Stateside

Here you'll find individual interviews and segments from Michigan Radio's daily talkshow Stateside. To find the entire program, go here.

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The legislature is off for its two-month summer break, but there will be a lot of work to do when lawmakers get back to work at the end of the season.  

Kenn Sikkema and Susan Demas joined us today for our weekly political roundup and two of the biggest issues that could be on the agenda when work resumes in Lansing has to do with renewable energy mandates and solar power regulations.

Lester Graham/Michigan Radio

Yesterday we heard the latest Detroit Journalism Cooperative installment about jobs and poverty in Detroit

One of the experts we heard from was Kevin Boyle, a professor at Northwestern University and the author of Arc of Justice, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Whiskey Sour

2 oz. bourbon or rye

3/4 oz simple syrup

3/4 oz lemon juice

1 tsp egg white (or more as preferred)

Combine all ingredients in shaker without ice. Shake for several seconds, then add ice and shake again. Strain into any glass you like.

"Who wants the hand that rocks the cradle mixing whisky sours?"

That little gem was one of the arguments to make it illegal for women to tend bar. That's after they'd been slinging drinks throughout World War II. Many of the male bartenders were in the military.

Detroit companies cooperate to train new IT workers

Jun 16, 2016
Flickr user PaulSh/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

Six years ago, an IT solutions provider outsourced their New Jersey jobs to ... Detroit. GalaxE.Solutions initiated their “Outsource to Detroit” campaign to encourage new technology workers to come to the Motor City.

Yahad-In Unum

This week Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill adding genocide instruction to social studies curriculum in eighth grade through high school.

Most people are aware of the Holocaust, in which Germans murdered millions of people during World War II.

A lot of instruction around that event concentrates on the death camps, some of which had gas chambers where Jews and others were killed.

FLICKR USER AUTOMOBILE ITALIA https://flic.kr/p/AsE6u3

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes has been reviewing the landscape of automobiles, high-tech, and next-generation mobility and finds Fiat Chrysler’s top guy Sergio Marchionne is lagging.

Courtesy of Robert Downes

 

Bicycle paths are expanding every year in Michigan. In the northern part of the Mitten, there are a bunch of great bike paths and there’s a book to help guide you.

 

Robert Downes’ "Biking Northern Michigan: The Best & Safest Routes in the Lower Peninsula"  describes 1,400 miles of bike paths and attractions along the way.

 

Lester Graham

Ever since Ed Welburn designed cars as a toddler, it seemed like destiny would lead him to working at General Motors. The first time he entered the company’s campus as an employee was an emotional experience he would never forget.

Courtesy of Jeff Smith

Faith is a very personal thing.

For some people, finding a faith that brings their lives meaning takes time and a whole lot of searching.

Bill Moser's family undertook such a journey, and eventually joined the Amish community in their search for a life that reflected their faith. Their story is told in a new book called Becoming Amish.

Courtesy of Cascade Engineering

For people who get out of prison, the chances of getting a job are often slim to none.

There are programs to help ex-offenders find work and transition back into society, but funding a company willing to hire former inmates proves a challenge.

Recently, though, some companies have been not just hiring, but recruiting ex-offenders.

Teacher sick-outs closed up more than Detroit Public Schools at the beginning of May
user frank juarez / Flickr

The bailout of the Detroit Public Schools passed by the legislature and awaiting Gov. Rick Snyder's signature includes a provision to allow uncertified teachers.

Those who support the move say that it would help address a growing teacher shortage and allow more professionals who have a passion for teaching to enter the classroom. Detractors say that it discredits the skill and craft of teaching and is just a political move to weaken teachers' unions. 

Flickr user Michigan Municipal League (MML)/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Detroit Public Schools could soon return under the control of an elected school board and become debt-free if Gov. Snyder signs the bailout package approved by Michigan senators last week. Reaction to the legislation has been mixed, and one of the district's veteran teachers is speaking up.

Asenath Jones is a world history teacher at Cass Technical High School. She told Stateside that DPS teachers watched the district’s debt accumulate firsthand.

Canola's low pour point and high oil content make it an ideal candidate for biodiesel. One kilogram of canola seeds, center, produces the amount of oil in the flask on the left.
Oregon State University / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

From ethanol made with corn to diesel fuel made from soy beans, the agriculture industry loves biofuels.

The Environmental Protection Agency is also pushing biofuels. They're seen as cleaner burning, and burning the fuels creates less of the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change than do fossil fuels such as oil. 

All good, right?

Well, it turns out those claims might be hyped a bit.

The Michigan Department of Transportation's plans for construction on I-75 have hit a funding snag.
Flickr user dmitri_66 / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

The Michigan Department of Transportation plans to widen Interstate 75 through Oakland County — but there’s a snag in the funding. A provision in a 1951 law requires cities or villages with a minimum of 25,000 residents, such as Troy, to pay a part for any highway construction within the state. But some residents whose communities fall under the provision don’t want to pay.

Wikimedia Commons

On the Fourth of July in 1939, Lou Gehrig said farewell to fans at Yankee Stadium because he had contracted a fatal disease. He added, “I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for.”

Gehrig was diagnosed with ALS, more commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”

Regular Stateside contributor Dr. Howard Markel said there are some questions as to whether Gehrig received the proper diagnosis. If it wasn't ALS, then what could have killed the Yankee legend? 

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ARNIE LEE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

It has been a difficult couple weeks for sports fans in Michigan. On the day of Muhammad Ali's funeral (Ali spent nearly two decades of his life in Berrien Springs, Mich.), it was announced that hockey legend Gordie Howe passed away at the age of 88. And on Monday, June 13, while the hockey world was still grieving the loss of "Mr. Hockey," Michigan State coaching legend Ron Mason died at age 76

Under the ANGEL Program, Escanaba law enforcement invites drug addicts to come to the police station voluntarily to receive help overcoming their addiction.
flickr user frankileon / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Some cities have been looking at a program that takes a different approach to people with addictions who sometimes have run-ins with the law.

In Michigan, Escanaba is trying the new approach. It's called the ANGEL Program.

Escanaba City Manager Jim O'Toole​ joined us to talk about it.

A snapping turtle
Jessica Kosiara

A recent study published in Environmental Monitoring and Assessments finds turtles are getting doses of heavy metals such as lead and copper.

Matt Cooper is one of the co-authors of this study. He’s a research scientist at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin.

Beowulf Sheehan

 

What would’ve happened if Lee Harvey Oswald missed and John F Kennedy lived?

That’s the premise of David Means' first novel, “Hystopia.” Means is a fiction writer born and raised in Kalamazoo.

 

Set in and around Michigan, the novel re-imagines the state during the Vietnam War era. Traumatized veterans run amok throughout the state. The novel explores the nature of memory, trauma and history.

 

Means joined us to talk about his new book and his relationship to his home state.

According to Tim Retzloff, the history of gay clubs and bars goes all the way back to the early 18th century.
flickr user Charlie Nguyen / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

When society marginalizes who you are, there’s an impulse to gather with people who are more accepting.

That’s why LGBTQ people gathered at the night club Pulse in Orlando, Florida. It was also Latin night. Members of two marginalized groups went there to have fun, be safe.

That night, 49 people were killed and more than 50 others wounded in a hateful attack.

Flickr user phxwebguy/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Detroit Public Schools could soon be debt-free as a result of last week’s bailout package approved by Michigan senators. But how did the district get into $617 million in debt in the first place? A new study suggests that Michigan state laws are to blame for crippling districts like DPS.

flickr user krytofr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

By now, you've probably heard about Sunday's mass shooting in Orlando at a gay nightclub called Pulse. 

It's the largest mass shooting in United States history.

Laith Al-Saadi performing Ed Sheeran's "Make It Rain" on "The Voice"
screengrab

One night early in March, the rest of America discovered what audiences here in Michigan have known for years:  Laith Al-Saadi​ is a musical powerhouse.

That blind audition on NBC's The Voice had stars Blake Shelton and Adam Levine raving about Al-Saadi's voice.

And, as a member of Team Adam, Al-Saadi went on to finish fourth.

The International Symbol of Access
wikimedia user Ltljltlj / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0 / Public Domain

The Next Idea

Each month, the State of Michigan releases unemployment numbers, which are seen as a major indicator of the state’s economic health. One subset of these numbers is often overlooked — the employment levels for people with disabilities.

Michigan and other states struggle with the challenge of employing people in this group. The discrepancy is significant. As of March 2016, the national unemployment rate for people without disabilities was 4.9%. For people with disabilities, it was more than double that figure. Perhaps even more indicative of the challenge is the gap in the labor force participation rate of nearly 69% for people without disabilities, and almost 20% for people with disabilities.

C. Patrick Labadie Collection

 

As the country fell into the Great Depression, the SS Senator sunk to the bottom of Lake Michigan.

Late last year, researchers used a remote-controlled submersible to confirm what had been identified as the SS Senator, which rests 15 miles off the Wisconsin shore. The ship sank in 1929 just a few days after the stock market collapse. Its cargo of 268 Nash automobiles from 1929 and 1930 is the largest known collection of its kind in the world.

 

Something is missing from Grand Traverse County’s 2016 budget: its Animal Control Department. The county shut down the entire department, and the responsibility for animal control was shifted to the Sheriff’s Department, which lacks the same resources and training the Animal Control Department had. Moreover, the Sheriff’s Department will only handle serious animal issues, such as animal neglect, abuse, and barking dog complaints.

 

What does this mean for Grand Traverse County residents and animals?

 

Republicans and Democrats in Lansing have very different views of the budget that was unveiled.
Thetoad / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

The big news coming out of Lansing this week was the passing of a nearly $55 billion state budget, which included a $617 million in funding for the Detroit Public Schools. 

Some Republicans are praising the budget and the DPS bailout, and others like the House Education Chair State Rep. Amanda Price called it a "great day for the kids in Detroit."

The Croswell Opera House in Adrian, Michigan turns 150 years old.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan’s oldest opera house, the Croswell Opera House in Adrian, is 150 years old.

Jere Righter, Artistic Director for the Croswell, joined Stateside to talk about the history and the future of the venue that has seen countless performers, speakers, plays and events over the last century and a half.

Righter says the venue was once used for animal shows, poultry sales, lectures and plays put on by the community. It was also a place for big, national shows and speakers to perform.

Benny Parsons won 21 career races, including the 1973 NASCAR championship and the 1975 Daytona 500
Ted Van Pelt / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

If you live anywhere near Brooklyn, Michigan, you're probably seeing a lot more RV traffic.

It's race weekend at the Michigan International Speedway and NASCAR's top drivers will be in town racing for the Firekeepers Casino 400.

In honor of the big race, we take the time to tell the story of one of the sport's all-time great drivers and personalities: Benny Parsons.

In an unlikely underdog story, Parsons went from a Detroit taxi driver to a NASCAR champion before lung cancer claimed his life in 2007.

Wikimedia Commons

The City of Detroit is trying to help people who have criminal records clear up those past mistakes in order to get a job.

Melvin Hollowell is Corporation Counsel for the City of Detroit and he joins Stateside to talk about Project Clean Slate. The program seeks to help Detroit residents expunge their records so they can get back into the workforce.

Listen to the full interview above. 

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Melvin Hollowell is Corporation Counsel for the City of Detroit

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