City to sprout solar-power parks

By Jane Wagner
Entirely East Lansing

The Lansing Board of Water and Light announced its plan to construct two community solar parks in its service area. East Lansing’s Burcham Park, a retired landfill site, has been designated for the first park. The second will be adjacent to the BWL Wise Road Water Treatment Plant in Lansing. “It’s a powerful sign of progress,” said East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett. The landfill has been a “trouble spot” for the city, and this project will give the area a completely new purpose and source of life.

Community Relations Coalition cleans up

By Jane Wagner
Entirely East Lansing

Exciting weekends in East Lansing, like home football games and Halloween, lead to increased levels of litter strewn across the community. The Community Relations Coalition works to restore East Lansing to an acceptable condition for all residents. “The CRC is a group of 10 interns that are undergraduate students at Michigan State University,” said coalition intern Christina Ignasiak. “We partner with the city of East Lansing and MSU to spread information and bridge the gap between the students and long-term residents in the neighborhoods.”

Picking up East Lansing may seem slightly overwhelming, but the coalition does not seem to think of the job as a chore. The neighborhoods are divided into zones and groups of volunteers are each assigned a zone.

Bailey Community Center may find new life

By Jane Wagner
Entirely East Lansing

Since Sept. 4, the Bailey Community Center has been closed completely. Built in 1922, the building has been an important part of the East Lansing community as a child-care center and community space. The Capital Area Housing Partnership has proposed an $8.6 million project to transform the Bailey Community Center into a residential and commercial building. The project will include 19 one-bedroom and seven two-bedroom senior apartments on the second and third floors.

City Council election Tuesday

By Jane Wagner
Entirely East Lansing

The East Lansing City Council election is Nov. 3. Although there are no ordinances to be voted on this election, three of the five council member positions are up for grabs. Six candidates are competing for these spots, which has been an exciting race to the finish. “In East Lansing, we don’t directly elect our mayor,” said City Clerk Marie Wicks.

School Board plans new programming at Red Cedar Elementary

By Jane Wagner
Entirely East Lansing

After months of debate over what to do with the vacant building, the East Lansing Board of Education will potentially reopen Red Cedar Elementary School for “innovative educational programming.” The Board met on Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. to discuss the fate of the building. “We lost something valuable to the community with the closure of Red Cedar School,” said Treasurer Kath Edsall. “The initial population dozens of years ago were children of our international students from Michigan State who lived in family housing.”

The closing of Red Cedar was more than just a reconfiguration of the school district because it was most diverse school in the area. Many said they were being discriminated against and lost access to educational benefits.

East Lansing adapts to decriminalized marijuana

By Jane Wagner
Entirely East Lansing

This past May, 65.67% of East Lansing voters approved the decriminalization of marijuana. Although many saw this as a win, both law enforcement and caregivers agree that there has been relatively no change in the prohibition of the substance. The separation of local, state and federal statutes has lead to confusion regarding what is and is not allowed in the area

“The decriminalization no longer allows us to cite people under the East Lansing city ordinance,” said Lt. Scott Wriggelsworth. “There are still state and federal laws that can be used to prosecute people found in possession.”

Previously, a first-time possession offender was subject to a $25 fine and no jail time under the city ordinance. The decriminalization eliminated this option.