Lansing could license landlords next year, while state may loosen regsby Belinda Thurston
Lansing is preparing to tighten rental regulations at the same time the state appears poised to loosen them. City Council’s General Services Committee received the green light from the Lansing city attorney to license landlords. “Yes. Residential landlord licensing would fall within the City’s authority and is not preempted by the state,” a memo from City Attorney Janene McIntyre states.
MSU researcher aims to control fungus killing Christmas treesby Michael Gerstein
You might not notice it on the trees jammed into holiday revelers´ living rooms because they´re still so young, but many Christmas trees living much past their youth are having a hard go of it these days. Other diseases mimic the symptoms, but Chrissy McTavish, a graduate student at Michigan State University, is the first to have discovered, in 2013, that a fungus called Phomopsis is the real culprit behind tree deaths in both tree nurseries and the natural environment.
With Lansing’s holiday festivities centered on the lighting of the State Christmas Tree, it may be easy to overlook other downtown attractions that recall the spirit of this festive season. The holiday tree and State Capitol immediately to the south of this imposing Richardsonian Romanesque church can figuratively and literally overshadow it. Impressive as it is, this church is not the best-known work of architect Elijah Myers, who designed the neighboring Capitol building.
Blacks and Hispanics caught up in traffic stopsby Mickey Hirten
In a recent column on race relations and policing, I recounted statistics on traffic stops by the Lansing Police Department that could have suggested profiling. It´s a subject worth exploring in greater detail, and because Lansing keeps detailed statistics on traffic stops, information that includes tracking race, age, outcomes and more.
$20 million project planned for old YMCA site A $20 million mixed-use project, “Metro Place,” will be developed at the site of the long-vacant YMCA building on Townsend Street, adjacent to Reutter Park. The project is being developed by Lawton Group Development LLC. “Metro Place will be a terrific addition to downtown Lansing’s residential options and add even more vibrancy to our urban core by attracting new residents to live in the heart of the city,” said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.
Community trust one year after the Gemini ice storm outageby Belinda Thurston
In some ways greater Lansing is still thawing from the natural disaster “event” Dec. 21 that left 40,000 residents and businesses cold and dark. That “event” wasn’t the Gemini winter storm that encased the community in a half inch of ice or the power outages it caused, but the firestorm of anger, distrust, frustration and disbelief that followed as the public utility fumbled executing and communicating the restoration, which took up to 10 days for some. Board of Water & Light General Manager Peter Lark was harshly criticized for leaving for New York City on Dec. 22 at the height of the crisis; for deleting internal emails that documented his communications about the restoration process; and for the utility’s overall lack of communication with the public and perceived lack of empathy.
We are approaching the anniversary of the 22 December 2013 ice storm which precipitated a lengthy electrical power outage in our region and the resultant assessment of the response by our communities and the Board of Water & Light. As the leader of the Community Review Team, which issued a lengthy report on our assessment, I am often asked whether any of our recommendations have not been implemented.
After being closed for nearly a year due to water damage, the Turner-Dodge House was filled with celebration once again as Friends of Turner-Dodge and the Lansing Parks and Recreation Department kicked off the third annual Festival of Trees with a Friday night gala event. “This is like a grand re-opening for us,” said Friends of Turner-Dodge President Michael Beebe.
Arts Council pays forward donation of mini-library from former MSU profby Allan I. Ross
Festivus isn’t the only December holiday “Seinfeld” gave us. In the 1995 episode “The Label Maker,” the all-too-common practice of giving someone a present that some one else had recently given you got a name: Regifting. The term caught on, and 13 years later, Dec. 18 was declared National Regifting Day by the State of Colorado.
Wharton welcomes ‘Annie’ back for trip down memory laneby Paul Wozniak
“Annie” is back, and it’s more than just overplayed hits. Part musical fantasy time capsule, part political commentary, the 37-year-old show feels strangely relevant in a post-recession world. More importantly, the freshly revived touring production is a polished machine designed to entertain.
Pulitzer Prize-winning MSU grad back with new novellaby Bill Castanier
Author Richard Ford is on the road again promoting his newest book, “Let Me Be Frank With You.” Along for the ride is Frank Bascombe, the peripatetic protagonist in the book’s four novellas, as well as three of Ford’s other novels. In a phone conversation last week from a hotel in Oxford, Miss., Ford, 70, said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the book’s popularity; a recent lecture in Pittsburgh attracted 1,000 readers. A commonly held belief by critics and reviewers that novelists sometimes turn to novellas or short story collections to fulfill contracts, but Ford bristles at that suggestion: “It’s not a knockoff by any means." Ford said he didn’t take on a novel because he “didn’t have the chops for it.”
Thursday, Dec. 18by Ty Forquer
While we do our best to make our lives seem merry and bright during the holiday season, there is always another side. Behind every beautifully lit-up house there is a determined father who nearly fell off the roof again this year. Behind every delectable holiday spread ...