Artists gather for Grand Haven’s 57th art festival

Grand Haven hosted its 57th art festival this past weekend. This festival brings in nearly 100 artists and puts their work on display for viewers to either browse through or purchase. The event was held on Washington Avenue in downtown Grand Haven. All kinds of art were on display, from photography to pottery to jewelry. “The goal of the Grand Haven Art Festival is to provide the visitors of West Michigan area with a unique opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind art, directly from the artist,” festival director Mary Sherman said.

Supreme Court upholds travel ban and it’s affecting Michigan residents

On Tuesday, June 26, the Supreme Court approved President Donald Trump’s travel ban which, to varying degrees, restricts entry into the U.S. from the countries of Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Venezuela. According to White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah, the president does not support a ban on all Muslims, as was stated December 2015. He only wishes to uphold “a minimal standard and allow our government to feel confident that we know who these individuals coming into our country are.” Several Americans are not pleased with the travel ban. Organizations such as MoveOn.org are planning protests and rallies to fight back and “increase pressure for justice.”

The protests are also in response to the Trump administration’s ongoing prosecution of adults who are illegally crossing the U.S. border and whose children have been detained separately.

Michigan home shortage keeps millennials from being homeowners

According to the 2017 U.S. Census, millennials make up a large portion of the housing market and are one of the biggest factors in the increase of homeownership rates last year. This holds true despite the lingering effects of the Great Recession and the fact that many millennials also face student loan debt. According to research done by Citizen Bank in Providence, R.I., millennials are spending one-fifth of their income on student loans, and 60 percent of them will likely be paying off student loan debt until they have reached their 40s. The 2017 Census also showed that millennials were frequently buying homes in Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Birmingham, Ala., Buffalo, N.Y., and Virginia Beach, VA. Detroit was one of the cities with the largest drop in millennial homeowners, however. Michigan is experiencing a shortage in the amount of homes for sale versus the number of buyers looking for a home to live in.

People and cellphones: A new normal

Cellphones have become an integral part of day-to-day life. Many people carry a cellphone with them, whether they use it to communicate, entertain themselves, stay current with the news or to conduct business. “I think I would do okay without it, but I am definitely addicted to social media,” Ehlana Whyman, a college student, said. “I don’t live at home anymore, I would miss being able to talk to my family.” Others love the services cellphones provide, but feel that they could manage without one.

Online classes allow for flexible schedules

Summer at Michigan State University doesn’t always mean it’s time for summer vacation. As degree requirements become more demanding, many students enroll in the university’s summer sessions as a way to get ahead or stay on track to graduate. Skylar Austell, a senior at MSU, is taking online courses this summer so that she can graduate in August. “Without the opportunity to take the classes, I would have had to do a whole other semester just for two classes,” she said. Both of her classes are online classes, giving her the opportunity to go home or travel for job interviews without missing school.

Food may impact you more than you think

As a human being, food is essential to survival. It gives us the energy and nutrients to grow and develop, be healthy and active, to move, work, play, think and learn, and according to Food Aid, the body needs a variety of protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins, and minerals — from the food we eat to stay healthy and productive. According to a recent study from Harvard University, the fuel that comes from the food we eat can even have an effect on our brain and ultimately, our mood. Eva Selhub, a Clinical Associate at Benson Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital said 95 percent of Serotonin is produced in your gastrointestinal tract. Seratonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for helping to regulate sleep and appetite, mediate moods, and inhibit pain. That means your digestive system doesn’t just help you digest food, but also guides your emotions.

Michigan lawmakers look to make schools safer with legislation

Over the past few months, Michigan lawmakers have been hard at work, even across the aisle, in an effort to make schools safer. In early June, a package containing seven bills focusing on school safety was passed in the Senate.  The bills target a wide range of topics, including inspecting new school buildings or renovations to existing buildings, developing emergency operations plans for every school and increasing funding to school resource officers and mental health counselors. Senate Bill 983, which was passed June 7, would require school districts to work with law enforcement to conduct a review of the school’s emergency operations plan.  Each school would have its own plan should a potentially dangerous event occur, including threats of school violence and attacks, bomb threats, fires, intruders and several others.

Michigan Dems propose change in voting age to 16

Following the increase of activism from middle and high school students across the country, the “Sweet Sixteen” voting reform introduced by Democrats in the Michigan Legislature could change the shape of the state’s political landscape. House Bill 6183 and Senate Bill 1064, which were both introduced June 12, seek to change the legal voting age in Michigan from 18 to 16.  The bills come after the unexpected stream of activism from students following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 17 students and teachers were killed in the shooting. “A diverse coalition of students have set politics aside in order to bring about positive change in our political system,” said the Senate Bill’s sponsor, Sen. David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights.  “Young people identify the issues they want to see changed, but they don’t get the chance to vote to see that change happen.”

The sponsor of the House Bill, Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, noted that 16-year-olds are allowed to drive and pay taxes, but are deemed by many to not be old enough to fully understand political change. “These kids work hard, they’re mature enough to decide how their hard-earned tax dollars are spent,” Rabhi said.  “Otherwise, it’s taxation without representation.”

Faith Keating, a student at Troy High School, agrees for the most part with the legislators, but she has her doubts.

As MSU plans for new president, Izzone leader speaks out

Michigan State University hopes to hire a new president to help steer the school away from the Larry Nassar scandal by June 2019. Trustees Dianne Byrum and Melanie Foster announced on Wednesday that the university hopes to form a 15-member search committee by August to find a new president.  The first applicants will be interviewed by November. “Our new president must have that intellect that can understand people’s feelings and internalize that and be able to show compassion,” Byrum said. This comes after criticism of interim president John Engler and several recent comments that he has made concerning the case surrounding former MSU doctor Larry Nassar.  Engler is expected to remain the interim president throughout the search but will have no involvement. Last week, leaked emails from April showed that Engler speculated that the first woman to speak out against Nassar, Rachel Dehollander, was receiving referral fees or kickbacks.

River Days is an outlet for some Detroiters

Waking up every morning not having anything on your summer agenda when your mother at work is and just overall being bored with the summer? Then hearing the carnival is coming to Detroit — and it’s free before 5 p.m. on Friday — is good news. 

This past weekend the 12th year of the Detroit River Days carnival took place. There were rides, face-painting, and many other things for the kids to enjoy. 

“Being able to see my kids laugh and play gave me so much joy. Seeing them able to run and play, just being kids is what put this big smile on my face,” Kyra Frailey, a River Days participant, said.”Especially since I am always at work now that it’s summer time.”

“Just seeing black kids being kids is awesome, the smiles on their face bring a smile to my face. Not having a worry in the world, just running around being free,” Demario Hunter, a River Days participant, said.