State lawmakers could stop local governments from taxing plastic bags

BY RAY WILBUR
Capital News Service
LANSING —Environmental and recycling groups fear the passage of a state bill that would restrict how local governments manage plastic waste and litter. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, would prohibit local governments from banning or placing a fee or tax on plastic bags. Washtenaw County passed an ordinance in June that would put a 10-cent fee on plastic bags used at grocery stores. Other counties, such as Muskegon County, have discussed similar programs.
The bill would make those ordinances irrelevant and create a uniform law to allow businesses to operate smoothly, Stamas said. The bill passed the Senate in May and had a hearing in the House Committee on Commerce and Trade.

Lansing City Market: Not a true farmer’s market, but something else

By Jazzy Teen
Listen Up, Lansing

LANSING- Five years ago, the construction of a new building along downtown’s river trail was completed, serving as a new home for the Lansing City Market, an establishment serving Lansing since 1909. What was planned to be a great gain for locals has not pleased all. Many who remember the old market are not satisfied with the new market’s lack of farmer’s market characteristics. However, city officials and the Lansing City Market itself said the facility has evolved from the traditional model. “My problems with the ‘city market’, is that ‘the city’ has taken away the image of the ‘farmers market’ where local growers would be welcome to bring their home grown and homemade goods for sale,” said Alice Florida, long-time Lansing resident.

The Runway sets the stage for aspiring designers

By Micah Davis
Listen Up, Lansing

A new retail showroom, The Runway, seems to be opening doors of opportunity for Michigan residents. The Runway is a Lansing Economic Area Partnership-funded program for aspiring designers, and is located in the heart of downtown Lansing in The Knapp’s Centre at 300 S. Washington Square. According to the Runway website, designers must first go through the application process in order to get involved. An employee of the retail showroom, Meleena Herring, said that the program is a fashion incubator that is meant to help build the economy, but also provide help to young entrepreneurs by building their business in Michigan. “We do provide the designers opportunities with industry professionals to where they can schedule office hours and get one-on-one business consulting type thing—and we have people from the fashion industry as well as other business professionals in the financial arena, legal help as well,” Herring said.

A’Lynne Boles catches up with Averill

Snow removal and safety dominated Averill Woods meeting with council president. Third Ward Council Member A’Lynne Boles, newly elected president of the Lansing City Council, held her monthly meeting with the residents of the Averill Woods Neighborhood to talk over the recent snow and the possibility of starting a Neighborhood Watch. Boles routinely meets with the residents of Averill Woods on the second Saturday of every month to discuss concerns in the neighborhood and update the citizens on the Lansing City Council. Residents raised concerns about how well the city was coping with record amounts of snow. According to Weather.com, Lansing exceeded it’s average precipitation by almost an inch during January and February.