Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Best of the Net 3/19-3/31

A dog, a child, a family, a community

Some stories remind us of humanity's capacity for kindness while also reminding us of the unique bond between humans and dogs. The Battle Creek Enquirer recently featured one such story. Five-year-old David Facey was born with cerebral palsy and severely addicted to drugs, and doctors did not believe he would live past his first birthday. Despite his health issues, Arlen and Betty Facey fostered David and later adopted him. They then invested thousands of dollars to get Venture, a service dog, for David.

Venture and David quickly bonded. David learned to accomplish physical goals with Venture's help, and Venture alerts when David's oxygen becomes low. Unfortunately, Venture suffered a leg injury that would have made him unable to serve David. However, several charities worked to raise money for Venture's surgery. Thanks to the help of strangers, Venture is now helping David succeed again.

Rebuilding lives from crumbling buildings

Jewelry company Rebel Nell uses graffiti from crumbling Detroit buildings to make jewelry. As reported by PolicyMic, Rebel Nell's co-founders have partnered with the Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS) to hire women staying at shelters. Rebel Nell's ultimate goal is to help the women transition into permanent housing.

Fun for kids. Quality food for adults

Elf, or Eat Learn Frolic, will open in Traverse City this summer and will offer parents a place to dine on locally grown and organic foods while their children frolic in eco-friendly playrooms. Northwest Michigan's Second Wave highlights the new establishment's entry into the Traverse City dining and child entertainment scenes. Elf's owners hope to tie the children's fun to nature and health and to put parents first when it comes to the food. In addition to the eating and frolicking, Elf will offer children "music, yoga, gardening, storytelling, homework help and many other classes."

Freep Film Festival

The Detroit Free Press hosted its inaugural Freep Film Festival from March 20-23 at the Filmore Detroit and the Detroit Film Theatre. The festival featured twelve documentaries with Detroit or Michigan themes, and more than 4,000 people attended. If you missed the event but would still like to see some the films, the Free Press posted a list of viewing options for each film.

Poetry in Kalamazoo

On April 4 and 5, Kalamazoo will host the Kalamazoo Poetry Festival. Southwest Michigan's Second Wave reports that the festival will include readings and workshops with some of the regions notable writers. Nationally acclaimed poets Aracelis Girmay and Ilya Kaminsky will appear as guests and will speak with students about poetry.

Businesses popping up in Detroit

If you are interested in opening a pop-up business, read this article by Model D. The article recaps an Open City panel that discussed the popularity of pop-up businesses in Detroit and the lessons that can be learned from opening a pop-up business. The panel included representatives from several Detroit pop-ups, including Revolve Detroit, Spielhaus Toys, and The Batata Shop.

Elite on the court and in the community

Michigan and Michigan State both made it the Elite 8 of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, and both fell a few points short of the Final Four. While the fans of both schools should be proud of their team's accomplishments on the court, they also can be proud of their athletes' contributions off the court.

Wolverine athletes have long had a special relationship with C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, and the men's basketball team visited the hospital this March after winning the Big 10 championship. MSU athletes also reach out to their community, and one of the best stories of the NCAA tournament was Spartan senior Adreian Payne's special bond with Lacey Holsworth, an 8-year-old girl battling cancer. Payne's relationship with Lacey is a reminder that even the toughest athletes can have kind hearts.

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