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Wednesday, March 27,2013

Opening the door to schools

As the Lansing School District cuts elementary arts instructors, community groups re-evaluate their roles

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Last week, the Lansing Board of Education approved a five-year teachers' contract that will get the Lansing School District about $7 million closer to closing the next school year's projected $9 million deficit. On the chopping block: 87 teaching positions, including 23 professionally certified — or "endorsed" — elementary school art, music and physical education teachers.
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Wednesday, March 27,2013

New in town

Williamston New Businesses

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Spring is off to a relatively chilly start, but in Williamston business is in full bloom. Three new businesses celebrated grand openings last week, while a fourth moved into a space nearly six times the size of its previous location.
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Friday, March 22,2013

The Screening Room

'Great' expectations

by ALLAN I. ROSS
In a perfect world, a visionary filmmaker such as Sam Raimi could make a prequel to "The Wizard of Oz" without having it compared to its 1939 predecessor, inarguably one of the greatest motion pictures ever made. Sure, we're in the middle of a spate of subpar big screen adaptations and "re-imaginings" of classic children's stories, but it's hardly fair to make Raimi pay for the sins of his peers. But films aren't made in a vacuum; every allusion has its price.
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Wednesday, March 20,2013

Recovery is a process

by ALLAN I. ROSS
The brutal 1998 murder of Matthew Wayne Shepard in Laramie, Wyo., is one of the country's most high-profile hate crimes, and is considered a watershed for the gay rights movement. In 2000, "The Laramie Project" was produced, a play that was composed entirely of interviews with a cross-section of the community.
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Wednesday, March 20,2013

April in the C

Film series wraps up at Studio C! before taking the summer off

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Next week, the lights go down for the East Lansing Film Society Film Series' final month of programming before taking the summer off. So long, Werner Herzog; hey there, Iron Man — gotta give those blockbusters room to breathe.
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Wednesday, March 20,2013

New in town

Arty Party Studio

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Last weekend, the festively named Arty Party Studio celebrated its grand opening in Okemos, and co-owner/operator Susan Brewster said the response was overwhelming — about 200 folks turned out, mostly friends and members of the community.
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Monday, March 18,2013

Box of broken cherries

‘My First Time’ runs gamut of sexual experiences

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Somewhere between a Penthouse Forum story and a Swiftian journal entry (Taylor, not Jonathan) lies “My First Time,” a staged reading of stories culled from the aptly named website, MyFirstTime.com.
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Wednesday, March 13,2013

Jonesing for indies

Film society brings independent and foreign films to Studio C!

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Jan.'18, 2013 — For moviegoers, January is either seen as an opportunity to catch up on non-widely released gems that are finally making it to town (such as last summer’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” playing at NCG Cinemas in Eastwood Towne Center) or a dumping ground for meh flicks (“The Last Stand,” anyone?).
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Wednesday, March 13,2013

New in town

Lansing City Market & Spencer's Kitchen and Bar

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Two new food stations popped up inside Lansing City Market last week. Ofilia's El Burrito, the satellite location for Ofilia Diaz' popular south Lansing taqueria, serves both ready-to-eat and frozen Mexican food, including wet burritos, enchiladas and tamales.
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Wednesday, March 6,2013

Catching fire

Documentary on cash-strapped Detroit Fire Department has power to inspire change

by ALLAN I. ROSS
If it weren't a true story, it would seem like a cliché: The dead city handling its own cremation, one abandoned building at a time. For decades, Detroit has been slipping from obsolescence into an all-out hell on Earth. But according to the Detroit firefighter documentary "Burn," not everyone has given up on the decaying metropolis just yet.
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