NOVI, Mich.-Growing up as the daughter of two educators, teaching was something Jenifer Michos became familiar with very quickly in her life, and the challenges that came with it proved to be too hard to resist. “I loved the challenge of a student that might have been struggling,” said Michos. “When I went to Hope College, I had exceptional teachers and I ate up all of their strategies, and it helped me become empowered to work with kids that had special needs, which is what I did first.”
Now after having been principal of Parkview Elementary in Novi for 16 years before her retirement at the end of this past school year, Michos has meet those challenges and many changes along the way, whether it’d be with students, staff or even the education system itself. “I would say there was a looseness to the system,” said Michos. “Over the years we have become more structured with the laws that have been put in place like No Child Left Behind, and they’ve helped us align with what the current needs are for our students.”
“I think we’ve also made huge improvements in regards to how we look at mental health. That was maybe the most challenging part of being a principle was understanding those complicated issues, but now I think we’re more in tuned with them than ever before.”
No matter what, though, one thing that hadn’t ever changed, according to those who worked with her, was the way the trust and empowerment that she instilled in everyone at Parkview.
The Power of Words Project uses murals to uplift Upper Peninsula communities and engage them in the creative process. This summer the project is expanding by creating murals in Manistique, Gladstone and Marquette.
For 23 years, the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival has brought live jazz music and education to the East Lansing community, showcasing both nationally recognized and local artists. The 2019 festival served more than a gathering of bands. For its closing act, Root Doctor, it served as a homecoming celebration. “We’ve been playing for 30 years in the area,” said band manager Marge Mooney. “We have a lot of family and a lot of friends that we’ve acquired through playing in the area, so it was exciting to have us back in town.”
This year marks the 30 year anniversary of the band, which formed in Lansing in 1989.
NOVI, Mich- The Novi City Council met on June 17, and among other topics, approved a motion set forth by Councilwoman Laura Casey for an official road project study session that will take place on July 17. “We have been talking for quite some time about how bad the traffic is on our major roads and intersections,” said Casey. “We had done a big study on the Novi Road corridor, and we know we have tough traffic, and the study was eye opening with showing how the easements could be widened and how Grand River and Meadowbrook were impacted by the effects of this.” “There have been similar easement issues with Beck Road as well, so it’s really a combination of all of these factors that brought this session together,” said Casey. While sessions like this aren’t common, according to Casey, support for the meeting was not short to be had, on the condition that what comes out of the meeting is a real plan of things to get done.
The East Lansing Planning Commission members met June 12 to discuss the application for approval of a new site-plan and special use permit from PORTAW, Inc. which currently owns Harper’s Restaurant and Brewpub and P.T. O’Malley’s Bar and Grill. In addition, the company proposed to extend the space by adding 78 square feet to accommodate the new restaurant with more space for seating and dancing. “It (P.T. O’Malley’s) had moved down to 210 Abbot, specifically for one reason and one reason only, and that was because of the capacity issue,” said Pat Riley president of PORTAW, inc.
Riley also explains that the relocation is due to the much needed kitchen space. The location with a larger kitchen means having a new menu that includes appetizers, salads and sandwiches. “If anyone has been either in the very original or the current location of P.T. O’Malley’s, it is a cooking area not a kitchen,” said Riley.
The Greater Lansing area boasts a strong arts community thanks to the Broad Art Lab and Lansing Arts Council, among others, that ensure the community is engaged with the arts. The Broad Art Lab is dedicated to community participation, programming and outreach. In an effort to involve the local community in unprecedented ways, it hosts “Community Open Calls,” where the general public can propose their own ideas, projects, events or workshops to host at the lab. “Art is what gives a community its soul, its individuality, its life force, its very uniqueness,” says Ben Graham, founder of the Lansing-based visual strategy and design business Ben Graham Group, Inc. “This creates positive moments and memories from this simple interaction. Art is lasting, art is important!”
Graham was a member of the previous review committee, made up of local businesses and artists, that judge the submitted applications to ultimately select which get put on at the Broad Art Lab.
In a galaxy far, far away, the Lansing Lugnuts held one of their fan-favorite themed nights, Star Wars Night on June 16 where they hosted the Bowling Green Hot Rods and lost, 7-1. While the Lugnuts lost, the force was with the audience as there were different Star Wars themed events and prizes. In-between field changes and timeouts, select fans were able to play fun mini-games like “Burger Dash” and “Categories” to entertain the waiting audience. “Baseball games are always a blast to go to because they really make the effort to get the fans involved,” Taylor Konwinski said. “It’s why I always end up coming to more and more games.”
The biggest fan interaction came from the opportunity to take pictures with Darth Vader, stormtroopers and Jedi manhunter, Nico the Fett.
LANSING—On June 15, thousands of local residents united to celebrate Pride. The day of festivities began at noon with the parade beginning at Adado Riverfront Park and ending at the Capitol Building for a peaceful rally. The rally served a purpose of unity and an outlet of voices to discuss the struggles of the LGBTQ community as well as the success that has been achieved throughout the years. Guest speakers such as Michigan Pride board members, two transgender teens, the Attorney General of Michigan, Dana Nessel and many more were able to express their gratitude for the community. “Pride is important here in Lansing for the visibility factor,” said Michigan Pride board member Ricci Stollsteimer.
The East Lansing Farmers Market has an estimated 1000 visitors each Sunday during its operating months. Phil Throop, owner of Wildflower Eco Farm, has been a vendor for the East Lansing Farmers Market since its opening, 11 years ago, but he has been farming for market much longer, close to 16 years. One thing Throop has found after over a decade of farming for market: “You don’t get into this unless you’re obsessed… it’s more of an addition in any case.”
Another thing Throop has found: “It’s not a very profitable business.”
New technology regarding various types of greenhouses and sources of heating make it possible to grow year-round. However, his ability to produce 12 months a year has little impact on the ability to turn a profit during all those months. Instead, the root of the problem is something else entirely.