We Were Outgunned // Alice Dreger

What happened at the BRA yesterday?  ELi has my report up , but I would sum it up this way:

We were outgunned. And we were paying for the other side’s weapons.

What my reporting team saw yesterday is what we see at so many meetings. People representing our side – in this case, BRA members Jim Croom, Jeff Smith, and Aaron Stephens – ask really reasonable questions and express reasonable skepticism. 

But then, in the end, they vote “yes” without adequate protections for us. In the fog of … Read more →

Letter to the Brownfield Development Authority // Alice Dreger

I have steadily reported for East Lansing Info on the Center City District project from the day it was introduced, on many occasions with my colleague Chris Root. We have spent a lot of time using FOIA to document what has happened (and not happened) with regard to the public financing of this project.  Today I sent the attached letter (below) to the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority about their meeting which happens tomorrow (Thursday, July 9) at noon. I share it with readers of Public Response … Read more →

East Lansing City Bond Attorney // Eliot Singer

I see  in ELi  that some members of Council are (finally) questioning the continued use of the bond attorney. I would add, they also need to get rid of Baird as the city’s bond agent.

Better yet, time to stop allowing DDA/BRA to issue bonds and to stop allowing the city to issue bonds unless approved by voters. Just a reminder, the DPW building was built without voter-approved bonds (with cost overrun) after voters were promised, in approving sale of the old building, there would be no … Read more →

Coronavirus // Bill Weckesser

PR admin note: I had removed this post at one point – but have changed my mind and am keeping it on the site, as to stick to my initial thought of how such a post could encourage a productive conversation.

Hopefully good news in the fight against the coronavirus is permissible. In fact there’s every reason to believe that few if any of the young people who tested positive from Harper’s will need to be hospitalized nor succumb to … Read more →

Will University re-Opening Be Done Safely To Avoid Covid-19 Outbreaks? Likely Not. // Patrick Levine Rose

Will we get large Covid-19 outbreaks by having college students return to campus? Answer: Most likely yes. 

Why? Students are not likely to limit contacts outside class this Fall upon  return to school. And the mitigation strategies that are needed likely will not be in place. [Source: Study by Univ of Penn/Swarthmore Profs.]

So Universities will likely collect the tuition, bring the students back to campus, cause the outbreak, declare emergency, send the students home — a planned failure (but a profitable one). Thoughts?

The study … Read more →

Decommissioning Yeadon // Eliot Singer

Ah, nostalgia, to quote the great storyteller, Gamble Rogers.

I see the DDA is finally giving up on Yeadon. I still maintain, if the city gave up on the DDA, eliminating staffing costs and reducing it to paying its existing debts and bills, it would save more money than trying desperately to make good on the idiotic 2009 decision to borrow to buy the Evergreen properties. By time any big new project is completed, the debt of the bonds for City Center I will be … Read more →

Will the Chappelle Indictment Change City Hall? // Alice Dreger

It’s painful that Jim Cuddeback, the founder of Public Response, is not alive to read  the news  that real estate developer Scott Chappelle has been indicted for tax and bank fraud. When it was impossible for citizen watchdogs to convince any local news organization to report the truth about Chappelle’s history, Public Response provided the space to educate the community.

Eliot Singer, above all, worked doggedly to track and expose what was really going on with the developer with whom the City was looking to partner … Read more →

Announcing my new website for sharing research and writing including kids’ stuff // Eliot Singer

Hope everyone is doing okay social distancing. A few cases in Traverse City and NW Michigan.

I decided it was time finally to start a website to share my (not-political) research and writings, including a lot of handouts from my days working with teachers, some of which might be useful for stay-at-home children (with parental help). Lots of writing on history and folklore. Will be continuing to add to it. If you were thinking of reading a long novel to pass the time, check … Read more →

Let There Be Light Event – Wednesday, 4.1.2020 // Nancy Cuddeback

Hi All,

A thoughtful person posted this (see attachment) on FB a couple of days ago. I think it might be a wonderful way to get outside together (at a distance), reinforce our connectedness, and send out powerful thoughts and prayers of gratitude for all the helpers in this crisis. (See Mr. Rogers advice that in any crisis look for-and appreciate-the helpers. . . )

The attached flyer specifically mentions all the medical personnel who are doing amazing work to get us thru this … Read more →

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