Coffee shops take major steps to minimize environmental impact

Coffee shops across the state are working to become more environmentally friendly. Measures include growing their own plants to flavor beverages, reusing glass milk bottles, donating leftover grounds to community gardens, buying beans grown without pesticides and revamping their roasting systems. We hear from owners in Coldwater, Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti and from an MSU expert.

Minong Ridge Trail: One tough trek

It may be Michigan’s toughest hike, the 29-mile Minong Ridge Trail in Isle Royale National Park. Rustic and rugged, it lures backpackers seeking a challenge. Portions are a path in the woods, but much of it is a route along a rocky ridge where an occasional rock cairn is the only indication hikers are headed in the right direction. For news and outdoors pages.

Root Doctor plays for hometown crowd at Summer Solstice Jazz Festival

For 23 years, the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival has brought live jazz music and education to the East Lansing community, showcasing both nationally recognized and local artists. The 2019 festival served more than a gathering of bands. For its closing act, Root Doctor, it served as a homecoming celebration. “We’ve been playing for 30 years in the area,” said band manager Marge Mooney. “We have a lot of family and a lot of friends that we’ve acquired through playing in the area, so it was exciting to have us back in town.”

This year marks the 30 year anniversary of the band, which formed in Lansing in 1989.

Prime Time Seniors’ Wellness program welcomes residents to open art studio

At the East Lansing Hannah Community Center, senior citizens and other residents can partake in a variety of programs that are dedicated to the improvement of wellness. 

“Sometimes when you’re working,you’re married to your job and then when you retire it’s like what do I do?” said Janet Lee, a participant with the Prime Time Senior’ Wellness program since March 2018. 

According to the National Adult Day Services Association, there are over 4,600 adult activities programs across the U.S. Prime Time Seniors’ Program in East Lansing offers a range of courses to try out which include an open art studio, fitness, technology, finance and many others. It is a nationally accredited activities program that believes enriching the lives of seniors living in the area through various activities. Every week, it offers an open art studio every week from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Despite it being labeled for seniors, it’s open to East Lansing residents, including students. 


“Eighty percent of an elder’s health is tied to socialization. So it’s important that we offer all of these things and we do that in the 370 programs that we offer annually,” said Kelly Arndt, the director of the Prime Time Seniors’ Program. 

Lana Schaeffer, who is an instructor at the open art studio, said she is motivated to achieve her goal of keeping the open art classes running so people can stay involved within the community. “It keeps you active and it gives you a good idea of what you might like in a craft or an art without spending the money to buy everything,” said Schaeffer. 

To attend an open art class here, there is a $3 fee, which includes all of the material and instructions that are being given during the studio time.

Saline district library evolves in digital age

In an overwhelmingly digital age, what role does a local library play in a community like Saline? Jess Hesselgrave said an important one. Hesselgrave, head of adult services at the Saline District Library, said she thinks good libraries in towns the size of Saline have evolved to be more like community centers in the year 2019. “We still have a very high circulation rate for physical materials like books as well as digital materials like DVDs or Blu-rays,” Hesselgrave said. ” Plus, our meeting rooms and study rooms are in constant use, and we usually have a ton of people here in general.”

Hesselgrave, who lives in Whitmore Lake and has worked at the Saline District Library for two years after having worked at libraries in Ann Arbor and Salem/South Lyon, says in Saline she has more creative freedom at her job.

Planning Commission discusses new site for P.T. O’Malley’s

The East Lansing Planning Commission members met June 12 to discuss the application for approval of a new site-plan and special use permit from PORTAW, Inc. which currently owns Harper’s Restaurant and Brewpub and P.T. O’Malley’s Bar and Grill. In addition, the company proposed to extend the space by adding 78 square feet to accommodate the new restaurant with more space for seating and dancing. “It (P.T. O’Malley’s) had moved down to 210 Abbot, specifically for one reason and one reason only, and that was because of the capacity issue,” said Pat Riley president of PORTAW, inc.

Riley also explains that the relocation is due to the much needed kitchen space. The location with a larger kitchen means having a new menu that includes appetizers, salads and sandwiches. “If anyone has been either in the very original or the current location of P.T. O’Malley’s, it is a cooking area not a kitchen,” said Riley.

The arts has strong foundation in Lansing

The Greater Lansing area boasts a strong arts community thanks to the Broad Art Lab and Lansing Arts Council, among others, that ensure the community is engaged with the arts. The Broad Art Lab is dedicated to community participation, programming and outreach. In an effort to involve the local community in unprecedented ways, it hosts “Community Open Calls,” where the general public can propose their own ideas, projects, events or workshops to host at the lab. “Art is what gives a community its soul, its individuality, its life force, its very uniqueness,” says Ben Graham, founder of the Lansing-based visual strategy and design business Ben Graham Group, Inc. “This creates positive moments and memories from this simple interaction. Art is lasting, art is important!”

Graham was a member of the previous review committee, made up of local businesses and artists, that judge the submitted applications to ultimately select which get put on at the Broad Art Lab.

The Empire strikes out at the Lugnuts game

In a galaxy far, far away, the Lansing Lugnuts held one of their fan-favorite themed nights, Star Wars Night on June 16 where they hosted the Bowling Green Hot Rods and lost, 7-1. While the Lugnuts lost, the force was with the audience as there were different Star Wars themed events and prizes. In-between field changes and timeouts, select fans were able to play fun mini-games like “Burger Dash”  and “Categories” to entertain the waiting audience. “Baseball games are always a blast to go to because they really make the effort to get the fans involved,” Taylor Konwinski said. “It’s why I always end up coming to more and more games.”

The biggest fan interaction came from the opportunity to take pictures with Darth Vader, stormtroopers and Jedi manhunter, Nico the Fett.