Heartside Development

Hopes have been high that the new 75-million-dollar Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will be a key attraction in revitalizing the downtown area. From all indications since the recent Grand Opening, it looks like things are going according to plan. But some are worried about the effect. It’s a familiar trend for developers and residents to clash when businesses move into neighborhoods. So in the case of this downtown development project, steps have been taken since the beginning to include the area residents in the planning process. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson has this report:

Infant Massage

There’s no doubt that a massage is relaxing. Athletes and their trainers will attest to its benefits in relieving sore muscles. Now some different uses for massage that have been practiced in other countries for years are beginning to gain popularity among a new crowd in the United States. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson reports:

Club Prophylactive

More and more young people are getting AIDS. The Center for Disease Control estimates that youth between thirteen and twenty-four years old account for more than half of all new HIV infections. By now, most adolescents know that using a condom can protect them from the deadly disease. Yet, many still risk their health and the health of others by practicing unsafe sex. So AIDS prevention experts are now trying to understand why so many young people don’t take the precautions they know they should. One solution involves young people educating each other about safer sex. In Chicago, these “peer educators” are tapping into urban youth culture to carry their message. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Steve Frenkel reports:

Hunters Against Hunger

All across the country, hunters are taking to the woods with the opening of bow hunting season. Each year at this time, the debate over hunting flares, and finding themselves attacked again and again by animal rights advocates, some hunters are now fighting back to change their image. As part of a national campaign, hunters are taking steps to help the hungry through their sport. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson has this report:

Snail Man

The life of a wildlife researcher can be a solitary experience. Alone for weeks at a time, in remote locations, gathering scientific data. While their research is often high-profile, they usually remain anonymous. But that’s not always the case. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s David Hammond met an Ontario scientist whose personal style is as unique as the creatures he studies:

Girl’s Garden

Many urban areas have turned to community gardening as a way to revitalize the landscape – and the people – of the inner city. In vacant lots from Chicago to Cleveland, greenery sprouts up, framed by dilapidated buildings. But in Grand Rapids, Michigan, there’s a new twist on the concept of community gardens. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson has more:

Toxic Train Blockade

For 28 days, a group of Native Americans placed themselves on railroad tracks in northern Wisconsin. They blockaded a rail line they say is unsafe and transporting hazardous materials they fear will ultimately contaminate Lake Superior. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Mike Simonson reports on the repercussions of the protest:

Paving Over Nature

Lakefront parks, nature trails and bike paths are all ways communities encourage the public to get outdoors. But some critics argue… to do that, they bulldoze and brick the very environments they are trying to showcase. However, Great Lakes Radio Consortium commentator Julia King says we shouldn’t be so quick to criticize the paving over of nature:

Three Brothers Shipwreck

Just as quickly as a Lake Michigan storm swallowed a turn-of-the-century cargo steamer, the lake has unexpectedly uncovered what maritime historians are calling a rare archaeological treasure. Great Lakes Radio Consortium correspondent J. Carl Ganter joined the first explorers of the newly discovered wreck just off the shores of South Manitou Island, in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula:

Return of the Trumpeter Swan

Another native Wisconsin species is being returned to the wild this spring… with the release of 14 trumpeter swans in a remote area of Northern Wisconsin. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Mike Simonson reports from the Bad River Indian Reservation: