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Wednesday, May 29,2013

Worms and burgers

The ins and outs of form-based zoning codes

by Lawrence Cosentino
On fishing weekends, my Uncle Andy used to put a milk carton full of worms in the fridge door, where the milk goes. It freaked my Aunt Sophie out. So did the golf balls in the egg keeper. After talking with Lansing planning director Bob Johnson, I realize that Uncle Andy was only converting the fridge to a modern, form-based zoning code. No matter what Uncle Andy put into it, it looked like a normal fridge.
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Wednesday, May 29,2013

Eye candy of the week

by Amanda Harrell-Seyburn
The original Biggby location in East Lansing — an unmistakable feature of the Valley Park area just west of downtown — may soon be demolished. DTN Management has a development agreement with the franchisee to replace it with a mixed-use building for residential and retail space that stretches to the west on a vacant parcel.
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Wednesday, May 29,2013

'Not backing down'

Same-sex couple in Lansing uses Canadian marriage license to secure property rights not available to same-sex partners in Michigan, potentially setting up court challenge

by Sam Inglot
Just over nine years ago, Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope and his partner, Bradly Rakowski, got married in Canada, with the skyline of Detroit as the backdrop to their ceremony. The marriage is legally recognized in Canada but not on this side of the Detroit River.
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Tuesday, May 28,2013

Same-sex filing

Ingham County register of deeds gives legal weight to same-sex marriage, a first in the state

by Sam Inglot
Tuesday, May 28 — Later today, Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope and his husband will file an affidavit with the Ingham County Register of Deed’s Office securing their property rights as a married couple. But they’ll be using their Canadian marriage license as a backing document — a first in the state of Michigan, where same sex marriage is not legally recognized.
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Friday, May 24,2013

Land Bank gets new executive director

Michigan native will oversee operations of Ingham County-wide authority

by Sam Inglot
Friday, May 24 — Growing its Garden Program and helping Lansing improve its commercial corridors are on the top of the priority list for Jeff Burdick, the new executive director of the Ingham County Land Bank.
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Thursday, May 23,2013

Bernero vetoes Council budget

Will ask Board of Water and Light for higher return on equity to pay for streetlights, increase water rates for hydrants

by Andy Balaskovitz
Thursday, May 23 — Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero has vetoed all of the City Council’s budget amendments, reinstating expenditures for information technology and several other General Fund line items to balance the city’s budget that starts July 1.
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Thursday, May 23,2013

Rare planetary cluster visible this weekend

Mercury, Venus and Jupiter will form trio of planets in the evening sky

by Sam Inglot
Thursday, May 23 — The cosmic orbits of three planets will appear to be huddled together in the night sky, creating a planetary spectacle that won't happen gain for 40 years. For about a week, starting this weekend, amateur astronomers and experienced stargazers alike will get to see Mercury, Jupiter and Venus in a rare formation.
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Wednesday, May 22,2013

Cold-case detective coming

Mayor Bernero promises to veto City Council's decision to exclude a full-time cold-case investigator in next fiscal year's budget

by Andy Balaskovitz
In his office Monday night shortly after the Lansing City Council adopted a budget for the next fiscal year, the first item Mayor Virg Bernero promised to veto was the Council's elimination of a new, full-time cold-case investigator.
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Wednesday, May 22,2013

Disclosing pay

Two City Council members' non-disclosure of financial interests suggests a weak ethics ordinance

by Andy Balaskovitz
Lansing City Council President Carol Wood earned at least $4,700 as a consultant to political campaigns in 2012, yet she didn't have to report any information on it under the city's ethics ordinance.
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Wednesday, May 22,2013

Drive-by policing

Lansing Police Department to purchase three additional Automatic License Plate Readers for use later this summer, raising privacy concerns

by Sam Inglot
Later this summer, the Lansing Police Department will roll out Automatic License Plate Readers that will be used to find stolen vehicles, but a Lansing City Council candidate and the American Civil Liberties Union have privacy issues with the technology.
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