6/2/23: Campers against guns

A summer camp aims to steer kids away from using guns to solve their problems. Also: Fatal bike accidents went up during the pandemic, but they’re not coming back down. And a Portage senior is a Presidential Scholar.
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Friday, June 2, 2023

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A summer camp aims to steer kids away from using guns to solve their problems. Also: Fatal bike accidents went up during the pandemic, but they’re not coming back down. And a Portage senior is a Presidential Scholar.

News You Need To Know

Summer camp aims to reduce gun violence

Last year, a series of summer day camps launched to teach kids that there are alternatives to picking up a gun. That camp was so successful the people behind it are running it again this year. Called Life Camps, the theme of the program is “Hands are Meant to Heal, Not Kill.” It’s being put on by the Urban Alliance where James Harris is the outreach manager. “If we can change the narrative about the purpose of gun usage, we believe that we can help kids to just rethink pulling that trigger,” he said.

Each camp is one day, running from 8:30am to 5:30pm. There is one scheduled each month through August. While there, campers will hear from survivors of gun violence as well as people who were once perpetrators. The goal is to get young people to think about the impact firing a gun can have on their lives and the lives of other people. The camps are free and include a meal. Parents can sign their kids up on Urban Alliance’s website. [WOOD]

Bike deaths an ongoing problem

During the first years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of bicyclists hit and killed by drivers increased by a lot. For example, car-bike crashes rose by 80% between 2019 and 2020. But even as the pandemic has subsided, car-bike crashes continue to be high. “Bicycling safety in Michigan and nationwide really is not in a great place right now,” Matt Penniman told WMUK. “We are in the middle of a road safety crisis, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists.” Penniman works on bike safety legislation for the League of Michigan Bicyclists.

Things could begin to get better for bicyclists in the not too distant future. There is much more focus on bicycle safety in many areas of the state, and new transportation spending in Michigan includes provisions for bike safety infrastructure. But it may take time for those projects to show results. In the meantime, Penniman said he expects the bike fatality stats from last year to continue the rising trend of the past few years. [WMUK]

Portage student picked as Presidential Scholar

Every year, no more than 161 graduating high school seniors are picked for an auspicious recognition: Presidential Scholar. This year, one of those students comes from Portage. Simar Bhatia is graduating from Portage Central High School and has been selected as one of two students from Michigan to be recognized as Presidential Scholars – the other is Adnan Mahir Khan from Bloomfield Hills. Bhatia said she credits her family and the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center for inspiring her love of education. “I grew up in a family that was devoted to making sure I do my best and perform my best,” she told MLive. “If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here today.”

Bhatia has a stunning resume. Besides an amazing academic record with a focus in math and science, she plays varsity tennis and is the president of Jeter’s Leaders, a service organization founded by Derek Jeter. Bhatia plans to attend the University of Michigan in the fall where she will study neuroscience. [MLive]

Things To Do In Kalamazoo

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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

30th Annual Spring Plant Exchange and Celebration – Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones
1:00PM 6/4

Unveiling American Genius Guided Tour – Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
1:30PM 6/4

Takes on Tango – Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
3:00PM 6/4

Concerts in the Park: Kalamazoo Concert Band – Bronson Park
4:00PM 6/4

Frosty Boy Car Show – 5030 Gull Rd, Kalamazoo
4:00PM 6/4

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