The south Lansing neighborhood area is undergoing a “rejuvenation” headed by a team of facilitators and representatives, and backed by community members like Elaine Wombolt. She is the official facilitator and founder of the initiative. As stated on the group’s website, “Our goal is to connect neighbors to each other and to resources so we can improve the quality of life in south Lansing for those who live and work here.”
Wombolt also said that this group helps and brainstorms with other Lansing neighborhoods that have similar issues, such as the eastside neighborhood. Some of these issues include a huge, unregulated number of medical marijuana dispensaries, and unregulated donation bins that are easily taken advantage of as garbage furniture dumps. This group started several years ago, with hopes to promote growth of the South Lansing community and stop crime. “In October 2014, a group of citizens came together and decided we needed to do something for south Lansing because it was deteriorating,” said Wombolt. “I was designated as the facilitator of this group.”
Wombolt talked about how this is a growing and expanding group, explaining that there are no dues, no bylaws, and anyone can attend the meetings.
The Lansing area has several print news sources to keep its community up to date on all the happenings around them. While these publications are similar in some ways, they differ in content or audience, creating a well-rounded collection of publications. However, working with these differences can be a challenge to ensure that news is not repeated exactly in multiple different sources. The audience to these print publications varies, but according to Roy Cunningham, the only people who read the news are older people. Cunningham is a 74-year-old Lansing area local, who reads “anything from City Hall,” he said.
OLD TOWN LANSING — Over the past few years, Old Town Lansing has erupted with new women-owned businesses.
According to the State of Women Owned Businesses Report in 2013, there are more than 8.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States. Between 1997 and 2013 the number began growing at 1.5 times the national average.
Old Town reflects that trend.
Almost half of the businesses in Old Town are owned by women today, according to the Old Town Commercial Association.
Old Town General Store is known for its local products. Owner, Rhea Van Atta, does all the shopping for her store personally. Van Atta says around 70 percent of the total products in the store are from Michigan.
While Old Town’s Oktoberfest aims to make a cultural impact as “Mid-Michigan’s only German-style event,” it also makes a major contribution to the Old Town Commercial Association’s finances — to the (polka) tune of almost 20% of its annual budget. OTCA Executive Director Brittney Hoszkiw confirmed that the 2010 Oktoberfest brought in more than $12,000, and she expects this year’s festival, on Friday, Oct. 7 and Saturday Oct. 8,, to be even bigger. This is the festival’s sixth year and Hoszkiw says it has consistently made a profit for OTCA.