City Gets Back to Regular Business

Here's a recap of what went on around town last week and some news to know this week.

City Gets Back to Regular Business
A snowy gray morning early Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024.

It took a little longer than expected, but winter weather finally arrived in East Lansing. Stay safe while traveling, as inclement weather may continue to affect residents throughout the weekend. 

Last week marked a return to regular business for city government and schools, leading to a week packed with meetings. 

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Tuesday (Jan. 10), City Desk Editor Luke Day covered the City Council meeting that saw hours of public comment from residents weighing in on a resolution that would have supported a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Ultimately, Council voted 4-1 against the resolution. 

Reporter Alex Maas wrote his debut ELi story this week. Alex covered Monday’s (Jan. 9) East Lansing Board of Education meeting. At the meeting, Chris Martin was elected to serve as board president and there was a discussion about the school safety bond proposal that will be decided on by voters at the May 7 election. 

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It was a landmark week for the East Lansing Public Library (ELPL), as the library’s board voted to make Kevin King the next ELPL director. This will be a return to East Lansing for King, who studied at Michigan State University (MSU). King brings extensive experience as a librarian to ELPL having worked for the Kalamazoo Public Library (KPL) for 25 years. 

On the topic of ELPL, Arts and Culture Reporter Sarah Spohn brought us a report highlighting the “Library of Things.” Housed in ELPL, the Library of Things allows residents to check out everything from LED Light Therapy Lamps to musical instruments, tools and much more. 

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For months, residents have been raising questions about rental restrictive overlays, as there is a new district proposed in a section of the Glencairn neighborhood. In an effort to address resident concerns, the city is hosting an information session on the topic Wednesday (Jan. 17) at 6 p.m. at the Hannah Community Center. For more information on what to expect at the meeting, check out Mya Gregory’s report here. 

Five meetings on the calendar this week.

Looking ahead, there are five city meetings scheduled for this week. Tuesday (Jan. 16) there will be a discussion-only City Council meeting. Then on Wednesday (Jan. 17), the Library Board of Trustees and Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission will each convene. Thursday (Jan. 18), the Age Friendly Communities Board and the Arts Commission will each meet. When meeting agendas are released, they can be found here. 

Here is other news from around East Lansing.

The city is working to help residents prepare for the Feb. 27 Primary Election. This week, information about that election and how voters can submit their ballots early was added to the city’s website. 

Motorists - be prepared for lane shifts beginning Monday (Jan. 15) on Grand River Avenue due to the ongoing Consumers Energy project. The affected area will include the eastbound and westbound lanes of traffic on Grand River Avenue from Cowley Avenue to Harrison Road. Consumers Energy will be performing work on the south side of Grand River Avenue during this time. Work will take place between 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and is expected to be done by Feb. 5.

The ELPL is hosting a screening and discussion of the documentary “By the Dawn’s Early Light: Chris Jackson’s Journey to Islam,” directed by Zareena Grewal ,at 7 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 17). Michigan State University (MSU) scholars Dr. Christina L. Myers of the School of Journalism and Dr. Nura Sediqe of the Department of Political Science will lead the discussion. In 1996, basketball star Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (formerly Chris Jackson) refused to stand during the national anthem because of his "Muslim conscience," leading to his suspension from the NBA. Abdul-Rauf is scheduled to speak at MSU on Jan. 23, 7-8:30 p.m., in the Erickson Kiva as part of the 3rd Annual Malcolm X Muslim Studies Community Forum.