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.

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 menu at Blue Owl Coffee features drinks that take a spin on classic cocktails such as the Mackinac, which is inspired by a Manhattan. Craft coffee shops are a growing part of the coffee market.

Coffee market sees increase from craft shops

Behind the bar there are a variety of dark colored bottles with handwritten labels and eye droppers to ensure perfect measurements. The handwritten menu has descriptions of coffees and flavorings that baristas mix to order.

The low murmur of customers working together and studying is broken when a barista calls out a name and pushes one of the coffeehouse’s signature coffee cocktails, a Mackinac, to the edge of the bar.

It’s a scene that’s repeating itself across the country as craft shops take a growing share of the coffee market.

The East Lansing Recycling Drop-off Center provides local residents with pre-sorted recycling bins as a supplement to its single-stream curbside recycling program.

Higher costs put community recycling programs at risk

Sharply higher costs are putting strains on community recycling programs — even pushing some cities to send all of their waste to landfills instead. The problem is due in large part to the trade war with China, once the largest buyer of recyclable materials from the U.S. In January 2018, China imposed tariffs and bans on Americans’ waste materials like cardboard and plastics. That’s led to a steep drop in the price waste companies can get for raw recyclable materials. Recyclers have increased fees for processing cities’ waste to make up for those losses. Lansing paid $6.42 per ton to recycle waste gathered from its curbside recycling program in January 2018.

Spartan Marching Band searching for new members

While the athletes are iconic to the MSU sports world, there’s another group fans root for at every game and they’re looking for more to join. The Spartan Marching Band and Spartan Brass are searching for their next members. The marching band plays at the football games while brass plays at the other sporting events. There are between 70 and 80 spots available with the marching band this coming year from drum line to color guard to flag core. “Even if you’re on campus as a junior or senior, I would encourage you to come out and audition,” David Thornton, marching band director, said.

MSU seniors get ready to graduate

After years of classes, long hours at the library and cramming for exams, it’s finally arrived… graduation. This week marks the end of the spring semester which means graduation is right around the corner. Students are preparing for the big day by buying their cap and gown as well as the colored tassel to match their college. They can also be spotted throughout the campus taking pictures in their ceremony outfit at the historic locations that Michigan State is known for.

Arbor Day grows on campus

Michigan State’s campus is known for its trees… over 25,000 of them. A red autumn maple tree was planted this afternoon in the Brody neighborhood to celebrate the 147th Arbor Day. MSU is recognized for the second consecutive year by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus USA Institution. Spectators received a free tree to plant themselves and to motivate them to learn about Arbor Day.