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My Town Holland: All educators invited to free 'EdCamp' March 1

My Town Holland: All educators invited to free 'EdCamp' March 1

HOLLAND, Mich.--  All educators are invited to take part in a free conference to learn from fellow teachers this Saturday, March 1.

Ottawa Area Intermediate School District is opening up its Educational Services Building for EdCamp, from 8:30 a.m. to 3p.m. EdCamp allows anyone in the education industry to connect with fellow teachers, administrators, coaches and school board members from throughout West Michigan to learn from one another.

“The goal of EdCampOAISD is for educators to learn from and with other educators in an atmosphere of networking, conversing, sharing, and collaborating,” said Anne Thorp, PhD, OAISD Instructional Technologist and REMC 7 Director.

Coffee taste test pits pricey cat scat coffee against other brews

Coffee taste test pits pricey cat scat coffee against other brews

HOLLAND, Mich.— Kopi Luwak coffee beans costs up to $600 pound, but is the taste worth the price?

That’s the question a panel of coffee experts attempted to answer during a blind taste test this week.  “The Great Kopi Luwak Cupping Challenge” unfolded at JPs Coffee and Espresso Bar in Holland.  Owner Jack Groot ran the test, pitting Kopi Luwak against other regional Sumatran coffees prices around $16 pound.

During the test, one Kopi Luwak sample rose to the top, scoring 76 points out of 100.  However, two of the less expensive, non-cat poop coffees ranked within a half-point of Kopi Luwak and the others were very close.

“It’s a very good coffee, but not worth $600 a pound.  If you bought it in a coffee shop, it would cost you $50 a cup,” said Andy Timko with Anodyne Coffee Roasters in Milwaukee.

My Town Holland: Theatre production at Hope College marks milestone for professor

My Town Holland: Theatre production at Hope College marks milestone for professor

HOLLAND, Mich. – Hope College’s production of “Middletown” by Will Eno is a particular milestone for longtime theatre professor John Tammi.

Under Tammi's direction, Hope College Theatre is presenting “Middletown” in the DeWitt Center main theatre. It began on Friday, Feb. 14, and is continuing Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 19-22. Performances are at 8 p.m.

The production is marking the end of an era in theatre at Hope;  it is the last play Tammi will direct before retiring.   Tammi, a professor of theatre, has been a member of the faculty since 1968 and is concluding his tenure at Hope at the end of the academic year.

Holland landmark among The Knot's best wedding venues

Holland landmark among The Knot's best wedding venues

HOLLAND, Mich.—Holland is home to one of the best wedding venues in the state, according to The Knot Michigan magazine.

This is the fourth consecutive year Windmill Island Gardens has earned the honor which is part of The Knot’s “Best of Weddings” section.  The 36-acre park is home to DeZwaan, a 260-year-old working windmill from the Netherlands.  The windmill serves as a backdrop to many bridal party photos.

Windmill Island Gardens also features a reception pavilion that can fit approximately 200 guests and a gazebo for wedding ceremonies.  Every spring, the park comes alive with more than 100,000 blooming tulips.  The floral explosion continues through summer and fall, with thousands of annuals and perennials.

“We’re so pleased that Windmill Island Gardens has received this award again,” said Sally Laukitis, Executive Director of the Holland Visitors Bureau.

Dozens of West Michigan Schools awarded field trip grants

Dozens of West Michigan Schools awarded field trip grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Nearly three dozen West Michigan schools are getting a financial boost to help students learn outside the traditional classroom.

The Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs recently awarded more than $55,000 grants to 147 schools as part of its Arts & Culture Trek “Bus Grant” program.  Each school received up to $500 to help cover transportation costs for an arts or culture-related field trip through May 31.

 "These grants subsidize field trips across the state and expose thousands of students to arts, science and humanities experiences that enrich classroom learning.  Many of these trips would not have been possible in a year where most schools are continuing to cope with significant budget cuts," says Marianne Dorais, executive director of Michigan Youth Arts.

This year’s recipients include:

  • Comstock STEM Academy (Kalamazoo)
  • Cooper Elementary (Kalamazoo)
  • Kalamazoo C

Zeeland looks to spring with community garden plots

Zeeland looks to spring with community garden plots

ZEELAND, Mich.—If you live in Zeeland, it’s time to think about spring.

The city is looking for resident greenthumbs interested in renting a community garden plot for the upcoming season.  Each plot measures 8’ x 8’ and is located at Huizenga Park.  Rental is $35 per plot with the possibility of a $20 rebate at the end of the garden season.

For more information, contact the City Services & Infrastructure Department at (616) 772-0870.

Ottawa County Way Essay Challenge open two resident writers

Ottawa County Way Essay Challenge open two resident writers

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich.—Why is Ottawa County like no other place to live?

Writers of all ages are invited to answer that question during the Ottawa County Way Essay Challenge.  Participants can share their views about living, working and playing in West Michigan through the competition. 

The winner will receive $150.  Second place will get $100, and third place will take home $50.