Fighting for Food Security

Morning Sun by Richard Deming Photography

Morning Sun by Richard Deming Photography

TechCrunch has a feature on a new Google service to help the millions of Americans struggling with food insecurity:

Google today is launching a new suite of resources for people struggling with food insecurity across the U.S. The project includes the launch of a new website “Find Food Support” that connects people to food support resources, including hotlines, SNAP information, and a Google Maps locator tool that points people to their local food banks, food pantries and school meal program pickup locations, among other things.

In an announcement, Google explains how the COVID-19 pandemic fueled a worsening food crisis in the U.S., which led to some 45 million people — or 1 in 7 Americans — experiencing food insecurity at some point during 2020. That figure was up 30% over 2019, the company noted. And of those 45 million people, 15 million were children.

While the pandemic’s impacts are starting to subside as businesses are reopening and in-person activities are resuming, many children will still go hungry during the summer months when school lunch programs become unavailable.

Head over to Google to find food support & be sure to remember your neighbors struggling with food insecurity when you give charitably!

Richard took this photo back in 2010 at the Fulton Street Farm Market in Grand Rapids. See more in his Farmers Markets 2010 gallery on Flickr.

More delicious Michigan food on Michigan in Pictures!

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Grand Rapids Blues

Blue Bridge by Dan Gaken

Blue Bridge by Dan Gaken

Dan shares:

I’ve never spent much time in Grand Rapids, but I have seen photos of this striking bridge across the Grand River. I wanted to capture the river as the sun went down. I love watching how quickly light can change. These three photos, all very different, were taken within 15-20 minutes of each other on Saturday, 6 March 2021. The photo above is the third in the series, taken at night with most of the light in the image now comes from the lights on the bridge, hotel windows and street lights.

Image 1: Just at sunset, you can see the warm tones from the last light on the buildings

Image 2: Blue hour – the sky almost balances the surface of the river perfectly

Coronavirus vaccine on the way from Michigan

Deliverance by Ayman Haykal

Deliverance by Ayman Haykal

Ayman writes: December 13, 2020 – A FedEx A300 freight plane takes off from Gerald R. Ford Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan, carrying the first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for distribution across the US.

You love to see a Michigan company once again stepping up to help our country in time of great need! Head over to Ayman’s Flickr for more pics!

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Halloween Rewind: The Ada Witch

Fulton Cemetery by Tom Syrba

Fulton Cemetery by Tom Syrba

Today’s tale comes from Michigan’s Otherside, The Ada Witch of Findley Cemetery:

The Ada Witch has been a popular legend in West Michigan for decades. For years, people have claimed to have witnessed a paranormal classic: “the lady in white.” She’s been seen wandering around the area of Findley Cemetery and surrounding roads. But who is this mysterious “lady in white”? Over the years, this entity was given the title of the “Ada Witch,” but it’s nothing more than a nickname. Within the legend, there is nothing to support that she was a practicing witch or anything of that nature. It’s just a dramatic name that makes a good tale….

The legend says a woman during the 1800’s had been cheating on her husband. She would sneak off into the night to meet her lover. Her husband began to suspect she was up to something and pretended to fall asleep one night. After his wife got up and snuck away, he followed her and found her in the arms of another man. Rage welled up inside him and in an instant, the husband attacked the adulterous couple, killing his wife first. The two men fought until they both died from the wounds they inflicted upon each other.

For many years now, people say they have heard the sounds of a fight taking place around the Findley area, only to find no one around. The area at one point must have been open for hunting before it was developed into a residential area. There have been reports from hunters feeling a presence in the area, hearing the ghostly fight, getting tapped on the shoulder only to find no one there and even seeing a ghostly woman in white.

Read on for Michigan Otherside’s account of their visit to the Findley Cemetery and her research into the story.

Tom captured this photo of the not-too-far-from-Ada Fulton Cemetery in Grand Rapids way back in 2007. See more in his Grand Rapids gallery on Flickr.

More ghost & spooky stories on Michigan in Pictures!

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Plenty of Distance in Downtown Grand Rapids

Ghostly streets, in color! by Bryan Esler

Ghostly streets, in color! by Bryan Esler

Bryan took this a few days ago in downtown Grand Rapids. Check out the Michigan in Pictures Facebook for a nighttime photo of GR and see more in his Life under Covid-19 album.

Stay safe everyone!

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Walking on the Moon: The Apollo Capsule in Grand Rapids

Now That Was Just Weird by Daniel E Johnson

July 20th is 49th anniversary of our first steps on the moon. The Mix 95.7 Grand Rapids tells the story of the Apollo capsule in front of the Grand Rapids Public Museum:

It turns out that the capsule is an actual Apollo Capsule, but it wasn’t a capsule that sat atop an Apollo Rocket. The capsule was made for training astronauts. But don’t let that news get you down, the capsule still has quite the history to it!

This type of capsule is known as a “Boilerplate” … built, along with dozens of other capsules, in the 1960s to test various systems on the Apollo Rockets. 

BP-1227 was lost at sea in early 1970 during a routine training drill to recover the Apollo boilerplate capsule by UK-based naval units. Later that same year, the capsule that was lost was miraculously recovered by a Russian “fishing vessel.” Many believe that the fishing vessel was actually a spy boat that was tracking the capsule as part of an intelligence operation.

The capsule was taken back to Russia and in late 1970 the Russians invited the Americans to recover their capsule. On September 8th, 1970 the US Navy Icebreaker, Southwind, made a stop in Murmansk to recover BP-1227. This was the first visit to a Soviet port by a US military vessel since World War II.

After the capsule was returned, the Smithsonian Institution spent the next several years restoring BP-1227 before it was eventually given on loan to the City of Grand Rapids in 1976. The boilerplate capsule was dedicated to the people of Grand Rapids on December 31, 1976. Students from local high schools filled BP-1227 with everyday items from their lives to form a time capsule. The time capsule was sealed on the last day of our nation’s Bicentennial year and it is to be opened on July 4th, 2076, as our nation celebrates its Tricentennial.

Read on for more. About the photo, Daniel wrote: We had a huge, odd cloud float over Grand Rapids today. Wednesday October 1st, 2008. HDR from one exposure shot in raw and split out three times , re-compiled in Photomatix.

See more in his HDR gallery.

American Pie redux: Grand Rapids Lip Dub Edition

Grand Rapids Lip Dub – Rosa Parks Circle, photo by Gary Syrba

Tina Jones couldn’t believe I didn’t share the groundbreaking Grand Rapids Lip Dub of American Pie yesterday and neither could I! It was filmed in May of 2011 for Experience Grand Rapids by Scott Erickson Films and produced & directed by Rob Bliss. The YouTube page thanks a bunch of people involved and dedicates it to the late Roger Ebert, who loved movies and even named the GR LipDub “The Greatest Music Video Ever Made.” Rob (who is the musician on stage in the photo above) writes:

The Grand Rapids LipDub Video was filmed May 22nd, 2011 with 5,000 people, and involved a major shutdown of downtown Grand Rapids, which was filled with marching bands, parades, weddings, motorcades, bridges on fire, and helicopter take offs. It is the largest and longest LipDub video, to date.

This video was created as an official response to the Newsweek article calling Grand Rapids a “dying city.” We disagreed strongly, and wanted to create a video that encompasses the passion and energy we all feel is growing exponentially, in this great city. We felt Don McLean’s “American Pie,” a song about death, was in the end, triumphant and filled to the brim with life and hope.

 

If you know Grand Rapids and the people who were making it vibrant in 2011 – many who continue today – you’ll definitely see some friends. In any case – what fun!!

View the photo bigger and see more in Gary’s In the City (Grand Rapids) slideshow.

On the 8s

figure eights, photo by Terry Johnston

In the event that there aren’t enough 8s for you on this August 8th, here’s a whole bunch more from the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids.

View the photo bigger and see more in Terry’s UICA slideshow.

The River Grand

The River Grand, photo by John Rothwell

Wikipedia’s entry on the Grand River says in part:

The Grand River is the longest river in the U.S. state of Michigan. It runs 252 miles (406 km) through the cities of Jackson, Eaton Rapids, Lansing, Grand Ledge, Portland, Ionia, Lowell, Grand Rapids, and Grand Haven. Native Americans who lived along the river before the arrival of the French and British called the river O-wash-ta-nong, meaning Far-away-water, because of its length.

As the glacial ice receded from what is the central Lower Peninsula of Michigan around 11,000 years ago, the Maple River and lower Grand River served as a drainage channel for the meltwater. The channel ran east to west, emptying into proglacial Lake Chicago, the ancestor of Lake Michigan. Today the Grand River rises in Somerset Township in Hillsdale County and Liberty Township in Jackson County, and flows through Jackson, Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Ionia, Kent, and Ottawa counties before emptying into Lake Michigan. Its watershed drains an area of 5,572 square miles (14,430 km2), including 18 counties and 158 townships. Tributaries of the river include (beginning near river source and travelling downstream): Portage River, Red Cedar River, Looking Glass River, Maple River, Bellamy Creek, Flat River, Thornapple River, Rogue River, Coldbrook Creek, Plaster Creek, Bass River, and Crockery Creek.

…Grand Rapids was built on the site of a mile long rapids on the Grand River, although these have disappeared after the installation of a run-of-river dam in 1866 and five low-rise dams during a river beautification project in 1927.

View the photo background bigtacular and see more in John’s slideshow.

More Michigan rivers on Michigan in Pictures.

#TBT Jungle Love in Prehistoric Michigan

Jungle Love, photo by Matt Stangis

The Rapidian has a feature on prehistoric Michigan’s tropical seas, jungles and inhabitants that’s a great read and the ultimate Throwback Thursday! Here’s a small slice:

After about 60 million years, warm, shallow seas came down again from the Arctic and covered Michigan during the Silurian period. At this time the land would have been in a subtropical climate that gave rise to large coral reefs across the state. Fossil findings show that the largest and oldest reef extends through the center of the Upper Peninsula. A species of coral that lived during this time period would eventually become fossilized and become what we refer to as Petoskey Stones.

The seas retreated over time, leaving a desert scattered with fossilized remains that eventually formed the limestone that is located over one hundred and twenty feet below us today. The sections of this exposed limestone is what created the Grand Rapid’s famous rapids. Much of the salt deposits that were left from retreating seas of this period are still mined in Detroit.

The Devonian period around 400 million years ago saw the rise of vertebrates in Michigan. North America was covered with up to 40 percent of water. There were a great number of fish swarming the salt and fresh water seas. The Ganoid species were in a crude state of evolution. Many of them had armor plating with two of their relatives, the Gar Pike and the Sturgeon, still existing in Great Lakes today. Primitive plants, such as the seed fern, developed from marine algae. On land the Tiktaalik, the link between finned fish and early amphibians, started to use its muscular fins to drag itself around land.

…At the end of the Carboniferous Period, known as the Pennsylvanian subperiod, Michigan was a semi-tropical jungle featuring primitive vegetation. Ferns without bark, some of which bloomed scentless unattractive flowers, grew to almost 100 feet. Millions of generations of trees grew and died in the jungle. The trees that fell in the swampy parts of the jungle were covered up by water and soil that became rock over time. The forces of time and pressure on these trees would eventually see this prehistoric jungle become the coal basin that sits underneath a large area of the U.S. including the upper northeast part of Kent county.

In the sky above one foot long dragon flies swarmed in droves on the ground and cockroaches the size of a man’s palm crawled around. Reptiles started to appear, evolving from amphibians, not dependent on water to lay their amniotic eggs. Towards the end of this period the rain forests gave way to deserts which decreased the amphibian populations and caused an evolutionary shift in reptiles.

Definitely click through for more – there are some cool links as well!

I’m pretty sure Matt took this photo at ArtPrize in 2013. View it background bigilicious and see more in his slideshow.