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Wednesday, April 24,2013

The mayor on pot

Mayor Bernero asks city attorney to look into how decriminalizing cannabis in the city would work, says pot enforcement is "not a priority for the Lansing Police Department."

by Andy Balaskovitz
Not long after voters in four Michigan cities elected in November to ease restrictions on possessing cannabis, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero got to thinking. In Flint and Grand Rapids, voters approved ballot initiatives to decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot. Bernero called Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell "on a lark" and left him a voicemail saying, "What is this, you crazy hippies decriminalized there? I didn’t realize Grand Rapids was like that."
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Wednesday, April 24,2013

Money first, safety second

The Waverly Road Regional Network Connection does not get funding support from Lansing Township and Ingham County; city will press on with alternative plan.

by Andy Balaskovitz
Lansing officials are "disheartened," "frustrated" and "disappointed" with Lansing Township and Ingham County for failing to support what they call an exemplary regional transportation project that would resolve serious safety concerns.
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Wednesday, April 24,2013

Keep it clean

Sodomy, a clean campaign pledge and negative politics mark uneasy start to 4th Ward City Council race

by Andy Balaskovitz
Lansing City Councilwoman Jessica Yorko called on her election challengers last weekend to sign a "clean campaign pledge" to keep the race to represent Lansing's 4th Ward civil. The call is directed specifically to the campaign of Chong-Anna Canfora, who has declined, calling it a "political stunt."
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Monday, April 22,2013

Kids in the Hall

Budget hearings round 4: Fire, City Clerk and City Attorney. Also, Council unanimously approves GM tax abatement.

by Andy Balaskovitz
Monday, April 22 — The Bernero administration wants to move the city’s Code Compliance Office into the Fire Department for what it says would allow for better enforcement of property issues.
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Thursday, April 18,2013

Yankowski named chief

Mayor appoints Captain Mike Yankowski as interim police chief

by Andy Balaskovitz
Thursday, April 18 — Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero has named Captain Mike Yankowski as interim police chief for the city of Lansing.
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Wednesday, April 17,2013

New GM, same old corporate partners

by Andy Balaskovitz
Outside Corina Slaughter's front door, beyond a 10-foot-high wooden fence across the street, is a lifeless stretch of concrete extending past Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, appearing to become one with the Grand River. It's a massive reminder of good manufacturing years gone by. And it'll stay that way for the foreseeable future, despite the property owner's potential $38 million investment into the property.
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Wednesday, April 17,2013

GM: We’ll take your concerns to management

Council committee approves GM tax abatement request; talks updates on Stadium District developments

by Andy Balaskovitz
Wednesday, April 17 — General Motors representatives told four Lansing City Council members today that they will take concerns about large vacant parking lots at its Grand River Assembly site back to plant managers.
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Wednesday, April 10,2013

Tax or a fee?

The $5.5 million question at the heart of Mayor Bernero's budget proposal

by Andy Balaskovitz
The central piece that balances Mayor Virg Bernero's budget next fiscal year may not even be legal. Bernero's proposal to charge Lansing Board of Water and Light customers for streetlights and fire hydrants could be interpreted as a tax, according to two attorneys and based on case law from 15 years ago.
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Wednesday, April 10,2013

The chief is leaving

Lansing Police Chief Teresa Szymanski reflects on nearly 26 years at the LPD

by Andy Balaskovitz
Wednesday, April 10 — Consolidating the Lansing Police Department into one building is the biggest goal she never accomplished, Teresa Szymanski said today, reflecting on her three years as Lansing Police chief.
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Monday, April 8,2013

Kids in the Hall

Budget hearings round 2: More BWL details, LEPFA and human resources

by Andy Balaskovitz
Monday, April 8 — Lansing Board of Water and Light General Manager J. Peter Lark was in the house tonight to give more details on potentially new ways to pay for streetlights and fire hydrants in the city.
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