Watch Focal Point: the new Senate tax bill, tobacco ads and more

With more sexual harassment allegations on the rise, we talked to attorneys about the legal aspect of sexual misconduct in the workplace. We discuss how the new tobacco ads could influence young smokers. East Lansing was given a new title, but is it one to be proud of? Plus, a week of sports recap with the Men’s basketball team beating Notre Dame last Thursday and a special look into the MSU Men’s Crew Club.

Memberships program fuel Old Town businesses

The Old Town Commercial Association has successfully implemented a membership program for more than two decades to increase community involvement while keeping foot-traffic coming to the shops. Starting in the late 1990s, Old Town’s individual and business membership programs have helped to keep those interested in being a part of the neighborhood coming back for more, OTCA board president, Jamie Schriner, said. “It helps to show their support for the community,” Schriner said. “It helps to bring in funding and resources, but then if they become members, it means that they’re going to come down here and support the community and support the businesses.”

For an individual, a membership allows you to receive discounts at participating shops, restaurants, and businesses. There are incentives that attract businesses to join like features of their business in newsletters.

Old Town gives to local schools

Old Town restaurants and shops are raising money for local schools in a project called Shop 4 Schools. On Nov. 18, participating retailers in the neighborhood gave 18 percent of customers check-out total to participating schools in the area. Lynn Ross, owner of Mother & Earth Baby Boutique, organized this event based on a similar fundraiser the city of Grand Haven does, where they raised almost $10,000 last year. “A lot of local, small local businesses, don’t have the means to be able to donate items to silent auctions or monetary donations,” Ross said.

Thanksgiving brings various traditions to MSU

With Thanksgiving this Thursday, Michigan State students are planning on celebrating the holiday with their family and friends. Students with international backgrounds have different ways of celebrating the American tradition. Chesca Alvarez, a senior from Novi, has a different Thanksgiving than everyone else. “My family actually eats Japanese food during Thanksgiving so we don’t really have, like, the typical Thanksgiving,” she said. While she can’t do Thanksgiving with her parents because they are in the Philippines, she gets to celebrate Thanksgiving with her siblings.

Old Town looking for new board member

There is an open seat in Old Town’s board committee and board members are actively looking for potential candidates. They are also accepting applications from those interested in the position. The board has been around since 1996 and oversees what the Old Town Commercial Association does, said Jamie Schriner, the board president. “We’re responsible for the money and making sure that everything is being handled the way it should be and for raising money for the organization,” Schriner said. The board decides anything from finances to hiring the executive director, said vice president Rick Preuss, owner of Preuss Pets.

Watch Focal Point: Coping with anxiety, recap of the Black Power Rally and more

Our reporters tackle how students who suffer with anxiety overcome the issues that come with it. We have a recap of the recent Lansing election and a preview of the upcoming firearms season. MSU held its 45th annual Black Power Rally. How is different this year? The Spartan Marching band has a special global performance planned for Saturday’s football game halftime show.

Old Town: a neighborhood of uniqueness

A cozy feel, one-of-a-kind shops, gourmet food, and everything artsy: that’s the definition of Old Town for residents and visitors. “It’s very different from what you’d find in the Greater Lansing area where it’s mostly restaurant-based where we’re more boutique-based,” said Kathy Holcomb, owner of the Absolute Gallery. Old Town which was founded in 1825 when a surveying crew plotted and charted the land, holds several historic buildings and history deep in its concrete. By the late 20th century, the neighborhood hit hard times and buildings were left abandoned. Dedicated and determined people wouldn’t stand for the decay of the neighborhood so they worked to rebuild it and make it better, according to the Old Town website.

Old Town lofts attract new residents

There are perks of living in a loft rather than a house or apartment like no outside maintenance and being in the center of downtown. Old Town lofts are high in demand and don’t stay on the market very long, said Brian Huggler, realtor and owner of buildings in Old Town. “We’ve had zero vacancy in the past ten years. In fact, when one person moves out, usually they’ve got a friend that wants to move in,” Huggler said. With loft living, you get a different lifestyle than you would in a house or other form of living.

Old Town workers talk about Election Day

Old Town residents and workers share their thoughts on important issues this Election Day. They also talk about the race between Andy Schor and Judi Brown Clarke for Lansing mayor. https://youtu.be/iQrSI_im2pI

 

Michigan roads affect Old Town

Every Michigander knows that roads in the state aren’t the best and Old Town residents have experienced that first-hand. “The roads are just not smooth in anyway shape or form,” said Jamie Schriner, Old Town Commercial Association board president. The state of Michigan has a budget of $3.5 to $4 million for capital improvements on roads or structural changes each year, said Chad Gamble, chief operating director and director of public service for the City of Lansing. Gamble said the major problem with trying to maximize road life is that the “needs of the roadway far far outweigh and exceed the amount of funding that we have for it.”

Schriner said she thinks it’s smart to pave streets with more vehicle traffic. She said they could “set aside a budget and say we’ll put three-fourths of our budget to the most highly trafficked areas first and then set a quarter of our budget aside for the less highly trafficked areas.”

Schriner said they could then let those less trafficked areas pick where work is needed in their neighborhood.