In last week´s City Pulse, former Ingham County Commissioner Mark Grebner cast a negative light on south Lansing. Here are two responses.by Guest Column
It’s hard to tell a story about a place and a population that the would-be storyteller doesn’t know. This has to be why — in last week’s City Pulse — Mark Grebner couldn’t fit south Lansing into a “narrative.” After all, he acknowledged that South Lansing isn’t his kind of place and that the residents just aren’t “[his] people.” As the Ingham County commissioners representing south Lansing, we proudly claim south Lansing, and we feel compelled to tell at least part of its story.
Michigan marriage equality goes to the Supreme Courtby TODD HEYWOOD
Whether same-sex couples have the right to marriage in the U.S. is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, led by a case originating in Michigan. On Jan. 16 the court agreed to hear a quartet of cases coming from the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals; including DeBoer v Snyder, a case from Michigan challenging the constitutionality of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Parties to the cases will have a total of two and half hours to address two specific legal questions, the court ordered.
Local woman creates same-sex mobile appby Belinda Thurston
If you are gay in Lansing how do you know if a restaurant is safe to take a date to? How could you show support for your favorite lesbian-owned business? Or maybe you’re transgender and you want to find a gym that’s accepting and safe. Emily Brozovic created People Like Me (www.peoplelikemeapp.com), a mobile app for the greater Lansing area to help “I wanted to develop something people could use,” which she did as part of her master´s thesis at Michigan State University.
Ulyana the traveler, dancer, fairy princessby Belinda Thurston
The orange “Shoulder Work” road sign leaning on the Moores River Drive front porch is a clear sign there’s a story waiting to be told. In the summers the front yard is overgrown with wildflowers, herbs and ornamental grasses. It’s a beautiful disorder. Natural and wild. Much like its resident, Ulyana Maystrenko, who embodies the perfect confluence of practical and eccentric.
Divorces can be so messy and expensive. Lansing´s Board of Water & Light has been there before, in love with its general managers ... until it isn´t. The breakups — this is the third in 10 years — have a tabloid-TV quality: Grievances aired publicly, the blame game, lawyers and large alimony settlements. The Jan. 13 ouster of BWL general manager J. Peter Lark, orchestrated by Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, follows form. It reflects the increasingly ineffective oversight of the state´s largest municipally owned utility by part-time, inexperienced commissioners and Bernero´s gradual disillusionment with his trophy executive. The result of it all is that the mayor wants the utility´s general manager to report to him like other city department heads. “We need greater accountability.” Bernero said. “This isn´t a new problem.”
LANSING MAYOR WANTS BWL GENERAL MANAGER TO REPORT TO HIMby Mickey Hirten
If Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero gets his way, the next general manager of the Board of Water & Light will report right to him, not indirectly through the utility´s Board of Commissioners. Bernero has been coy about the formal change he´ll propose for BWL at the state of the city address Jan. 29. But not about what he wants city voters to approve. “The structure is wrong,” Bernero said, referring to the relationship between the utility, the commissioners and the city as well as the chaos and cost surrounding the firing of the last three general managers.
Absolute Gallery fuses art and music made ´for the end of time´by Lawrence Cosentino
A half-buried, two-way tunnel runs between the camps of art and music. From Mussorgsky´s "Pictures at an Exhibition" to Jackson Pollock´s jazz-fueled drip fantasias, artists and musicians have snorted, smuggled and stolen each other´s smokes for a long time. The next concert in Absolute Gallery´s long-running chamber music series, Absolute Music, will fuse the visions of New York painter Richard Estrin with the music of a 20th-century visionary, Olivier Messiaen.
Take 6 takes charge at MSU´s King tributeby Lawrence Cosentino
The MSU College of Music trimmed away the usual oratory and commentary from this year´s Martin Luther King Jr. tribute and served up two courses of pure music. Something was lost, but something else was gained. This year´s sold-out concert bore little resemblance to the long, cathartic community sweat lodges of past years, but it was an entertaining, highly professional show that snuck in a message or two by purely musical means.
Williamston Theatre finalizes purchase of its downtown spaceby Paul Wozniak
It’s official. On Dec. 30, Williamston Theatre purchased the building it has called its home since 2006. Located at 122 S. Putnam Street in downtown Williamston, the 5,000-square-foot, century-old building houses Williamston Theatre’s rehearsal and performance space as well as offices. The theater company is confidently moving into its 10th season, now as theater owners.
New book explores the history of Michigan’s Hmong immigrantsby Bill Castanier
The Hmong are one of Michigan’s most overlooked immigrant groups, often lumped together with the Vietnamese and Cambodian peoples who fled to the U.S. following the Vietnam War. Martha Aladjem Bloomfield’s new book, “Hmong Americans in Michigan,” is an attempt to put a spotlight on this community. The Hmong are, in fact, a distinct ethnic group found in Laos, China, Thailand and Vietnam. In Michigan, the Hmong are mostly known for their community gardens, their vibrant tapestries, a cultural exhibit in Frankenmuth and a supporting role in Clint Eastwood’s 2008 movie “Gran Torino.”
Saturday Jan. 24by Ty Forquer
A survey of Lansing's musical landscapeby Rich Tupica
Lansing gets intergalactic Wednesday with the opening of Cosmos, a wood-fired pizzeria attached to intown Zoobie’s Old Town Tavern. Co-owner Sam Short said Zoobie’s, the 2-year-old craft beer, wine and cocktail hotspot, has been successful, but demand for food has been astronomical. “I think we’re going to make a lot of people happy with the Cosmos,” he said. “Zoobie’s only has light snacks right now, but when you’re out for the evening, sometimes you want something more (substantial).”