Holiday Party is Over - It's Back to Business & More Fun

What's going on in East Lansing?

Holiday Party is Over - It's Back to Business & More Fun
East Lansing's Grand River Avenue corridor (with ELi's sunshine added)

The ELi team hopes everyone in the East Lansing community was able to enjoy Fourth of July celebrations despite some grueling summer heat.

It was a holiday, it was hot, but it was also a slow news week, allowing ELi staff to take a break from publishing Monday through Wednesday as city meetings mostly stopped.

We did have reporter Mya Gregory out at the East Lansing Public Library (ELPL) Board of Trustees special meeting Thursday (July 6) in anticipation of an interim director being named after the resignations of Director Kristin Shelley and Assistant Director Brice Bush. But, after not receiving many applications, the board instead decided to make some modifications to the job posting. The requirements and certifications will be more flexible, being “preferred” rather than “required.” Duties of the job will remain the same and experience and education are still relevant.

The board also reached out to library staff for input on what duties a director normally has and how the board can help with these tasks during this transition time. The staff emphasized the need for a director sign-off for contracts, approval of purchases and vacation days, as well as payroll. During this time without a director, the board is looking to take on these roles with approval of City Council.

Moving forward, the library board is funding increased advertising of the position for posting on Linkedin, Instagram and Facebook. They will also collaborate with library staff during the hiring process and preparation for interviews, which they hope to hold at the next meeting on July 19. ELi will, of course, continue to report on this unfolding story.

Reporter Sarah Spohn chronicled the efforts to raise funds for the Jaimes family to make their bathroom accessible for 13-year-old Jaslene Jaimes, who is living with a rare progressive neurological disorder. Helping organize the effort is now-retired East Lansing special education teacher Renee Olance.

ELi also published a report by Dustin DuFort Petty on how the faith community is reacting to a recent threat on an East Lansing synagogue. A 19-year-old was arrested on suspicion of making the June 16 threat.

After a couple slow weeks, city meetings return with a vengeance.

The week starts with a Human Rights Commission meeting Monday (July 10). Here’s the agenda and ELi’s report from the last meeting.

The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) will hold a special meeting at noon Tuesday (July 11) to discuss River Caddis’ plans for the Evergreen properties. Without action by the DDA, the agreement with River Caddis is set to expire July 17.

Want to continue your meeting attendance Tuesday? Here’s your chance.

City Council will hold its first meeting of the month at 7 p.m. Tuesday. As we expected, the agenda (which is a long one) includes Council voting on whether or not to let three charter amendments become ballot initiatives in the November election. The amendments could create a lame duck period for outgoing council members, expand the Council from five to seven and switch Council elections from odd- to even-numbered years. Also on the business agenda is the option agreement and development agreement for the properties at 333 Valley Court.

Other city meetings on the calendar include the Downtown Management Board also on Tuesday, the Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday (July 12) and Historic District Commission on Thursday (July 13). Agendas are always available here.

And now for some fun stuff. After all, it is summer in East Lansing.

The 2023 Summer Event Lineup organized by the Parks, Recreation and Arts Department continues next week with the Summer Concert Series, the Moonlight Film Festival and Play in the Park. All events are free to attend.

First up this week is the showing of the movie “Shrek” on Thursday (July 13). Movies begin at dusk (approximately 9:30 p.m. in July and 9 p.m. in August) in Valley Court Park. Community members are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair to enjoy the show. Here’s the lineup through August:

Performing Friday (July 14) at the second concert of the summer series is Taylor Taylor. Bring a chair or blanket to Ann Street Plaza or grab a seat outdoors at one of the restaurants adjacent to the plaza. There’s also lots to keep you busy at Albert EL Fresco. Here’s the concert lineup through August:

Play in the Park, an interactive entertainment series for children, will be held on various Tuesdays in July and August from 7-7:45 p.m. at Valley Court Park. The first play event is July 18 and features the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. Here’s the schedule:

ELPL always offers a wealth of activities and this next week is no exception. Summer reading programs for the Big (Books on Tap Book Club at Reno’s), the Medium (Monday Night Trivia for teens) and the Small (Drummunity and Pajama Night Storytime). And there’s lots more on the schedule with information here. Just a heads up, the library will be closed until 5 p.m Tuesday (July 11) for staff training.

ELPL has also been publicizing the power of having a library card. The Michigan Activity Pass allows library users to use their library card for discounts, special deals and sometimes free admission to attractions around the state. Here’s information about the program on the recently revamped Michigan Activities Pass website.

Somehow July has a way of flying by, so girls interested in becoming firefighters should mark on their calendars Aug. 1-3 to participate in Camp HERoic. The camp is meant to “ignite” a girl’s potential to “become a fire safety hero.” Cost is $25 and includes a t-shirt and lunch and snacks each day. The camp flier provides lots of information.

No word yet on a date for the rescheduled PRIDE Celebration in downtown East Lansing. The June 30 event was canceled because of poor air quality from the pesky Canadian wildfires. ELi will let readers know as soon as the new date has been announced.

Have an event you’d like included in the East Lansing Insider newsletter? Let us know!