The Michigan Education Association, along with the Working Michigan coalition, is planning a protest rally in the capitol tomorrow. From the MEA's website:
"Working Michigan, a coalition of organizations dedicated to protecting working families and Michigan’s Middle Class Dream, will be holding a rally at the Capitol on Tuesday, March 8, to protest the package of "Emergency Financial Manager" bill that is currently in the state Senate."
According to the Detroit News, the state Senate may vote on Tuesday to bestow broad powers to emergency financial managers including the ability "to toss out union contracts and suspend elected officials in communities and school districts that are operating at a deficit."
The MEA is protesting what it calls a series of "attacks on Michigan workers."
For this week’s installment of “What’s Working,” Morning Edition Host Christina Shockley speaks with Judy Krasnow, resident and tour guide of the Armory Arts Village in Jackson. Located in what once served as Michigan’s first penitentiary, the Armory Arts Village is a residential community originally set up to provide living, working, and presentation space for artists.
Patricia Clark is an award-winning poet, and the former Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids. When I asked her to participate in our web-exclusive “Michigan on the Page” series, Ms. Clark chose a certain author’s first story collection, a writer who—like many recent college graduates—has made her way out of the state to advance her career.
Ms. Clark first encountered Suzanne Rivecca at Grand Valley State University, where she was, Ms. Clark insists, the most talented student she has seen there.
The Associated Press and USAToday are reporting that a 16 year old Fennville student died last night after making a game-making layup. From the AP:
The Fennville Schools superintendent says the basketball player who died last night after making a game-winning shot was "the quintessential all-American kid."
It's still not clear what caused the death of 16-year-old Wes Leonard, who collapsed on the court after making a last-second layup in Fenville's 57-55 win over Bridgman. The victory capped Fenville's undefeated season.
Leonard fell to the ground after teammates and fans rushed the court. Rescuers performed CPR, but he was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
The junior was also the quarterback of the school's football team.
Deadline New York reports that MGM is talking to director Jose Padilha about rebooting the Robocop movie series:
MGM is negotiating with Brazilian director Jose Padilha to direct Robocop, the remake of the futuristic 1987 film originally helmed by Paul Verhoeven. The original was about a cop who was near death and was drafted to become a powerful cyborg cop, until suppressed memories of his past life come back to haunt him. Peter Weller played the character in the original him in the original and the 1990 sequel.
Cobo Center in Detroit is going to get more than a coat of new paint between now and next year’s auto show.
The regional authority now running Detroit’s downtown convention center announced today Cobo will undergo a $221 million renovation.
Cobo Center’s general manager, Thom Connors, says the three year project will allow Cobo to better accommodate the needs of the North American International Auto Show:
"More leasable space, more attractive space, and increased banquet and meeting room capacity and new exhibition space. Its going to make it an easier sell to a wider variety of potential clients. And allow us to do larger, multiple events at the same time, as well as larger capacity events in the future."
As part of the renovation, Cobo Arena will be replaced with a 40,000 square foot ballroom space.
The Detroit Free Press reported on the plans, announced this morning, to renovate downtown Detroit's Cobo Center:
The project will be ready by the 2014 North American International Auto Show, and it will “open up” Cobo to the Detroit River with a new atrium entrance and sweeping architectural changes, said Larry Alexander, chair of the five-member Cobo Regional Convention Facility Authority.
The work will mark the first major overhaul of Cobo since 1989. Cobo was built in 1960. In recent years, Cobo has suffered from roof leaks and other problems, and other cities have leapfrogged ahead of Detroit in the amount of showroom space offered and other amenities.
A bond sale enabled by the Cobo authority will pay for the renovations.
Warren sells brightly colored pigments called "giraffes in love" and "French kiss snow cone," which she markets as eye makeup. She has thousands of fans on facebook. Some of the women say the Glittersniffer cosmetics made them feel "beautiful" for the first time in their lives.
What all those facebook fans didn’t know, was that Warren was using non-FDA approved soap dyes to achieve some of those vivid shades. Soap dyes can cause irritation and even blindness if applied to the eyes.
According to NPR, Secretary of State Clinton claims that pro-Gadhafi forces have been and continue to use violence against Libyan protesters:
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi of using "mercenaries and thugs" against his own people Monday as rebels said they thwarted an attempted aerial bombing of an eastern city.
"Gadhafi and those around him must be held accountable for these acts, which violate international legal obligations and common decency,'' Clinton told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
"Nothing is off the table as long as the Libyan government continues to threaten and kill Libyan citizens."She called on Gadhafi, who has ruled the North African nation with an iron fist since 1969, to leave power "now, without further violence or delay."
Meanwhile, Gadhafi himself refuses to step down, claiming "all my people love me."
Secretary Hillary Clinton's remarks are some of the strongest yet from President Obama's administration regarding the recent protests and unrest in Libya.
We continue our What’s Working series today with guest Sarna Salzman. She’s the Executive Director of SEEDS, or Seeking Ecology Education and Design Solutions.
SEEDS is a non-profit based in Traverse City that acts as an energy consultant for local businesses and municipalities. In addition, SEEDS hosts the northwestern Michigan branch of Youth Corps, which gets kids involved in projects such as cleaning up parks, organizing gardens, and spreading awareness about environmental issues. Last but not least, SEEDS works with local school districts to develop after-school programs aimed at ecological awareness.
NPR is reporting that pro-Gaddafi forces are maintaining control of Tripoli as protests and violence continues:
"Thousands of people were fleeing Libya on Wednesday as forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi reportedly continued a crackdown on protesters in the capital. Rogue elements of the police and army aligned with the anti-government opposition appeared to be in firm control of parts of the east."
The Environmental Protection Agency has established new clean air standards for incinerators and boilers. From the EPA's press release:
"In response to federal court orders requiring the issuance of final standards, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing final Clean Air Act standards for boilers and certain incinerators that achieve significant public health protections through reductions in toxic air emissions, including mercury and soot, but cut the cost of implementation by about 50 percent from an earlier proposal issued last year."
"Mercury, soot, lead and other harmful pollutants released by boilers and incinerators can lead to developmental disabilities in children, as well as cancer, heart disease, aggravated asthma and premature death in Americans. These standards will avoid between 2,600-6,600 premature deaths, prevent 4,100 heart attacks and avert 42,000 asthma attacks per year in 2014."
"Republicans and some Democrats in Congress have harshly criticized the EPA recently over the costs of a whole host of regulations, including the first-ever rules to control the gases blamed for global warming. At least a half-dozen bills have been introduced this year to block or curtail agency regulations, and House Republicans succeeded last week in attaching numerous anti-EPA measures to a bill aimed at funding the government for the rest of this fiscal year."
Governor Rick Snyder (and Budget Director John Nixon) presented the 2011 budget to a joint session of the Michigan legislature yesterday.
Michigan Radio's Jennifer White hosted a call-in show, “Funding Our State,” to take a look at the state of the state’s budget, which is currently facing a 1.8 billion dollar budget deficit for the new fiscal year that begins October 1st.
To find out what this budget means for educators, for finances, for business, and for you, click the link below.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit Independent Film Festival has announced their lineup for this year's 5-day festival.
Highlights include the premiere of Mike Allore's short film "World of Art," which will open on the first night of the festival at the Ren Cen 4 Theatre at the Renaissance Center.
The festival will feature more than 80 films, two opening night receptions, and the Michigan Film Awards on March 12. The Michigan Film Awards are presented in cooperation with the Uptown Film Festival in Birmingham.
The 2010 Michigan Film Award for Best Michigan Feature was Tracy, produced by Brian Fee and Dan Scanlon.
Each Wednesday, Morning Edition Host Christina Shockley sits down with Michigan Radio’s Senior Political Analyst Jack Lessenberry to get an update on state politics. This week, the focus is on Governor Snyder’s budget proposal and what cuts he might suggest.
The details of the United States and Michigan budget cuts are beginning to leak out. The United States Congress is trying to come together on a plan to cut a huge amount of spending. Governor Rick Snyder will be delivering his budget proposal for next year on Thursday.
One area of debate is how the Environmental Protection Agency can regulate greenhouse gas emissions. A new statewide poll shows voters in Michigan would support these rules, but Republicans in the US Congress are moving against them this week.
Al Quinlan conducted the poll funded by the Energy Foundation, a pro-renewable energy group.
"We asked people simply whether they favor or oppose the EPA regulating these emissions the results were 64% favor, 27% oppose. And there was broad based support across partisan lines."
Michigan Congressman Fred Upton is a leading opponent of EPA regulation of greenhouse gasses.
There are still some open questions about how the state will implement its two year old Medical Marijuana law.
The state has not said how dispensaries of the drug should be regulated so some cities allow the dispensaries and others do not.
These differences have put a few cities in court. Advocates say the state is missing an opportunity by not regulating the dispensaries.
Karen O’Keefe is with the Marijuana Policy Project, a supporter of the original law.
"States that have regulated dispensing, a lot of them subject medical marijuana to sales tax. Some of them also have modest business taxes and there are fees. So in addition to helping patients have access and clearing up some of the confusion that localities are facing it would help the state financially."
Groups on both sides of the issue plan to continue to push the state to weigh in on the issue this year.
University of Michigan professor Dr. Terri Orbuch goes by the nickname of the Love Doctor, and she has some suggestions for things lovers and spouses should remember to say to each other on Valentine's Day. From the Huffington Post:
"I love you even more now than when we first met." This tells your partner you are still interested and gives him or her a sense of hopefulness, reassurance and security.
"You are my best friend/the best lover/the best partner." This tells your spouse that you notice who your spouse really is and do not take him or her for granted.
"I would still choose you." Every partner needs to hear these words on occasion. They are affirming, nurturing, and appreciative. It is also a reminder that you are renewing your commitment in this relationship.
"Let's plan _____ [a vacation, a date, getting pregnant]." This says you want your partner in your future, and he or she is your top priority. It also says that you and your partner are a team and that you are committed to the relationship!
"I've really noticed that you have _____ [been helping more around the house, been working really hard these past several weeks, been helping your mother through rough times, etc.]." This shows you are paying attention to the particulars of your partner's life and that he or she matters. It also says to your partner, "You are not invisible to me and I do not take you for granted.
Meanwhile, Allan Parkman, the author of the 2004 article “The Importance of Gifts in Marriage,” has some thoughts on why—and when—gift-giving becomes less important to a relationship. From the New York Times:
“Early in life, presents and occasions are important, but as you get older, you have everything you want.”
“We gave away a lot of money, but it wasn’t tied to an occasion, and it was not required.”
“You know you are doing the right thing. It’s not stressful at all.”
Dr. Orbuch—featured in the same article—suggests that couples should be spontaneous, and that this sense of novelty and adventure can be at least as important as what gift you give on Valentine's Day:
“Romance and passion is all about using the elements of surprise and the elements of newness.
“That’s what couples say, and that’s what I’ve found in the research.”
This week, for our series “What’s Working,” Morning Edition Host Christina Shockley sits down with Karl Covert, the Dean of Washtenaw Technical Middle College.
Located on the campus of Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw Technical Middle College offers high school students the chance to complete their high school education in a college setting, while also earning either an associate’s degree or technical skill certification.
The Middle College was founded in 1997 by a group of educators who were concerned about two things: high school graduates being unprepared for college and a decreasing number of vocational training programs in the area.
Michigan College students needing food aid will now have a harder time getting it. The state Department of Human Services will take bridge cards away from college students who don’t meet federal guidelines for food assistance.
Some lawmakers say many students who don’t really need the benefits are abusing the program.
Ingham County has the highest number of college students receiving food assistance through the Bridge card program. Michigan State University is in Ingham County.
"We’ve seen an increase in the number of people we serve over the past couple of years. You can pretty much tie it directly to the economic downturn we’ve experienced here in Michigan. We do a distribution every other Wednesday, we’ll serve between 275 and 300 people, and that includes students and their dependents."
Allegations of abuse of the program have been largely unsubstantiated. Smth-Tyge says,
"I’d say that there probably is abuse, but I don’t think that you should let the outliers indicate how you determine policy. There is a real demand. We see it on our campus and I’ve talked to people trying to start food-banks from as far away as Schoolcraft Community College in Livonia to people at Grand Valley State and I think there is a real food demand for people as they attend college."
The State Department of Human Services says an unknown number of students will become ineligible for food aid April 15th.
Reactions are coming in after some intense--maybe radioactive is a better word?--comments made by Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley on the governor's budget proposal, which will come out next week.
On Tuesday, Calley compared next week's budget announcement to an atomic bomb. Calley's comments, from WKZO:
"Here's why I think that our message on the 17th of February is going to be dropping an atomic bomb on the city of Lansing: We're going to do an all-cuts solution to our budget deficit."
Sara Wurfel, Governor Snyder's press secretary, claims that Calley misspoke. From the Detroit News:
"This was an extremely unfortunate choice of words," she said.
"It certainly doesn't take into account the very difficult decisions that are being made and the extensive efforts we are taking to help protect citizens and ensure we leave no one behind. We are doing everything we can to address the state's fiscal crisis and trim spending in all areas of the budget, but also to help preserve critical services."
It is too early to tell if Governor Rick Snyder’s executive order to move the job of paroling prisoners from Governor’s appointees back to the Department of Corrections will save money. The order also reduces the number of Parole Board members from 15 down to 10. All prisoners who want to be released before their sentence is up needs a decision from the parole board.
The move will save the state some money on some salaries, but the real savings will only happen if the new Board can continue to parole prisoners as fast or even faster than the old board.
Matthew Grabowski is with the Michigan State Senate Fiscal Agency.
Michigan spends a little over $35,000 a year to house your typical inmate. It’s usually less expensive to supervise an individual in the community, whether it’s through traditional parole or whether we use some kind of electronic monitoring like a GPS tether. Those ranges are from maybe, say as little as $2,000 a year, up to around $10,000.
Grabowski also said more details are needed before it's known if the executive order may signal more changes to the Parole Board.
It’s quite possible the parole board could change the way it approaches the parole process entirely. So it’s difficult to forecast sort of what the fiscal impact will be until the Governor and Director of the Department of Corrections sort of lay out a process for how the new parole board will operate.
The Michigan Farm Bureau is starting a six month series to educate farmers about laws that apply to migrant workers and youth labor. Michigan’s agriculture industry is dependent on migrant labor. The industry is still dealing with the effect of a harsh report on worker conditions by the Michigan Civil Rights Commission.
Hannah Stevens is with Michigan State University Extension, one of the sponsors of the series.
In agriculture it’s complicated because there immigration issues there’s housing issue, you know, so many regulatory agencies that look closely at management of labor. I think particularly it’s a sensitive topic.
Stevens says that pressure to comply with labor laws is also coming from retailers.
The retail stores, Meijer’s and Walmart’s and all these, are beginning to demand that there’s certain responsibility that growers have in terms of managing their workforce. They may reject Michigan produce if they don’t feel that’s being handled correctly. That may put growers in a very awkward position.
The farm bureau expects only about 25% of growers in the state will attend their seminars. The seminars will run from February to July.
Each Monday, our Morning Edition Host Christina Shockley speaks with a Michigan resident about a project or program that is working to improve life in Michigan. The interviews are part of our year-long series, What’s Working.
Today, Christina sits down with Beverley Ebersold, the Senior Program Manager at the Michigan Office for the Corporation for Supportive Housing.
Members of the Cleveland Orchestra (TCO), trapped in Ann Arbor because of the recent snowfall, ended up putting on an impromptu performance on Wednesday with members of Classical Revolution Ann Arbor (CRAA), a local chamber music collective.
Because of the snowstorm, TCO was unable to leave Ann Arbor in time for a concert Wednesday at Chicago's Orchestra Hall. The musicians chose to pass the time playing with University of Michigan students and amateur musicians at Sylvio's Organic Pizza in Ann Arbor, where CRAA meets every Wednesday for jam sessions.
The first quartet of the evening consisted of Bill Preucil, TCO's concertmaster, TCO violist Joanna Patterson, cellist Ed Baskerville, and University of Michigan student violinist Dan Winnick. Other TCO musicians showed up to play throughout the evening, including principal oboe Frank Rosenwein and principal flutist Joshua Smith.