic show, farmyard fun and strawberry eating contest, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. June 24, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. June 25, Stokes Homestead Farm Market, 13988 County Road 215, Grand Junction, stokeshomestead.com. Kalamazoo Backyard BBQ — Great Lakes Burn Camp fundraiser, with motorcycle ride, classic cars, games and food, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. June 25, Kalamazoo County Expo Center & Fairground, 217-3943. Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival — Hot-air balloons, air show, carnival and fireworks, June 29–July 4, W.K. Kellogg Airport, 15551 S. Airport Road, Battle Creek, 269-962-0592 or bcballoons.com. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 35
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INDEX TO ADVERTISERS Arborist Services of Kalamazoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Arcadia Ales Kalamazoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 The Beacon Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Betzler Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Bronson Health Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Centre Spa & Wellness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Concerts in the Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Dave’s Glass Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 DeMent and Marquardt, PLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 DeNooyer Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 DeVisser Landscape Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Family & Children Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Fence & Garden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
1116 W Centre Avenue 323-9333 PortagePrinting.com
Gilmore Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Great Lakes Shipping Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Halls Closets & More . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Hettinger & Hettinger, PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Kalamazoo Community Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Kalamazoo Institute of Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 LVM Capital Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Maple Hill Auto Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Mercantile Bank of Michigan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Patti Herm School of Dance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 People’s Food Co-op of Kalamazoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
LIKE WHAT YOU HEAR
Portage Printing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Varnum Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Willis Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
WMUK IS NPR FROM WMU
36 | Encore JUNE 2017
WMUK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
BACK STORY (continued from page 38)
Computer programmer to bike shop owner is big change.
the first time I got somewhere faster on my bike than my mom, and that was pretty great.
The thing I loved about computer programming was the problem solving. What we do here is solving problems too, and if we sell you something along the way, then that’s great. People come in and say, “My bike doesn’t work,” and we’ll see their tire needs air, pump it up and say, “Have a great day!” Other times they’ll come in and say, “My bike doesn’t work,” and we’ll think, “Egad! That’s barely a bike!” and then we talk to them about what can be done or if they might want to think about a new bike. If we can solve someone’s problem, we’re OK. I like to measure stuff with spreadsheets, and I have all sorts of productivity numbers for our shops because that’s easy to measure. What’s hard to measure is happiness. So if we make people happy, we are OK. All these things I measure will take care of themselves because people will want to do business with us because it’s a trust thing. If I sell you a bike, you’ll know it’s a very good bike and I am going to make sure you have great time on it.
cycling merit badge (as a Boy Scout). My mom was a big bike rider — she was very into fitness. She was this little bitty 5-foot woman on a road bike in rural Arkansas — talk about swimming upstream. I also remember
Ever since the accident last year (in which a pickup truck hit nine cyclists, killing five), I have been thinking about how we talk about safety without talking about fear. Not to be super weird, but fear isn’t good for business
I grew up in this little town, Harrison, Arkansas, that had about 10,000 people.
How’d you get to Kalamazoo? True love. I met Amy (then Amy Hayes) in Pittsburgh when we both worked for a company that did data processing for banks. Amy and I went on one date and moved in to together. I love that story, although I don’t advocate that for my teenage daughter. Anyway, Amy’s family has a business here (the Orrin B. Hayes car dealership), and we were having a great, young, double-income, no-kid life in Pittsburgh, but I remember saying to Amy, “You know, not everybody has a family business, so if you want to do that, we should do it.” Next thing I know it’s Jan. 1, 1994, and we are driving a U-Haul up here in a raging snowstorm and I’m thinking, “What the hell?”
As someone who has ridden a long time and on many kinds of roads, what are your thoughts about Did you ride a bike as a kid? Oh, yeah, I even remember when I got my biking safety?
and doesn’t get people on bikes. So I’ve been thinking about how we have conversations about cyclist and motorist interaction and make it OK. We came up with these “everyone knows a cyclist” videos where I talk with different cyclists on the couch in my shop about these issues and put them on YouTube. I just finished the 10th one. When I posted the first one on our Facebook page, the first comment we got said, “This is terrible for bicycling advocacy.” There’s a small cadre of people who want change and dedicated bike lanes, and while I love that, it’s not going to happen tomorrow. If you can change your black biking jersey to a neon green one that drivers can see easily, then that’s a change you can make today. I advocate for getting along with motorists. I spend 90 percent of my time on country roads and often ride with people who may not think about the impact that a bunch of old men riding together on bikes can have on cars on those roads. We have to be considerate of each other. It’s not just “Car, give me some room,” but “Car, let me make it easier for you to give me some room.” I love riding my bike in Kalamazoo, even though I wish we had more infrastructure for being able to bike from one side of town to the other. Part of being here is part of being in the community, and I do feel like we are in this together.
As your financial advocate, the LVM Team works to organize and simplify life in a way that enhances your family’s enjoyment of accumulated wealth… both now and in the future.
7840 Moorsbridge Road | Portage, Michigan 49024 269.321.8120 | 800.488.2036 | lvmcapital.com w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 37
BACK STORY encore
Tim Krone Owner, Pedal Bicycles
hen the Great Recession hit in 2008, Tim Krone was a computer programmer working in the banking and automotive finance industries. A year later he was working in a bike shop. Now, a decade later at age 52, he’s the owner of his own bike shop, Pedal Bicycles, with two locations: the downtown store, at 611 W. Michigan Ave., which he opened in 2011, and the second location, at 185 Romence Road, in Portage, which opened two years ago after Krone bought Breakaway Bicycles. In May, Pedal was named the best bike shop in Michigan by bestthingsmi.com. But, for Krone, bicycling is more than just selling bikes. He’s an advocate for biking experiences, safety and making others love bicycling as much as he does.
So how did you become so enamored with biking? It started with not wanting to turn 40. I was 39 years old and I’ve got a 6-year-old kid and I’m a little flabbier than I’d like to be. But I managed to beat Phil Carter, who was at the YMCA, in a racquetball tournament, and he could just not believe it. So he took me to a spinning class and just killed me. I could barely walk out of there, but I thought, "I like this." When spring rolled around, I thought it would be more fun to be outside on my bike, and, because I have a masochistic gene, I got into triathlons and bought a road bike. I was riding all the time. (continued on page 37)
38 | Encore JUNE 2017
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Southwest Michigan's Magazine: Just what does Jeremiah Barnes do with 100 million bees? Plus: Poverty in Kalamazoo, teaching tango, area's...