Well congratulations on the potential job. I've lived in Lansing for almost 10 years. I also work at MSU. I'll try to answer as many of your Qs as I can...
-Any issues with vaxing?
My DS is not yet in school (only preschool), but from what I've heard from other crunchy moms it's not an issue. Our ped office has no problem with it...I recommend Lansing Pediatric Associates, PM me for the name of the best Ped in the office...
-What is the situation with homebirth? Legal?
-Obviosuly I know unemployment is really bad in MI, but is the economy too bad outside of the Detroit area? What should I know about the abd economy (have they shut down services, closed libraries, etc?)
The economy is horrible. There are actually people living in tarp tents in some of the parks around town. The plus side is that housing very cheap for those moving into the area. Take your time before you buy though...find out which neighborhoods are the best...some are pretty sketchy.
Library system is good here, but is in constant threat of closing. We need people to vote to continue the Library millage this year or there might be problems.
-Are there good midwives? Who might be willing to take someone late in a pg? I don't need specific names yet, I just want to get a feel for it.
-Any good hospitals that are natural birth friendly?
I had a natural birth at Sparrow hospital in downtown Lansing. I think it really depends on your OB more than the hospital though.
-How are the public schools?
I personally don't like most of the public school systems in the area. I subbed for a while at Lansing Community and after that I vowed that my children would go to private schools as long as I could afford it...
-Are there good cultural activities?
For families with young kids there are lots of great things to do here. A short list: MSU Natural History Museum, Michigan Historical Center, Impression 5 Science Museum, TONS (I mean TONS!) of city and county parks, annual music festivals (folk, jazz, blues, rock), multiple farmers markets (some seasonal and some year round), MSU planetarium, MSU childrens gardens, and all the MSU farms (horse, cattle, sheep, etc.) are open to the public and free. There are more events than I could possibly list out here....
-We would rent a hosue or apartment- not interested in buying. I assume since it is a university townt ehre are plenty of rental available?
Yes. I recommend renting in Lansing, not East Lansing or Okemos (which are closer to campus). Lansing rentals are cheaper and you get more space for the money. The neighborhood I live in (Eastside) is located close enough to bike to campus, but is in Lansing and has many parks, community center, library, community pool, etc. within walking/biking distance of our house. It's very family friendly and there are numerous rentals in the area too.
I hope this helps. As an aside, if you are interested in whole foods, raw milk and organic beef, I can hook you up
! If you think of anything else, feel free to PM me!