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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 MSU´s Kellogg Center, Michigan´s 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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Wednesday, July 1,2015

A loud report

Fireworks are big business at Lansing’s Big Fireworks

by Lawrence Cosentino
Pat Feldpausch, a real estate agent from DeWitt, walked out of the American Eagle Superstore at 901 N. Larch St. in Lansing last Thursday with a grin on his face and a cart full of KABOOM. On the Fourth of July, Feldpausch will take his stash of 500-gram cakes (the maximum amount of explosive powder allowed by law) and Pro Shells to his cottage near Cadillac, screw the boxes down to the dock and let ‘em rip.
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Wednesday, June 24,2015

Valhalla & beyond

NEW MILES, NEW PLANS MAKE 2015 THE YEAR OF RIVER TRAIL MADNESS

by Lawrence Cosentino
It was a lovely day. I was straddling my bike, looking south from Maguire Park, waiting for the signal to turn at Jolly Road. A stranger with an affable face and a tan jacket pulled his bike alongside me. Typical Sunday duffer, I thought. Suddenly, he turned and bared his teeth. River ...
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Wednesday, June 17,2015

Romping in Louis’ backyard

Trumpeter/vocalist Bria Skonberg mixes it up at Summer Solstice Jazz Festival

by Lawrence Cosentino
When most singers revisit Tin Pan Alley tunes, they reject the verse — the rhyming patter that precedes the chorus — as too corny. Trumpeter and vocalist Bria Skonberg, Friday’s headliner at the East Lansing Summer Solstice Jazz Festival, likes to pull the verse out of the attic and twirl it like grandma’s pearls. Skonberg, 31, blends a post-jazz, rock-savvy restlessness with her first love — the virtuosic, old-time party jazz most people associate with Louis Armstrong.
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Wednesday, June 17,2015

A breath and an echo

MSU memorial evokes life and spirit of Michael Rush

by Lawrence Cosentino
“Art is long, life is short.” Michael Rush, the Broad Art Museum’s founding director, was not a fan of clichés, but the ancient Roman dictum was too apt for MSU President Lou Anna Simon to pass up at Rush’s memorial Sunday. A small group of Rush’s colleagues, friends and supporters of the Broad Museum, including Rush’s husband, Hyun-Jae Pi, gathered in a rain-soaked tent Sunday to honor and remember Rush, who died March 27 of pancreatic cancer, little more than two years into his tenure as director.
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Wednesday, June 10,2015

The newest old thing

Michigan farmers markets grow on new ideas and old-world dirt

by Lawrence Cosentino
A bumper crop of farmers markets is spreading across Michigan, ranging in size from Detroit’s bustling, 4.5-acre Eastern Market to the dozen-and-a-half booths of the tiny Bath market just north of Lansing — about 330 markets statewide in 2015, up from 150 nine years ago. Farmers markets are the newest old thing. Their taproot is a longing for old-world comforts like community, fresh food and a sane, sunlit stroll that’s scaled to a human size and pace.
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Wednesday, June 10,2015

A thing that rings

Jason Adasiewicz brings vibraphone sound to East Lansing

by Lawrence Cosentino
For all his twirling melodies, intricate harmonies and meditative ballads, Chicago vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz glories in the sound of his tintinnabulating toy the way a baby rocks a rattle. “The thing rings,” Adasiewicz said. “That all it does. You can dampen it, l...
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Wednesday, June 3,2015

A falcon, not a duck

MSU clarinetist Guy Yehuda flies high on new CD

by Lawrence Cosentino
Clarinets have a reputation as the splashing, raucous waterfowl of the orchestral ecosystem, indelicate tubes that Review emit goosey honks and lubricious smears. There’s not much duck in Guy Yehuda, the latest top-drawer musician to join the faculty of MSU’s College of Music. Yehuda imbues his tube with a purity, nobility and lofty distance that calls to mind a falcon’s flight.
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