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Southside : Featured Stories

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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.

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. 

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.

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.

All of the Above: building community in Lansing through hip hop

What comes to mind when you think of hip hop? For many, it's the ever popular rap artist persona prevalent in media and pop culture ... but mentors of youth in All of the Above, Lansing’s own hip hop academy, would beg to differ. Come find out why.

License to snoop: retro home edition 1920-1960

Are you one of those house-crazy people? You know, the kind who can’t resist looking through local real estate listings or driving past an open house without going in. Are you the party guest who wants the tour before a drink hits your lips? Do you find yourself oohing and ahhing over cool old architecture or keeping track of the renovation job down the street? No? Oh, well, then, definitely not us, either. We also aren’t especially geeked to feature four Lansing area homes that pay homage to the decade in which they were built ... please note the tone of sarcasm, and click on!

Ingham County Land Bank: A thriving national model for government partnerships

The Ingham County Land Bank is often recognized in passing. It might be mentioned in an article or conversation about a unique local development, a “for sale” sign staked in a yard as you drive through local neighborhoods ... or it might be a crime-ridden hotel being transformed into a public destination for graffiti art. But what is a land bank, exactly? And why is the Ingham County Land Bank seen as a national model for how land banks can function? Read on to get the scoop on this thriving national model for government partnerships.

Choosing Lansing: Sarah and Jake Pechtel

For the better part of a decade, Jake and Sarah Pechtel have had many opportunities to leave Michigan. Their shared passion for the arts and culture has often left them wanting more than what the Lansing region has to offer. A few years ago, however, the couple officially made the decision to stay and invest in the area.


Feeding the Craving: Lansing’s New Food Trucks

"Lansing's food scene is hungry," Jesse Allen Hahn says. Echoes Nina Santucci, "It seems like this city is craving something." What are these two doing to sate that hunger? Hitting the road, of course.


City Sauntering Across Lansing

In October last year, Ariniko O Meara began a crusade to walk down every street in Lansing, taking pictures and telling us stories along the way through her City Saunter blog. She shares what she's learned and discovered along the way.

Anonymous Kindness: The Lansing Ninjas

There’s a new movement occurring in the Capital region. It’s not political or religious. They aren’t trying to sell you anything, take your money, or convert you. Heck, they won’t even tell you their names. You won’t see them coming and you’ll never know when they’re going to strike. Why? Because they’re Ninjas.

Battling the City's Steelhead

Capital region anglers can go head-to-head with some of the world’s most famous and challenging sport fish, right in the heart of the city.

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.

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.

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.

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!


Editor’s Pick: Studio Crawl and Earth Day

We're doing double duty this week with two amazing events: the one and only Studio Crawl and Earth Day celebrations.

Capital Gains Speaker Series Sign Up: Urban Gardening and Farming

It's hard to keep track of all the urban gardening/urban farming initiatives taking place in the Capital region, which is why we're hosting a speakers series designed to get you informed and involved.

Capital Gains Speaker Series Sign Up: Urban Gardening and Farming

Welcome to Spring! Ready to grow some city greens? Join us for our second Speaker Series event, where we'll talk to local leaders about the Capital region's blossoming urban gardening movement.

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.

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.

Editor’s Pick: IgniteLansing! 3.0

It's idea time! Get ready to light up one of Lansing's most innovative events—IgniteLansing!—with your mind, body and wallet.

Painting a Bigger Picture

No one seems to know exactly how many murals the Capital region hosts. But there’s a movement afoot to create more of the wall-sized paintings.

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.

Building a Healthier Lansing

The Power of We Consortium and AmeriCorps are using Lansing as a pilot for a healthy lifestyles program that could emerge as a statewide model.

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.

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.

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.


Vacant Gas Stations: What If?

Out-of-business gas stations are abundant in the Capital region. But just because they’re closed today doesn’t mean they have to stay that way.

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.

Enjoy!


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.

Young Smart Global Lansing

Lansing has plenty of networking groups and business organizations, but now it’s got something entirely different—a group of young professionals who are investing their time, businesses and ideas in creating a city they want to live in.

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.

Capital Ideas: Bill Flanagan

Lansing and Pittsburgh have quite a bit in common as they scramble to reinvent economic success. Capital Gains talks with one of the leaders who helped the Steel City pull itself back.

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: Jamie Schriner-Hooper

Jamie Schriner-Hooper talks to Capital Gains about Old Town, the Michigan Main Street Program, and a grassroots movement to rebuild Michigan’s downtowns.

Life and Taxes

Lansing entrepreneur and tax expert Max Pricco developed a tool to bring order to the often frantic business of tax preparation. Now he's turning the valuable software into a growing business.

CG Video: The Downtown River Tour

For those of you who didn’t get a chance to ride the river with the Gillespie Group's Downtown boat tours, Good Fruit Video takes you there.

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.

Landing in Lansing: Hey Hyderabad

Competing in a global environment requires a global perspective. That's where Vamshi Bommavaram comes in. Educated in Hyderabad, India, Bommavaram is bringing a few new ideas to Lansing.

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.


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.

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. 


Capital Ideas: Kevin Shaw

Kevin Shaw, one of six partners with the Wieland-Davco construction company, sits down with Capital Gains to talk about green building, world travel and diversification.

Make Way for the Mountain Bikers

We've got those tiny little lakes for entertainment, but Capital region mountain biking enthusiasts are also making mountains out of Michigan's molehills.

Hard Rocking Hopping

In addition to steering the cash flow at Jackson National (JNL), one of the region's financial powerhouses, CFO Andy Hopping, is also rocking his JNL house band onto the national scene.

The Quest for Lansing's Best Burger

The summer's heating up and grills are being lit, so Capital Gains sent two intrepid writers out on the streets to find Lansing's best-tasting beef on a bun. 

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.

Tourist For a Day, Resident for Years

How many times have you walked past a business or museum in Lansing and never stopped? Every year Lansing gives its residents a chance to re-experience the city with Be a Tourist in Your Own Town, a one day event designed to reengage citizens in their community.

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.

The Rise of Monkeyball

A Lansing-based contingent of sports enthusiasts are quickly maturing a tailgate party staple into a sanctioned game bolstered by a self-organizing national network. Behold Michigan's Monkeyball masters.

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.

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 Ideas: Bobby Bringi

Bobby Bringi of MBI International in Lansing is helping cutting-edge companies make the jump from great idea to marketable product. "De-risking" commercialization can move Michigan ahead in emerging areas like bio-tech.

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.


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.

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.

Night Skaters Put Work Stress on Ice

Nearly 1,000 players hit the ice in the Capital region's vibrant adult hockey community, where late-night games, camaraderie and a little frat humor offer respite from the 9-to-5 grind.

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.

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! 


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.

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.

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. 

Making the Move to Clean Commuting

Too intimidated to try the bus? Afraid your carpool might accidentally leave you car-less? CATA’s Clean Commute service is helping residents and businesses make the jump to a new transportation paradigm.

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.

Capital Gains Radio: Magic Johnson Talks City Building In Lansing

Hometown Lansing hero Magic Johnson has a net worth of $500 to $900 million, and he was back home in Lansing recently to talk to an eager audience about politics, economic redevelopment and community building.


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.

New Economy Goes Old School

Even as kids head back to classes, Lansing execs are  turning vacant school buildings into green ventures that fuel the local economy.

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 Attracts Talent With State-of-the-Art Medical Upgrades

Even with some ups and downs in local industry, Lansing medical facilities continue to invest in the kinds of cutting-edge equipment and innovative health care needed to keep top medical talent in the area.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Net Prophets: The Birth and Rise of a Lansing Software Company

Lansing’s high-tech companies are growing through innovation, and a handful, like Agate Software, are changing the way governments and companies across the country do business.

Year in Review: Developments That Changed Downtown Lansing in 2007

Big changes hit downtown Lansing over the last 12 months, and 2008 promises more. We offer a quick recap to bring you up to speed as we kick off what looks to be a very exciting year in the city.

Surprising Sport Attracts Lansing Young Professionals and Boomers

If you’ve ever wondered how Lansing’s hardworking hordes blow off steam and socialize in the New Economy, take another look at an Old World favorite.
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