Your ELi

YOUR ELI: Spring into writing for ELi

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Thanks to our donors, Eli is looking forward to a spring and summer filled with stories that educate, inspire and enrich our readers. (We may also infuriate and disturb you; sometimes that comes with the privilege of a free press).

YOUR ELi: Take the Money and Run

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Note: No bagels were injured in the course of ELi's spring fundraising campaign.

A huge thank you goes out to everyone who donated to ELi during our spring fundraising campaign! Our goal was to raise $8,000, and thanks to the generosity of our donors, we raised $8,535. Given this, ELi is now fully funded through the end of June.

Your ELi: Slow Motion Action

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Above: update of our spring fundraising campaign

First, a quick update on our spring fundraising campaign. As you can see from the graph above, we are just about $2500 short of reaching our end-of-March goal of $8000. If we meet that goal, ELi will be funded through the end of June and so we can focus our attention on bringing you critical reporting of the May 5 election (involving two possible charter amendments), progress on developments in town, and the information you need to make your life in East Lansing more informed, more connected, and hopefully better.

Your ELi: ELi Animated

Saturday, March 21, 2015

ELi's Spring Campaign continues as we aim to raise $8,000 by the end of March to keep ELi operational through the end of June. We have so far raised $4240 towards that goal.

To help explain why ELi needs money to operate, we've developed this informative animation. Thanks to ELi's Board member Stephen Thomas for creating this for the ELi team!

YOUR ELI: Let's Grow This Thing Together

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Tibetan Buddhists believe in the tulpa, a creature made entirely by the thoughts and imaginings of a group of people. Through a process of intense, collective focus, an independent, living being is formed.

The mission of Eli is to create an online creature breathed into life and sustained by the varied voices and interests of East Lansing residents. Our passion is to see an Eli filled with articles written by or requested by community members. We envision a resource that grows and changes as our interests shift with seasons and events.

Your ELi: Donate Now!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

UPDATE: $1,740 raised as of the morning of March 14!

Today we launch our spring fundraising campaign in the hopes of raising $8,000 for ELi by the end of March. The image you see above will be updated as we make progress towards our goal.

If we can do this, ELi will be funded through the end of June. That would allow us to provide you great coverage of East Lansing news through the May election involving two proposed charter amendments, through the end of the MSU and ELPS school years, and into the start of the 2015 summer festival season.

Your ELi: Why Does ELi Need Money?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A week from today, ELi officially launches a new fundraising push in the hopes we can raise enough money to keep the organization going through the end of June. So I thought that for “Your ELi” this week, I’d answer a question I sometimes get: Why does ELi need money?

Why does carefully reporting the “who, what, when, where, how, and why” of our City and its people cost money?

Let’s break it down by category.

YOUR ELI: Citizen Journalists

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Here at Eli, we are citizen journalists.

Both Publisher Alice Dreger and I are professional writers, and both of us have extensive experience with collecting, analyzing and breaking down large and complicated amounts of information for the purpose of communicating that data in ways that are clear, honest and useful. Our training has been different from formally schooled journalists—my degree is in law (J.D.), and Alice’s is in history of science (Ph.D.)—but our skill set and experience are a good match for the work of fair and ethical reporting on the community.

Your ELi: Why Ask ELi?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

When I was growing up, I loved when newspapers would take a question from a reader and find out the answer. Often these reader-submitted questions were ones I had, too, but sometimes they were a question many of us would never have thought to ask—a question that revealed an angle to a story that would have otherwise been missed by citizens.

YOUR ELI: Want balanced coverage? Tell us what you think!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

As we approach the May 5th election in East Lansing, ELi hopes you will speak up and tell us your positions on the issues that will affect all of us. We will be looking for residents of East Lansing to help educate fellow citizens about their perspectives, and so we hope you will consider contributing in this way.

YOUR ELi: East Lansing, Rewound

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ann Nichols’ column this week about Spartan Spirits and other businesses that have been here forever has been bringing historical delights to the ELi mailbag. Among the communications was one letting Ann know that Spartan Spirits used to be a grocery store!

YOUR ELi: Minutes versus Hours

Saturday, January 17, 2015

East Lansing City Council meets every week, but half of these meetings are called “regular meetings” and half are called “work sessions.” Council “work sessions”—which have, all told, been constituting over half the time Council actually meets—are not videotaped or broadcast to the public, which  “regular meetings” are. This means that, unless you have the time and energy to go to City Hall for "work sessions," you can’t find out for yourself what’s going on at Council over half the time.

Your ELi: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

Saturday, January 10, 2015


During this week’s bloom of Je suis Charlie, in the wake of the murders at France’s satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, I got to wondering whether Eli is Charlie. The simplest answer, of course, is “no.” Much to the disappointment of our astronomy reporter who would dearly love to write satire about what goes on in East Lansing city politics, we don’t accept satire. Satire is editorial, and ELi is nonpartisan and non-editorial.

YOUR ELi: If There's Another Disaster, Now We'll Be There

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Image: Direct messaging to coordinate restoration efforts last year during the outage

Remember the power outage that began one year ago today? It was a major reason why in the spring of 2014 I decided to found ELi as a 501c3 nonprofit organization that would serve the people of East Lansing through the labor of embedded citizen reporters.