June 16, 2008


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June 16, 2008

  1. 1. March 8, 2010The DigestWhat’s Happening at KVCC<br />What’s below in this edition<br /> <br /> Artists Forum (Pages 1/2) Joe Reilly (Pages 14/15)<br /> ‘Vols’ needed (Pages 2/3) ‘Cedars’ movie (Pages 15-17)<br /> Diversity Conference (Pages 3-5) Friday Night fun (Pages 17-19)<br /> Wellness screens (Pages 5/6) Income-tax aid (Page 19)<br /> Effective teaching (Pages 6/7) Telling our stories (Pages 19/20)<br /> Job Expo (Pages 7-9) Getting them right (Page 20)<br /> Earn a gig (Pages 9/10) SSC activities (Pages 20/21)<br /> Fretboard Festival (Pages 10/11) Exercise ‘opps’ (Page 21)<br /> Trix Bruce (Pages 11/12) Spring-break changes (Page 21)<br /> ‘Visit’ 11 nations (Page 12) Gold fever (Pages 21-23)<br /> Techno teaching (Page 13) Festival of Health (Page 23)<br /> Police orientations (Pages 13/14) Paper chase (Pages 23/24)<br /> And Finally (Page 24)<br />☻☻☻☻☻☻<br />The gypsy jazz of the Jorgenson Five<br />If you don’t have a clue as to what American gypsy jazz is, the Sherlock Holmes of that genre of home-grown music is coming to Kalamazoo to shed light on the mystery.<br />The John Jorgenson Quintet, whose Grammy-winning guitarist leader is regarded as a pioneer of that jazz style, will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 20, in Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Dale Lake Auditorium.<br />Tickets for the fivesome’s concert are $15 and are available at the college’s bookstores on the Texas Township Campus and in downtown Kalamazoo’s Anna Whitten Hall. <br />Artists Forum is co-sponsored by KVCC and the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation of Kalamazoo. The series began with the 1987-88 academic year.<br />The college’s two-concert Artists Forum series for 2009-10 will conclude with a performance by instrumentalist Darrell Scott, who has composed chartbuster songs for Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Keb Mo, Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt and The Dixie Chicks.<br />Formed in 2004, the quintet also features jazz violinist Jason Anick, rhythm guitarist Doug Martin, bassist Simon Planting, and percussionist Rick Reed.<br />Gypsy jazz was made famous by French guitarist Django Reinhardt. In the 2005 movie “Head in the Clouds” that featured Reinhardt’s music and starring Charlize Theron and Penelope Cruz, Jorgenson, who also plays the clarinet, portrayed the Frenchman. <br />Jorgenson was a six-year member of Elton John's band. Artists ranging from Barbra Streisand to Bonnie Raitt to Earl Scruggs have sought out Jorgenson's guitar work that has been described as “dazzling.” <br />Whether playing his own compositions or classic standards, Jorgenson and his musical mates John make music that is “equally romantic and ecstatic, played with virtuosity and soul.”<br /> Jorgenson’s articles and lessons on gypsy jazz have appeared in prominent guitar magazines. He has given master classes around the country, and has performed with some of the most respected European proponents of this style. His “After You've Gone” CD is a collection of Reinhardt- and Benny Goodman-styled 1930s swing.<br />Growing up in Southern California, Jorgenson was playing both the piano and the clarinet by age 8. At 12 he got his first guitar and practiced voraciously while continuing to study classical music on woodwinds. By age 14, he was playing professionally. <br />Learning first to play rock guitar, Jorgenson absorbed other guitar styles as quickly as he discovered them. This broad musical palette has enabled him to play with artists as diverse as John, Luciano Pavarotti, Raitt, and Goodman. <br />Jorgenson first came to national prominence in the mid1980s with the Desert Rose Band, which he co-founded. The band earned five No. 1 singles and Jorgenson won the Academy of Country Music’s " Guitarist of the Year" award three consecutive times. <br />Following the Desert Rose Band, he formed another award-winning group, the virtuosic guitar trio The Hellecasters. Originally conceived as a " one off" gig for fun, the group went on to produce three CDs and a live video, winning both " Album of the Year" and " Country Album of the Year" from the readers of Guitar Player Magazine in 1993.<br />In 1994, British rock legend John called and invited Jorgenson on an 18-month world tour. The 18 months stretched into a six-year period that included not only sold-out world tours, but also recordings, television appearances, and collaborations with many other artists including Sting and Billy Joel. In addition to acoustic and electric guitars, the Californian was also featured on saxophone, mandolin and vocals. <br />Although well-renowned in the pop, country and rock world, gypsy jazz is the style of music closest to his heart. His “Franco-American Swing” is full of infectious gypsy jazz music and co-features the Nashville Chamber Orchestra from Jorgenson’s home port in Tennessee.<br />In addition to gigs up and down all of California, the Jorgenson fivesome has taken part in “Jammin’ Java” in Vienna, Va., has played with the Les Paul Trio in New York City, been booked into the Hilton Hotel in “The Big Apple, and been the headline act for the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts in Anchorage.<br />Upon leaving Kalamazoo, the quintet will head for booking in Philadelphia, Boston, Germany, Scotland and London. Jorgenson describes himself as “a proud patron of the only dedicated gypsy-jazz venue in the world” in London. <br />Nine more 'vols' needed for ‘Human Race Machine’ exhibit<br />A week’s stay of the Human Race Machine on the Texas Township Campus will complement the college’s seventh annual Diversity Conference later month.<br />From March 22 through March 26 in Room 4380, the magic of computer software will allow people to see what they would look like if they were of a different race. Participants will use their own image to gain a sense of their appearance as a member of six different races. <br />The exhibit is based on the scientific finding that the DNA of any two humans is 99.97 identical and that there is no gene for race, adding substance to the premise that in a foxhole everybody is the same color – red.<br />In addition, throughout the week in the exhibit area, there will be showings of the PBS documentary, “The Illusion of Race.”<br />As with a similar format for the sixth conference in 2009, the plan is to open the experience to the public.<br />However, that will require KVCC’ers to step forward to serve as volunteers to monitor the exhibit in one-hour shifts that week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and nine more are needed to make all of that happen. <br />Those who would like to serve as monitors for an hour or more can contact Nancy Taylor at extension 4142 or ntaylor@kvcc.edu.<br />In addition to Taylor, Carol Head, Ken Barr Jr., Russ Panico, Dan Maley, Sue Hills, Janet Alm, Jackie Howlett, Melissa Farris, Karen Steeno van Staveren, Ruth Baker, Colleen Olson, Joyce Tamer, Marie Rogers, Bonita Bates, Mary Johnson, Kate Ferraro, Laura Cosby, Mike Collins, Kandiah Balachandran, Leona Coleman, Marion Melville and Marylan Hightree have committed to helping the college open this experience to the public.<br />Here are the vacancies: Wednesday (March 24) at 11 a.m. and at noon; Thursday (March 25) at noon and 5 p.m.; and Friday (March 26) at 9, 10, and 11 a.m., and 1 and 2 p.m.<br />“In addition to employees and students visiting the exhibit,” Taylor said, “we are also expecting K-12 class trips as well as the general public. The primary responsibility is to monitor the room and the machine, and to start up a DVD player when necessary.”<br />7th Diversity Conference slated for March 26<br />The keynote speaker for KVCC’s seventh annual Diversity Conference has shared stage and microphone time with such luminaries as First Lady Michelle Obama and “The Fonz” from “Happy Days.” <br />In addition to remarks from Greg Forbes Siegman, the Friday, March 26, billing includes an entertainment package that delivers a message and a panel discussion.<br />Under this year’s theme of “Educating Ourselves and Others,” attendees from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. can listen to the perspectives of keynoter Siegman (8:15), enjoy, a performance by Portage’s Kinetic Affect (9:45), and take part in a panel discussion entitled “How I Got Here” (11 a.m.).<br />The latter will address family structures, how people grow up, the culture/environment of each person’s childhood, experiences with education, and the challenges and obstacles facing people as they try to move forward when it comes to tolerance. <br />Among those presenters will be: <br />Bruce Kocher, vice president for academic services, who will talk about how, while raised in a single-parent home, he moved ahead in life.<br />KVCC data-base analyst Jolene Osei, who was born in Zimbabwe.<br />David Hernandez, Puerto Rican from Chicago who is majoring in international studies at KVCC.<br />Free and open to the public, the conference events will be held in the Dale Lake Auditorium on the Texas Township Campus. Remarks from KVCC President Marilyn Schlack will open the annual gathering. <br />Siegman’s book, “The First Thirty,” chronicles the first 30 lessons Siegman said he learned in his life that blossomed from college reject to honored graduate to substitute teacher to young philanthropist helping other overlooked students get to college. <br />The lessons revolve around such issues as community service, diversity, leadership and dealing with setbacks. It is a story of redemption and determination.<br />A major setback came as an 18 year old when Siegman was rejected by every college to which he applied. Given a chance by a school in Louisiana, he transferred with two years of passing grades to a college closer to his Midwest roots and graduated as a top scholar. He even served a Capitol Hill internship in Washington. <br />Already sensing more of a mission aimed at community service than material gains, Siegman chose to become a substitute teacher and created a mentoring program to break down racial, cultural and social barriers. <br />Within 18 months, he had established The 11-10-02 Foundation to help other overlooked students get to college as they encountered heartache, shut doors, and closed minds. In all, he spent eight years in the front of classrooms. <br />In 2005, he was honored by Princeton University as one of the nation's top social entrepreneurs under 40 for his dedication to speak before diverse groups of people and interests.<br />He has shared lectern duties with Nobel Peace Prize honoree Elie Wiesel, President Obama’s spouse, Nebraska athletic icon Tom Osborne, and actor Henry Winkler.<br />His writings have explored the impact of labels and stereotypes, the wisdom of grandparents, how to talk to students about the ramifications of 9-11, and the internal strength of those who deal with physical obstacles. <br />Siegman has coordinated and hosted hundreds of events to bring people of different races, cultures and backgrounds together in cities throughout the United States, Canada and Africa.<br />With the arrival of the new millennium, “Good Morning America” buried a time capsule that included a video narrated by Diane Sawyer about Siegman’s efforts to bring people together of different races, cultures and backgrounds. <br />As he strives to stay mentally, culturally and socially fit, he pays equal attention to physical fitness as a competitor in triathlons, quite an accomplishment for someone who has had four operations on his feet. <br />“People don’t remember how you were treated,” he says. “They remember how you respond.” It is this attitude that he says has helped him convert barriers into bridges. <br />The community of Enfield, Conn., in 2005 used “The First Thirty” as its version of Kalamazoo’s “Reading Together” program, which led to him delivering the commencement address at Suffield High School and to a presentation at Asnuntuck Community College where students were reading the book.<br />The Portage-based Kinetic Affect, the duo that won the recent “Kalamazoo Has Talent” competition, are two spoken-wordsmiths who joined forces in the summer of 2007 after being fierce competitors at local poetry slams. Gabriel Giron and Kirk Latimer have created a new kind of verbal experience. <br />Giron’s Latino background and hip-hop influences collide on stage with Latimer’s Native American heritage and academic nature. Despite apparent differences, they exhibit similarities. They challenge beliefs, push boundaries, embrace differences, and seek to increase awareness of local and global issues.<br />Giron admits to a difficult and angry past, vacillating from class bully to class poet. After lazily making his way through high school, he felt oddly drawn to the military. Eight months into his enlistment, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and underwent cycles of chemotherapy and several surgeries over three years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. <br />The cancer-free Giron said days spent wondering whether he would live or die gave him a new-found perspective on life. He is majoring in film and creative writing at Western Michigan University.<br />His reflection on cancer survival, military experience, and family relationships enabled him to write on topics with unique vulnerability not commonly explored or spoken by others. By sharing his stories and commenting on what he sees around him, others can be inspired to share their stories, making poetry real, honest, and accessible regardless of age, class or gender. <br />Now dressed in slacks, dress shirt and tie, Latimer had a history of fighting both inside and outside the ring. He turned his anger from his color-trunked opponents toward himself, resulting in his arrest at the age of 16. He continued a cycle of vengeance and retribution until his senior year of high school when five of his friends and classmates committed suicide. It took him nearly six months to change his approach to life. <br />Once on the right path, Latimer transformed from a violent boxer to a highly awarded English/education major at Western Michigan University where he began to write poetry. His style of writing evolved from his dedication to academics, the explosive power required of a boxer, and the unique juxtaposition of a prankster loving nature. <br />An acting coach and an English teacher in high school, Latimer discovered a way to convert his inner turmoil and aggressiveness into a passionate and impacting learning experience. Through sharing himself and past experiences, he seeks to change minds and hearts, while also challenging what he regards as an outdated educational system.<br />The former poetry-slam competitors challenge stereotypes and provide a forum to individuals who have become too comfortable with allowing their voices to remain silent. Their first production entitled “Word Weavers” confronted male stereotypes, such as the need for men to portray themselves as a dominant force that must remain independent and refrain from overly expressing emotions of love and sadness.<br />More information is available by visiting the KVCC Diversity Committee’s web site at http://diversity.kvcc.edu. People should register in advance for the 2010 Diversity Conference on the college’s home page. <br />Employee-wellness assessments begin after break<br />Sue Avery, a registered nurse assigned to KVCC by Holtyn and Associates, will be conducting free wellness screenings and counseling from Thursday, March 18, through Friday, April 16, for full-time KVCC employees and their spouses who are both new to the college’s program or continuing participants.<br />KVCC’ers and spouses can booked their own appointments through their own computer instead of making a telephone call. This can be done by going to the Holtyn website: www.holtynhpc.com. and following the directions. <br />Appointments span 30 minutes, meaning the available time slots are on the hour and half hour.<br />Here are the Texas Township Campus dates and times, all in Room 6044 in the Student Commons:<br />Thursday, March 18 – 12:30 to 6 p.m.<br />Friday, March 19 – 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.<br />Monday, March 22; Tuesday, March 23; Wednesday, March 24; and Thursday, March 25 -- 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.<br />Friday, March 26 – 8:30 a.m.to 3:30 p.m.<br />Monday, March 29; Tuesday, March 30, and Wednesday, March 31 – 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.<br />Thursday, April 1 – noon to 6 p.m.<br />Monday, April 5; Tuesday, April 6, and Wednesday, April 7 – 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.<br />Thursday, April 8 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.<br />Avery will be at the Arcadia Commons Campus for employees in Anna Whitten Hall, the Kalamazoo Valley Museum and the Center for New Media on these dates:<br />Monday, April 12 – 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.<br />Tuesday, April 13 – 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.<br />Wednesday, April 14 – 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.<br />Friday, April 16 – 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.<br />For those appointments, Avery will be based in 325 Whitten Hall.<br />While payoffs in the past have focused on one’s personal and individual health, it is now starting to pay off in the pay checks of employees.<br />The one-on-one appointments include a glucose analysis, an HDL and cholesterol evaluation, a blood-pressure check, a body-composition reading, an assessment of cardio-respiratory fitness, an overall health survey, an individual fitness assessment, and a personal consultation.<br />The 30-minute screenings can be done on work time. For more information, contact Avery at (269) 267-3712 or savery@holtynpc.com. She can be contacted for assistance in enrolling in the wellness program for the first time and in registering spouses. <br />All full-time staff, faculty and administrators – and their spouses -- are encouraged to sign up for this college-sponsored program, even if previous screenings had not identified any health risks.<br />Participants should wear comfortable, loosely fitting clothing. Short-sleeve tops are recommended. Fasting is not required, but it is advised not to consume caffeinated beverages two hours prior to the assessment and to refrain from smoking.<br />The testing is paid for by the college.<br />Dialogues on effective college teaching continuing<br />Thanks to a KVCC Foundation grant of $2,200 grant, dialogues on race, diversity and teaching at the community-college level are under way.<br />It is co-funding a three-hour workshop for faculty on “What the Best College Teachers Do to Promote Inclusion.” Instructor Jan White is leading those sessions at 4 p.m. in the lower level of the Center for New Media on March 16, and again on April 20. <br />The grant also led to the purchase of 50 copies of Beverly Tatum’s book titled “Can We Talk About Race?” Instructor Marie Rogers will be leading those talks according to the following schedule:<br />March 19 at noon in Room 7334 on the Texas Township Campus<br />March 24 at 7 a.m., same location<br />March 25 at noon in the lower level of the Center for New Media<br />March 25 at 3 p.m. in Room 7334<br />April 14 at 7 a.m. in Room 7334<br />April 15 at noon in the lower level of the Center for New Media<br />April 15 at 3 p.m. in Room 7334.<br />April 16 at noon in Room 7334.<br />KVCC’ers interested in participating in the “Can We Talk About Race?” sessions can obtain a copy of the book through Nancy Taylor.<br />All these discussions orchestrated by the Faculty Success Center will help lay the groundwork for the Kalamazoo Valley Museum hosting a major exhibition on race in the fall of 2010. The exhibit will be the focal point for a communitywide examination of the racial issues that too often tarnish the nation’s democracy and Constitution. <br />For the 2009-10 academic year, the KVCC Foundation established funding-request deadlines for internal grant proposals. <br />Those faculty and/or administrators seeking financial support from the foundation must make plans in advance and adhere to the established deadlines. <br />Here’s the schedule for the final round this academic year:<br />Proposal deadline: April 23; decision, May 7 by the KVCC Foundation Board of Trustees.<br />For more information, contact Steve Doherty, KVCC director of development and foundation executive director, at extension 4442 or sdoherty@kvcc.edu.<br />Volunteer Fair, Job Expo again combined<br />Because volunteering leads to jobs and vice versa, KVCC for the second consecutive year is blending two of its annual events designed to aid students and serve the community.<br />Its Volunteer and Community Services Fair and Employment Expo for 2010 will be held in tandem on the same day – Friday, March 19. Both are free and open to the public as well as to KVCC students. No registration is required. <br />From 1 to 4:30 p.m. in the Student Commons on the Texas Township Campus, representatives of human-service agencies will be joined by their counterparts from the business world in search of some new, energetic blood for their organizations. <br />Co-organizers Karen Phelps and Lois Brinson-Ropes of the KVCC Student Success Center report that past expos have attracted more than 80 prospective employers and scores of nonprofit organizations. <br />“There will be various community organizations present to speak to students about volunteering as a method to increase their career opportunities while benefiting the community,” said Phelps, the center’s work-experience coordinator. <br />Representatives from the companies and enterprises will talk to participants about their organizations, the employment prospects, career opportunities, and the chances for internships and volunteer service, both of which look good on a resume. <br />To help students and alumni prepare, the Student Success Center is presenting a March 15 workshop from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. to deliver some tips and expertise on effective resumes, cover letters and interviewing skills. Individual appointments can also be scheduled by calling (269) 488-4272. <br />“Past expos have attracted more than 1,000 job seekers,” said Brinson-Ropes, the center’s coordinator of student employment and internships. “Participants are urged to bring along resumes, a preparedness to be interviewed, and be appropriately attired.”<br />“This is “a win-win experience for the agencies and for students,” Phelps said. “The organizations will be in the market for a cadre of new volunteers to help them achieve their missions, while students will able to expand their networking among professionals in their career fields as they give something back to the community.<br />“Part of the college's mission,” she said, “is to produce well-rounded students and future members of the workforce who are more than willing to give back to their community and to invest in the human-service agencies that all serve us well.”<br />The KVCC Employment Expo, Brinson-Ropes said, “is a no-cost opportunity for students, alumni and residents of Southwest Michigan to visit with representatives from area businesses and industries that span the spectrum of occupations.” <br />Among the volunteer agencies taking part will be the American Cancer Society, Greater Kalamazoo Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, Borgess Medical Center Volunteer Services, Volunteer Center of Greater Kalamazoo, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kalamazoo, The First Day Shoe Fund, Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, Housing Resources Inc., the Kalamazoo Communities in Schools, Heartland Hospice, Kalamazoo County Poverty Reduction Initiative, Ministry with Community, Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Greater Kalamazoo Inc., Guardian Finance and Advocacy Services, Local Initiatives Support Corp., and the YWCA of Kalamazoo.<br />Among the prospective employers who have indicated they will be available in the Commons during the event are:<br />Stryker Instruments, Kazoo Inc., Kalamazoo Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial Services, Advance Employment Service, Greenleaf Hospitality Group, Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites, Holiday Inn West;<br />Trillium Staffing Solutions, the U. S. Army, radio stations WQXC and WZUU, Employment Group, Reliv International, Right At Home, Residential Opportunities Inc., Bankers Life and Casualty, Flagstar Bank, FEMA Corp., Friendship Village, Michigan Blood; <br />Michigan Civil Service Commission, Army National Guard, National City Bank, the Oakland Centre, the Portage Community Center, Progressive Alternatives in Schoolcraft, Progressive Residential Services and Alternative Choices, Q3 Technologies; <br />Sears Roebuck and Co (parts and repairs), the U. S. Navy, Primerica Financial Services, Snelling Personnel Services, Speedway Superamerica, the Michigan Department of Community Health, the Michigan Department of Corrections, the University of Phoenix, and Western-Southern Life Insurance Co.<br />For more information, contact Phelps at extension 4795 or kphelps@kvcc.edu or Brinson-Ropes at extension 4344 or lbrinsonrop@kvcc.edu.<br />10 acts to play for ‘Fret Fest’ gig<br /> Touching about every genre of music, 10 acts have earned the right to take part in a play-in contest to win a gig at the fifth annual Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival.<br />Judges have chosen them to play sets of up to 10 minutes at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday (March 5), which will be part of the monthly Art Hop in downtown Kalamazoo.<br />The same judges will select one of them to play a 60-minute concert on Saturday, March 20, during the three-day festival.<br />The March 5 “play-in,” as well as all festival events, is free and open to the public. <br />The contestants are:<br />The bluegrass music of Deadwood, featuring founding members Cork Babcock and Steve Carroll, both of Mendon, Gary Meadors of Grand Rapids, and Ron Sanford, also of Mendon<br />Michigan Country Music Hall of Fame members HighWay 94, featuring Matt and Sheila Schwartz (Kalamazoo), Ron and Ellen Gallegos (Battle Creek) and drummer Douglas Willet.<br />Blues and folk performers Jonas Ridge whose members are Steve Boling, Christee McNeil, Rick Triplett, and Bill Van Liere. <br />Papa’s Front Porch Blues – father/daughter duo David and Gretchen Ross placed second in the 2009 play-in contest.<br />Ninth Street Bridge – a 12-instrument bluegrass bunch featuring Brett Riggins, Marty Fine, Allen Bates, Scott Lehmer and Matt Sypian.<br />Scott Gardner, the One-Man Cover Band – he’s a retired science teacher in the Comstock School District who specializes in the oldies from the 1950s and ‘60s.<br />The country-rockers Small Town Son with Kris Hitchcock, Dan Anspaugh and Ian Szarafinski.<br />The seven-member Wasepi Bluegrass Gospel Singers who have been singing in their home church since 1974. <br />Pop guitarist Betsy Lucas<br />Twenty-Three, a quartet featuring Dan Simon from Allegan, Larry Allen and Scott Smith, both from Niles, Dean Worthington from Dowagiac, and Indianan Chere McKinley with a repertoire of both secular and gospel music.<br />The only restriction for applying to compete in the play-in was that an instrument with a fretboard must be among the person’s or group’s arsenal. Performers who have been booked for concerts at the museum or KVCC were not eligible.<br />The Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival is sponsored by the Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) Foundation.<br />In addition to “frettin’ their stuff” at the 2010 festival later in the month, the play-in winner will be booked to perform as part of the museum’s concert billings during the 2010-11 season. That’s what happened to the 2009 selectee, Carmea, a trio featuring guitarist Catherine Ellis of Kalamazoo, cellist Rachel Alexander of Lansing, and mandolinist Alma Muxlow of Kalamazoo.<br />From Friday, March 19, through late Sunday afternoon on March 21, the 2010 Fretboard Festival will feature performances by stringed-instrument virtuosos, instructional workshops for people who want to learn to play, and family-friendly activities.<br />This yearly salute to all stringed instruments -- and especially those that are crafted in this part of Michigan -- will be staged in the museum and the college’s Anna Whitten Hall next door.<br />The festival, which takes its name from the portion of a stringed musical instrument that allows a variety of notes to be played, will spotlight guitars, banjos, hammered dulcimers, and mandolins, as well as the artists who make music on them and the craftsmen who manufacture these instruments.<br />Concerts and workshops will again take center stage. Specific sessions are designed for those with exceptional, moderate and beginning skills. <br />The festival was conceived as a celebration of Kalamazoo’s long history of stringed-instrument design, manufacture, and performance. While guitars have been a vital component of this history -- primarily through the legacy of Gibson guitars -- adopting the moniker of “fretboard” allowed planners to consider all forms of crafted instruments that create harmonious sounds in all genres of music. <br />For more information, contact Jen Austin, special-events coordinator at the museum, at (269) 373-7990 or jaustin@kvcc.edu.<br />3 days of pickin’ and singin’<br />Every string will be attached and they will all pass over fretboards in a musical way when the Kalamazoo Valley Museum hosts its fifth annual Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival March 19-21.<br />Free to the public and nothing to fret about, the annual salute to the community’s legacy of “pickin’ ‘n’ singin’” will feature concerts, workshops, hands-on activities for children, vendors, and presentations over the three days.<br />The trio Four Finger Five will kick off the festival on Friday (March 19) with a pair of concerts at 6:30 and 8 p.m.<br />The celebration of Kalamazoo's history of stringed-instrument design, manufacture and performance continues on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a full day of concerts and workshops. Sunday, designated as Family Day, runs from 1 to 4 p.m. with three hours of hands-on crafts, workshops and more performances.<br /> Participants can meet instrument designers, learn about their trade, watch some of them in live performances, and pick up some tips on how to play the guitar, mandolin, banjo, and other fretboard instruments.<br />It is sponsored by the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Foundation. The events will be held in both the downtown-Kalamazoo museum and the college’s Anna Whitten Hall next door. <br />Following the opening-night music of Four Finger Five, among the other performers on Saturday and Sunday at this mecca for stringed musicians will be: <br />♫ Brothers Kalamazov, one of whose members, Jay Gavan, originated the first festival while a member of the museum staff.<br />♫ Portage-based Joel Mabus, the nationally known fretboarder and veteran of past festivals with his alluring repertoire of bluegrass and folk originals.<br />♫ Patricia Pettinga and Bill Willging and Friends, who specialize in traditional blues and folk music.<br />♫ The duo of String Cheese with Ali Haraburda and Diana Ladio on the fiddle and cello . <br />♫ Gerald Ross of Ann Arbor, a virtuoso on the traditional Hawaiian steel guitar.<br />♫ Ren Wall and Friends (Richard Butler, Don Bradford, Rod Wall and James Bradford). <br />♫ Celtic Roots. <br />♫ Mark Sahlgren and Friends.<br />♫ Two Track Mind<br />♫ Kalamazoo Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra.<br />The new wrinkle for the 2009 festival – and repeated for the fifth – was a “play-in” competition in which local musicians vied for a chance to perform as part of the festival line-up of concerts. The “play-in” was held March 5 at the museum.<br />Several of the performers will double up as leaders of workshops on their specialty instruments, including the dulcimer, upright bass, bass guitar, bottleneck slide, mandolin and classical guitar.<br />In between workshops, performances and demonstrations, visitors will be able to view exhibits. Among those sharing their knowledge and their wares will be professionals who make brands of stringed instruments such as the Big Bend, Mark Ferenc Guitar, Swavson, Charters, and Bloom’s Old Time banjos. <br />The first festival in May of 2006 attracted about 800. It was switched to a March date in 2007 to avoid competing with the Kalamazoo Animation Festival International and future conflicts with the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival. <br />The 2007 turnout that packed the museum and Anna Whitten Hall led to the decision to move to being a two-day event. Now expanded to three days, the festival has tripled its attendance.<br />Participants are also invited to bring their instruments for some impromptu jamming with others who appreciate the genres of music created by fretboard instruments. <br />For more information and events scheduled for the fifth Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival, call (269) 373-7990 or visit this website: www.kalamazoomuseum.org. Information is also available at the festival’s Facebook page. <br />Deaf performer can tell stories for all<br />Trix Bruce, a deaf storyteller who features visual-gesture movements in her stand-up and theatrical performances, will offer her distinct style of creativity on Friday, March 19, at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Texas Township Campus.<br />Bruce’s show will begin at 7 p.m. in the Dale Lake Auditorium. General-admission tickets for adults are $7 if purchased prior to March 18 and $10 at the door. Admission is $5 for children under 12, for students, and for those over 65. Tickets go on sale on Wednesday, Feb. 18, in the KVCC Bookstore.<br />Patricia “Trix” Bruce, who hails from Seattle, Wash., and who has been profoundly deaf since she was six months old, is regarded as one of the most talented ASL performers on today’s scene. <br />Her KVCC presentation, “Tales of a Mad, Mad, Mad ASL World,” artistically demonstrates the spectrum of ASL skills through audience interaction. <br />Through her creative storytelling, Bruce brings into play various handshakes, 3-D representations, personification, and role shifts. <br />It is described as a “roller-coaster ride through ASL poetry, storytelling and folk tales.”<br />As a child, she experienced oral, mainstreaming classes for the deaf and later online education training. <br />Bruce has been involved in the performing arts since 1980 that has taken her to roles in films and national stage productions of “West Side Story,” “Carousel,” Macbeth, “The Wizard of Oz,” “Snoopy and His Friends,” and “The Miracle Worker.” <br />Bruce has taken part in the annual Michigan Story Festival, crafting a performance about the experiences of a deaf person in a hearing world.<br />Earlier in the day, she will be conducting a storytelling workshop titled “ASL (American Sign Language) Role Shifting: He Said, She Said” for current and past ASL students from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room 4380.<br />Sponsoring Bruce’s performance and workshop are the Instructional Development Advisory Committee at KVCC and Kalamazoo chapter of the American Sign Language Honors Society. <br />For more information about Bruce’s appearance in Kalamazoo, contact KVCC instructor Su Cutler at (269) 488-4482 or scutler@kvcc.edu.<br />A short course on 11 nations of the world<br />Students, faculty, staff and the public will be able to get a passport full of information about 11 nations, their people, cultures and food without leaving the community during the second half of the 2010 winter semester.<br />The KVCC program in international studies has booked a series of presentations about the countries featuring presenters who have been there for a variety of reasons – as citizens of the country, as students, as visitors, or as workers.<br />All of the presentations will be held in either Room 4370 or 4380 off of the cafeteria on the Texas Township Campus. <br />All are free and open to the public. <br />Here is the itinerary, the dates, times and the presenters:<br />Turkey – Wednesday, March 17, 3:30 p.m.; Britt Hartenberger.<br />Germany and Austria – Wednesday, March 24, 2 p.m.; Nick Goodman.<br />Palestine – Wednesday, March 31, 1 p.m. – Shadia Kanaan.<br />Latvia – Wednesday, April 7, 11:30 a.m.; Svetlana Stone.<br />Rwanda and Tanzania – Thursday, April 8, 11:30 a.m.; Barbara Ciufa.<br />Ecuador – Monday, April 12, 2 p.m.; Jarek Marsh-Prelesnik.<br />Russia – Wednesday, April 14, noon; Theo Sypris, director of the KVCC program in international studies.<br />Haiti – Monday, April 19, 3:30 p.m.; KVCC biology instructor Jack Bley.<br />Vietnam – Wednesday, April 28, 12:15 p.m.; Huan Le and Thuc Thi Tran.<br />Earlier in the semester, China, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Argentina were “visited.” <br />‘Techno teaching’ topic of Faculty Success Center<br />“The Appropriate and Inappropriate Use of Instructional Technology” is this month’s topic slated to be covered in the ongoing series of presentations organized by the Faculty Success Center.<br />The new initiative is operating under the auspices of Grant Chandler, dean of the Arcadia Commons Campus, to assist the college community in focusing time, energy, and conversations on high-quality teaching and learning.<br />This month’s presentations are slated for Tuesday, March 23, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 24, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., and Saturday, March 27, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. <br />All sessions are held in the lower level of the Center for New Media. Those who wish to attend can e-mail facultysuccesscenter@kvcc.edu. Refreshments will be provided. <br />Chandler can be contacted by extension 7849 or gchandler@kvcc.edu.<br />The “Talking About Teaching” program will wrap up the 2009-10 academic year with “Designing Appropriate Learning Activities and Lesson Planning” – April 20, April 21, and April 24.<br />The Faculty Success Center has also scheduled a new series of presentations about instructional practices at KVCC that is under way.<br />Instructor Verne Mills (biology) will talk about “Calibrated Peer Review” on Friday, March 19, at 2 p.m. in the lower level of the Center for New Media. <br />The other sessions, instructors and topics booked for the Center for New Media’s lower level are:<br />Kim DeClerq (chemistry), “Inquiry-Based Instruction,” Thursday, March 15, at 2 p.m.<br />Marie Rogers (nursing), “Small-Group Discussion,” Tuesday, March 30, at 2 p.m.<br />Theresa Shane and Renee Mielke, “Panapto,” April 7 at 1 p.m.<br />Philipp Jonas (economics), “Learning Teams,” April 17 at 3 p.m.<br />Serving on the new center’s advisory team are Chandler, fellow co-chair Schauer, Lynne Morrison, Bill deDie, Jonas, Fran Kubicek, Jan White, Kevin Dockerty, Al Moss, Ron Cipcic, Theo Sypris, and Joe Brady.<br />Police academy orientations are this week<br />Those interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement are invited to attend orientation meetings that will be held by the Kalamazoo Law Enforcement Training Center based at Kalamazoo Valley Community College this week.<br />With all of them booked for the Student Commons Forum (Room 4230) on the Texas Township Campus, the short-course sessions in what the KVCC police academy is all about are slated for: Tuesday (March 9) at 2 p.m.; Wednesday (March 10) at 6 p.m.; and Friday (March 12) at 10 a.m.<br />The orientation sessions are part of the application process for KVCC’s 77th police academy that is scheduled to begin in August. The application deadline is May 4.<br />Police academy director Rick Ives said that additional information, along with an application packet, is available at this web site: http://www.kvcc.edu/police/. Two other contacts are (269) 488-4336 or lberkey@kvcc.edu . <br />Michigan law requires county and municipal law-enforcement officers to be licensed by the state before they can enforce laws. Licensing is obtained by meeting the minimum enrollment requirements, completing the basic training requirements established by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES), and obtaining employment with a Michigan police agency. <br />The orientations will include detailed instructions for completing the application packet. Representatives from the KVCC Office of Financial Aid and other departments will be there to discuss timelines and to answer questions.<br />Among the basic requirements to be a law-enforcement officer in Michigan are:<br />● U. S. citizenship.<br />● At least 18 years old.<br />● No prior felony convictions, including expunged convictions.<br />● Possess good moral character as determined by a favorable comprehensive background investigation covering school and employment records, home environment, and personal traits and integrity. Consideration will be given to all law violations, including traffic and conservation-law convictions, as possibly indicating lack of good moral character.<br />● Possess normal hearing, normal color vision, and normal visual functions and acuity in each eye correctable to 20/20. <br />● Be free from impediments of the senses, be physically sound, be in possession of all extremities, and be well developed physically, with height and weight in relation to each other as indicated by accepted medical standards.<br />● Be free from physical defects, chronic diseases, organic diseases, organic functional conditions, or mental or emotional instabilities that may tend to impair the efficient performance of a law-enforcement officer’s duties or that might endanger the lives of others or the officer.<br />● Possess a valid Michigan vehicle-operator’s license.<br />Candidates must pass the MCOLES pre-service physical-agility test and reading and writing test. Test information can be found at www.mcoles.org. Physical agility testing must be completed no more than 180 days prior to beginning the police academy. <br />Joe Reilly entertains families at museum <br />The songs of Michigan environmental educator Joe Reilly will be the theme of a family-oriented concert at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum on Saturday (March 6).<br /> Reilly will share his tunes about Michigan’s lakes and natural places at 1 p.m.<br />Admission is $3 for the performances in the Mary Jane Stryker Theater.<br />Performing for more than 12 years across Michigan and the Midwest, Reilly traces his musical roots to his parents who were proficient in both classical and liturgical compositions. From that he concluded that music could be healing, celebratory and prayerful. <br />A self-taught guitarist, he also trained at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. Of Italian, Irish and Cherokee ancestry, Reilly grew to encompass many genres of music, ranging from Native American to blues to jazz, and all of the stops in between. Academic studies led him to become interested in environmental justice and racism. <br />He’s written more than 30 songs and recorded three albums. While he does perform for social-change activists, for families, and for at-risk youths in after-school programs, Reilly has also been known to travel the bar-tavern-mainstream concert circuit to deliver versions of his messages in Ann Arbor, Petoskey, Traverse City, East Lansing, Grand Rapids and East Lansing. He’s also performed at Kalamazoo’s The Strutt.<br />He’s performed in the Concert of Colors in Detroit in 2004 and the Chicago Cultural Center in 2005. From 1997 through 2001, he sung with the Native American drum group, Treetown, performing at powwows and ethnic gatherings around the Great lakes. <br />After going solo for a short time, he co-founded the Long Hairz Collective trio that ventured into hip hop, folk, blues and the spoken word in their songs. <br />His “Children of the Earth” album features 23 environment-related songs for that age group. As they entertain, the compositions deliver messages about environmental science and ecological stewardship. <br />Reilly and his topics have earned some air time on National Public Radio’s “Living on Earth” and have been featured on the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Environment Report.<br />Says Reilly: “My tours and performances are organized in ways that bring people together and build community across diverse lines of race, class, gender, age, religion, ability and music genres.” <br />Following his Kalamazoo appearance, Reilly will set off on a West Coast tour with performances in Chico and Berkeley, Calif., Bend, Ore., and Bainbridge Island, Wash. It’s a repeat of a similar junket he took in January of 2009.<br />‘Snow Falling on Cedars’ movie is March 10<br />Timed to coincide with a fall major exhibit on race booked for the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, one of the most acclaimed books about prejudice is the Kalamazoo Public Library’s 2010 Reading Together selection.<br />“Snow Falling on Cedars” by David Guterson was the winner of the 1995 PEN/-Faulkner Award for Fiction and the 1996 American Booksellers Association Book of the Year. <br />Scores of special events/programs are preceding Guterson’s appearance in Kalamazoo on March 17. Those are continuing this week. <br />Also in advance of the author coming to Kalamazoo is a showing of the 1999 film version of “Snow Falling on Cedars” that starred Ethan Hawke. That is scheduled for the Kalamazoo Valley Museum on Friday (March 12). <br />“Cedars” is set against the backdrop of a courtroom drama in the Pacific Northwest when a Japanese-American man is charged with the murder of a local white fisherman. It is steeped in the World War II forced internment of these citizens, an interracial love story, and post-war politics. <br />Here are the upcoming events: <br />Toward Wholeness and Community – Sundays through March 28 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 212 S Park St. Throughout history, great literature has contributed to change in society. What can the themes of “Snow Falling on Cedars” teach about living peacefully in a community?<br /> “For the Sake of the Children” -- Through April 14 in the Kalamazoo Central Library. This photography exhibit documents four generations of Japanese-American life on Bainbridge Island in Washington and inspired Guterson to write the book. Exhibit hours – Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m.; Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.<br />“Go for Broke” – Through April 14 in the Kalamazoo Central Library. This photograph exhibit from the National Archives contains images of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The largest Nisei unit during World War II, the 442nd is the most decorated combat unit of its size in the history of the U. S. Army. Its story has been told in several Hollywood movies. Exhibit hours – Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m.; Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.<br />The Book as a Literary Classic – Tuesday (March 9) from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Kalamazoo Public Library. Nicolas Witschi, a Western Michigan University associate professor of English, looks at the rich characterization, imagery, plot and setting — all qualities that make “Snow Falling on Cedars” an engaging classic.<br />Book Discussion -- Tuesday (March 9) from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Gallagher’s Eatery and Pub, 715 S. Kalamazoo, Paw Paw.<br />Festival of Japanese Films – Wednesday (March 10) at 7 p.m.in the Little Theater on Oakland Drive. “I Just Didn’t Do It” is about a young man falsely accused of groping a girl in high school. As his parents and friend help an attorney defend the case, they face this fact – criminal trials in Japan result in a 99-percent conviction rate for the accused. No admission charge. With English subtitles. <br />Book Discussion – Wednesday (March 10) from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1515 Helen, Portage.<br />Book Discussion – Thursday (March 11) from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Richland Community Library, 8951 Park, Richland.<br />Book Discussion – Friday (March 12) from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Unitarian Universalist Community Church, 10441 Shaver Road, Portage.<br />Book Discussion – Friday (March 12) from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the Crossroads Village, 6600 Constitution Blvd., Portage.<br />“Snow Falling on Cedars” movie – Friday (March 12) at 7 p.m. in the Mary Jane Stryker Theater at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. Admission fee is $3.<br />Shodo – Japanese Calligraphy – Tuesday, March 16, at 6 and 7:30 p.m. in the Kalamazoo Public Library. Shodo is the Japanese version of calligraphy, using ink and brush. Participants will learn to write their names in this precise art form. This is one of a series of events on Japanese culture being organized by the Soga Japan Center at Western Michigan University. Adults only. Space is limited; Registration required. Call 553-7913. <br />KVCC’s Jim Ratliff is a member of the 24-member, communitywide committee that makes the choice of a Reading Together volume.<br />This year’s book selection was driven in part by a request from the Race Exhibit Initiative of Southwest Michigan, which asked the library to choose a book that could help foster discussions about race in advance of an October 2010 unveiling of the traveling exhibition “Race: Are We so Different?”<br />The exhibition features photographs, movies and interactive displays — all of which explore the history of race in America, the biology of race and experiences of living with race. It will be on display at the museum from Oct. 2 to Jan. 2, 2011. <br />A novelist, short-story writer, poet, journalist, and essayist, Guterson earned his master’s from the University of Washington, where he studied under the writer Charles Johnson. After moving to Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound, Guterson taught English at the local high school and began writing for Sports Illustrated and Harper’s magazine. <br /> “What I like about the book is that many people, when they talk about race, focus on black and white issues,” Zarinah El-Amin Naeem, coordinator of the Race Exhibit Initiative that is housed in Western Michigan University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, told The Kalamazoo Gazette. “Because this book brings in a segment of Asian-Americans, it helps to broaden the discussions by moving it outside of the discussions of black and white.”<br />Naeem said Kalamazoo will be the smallest community to host the exhibition, and organizers hope that it can “be a catalyst for social transformation in Kalamazoo and southwestern Michigan as a whole rather than an exhibit that just comes and goes.”<br />Previous “Reading Together” titles were: “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury in 2003; “Nickel and Dimed” by Barbara Ehrenreich in 2004; “The Color of Water” by James McBride in 2005; “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien in 2006; “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon in 2007: “Animal Dreams” by Barbara Kingsolver in 2008; and New York Times columnist Rick Bragg’s trio of memoirs this year.<br />Reading Together invites people of all ages from all walks of life to read and then discuss important issues raised by a selected book. Thousands of county residents have participated in seven previous Reading Together programs.<br />The Kalamazoo Public Library leads Reading Together with the collaboration of libraries, educational institutions, health and social service agencies, cultural, civic and religious organizations, businesses, the news media, and local governments throughout Kalamazoo County.<br />The Kalamazoo Community Foundation helped the library launch Reading Together with funding for the first three years with grants from it Better Together initiative. The library now provides major support for the program. Foundation grants, gifts and contributions from collaborating organizations make it possible to offer Reading Together to all of Kalamazoo County. The Fetzer Institute has stepped forward to help support this year’s edition. <br />Fret Festival play-in, ‘Cedars’ movie ‘Friday Night Highlights’<br />Spirited and harmonious competition will be the order of the evening as the March 5 billing for “Friday Night Highlights” at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum features a play-in contest to earn a gig in the upcoming Fretboard Festival.<br />Because this Friday coincides with downtown Kalamazoo’s monthly Art Hop, the play-in is free and open to the public. <br />The billing on March 12: is a showing of “Snow Falling on Cedars,” the film version of the book chosen to be the 2010 Reading Together selection. Tickets to that 7:30 p.m. showing in the Mary Jane Stryker Theater are $3.<br />Touching about every genre of music, 10 acts have earned the right to take part in the play-in to win a gig at the fifth annual Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival.<br />Judges have chosen them to play sets of up to 10 minutes. The same judges will select one of them to play a 60-minute concert on Saturday, March 20, during the three-day festival that is also free and open to the public. <br />The contestants are: the bluegrass music of Deadwood, Michigan Country Music Hall of Fame members HighWay 94, blues and folk performers Jonas Ridge, Papa’s Front Porch Blues, the Ninth Street Bridge, Scott Gardner, the One-Man Cover, country-rockers Small Town Son, the Wasepi Bluegrass Gospel Singers, pop guitarist Betsy Lucas, and Twenty-Three. <br />Also part of the " Friday Night Highlights" attraction is an 8:30 p.m. showing of the planetarium show featuring the music of U2. That has a $3 admission fee. <br />With a laser-light show in full color streaming across the planetarium's 50-foot dome, the 35-minute production will feature the classic hits of the Dublin, Ireland, combo that has earned 22 Grammys, sold 146 million albums, and warranted induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its first year of eligibility. <br />The U2 show will continue at the planetarium through March when it will be replaced by a similar presentation featuring the music of Pink Floyd. <br />Released in 1999, “Snow Falling on Cedars” was nominated for an Academy Award for best cinematography.<br />It is set on the fictional San Piedro Island in the northern Puget Sound region of the state of Washington coast in 1951. The plot revolves around the murder trial of a Japanese American accused of killing a respected fisherman in the close-knit community.<br />The trial occurs in the midst of deep anti-Japanese sentiments following World War II. Covering the case is the editor of the town's one-man newspaper, a World War II veteran who lost an arm fighting the Japanese. <br />Torn by a sense of hatred for the Japanese, reporter struggles with his love for the accused man’s wife, whom he knew as a child and prior to Pearl Harbor, and his conscience, wondering if her husband is truly innocent.<br />An underlying theme throughout the trial is prejudice. Several witnesses testify that the fisherman was killed for racial and personal reasons. They represents the part of America that persecuted Japanese Americans during World War II. This stance is not without irony. The accused is a decorated war veteran of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and experienced prejudice because of his ancestry following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. <br />The one-armed journalist’s search of the maritime records reveals on the night that the fisherman died a freighter had passed through the channel where he had been fishing shortly after midnight. The reporter concludes that he was thrown overboard by the force of the freighter's wake. <br />Despite the bitterness he feels by the rejection of the Japanese-American wife, he comes forward with the new information. Further evidence is collected in support of the conclusion that the deceased had climbed the boat's mast to cut down a lantern, been knocked from the mast by the freighter's wake, hit his head, then fallen into the sea. <br />Among the cast are Ethan Hawke, Sam Shepard, and Max Von Sydow.<br />Here is the “Friday Night Highlights” schedule of movies, concerts by local combos, and special events through the first third of 2010:<br />March 19: Fretboard Festival kick-off concert.<br />March 26: “Star Trek Generations.”<br />April 2: “Terminator.”<br />April 9: Embarr in a concert of Celtic music<br />April 16: The pop/rock music of We Know Jackson.<br />April 23: Performer Rob Vischer and his California style<br />April 30: Concert by Waverland (topic/acoustic/alternative).<br />May 7: The 1979 movie “Battlestar Galactia<br />May 14: The rock and blues music of Branden Mann and the Reprimand<br />May 21: The 1984 comedy “Ghostbusters.”<br />May 28: The improv comedy of Just Panda.<br />Income-tax-filing aid still available for staff, students<br />With the deadline looming for Americans to make good their income-tax IOUs to Uncle Sam, free return-preparation assistance is being made available at KVCC for students and staff whose individual or family incomes were $49,000 or less for 2009. <br />Working in conjunction with the Kalamazoo County Tax Counseling Initiative’s “Helping You Keep Your Money” program, the college's Student Success Center is hosting the assistance that is supported by the Internal Revenue Service, which provides the software, training, and certifications needed to operate these sites. <br />As of Jan. 15, people could dial 211 on their telephones to get details on items and information to bring, the locations throughout Kalamazoo County including KVCC, assistance in setting up an appointment, and tax-preparation times. <br />The tax assistors will be on the Texas Township Campus from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on these Fridays: March 26, April 2 and April 9. <br />Another way to schedule an appointment is to go online at www.gryphon.org and click on “tax calendar.” That will take the user a list of locations, dates, times, and items to bring.<br />The service is provided by IRS-certified community volunteers from the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. E-filing will be available at all locations. <br />In addition to KVCC, partnering with the Kalamazoo County Tax Counseling Initiative are:<br /> The American Association of Retired Persons, Bowers Manufacturing, Goodwill Industries, the Greater Kalamazoo United Way, Guardian Finance and Advocacy Services, Gryphon Place, the Kalamazoo County Community Action Agency, the Kalamazoo County Department of Human Services, the Kalamazoo Public Library, the Volunteer Center of Greater Kalamazoo, and the W. E. Upjohn for Employment Research. <br />Among what must – or should – be brought to an appointment to assist in the process are a copy of the 2009 return, a photo ID, Social Security card for the filer and dependents, all W2s and/or 1099s (Social Security), and information about student loans. A full list of documentation is available on the web site.<br />Spreading the word about KVCC initiatives<br />OK, your new program, project, activity, community service or happening has been given the green light by the powers-that-be. <br />Or, you have been selected to make a presentation at a statewide or national conference. <br />Your next telephone call or e-mail should be to Tom Thinnes (extension 7899, tthinnes@kvcc.edu) to begin spreading the word both around the college and around the community.<br />Don’t - REPEAT - don’t wait around until the week before to contact those whose duties include public relations, promotions, marketing, communication and dealing with the news media. <br />What’s important to remember is that members of the news media and other venues of communications don’t sit on their hands waiting for calls giving them clues on what to do. <br />As with all of us at KVCC, they have schedules, full platters and agendas, and plenty to do. They appreciate as much advance notice as the rest of us so that they can properly apply their resources and their responses.<br />The same modus operandi applies to those who organize and present annual and repeating events. They, too, are often just as newsworthy and require as much advance notice in order to generate the public exposure many of them deserve.<br />Helpful Hint No. 2 - There is no such animal as making a contact too early.<br />Helpful Hint No. 3 – <br />If something in the program, project, activity, community service or happening changes or is eliminated, make another contact - and quickly -- so that the material/news release can be revised or updated.<br />Members of the news media appreciate being alerted so that they get the facts straight.<br />Also, if something changes days or even weeks later after the news story has been distributed and printed, still contact Tom Thinnes (see above) because the college’s news-and-information website is constantly edited, updated and refreshed. Many of these distributed news reports have extended shelf lives.<br />Workshop can prep students for job, volunteer expos<br />Once spring break is over for another year, KVCC instructors should be alerting their winter-semester enrollees about the upcoming events planned by the Student Success Center that are designed to energize academic accomplishments and expand educational horizons.<br />To help them prepare for the Friday, March 19, KVCC Employment Expo that has once again be combined with the Volunteer and Community Services Fair, a get-ready workshop is planned for Monday, March 15, at 11:30 a.m. in the Student Commons Forum.<br />In addition to demonstrating how each individual student’s personal strengths can be used to his/her advantage in making a good impression, staff members will be on hand to critique resumes, offer job-search strategies, and show how to polish interviewing skills. <br />Slated for Tuesday, March 16, at 12:30 p.m. in the Student Commons Forum is another edition of the “Career Roundtables” series that provides students with networking tips and covers effective ways to find, land and keep a job. They can stick around for a “Women in History” speaker timed for 2 p.m. in the same location. <br />“Mid-Semester Meltdown” will give students an assessment of their body/mind stress and provide suggestions to ease the tension in healthy and productive ways. One of the factors is a positive attitude. The “Meltdown” will be held in rooms 4370 and 4380 off of the Texas Township Campus cafeteria at 11 a.m. through 2 p.m.<br />Wrapping up the week following spring break will be a workshop to help students avoid the trap of falling into debt because of abuse of credit-card privileges and other behaviors. That session will be held on Thursday, March 18, at noon in the Student Commons Forum.<br />Exercise ‘opps’ can pare off the pounds<br />Offering proactive chances to pare off a few pounds before the need arrives to slim down for spring apparel, the Wellness and Fitness Center’s line-up of free, drop-in activities to promote vitality and good health among KVCC employees is operational through April 30.<br />Here is the lineup for faculty, staff and enrolled students:<br />Monday – swimming from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; total body conditioning, 1 to 1:55 p.m.; and dancing from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.<br />Tuesday – swimming from 7 to 8:30 a.m. and zumba from noon to 12:55.<br />Wednesday – swimming from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; and total body conditioning from 1 to 1:55 p.m.<br />Thursday – swimming from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.<br />Friday – swimming from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and fitness cycling from 1 to 1;55 p.m.<br />Saturday -- swimming from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.<br />Except for the obvious site for swimming, these exercise opportunities will be based in Room 6040 in the Student Commons. Zumba replaced yoga in the exercise activities. <br />For the exercise-knowledge challenged, zumba is an aerobic fitness program created by Miami-based dancer and choreographer Beto Perez and two entrepreneurs. It originated in Colombia in the 1990s and as of 2009 is taught by some 20,000 instructors in 35 countries. Classes use music based on salsa, meringue, cumbia, and reggae.<br />Zumba incorporates fast-paced music with cardio exercise. <br />Spring-break food and coffee-break schedules<br />The coming of spring break brings a break in the action for the regular routine of the Texas Township Campus cafeteria.<br />The food-service hours March 8-12 will be 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on those five weekdays, while the coffee shop in the Student Commons will be dark throughout the week.<br />Meanwhile, down at the Arcadia Commons Campus, the coffee cart will be in business Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Friday from 8 to noon.<br />There are also new hours in effect for the Commons’ coffee shop – Mondays through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and closed on Fridays. <br />Kalamazoo’s 49’ers in Sunday Series spotlight<br />Just like plagues of cholera and outbreaks of the flu that swept the nation in its 224-yar history, Kalamazoo was subjected to its share of “gold fever.”<br />That’s the theme of the next installment of the Kalamazoo Valley Museum’s “Sunday Series” on March 14.<br />“Kalamazoo’s Argonauts: The Lure of California Gold in 1850” is the topic of curator Tom Dietz’s flashback to community history at 1:30 p.m. in the Mary Jane Stryker Theater. All presentations are free.<br />When President James K. Polk confirmed in his 1848 State of the Union address that a substantial deposit of gold had been discovered in California, the floodgates were open and torrents of get-rich-quick wealth-seekers headed West. <br />“Gold fever” was contagious and, as returning “Forty-Niners” returned with tales of easy wealth, more than a few men from Kalamazoo County succumbed to the lure. Several groups of young men left Kalamazoo in early 1849. One made its way to Salt Lake City and then took a southern route by way of Las Vegas. Crossing both Death Valley and snow-covered mountains, they nearly died before arriving in Los Angeles two days before Christmas.<br />A fellow named Sherman Hawley wrote home saying that most of the men he saw were discouraged and would return east if they could afford to do so. <br />The Kalamazoo Gazette published a letter that a Mr. A. Dunn wrote to his wife. Having arrived in mid-October, he and the three men in his party, Dunn claimed, had gathered $2,000 worth of gold dust (about $50,000 today).<br />In the spring of 1850, the Gazette reported the departure of close to 50 including a couple of well-known entrepreneurs.<br />John T. Clapp headed west with horse and wagon in March. Having failed to find gold, he returned east and published the story of his adventures that he called the “hardships and privations” of the cross-country trek.<br />He describes wildlife and the terrain. Buffalo herds are in the distance and Clapp fears the wolves that prowl at night. He comments about storms and torrents of rain. He described it as “the flash of terror, and the din of rage.” <br />In crossing the deserts of western Utah and Nevada, the party encountered abandoned wagons and equipment, and the decaying carcasses of pack animals. It took nearly five months to reach California’s gold fields in late July.<br />While Clapp’s quest for gold was not successful, others from Kalamazoo were more fortunate. Perhaps the best known was William Gibb who went there in 1850 with his father, John. <br />The younger Gibb not only found gold but brought it back to Kalamazoo hidden in the secret pockets of a cloth vest he made to protect his treasure. That vest is now one of the Kalamazoo Valley Museum’s prized artifacts.<br />After three years, Gibbs returned home. He took a ship to Panama, crossed the isthmus, and then sailed to New Orleans. There he converted his 14 pounds of gold into 164 $20 coins at the U.S. Mint. His gold, then worth about $3,300, would be valued at $150,000 today.<br />With the gold, he purchased 240 acres of land in northern Portage Township near the I-94/U.S.131 interchange. He farmed there until retirement. Western Michigan University’s College of Engineering is located there.<br />Many who had succumbed to the gold fever eventually returned to Kalamazoo. Others stayed in California and became successful in business even if they had failed in their hunt for gold.<br />The lure of quick wealth would remain strong, however. A half-century later, the fever would again draw men to challenge the wilderness when gold was discovered in the Alaskan Klondike region. <br />Here are the “Sunday Series” programs through spring:<br /> “The Ladies Library Association” – March 28<br />“Play Ball! – Baseball in Kalamazoo” – April 11<br />“Kalamazoo’s Musical Heritage” – April 25.<br />For further information, contact Tom Dietz at 373-7984.<br />Festival of Health coming March 13<br />Coming into shape is the programming for the annual Festival of Health that is staged at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum each winter semester.<br />Slated for Saturday, March 13, from noon to 4 p.m., the event features health-care professionals offering tips and advice for getting in shape, staying in shape through exercise, using healthy nutrition to improve quality of life and academic success, the benefits of a proactive approach to health to ward off disease, and therapeutic messages.<br />For more information contact Annette Hoppenworth at extension 7955 or ahoppenworth@kvcc.edu.<br />Recycle those paper products<br />With thoughts of cleaning out the office over spring break, don’t just dump those papers. Keep those recyclable resources in the mainstream.<br />Think about what you are doing and don’t be lazy in doing it.<br />The college’s commitment to recycling the mountains of paper required for daily operations is still strong. <br />The losers for not maintaining that strength are the landfills of Southwest Michigan, and the trees that help replenish the planet with the stuff we all breathe.<br />Hammered through all of us in many a science class is that trees eat what we exhale and what comes out of our vehicles’ exhausts. Each time a tree is saved through the use of recycled paper, so is an oxygen generator.<br />It’s not that tough to do. All that is required is a little patience and a sense that one is doing the right thing. <br />The same goes with metal and plastic products that touch our lives and, without any consideration, end up in trash containers. What good is it to down a plastic bottle of that good, clear, clean water, and then relegate the containers to the landfills?<br />Making it even easier these days are the blue recycling containers located in KVCC buildings, thanks to four student organizations that are living the Green Revolution. <br />Just about every ilk of paper product that comes our way can be recycled. <br />In one KVCC study, it was concluded that 80 percent of what the college incinerates doesn’t have to be destroyed that way.<br />Print out this list of “recyclables” and post it just above your blue bin:<br /> Newspapers<br /> Business cards<br /> Hard-cover books<br /> Copy paper<br /> Index cards<br /> Trade journals and magazines<br /> Cardboard<br /> Fax paper<br /> Junk mail<br /> Notebook paper<br /> Paper bags<br /> Envelopes without plastic windows (Think about cutting out the plastic windows)<br /> Business forms<br /> Computer printouts<br /> File folders<br /> Maps<br /> Post-it notes<br /> Stationery<br />It is not necessary to remove staples or other forms of bindings from the paper items to be recycled. <br />Obviously, paper clips can be easily salvaged before launching the paper materials into the blue bin. <br />However, if the above materials are soiled by excessive dirt, food, grease or other forms of gook, send them to the incinerator. <br />Most of this applies to what we do in our homes, too. By taking the time to recycle paper, plastic, metal and glass products, the amount of trash, debris and garbage bound for the landfill can be drastically reduced. <br />If possible, establish a compost pile in your yard. That can accomplish at least three goals – create your own fertilizer, build up a personal supply of worms if you are an angler, and greatly reduce the amount of trash you put out along the roadside for pickup, thus reducing your costs.<br />Need more convincing? It is estimated that it takes a plastic container 50,000 years to decompose. Think about that the next time you chuck away that empty water bottle that cost you at least a buck.<br />And finally. . . <br />With the phenomenon known as “texting” delivering another shot to the solar plexus of those who believe in the necessity of accurate, clear and precise use of the language in both its written and spoken forms, here is a little booster shot for those woe-be-gones.<br />Do people – including the younger breeds who text these days instead of talk – have to be that persnickety in the use of language – English, Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Latin, whatever.<br />The short answer – Yes.<br />The long answer was provided about 2,500 years ago. Heed the words of Confucius:<br />“If language is incorrect, then what is said is not meant. If what is said is not meant, then what ought to be done remains undone.”<br />☻☻☻☻☻☻<br />