East Lansing has slow progress as they try and improve parks

IMG_0341The City of East Lansing is just over one year into a five-year plan that aims to improve parks and recreational facilities in the city, but not much progress has been made towards their end goals..

“We didn’t have much in terms of capital investment,” said East Lansing Director of Parks and Recreation Tim McCaffrey. “We focused most of our attention on continuing the operation of the department over the last year. So not a lot in terms of investment like upgrading equipment and parks and things like that but more of maintaining over the last 12 months.”

The East Lansing Parks, Recreation Open Space and Greenways plan was adopted by the East Lansing City Council in February 2015. The plan shows details of how the city hopes to invest in and improve its parks and recreational facilities by the year 2019.

McCaffrey said that one of the things that the department has to work on is finding funding for the projects that they want to do.

“Typically when we have a project, we’ll have various interest groups in the community that will assist us and they’ll spearhead fundraising efforts for various projects,” McCaffrey said. “We rely quite heavily on funding coming from outside sources. Like grant money and fundraising.”
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East Lansing community suspects closing school movement

By Tori Zackery
Entirely East Lansing

In 2003, three elementary schools and education centers serviced the East Lansing communities near Michigan State University. In 2016, those schools had long disappeared.

When Red Cedar Elementary School shut its doors in 2014, it cemented what some believed to be a closing school movement in East Lansing. Spartan Village School, Bailey Community Center and Red Cedar Elementary had been community staples, educating the children of graduate students and young families living near Michigan State University. For many, the closings of the schools came to the detriment of the local neighborhoods. Continue reading

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East Lansing Public Schools find strategies to bridge achievement gap


Michigan State University education professor Dr. Dorinda Carter-Andrews on the achievement gap results in East Lansing Public Schools. Carter-Andrews has been working with the district since 2007 to find new ways on how district members can narrow the gap.

By Camille Douglas
Entirely East Lansing

Pinecrest Elementary’s Title I reading teacher, Sarah Colechin, makes sure to meet with each of her students individually each week to see where they need extra help.

Colechin’s job, supported by federal funds, is to help first through third graders struggling in academics to help close the “achievement gap.”

The achievement gap measures differences in academic performance between groups of students. Groups are generally categorized by economic status, race/ethnicity and by gender.

According to Colechin, in her experience, the majority of students performing below average in the school district typically consist of students of color, students coming from a lower-income background, and boys.

As her way of closing the achievement gap, Colechin believes developing a teacher-to-student relationship is key.

Since she began her career at Pinecrest six years ago, Colechin has seen a huge improvement in motivating her students to succeed.

“The key is to really show your students that you are there for them,” Colechin said. “I think every teacher can spend a minute or two once every week one-on-one with their students to check in and reassure them that you are there to help them. Showing that you care for their success can go a long way in motivating them to do well.”

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Local families and residents on living in a college town

By Kayla Robinson

Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING – Raising a family while living in a college town can have its ups and downs, depending on the person you’re talking to and how they feel about it. It could be no problem at all, or it could be seen as a disadvantage.

Rally House sales associate Andrew Davis said he loves the city of East Lansing in general, but the “party scene” can just become to be too much to handle.

Twenty-nine-year-old Andrew Davis, a sales associate at Rally House who lives in East Lansing, said living in the city when you’re not in college can be too much if you’re not into the so-called “party lifestyle.”

“If you’re not into the party scene, it’s really not a good place to live,” Davis said. “I try to get as far away from students as I can. I was never really into that scene when I was in college.”

On the flip side, Davis also said he would still recommend people to raise families here.

“If you can get past all these fraternities and student houses, it’s a lovely town,” Davis said. “It’s very well-kept, happy, and you can walk your dog at three in the morning with no problem. It’s the safest place I’ve ever lived.”

Derreck Turner, a wireless consultant at the Verizon store on Grand River Avenue who lives in the East Lansing area as well, said it may be entertaining living in a college town, but actually raising one near the campus is not ideal.

Wireless consultant at Verizon Derreck Turner said it all depends on where in East Lansing you live, if you want to raise a family.

“In the residential area, raising a family is fine,” Turner said. “Just don’t do it by the college kids; sometimes it can get out of hand. You wouldn’t really want your kids out and about near the partying and all that.”

Turner also said it keeps the older people in younger mindset living on a college campus.

“I see 90-year-old women and men at football games standing there doing the ‘Whip’ and the ‘Nae-Nae,’” Turner said. “They keep them up to speed of what’s going on in modern society, and it does help to keep them a little bit lively. Students typically give the older people their respect around here, so it’s nice.”

David Pencek, the editor of the Town and Gown magazine at State College in Pennsylvania, said that the pros and cons of living in a college town ranges from offering many things for people to do to not enjoying being around the “party scene.”

“With living in a college town, you can have a pretty educated community,” Pencek said. “It brings diversity to the city as well, and there’s students from all parts of the world to study. I think there’s a lot of entertainment that universities bring too. As far as cons, the partying atmosphere could come to be too much. It can be a problem in the sense that many students don’t really care about the town, solely just the parties.”

Pencek also said from personal experience raising a family near a university, he has no real complaints with it.

“I’m currently raising two young sons, and I love it,” Pencek said. “I think it’s great, with no fears. The benefits really outweigh the negatives.”

Rodney Page said he would not choose any other place to raise his two sons, Jayden and Bryson, in any other city other than East Lansing.

Rodney Page, 38, also lives in East Lansing and has children as who are involved in the East Lansing school district. Page said there’s no other place he would want his kids to go.

“I think East Lansing has great schools,” Page said. “My oldest son is in East Lansing schools and my youngest is enrolled in daycare here as well, and I just think it’s very diverse. That’s one of the main attractions for me because you just have so many different people since it’s a college campus that you may not be able to have in a place that doesn’t have a big university.”


This graph shows the public enrollment rate in East Lansing High School over the past decade, It concludes that there are more families and permanent residents living in East Lansing than there are college students.

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More developments to come to Grand River

Entirely East Lansingthumbnail_IMG_6549
Gabriella Galloway
East Lansing residents today would have a hard time recognizing Grand River Avenue if they were to look back at pictures from its beginnings. The once Indian-made trail has been home to movie theatres, department stores, and a number of restaurants.Ray Walsh, is the owner of Curious Book Shop on Grand River, has seen many changes on the street since the 1970s.

“Many of the restaurants have become restaurant bars because it’s just more pthumbnail_IMG_6550rofitable to have a liquor license,” said Wals
h, a 1971 Michigan State University Graduate whose shop has been
at its location since 1973.

Ray Fortin, a 1988 MSU graduate, from 1988, said he recalls more “mom and pop” stores and restaurants, whereas now he notices a majority of national brands on Grand River.
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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.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 12.43.52 PM Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 12.47.08 PM
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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