Photo taken by Zachary Sgro

Lansing aiming to be “vibrant, walkable”

Lansing is best known for being the capital of Michigan, but, it’s also the location for numerous businesses and companies. But for many it seems as though the city is not their home, opting for longer commutes to work as opposed to living in the city. A majority of the restaurants and bars in the area close before dinner time only offering regular hours for late night food and drink during the weekend. Smaller niche businesses pepper the city and keep consistent crowds and regular customers at night while the Lansing Lugnuts provide mid to late day entertainment, but neither has been enough to revitalize the city. “We need a vibrant, walkable urban area that is cool and attractive to all walks of life,” said Scott Gillespie, president of Gillespie Company.

Doppsee cooling off in the mud on a particularly warm day. Photo taken by Zach Sgro

Potter Park Zoo rhino about to get a new boyfriend

The South African black rhino has faced large-scale poaching since 1970 making them a critically endangered species. Recently only 458 rhinos were poached in 2016 dropping the rate to 7.9 percent, according to the South African Department of Environmental Affairs. The current population is up to just over 5,000, between captivity and conservation parks, and the black rhino is making a comeback but, it still has a long way to go before they can make it off of the endangered species list. Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo is hoping to make a difference in the rhino’s comeback, with plans to unite one of the zoo’s resident rhinos, Doppsee, with a suitor from Texas named Phineas, according to the Lansing State Journal. “We’re really excited because we love the rhino we have over here,” Pat Fountain, head keeper at Potter Park Zoo, told Spartan Newsroom.

Employee at Not Just Guns discussing a firearm with customers.

State Legislature looks to streamline some gun licensing procedures

On March 7, the Michigan House passed a bill 108-0 to streamline the process for which it takes to obtain a concealed carry license (CPL). The Secretary of State had already been utilizing the photo file sharing process to issue licenses but this bill, once passed, would bridge the line between the law and existing statute. Both politicians and citizens alike have shown support for the law. “Having somebody run around and make extra steps and spend extra money and waste extra time, has no purpose or value,” said Michael Green, owner of Not Just Guns. “As long as the training and the requirements stay the same or improve.”

The process to get a concealed carry license will now be shorter and less expensive while still requiring citizens to go through the proper 8-hour training session. With this next step forward in gun policy the divide begins as the talk for constitutionalizing the requirements for a CPL progress, which would allow for concealed carry without a license after the age of 21.

Time run's out on meter before owner can return to pay again.

Downtown parking rates subject to a July 1 review

Whether it be a regular weekday or a special event like this most recent St. Patrick’s Day, parking in downtown has proven to be affordable and plentiful. With the implementation of pay -y-plate parking meters in recent years, by the Lansing Parking Services Department, the city continues to make an effort to simplify parking for citizens while effectively eliminating the old-school coin meters. Aside from the high-tech improvements a significant amount of parking lots and garages that offer convenient and economical options. “At times it can be a bit difficult finding a parking spot at one of the meters, but there are also parking lots available with plenty of spaces,” said Mrs. L. Vinson, a state employee.” “I work downtown and pay a monthly fee to have designated parking in a lot with in and out privileges.”

However good the prices or availability may be, there is still one problem that persists.

A family stands united against line 5 and DAPL

Standing in Lansing with Standing Rock

On Friday, March 10 protestors in downtown Lansing marched on the state capital in support of the Washington D.C. rally by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their allies. The nation-wide demonstration was conducted to raise awareness to the on-going battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), said to cross over sacred burial grounds belonging to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Native Americans and environmentalists have also stressed their concern over the effect the pipeline will have on their drinking water and the surrounding lands. “Mni, wiconi. Water is life.”

The historic 1903 house seeing little visitors during the week.

New home, new chapter as Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame set to move from Lansing to Okemos

Thirty years have passed since the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame moved into the historic Cooley-Haze House in downtown Lansing. Now, it’s time for a new chapter in the museum’s history. The museum will be packing its bags and moving into its new home at the Meridian Mall in Okemos. “We are really seeing the positive sides of this move,” said Caitlyn Perry Dial, the interim executive director. “We have been here for so long, it really show’s our longevity, and we see this as turning a new page and starting a new chapter in our history.”

Photo by: Zachary R. Sgro

Lansing working on keeping downtown’s lights burning after 5 p.m.

The city of Lansing is best known for being the capital of Michigan, and just a stone’s throw away from Michigan State’s campus. If you live in the area, then you know many of the people that work downtown typically leave the city once work gets out. “A lot of times I think the Greater Lansing area has a hard time making sure that Michigan is a great place to live,” said Bill Kimble, president of C2AE architecture and engineering company in downtown Lansing. “A lot of us have families here, but sometimes that’s not enough.”

Locals like William Davis believe that bringing in more young people will rejuvenate the city helping it bloom into something great. “It’s so quiet during the winter, there’s times where I want to scream because it’s so quiet!” Davis went on to question how Lansing’s ability to maintain relevancy.