Rina Miller

Weekend Edition host

Rina Miller got her start in radio on accident when she was sent to WCAR in Detroit as a temp employee. Since then, she has gained many years of experience in print and broadcast journalism, including work as a producer and program host at Radio Netherlands and as a reporter for ABC Radio News in New York. She enjoys working in public radio because the listeners are "interested, involved, and informed."

Outside the studio, Rina enjoys watching movies from the 1930s and '40s and absolutely hates karaoke. She has a deep love for animals and urges people to spay or neuter their pets, adopt from shelters and rescues, and purchase only from reputable, responsible breeders.

Q&A

What three people, alive or dead, would you like to have lunch with? Why?
Dorothy Parker, because her one-liners were the best.
Kurt Vonnegut, because he was the first writer who made me laugh out loud.
Bella Abzug, because she put her courage where her mouth was.
And if there could be a No. 4? George Clooney. You know why.

How did you get involved in radio?
By accident. I was sent to WCAR in Detroit as a temp employee, and loved the environment.

What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
Watching 1930s and '40s movies, especially those with Joan Crawford, Bette Davis or Rita Hayworth.

What has been your most memorable experience as a reporter/host/etc.?
Covering the crash of a cargo jet into a high-rise apartment complex in Amsterdam in 1992. The story was more complex than the obvious; many victims were illegal immigrants whose families were reluctant to come forward because they feared deportation. There were many substories that arose from this tragedy.

What one song do you think best summarizes your taste in music?
Leonard Cohen's Famous Blue Raincoat, sung by Jennifer Warnes.

What is your favorite program on Michigan Radio? Why?
Fresh Air. Terry has an amazing range of guests, so the show's never predictable or stale.

What is one ability or talent you really wish you possessed?
To sing like Etta James.

What do you like best about working in public radio?
The listeners. They're interested, involved and informed.

Is there anyone in the broadcasting industry you find to be particularly admirable or inspiring? Who?
Jon Stewart. He's fearless without being cruel.

If you could interview any contemporary newsmaker, who would it be?
Vladimir Putin

Is there a T.V. show you never miss? If so, which one?
Mad Men

What would your perfect meal consist of?
An Indonesian rice table

What modern convenience would it be most difficult for you to live without?
The Internet

What are people usually very surprised to learn about you?
That I despise karaoke.

What else would you like people to know about you?
That I have a deep love for animals. I urge people to spay or neuter their pets, adopt from shelters and rescues, or purchase only from reputable, responsible breeders.

Ways To Connect

Play ball!

Even when we are not talking about baseball, we are often using the language of baseball.

On this week's edition of That's What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan explore baseball terminology and the expressions that are commonly used, even though the reference may have nothing to do with baseball.

Greetings!

In emails and letters, we address a lot of people who are not dear to us as
"dear."

On this weekend’s edition of That’s What They Say, host Rina Miller talks with University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan about greetings and closings used in the age of the email.

The use of "dear" has been the default salutation, going back to the 17th century, when it became the polite form for letters as in "Dear Sir" or "Dear Madam," says Curzan, but there are less formal salutations by using words such as ‘hi’ to open an email or letter.

Matt Kemberling / flickr

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller discuss three failures of the week: roads funding, Head Start in Detroit and goats in the Motor City.

Heads Up!

Sometimes we’re warned to watch our head, but when you think about it, that doesn't seem physically possible.

How can you watch your head?

This week on That’s What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan analyze phrases and expressions involving the word ‘head’.

user paul (dex) / Flickr

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller discuss General Motor's CEO Mary Barra's response to the investigation of the faulty ignition switch recalls, what happens now for Detroit after the state agreed to give the city $195 million, and an update on road funding.


Fuddy duddy!

If you use the word ‘fuddy duddy’, young people might just think you are one.

This week on That’s What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan talk about the rise of fashionable words.

After using the word in class, Curzan states that her students had no idea what she was referring to. When she asked whether they knew what she was talking about, only a few students knew what a ‘fuddy duddy’ was.

Detroit Skyline
Shawn Wilson / Wikimedia Commons

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller discuss the latest with the Detroit bankruptcy including political push back from the Koch brothers and money from JPMorgan Chase, and the ongoing debate about Michigan's crummy and crumbling roads.

Many writers get tripped up about when the word “its” has an apostrophe and when it does not.

On this week’s edition of That’s What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan discuss the oftentimes confusing placement of the apostrophe.

The word “it’s” with an apostrophe is a contraction of “it is,” just as “can’t” is a contraction of “cannot.” If “its” is referring to the possession of something, no apostrophe is required. The same is true for the pronouns hers, ours and yours.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller discuss how the state might kick in about $200 million from its rainy day fund for the Detroit bankruptcy settlement, an update on the state budget, and what might or might not happen with proposed roadside saliva tests for marijuana.

Jarrad Henderson / Detroit Free Press

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller discuss the latest with the Detroit bankruptcy, road funding and the state's foreclosure rate.

Photo by penywise / morgueFile

This Week in Review, Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss the latest with the Detroit bankruptcy, the continuing controversies over the General Motors recall, and the money problems involving the charter school system running Muskegon Heights schools.


We've been calling this story, State of Opportunity meets StoryCorps. Get ready to be moved. Meet Bentley. He's a rambunctious five-year-old at the James and Grace Lee Boggs School. Zak Rosen and filmmaker Andrea Claire Maio continue our series on the school and its students. In part five of the series, hear how everyone benefits from inclusive education.

If something is inflammable, it is no longer entirely clear whether we can set it on fire, or we can’t.

On this week’s edition of That’s What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan take on the prefix “in-.”

There are two types of “in-” prefixes, and although they sound the same, they have different meanings. The first “in-” means “in or into,” like the examples income and inland. The second “in-” means “not,” as in the words inedible or incomprehensible.

The term inflammable uses the “in or into” meaning of the prefix. Consequently, something that is inflammable can be put into flame.

However, the prefix has caused some confusion.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

This Week in Review Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss John Dingell leaving congress and his wife being a front runner for the seat, the debate over same-sex marriage in Michigan, and a proposal to make sure Michiganders are taxes for internet sales.

What's the point of evaluating teachers and then not providing constructive feedback for improvements? That's the challenge legislators are tackling with changes to Michigan's teacher evaluation law. State of Opportunity's Dustin Dwyer sat in on a teacher development session in Grand Rapids to find out which new techniques are being used to coach educators more effectively.

Peter Martorano / Flickr

Detroit's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, has filed a plan to restructure the city's $18 billion debt. 

The plan makes cuts to pensioners and creditors while offering a blueprint for the city to emerge from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. 

The plan was filed today in federal bankruptcy court.

What are the main things we should know about the plan? Stephen Henderson, editorial page editor at the Detroit Free Press, spoke with Rina Miller.

User: mattileo/flickr

This Week in Review, Michigan Radio's political analyst Jack Lessenberry and Weekend Edition host Rina Miller talk about potholes in Michigan, the departure of the state budget director, and cuts to employees in Wayne County.

Click on the link below to listen to the interview

The MEAP is out, but which standardized test will Michigan's students be taking next year? It's out of the control of educators and students and in the hands of the Michigan Department of Education. At stake? Million-dollar contracts to nonprofits developing and administering the test. State of Opportunity's Dustin Dwyer has a closer look.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

In this Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller talk about the state's budget surplus and what lawmakers want to do with taxes, how Michigan could lose a seat in Congress because of a loss in population, and a bill to encourage employers to hire parolees.

Andy Thomas

A massive snowstorm is moving through Michigan today, making travel hazardous.   Michigan State Police say road conditions throughout the state are snowy, slushy, icy and dangerous. 
Driving is one thing, but how about flying?

If you like what we've been having, you're going to love the weather forecast.

Temperatures will be more tolerable than the single-digit temperatures we've had for the past several days, with highs in the low 30s  today (Saturday). But the reprieve will be short lived: A winter weather advisory will be in effect for West Michigan from 4 p.m. today until early Monday morning. Snow totals could range from 3 to 6 inches.

AcrylicArtist / MorgueFile

The men and women who make Michigan's laws have someone watching over their shoulders. 

So who's putting legislators' feet to the fire? It's the public --  with some help from a conservative think tank.

Jack McHugh is a legislative analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

He compiles the "Michigan Votes Report,"  a searchable online database that was launched in 2003 to track lawmakers' votes  -- or lack of them.

"We had legislators missing hundreds of votes, who frankly just weren't showing up to work," McHugh says.

The Lansing Board of Water and Light says it's getting some help from other utilities and contractors as it continues to repair damage from an ice storm that hit the region a week ago.

The utility says about 3,000 customers are still without power.

BWL spokesman Stephen Serkaian says the crews are working on circuits in the following areas:

Grand River/Edgebrook

W. Saginaw/Carey

Pattengill/Barnes

Chieho/W. Saginaw

St. Joe/Canal

Cavanagh/Pennsylvania

Mt. Hope/Sunnyside

Northeast/Community

Old Lansing Rd/E. Libby

How are you preparing for the new year? Cleaning the house from top to bottom? Clearing out paper and files? Changing smoke alarm batteries (yes, you really should do that)? Whether you're working, relaxing, or pondering what 2014 holds, click through to State of Opportunity and catch up on our thought-provoking documentaries. 2013 saw us cover what race means to kids today, the gap in educational achievement in two local school districts, and how we as a society are defining manhood. Listen on the State of Opportunity website. Or download the podcasts from iTunes and listen while you take down those outdoor holidays lights. Listening to stimulating radio guarantees you'll wrap the lights carefully this year.

e-cigarettedirect.com

Electronic cigarettes may be smoke-free, but they do contain nicotine, and that has parents worried.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated inhalers that simulate cigarettes.

Dr. Matthew Davis is director of the National Poll on Children's Health from C.S. Mott Children's hospital in Ann Arbor.

He says the devices are unregulated and no long-term health studies have been done.

The freezing rain is causing havoc for Michigan residents and businesses throughout the state.

Utilities report about 200,000 customers were without power at noon today (Sunday) after a heavy icing brought down tree limbs and power lines.

The weather has also affected Michigan Radio transmitters. We are aware that WVGR, 104.1 in Grand Rapids, is off the air and our engineer is working on the problem. We are also operating at reduced power at our two other transmitters. We're still online, though, at michiganradio.org.

David Defoe / flickr

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller discuss General Motor's investments in the state, the fate of state employee benefits, and the part-time legislature debate.

Google maps

About  45 people, including young children, are scrambling to find shelter today after being evicted from the Avalon Hotel in Blackman Township near Jackson

Some say they can live temporarily with family during the holidays, but others had no place to go.

"There are a lot of people moving stuff," says Katie Anderson, assistant manager of the Interfaith Shelter of Jackson. "There are U-Hauls backed up to rooms. It's a lot of craziness, there's a lot of tears. A lot of people are a little lost and confused about what to do."

The Michigan House of Representatives.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This Week in Review, Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss the passage of the ani-abortion coverage bill and campaign finance bill, as well as the appointment of the first female CEO of General Motors.

taliesin / MorgueFile

Michigan's history and social studies teachers may be required to include specific topics for an annual "Patriot Week."

The Senate this week passed a trio of bills that would require public schools to focus on the U.S. Constitution and other founding documents for one week every year.

Pages