MCAH works “behind the scenes” to end homelessness

Chronic homelessness is defined as living on the streets for 12 months out of the last 36. A number of shelters and organizations are finding their own ways to address the needs of these citizens in Lansing. One of the organizations is the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness (MCAH). According to MCAH’s communications manager Amy Stephenson, MCAH works more “behind the scenes.”

Pedestrians walk along a street in downtown East Lansing. The area boasts many restaurants and is intersected by bus lines serving Michigan State University and Lansing’s capital area.

Many Ingham County Democrats lukewarm on Biden

INGHAM COUNTY PROFILE: Ingham County leans heavily Democratic and supported Biden over Trump 65% to 33% in 2020. But it’s also a mix of rural, urban and college communities, cutting through a unique cross-section of voters in a state expected to play a pivotal role in this year’s elections. By Viet Anh Phan, Donte Smith, Jada Vasser and Campbell Berg. FOR ALL POINTS.

East Lansing’s Environmental Stewardship Program works to weed out invasive species 

It is a brisk March day, and Azaadiika park is finally waking up for spring – birds are flitting through the trees, joggers and dog-walkers are making their way through the winding trails, and a myriad of plant life is starting its journey towards blooming for the season. But there is something there that doesn’t quite belong – a pervasive and ever-growing army of buckthorn trees, an invasive species that has long been a disruptive force in the park’s ecosystem. 

“The tree itself takes a few years to grow, but it sends little seeds, and then it sprouts little trees, and those little trees can completely cover a landscape,” says Heather Majano. “So much so, that you could actually take a weed whipper out and just weed whip tiny little buckthorn trees and not have to worry about removing any other plant because that’s all there is.” 

Three large piles of buckthorn branches line a trail in East Lansing’s Azaadiika Park on Saturday, March 9. The branch piles, which have been cut down and placed there by Stewardship Program volunteers, will serve as habitats for some of the park’s smaller animal inhabitants. Majano, who graduated from MSU with her master’s degree in forestry in 2015, has spent the majority of the past 12 years working as the coordinator for East Lansing’s Environmental Stewardship Program, an initiative focused on reducing the negative impact that invasive species have on East Lansing’s natural environments.  

The program, initially founded in 2009 by former Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mike Vasievich, devotes most of its energy towards on-the-ground conservation efforts, inviting community volunteers to meet at designated locations on the second Saturday of every month –both to learn more about the impacts of invasive species, and to help remove or repurpose as many invasive plants as possible. 

“I’ve talked to some people who are not as familiar with plant identification, and when they look out in the woods or in a field, they see green, [and think] green is beautiful.

Sunset at Addison Oaks County Park

Oakland Co. golf course on par for public park

When Beech Woods Golf Course closed in 2019, many ideas were pitched to the city of Southfield during the public input survey on how to repurpose the greenspace. Some ideas included an amphitheater and splash pad, but one common consensus persisted. In November of 2023, a partnership was approved through Oakland County’s Healthy Communities Park and Outdoor Recreation Investment Plan to redevelop the golf course into the latest Oakland County park, to be named Southfield Oaks.

Community members in disbelief after affordable housing vote postponed

After the East Lansing City Council announced that the vote on an affordable housing apartment complex on 530 Albert St. was being postponed, community members were audibly disappointed and upset. “Are they afraid of us?” one woman exclaimed. The plan for construction would take out the Bailey Street parking lot located just behind Grand River Avenue on Bailey and Albert streets. While some were all for integrating affordable housing near campus, many were concerned about parking post construction and the strain that it would have on businesses, their employees and long time customers.

East Lansing School Board exploring equity issues

The East Lansing School Board on Oct. 9 discussed the continuation of equity issues in the district. Three years ago, ELPS announced a series of changes to improve its DEI efforts. The district proceeded to try and increase diversity in the faculty and staff and create programs to increase inclusion. In September at MacDonald Middle School, a teacher was suspended for the second time in four months for using racial slurs and inappropriate language.

Crosswalk outside of Chippewa Middle School.

Residents concerned after multiple car accidents outside Okemos Schools

After two car accidents involving children occurred outside of Okemos schools at the start of the school year, parents reached out to the school board to voice their concerns. 

The first accident on Sept. 15, outside of Chippewa Middle School on Kinewa Drive, left one student in a wheelchair with a broken ankle and concussion. The second accident on Oct. 4 involved a child walking at the intersection of Kinawa Drive and Okemos Road. This prompted Superintendent John Hood to send out an email to parents reminding them about street safety. 

“It’s really disappointing because myself and some others in the room have spent a lot of hours and effort into putting together recommendations that would make it safer for our students to walk and bike to school, and it’s just going nowhere,” said Tim Potter while addressing the school board during its Oct.