We hope everyone is able to spend time in person or remotely with family and friends during this span of quiet and holiday celebrations. The ELi team will be taking a short publishing break into the New Year, outside a few stories to recap our 2023 coverage, some predictions for what stories are ahead in 2024 and updates on our annual campaign (more details below).
But first, let’s take a look at stories ELi brought you last week.
Reporter Mya Gregory attended the Dec. 11 Human Rights Commission meeting where commissioners approved a resolution that demands a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict. The resolution will be presented to City Council to vote on at a later meeting.
Mya also brought a report on the Dec. 7 Housing Commission meeting. A potential overlay in the Glencairn neighborhood dominated discussion, as some residents want the overlay in place to protect against rental properties, while others are concerned about unintended consequences of adding restrictions.
Reporter Mara Logan recapped the Dec. 11 East Lansing Board of Education meeting. It was announced the East Lansing Education Foundation (ELEF) would be providing $71,000 in grants to 40 East Lansing classrooms. Also, school will be closed on Feb. 13, the one-year anniversary of the Michigan State University (MSU) shooting.
City Desk Editor Luke Day wrote about city finances, which were discussed at the Dec. 12 discussion-only City Council meeting. Council heard the results of an audit of the last fiscal year and explored potential uses of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
The Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission heard about grant applications for Safe Routes to School at its Dec. 13 meeting. Mara attended the meeting and reported back about changes to school and city property that could make travel to school even safer.
Reporter Dustin DuFort Petty spoke to nine faith leaders in East Lansing about local church attendance and involvement in recent years, as church attendance nationwide has seen a decline. In this ELi Special Investigation, clergy talked about changes they’ve made to adapt to the needs of younger church members and their expectations going forward. This investigative report and others are made possible thanks to ELi's Investigative News Fund!
The city is taking a breather from meetings this week.
The communications department has provided a detailed list of holiday City of East Lansing closure dates and extra holiday trash and recycling collection schedules. 'Tis the season for no-fee trash collection beginning Tuesday (Dec. 26) through Jan. 5. The city will also be picking up Christmas trees curbside and at five area parks from Jan. 2-9.
Get downtown for those last-minute gifts!
And if you’re a holiday shopping procrastinator or looking for unique last-minute gifts, downtown shops have tons to offer. Cold weather is no excuse this year with temperatures expected to be in the 50s today (Dec. 23) and Sunday (Dec. 24). Walk the streets, do some shopping and visit the local eateries. Watch for members of the ELi team (we may fit the definition of procrastinators).
There aren't many activities on the East Lansing calendar, but the City Pulse has provided a list of happenings in Greater Lansing before the arrival of Christmas on Monday (Dec. 25). Here are the suggestions.
Crystal Awards nominations are being accepted.
It’s the time of year again to nominate someone for the City of East Lansing’s Crystal Awards. The Crystal Awards program honors those who strive to make the City a more welcoming place to live, work and do business. The deadline to submit a nomination is Feb. 19. The four categories are: Community; Business; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging; and Spirit of East Lansing. Previous winners have included coaches, representatives of neighborhood associations, volunteers and local businesses among many others. Here’s more information.
ELi’s annual campaign ends Dec. 31. We need your help!!
With December quickly winding down, ELi is entering the final week of its annual campaign. In this time of family and giving, consider making an end-of-the-year tax-deductible donation by Dec. 31 to your dedicated nonprofit independent news service. We currently have 31 NEW donors, which means we only need 19 more NEW donors to get a $500 bonus from NewsMatch.
Currently, our running public total is $104,681.20 (this includes the donations we have received to date plus the $3,000 Knight Community Bonus). This means we are 52% of the way toward our goal 0f $200,000. And we still have $5,000 in local matching funds left. That means your donation, including if you become an East Lansing Insider member, will be matched dollar for dollar!
We are beyond appreciative of those of you who have already donated. But reaching our $200,000 goal will mean the ELi team can go into 2024 concentrating on digging into coverage of city government, development, schools, neighborhoods, businesses, arts and culture, and the people who make our city special, rather than raising funds to keep ELi going.
Correction: The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year. The caption on the lead photo has been corrected.