English language learners find resources at East Lansing library

Rosana Souza was searching for a place to help her Brazilian sister-in-law to improve her English. Souza’s sister-in-law, Hilda Pamplona, moved here to visit and to communicate with more people. Pamplona is not alone. According to a report from DATA USA, in 2015, 8,206 (16.9%) of East Lansing citizens are non-English speakers, which is lower than the national average of 21.1%. Such a small group is not ignored by the city.

East Lansing community votes on income tax

The City of East Lansing held its meeting for the 2018 East Lansing Income Tax Ballot Proposal on June 20 at the East Lansing Public Library. City Manager stressed the urgent need for this tax because of multiple financial difficulties the city is experiencing. Some community members expressed worries about the proposed tax, and city official highlighted the need for more community input and turnout at the voting booth. Voting for the policy begins Aug. 7.

Mackerel Sky helps customers find art as unique as its name

East Lansing has a unique art gallery store that’s been around for 30 years. The Mackerel Sky is more than a catchy name, though; it’s also a long story. A mackerel sky is a cloud formation that sailors talk about. It’s well-known on the coasts, and it looks like the scales on a mackerel fish. To sailors, it means a great change in atmosphere pressure is coming, which means a big shift is coming.

MSU senior turns her passion into a business

Ondraé Lawson has always been interested in fashion. It was not until she went to a bible study she did not know was tailored toward entrepreneurs that she thought to turn what she was passionate about into a business. “I was always one of those girls that never wanted to get her clothes dirty and paid attention to every single detail of my outfit,” Lawson said. “The older I got the more freedom my mom allowed me to express myself through my clothes. I would draw and customize my things and dress differently.”

Lawson is the creator of Saint Ondres luxury clothing brand that specializes in men’s and women’s street wear and women’s swimwear.

The benefits of summer camps for kids

School is out and the children are free, but parents still have to go to work. Keeping your kids busy doesn’t have to be stressful. Camps that offer activities like field trips, sports and art classes are a great way to keep your child occupied this summer. Becky Raden, coordinator at Pinckney Pirate Camp, says that getting your child involved in a summer camp can be a great opportunity for them. “Our goal is that the kids stay active, are having fun and are well supervised because this is their summer vacation,” Raden said.

Who’s teaching our kids about Independence Day?

Next week, the country will celebrate Independence Day. The day is usually filled with lots of red, white and blue shirts, small waving flags and spectacular fireworks, but is the meaning of the day still known and appreciated? A study by the American National Election Studies showed that the level of patriotism in the United States has in fact gone down, most commonly in millennials. Some believe this trend is because of social institutions, however, others believe the decline in American patriotism is because of our education system. Debbie Loukotka, an elementary school teacher who is known for taking her American pride seriously, says that teaching patriotism is more by choice.

Opioid epidemic: Understanding addiction

In 2015, at the age of 16, a woman who uses the alias, Jillian Wahla, tried her first opioid. Less than one year later, Wahla found herself homeless, malnourished and addicted to the drug. “I got a few Vicodins after I had my wisdom teeth removed,” Wahla said. “It was the best my body had ever felt. I knew almost instantly I wanted to feel like that all the time.”
Wahla’s quest for opioids began as soon as her Vicodin prescription ran out. She was searching for relief regarding her undiagnosed cases of gastritis and fibromyalgia – a disorder that renders its afflicted with widespread psychosomatic body pains.

Kai Selwa works in the MSU Formula Racing Shop on March 27, 2018.

Women in the skilled trades face obstacles

The number of women in the skilled trades has been slowly rising. The traditionally male-dominated field has seen increased interest from women. Both Grand Rapids Community College and Macomb Community College have programs for the skilled trades that have seen rising numbers of women. According to Scott Mattson, program manager of job training and construction trades, there has been a large jump in the last five years. Macomb’s student population for skilled trades now is 15 percent female.