CNS Winter 2023 Michigan Environmental budget

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Jan. 3, 2023

CNS Budget: winter environmental package

To: CNS Editors

From: Eric Freedman & DavePoulson

Welcome to our annual winter package of Michigan-relevant environmental stories in collaboration with our partner, Great Lakes Echo. 

For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Eryn Ho at (616) 485-9295, 

For other matters, contact Eric Freedman at (517) 256-3873;

Editors: Our first weekly file of the spring 2023 semester will be on Friday, Jan. 20.

Editors: Commentaries may run in opinion and feature sections.

Here’s your file:

GREEN AGAINST CRIME: Community engagement in maintaining and mowing vacant city lots can contribute to lower violent crime rates,says a new study by researchers from U of M, the CDC and other institutions. Such community involvement is underway in Flint through the city’s Clean and Green program. We talk to researchers and the Genesee County Land Bank Authority. By Vladislava Sukhanovskaya. FOR DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

w/GREEN AGAINST CRIME PHOTO: Community members work on a spring planting project at a community garden in the University Avenue Corridor in Flint. Credit: University Avenue Corridor Coalition 

TOR & RAVEN: A new illustrated children’s book set in Northern Michigan tells the story of a dog and a raven that befriended each other. Scenes are set at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the Platte River and Fishtown in Leland. One author lives part of the year in Empire and the other, whose family homesteaded in Leelanau County in the 1880s, grew up in the area. For news and feature sections. FOR LEELANAU, TRAVERSE CITY AND ALL POINTS.

w/TOR & RAVEN COVER: Cover of Tor & Raven Are Friends. Credit: Mission Point Press. 

w/TOR & RAVEN PHOTO: Tor and the raven posing together on a beach. Credit: Tracy Mikowski.

FISH PLAY: People who enjoy Monopoly or tag may have far more in common with fish than they realize. It’s unlikely you’ll find your goldfish playing checkers with pebbles in their tank, but a new study from Eastern Michigan University finds evidence that fish like to play. We also talk to an MSU source. By Grace Heemstra. FOR DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS. 

w/FISH PLAY PHOTO 1: White-spotted cichlid oriented toward the red laser dot. Credit: Sofia Eisenbeiser

w/FISH PLAY PHOTO 2: Pet store tiger barbs chasing after the red laser dot. Credit: Sofia Eisenbeiser

ORPHAN WELLS: Orphan oil wells plague the Midwest, but new federal funds will help plug them. Michigan has around 450 orphan wells throughout the Lower Peninsula, with large concentrations in Manistee and Benzie counties and along the border of Charlevoix and Otsego counties. A Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy official explains. By Jake Christie. FOR MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, BENZIE COUNTY, CHEBOYGAN, TRAVERSE CITY AND ALL POINTS.

w/ORPHAN WELLS MAP: Credit: Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

CORN FUNGUS: An MSU study says a toxin produced by a fungus in corn will increase over the next few years because of global warming. From 2031-40, over 89.5% of counties in 15 states will experience a rise in aflatoxin levels. The value of Michigan’s 2021 crop of corn used for grain topped $1.85 billion, and farmers planted 2.35 million acres. Three counties planted at least 100,000 acres: Sanilac, Lenawee and Huron. By Jake Lyskawa. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, BLISSFIELD, ADRIAN, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! AND ALL POINTS.

w/CORN FUNGUS PHOTO: Aflatoxin fungus. Credit: Crop Protection Network


RECYCLED APARTMENTS: So-called adaptive reuse apartments are more popular than new apartment developments as empty commercial buildings, office buildings and other vacant structures are converted to housing, a new report says. In Michigan, Lansing leads the adaptive reuse trend with 289 apartments converted between 2020 and 2021. Detroit comes in second, with 197 conversions. For future conversions, Grand Rapids and Detroit have the most potential for adaptive reuse, 7th and 10th respectively in the country. We talk to RentCafe and the MSU Center for Community Economic Development. By Audrey Richardson. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP!, WKTV, DETROIT, PLANET DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.

w/RECYCLE APARTMENTS PHOTO1: Volaris Lansing is an apartment complex converted from an old hotel in Lansing, a city leading the state in adaptive reuse. Credit: Audrey Richardson

w/RECYCLE APARTMENTS PHOTO 2: Shelby, in downtown Detroit, was converted from a bank vault to a speakeasy. Credit: Sonali Patel

w/CLIMATE SOLUTIONS LOGO: Credit: Asher Freedman

ICE & OIL SPILLS: What happens if oil spills under ice in freshwater? The question rises in prominence as controversy continues overEmbrudge’s Line 5 beneath the Straits of Mackinac. We hear about Line 5 and an earlier Kalamazoo River pipeline spill from Enbridge, MSU, the Kalamazoo Watershed, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Ottawa Indians and Michigan Water Environment Association. By Cameryn Cass. FOR SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, BAY MILLS, MARQUETTE, CHEBOYGAN, TRAVERSE CITY, IRON RIVER, ALPENA AND ALL POINTS. 

w/ICE & OIL SPILLS MAP: Line 5 carries nearly 23 million gallons of crude oil and natural gas daily from Superior, Wisconsin, through Michigan and on to Sarnia, Ontario. Credit: Enbridge Inc.

Editors: These three columns can run in news or feature sections.

COMMENTARY ICE CREAM: As the operating season for a popular ice cream shop in Lowell opens earlier and closes later each year, a local ice cream enthusiast worries about the climate change that’s responsible. By Mackenzie DeRaad. FOR GREENVILLE, WKTV, IONIA, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.

w/COMMENTARY ICE CREAM PHOTO1: Ball’s Softee Creme sign in Lowell. Credit: Mackenzie DeRaad

w/COMMENTARY ICE CREAM PHOTO 2: aerial view of 2013 flood in Lowell. Credit: NOAA

COMMENTARY FIREFLIES: A fun summer night isn’t complete without the twinkling of fireflies in the sky. They are mascots of joy filled summer nights filled with laughter and love. The campfire crackles on a breezy night in the backyard, the sun starts to set. fireflies take their place among the trees and a writer ponders what fireflies can teach us about teamwork. By Camryn Evans. FOR ALL POINTS.

COMMENTARY FAST FASHION: A fashion lover interested in sustainability ponders why it’s so hard to find what goes into the materials used to make clothing. By Borjana Alia. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! AND ALL POINTS.


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