A View from the Street: The Homeless in Lansing

By Asha Dawsey
Listen Up, Lansing

“Homeless — Anything Helps” is what Jeremy Scott Emric’s sign says when he’s getting the attention of drivers but even when he gets nothing he flips the signIMG_0001 over as it reads “Even a Smile.”

Emric has been homeless for four months now after losing his job at a body shop when it burned down. After that his wife  left him and he has been on making his living on the streets of Michigan Avenue. 

“I have a couple people, I give them a little bit of money and they let me sleep on their couch … and so I hold my sign and I get enough money together for some food and to pay somebody to crash in their house,” said Emric.IMG_0005

Depending on the weather Emric stays out on Michigan Avenue for about six to seven hours along with a friend he met through his homelessness, Gary Whitney.

“I haven’t got off my butt and done anything about it,” said Whitney when asked why he is homeless.

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Proposal 1 looks to fix roads by raising taxes

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By Ray Wilbur
Listen Up, Lansing

Today, voters across the state will be asked to increase the sales tax that customers pay at the register, this time as a part of funding package for maintenance of the state’s roads known as Proposal 1.

Voters in Michigan passed a similar ballot question over 15 years ago, in 1994, in order to pay for a school-funding reform package. The two ballot proposals differ greatly though, because of another contrasting detail, aside from what the money was being used for. In 1994, the ballot didn’t really raise taxes, according to Lansing public relations executive John Truscott.

Truscott said the 1994 proposal, known as Proposal A, came after lawmakers reduced property taxes and voted to replace the lost revenue with an income tax increase. Proposal A in 1994 gave voters the ability to decide if they wanted to replace the income tax increase, with an increase in sales tax.

That is not the case in this year’s proposal to raise taxes for a roads package. The current proposal would raise the sales tax from 6 to 7 percent, and also includes changes to the fuel tax, which are expected to add a few cents for every gallon of gas, Truscott said. Continue reading

A Piece of Underground History in Lansing

By Asha Dawsey
Listen Up, Lansing

Ransom Eli Olds, the founder of Olds Mobile Works, later to be called Oldsmobile, is remembered for the contributions he made to the automotive industry in Lansing by the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum at 240 Museum Drive. But how effective is the museum — so full of Lansing history — when not many know it is there?

Photo Journal: R.E. Olds Transportation Museum 

 

Lansing on Legalization: Is Marijuana the Next Big Thing?

By Asha Dawsey and Micah Davis
Listen Up, Lansing

Mayor Virg Bernero was spotted at Hash Bash on April 4, 2015. Hash Bash is an annual event in Ann Arbor, Michigan with a main goal to motivate the legalization of marijuana. Bernero was a speaker at the event and a support of the legalization of marijuana. Listen to Bernero’s take on marijuana legalization in the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df1rcelG8_E

Lansing community works together to feed its residents

By Abigail Heath
Listen Up, Lansing

LANSING — It is estimated that between 15 and 20 percent of the people in the Greater Lansing area are at or below the poverty level and at risk for being hungry, said the executive director of the Greater Lansing Food Bank, Joe Wald.

There are several non-profit organizations all working together to strengthen the Lansing community and diminish the problem of poverty.

According to Garden Project Coordinator Julie Lehman, a community needs to get behind those dealing with poverty.

“Poverty is not just an individual family’s problem,” said Lehman. Continue reading

Community Funding for Community Work: How $500 Helps a Lansing Charity

By Ian Wendrow
Listen Up, Lansing

LANSING — Andrew Brewer Jr. didn’t expect his modest barbecue outing with neighbors to be anything more than a fun get together. Starting out with only 20 men hanging out at Hawk Island County Park, Brewer now captains the Men Making A Difference (MMAD) charity, an organization that has existed for about four years now with about 200 active members.

“It started with just a group of us out barbecuing one day when I said, ‘We should do more to give back.’ Everyone else seemed to agree and that’s really how this organization got started,” Brewer said.

Hawk Island County Park was the site of Andrew Brewer Jr.'s first community cookout. It would later grow into the MMAD organization.

Hawk Island County Park was the site of Andrew Brewer Jr.’s first community cookout. It would later grow into the MMAD organization.

MMAD has been busy in its short four years as a legally-recognized charity. Working alongside the local church groups and neighborhood blocs, MMAD has helped paint woodchips, clean up overgrown shrubbery, and plant flowers in some of Lansing’s more run-down areas.

Aside from neighborhood clean-ups and beautification, MMAD also hosts a number of family events throughout the year. Thanksgiving dinners, community cookouts, Cinco de Mayo celebrations and Battlefield Brawl (a fundraising event for cancer research) are just some of the many programs MMAD runs throughout the year. Continue reading

Lansing and its weather take on a new life as summer approaches

By Abigail Heath
Listen Up, Lansing

LANSING — As the weather gets warmer, the Lansing community is working together to create a more friendly and fun atmosphere for residents and visitors.

“There’s a lot more activity when it warms up,” said Director of Lansing Parks and Recreation Brett Kaschinske.

Outside patio along the river

Outside patio along the river

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