If you've browsed collections of glassware from decades and centuries past, you might scratch your head and wonder, what exactly was the use of this item? This reverse glossary of vintage and antique terms may help, or it might confuse you further. For instance, why were there fine glass celery dishes and celery vases of glass and silver? Take a look back, at home in the nineteenth century with celery at the dining table. Celery was once a status symbol, due to its high cost (Google books preview), and was included in tonics and sold in the 1897 Sears Roebuck & Co. Catalogue in a malt compound (Google books preview). Kalamazoo even boasted of being the Celery City in the late 1800s and for a few decades to follow. But the craze faded as celery cultivation became easier. One of the few remaining products from the celery craze is Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda, an acquired taste.
For several months, bitumen from the Athabasca oil sands has been leaching out of the ground near Cold Lake, Alberta, so far amounting to roughly half of the oil leaked in the Enbridge-caused disaster in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Nearby sites of high-pressure steam injection used to extract the bitumen (and which is already associated with violent seismic activity in natural gas fracking operations) are suspected to have caused fractures that push bitumen "sideways" and out to the surface. As Vice reporter Sarah Berman notes, "The oozing leaks will continue until the underground pressure subsides. How long that will take is anybody’s guess." While tons of contaminated vegetation and dead animals have been removed from the sites, access to the region and to government data by First Nation representatives has been repeatedly denied.
Kalamazoo Promise has come up in discussion a couple of times. The program, funded by anonymous donors, covers tuition and fees for all graduates of Kalamazoo public high schools. [more inside]
Sometime Sunday evening, an oil pipeline burst over Talmadge Creek near Marshall, Michigan, spilling an estimated 840,000 gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River. [more inside]
Do you remember who your high school graduation commencement speaker was? Yeah, me neither. Fortunately, the class of 2010 at Kalamazoo Central High School in Kalamazoo, MI won't have that problem: KCHS was just selected as the winner of the White House Race to the Top Commencement Challenge, and will host President Obama at this year's commencement ceremony.
Kalamazoo Residents against T&J Towing is a facebook group with over ten thousand members. Initially, Justan Kurtz said the towing company took down his parking pass so they could tow him. The facebook group quickly filled up with gripes about shady practices, but the towing company says they have done nothing wrong. Now, T&J Towing is suing Kurtz for $750,000. Perhaps a SLAPP suit is not the best course of action. So, First Amendment Right, or libel? [more inside]
City full of kids gets free college. 6 anonymous donors cover the college bill for any and all graduates of Kalamazoo Public Schools. Including those who immigrate. Neighboring white-collar town says, "No thanks."