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February 2021




february 2021


February 2021


Municipal Ice RememberWhen Lake Street, 400

Rink Block

A Before the ice rink became a reality, Kalamazooans skated in the oldfashioned way, waiting for the temperatures to drop enough to convert water to ice. Sometimes theyskated on the rivers, and sometimes in the Vine and Stuart neighborhoods areas, which the City flooded for this purpose. Kalamazooans were still skating in the middle of the twentieth century. In 1956, Commissioner Willis Dunbar asked the City to procure estimates on an artificial rink. Dunbar proposed that the City consider using a portion of the income derived from the sale of its lighting plant to finance the project. Public and private conversation continued, and the following March, the city received a letter from resident Lloyd Yenner, sent on behalf of a group who supported the idea. Yenner sent a petition with signatures as proof of that interest. These documents obviously helped convince the City of the community’s support, and by the following October, requests for bids went out for installation of the rink’s refrigeration system. During the 1958-59 season, almost 28,000 children and adults skated at the new rink.

B The 1959-60 season saw a significant increase, and attendance reached 44,000. In 1965, local architects Stone/Parent designated a roof for the rink, and the Kalamazoo Foundation made a grant to help cover its cost. The rink enjoyed great popularity into the 1970s. However, in 1976, two issues combined to bring about its end. Were it to continue, the rink would need extensive maintenance. Further, the City’s Water Department, whose site backed up to the rink, needed additional space. The

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Yenner, in a letter to the City Commission, March 11, 1957. Article reprinted with permission from “Kalamazoo Lost & Found.� The Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission is the copyright holder and publisher (2001.) Authors: Lynn

Picture descriptions: A. c1967. The rink’s 1966 roof allowed for its use during heavier snows, when an uncovered rink would have been closed. B. c1959. A City employee applies a spray of water to build up the ice on the new City rink.

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February 2021


Gardening Indoor Plants Survey Says…Indoor Plants can Improve Your Mood and a Whole Lot More!

We’re spending more time at home than ever before so many of us have been exploring new hobbies and passions. As many people are discovering, the solution for brightening up your interior space that may come with a whole host of benefits you weren’t expecting is houseplants. Surrounding yourself with greenery is a good remedy for purifying the air, but bringing plants into your home can also have a positive impact on your mood, sleep quality, and stress levels, which are essentially the things everyone needs in their life right now. During this work-from-home time, people are learning more about their plants to make sure they thrive. Read on to see what a recent survey of almost 1,000 people say about how they are improving their green thumbs, their lives and their homes with houseplants. For starters, houseplants are not a completely new phenomenon. On average, baby boomers tend to have the largest collection of houseplants (17 plants on average), followed by Generation X respondents (14) and millennials (12). Even though there’s more to keeping foliage alive than sunlight and hydration, most people aren’t picking plants based on the conditions they need to thrive. A majority of plant owners made their foliage choice based on ambiance and decoration (64%) rather than for a practical food source (36%). The environment you bring a plant into is one of the biggest factors in whether it lives or dies; millennials (21%) were the most conscious of picking plants based on the conditions they need to survive. Making sure your plants are getting enough light isn’t always the biggest environmental issue you might face. Too much light, either through

a window or from grow lights, can also leave your greenery looking yellow and wilted. For example orchids will only bloom when exposed to enough light, but prefer not to have direct sunlight, which can burn them. Leaf color is a good indicator of the amount of light many of your plants are getting: bright green leaves indicate a happy, healthy plant. Even if all your houseplants do is help you feel more at peace in your home, they may be doing a great job. Some other reasons people surveyed said they’re greening up their indoor living spaces include helping their mental focus, beautifying their homes, growing their own food, and giving them more time with other family members. If you happen to walk in on your spouse or a family member having a

conversation with one of the plants, don’t worry; they’re probably just trying to help them grow a little faster. More than half of plant parents (55%) admitted to talking to their plants either sometimes or regularly, while just 15% only rarely tried chatting up their plants, and 30% were too shy to consider having a conversation at all. Research shows that 93% of people who talked to their plants at least sometimes reported having a positive experience gardening. Want to take your plant care to the next level? Forty-three percent of respondents also admitted to naming their plants! Chatty or not, 27% of people indicated gardening helped reduce their stress to a great extent over the last few months, and 43% indicated their stress had at least declined a moder-

I have always loved my neighborhood, but over the past several months, I have fallen in love with it all over again! I’ve shared stories in the past of neighbors opening up their property to fellow neighbors. From sharing playground equipment, creating a nature trail and a community book box to coordinating rock hunts and even a visit from the socially distanced Easter Bunny, there’s rarely a shortage of activities in our neighbor community. Winter has brought even more ways to share with sledding hills and a new ice rink! My next-door neighbor has painstakingly created an ice rink out

of two by sixes, a huge tarp, plenty of water and countless hours grooming the ice. He even added festive lights around the perimeter, a tub of community skates & helmets, hockey goals, sticks & pucks, chairs, and a burn barrel with wood for skaters and spectators to keep warm. Our neighborhood has become much more than an area where people simply live near one another, it has become a place where neighbors interact and share with each other - bringing us all closer together.

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ate amount. Plants can help purify the air in your home, and tending to them might make you feel less stressed out. As it turns out, bringing plants into your home might help have a positive impact on your family relationships too. 61% of people reported spending quality time gardening with their partners, while 18% of people identified as solo gardeners. So are plants going to fix our relationships and cure this virus? Not exactly, but they sure do improve our moods and help lighten stress! Information from Stoneside.com. Terrie Schwartz Wedel’s Nursery, Florist & Garden Center

Cover Photo courtesy of Bridget Fox

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February 2021


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Stewards of Kleinstuck Purchase Land Adjacent to Kleinstuck Preserve A nonprofit environmental and conservation group known as Stewards of Kleinstuck has purchased property next to an existing nature preserve in the City of Kalamazoo and plans to keep it natural and open to the public. The Stewards have raised over $200,000 in just 12 months to protect this beloved property. “The Stewards’ successful fundraising campaign demonstrates the community’s commitment to saving natural land,” says Erin Fuller, President of Stewards of Kleinstuck. “We are so grateful for all the support we have received from the Kalamazoo community. Our success has been made possible by the encouragement and generous support from our donors. We want to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who has been able to support our campaign so far.” The Stewards have received financial gifts from over 600 community members and early financial support from the Jim Gilmore, Jr. Foundation, the Beim Foundation, and the Giving Well Family Foundation. The  Irving S. Gilmore Foundation also provided funding to build organizational capacity. “Recent grants from the Audubon Society of Kalamazoo and ENNA Foundation make us hopeful we can pay off the property early,” says Fuller.   The Stewards of Kleinstuck are welcoming donations to support the property acquisition at keepkalamazoowild.com. Additionally, Keep Kalamazoo Wild™-branded merchandise is available for sale on the site, including t-shirts for adults and

children, vinyl stickers, tote bags and hats. All donations and funds from merchandise sales will be directed toward the purchase of the property. The 12-acre property at 2000 Hudson was listed for sale in October of 2019. The Stewards hosted a community meeting at the Kazoo School in October 2019 that was attended by more than 150 stakeholders, neighbors and community members. After collecting feedback from the community, the Stewards resolved to purchase the land and preserve it in its natural, wild state. The Stewards launched their Keep Kalamazoo Wild™ campaign in May 2020, to focus on the preservation and conservation of one of Kalamazoo’s greatest treasures - its natural spaces.    The Stewards of Kleinstuck believe Keep Kalamazoo Wild™ matches the vision of what residents want our community to be and will become a rallying cry for those who appreciate

and want to protect the wild spaces that remain in our city. In order to close the purchase in October 2020, the Stewards borrowed a substantial portion of the purchase price for the 12 acres from a private lender. “We’re now making the final push to raise the funds needed to keep this property in its natural state and open to the public forever,” Erin Fuller, president of the Stewards of Kleinstuck said. “Our community has been exceedingly generous, but we still have between $100,000 and $200,000 to raise.” The Stewards of Kleinstuck learned that an out-of-state developer made an offer on the parcel just days after they signed a purchase agreement with the sellers. Fuller reports, “We are so grateful for Andrew Gyorkos of Kalamazoo Commercial Real Estate and Attorney Steve Glista who volunteered their expertise to support our organization with this

purchase. Without their efforts, we doubt our offer would have come in under the wire to purchase the land ahead of the competition. We might have bulldozers just inches from the Kleinstuck Preserve right now.”   The Stewards acknowledge that the land they have purchased is the ancestral homeland of the Three Fires Confederacy and was stewarded by the Ojibwe, Odawa and Bodewadmi nations prior to colonial interest in the property.  ABOUT STEWARDS OF KLEINSTUCK The Stewards of Kleinstuck is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, founded in 2007 as a group of neighbors and community members with a mission to unite neighbors, ecologists and Western Michigan University land managers to create a healthier, more diverse and beautiful ecosystem in the Kleinstuck Preserve, for the benefit of our community and wildlife. The Stewards of Kleinstuck work closely with Western Michigan University to ensure their activities are in harmony. For more information, please visit stewardsofkleinstuck. org. ABOUT THE KLEINSTUCK PRESERVE The Kleinstuck Preserve is a 48acre preserve in Kalamazoo Michigan, owned and managed by Western Michigan University. For more information about the Kleinstuck Preserve please visit https://wmich. edu/kleinstuck.   


February 2021

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Ellen: As we head into the months of spring, I am thinking about buying some pretty new face masks to match the change in seasons. My older black masks that I’ve worn for years are getting worn out from use. “Years?” you might ask, and yes, that’s not a typo. Mask wearing was not new to me in 2020 as I previously lived in Japan where the practice of wearing masks for anything from a common cold to the flu is second nature. Though I learned and adapted to wearing masks during my time abroad, I continued the practice when I returned to the States. Sure, I got some strange looks here and there, especially as I tend to wear them on planes, but the upsides are enormous. Since a young age, I have had a severe fragrance allergy: any perfume, hairspray, cleaning product, deodorizer, or lotion can set me off. It’s really difficult to control. Though I’m used to encountering lower levels of allergens during my day-to-day life, planes and public transport have been particular problems--problems that masks have helped me solve. Sure, they don’t completely eliminate the issue, but boy have they come in handy over the years. Plus: if it’s a mask day, I don’t have to worry so much about makeup (something else I am very allergic to). Jane: The other day, my sister said to me, “I sure hope this mask thing catches on for good. I’ve never been so healthy as I have this year.” This gave me a dawning realization: neither have I—no colds, no flu, and few allergic reactions. Maybe, this is an opportunity not to be dismissed? My friend looks at it from a different angle. She sheepishly admitted to walking right past difficult acquaintances in the grocery store without the social necessity of smiling or waving or stopping to chitchat. “It’s really great to not be recognized,” she told me. The thing I like best about masks is that I look people in the eyes more.

What was I looking at before? I have no idea: their teeth? Chins? Nose? Whatever it was, I am now enjoying their beautifully expressive eyes instead. There is a lot of love in people’s eyes. I asked Dean what he likes about masks and he laughed. “I’m not sure what other people are doing, but I find that in irritating encounters, sticking out my tongue is a great stress-release. I may have to retrain myself when the masks come off but, for now, who can tell? Jane & Ellen Knuth

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February 2021


The W Wififee Upstairs A No Novvel by Rachel Hawkins (St. Martin's Press) “Mild-mannered Jane cobbles together a living as a dog walker for the wealthy residents of Thornfield Estates, when an encounter with Eddie Rochester turns into a whirlwind romance. But plain Jane has a mysterious past...and so does everyone else in this upscale neighborhood. Loosely inspired by Jane Eyre, this domestic suspense novel features the twists and turns that fans of the genre expect. Perfect for fans of Liv Constantine and Louise Candlish.” —Nanette Donohue, Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL NoveList read-alike: The Winters by Lisa Gabriele

Januar January - Thepublished top tten en books published this month that libraryacross staff across country love. The topy 2021 books this month that librarians thethecountry love The Childr Children's en's Blizzar Blizzard d A Novel by Melanie Benjamin

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(Delacorte Press) “A deadly snowstorm roared through the Great Plains on January 12, 1888, at a time when many children were in school with teachers little older than themselves. Based on actual oral histories of survivors, and told from perspectives of teachers, students, and the media, this book is perfect for readers who enjoy historical fiction by Ariel Lawhon and Marie Benedict.” —Wendy Paige, Shelby County Public Library, Shelbyville, KY NoveList read-alike: Answer Creek by Ashley E. Sweeney

Outla Outlaw wed by Anna North (Bloomsbury) “Bank robberies and women's health may not seem like natural companions, but North weaves them together seamlessly in this alternate history Western. Cast out of her hometown for failure to get pregnant after a year of marriage, Ada joins the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang and becomes an outlaw, all the while seeking real information about pregnancy and fertility. For fans of Inland and The Power.”

(Tin House Books) “Three stories—a mysterious suicide, a wayward young man searching for his uncle, and a young journalist investigating the story behind several missing girls—unfold before finally converging. The dark mood is palpable as Inspector Cutter, Gideon Bliss, and Octavia Hillingdon travel through Victorian London to fit the puzzle pieces together. Perfect for fans of The Night Circus and Jane Steele.”

“Shay's lifelong dream has been to be in radio, and she's been working at a Seattle NPR station since she was 19. Ten years later, she and new wunderkind Dominic create a show around the idea that they're exes talking about relationships. The burn between Shay and Dominic is slow, intense, and HOT. Give to fans of The Kiss Quotient and The Hating Game.” —Jessica Werner, Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA NoveList read-alike: Loathe at First Sight by Suzanne Park

—Maribeth Fisher, Scotch Plain Public Library, Scotch Plains, NJ NoveList read-alike: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

The PPer erffec ectt Guests by Emma Rous For book recommendations from your (Berkley) Kalamazoo Public Library Staff go to "When down-on-her-luck www.kpl.gov/blog/ Sadie is offered a lucrative weekend acting job at a sumptuous Raven Hall, as a guest in a period mystery event, she jumps at the chance. Before the weekend is over, Sadie and the other "perfect guests" will learn about Raven Hall's tragic past."

The PPush ush A Novel by Ashley Audrain (Pamela Dorman Books) "Blythe comes from a long line of women not cut out to be mothers. When she falls in love with a man who wants nothing more than a happy family she tells herself she can be a good mother. When her daughter is born however she finds that motherhood is just not that simple. For readers who enjoyed The Woman in the Window (Finn) or Baby Teeth (Stage.)"


A law firm focusing on estate —Cynthia Hunt, Amarillo Public Library, Amarillo, TX estate settlement, —Emily Calkins, Kingplanning, County Library System, Issaquah, WA NoveList read-alike: The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware NoveList read-alike: Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey and the transfer of wealth. Remot emotee C Contr ontrol ol by Nnedi Okorafor

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(Tordotcom) "As a girl living in a future version of Ghana, Yatima was given an object from space that gave her the ability to emit a green light that brings death to all she touches. Now, as a young teen, she occasionally leaves death behind her as she searches for the alien object that was stolen from her. Africanfuturism, sci-fi, and magic. For readers who enjoyed The Fifth Season and Monstress."

(Gallery Books) "Graeme and Henley are competing for the same job at their adventure cruise company. When their boss sends them on a familiarization trip of the company's cruise in the Galapagos the enemies to lovers’ plot gets steamy. For readers who enjoyed A Sweet Mess (Lee) and The Unhoneymooners (Lauren)."

—Katie Kalil, Sterling Library, Sterling, VA NoveList read-alike: The Deep by Rivers Solomon

The House on Vesper Sands by Paraic O'Donnell

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—Linda Quinn, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT NoveList read-alike: The Unprotected by Kelly Sokol

Sir Siri,i, Who Am I? A Novel by Sam Tschida (Quirk Books) "Mia awakes in a hospital in a gold cocktail dress, a cape covered in her blood, a head wound and her cell phone, and no memory of who she is or how she got there. She uses her Instagram account to begin to piece together her life. For readers who enjoyed Surprise Me (Kinsella) and What Alice Forgot (Moriarty)."


—Laura Bonds, Harris County Public Library, Houston, TX NoveList read-alike: Simmer Down by Sarah Smith

—Douglas Beatty, Baltimore County Public Library, Baltimore, MD NoveList read-alike: The One that Got Away by Leigh Himes

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February 2021


MAGNIFICENT MIBS & SUBLIME SHOOTERS The game of marbles dates back to our earliest known civilizations. Small clay and stone balls have surfaced in Egyptian pyramids, Aztec temples, ancient Pueblo villages, and Greek and Roman ruins. The first documentation occurs in the Middle Ages when a 1503 edict of Nurenberg, Germany limited play to a field outside the town boundary. A 1560 painting, “Children’s Games”, by Pieter Brueghel the Elder depicts a scene of youngsters enjoying the pastime. The first marbles were constructed of clay and polished stone. The term “marble” comes from early use of that material for the small spheres. Clay and stone marble manufacture continued well into the 1800s. Their relative abundance and ordinary appearance render them less desirable than their glass successors. Collectors divide glass marbles into handmade and machine made. The bulk of antique handmade marbles were produced in Germany from the 1830s to the start of WWI. Two primary types of handmade marbles exist. Cane cut marbles start as rods of varied glass that will form the design of the marble. One end of the cane is rounded. A portion is sheared off and rounding is completed. The process repeats to form further marbles. Single gather marbles are formed individually at the end of a glassblower’s stick, or punty. All handmade marbles will have at least one pontil, a small mark on the glass where it was severed from the cane or punty. Pontils, bubbles, and a not-quiteperfectly-round shape are some of the

ways collectors distinguish handmade marbles from machine-made. In the early 1900s, American innovators developed automated marble manufacture. This, along with the termination of German imports during WWI, brought American machinemade marbles to the forefront of the industry. In 1915, M.F. Christensen of Akron, Ohio invented a device that could simultaneously shape and cool slugs of molten glass into finished marbles. His method was so effective it remains largely unchanged to this day. While handmade marbles are more sought after by collectors, vintage machine-mades have their own appeal. The Akro Agate Company of West Virginia improved Christensen’s design with the introduction of an automatic cutoff for hot glass. Akro marbles are some of the most prized machine-mades. The Peltier Glass Company began production in the 1920s. Peltier’s iconic “Comics” line was a 12-marble series of solid backgrounds adorned with comic-

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strip characters like Betty Boop. Other notable manufacturers include Vitro Agate, Ravenswood Novelty Company, and Master Marble. Hundreds of designations exist for various types of these shining spheres. Among the more common are “Aggies”, which can refer to marbles made of actual agate stone, or to the glass marbles that A resemble them. “Glassies”, or “Puries” are colorful clear glass marbles. “Opaques” refer to single colored glass marbles that block light. “Cat’s Eyes” are clear glass marbles with opaque varicolored vanes in the center, or distributed throughout. Rarer marble types include “Sulphides”—clear marbles with small figures suspended in the center. The “Onionskin’s” pole-to-pole layered swirls of color resemble an onion. A handmade Lutz Onionskin, made with gold flecks in the glass mix, is particularly prized. A “Shooter” or “Taw” is a larger marble used to knock about the smaller ones, known as “ducks” or “mibs”.

While condition, size, and age are all important factors for the collector, the primary concern is a marble’s look. The more colors and greater intricacy of design, the higher the value. A vintage mib can start at $10. Prices for shooters can begin as high as $50. At one of the best-known marble auctioneers in the country, Morphy’s, a Sulphide with a lion figure sold for $7,800. A peacock-toned Lutz Onionskin commanded a whopping $13,200. The lasting appeal of toy marble collecting combines several factors. As with most collectable toys, nostalgia plays its part. Marbles pack enormous visual and tactile appeal into a tiny package. A collection can begin for low cost with estate sale finds or resale-shop purchases. And lest you think the game itself is a thing of distant memory, the National Marble Tournament, begun in 1922, continues on in Wildwood New Jersey. In West Sussex, the British and World Championship happens at The Greyhound Inn in Tinsley Green. Legend has it the first contest at The Grayhound was played in 1588 by two young suitors vying for the hand of a Tinsley milk maiden. Who says marbles is just a kids’ game? Bridget Klusman Owner, Retro Estate Sales https://retroestatesales.wixsite.com/retroestatesales Image A: Puries Image B: Cat’s Eyes Image C: Opaques

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February 2021


Put Spice Back Into Your Relationship Love takes time, it doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes we can lose sight of the love we once had. Like the song written by The Supremes in 1966 says, “Love don’t come easy. It’s a game of give and take.” Those lyrics are still impactful fifty-five years later. Compromise is essential for all successful relationships. As we move into the month of love, finding that spice can be challenging. Look for ways for you to put a spark back in your love life.

Discovering your language of love and understanding what your partner needs are key for strong relationships.

Life can get hectic. Sometimes the people we love the most are the ones we take for granted. Re-discover your connection and rekindle the love you once felt. Rekindling that spark takes time and energy, as it did when you first fell in love. Find a time and space that allows both of you to feel safe to speak up and share your feelings about your relationship. When you and your partner feel safe to talk and know that each of you is actively listening, it allows for a deep conversation that can lead to effective change. Find out what each of you needs. Listen with intensity and seek understanding as you discover feelings that you might

not have been aware of. Allowing the other person to discuss what is hurting them in your relationship can be difficult. If you don’t let your partner speak their raw feelings without being defensive, rejuvenating your relationship may meet resistance. After discovering what your relationship needs, the real work can begin. If you feel bored with your love life, find new and exciting things for you both to do. Go somewhere that you have never been and explore. You are not going to change the course of your relationship by doing the same ol’ same ol’. Do you lack intimacy? Longing for the touch that makes you feel warm and prickly inside? If you are experiencing a lack of intimacy

together, find out why that is. Are you still attracted to each other? Can you imagine your life without your partner? Find time to hug, kiss, and cuddle. These are behaviors that say I love you to your partner and that your relationship is important. Supporting each other is an essential factor in continued growth within your relationship. The world can get sticky, but knowing that you have support from your partner when everything else feels like things are upside down can strengthen that love.

Ensure your partner knows that you are in this together and if it matters to them, then it matters to you. Be thankful for each moment that you share and the gratitude will shine into your relationship. You can’t hurry love. Your relationship takes work; if it is important enough for both of you, then together, you will rekindle that spark. Julie Sorenson M.A, L.P.C.


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February 2021


parents Helping Kids Cope with Stressful Events Sometimes it is hard to escape the stressful events plaguing our community… pandemic, politics, social unrest, job loss, death. As a parent, it is natural to become preoccupied with a way to survive it all. We often hear that “kids are resilient” leading us to believe they aren’t as aware or affected by stressful events. Children are aware of more than we realize. Unlike adults, they do not have the previous life experience, skills, and developmental capacity to cope. There is significant long-term impact on a child that is left to figure it out on their own. Unsure of how to talk to your kids about some of these hard topics, read along for some tips. Deciding when to talk to your child is the best place to start. Choose a time that is low stress, no one is in a rush or preoccupied with being somewhere else. Early in the day on a non-school day is often a great choice. Take time before hand to think about your own reactions to the difficult topic. Staying emotionally calm will allow for your child to express their own experience, otherwise they may feel the need to care for your emotional needs. Rehearse what you plan to say. Take into consideration the child’s age but also their emotional maturity. Children often benefit from short

and concrete facts about stressful events. Too many nitty-gritty details or uncertainties often lead to overwhelm. Keeping it short will allow the child to process the basic point before more details are added. Validate the child’s reactions and feelings about the topic, even if it doesn’t make sense to you or is different than your own. Sit with your child, quietly, as they absorb and react to the information. Gently help them put names on their emotions. Feeling seen and heard without judgement will allow your child to process stressful events and strengthen the parent-child relationship. Make sure to keep the first conversation short and simple. As they go through their day and week, they will continue processing the information and everything that it means for the world as they know it. Make time to check back in with them. Provide further details as they have questions

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and conversations continue. Kids build resiliency by facing hardship in bite size pieces they can master, feeling seen and heard, and being able process it with an emotionally safe adult. It helps them learn the skill of how to handle confusing and overwhelming events making them stronger and healthier adults. If you are struggling to make sense of a family or more global event, it might be a sign that your child is

too. Take a few moments to check in with them. A few hard conversations can go a long way to promoting good mental health as they develop into adulthood. If you and your child are struggling to find your way through it, professional support is available. Christina Thomason, LMSW Acacia: A Place for Personal & Family Development

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February 2021


Otsego Barbershop

In this ever-changing world, there aren’t many businesses that can say that not much has changed in their industry. Otsego Barbershop, owned by Aaron Warnez, a Fifth generation barber, is one of a few that can say this.

Aaron was destined to become a barber, hanging out in barbershops since he was a child with his father, grandfather, great grandfather and great great grandfather.

In fact, he took over his grandfather, Paul Williams’s chair in the Otsego Barbershop in 1998. The family of barbers all stayed close to home, honing their trade in downtown at Rosenberg’s Barbershop in Plainwell, Mario Standish Barbershop in Otsego and since 1979, the Otsego Barbershop. Otsego Barbershop is the only barbershop in Allegan County, with clients traveling from Martin, Wayland, Richland and other communities to enjoy the old fashioned barbershop experience. They specialize in haircuts, beard trims and Aaron jokingly adds, local gossip to the mix. Haircuts are $16 and senior cuts for ages 65+ are available Tuesday through Friday for only $13. Beards have become more prominent since the onset of the Coronavirus – beard trims are just $8. Kids cuts are welcome too. Otsego Barbershop is adhering to all of the Covid safety protocols. The Otsego Barbershop also carries pomade and hair tonics, as well as beard wax and oil to keep your hair and beard looking great! Customers have shared rave reviews on their Facebook page, OtsegoBarbershop, including: “I’ve been coming here for at least 40 years. Won’t go anywhere else.” “Love the cuts every time and the people are awesome. They also cut my grandsons hair and are the absolute best with young kids that I’ve seen.” “Been coming here since I was just a little kid. Same barber cuts my hair. Great group of guys.” “They do a great job - I have

been going there for 30 years.” Aaron is proud of his fellow barbers at the shop. Norm has been there for 25+ years, Jason has been with him for 4 years and Abbey joined the group two years ago. An honorable mention goes to Ozzy the barbershop mascot; a 3-year-old husky Labrador mix, that enjoys all the petting he can get and loves slumbering a lot! Aaron grew up in Plainwell and graduated from the Lansing Barber College. He mentioned that they offered $4 haircuts at the college for practice. It doesn’t appear that there will be a 6th generation of barbers in the family - his 3 daughters haven’t expressed any interest in the trade. If you’re looking for a timehonored barbershop experience you need to stop into Otsego Barbershop where they offer walk-ins only, which is music to most men’s ears! They are located at 128 W. Allegan Street in downtown Otsego.

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February 2021


The Ultimate Cooking for One Cookbook is ideal for those looking to cook a good meal for themselves! Photos and recipes courtesy


Cooking for One! of The Ultimate Cooking for One Cookbook by Joanie Zisk (Simon & Schuster© 2019). I can still recall my mother once stating that with all her kids grown and gone, which was crowned with her becoming a widow, she could not bring herself to cook just for herself because it was, “Not worth the bother!”  Knowing how much time and effort she poured into her meals – usually all afternoon – provoked no argument from me. In fact, whenever I’d find myself alone, I adopted her philosophy, and make do with what was around or (cringe) reached for some take out! What’s interesting is that today’s younger generation, the one that grew up in the drive-thru, is actually

turning toward home-cooked food because they’re getting sick of what’s out there in the realm of ready-to-eat food. Problem is, cooking for one does involve more than just downsizing a recipe, creating an impassible crux for many wannabe cooks! Fortunately, a new cookbook, The Ultimate Cooking for One Cookbook by Joanie Zisk, crushes this cooking conundrum for both young and old! “I began creating single serving recipes when my oldest son went away to college,” Zisk states on her website. “Our weekly phone calls were filled with conversations about school, college life, and what he was eating. To my surprise, my son ate packaged ramen and white rice almost every night of the week. Although that’s not entirely awful, I wanted to provide him with recipes he could make and enjoy on his own. The weekly recipes that I sent to him started a passion in me to take our family favorite recipes and scale them into single serving versions. I enjoyed the challenge of taking my husband’s favorite dish, Eggplant Parmesan, and

scaling it down from seven servings to just one.” Having a soft spot for comfort foods, Zisk’s cookbook features 175 super-easy, single-serving recipes that have no wasted ingredients or unwanted leftovers. Served up with tips and ideas for making a one-person kitchen work, Zisk’s recipes While Zisk started off with her college son in mind, I think The Ultimate Cooking for One Cookbook is perfect for any age single looking to learn good kitchen habits, and a wealth of recipes and inspiration for cooking good food for one! Eating fresh, delicious, homecooked meals instead of processed foods can improve your health, which, if for no other reason, makes cooking -even for one- well worth the effort!  Here now are some single serves straight from Zisk. Enjoy! Laura Kurella

Cashew Chicken Cashew Chicken for one: easy to make and so much better than takeout! Tender cooked chicken and cashews are served with a sweet garlic sauce. The recipe calls for using ground ginger for convenience, but you can use 1⁄4 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger instead if preferred. This single-serving version of Cashew Chicken is full of flavor, healthy, and can be ready in minutes!


For Sauce 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce 2 tablespoons pure honey 1-teaspoon olive oil 1/8-teaspoon ground ginger 1-tablespoon water For Chicken 1 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1” cubes 1/8-teaspoon kosher salt 1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2-tablespoon olive oil 1⁄2 cup peeled and thickly chopped yellow onion 1/2-cup fresh broccoli florets 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced 1⁄4 cup unsalted cashews 1 cup cooked white rice


To make Sauce: Whisk together soy sauce, honey, oil, ginger, and water in a small bowl. Set aside. To make Chicken: Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 10” skillet over medium-high heat 30 seconds. Add chicken and sauté until cooked through, about 4 minutes. 1. Add onions, broccoli, and garlic to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, one minute until vegetables are crisp-tender. 2. Add cashews and sauce. Cook until mixture comes to a light boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer 3 minutes. 3. Enjoy on a medium plate with cooked rice. Cooking Rice for One Tip Cook a large batch of brown or white rice and freeze it in individual portions using a muffin pan. Once frozen, pop the rice discs out of the muffin pan and freeze in a zip-top bag. Whenever you need a single serving of rice, just heat up one of the frozen discs. PER SERVING: Calories 899; Fat 32g; Protein 53g; Sodium 1,541mg; Fiber 4g; Carbohydrates: 103g; Sugar 40g.


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February 2021


10 Home Organization Tips From the Experts at Beyond Staging

Kim Konkle, Home Stager, at Beyond Staging, a market-ready preparation company that offers an array of services to help homeowners prepare their home for sale and keep it well maintained, shares the following 10 simple organizing tips. 1. When in doubt, throw it out! Purging on a regular basis will help de-clutter your home and help maintain the space.  2.  Focus on one area at a time. Make a list and check off as you go. 3.  Rotate your wardrobe, pack all those heavy winters items in clear totes and make extra space in your closet. This is also a great time to get rid of items that haven’t been worn! 4.  Fridge/ Freezer purge, throw out expired items, deep clean and reorganize items. Clear bins work great here!  5.  Pantry purge, throw out expired items, clean surfaces and store items by category neatly. 6.  Stop paper clutter right away by going through mail immediately and creating a file system for those important papers.  7.  Give every belonging a home. Important rule of thumb all year

long! 8. Go through kitchen drawers/ cabinets. Start small here with a junk

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drawer or utensil drawer and work your way through. Great time to deep clean, toss items and reorganize! 9.  Install garage organizer systems to help get items contained neatly off the floor. 10. Get the whole family involved in the spring organization process! Designate areas to each member, kids too!  Beyond Staging believes that having a well maintained home means less stress when the need arises to sell your property and that every home should be market ready prior to listing to ensure it will show at market value. They collaborate with realtors and lead their sellers through their market-ready process from start to finish. If you’re thinking about selling your home or are interested in having a well maintained home, Beyond Stag-

ing can help. They offer the following services: * Market-Ready Consultations * Redesign Consultations * Organizing Residential Bi-week ly/Market-Ready * Cleaning Residential weekly/ Market Ready * De-cluttering * Staging * Contractor Referrals For more information visit their website at beyondstagingmi.com, call (269) 370-0822 or stop into their Plainwell location at 126 E. Bridge St. You can also follow them on social media on FB or Instagram: @ beyondstagingmi. Jackie Merriam


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February 2021


be ART ful

Dear Reader, You make my life sparklier, my thoughts more positive and my heart happier. Because of you, I reimagined what a creative life can truly be. Art is for everyone and inspiration is everywhere and I thank you for being with me here every month in the Good News paper. xo ~Bridget The art of the written word may come naturally for some and others, like myself, seem to struggle. It’s not always easy to write what you would like to say. I think this month seems

like a good occasion to put pen to paper, or in this case, to a postcard. Especially for those of us who get cozied-up and spend most of the winter indoors, this just might be a wonderful idea for our head and our heart. Living in the smart phone age, we instantly send and receive messages. Fast turnaround time is what we have been conditioned to expect. Some of us even get a little snippy if we don’t get an immediate reply in return. (wink-wink) Lately I have been watching binge worthy period


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shows and films and it has been a resourceful reminder of how patience was a normal occurrence when communicating. The excitement of finally getting a letter after days, weeks or months of waiting meant something special. The anticipation of what you were about to read had merit and value. Let’s bring back the act of correspondence through the mail with a painted postcard. I found a three pack of 4x6 canvas boards from the dollar store. The backside is blank and ready to address and write your

note on. The post office will mail the canvas board postcard for under a dollar. No excuses to not send a loved one a thoughtful and heartfelt gift though the mail. Because it’s February and is the month of Valentine’s Day, I decided it would be fun to be thematic with hearts and love on my canvases… and by now you all know my love of hearts. All my inspiration came directly from online resources. Pick a famous artist, like Kandinsky for example, as I did in a few postcard paintings and imitate the style with your own art. This would also be an ideal family or small group project to do together. After you paint your canvas boards using acrylic paint, apply a sealer to protect. When dry, flip over and write your message and address it to your intended recipient. Here are a few ideas if you need help coming up with what to write: Share a special memory, a cute joke, a favorite poem, an inspirational quote, why you admire or treasure them or a simple “I love you” is always appreciated. Regardless of what you write, I think we can all agree that receiving something like this in the mail would all make us feel important, worthy and loved. And when you create what you love, others will love what you create. xo ~Bridget Email: bridgetfoxkzoo@gmail.com Social: https://www.instagram.com/ bridgetfoxkzoo


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February 2021

Welcome to the time of year I prefer to call pre-spring! We are past the winter solstice, and the days are becoming longer – about a minute every day, as of this writing. Why, the daffodils will be in bloom before we know it! We are currently almost a year into what has become the touchstone of the century so far - a global pandemic that has robbed our country of over 300,000 lives. What a scourge was unleashed, and I join many others in hoping the vaccines scientists have developed will restore us to some kind of “new normal” that resembles the “old normal.” Being interested in all things environmental, I pay attention to news reports and as a teacher, I have contact with young, inquiring minds concerned with the precarious state of our planet. A topic of conversation, in both venues, is the notion that the lockdown has, to quote an article I read, allowed nature to “reclaim” the Earth. Reports suggest significant improvement of environmental health parameters and new hope of a reprieve for some threatened species. I think it’s worth pondering… As with all environmental analyses, facts about Earth’s recuperation, as we hunker down in our homes, are

Mother Nature: Bouncing Back? 14

mixed. Certain aspects of degradation have improved. Others, not so much! There is no question that air quality improved dramatically in parts of Europe and Asia when last spring’s lockdown was enacted. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a dangerous air pollutant released by the combustion of fuels associated with transportation (cars and trucks) decreased significantly! Enforced time at home meant many fewer cars were on highways. The smog that forms in warmer climates as NO2 mixes with ozone was also reduced to a significant extent during last summer – an added bonus. In the US, we were subject, not to a national lockdown, but to a patchwork of enforcement orders from different state governments. There were measurable improvements in air quality, but the effects are harder to quantify on a national scale. Although human lungs may have received a brief respite due to increased air quality, the relief may be short-lived. Without curfews and lockdowns in place, most areas of the world have eased stay-at-home restrictions, although some countries are ramping back up. We are back to driving, enjoying take-out dinners, and insisting our Amazon purchases, flown around the country (and the

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world) in jumbo jets, should be delivered promptly to our doors – even on Sundays! A notable bright spot for environmental recovery is conspicuous in its absence. Noise pollution, the background sounds accompanying our human pursuits, is much abated. The peaceful sounds of breezes and birds calling to signal danger or to attract mates abound in the new quiet of enforced social distancing and work-from-home isolation. It’s not so noticeable in the winter, but I hope you will take a moment on some upcoming snowy morn to just step outside and take in the quiet. On the other side of the equation, tip charges, the monetary rates charged to trash haulers when they dump their loads of household garbage at landfills, are way up. All this cooking and eating at home, along with cleaning out our clutter, has caused a surge in household refuse. Industrial waste, except for hazardous medical material, has gone down in volume, only to be balanced by our recognition that we may have just too many things and off to the dump they go! Much has been written and shared on social media platforms about amazing stories of species returning

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to long-abandoned habitat after a significant absence. Photos of swans and dolphins in Venice canals and drunken elephants sleeping off their intoxication in a tea field have been proven false, according to National Geographic. In preparation to write this article, I came across a quote from someone who posted some of the “fake news.” The author indicated, to paraphrase, that it didn’t matter if the information wasn’t truthful, it brought her joy and she wanted to share! And passing on her joy was all that was important…. Really??!! Everyone, I think, wants to believe some good will rise out of the COVID wreckage. As I write this, there have been over 88 million diagnoses made, and over two million lives lost worldwide. I hope the enforced lockdown period will provide us with opportunities to examine what we really “need” to be happy and perhaps instill in us a new resolve to rebuild our economy in a more nurturing way to the planet on which we depend. This increased mindfulness is my 2021 resolution. Cheryl Hach Retired Science Teacher Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center


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February 2021


For those fans of British television drama, those words signal a request (or perhaps a command) for a private conversation. Often, it’s a supervisor informing someone that a serious discussion is about to take place. It’s likely that it won’t be much of a two-way “conversation”, but more of a one-way dressing down. During our COVID Pandemic, I’ve been watching plenty of British drama on my computer and have been thinking about how often we “have a word” with each other. By this I mean a


May I Have a Word?

conversation. Our technological advances in communication, primarily through cell phones, have made having a conversation problematic. Although cell phones have made us more accessible to each other, the communication is often in 25 words or less, and even the words are compressed into some kind of shorthand to save space. We have no way to assess facial expressions, with the exception of an accompanying emoji. We exchange messages but conversation is absent.

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You might ask what conversation has to do with health. In one word: Plenty. Social contact is one of the four pillars of wellness, the others being muscle strength, cardiovascular conditioning, and flexibility. Some health professionals consider isolation as being more a threat to good health than the other three. Isolation was serious before the pandemic, which has made the effects of isolation exponentially worse. Conversation consists of two parts: talking and listening. It’s the listening part that is often ignored and, in my opinion, it’s the most important part. A typical conversation consists of two or more people talking. As one person is talking, the other is already preparing their response. This effectively eliminates any chance that the talker is being listened to. Listening is a skill that needs cultivation and practice. It involves being totally absorbed in what the other person is saying. The listener has no rejoinder prepared. The listener may respond to the speaker by seeking clarification as to what is being said, such as “let me see if I understand.” The listener may be surprised to learn what they thought was said they completely misunderstood. Each person in a conversation must feel “listened to” in order for any meaningful dialogue to take place. The listener has no other agenda than to under-

stand what is being said. The listener makes no comments of agreement or disagreement. He or she just listens. Not all interpersonal speech falls into the category of conversation. There are plenty of verbal exchanges that do not rise to that level. But when they do, listening is critical to it being meaningful. A fair warning: if this sounds easy, it’s not. We have become culturally accustomed to agree or disagree with whom we are talking. Listening requires that we unlearn this habit and concentrate on the talker. All talker wants is to be understood. Mental health professionals are experiencing unprecedented demands for their services. Depression is fast becoming a national health crisis. It’s no surprise that these professionals are being sought after; they are trained in the art of listening. New Year resolutions often center on weight loss, more exercise, quitting smoking and other self-help plans. For those of you who are still searching for a meaningful resolution, may I offer practice the art of listening? With that skill in hand, perhaps we will have the courage to have a meaningful conversation. Make it a good day and remember to be kind. Ken Dettloff ACE Certified Personal Trainer.

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February 2021

The Spirit of Kalamazoo Incorporates Merchandise from Recently Closed Nature Connection The Spirit of Kalamazoo (TSOK) has added Michiganthemed inventory from the recently closed store, Nature Connection. The owner of Nature Connection, Laurie Russell, has retired.  Kathleen Widner, co-owner said,

“We appreciate the relationship we have built with Laurie (Russell) for the past nine years that we have been in business. We were paired with her in a mentoring capacity when we opened in 2011. She has offered excellent advice over the years. We wish her the best in her retirement.” One of the inventory lines added to TSOK is Cherry Repub-


lic.  Chocolate-covered cherries, nut mixes, salsas, jams, tea and candy from Cherry Republic are now sold at TSOK. Also added to the store’s inventory from Nature Connection are Michigan-shaped wooden cutting boards and baskets in a variety of sizes. Andrew Widner, co-owner, said, “We are pleased to add unique Michigan-based products that have been sold at Nature Connection and are now available at The Spirit of Kalamazoo. The top-selling inventory from Nature Connection was what we have added to our store.”     The Spirit of Kalamazoo is a

family-owned retail shop that sells clothing and souvenirs that represent Kalamazoo, the state of Michigan and local universities. In addition, the store offers Plainwell Ice Cream, voted “Best of West Michigan” multiple times. The store employs three part-time employees, in addition to the two owners. TSOK has been located on the Kalamazoo Mall since 2016. The business opened in 2011 at a previous downtown location on Portage Street. For more information visit their website spiritofkalamazoo.com or call (269) 382-6249.

FREE FEBRUARY Events Due to Corona virus be sure to call or look online for possible event changes or cancellations. Through, February 26 Winter Reading Bingo Ages 18+, Grab a paper bingo Card or log on to ReadSquare APP to win prizes, 629-9085 Richlandlibrary.org Through February 26 Family Winter Bingo – Win $500 trip to Great Wolf Lodge comstocklibrary.org Monday, February 1 Monthly Youth Craft Kits, Storytime Kits, & Biblio Boxes Comstock Library, 345-0136 Monday, February 1 Monthly Teen DIY Project & Biblio Boxes, (6-12th grade) 345-0136 Comstock Library Mondays, Feb. 1,8,15,22 Storytime on FB Live, 11am-12:30, Pawpawdistrictlibrary Tues., Feb. 2,9,16,23 Preschool Story Time Ages 3-5, 10am Richlandlibrary.org Tues. Feb. 2,9,16 Reminiscence Writing with Wilma Kahn on Zoom. 11am Register Ahead: 343-0136, comstocklibrary.org Tuesday, February 2 Teen Craft-To-Go, Ages 11-17 Mystery Craft Register ahead to pick up kit Richlandlibrary.org, 10am

Thurs., Feb. 4,11,18,25 Chapter Book Thursdays Ages 6-12, 10am Richlandlibrary.org Thursdays, Feb. 4,11,18,25 Storytime on FB Live Comstock Library, 10:30am Thursday, February 4 Virtual Curator Talk: Framing Moments Exhibition, 6pm Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Thursday, February 4 Facebook Live Trivia: Feb. General Knowledge, 7pm Ages 18+, Richland Library Friday, February 5 Memory Café on Zoom for those with Mild dementia& caregivers, 10:30-11:30am Paw Paw Library, 657-3800 Sat., Feb. 6,13,20,27 Bank Street Outdoor Mini Market, 8am-Noon 1157 Bank St., Kalamazoo Saturday, February 7 Virtual Storytelling Festival 1-6pm, kvmsorytelling.org Sunday, February 7 Isaiah J. Thompson Quartet Virtual Rising Stars Event Thegilmore.org, 4pm Monday, February 8 How to Care For Your Family Treasures on Zoom, 7pm Parchmentlibrary.org

Mon., Feb. 8 & Wed.10 Safe Food = Healthy Kids 1-2:30pm (2-part class) events.anr.msu.edu/ SFHKWinter21/ Starting Tues. Feb. 9 Take & Make Craft Ages 14+ Tassel Key Chains Register ahead Richlandlibrary.org, 10am Tuesday, February 9 Heartbreak Book Club On Zoom, 10:30am Pawpaw.lib.mi.us

Saturday, February 13 Embossed Robot Valentine On FB: pawpawdistrictlibrary Pick up kit starting on 2/8

Sunday, February 21 Kudo Plays Hamelin, 4pm Interview by Zsolt Bognar Virtual event, Thegilmore.org

Monday, February 15 Mystery Book Club: Talk about Mysteries you read for Winter challenges on Zoom, 4pm Parchmentlibrary.org

Monday, February 22 Adult Pick-up Craft: Terracotta Decoupage Pot Register 2/16 @ 345-0136, Craft pick-up week of 2/22 Comstocklibrary.org

Wednesday, February 17 Virtual Book Discussion, 2pm Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine, KIA

Tuesday, February 23 Virtual Talk: Kirk Newman Art School Residents, Noon Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Tuesday, February 9 Virtual Talk: Asmaa Wilson: Black Art Library, Noon Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Thursday, February 18 Books with Friends on Zoom: The Only Woman In the Room Ages 18+, Register ahead Richlandlibrary.org, 6-7pm

Wednesday, February 10 Birds & Coffee chats on Zoom European Birds, 10am Register 671-2510, birdsanctuary@kbs.msu.edu

Thursday, February 18 Author Visit: Robert Knapp Gangsters Up North on Zoom pawpaw.lib.mi.us, 6pm

Tuesday, February 22 Pantry Food Safety – It’s Your Job, Register: events. anr.msu.edu/WinterPantry FoodSafety2021, 2-5pm

Thursday, February 18 Parchment Action Team: A Community Forum, 7pm Parchmentlibrary.org

Thursday, February 25 Facebook Live Trivia: Food & Drink, Ages 18+ Richland Library, 7pm

Wed., Feb. 10, 17,24 Wednesday Wigglers, Ages 0-5, 10am, Richlandlibrary.org

Friday, February 19 Wednesday, February 10 Online Art Classes Ages 6-12, MI Cottage Food Law Workshop 10am, Richlandlibrary.org 6-8pm, register: events.anr. msu.edu/MichiganCottageFood/ Saturday, February 20 Build a two-stage Balloon Saturday, February 13 Rocket on FB:pawpawdistrict Virtual Art Detectives: Library, P/U kit starting 2/15 How GordonParks, Photographer Captured Black Saturday, February 20 and White America, 10:30am, Not Your Grandma’s Cross On their YouTube Channel Stitch on YouTube, 1-2pm Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Pick up kit 2/13-2/20

Mon., Feb. 22-Fri., Feb. 26 Adult Trivia Contest, Comstocklibrary.org

Saturday, February 27 S.T.E.A.M. Saturday Ages 5-10, register ahead, Kits available for pick-up 10am, Richlandlibrary.org Saturday, February 27 Binary Bracelets on FB. Pick up kit starting 2/22 pawpawdistrictlibrary

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Good News February 2021  

Good News February 2021