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.

Pages

Business
4:00 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

Grandma: 'So easy...even a man could do it'

Credit Waymarking.com

A Chelsea business known nationally for its blue-and-white boxes of affordable baking mixes is also known for rising to economic challenges. 

For eight generations, the Holmes family has operated  Chelsea Milling Company. It began making Jiffy Mix during the Depression and has weathered all the economic ups and downs since.

Howdy Holmes (yes, the former race car driver)  is the current president and CEO.

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Education
12:00 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

Uniforms: It's what all Grand Rapids students are -- or will be -- wearing

Credit Grand Rapids Public Schools

When Grand Rapids Public Schools students head back to class after the Labor Day holiday, many of them will be wearing uniforms for the first time.

The school board approved a plan last year to phase-in district-wide school uniform requirements.

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That's What They Say
8:14 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Opaque abbreviations, and often forgotten acronyms

It’s odd when you stop to think about it that everyone who graduates from college is a bachelor of something.

On this week’s edition of “That’s What They Say,” host Rina Miller and Professor of English at the University of Michigan Anne Curzan discuss opaque abbreviations, and often forgotten acronyms.

“The B in BA stands for bachelor, and it’s the same word we use to refer to an unmarried man,” says Curzan.

“The word [bachelor] goes back to the 13th century in English. It used to refer to a knight, a young man, and could refer to a young man who had achieved the lowest rank of something. From there it’s come to mean someone who has achieved the lowest rank from university, the lowest degree.”

Of course back then those would have been all men, but now we have lots of women who are Bachelors of Arts, or Bachelors of Science.

Then there’s the abbreviations i.e. and e.g. that many people mix up. The latter, exempli gratia (e.g.) means “for example.” And, id est (i.e.) means “that is” as in "that is to say." Thanks to us you will never mix those two up again. 

Let’s turn now to acronyms once learned and quickly forgotten. LASER is the acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.  And, RADAR stands for Radio Detection and Ranging.

Finally, here’s an acronym you will want to talk about this week with friends, and that's SNAFU, which stands for Situation Normal All F’d Up.  

Thanks for joining us for another enlightening edition of “That’s What They Say.”

Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat August 31, 2013

The week in review: Detroit Public Schools, Washtenaw County ID cards, Detroit mayoral race

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Sarah Hulett Michigan Radio

 This week, Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss the Detroit Public Schools student quota, Washtenaw County’s identification card plan that includes undocumented immigrants, and the continuing campaigns of Detroit mayoral candidates Benny Napoleon and Mike Duggan.

Detroit Public Schools trying to meet enrollment goal

The Detroit Public School district is depending on enrolling 5,000 more students for the 2013-2014 school year.  If the district doesn’t meet its goal, they will lose millions of dollars in funding from the per-pupil-allowance from the state.  Jack Lessenberry says that Detroit used to enroll almost 200,000 students thirteen years ago.  They now only enroll 46,000.  Lessenberry says “they’ve been going door-to-door trying various gimmicks, of course those are sort of dubious too, to get kids to come back.  But it’s all about how many bodies they have in seats on Count Day.”

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Law
6:02 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Foes say upcoming wolf hunt is based on one neglectful farmer's claims

Credit Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Opponents of a wolf hunt set to begin in November say one farmer's poor livestock management led to the planned kill. 

Nancy Warren is the  Great Lakes regional director of the National Wolf Watcher Coalition. She lives in Ewen in the Upper Peninsula.  That's about 10 miles from a farm where a large number of livestock kills were reported between 2010 and 2013. She wanted to find out why this particular farm was experiencing such a big problem with wolves.

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Economy
4:50 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

60,000 jobs in Michigan? Here's where to look

Credit earl53 / MorgueFile

A state agency says there are more than 60,000 jobs available in Michigan, and it wants to help connect employees and employers.

The positions range from retail, manufacturing and service jobs to nursing, engineering and human resources.

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Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat August 24, 2013

The week in review: Detroit primaries, ACLU racial mapping case, 'fee-for-service'

Sarah Cwiek Michigan Radio

This week, Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss the certification of Detroit’s mayoral primary results, the Detroit ACLU’s case against the FBI, and a union’s “fee-for-service” for employee grievances.

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Law
4:29 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Prison food services to be privatized

Credit www.ci.glendale.ca.us

Michigan will soon privatize its prison food services. The change is supposed to save the state at least $10 million a year.

Philadelphia-based Aramark Corporation won a three-year state contract to provide meals to Michigan's 43,000 inmates at a cost of $64 million a year.

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Law
4:03 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

ACLU loses appeal in FBI racial, ethnic profiling case

Credit arabamericannews.com

The Detroit chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has lost a round in its fight with the FBI over racial and ethnic mapping. 

The ACLU sued the FBI after the bureau refused to release details about how it uses demographic information in its investigations.

But a federal appeals court says the FBI is allowed to withhold some information so that criminals and terrorists don't know what the bureau is looking into.

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Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat August 17, 2013

The week in review: right-to-work, transportation funding, and the Wayne County jail

Pothole in a road. Wikimedia Commons

  This week in review, Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss how right-to-work affects state employees, legislation for road improvements, and the half-finished Wayne County jail project.

State appeals court and unions clash on Right-to-work

A Michigan appeals court says the right-to-work law also applies to state employees.  The unions are saying that it does not. 

Jack Lessenberry says the disagreement “could mean an appeal to the state Supreme Court but that’s not likely to be favorable to the unions.”

Funding delayed for Michigan roads

A proposal to improve Michigan’s roads is unlikely to be on the November ballot.  Lawmakers disagree on the best way to raise money for transportation and will likely delay the bill until May. 

Lessenberry says “originally the Governor wanted to raise money to fix the roads by a combination of gasoline taxes and registration fees on cars.  Republicans in the legislature didn’t want to do that.  Instead, what they want to do is a sales tax increase.”

Future of Wayne County jail debated

Construction has stopped on the Wayne County jail project after managers already spent $120 million.  Governor Snyder is suggesting an alternative to finishing the building.

Lessenberry says “they’re not going to build it and what the Governor would like to do and what Wayne County executive Robert Ficano is now talking about is taking over the state’s old Scott Prison, renovating that, and putting county prisoners in there.”

Education
3:41 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Flint schools to modify search policy

Credit safezone.in

The Flint School District is changing its student search policy.

Flint students will still have to walk through metal detectors when school begins next month.

But the American Civil Liberties Union objected to the district's plan to allow students and their backpacks or purses to be searched without cause.

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Transportation
5:14 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Shh... Amtrak adds 'quiet' cars on Detroit-Chicago route

wikimedia commons

Travelers who ride the Amtrak train between Detroit and Chicago will have a new choice beginning Monday. They can enjoy some peace in newly designated "quiet cars."

"People say, 'Look, I want to travel, but I want to get away from all the sounds of people with phones ringing and chatting,'" says Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari. "They just want to chill out. So the quiet car will be our chill-out car.'

Magliari says tickets to ride in the quiet car won't be any more expensive, but the seats are first-come, first served.

They'll be available on weekdays only.

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Law
4:33 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Appeals court rejects law requiring 4% pension contribution for some state workers

The Michigan Appeals Court Wednesday struck down a law that requires some state workers to contribute toward their pension plan.      

In 2011, Michigan lawmakers passed a law that would require state workers hired before 1997 to pay four percent of their compensation into the pension system.

But the appeals panel says those changes are unconstitutional because only the state Civil Service Commission can change state employees' compensation.

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Health
4:25 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Michigan doctor faces federal indictment for unneeded cancer treatments

Credit googleimages

A Detroit-area doctor is facing a federal grand jury indictment charging him with health care fraud. 

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Law
5:00 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Ex-justice Hathaway to begin prison term

Credit mich.gov

Former Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway is expected to report to federal prison Tuesday. The prison sentence may not be lengthy, but the repercussions could last a lifetime.

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Economy
5:00 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Labor shortage hits state's growers

Credit morguefile

Michigan's fruit industry went from famine to feast in a year's time.

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Economy
2:00 pm
Sun August 11, 2013

Tax-foreclosed properties go on state auction block

Credit googleimages.com

More than 700 properties will be auctioned by the state of Michigan Tuesday and Wednesday. 

The state holds auctions of tax-foreclosed properties twice a year. The parcels this time are in 12 counties in Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas.

"They can be residential, commercial, some will have abandoned structures, some may not have structures at all," says Terry Stanton, a spokesman for the state Department of Treasury.

Stanton says the properties come with no guarantees, so it really is a case of buyer beware.

He says potential buyers can get basic information on the Treasury's web site or by checking with the county treasurer's office in which the property is located.

Minimum bids range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.
 

Information: www.michigan.gov/propertyforeclosures

Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat August 10, 2013

The week in review: Mike Duggan's write-in campaign, the DIA collection and sentencing reform

DIA
user aMichiganMom Flickr

This "week in review," Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss the Detroit primary results, the future of the DIA collection, and prison sentencing reform in Michigan.

Mike Duggan sweeps the primary vote

Mike Duggan's write-in campaign ended this week with surprising success. 85 percent of voters who wrote in his name spelled it correctly resulting in a huge lead for the Detroit mayoral contender.

Jack Lessenberry says, "It'll remain to be seen what happens in November.  One thing we know is that a lot more people will vote."

DIA collection appraised by Christie's Auction House

The Detroit Institute of Arts collection has been put at risk by Detroit's bankruptcy. The city invited Christie's Auction House to appraise the collection, perhaps simply to take inventory of its assets.

Lessenberry thinks that people are panicked about the possible sale of the art.  He says "the Attorney General thinks it's not constitutional, although if a federal bankruptcy judge says it is, federal law trumps state law."

Michigan considers parole and sentencing reform

Conservative lawmakers are considering overhauling prison sentences.  State Representative Joe Haveman is leading the cause, citing that harsher sentences are not keeping us any safer.

Lessenberry says, "Michigan locks up more people, locks them up for longer, and it costs us more.  It costs $34,000 per prisoner and we have 44,000 prisoners."

Politics & Government
4:24 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Ann Arbor Council urges Michigan to repeal 'stand-your-ground' law

Credit grzessiek / MorgueFile

The Ann Arbor City Council is sending a message to the Michigan Legislature about the state's self-defense law.

In 2006, Michigan passed a law similar to Florida's so-called "Stand-Your-Ground" law, which got international attention after the fatal shooting of a black teenager there.

Ann Arbor Councilwoman Sabra Briere is among those who want Michigan's law revised and voted in favor of a resolution being sent to Lansing.

Briere says she's not opposed to gun ownership, but wants clearer rules about when guns can be used for self-defense.

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Environment & Science
2:00 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

DNR plans to eliminate mute swans

Credit wikimedia.org

An invasive type of wild swan is on a state agency's hit list. 

Michigan bird experts say the state's mute swan population tripled in the last decade to more than 15,000.

The mute swans tend to crowd out other birds, including the endangered trumpeter swan.

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