WNA Board announces 2016 officers and directors!

The WNA Board is gearing up for another productive year and is pleased to announce the following directors serving in a variety of capacities. As always, if you're interested in joining the board or getting your feet wet by serving on a committee, email us at board@wnalansing.com.

President: Emily Stevens Vice President: Emily Johnson Secretary: Caryn Coyle Treasurer: Merry Rosenberg

COMMITTEES: Events Chair: Dan Boutell Lugnuts; Annual Picnic; Summer Movie; Fiesta; Westside Wednesday Members: Danielle Casavant; Merry Rosenberg; Cheryl Williams-Hecksel; Cassandra Nelson; Emily Stevens

Communications Chair: TBA Newsletter; FB group; Website Members: Veronica Gracia-Wing, Emily Johnson; John Addis; Danielle Casavant; Rob Mathis; Dan Boutell

Crime & Safety Chair: Mitzi Allen LPD Connection; Neighborhood Watch; School Watch

Grants: Cassandra Nelson

Sexton Liaison: Kimberlyn Fauson

SOCA Liaison: Danielle Casavant

Mayor/City Council Liaison: Mohammed Khan Parks & Rec Liaison: Emily Stevens Point West Art & Trail Project Liaison: Caryn Coyle

Thornapple CSA at Westside Wednesday May 6

FARM TO HARRY'S (PLACE)404 N. Verlinden Avenue Wednesday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m.

Thornapple CSA (Community Supported Agriculture ) farmers, Paul Ritacco and Chelsea Millikan will give a short 10 minute presentation at 6:30 p.m. during Westside Wednesday at Harry's Place. Join us to learn how you can receive fresh vegetables, pastured-meat and eggs that are delivered weekly to your neighborhood.

Westsiders Go Nuts!

Here is your “Warm Weather is Coming - Honest!” piece of news: We have reserved 60 seats on June 28, 2015 with the Lansing Lugnuts (Go NUTS!) for the game with the West Michigan Whitecaps (2:05 p.m.)! I can revise that number up as we get closer to the date, so don’t hesitate to jump in on the fun!

We are partnering with the Incomparable Harry’s Place, so that we can all party together that day and celebrate the Westside!

Tickets are $10 apiece, and ALL of the seats are now “box” seats (translation: seats with arms and backs…yay!). Please let Caryn Coyle (coyle_c@ccresa.org) know if you want tickets. Cash/checks payable to WNA will need to be turned in by May 14.

WNA Annual Fiesta!

The one and only Westside fundraiser, the Fiesta, takes place on October 5 at the Nuthouse from 4:30 to 6:30 PM. The event features a Mexican food and pizza buffet, cash bar, and silent auction filled with great donations from local businesses and neighbors! Tickets are now available from board members - $15 for adults. $5 for kids 12 and under.  In case you don't know, the current board is: Joshua Boehme, Dan BoutellDanielle CasavantCathy Bacile CunninghamKimberlyn FausonVeronica Gracia-WingPaul BA AshlandSuzanne Dee Lewis KnightTim Kovacik,Cassandra NelsonMaureen Hogan Seymour NelsonJackie Payne, Paul Pratt, Emily StevensJohnny Pomogato, and Cheryl Williams-Hecksel. If you need help connecting with a board member near you, please email dcasavant AT ameritech.net

Ingham County Land Bank executive director to present at August board meeting

Join us Thursday, August 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Letts Community Center for a conversation with the Ingham County Land Bank. Executive director Jeff Burdick will join our monthly meeting to chat about the role and recent activities of the Land Bank in the WNA, including renovation of houses in the Land Bank's care. He will also take our questions!

New Westside Neighborhood Sign!

The WNA is putting up a new sign at the cul-de-sac at Lenawee and MLK welcoming everyone to the Westside.. The sign was made possible by a grant from the Mayor's office with additional support from the WNA and the residents of Lenawee, Kalamazoo and Hillsdale streets. A sign dedication will take place at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, June 10, 2014. The event is open to everyone. Refreshments will be served. Bring a flower, annual or perennial, to plant at the site if you like. Children are most welcome.

WNA Annual Meeting Scheduled - January 23rd at 6pm

If you want to meet some neighbors for the first time, chat with some “old” neighbors for awhile, or share a meal with your neighbors, then be sure to attend the Westside Neighborhood Association’s annual meeting! The meeting will take place on Thursday, January 23rd at 6:00, at the Sexton High School Cafeteria. It is a time to share what the WNA has done over the past year and to connect with those who make up the WNA—your neighbors.

It is also a time to discuss topics of interest to the neighborhood. If you have a topic that you wish to be discussed at the meeting, please suggest that topic to the WNA Board in advance by: email, board {@} wnalansing.com or call, 517-618-WNA1(9621) and leave a message.

This year you will also have the opportunity to purchase a WNA T-shirt, and if you are one of the first 100 to arrive, you will receive a free WNA LED flashlight key chain.  So please attend this annual event that celebrates the Westside Neighborhood Association.

WNA Installs Trees Along Pathway to Elementary

Last year the Westside Neighborhood Association received a Mayor's Grant for outside improvements to be done in 2013 to Riddle Elementary School. The morning of September 14, the grant work was completed by installing six tulip trees and one crimson Norway maple to re-establish the tree-lines along the pedestrian walkway that goes from the intersection of Chelsea/Riddle to the Riddle Elementary School. Additionally, five pink-flowered azaleas were installed right at the intersection where previously there was only a metal barricade. Added benefit - the mulch around the barricade will lessen the city's maintenance as they'll no longer have to weed-whack around the barricade! Here are some after photos. For a “before” look, see the Google Maps Streetview of the walkway.

Advent House Needs Our Support!

As many of you know, Advent House is located in our neighborhood and is the primary beneficiary of the funds raised through the Westside Home Tours and Garden Tours. In case you did not see the recent article explaining their financial hardship, here is an excerpt from Lansing City Pulse posted to their website on August 21, 2013: ***** Facing up to a $30,000 loss in grant funding as a result of federal sequestration, Advent House Ministries is turning to public support to help fill the gap.

In its 25th anniversary, Advent House Executive Director Susan Cancro said without the funding, cuts to its programs that help the impoverished and homeless are inevitable.

“What’s happening right now is we’re running on fumes,” Cancro said. “We’re scraping by from one week to the next to try to meet the needs of folks we serve. It’s putting on a lot of stress, affecting the quality of our services.”

The Lansing-based nonprofit charity, which served more than 32,000 meals last year to those in need, has started a fundraising challenge with the goal of raising $25,000 in 25 days. It started on Monday. A $25 gift will feed 12 people one of six meals the charity provides each week. *****

The WNA board members have unanimously approved a challenge to our neighbors. Initially the challenge was for every $100 (cumulative) donated by neighbors, the WNA, as an organization, would match with $25, up to $125 total. Then, on a personal level, board members decided we wanted to do our part to make the challenge even more enticing. We conducted an internal fundraising campaign and, collectively, the board members have added personal contributions making the match total now $550! So, if we can collect a minimum (hoping for more) from our neighbors of $500, we’ll be able to contribute $1050 in support of Advent House. That’s 504 meals!

The challenge runs through October 15, 2013. You can make a check payable to “WNA” with “Advent House” in the memo line and mail to:

WNA Treasurer 1516 N Genesee Lansing, MI 48915

You can also make your gift online by using the special link at the top of this page.

St. Andrew Dung-Lac Vietnamese Festival

St. Andrew Dung-Lac, located in our neighborhood at 1611 W. Oakland Ave, invites you to their 6th Annual Festival Friday, Aug. 2, from 5:00-11:00 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 3, from 11:00 a.m.—1:00 a.m. and Sunday, Aug. 4 from 12:30-5 p.m. Come enjoy music, games, shows and Vietnamese Food. Bishop Carl Mengeling will bless “Our Lady of Grace” Shrine and preside for Mass on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Saturday live music from 5-9 p.m. Free admission to most activities. Food and beverage are for purchase.

Westside Summer Picnic this Saturday starting at 11am!

Pack your picnic blanket and come enjoy lunch with your neighbors.Refreshments and lunch will be provided, but if you'd like to bring a dish feel free to do so.

Enjoy the beauty and fun of St. Joseph Park (2202 W. Kalamazoo Street). St. Joseph park has tennis courts, a basketball court, a baseball diamond, a playground and swings, and a ton of space to run around.

This neighborhood picnic will be occurring along with the Men Making a Difference picnic!

RACER Trust Update, Proposed Remediation Plans Headed to MDEQ

Brief Status Report The Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response (RACER) Trust is working to clean up and redevelop Plants 2, 3 (both in Lansing Township) and 6 (in the City of Lansing. Below is an status report on its work.

  • Remedial plan for environmental cleanup at Plants 2 and 6 will be submitted to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in June.
  • Remedial plan for environmental cleanup at Plant 3 to be submitted later this summer.
  • Initial MDEQ review to be completed in September.
  • $18.6 million allocated for cleanup is expected to be sufficient for environmental remediation.
  • Construction debris left behind by RACER’s predecessor has been removed.
  • The Michigan Avenue Fence has been replaced in Lansing Township.
  • RACER is committed to ongoing maintenance, including lawn mowing along the sidewalks.

More Information

On Thursday, June 6, officials from RACER Trust, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), City of Lansing and Lansing Township updated Westside Neighborhood residents regarding the work taking place at the RACER-owned sites in Lansing and Lansing Township that were formerly owned by General Motors.

Residents were briefed on RACER’s proposed remedial plans for environmental cleanup that are being submitted this month to the MDEQ for the parcel south of Saginaw Street along Rosemary Street in Lansing Township (Plant 2), the Verlinden Avenue parcel in the City of Lansing (Plant 6), and Plant 3 on the north side of Saginaw in Lansing Township.

At press time, RACER’s remedial plans were still being finalized but officials explained that they call for some excavation of contaminated soils and a deed restriction to contain any groundwater contamination.  That restriction would demand that that the cement slabs remain in place.

Grant Trigger, RACER’s Environmental Cleanup Manager for Michigan, emphasized that the Trust’s investigation shows the sites pose no public health threat to the community.

The MDEQ is scheduled to review RACER’s plans this summer and if found acceptable, they should receive initial state approval in September.  Once initial approval is granted the remedial work can begin even though the MDEQ will be monitoring the site for another two to three years to make certain there are no changes in the environmental conditions at the sites.

In addition to discussing the remedial plans, RACER updated residents on site maintenance and efforts to market the sites for redevelopment.

RACER is required, among other things, to sell or lease their properties with the objective that they be put to productive or beneficial use. Under the Settlement Agreement, the Trust will consider all of the following six criteria:

  1. Whether the monetary value of the purchase price is sufficient in light of the projected budget for the sale of that property;’
  2. The potential for job creation in the state and the affected community;
  3. Other benefits to the state and affected communities (such as increasing tax revenue, reducing blight, and providing a sense of renewal);
  4. Avoiding a material increase in the cost of, or interference with the environmental action;
  5. Views of the state and affected communities; and,
  6. The reputation and credibility of the prospective buyer/lessee.

April-December 2012 Site Activities, Plants 2, 3, and 6

As part of the Phase II Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Facility Investigation (RFI) completed between April and Decemer 2012, the following activities were completed:

Installation of:

6 bedrock monitoring wells

15 shallow monitoring wells

11 light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) monitoring wells

Completion of:

81 Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) borings

52 vertical aquifer profile (VAP) and/or Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT) borings

310 shallow soil borings

Installation of 4 soil gas monitoring points.

Collection of:

1,257 soil samples

221 groundwater samples (excluding routine groundwater monitoring samples)

2013 Site Activities, Plants 2, 3, and 6

As part of the follow-up investigation to the Phase II RFI, including the 1,4-dioxane investigation at Plant 3 and utility corridor investigation south of Plant 6, the following activities have been completed:

  • Installation of 1 bedrock monitoring well and 8 deep overburden monitoring wells
  • Completion of 9 shallow soil borings
  • Collection of 25 groundwater samples

2013 CMS Remediation Strategies, Plants 2, 3, and 6

After assessing the information from the site investigation and considering various alternatives, the proposed final corrective measures alternative for the Site is:

  • Land Use Restrictions: Limit future use of the entire site to commercial and/or industrial land use, requiring site-wide contaminated soil management, incorporating site-wide vapor exposure restrictions, and health and safety requirements for intrusive activities.
  • Groundwater Use Restrictions: Prohibit the use of groundwater for consumption, irrigation, or any other purpose with the exception of short-term dewatering for construction purposes.
  • Monitored Plume Stability: Implement a site-wide groundwater monitoring program to confirm plume stability. Preserve the existing building slabs to minimize infiltration and to avoid a change in current conditions. This will maximize the likelihood the groundwater plume will remain stable and on site.
  • Clean Cover/Caps: Utilize clean cover/caps to reduce the potential for exposure to soils exceeding Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Direct Contact (DC) and PSIC Criteria, and to mitigate risks associated with LNAPL exposure. Existing building slabs, existing cover (e.g. existing soil, gravel, concrete, or asphalt), or placement of clean soil will be used as a cover/cap.

Further Investigation/Evaluation

  • Bedrock monitoring well sampling and definition of metals issues
  • Characterization and definition of 1,4-dioxane on Plant 3

RACER plans to brief the WNA in the fall on the status of its ongoing work.  Residents who would like an executive summary or full copy of RACER’s remedial plan (as submitted to the MDEQ) may contact Grant Trigger at gtrigger@racertrust.org

RACER Trust Community Meeting - Thursday, June 6, 7pm

From Patricia Spitzley of RACER Trust (owner of former GM property): "The Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response (RACER) Trust is holding a RACER Trust Community Meeting Thursday, June 6th, at 7 p.m. in the Sexton High School cafeteria, 102 McPherson Avenue, Lansing.

We hope you'll come out that evening and hear an update of the cleanup activities at the former General Motors plants in Lansing and Lansing Township. Speaking will be officials from RACER Trust, the MDEQ, City of Lansing and Lansing Township.

RACER thanks the Westside Neighborhood Association for its support in the scheduling of this meeting."