The menu at Blue Owl Coffee features drinks that take a spin on classic cocktails such as the Mackinac, which is inspired by a Manhattan. Craft coffee shops are a growing part of the coffee market.

Coffee market sees increase from craft shops

Behind the bar there are a variety of dark colored bottles with handwritten labels and eye droppers to ensure perfect measurements. The handwritten menu has descriptions of coffees and flavorings that baristas mix to order.

The low murmur of customers working together and studying is broken when a barista calls out a name and pushes one of the coffeehouse’s signature coffee cocktails, a Mackinac, to the edge of the bar.

It’s a scene that’s repeating itself across the country as craft shops take a growing share of the coffee market.

The East Lansing Recycling Drop-off Center provides local residents with pre-sorted recycling bins as a supplement to its single-stream curbside recycling program.

Higher costs put community recycling programs at risk

Sharply higher costs are putting strains on community recycling programs — even pushing some cities to send all of their waste to landfills instead. The problem is due in large part to the trade war with China, once the largest buyer of recyclable materials from the U.S. In January 2018, China imposed tariffs and bans on Americans’ waste materials like cardboard and plastics. That’s led to a steep drop in the price waste companies can get for raw recyclable materials. Recyclers have increased fees for processing cities’ waste to make up for those losses. Lansing paid $6.42 per ton to recycle waste gathered from its curbside recycling program in January 2018.

Lansing Community College offers high demand skills trade programs

There are lots of degrees that you can finish in two years and come out making some good money, but you may have to get your hands a little dirty. Students at LCC aren’t learning in a traditional classroom setting. Instead of picking up a pencil, they pick up a blow torch. “I really enjoy working with my hands and applying myself,” Jared Walter, an LCC junior, said. LCC offers a number of options for students going into a skilled trade and welding is one that’s in high demand. Scott Poe, LCC welding instructor, said, “There is this huge need to get people involved, to get the younger generation in and start using their hands.”

After decades of pushing bachelor degrees, high paying trade jobs sit vacant.

Michigan United’s Capitol Day gives activists a platform

Passion was running high in the Lansing Center when activists from around the state met to speak with representatives about issues in their communities. Michigan United provided buses for groups from Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo to ensure constituents were able to make it to the annual Capitol Day. Issues included treatment of immigrants, living wages, prison reform, environmental issues, healthcare and racial inequality.

Indigenous group concludes 310-mile walk to Capitol for safe water

Native water protectors walked 310 miles from the Mackinac Bridge to the State Capitol to protest Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac. The group concluded its walk on March 30. People of Three Fires, the Anishinaabe alliance of Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi indigenous tribes, gathered at Adado Riverfront Park on Saturday afternoon. They marched to the Capitol yelling, “Shut Down Line 5” and “Water is Life.”

“Water is a precious thing for life,” said Dennis Durfee of Lansing. “Every part of Earth is dependant on that water for its survival.