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Wednesday, September 2,2015

Spartans will ... what?

MSU professors raise fears over branding of higher education

by Lawrence Cosentino
    In America, "Back to school" is not so much a call to education as a ramped-up retail rush, like Christmas or Halloween. Brand names jostle for student dollars in the September scramble for clothes, bikes, computers, and so on. Donīt expect a tree-shaded res...
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Wednesday, August 26,2015

Gingerbread 'abyss'

Facelift for Moon house into descends into major surgery

by Lawrence Cosentino
  For a homeowner with a gaping yellow hole 10 feet deep under her front door, where a porch would normally be, Carol Skilling was microwaving cat food pretty calmly last Tuesday morning. "It's quite an abyss," Skilling said matter-of-factly, as if the front of her house weren%u...
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Wednesday, August 19,2015

Vitale force

Preservation Lansing kicks off 2015 awards under new president

by Lawrence Cosentino
    After restoring a dilapidated 1898 house to its original glory, Joe Vitale knows all about to-do lists. Heīs got a big one as the new president of Preservation Lansing, a grassroots group of enthusiasts and experts that gives awards to historic preservation projects ...
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Wednesday, August 5,2015

JazzFest: Extended interviews

by Lawrence Cosentino
Lansing JazzFest hits Old Town this weekend, and City Pulse’s Lawrence Cosentino had a chance to catch up with three of the weekend’s most intriguing artists. Check out the links below for the full interviews.
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Tuesday, August 4,2015

‘Every moment is sacred’

Q&A with saxophonist Marcus Elliot

by Lawrence Cosentino
At 26, Detroit-based artist Marcus Elliot has developed a subtly complex, passionate, heartfelt voice on tenor saxophone that has gotten the attention of national critics like The New York Times’ Ben Ratliff. His two CDs, “When the City Meets the Sky” and “Looking Forward,” exude a quiet humanity and curiosity that rewards both casual and close listening. In a phone interview last week, Elliot was generous and open about a range of subjects, from his philosophy of life to his experience (solid but limited) studying jazz at MSU.
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Tuesday, August 4,2015

Two sides of a cumulating icosahedron

Q&A with guitarist Fareed Haque

by Lawrence Cosentino
It’s impossible to summarize, let alone list, guitarist Fareed Haque’s incredible range of achievements and interests. Haque, 53, is a cumulating icosahedron of a guitarist, with solid cred in the classical, jazz, rock, south Indian, Latin, grunge and electronic music worlds — and he’s adding more sides all the time.
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Tuesday, August 4,2015

'It really kicks'

Q&A with organist Tony Monaco

by Lawrence Cosentino
Tony Monaco’s ebullient organ style is a living link to the bubbling, flowing eruptions of his mentor, legendary organ master Jimmy Smith. The 40-year veteran headlines Lansing JazzFest Friday with a classic organ-guitar-drums trio also featuring guitarist Fareed Haque and drummer Randy Gelispie.
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Wednesday, July 29,2015

Raw deal

How the deck is stacked against wrongfully convicted people in Michigan

by Lawrence Cosentino
Donya Davis served seven years of a 22- year prison sentence after a sexual assault victim identified him in a lineup. Post-conviction DNA testing tied the crime to another man. The 36-year-old Detroit man was released in summer 2014. What do you say to him now? Congratulations?
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Wednesday, July 22,2015

Leverage and Recreation

How the Lansing parks millage stretches green into more green

by Lawrence Cosentino
In the early 1800s, vast flocks of now-extinct passenger pigeons took days to go by. Once upon a time (meaning the 1960s and ‘70s), the fulltime Lansing parks staff topped 100, including three landscape engineers, according to former Lansing City Councilman Jim Blair. "It took...
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Wednesday, July 15,2015

Wheat and chaff

Ag industry grapples with sustainability

by Lawrence Cosentino
Judging by a conference at MSUīs Kellogg Center, Michiganīs agricultural leaders are coming to grips with sustainability in much the same way movie and music moguls reacted to the birth of rock ‘n’ roll in the 1950s. The kids sure go for it, but is it something to embrace, exploit or co-opt? Is there money in it? And what is it, anyway? "Social causes are a big deal for these young people who are up and coming," Keith Tinsey of Walther Farms in Three Rivers said at last week’s conference. Tinsey was one of several speakers who joked about their bald or graying heads. Keith Reinholt of the Michigan Soybean Association was another.
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