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Explaining East Lansing's Retiree-Related Debt

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Introductory note:  Two days ago, we published an article about a new analysis of East Lansing’s ballooning retiree-related debt and on a related campaign controversy. In response to that, we’ve been getting lots of questions about the City’s retiree-related debt.

Your ELi: The Destruction of Local News

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Today I’m going to tell you about my trip to Berkeley, California, last weekend—what I discovered among the clouds of marijuana smoke and bare feet—but first I have to cover some history.

ASK ELi: Broad Museum Attendance?

Friday, October 23, 2015

A reader asks: Did anyone ever really claim (before it was built) that the Eli Broad Museum would draw a million visitors a year? What’s the real attendance?

What we didn’t find out: I searched pretty well and I can’t find any claims dating before or after the building opened that it would draw such large numbers. Maybe someone made such a claim, and maybe he or she seriously believed it, but if so, I haven’t been able to find it.

Council Capsule: October 20, 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

East Lansing Info is currently fundraising and we need your help to keep this service going. Our Council Capsule reporter volunteers her services (and donates money to ELi) and she needs your help financially supporting the editing and technological structure that makes this publication possible. Do your part now!

ELi on EARTH: Sweet Harvest

Monday, October 19, 2015

Photo: Pioneer sugar plant in Sebewaing, Michigan, in a photo taken by the author about two weeks ago.

The sugar beet harvest has arrived in Michigan just to the north and east of East Lansing. Driving by the areas where the beets are farmed, you can see huge piles of the beets piled in trucks and on staging pads across the region. The beets look like big, cream-colored turnips. One pile I drove by in Sebewaing two weeks ago was about 15-feet high, two lanes wide, and as long as a football field. (See below.)

ASK ELi: How Are TIF Proposals Managed in East Lansing

Friday, October 16, 2015

Photo: Recent groundbreaking ceremony for the project now called “300 Grand,” formerly known as “The Gateway.” In the photo, members of the DDA/BRA, which approved a $1.9 million TIF for this project, include DTN’s Colin Cronin (third from left) and Mayor Nathan Triplett (second from right).

Council Capsule: October 13, 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Present: Mayor Nathan Triplett, Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris, Councilmembers Kathy Boyle and Susan Woods.

Absent: Councilmember Ruth Beier.

The Good Life: Putting Up at the Market

Friday, October 9, 2015

Image: Peppers for sale at Wildflower Eco Farm.

It’s funny what a difference a preposition can make. In English, putting up with refers to tolerating something or someone. But putting up refers to preparing a foodstuff to keep over the winter.

ASK ELi: City's AAA Rating?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Above: East Lansing's Finance Director, Mary Haskell (courtesy City of East Lansing)

An ELi reader wrote to ask:

One city council candidate keeps referring to East Lansing as having achieved a triple A financial rating This has caused us to ponder a number of related questions.

Council Capsule: October 6, 2015

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Above: ELPD Officer Dave Dekorte and Crunchy’s, both subjects of Council’s work this week.

This week’s meeting of East Lansing’s City Council was videotaped. You can watch the meeting by clicking here. If there’s a particular item you are interested in, click on that item in the index shown below the video screen and the playback will jump to that part of the meeting.

ELi Fall Fundraiser

Saturday, October 3, 2015

I need your help.

The ELi coffers are starting to run low. We knew this would happen right about now, because people in East Lansing tend not to donate to ELi until we run a dedicated fundraising campaign, and our last campaign was last spring.

We’re okay with that pattern. So long as people respond to our campaigns—which so far has worked out!—it’s all fine. Otherwise, especially for Managing Editor Ann Nichols and me, it means stress, a mounting sense of panic, and a concern that you don’t think the work our team is doing for you is worth supporting with a few dollars.

ASK ELi: Why Was ELi Founded?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Above: The author, about a hundred years ago. She is shown on the left.

Readers sometimes ask me why I founded ELi—especially given that I donate lots of money and work to it, and earn no income from it. I also get this question when I’m on the road speaking for my usual professional work as an historian, mainstream nonfiction writer, and patient advocate. Some people wonder aloud why on earth I’d spend so much time working on hyperlocal issues when I usually write for the national and international press.


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