The boisterous mayor of my humble, proud hometown, is making noise about merging with its more affluent and economically solid neighbor to the east. The idea is probably silly -- any gains from an increase in population would be negated by Lansing's chronic financial problems. While regionalization of services like fire/EMS makes good sense, creating a "Beast Lansing," as my good friend Steve put it, is merely trying to force an issue that doesn't exist.
What's most striking to me in all this, though, is that -- from people who left comments on the news story, my own Lansing friends, and myself -- the first reaction by Lansingites is: Yeah, right! Like East Lansing would ever take us! The good people of E.L. have said the same thing, but more diplomatically; but that's always been their way: endlessly suspicious and vaguely fearful of Lansing, but dully polite in how they express it. Meanwhile, folks in the Capital City don't give a flip! They call it like they see it. While that often comes out in the form of self-depreciation, I'll always love Lansing's bluntness.
My vote? The East Side of Lansing secede, and rename itself Quaker City.