The ELi team wants to start by saying farewell and thank you to ELi Founder Alice Dreger. Back in 2012, Alice founded ELi because, at the time, it was nearly impossible to find good, consistent news coverage on city government. Over the past decade-plus, Alice has donated countless hours and more than $100,000 to keep ELi running and delivering important information to the community. Alice’s efforts developed ELi into the critical service it is today, a service that shines a light on what is happening in city hall, holds powerful figures accountable and tells the stories of East Lansing. Here is Alice’s farewell letter.
ELi offered wide news coverage this week.
In city news published this week in ELi, Reporter Mya Gregory recapped the Dec. 5 Downtown Management Board (DMB) meeting. The DMB heard a pair of presentations, one addressing public safety downtown and the other focused on homelessness.
A major proposal for the downtown that was killed after community backlash may be seeing new life. Reporter Dustin DuFort Petty brought us a story about adjustments that have been made to the workforce housing proposal at 530 Albert Avenue that have won over some former detractors.
Arts and Culture Reporter Sarah Spohn detailed a new trail that connects Michigan State University (MSU) to the Lake Lansing Trail. A ribbon cutting for the new trail, which is accessible to cyclists and walkers, was held Dec. 8. This trail is the first phase of a larger project that will include three phases.
After weeks of a debate about a rental restrictive overlay that may be put in place and cover a section of the Glencairn neighborhood, City Desk Editor Luke Day brought a rundown on what an overlay does and who can stay in a home for an extended time without a rental license. The debate about overlays will be ongoing, as this overlay will still need to be addressed by the Planning Commission and City Council before it is enacted.
A Michigan State University (MSU) urban design class pitched ideas to the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and city officials on how the dirt lot on Evergreen Avenue should be used. The site, which has been the subject of several failed proposals, has been a hot topic for years. Ideas presented by the students included apartment buildings, a plaza featuring local shopping and restaurants, and an events center for community and the arts. Read reporter Mara Logan’s story on the presentations here.
And finally, Dustin brought a story on Friday (Dec. 15) about a group of nine civic and school leaders submitting a letter to City Council encouraging the body to put the establishment of a charter review commission on the ballot in 2024.
Here are the meetings on the calendar this week.
There are quite a few meetings scheduled for next week before we hit the holiday lull. Monday (Dec. 18), the Commission on the Environment will meet. Then on Wednesday (Dec. 20), there will be a special meeting of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Board and the Library Board of Trustees will meet. On Thursday (Dec. 21), the DDA, Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and Building Board of Appeals will all convene. When meeting agendas are posted, they can be found here.
This is a good time of year to visit downtown and campus.
With the MSU graduation ceremonies over after today (Dec. 16) and many students heading home for winter break, the city takes on a quieter feel. This is a perfect time to head downtown for some local shopping and to visit favorite restaurants. Also, parking is free on campus from Sunday (Dec. 17) through Jan. 7, ideal for a long walk along the Red Cedar River (without dodging bikes and scooters).
Here are just a few of the happenings at the ELPL.
Looking for other things to do? The East Lansing Public Library (ELPL) has numerous activities on the calendar for all ages. Sunday (Dec. 17), the PT Strummers, a group of "ukulele-playing folks," will perform a free Holiday concert from 2-3 p.m. in the ELPL Cafe.
Adults who knit, crochet, table loom, embroider, cross stitch or hand sew are invited to the Knitting & Crochet group Tuesday (Dec. 19) 1:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Here’s more information on the group
Have a teen or tween who is on winter break from school and needs something to do? The library’s Chill, Chat, And Craft! program will meet 3:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Here’s more about the once-a-month craft program.
ELi's Annual Giving Campaign update: We're half way there!!
Dec. 31 is well in sight and ELi needs your help to reach our $200,000 goal before the end of our Annual Giving Campaign. We are 50% of the way toward that goal.
Alice does a brilliant job in her farewell letter of laying out why it is so vital for ELi to reach the goal. This may be a time of transition for ELi, but the team is dedicated to continue providing the deep-dives into issues and stories that affect our community. Your support will help us continue to focus on this crucial labor of love.
And if you give now, your donation will be matched, doubling its impact. This is a unique opportunity for readers and supporters to maximize donations and help us achieve our fundraising goal. Donate here before Dec. 31!
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