A casual atmosphere and delicious fine dining is what could be expected at the Anchor Inn, which was located on the beautiful Bay of Gull Lake at 5717 Bayview, (later 12305 E. “D” Ave.) just off of M-89. It was conveniently located midway between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek and attracted customers from both cities.
The property that would become home to the Anchor Inn began as a residence on that Bayview corner.
Behind the home on the hillside (that would later became the Anchor Inn’s parking lot), was the site of the first outdoor walk-in theatre in the state of Michigan. Silent movie lovers would sit on benches scattered around the hillside to enjoy the antics of Charlie Chaplin and other silent movie greats, in the era during the great depression.
A local woman known as, Ma Norton, converted the house into a restaurant, naming it Mrs. Norton’s Cottage Inn. This eventually became the main bar at the Anchor Inn. Ownership passed from Ma Norton to Robert Yauch, who applied and was awarded the first liquor license on that Bayview location. He ran it as a summer resort bar that was open just six months of the year.
Yauch added on the Hunt Room, an open-air veranda that overlooked the Bay of Gull Lake. The view became a bit obstructed when Gull Lake Marina built their warehouse.
The property was sold in the early 1950’s to Kenneth and Marian Howk. They quickly went to work modernizing the dining facilities, and enlarging the kitchen to focus more on the food business.
These changes attracted many hungry and thirsty customers and the business flourished. To keep up with the increased business, they enclosed the Hunt Room and added two extensions, the Cypress Room and the Starboard Room. These additions allowed for diners to get a clearer view of the bay.
The Howk’s daughter, Judy, was introduced to Ted Nowak, a new bartender hired at the Inn in 1966 and they quickly became an item. Nowak was no stranger to the restaurant business; his parents owned and operated Louie’s in Kalamazoo. The couple married in 1967 and worked alongside Judy’s parents. Judy & Ted managed and operated the business from 1969 - 1988, while the senior Howk’s enjoyed semi-retirement and then retirement. Judy’s brother, Jerry Nowak ran the kitchen as the head chef. The Anchor Inn was a family affair.
The atmosphere at the Anchor Inn was casual – in the dining room diners often donned their Bermuda shorts. Shirts and some sort of footwear were the only dress code requirements, It wasn’t unusual to see people in bar in their bathing suits, which wasn’t allowed in the dining room.
The walls were adorned with photographs of the area from the past. A huge stuffed sailfish was also part of their memorable décor.
The Anchor Inn was open yearround. In the summertime they operated long hours from 11am-11pm and the bar was open until 2am. Many out of town quests frequented the Anchor Inn during the summer
season – boaters, golfers and swimmers from all over Michigan and beyond. During the winter months the year-round, local Gull Lake residents kept the business afloat.
The food specialties at the Anchor Inn included aged prime rib, a variety of seafood options (including smoked oysters), baby-back barbecued spare ribs and beef sirloin tips, to name a few.
Former patrons shared their fond memories on the popular Vanished Kalamazoo Facebook page, including: “We used to go by boat and get the relish tray and hamburgers when we were kids.” “I remember many a meal sitting outside looking at the lake with my Grandparents.” “I remember the float planes that landed and taxied to the pier and tied up for both the Anchor and Bay View ... watched them all the while until they left and taxied to the mouth of the Bay and then took off.” “My husband took me to there on our first date – it wss amazing. “ Our rehearsal dinner was there.” “It was a prom date destination.”
A fire in 1988 unfortunately marked the end of the Anchor Inn. Ted & Judy started a catering business, Catering by Judy, and continued to work alongside each other. The property changed hands, was repaired and remodeled and
reopened as the Gull Lake Café in 1990. The Café successfully ran for several years before closing in 2005ending the age of fine dining on this Bayview corner. The building and parking lot were raised and is now a large grassy hill.Jackie Merriam
Sources include: Greater Guide, volume VIII, No. 4, Kalamazoo Dining Guide 1978-1979, Vanished Kalamazoo Facebook page, Gull Lake Michigan History FB page, betzlerlifestory.com/ obituaries/Thaddeus-ted-Nowak-jr.
Bird watching is a great way to inspire the love of nature in your child. It’s the perfect family activity that can be done year-around. Kids are natural explorers; they’ll love getting outside and you’ll enjoy the benefits of getting them in the fresh outdoor air. You won’t need to go far. Birds can be seen on the city street as well as in parks, yards, and nature preserves. Going to areas near water will help birding adventures be even more successful.
By teaching kids how to identify some birds, you can help make them more aware of our local biological diversity. On top of appreciating nature, birding also teaches children about responsibility for the environment.
The best way to get kids started in this interesting hobby is to place a bird feeder and a bird bath in your yard so kids can be in charge of keeping their feathered friends wellnourished. Quality foods will attract the best variety of birds.
You might think you’re getting a deal by grabbing a bag of bird food
Bird Watching With Kids
at the grocery store. But what are you really paying for? Much of those foods are have filler seeds (up to 2/3 or more!) that birds will not eat. Hanging up a suet feeder will attract different varieties of birds. Suet is especially helpful for them during cold weather months where they need high amounts of protein.
Here are some tips and ideas to encourage kid’s natural interest in birds and nature.
Building and/or painting a bird feeder with your child can be the perfect first step. You’ll attract more birds to your backyard with your amazing bird feeders!
Remind kids that birds are hard to spot, but easy to hear. Have them close their eyes and listen.
This classic pastime can be appreciated without anything more than your eyes and ears, but a pair of binoculars, a guidebook, a camera, and a sketch pad and pencils can enhance bird watching for kids. It is also a good idea to pack a bag with snacks, water, sunscreen, and first-aid items
when venturing out for a birding session at a nature preserve. Be sure to instruct new birders not to interfere with birds or nests.
Bird watching becomes more fun when kids recognize and can name the birds they see. One fun way to learn different bird species is Bird Bingo - a fun game that teaches kids to identify sixty-four species of birds from around the world. Or get a Bird matching card game, which is a favorite that’s fun for all ages.
Our modern world encourages constant multi-tasking, but it’s important for growing brains to stop and recharge. The stillness of bird watching is less of a skill and more of an opportunity to pause and take it all in. You and your family might be surprised at the things you discover besides birds!
Bird watching is a hobby that can be enjoyed at any age. By fostering an appreciation for nature in your children, you are giving them a gift that will last a lifetime.
While out on a walk in Denver when visiting my son’s family, I noticed a milk box on a porch and assumed it was vintage décor, until I saw several others throughout the neighborhood, which piqued my interest.
Many of the milk boxes bore the royal blue, Royal Crest Dairy logo. However, there are other Denver area dairies also offering home delivery. Residents sim-
ply set up an account and then choose milk and other grocery necessities such as juices, eggs, bread, yogurt and more that they want delivered. Products are delivered overnight to their porch boxes by 7am the next morning. Now that’s what I call farm to table!
The milk is pasteurized and homogenized and free of antibiotics and pesticides and the cost is $6.99 a gallon.
The need for milk delivery in the U.S. began with industrialization. People moving to urban areas had no space for a family cow and began buying their milk from farmers, which created the need for a milkman. Some homes even had built-in milk chutes. Due to the lack of refrigeration, it was necessary for milk to be delivered daily.
The rise in home refrigeration, car ownership, pasteurization and the increase of grocery and convenience
stores, reduced the need for the milkman.
Porch delivery in some areas, like Denver, is experiencing resurgence. Consumers who are interested in sustainable living, supporting local, convenience and freshness are embracing home dairy delivery.
At one time, many well-known local dairies such as: Cool Farm, Lockshore and Tarnow dairies offered local delivery, but it’s no longer available in this area. However, you can purchase farm fresh milk at Mooville Creamery in Nashville, Ionia, Zeeland or Eaton Rapids, MI, or visit their website for local retailers.
Sources: Thedairyalliance.com, Wikipedia.
good news neighborhoods
Last April, I started a LISC (Local Initiative Support Corporation) AmeriCorps term with the City of Kalamazoo’s Office of Community Planning and Economic Development, working in the planning division. LISC AmeriCorps is a 10-month, full-time service opportunity for people looking to get on the ground in their communities. LISC places service members at non-profits and local governments to build the capacity of their programs, while also giving members the opportunity to gain valuable experience.
The City’s engagement season kicks off in the Spring, so I was quickly deployed on the ground to connect with residents. Whether it be doorknocking in the Oakwood neighborhood or tabling in Bronson Park, I was speaking with residents all over our community. In 2022, the planning division hosted over 100 events, providing plenty of opportunities to connect with residents. At some of our recurring events I saw familiar faces time after time. For example, I formed a friendship with a resident named Harlan who always came to Lunchtime Live in Bronson Park and our community table at the library. He is a sweet man. He even sent me a Christmas card!
This position gave me the opportunity to not only connect with
individuals like Harlan, but also organizations and institutions. In 2022, the City launched UniZooCity, a program that focuses on engaging college students and welcoming them to Kalamazoo through volunteer opportunities across the community. As a part of this programming, we provided opportunities for students to connect with community leaders at local non-profits as well as City staff. We worked with the Western Michigan University’s Student Association (WSA) and Greek Council to organize a walkability audit of W. Michigan Avenue and Howard Street, where we assessed the conditions of sidewalks and street crossings. This was a helpful activity for students
since many students live off campus and walk to and from campus every day. It was inspiring to see students advocating for the changes they want to see in their neighborhood.
In addition to collaborating with colleges, I also collaborated with neighborhood associations and local youth groups. For example, I applied and was awarded a small grant through LISC to bring servicelearning opportunities to K-8 students at Eastside Youth Strong. I led discussions with youth to unpack their assumptions of homelessness in Kalamazoo and brought in experts to provide writing education on how to write positive affirmations to people. These uplifting words were written
on cards and packed into care packages with winter clothes, food, water, and hygiene products. The youth at Eastside Youth Strong were able to pack 40 packages that were delivered to Ministry with Community to help serve their clients.
I’ve enjoyed the work I’ve accomplished and the relationships I’ve built over the past 10 months. Even though my term has come to an end, this only means that someone new can fill the position. I encourage you to take the step and serve your community through AmeriCorps.Zach DuMont
In Search of our Super-Powers
A Mother and Daughter Adventure Series
Ellen: Our house is about 60 years old, but each of the rooms have been updated at varying times across its life. These updates don’t always correspond to each other, and some of them probably weren’t even popular at the time they happened so it’s a bit disjointed, but I find it charming. Our guest bathroom is not part of the charming. This bathroom is a world unto itself. The walls, ceiling, and fixtures are all in the vaguely pink and gold category paired against ocean blue tiles. Imbedded in the shower wall there is a meticulously crafted scene of a lighthouse surrounded by inlaid sea shells and sparkly stones. Oh, and the shower shrieks like a basilisk when a certain water pressure is achieved. I feel
compelled to warn guests before they enter. Keeping the room very clean is the only way to mitigate the shock.
I’m pondering a phased renovation approach; trying to figure out what quick wins I can apply immediately, such as fresh paint and new light fixtures, versus more drastic intervention that will take longer (sledgehammering out the puzzling wall shells). After many recent trips to my local hardware store, I am slowly accumulating a clutch of paint samples as I attempt to perform color rescue alchemy. Inexplicably, Michael has decided not to get involved until I stop mumbling to myself.
Jane: Ellen has an entire bathroom to rescue but I only have a small, almond-size hole in the ceiling near
the chimney in our living room. The flashing on the roof has been repaired already so how hard can a tiny hole be to fix?
When I poke the hole, it opens wider in increasingly crumbly plaster until the almond turns into a coconut. Dean and I gaze at it together, pour some coffee, and google “plaster repair.” We are in luck. YouTube is full of good-looking young carpenters who explain and demonstrate exactly how to fix ceilings, and the holes are almost always over the fireplace.
After watching for a while, I say to Dean, “This is beyond me, but I can paint the ceiling when you’re done.
Dean doesn’t always appreciate my confidence in his abilities.
T The W he Wrriting R iting Retretreat: A No eat: Novvel el by Julia Bar tz (Atria)
"Alex and her ex-best friend, Wren, along with 3 other women are picked for a writing retreat with infamous author Roza Vallo. They must finish writing their books in a month's time, and the best one will be published. Roza is a mercurial task master, becoming stranger while the awe the women have for her turns to fear. This is an unusual horror stor y with many twists and turns "
Judy Gaynes Sebastian, Eastham Public Librar y, Eastham, MA
NoveList read-alike: The Dark Game by Jonathan Ganz
Februar y 2023- The t top t op ten books en books published this month that librar y staff across the countr y love
The top books published this month that librarians across the country love
An ar tist and her children live on a small farm. The teen daughter manages not only her mom's business but also the household and care of her little brother. I t is a life she can handle until mom brings home a crane and declares him her husband. A unique fair y tale with a feminist message: don t trust a crane to make you complete. For readers who enjoyed Juniper & Thorn.
—K imberly McGee Lake Travis Community Librar y, Austin, T X
NoveList read-alike: Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen O yeyemi
T The House of E he Evve e by Sadeqa Johnson
features dialogue that snaps and settings that per fectly evoke 1950s Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Readers will be captivated by this stor y of two young women who struggle to overcome racism and misogyny to have a family and a meaningful future "
Jodi Prather, Bar tholomew Cty Public Librar y Columbus, IN
NoveList read-alike: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
T The Last T he Last Tale of the ale F Flolowwer Br er Bride ide by Roshani Chokshi ( William Morrow)
"A husband cannot resist pr ying into his wife s past when he visits her childhood home This gorgeously written gothic fair y tale about forbidden k nowledge and dangerous love is per fect for fans of Silvia Moreno -Garcia or V.E. Schwab "
—Mara Bandy Fass, Champaign Public Librar y, Champaign IL
NoveList read-alike: The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling
F For Her C or Consideration onsideration by Amy Spalding
"Fans of The Priory of the Orange Tree will be thrilled to revisit the intricately detailed world Shannon has created I n this standalone prequel, the stories of four women are spun out as the Dreadmount erupts and civilizations crumble. The large cast of characters is deftly handled, and readers will enjoy the fascinating mythology. "
I Ha I Havve S e Some Questions f ome Questions for or Y You: ou: A No Novvel el by Rebecca Mak k ai
(Bloomsbur y) ( Vik ing)
"Aspiring screenwriter N ina writes e -mails for other people including Hollywood darling Ari Fox. N ina is enamored of Ari but a bad breakup made her vow never to date again. This rom-com with a queer actress and plus size woman offers great representation of realistic body positivity. Readers will root for the characters in this funny smar t, and hear twarming book!"
—Andrea Tucci, Glencoe Public Librar y, Glencoe IL
NoveList read-alike: Something to Talk About by Mer yl Wilsner
For book recommendations from your Kalamazoo Public Library Staff go to www.kpl.gov/blog/
"Engaging stor y of a boarding school murder being solved 20 years later by true -crime podcast enthusiasts. Or is it a stor y of memories and how you interact with them, depending on your stage in life and your biases or one about how as a teen you simultaneously k now ever ything and nothing? Or is it all three? For fans of Jean Hanff Korelitz."
—Lorri Steinbacher, Ridgewood Public Librar y Ridgewood NJ
NoveList read-alike: The It Girl by Ruth Ware
A Da Day of F y of Fallen N allen Night ight by Samantha Shannon (Berk ley)
I It's One of Us t's Us y J.T. Ellison
JT Ellison has written a beautiful stor y from star t to finish. Olivia and Park struggle with infer tility. A woman is found dead, and DNA shows the murderer is related to Park Not only is this a well-done myster y of whodunit, it is also a drama of what happens as a couple deals with loss Another great book from an incredible author. For fans of All the Dangerous Things
—Andrea Galvin, Mt. Pulask i Public Librar y, Mount Pulask i, IL
NoveList read-alike: The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
T The Neighbor F he Faavvor or by K ristina Forest
"Lily Greene needs a date for her sister ’ s wedding but doesn t want her family ’s “help” to find one She ends up ask ing her hot neighbor N ick for help instead, but complications ensue when she realizes he s N.R. Strick land—the fantasy author who ghosted her. The lead characters who see the best in each other and help each other grow make for a satisfying second-chance romance. For fans of The Love Wager "
M idge Loer y, Mark Twain Librar y, Redding, C T NoveList read-alike: The Singles Table by Sara Desai
T Takake the L e Lead: ead: A Dance O Dance Off No ff Novvel el by Alexis Daria
(St. Mar tin's Press)
"Gina Morales, a professional on a dance competition show is determined to win this season. However, instead of the Olympian she wanted as a par tner, she is paired with sur vivalist Stone N ielson. Worse, her producer is pushing for a showmance! This is a fun and flir ty romance with a wonder ful cast of characters Per fect for fans of Dancing with the Stars!"
Tristan Draper, Dek alb Public Librar y, Dek alb, IL
NoveList read-alike: Kiss Me, Catalina by Priscilla Oliveras
M Made in Librar ade LibraryAyAwarware e - w wwwww.librar.libraryayawarwaree.com .com
Make Your Road Trip Vintage
This time of year we’re all ready for something different, whether it’s the weather, the scenery or things to do, it’s time for a change. So why not hop in the car and get out of town? It doesn’t have to be far and there’s amazing vintage to be found in a short day trip, or extend it to a couple days if you’re up for an adventure! Head East. Not far from Kalamazoo is The Burgess Antique Center, in Galesburg, MI, open every day and offering vintage from antique to midcentury furniture and clothing. Its two stories and filled with beautiful treasures. If you want to continue east you can stop in Jackson, MI at All Things Retro and the
Jackson Antique Mall. They each offer hundreds of high quality vintage clothing items, furniture and décor. And if you’ve built up an appetite after all that shopping make sure to hit the Roxy Café, an iconic 1920s diner that serves up classic breakfasts and lunch with a kitschy décor. Next up is Lansing, MI with the Mega Mall Antiques and Collectables, the largest antique mall in MI. This has a wide range of items and prices, from antiques to flea market types of finds, there’s something for everyone! Continuing east is Detroit, MI. There is so much happening in Detroit, you could find vintage and thrift stores for days! To name just a few, there’s Flamingo Vintage, Old Souls Vintage and the Vintage Eastern Market that all offer an array of vintage clothing. For some old school bowling visit Bowlero Lanes & Lounge in Royal Oak. This bowling alley and cocktail lounge underwent a $1.4 million retro ‘70s themed renovation in 2019 and hosts live music, DJs and entertainment, no cover charge. Maybe you’d rather head north toward Grand Rapids… There’s lots of vintage to be found and you can easily make a day or two of treasure hunting. Right off Interstate 131 is Lost and Found Treasures of Old. Open 7 days a week this large warehouse has everything from vintage clothing to mad midcentury furniture and home décor, with new inventory constantly coming in.
Next, you can hit Elevated where you’ll find an array of vintage clothing, furniture and home décor from a variety of vendors. I’ve gotten some of my favorite 1970s jeans from this spot, thanks Love Charles Vintage! Reverie Vintage Collective opened in 2022 and has some amazing vintage vendors who offer one-of-a-kind clothing and items for the home. There are a few smaller vintage shops that have been around for a while and offer high quality and unique vintage at great prices. Two that I love are Flashback on Leonard Vintage and I.C. Hair & Vintage. Both specialize in vintage clothing, great for everyday wear, costumes or events. Ready to move around? Clique Lanes Bowling Alley has a great old school atmosphere and décor with a good food and beer selection.
Since you’re halfway there, why not check out a few places in Muskegon, MI? It’s just 45 minutes north- west on 96 and you end up right on lake Michigan with great shops and restaurants to choose from. One of my favorite spots is Pine Street where you can easily walk to all the great vintage shops. Vintage Deluxe and Minty Vintage are two businesses that have very recently combined stores to give you the best of vintage clothing and midcentury
modern furniture and home décor. There’s also Pine Street Mercantile and Brass Moon Vintage who carry everything from antiques to midcentury items for the home with vintage clothing mixed in. Just down the street is Capone’s Speakeasy & Restaurant. Tucked into a back hallway, it’s worth the hunt to experience their hand-crafted cocktails and wonderful food. Across the street is a sweet Italian restaurant, Napote’s Italian Kitchen. They offer home cooked Italian dishes and a full bar, friendly and comfortable atmosphere and service, one of our favorites.
So, whichever direction you decide to travel, happy vintage trails and enjoy the ride!Jayne Gulliver J-Bird Vintage
Ready, Set, Blastoff
How Summer Camps Help Children’s Mental Health
Why Summer Camps Are Valuable.
Summer Camps are a valuable time in youth’s lives. Many children make many memories that last a lifetime when they attend summer camp. There are many types of camps to choose from ranging in price and interests. As I write this article the snow is flying, but it is already that time to think about where to send your child to camp because many camps fill up fast. If you are struggling with finances, there are several scholarship opportunities. All you have to do is ask about scholarships.
The dynamic of being away from home and parents, meeting new connections, being a part of something bigger than yourself and trying new activities are essential in social-emotional learning. Allowing children to be unconnected to commitments, schedules, routines is something that summer camp can provide. Summer camp can raise self-esteem, independence, leadership skills, friendships, social awareness, decision making skills, and good ole fashion summer fun.
Camps Will Provide a Safe Space for Children to Grow
Summer camps provide children with values such as honesty, caring, respect, responsibility. Children learn chants, songs, skits, and relay races which provide consistency. Children are trained to become more independent, social aware, reflective with the help of the trained camp counselors.
Why Send Your Child Off To Summer Camp?
Why send your child to camp? They will discover new things, meet new friends, find a new hobby, or improve on skills to enhance their level of competition. Summer camps keep children occupied, on a schedule, off the screen, and exploring new opportunities while meeting new friends. Summer camp can help to improve children’s mental health by keeping them socially engaged while busy with activities. Camps help to improve self-esteem by engaging children in creativity, sailing, archery, swimming lessons, science experiments, dance, music, art, sports and so much more. They have a safe
and fun atmosphere where they can explore and discover new things for their curious minds. It allows parents to feel less guilt knowing their children are being cared for in a fun, stimulating environment.
Children Can Learn So Much At Camp
Summer camps are a place where children can experience challenges like how to build a bonfire, hiking, ziplining, or conquering a high ropes course. They learn how to get along with others, work as a team, and take risks without their parents right there with them. Camps pull kids away from the screen, allow them to get dirty, problem solve get frustrated, and develop coping strategies to combat their frustration or anxieties. At summer camp a few things that children can learn:
• Build new relationships with peers and adults.
• Feel confidence as they discover more about their identity.
• Feel in control of their lives.
• Problem solve.
• Uncover new skills.
• Feel valued as a person.
• Get out in nature, breathe the fresh air, and get dirty.
• To feel like they belong.
• Set and accomplish daily goals
• A break from screen time
• New opportunities
• Silliness is accepted and bullying is not
• Become culturally aware and sensitive to those around them.
Camps give children a combination of experiences that prepare them for other aspects of their lives. The experience to be away from home to discover things that reinforce what they are learning at home and school will prepare them for challenges they may have ahead of them in life.
Camps In the Kalamazoo and Surrounding Areas for Summer 2023 I have provided a list of different camps to choose from in the Kalamazoo area. Here are a few camps available in our area, however, there are many more that may not be on this list? If you are interested in having me provide information on your summer camp details for the summer camp edition for the 2024 schedule, please contact me at email@example.com I will be happy to add details about your camp to my yearly summer camp articles. If you are reading this article in print and want access to the links for the summer camps, please visit Goodnews-paper.com for more in-depth details on the camps.Dr. Julie Sorenson, DMFT, MA, LPC
to Summer Camp
There is a link to each camp so you and your child can learn more about each camp to determine which one is a good fit for you.
Academy of Dance Arts
536 Romence Rd Ste 109-Portage
Action Day Camp
7813 S 12th-Portage
Air Zoo Aerospace & Science
Summer Day Camps
6151 Portage Rd-Portage
Mayors Riverfront Park
251 Mills St-Kalamazoo
39000 1st Ave-Bloomingdale
59149 Camp Wakeshma Rd-Three Rivers
1136 S. Kalamazoo Mall-Kalamazoo
Cougars KVCC Camps
6767 W O Ave, Kalamazoo
Crawlspace Comedy Theater
315 W Michigan Ave -Kalamazoo
Crescendo Academy of Music
359 S Kalamazoo Mall, STE 12-Ka-
CranHill Summer Youth Camps
1444 17 Mile Rd-Rodney
Dollars & Sense
1903 W Michigan Ave, MS 5420 -Kalamazoo
Gilmore Piano Camp
6225 N 39TH ST AUGUSTA
359 S KALAMAZOO MALLKALAMAZOO
Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan
12584 Burchette Rd Plainwell
601 W Maple St-Kalamazoo
Glass Art of Kalamazoo
326 W Kalamazoo Ave #100-Kalamazoo
Interlochen Arts Camp
4000 J Maddy PKWY-Interlochen
Kalamazoo Civic Summer Camps
329 S Park St-Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo Nature Center Summer
7000 N Westnedge-Kalamazoo
KAMSC Sizzlin Summer
600 W Vine St, STE 400-Kalamazoo
Kingdom Sports Summer Camp
MULTIPLE SWMI LOCATIONS IN PORTAGE, PAW PAW, SCHOOLCRAFT TWP, PLAINWELL + RICHLAND, MI
KOHA (hockey camps)
5076 Sports Drive-Kalamazoo
Little Gym of Kalamazoo Summer Camps
408 W Centre Ave, STE B-Portage
Montessori School Summer Camps
750 Howard St-Kalamazoo
Next Level Performance
Pretty Lake Summer Camp
9123 W Q Ave-Mattawan
Sherman Lake YMCA Camp
6225 N ST Augusta
Summer at Wellspring
359 S Kalamazoo Mall-Kalamazoo
TKO Premier SC Soccer Camps
901 S Drake Rd-Kalamazoo
Van Buren Youth Camp
12370 45th St-Bloomingdale
YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo
1001 W Maple St-Kalamazoo
2900 W Centre Ave-Portage
March is the transitional month between winter and spring. This year’s official first day of spring is March 20 when there is an equal amount of day and night—the vernal equinox. Each day afterwards gets longer and longer until it reverses in September.
The amount (duration) of day light isn’t just a coincidence with our observations of spring. Both plants and animals respond through a phenomenon called “pho toperiodism” which triggers changes in both behavior and physical form based on sunlight –migration, breeding, changes in appearance both of feather color ation as well has shedding winter coats of fur. Plants begin to produce buds, leaves and flowers.
So many of us look forward to the telltale indicators of spring such as the arrival of the first robin, the first hummingbird, the sound of Spring Peeper frogs singing from ponds and ditches, delicate Spring Beauty and Hepatica blooming in woodlots, and the return of boisterous male Redwinged Blackbirds to our marshes and wetlands to set up territories prior to the arrival of females a few weeks later. All classic signs of spring.
Now, thanks to the internet, people are able to share these first sightings
Lenten and Spring Specials
Blueberry and Peach
Cinnamon Pecan Oatmeal:
Oatmeal topped with fresh blueberries and peaches, crushed pecans and dusted with cinnamon sugar. $5.75
Start off with a Teaser! A warm cinnamon roll topped with peaches and brown sugar. $6.25
Crab Cake Breakfast
Grilled English muffin with a fried crab cake, sauteed spinach and tomatoes, fried egg, slathered with apricot jam and jalapeno cheese. Served with fresh fruit and Cajun tater tots. $12.75
Spring French Toast:
House made French toast topped with strawberries, blueberries, peaches and sliced almonds. Finish off with a dusting of powdered sugar and strawberry glaze. $13.25
Fried crab cakes on top of an English muffin with sauteed spinach and tomatoes. Served with two eggs any style and our house made hollandaise sauce. Served with a side of Cajun tater tots. $15.50
One popular site is Journey North (www.journeynorth.org). It was founded by Elizabeth Howard in 1994 to track migrations and seasonal patterns throughout North America. A trained biologist herself, she has pursued a lifelong interest in Mon-
arch butterflies since earlychildhood. Howard built the site to track spring and fall migrations and continues to write a weekly newsletter for Journey North called Monarch Butterfly.
In 2019, the Journey North program was acquired by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum and funded in-part by the Annenberg Foundation to track migrations and seasonal changes for a wide variety of plants and animals across the continent—all supported by more than 2,000 volunteers who report observations throughout North America year-round.
In a website post, Howard states, “It’s so inspiring to hear from people across North America during each season’s migrations. The fact that we can track birds and butterflies in realtime by sharing observations continues to amaze me!”
One of the many great features of Journey North is the immediacy and accessibility of its data. Go to www. journeynorth.org and you will open a welcome page. On that page, you will find graphic links to specific items being tracked. Click on “Red-winged Blackbirds”, for example, and you will be directed to a global map showing up-to-the-moment sightings and locations.
Better yet, click on “Registration” on the header bar and join Journey North where you will be able to submit your observations. It is easy, quick, and does not cost to belong. You don’t have to travel or tromp the woods—you can simply share what you see in your own backyard.
And even better yet, this collective data from thousands of volunteers goes a long way toward protecting and preserving these creatures we so deeply enjoy seeing and having around to welcome each season.James D. Coppinger
Low Country Fried Bird:
Chicken Tenders on top of a buttermilk biscuit with two eggs any style and house made sausage gravy. Served with a side of loaded hash brownsbacon, cheese and onion. $15.50
Egg white omelette with Brussels sprouts, tomato, mushrooms, spinach, Swiss cheese. Served with fresh fruit and an English muffin. $15.25
New Mexico Bowl: Sauteed spinach, Brussels sprouts, jalapenos, tomato, green peppers, and onions with our Hormel Chorizo mixed with Cajun tater tots, shredded cheddar cheese and jalapeno cheese and two eggs, any style $15.75
Hilton Head Salad: Fresh spinach blended with fresh strawberries, peaches, pecans, feta cheese and served with 2 fried green tomatoes and choice of dressing. Recommended is Poppy Seed. $11.75
Crab Cake Tacos: 3 flour tortillas with crab, sauteed spinach, tomato, onion and topped with cheddar cheese, sliced jalapenos and sliced avocado. Served with a side of Cajun aioli and a cup of soup. $13.25
Friday, March 17, 10-7 & Saturday, March 18, 9-4 • No entrance Fee!
• 20+ informative seminars, just $5 each or $10 for a whole day • Dozens of door prizes!
Have you ever done something you said you would never do? Or like something that you never thought you would like?
That is a yes for me as I recently did something that I thought I would never do. It is so commonplace now that we see it everyday and the stigma and stereotype that was once attached is now irrelevant and gone. I’ll be honest, I never wanted this form of art on my body and thought it was great for everyone else but not for me. Never say never…
For thousands of years, humans have marked their bodies with tattoos. The earliest permanent designs can be dated back 5,200 years ago. With cultural significance to people around the globe, tattoos are personal and can be simple or elaborate. They can showcase status symbols, declarations of love, memorial tributes, religious beliefs or just pure adornments.
I have always thought if I did decide to get a tattoo it would be
be ART ful
my favorite word. But then again, I never wanted one so it was just fun talk. This past fall, my sister and I were reminiscing about how long our father has been gone and the next thing I knew we both said; “we should find dad’s signature and have it made into a tattoo.” Ohhhh did we just say that out loud? My sister and I thought it would be such a cool idea, but both of us were adamant that we never really wanted one. That night I prayed about it as I couldn’t get it out of my mind and the next day I texted her; “I will if you will!” We decided the timing was serendipitous. We
to several people, including both of my daughters, who have tattoos, for recommendations on who we should choose as our artist. We couldn’t find any paperwork with his signature or something that he had signed “Love Dad” but we did find “Love Jack” on cards and letters. One letter in particular brought me to tears, as I had never read it before, that he had written to his Aunt and Uncle about me when I was going to college. His penmanship was so beautiful that I knew this was the one we should use.
My sister agreed and we made our appointments for the anniversary of his passing to get mine done and she wanted to get hers done on the anniversary of his birthday. We were both there to support each other. My sister chose to get her tattoo on her foot. That way, he’ll always be with her every step of her life journey. I got mine on my left wrist as our dad was left-handed and I wanted to look at it every day and up close for the rest of my life. I really love that we both did this to honor our father. After all this time, I hope somehow he knows how much we still love and miss him every single day. xo -Bridget
Social: https://www.instagram.com/ bridgetfoxkzoo
Love Muffins began as a simple act of sharing a favorite family treat (carrot cake muffins) with friends and neighbors. This quickly spread to customers describing their muffins as “the best carrot cake I have ever tasted!”
Eileen Pawlicki bakes Love Muffins at the Kalamazoo Nonprofit Advocacy Coalition (KNAC); a shared kitchen, located inside the First Baptist Church in downtown Kalamazoo. “I feel fortunate to be part of the small business community at KNAC,” says Pawlicki.
The delicious signature carrot cake muffins are topped with their famous whipped cream cheese frosting. The menu has expanded to meet the desires of their valued customers,
adding walnuts and golden raisins to their signature muffins is an option, along with a combination of cheesecake and carrot cake. All of these decadent flavors are also available in cake form.
I became interested in Love Muffins, when I noticed their table cards at Studio Grill in downtown Kalamazoo. I noticed a customer that ordered one eat every crumb and knew this was a story I needed to investigate.
After meeting with Eileen, I took home a muffin and saved it for dessert that night. I was going to just eat half of it and save the other half for the next day, which didn’t happen! The carrot cake was the perfect combination, moist on the inside and
slightly crisp on top – the whipped cream cheese frosting was not only divine, but it was ample enough to have frosting with every bite of cake! I have to agree with the other customer’s comments, in that it was truly the best I’ve ever had!
Pawlicki, a local educator, found herself unemployed during Covid and was home with her 16-year old daughter. The duo decided to keep busy by baking their families’ favorite recipe to give to their Milwood neighbors as a special treat.
Neighbors began asking to order the muffins and requested cakes as well. Word spread quickly and Eileen realized that this simple “act of love,” was the impetus for her future. She embraced the challenge of becoming a business owner and opened Love Muffins on July 2020.
It’s a labor of love and a family effort,” says Pawlicki. Beginning with her late mother’s (Kathy’s) recipe. Her daughter, Helen perfected the whipped cream cheese frosting recipe by adding a secret Ingredient and has helped her mom from the beginning. Eldest daughter, Savannah, who has an accounting degree and is a master with numbers – keeps her mom on track with information to determine pricing, production goals, etc. She also helps with marketing and branding. Her niece, Monica Kioshi, designed the logo.
What Pawlicki enjoys most about her business adventure has been all of the connections that have formed - connecting with customers, wholesalers, suppliers and others that she’s been fortunate enough to come into
Let your change create change for older adults in need of support in our community.
The small change from your daily purchases can add up to a meaningful impact for older adults in our community. When you connect a credit or debit card to our Round Up donation program, your change from each purchase is automatically donated to Milestone Senior Services to support older adults and adults with disabilities in living independently at home.
(click on the donate button)
Pawlicki appreciates the local support she has received. She was the recipient of two local grants, which provided funds to grow her business.
Score Kalamazoo has been a great resource, offering free small business mentoring. Many local businesses have also shared their expertise.
Pawlicki is amazed at how nice and supportive people are on social media, “they give me inspiration everyday,” she says.
In turn, she supports local by purchasing her carrots from Crisp Country Acres in Holland that are shred at Valley Hub, a social enterprise food program at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.
Try Love Muffins and see if they are “the best carrot cake you’ve ever tasted.” Muffins are available to order online and are also available at these local retailers, in Kalamazoo: Schultz’s Treat Street, Tiffany’s Wine & Spirits, Midtown Fresh Market, Town & Country, Harding’s Market (Stadium Dr.) and Studio Grill, and in Portage at: Chocolatea, Coffee Rescue, H & B Market, Lake Burger Tavern and Harding’s Market (Westnedge). In addition, look for them at the Lunchtime Live events held every Friday at Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo this summer. Gift certificates are available. For more information visit their website lovemuffins.us, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (269) 216-1302.Jackie Merriam
Guys Who Give (GWG) is a group of men with a desire to inspire and who are committed to making a difference in their local communities. The Mission is to reach out and help local charities with the funds for the great work they are doing in the community. Collectively, the group can make a powerful impact to the local community and donates over $10,000 per quarter and $40,000 annually per market.
This mission is accomplished by 100+ men each contributing $100 (tax-deductible) at the quarterly events to benefit a chosen local charity that changes each quarter. All charities and organizations up for consideration must serve the county of the local chapter; the idea is to keep it local and have an impact that WE can SEE.
Guys Who Give brings a lot of good into our world and their efforts are making a big impact on our local communities. Events are full of energy
GUYS WHO GIVE
and a great place to meet new friends that share the same desire to inspire. The events were designed with busy life schedules in mind. They open the events by hearing from the previous quarter’s recipient so that they can see how their collective donations are impacting our community. Next, they draw three organizations from the nominated charities and those three members have up to 5 minutes each to tell the group about the amazing organization they nominated (no brochures, no power points, no guest speakers, just one of their own speaking from the heart). After the presentations they vote on the winning charity, everyone writes their check to the winner for $100 and that’s it! The events are simple, fast, and full of impact. Though the total event takes about 45 minutes, they find that members come early and stay afterwards to mingle with everyone, grab a beer, and enjoy the evening. With the huge amount of good that they’re
able to bring to our communities, there is an internal Guys Who Give community as well and the fellowship is something that brings a lot of fun and new friendships to their members! All events follow the same format: Registration opens at 5:30 p.m. / Events begin at 6:00 p.m. The Kalamazoo Chapter meets quarterly at Revel and Roll West on the second Wednesday of the second month of each quarter, the next meeting will be held on May 10th. Revel and Roll is located at 4500 Stadium Drive in Kalamazoo.
I was introduced to this amazing group of guys when a long-time friend, Tom Comes, called to inform me that a charity that is near & dear to my heart, Kairos Dwelling (an amazing home that cares for the terminally ill, free of charge), was chosen as the recipient of their 2022 fourth quarter impact event with donations totaling $18,600! Tom and I formed a personal connection to Kairos Dwell-
ing, when my late husband (Tom’s close friend) was a guest at Kairos during the late stages of his terminal illness in 2004.
As of January 2023, Guys Who Give’s 14 chapters have donated $1,517,800 to 161 non-profits across the country. Justin Livingston in Boulder Colorado founded Guys Who Give. His brother, Cody, brought the mission to this area when he started the Kalamazoo County Chapter, which just kicked off its fifth year and has already raised more than $270,300 for local nonprofits.
To learn more about the guys that are making a difference in their local communities, visit their website at guyswhogive.org, or contact the local chapter leader, Cody Livingston at (269) 568-2565 or kalamazoo@ guyswhogive.org.Jackie Merriam
Special days call for special food, and there’s none that call for a Reuben more than St. Patrick’s Day!Food Stylist/ Photographer: Laura Kurella
Growing up in an area of northwest Indiana that placed me within minutes of the Chicago Loop, I have fond childhood memories of watching the river dyed green, a fun parade, corned beef, and green beer served with just about everything!
When I was younger, I remember Mom refusing to use the spice packets that came with the brisket because she felt the meat was already too spicy and salty as it was.
She’d slow roast her brisket in a covered roasting pan that she’d fill with water in the hopes that it would not only keep the meat tender, but also help coax some of its excess saltiness out.
When I became a busy, working adult, the days of slow-cooked briskets were over; replaced by the much-quicker, eat-on-the-run corned beef sandwiches.
What’s interesting is I got my first introduction to Reuben thanks to a Jewish boss who had to eat them on the sly because it goes against the Hebrew “Kosher” law which prohibits the combining of dairy and meat.
Wanting to learn more about the Reuben, I came to discover that the sandwich has its own unsure past as well.
The first story I read of Reubens mentioned Arnold Reuben (18831970). He was a U.S. restaurateur, whose landmark Manhattan delicatessen was first established around 1908. According to their history, they invented the Reuben as a special in 1914, which was a sandwich that featured meat, cheese, Cole slaw, and Russian dressing piled on buttered, toasted rye bread.
Then I found a different story. One that mentioned a wholesale grocer, Reuben Kulakofsky, who claims to have invented the sandwich while at Omaha’s Blackstone Hotel in 1925 (or 1922 in some versions). Reuben’s sandwich featured corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese on Russian rye bread with a special dressing, and he put it together as a snack for him-
self during a late-night poker game.
Then I stumbled upon yet another, but much more recent article (in Saveur 2016), written by Elizabeth Weil who claims her grandfather, Bernard Schimmel, invented the sandwich.
According to her article, Weil’s grandfather was a trained chef and in the 1920s was working in Omaha, Nebraska, at the Blackstone Hotel.
Poker players called down to Schimmel’s hotel kitchen asking for sandwiches to be sent up, and requested that sauerkraut and corned beef be used because Reuben had supplied the hotel with lots of it. Schimmel applied his culinary experience, adding special dressings and cheeses, then pressing the kraut and corned beef sandwiches to heat them up and crisp them, too.
Needless to say, the sandwich was well-loved, which caused it to be placed on all the hotel menus.
In 1956, a waitress from the hotel entered the Reuben sandwich in the National Restaurant Association’s National Sandwich Idea Contest and it won!
Not surprisingly, upon publica-
tion of Weil’s story, the Kulakofsky clan contacted her and continued to contend that her grandfather simply delivered a deli platter to the poker table, and maintains that Reuben made his historical sandwich at the poker table, but this only serves to add fuel the controversy. Because, if this were the case, Weil raises an interesting point: If Reuben did indeed invent the Reuben sandwich just as it continues to be made to this day, then how was Reuben able to heat the sandwich and press (grill) it while seated at a poker table in the 1920s?
Now that we don’t know for certain, here’s some spins that we can safely bet in adding some new twists to that old, traditional Reuben.
Enjoy, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Laura Kurella is an award-winning recipe developer and food columnist who enjoys sharing recipes from her Michigan kitchen. She welcomes comments email@example.com.
Regal Reuben Rolls
Yield: 8 rolls (Rolls can be frozen, uncooked. Add additional time to heating to compensate for frozen rolls.)
1 cup sauerkraut, squeezed dry
8 ounces corned beef, thinly sliced
4 ounces Swiss cheese, sliced into 8 slices
1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water 8 egg roll wrappers Caraway seeds, to taste (must add to get rye bread taste)
Vegetable oil for frying Dipping sauce: Thousand Island or Russian dressing (optional) Arrange an egg roll wrapper on a work surface with one corner toward you; brush all edges of wrap with egg white wash. Place folded slices of beef on the wrapper, about 1 inch above the bottom corner, then top with a strip of cheese. Add about 2 tablespoons of kraut then some more folded slices of beef. Sprinkle with caraway seeds (which make egg roll wrapper taste like rye bread). Fold the bottom corner up over the filling to enclose, then gently fold in
the sides. Put some pressure on the top and sides and then roll to the top corner of the wrapper. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. [Egg roll wrapper package has rolling diagram on bottom of cardboard insert.] Heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry egg rolls on all sides, turning occasionally, until lightly brown and crisp – about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain on a brown paper bag or clean newspaper. Repeat with remaining rolls. Serve warm with Thousand Island or Russian dressing for dipping, if desired.
AIR FRY COOKING METHOD: Spray rolls with cooking spray and place in an air fryer set to 400 degrees. Cook for 5 minutes, turn over, and cook until lightly browned, about 5 more minutes.
OVEN METHOD: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray rolls lightly with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment, if desired. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking time, or until lightly browned.
Delightful Reuben Dip
8 ounces plain cream cheese
1/2 pound sliced corned beef chopped (about 1 cup)
1 1/4 cups freshly grated Swiss cheese
1/4 Thousand Island or Russian dressing
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sauerkraut, squeezed-dry
In a saucepan, combine all ingredients. Place over medium-low heat
and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the cheese has melted. Serve hot with your favorite bread, crackers, or veggies.
NOTE: Can be refrigerated and reheated the next day. Can also be made in a microwave-safe container. Heat in 30-second increments, taking out to stir each time. Does NOT freeze well.
Rewarding Reuben Soup
Yield: 4 servings
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, pressed or minced
1 pound cooked corned beef slices, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
14.5 ounces (approx.) sauerkraut, squeezed-dry
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese, divided use
Garnish (optional): Toasted rye bread croutons
In a Dutch oven or soup pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add
onion and cook, stirring frequently, until onions become very soft and begin to caramelize, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, then stir in flour. Add the chicken broth, corned beef, and sauerkraut, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add sour cream, chives, and half of the shredded cheese. Stir well to combine. Return to medium heat and cook until the cheese melts, about 3 minutes. Place soup in serving bowls and top with a sprinkle of remaining cheese and toasted rye bread croutons, if using.
At times it seemed unfair that I should be paid for my work; for driving out in the early morning with the fields glittering under the first pale sunshine and the wisps of mist still hanging on the high tops. ~ JamesHerriot
I am blessed to have a home with many windows for the view outside of nature. In that way that our greatest blessings can also be a curse, the joy of the windows sometimes finds me running outside attempting to rescue a bird who mistook its reflection as a passageway only to find itself in a sudden nosedive to the ground.
Perhaps you now wonder what “rescue” means. I pick up the bird, gently hold it between the palms of my hands and whisper you are ok, Namaste’ (my soul honors your soul)
willing its rapidly beating heart to slow down and for it to find ability to fly again.
Sometimes my whisper is namaste little one. Thank you for the beauty you provided while you lived. And then I gently place it in a nook of a tree. It seems appropriate this be its final resting place.
I sometimes wonder if that is something my maternal grandpa did. He loved books authored by James Herriot, such as All Creatures Great and Small. My grandpa could have easily been one of the farmers James Herriot crossed paths with. Grandpa certainly walked the talk of honoring all animals - large cows, medium dogs, and the small animals, too. Like songbirds visiting his homemade bird feeders.
Visitors to all our homemade
feeders. His legacy of enjoying bird watching and feeding lives on in his daughter, granddaughters, and great granddaughter.
I had a friend reach out to me recently saddened to arrive home one Sunday afternoon to find a pileated woodpecker had hit her sliding window. Though she was there before its last breaths, her heart hurt that she couldn’t help this creature find its flight again. Knowing I was a bird “rescuer”, she asked me my perspective.
My response. To behold a living winged being full of such beauty in its last moments deeply touches the heart in sadness and in awe! When I’ve locked eyes with a winged friend taking its last breaths, I have felt this sacredness that I’ve been able to give them the greatest gift of all, which is
to know love. I’ve felt additional awe that I’m holding in my hands a part of the Universe and in this moment we are not human separate from bird. We are one. Since joy and suffering hold the same space in this one beautiful wild unpredictable thing called life, you were experiencing a very special and reverent moment in which in the deepest sorrow is to know the joy of the deepest love.
When I think of my grandpa’s quiet nature and the reverent way he moved when outdoors, I think he was showing me his acquired wisdom that the greatest gift we can give all creatures great and small is love.Christine Hassing Teaching, Coaching, Authoring, Inspiring Reframed Stories of Life
The February 2023 issue of Consumer Reports had some crushing news! There may be heavy metals in dark chocolate. This was almost as bad as learning there’s no Tooth Fairy! After reading about the benefits of “healthier” dark chocolate for years, now comes this news. It turns out that some dark chocolate bars contain cadmium and lead, two heavy metals linked to a host of health problems in children and adults. The danger is greatest for pregnant and young children because metals can cause developmental problems, affect brain development, and lead to lower IQ. Really!
Chocolate is made from the cacao bean which has two main components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Together they combine to form cocoa. Unfortunately, cocoa solids are also where the heavy metals, especially cadmium, lurk. Dark chocolate tends to be higher in heavy metals than milk chocolate, most likely because of its
HEALTH Say It Ain’t So!
higher cacao content.
Researchers found that cacao plants take up cadmium from the soil with the metal accumulating in cacao beans as the tree grows. But lead seems to enter cacao after beans are harvested, located on the outer shell but not in the bean itself. Lead levels were low after the beans were picked and removed from pods, but increased as beans dried in the sun for days. During that time lead filled dust and dirt accumulated on the beans. Because of the different ways that cadmium and lead get into chocolate, reducing the contamination requires different solutions.
Reducing lead content will mean changes in harvesting and manufacturing practices. For cadmium, it’s trickier. It will require breeding plants through genetically engineering that take up less cadmium. Another strategy is to replace older trees with younger trees because trees take up more cadmium as they get older.
CR, bless its heart, has analyzed several dark chocolate bars on the market for heavy metals and has identified five safer choices. (Note the word “safer” not “safe.”) These are: Mast 80% Cocoa, Taza Chocolate 70% Cocoa, Ghiradelli Intense Dark Chocolate, 86% Cocoa, Ghiradelli Intense Dark Chocolate 72% Cocoa, and Valrhona Abinoa Dark Chocolate 85% Cocoa.
If you’re a chocoholic and giving up chocolate is just not possible, CR has some suggestions.
Choose dark chocolate with the lowest levels of heavy metals. This might seem a no-brainer, but finding out what the levels are may be tricky
Make chocolate a special treat. Having a serving a few days a week, especially with a product that has lower levels, may satisfy your craving while not causing undo concern.
Try dark chocolate with lower cocoa percentages. For example, choosing a bar with 70% cocoa instead of 80%.
Alternate with milk chocolate, but recognize that milk chocolate is higher in added sugars.
Don’t assume that organic chocolate is safer.
Eat a well-rounded diet. A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables can provide some of the same flavanols that chocolate has. Plus they contain a variety of nutrients that may offset some of the harm of heavy metals do. These include calcium, iron, selenium, and zinc.
Something tells me that Easter baskets may have a different look this year.
I hope this finds you well. Remember to be kind and MAKE your day good! Being kind makes everyone’s day good.
Till next time
Ken Dettloff ACE Certified Personal and Brain Health Trainer The Fountains at Bronson Place
It Was a Dark and Gloomy Night in Michigan...
between conspiracy theories and mysteries is blurred.
Conspiracy theories usually start with an event or mystery.
It’s cold. The days are short. It’s dark and it’s gloomy. Winter in Michigan is a good time to learn new things, read, practice pickleball moves, and keep the mind occupied.
Here›s one way I›ve kept my gray matter busy this winter. I›m captivated by some, not all, conspiracy theories. The world is full of mysteries and indeed there is more going on behind the scenes than in front of the curtain. I searched «conspiracy theories» in dictionaries and here is a consolidation of how they define them: Conspiracy: Usually involves more than one person and involves planning, most often for nefarious or mysterious purposes. Theories: Thoughtful suppositions about something unknown. Mysteries: Something that is hard to find the answer to or hard to understand. The line
A few of the many conspiracy theories and their mysteries that I found are: Big Foot (Sasquatch/Yeti), the Voynich Manuscript, Roswell UFO incident, the Lincoln Assassination, the September 11, 2001 attack, and Area 51.* These and others make for interesting reading on a cold dark night. There›s seems to be an endless list of them!
Looking at conspiracy theories as a negative is unfortunate. In my very long life on this planet, I›ve come to believe that in many conspiracy theories and mysteries there is usually a kernel of truth at their beginning. Just like a child›s game of broken telephone, the original event can be buried deeply or so badly distorted that the current theory may not look at all like what caused it
in the first place. Solving a conspiracy theory or mystery, requires thinking outside the box, and sometimes way outside the box. Here are a few «conspiracy theory» questions that might pique your interest to delve in further: 1. Have we been visited by aliens or UFOs, and where are they from? 2. What really is the Big Foot/Sasquatch/Yeti that reliable people keep seeing? 3. What is the Voynich Manuscript, dubbed the world’s most mysterious manuscript, really about? 4. Was there a cabal of participants involved in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln? And was Mary Jenkins Surratt, who knew Booth, an innocent bystander or just in the wrong place at the wrong time? 5. Where is D. B. Cooper? Personally, after reading the book in the photo, I really think Cooper was from Michigan. 6. Was the moon landing a hoax? 7. Who may have been conspirators and shooters who assassinated President Kennedy?
As you begin reading about conspiracy theories, some of them will make you laugh. For example, one of them suggests that the US government controls the weather and has manipulated the temperature to create natural disasters. (!) However some
conspiracy theories are deadly serious. I›ve only dug deeply into two, the Voynich Manuscript and the assassination of JFK. But there›s enough information out there about these theories to keep us interested for a very long time.
So, take a ride on the information highway and do a basic search. Maybe you or I will find the kernel of truth at the heart of one of the many conspiracy theories. Or maybe we can find clues to help solve some of the world›s great mysteries. It could happen!
«...Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tried merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.» ~ Einstein
Ann Murray is an award-winning commercial illustrator and author. Her latest story is in the anthology “Extinction Notice: Tales from a Warming Earth.” A copy of this book was recently presented to Mr. Csaba Kőrösi, President of the United Nations General Assembly, a leader in the climate crisis field.
Here Comes the Sun!
A crazy Michigan winter has gifted us with one of the most extended stretches of cloudy, dreary weather on record. The first eight days of 2023, as reported by television meteorologists, yielded only five minutes of sunlight in total! Yikes! Further statistics indicate the entire month of January provided only 11% of the amount of sunshine that could be experienced. I’m trying to practice gratitude, but it’s hard to be grateful for unrelenting cloudiness day after day.
Has this really been a cloudier winter season than usual? Or is it our habit to complain about the same conditions every year when our current weather is actually “normal?” Depressing, perhaps, especially if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but not significantly worse than many other years.
Of course, there is data to help provide insight into our current weather conditions. (Have I mentioned how much I absolutely ADORE data?) Here in southwest Michigan, we are unbelievably lucky to be sitting very near a weather data goldmine! The Grand Rapids office of the National Weather Service (NWS), an agency of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is the keeper of the golden data.
At one time, many NWS offices collected solar data for their regions. In southwest Michigan, for over seventy years, the minute-by-minute presence of sunshine was measured by a photoelectric sunshine switch that gathered data for analysis. The instrument initiated an electronic signal when a threshold level of sunlight was received by a sensor. When triggered, it timed the length of the signal. Many weather offices across the nation used similar, now very oldfashioned technology. As might be expected, over the years the switches failed, became damaged, and were otherwise taken out of service. As a result, most areas have lost the ability to collect current solar data.
Fortunately, in 2021, the Grand
Rapids office partnered with a local observer, a citizen scientist, to install a new experimental recorder, and the old switch was retired. Hooray for progress! The good news (and I believe more data is always “good news”) is that our own NWS office is one of only a handful with complete measurements of daily and monthly percentages of possible sunshine readings going back as far as 1903! It’s a massive data set, and how lucky we are to have it available, just a computer click away.
Since solar panels are becoming more cost-effective and easier to interface with the power grid, I’m amazed more interest has not been placed on current and historical solar data. The information would be helpful not only to meteorologists and weather buffs but also to energy producers, environmental engineers, and data hounds like me. Alas, no one asked for my opinion!
I examined the spreadsheet of monthly percentages of possible sunshine for all 119 years of reported data. My aim was to see if we really are receiving less sunshine in winter months than “usual.” Deciding to limit my analysis to December through March, I surveyed each year to determine which of those months were the most and least sunny and whether there appeared to be a pattern.
My observations are as follows: December is the cloudiest month more than half the time, with percent sunlight measurements in the mid-20s and 30s. Sometimes that “prize” goes to January, but more often December. This pattern has held consistently over the past, with the other winter months of January and February also demonstrating considerable cloudiness. Beginning in the late 1990s, however, those values began to drop into the low 20s and teen percents. Although this is only a 10% drop, it can be perceived as a significant difference, since there are just a few more cloudy days, but some of the days are actually
March is almost always the sunniest of the four months studied. This makes sense since meteorological spring (the second quarter of the calendar year) begins on March 1st. Likewise, although there is much more sunshine than in previous months, the amount of March sunlight received in recent years is slightly lower than previous average values in the reporting period. Despite the extra cloudiness we have been experiencing in past decades, the amount of sunshine we receive annually has remained consistent, hovering between 45% to 50%.
I think it’s not so terrible when we consider Michigan’s great geographic location. The cloudiness vexing us is perfectly understandable. Our “pleasant peninsula,” referenced in the state motto, is surrounded on three sides by Great Lakes. Most of the prevailing winds influencing our weather pass over a large body of fresh water on its way to land. In middle school science, most of us learned that water can “hold” a lot of heat. Therefore, as cold winter winds pass over the warmer lakes, they accumulate moisture that is carried onto land as clouds. If conditions are right, that moisture can fall as either lake-effect snow or rain. If not, the sky is laden with low-hanging, dreary clouds.
These processes have been more noticeable in recent years because of changing climatic patterns resulting in less lake ice. Great Lakes ice
coverage, reported on February 8th, is “significantly below average”- currently only 13% compared to the average of 37%. Not good news if you’re an ice fisherman! These warm lake temperatures provide the ample moisture exhibited as cloudiness over land.
As for me, I will happily put up with cloudy winters in exchange for the beauty of the Great Lakes. My remembrance of dreary days will surely fade when I’m back on the beach at South Haven with an ice cream treat, and my favorite beach read! Take heart, friends; the worst of winter is past!Cheryl Hach Retired Science Teacher Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center
Solar Data for Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retrieved February 2nd, 2023. https://www.weather.gov/grr/ solardata
House, Kelly, “Michigan winters are super cloudy and getting worse. Here’s how to deal.” Retrieved February 5th, 2023. https://www.bridgemi.com/ michigan-environment-watch/michigan-winters-are-super-cloudy-andgetting-worse-heres-how-deal
White, Max, “Great Lakes ice coverage is well below average; what are the impacts?” Retrieved February 8th, 2023. https://www.wxyz.com/news/ great-lakes-ice-coverage-is-well-belowaverage-what-are-the-impacts
Museum to Host March 6 virtual
FREE march Events
Through June 4
Exhibit: Moments in Time: The Kalamazoo County Photo Documentary Project Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Through March 19
Exhibit: Kalamazoo Through The Eyes of Murphy Darden Kalamazoo Valley Museum
Wednesdays, Mar. 1,15
Mugs & Hugs StoryTime (18mos.- 4yr.), 10-30-11:15 Vicksburg Library
Wednesday, March 1
WMU Guest & Student Recital KSO/WMU Composers Workshop Dalton Recital Hall, 7:30pm
Wednesday, March 1
Final Goofery Comedy Night 8-10pm, Final Gravity Kal.
Thursday, March 2
Book Club for Adults, Read Any book by Michael Crichton & discuss it with the group 9:30-10:30am, Vicksburg Library
Thursday, March 2
A gift of History: CommemoratingAbraham Lincoln’s Visit, 6:30pm, Parchment Community Library
Fridays, Mar. 3,10,17,24
Bouncing Babies StoryTime (Babies-2yr.), 10-10:30am Vicksburg Library
Friday, March 3
Memory Café for people with mild Dementia & their care partners, Paw Paw Library, 10:30am-Noon
Friday, March 3 Art Hop, Downtown Kalamazoo & Vine Neighborhood, 5-8pm
Saturdays, Mar. 4,11,18,25
Kalamazoo Winter Market
Inside St. Joseph Catholic Church, 936 Lake St., 8am-1pm
Sat. March 4 – Sun. March 5
The Winter Craft Show Sat. 9am-3pm, Sun. 10am-3pm
Kalamazoo County Expo Center
Saturday, March 4
Kalamazoo County Regional Spelling Bee, 1-4pm, Chenery Auditorium, Kalamazoo
Saturday, March 4 WMU Gymnastics vs. Northern Illinois, University Arena, 4pm
Sundays, Mar. 5,12,19,26
Portage Farmers Market 9am-1pm, Portage City Hall
Sunday, March 5
Valhalla Music Open Mic Night Valhalla Norse Nectar Meader, Kalamazoo, 7-11pm
Mondays, March 6,13,20,27 Parchment Update Interviews Parchmentlibrary.org
Mondays, Mar.. 6,13,20,27 Family Story Time (18mos.-4yr.) 10-10:30am, Vicksburg Library
Monday, March 6
Reader’s Theater: Adults Are invited to join a group reading classic short stories turned into lighthearted plays, 1-3pm Vicksburg District Library
Monday, March 6
Team Trivia at Old Burdick’s Wings West, Kalamazoo, 7-9pm
Tuesday, March 7
ARTbreak: All the Reasons Why I Love Lucy, Noon-1pm Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Tuesdays, March 7,14,21,28
Big Furry Friends: Visit with Therapy Dog, (all ages), 4:306:30pm, Parchment Library
Tuesdays, Mar. 7,14,21,28
Drop-In Gaming, (ages 8-18) Richland Library, 3-5pm
Wednesday, March 8 Bird & Coffee Chat: Kalamazoo County Birding Hotspots, 10am On Zoom, Kellogg Bird Sanctuary
Wednesday, March 8 Theodore Roosevelt: A Literary Life, 6pm, Richland Library
Thursdays, Mar. 9, 23
Bulldog/Eagle Break Time (Grades 6-12), 2:45-4:15 Vicksburg Library
Thursdays, Mar. 9,23
Teen Space/Game Time (Grades 6-12), 4:15-5:45pm Vicksburg Library
Friday, March 9
Classics Film Club: All About Eve (1950), 7pm, Richland Library
Thursday, March 9
Comedy Open Mic Night, 9-11pm Valhalla Norse Nectar Meadery
Friday, March 10
Plainwell Art Hop, 5-7:30pm Downtown Plainwell
Saturday, March 11
Art Detectives: A Life Made By Hand, 10:30-Noon, ages 4-8 Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Saturday, March 11 Maple Sugar Festival, 9am-5pm Kalamazoo Nature Center
Saturday, March 11
St. Patrick’s Day Parade, 11am Downtown Kalamazoo
Saturday, March 11
Chief Noonday Potawatomi Hike
Meet/park at Ned’s at 11am, Out & back hike to Chief Noonday’s Burial Site (4 miles), lunch at Neds
Saturday, March 11
STEAM Saturday – Slingshot Car, 10am-Noon Richland Community Library
Sunday, March 12
2nd Sundays Live Concert Series: Whiskey Before Breakfast, 2pm, Parchment Library
Monday, March 13
Parchment Book Group: The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict, 6pm, Parchment Library
Monday, March 13
WMU Alumni Recital, 6pm Andrew Mitchell, Trombone Dalton Center Recital Hall
Tuesday, March 14
ARTbreak: Artistry & Innovation in Japanese Ceramics and Printmaking, 12-1pm, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Tuesday, March 14
Team Game Night: Wheel of Fortune, 6pm, Richland Library
Wednesday, March 15
Book Discussion: Metropolitan Stories, 2-3pm, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Wednesday, March 15
Poetry Reading: Adults bring Your g-rated poetry to read aloud or listen to others, 4-5pm Vicksburg District Library
Thursday, March 16
Books with Friends Book Club: Sugar and Salt by Susan Wiggs 7-8pm, Richland Library
Friday, March 17
Teen After Hours Movie & Game Night, grades 6-12 5-9pm, Richland Library
Saturday, March 18
Friends of the Library Book Sale 9am-1pm, Parchment Library
Monday, March 20 Oberon Day, 10am-10pm Bell’s Eccentric Café
Monday, March 20
STEAM Event, 11am-Noon Vicksburg Library
Monday, March 20
Bach Birthday Bash
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Portage, 7pm
Tuesday, March 21
ARTbreak: Kirk Newman Art School Residents, Part 1, 12-1pm Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Tuesday, March 21
Mystery Book Club – The Louise Penny Series: A Rule Against Murder, 6:30pm, Parchemnt Library
Tuesday, March 21
WMU Guest Artist Recital: KSO
Artist-in-Residence: Burdick/ Thorne String Quartet, 7:30pm Dalton Center Recital Hall
Tuesday, March 21 Learn Libby & Hoopla to access eBooks & more, 6-7pm Richland Community Library
Wednesday, March 22
WMU New Faculty Showcase 7:30pm, Dalton Recital Hall
Thursday, March 23
WMU Southwestern Michigan Festival: University Chorale And Anima, 7pm, Miller Auditorium
Monday, March 27
WMU Drum Choir, 5pm Dalton Center Recital Hall
Monday, March 27
WMU Guest Artist Recital: Donna Lee, Piano, 7:30pm Dalton Center Recital Hall
Tuesday, March 28
ARTbreak: More Than a Pretty Face: The Power of Portraits, 121pm, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Tuesday, March 28
WMU Student Showcase: Jazz Combos, 7:30pm Dalton Center Recital Hall
Thursday, March 30 Team Trivia, 6pm Richland Community Library
Thursday, March 30 Spring Break Board Games & snacks for all ages, bring a game or play ours, 3-6pm Vicksburg District Library
Friday, March 31
Vintage in the Zoo Presents: Night Shop- Vintage & Handmade Louie’s Trophy House, 5-10pm