Michigan Watch http://michiganradio.org en Detroit's emergency manager on bankruptcy developments http://michiganradio.org/post/detroits-emergency-manager-bankruptcy-developments <p></p><p>On the one-year anniversary of his appointment, Detroit’s emergency manager spoke about the latest developments in the city's bankruptcy in a speech at the University of Michigan.</p><p>One thing in the works is getting a $120 million loan from Barclays of London. A state board approved the loan today. The Detroit City Council also approved the deal, despite concerns that the money might be used to pay big-money bankruptcy consultants. But, emergency manager Kevyn Orr says, ‘not so.’</p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 00:55:45 +0000 Lester Graham 16975 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit's emergency manager on bankruptcy developments Being broke makes Detroit get creative http://michiganradio.org/post/being-broke-makes-detroit-get-creative <p></p><p>Detroit's municipal bankruptcy has made the world aware of what Michigan already knew. Detroit is broke. No matter how it turns out, bankruptcy is not going to change things very quickly. Detroit will still be broke. That’s going to force the city to get creative.</p><p>Let’s get one thing out of the way: the state of Michigan is not going to bail out Detroit.</p><p>And the state of Michigan is not going fully restore revenue sharing from the sales tax with cities such as Detroit.</p> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 16754 at http://michiganradio.org Being broke makes Detroit get creative SLIDESHOW: A day at Detroit's Eastern Market http://michiganradio.org/post/slideshow-day-detroits-eastern-market <p>For many families, Saturdays are about visiting Eastern Market in Detroit.</p><p>A public-private partnership took over the operation of the market from the City of Detroit in 2006.&nbsp; Since then, buildings have been renovated and Eastern Market's popularity has grown.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">I visited the market this past weekend and took a few photos. You can click through them above.</span></p><p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 16:59:35 +0000 Lester Graham 16679 at http://michiganradio.org SLIDESHOW: A day at Detroit's Eastern Market 2,500 apply for city of Detroit jobs http://michiganradio.org/post/2500-apply-city-detroit-jobs <p>About 2,500 people showed up to apply for new city of Detroit jobs during a two-day job fair at Cobo Hall on Friday and Saturday.</p><p>On average, more than seven people applied for each job available.</p><p>Michael Hall is Detroit’s Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations.</p><p>“You know, we had 350 jobs that we listed. Anything from a GED to a CPA we’re looking for. So, we’ve had great candidates come through and some of those people will be called back for future interviews,” Hall said.</p> Sun, 02 Mar 2014 00:32:44 +0000 Lester Graham 16675 at http://michiganradio.org 2,500 apply for city of Detroit jobs If Arizona's bill to discriminate surprises you, you won't believe what's legal in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/if-arizonas-bill-discriminate-surprises-you-you-wont-believe-whats-legal-michigan <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">If the pollsters are right, here’s something you probably don’t know:</span></p><p><em>It’s perfectly legal to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. </em></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A Gallup poll reported nearly nine out of ten people think </span>LGBT<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> people are already protected.</span></p><p>They are not.</p><p>Actually, Arizona and Michigan are not that different right now.</p> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 20:05:19 +0000 Lester Graham 16623 at http://michiganradio.org If Arizona's bill to discriminate surprises you, you won't believe what's legal in Michigan Detroit's infrastructure crumbling while city has trouble collecting cash http://michiganradio.org/post/detroits-infrastructure-crumbling-while-city-has-trouble-collecting-cash <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The plan to guide Detroit out of bankruptcy includes up to $150 million a year for ten years to repair neglected infrastructure. &nbsp;The city could go a long way in paying for that if it can find a way to collect money already owed to it.</span></p><p>The Compuware World Headquarters building at Campus Martius is a gleaming example of a downtown revival.</p><p>But last week, just down the block, the façade of revival was peeled back for a moment. An old water pipe broke.</p><p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 16535 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit's infrastructure crumbling while city has trouble collecting cash Detroit Emergency Manager to file plan with bankruptcy court this week http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-emergency-manager-file-plan-bankruptcy-court-week <p>This week the City of Detroit’s Emergency Manager is to file a disclosure statement with the federal court overseeing the city’s bankruptcy ahead of the March 1 deadline.</p><p>The plan of adjustment restructuring Detroit’s debt includes a ten year blueprint for the city as part of the 2012 consent agreement with the State of Michigan. The restructuring consultant Conway MacKenzie has been working on that ten year plan.</p><p>Bill Nowling is the spokesperson for Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. He says that blueprint will be part of the filing this week.</p> Mon, 17 Feb 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 16457 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit Emergency Manager to file plan with bankruptcy court this week How Detroit Manufacturing Systems hired hundreds of workers in the city http://michiganradio.org/post/how-detroit-manufacturing-systems-hired-hundreds-workers-city <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Detroit's unemployment is high, really high. It's nearly 18%. That’s almost double the Michigan rate of unemployment and Michigan is among the worst in the nation.</span></p><p>So, when a manufacturer hires hundreds of Detroit residents, it gets attention.</p><p> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 19:02:33 +0000 Lester Graham 16284 at http://michiganradio.org How Detroit Manufacturing Systems hired hundreds of workers in the city Detroiters need jobs and Detroit needs taxpayers http://michiganradio.org/post/detroiters-need-jobs-and-detroit-needs-taxpayers <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">To successfully emerge from bankruptcy, Detroit has to find ways to cut spending and increase revenue. But that’s not going to be easy when so many Detroit residents are struggling just to get by.</span></p><p>No matter how well bankruptcy goes for Detroit, the city is going nowhere if most of its residents are broke and without jobs.</p><p>No jobs mean no income taxes for the city.</p> Thu, 30 Jan 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 16234 at http://michiganradio.org Detroiters need jobs and Detroit needs taxpayers Part-time Michigan Legislature could mean more power for bureaucrats and lobbyists http://michiganradio.org/post/part-time-michigan-legislature-could-mean-more-power-bureaucrats-and-lobbyists <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">You might be asked to sign a petition next year to cut Michigan legislators’ pay and make their job part-time. The state constitution will have to be amended to accomplish that.</span></p><p>There could be some unintended consequences in doing that.</p> Fri, 13 Dec 2013 13:46:18 +0000 Lester Graham 15671 at http://michiganradio.org Part-time Michigan Legislature could mean more power for bureaucrats and lobbyists Women making healthier decisions at seafood counter http://michiganradio.org/post/women-making-healthier-decisions-seafood-counter <p></p><p></p><p>Over the last decade, women have switched to making much healthier choices at the seafood counter.</p><p>First, let's make it clear: fish is healthful food.</p><p>But, fish can contain traces of mercury, some fish more than others. And to make sure you don’t consume too much of that toxin, you need to know which fish have heavier loads of mercury.</p><p>Why?</p><p>Because mercury is a toxic contaminant that can cause neurological damage. For women who could have children or who are pregnant, too much mercury could mean developmental problems for their babies.</p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 14:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 15532 at http://michiganradio.org Women making healthier decisions at seafood counter What will be fueling your car in the future? http://michiganradio.org/post/what-will-be-fueling-your-car-future <p>Hydrogen fuel cells, compressed natural gas, all-electric… what kind of cars are we going to be driving in a few years?</p><p>The LA Auto Show wrapped up… and the next big show is the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Hall in Detroit in January.</p><p>There, of course, is a lot of well-orchestrated hype at these big auto shows. If you’re looking for a clear direction on what we’ll be driving in the future, it’s still a mixed bag. But, new advances are dominated by efficiency improvements in the internal combustion engine. Tue, 03 Dec 2013 14:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 15497 at http://michiganradio.org What will be fueling your car in the future? Unequal by law: Being gay in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/unequal-law-being-gay-michigan <p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.800000190734863px; line-height: 18px;">The documentary looks at religious views, transgender struggles, discriminatory laws, and anti gay-rights groups' concerns. You can listen to the full documentary below:</span></p><p></p> Wed, 20 Nov 2013 19:53:38 +0000 Lester Graham 14793 at http://michiganradio.org Unequal by law: Being gay in Michigan Cities adapting to changing climate, but more changes coming http://michiganradio.org/post/cities-adapting-changing-climate-more-changes-coming <p>It used to be environmentalists did not want to talk about adapting to climate change. They were concerned adapting to the changes meant dodging the big job of reducing greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change.</p><p>That thinking is changing.</p> Thu, 07 Nov 2013 15:17:42 +0000 Lester Graham 15173 at http://michiganradio.org Cities adapting to changing climate, but more changes coming Michigan could get 30% of its energy from renewable sources http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-could-get-30-its-energy-renewable-sources <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Michigan Public Service Commission has submitted a </span><a href="http://michigan.gov/documents/energy/renewable_final_438952_7.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">report on renewable energy </a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">to Governor Snyder. That report indicates renewable energy is getting cheaper and more varied, ranging from wind and solar to biomass and ground source heat pumps.</span></p><p>But the surprising point in the report was this statement:</p> Thu, 07 Nov 2013 15:07:36 +0000 Lester Graham 15171 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan could get 30% of its energy from renewable sources Michigan challenge to EPA greenhouse regulations to be heard by U.S. Supreme Court http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-challenge-epa-greenhouse-regulations-be-heard-us-supreme-court <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The EPA says greenhouse gases are pollution. The Supreme Court has agreed. But Michigan sued the EPA saying you can’t regulate that pollution from smokestack industries because it would hurt the economy.</span></p><p>The Supreme Court has already ruled the EPA has the authority to regulate the carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. The agency found CO2 emissions from fossil fuels endanger the public health and the environment. That was regarding a case involving cars and trucks. But whether that pollution comes from a tailpipe or a smokestack, it’s the same pollution.</p><p> Tue, 05 Nov 2013 14:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 15102 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan challenge to EPA greenhouse regulations to be heard by U.S. Supreme Court Meet the couple challenging Michigan's gay marriage ban http://michiganradio.org/post/meet-couple-challenging-michigans-gay-marriage-ban <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">April </span>DeBoer<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and Jayne </span>Rowse<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> wanted to jointly adopt their children.</span></p><p>In the years that they’ve lived together, Rowse has adopted two children, and DeBoer adopted one, splitting the responsibilities of parenthood together. But a state ban on same-sex joint adoptions prohibited them from officially adopting their children together.</p><p>So in January 2012, DeBoer and Rowse filed a lawsuit against the state, arguing that preventing such adoptions violated rights of their children.</p><p>But U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman told the couple to take their complaint further — challenge the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage.</p><p> Fri, 18 Oct 2013 14:10:03 +0000 Lester Graham 14883 at http://michiganradio.org Meet the couple challenging Michigan's gay marriage ban Being transgender in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/being-transgender-michigan <p>Part of the LGBT community is confusing to a lot of straight people and, really, some gay and lesbian people. The &quot;T&quot; in LGBT. Transgender people.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This piece includes the stories of two transgender women. Because their gender can cause confusion, Renee&nbsp;</span>Knipe<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;and Joanna Smith have struggled with things many people don&#39;t think about.</span></p><p>Knipe&nbsp;has been barred from using women&#39;s restrooms. Joanna Smith, who was once John Smith, is a father.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 15 Oct 2013 16:44:53 +0000 Lester Graham 14842 at http://michiganradio.org Being transgender in Michigan Moms fighting for joint adoption in Michigan end up challenging gay marriage ban http://michiganradio.org/post/moms-fighting-joint-adoption-michigan-end-challenging-gay-marriage-ban <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Nolan, </span>Ryanne<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, and Jacob were excited about showing me their toys when I visited the home of Jayne </span>Rowse<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and April </span>DeBoer<span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p>These three little kids have no idea that their moms are in the middle of one of the most closely watched federal court cases in Michigan.</p> Wed, 09 Oct 2013 12:10:00 +0000 Lester Graham 14766 at http://michiganradio.org Moms fighting for joint adoption in Michigan end up challenging gay marriage ban Snyder administration to cut program that has saved hundreds of millions in prison costs http://michiganradio.org/post/snyder-administration-cut-program-has-saved-hundreds-millions-prison-costs <p></p><p></p><p>The State of Michigan spends a huge part of its budget on prisons. In recent years a new program has helped reduce the prison population and helped prisoners stay out of prison. Despite its success, the state plans to cut much of the program’s funding.</p><p>Some people who’ve been in and out of prison are getting out and staying out thanks to a program called Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative or MPRI.</p><p>“After 33 years of doing time, they finally got it right. And today I’ve got a life. I own my own business. I’m living the American dream and it started at MPRI,” Harry Hampton said.</p><p>Hampton has been in prison four times. When he’s been released before, he got no help. Mon, 09 Sep 2013 17:30:57 +0000 Lester Graham 14335 at http://michiganradio.org Snyder administration to cut program that has saved hundreds of millions in prison costs