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Wednesday, February 27,2013

The mortgage

Financial Health Team to recommend Lansing increase its funding for long-term pension and health care liabilities

by Andy Balaskovitz
A key member of the mostly mayoral-appointed Financial Health Team in Lansing says the city should increase funding — or decrease costs — for its long-term liabilities for pensions and retiree health care by $9 million to $15 million a year.
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Wednesday, February 20,2013

Dispensaries and overages

The Supreme Court's effect on Lansing dispensaries and pending legislation to give them hope

by Andy Balaskovitz
It's shortly after noon on Monday, and a young man likely in his 20s or 30s is making a purchase at Alternative Medicine in Lansing. Fifty dollars is exchanged for a few grams of medical marijuana. Business as usual?
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Wednesday, February 20,2013

Stalled development

Why is a development project near the Stadium District held up in Mayor Bernero's office?

by Andy Balaskovitz
Lansing developer Pat Gillespie is interested in transforming a prominent eyesore across the street from his Stadium District in downtown Lansing, but a key step in the process has been held up in Mayor Virg Bernero’s office for over two months.
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Wednesday, February 13,2013

'If'

Personnel Committee chairwoman says meeting minutes are inaccurate as the mayor's chief of staff says they border on libel and slander

by Andy Balaskovitz
Lansing City Councilwoman Kathie Dunbar's computer continues to be a topic of discussion this week at City Hall. Now the administration has stepped up its criticism of the way its being handled, saying a Council committee unnecessarily implicated a department head in the debate.
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Wednesday, February 13,2013

Sell BWL?

Exploring an unpopular solution to Lansing's budget deficit

by Andy Balaskovitz
When Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero says "everything is on the table" to fix the city's budget problems, it's not entirely true.
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Wednesday, February 6,2013

That was fast

Bernero knocked off dais as arch-enemy City Council President Carol Wood takes time out of her busy schedule to reorganize seating. "Honeymoon over," mayor says.

by Andy Balaskovitz
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero no longer has a seat on the City Council dais. He'll now sit at a table on the floor when he comes to a meeting.
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Wednesday, February 6,2013

Computers and politics

It appears the 2013 City Council elections are in high gear, with Kathie Dunbar alleging opponent Brian Jeffries is making politically motivated attacks against her over personal matters. Jeffries denies it.

by Andy Balaskovitz
It all started with committee assignments. When I asked Lansing City Council President Carol Wood on Jan. 29 why Councilwoman Kathie Dunbar — who has served seven years on the Council — was not appointed to chair any committees or serve on any boards or commissions, Wood's response was: "I think there are some issues there, things I can’t go into. There are some outstanding issues that are being discussed in closed session that I can’t go into at this time," she said.
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Monday, February 4,2013

A regular passes

The Legacy of John Pollard

by Andy Balaskovitz
This ain't no shell game. I'm no spin doctor selling you snake oil. Friday marked the end of an era in the Lansing City Council chambers. The smoothest, straightest talking — and most fact-based, at least in recent years — Council regular, John Pollard, passed away at his home on Friday. The cause of death for the inveterate smoker was small-cell lung cancer. He was 65.
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Wednesday, January 23,2013

The good, the bad, the up and coming

by Andy Balaskovitz
It's 3:30 on a Wednesday afternoon in REO Town, and it looks more like 1923 than 2013. Dozens of construction workers in fluorescent green jackets are heading toward their cars, filtering out from a massive, $182 million construction project that towers over the neighborhood. The workday is over.
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Wednesday, January 16,2013

Eyes in the sky

Inconclusive data still pits Lansing police against civil liberties advocates over surveillance cameras after first homicide of the year

by Andy Balaskovitz
Lansing's first homicide of 2013 in plain view of one of the city's surveillance cameras has renewed criticism of their effectiveness. These types of crimes aren't supposed to happen in front of these cameras, opponents say.
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