Here's your weekly news roundup from ELi!
Readers contacted ELi asking our reporting staff to investigate the story behind a pair of notices posted in the Lansing State Journal by a company intending to construct two 40-foot cell phone towers, one in the Glencairn neighborhood and one in Bailey. ELi’s City Desk Editor Luke Day looked into the matter, finding out in the process that 50 or more such towers may be coming around the city this year. Read more in this special report.
Luke also reported this week on an analysis provided to ELi by East Lansing Census Complete Count Committee Chair Larry Rosen. The analysis shows a 5 percent increase in the number of housing units in East Lansing from 2010 to 2020, but a decrease in the total population. Data also show East Lansing has become more diverse, with a 75% increase in the Black/African-American population and a 51% increase in the Hispanic/Latino population. At the same time, the Asian population fell 18%, and the number of people identifying themselves as being of two or more races rose substantially. Get the story here.
ELi’s Dustin DuFort Petty brought a report this week on what happened at the last East Lansing Public Schools board meeting, including farewells to outgoing President Chris Martin and Vice President Kate Powers. The board also passed about 50 policy changes, mostly small edits, but as Dustin notes, more significant policy changes are expected to be coming down the pike this year. Newly-elected members Tali Faris-Hylen and Amanda Cormier along with re-elected members Terah Chambers and Kath Edsall will be sworn in this coming Tuesday, Jan. 10. Read more.
And ELi’s Executive Director and Publisher, Alice Dreger, brought the happiest news of the week at ELi: Our supporters have provided over $136,000 in donations, commitments, matches, and challenge grants for our work in 2023. That puts ELi's Annual Campaign total at over 78% of our budget for 2023. Didn’t get a chance to donate? It’s not too late to help us make up the remaining gap.
Opportunities around town:
Recycle your live-cut Christmas tree, Hanukkah bush, or Solstice shrub through Friday, Jan. 13, and it will be chipped up and used for mulch in local parks or donated to the Department of Natural Resources for use as rabbit habitats. Get details here.
The 2023 City of East Lansing curbside recycling program is now available here.
Catch Social Hour at the library! East Lansing’s Public Library invites you to join others on the second Tuesday of every month to talk about what you've been reading, movies, travel experiences, local events and more. This month’s Social Hour falls on Tuesday, Jan. 10, and will run from 5-6 p.m. Learn more.
There’s lots more happening at the library: Kids Comic Club, Robotics Club, Teen Time, Maker Monday and many other group activities. Find the complete calendar here.
And you can join the Books-on-Tap Club at Reno’s Sports Bar on Jan. 10 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The book under discussion will be The Lincoln Highway. Details here.
The City of East Lansing has extended the deadline to apply to participate in the Emerging Leaders Program to Friday, Jan. 13. Want to learn a lot about East Lansing city government, and maybe prepare to serve on a commission or run for City Council? Here's your chance.
What else is coming up?
City meetings are back in full swing this week, with the Human Rights Commission meeting on Monday, Council on Tuesday, Planning Commission on Wednesday, and the Community Development Advisory Committee and Historic District Commission both on Thursday. Agendas are posted here and include time and location information.
Council’s agenda for Tuesday shows there will be discussion of how the council will manage the vetting of the 14 candidates for the vacant council seat and a request to rezone a property at 1788 Woodside Drive. We’ve got reports coming up on both those topics, so keep an eye on East Lansing Info or sign up for an East Lansing Insider membership if you’re interested in those issues.
Council will also consider a request to sell recreational marijuana at 2040 Merritt Road. Here's the background from ELi on that request. And deer management is coming back for discussion on Tuesday, as is the question of whether to declare East Lansing a sanctuary city. It's going to be a long night, and our team will cover it for you.
In terms of ELPS administration, the only meeting listed on the calendar is the School Board’s organizational meeting, as noted above, on Monday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m.
Wanting to get some outdoor exercise and help the parks system? Next Saturday, Jan. 14, from 9-11 a.m. you can join the Environmental Stewardship Program team at White Park. Learn more here about how to sign up to volunteer.
Thanks for being an engaged reader of ELi!