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.
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.
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!
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.)
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).
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.
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.
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.
Campaign finance has become a perennial “ask” of ELi’s readers. Here we report on what we know so far about who is donating to the six people running right now for three spots on the East Lansing City Council. If this work matters to you, please take a moment to donate to support our work.
Which candidates are disclosing early, and which are not?