Tensions rise as unregulated medical marijuana dispensaries continue to grow in Lansing

By Emily Elconin
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporter

Co-owners Brian Hamilton and Ronnie Sartain of Puff N’ Stuff dispensary located at 229 W. Grand River Ave. in Old Town share a passion for the legalization of medical marijuana. After sustaining personal injuries from a motorcycle accident and a broken ankle, Hamilton and Sartain made a decision to stop using opiates to alleviate pain and start using cannabis as an alternative painkiller. Although medical marijuana is considered by some experts to be a viable alternative to traditional painkillers, tensions continue to rise in Lansing regarding a new ordinance that addresses regulation and zoning for medical marijuana facilities. As dispensaries surrounding the outskirts of Old Town still remain unregulated, the amount of dispensaries open raises concern for public safety in the community.

Jaycee and Oak parks to undergo expansions in near future

By Madison Morse
Living in the Ledge Staff Reporter

Two of Grand Ledge’s most well-known parks are getting a makeover. Starting this construction season, Jaycee Park and Oak Park will be undergoing expansions. The motion was brought forward at the April 11 City Council meeting. The additions will be made to fit the needs of the community, according to City Administrator Adam Smith. “The acquisition will provide for the expansion of Jaycee Park and enhance a connector trail for the existing river walk and new non-motorized trail facility,” said Smith.

East Lansing's City Council and School Board tackle school updates

By Danielle Chesney
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING – During a joint meeting of the East Lansing City Council and East Lansing Public School Board this past Monday, three residents advocated to update the city’s neighborhood schools and reopen Red Cedar Elementary at 1110 Narcissus Drive, which closed June 2014. “You get the sense that when people voted to close the school, or supported to close the school or opposed the reopening of the schools, they did it because they don’t believe in neighborhood schools,“ said resident Fred Jacobs, accounting professor at Michigan State University. “The actual reason they support closing a school is because they do value neighborhood schools and it’s not their school that’s being closed…It’s a self interest thing.”

Fred Jacobs’ wife, Kathy, said that since schools like Red Cedar and Central began to close, families have started to move out in search a home that could give them the “very safe, friendly and unique” feeling that the Flowerpot Neighborhood could no longer provide. “This has changed the dynamic of the neighborhood,” said Kathy Jacobs, East Lansing resident. “I’m afraid this trend is saying to families who especially care about the environment that no, you can’t live in the city, you must move to the suburbs and drive a car.”

The School Board agreed, with Board of Education President Nell Kuhnmuench immediately turning to Mayor Mark Meadows so they could discuss their approach.

Grand Ledge officials pushing for revising 53-year-old city charter

By Rachael Daniel
Living in the Ledge Staff Reporter

The Grand Ledge City Charter is stuck in the sixties. It has not been updated since 1963, but the mayor and other city officials have a plan to bring it up to speed with the times. On Aug. 2 Grand Ledge voters will have the opportunity to vote on whether they want to see the charter revised, which will authorize registered voters to run for nine seats on the Charter Commission, the board that will ultimately make the changes to the charter. “The way the charter is written now, it gives the council a very strong say in the day-to-day running of the city instead of the council being a policy and directing board,” said Gregory Newman, the city clerk.

Crystal Award winner awaits successors

By Danielle Chesney
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING – Among members of the East Lansing community sat Joan Fairey with her friends and family, who traveled from everywhere from London to Los Angeles to attend the 2015 Crystal Awards and surprise Fairey with a much-deserved award. Unaware of her nomination and completely content to watch and enjoy the free food, Fairey said she was “gobsmacked” when the host announced her name as one of the four Crystal Award winners. The East Lansing Crystal Awards is an annual event hosted by the East Lansing City Council. According to the city of East Lansing website, recipients of the award can be groups, individuals, non-profits, businesses or professionals who contribute to community life in a remarkable way. East Lansing City Council member Susan Woods describes the typical Crystal Award recipient as “a citizen in East Lansing who has contributed greatly to the betterment and the fabric of East Lansing.”

Karen Arndorfer, a friend of Fairey’s, nominated Fairey for the Crystal Award because of her extensive contributions with multiple organizations including the East Lansing Food Co-op, Greater Lansing Food Bank, Sparrow Hospital and the East Lansing Public Library.

Grand Ledge city officials are friends as well as colleagues

By Paige Wester
Living In The Ledge Staff Reporter

On Oct. 26, the city of Grand Ledge was having its last city council meeting with current elected officials, ahead of elections that were occurring within the next week. Everyone sat in their typical spots and went about their business and normal conversations, while the chairs in the audience for Grand Ledge residents were all empty. According to The City of Grand Ledge, the agenda for the meetings are posted every week for the public to go over topic of conversation if they want to join. Conversations such as downtown development, tree board and planning commission were all topics of conversations, but nonetheless, behind those suits was a typical everyday guy who loved what they do.

Is anyone here? Low citizen turnout at City Council meetings common

By Peter Nuttall
Living In The Ledge Staff Reporter

On Nov. 9, the city of Grand Ledge held their first city council meeting, since the recent Election Day, at the Grand Ledge City Hall. The newly-elected city council members were sworn in and then they got right to work. Business ran as usual as the mayor, ward representatives, department heads, city clerk, and city administrator all sat down. Other than them, no one else from the city of Grand Ledge attended the meeting.