For the past 11 years, Oct. 30 has been a day for promoting tolerance in schools across the country. It's called Mix It Up at Lunch Day, and the goal is to have K-12 students eat with peers whom they likely wouldn’t do so with any other day of the year.
Another politically charged battle between organized labor and the chamber of commerce could be brewing in the Lansing City Council chambers. Look no further than a proposed ordinance that aims to increase transparency in the bidding for projects that receive certain tax incentives.
Joan Nelson, director of the Allen Neighborhood Center, has been involved with pitching the Ingham Health Plan since its inception in 1998. She and folks at the ANC went door-to-door to help people enroll in the program. To this day, she said, they continue to register 20 to 25 people a month.
Five millage increases and one land sale authorization are at stake in six different jurisdictions in greater Lansing, adding a local flavor to ballots already inundated with statewide proposals (see page 8). Here's a tour around the area's Nov. 6 ballot proposals, from Perry to Eaton Rapids.
The Legislature no longer represents the people of Michigan. That's the inevitable implication of next month's bed-sheet ballot to bypass lawmakers with five proposals to change the state Constitution, plus a referendum on a law jammed through the Legislature on a party-line vote.
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero wants to know: "How often do you use a City park?" "Daily?" "Weekly?" "Monthly?" "Almost never?" In preparation for his next "City Hall on the Road" event Thursday night, the Mayor's Office is asking residents this question as part of a short survey related to city services.
Many sectors of public education are standing on the brink of a funding abyss. For Lansing Community College, health care costs have increased, property tax revenue and state funding have declined and there have been struggles to keep tuition low. The funding situation for K-12 and public universities is no different. It's either been stagnant or ripped away in recent years.
Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: Take one part craftsman, add one part Tudor revival and presto — you've got this rare find on Lansing's east side. Popularized in the 1920s and 1930s, these hybrids are most frequently found in the Westside Neighborhood and the southside neighborhoods of Lansing.
The last 10 years have not been kind to Michigan cities. We've been battered by a fiscal perfect storm of plummeting property tax revenues and rising legacy costs. The state legislature has exacerbated the situation by slashing revenue sharing dollars to local communities by over $4 billion since 2001 — dollars that once paid for public safety services like police and fire protection.