As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, Three Rivers Community Schools (TRCS) administrators have had to make difficult choices concerning transportation services for their students. Watershed Voice spoke with Interim Superintendent Nikki Nash about those choices, and possible solutions to an all too common problem in Southwest Michigan.

WSV columnist Deborah Haak-Frost writes, “In this list, I share my top five Sow Good Seeds columns of 2021. My hope is that they may invite you to see yourself more deeply in the context of this planet, to consider a perspective you may not have had previously, to plant some seeds in your mind about how our lives are so intricately interwoven with the natural world.”

Doug and Alek wanted to discuss all things holidays, and felt it was necessary to bring in an expert, so we called Mrs. Christmas herself, Steph Hightree. These three wise people discuss Steph’s lack of egg nog experience, ridiculous Hallmark Christmas movie plots, determining whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie or not (it certainly is), surviving Elf on the Shelf, and their favorite Christmas songs.

A protest against Three Rivers Community Schools’ recent Pride flag ban is scheduled for 4 p.m. today, Monday, December 6 in the south parking lot of Three Rivers High School. “100 Allies for Acceptance,” organized by Andrew George and Riley Mains, will take place during the two hours before Monday night’s Three Rivers school board meeting, which begins at 6 p.m.

Friends of Watershed Voice, today is #GivingTuesday and we need your support. Being independent means we don’t have to answer to advertisers or outside interests when delivering the news. It also means the bulk of our funding comes from community members like you, who value our community-first reporting whether it’s a story on crime, local government or art and culture.

Former Three Rivers Middle School teacher Russell Ball joins Keep Your Voice Down to talk about his recent resignation after Three Rivers Community Schools staff were asked to remove Pride flags from their classrooms due to an “external challenge.” Ball details the events leading up to his exit, what the flag represents to members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and why the flags should remain in classrooms not only in Three Rivers but around the world.

At the top of this week’s episode Alek and Doug address Monday’s troubling news that teachers within the Three Rivers Community Schools system were asked to remove Pride flags in their classrooms in response to an “external challenge” by an unidentified party.   

The hosts of Keep Your Voice Down are also joined by Sarah Lee, Director of Marketing Communications at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. The trio discusses Sarah’s role at KZCF, her upbringing in Malaysia and how she became deeply rooted in Kalamazoo, the importance of being “equity-minded” when addressing matters of social and racial injustice, the foundation’s efforts to support local journalism, and the story behind the formation of the Southwest Michigan Journalism Collaborative.