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Wednesday, April 22,2015

Murky waters

State officials unconcerned about failing water-policy grade

by Brooke Kansier/Capital News Service
In a state surrounded by 20 percent of the world’s fresh water, overuse and sustainability might not be the first thing on the minds of Michiganders. And according to a study that graded states on their water policies and conservation, these concerns may not be very common in state government, either. The Alliance for Water Efficiency’s most recent scorecard gave Michigan a mere three points out of the possible 40 for water efficiency and policy. Compare that to places such as fellow Great Lakes state Wisconsin with 15.5, Rhode Island’s 20, or California’s 29.
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Wednesday, April 15,2015

What is Proposal 1 all about?

Navigating the road funding solution: A City Pulse special report

by City Pulse
And unless you live in East Lansing, Lansing Township or the school districts of Holt, Williamston or Webberville, there´s nothing else on the ballot. So what the heck is it? Well, it´s as simple or complex as you want to make it. Here´s the simple story. We´d be paying 1 cent more for every dollar purchase we make. If it´s a $20 purchase, it´s about 20 cents more; $50 purchase, 50 cents more; $100, $1 more, etc. It also raises the cost of a fill-up about $1.50.
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Wednesday, April 15,2015

The long haul

Granger plan for transporting waste hurts the public good

by Terry Link
Recently Granger III & Associates, which run the Wood Street landfill, has requested Clinton County to amend the county’s solid waste plan. The proposed amendment would allow fGranger to collect and haul refuse from additional counties — Clare, Mecosta, Lenawee, and Hillsdale — even further away from their existing approved collection territory.
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Wednesday, April 15,2015

Eye candy of the week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
Property: 221 W. Saginaw St. Lansing Although this structure (which is for sale for $279,000) is used as a law office, it was constructed at the turn of the 19th century as a church. Its strong siting at the corner of Saginaw and Seymour streets undoubtedly created a solid earthly pres...
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Wednesday, April 15,2015

Not enough from Niowave

Company misses deadline to soften pole barn facade

by Todd A. Heywood
The battle between downtown residents and the high tech firm Niowave is moving from detente to direct conflict. At issue is whether the company should continue to receive over $650,000 in various tax breaks despite apparently not yet living up to its end of an agreement to complete improvements to a 14,000-square-foot pre-fabricated addition — a pole barn — adjacent to the company’s downtown headquarters in the old brick Walnut Street School.
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Wednesday, April 15,2015

Access denied

Bernero administration blocking access to rental inspection reports

by Todd A. Heywood
You’re in the market for a new rental and know the city of Lansing registers and inspects such properties. You know that information is available on the city’s website, through BS&A’s property database. So you check the property you are considering. The database shows the property is registered and inspected. What you don’t know is that inspectors cited the property for serious issues. The inspection reports are not available online, and may not even be available if your file a Freedom of Information Act request.
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Wednesday, April 15,2015

Dievendorf departs

Equality Michigan once again seeking a leader

by Todd A. Heywood
For the fifth time in less than a decade, the statewide gay rights organization Equality Michigan is without an executive director, after last week’s departure of Emily Dievendorf. Dievendorf had led the agency since the departure of Denise Brogan-Kator in July 2012. Dievendorf has worn many titles, but all were, effectively, executive director of the agency. Neither Dievendorf nor David Wait, Equality Michigan board chairman, returned calls seeking comment on the departure.
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Friday, April 10,2015

Yorko vs. Bernero

Lansing Councilwoman accuses administration of covering up housing issues

by Todd A. Heywood
FRIDAY, April 10 — Fourth Ward Councilmember Jessica Yorko has accused the Bernero administration of keeping housing inspection data from the public in order to “cover up” issues with staffing at the Code Compliance office.
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Wednesday, April 8,2015

Eyesore of the week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
Property: 2221 E. Kalamazoo St., Lansing Owner: Ingham Co. Land Bank This building exhibits great potential as a neighborhood resource and invites the public to offer suggestions regarding its continued use. The front elevation has been covered with a field of black paint and the repea...
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Wednesday, April 8,2015

In the name of Schuette

AG furthers political ambition through courts

by Mickey Hirten
If you´re a citizen in Michigan there are lots of things you´re are against. At least in the courts. You oppose same-sex marriage. You want to gut the Affordable Care Act. You object to President Obama´s plan to temporarily defer the deportation of 5 million undocumented immigrants. Not on your agenda? It doesn´t matter. These are the positions advanced by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette in federal courts. An MICKEY HIRTEN attorney general has wide latitude to pursue actions that advance a political agenda, and Schuette´s alignment with other Republican attorneys general does just that.
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