Old Town’s futuristic approach

By Kara Albrecht
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Writer 

LANSING, MI. –Old Town businesses are slowly thinking about how they want to see their town in the next 10 to 15 years.In the early 1980’s, Old Town was run down and abandoned. “There really wasn’t a lot of crime,” said Tina Ray of MessageMakers. “Just boarded up buildings that made it look empty like a ghost town.”

In 1982, Terry Terry, founder of MessageMakers, came to Old Town and started to renovate. In 1984, he created the Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art (MICA), and he collaborated with a group of artists to make an art district.

Parks Department seeks community input

By Marina Csomor
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer

INGHAM COUNTY — Karen Fraser wants Ingham County residents to help decide the future of the area’s parks. After all, it’s the public who owns them. “They’re not my Ingham County parks or not the Parks Department’s parks,” said Fraser, who is secretary and treasurer for Friends of Ingham County Parks, a nonprofit organization that works to improve local parks. “They’re something the community owns, so (citizens) really should have the opportunity to have a say.”

This opportunity came in January when Ingham County Parks allowed citizens to offer input on its 2012-2016 Master Plan — a plan which establishes a framework for coming decision-making within the department. More than 700 park users, including Fraser, completed a voluntary online survey on which they detailed what park officials should do not only to maintain the quality of the parks and to improve these sites.