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East Lansing : Featured Stories

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Miguel Torres, helping children follow their educational dreams.

Miguel Torres at Michigan State University works closely with migrant and seasonal farmworker families across the state of Michigan to motivate out-of-school youth who are trying to earn their GED. 

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Lansing chefs putting their best food forward

These Greater Lansing chefs may not be celebrities (yet), but their dedication to the art of cooking has made them rising stars locally. They share their insights on the cooking profession and how they’re dealing with a new generation of educated foodies.

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Board game nights are bringing people out for some old-fashioned fun.

Ever wanted to introduce your favorite board game to a new group of people just as enthusiastic as you? Now there are groups in Lansing, meeting at restaurants and bars across town. Take your games and join them!

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StartUp Grind Lansing, creating a venue for connection, learning, and collaboration

Startup Grind Lansing gives entrepreneurs, business owners, youth, and community members the opportunity to learn, collaborate, and connect with one another every month.

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Lansing rises to the challenge of getting in shape

Metro Lansing Loses a Million gives mid-Michiganders the tools they need get healthy once and for all.


Should I stay or should I go? The question LGBT families are asking in Lansing and across Michigan

A civil rights group recently ranked Michigan as one of the worst states for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to live. Find out more about the challenges Lansing-area LGBT families face and how members of the community are working hard to provide a welcoming place where all people are free to live, work, and play. 

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Slowly but surely connecting parks and trails systems in Ingham County

A new director and a new millage will amount to some major changes in Ingham County, like new and more connected systems of trails and parks. Hear more about what the Parks Department has planned.

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Lansing's Black History and Future

Three local civil rights experts weigh in on the meaning of Black History Month in a post-Ferguson world, and we dig into some of Lansing’s rich black history. 

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The Zone: providing students with a pipeline into the workplace and community

In East Lansing, Jackson National Life Insurance Company’s The Zone models how to develop business growth, student professionalism, and community outreach through its strategic and flexible plan.  

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Keeping up with the craft scene: Lansing's craft cocktails

Craft cocktails make a comeback as Lansing bars and restaurants seek local goods and quality ingredients, while creating a community-friendly atmosphere.

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Zines harness print and a DIY ethic to empower cultural and self-expression

With a boost from the do-it-yourself ethos, some writers, artists, and activists in the Capital region are departing from the digital and employing simple means of production to create, publish, and distribute a new generation of zines.

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Teaching kids to shape a healthy future for Lansing's rivers

Throughout the Lansing area, the GRAND Learning Network is partnering with schools and communities in an effort to teach the next generation about our beautiful state, and their role in preserving its resources.

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Paws for compassion: Therapy dogs help those in need

More and more hospitals, schools and service organizations are finding that the qualities that make dogs man's best friend also make them instinctual providers of the unconditional love, compassion and care needed to heal. 

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Mid-Michigan's growing craft distillery movement

By now, it's common to visit a winery or brewery in Michgian, but where can you go to get a locally made glass of bourbon? Or whiskey? Up until recently, that was a question without a good answer. But, the distilling industry is steadily growing and soon Lansing residents won't have to go far.

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Search for the Best Pad Thai in Town

Lansing has many Thai restaurants, and writer, Daniel J. Hogan went on a quest to find out which one has the best Pad Thai.

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Quest for the best vegetarian meal in Lansing

If you're a vegetarian in the Capital region, or simply one who adores veggie cuisine, make sure you've already eaten before venturing into this piece about one writer's quest to find the best vegetarian meal here.

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Lansing United unites Lansing

Nearly 2,000 people packed Archer Stadium at the East Lansing Soccer Complex as Lansing United, the capital area’s new semi-pro soccer club, made their debut.

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Giving musicians a Running Start into entrepreneurism

The innovative Running Start program at Michigan State University is tailored to help musicians become entrepreneurs to pursue their musical passions and perform/compose/create for a living.

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East Lansing goes to market with upgrades for Valley Court Park

A centrally-located park near the heart of East Lansing's downtown will undergo a facelift this spring, improving conditions for the popular grower's-only farmer's market and building on the city's increasing sense of place. 


The man behind Lansing's own professional soccer team

Jeremy Sampson brought his passion for sports to the Capital region in the early '90s. After nearly two decades spent reporting on Lansing-area sports news, Sampson and his Lansing United soccer team are ready to make some news of their own.

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Chosen by Lansing: Mary Wacera

Although she's only 26, Mary Wacera is an internationally acclaimed professional athlete who's fueled by incredible drive, purpose and a heart of gold. And she's bringing it all to Lansing. 

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Hatching the ideas of entrepreneurs

The Hatching isn't your average netoworking event. It's a fun, laid back, competition that gives entrepreneurs the chance to have their ideas heard, and some, the resources they need to be successful.

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Lansing, a launching pad for franchise business

Franchisors have long recognized the combination of a supportive business culture, unique demographics and strong work ethic that makes Greater Lansing an ideal city to launch a franchise or find a home for an established concept.

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Early birds and night owls rejoice: Michigan Flyer is spreading its wings

Ever wished you didn't have to beg a friend to drive you to the airport at midnight, or even worse, at four am? Let's not forget the cost of long-term parking, the stress of navigating highway traffic and the inconvenience of late night driving. As it turns out, there is a solution at hand.  And just in time for the holidays.

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A sweet deal: Urban beekeeping on the rise

While the current tale of the honeybee is a tragic one, not all hope is lost. As more people seek out sustainable alternatives amidst the bustle of city life, there has been a growing interest in beekeeping, right here in the Capital region. 


Mompreneurs and child's play

Driven by similar visions for creative, energy-burning spaces for kids, four local moms built their own businesses geared toward giving parents in the Capital region welcoming places to take the kids and enjoy some grown-up time, too.

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Building up the Michigan/Grand River Corridor

With two projects under their belt and one in the works, Wolf River Development is at the center of a goal to build up the Michigan/Grand River Corridor in Lansing and East Lansing. Their housing projects are bringing students back to campus and helping to contribute to the density and vibrancy of the area. 


Entrepreneurs who want to make a social impact

On June 18, Michigan’s first Social Entrepreneur Challenge wrapped up with the Social Entrepreneur Showcase, where dreamers and doers from across the state were given the opportunity to connect, network and share their ideas with the people who could help them bring those ideas to life.

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Fostering a growing Generation E

We're all familiar with Generation X and Generation Y. Now get acquainted with Generation E. Beginning this academic year, middle and high school students in the Capital region will have the chance to put business ideas into action through an innovative curriculum that encourages entrepreneurial thinking.

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Dog grooming, a booming industry

From clipping and bathing to cleaning ears and nails, dog groomers in the Capital region provide personal care services to your favorite pack member as part of a growing profession for our pet-indulgent culture.

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Lansing Art Works, expanding perspectives

Edutainment. It’s not a word that's in the dictionary or even the urban dictionary, but it's a word that embodies the Lansing Art Works collective: education and entertainment, all building up to a celebration. Learn more about the group's community engagement efforts, from cycling in the moonlight to bringing the Sunday Soup concept to the region.

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Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day

On Wednesday, May 22, bicyclists from across the state and farther gathered on the steps of the Capitol for the annual Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day, bringing awareness to important issues impacting Michigan cyclists. Read about their efforts to make the roads safer for cyclists.

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Speaker Series Recap: Incubator spaces and the economy

This past Thursday, May 30, folks from the community gathered together to talk about incubator spaces and the impact they have on the local economy. The conversation was centered on the way these programs are designed to support the successful development of entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services.

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In a manor most fowl: urban chicken farming

As sustainable living and homegrown foods continue to grow in popularity, residents in the Capital region find simple pleasure and a sense of community in transforming their backyards into small-scale farms for feathered friends and livestock.

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The Many Faces of Lansing Theater Part 3: The Future of Theater

We're at our final stop in our three-part series on Lansing area theater: the evolution of the theater experience. We talk to the folks who are in the midst of ensuring a theater legacy in the area through spearheading new and innovative ways to bring film to Lansing.

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The Many Faces of Lansing Theater Part 2: Nostalgic Theaters

Join us for the second stop in our three-part series on Lansing area theater: the theaters of time gone by. We'll explore the local venues still alive and kicking, and reminisce on some of the haunts that exist only in memory and photographs.

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Landing in Lansing with a love for comics

For some, the word 'comics' summons images of Garfield hating Mondays, or Superman saving the day. But for others, like Ryan Claytor, who teaches comic creation and produces his own, comics are more than just funny drawings or heroes in tights: they are a way of life.

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Little Free Libraries: Building communities, one book at a time

The Little Free Library phenomenon is taking the world by storm, and Lansing is no exception. What started as a neighborhood building concept in Wisconsin has turned into so much more. There are four little libraries registered in the Capital region, and more in the works. But just what is a little free library?

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The Spartan Line: Connecting Spartans in Chicago to the Capital region

What better way to connect the more than 25,000 Chicago-based MSU alumni to the Lansing area than a train wrapped in green and white? That's exactly what the Prima Civitas Foundation has done with The Spartan Line. Learn all about how the new initiative is a lot more than just a fun ride.

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The broad reach of the Broad Museum

We’ve been anticipating the opening of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum on MSU’s campus for months now, and the time has finally come! The $40-million museum opened to the public on Sunday, Nov. 11, and even in its short reign as the hub of contemporary art and architecture in the southeastern part of the state, it has had quite an impact on the Capital region.

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The Business of Halloween

There are many benefits to the holiday that is Halloween; you get to know your neighbors, supply happy children with treats for tricks, and maybe even save some Reese's goodness for yourself. But at the end of the day, what long-lasting or local impact does Halloween really have on our region? Enter if you dare ... mwahahahaha!

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Keeping The Heart of a Spartan in Lansing

Business owner, Camron Gnass knows a good story, and a good opportunity, when he sees one. So he jumped at the chance to publish local author Jack Ebling’s tale of the Michigan State Spartan’s renaissance.


A Deeper Shade of Green: Michigan Energy Options unveils renovated demonstration center

Just how green is the East Lansing-based nonprofit, Michigan Energy Options? While the local energy efficiency gurus await the announcement of their level of LEED certification this Friday, we'll learn how MEO members and staff have worked to make their Grove Street energy demonstration center a unique, working model of sustainability that is open and available to the community.

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CG Fashion: The Thrill of the Hunt

Meet Andrea Kerbuski, Capital Gains' fashion columnist! Andrea is a successful personal style/fashion blogger with a day job and a love for horses and leather accessories. She attributes her eclectic sense of style to her father. For her first column, she shares how Lansing is the place to thrift for fashion finds.

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Hamilton Home Restoration: A Labor of Love

The marks on the brickwork tell visitors that while there is a kind old lady who will offer you a free hot meal; you are also liable to get cussed out and thrown to the curb if you misbehave. The markings, commonly referred to as Hobo code, are just one of the many unique traits of the 140-year-old house in Okemos that Dave Delind took time to restore, while retaining as many remnants of history as possible.

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Hip Thinkers of the Broad Art Museum

Whether it’s because of the angular building rising out of Michigan State University’s north campus, the buzz all over social media, Founding Director Michael Rush or the ongoing news articles, most of Greater Lansing knows that the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum is coming soon. But what about the hip thinkers behind the museum, the yet unknown faces that will soon fill the Zaha Hadid designed halls of the region’s newest cultural asset? Capital Gains spent some time getting to know three of the Broad Museum’s - and Greater Lansing’s - newest team members.

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Getting Paid for Vision: Lansing Illustrators Who Made Their Passion A Career

Starving artist, we’re all familiar with the term. But illustrators in the Capital region seem to be doing pretty well for themselves. We couldn´t highlight them all, so here’s a look at how some of our well-known local artists are making it by following their passion and doing what they love: art.

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Lansing Growth Series Part 1: The New Way To Work in Town

So, how far has Lansing come in a decade? Have we grown, developed? Are we on the right track? Let's take a look and see, shall we! In the first part of our Lansing Growth series, we take a look at how Lansing has changed as a place to work.

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Choosing Lansing: Lauren Aitch

After hometown girl, Lauren Aitch, played basketball for the Spartans and abroad, she decided to come back to the Capital region to launch her fashion line and a foundation. Read more about her journey, and why she no longer sees Lansing as just a great place to raise a family.

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Jackson Kaguri: Raising Awareness from Okemos to Nyakagezi

Jackson Kaguri’s journey has taken him from a tiny village in Uganda to NYC to California - and now to Greater Lansing, where he works daily to ensure AIDS orphans in Nyakagezi, Uganda, have an education, food and healthcare. Find out how one man is making a difference for thousands of children on the other side of the world, from right here in the Capital region.

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Choosing Lansing: Khalid Ibrahim

Meet Khalid Ibrahim: scientist by day, artist by night! Pakistani by early upbringing, Ibrahim has fallen in love with what Lansing has to offer, professionally, recreationally, artistically and culturally. Whether fulfilling his passion behind a camera lens or in working to understand disease in the lab, he strives to be a teller of the diverse stories he considers himself lucky to encounter.

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Lansing Business Dynasties

The offspring at Granger Associates, Two Men and a Truck and Dean Transportation could go anywhere.  They’re degreed, skilled.  But they are working in their family’s Mid-Michigan companies and are bringing their generations’ green ethic with them. While getting their jobs was no cakewalk, they’re beating the poor odds for family dynasties while making huge contributions to their industries.

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All-of-us Express Children's Theatre: Curtain Up on Lansing's Youth

Sure, as an up-to-date person about town, you’re familiar with of the richness of the theatre culture present in the Lansing area. But have you heard about a 23 year old organization that works year-round to help raise the leaders of tomorrow through a truly community theatre experience?  Children, regardless of ‘age, color, creed, gender identity, disability, height, membership in any labor organization, national origin, parental status, political identification, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or weight’, are welcomed with open and supportive arms at All-of-us Express Children’s Theatre. Read on to learn more about the remarkable things happening both on and off the stage.

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Choosing Lansing: Sam and Meghan Short

Sam and Meghan Short have spent quality time living in a variety of big cities, but have recently chosen the Lansing area to start their family and establish roots. Meghan spends her day cultivating the next generation of attorneys at MSU, while Sam is dedicated to the continued revitalization of Old Town, with an eye on introducing some hip concept restaurants in the area. Check out what the Shorts have to say about our “small city, big town” community and why their roots are taking to the Lansing soil.


Best of Development 2011

Two-thousand-eleven has been a banner year for key development in the Greater Lansing area. It’s not just that there was an influx of any old type of building projects. The kind of development we saw in Lansing this year has been groundbreaking and innovative. They are the kind of projects inspired by collaboration, history and community - furthering growth across the region.

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Lansing's House Concert Scene

Where do local musicians go when Lansing music venues for the original artist start to dwindle? The same place up and coming musicians love to go to create a connection with their audience or test out a new song: your living room. Underground house concerts in the Lansing music scene are thriving. Public listening rooms cut of the same cloth are emerging. Read on to see how you can get on the guest list and get up close and personal with music. 

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App Makers in Lansing

Everyone knows “there’s an app for that,” but who is making all these apps? Capital Gains takes a look at three Lansing firms who make apps: Traction, Web Ascender and Gravity Works.

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Choosing Lansing: Jeff and Allie Siarto

Last year over Thanksgiving, Jeff and Allie Siarto visited family and friends in Michigan. The newlyweds, both in their mid-20's, had been itching to leave Chicago for some time and always entertained the idea of returning. That quickly became a reality after a fantastic few days in Michigan. Less than two months later, they made the big move.

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Lansing Eateries Buying Local

Getting our food from local sources – and supporting those restaurants and other establishments that do – makes sense in more ways than one. Local food tastes better, it’s healthier, it makes local farmers happy and preserves family farms. It enhances the character of our community ... and best of all, it’s the right thing to do. We talked with a  few eateries in the Lansing area who are also buying  local to support our region.

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Real Experiences at Wharton's Broadway Camp

The Wharton Center's summer Broadway camp, Taking it From the Top, melds passion, purpose and talent to bring a true Broadway experience to young performers. Broadway's brightest team works with Wharton to teach students how to shine.

Capital Ideas: Robin Miner-Swartz

If you know Robin Miner Swartz, then you know why people have referred to her as Lansing's biggest cheerleader. She's engaged, invested and connected to the Capital region, both personally and professionally. Wonder why?

A Miniature Guide Horse in Lansing

Was that a horse you saw on the bus last week? Don’t worry your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. That was Cali, the American Miniature Horse who might be Lansing's first guide horse. She works with her human, Mona Ramouni. The two moved to East Lansing last August, but Ramouni and Cali already feel embraced and welcomed by the Capital region.

Lansing’s Transportation Trend

It suddenly seems that Mid-Michigan has a mushrooming supply of taxis. Does that reflect a trend, moving us closer to metropolitan status?  The answer is yes, but not in the way you might think. So many things are happening here in the people-moving realm that we are well on the way to becoming a “transportation mecca”.

Advancing Lansing's Pageantry Arts

Peter Eichler's passion for pageantry arts, Broadway and his alma mater's vibrant community are what keep him in Lansing.

Henna Happy in Lansing

More personal than any piece of jewelry, more intricate than any makeup and more festive than a string of holiday lights … it’s mehndi, the adornment of skin with henna paste, and it’s right here in Lansing.

Playmakers: Making Play More Fun in Lansing

Combining a love for running with community and collaboration - that's why Playmakers Sporting Goods Store is celebrating 30 years of business in Lansing.

Building Lansing with the Bigger Brush Media Music Collective

Musicians Dave Suchanek, Kevin Pritchard and Carter Moulton are using computers, quilts, Christmas lights and California connections to boost the local Lansing music scene.

The Dead Beat DJ Crew

From Neon Tuesdays to LEAK parties, Lansing’s electronic dance music scene is blowing up, and Mike Weber is working tirelessly to make sure the party never stops. 

The Man Behind Middle of the Mitten

A collaboration between a local record store and an MSU student is bringing The Middle of the Mitten music showcase to the Loft in Downtown Lansing.

The Running Renaissance Man

So what does an all-star runner, coach and teacher — with a ceramics major and an art history minor — do for fun in the Capital region? How about everything.

Landing in Lansing: Heidi Gustad

Transplanted from the plains of North Dakota, this 23-year-old has found a lot to like in Lansing, including beautiful weather, gourmet dining and interesting people (and even a fiancée).

Kelly Kobus' Life is a Piece O’ Cake

For 25-year-old Kelly Kobus, entrepreneurship and artistry are two ingredients in the mix of a successful cake-decorating business.

Lost on Lansing's B-Movie Highway

Steve Jencks was 10 when his parents bought a top-loading VCR. Frequent runs to a gas station for rentals unearthed a passion for B-movies that's landed him on top of the blogosphere.

Time Out With Timothy Muffitt

In addition to conducting and growing the successful Lansing Symphony Orchestra, nationally renowned conductor Timothy Muffitt is also a happy, local family man.

Capital Area Paranormal

If your sixth sense is suggesting some paranormal activity, fear not! Lansing has its own gang of ghostbusters ready to investigate any unexplainable activity you might be facing.

Downtown Relaxing on the River

Two new boating venues—The Grand Fish and Metro Marinas—are opening the Downtown Lansing riverfront to new kinds of adventure, entertainment and recreation.

The Lasting Power of Lansing's "Lunch With a Purpose"

A few young leaders decided to spend one lunch hour a week volunteering for Lansing-area organizations. They ended up inspiring hundreds of local people of all ages to join them.

Roller Derby Rocks Lansing

The sport of roller derby has a history going back to the 1920s, but a recent surge in popularity has found a hot spot in Lansing, which now hosts two teams of enthusiastic female competitors.

Book Clubs and Brew Pubs

In Michigan, there’s nothing to compare with a summer afternoon spent lounging on the beach with a great book. Unless, perhaps, it’s getting together with friends for a good book discussion accompanied by wine, beer and food.

Building For Bio-Manufacturing

To counter the consequences of high petroleum prices, Capital region leaders are pulling together the components of a new bio-based manufacturing system that would also support researchers, farmer and parts suppliers.

Recruited To Lansing and Loving It

MSU recruits faculty from all corners of the country, and many have little notion of what living in Michigan will be like. We talk to two couples about life, love and sushi in the Capital region.

Giving Before Earning

Many young leaders are contributing their time and talent to good causes before diving into the private sector. In the Capital region, that means more MSU students getting involved in community projects.

Cross-Cultural Coursaris

MSU's Dr. Constantinos Coursaris is a busy and worldly guy, with projects running from Dubai to Japan to East Lansing. He's also got some advice for turning around our local economy. 

Getting Comfortable With Failure

We're all guilty of touting success while hiding failure. But if we're serious about supporting entrepreneurship, a better strategy is to ask, "How can we help each other fail well?"

The Global Reach of XG's Tiny Stuff

They're tiny, transparent and difficult to understand. But in an old Lansing warehouse district, tiny nanoplatelets are working hard to reinvent the area’s high-tech business sector.

Editor's Pick: Step Up and Fling!

Once again, there are too many great things happening this week for us to pick just one. Support local volunteer service or toss milk jugs with medieval implements of warfare? Good luck deciding!

The Best of Smoke-Free Lansing

Since forever Lansing bars have allowed smoking indoors, often with virtually no ventilation. Come May 1, this will all change thanks to a statewide non-smoking mandate from the Michigan legislature. We're going smoke-free, baby!

Good Jobs Guru Comes to Town

Greg LeRoy, author and government accountability expert, chats with Capital Gains about Michigan's economic recovery strategy. He'll be visiting East Lansing on Friday discussing Michigan's approach to federal stimulus investment.

MSU: Bleeding and Growing Green

Agriculture is changing and so is MSU, where researchers are turning the booming bioeconomy into advanced fuels for the world's homes, cars and people.

Home-Based Business Boom

In the game of life, these entrepreneurs have opted to play the home version, and have sorted through the advantages (dominion over the coffeemaker) and the challenges (hello, distractions) of running a home-based business.

Young and Ambitious in Lansing

MSU entrepreneurs dazzled by the business spirit in the Capital region are opening their own businesses between—and sometimes instead of—hitting the books.

Editor’s Pick: The Google Fiber For Greater Lansing Project

We think it's time to get noticed by Google and vastly increase residential broadband access. You can help make it happen.

Lansing's New Foursquare Mayors

Foursquare.com, the up-and-coming social networking app with a flair for local flavor, is giving rise to a new informal mayoral class in Lansing.

Building Transportation Connections

Public transportation—which in Lansing means CATA buses—sometimes gets lost amid other planning considerations. But a couple of Capital region developers are making the connection in their projects.

The Red Carpet Goes Spartan Green

An MSU student has won an honor many fashion designers can only dream about: the chance to watch her dress design come to life at the 2010 Academy Awards.

Meyers Kind of Town

15 years after Lansing Eastern and MSU grad Jason Meyers high-tailed it to Chicago, the web entrepreneur has returned, and he thinks the Capital region is at the forefront of a seismic economic shift.

Capital Ideas: Julielyn Gibbons

Confused by the strange new world of Social Media? Fear not. Julielyn Gibbons has created a company designed to steer those troubled tweets and tags.

Editor's Pick: Eve of Ignition!

OK. We’ve been silent long enough. From here on out we’re going to post our number one must do, must see, must have news every week. We’re not interested in being Captain Obvious so if you have ideas that are off the radar, share them here.

Daniel Hogan Joins Capital Gains Team

We’d like to introduce you to Daniel Hogan, 28, the self-described lovable geek and feature writer who'll be taking over development editor responsibilities here at Capital Gains.

Welcome Aboard Young Leaders

Many of the area's traditional businesses and organizations are gaining new insights and support by opening board of director positions to young leaders.

Landing in Lansing: Red Cedar Tech

Under the direction of Ron Averill, this East Lansing high-tech firm is finding a new niche in the rapidly changing economy and, along the way, helping to retool the way engineers work.

Lansing's Mobile Mob Movement

Lansing residents have been using technology and social media tools to pull together public gatherings that draw attention to the region.

From Paris, With Lessons

Beyond appreciation for cafés and great wine, what else do the streets of Paris have to teach Lansing? Capital Gains' Gretchen Cochran offers a few observations from the City of Light.

Blog: Kelly Steffen and Joshua Croff

As MSU works to bring car sharing to the town, two MSU students share their thoughts on what it could do for the region.

A Lansing Trifecta

Proving that Lansing has plenty of opportunities for creative, passionate people, homegrown-proud Mike Stratton has found international success as a therapist, writer and DJ.

Single in the City

What’s the dating scene like in Lansing? Local geek Daniel J. Hogan explores the good, the bad and the hilarious of being single in the Capital region.

Game On, Grow On

Video games are helping educate local area kids about technology. Combined with Michigan’s film incentive tax credits, they could also help create a future technology industry in Lansing.

Best of Green 2009

What does “green” really mean? Our readers, developers and community members ask us this question all the time. We take it to mean lots of things — LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) development, sustainable living, public transportation, walkable communities and the reuse of abandoned properties.

Throughout 2009, we’ve run several articles concerning green ideas and green developments. After much deliberation, we’ve put together our Best of Green issue.

These feature, development and innovation articles include large green developments such as the renovation of the 20,000 square foot former Cedar Street School, as well as large green ideas such as the City of East Lansing’s commitment to becoming the first Michigan city to adopt a green building policy.

Thank you for your loyal readership! Have a great holiday and we’ll see you again in 2010.

Growing Lansing's Food Future

The latest crop of students in MSU’s Organic Farming Certificate Program is putting Lansing at the forefront of both food production and talent attraction.

Capital Ideas: Christopher Leinberger

One of the nation's leading thinkers on real estate trends says walkable urban places are the future. So what advice will he have for Lansing on April 15?

Gearing Up for Smart Commute

Lansing is kicking off a summer of Smart Commuting, complete with festivals, competitions, classes and lots of reflective gear. Check out the region's committed, car-free trekkers.

Top 10 2009

In 2009, we heard some great ideas regarding social business, entrepreneurship and the redevelopment of one the region’s most valuable assets — the riverfront.

We also talked to individuals who are creating or have created incubators for the area’s best and brightest. Interestingly, these incubators run the educational gamut, providing services for elementary, high school and college students as well as start-ups.

Since it’s the end of the year, we can’t resist concluding with a few top 10 issues. This week, we’re running the Top Ten of 2009 so if there’s a feature, development or innovation story you missed during the year, here’s your chance to take another look.


Message to Techies: Don’t Leave

Being a high-tech entrepreneur is difficult. But pack a bunch of people with fresh ideas into a low-rent, high-interaction office building, and their big dreams instantly become more attainable.

Capital Ideas: Thomas Stewart

One Capital region entrepreneur takes a look at social business, a business model he believes could give the region a positive boost both economically and socially.

Lansing Indie Film Hits the Big Screen

It's movie time! Lansing makes a notable big-screen debut on Sunday with the premiere of Michael McCallum's gritty new full-length, indie noir flick, Fairview St.

Lansing's International Flavor

Tired of fast food wrappers and pizza boxes piling up in your car? Embark on a gastronomic quest by sampling some of Lansing’s fine world cuisine.

Savory Smoke-Free Hotspots

Wave goodbye to the stinging eyes, graveling throat and clothes that smell like you've been in a fire. These fine establishments have found a new kind of smoke-free success.

Landing in Lansing: Zahrah Resh

Zahrah Resh's path of painting has led her from Malaysia to Detroit to her current home and gallery in East Lansing.

Making Money Matter More

More communities are turning to local currencies to encourage people to buy local goods, build neighborly bonds and reward unpaid actions. Is Lansing missing out?

Inspiration Through Incubation

Capital Gains takes a tour of the new business and education incubators that are becoming driving forces for economic and cultural reinvention in the Capital region.

Capital Ideas: Vincent Delgado

MSU's Vincent Delgado brings to Lansing a world's worth of new ways to look at issues like community engagement, immigration and entrepreneurship.

Scooters Are The New Sexy

Last year's soaring gas prices fueled their popularity, but scooter fans say it's their practicality, maneuverability and style that make them a hot commodity on Capital region roadways.

Life in Lansing Goes Live

Local IT entrepreneurs are joining forces to create a website guide that will help you find the hippest happenings in Lansing.

Capital Ideas: Sam Singh

Former East Lansing mayor Sam Singh spent a year traveling the world. Now he's back and ready to put that experience to work in the Capital region.

Michigan Avenue: What If?

The Michigan Avenue corridor might be primed for a facelift as citizens, students, professors and local governments look to take on the project themselves.

CG Video: I Would Stay If . . .

Young and mobile talent in the Capital region is looking to business leaders and local government to make changes.

Behind the Brewer's Caucus

The Brewer's Caucus is an amalgamation of Capitol lobbyists, legislative aides and others who are raising awareness about Michigan's craft beer culture, one pint at a time.

CG Video: Pin Up Pole Dancing

Young entrepreneur Megan Dolby found a way to make her living pole dancing in East Lansing, but her business isn't nearly as risqué as you might think.

Capital Ideas: Bryan Ritchie

MSU prof Bryan Ritchie landed in Michigan with all the credentials of a Creative Class leader. Capital Gains chats with him about entrepreneurship and what he and his students are doing to keep the Capital region's best and brightest here.

Lansing's Nomadic Office Guide

After two years of pulling Capital Gains together in no less than 20 different houses, offices, cafes and cottages, we’ve managed to assemble an authoritative mobile workstation guide for Capital region nomads.

The Art of the Public

Public art can catch your eye or catch you off guard. In the Capital region, it's also helping capture the spirit of the community.

Tracking Down the Talent

Capital Gains caught up with people who have left Michigan for Madison, Raleigh and Austin. Our goal? To see what coaxed them out of the region, and how we could keep them here.

Capital Gains Radio: Bunmi Talks Talent

What does Lansing need to keep talented young entrepreneurs like Bunmi Akinyemiju? Try mass transit, entertainment centers and a more risk-tolerant attitude. 

CG Radio: Water and Workers

Two of the region's leading economists say that, when it comes to fresh water and hard workers, no other state can compete with Michigan.

Party for the Children

How does a Lansing social network and annual fund-raising blowout morph into a respected avenue for supporting early childhood development? Like this.

Interested in Producing Video For Capital Gains?

We’re looking for experienced video freelancers to produce several videos for Capital Gains. If you think you have what it takes, drop us a line.

Capital Ideas: Rich Tupica

Capital Gains catches up with one of the region's leading music critics and fans, and talks about what's working in Lansing's live music world.

Six Job Sectors on the Rise

With the right combination of education, training and social savvy, job seekers can find promise by aligning with bright spots in the Capital region economy.

Bringing Back the Boomerangs

Many Michigan natives who venture out into the wider world also come boomeranging back, bringing with them a better sense of Lansing's assets and advantages. Some of them actually enjoy the cold!

The DEFYE Guy Rocks a Small Planet

Is it loud in here, or is it just my helicopter? Local entrepreneur Michael Doherty launches his latest fashion line with an East Lansing mega-party that blends hometown and Hollywood.

Capital Gains Video: Ignite Lansing

240 people gathered Friday night for the first-ever Ignite Lansing event, feasting on appetizers, drinks and 15 concentrated doses of the region's most creative thinkers and entrepreneurs. 

Capital Ideas: Nicholas Chilenko

With his own company and a decade's worth of satisfied clients, East Lansing's Nicholas Chilenko has a lifetime of entrepreneurial activity under his belt. And he's almost old enough to drink.

Master Plan Part One: New Economy

Capital Gains kicks off a new series exploring the city's efforts to revamp its decades-old Master Plan. This week, the New Economy shakes up old land use strategies.

Final Four Frenzy in Detroit!

Check out live coverage from the Final Four festivities in downtown Detroit this weekend, with streaming photo, video and best bets for where to go, what to do, and what to imbibe as we cheer on our Spartans!

Where East Meets East Lansing

Michigan State University's outreach efforts to China over the years has created educational and research partnerships that may soon spill over into the business community.

10 People to Follow on Twitter

Twitter, the real-time, micro-blogging and communications tool, is a surprisingly powerful presence inside Lansing's marketing, political and business realms. We offer up 10 local leaders whose chatter really matters.

The Barefoot Pastor's People Project

Noah Filipiak, pastor of the Barefoot Church, will knock your socks off! At 22, he started a church. Four years later, its become a core community-building resource in the city.

Capital Gains Radio: Ag Industry Attracting Youth

Michigan's growing agricultural economy was a bright spot in a struggling national economy. The state’s young people are learning how to get involved.

Hanging With The Hard Lessons

The Hard Lessons formed in East Lansing, and have since taken their music to venues around the world. But the role-model rockers still give their home state a hearty high-five for hipness.

Calling All Fans of Capital Gains

For all fans of Capital Gains, please join our Facebook group so we can get a discussion going outside of traditional media about the issues facing this area. If you’re interested, please click here.

Lansing's Keystone of Commerce

High-tech approaches and environmental consciousness are calling cards of a Lansing print shop that churns out many of the area’s political publications.

Capital Gains Video: Paying It Forward

Capital region residents are taking it upon themselves to do nice things for complete strangers, like buying them gas, and they’re doing it just because they want to.

Recyclers Earn Their Spartan Green

MSU's new "Be Spartan Green" campaign—along with a revamped, $13.3 million Surplus Store and Recycling Center—is pushing the school toward the top of the nation's green university hierarchy.

Capital Gains Radio: Attracting the Young and Mobile

Michigan legislators and Lansing area leaders recently hosted a discussion about attracting the younger and more mobile workers that characterize the New Economy.

MSU Students Make Dough With New Cookie Recipe

A student team of food scientists from Michigan State University has pioneered a taste sensation with food that pleases the palate and caters to common allergies.

Out-of-Staters Bring Mardi Gras Mix to Michigan

Though far from New Orleans, Lansing has plenty of southern imports and is building on a strong set of new and old Mardi Gras traditions.

Capital Gains Radio: Capital Region Recycles 100,000 Pounds of Technology

Hundreds of people from the Capital Region spent aweekend recycling 100,000 thousand pounds of old technology.

Our Italian Fashion Exchange

A new study abroad program at East Lansing’s Protégé Academy of Cosmetology is bringing hairstyles fresh from the Italian edition of Vogue to the Capital region in an environmentally friendly way.

Revolution Begins in the Basement

The edgy, underground of art culture seems to germinate best in the dark. So it makes sense that Lansing's would bubble up from Basement 414, hidden in a Downtown Lansing alley underneath the Nuthouse Sports Grill.

Gaining on Glenn Brown

With two Emmys and a catalog of recording projects that includes work with Frank Sinatra, Spinal Tap, Eminem and Ted Nugent, East Lansing's Glenn Brown may be Lansing's best-kept audio secret.

Top 10 Innovations of 2008

Choosing 10 innovations to represent the year’s best and brightest is no easy task, but we've managed to pull together 10 people who moved Mid-Michigan innovations forward in 2008.

Top 10 of Green

Green isn’t just the color of the holidays—it’s also the color of the coming economy, and a hallmark of a movement that’s building a more sustainable future for Lansing.

A Farewell To 2008

The Capital Gains staff would like to wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season. In light of the season, we will not publish again until Wednesday, Jan. 7. In the meantime, you can give the gift of Capital Gains! Sign up friends and family here. See you in 2009! 

Capital Gains Video: SCENE Metrospace

SCENE Metrospace is a relaxed, unique spot in downtown East Lansing where artists, musicians, poets and dancers share their art with the Capital region community.

Wanted: One Durable Economy

Just in time for the holidays, writer Bill McKibben visits Mid-Michigan with a wish list for building a deeper, sustainable and more satisfying local economy. Revise your shopping list here.

Crafting a Creative Community

Lansing area businesses and nonprofits are elevating the Capital region’s creative culture by building new partnerships with the area’s performing arts community.

Lansing Learns to Leverage Landfills

While landfills put the olfactory nerves into overdrive, the growing green economy means that Lansing-based waste management and recycling firms are mining them for practical reuses.

Capital Ideas: Dianne Holman and Her Working Bugs

Dianne Holman started the East Lansing-based company, Working Bugs, and is using cutting-edge fermentation and microorganisms to rebuild the country's basic, bio-based roots.

The Many Masteries of Doug Neal

Doug Neal, host of 88.9 FM's Progressive Torch & Twang, has managed to meld fluid dynamics, entrepreneurialism and an encyclopedic knowledge of alt-country music into a supremely satisfying Mid-Michigan experience.

Growing by Gaming

Michigan State University is an emerging leader in video game development. With the support of East Lansing, MSU is adding a degree specialization and a national conference to the potent package.

Two Ryans Rising

Ryan Kincaid and Ryan Henry, both barely 30 years old, are wowing the Mid-Michigan building community with big projects and a commitment to growing Lansing's green development movement.

In Sync with the Lansing Symphony

Since 1929, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra has scored the cultural scene in Greater Lansing. Here's how it keeps attracting up to 20,000 area leaders, business people and first-time fans to its concerts each year.

Careening Car-Free in the Capital City

Jonathan Ritz agreed to maneuver his way around the Capital region for a week using only the bus system. Read on for the play-by-play of his care-free, car-free Capital City adventure.

Capital Ideas: Eric Schertzing

The Ingham County Treasurer and chairman of the Ingham County Land Bank has discovered that everything in the Lansing region—housing, climate, commerce, quality of life—is tied to transportation. 

Capital Gains Radio: Grabbing the Great Lakes Wind

Listen in as Michigan Now's Chris McCarus talks with leading experts about the potential of powering 80 million homes with clean, Great Lakes-based offshore wind turbines.

Transformational Transportation

A glimpse at an on-demand, grid-connected future where we move conveniently and happily between various small, clean vehicles depending on what we want to accomplish—and where we need to go.

Concentrated Creatives, City Builders

An empowered creative class is a bridge that’s been pulling the world’s small, industrial cities like Lansing out of the doldrums and into the spotlight.

The Deep Green of Spartan Sports

Beyond big plays and Heisman trophy speculation, Michigan State University athletics also inject some serious coin into the local economy.

MSU Fuels an Energy Revolution

As the United States wrestles to create a new energy strategy, MSU is on the front lines of a heated national debate and a quest for a cheaper, more cleanly powered future.

Capital Gains Radio: Congress Takes Action to Save Michigan’s Gems

Michigan Now’s Chris McCarus recently joined the Capital Gains team and will be contributing sound clips on issues like development, sustainability and culture. This week he talks about the Great Lakes Compact.

What Do Michigan Millennials Want?

For years, Lansing-area leaders have tried to figure out how to hold onto our college graduates, to stem their outflow to big cities. But maybe it’s time to let them go.

Meet the Techies

Meet Chad Paalman, Frederick Schramm and Justin Welsch, three young Lansing-area IT professionals who prove that our hometown techies are anything but geeks.

Lansing Leverages High Gas Prices by Going Local

As a summer of record-high gas prices winds down, we offer the flip side of the cost equation: the positive local impacts of $4 per gallon gas.

Thomas Friedman Offers Michigan Some Green Guidance

New York Times columnist and author, Thomas Friedman, recently visited Michigan to talk green revolution, local innovation, and the opportunities for Michigan in a hot, flat and crowded future.

Capital Ideas: Denise Peek

Denise Peek, executive director of the Entrepreneur Network of Mid-Michigan, chats with Capital Gains about Michigan’s economy, supporting local entrepreneurs, and revitalizing Lansing neighborhoods.

Salsa Scene Heats Up Lansing Nights

Put together an entrepreneurial young Venezuelan salsa dancer, a hot local salsa band, and a Lansing riverboat captain, and you’ve got the ingredients for a booming new Lansing dance scene.

Lansing Live and Local Radio

Ensconced in subterranean studios at Lansing Community College, WLNZ 89.7-FM fills a niche that showcases the talents of local broadcasters, musicians and non-profit organizations.

Greening Mid-Michigan Schools

Not only are designated “Green Schools” good for the environment, they’re an economically sound investment. A look at the Lansing region’s efforts go geen in the classroom. 

Lansing Grows a Garden Party

More than 30 neighborhood gardens and one amazing greenhouse are helping Lansing improve parks, foster sustainability and provide fresh food to needy residents.

Lansing Gets Green with Grand Rapids

As the gold standard in green, Grand Rapids is giving the Capital City’s sustainability efforts a collaborative boost.

MSU Biking Goes Global and Green

Based on a bicycling obsession that's taken him from the velodromes of Japan to the streets of East Lansing, Tim Potter's Green Bike program is cleaning up at Michigan State University.

Finding Fine Art in Downtown Scenes

For St. Johns, Michigan artist, Brian McKelvey, what started out as a local craft has turned into a national — and possibly global — product that's helping people re-imagine their towns.

Birthday Bash! A Year of Capital Gains

Capital Gains launched one year ago this month. Here's a quick rundown of some of our most Frequently Asked Questions, and a few personal tidbits about just who we are, exactly.

What's Next for Capital Gains?

You know we love writing about growth and development in the Lansing area. Well, now we’re happy to announce that we’re experiencing some growth of our own!

Vote for Michigan!

Football season hasn’t even started, but Michigan and Virginia are head-to-head in spirited competition. The two states are competing for best tourism Web site. Virginia and Michigan were the only states to make the finals.So giving Michigan a boost by voting here. Polls close August 8 at midnight.

Lansing Goes to the Dogs

Can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Lansing is proving otherwise with new dog-devoted businesses and expansive new city park facilities that pamper our prized pets.

East Lansing Tunes Up For $2 Million Folk Festival

Deep-rooted, cross-cultural traditions take over East Lansing as the Great Lakes Folk Festival kicks off its three-day, $2 million bash in the heart of Spartan country. 

Prosperity Planning 101: Charting E/Lansing's Metro Future

With the future of the U.S. economy on the line, Bruce Katz, from the DC-based Brookings Institution, is rallying the country's largest 100 metropolitan areas to action, and offering us a gut-check on how the Lansing/East Lansing metro stacks up in the new, global paradigm.

MSU Alternative Housing Creates Model for Collaborative Living

With an eye toward community, leadership and fun, housing co-op students at Michigan State University in East Lansing are forging a paradigm for more sustainable living.

Revenue and Rare Isotopes: Going Nuclear in East Lansing

With a reputation for “homemade” isotopes, the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at MSU produces more elite nuclear scientists than any other school but MIT, and helps bring millions of dollars to Mid-Michigan.

Going Hollywood: Lansing Financiers Get Film-Friendly

Thanks to new state incentives and a few ambitious Lansing entrepreneurs, a vacant parking lot in Downtown Lansing may soon be bustling with the action—and cash—of big-budget, Hollywood films.

Upsides of a Down Housing Market

Home sales might be struggling in the wake of the mortgage and credit crunches, but if you’re in the market for a green remodel or a neighborhood makeover, things aren’t looking so bad in Lansing.

Broadway's Love Affair with East Lansing

The Wharton Center in East Lansing continues to land some of the biggest-name Broadway shows in the nation. So why is it that East Lansing—not Chicago—lights New York's fire?

Future PR Pros Offer Advice to Lansing-Area Leaders

A nationally recognized MSU program is combining new media tools and student-led ideas to boost area communities and small-business owners.

East Lansing's Fast-Paced Filmmakers

East Lansing’s popular 48-hour filmmaking contest is attracting creative talent to town, and building a reputation among area filmmakers.

Lansing's Summer on the Water

The sun is out. The trees are green. And in Mid-Michigan, that means it’s time to hit the water. Welcome to Lake Lansing.

Out-of-Staters Moving to Lansing

New Economy jobs, a family-friendly reputation and a high quality of life are tempting talent to Lansing and East Lansing from national hot spots like California, Boston and Chicago.

Transcendence and Tech Attract Talent to E.L. Spine Center

Combining traditional Western medical approaches, old Eastern practice, and a few video games, the Spine Center in East Lansing creates a unique and innovative approach to healing.

Powering Mid-Michigan With Eco-Projects

Boosted by business, government and personal commitments, recycling efforts in the Mid-Michigan region have more than doubled in the last 10 years, making the region a leader in going green.

The Shape of Green River Music

An old musical form is finding new popularity among a worldly and diverse network of folks gathering in the basement of a downtown East Lansing hot spot.

Award-heavy Artist Takes a Lansing Sabbatical

East Lansing native and MacArthur award-winning contemporary artist, Julie Mehretu, is back in the Lansing area for a sabbatical, and she likes what she sees.

Entrepreneurial Fashionistas Tackle Project Lansing

From Frye boots to Spanx to True Religion jeans, three female boutique owners are chasing the dust bunnies out of Mid-Michigan closets and replacing Midwestern frocks with New York couture.

Franchising From B to T

There’s nothing glamorous or chic about a coffee bean, one stuffed toy or a single moving van. But, if you’re creative and have the business savvy of three of Michigan’s most successful franchise owners, you can turn one bean into 150 coffee shops, one truck into 202 international moving locations, one toy into a national franchise or one dollar…into millions.

The Booming Business of Small Beer

Before mega-brewers made the American beer landscape a mass-produced monolith of light-bodied lagers, beer was the small-batch bastion of entrepreneurs. The tide is turning; our toast to the Lansing area's growing horde of happy hand crafters!

Who's Your City? Richard Florida On Where to Live, Now and Later

Creative Class guru Richard Florida chats about his new book, Who’s Your City, and Lansing's place in a spiky, "mega-region" world where choosing the place you live is the most important decision of your life.

Ethnic Groceries Anchor New Economy Neighborhoods

The 20-plus ethnic groceries in the Lansing area offer more than great salsa and hummus. They're central to our New Economy transition.

Trail Plans Promise Car-Free Connection From Lansing to Mason

Using non-motorized trails and greenways to connect Lansing with neighboring communities like Holt and Mason is a vision shared by planners, business and recreationalists alike. It’s getting closer to reality.

New York Couple Returns With Big Ideas For East Lansing Arts Center

If you think a trip to 42nd and Broadway is the only way to get spectacular shows and superior theater training, you haven’t been to the Ruhala Performing Arts Center in East Lansing.

Language Immersion Programs Launch Lansing Students Into a Global Economy

Educators from China, Michigan State University and Lansing Public Schools are preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s world by focusing on language and culture.

East Lansing Business and Investing Guide

Here’s Capital Gains’ look at investing in East Lansing. Also check out our guides to visiting and moving to East Lansing.

Socially Engaged Eco-Musicians Hit All The Right Notes in Lansing

Thanks to good venues, collaboration, and a supportive community, the Lansing area boasts a growing army of talented folk and roots musicians. Now, they’re banding together and giving back.

East Lansing Visiting Guide

Here’s Capital Gains’ look at visiting East Lansing. Also check out our guides to investing in and moving to East Lansing.

Ain't Life Grand? How Young Professionals Make Connections in the Lansing Area

Lansing has always had much to offer students and families with children, and now Grand River Connection is helping those in between discover each other and the Capital city.

In Lansing Region, Financial Sector is Spreading the Wealth

This year alone, the capital region’s financial and insurance companies will create and maintain thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars. A quick tour of a few of the Lansing area's cash cows.

Future-minded Lansing Developers LEED the Way to Greener Pastures

In the New Economy, going green is increasingly smart for the environment and good for business. Lansing area leaders are setting the stage for a green revolution in building.

East/Lansing Mayors Shake Up the Urban Economic Development Game

Their cities are neighbors of the closest kind, sharing bizarre conjoined boundaries and most of a name. But instead of throwing leaves over fences, the mayors of Lansing and East Lansing are focused on building on the power of the region's shared economic destiny.

Worldly Wine Venues Add Class and Cachet to Mid-Michigan Social Networks

Uncork Ingham County's wine culture and you'll find the largest wine-tasting club in the state, a microbiologist running one of Travelocity.com's favorite wineries, and a surprisingly sophisticated palate.

Free-wheeling Lansing Professionals Put New Spin on Daily Commutes

Lansing by bicycle! For a growing number of cyclists in the Lansing area, the "acoustic motorbike" is not just for recreation – it's a way to get to the office while also getting out and experiencing the city.

Capital Ideas: Soji Adelaja

What is the New Economy and what does it look like in the Lansing area? We sat down with Dr. Soji Adelaja, one of the region's (and country's) most scholarly, intelligent and courageously out-of-the-box thinkers on strategic investments for economic transition. Tapping into research from forthcoming reports about what makes certain states and regions click in the New Economy, Dr. Adelaja suggests ways to keep teaching an old economy some new tricks.

East Lansing Entrepreneur Goes Global with Web 2.0

Adam Van Lente is pushing his company headlong into the future by obsessing over sites like Google, Facebook and Mashable--his tickets to an eager world market. Find out what this young entrepreneur has in store as he tackles the future, Web 2.0 style.
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