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Lansing Community College’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1959

Volume 59, ISSUE 17

May 15 - July 1, 2018

Student shows creativity with welding Lucas Rakieten aspires to build rockets, planes By Ashlee Buhler Editor in Chief Flowers, butterflies, bees and trees – those are just a few of the things that LCC student Lucas Rakieten can create if you give him some metal. Welding first peaked Rakieten’s interest during his junior year at Leslie High School. It eventually led him to the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology in Toledo, Ohio. He then returned to Michigan, where he worked for the Local 333 Plumbers and Pipefitters Union to help build the Facility for Rare Isotype Beams (FRIB) on the campus of Michigan State University. In addition to being a full-time student, Rakieten, 21, runs a welding business out of his home in Leslie, where he does custom fabrication, repair and creative art design. In the summertime he goes to art shows such as Scrapfest in Old Town, where he sells his work. “I pretty much make anything that I want to make or whatever somebody asks me to make,” Rakieten said. “I have made

flowers out of metal, hands out of nuts and bolts, and dragonflies out of spark plugs. I have made trees out of old chainsaw blades that I weld together. “One of my favorites would be the tables that I make out of reclaimed barn wood.” Rakieten said welding serves as a great opportunity for self-expression. “It’s a way to show creative expression,” he said. “Drawing isn’t my thing and neither is painting, but I can mentally visualize stuff and make it.” Upon graduating from LCC next year, Rakieten plans to transfer to Ferris State, where he will major in welding engineering. “One day I want to work for an aerospace company building rockets or planes,” he said. “I want to do something cool. It all just depends on where the jobs are when I graduate.” For more information, or to view some of Rakieten’s work, check out his Facebook page (Precision Art and Fabrication) or send him an email at

Courtesy photo

Lucas Rakieten is shown with a tree he created by welding old chainsaw blades together.

Newspaper staff nabs first place in statewide contest

Courtesy photo

Members of the 2016-17 staff for The Lookout included (l. to r.) Adviser Larry Hook, Idman Gabayre, Lurah Peterson, Hannah Anderson, Aaron Emerson, Haneen Hammad, Brodee Gillam, Nicole Cade, Aaron Wilton and Nick Thompson.

The Lookout, LCC’s student newspaper, was awarded first place in the Michigan College Press Association’s annual 2017 Better Newspaper Contest on Thursday, May 10. The presentation took place during the Michigan Press Association’s 150th anniversary journalism conference at the Kellogg Center at Michigan State University. The award was for Division 3 college newspapers; those published less than weekly. Joanne Williams, associate professor of journalism and mass com-

munications at Olivet College, was among those in attendance at the awards ceremony. “It is more important than ever to recognize and encourage good, impactful journalism,” Williams said. “This is what our college newspapers are doing, and with support and recognition from contests and professionals in the field, that will continue.” Larry Hook, adviser of The Lookout for the past 14 years, said the award is a tribute to his staff’s dedication.

“This is a great honor for our staff members; they worked very hard for this recognition,” Hook said. “Considering LCC offers limited classes in journalism, the students are left to learn a lot about the profession in the office and on the job. Our employees take their jobs very seriously and do outstanding work, as this award indicates.” The award is for the work performed by The Lookout staff during the 2016-17 school year. Members of (See Lookout award, page 2)


may 15 - juLY 1, 2018

Refresh with a ‘Pure Michigan’ adventure By Shauna Stocken A&E Editor Explore Lansing from a new perspective with a trip down the Grand River by canoe or kayak. Located in the Lansing City Market off of Cedar Street, Rivertown Adventures offers a unique experience for guests of all ages to enjoy nature and the city. “I actually used to live next door to the owners, Paul (Brogan) and Nate (Williams),” said Rivertown Adventures Events Coordinator Michelle Kunze. “We got along real great. We’d always hang out outside together, and they started the company just on a dream one day.” In the company’s fifth year of operation, co-owner Nate Williams said that last year the company had a record year, winning a statewide award for tourism. Williams said he anticipates continued growth this season. According to Williams, he and Brogan went kayaking several times each summer before opening their business. The two

Photo by Shauna Stocken

A Rivertown Adventures client enjoys a kayak ride on the Grand River near downtown Lansing.

friends saw an opportunity unlike anything else offered in Lansing at the time. “We figured we’d bring kind of an upnorth feel to Lansing where you get a shuttled trip,” Williams said. We take you out to different parts of the river and then you kayak (or canoe) down to a certain area.” Rivertown Adventures started off with 14 boats. It now has 140 different boats to rent, with costs ranging from $10 to $50, depending on the amount of people and length of the trip. Guests can currently enjoy an hour to six hours on the river; the furthest trip takes adventurers to Dimondale to begin. One of the more popular excursions is the “Power of the Grand,” which takes boaters by the three smoke stakes in REO Town. “It’s really cheap for a great day,” said Lansing resident Heather Suth. Suth said she has canoed and kayaked several times with friends through Rivertown Adventures. She enjoys hanging out and grabbing a drink at the Waterfront Bar & Grill, which is located in the City Market. “It’s a lot of fun. There are turtles out there, there are shells. You can go in any different direction,” Suth said. “It’s crazy; it’s a lot of fun, the owners are really nice and always accommodate you. I haven’t seen anyone bring a dog, but that’s what I’m working on.” River attendant Ashley Thomas of Rivertown Adventure refers to herself as a transplant, having moved to the Lansing area to attend college. “As far as experiences go around here, it’s relatively inexpensive,” Thomas said. “It’s not like going into a museum or going and doing normal everyday things. It’s more like getting out and doing something

Photo by Shauna Stocken

Ashley Thomas of Rivertown Adventures explains details of canoe and kayak trips to a customer.

that you might do in some of the more rugged areas in Michigan. But you can do it here in your own backyard.” This year, new events have been planned throughout the season. Rivertown Adventures and the Lansing Brewing Company have partnered for the Oars and Ales Event on Saturday, June 23. The event begins at the brewing company, Williams explained, where participates will receive a T-shirt, party supplies and a beer. Then everyone is shuttled to the Potter Park Zoo to begin their trip, with river games along the way.

“We also participate with the Lansing Earth Project once about every two weeks,” Williams said. “Those are coordinated river and park clean-ups. Our big thing is that we are dedicated to cleaning up the area.” For more information on events such as the river adventure with the Michigan Historical Center, or to book a trip, visit the website Anyone who is near Cooley Law School Stadium, home of the Lansing Lugnuts, can drop by in-person at 325 City Market Drive in Lansing. Reservations are appreciated, but not always necessary.

Sports photograph – first place, Nick Thompson; Best photographer – second place, Nick Thompson; Front page newspaper design – second place, Nicole Cade; Sports news/features – second place, Brodee Gillam; News story – second place, Aaron Emerson; Feature photo – third place, Nicole Cade; Sports news/features – third place, Brodee Gillam;

Column writing – third place, Haneen Hammad; News photo – honorable mention, Nick Thompson; Best writer – honorable mention, Aaron Emerson; Feature story – honorable mention, Aaron Emerson; Online newspaper – honorable mention, The Lookout staff. To view past issues of The Lookout, go to To go to the paper’s website, which posts new stories year-round, visit

Lookout award (Continued from page 1) that staff included Editor in Chief Aaron Emerson, Associate Editor Aaron Wilton, Page Designer Nicole Cade, Sports Editor Brodee Gillam, Arts & Entertainment Editor Hannah Anderson, Photo Editor Nick Thompson, Sales Manager Lurah Peterson, and staff writers Idman Gabayre, Haneen Hammad and Eric Joseph. Wilton said he is proud to have been a member of award-winning staff. He said the staff had good chemistry and a

strong group of returnees from the previous year’s staff. “This is official recognition of a job well done,” Wilton said. “It was a job that we all felt like we were doing well. We felt like we deserved some recognition, although first place was not expected.” In addition to the Newspaper of the Year award, The Lookout staff also earned 13 other awards in the 2017 MCPA competition. They are as follows: News photograph – first place, Nick Thompson;


may 15 - juLY 1, 2018

Midtown Brewery hosts local talent weekly By Shauna Stocken A&E Editor On a budget and looking for something to do with friends this summer? Midtown Brewery, located at 402 S. Washington Ave. in downtown Lansing, has got you covered. Free to attend, the Thursday night concert series features a running performance by artist and host Pat Zelenka. The host is responsible for finding an additional musical guest to perform each week. “I think it’s important for people to hear a wide array of musicians from different

Photo by Shauna Stocken

Pat Zelenka is the host and a regular performer at Midtown Brewery’s Thursday night concert series.

genres,” Zelenka said. “This event is not genre specific because I don’t want it to be.” The event starts at 7 p.m. every Thursday and lasts for three hours. The performances involving Zelenka and the special guest are what sets the event apart from open mic night at the bar on Monday evenings. The performances on Thursday, May 10, featured the soulful and acoustic sounds by both Zelenka and local singer/songwriter Alex Mendenall. “I want everyone to come and be unique and be themselves,” Zelenka said. “Primarily because that’s how I listen to music … That’s why it’s great to have Alex (Mendenall) here, because it introduces people to him that may not have heard him. I wanted to bring in a wide array.” Mendenall said this is his first time playing in this series, although he has performed at Midtown Brewery many times in the past. “I like playing lots of different places. Lansing is cool because it’s close to home,” Mendenall said. Mendenall played a mix of old and new music not yet released. Zelenka entertained the audience with a combination of his music and classic hits by other artists including The Allman Brothers. “I definitely like performing, although I like the writing and production aspect more than playing live,” Mendenall said. “But I still think it’s fun to get up on stage and sing.” The evening’s crowd was mellow. The

Photo by Shauna Stocken

Guest performer Alex Mendenall entertains guests at Midtown Brewery on Thursday, May 10. The bar is located at 402 S. Washington Ave. in downtown Lansing.

audience enjoyed beer, light conversation and burgers while Zelenka and Mendenall performed. In the crowd singing along to the lyrics was Kayleigh Slone, Mendenall’s girlfriend for almost a year. Slone said there is a lot of support for local music in the Lansing area. “He’s (Mendenall) really made a name for himself and has done really well,” Sloan said. “I just think he does really well at what he does and that shows.” New to Midtown Brewery is waitress Andrea Huffman. She said one reason she

chose to work at the brewery is for the musical atmosphere. “I think that music helps center a lot of people,” Huffman said. “I think that music is really important to help people get through their day; they need it.” Huffman explained that while every Thursday night performance is different, the event is appropriate for guests of all ages. “I see a lot of college students and adults, but there are quite a (few) kids that come in here for dinner,” Huffman said. Zelenka’s Instagram page, patzelenka, lists future guests at the brewery.

LCC’s ‘Summer Stage Under the Stars’ begins in June By Shauna Stocken A&E Editor Join current LCC students and alumni as they perform in this summer’s annual arts festival, which features music, theater and dance. “Summer Stage Under the Stars” at LCC is appropriate for anyone interested in a night out with friends or family members of any age. “We like to have free theater events that are family-friendly events that people from the community can come and enjoy,” said Paige Tufford, the interim performing arts producer at LCC. “We encourage people to bring their coolers, bring lunch or whatever, and sit on the hill in the beautiful weather and watch our theater show.” Each of the three events hosted this summer begins at 7 p.m. and run for approximately two hours. The festival kicks

off June 20 to 24 with the production of “Treasure Island.” Treasure Island is scheduled to be performed on LCC’s outdoor stage, located in the center of main campus. “We try to choose shows that are ex-

citing to watch outdoors,” Tufford said. “Treasure Island is certainly going to be one of those. Who doesn’t like pirates and sword fighting? … The outdoor amphitheater is a perfect venue for that show.” The second show, “Victoria Martin” runs July 18 to 22. The production is about the popular Vickie Martin, who joins an all-male math team and all the chaos that ensues. That show is also scheduled for the outdoor stage on main campus. Ending the Summer Under the Stars series is the “DANCE Lansing Summer Festival,” set for July 24 to 27 in Dart Auditorium. During the “DANCE” event, the audience will experience different choreographers and dancers each night. This year the collaboration will include traditional partners Happendance and LCC Performing Arts.

There will also be contributions from associates at Everett High School Dance Program, Greater Lansing Academy of Dance, Greater Lansing Ballet Company, Keys to Creativity Lansing Mall, Lansing Lugnuts, Michigan State University Department of Theatre and the MSU Orchesis. According to Tufford, every production and script is chosen by directors to be not only enjoyable to watch outdoors, but to cater to fun family nights out. “I think that it’s important to let the community know that LCC is here and that we have a lot of talented people,” Tufford said. “(We have) a lot of talented students and faculty who work very hard to give back to the community.” For additional information on the summer series, go to summer-stage.aspx

Volume 59, issue 17  

The Lookout, Lansing Community College

Volume 59, issue 17  

The Lookout, Lansing Community College