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YOUR ELi: Fundraising Update

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Progress towards our fundraising goals, as explained below

Just a quick note to update you on our fundraising progress. As our Managing Editor Ann Nichols explained last week, we are trying to raise $8,000 this month to keep ELi going through the end of September and to provide funding for expanded public schools reporting and to support of our growing ranks of student reporters who go out to do great East Lansing-specific reporting for you while you go about your busy life!

DIGGING IN: Purslane—to Harvest or to Weed?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Image: mature purslane, photo courtesy of Oregon State University

Several years ago, I returned to East Lansing in mid-July from a week-long vacation and found innumerable purslane plants that had grown considerably among our staked tomato plants. I recognized the plant from the edges of sidewalks in town and paths on the MSU campus but had not paid much attention to it.

Council Capsule: June 9, 2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Listen to Council: You can listen to an audiotape of yesterday’s Council meeting for yourself by clicking here, going down to the section on “City Council Work Sessions,” and clicking on “audio” for the meeting of June 9, 2015. (The audio is sometimes not available until later on Wednesday.)

All present: Mayor Nathan Triplett, Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris, Councilmembers Ruth Beier, Kathy Boyle, and Susan Woods.

ELi ON EARTH: It's Snowing Cotton

Monday, June 8, 2015

After the most recent rain, the cottonwoods of East Lansing have begun releasing their cottony seeds. The eastern cottonwood, Populus deltoides, is a huge hardwood tree native to the eastern U.S. and common in damp areas and the banks of rivers and streams of Michigan. A young tree can grow more than six feet a year and a 150-foot-tall, mature tree can develop a vase-shaped crown 75 feet across.

ASK ELi: Who Funded Susan Woods' Campaign?

Friday, June 5, 2015

Image of Susan Woods is courtesy City of East Lansing

A reader asks: Who funded Susan Woods’ campaign?

Some background: The reader who asked this question did so because he was frustrated with Susan Woods’ voting record on major redevelopment projects that have come before City Council since she was elected on November 4, 2013. A resident of the Bailey neighborhood and the Director of the East Lansing Film Festival, Woods has consistently voted in support of developers.

DIGGING IN: Know Your Whistle Pigs

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Image: A woodchuck that the author captured using a live trap in his East Lansing garden.

After a winter of hibernation in their large and complicated burrows, whistle pigs are out and devouring gardens in East Lansing.

Council Capsule: June 2, 2015

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Image: East Lansing's City Council last night

Watch Council: You can watch the video of yesterday’s Council meeting for yourself by clicking here. (You can skip right to the part you are interested in by clicking on the item of interest in the table of contents below the video.)

ELi ON EARTH: Springtime Is for the Birds

Monday, June 1, 2015

Above: Canada Geese adults and goslings yesterday on the MSU campus near the Red Cedar River

Spring is a time of graduation and, over the last several weeks, the young of East Lansing, outfitted in their youthful finery, have been trying out their wings and leaving the nest. Fledging and immaturity are risky times for young birds, as for all young animals. Sharp-eyed East Lansing residents may come upon young birds in the community this time of year as they try out their new environments.

ASK ELi: Places to Canoe and Kayak?

Friday, May 29, 2015

Image: The author’s children on the Grand River near Grand Ledge

This week’s reader question: Where are good places around here to canoe or kayak?

There are many river options in the area.

Red Cedar River:

These options are all doable with a return by bike or car:

Council Capsule: May 26, 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Hear this Council work session: You can listen to an audio recording of last night’s City Council work session by clicking on this link.

Present at Council: Mayor Nathan Triplett, Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris, Councilmembers Kathy Boyle, and Susan Woods. Ruth Beier was absent.

YOUR ELi: The Season

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Image: trillium blooming in the author's yard (with a peony shoot coming up to the right)

The weather. People all over town are saying to me, “This is the season to live here.” And it isn’t just the weather. It’s the quiet, particularly for those of us who live in the university neighborhoods that ring downtown.

ASK ELi: How Much TIF Is There?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Image: The new commercial and apartment building at Trowbridge Plaza, built with TIF support.

NOTE: Since this article was published, another $1.5 million TIF was approved; read more.

Today’s question for “Ask ELi to Investigate,” which arrived to us on May 6 from a reader, is: "Could someone please calculate how much revenue is lost to East Lansing each year due to prior TIF financing, and how this is different from welfare?"

DIGGING IN: To Till Or Not To Till

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Image: A butternut squash seedling planted in the “no till” mode in the author’s garden; the glass jar, the bottom of which has been cut off, is used to protect the plant from frost and nibblers.

Editor’s note: The full title of this piece is “A Dialogue Concerning Two Chief Tilling Systems, or, To Till or Not to Till—That Is the Question.” (If you don’t get the reference, click here.)

Council Capsule: May 19, 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Image: At City Council last night, the City’s lifeguard team was recognized for receiving a safety award. Shown from left to right: Jim Jennings, Cait Prentice, Kevin Sweitzer, David Dalen, Andy Dobias, Dee Careathers, Annika Schaetzl, Emma Henry, Director of Parks & Rec Tim McCaffrey, Director of Planning Tim Dempsey.


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