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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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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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