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Wednesday, September 29,2010

Risk averted or greed asserted?

As new federal health care regulations took effect Thursday, dozens in Ingham County lose coverage: an ‘unintended consequence.’

by Andy Balaskovitz
Fifty-four employees from 18 local businesses (including City Pulse) were notified recently that U.S. Health and Life Insurance Co. will terminate the 6-year-old Ingham County Advantage health insurance plan, effective Dec. 31. It is known as the “third share plan” because the county subsidizes roughly one-third of the premium.
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Wednesday, September 29,2010

Committee talk

Why does the Public Safety Committee meet so much, anyway?

by Andy Balaskovitz
Tim Kaltenbach was surprised when he heard the news that Jessica Yorko, his successor on the Lansing City Council, had missed 27 of 33 Public Safety Committee meetings in roughly seven months.
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Monday, September 27,2010

Snow and church

The Lansing City Council votes tonight on the snow and ice removal ordinance and granting a special land use permit to a mega church

by Andy Balaskovitz
Monday, Sept. 27 — After nearly two years, the proposed snow and ice removal ordinance, which grants the city permission to clear snow from sidewalks if residents fail to do so (and charges them), is up for a vote at tonight’s Lansing City Council meeting.
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Thursday, September 23,2010

Climate change and the Great Lakes

MSU faculty behind a five-year, $4.2 million federal grant to make Great Lakes climate change research more succinct, useful

by Andy Balaskovitz
Thursday, Sept. 23 — Climate change research done on the Great Lakes region is a hodgepodge and in most cases not very useful for policymakers. Researchers from Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Ohio State University seek to change that, thanks to a $4.2 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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Wednesday, September 22,2010

Hard rain

Suspicions arise that the Grand River took on coal ash in addition to sewage and storm water after Thursday’s rain

by Andy Balaskovitz
The Lansing Board of Water and Light is midway through moving 450,000 cubic yards of toxic legacy coal ash ' the byproduct of burning coal that contains arsenic, mercury and boron ' from its property north of Comfort Street to a safer storage facility.
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Wednesday, September 22,2010

Bueller ... Bueller

Fourth Ward Councilwoman Jessica Yorko’s committee attendance in sharp contrast with her colleagues’

by Andy Balaskovitz
At a Sept. 13 City Council meeting, regular attendee John Pollard presented a Freedom of Information Act request he filed with the city asking for all Council members’ attendance records at committee meetings. He rattled off all eight members’ attendance records since Jan.
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Wednesday, September 22,2010

'The Tube'

Potential Marketplace development could bring upgrades to the pedway that crosses the Grand River

by Andy Balaskovitz
Standing on the Michigan Avenue bridge looking north with an architectural designer offers a unique perspective of much of the recent downtown activity: the Ottawa Power Station, City Market, River Trail, the Lansing Center and yes, of course, that tubular crosswalk over the Grand River.
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Wednesday, September 22,2010

"Can-dogging," alcohol and family: Life among Lansing’s homeless camps

by Andy Balaskovitz
Every night at about 9:30, Vivian “Mama Bear” Thomas waits excitedly for her friends to come by for dinner. She sits beneath a deck umbrella and blue plastic tarps, held together by dead tree branches. Over her shoulder are three small bedrooms and a kitchen area.
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Wednesday, September 22,2010

Virg Watch

The abortion issue surfaces on the campaign trail

by Andy Balaskovitz
Virg Bernero’s Democratic gubernatorial campaign is chasing women as of late … their vote, that is.At campaign stops in Lansing, Flint and Southfield Monday, Bernero and running mate Brenda Lawrence slammed opponent Rick Snyder’s position on abortion. Snyder believes women should have the right to choose to have a child only in cases of rape or incest or when the mother is in a life-or-death situation.
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Wednesday, September 15,2010

'Appearance of impropriety'

Should judicial candidates accept campaign contributions from lawyers? Two local candidates differ

by Andy Balaskovitz
“If a law firm hosts a fundraiser, even if it is just donating space, that candidate is sponsored by that law firm,” O’Berry said, meaning contributions can start adding up from associates and partners of the law firm. “You start talking about significant amounts of money.
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