New literacy technology to be added for children at the public library

By Gabriella Galloway
Entirely East Lansing

New technology will be added to the children’s area of the East Lansing Public Library with proceeds coming from the fifth annual Books, Bites and Bids fundraising event on Friday, April 29. According to Jennifer Amormino, executive assistant to the library director, the type of new technology that will be put in will be determined by the funds raised at the event. This new technology will be installed after the library reconstruction. “We’ll be adding in early literacy stations that include some new interactive technologies like iPads, and the money raised during Books, Bites & Bids will go towards enhancing that — in particular, we’ll be able to buy things like new desktop computers, software and programs, furniture, etc,” said Eva Weihl, youth services librarian. Due to reconstruction at the library, this year’s event will be held at the Hannah Community Center.

Prime Time Seniors contribute to a new mosaic for East Lansing

By Gabriella Galloway
Entirely East Lansing

Prime Time Seniors from the Hannah Community Center joined forces with East Lansing middle schoolers and special education students to create an intergenerational mosaic. The mosaic is a part of the Artist Alley for East Lansing and is expected to be displayed in spring of 2016 in the Division Street alley. Grove Street will be home to other artwork done by professional artists. Director of Prime Time Seniors, Kelly Arndt, began working with intergenerational art five years ago with the high school and wanted to get the middle schools involved and saw this mosaic as a good opportunity to do so. “It helps the community members come together and it models what civic engagement is all about,” said Arndt.

East Lansing partners with Michigan State to recognize mental health

By Gabriella Galloway
Entirely East Lansing

A city council meeting on March 15 approved the recognition of this week as Mental Health Awareness Week with hopes to spread knowledge about the misperceptions and reality of mental health. This approved resolution originated from the Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU), an undergraduate student government that has recognized and promoted Mental Health Awareness Week for the past two years on campus. Bryn Williams, the vice president of governmental affairs for ASMSU, brought the idea of expanding Mental Health Awareness Week to the city of East Lansing last year with the hope that the community could join in recognizing its importance. “Every year since its inception, Mental Health Awareness Week has grown in size, scope, and efficacy, through involving a large number of campus groups, local businesses, and other such partners,” said Williams.

There are events throughout the week that are being put on by various organizations that can be found here. MSU’s Greek Life is a proud sponsor of MHAW and participates and hosts some of the events that go on.

Burcham Park will soon make room for a solar park

By Gabriella Galloway
Entirely East Lansing

East Lansing will soon be home to a solar park, located in the corner of Burcham Park. Board of Water and Light (BWL) customers will have the opportunity to lease panels from the city-owned park. Each panel costs $399; once all panels are leased the construction of them will cost around $390,000. According to John Kinch, Executive Director of Michigan Energy Options, Burcham Park is what is known as a “capped landfill.”

“By locating solar panels on these areas, it is going to impact the integrity of the landfill and keeps the landfill environmentally safe,” said Kinch. The Environmental Protection Agency goes into the choosing of land for these solar panels, and for East Lansing, Burcham Park seemed to make the most sense.

School board considers updating elementaries

By Gabriella Galloway
Entirely East Lansing

 

The East Lansing School Board is thinking about improving some of its elementary schools’ buildings and facilities. According to School Board member Nell Kuhnmuench, this possible proposal is still in the early stages of development. Andrea Branoff is a mother whose children attend White Hills Elementary School. Although she was not aware of the possibility of improving the schools, she was quite interested. “It’s an old building but they maintain it,” said Branoff.

Renovations are set to be made for the Bailey Community Center Building

By Gabriella Galloway
Entirely East Lansing

 

The Bailey Community Center Building will be renovated to offer affordable senior living, commercial and community space, along with a child care facility. This $8.6 million redevelopment was proposed by the Capital Area Housing Partnership (CAHP). CAHP is partnered with PK Development Group for the Bailey project. CAHP is a non profit Community Housing Development Corporation whose goal is to provide affordable housing. The PK Development Group is a company that helps people find affordable housing in their area. 

According to the City of East Lansing website, renovations will be funded with proceeds from housing tax credit equity, conventional first mortgage rent debt, small loans, developer equity and historic preservation tax credit equity.

East Lansing opens new pop up ice rink

By Gabriella Galloway
Entirely East Lansing

East Lansing’s Valley Court Park will be home to a pop up ice skating rink for the month of February. Funding for the ice rink was provided by the East Lansing Downtown Development Authority(DDA) and Downtown Management Board(DMB). The city decided to install the rink in order to draw more people into the downtown area and to gather people of the community around a shared interest. “This is only my first time here but I love that the city has installed this ice rink,” said Maria Mastej, a resident of East Lansing. “I hope this becomes an annual thing because it gives the community something fun to do in the winter.”

The rink opened on Feb.

5 questions with Catina Shelby

What is your favorite part about East Lansing? One of my favorite parts is my job. I work for a Retina surgeon, I only moved to Michigan about 3 months ago so I don’t know a lot about East Lansing yet but I’m excited to learn more and more. Why do you choose to live/work in East Lansing? I moved to East Lansing from Colorado for my job.

5 questions with Quintin Baptiste

What is your favorite part about East Lansing? The art exhibits along Grand River. Why do you choose to work/live in East Lansing? I think East Lansing is so vibrant and it has lots to offer the community, especially the students. The students really love being here because the community has their backs.