Following the Money and Checking In with Local Leaders

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Following the Money and Checking In with Local Leaders
We keep the light of local news on for you.

Those are core aspects of what ELi does for the East Lansing community, and this week was no exception.

ELi’s Alice Dreger dug into the City of East Lansing’s Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, going deeper than the numbers presented to do some comparisons with prior years. What this "follow the money" investigation turned up might surprise you. Check out this ELi report for the latest on the City’s unfunded pension debt, the time-limited income tax, the impact on the general fund from tax diversion schemes and much more.

Read the story.

The documented surge in antisemitic acts nationally and statewide is being felt locally, too. ELi’s Dustin DuFort Petty checked in with Rabbi Amy Bigman of Congregation Shaarey Zedek and Carolyn Normandin, Michigan’s Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League, to learn more. Speaking about safety measures, Bigman told ELi, “I never would have thought about any of these measures when I was in rabbinic school. But now I don’t know of a synagogue or Jewish facility who doesn’t do this.” Read on.

This week, Dreger also brought you what’s become her annual list of tips about great gifts you can pick up in East Lansing’s downtown, everything from handmade jewelry to hygge terrariums and candles to viral-themed ties and scarves. Check it out.

On Monday (Sunday for East Lansing Insider members), we’ll be bringing you a special report about policing in East Lansing. To develop this report, Dreger teamed up with ELi’s Managing Editor Julie Seraphinoff to bring ELi readers’ questions to ELPD Captain Chad Pride. Stay tuned to learn Captain Pride’s responses to questions about the drop in traffic patrols, robberies downtown, unsolved cases and the oversight commission’s work.

Hello, winter.

Feeling like being with people but not actually having to talk to them? We’ve got what you’re looking for! The Silent Book Club will be gathering at East Lansing’s Graduate Hotel on Tuesday, Dec. 27, from 6-8 p.m. Grab a beverage and settle in with a good book for what’s being termed “an introvert happy hour.”

Lobby of The Graduate Hotel

Earlier that day, Dec. 27, from 1-2:30 p.m. you can join the Classics Book Club at the East Lansing Public Library. (Expect at that event to communicate with others.) Learn more.

This is the portion of the East Lansing Insider weekly newsletter where we usually tell you what’s coming up in terms of public meetings for the East Lansing Public Schools’ board and the City of East Lansing’s government. But the calendars are showing no meetings this coming week, so we offer you instead a color photo taken on MSU’s campus Thursday evening.

Photo credit: Kepler Domurat-Sousa

In light of the current weather, the city has temporarily suspended the requirement to clear walks of ice and snow and recommends people not park on the streets while the plows are coming through. Learn more here.

ELi’s Annual Campaign has only 8 days left.

And it looks like, for the first time since we started participating in NewsMatch, ELi will not manage to obtain the New Member Bonus of $1,000 from NewsMatch. Obtaining that match requires that we have 100 new donors donate any amount to ELi between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31. At the moment, we have only 34.

We are also looking at potentially leaving $8,000 in match funds “on the table.” We have just about that amount in matching dollar commitments thanks to supporters who have recharged our “match tanker” with gas. We have until Dec. 31 to deploy those match funds. Your tax-deductible contribution to ELi can currently be matched dollar-for-dollar.

Monthly commitments are matched at the ANNUAL rate. So, a monthly commitment of $10 brings us $240 closer to the goal, and a monthly commitment of $25 brings us a whopping $600 closer to our goal.

Donation options are all listed here.

ELi’s donors and match funders have now brought our campaign total up to $102,366, which comes to 58% of our Annual Campaign goal.

That’s a big jump over last week! The leapfrogging we are seeing is due chiefly to people signing up for monthly commitments. Find out how to sign up for a monthly donation here.

Thanks to everyone who has pitched in to keep this local news service alive and kicking!