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 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.

The Grand Rapids Public Library in downtown Grand Rapids

Michigan libraries seek to stock opioid overdose meds

Opioid overdoses have increased dramatically in America over the last two decades. A pair of bills moving through the Michigan Legislature would allow librarians to store and administer opioid overdose antidotes with legal immunity, an option many are eager to have.

Proposed ban on shooting while high hard to enforce


Capital News Service


LANSING — A proposal to ban people high on marijuana from possessing firearms is pending in the House, but some law enforcement experts say there are too many questions around how marijuana affects the body to make such a move. Bills sponsored by Rep. Jim Lilly, R-Park Township, would criminalize possessing a firearm if a person has more than two nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per milliliter in their blood. THC is the chemical in marijuana that makes you high. Six states and Canada have set impaired driving thresholds for THC blood levels. None have set such limits on firearm possession, although the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2016 that a federal ban on gun sales to medical marijuana patients does not violate the Second Amendment.

Governor, lawmakers seek school funding boost


Capital News Service

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2020 budget proposal would increase school funding by more than a half-billion dollars. The boost to the School Aid Fund would come from a proposed transfer of all higher education funding — which has in part relied on K-12 education dollars for almost a decade — back to the General Fund. The increase would provide an additional $235 million to foundation allowances, which is the state’s funding of basic classroom needs and daily operations. That amounts to $120 to $180 per student, with the largest increases going to districts with the lowest foundation allowances. Whitmer’s budget proposal also calls for an additional $120 million in special education funding, $102 million for at-risk students and $50 million for career and technical education.

Proposal to ban conversion therapy in Michigan

A new proposal is making it’s way through the Capitol this week that aims to make Michigan a more accepting place. Two Democrats, State Senator Mallory McMurrow and State Representative Yousef Rabhi, have proposed a ban on conversion therapy in the state. Conversion therapy is the process of trying to convert homosexual or bisexual people to heterosexual. The bill wants to prevent mental health professionals from using this type of therapy on minors. “I think it would be affirming in saying that you don’t need to change this identify, this isn’t something you need to fix rather this is a real and legitimate identity,” Nick Royal, MSU LBGT Resource Center coordinator, said.

Only 25% of Michigan teachers recommend the job

Capital News Service

LANSING — Most teachers wouldn’t recommend that their students follow in their footsteps, according to a recent Michigan survey. Launch Michigan, a diverse coalition of groups that are sometimes at loggerheads but come together to advocate for education changes, reports that 75% of Michigan educators would not recommend education as a career. That contributes to the challenges of recruitment and retention, experts say. Launch Michigan is a coalition of business, teacher, administrator and other organizations seeking education reform. Their hope is to find solutions and strategies for the problems teachers face and retain more educators, said Emma White, the principal researcher at Emma White Research who did the survey.