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Wednesday, March 18,2015

Eye candy of the week

Andromeda and Cassiopeia East Lansing

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
For a town that calls itself a “City of the Arts,” it is particularly fitting that East Lansing’s public art is approachable. Along Grand River, two sculptures tell the mythological story of Queen Cassiopeia and Andromeda. In the familiar tale, Cassiopeia claims that her daughter is more beautiful than the Nereids. Responding to Cassiopeia’s vain assertion, the gods threaten to send a sea monster to destroy her kingdom. To avoid this fate, Andromeda is offered as a sacrifice to the monster. The hero Perseus saves and later marries the princess.
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Wednesday, March 18,2015

Constitution protects speech and religion

Government can’t punish frat’s racist song; religious beliefs a more challenging issue

by Mickey Hirten
It is easy to applaud the penalties levied on the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Oklahoma after its members were recorded in a video singing a crude racist chant. The local SAE chapter was disbanded by the national organization, its frat house was closed and two students, labeled leaders, were expelled by University President David Boren.
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Tuesday, March 17,2015

Lansing Report

Ottawa’s McPhee could redefine education adviser role

by Capital News Service
TUESDAY, MARCH 17 — Ottawa Area Intermediate School District Superintendent Karen McPhee could “redefine” the role of the governor’s senior education policy adviser when she takes the job in April, coworkers say. McPhee will retire as superintendent, a position she has held for 11 years, at the end of the month to begin working for Gov. Rick Snyder.
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Wednesday, March 11,2015

Turning the soil

Sustainable farming conference sows the seeds of a new food system

by Lawrence Cosentino
As a panel of experts chewed over the obstacles facing the nation´s small farmers at MSU´s Kellogg Center Monday, a craggyfaced man in the back of the room rose to ask a question. "I invite you to spend two nights in migrant worker housing in Kent County," the man said. "Will you come?" The panelists agreed the housing must be terrible. The whole point of the "Less = More" conference was to call out the hidden costs of industrialized farming, from the runoff that turned Lake Erie into green poison last year to crates of immobilized sows to the neardemise of the small family farm.
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Wednesday, March 11,2015

‘Commonsense reforms’ will strengthen BWL

by Virg Bernero
There is at least one good reason Joe Graves Jr. is a former commissioner of the Lansing Board of Water & Light: He was part of the problem instead of part of the solution. His ridiculous critique of my commonsense reforms to bring more accountability to the BWL is another case in point. It’s hard to decide which of Graves’ misstatements deserves attention first, so let’s start with his interpretation of the City Charter.
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Wednesday, March 11,2015

When government takes a life

This story has been updated to correct an error.

by Mickey Hirten
Lansing's mayor wants a police policy governing the release of officers' names. Police departments, whatever their size, are at their core paramilitary organizations governed by rules and regulations, policies and procedures. As such, it would seem reasonable to assume when de...
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Wednesday, March 11,2015

Don’t toy with BWL

by Joe Graves Jr.
As a former commissioner of the Lansing Board of Water & Light, I have a great respect for the value that the utility brings not only to the City of Lansing, but to the entire mid-Michigan region. The BWL provides our residents lower rates than our neighboring communities and gives our region a tremendous economic tool to spur new investment and growth here in our area.
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Wednesday, March 4,2015

Offense and defense

Sharpton challenges Wharton Center crowd to make more black history

by Lawrence Cosentino
As about 600 people assembled to hear a speech by the Rev. Al Sharpton at Michigan State University´s Wharton Center Feb. 26, several attendees noted, with a touch of regret, that they were missing the MSU- Minnesota basketball game. Sharpton gave them reason to be happy with their choice, and not just because the Spartans lost that night. No Big 10 squad mixes defense with offense as deftly as Sharpton does all by himself.
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Wednesday, March 4,2015

Eyesore of the week

Icicles

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
Although beautiful themselves, icicles indicate a critical, possibly detrimental condition. The constant series of winter freezes and thaws encourage the formation of large icicles. As evidenced by the storm that struck the Lansing area last winter, ice is heavy and if not removed, can damage trees, utility wires and buildings. A standard gutter filled with ice weighs an additional five pounds per each lineal foot. Extended along the length of a building, the additional weight can detach the eavestrough or distort the eave.
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Wednesday, March 4,2015

Mixed match

Michigan Prop 1 road funding ballot language bundles and confuses

by Mickey Hirten
After reading — and very likely rereading — the constitutional ballot proposal that seeks a sales tax increase to repair Michigan´s crumbling and even dangerous roads, voters should be angry that a cowardly Legislature refused to act in their interest.
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