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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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Friday, September 10,2010

Kids in the Hall

The city compromises with a mega church

by Andy Balaskovitz
The Lansing City Council reached a preliminary agreement Thursday with Abundant Grace Faith Church, which purchased the former Farmer Jack at 5750 S. Cedar St. for $700,000 about nine months ago. Because the property is zoned commercial, the city has gone back and forth on whether to grant the church a special land use permit to operate. The Council had concerns that the church would disrupt the flow of traffic on Cedar and would object to businesses already operating in the area.
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Thursday, September 9,2010

It's out

The snow and ice removal ordinance is voted out of committee after roughly two years, City Council votes Thursday for a public hearing

by Andy Balaskovitz
It took about three hours in the 10th floor City Hall Council Chambers, but lo and behold, a proposed snow and ice removal ordinance will likely get a public hearing this month. The ordinance would allow the city to clear public sidewalks and add the cost to a property owner’s taxes if it isn’t paid within 30 days.
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Thursday, September 9,2010

It's out

The snow and ice removal ordinance is voted out of committee after roughly 2 years; City Council votes Thursday for a public hearing

by Andy Balaskovitz
It took about three hours in the 10th floor City Hall Council Chambers, but lo and behold, a proposed snow and ice removal ordinance will likely get a public hearing this month. The ordinance would allow the city to clear public sidewalks and add the cost to a property owner’s taxes if it isn’t paid within 30 days.
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Thursday, September 9,2010

Virg Watch

Snyder rejects Bernero’s proposal on small-business loans

by Andy Balaskovitz
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Virg Bernero reached out to his opponent’s campaign Tuesday, asking him to sign a petition supporting a proposed federal bill that would help small businesses get access to loans. Bernero’s opponent, Republican candidate Rick Snyder, didn’t bite.
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Wednesday, September 8,2010

Legacy of dumping

How the Lansing Board of Water and Light is making good on nearly 15 years of careless dumping of coalburning byproducts

by Andy Balaskovitz
Between 1964 and 1978, the Lansing Board of Water and Light heedlessly dumped about 450,000 cubic yards of coal ash into a large gravel-lined hole ' once a swimming site ' at the north end of Comfort Street in north Lansing. Such dumping by coal-burning utilities throughout the country was common at the time.
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Wednesday, September 8,2010

Politics and football

Rick Snyder finds glossy-eyed support at the Wolverines’ home opener

by Andy Balaskovitz
With a blue-and-white checked Polo shirt tucked into his blue jeans, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder greeted a mix of children, college students and adults as they made their way past his tailgate. I smiled as the visibly drunk people greeted Snyder:.
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Wednesday, September 1,2010

Snow revisited

For the city, public safety trumps potential costs of a new snow and ice removal ordinance, which will be discussed publicly today

by Andy Balaskovitz
Over the past two winters, 450 nuisance complaints were filed with the Lansing Public Service Department. Of those, 207 notices were delivered to property owners’ doorsteps to clean up their public sidewalks (some of whom are out-of-state banks on foreclosed properties). Of those notices, only seven civil infraction tickets were issued. And to the department director’s understanding, none of them was paid.
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Wednesday, September 1,2010

[Pay] Back to School

by Andy Balaskovitz
Living near MSU is a distinct experience this time of year. Roughly 15,000 students move into residence halls on campus, each with varying quantities of essential and non-essential furnishings.
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