6/1/23: A successful biofuel test

The City of Kalamazoo’s dump trucks, excavators, and bulldozers are switching to biodiesel and reducing emissions by 8%. Also: KPS bus drivers want a starting wage to be a living wage in new contract. And the Campus Pointe Mall near WMU is cracking down on night time parking lot parties.
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The Daily News and Events Roundup

For those who live, work, and play in Kalamazoo County

Thursday, June 1, 2023

High 90°/Low 63° Sunny

The City of Kalamazoo’s dump trucks, excavators, and bulldozers are switching to biodiesel and reducing emissions by 8%. Also: KPS bus drivers want a starting wage to be a living wage in new contract. And the Campus Pointe Mall near WMU is cracking down on night time parking lot parties.

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City of Kalamazoo’s big trucks going greener

The City of Kalamazoo’s Public Services department has switched its heavy vehicles to biodiesel following a one-year experiment to see if it was efficient to make the move.

“An extensive pilot was conducted, including lab testing and analysis of fuel quality performance characteristics, and a comparative analysis across vehicle and engine platforms,” Director James Baker said.

The biodiesel is a blend of regular diesel with a plant-based fuel oil that will reduce emissions from their heavy equipment by about 8%, he said. “We estimate that this will provide a reduction of carbon emissions of approximately 16 tons annually,” Baker said.

He added that going all electric isn’t an option because there aren’t any manufacturers of electric dump trucks, bulldozers and excavators yet.

Tick check

We’re at the start of high tick season, and the Kalamazoo County health department has released the data from last fall’s tick tests, which shows the percentage of ticks found locally carrying Lyme Disease has been fairly constant over the past few years.

According to the county’s Health & Community Services department, 29% of the 76 blacklegged ticks captured and sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing last October were positive for Lyme disease. That’s up slightly from 23% in 2021, and down from 30% in 2020.

Blacklegged ticks are the most common in Kalamazoo County, and are the ticks that carry Lyme, the department said. Ticks are found year-round but those with Lyme and other bacteria are more prevalent between April and September. If not treated, Lyme Disease can cause damage to the heart, nervous system, and joints. The CDC’s website has more on tick prevention, removal, and symptoms.

News You Need To Know

KPS bus drivers, other support staff want living wage to start

The head of the union representing transportation, office, paraprofessionals and other staff at Kalamazoo Public Schools says increasing the starting pay rate to a living wage is at the top of the bargaining list as the next three-year contract talks begin.

The president of the Kalamazoo Support Professionals, Joanna Miller, said for example the starting wage for a bus driver under the contract that ends this year is $14.60 per hour and the maximum hourly rate they can earn is $18.76. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimates a living wage for a single adult with no dependents in Kalamazoo County is $15.69 per hour. [MLive]

Parking and bar at shopping plaza near WMU are shut down

The owner of the Campus Pointe Mall, at the corner of Howard Street and West Michigan Avenue, has halted weekend night parking across from a bar that is alleged to be linked to unruly crowds, public intoxication, and violence, following complaints by Kalamazoo police.

“It appears to have worked,” said owner Avis Karim. He said he is looking for a new tenant for the space that was until recently occupied by the Y Bar and Bistro. “We are looking for a new operator for the space and will vet all qualified applicants… obviously we won’t approve just anybody.” [WWMT]

Things To Do In Kalamazoo

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Open Mic – Satellite Records
5:30PM 6/1

Old Time Jam – Old Dog Tavern
6:00PM 6/1

The ABC’s of Roses – Wenke Greenhouse
6:00PM 6/1

Sound Immersion w/ Ola Sagrada Sound, Backyard Yogis – Jerico
7:00PM 6/1

Music Exchange Series: Sophia McIntosh + Lexi Adams – The Clover Room
7:00PM 6/1

Brontë Fall & Friends – Dormouse Theatre
7:00PM 6/1

“Don’t Call Me Michael,” a stand up comedy show – Crawlspace Comedy Theatre
7:30PM 6/1

Lucius Fox – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
8:00PM 6/1

Historic Walk: Business & Industry in Kalamazoo – Meet at Gazelle Sports
8:00AM 6/2

Art on the Mall – Kalamazoo Mall
12PM 6/2, 9AM 6/3

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair – Bronson Park
12PM 6/2, 9AM 6/3

The Kennedy Affair – Perry Harley-Davidson
5:00PM 6/2

5:01 Ditch Friday on the patio with DJ MEL-V – JungleBird
5:00PM 6/2

June Art Exhibit Opening Night – Black Arts & Cultural Center
5:00PM 6/2

State On The Street: Lady Ace Boogie Presents – State Theatre
6:00PM 6/2

Kalamazoo Pride – Arcadia Festival Place
6PM 6/2, 12PM 6/3

Pitch Night – Startup Zoo
6:00PM 6/2

2023 Sweet Heart Dance – Portage Zhang Senior Center
6:00PM 6/2

LOVKN – Historic Grain Elevator, Portage
6:30PM 6/2

The Search for (Ancient Microbial) Life on Mars – Kalamazoo Astronomical Society
7:00PM 6/2

Run 4 Cover – Presidential Brewing Co.
7:00PM 6/2

Pride After Party wsg the Incantations – Old Dog Tavern
9:00PM 6/2

Pride Party – Final Gravity Brewing Co.
9:00PM 6/2

Live Music with Crazy Mic – The Dock At Bayview
9:00PM 6/2

Kalamazoo Indoor Flea Market – Kalamazoo County Expo Center
8:00AM 6/3

Kalamazoo Gun & Knife Show – Kalamazoo County Expo Center
9:00AM 6/3, 10am 6/4

Touch-A-Truck – Kalamazoo County Expo Center
10:00AM 6/3

Summer Reading Challenge Kick-Off – Kalamazoo Public Library, Central
10:00AM 6/3

Do-Dah Parade – Downtown Kalamazoo
11:00AM 6/3

Kalamazoo Animal Rescue Grand Opening – 4669 Executive Dr
11:00AM 6/3

Matt Kotinek Band – Presidential Brewing Co.
7:00PM 6/3

Comedy Night at the Pub – Main St Pub, Vicksburg
7:00PM 6/3

Breakin’ Ballet All Styles Dance Company presents THE JOURNEY – Dormouse Theatre
7:30PM 6/3

The Politics of Dancing – Old Dog Tavern
8:00PM 6/3

Out of Favor Boys – The New Vic Theatre
8:00PM 6/3

OutFront Presents Pride After Party w/ DJ Jennefa – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
9:00PM 6/3

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