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The Mercurial Trail: An Introduction

Monday, February 16, 2015

Photo/Image: p. Gordon on Flickr, showing elemental mercury spilled from an old thermostat switch

Last week, thanks to a tip from an ELi reader, Ann Nichols and I broke the story of a lawsuit against the City of East Lansing by a group of workers from the Wastewater Treatment Plant. According to their legal complaint, the workers are suing because they “were intentionally and unnecessarily exposed to mercury and asbestos.”

ASK ELi: Managing Hannah's Use

Friday, February 13, 2015

Image: Hannah Community Center, courtesy City of East Lansing

This week, an ELi reader asked us to investigate the usage of the Hannah Community Center. Our reader was particularly interested in the question of whether City-run programs are given adequate priority over external groups that use Hannah. (Hannah is getting busy enough that space is sometimes tight, including in the parking lot.)

City's e - Town Hall Open for Business

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The City of East Lansing has unveiled e-Town Hall, a new way to interact with citizens and to collect opinions on specific issues. At press time, the site was soliciting citizen opinions on two topics: “What would you like to see done with the Bailey Community Center building?” and “Downtown Visions” which focuses on matters of use and density for future downtown development.

Workers Sue City for Asbestos and Mercury Exposure

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Image: The Wastewater Treatment Plant, courtesy City of East Lansing

On a tip, ELi has learned that a lawsuit has been filed against the City of East Lansing by nine employees who have worked at the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant. The workers’ Complaint alleges that workers at the plant “were intentionally and unnecessarily exposed to mercury and asbestos.” (We obtained a copy of the Complaint from the Court, and you can read it here.)

Charter Amendment on Land Sales Could Significantly Alter System

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The City has now made available four draft alternatives for an amendment to the City Charter to change how decisions are made about the sale of City-owned lands. Some Council members expressed an interest in changing this provision in East Lansing’s Charter to be more in line with Lansing’s, but the decision parameters being suggested for East Lansing are different from Lansing’s in an important respect.

YOUR ELI: Want balanced coverage? Tell us what you think!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

As we approach the May 5th election in East Lansing, ELi hopes you will speak up and tell us your positions on the issues that will affect all of us. We will be looking for residents of East Lansing to help educate fellow citizens about their perspectives, and so we hope you will consider contributing in this way.

Council Capsule, January 27, 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Image: City Council last night

All members of City Council were present. The meeting lasted from 7:02 pm on January 27 until 12:27 a.m. on January 28.

City’s credit rating at risk, with layoffs possible: Dire financial news was delivered by City Manager George Lahanas just before the end of the meeting. Read our special report.

Public Comments Debated by Council

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Image: Mayor Nathan Triplett and Councilmembers Kathy Boyle and Susan Woods at Council last night

Around midnight, about five hours into last night’s East Lansing City Council meeting, a debate broke out about how to manage public comments at these meetings.

Council Pushes PDIG to Clairfy Plan, While Mayor Questions Tax Incentives

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Image: PDIG represenatives Tom Eckhart and Todd Arend at City Council last night

Last night at City Council, PDIG ran into multiple disappointments as the developer’s representatives tried to push forward their plan to construct a project known as “Building A” at the corner of Grand River Avenue and Abbot Road.

City Credit Rating at Risk, Layoffs Possible

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Image: City Manager George Lahanas, Councilmember Ruth Beier, and Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris at Council last night

At 12:30 this morning, at the very end of a five-and-a-half-hour City Council work session, City Manager George Lahanas told Council he had “bad news” to deliver.  He told Council that the City’s credit rating is at risk due to our sizable and fast-growing debt, and that something serious will need to be done to try to manage the City’s finances.

Citizens Protest "Subversion of Democracy"

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Photography credit: Thomas Baumann 

Chanting “East Lansing’s not for sale!” and “Hey, hey, hey, Bailey’s gotta stay!,” about thirty East Lansing residents (plus several young children) participated in a “Save Our City” protest tonight outside City Hall.

The protest took place in the hour before City Council’s weekly meeting. City Council members apparently entered the building through the back, avoiding the protesters.

"Save Our City" Protest Planned for Tuesday

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A citizen-run protest on the theme of ‘Save Our City” will occur this Tuesday from 6-7 pm at City Hall, just in advance of Council’s next scheduled meeting.

The protest is being organized by the PAC Neighborhoods 1st and advertised by the group East Lansing Citizens Concerned. Neighborhoods 1st says the protest is directed at three issues:

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