Community invited to re-imagine downtown streets

City will hold design engagement events for Ottawa, Ionia and Fulton on Dec. 9-12

Reimaging – Linking Downtown streets: Ottawa, Ionia and Fulton logo

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The City of Grand Rapids wants to know how downtown residents, workers, property owners and visitors experience travel in and around the city core. It also wants to know how everyone hopes to experience travel in the future along downtown’s core streets – Ottawa and Ionia avenues NW between Fulton and Michigan streets and Fulton between Monroe and Division avenues.

That’s why the City is hosting several community engagement opportunities next month. Those who walk, bike, drive, use transit and rideshare along Ottawa, Ionia and Fulton are invited to attend one or more of the City’s three Reimagine – Linking Downtown street design open houses to provide their ideas and priorities about the design and operations of these core downtown streets.

The open houses – set for Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 – are part of a weeklong community design process expected to result in concept designs and recommendations for Ottawa, Ionia and Fulton. The concept designs and recommendations will be reported out to the community Dec. 12.

The opportunity to reimagine the three streets stems from a resurfacing project on Ottawa between Michigan and Fulton that is scheduled for 2021. Several community plans, including GR ForwardBicycle Action Plan and Michigan Street Corridor Plan, include specific recommendations for these core downtown streets.

 

Planning and design consultants from Moore & Bruggink and Toole Design Group will help facilitate community design process. Discussions may include:

  • One-way and/or two-way roadway operations on Ottawa and Ionia
  • Intersection needs and transit operations throughout the study area
  • Pedestrian and bicycle safety and access, including a separated bikeway on Ionia – recommended in GR Forward and Bicycle Action Plan
  • Community event needs, especially near Calder Plaza and Van Andel Arena
  • Opportunities to beautify and “green” the corridors with such elements as trees, flowers, benches and other decorative or urban furniture elements

 

A close up of a map

Description automatically generated“Ottawa, Ionia and Fulton are important transportation corridors for not only downtown but the entire city  and greater Grand Rapids region,” said Kristin Bennett, transportation planning/programs supervisor in the City’s Mobile GR and Parking Services Department. “That’s why we hope to get participation in this design process from all who work, live and visit downtown.

 

“We will use the outcomes of this design process in the initial street resurfacing project on Ottawa in 2021 and then work to identify opportunities and partnerships that may come along to advance other recommendations from this community engagement.”

 

Community members are encouraged to drop in any time during the open houses to provide ideas and priorities. The design process schedule is:

 

Open houses

Monday, Dec. 9

4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Ryerson Auditorium at Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St. NW

 

Tuesday, Dec. 10

9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ryerson Auditorium at Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St. NW

       5 to 7:30 p.m.

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., 29 Pearl St. NW

 

Community Report out

Thursday, Dec. 12

5 to 7 p.m.

Ninth-floor Commission Chambers at City Hall, 300 Monroe Ave. NW

 

Those who need to request accessibility accommodations or those who cannot attend an open house and want to share their ideas and priorities may do so online in English or Spanish or by phone at 616.456.3000.

 

GRABB & Loc Royalty LLC Small Business Saturday Pop-up

unnamedLocation: Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation
Address: 1530 Madison Ave SE Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Date: Saturday, November 30th 2019
Time: 12:00PM – 4:00PM
GRABB & Loc Royalty LLC is partnering to bring the Official Small Business Saturday Holiday Pop-up event. This event was created to support and showcase Black businesses within our community.
You can expect to find local entrepreneurs representing a variety of products and services. Please come and share your patronage; Love Local and Shop Small! For the Kids: pictures with Black Santa and crafts!!
Small Business Saturday Pop-up Vendors:
D’s Dipped Delectables
Dream Keep It Moving
Ds Smell Good
It Works
Maiyah Mari
Momma D’ Kitchen
On Time Dumpster Rental
Robinson’s Popcorn
Savor The Flavor
Shades of Color
Shea Buttercups by TahLee
Thats Sew Me LLC
VSJ Fitness
Jazzy Jewlelz by Yolanda
Studio 824 Beauty Lounge

Legal challenge signals Legislature to put brakes on Medicaid work requirements

Medicaid+work+requirements.jpgThe Michigan League for Public Policy issued the following statement on the announcement today of a legal challenge against the federal Department of Health and Human Services for its approval of Michigan’s Section 1115 Medicaid waiver project. The statement can be attributed to Michigan League for Public Policy President and CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs.

“All along we have said that the best remedy for Healthy Michigan enrollees is to stop work requirements before they start, and we appreciate the efforts of the Center for Civil Justice, the Michigan Poverty Law Program—and hopefully the courts—to intercede where the Legislature has failed to and to fight to protect the healthcare of Michigan residents. Medicaid is a supportive health program and should not be altered in such a way as to make it punitive and ineffective. We hope today spurs legislative action to put these work requirements on pause until this court case is settled. Affected Michigan residents shouldn’t have to wait on the courts—or experience unnecessary issues and coverage losses—for their elected officials to act.

Medicaid work requirements began as a partisan issue, with the Trump Administration approving them and Republican governors and Legislatures clamoring to adopt them, but increasingly—and rightfully so—there is near-universal hesitance to follow through with their implementation. Whether because of concerns over significant coverage losses, legal fights or the potential for legal fights, other states of all political leanings are pumping the brakes on their work requirements. Rather than charging ahead to implement potentially illegal and undoubtedly problematic Healthy Michigan work requirements, we urge the state to reconsider.”

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The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.mlpp.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.

#TheShift Summit seeks to empower Black entrepreneurs & communities

shift#TheShift Summit
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Nov. 16, 2019
GVSU Eberhard Center
301 W. Fulton Grand Rapids 49503

#TheShift Summit, a one-day experience dedicated to Empowering Black Entrepreneurs & Communities, is an annual gathering to connect, engage and inform entrepreneurs, creatives small business owners, professionals and stakeholders about opportunities, resources and programs in the entrepreneurial ecosystem that will foster to economic empowerment and equity.

#TheShift Summit attendees will enjoy a day filled with panel discussions, workshops and networking with entrepreneurs, influencers, doers, creatives and other tri-sector leaders. It is a critically important opportunity for attendees to gain knowledge and build networks that will help them create transformational economic development within their communities.

shiftyFeatured presenter is entrepreneur and investor Kelli M. Coleman. Kelli is multi-hyphenate with a passion for building business and empowering other women along the way.

As a Detroit native raised in an entrepreneurial family, Coleman had to learn the rules before she could refine them. As a marketing and advertising expert, she spent nearly a decade with GlobalHue, once the largest minority-owned full-service marketing, and communications agency in the nation.

While navigating a career shift after GlobalHue with a desire to lean further into her passions, Coleman and business partner Anika Jackson dreamed up the idea for a reputable and scalable brand of modern nail bars—an elevated and customer-centric experience, a place for self-care and connection, while enjoying a routine beauty treatment. The dream became a reality when The TEN Nail Bar opened in the newly redeveloped downtown Detroit in 2016 and recently their second location opened in 2019.

OKT canning workshop gets rave reviews at BUGS Conference in NYC

OKT peer-educators, Belinda Harrison and Fatima Lee, traveled with OKT’s executive director, Lisa Oliver-King, to New York City Oct. 25 to present a session at the Black Urban Growers (BUGS) conference in New York City.  Ms. Lee created the program, “Canning’s not just for Grannies: Preserving the Harvest” to share basic canning skills with conference participants.

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“Everyone appreciates you all,” emailed Sue Rock, head of a Brooklyn-based nonprofit. “What an amazing workshop — so excited to start making everything, except botulism!”

Click on the links to view  pdfs of the presentation’s PowerPoint and handout.

Post-Halloween pumpkin drive

pIs your Halloween pumpkin starting to rot on your front steps? Ridgemoor Park Montessori and Wormies Vermicompost are partnering on a pumpkin drive. 1.9 billion pounds of pumpkins are grown each year and most end up in landfills. Because of
their high water content, pumpkins in landfills contribute to groundwater contamination. When pumpkins decompose in landfills, they release methane, a harmful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. By composting pumpkins, they’ll be transformed into a nutrient-rich fertilizer that benefits the environment, rather than harming it.

Ridgemoor Park Montessori, along with the help of their upper-elementary students, will be hosting a pumpkin drive on November 7 & 8,  learning firsthand about the composting process with an assembly. Wormies will be partnering with a few other schools in the area to collect pumpkins in early November. For information, contact
Luis Chen at luis@thewormies.com.