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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: Ski slope takes shape on Eighth Street

My Town Holland: Ski slope takes shape on Eighth Street

HOLLAND, Mich.—You don’t need to look to Sochi to the next generation of snowboarders and skiers showcase their skills.

Holland will host the Downtown Rail Jam this Saturday, Feb. 22.   The event will kick off when AGA Nation, in conjunction with the Holland Visitors Bureau unveils its new, temporary 20-foot snowboard and ski slope on East Eighth Street.

The Downtown Rail Jam will take place in the open area across from the Knickerbocker Theatre, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The event is free and the slope is open to boarders, skiers and sled-riders of all ages from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., with a free clinic included.  Demonstrations and competitions will take place from 5 p.m.

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.

American Red Cross in need of blood after donation drop

American Red Cross in need of blood after donation drop

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The American Red Cross is trying to rebound after a devastating drop in donations caused by severe winter weather.

From Jan. 2 through Feb. 10, the organization says more than 1,000 of its blood drives nationwide were canceled, leading to a loss of about 35,000 blood and platelet donations.  The Red Cross says the impact is equivalent to the organization shutting down its national operations for more than two full days. 

“On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 units of blood every day to help patients nationwide,” said Todd Kulman, communications program manager of the Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region.  “Regardless of the weather, patients are counting on blood products to be there when needed.”

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.

Nature center brings back the birds with high tech solution

Nature center brings back the birds with high tech solution

WEST OLIVE, Mich.—Even though many birds have abandoned Michigan’s feeders for warmer southern weather, bird watchers are in for a treat The Parks Nature Education Center.

 Using a new app from GeLo, visitors can enjoy a guided bird tour complete with bird songs and calls, even if all the birds are gone.

“Eight beautifully carved birds were donated by local artist Michael Vanhouzen, and strategically placed around the exhibit area,” said Parks Naturalist, Kristen Hintz.