Fake IDs still a problem, but for whom?

By Danielle Chesney
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING – Fake IDs are not a new phenomenon, appearing in popular movies ranging from the more recent ”Superbad” in 2007 to “The Breakfast Club” back in 1985. Though they are glamorized in film and television as a teenage rite of passage, fake IDs are an epidemic, with college campuses as a hub.

“It’s a college town,” said one Michigan State University student, 19, with a fake ID. “What do you expect? I know that East Lansing has cracked down this year especially on fake IDs, but if you’re a hot girl, you’re usually not going to have a problem.”

The MSU student, who requested anonymity because her actions are illegal, said she acquired her fake ID online to purchase alcohol and go to the bars with her friends who also have fake IDs.
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In college town, senior population growing

By Chloe Kiple
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING—In a city of nearly 48,000 residents, whose median age is just 21, there are also nearly 5,000 seniors 65 years and older. And the older demographic is growing rapidly, presenting the college-town with new challenges.

“Between 1990 and 2010, the East Lansing population of 50-plus [year-olds] increased by 40-percent,” said Prime Time senior center program planner Lisa Richey. “The number of adults aged 65 and older is expected to double within the next 25 years, so we have that to look forward to.”

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For this reason, new senior facilities and programs have been cropping up in East Lansing and nationwide. Recently, the City Council voted to turn the old Bailey Community Center into a new senior living home.

There are over 12 senior living communities in a 20-minute radius of East Lansing alone. This heavily saturated market reflects the need to accommodate the throngs of elderly citizens who need services, said Burcham Hills Retirement Community program coordinator Elizabeth Whaley. Continue reading

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It’s time you start noticing the art in East Lansing.

By Katie McCoy
Entirely East Lansing

Map of different art locations around downtown East Lansing

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The art scene in East Lansing is a creative and eclectic culture that could exist only in a college town.

With many different features, such as the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, the East Lansing Art Festival, and the up-and-coming cultural mosaic, the amount of public art leaves East Lansing with a unique presence.

World-renowned architect, and winner of the architect’s Pritzaker-Prize, Zaha Hadid designed the Broad Art Museum which opened in 2012. The stainless steel structure and uncommon architecture brings artists from all around the world to feature their art. Hadid has only designed two buildings in the United States, which makes East Lansing a destination for anyone interested in art and special architecture.

“This museum provides a place for viewers to experience international contemporary art in a world-renowned architectural landmark,” said Whitney Stoepel, the museum’s director of public relations.

Andrew Sendor, a world famous artist, had his exhibit featured in the Broad Art Museum in February. Sendor was drawn to East Lansing because of the diverse art.

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East Lansing ride-sharing services cause concern over regulations

By Tori Zackery
Entirely East Lansing

Earlier in the spring semester, the Michigan State University Police Department issued emergency alerts warning of multiple sexual assaults involving ride-share drivers in East Lansing. The alerts, among other recent headlines regarding ride-sharing services, caused residents to question their safety when using the popular companies, like Uber and Lyft.

“I personally do not use ride sharing services alone, before the recent events and especially after,” said Michigan State student Adonne Washington. “I tend to only use them with groups of three or more and when the place is out of walking distance.”

Michigan State University junior and Kalamazoo native Adonne Washington cautiously uses ride-sharing services after recent headlines.

Michigan State University junior and Kalamazoo native Adonne Washington cautiously uses ride-sharing services after recent headlines.

Washington is originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, where Uber driver Jason Dalton is accused of murdering six people and injuring two others in between his scheduled Uber rides. While he harmed none of his own passengers, East Lansing Police Lt. Wriggelsworth said Dalton is an example of the major risks people take when using ride-sharing services. Continue reading

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Documentary on human trafficking features areas of East Lansing

“Break the Chain” is a documentary that focuses on the discussion of sex and labor trafficking issues in Michigan. The premiere date of the documentary is to be set sometime in the beginning May.

By Camille Douglas
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING – In a tiny conference room that can probably fit no more than 10 people in the Capitol Building in Lansing, documentarian Laura Swanson waited for the arrival of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.

Swanson says she stood behind a wooden table in the middle of the room as her two crew members finished setting up two large Canon cameras on tripods.

Stabenow entered in a cobalt dress suit. She and Swanson took seats on the opposite side of the table, Stabenow directly in front of the lens, facing Swanson. The red record buttons were pressed, and Swanson began questioning Stabenow about the growing issues of human trafficking in Michigan for the next independent documentary she is producing and co-directing titled, “Break the Chain.”

“Human trafficking is a really broad subject, and we are trying to make it so that people can understand how it happens within smaller communities and smaller areas, yet it can still be applicable to any state or any nation,” Swanson said.

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Standardized online test preparation with East Lansing schools

christian palasty

Christian Palasty, director of Technology and Media Services, talks about new and improved technology updates occurring throughout East Lansing Public Schools.

By Kayla Robinson
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING – East Lansing Public Schools are preparing for the standardized test called the M-STEP that will take place this spring and are also making the transition from pencil-and-paper to online testing.

Christian Palasty, director of technology and media services, said that many faculty members have been getting special training for this online assessment.

“My department, which is the Technology and Media Services, has been working on the devices to make sure they are well prepared,” Palasty said. “We have done professional development with the teachers, we have walked students and staff through the practice test of what the M-STEP will look like, we’ve made resources available, and we have also trained the librarians so that there is on site support on the days of the test.”

Palasty said that there will only be one type of electronic that will be available when it comes time to take the test.

“We are going to do the testing solely on our laptops, but not on our iPads,” Palasty said. “So the only mobile devices will be the laptops; and in the secondary, they’re going to use some of the computer labs.”

Malik Taylor, a student at East Lansing High School, said switching to online testing would be good for the student body.

“I think this is a good step up for our school district,” Taylor said. “Most of us teenagers stay on our electronics all day anyways, so I feel like it’ll just be easier than using pencil and paper.”

Dori Leyko, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, said testing this year for the juniors will only cover a couple of subjects.

“Last year, the 11th graders took math and English language arts as part of the M-STEP; this year, they’re only taking science and social studies as part of the M-STEP,” Leyko said. “They take the math and English language arts as part of the SAT.”

Leyko also said that since the school district is switching to online testing, the results will be available to students and parents sooner.

“Now that we’re moving to an all online assessment, the state will be quicker in getting our results back,” Leyko said. “Prior to this year, it was all paper and pencil. We didn’t get results back as quickly as we would have liked to see, but I know that in the future, we’ll be seeing them sooner than a year’s time like it used to be.”

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

By Gabriella Galloway
Entirely East Lansing

IMG_6279New 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.

“It is a great way for the community to get together and be able to support the library,” said Amormino. Continue reading

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“For the Love of Cities” author selected to lead placemaking workshop

By Danielle Chesney
Entirely East Lansing

Community and Economic Development Administrator Lori Mullins describes the reason for the recent peacemaking efforts in downtown East Lansing.

EAST LANSING – The East Lansing Community and Economic Development office enlisted a lover of cities to lead their upcoming placemaking workshop April 22.

Community and Economic Development Administrator Lori Mullins contacted Peter Kageyama last fall. Kageyama said that she had heard him speak and wanted to find a way to bring him to East Lansing.

Kageyama is the author of “For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Places” and “Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places,” and hosted a TEDx talk on how to build a relationship with one’s city in 2011. Both his books and his TEDx talk focus on urban planning, design and development, which apply directly to the goal of the Love EL workshop.

“We’re having Peter Kageyama come and lead this workshop that will inspire community members to become co-creators in downtown East Lansing,” said Mullins. “The idea is that we have a really lively downtown, and we want community members to feel like it’s their own, and to feel more involved and more active in the placemaking efforts.”
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Senior Center expresses concerns about funding

Members of the Senior Commission met March 4 to discuss their funding options moving forward.

Prime Time director Kelly Arndt, head of table, and Mayor Mark Meadows, left of Arndt, stressed the importance of funding at the Seniors Commission meeting April 4.

By Chloe Kiple
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING— Residents are taxed to provide resources for citizens 60 years and older, but sometimes, old legislation makes it difficult for that money to make it back to local senior centers.

Kelly Arndt, Prime Time Senior Center director, said that she plans to address the Tri County Area Agency on Aging that distributes federal funding intended for senior citizens programming under the Older Americans Act of 1965. In order to receive funds, municipally run senior centers need to go through the lengthy process of applying for a grant.

“We put out a public notice that funds are available, and we invite different organizations to apply,” said Tri County Area on Aging Agency communication relations specialist and grant manager, Tammy Lemmers. “It’s a competitive process.”

Funding decisions are based on the applicant’s capacity to accomplish the tasks set forth in their application and how many people they service. Lemmers said that the agency calls this funding a contract, not a grant. She later said, however, that it is the agency’s grant manager who decides which applicants are funded.

Regardless of its designation, Arndt says that applying for funding is difficult for small senior centers because the application process is arduous.

“They’re so labor intensive…the small senior centers with only one staffer, they’re not going to be able to do it,” said Arndt. “I think it is [intentional]… so that people say, ‘Ugh, never mind.’”  Continue reading

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School Board considers re-establishing liaisons with parent councils

By Katie McCoy
Entirely East Lansing

Members of the school board discuss re-establishing liaison relationships with parent councils. From left: Dr. Erin Graham, Kate Powers, Dr. Kath Edsall, Dr. Yasmina Bouraoui, Nell Kuhnmuench, and Superintendent Robyne Thompson Photo by Katie McCoy

Members of the school board discuss re-establishing liaison relationships with parent councils.
Pictured from left to right: Dr. Erin Graham, Kate Powers, Dr. Kath Edsall, Dr. Yasmina Bouraoui, Nell Kuhnmuench, and Superintendent Dr. Robyne Thompson
Photo Credit by Katie McCoy

EAST LANSING – Members of the East Lansing School Board discussed re-establishing a liaison role with parent councils at their March 28 meeting.

For several years in the past, a liaison would be a member of the school board who would attend specific parent council meetings and would give information to and from the School Board.  

Currently, board members do not fulfull this role. The board agreed to disband liaisons beginning this school year because of the time commitment, with the board members attending every School Board meeting on Mondays as well as attending the parent council meetings on their own time.

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