The poor road conditions have made commuting in Lansing difficult for many residents and employees who drive in the city. City Chief Operating Officer and Director of Public Service Chad Gamble is very aware of the road conditions affecting these residents and employees. “Certainly commuting affects their vehicle, the quality of the vehicle, the life of the vehicle, the safety of their trip, the time it takes them to get there; it’s something we’ve been working on for decades,” Gamble said. The slow maintenance of roads in the area is due to the lack of funding and high cost of maintaining roads, particularly in the state of Michigan. The annual street funding for the City of Lansing dropped significantly between 2009 and 2010 and has yet to make a comeback 7 years later.
Dispensary owners and Lansing residents have been disputing a recent medical marijuana ordinance during biweekly City Council meetings. Some people in Lansing believe the flooded medical marijuana market results from poor marijuana dispensary regulations. “The purpose of the ordinance is to have realistic dispensaries available to people that really have a medical marijuana need,” said Marylin Ebaugh, resident of South Lansing. “What we have now is an over abundance of businesses.” A study conducted by Melissa Huber, Ph.D, estimates the number of patients spiked from 937 in 2011, to 2,866 in 2015. Some believe the process to obtain a medical marijuana card can be easily abused.
In 2016, there were around 12,000 animals licensed in and around Lansing. During the same period, 7,381 animals were taken into the two biggest animal shelters in the Greater Lansing Area: 3,139 of the animals went to Ingham County Animal Shelter, and 4,242 of them went to the Capital Area Humane Society. Some of the animals were abandoned by their owners, who could not care for their pets anymore for different reasons, some of them were rescued from unsafe places, and some of them were stray and became an animal shelter’s property. “They are usually just being dropped off at the door like sometimes the leash is tied to the door knob or they’re roaming around,” said Kelsee Horrom, a former volunteer at the animal shelter. “If they’re older the dogs won’t get adopted as quickly as younger ones, sadly.
The City of Lansing is home to dozens of small businesses, college students and several of the most important landmarks in Michigan history. It isn’t, however, a permanent home to many people. The Greater Lansing Area, defined as the East Lansing and Lansing areas combined, holds more than 400,000 residents. The City of Lansing is home to just over 100,000 of them. “Honestly a lot of people are trying not to own a home in the City of Lansing,” Nichole McCollum, a Lansing Realtor, said.
Economic growth has expanded in the city of Lansing and the city has become a prime location for entrepreneurship. The community has set a foundation of resources for startup companies in order to help new businesses thrive in the Lansing area. Neil Kane is an expert in entrepreneurship and startup companies as he is the director of undergraduate entrepreneurship at Michigan State University. In regards to the economic growth in Lansing, Kane said, “There’s a lot of development going on in the area, a lot of real estate development, new apartments going up. That’s got to be good news.”
In fact, the Greater Lansing Association of Realtors market data shows that the number of active single-family, condominium and town home listings at the end of each month has increased in the last year.
Owning a business is far from easy, even under perfect circumstances. Success is hard-won and results from months (or years) of effort and dedication. What, then, is the secret to success in the capital of the state, where organized events, politics and tourism make a significant difference in traffic? Chad Jordan, the owner of Cravings Gourmet Popcorn, believes in being genuine. “I think what helped us stay in business for 10 years was authenticity,” Jordan said.
Eviction blindsides many people at the bottom of the income scale. Citizens in poverty – those people making equal to or less than $12,000 annually in a single-person family according to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation – are in a tough situation because they have no resource net besides their paychecks.
For those who may disagree about ‘open carry’ should read the second amendment of the constitution: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” (“The Constitution of the United States,” Amendment 2). And “The right of the people to keep and bare arms,” is exercised annually in Lansing, at the city’s Capitol building. Wednesday, April 26 , nearly 400 activists stood strong behind the 2nd amendment by commemorating together in a peaceful protest amongst citizens and supporters. “It’s an open carry rally to educate the public on what your rights really are when it comes to fire arms,” said Sheriff Dar Leaf of Barry County. Leaf attends the rally each year because it’s important to him as a sheriff and citizen in the state of Michigan.
Joshua Laske, a graduate student studying veterinary medicine at Michigan State University, said that having a safe space growing up would have helped him feel comfortable with his sexuality earlier in his life. There is a debate on American college campuses about the necessity and constitutionality of safe spaces for students. A safe space is a place where people can go where they will not be harassed by others.