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Beal Housing Cooperative on M.A.C. Ave. to reopen in August

Posted by Laura Leebove on June 26, 2009

Beal02Beal01Currently in the midst of $75,000 in renovations, the formerly independent Beal housing cooperative at 525 M.A.C. Ave. is set to reopen in late August as part of the Michigan State University Student Housing Cooperative. The MSU SHC is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable student housing in community settings, and Beal is the SHC’s 13th house in East Lansing.

How co-ops work
In the co-op system, residents pay exactly what it costs to live in their respective houses, meaning there is no landlord making a profit off of their rent. Every semester, housemates set budgets for utilities and other supplies, do weekly jobs around the house, and handle much of the maintenance work.coop map

The MSU SHC community currently is made up of more than 200 members, ultimately a very small portion of the MSU student community.

Beal’s history and starting over
Beal—currently located next to two other SHC houses—was established as a co-op in 1949, which makes this year its 60th anniversary. Though it used to thrive as a cooperative, in the past several years it has gone into disrepair because of destructive residents and poor financial practices.

In late 2008, at risk of the city shutting down the house and putting it up for sale, former members of Beal approached the SHC in hopes to maintain it as a co-op. After legal counsel and an overwhelmingly positive vote from current SHC members, the MSU organization purchased Beal for the low cost of $50,000 cash, which covered former residents’ unpaid bills and taxes, as well as legal fees.

Now it’s time for the new members—most of whom have already lived in other SHC houses—to lay the groundwork for the rebirth of Beal.

Click here for more Beal renovation photos

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MSU Bikes recycles, repairs bicycles for campus community

Posted by Laura Leebove on June 22, 2009

MSU Bikes began as the volunteer-only MSU Bike Project in 2003, but since 2006 it has been running out of Bessey Hall with a paid staff of mechanics led by long-time bike enthusiast Tim Potter. Potter and co. recycle abandoned bikes to sell and rent, and also do repairs for students, faculty and the MSU community. Though the school year keeps the shop busy, there’s still plenty to do in the summer, even with students gone. The MSU Bikes service center is open five days a week all summer: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. —Laura Leebove and Zach McCune

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East Lansing Summer Concert Series brings families, students downtown

Posted by Laura Leebove on June 17, 2009

Nearly every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer, the city of East Lansing hosts free concerts downtown. The 2009 series kicked off with performances by the Wanda Degen Celtic Trio on June 12 and Chris Dorman (and friends) on June 13.

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East Lansing’s Record Lounge uses Internet, in-house shows to boost summer sales

Posted by Laura Leebove on June 10, 2009

The current economy isn’t a friendly place for independent business owners, especially those selling music. Lansing-area native Heather Frarey opened the all-vinyl record shop, The Record Lounge at 210 Abbot Road, in early 2008. Since the well-established East Lansing record store Flat, Black & Circular sells a little bit of everything in terms of music format, Frarey wanted to make her shop a little different and focus exclusively on vinyl (the only CDs sold there are by local artists).

Business started out slow, but the combination of being on a Big Ten campus and the rising popularity of vinyl records, she’s been able to keep her humble shop afloat. Frarey has already led The Record Lounge through one student-less East Lansing summer. But even though much of the MSU population is gone, Frarey says she gets more out-of-town customers and also sells her inventory on the Internet to make up for in-person sales. Between that and the free acoustic shows The Record Lounge hosts on Monday nights, she’s not too worried.

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Natural sound

Posted by Laura Leebove on June 3, 2009

I think I should have made these a little more simple and less like the matched action …

Part 1: Coffee

Parts 2 and 3: Brushing teeth and sweeping

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Leebove’s matched-action sequence (assignment 3, part 2)

Posted by Laura Leebove on June 2, 2009

“We Need Milk” – matched action (this was fun!)

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Assignment No. 3, part 1

Posted by Laura Leebove on May 27, 2009

Matched action

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Assignment No. 2

Posted by Laura Leebove on May 26, 2009

Question: What are your favorite summertime snacks or foods?

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Assignment No. 1

Posted by Laura Leebove on May 26, 2009

JRN 408, Assignment No. 1

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